Monday, October 31, 2011

Master of the house

Again, another Seinfeld reference, or for those more cultured than me, a nod to Les Mis. As Aunt Dwyn put on her card to our little guy, he truly is master of the house, which the other three of us (yes, we can't forget Lincoln...although sometimes we do!) are learning to adjust to.   He has been a little rockstar during his 9 days of life, eating like a champ, sleeping most of the time and providing us with many reasons to laugh. He passed his first MD appointment last week with flying colors, having already regained most of his weight (was already back up to 8lbs 1oz) and demonstrating great physical capabilities, including his startle reflex, forceful kicks (now Jonathan gets to experience what I did for those last few months!), hearing, and surprisingly loud toots and burps that would make any mom proud :)

Both of us have been christened, as the doctor put it, during diaper changes and a professional photo shoot (5 times total in 4 hours). We have yet to learn how to utilize the washcloth as a barrier. Luckily, he can't produce enough force to hit our faces (yet!) but he has sprayed himself and even made a backwards arc onto the wall and behind the changing table.  We are amazed that something so small can produce so much _________ (fill in the blank with any bodily function or noise).  But on the other hand, we are amazed that he can also produce so much LOVE for him after only 9 days. We can't imagine how much that love for him is going to grow throughout the years.  
Jackson has had many visitors this week, including Grandmother Beth and Granddad Byrne (he finally woke up for one of their visits!)...
... Grammy McKay (look at his eyes...he loved looking at her)
 ...and Pop Pop McKay. They, and other friends around us, have been so helpful with providing meals, walking Lincoln, cleaning our home and offering to come and sit with us so we can sleep or write blog posts using 2 hands :)
On Sunday Oct 30th, we ventured out for our first family walk because I was going stir crazy in the house. We loaded Jackson into the BOB (love it!) with his blanket from Aunt Janis and the weather shield to keep him out of the chilly October breeze in Norfolk.  We were quite the scene meandering through the neighborhood...4 adults (1 playing paparazi the whole time), 2 dogs (1 with giant sticks) and a baby jogger in which you can't see the baby!
And here we are, having survived 1 week as parents. Whew! We are taking 1 day at a time, treasuring each of his new fascial expressions, cooing noises and ability to focus more and more each day on our voices and faces. We also realize that the sleepless nights, multiple outfit changes in 1 day and fits of crying will pass (or will at least change forms as he gets older) and we continue to appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our growing boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A few new pics of Jackson

Life is good here in the Byrne household...we are all slowly adjusting to our little man and he is slowly adjusting to us. We all got a bit more sleep last night and Jackson has his first pediatrician appointment today- he's already gaining weight back (it's normal for newborns to lose a bit of their weight in the first week of life).  We are really enjoying life as new parents.  Not too much to report, but we did want to post a few newer pics of Jackson doing what he does best- sleeping!
"For you created my inmost being; 
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."   -Psalm 139:13-14

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introducing Jackson Thomas Byrne!

      Well, it's been a long pregnancy, but Jackson decided to arrive today on his due date, October 22nd as originally scheduled 9 months ago.  Heather started feeling contractions last night, then early this morning her water broke and we headed off to the hospital.
     7 hours after checking in (almost 2 of those were spent pushing!) and we have a beautiful baby boy named Jackson.  Grandparents from both sides were here to meet him after delivery.  Heather did wonderfully throughout labor and seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of pushing energy and even spent some of the time between contractions with a smile on her face, she was truly amazing.
      So, here is what we know about Jackson so far:  He weighs in a 8lbs 7oz, is 22inches long, and  seems to enjoy naps and sucking on his index finger.  As far as we can tell he does not like baths.     He requires head support at all times and does not appear to be able to read as of yet.  He does like to be swaddled.  He does not like the way dad swaddles him.  He likes his hospital issue beanie.  He likes to show off his startle reflex for no apparent reason.  He has a nice baby smell.  He is the only baby in the nursery.  We can't really decide which one of us he looks like. He is looking less like a sumo wrestler with each hour that passes.
     God has been so good to us today and we are so thankful!   Here are a few of our pics from just after delivery, I'm sure there will be more to come...

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's The Final Countdown

For all you Arrested Development fans, I hope you are singing along with me. I wake up singing this song every morning recently as we are counting down the days until Jackson's arrival. We are so excited to meet him and are enjoying our last few days of quiet time (and no poopy diapers, as Aunt Karen reminded me). 

I had my 39 week appointment on Tuesday which started out with an ultrasound. We aren't sure why they wanted one this late and neither was the US tech but we went through with it anyways. Who doesn't want to see their little baby one last time before he is born? It was nearly impossible to get any good pictures of Jackson, whose head is shoved down in position and whose body is too big to be captured well with the ultrasound head.  According to the tech, he was measuring 39 weeks and 1 day (I was 39 w and 3 days that morning) and her best guess is 8lb 3oz! This was quite the shock after my MD predicted 6lb the week before! Yikes! However, the up side of things is that there is a 1lb measurement error for ultrasound we could have a 7lb3oz baby (let's not talk about having the +1lb measurement error!).  Everything looked great during this appointment and the doctor said that it could be any day now. However, if little Jackson decided he is too comfortable to budge, they will induce me next Saturday the 29th.  So for all of you who guessed Halloween or even November 7th as the due date (mom, do you want me to birth an 11lb baby?!), I am sorry to say that you will not win the baby pool.  

I just finished up my last week of work on Thursday which feels amazing! As much as I love my job, I am way more excited about what's to come.  This week was emotionally difficult to be at work. Each day, I was greeted by my coworkers and patients who would say, 
"Oh, you're still here?"
"I thought you would have had your baby already"
"So, no baby yet" (to that I want to reply...yes, I had my baby yesterday and came back to work today)
"Wow, are you having twins?"
"You look ready to pop"
"My wife's labor was the most awful thing ever. She was in so much pain for 36 hours!"
"Having a baby is terrible"
"Things are so gross....I never want to have a baby or watch it happen ever again...please just sedate me".

And then some compliments about how I looked 
"ready to be a mom"
"so excited"
One of my patients was even bribed to say, "Oh my goodness, you look so skinny!" when I came out to get her. I turned around and looked for someone else behind me!  
I have treasured those comments. Thank you for all of your positivity!

I have made a great new friend who is due 2 weeks after me and she and I have been walking all over Norfolk with our baby bellies!  If walking doesn't make Jackson come, at least I will get to enjoy great company and the amazing fall weather we are having here.  Following the walk, I downed a serving of buffalo chicken pasta (with approximately 1/2 the large bottle of texas pete) and proceeded to clean my house.  Some things are very important for when a new baby comes spider webs on the porch, clean remotes, clean baseboards (yes, I did them AGAIN), no dirty laundry and organized gift bags in the closet. Plus, I am eagerly anticipating my pre-pregnancy body and have started to wash and fold maternity clothes to return to everyone (thanks Val, Aunt Karen, Blair, Bonnie).  

Jonathan is super excited to meet Jackson, or Yackson/Yack as he is calling him. Jonathan is going to make an amazing father and I have loved watching him grow during the past 9 months of pregnancy. He has been so supportive of me when I have been tired, grumpy, in need of a foot rub, grumpy, lazy, grumpy :)  I am excited that He will finally get to be closer to Jackson when he is born instead of waiting for him to kickbox in my belly.  

And I guess I'll end this long post with something that doesn't seem to end recently...going to the bathroom! Oh my goodness, I had no idea it would be like this!!! Throughout the pregnancy I woke up mostly 1 time per night and was like a normal person during daytime hours, but recently I have had to use the restroom every 30 minutes.  Not kidding.  This makes working with patients very awkward. Thank goodness they are all very understanding. Dear Jackson, please come soon so I may have my normal bladder function back. Love, your adoring mother.

Here are some pictures from the rest of the photo shoot with Dave. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maternity Pictures at VA Beach

We are so grateful to Dave Rathbone for taking maternity pictures for us at Virginia Beach last weekend, when I was 38 weeks pregnant.  Enjoy!

We have started a baby pool to make the 'waiting game' a little more interesting! (No betting, just for fun).  Feel free to join us at The game name is "JacksonByrne" (no space).

This coming Tuesday, I go in for my 39 week appointment and ultrasound to see just how big this boy might be. My doctor thinks he is in the 6 pound range right now which is great with us! He has been wiggling like crazy which I still LOVE. I can't believe that we are almost able to hold him and that Jonathan will get to be closer to him too.

Assuming all goes well, we are welcoming visitors at the hospital (Sentara Leigh) and will be looking for some willing dog walkers in the first few weeks after Jackson's arrival!

Here are some pictures of the finished nursery. Now all we need is a baby!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Playing the waiting game

38 weeks and 3 days....and sign of Jackson yet!

I have been busy writing thank you notes for the fabulous things we have received for Jackson, shopping for the last minute things we need and furiously cleaning the house (you can eat off of my baseboards). That stuff all gets squeeze in between working full time, taking care of Lincoln (who has much more energy now that it's cool outside) and trying to see Jonathan when he is not working (21 ten hour shifts in a row in October!).

Last week I got to see my good friend Elizabeth and her 1 month old, Knox. What a precious little boy and amazing mom and dad :)
Lincoln getting in some quality time with Jonathan before Jackson takes over!!!

This is Lincoln, after I turned on the baby swing for the first time. He stared at it for 3-4 minutes watching it swing and make noise. Then he looked as me as if to say, "Are we going to keep this?"  I'm pretty sure that is what I said when mom and dad brought Matt home from the hospital.  Wait till Link sees what is in store for him!!!

Our friend Dave took some great maternity shots of us at VA beach last weekend and I will post those as soon as we get them. Thanks Dave!!

Will keep everyone posted on when Mr. Jackson decides to make an appearance.  So far we are both still very healthy. Thanks for continuing to keep us in your prayers as we await his arrival!!