Monday, December 13, 2010

Aiden Here

Mommy has been so busy with work lately that I decided I would man the blog for a while. Let me tell you a little about life as a 3 month old. Every day holds more exciting things to explore and enjoy. My friend George and I like to hang out. He used to be as big as me...

but he seems to be growing smaller by the day.
When I'm not lounging around with George I love spending quality time with mommy and daddy. A few days ago they got all excited when they saw this white stuff coming down outside. They called it snow. Mom and dad bundled me up and took me outside where is was really cold and they took a ton of pictures. They kept telling me that this was my first snow.

Since the weather has gotten so cold we spend most of our time inside. When I get bored of just sitting around...
I enjoy standing up when mom and dad hold my hands, although I do get a bit shaky. I've also gotten pretty good at holding my head up. When I'm on my tummy I get tired and decide to roll over. The other night I surprised daddy when he found that I had rolled over from my back onto my tummy. I don't really like to recline any more so I'm always trying to pull myself up to a sitting position, that way I can see EVERYTHING. Sometimes when I'm really tired or mom and dad aren't giving me enough attention I get cranky.

Lately, instead of crying when I get cranky I've found something really interesting, my hands. They keep me entertained for a long time and they also taste good.

A few weeks ago Mommy went back to work. I could tell she was upset because she tried to smuggle me out of the house with her.

Since mommy has gone back to work dad has done a great job taking care of me at night and I've made sure to make the transition easy by sleeping better. Well there are many more things I could tell you about but it's time to eat and head to bed so I should get going. Next post I'll share about my first Christmas! We already have our tree up and everything!!

Peace out!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aiden's Birth Story

I have been working on this birth story for weeks and it has honestly been an overwhelming process. How do you put into words one of the most amazing experiences of your life? Trying to sum up a little over 24 hours of labor along with all of the emotions seemed a daunting task but I have finally finished it. Here is a very edited version of the day Jon and I met our son for the first time.

12:30am (September 7th)
It began early on Tuesday morning. I awoke with what I thought were intense Braxton hicks contractions. It kind of caught me off guard because those pre-labor contractions had never disturbed my sleep before, but as I lay in bed, I wondered excitedly if this could possibly be the beginning of real labor. Unable to sleep I watched the clock and by 1:30am what I initially thought were Braxton hicks contractions were now around 5-7 minutes apart. For the next couple of hours I took a shower, ate, and tried sleeping to make sure that what I was experiencing was real labor. By 5am the contractions were a steady five minutes apart and more intense, so we spent the next hour or so getting the last of our things together.

At around 7am we were heading out the door to the hospital; it was our last time leaving the apartment as a family of two.

(We quickly took this picture between contractions before heading out the door to the hospital.)

Once at the hospital we were escorted back to triage and to our excitement were informed that I was already a good 6-7 centimeters dilated.

After formal admission and moving to a labor and delivery room, we got situated and I spent a couple of hours relaxing through contractions as Jon coached and encouraged me. I seriously could not have asked for a better husband. He was calm and patient as he reminded me to breath deeply and relax over and over again. At 11am the nurse came in to check me and I was a solid 7 centimeters, 100% effaced and the baby was at -1 or 0 station. Things were looking good and we were on track for a mid-afternoon delivery. I was making progress and thought for sure that labor would not last too long.

Two hours later after walking around and changing positions multiple times I had not made any more progress and contractions had not gotten any closer together. I continued to focus on relaxing through the contractions and we kept going. At this point my mom had actually driven down from Pennsylvania and made it to Louisville in time to help Jon coach me during contractions. Having both her and Jon during the majority of my labor was incredibly encouraging.

At 3pm, the nurse approached us about having my water broken. By now I was up for almost anything that would bring some progress, so I was completely on board. Jon was a little more skeptical, knowing that once they broke my water there was a time table on what we hoped would be a natural labor. We were also told around this same time that my doctor would not be able to make our delivery but that another doctor from the same practice would take her place.

After talking about our options, we agreed to let the doctor break my water. Once we had made the decision, I was really excited at the prospect of labor speeding up and finally meeting our child. But my excitement was quickly snuffed out when I heard that my new doctor, Dr. Walsh would not be able to make it to the hospital until 5pm. At this point I was feeling so frustrated knowing that I would have to labor another 2 hours or more before I could have my water broken. The thought of no progress was overwhelmingly discouraging. This labor was not going as we had hoped but we continued to pray surrendering this whole situation to the Lord.

11 hours after arriving at the hospital, Dr. Walsh broke my water. She discovered meconium in the fluid but didn't seem too concerned since the baby wasn't showing any signs of distress. This was going to be the event that kick started my labor, I was sure. But by 8pm I still had not made any more progress and Dr. Walsh told us that she wanted to start me on pitocin.

The thought of being given pitocin was terrifying to me because I had heard horror stories about how awful contractions can become. We were assured that they would start me off on a very low dose, so an IV was started and at 8:30pm the med was administered. Labor quickly got more intense as my contractions went from 5-7 minutes apart to 3-4 minutes apart. Relaxing through contractions became incredibly difficult as they intensified and became more frequent. At one point the contractions were so overwhelming that I got sick, which actually made me feel a bit better. Jon continued to coach and encourage me throughout the process; he continually reminded me to consciously relax during the contractions, allowing them to do the work.

After an hour and a half of pitocin I was fully dilated and feeling a huge urge to push. Finally I was going to meet our baby, we were so close...or so I thought. I pushed for an hour before the doctor discovered that the baby's head was sideways, meaning that I wasn't making any progress. So she attempted to turn the baby during the contractions. Not only was pushing incredibly difficult but the pressure and pain of my doctor trying to reposition the baby was overwhelming. For another hour I pushed as hard as I could, three times every contraction as my doctor tried desperately to turn the head. Nothing was happening and I wasn't sure if I could keep going. I was physically exhausted and mentally so frustrated at the lack of progress; I just wanted this baby OUT!

When I reached the 2 hour mark of pushing our doctor first discussed with us the possibility of a c-section. I couldn't let go of the fact that I had worked so hard, there was no way I was going to give up and get a c-section. NO WAY!! I kept praying and asking the Lord to protect this baby and bring him or her into the world naturally. I pushed for another 45 minutes with still no progress. Dr. Walsh told us that we really needed to consider a c-section because we had almost reached the 3 hour mark.

That second discussion lit a fire under me and I was more focused than ever to push this little one out. Jon had left the room to talk to my mom about what the doctor had said and by the time he returned, Dr. Walsh told him that she had actually seen a little progress and was cautiously optimistic. She was willing to let me push for a bit longer. I remember her turning to me saying, "Kristen you are going to have to push harder than you ever have before." As I pushed Jon prayed asking the Lord to give me the strength and protect both of us from harm. Amazingly during this whole time the baby's heart rate was a steady 130 beats per minute and showing absolutely no signs of distress.

I pushed harder and harder with every contraction and Dr. Walsh's encouraging words rang in my ears as she said, "You are going to push this baby out!"

1:15am (Wednesday September 8th)
At 1:15am, the delivery team was called in and I could hear the excitement and emotion in Jon's voice as he said he could see the top of our baby's head. "Honey, you're doing it!! It's coming!" I continued pushing and suddenly all the pressure, pain and exhaustion was over. At 1:35am September 8th (his actual due date) our little one was born. Jon heard someone say, He's a big boy!" I looked down and saw my beautiful son for the first time; the sight took my breath away. We had done it. Aiden was a healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Jon and I were both overcome with so many emotions. We were overjoyed at the birth of our son, Aiden. God had been so faithful in this amazing miracle we had just witnessed. Jon and I still cannot believe that everything ended up the way that it did. There is no explanation except for the complete faithfulness of a mighty and loving God. With the possibility of a c-section and fear of harm for me or the baby it is amazing to recognize that God was so faithful to not only protect but to provide for all circumstances. Granted we would have been fine but discouraged going with a c-section but my heart was really set on a natural labor and God heard that prayer. I labored for just over 24 hours, 18 of them at the hospital and pushed for a long 3 and a half hours and like everyone always says, it was worth every minute. We are so thankful to God for his unending faithfulness and cannot wait to see how he continues to be faithful in the life of little Aiden Samuel Groves.

(A family of three!!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sitting on the floor
Resolve the poop everywhere
This is parenthood

Monday, September 20, 2010

100 Days of Aiden

I have to admit, I stole this idea from someone else, and semi-copped the title from the film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. For the first 100 days of his life, Aiden will have his picture taken every day, and I'll post a pic from each day on a slideshow here. By the time he is three and a half months old, there will be an extensive photographic record of his life. I may not always update the picture each day, but I'll do my best to stay up with it. You can follow this link, or just click "100 Days of Aiden" at the top of this page to keep up with these pics. Enjoy watching our boy grow up!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

He's Here!

Aiden Samuel Groves, born at 1:35am on 9/8/10. 7lbs, 15oz, 20.5 inches long. He and mom are doing GREAT!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And The Countdown Continues

I am now 4 days away from my due date and if you would have asked me a week ago if I would still be pregnant at this point in time I would have said no. I'm pretty surprised our little one has stayed put for so long but I guess he/she is comfy. Oh well, I'm learning even now how important patience will be from this point on and that the schedule and life of this little one will never be under my control, ever.

Jon and I have started reading some parenting books lately and the reality of this whole journey has slowly been sinking in. I've been thinking about everything from labor and delivery to dealing with the challenges of a teenager, a task my current job has prepared me for more than I ever imagined. It is easy to feel weighed down by the enormity of the responsibility but as I have been praying over this precious child I can't help but feel excited to raise this little one up in the Lord. What a privilege. I could write more but I can barely sort through all of the thoughts and emotions I have going on right now. I just can't wait to hold this child in my arms! Well to keep me from rambling I'm gonna close this out. Unless our baby chooses to stay past his/her due date I think my next post will be an announcement of the birth of this little one...anyone want to guess on a birth day?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

39 weeks (according to Jon)

How Far Along:
39 weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 27 pounds

How Big is Baby: The doctor said she thinks the baby is 7 lbs. It appears to be about the size of a watermelon.

Maternity Clothes? Fo sho...and she makes them look GOOOOD!

Sleep: She claims she is up all the time...I cannot vouch for this since I am sleeping like a log, except for the times she wakes me up to massage her cramping calf.

Best Moment this Week: Freaking out our family with totally innocent phone calls.

Movement: It's like a scene from Alien all the time.

Food Cravings: She seems to want chocolate often...Frostys and such seem to be more frequent.

Gender: My guess is still a girl...

Labor Signs: Nope. (Unless continued dilation counts!)

Belly Button In or Out? Outie...and I think it's cute.

Stretchmarks? It doesn't matter...I love her whether or not she has them (although she says she hasn't seen any).

How are you feeling: Great! I'm not tired or anything. Oh, but Kristen...she is sleeping a lot, moving slower and generally behaving like she is a bit tired of carrying around the baby!

What I am looking forward to: Being a father and making my parents grandparents.

What I miss: Being able to be more than 10 miles/15 minutes from Kristen...I know she'll be fine, but I don't want to leave her for fear that I won't be there when this party starts.

Weekly Wisdom: Everything is out of your control...know that He who has been will continue to be faithful!

Milestones: There's a carseat in the back of my car...I think that counts.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

38 weeks!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I feel huge!! :-)

How Far Along: 38 weeks and 3 days!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 25 pounds

How Big is Baby: Your baby continues to grow this week and weighs about 6.8 pounds. His/her crown-to-rump length is still about 14 inches and total length is around 21 inches.

Maternity Clothes? Of course

Sleep: Sleep...huh? I woke up at 3 yesterday afternoon and then every hour after that until it was time to get up and go into work. Yeah, I'm not sleeping so well!!

Best Moment this Week: Realizing that my due date is now less than 2 weeks away, hopefully closer!!

Movement: Yep, however this little one is running out of room so the movements aren't as strong but boy do they feel uncomfortable!

Food Cravings: Nope.

Gender: Still a surprise!

Labor Signs: Still having a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions. I've started to feel some cramping too(sorry if that is too much information). We'll see if that means anything.

Belly Button In or Out? Outie of course. There is no where else for it to go!

Stretchmarks? Not really

How are you feeling: I've been feeling pretty uncomfortable and tired lately. I think my body is just about done carrying this little one. My energy level has gone down quite a bit and labor is looking more and more inviting!!

What I am looking forward to: The birth of our baby!!

What I miss: Feeling like my body is my own. Jon was laughing at me the other day because it seriously took me minute to turn myself over from one side to the other. Everything is more complicated with this belly!

Weekly Wisdom: Take a nap if you need it. My body has been more exhausted the past few weeks than it was the 1st trimester. Although I feel like I need to make sure everything is in place for the baby I also realized (with the help of my hubby) that if my body is telling me to take a nap, I should take a nap.

Milestones: Nothing new except that our baby could decide to make his or her appearance this week...We'll see!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fun News

I had my (almost) 37 week appointment today. Surprisingly I am 3 centimeters dilated, 80% effaced, and at 0 station! In layman's terms...that's progress!! According to our Bradley class a woman can easily walk around 3 centimeters dilated or more for weeks before going into labor so this is nothing to get overly excited about. However, that news is encouraging. It just feels good to know that as of right now my body seems to know what it's doing. We'll see. Our doctor is going out of town Saturday and will be gone for a week so hopefully this little one stays put for a while longer. I will feel much better if this baby has time to cook for a few more weeks!! :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When did this happen?

We're down to the home stretch now, but there are still a lot of things that we have to do to get ready for the baby. Many of these things are merely details...pack the hospital bags, preregister, make arrangements for the dog, stuff like that. Although most of these tasks are matters of simple details, one of our baby-related responsibilities caught me off guard recently.

On a Thursday evening, Kristen and I attended an open house for a pediatrician. We really liked the practice, the facilities and the doctor we spoke with. What threw me off was being back in a pediatrician's office again. Throughout my childhood, I saw Dr. Marvin Giddings as my pediatrician and despite the fact that visits to the doctor are rarely fun, I have nothing but positive memories of him.

But now I'm in a new pediatrician's office not as a patient, but as a parent. I really can't believe seems like I missed a step somewhere. When did I graduate from going to the pediatrician to bringing my child there? I don't know if I have ever felt more like an adult than I did standing and listening to vaccine schedules and insurance information. Now I'm picking a doctor for my child...I can't think of anything that could underscore more the huge (and exciting) changes that are coming in our lives.

Friday, August 13, 2010

36 weeks!!

How Far Along: 36 weeks 2 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 24 pounds

How Big is Baby: By this week of pregnancy your baby's crown-to-rump length reaches about 13.5 inches and the total length is approximately 20.7 inches. Your baby weighs about 6 pounds now.

Maternity Clothes? Umm, yeah!

Sleep: Sleep is very hard to come by. I wake up numerous times to use the restroom. Trying to turn over in bed is quite a feat and with the weather the way it has been I'm always hot when I sleep during the day. It's hard to get comfortable!

Best Moment this Week: We are now seeing my doctor every week. I'm measuring right on and everything still looks great. Next week my doctor will check for sure but Dr. Evans is pretty certain that our little one is heads down!! That's what I like to hear.

Movement: Yep, this little one always seems to be tossing and turning. Since he or she is running out of room the movements are getting to be a bit painful at times but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love knowing that our little one is healthy!

Food Cravings: Nope.

Gender: Still a surprise!

Labor Signs: It feels as if I'm having more braxton-hicks contractions. Next week my doctor is going to check and see if I've made any progress so I guess we'll know by then if anything is happening yet. I am completely fine letting this little one cook for a while longer!

Belly Button In or Out? Outie of course.

Stretchmarks? Nope. It's kind of weird that I don't have any yet but I'm not going to complain!! :-)

How are you feeling: Tired, uncomfortable and hot. This 90-100 degree weather is horrible and I hate even walking out of our apartment. Ugh. Besides that I'm getting more and more excited by the day. I am SO ready to hold our baby!

What I am looking forward to: Finding out next week if our little one is in the right position and just getting closer to meeting this baby!!

What I miss: Sleeping on my back and being able to move around without it being such a chore.

Weekly Wisdom: Well I've heard people say this all the time but I really want to do my best not to wish the next 4 weeks away. I want to enjoy what time I have left in this pregnancy even though my body is exhausted.

Milestones: As of next week my baby will be considered full-term!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Provision of Our Great God

Last month was so full of the goodness of God. It's not that His goodness changes, just sometimes my heart is in a better place to take notice. We have been so blessed by the amazing love and support we have received from our friends and family. My mom and sisters threw me a surprise shower in Pennsylvania when Jon and I went to visit in July. Here is just a small pictures of the graciousness of those closest to us.

And this is how the love of Christ was displayed...

Last weekend, two of my dear friends here in Louisville put together a wonderful shower for me. I've told Jon this numerous times but I never imagined I have would made such amazing godly friends through such a crazy job. That Saturday I was surrounded by tons of girl friends and some family too. What did I say? Yes, we are blessed beyond measure. I love these girls!!

Can I just say that many of these women have the love language of gift giving. Their generosity is so humbling.

Now Jon and I are busy organizing and preparing our apartment for our new addition. I can't even say how wonderful it feels to have little baby things all over the place. It makes this seem even more real. We have what we need, and are putting everything in it's I think we are about ready to meet our little one. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

6 Weeks To Go

I am now in my 34th week of pregnancy and inching closer and closer to d-day. It seems pretty surreal. Jon and I spent our weekend organizing things to try and make room for baby Groves. Our dear friends Shelby and Amanda have lent us some space in their basement to store some furniture and boxes in hopes that we can set aside some space for baby items. We cleared out closet space for baby clothes and bought some storage bins that will hopefully help keep the clutter at bay.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday and things still look great. The baby's heartbeat was in the 150s (which according to some would hint that our little one's gender is female...but who knows). I was measuring right on and my blood pressure was good. I'm thankful. In two weeks I go back in to see the doctor for my important 36 week visit and from there on out I'll be heading to the doctor's office once a week until our baby decides to make an appearance.

God has continued to provide for us and our baby over the past few weeks. My mom and two younger sisters threw me a surprise baby shower and I have another small shower put together by two close friends this weekend here in Louisville. We've been blessed and God's graciousness serves as a constant reminder that he is faithful even as we wait for Jon to find a job. I'm getting to the place where I am more than ready to start my maternity leave and spend 12 whole weeks home with my baby.

I haven't been great at keeping this blog updated but one of my excuses is that I spent most of the month of July out of town. Last week Jon and I were actually visiting my family in Pennsylvania. On one of our last days there Jon took me on a surprise day trip to Washington D.C. That city that has special meaning to us because it happens to be the place where Jon proposed to me back in 2006, on this exact spot actually (except it was night-time and the lights of the National Mall were a beautiful backdrop). So yes, I've been married to this handsome guy for four amazing years. I love you hon and I can't wait to see you as a dad!! Only 6 weeks left!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hospital Tour

There seems to be a never-ending checklist when it comes to preparing for a baby's arrival. Between doctor appointments, registering for needed baby items, childbirth classes, saving up money etc it can all be a bit overwhelming. I've never been one who is good at seeing the whole picture and then breaking things into manageable pieces. I do much better when I'm given the multiple steps that are needed to arrive at the goal so that I see what specific tasks need to get done. It's a good thing that there is plenty of information out there on what soon to be parents need to think about when preparing for their new addition. As Jon and I have slowly been checking things off our to-do list our most current accomplishment has been touring our hospital.

We were exhausted due to working the night before but once we started the tour the two of us couldn't help but get excited. Walking through the halls of the hospital made this journey seem even more real, as if this baby inside me wasn't enough! Our guide walked us through where we need to come in to register, triage, labor and delivery rooms, the nursery and after care rooms for mother and baby. I love it!! According to my countdown I have 60 days left until D-Day. Good grief! I wonder when this little one will choose to make his or her appearance.

Next things on our checklist:
- Find a pediatrician
- Finish writing our birth plan (there may be a good blog post coming associated with this, we'll see.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

30 Week Survey

How Far Along: 30 weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 20 pounds!!

How Big is Baby: The total length of our baby is about 17 inches and our little one weighs about 3 pounds now.

Maternity Clothes? Yep. There are a few old shirts that still work for me but I'm pretty much living in maternity clothes, complete with elastic waste-bands. Honestly, with how hot and humid this weather has been I would be happy with not wearing anything at all. Good grief it's hot!!

Sleep: I have my good days and bad days. It's pretty much a common occurrence now that I wake up multiple times during the day when I sleep, roughly every couple of hours.

Best Moment this Week: Continued reassurance that our baby is growing big and strong. Also God has been SO faithful dragging me out of a pit I have been wallowing in for a while. His mercies are new every morning and that gives me great joy!!

Movement: The little one is still moving like crazy although instead of tons of punches and kicks it feels a lot more like rolling around since our baby is beginning to run out of room. I can now feel knees, feet, elbows etc poking my stomach. The movement of baby Groves never gets old!!

Food Cravings: Not really.

Gender: Still a surprise!

Labor Signs: I have multiple braxton hicks contractions throughout the day but thankfully nothing more than that. My mom had me at 30 weeks but hopefully our little peanut stays put for longer!

Belly Button In or Out? I've got an outie!

Stretchmarks? Not yet. I'm still waiting on those guys to show up although if they don't make an appearance I wouldn't be disappointed.

How are you feeling: I'm actually feeling pretty good. I haven't felt overly tired, which I hear is a big thing in the 3rd trimester. My legs get tired when Jon and I take the dog on walks but other than that things are great!

What I am looking forward to: Holding our little one. I can't believe we only have 10 weeks left.

What I miss: Oddly enough...tuna. There are a couple cans of tuna that have been sitting in the pantry at my workplace and every time I see them I miss eating tuna. Oh I also miss eating sunny side up eggs with a nice runny yoke. Ah well.

Weekly Wisdom: This being my first pregnancy I don't feel like I have any wisdom to impart except for what I have been learning lately. Surrendering is not easy. Nothing makes you realize how little control you have until you are pregnant (and I'm sure even more so once the baby is born). Things are incredibly uncertain in our lives right now but God has been so faithful in walking me through this season of worry and doubt. He has gently rebuked me and surrounded me with encouragement as I have desperately sought to refocus my heart on Christ. I'm in a much better place now than I was last week and I'm grateful. So my weekly wisdom...this pregnancy is not my own and neither is my life. May God be glorified.

Milestones: 3rd trimester baby!!

Weeks 29-32 (Month 7): Squash
"Big news for baby's brain this week: It's starting to wrinkle and fold and looks like something that grew in the back of your fridge. This is due to the rapid growth of your little genius's brain cells. Other highlights this week:

Fingernails and toenails are finally finished—causing his or her parents great fear and anguish the first time they try to cut those little daggers (it gets easier, we promise)! Plus, the bone marrow is completely in charge of red-blood-cell production now. Trust us, this is a good thing.

Baby is starting to shed his lanugo—the downy hair that was covering his skin. Now that he's chubbier and better able to regulate his body temp, he doesn't need to sport a fur coat 24/7.

"I spy an umbilical cord and the inside of my mom's uterus!" When your baby is awake, his eyes are now wide open and he's whittling away the hours looking around, checking out his rather dark, limited environment."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Bradley Method

There are tons of different childbirth classes out there, one of the most well known being Lamaze. Jon and I hadn't really talked much about what sort of class to take until I began doing some research online. In my reading I came across the Bradley method, also known as "Husband Coached Childbirth." After talking to some friends of ours and doing some more research both Jon and I decided that this was the way we wanted to go. The Bradley method teaches natural childbirth and gives the mother and father (referred to as "the coach") knowledge and resources in order to be better prepared for labor.

The Bradley method is unique in a couple of ways. First of all this class is a huge proponent of non-medicated births. It is also a pretty extensive class; instead of an expected 4-6 classes, the Bradley classes are a 12 week long course that covers everything from nutrition, anatomy and physiology of labor, coaching, techniques for dealing with the different stages of labor and reaching as far as breastfeeding and postpartum preparation. The Bradley method views labor as a marathon and just like you would train to prepare your body for a marathon, it trains the mother to prepare her body to better handle the stress and pain of labor.

Another thing that we really like about the Bradley method is that the husband is an integral part of the birthing process. As the coach, he has to know what is going on, be able to read the signs of the stages of labor and be able to help make decisions if an alternative intervention is needed. Jon has felt that taking the class has removed so much of the mystery of labor- he now knows that labor comes in stages, dilation is only one of four indicators of the progress of labor (the others are station, effacement and position of the baby) and is familiar with many of the physical processes that occur surrounding and during labor. Taking the Bradley class means that not only does he know what is going on, but he can be much more involved in labor, coaching me into positions that will speed up labor and encouraging me with realistic specifics rather than just blindly assuring me that everything will be fine. He is thrilled to be as involved as possible in the birth of this baby.

We are now on to week 10 of our 12 week course and I can say that we have learned so much! Jon and I will be the first to tell you that we haven't agreed with everything in the class, but just being more informed has been a huge confidence booster for me. I've known and heard from people on both sides of the spectrum; those who think hospitals and doctors are unnecessary and those who are ready to schedule a c-section for the sake of convenience. We've talked about how to know when you should go to the hospital, what helps and what hinders contractions and been exposed to probably the most detailed account of what the process of birth is like. So, where do I fall now that I'm close to completely this Bradley class?

Well, I'm personally not on board with a home birth, but I really want to try and have this baby naturally. Before this class, the thought of going through labor without meds was just something I kind of admired, (my mom was able to that multiple times) but now I deeply desire to do it. This is something I want to experience; this method fits me well. Women have been doing this for thousands of years and I believe God made our bodies with the ability to do this on our own. So, here goes nothing! Jon and I have agreed that I will take medication if I really think things are becoming unmanageable, and of course if there is a serious need for medical intervention, we trust our doctor's experience. The reality is that the only outcome that matters is a safe and healthy baby, but we're excited to experience birth in this unique and amazing way. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's In a Name?

Being the oldest of four girls, I spent a lot of time playing with my sisters. Some of our favorite "games" were school, house, and yes, even church. That's what happens when you grow up as a pastor's kid. Apparently I liked to preach sermons, sing and I couldn't have a church service without passing around the offering plate to my little sisters. In our play times we would often make up new names for ourselves.

The name I always wanted to be called was Julie. Blame it on watching The Sound of Music over and over again, but I had a fascination with Julie Andrews. How could I not as I watched her twirl around singing "the hills are alive with the sound of music," or seeing her portray the practically perfect in every way nanny to two precocious little children? If you would have asked me then, I would have told you that Julie was my name.

Now I have grown up a bit, my love for the name Julie has faded, and it's never been in the running for our top baby girl name. Favorite names were a topic of random conversations during the first few years of our marriage, and before Jon and I found out the news that we were pregnant we had already (mostly) settled on our two favorite names. With us keeping the gender a secret (even to ourselves!) we decided to have mercy on our parents and at least reveal our top name choices. After a lot of discussion here is where we stand.

Baby Boy Groves:
Aiden Samuel Groves

Why do we love this name so much? Well one thing that attracted me to the name Aiden was that it was the first name of a theologian Jon and I have both grown to love: A.W. Tozer. The Knowledge of the Holy just one of his many phenomenal books, and if you have never read it, stop reading this post and go pick it up! Whatever Happened to Worship?: A Call to True Worship is another one of my favorites. I also couldn't help but notice that Aiden also means "Little Fire" appropriate for a little red-headed boy! Even if a little red-head escapes us this time, this name is still our front-runner should Baby Groves be a boy! We want each of our children to be able to look up at least part of their name in Scripture and see an example of God's faithfulness, and so his biblical middle is Samuel. Not only does it mean "God hears," but it's also in honor of Jon's Dad, whose middle name is also Samuel.

Baby Girl Groves:
Ainsley Elizabeth Groves

Let me first note that we didn't plan for both our boy and girl names to start with A. We just fell in love with these two names. Unfortunately one of the other girl names I hope to use at some point in time also starts with an A, but we're not letting that stop us. Jon came to love this name when he heard it on one of his favorite TV shows, The West Wing (the character is pictured above). He's always loved the name, thinking it both unique and beautiful, and I can't agree more. Her biblical middle name, Elizabeth, is a reference to John the Baptist's faithful mother and it means, "God is my oath."

So, of the myriad of things we don't know and cannot control in this pregnancy, here's something that's a sure thing: our baby will either be Aiden Samuel Groves, or Ainsley Elizabeth Groves. Either way, we can't wait to see our little baby Groves and call him or her by their name!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scrubbing Bubbles or Why I Love My Wife

I have a few confessions to make. First, I’m not the cleanest guy in the world. When I lived with a few roommates, our bathroom may have gone an entire year without actually being cleaned. Second, I’ve never scrubbed a bathroom until it was totally clean. I know some would say this makes me a bad husband, but I’ve just never done it. I would if I was asked, but Kristen has always taken care of it. Third, because of my first two confessions, I realized a few weeks ago how amazing my wife is.

Kristen’s parents were coming into town for a few days to see us, so naturally there was cleaning to do. I had to talk Kristen out of cleaning the bathroom; she insisted she would only use cleaners that were non-toxic, but I was not going to let her kneel down to clean the tub, and I knew that something good and toxic would be required to get our tub clean, so I told her I was going to do it.

Our tub seems to be constructed of some material that collects and preserves dirt and grime for all eternity. I’m fairly sure someone should look into this technology, as I am sure those who preserve dirt (Oscar the Grouch?) would love to understand exactly how this works. All I know is, the tub is hard to get clean. Really hard.

Before going to work on the car, I left a few inches of bleach water in the tub in hopes of loosening up the grime. Returning two hours later, I drained the tub to find it relatively unchanged. It took almost an entire can of Scrubbing Bubbles, some Kaboom Shower Cleaner and multiple scrubbings with a brush that I normally use to clean road tar off my car tires, and the tub looked pretty good. But I still had to give it another once-over to make it look presentable. All this took, well, I don’t really know how long, but it was a long time…and I hadn’t even started on the rest of the bathroom.

My wife has tirelessly cleaned the tub and bathroom since we were first married (and, actually, she did most of the bathroom cleaning when I moved out of my bachelor apartment with those roommates) and I am fully convinced that she, pregnant belly and all, would have scrubbed the shower all day if I had not intervened. That’s the kind of servant heart she has, and that’s how lucky I am to have her. So, what does this have to do with our baby? Well, I can't help but thank God that he has given me Kristen as a wife and mother to our baby. Her selfless love and determined patience will certainly will be tested by this little one, but as they grow up, they'll see their mother living out Proverbs 31 each and every day.

I don’t think that I ever realized how big of a deal cleaning a shower is, but it reminded me how blessed I am to be married to and having a baby with my wonderful wife.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pregnancy Survey

(These pictures were taken on Mother's Day so they are a good couple of weeks old. I'll work on posting more recent ones soon.)

How far along? 24 weeks and 5 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 13 lbs or so (I was weighed at my last appointment a couple of weeks ago and I haven't hopped on a scale since)

How Big is Baby? Our little one weighs in somewhere around 1.2 pounds and is 8 1/2 inches in length.

Maternity Clothes? Yep!! However there is one pair of Capri pants I can still wear with the belly band but all of my other pants are maternity. I've also been able to get away wearing long t-shirts that aren't necessarily maternity but they certainly are cheaper!

Stretch Marks? Not yet but I'm sure they are on their way.

Sleep? Some days are better than others. Honestly after working nights for 4 years I am kind of use to not sleeping well so it doesn't seem much different than normal. However on Saturday I woke up EVERY HOUR! Ah well I guess I am gearing up for motherhood.

Best Moment This Week: Feeling our little peanut roll around like crazy! My parents were in town this past week and my mom got to feel the baby kick, which was so fun to share with her.

Food Cravings? Nothing crazy. I was craving a Dairy Queen blizzard the other week and my wonderful hubby surprised me with an ice cream run after our birthing class. Yummm.

Gender: It's a surprise! We are not going to find out until delivery day.

Labor Signs? Geez, I sure hope not. I've been having braxton hicks contractions for months now but that's all.

Belly Button in or out? An outie, it's not much of one but definitely an outie.

What I miss: Being able to wear my favorite summer clothes and enjoying a nice cup of regular coffee.

What I am looking forward to: Traveling to Florida to spend time with my husband's family. I'm excited to share this pregnancy with them!

Milestones: We are past the halfway mark!! Fun fact for the day: Baby Groves is practicing breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs.

Weeks 21-24: Papaya

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You're Going To Do What?!?

That is the statement I would use to most accurately describe the horrified look on people's faces when they hear that Jon and I have decided to use cloth diapers with our little one. Now if you would have told me a year ago that I would use cloth diapers, I probably would give you the same look I've been getting lately. It wasn't until I met a few people (one good friend in particular) who swear by them that I began to think about the idea. After plenty of talk and research, we've decided we're all for it!

Now, when most people think of cloth diapers this is the picture they envision:

An ill-fitting diaper secured with diaper pins that must be a bear to scramble around with when trying to change a newborn. Well, that was then and this... now.

So, now that you have the first picture out of your head, let's talk about why Jon and I decided to go the cloth diaper route. The main reason it first appealed to me was the fact that it saves money. Comparison studies indicate that diapering costs for the first year of a baby's life are $1000 to $1500 less with cloth diapers. Since cloth diapers are reusable they can be passed on from child to child as long as they are well taken care of, cutting even further the cost of diapering the following children. Aside from the money, research I have done indicates that cloth diapers help to cut down if not completely eliminate diaper rash and aid in speeding up potty training. One other fairly obvious aspect of cloth as opposed to disposable is that they are more environmentally friendly, although Jon rolls his eyes a bit at this. :-)

One of the first comments people say when they get over the shock of our cloth diaper usage in the 21st century is "Gross!" Now maybe my idea of gross is a little different from most people due to the fact that we've been picking up after our Great Dane for 2 years now. I honestly don't think we can be phased by whatever sized blow-out this little one decides to dish out. As a side note, we're not planning on using cloth diapers until we have gotten a little more use to the chaos of having a baby around. Somewhere around the third month or so I think we may switch over, but we'll start out with disposables. See, we're not TOO crazy.

Now I know that plenty of people will still think we are nuts and that's fine with me. To each his own in the diapering world. However I can't help but think in this convenience based, throw away society that maybe a little extra work and invested time is worth the payoff. I suppose we'll find out firsthand soon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Welcome to our baby blog! We decided that instead of posting various baby-related pictures, information and thoughts on our respective blogs and facebook, we could make this the one stop for all of you who are interested in how the pregnancy is progressing. We'll have ultrasound pictures, updates and probably some hilarious first-time parent tales to tell.

We're glad you have taken the time to come and see what's here...check back often, and we'll try to update with something new at least once a week. And please keep both of us in your prayers over these next few months. There is so much still up in the air, and frankly, we still don't have much of an idea where we will be living when the baby is born, or how we're going to get everything together that we need. Pray for us as we continue to trust that the Lord has a purpose and plan in what seems like uncertainly right now, and we'll keep you updated on his faithfulness. Thanks for stopping by!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
- Psalm 139:13-14