Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stuff Like This...

Getting this message was like going to the gas station and saying "fill me up!!".

i went to the doctor yesterday and my pfts were the highest they've been in 5 YEARS. the only thing i've been doing differently? EXERCISE. i started working with a trainer and running. Definitely really tough starting out but I ran 1 mile on monday for the first time in my whole life and then went back tuesday and ran 2 without stopping! i was shocked! and so proud of myself! Just wanted to say thanks for your perseverance in exercise and sharing that with the community and inspiring me to take back my life rather than sitting around waiting for things to just get worse but hoping they won't.

Thank you cyster for taking the time to write me that note. It made my week!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

First (Official) Baby Photo

Yesterday Mckenna had some fun newborn photos taken (let the baby torture begin). She slept like a champ through them and only woke up a few times, to pee and poop on daddy (we now have a new appreciation for diapers). Thanks to our good friend, Karen, for your time and talent.

We only have a sneak peak at this point, but we'll post a ton when we have them all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Teammate & Talent

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:
I'm thankful for talented and generous friends. Karen, the same friend that did our maternity photos, did a newborn photoshoot this AM with Peanut. Man, am I thankful for her talent and her generosity to take photos for us free of charge. I cannot wait to see the final product!

I'm thankful for my parents. They have been in town and real troopers. My mom has been doing laundry, cooking meals, cleaning the house, you name it. I can't thank them enough for handling all the chores around here.

I'm thankful for a husband who loves and encourages me. For a type-A gal like myself, it can be hard to take on a new role and feel like I haven't mastered it yet. I think mommyhood in general will teach me that I can't expect to be perfect in this role, but the last 10 days has really taught me that! Luckily, I have a husband who tells me constantly that I'm a great mom and doing a good job. Makes me less nervous about my imperfections in this journey!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for a good teammate. Mandi and I are new at this parenting thing, but so far, so good. It took us about 3 days to figure out a routine that works well for the both of us, but we feel like we are now getting in the groove. I think it's safe to say that both Mandi and I pray that rearing a child will always be this easy :)

I'm so thankful for talented friends. We had friends take our engagement, wedding, maternity and now today, newborn photos. We enjoy working with friends because we're not afraid to tell them what we like (most already know, I mean, they are our friends!) and their friend discounts are pretty sweet! Be on the look-out for some awesome newborn photos around these parts!
I'm thankful for cooler weather. Don't get me wrong, I love warm weather and sun all day every day, but I will admit, it's nice when it's a bit "nippy" out. We've been taking morning walks with Mckenna and they definitely feel better for all of us when there is a little chill in the air. On that note, I can't get over how cute Mckenna looks when she's all bundled up :)

And as a bonus, I'm thankful for the first exhibition game with my beloved Arizona Wildcats tonight. I can't wait to dress Mckenna up in her U of A gear and watch the game together. Bear Down!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Me Update

Things have been a bit crazy around here for the last week or so with the arrival of Mckenna, but some of you have asked how I was doing, so I thought I would give a quick update on me. I'll do it in bullet format as it seems that would be the best way for my foggy brain to keep it all straight. Here we go:

  • Throughout the whole process in the hospital with Mandi and Mckenna, I kept up with my treatments by running home when my girls were sleeping. Mandi and I know that my short-term sacrifices when it comes to treatments have a great chance of bearing long-term rewards, so we do our best to make it happen.
  • Since Mckenna has been home, I've been able to keep up with my full treatment and gym schedule. Mckenna seems to enjoy treatment time with her daddy already as the sound of the vest and compressor put her into a nice deep sleep.
  • I'm still lifting weights almost everyday and it's been nice to see a slight change in my body since recommitting to weight lifting. My arms, chest and back have seen an increase in mass.
  • As far as cardio goes, I've been really good about making it to my spin class and still love it to death. It amazes me how good of a workout I can get in 45 short minutes. If the had an award for who sweat the most, I would definitely win.
  • I've also been testing my foot a bit more as of late with some longer walks and even a few short runs on the treadmill. So far, so good. I purchased new shoes which seem to be making a difference and I've been able to avoid pain in the foot for the past week. I hope to work running back in to cardio routine very soon.
  • My weight has still been decreasing (on purpose) and I've met my goal weight for round number 1. My goal was to get to 185 pounds from a starting weight of 205. I gave myself 6 months, but here we are 3 months later and I'm at about 180. I've been losing the weight through increased exercise and eating smaller but more frequent meals.
  • Overall, I'm feeling great and hope that my next PFTs in mid-November show how I'm feeling. If not, I'll make some adjustments and continue to move forward.

So hopefully that gives you guys a pretty good perspective on how things have been going for me physically. Mentally? Well, you may need to check back with me in a couple of weeks! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mckenna's Birth Story

Welp...I'm back. Sorry I haven't contributed to any posts this last week. I'd love to say it's because I'm so exhausted and resting. But it's actually that I refuse to take Mckenna out of my arms long enough to type a blog :) I think we're getting far enough out that if I don't type our birth story now, I'll forget parts. So here it goes...

On Saturday night (the night leading into my birthday) I woke up to a slight "trickle" feeling at 3:30AM. I laid there for a second analyzing the trickle. "Could it be my water?!" I didn't want to move before checking out what it was so I decided to wake Ronnie. "Uhhh Ronnie," I said, shaking his shoulder. "Ronnie, I think my water maybe broke?!" He woke up, confused, and humored me by getting out of bed and looking at the wet spot I was talking about. "Yeah it's wet" he said with a "glad we confirmed it was fluid of some sort but we really know nothing else" look. I jumped up with excitement and we began waiting. Waiting for more fluid to leak. Waiting for contractions to start. Waiting... When we concluded that it was my water leaking, based on the fact that it wouldn't let up, we called the midwife to let her know that my water broke and get instructions. She told us to hang out around the house until my contractions got unbearable or until 12PM, whatever came first.

That's when the real excitement hit me. Today was the day!! I knew I should go back to bed because it would be a long day, but seriously, who could go to bed?! So we got up and started killing time. We went to Walmart to get last minute baby things. We went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. We tidied up the house. We went for a long walk. Josh and Chrissy even came over to help us hurry up and wait. The morning felt like an eternity. We tried to keep busy, but time crawled. All the while, I was just waiting to feel my first contraction. But nothing. I had some cramping, but nothing that doubled me over in pain like I was told I should when having real contractions.

12PM came and we headed to the hospital. When we got there, they checked to confirm that I was, in fact, leaking fluid and they began to monitor my contractions. They were few and far between...we had work to do. That's when the midwife told me to get some lunch downstairs and get moving. We ate and made our first lap around the hospital (the first of what feels like hundreds). The afternoon was filled with bouncing on a birthing ball, walking, and intermittent monitoring of contractions. I'll tell you what it wasn't filled with...contractions. Still I had cramping, but nothing painful.

As of 9:30PM I was having some more painful contractions, but nothing intolerable, and my contractions were still 4-5 minutes a part. They decided to check me for the first time to see what kind of progress we were making. I prayed that I would be super dilated and just one of those lucky ladies that didn't feel contractions, but the midwife checked me and I was only 3 cm dilated, 90% effaced and the baby's head was at a -1 station. The midwife suggested that we apply a gel to my cervix to help speed things along a bit, since they really like to see you have your baby within 24 hours of your water breaking. So they applied the gel, and it was back to work. We went back to walking around the hospital, climbing stairs, doing jumpin' jacks.

This is when my contractions really started to pick up. I was excited. As I said to Ronnie, "Pain is progress." So I knew if it was getting painful, I'd be getting closer to meeting my sweet baby girl. I could manage my contractions best if I was up walking in between them, and then hunched over leaning on something with Ronnie rubbing my back during each contraction. It was not comfortable, and I had to focus on just getting through each contraction, but truthfully, they weren't horrible. Then from 11:30-12:25ish it's a bit of a blur. We were walking some and I was being monitored for 20 minutes of every hour. While in the room Ronnie got our fake candles "lit" and put on music. I must have been in the zone because I don't really remember this span of time much.

And at 12:25AM I was awakened from my daze while in bed being monitored. I had a strong contraction and felt something I had not felt before. This intense urge to bear down. My whole body was throwing itself down into my pelvis. "Ronnie call the nurse, I feel like I have to bear down. I know it's dumb, it's too soon, but I need to bear down." I said through the waves of my body taking over. The midwife came in and checked me. I was 8cm dilated, 100% effaced, and the baby was VERY low she said. "I need to bear down." I told her. "You have to wait, we don't want you bearing down at 8cm, so you'll need to breath through the urge. In the meantime, I'll go get the nursery team to start setting up." The next contraction my whole body was thrusting itself into my pelvis and the "breath through" direction was simply not going to happen. It would be like someone telling you to stop sneezing, mid-sneeze. It was simply impossible. Panicked that I was going to hurt myself or Peanut, I looked at Ronnie mid-contraction with sheer terror on my face and told him they needed to be in there now, I wouldn't be able to breath through. The nurse rushed in while I was still in the midst of the contraction and checked me again. I was 10 cm dilated, 100% and the baby's head was so low that she could practically fall out (or so I thought...HA!)

That's when the midwife rushed in, the nursery team was set up and we were ready to rock (all within 3 minutes). The midwife gave me the green light to go ahead and let my body do what it felt like it wanted to do. So with the next contraction, I tried not to fight it. I let my body do whatever it felt like it needed to do. It sure is incredible how God created us. My body totally took over. I simply had to let my mind not fight my body to stop doing what it was doing. Ronnie was a rockstar during the pushing. He was so supportive and SO excited. I fed off of his enthusiasm. "You're doing great." "That one really changed things." "You're making really great progress when you do that." He would say over and over.

5-6 contractions, 15 minutes, a few pushes and 2 shrieks later (thanks to the head and the shoulders), Mckenna Day Sharpe was born. I cannot tell you what it felt like the first time I heard her cry, saw her face, and felt her skin on my skin. She was perfect. She was here. She was MINE!! Ronnie and I couldn't take our eyes off of her. We were holding each other and her about as tight as we could. Finally, after 9 months, we went from a family of 2 to a family of 3.

So there you have it. That is how our little love made her entrance into this world. It's only been a week, but we are already so in love. I can't imagine life without her in it now. We love you sweet baby girl!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Magical Kingdom

This morning we took Mckenna to the most special place on earth...Dunkin Donuts.