Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hospital Photos

We had Brody at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital about 10 minutes down the road from us (hooray for a short drive to the hospital!). We were thoroughly impressed with the hospital and really recommend it!

Because labor came fast and furious, we parked the car in the front of the hospital with all our bags and hurried in. So we didn't have our camera with us at the birth. Thank God for smart phones! After Brody and I were had settled in, Jon ran to park the car and get our camera. Here is the first shot we got of him!

Brennan came and visited the next morning. He ran in, saw Brody in the little clear crib and said, "aww, he's cute!".

I wasn't sure how it was going to be in the hospital this time around because the day after Brennan's birth, we had a mini party in our room with almost all of our family! I was worried we'd feel lonely without any family there. But, let me tell you, we have a surrogate family down here with our pretty amazing friends. I was overwhelmed and grateful by all the visitors and food and gifts and love our friends poured on us. I'm still kind of blown away by it when I think of how God provided.

The Emerts meeting Brody

Dane and Melissa (who gave birth the following Saturday to baby Evelyn!)

Cydney, who sooo blessed us by watching Brennan while we were in the hospital. She's amazing.

Someone needs to be nursed. So glad I had a second to look back at the photos of us in the hospital and remember how grateful we are!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brody's Birth Story

Caveat: I don't want to forget Brody's birth, so this post is for me. If you're a male, or get grossed out easily, or whatever, you probably want to skip this one. Sorry for the length, I don't wanna forget the details!

At 6:30 am on February 8th, I rolled over in bed and my water leaked just a little bit. It was definitely amniotic fluid and it was probably a cups worth. I woke Jon and told him what had happened. He decided to hurry up and get into work because he had a stage design he needed to finish! We decided not to get excited or tell anyone because with Brennan, my water sprung a leak but labor never started (on it's own). So we started the day and went on as usual!

I started right away having contractions, but they were totaly do-able and sporadic- every 5 minutes to every 15 minutes. I had been having braxton hicks contractions for a month that were pretty consistent, so I still kept my hopes in check. My constant braxton hicks actually landed me in the hospital about six weeks ago, but it was determined to be braxton hicks and I was fine. So Wednesday morning, I decided to stay home from Bible study because I wasn't sure what was going on and it felt like the right decision. Brennan and I putts around the house all day- me doing occasional squatting (thank you Bradley classes!), and constantly going pee and tracking my contractions. It was weird, like every contraction made me have to pee.

Around 4:00, I was just ready for the day to be done and I texted Jon and asked him to make sure he came home on time. He got home around 5:00 and we sat on the playroom floor talking. I told him I still wasn't sure this was it and at that point, it had been like 20 minutes since my last contraction. Then around 5:30, Jon and Brennan were wrestling in the living room and I was on the couch and I had a pretty painful contraction. I went pee about 5:45, stood up (at the same time Jon walked in to ask me a question), and my water truly broke. We both kind of looked at each other like, "holy cow, this is it!". I was grateful it broke over the toilet, but come to find out later, that didn't really matter. ha!

Jon called our babysitter for Brennan and told her, "this is not a drill, come over!". As soon as my water broke, I was in labor, like, holy cow, this hurts, labor. I stood over the toilet having contraction upon contraction and cried. About 15 minutes later, Brennan was picked up and we left for the hospital. I was leaking water like crazy, had already changed outfits twice and leaked through two towels on the way to the hospital (about 10 minutes away). For some reason, it felt really good to cry, so I did. I was a hurtin'. When we pulled up to the hospital, I started having contractions super close together. I tell you what, that ride through the hospital to labor and delivery was crazy. I was embarrassed that so much water was coming out of me and part of my brain was embarrassed because I was wearing purple socks, brown shoes and black capri yoga pants. I was in super pain, yet still aware that I was a bawling weirdo going through the hospital. tehehe

Jon wheeled me to the nurses station and we got bombarded with questions like, "do you need to push?" or "do you feel pressure?". I didn't answer one question. I just sobbed big heavy sobs that made me feel better. One nurse asked me, "whats the matter, honey?" and I distinctly remember Jon replying, "uhhh, she's in labor." HA!

Jon told them my contractions were about every 3 minutes and they sent us straight to a delivery room, skipping triage. The doctor checked me and I was 9.5 cm dialated, pretty much fully dialated. I think I told the Dr. that I loved her when she said that. No joke. I believe I hit transition in the bathroom and car ride.

The nurse told me I could push, but I told her I didn't feel pressure down there and didn't feel like pushing. I was afraid of the pain. So I labored on. I had really bad back labor, and poor Jon had to put counter pressure on my back the entire time. I think we got to the hospital at 6:15 and Brody was born at 8:29. But that 1.5 hours was TERRIBLE. Not gonna lie. Thank God we had a really great nurse because our midwife didn't make it in time and the dr. on duty was not used to natural childbirth. She was no help. :)

The nurse realized that my back was killing me (I wasn't aware enough to even realize that), and she had me get on my hands and knees. Turns out, Brody was posterior (sunny side up). So had I started pushing earlier, it probably would've taken a while to get him out. Thankfully, getting on my hands and knees rotated him the right way. When I turned back around, I kind of squatted a little, I'm not sure why, it was just a position that felt better. The nurse told me that pushing might help with the pain and I was finally feeling pressure down there, so I pushed once, HARD, and his head came out. :) And she was right, pushing was not the painful part, it actually was a relief. And get this- the doctor was not prepared for him to come out that fast, she was texting on her phone in the corner of the room. And the bed wasn't torn down. So they all yelled at me to stop pushing, the doctor got in position, and I pushed him out the rest of the way in one more push. And then, it was over. :)

You guys, God was gracious to us. My water could have sprung a leak that morning and I could have not gone into labor on my own. But I did. I didn't have to have pitocin. Thank you Jesus. And mentally, it was totally doable, especially knowing I was already fully dialated when I got to the hospital. So natural labor was just the "natural" thing for me, I didn't even think about pain medication. And Brody was healthy. He never once had a high blood sugar reading. He even came out with a knot in his cord (because I had so much fluid, he could swim around a lot more and that's how he caused the knot, one of the things they were worried about). But the knot didn't kink and he was fine!

After Brody was cleaned up and nursed (yay!!!), we called the parentals and shared the news. We didn't even know this, but one of my dear friends, Lynne, was in the waiting room praying for us while I was in labor. Jon went and got her and it was such a blessing to me to have her there for her support and love. She ran out and bought us Sonic since we hadn't had dinner and I had a chocolate shake that I had been longing for since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

I am so glad I stayed home as long as we did, and that I was able to labor at home where I was comfortable and able to move around and distract myself. If I could give any tip, it'd be that, stay home as long as possible!!

Here's a photo of him just minutes after birth- you can totally see how bruised his face his from being posterior.

I was so relieved that it was over, and happy I was able to do it naturally, and estatic that I was no labor pregnant, that I couldn't even sleep that night! I was up the whole night with a big smile on my face. We had such a good stay in the hospital, we joked that it felt like a mini vacation. Friends came and visited, we ate food people brought to us, and hung out with the Brodster. I kind of didn't want to go home. :)

Anways, Jon is telling me this is too long so I need to wrap this puppy up. If you lasted this long, congratulations! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Brody is here!!

Stats: Brody O'Neill Ackerman
7 lbs 11 oz.
21 in long
Born at 8:29, Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
Cuter than you can even imagine.

I haven't had the chance to take the photos off of our camera, so hopefully I can do that soon and get some good photos of him on here. But to put it concisely, he's a doll. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but so far, he's amazing. He sleeps like a rock star, eats like a champ, likes to cuddle, smiled (for real smiled) at 6 days old, and only cries when hungry or getting his diaper changed. I feel like this is my first time being a mom because it's so different from Brennan and for the first time, I'm really bonding with my newborn and loving being a mom to a baby. I cherish him so much, even in the middle of the night, I cuddle and love on him. With Brennan, I felt like I was in a fog, was constantly tired, and would've handed him to the first person who showed up at the door. With Brody, I would rather sit and cuddle with him than do anything else. Anything.

All that to say, we are grateful to God. Grateful for a good delivery, grateful that my water broke and I went into labor (instead of last time), grateful he's a good nurser, grateful I am healing well, and grateful that I'm no longer pregnant! Woohoo!! Those last 3 weeks were a doozy. I hope to tell the birth story soon, especially so I don't forget any of it!

Prayer works. And this delivery and recovery was covered in prayer and for that I am thankful. Thank you guys!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Recap And a Thank You

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post (especially you, Cathi, YOU COMMENTED!!! :) We've tried a lot of those ideas already (using a timer, or an alarm clock, etc.) We're going to just keep experimenting and see what works. I do so cherish that alone time, so there will be SOME form of quiet time in his own room by himself. Even if it requires wailing and gnashing of teeth to get there. B isn't a compliant kid, but he isn't strong willed either, he's right in the middle. So we'll see! I'll try to remember to give a nap time up date in a few months to let y'all know what worked.

Friday morning, we drove to Corsicana, TX to visit friends of ours who recently moved out there for a new job. We know what it's like to move to a new city and to be away from friends and family. We just wanted to hang out and encourage them. We had a great time! Ate some pizza hut, watched the boys play, walked around downtown Corsicana (yes, there is a downtown :) and hung out. Here is Will and Brennan at a little park they had:

We came back Saturday after lunch, stopped at HEB for some groceries, ran home and I took off for a girls night with our life group at The Met. We went to Sam Moon, a sweeeeet jewelry/purse/shoe store in The Woodlands (Mom and Mom A, we're totally going to go there when you come visit). Then out to dinner and some window shopping at Market Street. It was a blessing to get in some girl time before la bebe arrives.

It's now bright and early Sunday morning and after church today, we have 45 tech art volunteers and families coming over to our place for lunch. Where are those 45 people going to sit? I have no idea. This shall be interesting. :) I have a house to clean, clothes to unpack, and chili to cook, so I guess that means I need to get off this thing. Just wanted to thank you all for your comments!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I need your advice!

I kind of really hate it when people give out advice online. When it's not asked for. However, I'm asking!! So if you're a mom or dad, please respond! Here it is:

-What age did your child stop napping?
-How did you deal with the transition? (i.e. they stop napping yet are exhausted by 6pm)
-Did you continue to enforce "room time"?

Here's the scoop: Brennan will be 3 next month. I understand that 3 is an age a lot of kids stop napping. I also understand that each child is so different. Some kiddos (myself included) neeeed lots of sleep. I would come home from kindergarten and ask to take a nap (understand why having a newborn is hard for me? :) Some kiddos don't need much sleep at all. So there is no stead fast rule. I get that. I also understand that each parent has a different parenting style. Some of us are a little bit more laid back than others. Jon and I are figuring out our own parenting style and that's okay. Just wondering what your babies did, how you dealt with it, etc. And please word it in a kind way, if anyone's comment's sound as if "this is the only way to parent", I shall delete it. mmmkay? :) Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Two first time parents who are fighting the nap time fight.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Jon had all of last week off. It was so wonderful. We were both in the "get stuff done" mode and really feel like we accomplished a lot! Since moving from our house in Lansing, to an apartment, to a rental, to our new house, things got a little disorganized. To say the least. And it takes time to make a house your HOME, which I have to keep reminding myself. So having some time off together and possibly nesting for little babes arrival, it was a great time to ORGANIZE! And now I'm kind of addicted to organizing things. It feels so good to have a place for everything! And also, side note, I love the Container Store.

First off, we were putting all our shoes on the floor of the laundry room. Which created clutter, and meant you had to walk through shoes to get to the washing machine, it's not a large room. So my amazing hubby made a bench that I posted a while ago, and the plan was to put our shoes in the bottom of it. So I looked around and actually The Container Store had cheaper bins than other places. I wanted wicker, or something more solid than canvas bins because I knew they'd get dirty and kind of beat up with shoes inside. I bought some sweet wicker baskets, but unfortunately, when Jon made the bench, one of the cubby holes is about .25 of an inch less than 12 inches, so one of the baskets didn't fit. But we went back and ended up with this solution:

Here's the link to the baskets we bought. They are bendable enough to fit into the space and durable enough to hold our shoes.

We also have a fairly small pantry in our new house. I just pulled out all our bottles and bibs and such and realized we needed more storage space in the kitchen. We went to Walmart the day after Christmas to get new tires on our car and had a ball looking at post Christmas clearance deals. We found a great pantry system (not on sale, unfortunately) and decided to try it out. It worked great and freed up a lot of space in our pantry for bottles and baby supplies. I'm hoping to go back to Wally World and buy one for the second door. It mainly holds spices and cooking oils.

Last week, we also attempted to shop at Re:Store, but it was closed for the holidays. But we stumbled upon a huge, run down thrift store right down the road from it. It blasted Mexican music and was kind of rough on the outside, but we found a great deal! There were pull out drawers for cabinets that we scored for $6.00. We wanted to put them in the kitchen but the drawers were too wide, so we put them in our master bathroom cabinets.

The bottom of our cabinets were kind of a mess (kind of is relative. they were really a mess). So now they feel much more organized and it's easier to see what's down there now that we can pull out the drawers.

Lastly (whew), we organized some bins we had in the office. They held lots of tapes and dvd's from Jon's various side jobs. We were able to sort through them and put most of that stuff in his closet for storage. So now we have a bin for craft supplies for Brennan, a bin for miscellaneous camera and computer cords, a bin for his current side jobs and an empty bin, just waiting to be filled. :) The rest of the bookshelf needs to get organized, but for now, I'm going to drink a diet coke and relax. Adios!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gestational Diabetes

Before we left on our vacation to Michigan for Thanksgiving, I took the 1 hour glucose test and failed it. No biggie, I figured, a lot of people fail it and pass the 3 hour test. So at 30 weeks (two weeks later than I should have due to the trip), I took the 3 hour test. And felt awful the whole time. Between wanting to puke and getting my blood drawn 4 separate times, I was ready to sprint out of that lab. And then I got the call the next day (while at MOPS), that I did indeed have gestational diabetes.

Basically, in women who have GD, hormones from the placenta block the action of the mother's insulin in her body (insulin resistance). This makes it harder for the mama to use the insulin. GD starts when your body isn't able to make (and use) enough insulin it needs. Without the insulin, the glucose cannot be changed to energy and builds up in the blood to high levels.

Now you know, should you ever need to. :) At first, I was STRESSED. Like, seriously stressed about it. Because my midwife wanted me to be monitored for two weeks by an endocrinologist to make sure I could control my blood sugar levels and if you remember, we are paying out of pocket for everything. I felt like we had gambled and lost. We gambled that we'd have a normal, healthy pregnancy and that no crazy high expenses would arise.

Thankfully, we were able to convince my midwife that I didn't need to be monitored and that I was confident I could do it on my own. A nurse came to our house and taught me how to take my blood sugar four times a day with a glucometer and what my new diet would consist of. My midwife (so far) as been really happy with how I'm doing and how low I'm keeping my sugars. Whew. I was praying I wouldn't have to go on insulin, that I'd be able to control it by diet alone.

But honestly? I truly see this diagnosis as a blessing. A huge blessing. It's forcing me to eat healthy. To be conscious of what I eat (especially during the holidays). I haven't gained one pound since I was diagnosed. I'm sure I will as the baby gets larger towards the end, but right now, I'm encouraged! The diet is like, super duper strict. So that's hard, but I have snuck a few double dipped chocolate covered peanuts from the south bend chocolate company here and there and it hasn't effected anything so that's good. :)

So maybe you'll get some bad news in the 2012. But maybe that bad news will end up being a blessing to you. God is good. Stay encouraged.

35 weeks. St. Anthony Hotel- San Antonio, TX