Friday, January 30, 2009

curren's 2 week stats

We went to Curren's 2 week appointment on Tuesday and I had hoped to post his stats alongside Maggie's at this age, but alas, I think hers are in her baby book in storage. So, for now, here are his:

Height: 20 1/2", 50th percentile
Weight: 8 lbs., 13 oz., 50th percentile
Head circumference: 14 1/2", 25th percentile

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

good friends

Last night we joined our neighbors and went to dinner at Texas de Brazil (an all-you-can-eat Brazilian beef restaraunt), where on Mondays and Tuesdays of this month only, plates are 1/2 price. It was a killer deal we couldn't pass up. As you can imagine, the food was incredible. We are so thankful for good friends and a night out.

From L-R: us, Clayton and Molly, Tyce and Bethany

Sunday, January 25, 2009

look alikes!

I'm sure you can guess who is who. Both of our kiddos have the same nose and mouth. Maggie definitely has a larger head and forehead and Curren seems to have a small dimple in the middle of his chin. Both of them had hair when born, though Curren's is blond and he has more than Maggie did at this point. It will be fun to post more compare/contrast pictures in the months and years to come!

curren's birth story

Monday, January 12 (this is a long post, but i didn't want to forget any details!)

8:00-11:00am—The day began with our usual breakfast routine and later, coffee with friends. I did some final food prep for a meal I was taking to my friend Erin who had just had a baby.

11:15am-12:30pm—We arrived at Erin’s house and I enjoyed meeting her daughter, Parker, for the first time, and letting Maggie and Hudson play. It was really great for me to see her transitioning so well from 1 kiddo to 2. She seemed very positive and upbeat and not frazzled or distressed.

1:00-5:00pm—Maggie and I both took naps, then afterwards, headed downstairs to the courtyard to play outside with friends.

5:30-6:00pm—I quickly ate a yummy bowl of black bean soup for dinner and when Aron arrived home at 6pm, I headed out to get a pedicure and manicure with my good friend Nicole. The drive was so enjoyable and I spent most of the time talking to my good friend Laurie.

7:00-8:00pm—The pedicure and manicure, as you can imagine, were *just* what I needed. It was an enjoyable evening, spending time with Nicole, and getting pampered. As I drove home around 8:30pm, I was aware of how relaxed I felt, how much I was actually at peace with enjoying the waiting process for Curren’s arrival. I called Aron and basically told him these things and started to cry.

9:00-10:15pm—When I arrived home, Aron and I chatted some, watched a quick show on TV, then headed to bed around 10:30. I remember sitting on the couch and looking at him and saying, “I cannot wait for Curren to come, but I hope it isn’t tomorrow because I don’t really want him to be born on the 13th (because of Friday the 13th).” I know that seems silly, I’m not superstitious in the least, but well, I just don’t prefer the 13th. :) Anyway, little did I know!

Tuesday, January 13

12:00am—I awoke around midnight with some very mild contractions, but didn’t think anything of it. I headed to the bathroom for the multi-nightly pit stop.

12:20am—After about 20 minutes, the contractions didn’t seem to be subsiding so I began to wonder if this might be “it,” but wasn’t convinced (though I did start to time them—5-15 minutes apart, roughly 45 seconds in length). Aron told me to get back in bed, listen to my Hypnobirthing affirmations and relaxation techniques CD and try to rest.

12:50am—I did just this for about 30 minutes, hoping to fall back asleep, but the contractions were not subsiding and in fact, were getting more intense.

1:15am—I got up and took a long, hot shower.

2:00-2:30am—I think it's pretty clear that I am in labor (and it's a very surreal experience since I was induced with Maggie and did not go into labor on my own). Aron began to time my contractions and to my surprise, they were coming every 3-5 minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds. By 2:30am, the contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes apart! I found myself definitely having to focus on my breathing as each one came.

2:45-3:15am—I called my neighbor, Bethany, and said, “This is the call!” and she came right over to spend the night with Maggie. I was actually packing my hospital bag in between contractions. After a call into the doctor was finally returned (“You should probably come in”), and after several more intense contractions, we were walking to the car. Bethany later told me that she was certain I was much further along than I realized!

3:30am—The drive to the hospital brought even more intense contractions, and I was actually telling Aron, *very loudly*, to drive faster, faster. I continued listening to my Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and gripping the door handle through each contraction.

3:45am—We arrived at the hospital and as Aron was signing us in, I had one really strong contraction and suddenly, my water broke. I started to leak all over the hospital floor, and felt slightly relieved/embarrassed and yet totally focused on what was coming because I figured at this point, things were going to start moving even quicker.

4:00-4:30am—A nurse immediately ushered us into a room where I promptly asked for a birthing ball and walked around through a few more contractions (I never did get the ball). Another nurse asked me to sit on the bed so she could get some readings on Curren’s heart rate, so I did, much to be my great discomfort. Allison, my good friend and birth photographer extraordinaire, arrived about this time and I was relieved to see her, knowing that she would be a huge support during this time. Not minutes after lying down, I began to ask, “How far dilated am I? How is my baby’s heart rate?” The nurse said she would get to that in a minute, but first needed to ask me some questions. I was vaguely aware of her asking, “How many surgeries have you had in the past? What medications are you allergic to?” Slightly perturbed, I tried to tune her out as much as possible and focus on my breathing. I wondered why she wasn’t answering MY questions. I did manage to ask her, “Do you support a natural delivery? I’m also hoping to VBAC my baby,” and she responded in a supportive manner. An anesthesiologist came through, talking to me about putting in a dry block (no thanks). A few more nurses filtered in. For the next 25 minutes, my pain level rose to a new threshold I didn’t think possible. Aron held my hand and helped me breathe through every contraction, but the pain was so intense that I started to hyperventilate and thus, required oxygen.

4:30-4:50am— The OB on call, Dr. Peregini, finally arrived and checked me. I was dilated to 8cm! The next 20 minutes proved to be the hardest yet, as the contractions came closer and closer together and with increasing intensity. I began to involuntarily push and dry heave. The nurses repeatedly told me, “Don’t push!”and this was terribly annoying because I could not NOT push! At this point, I’ll be totally honest, all desire of a natural birth went south and I began to somewhat shout aloud, “Give me the epidural!”all the while looking into Aron’s eyes and telling him how much it hurt and how much I didn’t want one, but just couldn’t take the pain.

4:50-5:00am—Ten to fifteen minutes passed and the OB checked me once again and declared, “You’re complete. It’s time to push!” Praise God! There was no time for an epidural.

5:00-6:10pm—Joy and relief flooded over me. This was the moment! Curren was almost here! I could almost feel him in my arms. I had visions of him being placed on my chest. Alas, it would be another 1 ½ hours before I held my baby. After about an hour and very little progress, my discouragement grew. I was saying aloud at this point, how badly I did not want another C-section, how I couldn’t believe we were at the same point we were with Maggie and there was no progress being made (I pushed for 1 ½ hours with Maggie and she never presented, and thus we ended up in a C-section). I was almost in tears between contractions. The nursing staff was doing their best to teach me how to push, but it was so hard and Curren wasn’t making his appearance yet. He was actually presenting face-up (and at a slight angle as he’d been trying to turn during prior contractions). Maggie was also face-up and this proves to be a much more difficult to deliver because babies are supposed to come face-down. I looked at the OB finally and said, “Are we going to end up in C-section? What’s happening? Why won’t he come out?” She gave me a somewhat matter-of-fact and not-too-encouraging talk about how I could keep pushing, his heart rate was fine, but some babies just don’t come through the pelvis. She said, “You need to really focus on where you are pushing. It’s going to hurt like the dickens.”

6:10-6:20am—Maybe it was just what I needed to hear because through the next contraction, I actually made some progress and she looked at me, for the first time genuinely excited, and said, “That was your best push yet. Keep doing just that!” Greatly encouraged, I pushed through 3 more contractions and it felt like I was on fire. The pain was unbelievable, but I was starting to be able to finally see him emerging! By the fourth contraction, the OB told me to stop pushing and I exclaimed in great distress, “WHY!?” and she responded with, “Because we are delivering!” She put my feet in stirrups and I pushed through 2 more contractions, all the while feeling like I was being ripped in two (this must have been me feeling myself tear…I have a 3rd degree tear, but hey, it was SO worth it!) and our little boy was here!! He was born at 6:20am, a little over 6 hours after I initially went into labor at midnight.

Immediately, he was placed on my chest, Aron cut the cord, and I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! It was miraculous! I kept praising God aloud, while looking at Aron and saying over and over, “We did it! We did it! God is so good!” This experience was unlike any in my life (obviously VERY different from my hellish 20-hour labor with Maggie that ended up in an unplanned C-section). There are no words to adequately describe what I felt. It was so surreal to hold my baby, knowing I’d been able to deliver him just like I had hoped and prayed for.

From start to finish, the labor had been a little over 6 hours.

My recovery has been excellent and we are settling into a routine as a family of 4. I’m breastfeeding Curren and it’s been a *night* and *day* difference from nursing Maggie. He is a pro nurser and this aspect has been an absolutely flawless transition. I am in awe of God’s faithfulness as I prayed for a good breastfeeding experience all through my pregnancy. We went to the doctor last week for what ended up being a clogged tear duct for Curren, but they weighed him again and he was back to birth weight after only one week! How encouraging to know that he is getting all the nutrition he needs from me!

Thank you to all our family and friends for your love, support, and encouragement to our family during this time of newness in our lives.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

our family of 4

wordless wednesday

Yes, I'm sure you can guess who took these...more pics from my favorite photographer, Allison!

wordless wednesday

Yes, I'm sure you can guess who took these...more pics from my favorite photographer, Allison!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

what's in a name?

Perhaps some of you are curious about our name choice for a boy. Curren is a name we have both loved since the inception of our relationship 11 years ago. In some ways, it's a bit of a redemptive name to me, seeing how our relationship has stood the test of time and trial before we married, and further seeing God's faithfulness in our marriage today. Once we learned we were having a boy, we debated this name and another, but settled on Curren. It has Gaelic and Celtic roots (as does "Maggie"), and I think we just gravitate towards these types of names. The name Curren means "hero." His middle name is a tribute to the men in our family. My dad's first name is John and both Aron's dad and brother have the middle name John. We wanted to carry it on in our immediate family as well.

one week old

It just doesn't get any sweeter than this!

Photo by: Allison Duckworth

Thursday, January 15, 2009

allison duckworth birth photography

Our good friend Allison Duckworth graciously photographed Curren's birth. She put them in a slideshow for us to proof and we were so stoked we wanted to share it with yall.

She is looking to get in this line of work so if you expecting and/or know someone that is drop her a line. She is linked on our blog under Our Lives/Central/The Duckworths

Jason/Charlotte - thanks for letting us 'borrow' your mother in the middle of the night!


We arrived home today (Curren's due date, how fun!) around 1pm. Maggie has been amazing. Amazing. It's wonderful to watch her begin to interact with her brother. She marvels at how small he is: "Look at his little socks!" she exclaimed earlier this evening. She is wonderful at stroking his head gently, kissing his cheek and giving him his blanket. I'm currently writing up Curren's birth story, so hopefully I will post that tomorrow.
You can get an idea of how blond Curren's hair is in this picture

Hanging out on the bed at home

Yes, Maggie put the food on his tummy; she is really quite good at sharing!

welcome, Parker!

My close friend, Erin, had a successfully unmedicated VBAC on Saturday, January 3. She and her family welcomed Parker Eleos (Greek for "mercy" or "compassion") into their family: 7 lbs., 9 0z., 19 1/2 in. long. She is such a beauty and looks just like big brother Hudson at this age.

Erin and I met while teaching together in Garland 3 years ago and have stayed friends ever since. Once we moved back to Texas, I asked if she'd like to be my "Friday morning coffee buddy." Many of you may know that my sister, Shannon, and I met for early morning Friday coffee for almost 5 years, starting in California after we were each married and continuing until we both moved away from Texas in 2006. I have sorely missed the weekly catch up with my sister in this way; it was *such* a special time! I hoped to continue with a good friend here, and Erin was game. So, we've been getting together, weekly, for the past year and a half and it's fantastic. It's a time of encouragement in all aspects of life. Our first kiddos are only 2 weeks apart and we got pregnant with our seconds at the same time in April last year. We also go to the same OB (whom we LOVE) and were both trying for a VBAC this time around. I was overjoyed when I heard the news on the 3rd that she had been successful! God is so good!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Curren is here!

Curren John McKay arrived in this world on 1/13/2009 at 6:20 am. 8 lbs 3 oz & 19 1/2" long. Mom was able to sucessfully deliver via unmedicated VBAC, both Suz and Curren are doing well. Story and lots more pictures to come.

God is good.

Friday, January 9, 2009

pregnancy update #3

While I have less than 1 week until my estimated due date (I prefer this term), I will take this little boy any time! At my OB appointment on Wednesday of this week, I was dilated 2-3 cm and 75% effaced. I've made progress weekly, so this is a good sign! I've also gained about 6 pounds of water weight which is just crazy to me. I've been walking daily, resting, and drinking red raspberry leaf tea. I've had some cramping on and off for several days, but nothing has come of it. Hopefully, next time I post I will have a baby in my arms. We are still in waiting mode...

Monday, January 5, 2009

a last-minute pregnancy craving

Unless you live in California or are fortunate to have See's Candy stands pop up in your local mall during the holiday, you cannot know how good this chocolate is! I've been craving some like nobody's business and today, in the mail, this is what I recieved...addressed to me!

An. Entire.Pound.Of.Bordeaux.Chocolates.

Who knew you could actually customize a box? Bordeaux is my favorite truffle, hands-down.

Many, many, many thanks to my father-in-law for hooking me up. I'm going to try to savor them, but can't guarantee they'll last more than a few days...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 in review...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
moved twice, let my daughter ride a horse alone, organized a friend's kitchen for pay (and LOVED it), gone as long as we did this year without seeing my sister and parents.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
i think i did pretty good; i always try to keep them simple and measurable. i'll have to post mine for 2009 soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, what a year!
Allison: Charlotte on January 10
Lindsey: Shelby on January 20
Melisa: Vanden on January 25
Elicia: Evangline on May 18
Shannon: Jacob on May 31 (her birthday!)
Laurie: Audrey on July 18
Heather: Olive on July 24
Karissa: Hannah and Alysah on September 16

4. Did anyone close to you die? no

5. What countries did you visit? lots of in-country travel, but none out

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? nothing jumps to the front of my mind at the moment.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? finding out we were pregnant with our little boy!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? getting pregnant, watching Maggie grow, learn, and internalize what we are teaching her, Aron and I continuing to learn what God wants for our family

9. What was your biggest failure? probably, the never-ending 2 steps forward, 1 step back in my spiritual journey with Christ

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? nope, nothing serious

11. What was the best thing you bought? Maggie's big girl bed? I'm not sure

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Aron, for continuing to work in a job that he is not passionate about, while going to school and loving and supporting his family

13. Where did most of your money go? moving expenses, mortgage/rent, food, travel, bills

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about? being pregnant again, moving on campus at DTS

15. What song will always remind you of 2008? as much as I love music, I cannot think of one that stands out

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? happier, though not sure I was more sad last year...

17. What do you wish you'd done more of? worked out more

18. What do you wish you'd done less of? indulged in eating sweets...sigh

19. How did you spend Christmas? with family in Oklahoma

20. What was your favorite TV program? The Office, Heroes, Bones, 30 Rock, Fringe

21. What was the best book you read? Cold Tangerines

22. What was your greatest musical discovery? "Horse Feathers" and "Whitley"

23. What did you want and ended up getting? a KitchenAid mixer and a surprise 30th birthday party

24. What was your favorite film of this year? "The Dark Knight"

25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? the big 3-0 and I mentioned above what happened. :)

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? if Maggie was potty trained (i'm actually fine with the fact that she is not, but well, it would make life alot easier now)

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? jeans, casual tops, flip flops, and of course, maternity clothes

28. What kept you sane? my husband and close friends

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? i'm not sure why i can only think of the past few months, but off the top of my head i sure did enjoy Robert Pattinson of "Twlight." He's dreamy. :)

30. What political issue stirred you the most? the election, though not nearly like it should have

31. Who was the best new person you met? my neighbors, Molly and Bethany

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008: God has us each on our own life journey, no two people will have the same story. And often, we have to take steps to get back on the path to pursue our passions.

33. Who would you like to see respond to this (and would most likely do it)? Quite a few of my friends, so in no particular order: Laurie, Shannon, Linds, Mel, Celeste, Amy, Renee, Allison, Shey, Bailey, Leslie C., and Liz

ode to the best maternity pants

My favorite maternity pants have been laid to rest. It's a bittersweet moment.

Last night, I ripped a hole in the already-thinning area of the pants, as seen above. These gray, comfy, light-weight wonders have seen me (as well as a few friends and one sweet sister) through 2 pregnancies. But, alas, Liz Lange does not design them anymore and believe me, I have checked Target repeatedly.

I guess it was time because while at the park yesterday, a button popped off, as well. Hmm...perhaps it's a sign that my labor will happen in the next 24 hours?!

I'm sure it's helping, too, that I have eaten eggplant Parmesan twice in the last 72 hours.
Every day I wake up and say, "[insert name here], today is your birthday!" I think today is the day!

sweet friends

On Monday night of last week, we were able to have dinner with some of our good friends from OC who were visiting family east of Dallas. Dawnielle is such a good friend of mine, she's a "kindred spirit" and I hate that we aren't getting to raise our kiddos together. Asher (who is one week younger than M) and Maggie have met on several occassions and have enjoyed a couple of beach trips together, too, whenever we have been in SoCal. The dinner was fantastic, the company even better. We love you guys!

Asher, Dawnielle, me, Maggie
This pic is for Uncle Steve. Here is Maggie, playing drums with Dawnielle's nephew, Eli. She totally has a future as a drummer!

When dinner lasted too long, the kiddos watched some of the movie "Cars."
For a good 20 minutes, they both enjoyed climbing up and sliding down the stairs.