Friday, August 26, 2011

Adalyn... 4 months?

My favorite face...

I've been attempting to write an update for the past 4 months. I feel somewhat ashamed, but then I remember how crazy life has been these past 4 months. I've loved every second of the craziness.

We do everything we can to take in each moment with Addy, but the moments go by faster than I ever imagined they would. My maternity leave is such a blur. In some ways, it feels like Addy has been with us forever, but other times we are in shock that we have a 4 month old. Words can't begin to describe the joy she's brought to us. Every time she giggles, coos or smiles, I get tears in my eyes.

It's going to be hard to keep this a short update, since it's 18 weeks overdue and all, especially when I'm talking about MY baby. I could talk about her for hours to a tree if no one else was there to listen.

Okay, here goes... BIG BREATH

- She smiles, coos and giggles all the time... Especially when her daddy sings to her, looks at her or breathes. She's head over heels in love with him, but more on that later...

-She loves to lay in the floor or on her changing table and kick, kick, kick. This has nearly cost me an arm during diaper changes. She's got some strong legs!

- She loves Disney movies. I started singing songs from “The Little Mermaid” to her at bath time and one night, I was curious if she would recognize the songs if I put in the movie. She lit up and started kicking and cooing and couldn't take her eyes off the screen. Since then we’ve watched her eyes sparkle at Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Cinderella, Enchanted and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Now, we listen to the Disney station on Pandora during bath time… it’s our favorite!

-She loves Dr. Seuss! She’ll sit and let me read 5 books to her. That's pretty impressive considering how wiggly and busy she is.

-She loves Akin concerts. She sat through the entire Homecoming concert at our church. She stared at the stage the whole time and only whimpered once... when the music stopped. Her love of music was inevitable!

-The Bumbo chair is her new favorite. We sit her in it on the table while we eat dinner and she just sits and stares at us. It’s a lot of fun.

- She weighed 13 lbs. 7 oz. at her 3 month check up on August 6th. On August 28th I had to take her to the urgent care clinic (long story, but she's fine) and she weighed 14 lbs. 10 oz.

- Addy LOVES taking baths and she loves being in the swimming pool.

-I love it when people ask if I'm getting any sleep. It's a fun question because then I get to see the look on their face when I tell them that Addy sleeps up to 12 hours at night. We did have a few early mornings when she outgrew her swaddle and learned how to escape from it. She's our little Houdini. But, we bought a different kind and now she's back to getting 10 hours a night.

-She's rolled over once, but no one was there to see it. Grammy laid her on her back on her play mat, left the room, heard grunting, came back and Addy was on her stomach. She's being a little stubborn and won't do it again.

-She is so curious and inquisitive. Nick and I swear that when we are talking to each other, she knows and understands what we are saying. She watches cars go by, plays with toys, and analyzes everything. You can see the puzzled look on her face when she tries to figure things out.

Now I just need a lifetime to tell you how incredible my husband is. But, I'll try to only take a paragraph or four. :)

Addy is without question, a daddy's girl. Nick has been wrapped around every little finger since the moment we read "It's a girl." I wish that everyone had the privilege of seeing them together... it would bless your socks off!

Nick is always looking for ways that we can make memories together and that he can make memories with her while I'm at work. He spent an hour with her in Hallmark, just looking at all the stuffed animals. He rode the carousel with her at the mall and takes her to the park. He knows her better than anyone. He ALWAYS knows why she is crying, even when he is 10 hours away and hears her cry through the phone. He's amazing.

The most challenging thing I've faced in motherhood so far has been going back to work full time. I have THE best job in the world, but it wouldn't matter what I did, leaving that precious girl is the hardest thing I have to do. (And the hardest thing Nick has to do when he has to travel) Nick has done everything he can to make the transition easier for me. He's cooked, bought groceries, and even bought me an iTouch so that we can FaceTime each other and I can see Addy during the day.

Leaving in the morning is so much easier knowing that Addy is with someone that loves her as much as I do. Being a dad came so naturally to Nick. It clicked with him the second he saw her. He’s amazing and I can’t believe that God chose to bless ME with him. I know a lot of people say this, but I'm the only one who's telling the truth... I have the best husband in the world. :) He's my best friend and I love him more than life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Adalyn Faith- The Baked Akin

Adalyn looks JUST like her Daddy.

These past three (almost four) weeks have been such a blur, but they have been three of the best weeks of our lives. We look at Adalyn every day and can't believe that she is ours. She is amazing and we are so in love with her. When I look at her I wonder how people don't believe in God. She is such a miracle!

For my first post after Adalyn, I thought her birth story would be appropriate. It's a fun one!

The week of Easter, Nick was leading a revival at a church in Millegeville, GA, two hours away. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks, but the Wednesday he was gone was the first day that I had them 4 times in an hour. If Nick had been home, I wouldn't have given them a second thought, but we needed to know how likely it was for those contractions to turn into real labor, so that he could come home if he needed to. Fortuantely, I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that afternoon, so I went in and was monitored and checked. I was 2 1/2 cm. dilated and 70% effaced. I was SO surprised. The doctor sent me to the hosipital for further monitoring and said that the daddy better find someone to drive him home. We decided to wait and see what they said at the hospital before he rushed home since we've heard stories of people being 2 1/2 cm dilated for weeks. My wonderful sister-in-law, Sarah, met me at the hospital so that I wouldn't be alone and I could not have gone through that without her. I was calm until they put me in the delivery room. It was so surreal. I just knew that I would be holding my baby that night. I was checked again and was 3 cm. dilated and 80% effaced. The midwife sent me home to pack, eat and shower and said that I could prove her wrong, but she thought I would be back that night. Knowing that there was a chance that the night would be uneventful, I convinced Nick to remain on stand-by, but not to rush home.

Sarah and I went home and I continued having contractions, but none that were timeable. I was anxious for Adalyn to be here, but it was a blessing that she didn't come that night. That was the night of the horrible torandoes in our area and we wouldn't have been able to get to the hospital if I had gone into labor.

That Saturday, on my birthday, my mom drove up from Arkansas to wait with us. Another week went by with no signs of REAL labor, only a few false alarms. I tried everything to induce labor, because emotionally and mentally, I was exhausted. Even though my due date was still days away, I felt 90 months pregnant just because of that one hospital visit. It's hard when you mentally prepare yourself for something THAT big, thinking that your life could change any moment only for nothing to happen. The Akins had a big concert on May 6th and we were all praying the baby would stay put until after it was over. The concert had been advertised on the radio, so it would have been hard to cancel.

It was either an answer to prayer or the BLT and waffle I had for dinner that did it because Addy waited for the concert to be over! At 4 AM I was woken up from a dream with my first painful contraction. I looked at the clock and waited and another one came at 4:15. Everyone told me that when it was the real thing, I would know. Well, I knew! I woke Nick up who, bless his heart, had only been asleep for 2 hours, not imagining that Addy would be here that night (or day, however you look at it). At 4:30, I had another contraction, so we woke up my mom and called the midwife to let her know that we would probably be in soon. At 5:00, Nick called his parents.

I had read and heard that when real labor hits, contractions start at 20 minutes apart and gradually get closer together and intensify, so I didn't think that there was any real hurry... plus, I had always said that I wanted to stay home for as long as possible. We weren't taking our time, but we weren't rushing either. At 5:00, my contractions started coming 10 minutes apart and I put on my make-up and straightened my hair between each one. I guess I was in denial a little AND I wanted to look picture perfect for the hospital, not thinking about how it would all be off by the time we got there.

Between 5:00-5:30, the contractions had me hunching over in pain, so I was ready to go. Everyone says that the car ride makes the contractions hurt 10x worse and they are right! On the way to the hospital they were coming 5 minutes apart. Since it was 6 AM we had to go in the hospital through the emergency room. I was begging the man pushing me in the wheelchair for drugs. I knew he couldn't do a thing about it, but I needed someone to know that I WANTED DRUGS! I felt like a big baby, because I had always said I would make it as long as I could without them just to see how it would go, and here I was begging for them less than 3 hours into labor. I felt much better about myself when I got to the room and found out that I was 7 cm. After what felt like an eternity, the incredible anethesiologist finally came in and gave me the good drugs. I was a different person. From that point on, I enjoyed labor and enjoyed being able to spend time with our family and even closed my eyes for a few minutes. It was the BEST feeling when Nick would look at me and ask "Did you just feel that? You had a HUGE contraction!" and I could smile and say I didn't feel a thing. At 11:00 AM the midwife came in to break my water only to find that it had somehow already broken, even though no one knew when. She said I was 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced, so it was time to start doing some practice pushes. Pushing is always portrayed as some dramatic AND traumatic event, and it was nothing like that. Between pushes during the first hour, Nick and I and the nurses and midwife were laughing and talking, even about movies we had just seen. After two hours, things got serious. It never hurt (except for one hot spot I had where the epidural didn't take effect) but it was exhausting. Adalyn's head would not come out from under my pubic bone and every push was like taking one step forward and two steps backwards. My midwife said that we needed the doctor to come in because we were going to need the vaccuum. That word alone was enough motivation for me to get her out! I worked harder than ever and luckily, the vaccuum wasn't necessary but an episiotomy was. I had always sworn to throat punch anyone who threatened to come near my area with a scalpel, but the midwife explained that it was for the baby's own good. Her heart rate was dropping because she was tired, so we needed to speed things up to get her out of there. I didn't feel a thing (thank you epidural and local antisthetics!!!) and before I knew it, my baby was out! After pushing for three hours, Adalyn was finally here. The first thing I noticed were her chubby cheeks and her headful of hair. She was perfect. Then I looked over at Nick to see him crying. It was the most beautiful moment ever. They put her on my chest and after talking to her for 5 minutes, I remembered to ask, "she is a girl, right?" Nick and I had a joke about what would happen if she came out a he. Adalyn Faith Akin was born on May 7, 2011 at 1:43 PM weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz and was 21 1/2 inches long. She's the most beautiful baby ever born and melts our hearts every time we look at her.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Addy Does the Belly Dance

I've been a little more relaxed when it comes to drinking caffeine and will treat myself to a Cherry Coke when we go to the movies. Last night was one of those nights and my little girl went NUTS for several hours afterwards. I'm so glad that Nick thought to grab the video camera because this is a great memory and one day Adalyn will be able to watch it and see how funny she was, even before she was born.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

35 week belly picture!

It's taken me long enough to post a new one, but here it is! I guess I'm techically 34 1/2 weeks pregnant, but on Saturdays I always round up to the next week. 34 weeks & 4 days is closer to 35 than 34, right? :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

34 weeks!

Wow, 10 weeks since an update is a LONG time! Thank you so much for sticking with me and checking back for any news. I hate that I've been so bad at this. I've been waiting to write until I could get a good belly picture, but I'll just give that up for now, but I PROMISE (to those who have asked) that I will have a new picture up by the end of this week.

Time is going by faster and faster! How am I already 34 weeks? Can it really be 6 weeks(ish) until our little Adalyn is with us? Things are going really well, and as much as Nick hears me whine about all my aches and pains, things couldn’t be going better. I have a healthy baby growing in my belly and that’s all I can ask for!

We had our incredible church-wide baby shower on February 20th. I was and still am in such awe over all the people that came and all the wonderful gifts we received. We are so blessed! My amazing sisters-in-law worked so hard to make the day special for us, and it was so much more! We are so, SO blessed. Something that made it extra special was having my mom here to celebrate with us. She flew all the way from Arkansas and it meant so much to have her here.

As far as pregnancy goes, like I said, it couldn’t be going better! My glucose test came back normal which was a HUGE shock. I was totally prepared to have to prick my finger every day. The only things that I’ve really been dealing with are swollen feet, heartburn and acid reflux (ew!). It could be so much worse! One of my midwives said that if I wanted the swelling to go down, all I should be drinking is milk and water. No fruit, no fruit juice, no lemonade. I like milk and water, so this normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but I crave lemonade all the time and Nick and I drink juice like you wouldn't believe. Speaking of which, have you tried Simply Apple? OH.MY.GOODNESS. It tastes like you put a straw in an apple and the ONLY thing listed in the ingredients is “100% Apple Juice.” It’s amazing. Okay Julie, back on subject... if it were for Adalyn’s health, I would GLADLY sacrifice my cravings and give up all the stuff the midwife wanted me to, but since it’s for my own comfort, I'll just deal with elephant ankles for a few more weeks if it means I can still have my lemonade. Of course, I’m drinking more water than anything else, but I’m not cutting anything out.

Adalyn has become rather violent the last few weeks. For my fellow Twilight fans out there, I’m feeling a lot like Bella did in Breaking Dawn. Sometimes she kicks me so hard that I wonder how her foot isn’t sticking out of my side. But, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade those kicks for anything in the world! She’s getting so big that there’s no way to NOT feel her. She’s always nestled somewhere up against me. The other night Nick was making drum beats on my stomach and when he stopped, she would kick him back. Maybe she’ll follow in her daddy’s footsteps and be a drummer!

My 34 week appointment was today and it couldn't have gone any better. A lot of people have been telling me how big I am and how there is no way I will make it until May, so I asked the midwife about it. She measured and said that I couldn't be more perfectly on schedule. Then she made my day... she said that Adalyn isn't fat, she's just really long. I don't know exactly why this brought tears to my eyes, but it did. It made me SO happy because now I feel like I know something about this little being that I've never met. I don't know what color eyes she has, if she has hair or not or whose nose she has, but I do know that she's tall. Another reason this made me so happy is because Nick was 22 1/2 inches long at birth, so he was very tall and knowing that she's tall is evidence that she's pieces of her daddy. She's being created in her earthly AND Heavenly Father's image... nothing could make THIS Mama happier!

I guess Spring has gotten to me because my inner Monica Gellar has kicked into high gear. When we have company over, I get kind of insane about the house, so imagine how I am with a person coming to live with us permanently! Now, I know that my newborn baby couldn’t care less whether the blinds that our cat destroyed get replaced, or whether the refrigerator and pantry are organized, but I feel the intense need to get everything perfect for her. I’m so paranoid that we’ll bring her home and I will have missed a speck of dust on the baseboards, on a ceiling fan or air vent. I can’t bring my baby home to a dusty house! But, I figure that the cleaner the house is now, the easier life will be once she is here. So, I guess it’s not THAT crazy…

Thanks for reading! I can't wait to have even MORE exciting news in just a few weeks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

26 weeks!

A belly picture is long overdue. I haven't consistently been taking them, but at least I have enough to see the changes. It was such a beautiful day on Saturday, so we had to take the picture outside. See the short sleeves? Come on Spring!

It hit me the other day that, according to some people, next week will be the beginning of my third and final trimester! I knew that May was coming soon, but when I realized that I'm almost to 3rd tri, I was stunned. I can't believe that in just a few short months we will be holding our little girl. I can't wait to meet her. I really hope she looks like her daddy! At this point, Adalyn weighs 2 lbs.! She is moving like crazy and loves music. The other night, I was lying on the bed and Nick was sitting beside me playing his guitar and singing. When he would sing and play, she would kick. When he stopped playing, she stopped kicking. Then we both watched in amazement as she did what looked like her own version of the worm. She was dancing along! Besides her daddy, she also likes Taylor Swift and Coldplay. I think she has pretty good taste in music so far. :) I have to admit, as much as I'm enjoying her moving around all the time, I'm a little nervous about what's coming. I read on one of the baby websites that sometimes the baby's foot can get lodged between your ribs. Now, I knew this and I've had friends whose little karate kid has given them a fractured rib or two, but it's just something about the word "lodged." It sounds pretty uncomfortable! I am somewhat joking, I know that my body and my baby are doing exactly what God created them to do! It just caught me off guard to see it phrased that way.

Things couldn't be going better. I do feel like I'm back in the 1st trimester sometimes. My appetite has decreased and I've been having some food aversions and some of the same cravings that I had earlier on. I'm starting to sleep a little better and I think it's because I'm learning how to sleep with this belly and I'm finally getting used to it. The belly definitely keeps life interesting! If Nick doesn't pull the car far enough in the garage and the garage door is shut, I can't get past the car to get to the house. And if someone drops something on the floor, I will do everything I can to pick it up, but it may take some time to get down there. For the same reason, Nick has become the official shoe-tier. He's so great! :)

We had a short doctor's appointment a few weeks ago that went very well. I'm trying to toughen up for my next appointment that is on February 16th because I will be having the one hour glucose test. Yuck... I must not be too worried though because as I'm writing, I'm eating a delicious glazed donut. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Adalyn Faith Akin

We finally found a name for our little girl. I say "finally" because we had a boy name picked out since our last pregnancy, so we've been needing a girl's name for awhile. She already feels like an Adalyn. Finding a middle name was a little more challenging, but once we thought of "Faith," we knew it was perfect because our lives are centered around faith (both financially and every other way). Also, it was by faith that we trusted God to give us our little Addy. One of my main prayers for her is that she will have a child-like faith throughout her life. We have a tendency to make our faith, and therefore our salvation, so complicated. As humans, I think it's unfathomable for us to see how easy it really is. Sometimes things happen in our lives and we nearly demand an explanation as to why. All we have to do is come to Jesus like a child and trust Him. One of the definitions of faith is: confidence or trust in a person or thing. Children don't worry. Growing up, I never had to ask my parents, "Will we have enough food for tomorrow? Do we have enough gas to get to school? How is our bank account looking?" I knew that they would take care of me, just like we should know that God will take care of us. That's child-like faith.

My favorite salvation experience told in the Bible is probably the thief on the cross. His testimony is proof that there is nothing we can do to get to Heaven. He didn't say a prayer, he didn't walk down an aisle or get baptized. He didn't even have time to do any "good deeds" to earn eternal life. He simply had faith. He acknowledged that Jesus was who He said He was, and believed in Him. How incredible is that!? If you don't know Jesus, I BEG you to get to know Him! It's so easy and it's a relationship like no other. There is nothing we can do to earn Heaven. That's really comforting because if you had to do good things to get into Heaven, then what kind of bad things would keep you from Heaven? I'm as far from perfect as someone can get, so I would be in BIG trouble if my faith was based on what I did or didn't do. As one of our pastor friends says, "Is it like school? Do you have to get a passing grade to get to Heaven? And what is considered passing? Does that mean you have to get a grade of 59 or above? If I got a 58, could I still get to Heaven?" I'm so glad that God's system doesn't work that way! He's given us grace as a free gift, all we have to do is accept it.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23: 39-43

More baby stuff...

I'm still loving the second trimester, although this growing belly of mine keeps getting in the way. I know it's only going to get bigger and I'm anxious to see what that'll be like! It feels like I will never catch up on sleep. On my Christmas break, Nick and I slept in until 11:30 or 12:00 every morning (eh, afternoon?), but I still didn't feel rested and managed to fall asleep during every movie we watched. It's hard to fall asleep at night because I can't get comfortable and I haven't gotten a full night's rest since the beginning of the pregnancy because of my 4-5+ bathroom trips I take every night. I'm really not complaining, I'm just offering a disclaimer in case you see me with circles under my eyes looking like a zombie. It's also contributed to my already fuzzy pregnant brain. Yes, pregnant brain is a REAL thing! Trust me!

I am falling more and more in love with this little girl inside me. I didn't know it was possible to love someone so much that you don't even know. I think that now I know she's a she and I know her name, I already feel an even deeper connection to her. I feel like I can relate to her in some way. I'm still daydreaming about all the fun things we are going to do together! For Christmas, Nick gave me Beauty and the Beast on Blu-Ray and I can't wait for Adalyn to watch it with me! He also gave me some Barnes and Noble gift cards so that I could buy her some books and I stocked up! Books are my weakness, especially Dr. Seuss books. I bought her (okay, I bought myself) 19 Dr. Seuss books, Goodnight Gorilla, a book of Fairy Tales and a few Curious George books. It really is a sickness...

Hopefully in the next few posts, I will be able to show off her room! So far, everything is gender neutral. We wanted to be able to use the bedding and furniture for future children. We are going to girly it up with decorations on the wall, it's just a matter of finding things.

So, last but not least, we would like to introduce Adalyn Faith Akin! I guess it's not an official introduction, since she isn't here yet, but I had to put it in writing.