Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Parental Advice

I was just thinking about how many amazing friends I have...and what great parents my friends and family are. So I thought I would ask, how do you instill a heart for God into your children? How do you teach your kids to have a quiet time? How do you have a family devotion time that will instill a passion for God into a young kid? How young do you start? What do you do when your child is so young? Just some things I have been praying about and thinking about....deep thoughts....

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Our First Visit To Oma's and Opa's

This weekend we went to my parents house to visit. We spent our first night away from home and Isabelle did wonderfully. We really wanted to visit soon because my grandfather, Isabelle's great grandfather, isn't well enough to visit us. But we had a great time and she did well on her first long car ride too. Here is a picture of her with her Great Papaw and Grandma Payne.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Magic Bouncer

I would just like to officially thank the Stenners...Eli, Ruth, and Gary, who got Isabelle what we like to call, "The Magic Bouncer." After a few sleepless nights we decided it was time to try a different tactic. Conrad made two late night runs to Walgreens in attempt to get the correct batteries for the baby bouncer before we got the right ones, but ohhh, was it worth it. We put the fussy child into the bouncer and she was immediately stilled and slept peacefully. Thank God for new fangled inventions. By the way, she is sleeping soundly in her bouncer as I write!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Parental Hazing

I think Isabelle has finally initiated us into parenthood. We had our first few nights of total sleeplessness. Our daughter has been having a rough tummy time...perhaps constipation was the culprit, but we are novices, so we just try everything to calm her down. We made it successfully through and had a couple diaper blow outs (by the way, I didn't know little girls could projectile pee, but how wrong I was!). But, I am happy to report that she is sleeping well again and seems to be her contented self again.

We had another doctors visit again this monday and found out Isabelle contines to gain weight...yeah! She is up to 5 pounds, 3 ounces. She's a great eater! We are having such a good time with her!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Burps Like A Sailor

Since Isabelle has been born we have been playing the "who does she look like" game. "I think her ears are like mine. "I think she got her lips from me." She is so tiny, we are really not sure who she looks like. But there is one thing neither of us wants to take credit for. Our little petite, dainty, five pound daughter burps like a sailor! After every 10 or 15 ounces of milk, a little tapping on the back, and she let's it rip. We follow with the obligatory, "Good girl!" and she falls silently to sleep. What a little angel :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Isabelle Update

Well, we are adjusting quite well to our new family life. It's so nice to have Conrad home during this time. We have had tons of visitors coming over the last week and also had my parents here for most of the last week. Last night was our first night with just us. Every morning I had been taking Isabelle up to my parents while Conrad and I went back to bed. They loved it and we got some sleep. Perfect. But last night wasn't too bad, she usually eats around 11 or 12, then gets up at 2 or 3 then early in the morning. We love our little girl, she is perfect, and it's even kind of fun to get up in the middle of the night and see her.

We went to the pediatrician on monday. Of course, they were concerned because she was so small. When we left the hospital on Thursday she was down to 4 pounds, 4 ounces. By Monday she was up to 4 pounds, 12 ounces...yeah! So she is gaining weight well. The pediatrican said he thought something happened the last 10 or so days while she was still in the womb to the placenta and she wasnt' getting any nutrition. Apparently her skin was loose on her at birth, which indicated that she was bigger and lost some weight. And she seems to have the appetite of a much bigger baby. We are hoping that she will be over 5 pounds by her next appointment next monday.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oue War Story...

I have to say that I now understand why women who have had children all share thier "stories." It's like what we in Teen Mania Land call "War Stories." You just fought in a great battle and you now consider your experience legendary. So, for all of my friends out there who are anxious to hear how our life changing Tuesday went, I will share. For those of you who just want the highlights, please see the below post and skip this one!

We went into the hospital, as scheduled on Tuesday morning and got all hooked up and ptosin (?) started by about 8:15 that morning. The nurses and doctor told us to expect a delivery late afternoon or maybe dinner time. So we settled in for a long day. About an hour into the process the contractions started getting pretty bad. I couldn't talk through them, and I was using the (up till that point scorned) breathing techniques...and let's face it, making up breathing patterns as I went. I asked the nurse when I could get an epidural and she said, "honey, it's gonna get a lot worse, it will be a little while." She told me my contractions were only registering 18 on the machine and they needed to get to around 80 to be considered "active labor." And in the meantime I was thinking if it's gonna get a lot worse, I am going to die before this baby is born!

They had checked me in the morning and I was around 3 cm dialated. So when I started begging for drugs and hour later they thought they better check me again. They did and I had dialated to 7 and my water had broken on it's own! They started to get the picture and called for the epi guy...who was in an operation. My contractions were about 2 min apart and were lasting about 60 seconds each.

I sweated through another 20 or so minutes of those...still on the increase and they put an internal moniter on me and then they could see the contractions were registering well into the 90's!. They checked me again (as we were still waiting on epi guy) and I was dialted to 9. They said don't push, the docter will be here soon. But another good friends showed up before that....Todd, the anisesiologist (epi guy, who please note I still remember his name.) He quickly gave me a needle in the back, during a contraction, and for which I will eternally be greatful...and life was good!

I think labor may have slowed down at that point. It was probably about around noon when I got the epidural and then I chatted with my parents and husband (who was faithfully by my side during the entire event, holding my hand, and who's hand I almost broke! And he was wonderful, he hardly said anything...which was perfect for me at that juncture!).

So our doctor showed up and gave me so me instructions on pushing. I was warned that this part of labor sometimes takes a couple of hours, so be prepared for a lot of hard work. I thought, I feel good now, surely NOTHING could feel like what I just went through for the last 1.5 hours. So I was up for it. So we pushed through 3 contracts....about 6 minutes and Isabelle Agnes Micheal was born. Beautiful, perfect, and fast....just the way her Mama likes it!

Isabelle weighed only 4.8 pounds at 39 weeks and 5 days. She is matured to a 40 week baby, just small. They expected her to be about 6 or so pounds so this was quite a shock, so she was thouroughly checked over and no problems were found. But I was 4.11 pounds and my husband was very small too when he was born.

We had a great hospital stay where probably 20 friends and family came to visit the new little Michael. We wanted to share our good news with you who are too far to visit and tell you that we love you. We are truly amazed at God's gifts in our lives. We are looking forward to being her parents.

Love, Conrad, Danielle, & Isabelle

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Isabelle's Pics

The Michael Chronicles

The Michael Chronicles

God blessed us with Isabelle Agnes Michael on 8/8/06 at 12:57PM. She is a little angel. She weighed only 4.8 pounds but she seems to be a healthy baby. Thanks for all your support and keep praying for Isabelle.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Waiting Game

Well, in less than 24 hours we will be, at least, on our way to having Isabelle in our arms. We are scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:30am tommorrow morning. Friday was (THANK GOD!) my last day of work. I have been doing nothing but resting and waiting all weekend long. Honestly, I don't seem to have much energy to do much else.

This morning I was woken up by a call from my best friend in Malaysia...Rachel. So we got on-line and "skyped." How great is Skype? If you haven't done it's free and it's really clear, no delay. It was evening in Malaysia and she had her camera on, so I got to see her and her husband Mark and chat with them before the big day tommorrow. Although it was sad that they aren't going to be here for tommorrow, it was really good to touch base.

The rest of the morning I enjoyed my "day off" and last childless day. I finished a book and went to the pool for a while. I know I know, everyone keeps saying the same stuff...your life is going to change....

Hopefully next time we talk we'll have pictures for you! Pray for us!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Where in the World has Danielle been?

Okay, I got this off of a friends website. It is a map of the world, the red are places that I have visited, and grey, of course, are places I still need to visit. Looks like I have been avoiding africa and the middle east, eh? We'll have to fix that.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What's in a name?

Today my parents are coming into town. They are here for a conference and will leave on Saturday and return on Tuesday for Isabelle's arrival. I stopped calling them because everytime I call they go, "Hellllloooooooooo?????" (what they are really saying in that one word is "is it time? is that why you are calling us?") Then I start the conversation with "No baby yet. I just wanted to check in see what time you were going to be here." or something along those lines. Then they answer with an "ohh" (the disappointment dripping from thier voices). Of course, who's more disappointed?? Me, 9 months pregnant in 100 degree weather or them? Of course, they are still first time grandparents...I don't think excited quite expresses thier feelings!
My parents want a different name than Grandma and Grandpa. They have been researching names from all over the world for thier new position in life. I think they have settled on the greek, Oma and Opa (we have greek friends in South Africa who suggested this). In Conrad's family the grandkids call his dad, "Ta ta" which is Tamil for Grandpa, and everyone calls his mom, "Mommy." But, since in the states, Mommy is what a small child calls his mom, I think I am going to use that one, and we are going to try to institute "Amama" which is Tamil for Grandma. We'll see how well that works with everyone else calling her something else :) Little kids in India call thier mothers "Ama" in India...or I guess the english equvilent would be "Mama."
Anyway, just thought I would ask if anyone has any other suggestions for grandparents names. They had one from Swahili, but honestly, they could never remember it! And they threw russian around, but who wants to be called Babushka? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Isabelle is on her way!

I went to the doctor this morning and my OB had mercy on me. I was still 2 cm dialated and about 80% effaced. But I mentioned just being hot and tired and she said, we'll let's schedule you for an induction one day next week. I said, "Well, Friday is my birthday, and one day after my due date. How bout then?" She said, "I was thinking Monday or Tuesday" I wasn't going to argue with that and told her I was fully on board. So, unless I go into labor sooner, we will be having a baby on Tuesday! Yeah! So I am going to make Friday my last day of work. I am all tuckered out, so hopefully we'll get to rest and relax a bit this weekend before the big event next week.

Keep us in your prayers!