• Grady's Birth Story

    At 5:00 a.m. on Monday, July 23, I was awoken out of a dead sleep by a terrible contraction. I had been having contractions on and off for days, but nothing like this. I laid there in bed and watched the clock and about 10 minutes later experienced the same kind of contraction. During the third one, my agonizing sigh woke Josh up. "Are you having a contraction?" He held my hand and grinned when I told him it was my third one in under 30 minutes - he knew they were different too.
    With his handy Contraction Timer App on his phone, Josh watched and timed my contractions. Around 6:30 a.m. when they started to become 12-15 minutes apart, he said it was time to go for a walk. "I am not going to work today, I want to meet my son." We went for a 2 mile walk around our neighborhood, timing contractions and talking about the anticipated day. By the end of the walk, my contractions were around 7 minutes apart.
    Back at home, I bounced on my yoga ball, finished a decorating project, and watched an episode of Law and Order SVU all the while experiencing stronger and more intense contractions. My contractions had been 5 minutes apart for over an hour, but I did not want to be one of those people who gets sent home from the hospital. I knew they were really bad, but were they just bad to my weenie, pain-intolerant self? So, I suffered for a while longer at home, by this point having to brace myself against Josh through each contraction. Finally I had a contraction that lasted over a minute and a half and that made me wish I could just die, I decided it was time.
    At 11:30 a.m., we left for the hospital.
    When we arrived and got checked in, I was doubling over in pain with contractions that were bringing me to tears. When they checked me and told me I was at 5 cm already, I was so happy that all that work had not been in vain. 
    Two hours later at over 6 cm dilated, I got my epidural. God's miracle drug. I could move my legs and wiggle my toes but I could feel no pain. What a crazy sensation. 
    My nurse, Tracy, was so encouraging and sweet. She made my labor experience that much more enjoyable.
    I had friends and family come visit me during this second half of my labor and it was a fun distraction. They laughed as we watched contractions on top of each other show up on the monitor with not so much as a grimace from me. When I was checked two hours later, I was at 8 cm. One of the reasons I debated the epidural is because I've heard it can slow down your labor, so I was happy to hear it hadn't.
    By around 9 p.m. it was time to push. 
    This was the part I was so nervous about. But it wasn't at all like you see in the movies. It was just me, Josh and my new nurse on duty, Vanessa. Josh had a Coldplay Pandora station playing on his iPhone. Josh and Vanessa each sat at the end of my bed and held my legs for me as I pushed. They gave me encouragement and helped me focus. Not too long into the pushing process, Vanessa could tell that Grady's head was turned sideways preventing him from coming down through my pelvis. She told me I was basically pushing against a brick wall. This was our new goal, to get Grady's head to turn. So they turned me on my side and tried pushing that way. Then to the other side. Finally, after over an hour and a half of pushing, we got his head to turn. The epidural had started wearing off at this point and I could feel a difference in my pushing. I could tell when my contractions were coming better than the monitor could detect. Five pushes later and Vanessa called the doctor in to help deliver Grady. 
    At 10:53 p.m. Grady Ford Goodman was born. He came out screaming and with a slight cone head from being stuck in birth canal so long. 
    Holding my baby boy for the first time was a feeling like none other. It felt so surreal to finally meet the boy I had been carrying and dreaming about for the past 10 months. 
    When I slipped him inside my gown, he was instantly calmed. I was his mom and he felt safe with me.
    Josh kissed me with tears in his eyes, "This is our boy."
    At 7.2 lbs and 20 inches long, Grady is perfect and healthy. We praise God for his faithlessness to us and for this most precious gift.
  • Grady's Birthday video

    If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is a video worth?
    Before Grady was born, Josh and I always talked about wanting to be sure we were proactive about taking home videos. We want to have videos to show Grady of his baby self.
    Well, Josh started out strong on our resolve. He used his iPhone to record video footage of the events surrounding Grady's birth and complied it together using iMovie.
    I truly cannot wait to show this to Grady one day.
    p.s. The video will make more sense if you read his birth story first.

  • The Hard Days

    "You never see the hard days in a photo album...but those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next."-Just Married
    If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, by my pictures you might think that I was one of those women who eased naturally into motherhood. Who loves breastfeeding and who adjusted easily to life with a newborn. But I'm not. No one could have prepared me for these first two weeks of motherhood. They were filled with hard days. 
    Trying to decipher what is making your baby cry when they are full and dry is hard.
    Meeting a demanding 2 hour feeding schedule is hard.
    Making sense of postpartum emotions is hard.
    Realizing that another life depends on you is hard.
    The hospital stay was a reality tease. Grady was a perfect sleeping angel who the nurses brought in once a night for a feeding. This isn't so hard, I thought to myself. Lots of family and visitors were a great distraction and Grady passed easily from lap to lap. I didn't change one diaper.
    That first sleepless night at home was a full dose of true reality. Still feeling like I was hit by a train called labor, where every muscle in my body hurt (I did push for 2 hours, remember?), I was zombie-ing my way into Grady's room to change him and cursing my engorged breasts at 2 a.m. Add a dash of those postpartum baby blues and I was a mess. What have I gotten myself into?
    Thank the Lord for my wonderful family, who stayed with us that first week. My mom made meals and kept the house clean while I was sequestered in my room meeting the needy feeding schedule of my newborn. As I struggled with thoughts and emotions due to the flush of hormones that was happening in my body I wondered, Where is the overwhelming joy I'm supposed to be experiencing? I didn't feel joy. I felt almost...depressed. Like I was in mourning for the life that I'd given up and was forcing myself to accept my new role as a slave to my newborn.
    Then my family left and Josh went back to work. I got a pit in my stomach just thinking about being home alone with him all day. How do you entertain a newborn?
    My best friend Kerry sensed my anxiety and offered to come over and help me in my first days home alone with Grady. She talked me through the emotions I was experiencing and literally let me cry on her shoulder. She assured me that life would get easier and that I would leave the house again someday.
    Each day does get better and seems a little brighter as I get the hang of this thing called motherhood.
    Grady and I are starting to get into the swing of things. But there are still hard days.
    And during these hard days I am so thankful for my husband, who is an amazing dad to Grady. Somedays I think he's the one with the mother's intuition. He is calm and gentle and sure of himself as a father. My heart swells when I watch him in his new role.
    I know there will be plenty more hard days to come. But I also know what helped me in those hard days: Having coffee with a good friend. Taking a walk. Cuddling with my husband. Talking to another mom who understands. Praying. Going on an outing.
    But there's one thing I still don't do you take care of a newborn when you already have other children?! 
  • Griffin's Birth Video

    One of the best gift's my husband ever gave me was the video he made the day our first son was born.
    I have watched it so many times over his short 2 year life and it is so special to relive that day.
    So, when our second son was on the way, he assured me he'd do the same thing so that we could have one for him. He's got a quite a knack for editing video and compiling songs to correlate.
    This video is such a treasure to me.
    While Josh has the video skills, I've got the graphic skills. So, I was in charge of designing his birth announcements. I had designed this birth print for his room and decided to combine that with a photo for his birth announcement.

    We are so in love with this new addition to our family!