Archive for December, 2009

Our First Christmas “At Home”

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Since Jeff and I have been married — well really since the time we each, separately, moved out of our parents house –we have always traveled to one of our parents house for Christmas.  This year, for obvious reasons, we weren’t able to travel for Christmas.  We did get our biggest wish of having the baby and being home for Christmas though, which was a huge blessing in itself.  No one wants to send Christmas in the hospital, even if you are there for happy reasons.

Since we were at home, and Caleb is now old enough to understand and be excited about presents, we really got to be on the “Santa” side of things for the first time.  Jeff and I were both surprised by home much we enjoyed this side of things!  It was so much fun to get everything set up on Christmas Eve, and then watch Caleb’s face on Christmas morning.  He was so surprised to see all the gifts in his living room when he got up!  Don’t worry, we recorded the whole thing ;)

We haven’t really introduced Caleb to the concept of Santa yet, but figured we should start with the concept of Jesus, and in time he will definitely pick up on Santa ;)  This year he really loved looking at the lights, and singing Christmas songs, especially “The Little Drummer Boy.”

After opening and playing with presents, we even managed to make a very simple Christmas dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and even pecan pie (prepared by Publix) for desert.

While we did miss spending the holidays with our families this year, it was nice to have a simple, laid back day as a new family of four.  It really gave us the chance to think about and thank God for the blessing our little family is, and the wonderful blessing he gave us in the form of His Son.

Birth Story

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

**Warning, if you don’t care to know birthing details, skip this post.

Jill had her 39 week appointment with her midwife Terry on Thursday.  At the appointment, Terry checked and Jill was about 2-3 cm dilated.  Since Terry knew that we hoped to have the baby in time to be home for Christmas, she recommended that Jill consider having her membranes stripped on Friday.  Terry was also scheduled to be on call all weekend, so this would increase the chances that she would be the one to deliver our baby.  We wanted this birth to be as natural as possible, but decided that this wasn’t really outside the idea of natural, so Friday morning Jill made an appointment and had her membranes stripped.  She immediately began feeling really crampy, and felt that the baby was coming soon.   Since it had been pouring for days, Jill and Caleb headed over to Target to do some walking to help the process.  While there, they also picked out a Christmas outfit for Ethan :)

Around 5 pm, Jill started to noticed that she was having small contractions regularly.  We had a normal dinner, and put Caleb to bed as usual.  Then started measuring the contractions.  By about 9:30 or 10, the contractions were only 4-5 minutes apart, but still not very painful.  The midwife’s biggest concern was that Jill had tested strep B positive.  This just means that she needed to be given antibiotics during labor, and 2 doses needed to be given 4 hours apart.  The midwife encouraged her repeatedly not to wait to long before going to the hospital.   We decided to walk for a while to see if that would make the contractions stronger.  Since Caleb was already in bed, we walked a million laps around the parking lot.  I think the neighbors thought we were insane.

At about 11:30 we decided (with encouragement) to go in and get checked out.  We called Alexandra, who came over to stay with Caleb.  Terry met us at the hospital around 12:30 am.  At this point Jill was 4cm dilated.  She encouraged us to be admitted even though the labor still wasn’t strong to ensure we got the antibiotics in.  As Jeff put it, she said the decision was ours, and then patiently waited for us to agree with her.

Once admitted she encouraged nipple stimulation and more walking to get things going.  This seemed to work, and soon Jill was 5 cm and having strong contractions every 2 minutes or so.  We walked a million laps around the labor and recovery wards.   Everyone recognized us the next day as the “walkers”.

Unfortunately things seemed to stall out.  At 5:30 am, Jill was still only 5 cm dilated, even though she had been having strong, regular contractions for a while.  Terry encouraged us let her break Jill’s water.  She again said it was our decision, and then patiently waited for us to agree with her.  Don’t get me wrong.  She knew what she was doing.  Jill’s already strong contractions immediately became much more intense.

At this point sense of time was kind of lost.  We tried walking some more, but Jill soon couldn’t get very far.  We returned to our room.  Jill got into bed in a semi sitting up position.  It may have helped to try different positions, but at this point things were so intense that Jill didn’t want to move at all.  Terry said all we need was the uncontrolable urge to push.  After what seemed to Jill as some crazy intense contrations that were out of control, but everyone else described as very well handled and controlled, Jill shouted that she needed to push immediately.  Without changing positions to any sort of pushing position, Jill started pushing just as she was.  The head started to emerge immediately, and with coaching from Terry to pause a few times (and some “calm” statements from Jill that she needed to keep pushing), Ethan entered the world within a matter of seconds.  Jill exclaimed that things felt “so much better!”  Jeff was actually able to make the “catch” and pass him directly up to Jill.  This picture was taken seconds later.

Jill immediately told Jeff that she did not think she ever wanted to do that again :)

Her sentiments have become a little less strong with some time and perspective.  Terry and the nurses repeated told her that she had had an amazing birth and that they didn’t see many that were that natural and controlled.  Jill still does not feel it was “controlled” ;)

Here is a picture we took a little while later with Terry and the nurse, Liz, who helped during the delivery.

On an interesting note, when Caleb was born, they thought he was going to be a giant baby, so there were tons of people in the delivery room — extra nurses, a doctor from the NICU, etc.  This time around, they thought Ethan was going to be on the small side, so it was only the 4 of us in the room.  Ethan weighed 3/4 lb more than Caleb did at birth.  So much for ultrasound weight estimates!

Welcome Ethan Joshua Akins!!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Ethan Joshua Akins joined our family at 8:32 am on December 19, 2009.  He was 8lb 4oz at birth and 20 inches long.

Still a family of 3

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

With my due date only 12 days away, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Akins.  In the mean time though, we decided to head to Downtown Delray beach for the evening to enjoy being a family of three.

We had dinner at the Mellow Mushroom, one of favorite pizza places.  Then we walked along Atlantic Ave to take Caleb to see the BIG Christmas tree.  Every year the city of Delray Beach sets up a 100ft tall Christmas tree at Old School Square (which is where our wedding reception was held a little over 3 years ago.)

Caleb is really excited about Christmas lights and decorations, and he really loved the tree!  The also have a carousel set up for the Christmas season.  Caleb loved riding on it.  In fact he was more excited about the carousel horse than the real horses we saw giving carriage rides in the area.

All in all, it was a nice evening, and it was good to get out and enjoy the ease of being a family of three.  I am definitely ready to have this baby, but I do realize that our life is going to get a lot more hectic once he arrives!

Full term!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Today I am 37 weeks pregnant, which means I am officially full term. So now we are waiting. The baby is welcome to come any time! Well, I would like to get over this cold first. Then he is welcome to come any time! Please pray for an easy, natural delivery.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

We decorated our Christmas tree a few nights ago.  Unlike last year when Caleb was unaware of what was going on, this year he was very excited to help.  We told him that we would put the ornaments on the tree, and he immediately went to work.  He carefully selected one ornament at a time.

Then he placed the ornaments in his favorite spot on the lowest branch.

He quickly built up a pile of ornaments that Jeff and I then spread around the tree.  The cute/funny part was the intensity with which he did all this.  For 45 minutes he methodically went back and forth between the box of ornaments and the tree.  When we ran out of ornaments, I tried to explain that we were all done.  This was not an acceptable explanation though, which signaled that it was time to get ready for bed.

We have spent a lot of time over the last few days looking at the tree and talking about the ornaments.  I am sure this will continue as long as we have the tree up ;)