Thursday, August 25, 2011

something special

My Little Sister is Engaged!

Zach asked Justine to be his wife the day after Ernie was born.  We couldn't be happier!  What an incredible week for my family...filled full of blessings! We are so thrilled to welcome "Uncle Zach" into our family.  I look forward to all of the wedding preparations and even more to the marriage of these two beautiful people.  

We love you Zach and Justine!  Congrats!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ernie's Birthday

Hello Friends,

It has taken me awhile to get around to posting pictures from Ernie's birthday.  Days are running into nights and life is one beautiful mess that I'm attempting to figure out right now.  I wanted to take this time (perhaps minutes?) while the little boy is napping to post the photographs my lovely sister took during my labor.  Let's be honest, it will take several nap times to complete this post :).  Josh has already shared a post on our birth story here.  With the help of these photographs It's now my turn to chime in! I hope sharing my experience with you will help me to remember the day our first child was born.

It was a typical day, but not too typical considering I was one day "overdue" and feeling it.  We had dinner with a friend and were chatting with her over tea in our living room when I started feeling uncomfortable; so much so that I couldn't sit any longer and had to walk around while talking.  Lisa (our dinner guest) caught on quickly that something was up.  She left our home around 9:00 with a big smile on her face in light of what was about to come.  Josh and I were trying to remain calm (it could have been false labor) but had a hunch this could be "it".  We stayed up extra late watching a few episodes of MasterChef on Hulu (a bad choice in hindsight...we should have slept while we still could!).  

1:30am- I couldn't lay any longer in bed.  Cramps wrapped around my abdomen and to my back.  I had maybe one more of those before I woke up Josh and told him that these contractions were "different" more sleeping.  Josh got out the exercise ball, a giant mug of ice water, and made me some oatmeal (my last meal before birth!).  The contractions were irregular at this point but continued steadily on.  I called my mom and sister (my birth team :) ) and told them to get ready!  
This photo was taken by Josh with my phone; surprisingly I was okay with him snapping this pic during a contraction :)

5:30am- We headed to the hospital after timing contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute long and continuing for 1 hour.  
The good news: Things were progressing.  
The bad news: I was only 3cm dilated and had the option to either take pitocin or go back home to labor longer.  We chose to go home.  
here are photos from our first hospital visit

Josh was my hero.  During contractions I would feel enormous amounts of pain in my lower back; Josh applied counter-pressure during every contraction to help ease my discomfort.

Here's my sweet labor team (minus Josh).  
These ladies kept me hydrated, rubbed my back, breathed with me, put cool cloths on my forehead, prayed for me, and supported me in incredible ways during the entire process.

11:30-7:30- We labored at home.  I was given a minor sedative to try and "sleep through contractions".  That hardly happened.  I tried to lay down but every three minutes I arose to sharp pangs, which were coming on a lot stronger and more close together by the minute.  The Lord was my help.  He gave Scripture to my heart before each contraction to meditate on.  My dear friend Angela, who had given birth just a few weeks before me had also given me verses she held onto during her labor.  

Here are some of God's promises I clung to:  
God is my refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1)
God's grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
When I am afraid I will trust in Him. (Psalm 56:3)
God is my help. (Psalm 54:4, Romans 8:26)
God is with me always and will never forsake me. (Joshua 1:9)
God intends good for me. (Romans 8:28)
Josh was my help too; he encouraged me that I could do it and was doing it even when I doubted I could.  He held me and told me he loved countless times.  He prayed over me and over little Earnest and reassured me that God was with me, loved me, and would help me persevere.     

During active labor I was able to listen to music.  I had created a playlist of hymnals with rich words and soothing sounds.  Just recently I heard "Give Me Jesus" by Fernando Ortega (a song from my playlist) and was left sobbing as I was brought back to the day Ernie was born.  I recalled God's goodness and faithfulness to us in that time and how he used music and my family to remind me of His sweet promises.
7:30- I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart and we decided to give the hospital another go.
8:00- I was now 5cm dilated.  We praised the Lord!  I was able to stay at the hospital and labor there.  By the time I was 6 cm dilated I decided to labor in the tub.  This was such a relief.  The warm water really was a comfort to me.  I really didn't want to get out but had to when the time came to start pushing.

1:00- The long hours of pushing began.  It's hard to describe these hours.  I had been laboring so long (24 hours); these moments blur together in mind.  Most memories I have are good: Josh whispering words of encouragement in my ear and holding my hands, sister praying for me, mom rooting for me from the sidelines; but unfortunately not all of my labor experience was this good.  My midwife was very disappointing; she even yelled at me during the pushing process.  She was rude to my family, discouraging to me, and altogether the worst part of the entire labor process.  I won't go into further detail because I want to remember the beautiful moments and not dwell on my (our) discontentment with this particular midwife.  I'm thankful she delivered my boy but beyond that I will never see her again nor recommend her to anyone.  Enough said about her...let's move on to the best part :)...  

4:10-4:22- This was it.  The last minutes before Earnest would make his way into the world.  By this point I was tuning out my midwife's voice, focusing on Josh's words and begging the Lord to help me get Ernie out.  I remember hearing a baby cry in an adjacent room and knew that was God giving me hope that soon our little boy would be out and with his new mama and papa.  After three hours of pushing I did it, all by God's grace and strength as I did not have single ounce of energy left to push.  The sound of Earnest's strong cry lifted my heart.  He was brought up to my chest and I weakly wept over the tiny miracle before me.  He was here; and looked just like his daddy.

proudest papa you will ever see
We are in love.
Thank you Justine for taking these beautiful photographs.  
We will always remember the day Earnest was born!

At the Hospital

I wanted to take a moment and share some of the photos we took while staying at the hospital.  I hope they bring a smile to your face this Wednesday!  Stay tuned for the birth story soon to come :)!

Proud Papa

 muscle man
Auntie Teenie
Grandma and Grandpa
 Uncle Ben and Aunt Britta
 Great Grandma
 Grandpa Jon
 Grandma Joan
Uncle Jordan
 Aunt Beth and Uncle Jared (in background)

Ernie's first car ride (4 blocks to get home!)

What a loved little boy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

(almost) two weeks old

Good Afternoon Friends,
I'm writing to you as my sweet little Earnest sleeps in his bassinet beside me.  I can hardly believe that only two weeks ago Ernie was in my belly; I can't imagine life without him now!  Josh and I are slowly adjusting to being parents.  We have a lot to learn but are trusting in God for his grace, wisdom, and strength.
Things I have been loving this week:
1. smooching Ernie's cheeks, toes, and tummy
2. snuggling and staring at God's handiwork
3. a visit to the grandparents (both sides!)
4. washing and folding tiny newborn clothes
5. watching Josh be a new daddy...he's such a good daddy 
I hope you all are having a wonderful week of enjoying the little things in life.

Much Love,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You, Me... and Ernie Makes Three

Today I have been given the honor of guest blogging on my wife's blog. I have been talking about doing this for some time now and what better time than the birth my son Earnest. My original plan was to attempt to blog during our hospital stay, when Ernie was only a day or two old. The little man is now more than a week old (born Thursday Aug, 4th at 4:22 am) and while I'm a bit late, I'm thankful that we decided to have a professional capture the earliest moments of his life while still at the hospital. I'll try and capture some of the events and feelings from the past week and since my wife Jennifer's last post between the images below.

Earnest Joshua Jacobs came after an exhausting and exhilarating 28 hours of labor.  Jen and I decided to stay up a bit later on Tuesday night, August 2nd after contractions that felt "different" from the normal Braxton-Hicks type. Hoping to take her mind of the mild discomfort, we stayed up watching a movie  until about midnight, banking on me driving us to the hospital in the morning instead of myself to Graco, where I work as a mechanical engineer.

 The fact that this was her official due date really began to make the both of us think it could be the real thing.  Our hunch was right when not more than an hour into our slumber, Jen's contractions began becoming painful enough to disallow any prolonged sleep. Little did we know this would be the only hour of sleep we'd get in over 50 hours (18 hours before labor started, 28 hours of labor, and 4 hours of joy and excitement).

Jen and I couldn't quite imagine how fast he would change day by day, even as our mothers were reminding us how quickly it all goes and how he'll never have the "newborn in the hospital" look ever again - to us this was hard to imagine. Eight days later we are beginning to understand - God is graciously growing our boy and each day holds another surprise.

All of these pictures were taken about an hour before we put him in his car seat, strapped him into the Corolla, and drove a whole 6 blocks from the hospital to his home. This was surreal... he's real, he's beautiful, and he's OURS?

While my hands dwarf the size of his cute little cranium today, Earnest has very large hands and feet for a little guy. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if at 16, his feet eclipse his dad's size 11 and his hands better palm a basketball (I was always so close).

Below are his "caveman pants"- possibly my favorite. If it were up to me I'd have him in this type of garb all of the time or even just his diaper; it gives me better access to bury my face in his belly and touch more of his baby soft skin- it's now a hobby of mine.

Looking at the picture below that Jen took makes me wonder if there will ever be a moment captured where he looks more cute than this! I don't have milk or the calming, nurturing, magical mother's touch but I make up for it with a slightly warmer and infinitely more furry chest, all the better to nap on if you ask either Ernie or me.

I want to take these last few inches of blog space to praise the Lord for his kindness in allowing Jen and I to raise His little child. I look at my beautiful, strong and courageous wife, then down at the miracle of a new life in Ernie and I am all of a sudden caught up in how blessed I am to be one of God's children. 

"...what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him."
-Psalm 8:4

God's unwarranted, undeserving love and care for Jen and I gives us strength and confidence that His sovereign love will bless and keep Earnest. In this we can rest. Please pray for us, that we would trust in God's will for our family and ultimately rest in His goodness. Pray that we can shepherd Earnest well and that he'd place his faith in Jesus, who is the very the author and perfecter of our faith. 

"Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;"
-Psalm 63:1

Many Blessings,


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Forty Weeks Today

Hello Friends,

I am forty weeks pregnant today!  No baby yet...still waiting.  Do you want to know what really helps with the waiting though?  Surprise sister days!  My sweet sister was able to take the day off work and hang out with me.  It was exactly what I needed.  I showered, put on something besides sweatpants, and was thrilled to get groceries at Trader Joe's with her!  It was an absolutely enjoyable day.  

Here are some fun photos with my sis:
 kisses from Auntie Teenie

 I love her; she always brightens my day!  

Thanks Teenie for keeping your prego sis company today!  I love you!

p.s. maybe next time I post I will have a baby in my lap?  Let's hope so!