Wednesday, August 10, 2016

four months

august 7, 2016

20 lbs 8 1/2 oz
 26.5 inches

// loves //
putting everything in his mouth
watching lights turn on and off
grabbing for toys and fingers
talking and exploring his voice
kicking his legs in the air and grabbing his toes

// dislikes //
naptime, bedtime, sleeping...

you smile so much and we smile so much because of you!

Friday, July 8, 2016

three months

july 7, 2016

no doctor's appointment this month but he's looking taller and bigger (;

// loves //
sitting up with some help from mom and dad
going for walks in the baby bjorn
helping with his diaper changes!

// dislikes //
being alone

first time in a pool this month! not quite sure what he thought of it, but the water was pretty cold!

Friday, July 1, 2016

two months

june 7, 2016

15lb 9oz
24.5 inches

// loves //
looking at daddy and following him around the room with his eyes
sleeping on car rides
hammock time

// dislikes //
starting to warm up to diaper changes!

working hard on tummy time this month!

one month

may 7, 2016

11lb 14oz
23.5 inches

// loves //
sleeping on daddy
eating around the clock
bath time
daddy's head massages

// dislikes //
diaper changes

gave us his first smiles this month!

jackson gregory

our due date was march 29, which came and went with little excitement. i had a doctor's appointment the next day. i was dilated about 3-4cm but hadn't been feeling any contractions as i progressed and, although we hoped i'd go into labor on my own, they scheduled an induction for monday evening, april 4.

during the weekend i still felt no contractions or really any sign that labor would start soon. i contacted the hospital monday afternoon to confirm the induction and was told that they did not have room to take me at that time and they would call me early tuesday morning to see if we could go then. we proceeded to play phone tag with the hospital morning about every four hours. it felt like the longest 48 hours of my life. john had taken off work starting that monday afternoon since we thought we'd be meeting our baby that night! as we waited we did as much as possible to keep ourselves distracted - hung out with friends, went to see a movie, tried to induce labor on its own ;)

finally on wednesday morning i received a call around 9am letting us know they could take us - like, now - and how soon could we get there? i had just gotten out of the shower so i told them we would get ready as quickly as possible, grab a "last meal" for me and be on our way!

if only i'd known how much i'd grow to dislike this bed after a few days in it!

we arrived at the hospital around noon and got settled in to our room. it was a bit strange, having time to set up my essential oil diffuser and music speaker and make things comfortable in the room without having to work through contractions. they performed a cervical check on me and i was still around 4cm dilated. we had originally been told the plan would be to break my water and hope contractions started on their own, the doctor at the hospital decided i would be started on pitocin to get them going. i was very hesitant about this change of plans, as i'd been hoping to not have a medicated birth. but as there was no guarantee that my body would go into labor simply from breaking my water (we were already 8 days overdue at this point and i had not felt any contractions) and this would put us on a timeline to a c-section if it didn't happen, i went ahead with the pitocin.

 thank you, SAL, for the comfy socks! they style well with the hospital gown (;

they started the pitocin around 2pm and for the next 4-5 hours not much changed. my dose was increased every 45 minutes or so. finally around 7pm or so i started feeling some decent contractions. here we go, we thought. after about an hour, our nurse came in and asked if i wanted to go to the bathroom as this can sometimes help with the intensity of the contractions. i said yes and off i went with my pitocin cart. our nurse was right; it did help - to the point of not feeling any contractions again. this was extremely frustrating as i felt like we'd wasted hours.

they kept increasing my pitocin til around 1030 when the doctor decided that as it was highly unlikely i would give birth in the next several hours i would get some morphine to help me sleep. they would also continue increasing the pitocin a few more times then stop it for an hour and restart it at half the dosage. this all was very hard mentally; why couldn't my body just do what it was supposed to?

for the next few hours i drifted in and out of sleep as the nurse came in to check my vitals. around 3 or 4 am the morphine started to wear off and i was starting to feel contractions again. i labored from then until about 7am. over those hours the contractions progressed, becoming more intense and closer together. since it had taken so long to go from 4cm to 5cm i guessed i was maybe around 7cm at this point. the pain was intense and i asked john to call for the nurse. i'd decided that if the pain was going to just keep increasing, i was going to want an epidural.

my doctor came in a bit later in the morning; she was at the hospital but there for surgeries so she wouldn't be able to deliver my baby but wanted to stop in to see how i was doing. one of the things i like about her is that she is very friendly and likes to chat. however, when you're 9cm dilated and unmedicated the last thing you want to do is talk! i remember just kind of grunting at her in between contractions as she tried to make conversation.

my water still hadn't broken by this point and she asked if i wanted her to break it. my contractions were pretty much all consuming at this point and all i could think was - you're the doctor. you've done this plenty of times; you tell me! fortunately john was on the same page as me and told her that she should do what she thought best. so a couple minutes later, my water was broken.

shortly after this i began to feel the urge to push. i again had john call for the nurse. we told the nurse what i was feeling and she called for the doctor and the rest of the labor "team." they examined my progress and found that there was a tiny lip left and basically told me i needed to keep laboring. at this point i had no doubt my body was telling me to push. one of the medical staff suggested i try pushing and she would see if she could move what she needed to out of the way using my pushing to help. i agreed and sure enough, one push and my body was there.

i pushed for about an hour, john holding one leg and our nurse the other. hearing his reactions as my body pushed out our baby was an emotional experience and also gave me the encouragement i needed as i neared the end of this pregnancy and labor. it was an excruciating hour but we finally got to the point where they told me one big push and this could be it. a contraction came and i gave it everything i had in me. and at 10:05am, jackson gregory beckler breathed his first breath.

april 7, 2016

8lb 8oz
22 inches

and a full head of hair

they immediately held him up for me to see him and then placed him on my chest. it's hard to put into words what seeing and touching the life you grew and carried inside you for 9 months feels like. i was finally holding our baby boy. my perfect, little family of 3.

Monday, January 6, 2014

a month of mondays

last christmas was a pretty tight time financially for us, and john and i decided to forgo gifts for one another. this year was a bit better and honestly, i think we missed the fun of giving each other presents. so we set a budget and got to it. christmas morning, john handed me an envelope and a gift bag and instructed me to open the envelope first.

inside was a card in which he had written that his gift to me this year was a "month of mondays." mondays just so happen to be my least favorite day of the week. (anyone else with me?) what can i say? i really enjoy weekends full of time with my husband, friends, church family, and having the chance to work on projects and goals for myself.

so my wonderful husband has a card for me for every monday in january and included with each card a gift or two to help make mondays a day to look forward to.

this honestly may be the most thoughtful gift i've ever received.

this morning, i was treated to breakfast and this evening there is a bottle of wine awaiting my return from work. monday, you and i may be friends one day yet.

and in case this post is too sappy, let me also share what happened last evening after i'd opened the first card for today. not twenty minutes after i'd posted about the sweetness of his gift on facebook did i lean in to give john a hug. my cheek was pressed against his ear and apparently with the hoodie, scarf, leg warmers and blanket i was wrapped in, i had gotten quite warm to the touch. my thoughtful husband said to me, "wow, your face is fat! ... uh, i dunno what just happened ... i mean ... that's not the word i wanted ... hot! your face is hot!" second time in a week that man has made me laugh so hard i cried.

you just never know what you're going to get with that guy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


january 1. a  new year. a clean slate.

i find the older i get the less i really care about new year's eve and the more i look forward to new year's day. there's something about the turning of the page that is refreshing, motivating, and grace-filled. true, december 31 is a day to look back on the last 365 with gratitude, hopefully feeling we've learned something in that year. but january 1 means 365 days to carry those lessons and gratitude into new adventures, new dreams, new hope.

there's something in me that longs to be made new. there's something in me that resonates with the opportunity to have a clean slate and start again anew. the beginning of a new year brings an opportunity to do just that. and this year is poised to be full of new things, God willing.

john and i will both be celebrating big birthdays (i.e., ones that end in -0!). i will be in 3 weddings, 2 of which john will also be in. on top of that, john will graduate from college in may after almost 10 years of pursuing his dream to become a teacher. then begins the search for a teaching job. this alone stands to bring big change for us. the entire time we've been together life for him has been both school and work. i'm excited for him to get the opportunity to just work, especially in a career that he's already so passionate about. and these are just the things we know about!

so basically, 2014 stands to be a year of celebrating for us. bring. it. on.

i didn't make resolutions this year, but i did read this quote today and thought it fitting for my hope for this new year:
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever."
-Neil Gaiman
may 2014 be a year of not being afraid to make mistakes.