Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Fun

This Easter, we had one more miracle to celebrate with our family...Baby Teagan. It was very special having her arrive just in time for this special day. My parents came to town for the week prior to Easter for some much needed extra hands at our house. Balancing the challenges of a newly formed family of four were proving challenging, so the extra help was awesome. The weekend prior to Easter, our neighborhood held an Easter Egg Hunt in the Great Lawn. We took Aiden last year (he was 9 months old!!) and while he did look at eggs, he didn't really "get it" last year. This year was a whole other story. He was ALL OVER the eggs, and his pace picked up even more when he realized there was chocolate in some of the eggs! The boy LOVES chocolate!! He did such a great job collecting eggs in his basket and eating the candy afterwards. Such a fun thing to watch as we all live vicariously through his enthusiasm and zest for life.

While we were outside, we also had some pictures taken of Teagan in hopes of capturing a picture for her birth announcement.  It was a very sweet time and Aiden ran the castle while we took some pictures. Then Nate was off to storm a castle of his own by caulking and cleaning gutters with a ginormous 28-foot ladder that nearly manhandled him a few times. Thank goodness RD was there to step in and help him move it a few times. That thing made me nervous. And for someone afraid of heights, I was shocked to see him take more than two steps on the ladder.  Anyway, he got the job done and the house was spic and span.

We did all kinds of fun things the week they were here, and were sad to see them go, especially since they were taking our little man with them for a couple days. Always sad to see him go, though we know how much more rest we'll get when he's gone! He celebrated Easter Sunday in style with my parents and had a grand time with Mimi and Pah while we celebrated with Teagan in all her newborn glory. Such a great time to be thankful for all we are blessed with and recognize the one who gave us all we have through such an incredible sacrifice. We are living proof of a living God.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Early last Thursday morning, March 18, Nathan and I headed to Baptist Hospital in Nashville (along with my photographer Dad) to welcome our new baby girl. Our induction was scheduled at 7:15 a.m., so after a great morning full of fun questions and a Pitocin drip to bring on contractions, my water broke about 9 a.m. and we were off and running to meeting our newest family member. Labor went really smoothly, all things condsidered...it is "labor" after all. My amazing friend Kari arrived around 10 a.m. to keep me company and alleviate the pain from my mind. And that she did...her presence made the pain, and the mood better all around. It was nice for me to have someone there to talk gossip mags and discuss Hollywood drama with during contractions and nice for Nathan to not have to be the only one losing circulation to his hands as I squeezed! After Noon, I finally decided to get the epidural and despite it not working after the first dose, things started moving really quickly and baby girl was moving fast to make her debut. We were able to get it resolved just in time and within the hour, it was time to push, so everyone (except Nate) was rushed out about 1:30 p.m. and after two good pushes/contractions, we welcomed our sweet girl.

Teagan Elyse Tabler was born at 1:40 p.m. She weighed in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces, and is 18 inches long (a stretch for sure, but a foot and a half exactly!).

As most of you know, we took a L-O-N-G time to decide on her name and while we have gotten question after question about whether or not it is a family name, alas, it is not. And while it would be WAY easier to say it is...reality is it's not...So...I feel the need to let people know what it does mean and how we happened upon it. (Thanks, Megs for the reminder to do this!) Most of you know both Nathan and I have Irish in our background - you can see the history of my maiden name here if you're really bored.  We named Aiden (of Irish descent meaning "little fire") what we did mostly because of it's meaning and descent. We thought it would be appropriate to do the same for our daughter. While we initially sought names beginning with "A" to keep the consonance going with our kiddos, we just didn't like many of them and couldn't settle on an A-name. We happened across Teagan on one of our searches, and it just stuck with us. It carried into the final five, and finally made it to the final two...and well, we know it's her name, so there it is. Elyse was originally going to be Ellis, a name we liked from the beginning since it's Greek/Hebew and means "Jehovah is God" which we pray she learns at an early age. To make it more feminine, we just bumped it out to Elyse. And that's the story. :)

Teagan means "beautiful, attractive," but also means "wise little poet." Most of you know I like to write (whether I'm good at it or not is questionable, but I do enjoy it), and both of us pray she is beautiful, not only inside but out.
Elyse means "God is my vow (oath)." And like Ellis, it is of Greek/Hebrew descent. We pray she comes to know this early and hold this as truth as she grows into a young woman.

The family (even Aiden) were all in the room within minutes of her arrival. They tell me I made it look easy...but maybe it was just a teeny baby ready to get into this great big world!  It was easier than Aiden, given that 1) her head was smaller and 2) she was a full pound smaller! The entire thing is most certainly a miracle from beginning to end...and we are amazed to be just small vessels in the process.

We headed home on Saturday afternoon and introduced Teagan to her new home, new room, new bed, and new life. My parents were still in town, and we took our celebratory trip to Pueblo Real to introduce her to our Mexican restaurant family, who all fell in love with her. Mom and Dad left Sunday afternoon and Nate and I are on our own this week. Aiden is enjoying being a big brother and has already named her "TT" since he can't quite get the full name together. He loves counting her fingers and toes, teaching her where her nose is, what sound her ears make, and pointing out that big long tongue. He is certainly very sweet with her and I am excited to see how he will grow into his role.

While the worst is certainly not over, we are home and ready to see what this new phase of life will bring us. A lot of changes, to be sure, but a lot of love and beauty with which to fill it. We are so very blessed.

I've attached an album with a "high level" view of the birth of our second little miracle. Enjoy...more to come!


Love you all...your prayers and support are so very much appreciated. Can't wait to introduce her.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So, I'm posting twice in one day, or at least trying to, just because I know it's been a few days since I wrote and wanted to update on BGT and our emotions as we lead up to her arrival.  I think I've done a fair job of keeping everyone in the loop, as difficult as it has been for me to do so. I don't do a very good job at reaching out to people when I need help and instead just kind of take the approach that everyone else has enough stuff of their own to deal with, they don't need to add mine, too. Not the right approach, I know, but I finally did take some steps to deal with that and well, it turned out much better than I expected and it has been amazing to see God work in the lives of people around me to minister to me with His words, and their experience. Both of which I needed.

The long and short of it is that all of this new stuff coming my way really scares the mess out of me and I fear I won't really have what it takes to do it. In a nutshell, that's it. Seems really lame when I see mothers of four who have showered and are dropping their kids off at 9 am - if they can do it, I can do two, right?! Yes. I can. It's just that my perfectionist, Type A, control freak, Monica personality comes out when I start to think about the actuality/reality of it all coming true and what it will be like and will I be able to handle it, and what will happen to Aiden, and will I shower again, and Nathan won't spend the same amount of time with her that he has had with Aiden and how will that impact her as she gets older and needs a Dad, and ... well, you get the point. And endless stream of worry...in a nutshell.


I am coping. I am dealing. And with the help and strength of some amazing sisters around me (and an awesome husband who supports me more than I could ever imagine possible with all he already has going on), I have been able to see light instead of dark at the end of this road. And a light I am VERY excited to meet! :)

All of that to say...the past few weeks have been rough becucase of the setbacks we've had with our doctor visits and the "not great but not bad" news we seeem to get each week. Seems like she's just kind of hanging on for us until we can get her out safely. Two weeks ago, I had already begun to lose weight, which typically happens the week of delivery (or did with Aiden), so my doctor wasn't thrilled about that. After another ultrasound, we found she isn't getting quite as much blood flow as we'd like her to be getting, and with the weight loss, the concern exists that she isn't growing enough inside and may need to come out to do her thing.  So, we found ourselves trying to make it to week 37. We have, which is awesome, but this week's visit wasn't much better. After being told to eat everything in sight, I was visited by a nice fun round of the stomach bug, which obviously didn't help matters any. No weight gain this week. Boo. Then last night, I spent three hours in triage on the monitor, due to low fetal movement, but after all that, found she is still doing okay. Again, not great, but not bad, so just okay. The great news is that she weighed in at 5.5 this week (give or take 13 ounces!), which is in the 16th percentile, so as long as we're near that for her arrival, we'll likely stay out of the NICU and get to go home as usual.

I will go back to the doctor on Friday for another ultrasound since the one on Monday was not so positive and will make a determination then about whether we will deliver her next week or the week after. If not next week, we'll be welcoming our little muffin on Monday, March 22. Either way, we want it to be the best for her. Praying for all to be well on all fronts as the day approaches. Hope you all will continue to do the same. Not only for her, but for all of us...specifically:
For me - for an easy labor (no c-section, please!) like last time, lots of support as we come home, and the time to make Aiden and Nathan feel just as much of a priority in my life as we expand our family
For Aiden - as he adjusts to a new person intruding on his world, and that we would be sure to make him feel special and loved as he continues to blossom and explore his amazing and super social personality
For Nathan - as he gears up to be a daddy of 2 little ones and the not so fun reality that he'll have to leave them again after his paternity leave is over.

Thanks in advance and hope to have more info very soon! Big hugs from TN.

And she's not even here yet.  Not sure what the reality of her arrival will hold, but March (well, let's just go ahead and call it ALL of 2010) has been insane. After having friends and family visit a few weeks ago for our baby shower, we spent the weeks following getting Aiden hooked up with a new big boy bed, setting up BGT's nursery, setting up BGT's temporary station (in our closet!), and trying to tie up any loose ends...which there seem to be lots of! So a lot of adjustment with Nathan being gone and back to work and me figuring out what I'm going to do for work, and getting ready for this new little baby that's going to rock our world in a few days. Exciting, but EXHAUSTING!

Needless to say, most of you have been up to date on all the going's on with BGT and our activity at the homestead, so you know it's been wild, but despite the craziness of it, we've had some really great times. Aiden is LOVING his new big boy bed and the status that comes with it. He has already nicknamed it "B" and when he walks in his room, he smiles and yells, "B!!!" like it's been forever since he's seen the bed and can't wait to be reunited with it. He finally got through the last of his four incisors and has been sleeping like a champion in his new B. This alone makes Mommy and Daddy so happy. He is still such a cuddler and we love our time together reading stories - only he reads them to us more now in his own form of Aidenspeak. It's a sight to see for sure. He's finally made the transition from two naps to one, and quite well I might add. Three hours every afternoon is a nice means of peace and quiet for mom (ME!) and gives me some down time that I know will be great once the baby is here. All around he's doing super and is trying to get his little mind around what this new baby in Mama's tummy is going to mean for him. (Don't we all, Boogs, don't we all.)
Cutie pie's big boy bed...before the rail. The rail is NO FUN to change sheets with let me tell you! It about set me into LABOR! Geez. And the boy and his books...does he LOVE his books...
My sleeping "giant" in his bed...still trying to find a time to get him in the real thing asleep. It is so cute.

We've also got BGT's room in a semi-orderly place. It's not a finished product by any means, but she likely will not even use it until this summer, so I'm hoping that as we have help from family and friends we can piecemeal it together between now and then. No pictures, not many trinkets, and the decor is sparse, but hey, the bed's in there and the dresser's stocked, so at least we're somewhere.

As an update on BGT, we have had a few more visits, none too "awesome" in my doctor's terms, but she is hanging in there and chillin inside for now. I'll post another shorter note about that in a few minutes.

Nathan's job continues to go well, although we still don't see each other all that often. This part is the hardest for me and continues to be hard as much as I wish it weren't. It is getting better and the warm weather (honestly) has helped. Seems crazy, but at least I can be outside for some of the day rather than trapped in the wintery mess we've experienced the past few months. He is enjoying the work and likes his co-workers, so all seems to be progressing in the career front for him, which is a huge praise in this wacky market we find ourselves in.

So that's the short of it. Well, as short as I can be at least. Again, I'll try and get some of the pictures posted soon. Until then, Kara out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So yes, here we are, a maximum of two and a half weeks from welcoming our baby girl into the world and we have no name. You heard me, no name. She's been BGT since we found out it was a girl oh so many months ago, and now here we are at the end of the road and she remains nameless other than her initial moniker. With Aiden we took a trip, decided on a name, and that was that. I mean, we changed it from the name we originally chose to Aiden the week after the trip, but we still had a mission to decide and did it. This time, amidst careful deliberation and discussion, we have yet to come to any real decision.

We set up criteria, that was careful and specific, in order to help make our decision easier. We even narrowed the list of 50 down to 10, but still with no real "gut" feeling on what to do. As we now near her birth, we are faced with a monumental and life changing decision. Naming our child. The pressure alone can wreak havoc on someone's emotional state, let me tell you. Throw in a dose of good ol' pregnancy hormones and a 20 month old who never stops (never!) and it makes making a decision one monumental task.

I think the thing that plays into the decision the most is our desire for her name to mean something, really mean something, to us. Whether it's because it was a part of our name(s), or because of heritage, or because of a person who influenced us, or whatever it is, we just want it to be meaningful. We want it this way so that when she is older (like whe she turns 13 and decides she'd rather be named Kim instead of Khloe) we can express to her the meaning of her name, why she has it, and at least provide her with some solid reasoning to back up our decision and hopefully allow her to find a great appreciation not only for her name, but for the incredibly awesome parents we are who took the time to give it to her! :)

So, while I wish I could provide you with a decision, all I can tell you is that we are very close and hope to finalize all those little itty bitty details this week as we prepare for her arrival (very soon!). Just know that if you hate it, we don't care. :) Her name was thought about, prayed about, and decided upon with great care for who she is and will be as a woman of God and our little gift! So there. :)