Sunday, November 28, 2010

... of regaining our health!

This is going to be a picture heavy blog. Just to be honest from the get-go. No creative, witty writing for this sleep deprived new mom. I just don't have it in me. Maybe once this Babram is on more of a schedule (as far as feeding and sleeping is concerned), I will be able to get back to my clever and witty self. Let's hope so; for your sake and mine. And who wants to read my silly, rambly words anyway, when you can see fun pictures of a cute baby and some awesome people?

We are at eleven days with the baby (nine at home). My parents have come and gone for Thanksgiving and baby viewing. My mom is in love. And very helpful. We got spoiled with the food preparation, laundry, diaper changing, and burping. My dad did some much needed chores around the house and I was so very thankful to have them here. Quinn's mom gets here in four days. While we are enjoying a (relatively) quiet night at home alone for pretty much the first time, by tonight we are going to be counting the hours until she gets here.

Here are some highlights from the last few days:

Quinn-Dad sturggled through trying to be helpful AND sick at the same time. We think he has a virus. I might have the same thing, although my throat has never felt like his. Mine's more like allergies. But we are both coughing and sniffling and constantly washing our hands. They are actually cracked and bleeding (all four of them) from the washing. So we are also constantly praying that Abram will be protected from our sickness. I am breastfeeding, which is supposed to be really good for his immune system. So pray for us, if you think about it.

We get some gas smiles sometimes. Even though they are not technically real smiles, we still like them.

Abram went for his first walk around the block. It wasn't extremely cold outside, but we bundled him up enough that he is a bit difficult to see. Sorry.

Aunt Liesl and Uncle Eric came up to visit the day after Thanksgiving. We wish they lived closer, but San Antonio isn't TOO far away...

Some of my former students came to visit Abes this weekend. I think all teenaged girls are excited about all tiny babies, but these girls were beside themselves. There were a lot of choral responses to cute faces and farts. This is Chelsea.
This is Tara.
This is Kelsey.

Our neighbors, Bryan and Norma and their two year old, Ryan, came to visit. Ryan is very good at focusing on cameras for pictures, but he doesn't actually smile until after the picture is taken :) Super cute.

So essencially, we still have a healthy, snuggly baby and we feel so blessed! He IS have some bowel movement issues. Like, he used to have them regularly and now he is going days without having one. We've taken him to the doctor to figure something out, but they say it's just that he's not eating enough. I fee like he's eating enough and he acts like he is trying really hard to get something out sometimes. I feel for him, ya know? And it makes me very sad when he is unhappy. Again, more prayer would be greatly appreciated.

There ya go. Some cute baby pictures and some pictures of random people. Just what you always wanted! Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

... of a truly thankful Thanksgiving

We finally made it!! Well, HE finally made it. Abram Quinn Smith was born on November 17th, 2010 at 2:57pm. To continue with the cliche (but important) information: he was 6 lbs 14 oz. and measured 20.25 inches. All those in-utero, motivational speeches I gave him about being early actually paid off.

To make a long story... semi-short (but not really):
We had out 38 week visit with the doctor on Tuesday, the 16th. At that point, he agreed that by 39 weeks I would be ready enough to induce labor, which I immediately and excitedly agreed to. In my mind, it was perfect. He would be early AND planned. And I sure love both of those things! But Abram (and more accurately: GOD), were about to prove to me that my timing is not perfect, while His absolutely is. God's, that is. Not necessarily the Babram's.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at 1:30ish, I woke up to a gush of fluid and ran to the bathroom yelling at Quinn that my water broke. He jumped out of bed faster and more awake that ever in his life and began clothing himself and collecting items for our hospital bag. I wasn't having contractions yet, so we were able to take a little bit of time and make sure that we had everything that we thought we needed, which was great.

By the time we got to the hospital and checked in at around 2:30am, I was having slight contractions, fairly close together. But I was only 2 cm dilated. Over the next 5 hours or so, my contractions got to the point that I was ready for my epidural. I figured I was going to get one regardless, so why wait for the contractions to KILL me before getting it. I was at about a 7 on the pain scale, doing the classic bed gripping, high pitched squealing, slight whimper thing every minute or two with each contraction. So I figured: Why not. By this point, I was about 4 cm dilated.

Getting the epidural at that point was the best decision I made. I went through enough of the labor to know that it hurt and people who did it without drugs must be super human. However, the majority of the next six or so hours were spent in relative comfort with Quinn and I talking and resting and joking and all that jazz.

This is me around 3am. Checked in, beginning to contract, still smiling for the camera.

This is Quinn around the same time.

Around noon, I started to feel pressure pretty low and the nurse checked to find and I was 8 cm and fully effaced. She also discovered that Abram was already pretty low and that if they left me alone for a few hours, he would work his way down by himself and the actual delivery would probably be easier.

This is exactly what happened. My doctor came in to check on us around 1:30 and I was fully dilated, but they left me until about 2:30. When we finally got set up to push, they were all convinced that he was going to come quickly. And with in five contractions worth of pushing and about 20 minutes, we had a Babram!

The moment that they set his little gray body with his little cone-shaped head on my chest, I thought, "That huge thing was inside of ME??!!" He seemed so big when he was out compared to when he was balled up in my abdomen. He let out a few little cries, but was really calm for the most part. I tried to watch as Quinn stood with him at the warmer and they weighed him, etc and had a hard time not crying as I watched my husband suddenly become a dad.

These are pictures Quinn took of Abram right after his cleaning, warming, and weighing. I like this one because it's like he's thinking: "Hmmm... did I get lost? Maybe I should have stopped and asked for directions..."
Unfortunate immediate newborn picture. I don't think I've ever seen a newborn that looks "cute" minutes after they are squeezed out of the birth canal. Our son was no exception. He got progressively cuter as his face regained it's original and intended shape.
All wrapped up and ready to go to mom! I waited for what seemed like an eternity to get stitched up and finally got to hold him for the first time.

This is our OB, Dr. Seeker. We switched to him around week 28 of the pregnancy and it was such a blessing. He is the sweetest, most attentive, encouraging and knowledgeable man. He was almost as excited as we were to meet Abram.

Abram had a few visitors while we were in the hospital. We got pictures of some of them, but unfortunately, not all of them. His first visitors were his Aunt Liesl and Uncle Eric, who drove all the way up from San Antonio as soon they found out he was here.
Uncle and Aunt Doctors Major and Captain Eric and Liesl Grenier (that's their official title).

Our friend, Riley, and his girlfriend, Sarah.

On Friday afternoon we got to take the Babram home. We were so glad to get home, but a little worried about how we were going to fare on our own. We didn't have any family that was going to be coming until Thanksgiving week. It proved to be more difficult than we anticipated. Quinn got flu symptoms for a day, but started feeling a little better the next. This means it is probably a viral infection (still no good for the baby). So he's had to "suit up" every time he holds the baby. I can barely sit down or walk because of the recovery from the delivery. Between the two of us, we've some how made it work and the baby is still alive and clothed and (hopefully) well fed. He's had a couple of people come visit him at home:Shanda Chesnut, my teacher friend from Hendrickson. She is having her own little Baby Nut in about 5 months!
...And she couldn't stay away. So she came back with our other teacher friend, Angela Kidd. Abram loved them; proven by the fact that he slept contentedly in their arms, being passed back and forth, and never showing them his (currently) baby blues.

We have been, literally, living in our living room since we came home from the hospital. Because of Quinn's sickness we have been worried about us all sleeping in the same room. So, Abes and I have been sleeping in the living room, where we drug the changing table and all other necessary baby items. He is currently sleeping in a makeshift bassinet - which is a storage basket from under our coffee table with a memory foam pillow shoved in the bottom. Since he doesn't roll or move and prefers to be swaddled when he sleeps, this is working out fantastically for now. I hope this doesn't make us sound like bad parents, but we've only been at it for a week, so cut us some slack. We are hoping to move back into our own room tomorrow after all of the sheets have been washed and the cleanliness restored.This is our living room.
I made this hat for him a few months ago and have been anticipating the day that I would be able to see if it fit him . It is actually a perfect fit! We took him to his first pediatrician appointment in it and got a ton of compliments and a: "You made this?! How did you know what size his head would be?" This would normally be a mundane question, but when it came from the actual pediatrician, I couldn't help but think: "Lady, you're the one who sees newborns all day long. Do their heads really vary in size so much that it would seem like such a big deal that I made a hat that fit a newborn?" But I kept that comment to myself. Plus, she was a really good doctor, otherwise.
Abram strapped in for his first outing. We went to Target to get some clothes that actually fit him. He and his dad stayed in the car while I shopped. He now has a few things to get him by until he grows a bit (which probably will be sooner rather than later).

His Nana and Papa Shockley got into town yesterday and they brought a few more things that fit him and will get us through the next few weeks. They are so in love with him. My mom can't help but talk with this strange sort of speech impediment when she talks to him. I thought this was silly, until I caught myself doing the exact same thing with him. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.
Nana and Abram.

Papa and Abram.So here's the sweet baby. I know my blog has been about many things up until this point. From teaching to pregnancy. Well, I think it's safe to say that this little squishy will most likely be the main focus of this blog from now on. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading about him as much as I will surely enjoy writing about him.

Oh... and... Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

... of the big wait.

It awaiting the birth of the baby, there were a few events that we were hoping we would get to attend before he came. I have to admit that there were times I wished that he would come early and we just wouldn't be able to make it. However, we have passed that final event and I am glad that he has waited to grace us with his presence.

The final event was the wedding of one of Quinn's best friends. Akintunde Omitowoju is a Nigerian who grew up in between Nigerian and America and became a computer programmer. Akin moved to Japan for 5 years from 2003 to 2008 and in that time, he came to realize how much he loved Japan and will now tell anyone that he feels Japanese at heart. So how appropriate that he would meet and befriend a Japanese girl at his church in Japan who he began to date after he had moved back to Austin and started working with Quinn at Retro. Masami Nishida moved to America just a few weeks ago and their wedding was Saturday night! We were all praying that Abram would allow us to attend the wedding and he was apparently happy to oblige.

This was the coolest wedding I've ever attended. A Christian wedding between a Nigerian and a Japanese in America that was held at a place in Austin called "The Wizarding Academy"... Apparently, the Wizarding Academy has nothing to do with witchcraft, but with adult learning retreats (???). It's in the Texas hill country and is incredibly beautiful. The guests were dressed in everything from traditional American wedding attire, to traditional Japanese wedding attire, to traditional Nigerian wedding attire. We sang hymns in English and then Japanese and then listened to performances of Nigerian worship music. Super cool.

So now, Abram is allowed to come at any time... :) Like we have anything to do with when he is going to show up. If I had my way he would come around Wednesday this week. But we'll see. The doctor has said that I am a good candidate for 39 week induction and that would be Monday, the 22nd. So, essentially, we are going to have a baby sometime in the nexy week!!! That's pretty trippy. It's actually here and all of this waiting will pay off very, very soon. I think I'm a little more ready than Quinn. I'm not sure that he will be ready until he's actually holding his son. Hopefully that blog post will be coming soon!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

... of lookin' pretty good.

I have a wonderful friend named Kelli Hindman who is a fantastic photographer. We have known each other for a few years now. She and her husband were in our community group when Quinn and I started dating, we were hanging out with them the day we got engaged, Quinn took some family photos of them and their daughter, Irelyn, when she was born, and Kelli took our wedding photos. So when I was thinking about getting maternity pictures done, there was only one person that I wanted to take them. Although she is trying to make the move completely to newborn and baby photography, she is great at everything, so I knew they would turn out well.

Check out her website: And definitely contact her if you have a baby or kids that need their cuteness captured forever (for Christmas cards, maybe???)

She will be doing Abram's newborn shoot when he is born, which will be much more adorable than these, I assure you. But here are some of the best of Q and I.