Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's Been a Crazy Ride!


Babies take up a lot of time, and time management is not my strong suit...ha!

Sorry I've been MIA.  I've never claimed to be a blog pro.  Please forgive me!

Our sweet baby Kate was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip and was put into a brace (the Pavlik Harness) last week.  It sent us all for a loop!

Right now that's where all my focus is...on helping out baby girl get her hip to develop correctly.

My energy will be spent on keeping friends and family updated on her situation through a new blog just for her for a while.  If you'd like to follow along...we'd love to have your prayers and support!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Introducing...Miss Kate!

My last post was at 34 weeks pregnant.  
Well, fast forward several weeks...
past bedrest, 
past a long labor & recovery, 
and our baby girl is 2.5 weeks old!

I'm totally, completely in love with this face!

Kathryn Josie Mathes

I'm not going to give the long, drawn out version of my 27+ hour labor and delivery.
Trust me, you don't want it.
Cliff notes version...which is still long.  Sorry.

In my 38th week, I was put on bedrest after a trip to the doctor with an atrocious, splitting headache/vomiting.  Combine that with high blood pressure, and I was being tested for pre-eclampsia.  I don't know if I actually had it or not...I barely had my 24-hour urine catch at the lab and hadn't had my follow-up appointment yet when my water broke.

38 weeks & 5 days pregnant, Friday, June 7, 2013...
I'm on the phone with my friend Lauren when I feel my shorts get wet.
I immediately knew what it was...MY WATER HAD BROKEN!
I made a phone call to Brian, and he was home very quickly.
Feeling pretty calm, I showered...put make-up on...and took my time getting to the hospital.  After all, I was still having pretty painless contractions.  I'd only consider them Braxton Hicks.

Fast forward...

I'm admitted to the hospital.  My water had broken well before the rest of my body was ready for labor.
Once again, CLIFF NOTES...this meant a very lengthy induction.
After 20+ hours on the maximum dose of pitocin with no epidural, they were finally able to put one in.
(Don't even ASK why they weren't able to put it in's not a pretty story.)
After the epidural, (which didn't get rid of much pain for me...just made my legs super numb) things progressed VERY quickly.
Before I knew it, I was begging the nurse to push and she was here!

Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 3:37 p.m., 
Kate was born weighing 6 lbs. 14 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.
Praise the Lord!!

After the doctor delivered her placenta, we realized that my waters breaking early was a huge blessing, and God was definitely looking out for our sweet baby.
The doctor made Brian take pictures of her placenta.  Her cord was only attached to the very side of her placenta as opposed to the meaty middle where it should have been.
He told us that had I gone into labor first and had to have my water broken, they most likely would have ruptured her cord because of its placement.  
His exact words: "Things would have gotten really scare, really fast."
I have thanked the Lord every single day since she was born for protecting her thought that!

From the day she was born, she hasn't had it easy...and neither have her parents' nerves! 
She had to have many, many tests run on her because they believed she was fighting an infection because her white blood count was elevated and even went up after she was born.  That happens sometimes when your waters are broken for a long time before birth.
Her count finally went down...and then they found a heart murmur.

Monday we should have been preparing to go home with our sweet girl.
Instead, we were preparing to head straight to Shands Hospital/University of Florida in Gainesville for her to see one of the nation's top pediatric cardiologists.
Needless to say, we were worried sick, and I cried the whole time my baby had an ultrasound on her heart, an EKG, and even right through the doctors speaking to us.

Once again, the Lord had a watch over her.

Kate does have two holes in her heart.  One is teeny tiny and is very common.  In fact, the doctor said half of the population is walking around with the same type hole right now.
The other is bigger, but they believe it will close up on it's on, or won't cause much trouble.
In other words, she shouldn't need corrective surgery.

I can honestly say the first few days of her life were hard for me to enjoy.
Besides trying to recover from childbirth, I have never been so scared and worried in my life.
It's hard when you realize the thing you love most in life is incredibly fragile and her well-being is completely out of your hands.
If it weren't for our faith, we may have had a mental breakdown.

But on a much lighter note...she is a happy and healthy baby!
Despite all the tests and scares (some I didn't even bother to mention), she's absolutely perfect.
She looks like her daddy...and it seriously melts my heart.

The next few posts will be about our new life with her.  I may even back track some.  
Heck, I never blogged about the three beautiful showers our loved ones threw for us!

I have never been more proud of anything in my life.
When I look at her, I am so filled with love and thankfulness.
What did we do to deserve such a sweet little soul?
We totally don't deserve her, but I'm glad the Lord doesn't give us what we deserve.
She's the biggest blessing!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of her birthday and the first few weeks of her life!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Baby Watch: 34 weeks

34 weeks.  
Say what?!?!

In some ways I feel like I've been pregnant for 3 years...haha.  For example, we've moved 3 times since I've been pregnant.  (Moved apartments in Lakeland, moved temporarily back to Georgia after leaving Lakeland, and then moved to Ocala.)  Things like that tend to make a pregnancy feel very, very long...haha.

But in some ways, I find it very hard to believe we are 6 weeks away from baby girl's due date!  Brian and I shared a good laugh at the grocery store yesterday because when I picked up a carton of eggs, the "best by" date was June 8!  We really thought that put things into perspective as to how close we are.  Our eggs will ALMOST last until her due date! haha.

I just got the last of the shower pictures so a post on that is coming soon, but in the meantime, I thought we'd do a "weeks" check-in.  I wanted to do this one a little differently.  Instead of finding a list of questions, I wanted to talk about the things on my mind as opposed to being prompted.  I feel like that gives you a much better idea of where I am and how I'm feeling! :)

Current loves:  
putting the finishing touches on the nursery
I don't even think this needs explanation.  It's just so much fun!  Sometimes I just wander in there and stare at her things. :)

getting baby presents (duh!)
Who doesn't love opening sweet, precious, baby things?!  I'm dead serious when I say I love opening gifts that are practical JUST as much as adorable, monogrammed things!  

spending quality time with Brian as a "couple" before we become a "family"
This is a BIG one for us right now.  We are being very mindful and trying to enjoy every little activity as a couple.  We're talking everything from peaceful grocery shopping, to dinner, to church, etc.  For example, we went to see a movie in the theater yesterday for the first time in ages.  We're trying to do things that will be a lot more complicated once Kate is here.  Don't take this the wrong way...we can't WAIT for her to be here, but we just want to appreciate the simpleness before it's gone. :)

childbirth classes
Ok, I have to be honest.  Brian and I really didn't want to take  Maybe we're naive, but sometimes I just feel like I'd rather learn as I go...haha.  I mean, I read baby books out of curiosity, so I felt like I had a good knowledge base.  However, when we pre-registered at our hospital, we learned that childbirth classes, baby basics, and breastfeeding classes were all completely free to us.  As some of you know, this is rare, so we talked about it and finally decided it'd be a good way to pass the last month before she's due since people say the time tends to drag.  (Yep, we're learning it does! haha)

Well, our first class was this past Thursday, and can I say we had the MOST fun!  We were both surprised, but we really enjoyed it.  It was fun to hang out with other pregnant couples due around the same time.  We actually laughed a lot! haha.  Turns out, it's a good "date night" that costs no money and doesn't revolve around food.  We're glad we decided to take the classes. :)

Current challenges: 
*DISCLAIMER*: I really don't want these to come across as complaining!  These are just currently things I'm dealing with that are well, well worth suffering for our little blessing.

hand/feet swelling
This is something I really didn't expect to deal with.  I'm not really sure why, because my hands actually swell when I eat a meal high in sodium even when I'm not pregnant.  So I guess, if I'd have given it any thought, I'd have expected this.  But my hands swell really, REALLY badly.  Don't worry, my doctor is aware of this, and so far my blood pressure is fine.  So really it's just aggravating because it's caused carpel tunnel which has caused finger numbness/tingling in my right hand.  Some things that are hard when you can feel your fingers?  Straightening your hair (can't tell when you're burning them), cooking, putting on jewelry, etc.  So as long as this doesn't get dangerous, I just have to deal with the ugliness and aggravation of it! haha.

morning sickness
Oh yes.  Say hello to the old enemy.  It's  Apparently if you were one of the ones who has nausea/vomiting well into the second trimester, it can come back in late pregnancy.  Well, it did...haha.  And it's not fun.  I struggle to function before about   I only end up throwing up once or twice a week, but if I had a job and was working and couldn't "coax" myself into my days, I have a feeling it'd happen more often.

This is caused by a combination of things.  There's the lack of sleep from heartburn, aches & pains, being uncomfortable, etc.  Then there's the pure heaviness of carrying your very pregnant body.  I'm just blessed that I'm not working and I can lay around if I feel like I need to.  Trust me, not working doesn't make me feel any less fatigued.  I wish it worked that way! haha.  Actually, my busy days are a little better because I'm more distracted from it.

mood swings
Worse than ever....haha.  I cry over anything and everything...even commercials.  I cry because I don't feel well.  I cry because I'm excited about Kate.  I cry because I have such an amazing husband.  (I'm NOT kidding.  One day I seriously sat on the couch bawling as I thanked God for him!)  I cry because I miss my family.  I mean...y'all.  Can we say basket case?

So, that's that.  We are closing in on the home stretch, and we could not be more excited.  I try to look at the challenges and realized how blessed I am to have them...because it means we have a little miracle growing inside me.  This whole pregnancy I'd been absolutely terrified of labor (and I mean, I'm still nervous let's be real...), but it's starting to be SO outweighed with the excitement of meeting her.  Please keep our little growing family in your prayers!

Until next time...xoxo.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kate's Letters

Dear Baby Kate

     We cannot wait for you to get here.  Seriously.  Your daddy and I still have things to do to get ready for you, but we are just so ready to meet you!  
     We looked up full moon dates last night hoping there'd be one around your due date.  No luck!  The one before your due date you'd be pretty early, and the one after your due date you'd be pretty late!  Let's hope there's not much truth to that whole full moon=labor thing. ;)
     You got the sweetest gifts at the most beautiful baby showers this past weekend.  I really need to get on it and post about it.  We are so close to having everything you need, and that puts your mama at ease.
    You are so incredibly strong.  Your daddy and I sit and stare as you make my belly do waves when you move.
     I also find myself wandering into your nursery just looking around and smiling.  I tend to get a bit weepy when I think that we are less than two months away from meeting you!
     I just want you to know that all the swelling in the world, all the pain and discomfort, the tossing and turning at night, the numb hands, the nausea, the pales in comparison to the excitement I feel when I think about meeting you.  You are so, so, so loved, baby girl.
Here you are a week ago...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Two Months in the Making (oops!)

Well, oops.  It's been 2 months since my last post.  I see that I need to update pretty badly, because in my last update...little Kinney Hammond hadn't been born yet!  Now she's almost 2 months old!

I visited the besties (Kinney's parents Lauren and Adam) in Memphis last month, and noticed when I got home that I didn't really take any pictures with my friends!  LOL.  Shame on me.  I was so wrapped up in this little bundle of cuteness that the love of two of my favorite people created that she stole all the camera time.  Kinney is a miracle!  I can't wait for Kate to meet her. :)  Get a load of this precious doll!  She was about 3.5 weeks old here.  And she has already changed so should see her beautiful newborn pictures.

As for me and the mister, we have officially become Floridians (driver's licenses and all), and he officially owns and operates a Chick-fil-A.  (That's a whole different post in and of itself!)  Brian has now been in the store five days, and our new place is slowly coming together.  We're waiting on a couple pieces of new furniture to be delivered before we hang pictures and put the final touches on things.

We have finally been able to work on the nursery!  Since I'm 30 weeks in 2 days, I was starting to feel a little bit behind being in my third trimester of pregnancy having -nothing- done.  I can be pretty type-A personality though, so we're probably just right on time. ;)

We painted the walls a "pale" pink.  I use the quotations because it turned out way more "pink" than I wanted anticipated.  But it's ok.  I mean, she is a girl, after all. ;)  The handy husband (new nickname?) put together her crib, and we are currently working on a painting project to turn an old computer desk into a changing table/bookshelf/dresser/etc.

Oh, and how could I forget?!  Kate's bedding came this week!  I love it every bit as much as I expected to.  Here's a little sneak peek!

And here little Kate is in her belly home at 29 weeks 5 days.  I feel so large and so pregnant that I can't believe we have 10 weeks left until she's due.  I feel like I can't get any bigger, but I know I will...haha.  As much as I despise what the extra weight has done to the rest of my body, I do love and adore my bump.  There's just something about knowing it's a warm, cozy home for Kate that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  Oh, and can you please check out those sausage fingers?!  They are HUGE.  I cannot wear my ring.  I bought fakes at Claire's for $11...

And I haven't done this in a here goes nothing! :)

How far along: 29 weeks 5 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss: A lot.  Despite exercise and a fairly sensible diet.  Most of the time. ;)

Maternity clothes: Are needed.  I ordered some things online from Old Navy that I hope fit because I need something to wear to baby showers...LOL.  I can't just wear yoga pants and a tee like I do every day at home.  (See above pic!)

Stretch marks: No new ones that I didn't already have from the past.  I'm actually thankful for my old ones at the moment because at least they are white and not as noticeable. :)

Sleep: I feel guilty because I still sleep like a baby!  Apparently that's almost unheard of in the third trimester.  I mean, I do get up to use the bathroom and toss and turn more than normal, but I have no trouble falling immediately back asleep...

Best moment last week: A much needed pedicure for my seriously aching feet after the move/unpacking.

Movement: All. the. time.  And she is getting SO strong...  I love to just stare at my belly and watch her. :)

Food cravings:  I seriously haven't had any SERIOUS cravings.  I want sweets in general a lot these days.  I sometimes want a a regular coke.  For those of you who know me, that's weird.  I'm a very big water and only water drinker...I didn't even drink diet drinks or anything pre-pregnancy.  That's how I KNOW that's a pregnancy  Oh, and cutie oranges. :)

Gender: little girl :)

Labor signs: nothing...and I hope not for a WHILE.  We're not ready!  We have tons to

Belly button - in or out? in.

What I miss: Honestly?  Sorry to be cute clothes.  I feel so homely all the time!  Oh, and energy.

What I am looking forward to: Obviously meeting miss Kate, but before that...our baby showers. :)  First one is 2 weeks from tomorrow!

Milestones:  Reaching the third trimester a few weeks ago was a pretty big one!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baby Watch: Kinney!

I have to take a moment to put the spotlight on some of my best friends I've ever had in my whole life, Adam & Lauren, as they await the birth of their sweet baby girl this week!  
In should be here in two days!

See that sweet little face?  That's Kinney!  
(Baby Kate's Future BFF, I might add!)

You are one special, loved, spoiled little girl already, and we haven't even met you yet!
The Lord has blessed you with two special people that will be the best parents you could ever ask for.
You'll have your Daddy wrapped around your teeny pinky finger in no time, have no doubt.
His crazy antics will make you laugh, and I can't wait to see what he'll resort to to hear your giggle!
Your Mama will love you to pieces.  
She'll be putting some rather large bows on your head, but all will be best if you learn to accept that now!  
Just trust us when we say they're precious.
With your Mama and Daddy, there will never be a shortage of fun, laughter, love, and adventure.  
In fact, that's part of the reason I love them so much!

Adam & Lauren,
Good luck.
Not that you need it!
I have faith that you two will be spectacular parents.
And when you think you aren't, you still are.
No one could love, cherish, and take care of Kinney as well as you two.
Please spoil her rotten.
If you don't, there are plenty of people willing to do if for you...including Brian and me.
I can't wait until our memories start to include our sweet little girls!
I love, love, love y'all!  All three of you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kate's Letters

Dear Baby Kate

     My first couple days knowing who you are have been among the most amazing of my life.  I know pregnancy has made me emotional in general, but I can't think about our future with you without tears making my mascara run.  To say that I can't wait to hold you in my arms is a complete understatement.

     I'm feeling you move around a good bit...especially after I eat chocolate. :)  Your daddy felt you move once the other day.  You must have been doing karate kicks in there!  I've still yet to feel you move that strongly since.  I think you were just showing off. :)

     Thanks for finally letting your mama feel a little better in the mornings.  It's been a long time coming, my dear!  Right now you're loving jalapeƱo peppers and anything spicy.  I've been adding them to everything...including my egg sandwich I just devoured about 15 minutes ago.

     We're having a hard time picking out your things because we want them to be perfect for you.  For example, you have baby bedding, but you don't have a crib yet. :)

     I thought you may get a kick of out this.  Above are the mints my parents received when I was born.  Below is the rubber bracelet we were given when we found out that you're a little girl.  The times have definitely changed!  

We love you, baby girl.

your Mama