Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still Singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" - 1 Year Later

Reese has been in our lives for one year now, and he has given us a joy we've never known before. Our hearts just melt each time we look at his sweet little face. He makes us laugh and turns the mundane into fun.

But it has been a difficult year. The first few months seemed to be full of unending problems: an early entrance into the world, projectile spit-up, projectile poop, pumping, crying - it wasn't just Reese shedding tears, sleepless nights (Wait, still have those!), teething, pumping, thrush, 2 bouts of mastitis, pumping, etc. There were honestly days when I didn't think I would survive. There were days when we thought, "What have we done?"

Once again, the Lord has been faithful to provide for us, and we've made it through the struggles with His help. He has been more generous with us than we deserve, and has used the thorns to draw us nearer to Him.

I am especially thankful that He has allowed me to nurse Reese for a full year. I
never thought we'd make it this far. It has simply been one of the best accomplishments of my life. (I know that sounds silly, but if you've ever nursed a baby before, you understand.) I'm so thankful that George has been supportive of me, as I couldn't have done it without his help. And Jan, thanks for letting my cry on your shoulder so many times. I'm glad we've been able to enter motherhood at the same time!

Reese's first birthday was bittersweet. A celebration of surviving the first year, yet a goodbye to babyhood. (Is that a word?) It was definitely a year we'll never forget - I hope.

I don't want to forget a single moment of our first year as a family of three.

More birthday pictures coming soon!

Great is Thy Faithfulness - Reese's Birth Story

Today is my baby boy's 1st birthday! I'll post again later today about his birthday, but first here is his birth story...

I unknowingly went into early labor on Saturday morning. I woke up at 6:45 in pain, but figured it was the pancakes I had eaten with my family at IHOP the night before. I called George (who was in Kansas) and told him about the strange feeling I had, but we didn’t worry because it went away. I managed to work out and go to my friend Brandy's baby shower, but the pain came back while I was there. We joked about how we might have to deliver the baby at the shower, never imagining that I really was in labor! My friend Lisa came over after the shower to see the nursery, and we sat and talked until 7:00. When she left, I was in quite a bit of pain, but still thought it was just stomach issues. I tried to eat dinner and couldn't. I didn't think that was a good sign.

I called my mom and she came over to sit with me. She didn't think I was in labor, and Dr. Griffith didn't either. I couldn't identify if I was having contractions or not, because they felt totally different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd had. The doctor thought if they were contractions, they weren't long enough to do anything. Boy was he wrong! I started having severe pain - I could barely talk through it. By this time, George had already looked up a flight home, but the next one wasn't until 5:50 the next morning. He was on the phone reading to me the signs of labor from a website he’d looked up. He was really worried, because it sounded like me – especially the part about not being able to talk through the contractions. My mom and I were still in denial that this was true labor, so we decided to wait before going to the hospital.

It was close to midnight and I couldn't go to sleep, so we loaded up and headed toward Presbyterian to ease our minds. That was the longest, bumpiest car ride ever. When my mom finally found the labor & delivery entrance, I asked her to pull up to the door and get me a wheelchair. Since she didn’t think I was in labor, she parked the car and we walked slowly into the hospital, stopping at least once on the way for a contraction. I didn't even pack anything just in case, because I just knew we'd be sent home. Wrong again! After spending about 20 minutes trying to change into the hospital gown, having contractions through the whole process, they finally checked me. I was already at a 7! I'll never forget the nurse saying, "You're going to have a baby tonight – you’re dilated to a 7!" I started crying, thinking about how George would miss his first child's birth and worried about how I would have to go through the delivery on my own. He was my labor coach – he had read Husband Coached Childbirth and we had practiced my relaxation techniques! What would I do without him? My mom came back into the room and I told her that I was going to have the baby that night and she started calling everyone to come to the hospital. George called his family and told them the baby was on his way.

My little sister, Jessica, arrived and we decided to let her stay in the delivery room. I labored from around 12:30-3:20 am with the help of my WONDERFUL labor & delivery nurse, Kelly. I concentrated as hard as I could on relaxing through each contraction and my nurse reminded me to breathe. She put me on the birthing ball for a while, which was torture. She said it felt good to some people to rock back and forth on the ball during contractions, but it just simply hurt. Instead of rocking my hips back and forth, I would rock my head from side to side and moan through the contractions. Mamaw and Stacy came in at some point during my labor, but I was in too much pain to talk. (Tracy was at the hospital too, but couldn’t come in because she was sick.) I kept thinking to myself, “What am I doing? I’m not going to be able to do this.” But then I remembered that George had told my mom she could not let me give in and get an epidural. I just kept thinking about George and how I needed to keep going for him and for the health of our baby.

George at the Kansas City airport.

The pain was unbelievable and didn't seem to stop at all for the last hour. The Bradley book talked about how there would always be a break between contractions, but I didn’t feel like I was getting a break at times. I knew that my doubts about being able to have a natural birth were an emotional signpost that it was almost over, and I kept moaning through the pain. They called in Dr. Griffith to break my water, and I was disappointed that my own doctor, Dr. Tillman, was not there to deliver my baby. My mom was happy though, because Dr. Griffith had been her doctor for a long time and he had assisted in the delivery of my niece, Riley. He came in at 3:20, broke my water, and I started pushing right away. Kelly, my mom, and Jessi cheered me on and reminded me to push as hard as I could. I felt light headed from holding my breath during this pushing phase, so Kelly gave me oxygen to breathe in-between contractions. The last contraction before Reese’s birth was the worst – they wouldn’t let me push that time.

The pushing phase lasted a short 20 minutes and a few screams later, Reese was born! They laid him on my stomach and I felt relieved as I touched his gooey little purple body for the first time. Mom cut his umbilical cord and Jessi handed me the phone so I could talk to George. She had him on the cell phone during the entire birth, so he was able to hear the whole thing. They thought Reese might only weigh in the 4 pound range, but he was 5 pounds 8 ounces and 17 ¾ inches long. They wheeled Reese to the nursery to monitor his breathing and body temperature. Jessi sat with me and we chatted until Kelly came back to check on me. My adrenaline was pumping and I felt great. I was up on my feet within the hour. No pain meds needed at all!

Kelly wheeled me up to my room and I thanked her for being such a great labor & delivery nurse. I had been really worried that I would get someone who would push for an epidural. She told me that she normally did not work that shift, and was pleased that she had been able to work with us that night. I knew the Lord had put her on that shift just for me.

Mom and I tried to nap while waiting on Reese. We had to wait about 3 hours, because it took a while for his body temperature to go back up. I think I only slept for 10 minutes during that time. I kept thinking about my sweet baby and wondered how much longer until I got to see him and George. I thanked God for his providence and sang Great is Thy Faithfulness in my head (my mom was still sleeping, so I couldn’t shout it out like I wanted) while watching the sun rise.

The nurses finally brought Reese to the room and George arrived at the hospital just a few minutes later. He brought Reese a Kansas City teddy bear as a keepsake and reminder of his crazy birth story. My mom left the room and George and I cried as we held our precious son together for the first time.

Father meets son

I hate Kansas City!

We don’t know why God chose for Reese to be born while George was out of town, but then again, we don’t really need to know why. We know He is sovereign and we trust in Him no matter what the circumstances. We are forever thankful for the blessing He has given us in Reese.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I <3 Goodwill

I have a new obsession. Just a few months ago I discovered the wonders of thrift stores. I kept seeing lots of pictures in blogland of wonderful things people were finding at thrift stores. Some of the items they repainted or repurposed, and other items were just fine left as is.

I decided to venture out to Goodwill and found myself wondering why I hadn't shopped there before. It was like a gigantic air conditioned garage sale. I was just plain giddy as I shopped up and down the aisles of candlesticks, pretty glass containers, and lamps galore.

Here's what I found on my first trip:

A silver candlestick, Smith & Hawken flowerpot,
a birdcage (to be painted black), and an ironstone pitcher.

Most items I've purchased at Goodwill are no more than $2 or $3, and when an item is not priced, they only charge me $.99!

My local Goodwill gets donations from Target, which means brand new items are sent to be resold there. I've seen new lampshades, clothes, curtains, furniture, bedding, etc. I just scored a brand new bamboo Roman shade for $7.99, which I had just been looking at online the day before for $25.99!

I'll show you what I've done with some of my other thrift store finds soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Off the Press

Reese's 1st birthday party is only 10 days away! Here's what his birthday invitations look like. I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. a few days ago finishing them.

The inside says:

He doesn't have a lot of hair,
But we don't really care.

He's our happy, fun, sweet little boy,
Who's brought us incredible joy.
We can't believe it's been almost a year,
And his special day is drawing near.
Reese Owen Deines is turning The Big 1!
We hope you'll join us for the birthday fun.

I can't wait to celebrate!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Jessica Sue

How is it possible that my baby sister is 18 today?

I love you, little sis.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


My little sister, Jessi, took a road trip to California to attend the Bamboozle music festival. After running out of gas and getting stopped by a cop twice, she and her friend finally made it to L.A.

She just called us and was watching one of our favorite bands, The Used. She also met Fall Out Boy yesterday. Oh, to be 17 (almost 18!) again.

Jessi with Fall Out Boy - Ashlee Simpson is married
to Pete Wentz, who's on the far left. She was
standing right behind them.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday and we were surprised when our pastor at church said that meant pretzels.


Each person at church went home with a pretzel, complete with a packet of salt and mustard. We are pretzel connoisseurs, but didn't know about the connection between Palm Sunday and pretzels.

Have you ever heard the story behind the pretzel? Here's what they told us:

The pretzel was invented by a German monk in 610 AD from scraps of dough. The monk used the pretzels as treats for children who learned their prayers and scripture lessons. The pretzel is shaped in the form of arms folded in prayer - in those days people did not pray by bowing their heads and folding their hands, but by crossing arms with each hand resting on the opposite shoulder. Later the pretzel was used as a convenient way to hand food to the poor, and it became a favorite form of alms for the hungry. The church adopted the practice of handing out pretzels in the streets on Palm Sunday as a commemoration of Christ entering the city of Jerusalem as King in order to bring gifts and blessings to the people of God. It is in this sense that we use the pretzel as a holiday food - Christ our King has come to bring us gifts and blessings - He is the answer to our prayers and the bread that fills and strengthens us.

Believe it or not, Sam's Club sells really good pretzels in their little cafe, but the best pretzels I've ever had are the pretzel sticks from Auntie Anne's. Yum-o!