Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Axel James Opperman

As I sit and type this, I'm sipping coffee with my sweet miracle 2 week old bubs. I've tried and tried to sit and write out his labor story MANY times, but I just wasn't ready. I needed time to reflect, ponder, and be thankful of the miracle that Axel truly is. And I'm ready to share his story...

At 41 weeks, to the day, (ugh) I had a doctor's appt. Being a week overdue, I was more than ready to get the show on the road. And my dr. agreed. She said we couldn't wait any longer, and I needed to be induced. However, the hospital I was supposed to deliver at had a waiting list of over a WEEK long. And she said I couldn't wait that long. So we arranged for me to deliver at another hospital. I was expecting to deliver that week, but when she said we have an opening the next morning at 4am, I was filled with excitement/anxiety/fear/etc. I couldn't believe I was going to have a baby the next day. And then it hit me. It was the 29th of February. We were going to have a Leap Day bubs! The rest of that day was filled with last minutes...we had to now register at the new hospital, take a quick tour, do some last minute cleaning, and laundry. I also did a quick run to the grocery store, so my parents would have something to eat when they came up! And of course a last dinner. I've really tried to eat as healthily as I could while preggers, so I enjoyed Pizza Hut for my last meal! Sleeping that last night was a JOKE. I couldn't stop thinking about what Axel would look eyes? Blonde hair? Long like his daddy? Big baby? For my sake, I was hoping for under 8 lbs...ha! Finally I dozed off for about 2 hours...

At 4am we arrived at the hospital. They immediately got me into a gown and hooked up to IV fluids. They asked me some last minute questions, got my ice chips, and began my pitocin drip at about 5:30am. I sat there very nervous just waiting to feel a doozy of a contraction. And nothing. The nurse came in about every 30 minutes and turned my drip up...and each time I got nervous thinking about the contractions to come. The dr came in at 9:05am and broke my water. Then I got really nervous. I knew that the contractions generally picked up the pace at that point. But still, nothing too bad. Finally I realized this could be awhile, so I relaxed a bit. Brian did a fantastic job of keeping me entertained. I also read a magazine, watched TV, journaled, and tried to enjoy & savor each moment. It was around 1pm when the contractions started to get strong. And I was really starting to dilate and efface. So Ray walked into my life. And he was my bff for the day. He was the epi man, as I called him. I was extremely nervous about getting it put in, but it was quick, painless, and OH, SO WORTH IT! I had realief within 20 minutes. The rest of the afternoon I dozed in and out. I was so droggy and worn out from no sleep the night before. At about 5pm I woke up to severe contractions that I felt despite the epi. Brian was an amazing coach and helped me breathe through them. It was then I realized why it was called "labor." I was working harder than I've ever worked trying to take one contraction at a time. Despite Brian's FANTASTIC coaching efforts, the pain got intense. I was in so much pain, they sent Ray in again, to "top" me off. Ahh...relief, again.

At 6pm, my dr came in to check me and unfortunately I was at an 8 but not ready to push. And she had to leave. So she introduced me to her partner who would be with me the rest of my labor and delivery. She was spunky and I immediately loved her. If I couldn't have my dr, she was the next best. Just a quick hour and half later, I was a was time to push. And then I panicked. Brian, being the amazing support system he is, encouraged me and prayed. And exactly at 7:30pm I began pushing. The dr thought it would be a quick delivery. However, 30 min into the process we quickly discovered this was not the case. For the sake of all the preggos out there, I will spare the details, but I've never worked so hard, hurt so bad, for anything in my entire life. There were 2 specific moments where I was COVINCED I could not go on. If Brian wasn't there encouraging me, and knowing my family and friends were covering me in prayer, I don't know what I would have done. It was around 9:15pm and we were getting oh, so close. His head was out. And thats when it got crazy. And went downhill, fast. Axel got his shoulders caught in my pelvic bone, and because of the way he was turned they couldn't get him out. They had me laboring on hands and knees and all sorts of tactics to get his body to turn. But he didn't. And it was getting serious. All of the sudden the dr looked at me, told me to push like it was life or death...I knew this wasn't looking good. As I was pushing for his life, the dr was trying to get a hold of something to pull him out. No avail. And it was too late for a C section. He was decended too far down. Like something in a movie, my delivery nurse, Holly, jumped on my stomach. NO EXAGGERATION. Jumped on it. The dr was able to grab Axel out by his arm. Finally at 9:36am Axel was born. But he wasn't breathing. Our worse nightmare was coming true. A swarm of dr's and additional nurses came in our room. It was all a blur. All I knew was my baby boy wasn't breathing. Brian and I began praying and claiming scripture. After what seemed like an eternity, we heard a cough. It was the BEST sound I've ever heard. Then it was followed by a cry. Brian was then allowed to meet our son (I was being stitched up-16 hr labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. Enough said). As soon as Brian said, "Axel its daddy," Axel reached his hand out for Brian. That is an image I will NEVER forget. Then Brian brought our little miracle over to me. And finally, we were a family. My life was forever changed.

I could go on and on about how this unexpected labor and delivery experience changed my life. Or all the lessons the Lord has taught me through this. But since this post is RIDICULOULSY LONG, I will stop for today. I'm sure you'll hear much more, soon;) Brian and I feel so much more than blessed. Words can't describe. And I can't wait to see what the Lord has for Axel.

He truly lived up to his name, "divine reward."

Can you tell this was early on?

Meeting our son. I can't believe I'm posting this pic, but Axel's face is too priceless. And its fun to see before and after.

The first cry from Axel. Our "divine reward" I like how the nurse kept it modest for us;)

Axel James Opperman
7lbs 13 oz
20.5 in

Friday, February 17, 2012

39 weeks/3 days...

Something happens to a mother-to-be between 38 & 39 weeks. At least it happened to this momma-to-be! Patience. Or lack there of. I was perfectly content with Axel coming when the time was right. And then 39 weeks crept up. And each day, I keep thinking, "Today is THE day." And each night as another day has past, I'm a little disappointed. His arrival consumes almost every thought. I keep waiting for the contractions to start. Or my water to break. I don't care which one, I just want something to happen! To top it all off, my doctor is at a medical conference next week AND we have a family member that has to go on a business trip next Tuesday-Thursday. So I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. I feel like we're playing beat the clock. I'm trying EVERY old wives tale to induce labor. Walked more this week then I think in my WHOLE life combined. I just want this precious life to grace us with his presence before Monday. However, this thought process does not make for a happy/joyous/content momma to be. I woke up this morning and decided I could NOT keep living like this. I was driving myself, and I'm sure the mister, INSANE. So again, I'm taking my thoughts captive. I feel like this is my mantra for this mom thing. And I"m surrendering. The Lord knows. He knows the PERFECT time that our sweet Axel needs to come into this world. And he also knows all of our circumstances. All the time crunches. And He sees it all. And that gives me such peace. Now if I can just choose those thoughts daily instead of making myself, and those around me, an anxious mess. So I'm here, in front of all blog world, declaring that I chose JOY. I chose PEACE. And I'm replacing my anxious/impatient thoughts with peace, joy, and patience. How do I do this? I'm memorizing scripture on all those virtues. And each time an anxious/time crunch thought comes into my head, I'm replacing it with TRUTH. Okay, time to get off my rant. I promise the rest of the post will be fun snipits of the end of my pregnancy...

1. We had ANOTHER ultra sound on Wednesday to monitor Axel's growth. And according to their calculations, Axel is about 8lbs...healthy boy. Not gonna lie, it makes momma a bit nervous...

2. We got to see our little man's personality on the ultrasound. He was making fish lips at us and sticking his tongue out. Goofball. Wonder where he gets that?!

3. Gentlemen, you may not want to read this one. I'm dilated to 3 cm, as of last Tuesday, so we ARE progressing well. Despite my impatience.

4. I have a fear of my water breaking in inconvient places/ the middle of the night when I don't have my make up on or my hair did. Oh, I will be that girl who gets ready before we go;)...and I'm terrified of it breaking in the shower and with all the water, I'm clueless. I'm a dork, I know.

So many of you have sent us encouraging emails/texts/etc. We cannot express how much it means to us. Knowing we have so many people praying for a safe delivery at the PERFECT time, gives us so much peace. Maybe the next time I blog, will be sweet Axel's arrival...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

so much to catch up on...

Due to the fact, there IS so much to catch up on, a list will have to suffice for this posting.

1. Bub's head is DOWN. We were in awe of all the prayers and words of encouragement we received in this process. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough. Just know you all blessed our socks off. He continues to be our little miracle. {Vitals: 37 weeks & 6 lbs 7 oz}

Check out those long feet and toes//just like daddy

2. We finished Axel's Nursery! We couldn't be more pleased. This was a labor of love. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this by so many family and friends. We are truly speechless of the love that surrounds us.

3. Momma at 38 weeks...
more of 38 weeks...
4. Since, I have missed some postings, I'll play catch up//37 weeks.

Anxious momma to meet Axel!

We are almost there! I think the Lord has taught me more this last 4 week stretch than my whole pregnancy. He's teaching me so much about taking my thoughts captive. Its not something that just happens. Its a choice I make. I can choose to allow the enemy to take control of my thought life OR I can take them into submission to the Lord. I don't have to live in this bondage. There is freedom. And I'm choosing FREEDOM daily...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Showers of Blessing...

As corny as the title is, we've been incredible blessed by some truly spectacular showers. All so beautiful, creative, and generous. One of them was a surprise by my 7th grade girls small group, so there aren't any photos of that shower. However it was super special.

Abundant Life Shower {35 weeks}

Future Grandma & I
A time of devotion with prayers of blessing over our family. I blubbered!
Justine & I.

My hostesses...some of the bestest friends EVER.

Springfield Shower {33 weeks}
Auntie Lea, Nana, & I

Sister Pic!
Amazing hostesses...couldn't ask for better friends or sis!
RBC lovin!
SBU girlies!
Beautiful decor

Opperman Shower {30 weeks}
Spectacular hostess...not a better sis in law out there!
Soon to be grandma's & I

Can you see why we feel so blessed?! Axel is so loved by so many family and friends.

Completely unrelated, I have a prayer request. I went to the dr. today and found out there is a GREAT possiblity Axel is breach. If so, he has 2 weeks to turn, before other arrangements must be made. On January 31st at 8:45am we have an ultrasound scheduled to verify his position and further arrangements will be made based on what they see. We would so welcome your prayers, that if our precious little man is breach, that he would turn. I'm not gonna lie, I burst into tears as soon as we left the doctor. I realize this isn't life and death, however, in my type A little mind, this WAS NOT the plan. However, God is bigger. He sees the bigger picture. And I'm CHOOSING to place my trust in that very fact. These are just the beginnings of my mommy worries!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

34/35 weeks?!?!

How Far Along: 34/35 weeks; depending if he's born on his first due date, Feb 14th, or the latter due date, Feb 21st. We're praying for the first;)
Size of baby: About 18 inches long and almost 5 lbs
Gender: BOY...Axel James Opperman
Sleep: I'm so blessed in this area. So far, no issues sleeping. I am starting to wake more frequently to pee, but I go right back to sleep.
Movement: He's my little (well, not feeling so little anyway) WILD man. I'm not just feeling movement in gentle kicks or in a nice confined space. He is ALL over. From pushing on my pelvic bone to shoving my ribs, he's got it all covered. Despite the physical discomfort I cherish the signs of life and glimpses of his personality.
Symptoms: Still nesting like a mad woman. More frequent trips to the potty...matter of fact he's began the "dropping" process, so my bladder is getting headbutted by our little man:). A bit of acid reflux, but nothing too crazy.
What I miss: CAFFEINE.
Cravings: Still the same: Greek yogurt with berries and honey, salad with gala apples, dried cranberries, and a sprinking of sunflower seeds (I eat this EVERY day for lunch-so good); and popcorn.
Best Moment this week: JOY. The Lord has really pressed on my heart the importance of my relationship with Him. Which doesn't sound like a novel concept, but I've found myself absorbed in all things of motherhood: nesting, setting up the nursery, showers, home projects, setting a newborn schedule, etc. And the Lord has been speaking to me the BEST thing I can do for Axel is cultivate and spend time with HIM. Are those things important, yes. But what kind of mother or strength can I obtain without him? So I've set aside QUALITY, uninterupted time with Him and made that my focus, instead of the other. And I've experienced JOY unspeakable. And MORE time in my schedule to do the other...amazing how God works, huh?! I shouldn't be surprised.
What I am looking forward to: Our final shower is on Saturday. So stoked! We've been so blessed by the love and generousity from family & friends.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Let Loose"

I'm taking a break from the preggers posts/updates to share something on my heart this Christmas season. I'm sure many of you, if "many" even read this, are doing a victory dance due to growing weary of my growing belly pics and updates-ha!

This Christmas season has been especially meaningful to me. I don't know if its because we've been knee deep in ministry preparing for services for our 1st Christmas as B being on staff, or because I'm pregnant with our first born son, or maybe its the hormone rollercoaster-ha. But my Spirit has been more sensitive than ever before. As I've been digging in and studying the Christmas story, Luke 2:19-20 challenged me for this season and to carry on into this new season of our life.

Luke 2:19-20 "Mary kept ALL these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and LET LOOSE, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It truned out EXACTLY how they had been told." MSG

The words "let loose" stuck out to me, as it was written in this translation. What do you think of when you think of "let loose?" I think of jumping up and down, screeching/laughing in celebration, and of course DANCING. Whatever picture you get, its letting go of all inhabitions. You can't be inhibited and "let loose." Why did they do this? It was all an expression of praise to God for ALL they'd heard and seen regarding the birth of Christ. They'd found the birth EXACTLY how the heavenly host proclaimed. God's plan was coming to pass, just as the prophets foretold, and the angels proclaimed to them. They were praising because he had finally sent Jesus; the Saviour, Lord, and Christ. And their response was just as ours should be today; they LET LOOSE. How many Christmases do we let go by and simply awknowledge (if that) our Saviour's birth? When was the last time you (or me) truely LET LOOSE in our response to the birth of our Saviour and the saving grace through Him? When was the last time we couldn't contain our joy of the coming of our Christ, but had to SHOUT it from the rooftops or we'd explode? The shepherds provide such a clear picture of what our response should look like this season: LET LOOSE: let go of all your inhabitions, dance in joy, screech/laugh in delight, and then SHARE it. Let the JOY of your Saviour and salvation LET LOOSE this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas from the Opperman's!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

pReggErs PiCs

so blessed.

The Bump

Had to get some jumpin photos. Bri got a lot more air than me!

This was supposed to be a serious photo of him sweetly kissing my belly. This is how it turned out;)

Don't worry, Axel was NOT harmed in the process. We did a baby position check prior to "lift off"

Does he really think he stands a chance in a belly bumpin' contest with me? I think not...

This is his attempt for a baby bump...not so much.

We are at 30 weeks, folks, not long! We are getting more and more elated for Axel's arrival each day.