I made this video today.
Then I watched it and cried. I love my family, and my sweet little boy.
Double click the video to make it full screen – family – get in touch with me for a full resolution DVD! The video is 20 minutes long, so be aware before starting!
January 13 started out normal enough. It was a Thursday, and was my first day back on campus at UT. I drove down early that morning and had class all day. I knew going that it was a risk – that it was always a possibility that Elizabeth could go in to labor at any time. Classes ended and there were no urgent calls. Labor had not commenced. I was a little disappointed – knowing that a Thursday birth would be great! Family could come in because of the weekend, and I would have the most amount of time possible before having to go back to school.
When I got home, Elizabeth had already been walking, drank a small dose of castor oil, and was making spicy chicken tortilla soup. She was trying everything possible to get labor started. Nothing seemed to work, so we went to bed a little early.
“Alex – I think this could be it.”
It was 3 AM, and I woke up immediately. It was like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on me. I jumped out of bed. Elizabeth was going to take a shower and I was going to make sure everything was in the car and ready to go.
In around 30 minutes we were loaded up and driving to the hospital. By now Elizabeth was really starting to hurt. I got us to the hospital as quickly and safely as I could. Now Elizabeth was having contractions that wee so painful that she had to stop walking when they came on. We got in to the emergency room and they took us back to labor and delivery. We hadn’t sent out the text to family yet because we wanted to be sure that this was for real first.
The nurse checked Elizabeth out and told us that we were in labor (at around 5 cm dilated) and should let people know. I sent out the text: “THUNDERCATS HOOOOOOOOO!!!”
This was around 5 AM. Elizabeth began to have heavy contractions.
I got great news from the nurses desk – our doctor, Dr. Gernt was on call all weekend! Our doula, Amy, arrived and helped to coach Elizabeth and guide her into the right positions for labor. We also had a nurse shift change that resulted in an old friend of mine, Lauren, being our nurse. This was great, as she is very familiar with natural birth methods and was so extremely helpful.
Elizabeth was checked and we were told she was now at 7 cm. Wow. Things were moving quick. It wasnt even 6:30! Elizabeth was having really tough labor pains. I have never seen her hurting so much. It was so hard to see it and not be able to do anything tangible. I just kept telling her how great she was doing and reminding her of our sweet little boy that would soon be there.
7:00 AM. She is now dilated to 9. Twenty minutes later, Dr. Gernt breaks her water. We are about to start pushing!
I am starting to get excited knowing where we are. This is going by so fast!! Lauren tells Elizabeth she can go ahead and start pushing. About 10 minutes in Elizabeth says “I think I can feel him coming!” Amy calls the nurse and about 30 people descend into the room. Dr. Gernt comes in and gets ready. Now its go time. She tells Elizabeth to push as hard as she can. Elizabeth gets moved so the baby can come out more naturally. This was probably really comical to see – Lauren holding one leg, Amy the other – while I held Elizabeth’s hands and urged her on. With each push I can see Evan’s head coming forward.
After one series of pushes Dr. Gernt says, “Elizabeth do you want to feel his head?” Doing this helped Elizabeth to see how far we were and how close Evan was to being born. After that she was a woman possessed. She pushed so hard it was crazy. In just a few more pushes Evans head came out. Dr. Gernt asked Elizabeth if she wanted to help deliver the baby. Elizabeth reached down and grabbed Evan out and put him on her chest. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.
He was born. 8:27 AM. 6lbs. 12 ounces & 20 inches long. We cried and we laughed. It was such an amazing and happy moment.
I got handed scissors and cut the umbilical cord. This was a really strange feeling, but I am glad I did it. After that things calmed down a little. Evan latched and fed with Elizabeth – while she had him I went out and told the family he was here!
I went back and saw him get weighed, footprints get taken and all of those special things.
All in all Evans birth was very quick, and was just amazing. I cannot describe what it feels like. When I saw him for the first time I just knew my life was going to be totally different. Later, I got to give him his first bath – an experience I would never give up. It was such a cool time for the two of us.
Evan is so lucky to have so much loving family. Eric drove all the way from Orlando and stayed the weekend with us. Patrick and Chelsea drove down from Cleveland. WE had family, friends, loved ones – everyone came in to see the little guy. Evan has so many wonderful uncles – Eric, Wes, Joey, Adam – what a lucky little guy.
Looking back – I am just so proud of Elizabeth. She is amazing. She made it through Evan’s birth naturally (I knew she could do it!), and is the most perfect mother I have ever seen. The way she cares for Evan is just….it makes me so happy. Thats the only way I can describe it. It is just a joy to see her with him.
Evan is beautiful. He has a full head of cool hair that I play with every day. He has pretty blue eyes and the cutest little nose. He chirps like a bird and has the most random arm movements ever. He has to have his hands close to his face – always. Swaddling his hands does not work – he just wont have it! When he gets really hungry or upset and cries his lower lip quivers and it is the most precious/heartbreaking thing I have ever seen.
Last night was our first night at home, and while we arent getting much sleep, I had my little man on my chest for a few hours while he slept. It remains one of my favorite things I have ever done.
Lily is adjusting just fine, by the way. She seems to know the boundaries and has just been great so far. What a relief!
While having Evan is wonderful and he is so sweet, it is also very taxing! We knew it would be, but wow! We arent geting much sleep yet, and household duties have certainly fallen behind! I am going to have to kick it into high gear! I have school tomorrow, which means driving to Knoxville. I am not ready to leave my family just yet!!!
Evan has been eating a lot more today, so hopefully we will get some more sleep tonight! New babies are so sweet! Sometimes its hard to just let him sleep – I just want to pick him up and hold him!
This is the text message my family is eagerly awaiting, and the one I am anxiously waiting to send.
Yes, this means we are headed to the hospital and baby is on the way.
Why Thundercats Ho, you ask?
Thundercats was one of my absolute favorite cartoons as a kid. Whenever the hero, Lion-O needed to assemble his friends, he would thrust his sword into the sky and yell, “THUNDERCATS HOOOOO!” This sent a beacon into the sky which was visible to all the Thundercats, who then knew to go find and join up with Lion-O.
This seems perfectly fitting for a “call to arms” so to speak, for the family. When we are ready and going, they will get this text and everyone will know what it means. It is a little funny, yes – but I thought it much better to do it this way than to send one that says “Heye veryone – we are having a baby now,” or to try and call each person.
Here is a clip of Thundercats “HO” in action:
Also – just in case you are curious – Wikipedia provided me with a nice description of the show for your reading pleasure:
ThunderCats follows the adventures of the eponymous team of heroes, cat-like humanoid aliens from the planet of Thundera. The series pilot begins with the dying Thundera meeting its end, forcing the ThunderCats (a sort of Thunderean nobility) to flee their homeworld. The fleet is attacked by the Thundereans’s enemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr, who destroy all the starships in the “ThunderFleet,” but spare the flagship hoping to capture the legendary mystic Sword of Omens they believe is on board. The sword holds the Eye of Thundera, the source of the ThunderCats’ power, which is embedded in the hilt. Though the Mutants damage the flagship, the power of the Eye drives them back. The damage to the ship means the journey to their original destination is not possible, instead having to journey to “Third Earth”; which will take much longer than they had anticipated. Lion-O’s elderly guardian, Jaga, volunteers to pilot the ship while the others sleep in capsules; however, he dies of old age in the process, but not before ensuring they will reach their destination safely. The flagship contains the young Lord of the ThunderCats, Lion-O, as well as the ThunderCats Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, WilyKit and WilyKat, and Snarf.
When the ThunderCats awake from their suspended animation on Third Earth, Lion-O discovers that his suspension capsule has slowed rather than stopped his aging, and he is now a child in the body of an adult. Together, the ThunderCats and the friendly natives of Third Earth construct the “Cat’s Lair,” their new home and headquarters, but before long, the Mutants have tracked them down to Third Earth. The intrusion of these two alien races upon the world does not go unnoticed, however – the demonic, mummified sorcerer, Mumm-Ra, recruits the Mutants to aid him in his campaign to acquire the Eye of Thundera and destroy the ThunderCats so that his evil might continue to hold sway over Third Earth
I have been wanting to post some of the 3D video for awhile now and am just getting around to it! This video is so funny – one of my favorite parts is seeing Evan eat…he takes a big mouthful and does a big swallow! He is so little here – I cannot imagine what he looks like now! (Video below – double click for fullscreen)
I think the weight of having a son is starting to feel somewhat real. I am beginning to understand how important it is to raise a son who is good, honest, faithful and strong. I can’t wait to see how his personality develops. I know he is going to do such amazing things and have a life of value and importance. I hope he can snag a woman like his mom one day.
We are standing on the cusp of a new life together. Evan is our first child. Yes, there will be others. Maybe not immediately, but life changes from here forward, and I am ready for it. I can’t say I am ready for parenthood and all that it entails, but I will certainly try my very best to be the best father and husband I can be and to always be most concerned with the physical and spiritual well-being of our family.
Things change going forward. Scared. Nervous. Anxious. Happy. Excited. Sure…all of those things and then some. But you know what? I am getting that feeling right now that I have only had a few other times in my life. I got it when I decided I wanted to marry Elizabeth. I got it when we moved to Cleveland to go to Lee University. I got it when we went back to graduate school. Every time I have made a life altering decision that has been right – this is how I feel. It is hard to explain…maybe it is sort of a peace you feel inside – like things may be rough here and there but its ok because you *know* everything is all going to work out for good and in favor of love and happiness.
I think we are ready now.
So we had some maternity photos taken – most of you have seen them on the photog blog, but I wanted to post them here as well!
We are so anxious for Evan to get here. Words cannot describe it. We ordered a couple hats and props for newborn photos. My favorite is a little aviator hat we got for him to wear. Haha!
This could be the week!
We are continuing to move right along. I have a countdown on the home screen of my phone and I love watching the number change every day. Today is a big milestone because we are finally in single digits!! Only 9 days until Evan’s due date! Of course, there is a chance he could come after that, but it’s still neat to see that number!
Things are beginning to progress and we are very excited! At our appointment this week, I had dilated from “almost 1″ to 2 cm. After four weeks of no change, this was exciting! Our doctor said that his heartbeat sounds great and very strong and that I am measuring right on schedule. This is all very encouraging!! Our next scheduled appointment is next Tuesday at about 39.5 weeks. We are scheduled for a growth ultrasound along with our regular appointment to see how he is looking and measuring.
All the gDiapers were hung by the dryer with care….in hopes that baby would soon be there.
It is almost time and we cannot wait!!
E has been craving a couple different things lately – fresh fruit and cereal. Though her cravings have changes somewhat over the course of the pregnancy, fruit seems to never go by the wayside.
Eric came in for the last half of December and we had a great time. Eric went with us and some friends to go and see Relient K in Nashville for their acoustic Christmas tour. It was awesome and we had such a good time!
At this point – we can say that Evan is NOT a 2010 baby. We are still waiting on the little guy – taking walks, E is bouncing on her ball – getting ready for him when he is ready. We have the car all packed (we just got a 2011 RAV4 that we LOVE), and the room is officially ready. Now we just need baby. He will be here soon!
We just got one – is a Motorola we found online and go a great deal!
I tested it out with Lily today….she was not a fan.
Luckily, for fussy babies (or poodles), it comes with a built in “talk back” feature and 5 musical tracks to soothe and calm down.
We are checking off the last things we need to get together before Evan is here!
So with 24 days left until Evan’s due date, Alex and are anxiously anticipating Evan’s arrival. Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner and we are so excited to finally get to see Evan. One of the crazy things about birth is the “unknown” about when the baby will decide to make his entrance. So – we have decided to host a baby pool to hear guesses from all of our family and friends!
So, please, go to this link and fill out the form with your best guesses!!
Alex & Elizabeth Baby Pool! (If the link doesn’t work go to www.bebepool.com/alexandelizabeth)
The winner will be calculated after he arrives and will receive something amazing, along with the given bragging rights – this win would definitely be something to brag about.
Head on over…we want to hear from you!!!
As of this week we officially have less than one month until Evan’s due date! I can’t believe this day has come! 29 days from today.
The last two weeks have been a little crazy. Alex posted about our trip to labor and delivery – it was definitely interesting! Since then we have gotten a lot of things ready and in order so that when Evan is ready to make his arrival we will be ready for him! Even though I was having early contractions the doctor says that he could still go to or past 40 weeks, so now it’s really just a waiting game! The unknown makes the whole process a little nerve wracking, but adds excitement and anticipation to it as well!
Evan – come when you are ready – we are ready for you!!