Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Career woman turns into a mom in one day

Lately I have been going into work for a few hours here and there. It's what I love and so walking into the salon feels familiar and like my second home. I have a ton of pride for it and the staff that we have. It is growing and flourishing more every year. Today, I opened my bible and a bulletin fell out and I knew it was something I was suppose to see. The sermon that day was called "A Well Led Church." It was based in Acts 6 when the church was growing by the thousands on a daily basis and there weren't enough leaders to take care of all the needs that were coming up. The widows of the community were being neglected. Instead of stressing, the leaders realized what their calling was and was not. They couldn't just step out of their calling to do something that wasn't their gift so they accepted the change that was going on and appointed leadership to other people. They recognized others' gifts and delegated wisely.

Anytime there is success, there will be problems. It's not that success is bad but there will always be diversity, especially when people are involved. I think that is because people have so many gifts and talents, strengths and weaknesses. This is how we were created. Right when I start to think I need to go in and take over I am reminded that I am not called to do this alone. I am not gifted in all things... THANK GOD. In fact, right now, my job is to take care of my baby girl. I get about six weeks with her and this is right where I am suppose to be. If it wasn't where I was suppose to be Rhylan wouldn't be here with us. Scott is my husband and business partner. He's amazing at both and lifts a weight off my shoulders when I start getting overwhelmed. He is gifted in areas I am not and it balances us. After being a career driven woman for all my adult life I have to learn how to sit back and trust that God is taking care of everything He's given us. That means I have no other choice but to trust Him and the people He has put in my life.

I am proud of my husband, our friends, family, and staff that are in our lives. They make it work. They allow me to be a good mom and take care of her needs. I'm not perfect but I know that God is and He has put the right people in our lives at the right time.

So, thank you. Thank you for being great people who add so much richness to our lives.

Monday, August 22, 2011

After a couple of weeks

Rhylan is a couple weeks old now and she grows on an hourly basis. In one day I went from proud and sentimental to feeling wore out and uber tired. I find myself making faces at my crying daughter. The faces I make are immature and silly like a first grader sticking their tongue out and crossing their eyes. It's some sort of coping method I have taken on that was unexpected to say the least. By far, it's better then shaking my baby. She will have no memory of me rolling my eyes and telling her to get a grip...I hope. Sometimes I just mimic the strange faces she makes to entertain myself. My main reason for losing it these last couple of days is that Scott has been sick. I'm sleep deprived and feel like I have a leech on me. Up until now, Scott and I have been equally holding her and taking turns in responsibilities. Since he's been sick, I've been a "single" mom for a few days. I give huge props to my mom who did it alone with my brother for the first few years of his life. It takes a lot of strength and patience to get through each day.

I have managed to get her into the car seat and go to the salon for a couple of hours at a time. We take her out to eat with us and she sleeps right through the noise. We have gone for walks in her super sweet stroller. During one walk, she blew out her diaper and into the seat. Let me tell you that those tightly woven nylon seats are not easy to clean wet, yellow poop out of. The scrubbing was never ending. I kept taking towel after towel and it would still pull up yellow. I'll take advice on cleaning car seats if you have it :)

She really is an amazing baby, I can't complain. She only cries when she has an issue like a poopy diaper or when she's hungry. Instead of crying, she grunts obsessively. She smiles a lot and it melts her daddy and me every time. I think she has hit a growth spurt because, like I said, I feel like there's a leech on me. Today I cried and told Scott I just need to sleep. Well, you really can't tell a hungry screaming baby that so she wins every time. I think it's time to start pumping for my sanity and her's. I try to take moment by moment and especially take advantage of the few hours she sleeps at a time. What else can I do right now?

At the hospital

After this magical moment of meeting my baby the nurses and doctors have all these unpleasant procedures they must do. It takes away some of the magic but it's a necessity. First they had me push out the placenta. Then, the nurses pushed on my uterus to get the rest of "whatever" out. Since I had no epidural, the nurse was surprised when I complained about it hurting. She was use to people still being numb from the epidural but I could feel it. Since I didn't complain during labor I felt the right to complain. Sometimes it's just nice to whine, ya know?

Anyway, 2 1/2 hours had past and suddenly Scott spoke up. "When can you give her a bath so I can hold her?" The nurse and I both were in shock. He had been very so patient waiting for her thinking that she needed to be cleaned up before he could hold her. I about cried. All he had done was given her kisses and stared at her but he had not held her. I had him grab her and you could see the connection immediately. He held her perfectly, there was no hesitation. He watched intently while the nurse gave her a bath and changed her diaper. He has an amazing memory and I could see his brain taking pictures of how to bathe and change Rhylan. I could see pride in his eyes every time he held her.

While Scott held Rhylan I attempted to get up for the first time since my marathon labor. I had no ab muscles, all I had was a jello belly. It freaked me out so I carried it to the bathroom. The nurse laughed at me because I insisted on holding my stomach like a c-section patient. What used to be filled with Rhylan no longer had a purpose. Suddenly it was just me again! Well, me plus some jello belly. I think I was relieved but also couldn't believe I was holding my baby on the outside. The whole 40 weeks replayed in my head. It was over. This crazy process of pregnancy and labor was over. I felt ready for the unknown. God had given me peace. Scott and I looked her while she slept. He kept checking on her every time she coughed or moved though. We knew sleep was really important so we had her taken out of our room. Within a couple of hours she was back to eat. As beautiful as it was, I knew this would be the first of many, many feedings. We would have plenty of time to bond.

We were glad to leave the hospital with this new life in our hands. I didn't cry at the hospital which I found to be strange but when we got home with her that's when it hit me. We took her to her room and I sobbed. She was truly ours forever. I wanted her to share the same excitement. I wanted her to know this sweet little room was all for her. All these gifts were from people who were excited to meet her. She was the big deal now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Random acts of Kindness-Scott

My husband Scott has a great heart. He mows the neighbor's lawn, he always stops if he sees people in need, he will give our savings out to a homeless person, and the list goes on. By no means is he a people pleaser though, if he doesn't want to do something he will most definitely tell you no. He does it because he likes to help and that leads me to this story...

It was a steamy 100 degree day with a 110 degree heat index. We were driving along busy Duff Avenue in Ames. It was an errand type of day but we were in no rush. We came upon a blue older vehicle that was stopped at an intersection. As we drove by we noticed it was an elderly man that was stalled for some reason. Without hesitation, Scott drove around the block and pulled up behind the car. The elderly man turned out to be QUITE elderly, like probably shouldn't have been driving elderly. Scott put our flashers on and approached the man. The elderly man, let's call him E-man, seemed to think he ran out of gas so we drove back home and picked up our gas can. When we came back, he was still in the same place and no one else had stopped to see if he was okay. Scott filled the tank with the gas that was in the can and asked E-man to start the car. No luck. Plan B was to push the car around the corner out of the busy road. I was so impressed with my husband's generosity that I got on my phone, snapped a few pics and posted it on Facebook. It took me less than a minute to document this event but when I looked up they were gone. I assumed they went around the corner as planned. When I got in the driver's seat and drove around the corner they weren't there. I drove around the block then around another block, then to a gas station near by, then circled the block again. I was concerned and dumbfounded at the same time. They were no where to be found. Scott was wearing a salmon colored shirt so I knew I didn't pass him by. I continued to drive towards our house thinking that maybe I missed him at some point. He wasn't that way so I drove back up Duff. Finally, there he was! Scott was drenched in sweat and quickly walking towards me. I felt relief and then I felt anxious because I knew there was a plan C had happened in the last 15 minutes.

Scott jumped in the truck and told me the unplanned plan C. Turns out, as Scott was pushing the car, E-man kept going straight instead of turning the car right at the next block. He told Scott he wanted to go up to Sinclair. Sinclair was about a mile down the road up a slight incline, past main street, and over bumpy railroad tracks. The Sinclair station is at the busiest intersection of Ames on the east side so that meant that Scott had to push E-man into the left lane and cross oncoming traffic. On top of that, the driveway into Sinclair is steep. With every last bit of strength he had he pushed E-man through the intersection and up the driveway to the final destination. Scott said goodbye and E-man said kindly, "I'll remember you!" After the long haul and people driving by him cheering him on saying "what a guy!" Scott turned around and headed home. He was completely exhausted and probably pissed at me for not following them. While leaving Sinclair, another old man in a little pickup truck accidently hit Scott. His pickup grazed his right buttcheek. Now, he was on a mad dash home.

When I picked him up he was sweating profusely, purple in the face, and irritated. He grabbed the water bottle and told me I wasn't allowed to drive. Apparently I lost my vision of him after about 40 feet and that concerned him. He drove us to the chiropractor then we continued our errands. We laughed about it later :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our first week home

I have concluded my pregnancy by sharing my labor and delivery story. Blogging through my pregnancy was, to say the least, healing. I know for my English major friends that it was a grammatical disaster but I've been journaling since I was 14 and I'm not here to impress. I know they forgive me for my poor grammar :) Blogging is another fun addition that I get to share with my friends and family.

Now onto to bigger and better things...Rhylan Jo Wrage. All eyes are on her as she grows daily. We have been blessed by her dimpled smile and her easy going temperament. Our television has been replaced with the watching her facial expressions and strange movements that evolve from day to day. We are fascinated by her gas and poops. For such a dainty little thing, she can make her daddy look like an amateur in the bodily function field. My favorite time is feeding time. Several times a day I get to be reminded of the first time we looked at each other. I know I have heard horror stories about breast feeding but I can't say that it's been even close to horrible. It's been a learning experience for both of us but very rewarding.

Scott is the diaper changing champ. He has had a few close calls of nearly getting pooed on but so far so good. As a dad, Rhylan couldn't ask for a better knight in shining armor. He's super protective and a little over reactive at times but it's for the best. Our first at home bath experience went a little like an ER episode. It was chaos and he kept asking me to grab him things and I couldn't seem to get there fast enough. Rhylan was of course a bit startled by the wetness but by no means was it going to scar her for life. Before she arrived I was under the impression that I would be the stricter parent but the tables have turned dramatically. Our team is tight though. We were definitely meant to be parents. It hasn't felt strange to me at all. The only thing that I try to avoid focusing on is the fact that she will get older. She grows every day and shows off her new skills like her strong neck, flailing arms, and new found vocal noises. I look forward to her future but I am definitely holding onto this moment.

We are working on tummy time! She's getting very strong :)
Big accomplishment this week- Losing the umbilical cord

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's nice to finally meet you

Thursday, August 4th, I started feeling crampy and sick. My stomach was contracting but that was nothing new. Scott told everyone that I would probably go the next day. That was my dad's prediction as well.

In the weeks previous, I was practicing all the things I learned about getting ready for delivering a baby. I ate well, walked, and relaxed as much as I could. I took deep breaths and visualized her moving on down. God made our bodies and we, for the most part, have control in how they function on a day to day basis. I had great family and friends praying that my delivery was easy and that we would both be healthy. I know you can't predict it but I'm never opposed to prayer and support. My focus the week of my due date was to relax and also have fun with Scott. Prior to my due date we ran through sprinklers, watched movies, and cherished our time together as "kids."

I tried my best to not look too much into it but when we went for a walk on Thursday evening and I began walking like a 90 year old with a bad hip. I had to stop and breath and couldn't even move my legs at some points on the walk. Scott was trying to walk our baby out of me and I believed it was working. I slept well that night, so well that I was sure my labor symptoms went away. We woke up at 6:30am Friday, August 5th and it was a perfect morning for a walk. It was my due date and my stomach was very tight but I felt really energetic, not like I was going to deliver a baby later that day. Our walk was purposeful, meaning, it was about trying to induce labor, even though we tried to keep the conversation light. At 7:30 I ate a bowl of cereal and then set my bowl down. It was within minutes of eating that I heard a "pop." I prayed earlier that day that if I was in labor that God would break my water because Scott had a meeting out of town and I didn't want him to leave if this really was labor. After hearing and feeling that pop I was 99% sure it was my water breaking. Within seconds came a gush of amniotic fluid! Scott immediately installed the car seat and I got ready for the hospital. This wasn't a rehearsal, this was the real deal. I called my mom and got weepy when I told her what happened because there was no turning back. All that we had prepared for, all that God had brought us through was about to come to fruition. It was going to be an intense journey and soon we would meet our daughter. Our lives would change forever.

Our bags were packed, our car seat was installed, and the contractions with cramps were getting fierce. We went right up to labor and delivery where they checked me internally. I was 2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. In between contractions, which felt like my worst period cramps, they wheeled me down to my room. I was still leaking amniotic fluid and it grossed me out. So far that was the part that bothered me most because the cramps were something I was familiar with. Leaking a ton of fluid was not something that I could work with. When we got settled into my room I was working through some intense contractions. They were nothing compared to what was to come but I took one at a time and didn't dare look at a clock. My mom was there to relieve Scott when he needed a break and then when they both needed a break Scott's mom took over. At times they were all holding a hand or rubbing my back or legs. The room was always quiet and I barely opened my eyes. I managed to send a text out to my best friend who was two days over her due date saying, "dude, this hurts." We share everything even though we are 1500 miles away from each other. Looking back I probably should've said, "dude, this is easy!"

I had a lot of encouragement along the way from everyone in the room. Scott only made one mistake and that was eating spaghetti in the room and then telling me very closely, to breathe. EWWWW! My hand went up and I shooed him away letting him know that it was NOT okay to breath marinara sauce in my face. Needless to say, he came back with a fresh stick of gum in his mouth.

As 1pm approached the contractions stepped it up a notch and were one right after another. I remembered what someone had told me about the whirlpool refreshing them. Scott started the whirlpool and as soon as I got in I told the nurse that I think I needed something to take the pain away. She told us our options and said she would come back. I really didn't know how I was going to get through the pain. When she came back Scott asked her questions that I already knew the answer to. He knew if I heard the reasons that I didn't want drugs in the first place again it would give me strength to get through. Praying for comfort and strength I worked into a new pain level. After getting out of the whirlpool I knew that I had to meditate on something. I recited some Bible verses briefly and then for whatever reason, I started to count down from seven in my mind. Over and over and over, 7,6,5,4,3,2,1. I imagined her moving down and out, down and out.

At 3pm I was 5cm dilated and all I heard my midwife say was that it usually goes about one centimeter per hour and then one to three for pushing so we were looking at 5 to ten more hours. My thought was "I don't think so." I prayed and got into a whole different state of mind. I relaxed completely after each contraction and praised God for the strength to get through it. Within two hours I felt the urge to push. My cheerleaders were still there telling me how great I was doing. They checked me again and according to the average I should've been around 7cm but instead I was closer to 10 and she was very low. The nurses coached me through the pushing. It sucked. If you read through my blog "Stay classy: not possible in a hospital gown" then you knew that I had an issue with how immodest labor was. I lost all modesty, there was no turning back, I had to push her out. They corrected me several times on my pushing because I would give up and I seriously just wanted to cross my legs and call it quits. FYI...NOT AN OPTION. Suddenly, it was like a football stadium in there. Shouts of joy meant there was some real progress going on. It motivated me to move this kid out. Scott kept saying, "Oh my gosh babe, she's almost out! I see her head!" I couldn't believe it when the nurse told me to reach down and pull my baby out. As I looked down, I saw her little head and shoulders. With my last bit of strength I pulled the rest of her body out and put her on my chest. Exhaustion was on both of our faces. We looked straight into each other's eyes. She knew me and I knew her, more intimately then anyone ever before. I remember saying "hi, we did it, I love you." She was mine and I was hers.

Rhylan Jo Wrage
10 1/2 hours of labor
300 contractions
One hour of pushing
7lb 11oz
20 inches