Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy ONE WHOLE WEEK birthday!







Today at 1132AM, Jackson turned one week old. I can't believe he has blessed our lives for one whole week. We are getting more and more into a routine and loving our little man more and more everyday (if that is possible?!). Jonathan went back to work for 4 hours today. He handled it better than I thought probably since it was so busy (a Monday and after a major holiday). We also ventured out without Jackson to get my beautiful ring sized. Jonathan gave me 2 diamond bands with a sapphire and diamond band to go in between them. They will be ready tomorrow...will have to take a photo. We had a visitor today. My good friend from high school, Preston Lee, came by to see us. His sis has 3 little ones, so he held him like a pro as you can see. Jackson is also opening his eyes more and making hilarious faces as you can see in the photo with his Yetti (my mom). Lastly, is my absolute favorite photo yet. This is Jonathan just minutes after Jackson was born. This picture moves me so much. Again, can't write about it too much. I am crying again thinking about Jonathan with Jackson. SORRY :(

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm BAAACK!

Sorry the new mommy has been M.I.A. I have been a little busy! Luckily, the wonderful daddy has stepped in to update the blog on top of all his other duties/wonderful things he has been doing. Life is so great with our new addition. It is truly amazing how much love is filling this house. I can't get too sentimental because I am still hormonal and can cry unbelievably easy when talking about Jonathan, Jackson, or the amazing feeling of parenthood. Sam is also adjusting to Jackson. He has been very distant; he gets a very a concerned look on his face when Jackson cries. He is REALLY tired, since we aren't going to bed like normal and he won't go to bed without us. He is getting warmed up to the idea of being a big brother everyday. I have got to get him in his Xmas present that Aunt Terry (Jonathan's dad's sister) gave him. Maybe that can be a picture for tomorrow. It is SO VERY APPROPRIATE! Anyway, we are taking photos daily (ok, almost hourly to be honest). Jonathan has been uploading them to Facebook. PLEASE DON'T FRET!! You DON'T have to join Facebook to view our links. We ARE NOT quitting the blog and WILL continue blogging, but it is very difficult and time consuming to upload every photo to this blog. Here are some photos from today! Mom's three men all snuggled up!
The closet Sam has gotten to Jackson besides the occasional sniffing.

Jackson's first TUMMY TIME! Can't have him missing his milestones!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

5 Day Update...

Ghost writer part deux!

Not too much going, on here. Well, I guess there is alot of love and attention. Jackson has probably been held by about 20 people by now! We have had alot of family over for meals in the last few days (not cooked by us, of course), and it has been nice. I don't want this to turn into a brag-blog (I think I just coined a new term), but he is the best, most-beautiful baby ever! He is really content and only cries when he is hungry, or when we change his diaper. It has been an amazing experience, thus far, and it will only get better.

He is starting to open his eyes more and more and I really enjoy that time, just me looking at him, and him looking at me! I had the best time doing that with him last night. Heather had laid down for a nap, and he started fussing a bit. So I walked him around the house (all the while his eyes just staring at me), and we just bonded. Then I laid him on the carpet in the nursery and just listened to a great lullaby CD (Rockabye Baby! Bob Marley) as I sang softly to him. It was my favorite/closest moment with him to date. I can't wait for more of those.

Well, I have uploaded alot of photos to Facebook, and I thought for all those non-facebookers out there I could post the links to all the photos that we have taken thus far, plus some from Heather's mom.


Jackson Dane Harden - taken on our camera and Heather's mom
Phone photos - just my phone photos

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Alot has happened since the last post (HE'S HERE)!!!



Words cannot describe how amazing the feeling of actual parenthood is! This is a special ghost-writer edition of the Harden blog. Dear old dad, here. Anyhow, Jackson Dane was born on Monday, December 22nd at 11:32 am, by C-section. He was 7 lbs, 13 oz, and 20.5 inches long!!

A little bit of details of our experience...We got to the hospital, and although Heather was having contractions every 3-5 minutes, she was not dilated at all. We decided that we would have a C-section that morning. Everyone was amazing at UMC, we really have been so amazed and pleased with the care we received. Everything went well, but Heather did have some blood pressure issues after her spinal was done. She also had a rough first day, with alot of nausea and vomitting due to the morphine and Dilaudid she received initially. After that, and a few other hiccups here and there, everything was much better. We actually got to come home a day early, and got home last night around 5:00pm. We were very thankful to be home, and to have "our little man" home for Christmas.

Our first night at home was typical: sleep for about 1.5-2.5 hours, wake up and Heather feed Jackson, repeat for the entire night. Luckily, we also had Heather's mom (Sheree) here to help with all the responsibilities. She has been a great help. Also, my mom will be staying for around a week starting today, so we are very lucky and blessed!

I bet some of you reading out there are saying, "Enough writing/reading, more pictures!" so without further ado, more of the star of the show (and our lives), Jackson Dane Harden:














The last photo is Jackson with his "elf on the shelf"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Still Waiting.........

Today was doctor visit day. No dilation, so we are still just waiting. Everything else was good. He is still head down (YEAH!). We go back next Tuesday. Hopefully, I will have progressed some by then.

Monday, December 8, 2008

38 Weeks and Waiting

Today marks 38 weeks. We are just waiting for our little man to decide to come and join us. Just wanted to keep everyone updated. Go tomorrow for our weekly visit. Will continue to keep you all updated!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Answered Prayers...

We are going to have our hands full with our little man Jackson. Last night at the hotel while laying in bed, I told Jonathan that I couldn't feel his head like I normally do at my ribs. I had also said earlier that I felt more pressure on my bladder. Anyway, we went to the doctor early this morning. Low and behold, he has turned and is head down. I know this had to have happened yesterday afternoon during my running around like crazy getting ready for our trip to Jackson. We are very glad he turned. He threw a kink in lots of people's plans, but it is all for the best! Now it's a waiting game, and I can hardly wait to meet this little man!

Oh yeah...on the ultrasound, he was giving us a thumbs up. They also said that he is "DEFINITELY" a boy, has long feet, and has rolls of fat on his arms (although his Uncle Heath says they are really muscles).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Has the big day arrived???

Jonathan and I leave tonight for Jackson. We have an early Tuesday morning appointment and most likely the ECV or a C-section on Wednesday morning. Keep us in your prayers. We are very anxious! I would post a possible last picture of the baby belly, but I really don't think I have grown much more. The scales reaffirm that also, so no picture. Maybe next time I post I will be a mommy!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

35 Week Doctor Visit

Today was our 35 week doctor's visit. It was pretty much uneventful but very informative. Of course, he is still breech. The doctor listened to his heart, measured my belly (fundus), and gave of lots of info about the next visit. We are suppose to start seeing her every week now; but since he is breech and I have been feeling so well, we are just going back at 37 weeks for an appt and the external version. We see the doctor on Tuesday, December 2nd during which they do an ultrasound to check his size and the amount of amniotic fluid. If he is too big or there is too little fluid, they would not try the version. If all that checks out okay, then we go for the version early the next morning (she could only do it during the 37th week on a Monday or Wednesday). Well I turn 37 weeks on Monday at midnight (according to UMC's way of calculating), so that left us with Wednesday. I am really happy that we didn't have to choose a day. I didn't like the idea of determining his birthday. That is God's department, not mine. So Wednesday, December 3rd early morning we go to the hospital. I go to an OR where they start an epidural and give a medication to relax my uterus and start the procedure. Jonny will be there "to hold my hand" as the Dr. Hampton said. If successful, we stay most of the day just for observation. If unsuccessful or Jackson has any distress, then they will do a C-section right then and there. I hoping for success. The next two weeks are probably going to be the longest weeks of our lives!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Updates

I figured there are a few things on which y'all need to be updated:

1. We did go to Baton Rouge this weekend to meet my birthmother's entire family. It was the first visit since I initially met Dana (my birthmother) on September 29th. I made the trip just fine. I have been feeling and moving alot better recently so that helped. My doctor gave me the go-ahead last visit. I don't think I could have asked for it to go better. I have been so at peace about it all. I wasn't nervous, just very eager. It is truly amazing how wonderful it went. Everyone was so welcoming! Dana has three children: Travis who is 23 and about to join the Air Force, Tyler 21 (I believe) who is a police officer in the Air Force and scheduled to deploy to Iraq in June, and Elizabeth 18 who is a senior in high school. The three of them were so welcoming and sweet. They are all three really cool. Dana has four sisters and a brother. They were all there with all their children and grandchildren plus Dana's mom. Dana said the head count was about 45 and it was the first time in a long time that everyone in the family had been together. My mom, stepdad, brother, brother's girlfriend, Aunt San (mom's sister), and step-grandparents all came also to share in the experience. It is no doubt that this is all in God's plans. I feel so blessed with how it all went. Here are some photos: Dana, me, and Mom at the first meeting on September 29th.

Dana and me at our first meeting on September 29th.

Travis, Dana, me, Elizabeth, and Tyler.

2. The baby belly is continuing to grow. My Aunt San (who saw me last weekend and this weekend) said that the belly must have grown like three inches in one week. I agree that it is steadily growing...yeah, it means our little man is getting BIG! This photo was taken tonight. I am exactly 35 weeks. 3. Tomorrow is a doctor visit day. I figure that it will be a quick and uneventful visit. I wish he would turn in the meantime. He must take after his mom in that aspect (I was breech but more than anything I am stubborn)! Anyway, will let you know how the visit goes.

4. Lots of you have asked about the nursery. We only are lacking the rug which is on back order until mid December.


Hope you all enjoy. Sorry it is SO long!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Crazy Dog

On Tuesday Jonathan put together the swing our sweet friend Holly got Jackson. We moved it to the living room since the nursery is so small. Sam is not a fan of it, especially if it is swinging. I took a video on my phone of it. It is cut a little short because I was laughing so hard when he took off running. I am glad he is scared of it instead of trying to get to the mobile or toys attached to it. He has been standing on his back legs and whining to get to the nursery mobile since I put it on the crib.
video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turn That Crown Upside-Down

Well the last few days I have been that "pregnancy miserable" AKA very short of breath, heartburn, indigestion, and uncomfortable from him being so high. He is also still breech, so that compounds the problem. Today was what we call "Super Tuesday." Jonathan is off every Tuesday, and we usually have a lunch date followed by errands or whatever we want. We look so forward to Tuesdays. We watched a Lamaze video that the UMC nurse educator gave to us. We have already been to childbirth class here in Greenville, but it lightly touched on breathing. We finished watching it tonight. I got inspired to try to turn him after hearing about natural labor. I really want to avoid a C-section. I had read home remedies of using frozen vegetables to turn the baby. You place the cold items your upper belly, and the baby is supposed to move to a warmer spot. I have put this off for a week because it seems pretty cruel. BUT I really want him to move. I also read that you can lie down with your pelvis elevated for 20 minutes, ten times a day. I decided to try it all at once. Can you see my desperation???? We also added Sam's heating pad (yes, he is so spoiled that he has a heating pad) to my lower abdomen. It was pretty comical until I started laughing while upside down and stretched my already stretched abdominal muscles. I had to literally roll off the couch into Jonathan's arms. I felt so silly. It in no way worked. I was left walking off the pain from stretched muscle, a really red belly from the frozen food, and a really active (guessing very mad) boy pushing even more on my ribs. Jonathan photo-documented the event. So enjoy!










Not the most flattering photo, but funny.


P.S. In all the "literature" it kept mentioning frozen peas. We used frozen mangoes and frozen artichoke hearts. Surely, that didn't have anything to do with it??? ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Latest Doctor Visits

We went on Monday to Jackson for two appointments on early Tuesday morning. It was nice to get away for the night and go to dinner. At 8 o'clock that morning was a followup ultrasound for Jackson's brain.

The good news: the ventricle size had not progressed anymore and is measuring the same as all the other times. Meaning we don't have to go back for anymore ultrasounds with the high risk MDs. It is bittersweet. We are so happy he is okay, but we loved the ultrasounds and the staff there! The ultrasounds were usually about 45 minutes long with the staff just playing and trying to get a perfect picture of his face for us. They are wonderful! We did get a 3D or 4D (not sure which) picture of his profile. He was not wanting to say "cheese" and look at the camera!

The bad news: he is breech! One reason why we couldn't get a good picture of his face. He is face down with his head underneath my right ribs. That explains the reappearance in the last week or so of heartburn and shortness of breath. Two weeks ago when we went to the doctor, he was already engaged into my pelvis and I was 80% effaced (my cervix was thinned 80%). Not the best news. Obviously now he is not putting any pressure on my cervix. At 10:45 we had my OB visit. She didn't check me this time, so updates on effacement or dilation. However, we did have to talk about what to expect if he didn't turn positions on his own. If he doesn't turn by week 37, we will go in that week (the week of Dec. 2nd) for a procedure called External Version. Thanks to my nursing school friend, Bailey, who works at UMC labor and delivery (where we will deliver), I have all the info about it. We will go in to the L&D floor and to an OR for the procedure. I will get an epidural since it is supposed to be very uncomfortable. There are 3 doctors present. They will give a medication to relax the uterus. Then they will try to turn him manually guided by ultrasound. If anything goes wrong (like his heart rate drops) or he just won't turn, they will go ahead with a C-section right then hence why we are in the OR. Hopefully, this will all be avoided by him turning in the next 4 weeks on his own. They should have sent us home with a portable ultrasound machine because I am constantly feeling on my belly and playing "Guess The Body Part."

Here is the 3D or 4D picture. It is not great quality, because it is photo taken with my phone and emailed to me. The scanner is upstairs in the newly moved office, so I can't scan the original. Maybe Jonathan will scan it later and upload it.
OH YEAH! During the ultrasound, the doctor was talking about how much hair he has! He must take after his daddy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Expanding Baby Belly

We haven't done a great job of documenting the progress of the belly growth. My mom has though. I am sure her camera is filled with nothing but shots of my belly. She cracks me up because she angles the camera down as to have the belly the center of the photo. I don't have those pics, so here are the few I do have. Also, on the subject of bellies. It is really funny when you are pregnant and see people you know. Their eyes are focused on your belly when asking "how are you doing?" or just saying hello. I am sure I do it too but never realized it until now.
Finally starting to have a bump at 17 or 18 weeks. I am very proud of it!
The belly at 21 weeks at the beach.
The belly at 29 weeks. We haven't done a great job of documenting the progress of the belly, so this one is from my Blackberry that I texted to some of you. This was taken last week at 32 weeks. Getting BIG!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Vain Blogger

Before starting this blog, I snooped around others blogs for the last few months or maybe even longer. By snooping I mean following the link from someone's Facebook profile to their blog, then seeing their friend's blog and so on. It becomes one convoluted blog-stalking adventure. Most of these blogs are family-oriented. Then there is your occasional "Vain Blogger." It has just irritated me seeing these people blog (most of these are girls). They think that getting married, starting nursing school, building a house, OR making it to the state tennis tournament at a 2.5 level is qualification enough to blog (very boringly I might add) about their life. No witty comments, no hilarious views of life as mentioned in my previous post. The saddest fact is I know these people, and they all live near their family...so it's not about keeping them informed. And did I mention THEY ARE SO BORING?! I did not start this blog to gripe. I promise it will be a "family-oriented" blog. Besides IT is the cool thing to do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Giving In...

Alright so now that we are expanding the family soon, I (Heather) gave in to the peer pressure/trendy "family" thing to do and started a blog. We have several relatives and friends all over the country, so why not take advantage of this wonderful world wide web and keep everyone updated on the Hardens and baby Jackson (ETA December 22). Though I do have to throw out there the following disclaimers:

1. It's been a long time since I have had to write paragraphs non-nursing related and especially not in medical shorthand. I even find myself writing in cards trying to use the symbols for "with" ("c" with a bar over it) or "without" ("s" with a bar over it). So bear with me if my grammar, spelling, and punctuation (especially comma usage) isn't the best.

2. I am not one of those witty people with a hilarious view of life and can turn the most mundane event into a side-splitting laugh session (
Michael Williams aka Killer) nor am I a great writer with notorious "bank stories" or what is now accounting stories(Alex Holt).

3. I should have paid more attention in my Computer Science class in college. Making the HTML links above was a task. Therefore, there may be some kinks when I start posting pics.

4. Lastly, please don't expect daily updates. I am too much of a perfectionist to write daily. It is way too stressful because I actually made an outline on paper as to what I was going to write in this first blog. I have always been this way, and I don't think there is any breaking this habit now.


Maybe, Jonathan will make some guest appearances as a ghost writer. Anyway, welcome to the Harden Family Blog!!