Monday, May 26, 2008

Introducing Reese Aspen Crandall

Reese was born May 22nd at 11:20pm, weighing in at 7lbs 12oz and 19.7 in. long, and it was quite an ordeal getting her here. My due date was the 20th and I had decided that if she hadn’t come by then I was going to go ahead and be induced, which ended up being the death of my sanity. I guess Nate and I didn’t quite understand the process when the doctor described it to us because we were expecting that when we went into the hospital at 8am Wednesday morning that we would have our little girl by the evening, instead all we had was a twin hospital bed to sleep in for the night. Anyways, let me tell you how it all went down…..Like I said we got to the hospital at 8am on the 21st and got ourselves all checked in and ready to go. The doctor had told us that I would have to drink this cocktail first and hopefully it would naturally bring on the contractions. So we sat in the delivery room playing cards while I drank this horrible liquid upon completion of which they moved us to my room where I would be after I delivered. They had us come back down every three hours to check my contractions and my progress, but after 12 hours of taking long walks around Bitburg and waiting around in the room I was only dilated to a lousy 1cm and told we’d just be waiting it out still. The next morning we went back over to delivery to find out I was 2cm, so 24 hours in the hospital and hardly any progress. The doctor then gave us an oxytocin nasal spray and told us to go for a walk promising us that we would have our daughter that day but that she had until midnight to get her here. The spray brought on some strong, fast contractions, but I was still progressing rather slowly. Finally around 4pm I was 4cm and beginning to progress more quickly. They brought the anesthesiologist in and he gave me an epidural, or as I call it “the gift from the gods.” After that we just hung out in the delivery room waiting for the next 6cm to pass. I took a few naps, read some magazines and just watched the clock tick by. Finally about 9:45pm I was 10cm and they said at any moment I would start feeling the pressure to push. In the meantime another woman had come in and was quite loud about her impending birth, the doctor and midwife had to go to her so we were put on the backburner while they dealt with her. Finally the need to push was getting stronger so Nate stepped out in the hall to get the doctor and when they came in it only took about 10 or 15 minutes of pushing and all of the sudden Reese was thrown up onto my chest. In Germany they just hand you the baby right after it comes out and they don’t clean them up until after they’ve done everything else, so it was pretty cool to have her right when she came out. All in all it was a really good experience and Nate and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
We left the hospital Saturday afternoon and though our first night at home was a little tiring we have since gotten Reese on a schedule and are finding home life quite pleasant. We love everything about her and I just can’t seem to put her down, she was actually awake for a whole hour at once today so I was able to just look at her beautiful eyes and watch her make faces at me. Nate and I haven’t determined which one of us she looks like other than that she has Nate’s mouth, and she has both of our big feet and long toes. The neighbors can’t get over how much hair she has and it’s kind of crazy because it looks like it’s brown with blond highlights. Anyways, enjoy the pictures, I’m sure I’ve added too many but they’re all so cute, I just can't get over how amazing it is that this girl actually fit inside of my stomach. Not only that, but that she's crazy is that!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Burg Eltz

My mom arrived here in Germany last week so as a Mother's day gift to her we headed over towards Koblenz on Saturday to go to Burg Eltz. This castle is a little different than most because it is in a valley where most castles are up on a hill, so when we got to the parking area that was on top of a hill we had to hike down to the castle. There was a van that could have taken us down to the castle but I decided I was up for the challenge and besides the view was better on foot then it would have been in the van. So we hiked down the hill, which as you can see from the pictures was actually really really steep, Nate and my friend Sarah were making fun of me since I had to lean back pretty far in order to account for my center of gravity being off because of the whole baby in my belly thing, but we made it down without falling and rolling and with only mildly aggravating my still very broken toe.

The tour of the castle was pretty interesting, you only get to go in a few rooms because the family actually still lives in most of the castle, but we got to see a medieval kitchen, bedroom and some cool weapons so it was worth it. My mom especially enjoyed it because this is only the second castle she's seen where as Nate and I have seen more than our fair share of medieval German castles.

Now I'm going to interrupt this blog about the castle to tell you that I don't think German people have ever seen a pregnant person before. Now I'm as surprised as you are seeing as Germans are humans who have to carry babies the same way we Americans do, yet for some reason I had people staring at me, not looking at me and then looking away which would be normal, but full on following me with their eyes until I was no longer in sight. I don't think I'm that odd looking that one needs to stare at me that intentely but whatever. Case in point, when I was standing in line to go to the bathroom at the castle the woman in front of me turned around and was staring at me, I looked to the right for awhile, then turned and looked to the left and she was still staring at me. Finally after, and I'm not exaggerating here, a full minute had passed I made eye contact with her and she turned back around. When I exited the bathroom and told Nate and Sarah about this they said that a group was staring at me through the bathroom window while I was in there as well. How creepy is that?

Anyways, back to my story. When we went to leave the castle we were going to take the van back up to the top because it truly was a very very very steep hill, but I decided I wanted to hike back up in the hopes that it would cause me to go into labor and then I could finally have my baby. Well I made it to the top with a few stops on the way but still no baby. Oh well, my mom enjoyed the castle and we had a good time.

I'm 39 weeks, only one week left til my due date.........Kincher and I are now racing to see who can have their baby first since we have the same due date, I urge you all to join my team, also known as the winning team.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Broken Toe Woes

I had this grand plan to start walking miles upon miles a day starting May 1st as a way to help the whole pregnancy thing along but my plan was thwarted the day before it started when I broke my toe. Ya, that's right I broke the pinky toe on my right foot and it hurt like hell. I was walking out of the kitchen after going in to make myself a second personal pizza because the first one didn't quite fill me up the way it used to, and as I was walking out I caught my toe on the door frame and snapped it. I just stood there biting my hand to keep from screaming and staring out the window because I was afraid if I looked down I'd see the spot where my toe used to be and find my toe lying back in the kitchen. After a minute I got the courage to look down and found that my toe was still there as was the pain. Now this isn't the first toe I've broken, in fact it's the fourth, apparently I enjoy breaking toes, but all the other ones I've broken have been the tips and there has been nothing a doctor can do for them so I called the advice nurse to see if I should go in since this one was broken down at the base. I explained to her what happened and this woman actually had the audacity to ask me if it was an accident! I calmly replied that it was but on the inside I was wanting to be very rude and sarcastic with her, I mean WHO BREAKS A TOE ON PURPOSE?!?!?! Anyways, I've had to stay off my feet for the past few days and ice it but other than that it's just supposed to heal on it's own, so there went my plot to evict my child from my uterus.

Today the toe was feeling good enough to walk on so Nate and I took Jaeger for a walk in the field by our house and took the camera so that we could take some fun pictures in the fields of dandelions. I'm 38 weeks pregnant and other than looking like I'm trying to steal a basketball from a sporting goods store I think I look mighty good. I've been really lucky to have such an easy pregnancy and while I'm beginning to get a little uncomfortable when it comes to sleeping and stuff like that I'm only eager to get her out so that I can finally see her and see what her personality is like outside of my belly. I'm so scared and excited and I can't wait to post pictures of her here for all of you to see, but for now you'll just have to enjoy more pictures of me being pregnant.