Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ellie's 1st Christmas

My brother and sister-in-law had a chance to swing by for an early Christmas and to meet Ellie. They brought us some dinner and we exchanged presents. It was great to see my brother with Ellie as he held her in amazement that he had a niece and she was so cute. Then, she pooped in her diaper as he held her! :) Reality set in. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer for him and Jennifer to follow with one of their own! (no pressure - just when they thought it would be off of them...HA!)

One week after giving birth to Ellie, we were able to celebrate her 1st Christmas! We had the grandparents join us, making it a special day of bonding for Ellie and her new family. The grandma's made a yummy Christmas dinner for us to have (thank you guys) and presents were fun to give and open. It was great to see each set of our parents hold her and get to know her.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Labor & Delivery - CHECK!

Ellen Suzanne Cragwall
Born December 18, 2009 at 12:56am
7lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long

Our little Ellie is finally here! The long and anticipated labor and delivery are finally over - shoo! It was quite the experience, but I'd have to say that my expectations for it were much worse than it really was. I will say this - ladies, an epidural is an AMAZING relief when you are on pitocin! We went in at 7:30am and didn't get back to a room until about 8:15am. They had me change into a gown and immediately drew some blood for tests and put in my IV. We sat around waiting until about 11am when I got my first round of antibiotics and then by noon they started the pitocin. I didn't really start having bad contractions until about 1:30pm and then they eventually got to the point that they were 1 - 1 1/2 minutes apart and I was only about 4 cm dialated. At that point, I knew it was time to get the epidural because I couldn't get a break to gear up for the next contraction. PLUS, Ellie was coming down transverse so I had a lot of back pain going on as well. I got the epidural (which is not easy when contractions are happening that fast) and then relief came! I immediately progressed to 6cm by just relaxing and then progressed over the next few hours to 8cm and then 10cm. They put me in a "labor down" status where I sat up and just got threw contractions to move her down. Then, at about 11:30pm, I started pushing. Pushing is not easy - there is a science to it to figure out the right kind of pushing. I finally figured it out, got her down far enough that I wouldn't need a c-section (once they said it was a possibility, I went into full gear to avoid that) and then she came at 12:56am. What a joy to have that overwith - until I had to get stiches and cleaned up. By that time, my epidural started gradually wearing off and then I got to fully relax and meet Ellie. It was one of the toughest experiences I have ever had, but the result was a beautiful, healthy baby girl! We are truly blessed! Here are a few pictures from our time in the hospital - Enjoy!
Hardwick Grandparents
Jesse's DadJesse's Mom

Coming Home from the hospital

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tomorrow's the BIG DAY

Tomorrow, my pregnancy ends. I've made it. I will be 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant when I go in to be induced tomorrow at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. I have such a mixture of emotions about this pregnancy coming to an end. Since it's my first child, I have a lot of anxiety about the birthing process, or as I call it "the great unknown". Honestly, I am terrified because I have no idea what to expect or how bad it will hurt. AND of course I have those questions (that Satan definitely put in my head) like what if something is wrong with Ellie or what if something happens to me or what if I have to get a c-section at the last minute? My best friend sent me an email tonight with a bunch of scriptures talking about how God always takes care of us in our times of need and how faith in Him will help me through this process (thank you Becca). It couldn't have come at a better time. On the flip side of the emotions I'm feeling, I am excited to finally meet our little girl, a product of Jesse and I. I can't wait to see what she looks like and to take care of her. I can't wait to add her to our little family and share new memories with her. AND, I can't wait to start the road back to a normal body that can bend and move around a lot easier than how I am now! So, I ask for your prayers for tomorrow and for the next few weeks to come as we transition into parenthood. Please pray that we listen to God's guidance on how to be good parents and that I lean on my faith tomorrow as we bring Ellie into the world. We appreciate every one's support and look forward to the chance to introduce a new member of our family to you!

Last Day at Austin Peay

**December 11, 2009 - last day working at Austin Peay State University**
Most people would be jumping up and down at their last day of work, but I had a lot I wanted to finish before I left this job feeling good about it, and there were many aspects of the job I will miss. Looking back, even though my position required a LOT of hours and hard work, plus all of the drama, I would have to say that it was a job I loved. I loved my co-workers, my kids and most of all the "behind the scenes" busy work that produced a great program. Most of you know, but we have been without a Director in our office since May of this year and the 3 of us (Carrie, Alexandra and I) had to pull together an amazing team effort to implement our Fall semester of events and programs without too many kinks. I'd have to say that we did a pretty fantastic job, even getting compliments from the big wigs around campus! So, to my team of co-workers, I will be sad to not work with you anymore. You are 2 amazing ladies that I will miss, especially our morning updates and times of laughter. Hang in there! To my students, make GPC something great and treat it with care! We have worked hard together to make it what it is today. To my busy work, contracts I will miss you the most! To the other Austin Peay Staff that I worked with, thanks for the support and encouragement as Jesse and I take on this new adventure in our lives! I had a great experience overall working at Austin Peay and I appreciate all of the opportunities I was given to become a better Student Affairs professional. Let's Go Peay!


Lilypie Third Birthday tickers