Thursday, February 28, 2013

London Elise's Birth Story

At the beginning, at least, London's arrival was as different from Connor's as possible.  With Connor's birth (which you can read about here), my water broke unexpectedly three weeks early, and I had to deliver Connor in Louisville at a hospital I had never visited with a doctor I had never met.  In that regard, Connor's birth was definitely exciting and eventful, but there was also an element of disappointment and stress, at least at first.  However, by the end, all was well, we had a healthy, precious boy, and three and a half years later, we now have his sister's story to tell.

I suppose that a part of me just assumed that since I went three weeks early with Connor that the same thing would happen with London.  However, Dr. Crosslin informed me that the likelihood of my water breaking again in that same scenario was not probable, I was actually a bit nervous, because I never really knew what it was like to be in labor on my own.  With Connor, my water broke but I had no contractions until they gave me pitocin.

At one of my earlier appointments, probably 36 weeks or so, Dr. Crosslin assured me that if I was uncomfortable and wanted to, we could induce as early as 39 weeks.  By our 38 week appointment I was 2 cm. dilated and 80% effaced, but not having many contractions.  So it was decided that since Dr. Crosslin was on call the next Wednesday, if I didn't go into labor on my own by then, we would show up at the hospital that morning to be induced.

It wasn't until we got into the car after the appointment that Jason and I even thought to see what our daughter's birthday would be: we had only talked in terms of the day of the week.  Jason turned to me and said, "That's February 20th."  While that date may not mean much to many people, to Jason and me it is one of the most important days of each of our lives.  It was the fateful day in 2000 that a 19 year-old Jason Scott came to preach for the first time ever at my home church, Ono Community, where we met for the first time, and without that meeting we wouldn't be having precious London on that very day.  I, of course, ever the emotional one, cried, but even though he didn't tear up, I knew the day was special to Jason as well, and it just solidified how right the induction felt for that day.

By Tuesday I was tired and ready to meet London, especially after attending a meeting all day at school, while running back to each class to give them my goodbyes (the only downside of maternity leave is that I truly will miss my students for these next few weeks -- they are a joy to teach), and despite thinking that I would be too nervous to sleep, I did manage a few hours before 4 a.m. arrived.

We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 5:30 CDT, and we arrived right at that time.  I assumed that it would be a slow process, but to my amazement, within 10 minutes, I was in a lovely hospital gown, hooked up to monitors, and getting an iv.  During that process the nurses and I discovered that I have great veins, which tend to gush quite a bit of blood, which Jason loved (He is super squeamish about blood.).

I was also surprised by how quickly they broke my water.  Dr. Crosslin came in not too long after I got my iv, and before I knew what was going on, he had broken my water.  Since last time around my water had broken on its own, it was a different experience, but not as terrible as I had expected it to be.

After getting all of his electronic devices out and ready (camera, video camera, laptop, iPod, phone), Jason headed to get some coffee and they got me started on pitocin.  I was at that point dilated a bit more to 3 cm., but I hoped I would make progress quickly once the pitocin kicked in.


It took several minutes, but I definitely started feeling some intense contractions, and by 10 a.m. I was ready for an epidural, which didn't actually happen until 11, at which point I was more uncomfortable than I have probably ever been in my life.  I suppose God allows you to forget how terrible contractions feel, which is good, because at that point I wasn't sure how much more I could handle.

I had the best nurse who brought ice, talked about her grandchildren, and made me feel so at ease.  The anesthesiologist was also fantastic, and she even gave me the best compliment of the day, saying that I had the best spine she'd ever seen to give an epidural on...listen, I will take kind words, even about my spine, whenever I can get them.  :)

After about 15 minutes, the epidural really kicked in, and I could finally relax.  By about 1 p.m., they checked me again, and I was dilated to 6 cm.  By almost 3 p.m. I was dilated to 10, and the nurse went to get Dr. Crosslin so he could deliver London.

I'm not sure how to describe it, but once Dr. Crosslin was in the room my nervousness went away and I was at ease.  With Connor, there was never a rapport with the doctor, but this time around we talked, joked (I love Dr. Crosslin's sarcasm.), and had as good a time as one can during labor.  I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Crosslin.  I have never had a doctor like him before, and I am honored that he delivered London.

Back to the story -- Dr. Crosslin got prepped and the nurse and Jason helped me since with the epidural I could no longer feel or move the lower half of my body (which sounds bizarre but was much better than the contractions I was feeling before).  By 3 p.m. I was ready to push.

With Connor, I pushed twice during one contraction and he was born, so I (again) assumed this time around would be just the same.  However, with London, I pushed through 4 contractions, and by 3:06 she was born.  I believe that part of the reason I pushed longer with London is because when she came out, the cord, which Dr. Crosslin discovered had been wrapped around her neck once, broke (Jason wasn't disappointed and hadn't planned to 'cut the cord' anyway), and while it may not be the case, I feel like maybe the fact that the cord was wrapped and had less slack may have caused me to have to push just a few minutes longer than with Connor.  However, all in all, it was still a very easy labor, at least as easy as birthing a baby can be, and I was grateful at that moment for my wide hips.  :)

Just as with Connor, from the moment I saw her, I was in love.  She was content on my chest, looking around with her huge, wide eyes (just like her brother's) and ALL THAT HAIR, which we were not expecting.

After a few small stitches, some more conversation with Dr. Crosslin, a small incident where I threw up after being moved to a sitting position and then laying back down (I threw up soon after delivering Connor as well...I think that's just my body's way of dealing.), I was able to hold London for nearly an hour before they took her to the nursery to be bathed, weighed, and measured.

During that time, my parents, Linds, my grandparents, Gran, Bro. Jim (who said the most precious blessing over London -- Thank you, Bro. Jim!), and most importantly, Connor, were able to visit with us just shortly after her birth.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by people who love us (although we missed Jason's parents and wished they could have been there), and to see Connor's sweet reaction to his sister (You can see lots of photos from her birth in this post.).

Overall, it was another easy delivery, and while I was sore and tired and numb afterward, I could not feel anything but blessed when they brought London back to us from the nursery.

So far at home she has been such a good baby, really only crying when she's hungry, and during one specific time in the evening when she gets a little fussy and restless.  She has been eating and sleeping well, and I am anxious to see if she has gained any weight at her first appointment tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, has visited, brought food (Jason's parents and my amazing mom in particular), or thought of us during this transition.  It means so much to have family, friends, and a community of support who lift us up even more than we thought we needed.  We are slowly becoming accustomed to how to give Connor enough attention while teaching him that he has to share the spotlight, but he is so sweet with her, and even when he is frustrated, it is never at her, but at the fact that he has to wait for something or share our attention, which is completely understandable.

Please continue to pray as we adjust to a new routine, for Connor as a big brother, and that we will raise both Connor and London to be open to the Holy Spirit in their lives, and that they will grow up to be a strong man and woman of God.  Pray that we can give them the example they need.

I must also add that I didn't know that it was possible to love Jason Scott Davidson more than I already did. He is one of the most admirable, thoughtful, romantic, sensitive, intelligent, and funny men in the world, but to see him as a father now to two of our children melts my heart beyond belief.  He has helped me so much and shown me more tenderness than I deserve.  He makes me feel like Superwoman, and I am the most blessed woman to be his wife.  Sorry if I'm getting too mushy, but I want to be able to remind myself on the days when we are busy or things get hard or stressful that I am blessed, because I truly am.

Again, we covet your prayers during this new stage of our lives, and we feel so very blessed to have another precious life to add to our family.


London Elise Davidson
3:06 p.m. EDT
7 lbs., 3 3/4 ounces
19 inches long
photo by Lindsay Williams

photo by Lindsay Williams

photo by Lindsay Williams

Thanks, Lindsay, for coming to visit and snapping these photos!  Love you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

London Elise -- Birth Day in Photos

I hope to write down her birth story soon, so I don't forget the day, but for now, here are some pictures from yesterday:
































Tuesday, February 19, 2013

39 Weeks

How far along? 39 weeks, 0 days

How big is baby?  approximately 7.5 lbs., according to my What to Expect app.

Total weight gain/loss: +0 lbs. in the last week; +15  lbs. total

Maternity clothes? Most all of the time, except for dresses.

Stretch marks: Yes.

Sleep: Up several times during the night.

Best moment this week: Hearing Connor tell all of his friends at daycare this afternoon that he was going to be a big brother, with a huge smile on his face.  We have such a sweet boy.

Movement:  Lots of movement, as usual.

Food cravings: I still want sweets and fruit right now, but I still feel full most of the day.

Food Aversions: Spaghetti

Gender: girl

Labor Signs: I have not had a doctor visit this week, so I'm not sure if I've made any progress, but at the very least I should still be 2 cm. dilated.

Symptoms: lack of sleeping, discomfort, aching joints

Belly Button in or out? It is pretty much even now, leaning toward an outie.

What I miss: sleep, which obviously won't get better any time soon  :)

What I am looking forward to: my nervous energy being gone and just having our baby here and dealing with the changes/challenges/joys of expanding our family

Upcoming appointments/events: The big day -- tomorrow!  We are set to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. (CDT) tomorrow morning for me to be induced.

Weekly Wisdom: I keep reminding myself, as my nerves get the better of me, that God is in control, and everything will work out according to His will.  Any prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Week 39 belly pic:

and I had to take one last photo of Connor on his last day as on only child:

Please remember us in prayer tomorrow as our family expands!  We love you all!

Friday, February 15, 2013

38 Weeks

How far along? 38weeks, 3 days

How big is baby?  approximately 7 lbs., according to my What to Expect app.

Total weight gain/loss: +2 lbs. in the last week; +15  lbs. total

Maternity clothes? Most all of the time, except for dresses.

Stretch marks: Yes.

Sleep: Up several times during the night.

Best moment this week: The wonderful, sweet, small "sprinkles" put together by both my mom and sis on Sat., and another "sprinkle" for three of us teachers who are all having girls on Tuesday.  You can see lots of photos from last Saturday here, and I have some photos from Tuesday at the bottom of this post. 

Movement:  Lots of movement this week.

Food cravings: I still want sweets and fruit right now, but I still feel full most of the day.

Food Aversions: Spaghetti

Gender: girl

Labor Signs: I am still 2 cm. dilated, 80% effaced (which is a bit more than last week), and there are off and on contractions.

Symptoms: lack of sleeping, discomfort in general, bizarre dreams (I keep dreaming we are having a boy!)

Belly Button in or out? It is pretty much even now.

What I miss: sleeping on my stomach, sleeping well

What I am looking forward to: We've been given some adorable outfits and accessories, and I can't wait to put them on our sweet girl! :)  (Although I keep dreaming that she's a boy....) 

Upcoming appointments/events: In the event that I don't go into labor on my own, we have set a date with Dr. Crosslin for inducing me, which I'll share soon.  :)  So excited!

Weekly Wisdom: My wisdom this week is to spend as much time with Connor in his last little bit of time as an only child.  I know things are about to change drastically, and I don't want to miss a single second with him.

Since Connor was born at 37 weeks, I don't have a comparison photo, but here's what I'm looking like at 38 weeks:


Here are a few photos from our joint "sprinkle" for Davene, Michelle, and me this week at school.  Thanks to all of our fellow teachers for such an outpouring of support and love.





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Celebrating London

In my 37 week post, I included some photos from a surprise shower Jason's colleagues threw for us last week.  This weekend, my mom and sister had just a few of my dearest friends over to help celebrate London's arrival with amazing food, adorable (pink) decor, and the sweetest gifts.

I was again overwhelmed with the people who consistently show us how much they love and support us, including my mom and sis who put in a TON of work, and my sweet friends and family who came.  I can easily say that I have the very best people in my life.  They make me laugh, cry, and think; they make me become someone better than I am on my own, and having several of them together at the same time was extra special.  It was easily one of my favorite days in recent memory.

Veronica and Gran with precious baby Laura

London's first personalized burp cloths from Teresa and Lindsay.
Is this not the cutest outfit ever?  Thanks, Teresa and Linds! 
One of my favorite photos Lindsay took for us...and the frame matches her room perfectly!
More goodies from Lindsay
Of course my pharmacist friend would think to stock us up in medicine (and TONS of cute outfits)!  Thanks, Elizabeth!
Carrie-Nell and baby Laura came all the way from Richmond to celebrate (and brought us the CUTEST Matilda Jane top--among other things).

Thanks again to all the friends and family who made me even more excited to meet our new addition, and who I am so proud to say will be able to look up to such wonderful, Godly, smart, fun women!