Friday, August 31, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Well, the 2012-2013 school year is off to a great start!  I had the pleasure of actually enjoying being a mommy today and *walking* my big kindergartner to her classroom.  All thanks to sweet Harper Shea!  When we first found out we were pregnant, realizing we would have an August due date was not ideal for a teacher.  But as the days and months passed, I quickly realized that God has everything under control...and that Harper's due date was actually a huge blessing!  Because of her arrival date, I am not beginning the school year.  I won't return until October.  And because of that, I got to play the mommy role this morning rather than standing at my classroom door, greeting my new first graders.  And while I know I'm missing out on getting to know my first graders, I wouldn't trade it for the world!  

Hallie was excited all weekend...she wanted to make sure that I had her clothes ready for her.  Ha!  Last night, she picked out what she wanted to wear, and we put it out.  She woke up quickly and easily this morning, ready for what her day would hold!  She was extremely excited about starting kindergarten!

Getting ready to head to school!


Hallie and her super sweet teacher, Mrs. Smajstrla (Smy-stra-la). :o)

Getting her name tag with a little help from Miss Barbaro--a Baylor intern who'll spend the year learning about first grade!

Getting ready to decorate her t-shirt. :o)

And this is who I spent the rest of my day with.  I will so enjoy the next few weeks with her! :o)

You've Come a Long Way...

I'm talking hospital pictures.  I wish I could share a picture of Hallie's hospital pictures...but I don't even know where they are (I know...I should be ashamed).  The thing is, they were horrible.  And expensive.  So we decided that we weren't going to get any hospital pictures for Harper.  Then we decided that we had gotten Hallie's, so we should at least get one of Harper's.  And then we saw them...and couldn't say no.  Honestly, they are really sweet.  And there wasn't a little "bed" with the camera overhead this go around.  The pictures are definitely more natural.  I was fairly impressed. sweet momma got the hospital pictures...pretty sure she got Hallie's, too.  So now we have some pretty sweet pictures of a cute little munchkin. :o)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Week Old!

Week One

Her birth was so fast the picture is blurry! Ha!

I love the look on Jonathan's face.  So proud.

One proud big sister!

My three loves.

RahRah, Harper, & Hallie

Nonna and her Texas girls.

Grampsy & Harper

RahRah & Harper

Cutie pie!

Somebody is in Mommy's bed!  Ha!

Hallie is becoming quite the photographer. :o)

Getting ready to go home soon!

The Echols Family of Four!

Mommy & her girls!

Going home!

First night at home...don't let this precious, sleeping, angelic face fool you.  Those eyes weren't closed for long throughout that first night!

Hallie opening her "Big Sister" present!

Hallie's first James Avery charm--"Big Sister"!

Pop & Harper

Monday, August 6, 2012

Baby Timeline

Harper really did make a quick entrance into the world.  From the beginning, I wasn't so sure about the actual estimated due date for Harper.  According to my LMP, it would have been August 10.  Then according to the first sonogram measurement, it was August 18.  Then according to another measurement it was August 17--which is the date we "stuck" with.  And alas, according to my gender reveal sonogram, she measured August 10.  So...I just never really knew.  In my heart, I didn't think she'd wait until August 17.  With Hallie, her due date was March 5.  And I absolutely thought she would make it to March 5.  And she almost did, but due to signs of pre-eclampsia, I was induced with Hallie.  With Harper, I just knew it would be closer to the beginning of August rather than mid-August.  As one of my friends mentioned, maybe...just maybe...Harper knew that I am not a fan of double digit birthdays.  Ha!  Rather, the truth is if a birthday is after the 15th, chances are I'm going to have a *really* hard time remembering the date.  Now, I'm pretty sure I'd remember my own daughter's birthday...but still. :o)

What happens next is rather lengthy, but I'd like to have it for my records. can read it or skip on to the next post that promises to be filled with pictures. :o)

On to the timeline...
July 31--I began weekly OB/GYN appointments.  I was dilated 1 cm and 60% effaced..
August 1--Around 2:30 am, I felt a little gush of fluids.  I immediately got up and told Jonathan that I thought my water had broken.  I had been having some mild contractions, but he (and I was, too) was convinced that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions as I wasn't due until the 17th.  We agreed that I'd call the doctor as soon as they opened the next morning.  Jonathan drifted back to sleep.  I, on the other hand, couldn't sleep.  Instead, I got up and made sure everything I needed for the hospital was in my bag.  I then cleaned the kitchen and did three loads of laundry.  I settled back into bed around 5 am just to rest a little before getting up and getting ready to call the doctor and then go to a staff development training.  At 6 am, I went to Chick-fil-A to show my support and get a yummy breakfast.  However, I was so nervous that I hardly ate anything.
8:00 am--I called Dr. Koeritz and they had me come in to be checked (side note:  I *just* had an appointment the day before!).  I left home and picked up another teacher and took her to the staff development.  I figured if my water hadn't broken, I would head back to the training and needed to know where it was.
8:30 am--I see Dr. Koeritz.  He checks me and makes sure everything is still in tact--it is.  I had been having some sporadic contractions, but they hadn't done much for progress.  I was dilated to 2 cm and he "gave" me an extra 5% for effacement from the day before.  In other words, I hadn't made much progress since "yesterday".  He picks up Harper's head just to make sure there is no fluid leaking.  There isn't.  He said toward the end there's just lots of fluids coming from all sorts of places.  Oh, fun.  Ha!  So I head off to the staff development.
9:00 am--I sit through 6 hours of training...all the while, having contractions.  They were about 10 minutes apart throughout the day.  Oh yeah...and I realized that the training I had signed up for was actually August 2, not the first!  But thankfully it was the same training and I'll get credit for it. :o)
11:30 am--We head to lunch.  I'm quite grumpy.  And nothing tastes good. The Coke didn't even taste like Coke.
1:00 pm--Back to the training...and more contractions.  More fluid is "leaking".  Contractions are getting tougher to work through.
3:30 pm--The training is over.  I'm still working through contractions--they are about 7 to 8 minutes apart.  I take my teacher pal home and then went home to lie down on the couch.
5:00 pm--I called Jonathan and told him that I was in a lot of pain, but I thought I would still try to meet his parents (and Hallie--she was with them) at Chick-fil-A.  However, on the way there, I decided against it.  Now, if you know me, you know that I really must not have felt great to turn down Chick-fil-A.
5:30 pm--The pain is almost unbearable.  I'm timing my contractions and they are rather sporadic, but extremely painful.  They are anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds on average.  Now, Jonathan nor myself really thought I was actually in labor at this point.  I just continued to rest on the couch and tried to catch a few snoozes in between the contractions.
7:30 pm--More contractions.  Closer together.  We were both a little confused as my contractions didn't meet the textbook standard of what contractions should be.  They weren't 5 minutes apart.  They didn't start in my back and work their way to the front.  Stupid textbooks.  Ha!  The contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and then 4-5 minutes apart.  They lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to 50 seconds.  And they were miserable.  Miserable.
8:30 pm--I told Jonathan that we needed to head to the hospital...either I was in labor or something was seriously wrong.
9:00 pm--After driving over every pothole in Waco, we pulled into the Women's and Children's Center at Hillcrest.  Everything else is a whirlwind.
*Admissions--despite pre-registering THE DAY BEFORE (wow!), we still had to sit in the little admissions office for at least 15 minutes (but what seemed like 3 hours) to check in.  All the while, I'm wailing (I mean WAILING) every 2-3 minutes.  I don't think I have ever been in so much pain in my life.
9:30 pm--We headed to Triage 3.  How I remember that, I have no idea. :o)  I had some fabulous nurses helping me breathe through every contraction despite the fact that I simply wanted to hold my breath.  Why is it better to breathe rather than hold your breath?  Who knows...but I do think the whole breathing thing made the contractions go by faster.  Here I was checked--4 cm dilated, and 90+% effaced.

Now, I'm not really sure about times at this point.  Shortly after being in Triage, I headed to a Labor & Delivery room.

10:30 pm--The lovely "epidural man" came to see me.  It wasn't long after he came in that I had the epidural.  Hooray!  I had two contractions while he was inserting the port.  Talk about being nervous!  Again, my wonderful nurses helped me through it.  Thankfully the epidural kicked in rather quickly. :o)  The nurse checked me again and I was 6 cm dilated and 100% effaced.  Wow!  This was really happening!

11:00 pm--They called the on-call doctor (it wasn't Dr. Koeritz...sad) and he said he was about 30 minutes away.  Oh boy...rather, oh girl. :o)

11:15 pm--I was checked again and was a 9+ and ready to go.

11:30 pm--I told the nurses that I was feeling *a lot* of they checked me again and I was a 10!  They called the doctor again and said that I was ready to go.

At this point, the nurses had me turn on my right side and held my legs together--yes, held my legs together--so I wouldn't feel the urge to push...I was seriously feeling the urge to push!

11:45 pm--Dr. Rister walks in ready to deliver a baby.  He was very laid back.  I was having a contraction--I could feel it on the left side b/c I had been on my right side.  So the numbing wasn't as effective on my left side.  Oh well.  As I was having a contraction, Dr. Rister simply said, "You can push now."  Oh my word.  I wasn't quite sure I was ready to have a baby yet!  Lots of things were going through my head, but all I could hear were the nurses counting to 10.

11:50 pm--I pushed through four contractions.  Four.

August 2, 12:06 am--Harper Shea Echols sweetly came into the world!

And that's the story.  She was awfully quiet as Dr. Rister suctioned her and I was getting a little worried.  Again, cool as a cucumber, he said, "She's fine!" :o)

Harper was held up to me...I gave her some kisses...and then she was whisked away because she was having a little issue with her breathing.  Seems she wasn't in the birth canal long enough to have everything squeezed out of her.  Thankfully, she was/is just fine. :o)

Coming next...picture overload.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Harper is here!

Harper made her rather quick entrance into the world!

August 2 @ 12:06 am
6 lbs 15 oz, 21 1/2 in

We are in love! We cannot wait for Hallie to meet her little sister!

We are so blessed and thankful!