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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two {2} Months!

** PS- For those of you wondering, we decided to call our sweet girl "Ella Paityn", though we won't get too bent out of our frame if you call her Ella! ;)

Weight & Height: 12 lbs., 9 oz. and 23" long! 75th percentile in height and weight. 

Clothes & Diapers:  Bye bye newborn cloth diapers!  While we only used them for about 5 weeks, they were TOTALLY worth it.  When we started putting Ella Paityn in the OS (one size) cloth diapers, they seemed huge and bulky on her in comparison to the little newborns.  She has outgrown most of her newborn clothes. Size 0-3 month fits her best, but she can fit in some Carter's 3 months.  3 month shorts do not fit very well over her cloth booty!  I have tried a few 3-6 month outfits on her and they're a little big, but still super cute! 

Eating & Sleeping: During the day Miss Piggy still eats every 3 hours, sometimes every 3.5 hrs. I'm very flexible on which side she eats from....just whatever feels right ;)  If she is having a bottle, she eats between 4 to 5 oz.  She's sleeping pretty well.  On an average night, she will go about 5 hours before waking up to eat.  Sometimes it's hard to get her back down after that...actually, she goes back to sleep just fine but starts grunting in her sleep.  Napping during the day is inconsistent.

Mood:  Around 5 weeks, we discovered that Ella Paityn has a dairy intolerance which was causing her to be very fussy and very congested. After going dairy-free we have seen major improvements in her mood. She does get very fussy at night between 6:30 and 8:00.

Likes: Her Dad!  Jacob gets up during the night and in the morning and changes her diaper before handing her off to me to feed.  She smiles and coos at him non-stop!  She also loves to be snuggled and lay on your chest.  If you take her outside in the evenings she instantly calms down.  Bath time is another favorite around here!  We may or may not have incorporated a squirt gun into our bathtime routine! 

Dislikes: Unfortunately, dairy.  And that is one of Mommy's favorite things in the whole wide world (think pizza, ice cream, butter, chocolate).

Milestones:  First real smiles, cooing, batting at toys, tracking objects, pushing up on her forearms during tummy time, raising her head for longer periods of time. First bottle (June 12), First time in the crib- for a nap (June 12), First time meeting her Granmom (June 21), First birthday party- her cousin Ava Kate's (June 28)

Sentimental Things Mommy Wants to Remember: The sweet smiles and "talking"!  Her teeny, tiny little feet and hands.  The way she stretches her back and puckers her little lips after eating.  The way she wraps her arms around me when she lays on my chest.  How she smiles and giggles in her sleep.  The way her Daddy holds and plays with her. 

Practical Things Mommy Wants to Remember: Pick up as you go- the house gets cluttered quick!! And, take 20 minutes after putting baby down to do a quick pick up of the house. Rolling the windows down in the car helps with fussiness (don't ask me why?!). Pump after she eats in the morning and after she eats before bed.  I am currently freezing at least 10 oz. a day. 

One {1} Month!

Weight & Height: 10 lbs., 3 oz. and 21.75" long!

Clothes & Diapers:  We had to use newborn disposable diapers until her umbilical cord stump fell off so that we could fold them down.  We loved our newborn cloth diapers, but found that they did not always contain her pee at night.  Newborn clothes fit the best, but there are some 0-3 month outfits that work great too.  3 month clothes still swallow her whole. 

Eating & Sleeping: After Ella Paityn was born we went to the doctor for our follow up appointment.  Although her weight gain was fine (7 lbs., 3 oz.) and she had almost made her birth weight (7 lbs., 5 oz.), my milk had not come in yet so the doctor wanted to see us again. At the next appointment, my milk had come in and she was past her birth weight. At the one month appointment, we were given the go-ahead to let her sleep through the night! During the day, she eats every 3 hours typically on the same side for the entire time, but sometimes I'll switch sides about mid-way through.  She typically nurses for about 30-35 minutes from start to finish.  Sleeping?  What's that?!  Ella Paityn wakes up about every 3-4 hours like clockwork. 

Mood:  Pretty fussy, but loves to cuddle and be held!  Ella Paityn spent her first two-three weeks of life being sick with a cold.  She had elevated platelet counts which signals a virus (like the common cold). She was congested and snotty, and ran a temperature of 99.9-100.7 consistently. 

Likes: Sleep!  She sleeps almost all day long it seems.  She also enjoys going on little trips to New Bern, out to eat, or to meet Mommy and Daddy's friends!  

Dislikes: Having her arms "cooped up".  Girlfriend does not want her arms swaddled.  She will break them out every time. 

Milestones:  First trip to her new home (April 30), First trip "to town"- Panera Bread, Belk, and Target (May 2), Newborn picture (May 3), Due date (May 4), First time meeting her Mammaw, Pappaw, and Aunt Tina (May 9), First time at church on Mother's Day (May 10), First play date with Mrs. Kim, Brooke, and Taylor (May 12), First trip to Daddy's work in Jones County (May 14), First trip to the Farmers Market in Oriental (May 16), Umbilical stump fell off (May 18), First time getting a pacifier (May 19), First trip to the river (May 24), First trip to Mommy's school- Comfort (May 27), First trip to Daddy's work in Lenoir County (May 27)

Sentimental Things Mommy Wants to Remember: How tiny my baby girl is!  I have cried multiple times over how quickly she is growing, though always reminding myself that I got her a few pounds earlier than some people get their babies. :-)  Daddy took off almost two weeks from work to stay home with his girls and we loved every minute!  He was a HUGE help.

Practical Things Mommy Wants to Remember: Start pumping from the very beginning to build up a supply. I didn't want to be "attached to the pump" and therefore I didn't pump much at all for the first month.  Get newborn disposable diapers for the first few weeks. Put the clean diaper under her dirty diaper when changing.....we learned very quickly in the hospital (meconium all over the bed).  100.4 is considered a fever in an infant. Babywearing is good for the soul.

Ella Paityn's Birth Story

My last pregnant picture, taken on April 20 (8 days before I went into labor).

Fast forward one day to April 27...I was at Eastern Carolina Women's Center to see Mandy for an appointment. At this appointment I was about 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  Mandy went ahead and put me down for an induction on May 4 (my due date) but told me that she may decide to come earlier.....  And so begins the birth story of Ella Paityn Morgan.

April 28, 2015
1:00-- I arrived at the Jones County Board of Education to attend our year end Exceptional Children's meeting.  We were going to go over the close out procedures for the end of the year.  When I walked in, my co-workers had organized a surprise shower for me to celebrate the upcoming arrival of EP (little did we know how close that would be).  Toward the end of the meeting I had become very uncomfortable and kept saying it felt like my pants were too tight.  Of course, I **never** pulled the waistband of my non-maternity pants up over my belly like Steve Urkel to try to relieve the pressure.  At the end of the meeting, my friends and I joked around about ways to induce labor which may have included things like walking a few miles and "doing the deed".

6:00-- I was beginning to get pretty uncomfortable and decided to lay down on the couch.  I told Jacob that my stomach was hurting but that I was okay and to continue on with his plans for the night which included: picking up/moving sows from a friend's farm and artificially inseminating a sow.

8:00-- I texted Jacob to find out what he was doing and what the progress was.  I wasn't sure if I was having contractions or not, but I had begun to track my "pain" with my contraction timer.

9:00-- Jacob finally got home and took a shower.  Sometime in between 8 and 9, I had moved to our bed because sitting on the couch had become uncomfortable.  After Jacob got out of the shower, he took over timing my contractions for me.

9:20-- I texted a screenshot of my contraction timer to Mandy (my midwife) to get her opinion on what I should do.  The texts went as follows:

10:00-- I told Jacob that I was in a lot of pain but that I didn't think it was contractions. I asked him to bring me 2 extra strength Tylenol and took those in hopes that it would help.  He laid down beside me in bed and continued tracking my "pains", haha!  I still was not willing to call them contractions yet....I just wasn't convinced.  Jacob kept suggesting that we go to the hospital to get checked and I wasn't a fan of that idea because I didn't want to a) end up in the triage room or b) get sent home because I wasn't really in labor.

11:30-- After discussing the pros and cons of going to get checked, we decided to go just to be safe.  I was worried that we would go to the hospital, get sent home, and then get a whopping bill for something that could have been prevented/waited out at home. I was still convinced that I would be sent back home for false labor.  I even went so far as to tell Jacob not to worry about packing our bags.  Thank the Lord he was more sane than I was and got everything ready to go.

April 29, 2015
12:00-- We arrived at the ED of Carolina East Medical Center.  I waddled in with my body pillow wearing Jacob's 10% campaign t-shirt (one of my favorites during pregnancy) and some black yoga pants.  Needless to say, I looked like a hot mess.  I was trying to breathe through my "pains" and relax everything down to my jaws per the advice of my sweet friend, Kim. They immediately took me to get registered and it was about 10 minutes before someone from L&D came to wheel me upstairs. When a "pain" would come along, I just laid my head down on my pillow on the check-in counter and breathed....still trying to remain calm, cool, and collected.  After all, I definitely wasn't in labor and would be sent home soon.

12:30-- We got upstairs to the triage room and were the only ones there (Praise the Lord!).  I had dreaded that room since our maternity open house tour.  I did NOT want to be in a room, in labor, with other women and their husbands.  When I got there, my L&D nurse, Irene, had me strip down to nothing but a hospital gown.  She hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor and did my first cervical check.  Upon arrival, I was 4.5 cm. dilated.  No sooner did she finish checking me than I had to go to the bathroom.  Jacob helped me up out of bed and when I stood up, blood started dripping out of me which is slightly concerning when you are pregnant.  After all, that is one of the signs they always say to call immediately over. I started crying and asked what was happening to me.  It was then that it finally sunk in, I was probably in labor.  I asked Irene if I was going to get sent home and she started laughing and said, "No!!  You're having a baby tonight."  I was in so much pain by that point, that it didn't even phase me.

After that, everything is kind of a blur.  But, I will do my best to recall the important events.

1:00-- I was laying in the Triage room and Irene came in to tell me that I was going to have a roommate.  NOOO!!!!!  Not only that, but we heard my roommate coming from a mile away, like a siren in the night.  She was screaming and hollering at the top of her lungs.  I have never heard screams like the ones that were coming out of her mouth.  I distinctly remembering opening my eyes for about 5 seconds to look at Jacob and say, "That is going to tear my nerves up."  They kept asking the girl to get on the scale for her final weight, and all she would do was yell.  After about 3 minutes of this (which felt like an eternity), we hear, "Her water just broke!!"  Thank the Lord.  This meant that she could go on into her private room and leave us in peace and quiet-- kind of. I'm pretty sure her baby was born around 1:20 because that is when we stopped hearing her and heard a much, much quieter sound....that of a baby.

2:00-- Irene came in around 2:00 am to ask me if I wanted an epidural. I told her that I was fine, but that I would let her know if I needed it.  Irene checked me again and I was at 6 cm. She told me that as quickly as I was progressing, if I thought I was going to want an epidural, she should probably go ahead and order it. Because it was the middle of the night, it would take the anesthesiologist a while to get there and I would also have to have labs done and a full bag of fluid. I agreed and she ordered up the epidural. Sometime after that, I waddled down the hall to my own private room. I had escaped having a roommate in Triage, hallelujah.

3:30-- The anesthesiologist arrived in my room and kicked Jacob out. They don't let spouses stay in the room so that they don't have two patients on their hands. So, Jacob went down to the car to get my chapstick (priorities people), camera (thank goodness he packed it because I told him not to worry about putting anything in the car since I would be sent home), and a few other items. The first time the anesthesiologist attempted my epidural, it felt like my left leg had been electrocuted...I screamed. He was unfazed and said, "Which leg?" fully knowing what had happened. So, he pulled out the tube to reposition it because he had hit a nerve. Well, the second time he inserted the tube, the same thing happened. So, I was the lucky recipient of TWO epidurals (well, epidural sticks at least). He moved up a vertebrae and all I could think was that my chances of stroke, paralysis, death, etc., etc. that I had to sign my life away to had just doubled. This time, the epidural went in without a hitch... or so we thought. The anesthesiologist had me lay flat in bed on my side so that the medication would spread across my body evenly. When the nurse checked me prior to getting the epidural, I was at 7 cm.  As soon as I laid down, my water broke.  I screamed (again) because it startled me and went everywhere. The nurse started laughing and reassured me that it was no big deal, my water had just broken. She looked down, picked up a towel, then held it up to me and said, "Does this look green to you?"  I had no clue, I could hardly see straight I was in so much pain. She said that they were going to treat me and Ella Paityn as though there was meconium in my fluid, just to be safe. After my water broke, Irene checked me again and I had instantly gone to 9 cm. Jacob finally got back to our room (after some problems getting through locked doors, elevators, and having to talk to security) with my coveted chapstick.  I hung around 9-10 cm for about an hour and a half.  Jacob and I were in the delivery room together, by ourselves.  While I wish I could relish in our last few hours together, I was still in a pretty significant amount of pain and laid very still with my eyes closed.  I do remember us having a few sweet conversations, but for the most part we just sat (or laid, whichever the case may be) in silence.

5:00 am-- Irene came in a checked me and I was fully dilated, at 10 cm. She said that if I was ready, I could go ahead and start pushing.  She had me to three "test pushes" to which I put on my best Hollywood face and screamed all the way through them.  She gently explained to me that while screaming may feel good, if I would put all that energy into the actual push I would be much better off. Whoops! During those three pushes, I began feeling very overheated and knew that it would eventually give way to nausea, followed by the dreading throwing up.  So Jacob put a fan on me, and started switching out wet washcloths.  Thank the Lord for him! In the meantime, I had asked Irene how long I could expect to push.  While this seemed like a silly question (because obviously it's different for everyone), it gave me a point of reference to wrap my mind around.  She said it usually takes first time moms between an hour to two hours.  Worst case scenario would be around three hours.  After experiencing my test pushes, I didn't think I could hold out for three hours of that craziness.  So I asked her if there was any way to decrease my push time.  Her response...yeah, wait it out and let your body do the work.  So Jacob started the time, and we waited for a full 35 minutes with what felt like a bowling ball stuck in my butt. When a contraction would come, my entire lower half would start to shake.  But we made it....35 minutes!

5:45 am-- I paged Irene and said that I thought I was ready to push.  Irene came in, got the stirrups ready and told me to begin pushing when I felt a contraction.  That was literally all of the instruction I was given (aside from the not screaming advice).  I stopped one contraction in and said something to the effect of I don't know what I'm doing here.....can you help a sista out? It was then that I was told to push like I was having a bowel movement, try to get three pushes in per contraction, and try to push for a full 10 seconds before taking a break and starting again. Very helpful information.

5:50 am-- I began pushing....the right way :-)  Was this really happening? I literally could not believe that I was about to have a baby. I pushed for a total of 10-12 minutes before Irene said she needed me to stop pushing because she wanted to get the team in.  She told me I was a great pusher and that she didn't think I had much longer to go.  Dr. Tinga came in along with 2 nursery nurses, 2 respiratory specialists (because of the suspected meconium in my fluid), and possibly some more people?  When Dr. Tinga came in, the lowered the end of the table and raised the rest of the table (he is VERY tall). Irene asked me to scoot down towards the edge of the bed.  I easily moved down in the bed using my legs to scooch. Dr. Tinga was amazed and asked if I had gotten an epidural.  I told him yes, of course, but that I could still feel basically everything.  I was also able to track my own contractions to know when to push. He finally stopped me, with tears streaming down my face, and told me that he was going to do a perineal block, or pudendal block, to numb my cervix since I could feel everything down below.  Dr. Tinga is the only one in my practice that does this so Praise God for Dr. Tinga! That worked in about 10 seconds flat.  I pushed maybe 2 more times, before Dr. Tinga told me to stop pushing because Ella Paityn was wrapped up in her cord.  It is hard enough to not push with a baby hanging out of your hoo-haa, but when you hear she is "wrapped up" one starts to panic. After several seconds of removing her cord from around her neck, under her arm, and around her leg I pushed her out.  Jacob wanted to cut the cord, but sure enough there had been meconium in my fluid so they whisked her away to suction her lungs before she took her first breath and aspirated on it.

6:10 am-- Ella Paityn's official birth time. At 6:10 am on April 29, our world's changed forever. For the better. I had been terrified that I wouldn't love her.  I had begged God to please let me love this child that I had never seen.  The child that Jacob and I created, but that God had knit together perfectly in my womb. My first two questions:
1. Why isn't she crying?  Was my worst fear coming true from the BPPs?  Was she struggling to breathe?  They explained that it was perfectly normal and that they didn't want her breathing immediately so that it gave them time to suction her lungs.

2. Does she have Down Syndrome?  The question that most new parents don't ask, but because of our journey had loomed over us for 6+ months.  This was the moment where we would truly find out with 100% certainty.

Dr. John Tinga delivered Ella Paityn. He has been in practice for over 30 years and we love him!
The nurses assured me that she looked great, but that the pediatrician would give us the final say on that. When they placed her on my chest, aside from being grossed out by the goo and poop, I locked eyes with my new baby girl and immediately knew that my fears could be put to rest. I had a tiny baby girl who needed me, depended on me, and who captured my heart. After about 30 minutes, everyone cleared out and Jacob and I were left in the delivery room by ourselves with this minutes old baby. He took her for the first time and held her close. Then, he said our first a family of 3. We held each other close, tears streaming, and praised God for this awesome miracle of life. Thanked God for carrying us through my pregnancy and a safe delivery. And prayed over Ella Paityn's life- that she would grow, thrive, and become a woman who fears and loves the Lord.
My first picture with Ella Paityn 

Not only was Jacob my rock during pregnancy, but he stood by my side through my labor as well. I had grand plans for my labor and how I foresaw things going in my mind.  But once the time came, my plans changed... and I was okay with that. I became very quiet and internalized everything. When I was having a contraction, I laid quietly telling myself to relax, focusing on the pain, and reminding myself that this was normal.  All the while, Jacob stood over me with a hand on my leg, or rubbing my back, or a hand on my head whispering, "You're doing great, Candice. You're doing awesome." He would follow the contraction monitor and say, "This one's almost over. Just a little while longer." When it was time to push, Jacob counted me through pushes, watched as she crowned, and said, "You're almost there. I see her head." Most guys stand up near the head of the bed. Not mine! He grabbed onto one of my legs to help support me and then literally watched our daughter be born. His words of encouragement and sensitive touches made my labor seem even faster and easier. He only left my side a few go to the bathroom once and when he was told to leave for the epidural. I am so grateful to have a husband like Jacob and while I probably could have done it without him, I thank God that I don't have to do anything without him, but have the privilege of doing everything with him.  He makes my life so much sweeter and more enjoyable.  For the past [almost] six years, Jacob has been a fantastic husband, and he has already become a wonderful father as well.

Our first family picture 

Jacob's first time holding Ella Paityn

I was moved to the post-partum floor around 9:00am.  In order to be moved to the post-partum floor, I had to be able to stand up and walk.  Walking wasn't necessarily the problem, but I felt very light headed after delivery. The nurses assured me that that was normal because of blood loss. Then as soon as I went to stand up, I felt nauseas. But, we made it to the wheelchair and I was wheeled away by nurse Sherry (my day shift L&D nurse) to post-partum. When we got there, my room was TINY. I can't even describe how small it was.  Around 3:30 that afternoon a different (and MUCH bigger) room opened up, and they moved me in there.  It was there that I peed for the first time.  Only women who have had a vaginal delivery can understand my pain here. I have never felt such a burning/stinging sensation in my life.  Holy.smokes. Other than that, my "recovery" wasn't bad at all.  I had some pain from a first degree tear which required three stitches, but nothing that a little 800 mg Motrin couldn't handle. I think I only took two Motrin total while in the hospital. By 4:00 I had taken my first shower post labor (nothing like it in the whole wide world), blow dried/straightened my hair, and gotten changed into a nursing gown and robe.

Since I went into labor during the middle of the night, we hadn't told anyone that we were on our way to the hospital...including family.  Like I said earlier, I was convinced that I would be sent home and there was no reason to call in the troops for a false alarm.  I had talked to my mom on the phone around 7ish and when she asked how I was feeling I said I was a little uncomfortable.  Throughout the conversation, I had to stop a few times to try to catch my breath when I would have a contraction. After we got off the phone, she told my dad that she thought I was in labor.  Would have been nice for her to clue me in!!  Anyways, after we got to the hospital and discovered that I really was having a baby, we thought that my labor would last a little longer than it did.  After all, what first timer clocks in just under 5 hours according to hospital standards?  We had planned to call parents early that morning so they could get there in time for the delivery.  But alas, it didn't work out that way.  So we let our parents know around 5:30 am that I was in the hospital, 10 cm. dilated, and about to start pushing in a little while.  I must say, that being at the hospital, just the two of us (literally...because we were also the only ones in L&D at that time) was a sweet, private moment in our marriage.  It allowed us to rely on one another and be there for each other whether in short conversations, tender touches, prayers, or the silence.

But, once we notified the troops they came in full force and that was fun too!!  Who doesn't love a good visitor or 20?!  We tried very hard to get pictures of everyone who came to visit in the hospital so hopefully no one gets left out, but I know there were people who we didn't catch :-(
Grandmommy Lyly and Grandaddy Jack
Cece and Pop

Trent and Rebecca
My midwife, Mandy came first thing that morning!
Aunt Laura, Uncle Parker & Ava Kate-- don't ask me how I missed a picture of Uncle Parker...I told you I would have forgotten someone.  UGH.
Aunt Martha Lynn, Uncle Preston, Cody, and Abi
Nothin' like a teenage boy holding a little baby to melt your heart!
Mr. Wright (whose mom also happened to be named Ella Payton)
Since I went into labor during the middle of the night, we hadn't gotten any sleep since the night of April 27.  Because of the visitors adrenaline pulsing through our veins after she was born, we weren't able to get any sleep during the day aside from no more than an hour nap.  Needless to say, we were exhausted by the time 10:00 rolled around and had no problem sleeping that night thanks to the wonderful nursery ladies. They look our little lady and cared for her while we caught some zzz's and brought her back about every 3 hours for her to be fed. I can't say enough how blessed we were by the L&D and post-partum staff at Carolina East.  They helped to make our experience and hospital stay great. My nurses and Ella Paityn's nurses were all amazing. Before we left I felt confident that we were both in good health and felt relatively confident when it came to breastfeeding.  The nursery nurses were a HUGE help with that and fortunately EP was a quick learner.

We were discharge around 4:30 in the afternoon on April 30.  When it came time to leave I was an emotional wreck. How were we going to do this on our own?  What if something happened? Questions ran through my head and doubts flooded over me.  But Jacob reassured me that everything was going to be more than okay.  I was positive that I was going to be that girl who was riding out of the hospital in the wheelchair bawling her eyes out.  I would have been...but God sent me the perfect volunteer to wheel me out.  A sweet soul with a beautiful smile, contagious personality, and with a hint of autism (I'm guessing).  I couldn't have been more thankful for his beautiful outlook on life.  He kept me grounded and smiling.  Through his joyful exclamations, "A new baby!  A new baby!  To the nursery.  Nursery first.  She had a baby!  She's a girl.  A baby girl." he pushed me through the hall seemingly just as excited as we were.  He pushed me all the way out to the car, where we loaded up our bundle safely into her carseat because we knew exactly what we were doing.
EP in her going home outfit that CeCe and Pop bought for her.  It was a little large on her (Newborn size)- 

Getting her security sensor removed

Getting admired by strangers!
Our balloons from Trent, Rebecca, and Claire

Jacob drove us home in the drizzly rain, with me riding in the back seat as calmly as possible. We pulled down our dirt road and were greeted by CeCe at the front door.  A CeCe who (with Pop's help) had done all of our laundry, cleaned, vacummed, dusted, picked up, put away, etc. so we could just relax and enjoy our little girl. And as soon as we entered the front door, the smell of homemade Shrimp and Grits wafted through the air. We were home.  The three of us.  And so our story begins....

Welcome to the world, Ella Paityn.  Your Dad and I love you so much and thank our God for creating

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day like None Other

Sunday, May 11, 2014. Mother's Day. One year ago.

Sometimes it takes my breath away to realize how quickly years pass by and the difference that time can make.  One year ago children were not on my radar.  My, what a difference one year makes.

August 2014. We found out that I was pregnant.  I was terrified, nervous, and mourning the end of a chapter (which felt more like a book).  Jacob and I would never be "just the two of us" again.

But one year later, by the grace of God, I am celebrating my first Mother's Day.  It still seems surreal. Surely this cannot be correct. After all, children weren't in my life plan.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Praise God that His plans are higher and greater than my own.  I thank our God that He knew me better than I know myself.  That God would bless us with a daughter, entrust us with His child, and make me a mom blows my mind and leaves me speechless (and teary eyed....but we won't go there!).

Psalm 139 (CEM translation-- that's me)
You made all the delicate inner parts of Ella Paityn's body
and knit her together in my womb.
Thank you for making Ella Paityn so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it.
You watched her as she was being formed in utter seclusion,
as she was woven together in the dark of my womb.
You saw Ella Paityn before she was born.
Every day of her life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

Today I look back over the last year.  I never saw myself being here, but I sure am thankful that God did.  I am grateful that God chose me to be Ella Paityn's mom.

On a lighter note.... what have we done on my first Mother's Day?
  • Slept in- yay for sleep!

  • Took EP to church for the first time (love that it coincided perfectly with Mother's Day....I only cried once!)

  • Came home and Dad fixed us lunch- sloppy joes, chips, and turtle pie
  • Watched the movie Steel Magnolias for the first time ever-- so good, but maybe not the best Mother's Day choice?!  Someone dies!  And I cried again.
  • Braved Tropical Storm Ana from the comfort of our couch and held EP nonstop-- baby cuddles won't last forever
  • Dad is making us dinner tonight- steak, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese