Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Smile time!

Over the past few months, Isla has gone through a lot of changes and I've enjoyed watching her smiles change and develop the most. From hardly smiling at all due to her gas pains, to smiling almost all the time even through the pains. She smiles the most in the mornings or when she first wakes up. She is so happy in the mornings. I'm so thankful to be able to wake up beside her every day and see that sweet smile. It gets sweeter and sweeter every week! Here are some photos and smiles through the weeks from week 1 to 7.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby Milestones: 8 Weeks

Isla Rae 8 weeks today!

My sweet little baby is 8 weeks today! Wow, how much you have grown and filled out! When I first held you in my arms the only thing that was chubby was your cheeks, now you have roles galore.

You are making all kinds of noises, both happy and sad. You love it when I sing to you and fall asleep when I read to you. You are sleeping better and riding better in the car. You still have a big appetite, which keeps me busy.

No matter how long the day is, there still never seems to be enough time. I take tons of pictures and videos so we can look back and remember all these precious weeks. At least this will be a little way for me to relive these moments.

My names for you so far are, sugar, peanut, cutie pie and sometimes... little stinker. :)

I love you!
Momma

Here you are today at 8 weeks!



Friday, July 27, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae


Dear Isla,

You have changed and growed so much this week! You feel like such a big girl when I hold you in my arms now. Every week I'm seeing new little rolls on your sweet body and hearing new precious little sounds from your sweet voice. I love your voice... it is the sweetest thing I have ever heard. I can already tell you are going to be a talker like your momma.

You are sleeping better this week, smiling more and oh so snuggly! I love snuggling with you of the mornings. You wrap your little legs and arms around me and it makes me never want to get out of bed. I'm so glad we chose to co-sleep. I couldnt't imagine doing it any other way. I love to be able to snuggle with you, console you, hold you through the night and watch you as you close your eyes at night and open them in the morning. 

I can tell your hair is growing and your eyelashes have gotten so long! I'm still hoping you will end up having eyes like your dad's. He has beautiful eyelashes :)

We can both see ourselves in you... in some moments you look a lot like your dad, and then other times you look like me. You are a beautiful blend and whom ever you resemble the most, you are unique, special and wonderfully crafted by God. There is no one else like you Isla Rae!

Love,
Momma

Thursday, July 26, 2012

God's heart for you...

If you follow me on pinterest you may have seen my wish list board.  My sister-in-law got me a book from my wish list called, "God's Heart for You," by Holley Gerth for my birthday and I've been dying to read it, but just haven't had time until now.

I found a free moment in my day as I was nursing Isla and sat down to start reading. Once I started, I couldn't stop and before I knew it I was already on chapter 11. The caption of the book reads "Embracing your true worth as a woman", and the words inside the book are so powerful. Each chapter has a profound revelation... teachings that are so simple to understand, and some are even common sense, but somehow in our daily lives we forget. So I have decided I want to start sharing some of these learnings and reflections with my readers.

One chapter that really stood out to me today was chapter 2 titled, "Wonderfully Made" Psalms 139:14. This scripture has been on my mind a lot lately as I have become a mother. The scripture reads, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that fully well."

What really stood out to me about this lesson is one sentence "God made one version of you." This is so simple and true, but I feel like we easily forget it and feel like we're not worthy or not good enough. God perfectly made us in his image. He uniquely crafted each one of us. This statement made me want to embrace who I am more than ever. I also want to live by example for Isla so she can see her momma proud of who she is, living in God's grace and accepting herself as God accepts her.

The chapter sums up with this reflection....

"You are formed by God's hands,
dreamed up in his heart,
and placed in this world for a purpose.
There's no one else like you...
You're one of a kind, irreplaceable.
God has given you everything you need
and created you just as you need to be
 to make a difference
 in your own wonderful way.
So go for it...
the world is waiting and
heaven is cheering you on."

Wow, this is so powerful! I encourage you all to buy this book and read along with me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Songs for Children

I had no idea there were so many choices for children's music until we had Isla. I've always known the classic lullabies like "Rock-a-bye Baby" of course and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", but I had no idea there were so many other great tunes out there.

I absolutely love Elizabeth Mitchell and her album for children. We actually listen to her almost everyday now and I love my Elizabeth Mitchell Pandora station. Some of my favorites by Mitchell are, You Are My Flower, You Are My Sunshine, Little Sack of Sugar, Little Liza Jane (also love that name), Peace Like a River and Lovely Day.

I especially love, Lovely Day. I feel like the lyrics really hit home and are so true for me... no matter what I'm faced with... all it takes is one look from Isla and I feel so blessed and glad to be on this earth another day.

 Here is Elizabeth Mitchell's version (best one I could fine...):



I also love listening to the Guess Who's song, Black Bird and the Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. Jack Johnson and Ingrid Michaelson have some great songs out for children too. Isla loves the upbeat songs when she is awake and we listen to more of the lullaby tunes when we are getting ready for a nap or to sleep at night. Jewel also has some beautiful lullabies for babies.

I love listening to the lullabies, holding Isla close to my chest and slow dancing with her at night. It's funny that Joel and I slow danced in the hospital during labor to ease the pain and now I'm slow dancing with our baby to ease her pains. Every day with her truly is a lovely day.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Isla's timeline

I made this to be able to see the changes from our birth announcement to Isla Rae's arrival. Looks like I also had some hair color changes too :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

7 weeks today!

I can't believe it has been 7 weeks already. Time flies and I think I've realized that more than ever since Isla was born. I wish I could slow it down some how... but the only thing I can do is savor every moment I have with her and look back with no regrets.

Here are some snapshots of her over the last few weeks... Yesterday we managed to get this little precious smile out of her for her 7 week picture. She was ALL smiles until we started taking pictures :) Must be a little camera shy like her daddy.







Heaven as written by a 17 Year Old Boy

My husband sent this to me today and it was too good not to share. This is excellent and really gets you thinking about what will happen in Heaven.

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a
class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told
his father, Bruce. It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever
wrote." It also was the last.

Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while
cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway
County.

Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every
piece of his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, and his
homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about
encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of
the teen's life. But it was only after Brian's death that Beth and Bruce
Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven.

It makes such an impact that people want to share it. "You feel like you are
there," Mr. Moore said.. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after
Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went
off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He
emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was
electrocuted.

The Moore 's framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family
portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think
we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of
the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life
after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see
him.

Here is Brian's essay entitled:

" The Room."

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with
small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list
titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which
stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction,
had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one
that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the
cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names
written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I
was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for
my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in
a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled
with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and
exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense
of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if
anyone was watching.

A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The
titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read,"
"Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at."
Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my
brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger",
"Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be
surprised by the contents Often there were many more cards than expected.
Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the
life I had lived.

Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these
thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth.
Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched," I realized the
files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet
after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it,
shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew
that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through
my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size,
and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to
think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on
me.

One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must
ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the
file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the
cards...

But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not
dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to
find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly
helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the
wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.

And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With."
The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled
on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my
hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They
started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I
cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file
shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes... No one must ever, ever know of
this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the
tears, I saw Him.

No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as
He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His
response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw
a sorrow deeper than my own.. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst
boxes.

Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from
across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity
that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and
began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have
said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of
the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over
mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say
was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these
cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive.
The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently
took the card back He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I
don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next
instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.
He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."
I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door.
There were still cards to be written..

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes
in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Changes...

Wow, at 6 weeks I've definitely noticed the most changes in our baby. I've posted before about her finding her voice, well this week, she found she can make all kinds of noises... from sweet little ohhs and ahhs to ear piercing screams and squeals.

She's also started to make all sorts of facial expressions. I believe I've posted before that it's easy to get her to smile, sometimes she even offers me a smile without me having to prompt her with any silly noises or faces...especially in the mornings. Lately, she's started to make new sad faces and surprised faces too. Her sad faces range from a pouty bottom lip to raised eye brows accompanied by a very sad "ohhh." Her surprised faces usually involve an "ohhh" too but at a much higher sound and usually followed by a "ha!" 

It's simply amazing to watch your little one grow and all the new changes and developments that come with each day. Isla has given me a new purpose in the this world. Each morning, I am so grateful just to wake up beside her and have another day in this world to spend with her. All of her daily changes and challenges effect me immensely and have opened up my eyes to a new found love, an unconditional love, an unfathomable love... I have a new understanding of my mother's love for me. She has also made me reflect on my spirituality and learn the kind of love that God feels for us.

I am so thankful God has made me a Momma and look forward to raising a Christian daughter.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy 6 weeks baby girl!

My sweet baby... I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks since I first held you in my arms!

You have grown so much! You are getting chubbier and chubbier everyday and I love your sweet little rolls.
You are also smiling more and more. You recognize my voice, my smell and know who I am. You also started to recognize your daddy this week. Your voice is the sweetest thing I've ever heard... I love to listen to you ohh and coo. I love when you stop nursing to look up at me and give me a smile...

With every single day, I can see so many changes in you and love to watch you grow and develop. My love grows immensely for you every day.


Baby Milestones: 6 Weeks

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae...

Dear Isla,

We had the best day today! You slept well this morning. You woke up smiling and content! I walked in the room to find one happy girl and that made me one happy Momma!

You laid content for a while and then spent some time in your sling, not long... but longer than you ever have before, which is HUGE for me.

You ate well, slept well and smiled often all day! I was so happy that you spent some time in your carrier today too! You fell asleep in the carrier today, which left me hands free... I didn't know what to do with myself!

You saw daddy at lunch, which was such a blessing that you get to see daddy in the middle of his day everyday.  You also got a visit from Gigi! You showed off your pretty smile to Gigi and then after her visit you napped a while in my arms and on the couch. Here you are snoozing so peacefully. My sweet little babe.



Today was a really good day!

Love,
Momma

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ohhh, the sweetest thing...

To me, everything Isla does is the sweetest thing. Just the essence of her being is the sweetest thing... but, today she did some things that were especially sweet and special to our ever so bonding relationship.

At night, we sleep side by side. She nestles her knees and tummy against mine and most nights she sleeps pretty sound. Only waking when she is ready to eat. Last night wasn't her best night sleepwise though, so this morning she slept extra long. She didn't actually wake up until after noon! I don't think she is going to be a mornings person.

As I laid there this morning listening to my baby sound asleep, the words began to creep in my mind...laundry, dishes, shower, BATHROOM...but every time I tried to slide out of bed, Isla would nudge closer to me. She pushed her warm, cozy body up against mine as if pleaing with me not to move. I finally got the courage to slide out, and there it was her sweet pudgy little arm had slung right around my tummy. Her head nudged up closer to my chest and then her leg slung around my tummy too. I was trapped in the sweetest little place ever. She had a hold of me and didn't want to let go. Honestly, I think this will be one of the sweetest memories. She is so precious.

After that, I didn't want to get up any longer. I just wanted to lay there with her and take the moment in. To have her sweet arms around me, to stare at her ever so growing little body and face and just be in the moment. Laundry, cleaning, even going to the bathroom could wait at that very moment. All I wanted to do was be with Isla...so that's what we did all morning and when she woke up, there I was starring right back at her and she greeted me with an "Ohhh" and a smile.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The best and worst all in one day...

Today, while both challenging and rewarding, the good out weighted the bad...

Today, Isla smiled the most she has smiled yet. Every time she woke up she was a smiley girl. She smiled at me first...without me having to coo or ahh at her.

She did the best with being content today as well. She laid on the boppy for a while both asleep and awake. She sat in her bouncy today while Auntie Heather visited and she seemed happy for most of the day.

Her worst came out today too. She had a doctor's appointment late in the afternoon today and unfortunately, that meant she had to go into the car seat. She did the worst in her car seat today. I tried everything... bouncing, swinging, nursing, rocking, etc... today, nothing worked. She just had to scream it out the ride there and back.

It broke my heart...but there was nothing I could do. She screamed as loud as she could and I sang as loud as I could. As soon as I lifted her out of the car seat she calmed down, thankfully. It was one of those rides where I was praying every stop light would be green, every right away would be mine and that I didn't get pulled over.

Prayers answered!

All in all, even though we had a few really tough hours...the good out weighted the bad!

Happy 5 weeks baby girl and thanks for all the precious smiles today! It made Mommy's day!

Baby Milestones: Week 5

Friday, July 6, 2012

Two seems to be our number today...

Today was quiet the day... two seemed to be our number today. It's probably the number of hours of sleep Isla and I got last night. Two is the number of people that cried in our family today (both Isla and I). She has gained almost exactly two pounds since her birthday and grown two inches. Isla also saw two "doctors" (one was a student)... Luckily, we received an awesome health report and we only had to endure one screaming unhappy car ride.


Isla had her 1 month wellness check today. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see our normal doctor because of scheduling conflicts. Today, we say Dr. Ellis, who was also great, and a student that was shadowing her. We agreed to the student observation, but didn't realize Isla was going to have to go through two checks, both the student and the actual doctor checked her... Isla screams the minute she is laid on those cold tables... or little weighing station and who wouldn't!? I would be an unhappy gal too. Poor thing.

She also had to receive a shot today, which made her a very unhappy camper. It broke my heart to hear her scream out in pain. I nursed her right after and that seemed to help sooth some of her pain and fear, but we were both shedding tears at this point. Next time, I'm going to at least hold her while they give her the shots or maybe even feed her during to help distract her and sooth the pain. I'm also going to do some more research regarding vaccines in general and hopefully work out a plan that works best for both Isla and the doctor's recommendations. I read up a lot on them before Isla was born, but there is so much information out there and it is a very contraversial topic. You want to make sure you are taking the best advice. I do know I would prefer no more than two shots per visit... We're also going to delay some of the ones we can until she gets a little bigger.

One month and 2 days from her birthday, she weights 10lbs, 4ozs and is 22 inches long. Her weight is in the 56th percentile and her length is 59th. Her growth is looking great and she is as healthy as can be.We thank God for our healthy little baby! Her head circumference was in the 24th percentile... I think she'll end up having a small head like her mommy, but we'll see.

Everyone is saying she is looking more and more like her dad. I'm looking forward to putting our baby pictures side by side and comparing! Whoever she looks like she is perfect to me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Isla's One Month!

Over the past 4 weeks she has been smiling more. She especially smiles more in the mornings or when she first wakes up. She loves it when I coo at her and she coos right back. It's like we're singing together... so sweet. She has found her voice, and not her screaming voice... her sweet little "Ooo's" and "Ahh's" melt my heart.

She is holding her head up stronger every day. I've noticed so many changes lately and a little less crying.

She tracks my voice as I move across the room. She doesn't like for me to be out of site even for a minute...and most days she doesn't like for me to even put her down.

I can't believe it's already been over a month since I first held her in my arms. She is the sweetest, most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me and I feel so very blessed!

Happy one month baby girl!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Isla's Birth Story From Dad

 The First Chapter in Isla Rae’s Life…

 

Cassie worked the week before Isla was born. Here she is after work on the Friday before Isla was born…ready for a wild weekend. Little did we know it would be one of the wildest weekends we have ever experienced…
She felt pretty good all week and even that Friday before labor. We were both extremely anxious, but had several false alarms that week and the week before so we were cautiously optimistic. The Braxton Hicks contractions would hit her like clockwork every day around 3pm. They caused quiet the stir in the office because everyone would always think “it’s time!”   
At this point, it was nearly a week past the due date and they had already scheduled the induction for June 7th at 7:15am. As you can imagine, this distressed us as our primary birth plan was to have Isla naturally, with no pain medicines or epidural.

On Saturday, the day labor began; we got up earlier than normal…around 7am. We had breakfast and coffee and decided to run errands to Target, Home Depot and TJ Maxx (We didn’t have time for Bed, Bath & Beyond).
  
It was like we were both suddenly motivated to get things done. We dug up dead plants (still lacking the green thumb) and returned them to Home Depot, planted hydrangea bulbs we had purchased from Lowe’s (which is ironic because Cassie’s mother also planted flowers the day she was born) and bought new plants from Home Depot… thinking we would be able to plant them that afternoon (little did we know).

We decided today would be the day we would try everything to induce labor naturally. Cassie drank red raspberry tea that morning, after running errands we ate a spicy (free) lunch at Quaker Steal & Lube. We came home and met Bobby’s family and took a 2 mile walk on the green way by our house. After that she was exhausted…but still feeling like nothing was happening, soooo….she bit the bullet, and drank two tablespoons of castor oil. We even tried other unconventional labor starters… well, I guess with everything combined it worked because labor started around 7pm Saturday, June 2nd.

Hours 1 - 7: We started out at home and labored from 7pm to 2am in the morning. We spent the first few hours trying to keep our minds occupied and not think about the contractions. Cassie immediately went into nesting mode and started sweeping the floors downstairs.  After that we decided to go for a walk up and down our street. Cassie soon realized she'd like to get her last meal in as we knew she likely wouldn't be allowed to eat once she progressed further into labor. She went with her goto... a large thin crust pizza hut pizza - cut into squares, never slices. She savored them as if she knew she wouldn't for another day.

Hours 8 - 21: Cassie's contractions were coming in stronger at 2-3 minutes apart and lasting from 60-90 seconds in length. We referred to our birthing book and were excited when we read that early labor contractions of less than 5 minutes apart lasting at least a minute generally meant the labor would be quick and normally around 8-12 hours. That information combined with Cassie's more intense contractions led to our decision that it was time to go to the hospital.

We loved  the idea that Isla could be coming in the next few hours, but didn't want to see her come while we were still at the house. We arrived at the hospital and were excited to get checked in and get this baby out. The staff was very courteous up front, requiring no paper work or any other prerequisites to getting Cassie checked in. At this point it was around 3am Sunday morning. We were thinking "6-3-12, that's an easy birthday to remember. Each number is divisible by 3." Little did we know what was in store for us - well, for Cassie that is.  We should've known things were going the entire experience was going to go against our plans once we found out who was on call that night; it was the one midwife that Cassie was not a fan of. She was generally cold and removed from emotion during prior checkups. When she entered the room, she quickly acknowledged us and told us that it was time for an internal exam to confirm that Cassie was dilated and indeed in labor. I guess having contractions for 7+ hours straight every few minutes wasn't good enough. After a little push back, Cassie and I agreed to move forward with the exam. With all signs pointing to a quick labor, we expected the doctor to pop up and tell us we're at 6+ centimeters with only a few hours to go. Oh how we were wrong. Instead it was a devastatigly long and painful exam in which she wasn't able to reach Cassie's cervix and therefore concluded that she must not be dilated at all. Thud! Our hearts hit the floor. Talk about your emotional roller coaster. We were so excited and ready to roll. Then this woman tells us we're not even close. Unfriendly midwife - 1, Cassie & Joel's Spirits - 0.

We soon learned baby Isla was posterior after the second nurse felt pitty on us and asked if she could try again. She pulled Cassie's cervix towards the front and determined that she was 3-4 centimeters dilated, we were admitted to the hospital and began laboring in the same room we gave birth to baby Isla in. We tried everything...birthing ball, whirlpool tub, walking the halls, pacing the floor in our room and even slow dancing. Every 4 hours or so, the midwife (a new one now) would check to see how Cassie was dilating...but each time to our disappointment we received the same answer, 3-4cm. They broke her water on Sunday morning to try to speed things along around 11am. It sped up the contractions, but not the dilation.

Hours 22 - 31: After 21 hours of laboring naturally and not progressing, the midwife and delivery nurse felt it was time to use an epidural and the highest dosage of pitocin to get things going, otherwise we were headed for a c-section since her water had been broken that morning and we could not labor more than 18 hours after that due to the high risks involved. At this point, it was late Sunday night and Cassie needed to progress quickly. We had them check one more time to see if there had been any progression, but we were still holding strong at only 4cm....maybe 5cm with some stretching. Cassie began to progress after she received the epidural and an abnormally high dose of pitocin. Cassie had some scar tissue from previous surgeries holding her dilation back. Once the midwife was able to break through that she dilated about 1cm every 2-4 hours. Luckily, baby Isla responded well to the pitocin so things were looking up. At this point, we had both been up since 7am on Saturday. Since Cassie was more comfortable and things were moving along better, I tried to get some sleep. Cassie tried too, but she had too much adrenaline for her to sleep.

Hours 32 - 36: We learned she was 10cm dilated! I think both Cassie and the delivery nurse CeCe cried with joy. It was time to push. We were thinking things would go quicker now and we would be able to meet Isla within an hour, two at the most. We were wrong again. The midwife decided it was best to dial the epidural back at this point so Cassie could make her body work with the contractions....well our original plan was to go all natural so we agreed. Cassie said she felt everything.... for four hours she pushed with only 30 seconds to a minute breaks in between pushes. She was amazing. I know I could have never had the strength she did to go that long without medication through contractions and then continue to push 4 hours with no epidural.

Hour 36: With tears of joy we met our Isla Rae Bradbury at 6:50am on Monday, June 4th 2012 and became the proudest parents you could ever imagine. I cut the cord and watched them place our sweet baby on her exhausted, but overjoyed mother. Isla weighted 8lbs and 3ozs and was 20 inches long. Our little miracle was wonderfully created by God and we are so thankful for this blessing.