Is he really 3 weeks old already?

Ayden is three weeks old today! I can't believe how quickly the past 3 weeks has gone by. I know, I know....."he'll be in Kindergarten before I know it". Don't even go there.....can't even think about that right now.

We have had 3 weeks of laughter, tears, frustration, worry, concern, sleeplessness, pride, amazement, awe, etc. It's been wonderful, and we're looking forward to the rest of his life. I was looking at Ayden the other night, and I finally had a light bulb moment. It took me 26 years, but it happened. I used to think my parents favored my sister over me. Being the oldest, I always felt like I was treated differently than my sister because I wasn't the baby. At times I felt like they loved her more, were more proud of her, you know....typical feelings of the oldest child. Well, when I was looking at Ayden, I realized that all of our "firsts" will be with him. A 2nd child will have his/her own "firsts", but they won't be the FIRST "firsts". With Ayden, we'll experience the first smile, laugh, tear, scraped knee, words, tooth, ....everything! At that moment, I felt what my parents must have felt when I was their first and only child (for about 17 months).

Ayden is a great baby. We had a week there where we were paranoid and I broke down blaming myself everytime he cried. We started him on Similac Advance Early Shield. Well, he seemed to get really fussy and we assumed it was gas because he was tooting up a storm! So, we switched him to the Sensitive formula hoping that might ease the "gas". The "gas" didn't change too much and then he started having fewer bowel movements and their color and consistency was changing (I know it's gross, but poop is a big deal with a baby!). Well, at that point, I broke down and decided it was all my fault because I had decided not to breast feed and was resolved that I was a horrible person. So, I tried breast feeding and pumping. That went okay, but he wasn't too thrilled with having to work so hard for food, and I wasn't getting much from pumping. I could have if I had devoted myself to it more, but I found it stressful and time-consuming. So, I decided we would switch him back to the Advance since he did at least have more bowel movements with it. Since switching, poop is back to normal and the "gas" pain seems to be colic because at other times he doesn't seem to have any problem letting his little toots go! So, we're figuring it all out, and my parents find it very humorous. I know we've been a little paranoid, but if we aren't paranoid over him, who will be!?

I've finally had a few days when it was just me and Ayden, and we survived! For the first 2 weeks or so, someone was with me every day. I loved it because I could take naps, take a shower, run errands....all without having to worry too much (I did call quite frequently when I would go out) about him. When it's just me and him, we're still okay....but I'm less likely to take a shower until Jeremy gets home because I'm still trying to work out the timing of it. We'll get there though....

We absolutely love being parents. Ayden is so precious, and he just lights up our world. He's started cooing a little (which is just adorable), but it's not REAL cooing....he doesn't know what he's doing when he does it, but it's still cute.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray for guidance and wisdom for us as parents. And also pray for Ayden's continued health. He's growing strong and eating very well! We're anticipating a lot of weight gain at his next appointment because he is a little piggy!!

Here are some recent pictures....

Ayden Brooks Jones - April 27, 2009

He's here! On my birthday, April 26th, Ayden decided he wanted to begin his journey into this world. I woke up around 3am feeling a lot of pressure accompanied by periodic back pain. Soon after waking up, I noticed the pain in my back getting sharper. I woke Jeremy up and and told him what I was feeling and told him I was going to time the pains. They were coming 8 minutes apart and had begun to radiate towards my abdomen. As time passed, the pains got stronger and stronger, so we decided to get dressed and pack up the car just in case we had to make a quick trip to the hospital. At around 8am, I called the OBGYN hotline and spoke with the midwife on call, Freida. She instructed me to take a hot shower and continue to monitor how often the pains/contractions were coming. After I hadn't called back in a while, she called me to check in. I told her the contractions were now coming about 6 minutes apart and that they were staying pretty regular. She had us meet her at the OBGYN office and she checked to see what kind of progress I had made. I was still 1cm and 50% effaced - but she called me a "loose one". She said she felt certain that in 12-24 hours we would see a baby :) She told us to just go home and wait until the contractions were causing me to huff and puff so much that I couldn't talk through them. So, we went home and actually decided, since it was my birthday, to continue with our plans to have family and our small group over for a get together. All the while, I'm sitting around with my stop watch, timing contractions and breathing through them. (bizzare to me still that I was in labor during my own birthday party). Once everyone left, we decided to try to go to bed. I told Jeremy I was going to take another shower to see if it would ease the pain. It had the opposite effect - once I got out of the shower I could barely stand, and the contractions had started coming 3-4 minutes apart. I laid down, which helped, but the pain was getting more intense. I decided to call in again and speak to the midwife on call - Deette. She told us to come in and get checked by the triage nurse. When Deette came to check in, I was 3 cm and she told me I could stay (yay!), and that we were having a baby!

We got into the LDRP room (the room where you labor, deliver, recover, and stay....and room in with baby) and they hooked me up to some pain medication. At this point, it was just a waiting game. Hours passed, and with each hour I dilated another cm. They decided to give me Pitocin at about 10am. At that point I was 6cm. By 3pm, I was ready to push. I did get an epidural, but it wore off on my left side twice. While I was pushing, I was feeling the pain - just on one side.

Once I started pushing, Deette seemed to think we'd have a baby by 4pm. My thought was, I can not push for an hour!! I looked at Jeremy and said - I'm not pushing that long - we're getting him out now! I pushed for 30 minutes...and out he came! :) Words can not express the elation I felt throughout the whole experience. It was nothing like I expected. Sure I felt pain, but nothing like I imagined. The pain was all negated by the anticipation of meeting this little miracle I had carried for the past 9 months. Birth is an amazing experience, and I feel fortunate to say that it's one that I will look back on as a wonderful experience. I was determined to remain positive and upbeat. The 36 hours of labor and waiting....all worth it once he was here. I will NEVER forget how it awesome it felt when he was here and lying on my chest....crying, grunting, and sighing away. :) I marvelled at God's creation and how intricatly he designed childbirth. The way the child just knows what to to descend....and how the mother is able to find the strength to push her child into this world. God is so amazing, and I'm so thankful that I was blessed enough to have this experience.

Ayden arrived at 3:36pm weighing in at 7lbs 14oz and he was 19 inches long. He has a head full of dark brown hair, and his eyes are a dark gray color. He looks like me in his face, but he has Jeremy's hands, feet, and torso. I was already in love with him from the beginning, but once I held him in my arms, I felt a love like I never believed could be felt. He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and he's all ours!

Jeremy was great throughout the entire process. He was there for me through the epidural (which wasn't bad at all), and he played an active role in the delivery. I was afraid he would be a little freaked out, but he just kept saying how amazing it much of a miracle childbirth is....he was just in awe throughout all of it. He kept me calm and reassured me afterwards when they had to take care of me and my repair. I did have to receive some extensive repair, and if Jeremy hadn't been so calm about it, I probably would have been very afraid. Apparently, I lost a lot of blood and had a really deep tear - one that isn't as common as most. He kept his cool though and talked me through the whole process. Dr. Bayne had to come in to take care of that because Deette (my midwife) didn't feel comfortable handling it. They were great. They walked me through what was going on and how it had happened. We discussed education, autism, children's names, and just kept it casual. If they hadn't done that, I probably would have been really worried. By the end of all this, an hour or so had passed. I told Jeremy he needed to tell everyone that Ayden was here and that I was okay. Soon afterwards, a flood of people came in to see us. Surprisingly, I was still full of energy...requesting goooood food for supper. :) Ayden was calm and content, receiving a lot of love from friends and family.

It's hard to believe that I gave birth on Monday! I still feel my belly and expect to feel him there. I have to remind myself that he's not there anymore - that he's really real and finally here with us. He is an absolute blessing and the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. When he looks at me, I just melt. I can't help but cry when I look at him sometimes. He is proof of living miracles and God's immense love. And to imagine...God loves us more that I could ever love Ayden. That's a depth of love that goes way past my understanding....

Well, I'll leave everyone with a few pictures. We're doing well and adjusting to life as parents. We're loving it!

Me before the labor got too intense....A new family - full of love

Brand new - Mommy's in love already!

Such a good baby :)