Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Great Not to Be Pregnant Anymore

My Top Ten Reasons It's Great Not to Be Pregnant Anymore

10. My big belly has been replaced by big boobies...the 'pantry' is fully stocked!
9. Soon my pants wont have an elastic waistband. (I haven't tried on any non-preggo pants yet.)
8. I'm wearing Matt's shirts since their easier to nurse Abigail, and not because they are the only ones that fit!
7. It's easier to do simple things without a big belly (i.e. brush my teeth!).
6. Wine for New Year's Eve! Not a lot, but it's finally allowed now.
5. I don't have to pee every 5 minutes.
4. I'm going to try on my wedding rings today, and I think they'll actually fit again!
3. Heartburn is now just a bad memory.
2. No more cankles! Or any swelling from the knees down, for that matter!
1. Abigail is finally in my arms, and out of my belly!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When Hiccups Attack

Abby Has the Hiccups from Jill Barnes on Vimeo.

Abby met another great-grandfather today. Matt's dad, grandfather and sister drove up for the afternoon. Abby had just finished eating and was wide awake when they arrived, then slept oh so cozily in PawPaw's arms the rest of their visit. We hope to see you again soon PawPaw!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Work...

Well, it's Monday morning (Dec 29th) and this is my first day back at work after taking last week off for Christmas and Abby. I'd love to say that I had a great night of rest and was ready to jump right back into the job this morning, but that just wasn't the case. The culprit...not Abby. No, she actually slept pretty well last night. It was me who was tossing and turning because my throat has some annoying problem going on with it where I must swallow every 30 secs while clearing my throat. I really don't think I'm coming down with anything since having throat problems has been common the last few years for me, especially during the winter months. And so, despite my 2-3 hours of sleep that I squeezed in, I'm considerably chipper far. Anyways, getting up was easy this morning since I was already awake. The commute was a breeze due to the number of people still calling this week vacation time around Atlanta, and by the looks of things from my desk this office is missing many of those. The office has been quiet with just a few regulars here. I've managed to show off a few baby pics of Abby already and knock down some coffee and hot chocolate, too. However, my project log is practically nil since the team planned for me to be out for a few days around this time with Abby's arrival, and pretty much all of the project managers, art directors and designers are no where to be found. Heck, my boss is still in Holland visiting with family. Oh well, there's always a need to clean up my cubicle a bit so I can start the new year right. Now if only I could get rid of all these surge protectors, cables and other stuff I've been working on the last few weeks. Whew!

By the way, I did take a little time to update the blog a little bit. I've slowly been tweaking things here or there, but I finally took another shot at developing the title page. With Jill and me blogging simulatneously now, I've change the blog title also. Who knows, Abby may be blogging away any day now. :-) Well, enjoy the refresh and feel free to check out the photos from the last week. It was quite a doozy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week One Review by JILL

Wow, what a week. Just last Saturday our daughter, Abigail was born. Since then this past week has been quite a blur with days in the hospital, Christmas and plenty of visitors dropping by to say hello to the newest member of the family. We were lucky to be released from the hospital Monday night, being able to get a little settled before Christmas. On Tuesday, Matt's Aunt Gail, PawPaw & Myra dropped in to meet Abigail. We kept Christmas Eve very low key, Abigail had her first appointment with the pediatrician and I went to get my staples removed. On Christmas Day, Matt's family spent the day with us.

On Friday and Saturday we had more visitors. Cousins, Christina & Eric stopped by on their way to Pigeon Forge while Uncle Steve, Aunt Joanna and Cousin Alyssa drove up for the night from Tampa. Matt's co-worker from Griffin (in Nashville), Mark and Samantha (his girlfriend) dropped by. Then Great Aunts Carol & Irene and Cousin Debbie visited too (from Sherry's Mom's side of the family). Abigail is one very loved little girl!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas

Hands of an Angel

As daylight slips through the windows of our home early this Christmas morning, I just wanted to reflect a little on how special this day is for my family. Today, my daughter celebrates her first Christmas as well as her 5th day in the world. On a day that is meant to celebrate Christ's birth, Jill and I have a very special example of how precious a small child can be to people's lives. We're so blessed.

On a side note, I'd like to update everyone real quick on us. We were able to go home on Monday night after both Abby and Jill were cleared to leave. So far, we're had one really rough night and a few better nights...mostly because Wayne and Anita have been so gracious to keep Abby company for a few hours during the night so we could get some rest. Yesterday, Abby had her first appointment with her pediatrician and everything went very well. After dropping a little weight from birth, she's back on her way up as she weighed in at 5lbs, 12 oz. Oh, and she's grown a 1/4" already, too. Also, Jill had her checkup yesterday and had her staples removed. Um, considering the view I had on Saturday night in the OR as all the craziness happened, to now have both my girls home is really a miracle in its self in my mind.

And so, we have more than enough to be thankful for this Christmas day. We'll have a house full in just a few short hours as we make a full day of the festivities. There's going to be plenty of food, plenty of gifts, and a whole lot of pictures taken for sure. And I plan to kick everything off by getting into the kitchen to start up breakfast here shortly. Pancakes & bacon anyone??? :-)

Well, enough of the blogging. I'm gonna lean over and kiss my baby girl who's laying in her boppy next to me here in bed and thank the Lord that he gave us such a special gift this year. So, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day Two

It's been a fairly quiet and slow day for us here since no visitors have dropped by and we've had time to enjoy it just being the 3 of us. Not too long ago we were spending some time cuddled into Jill's hospital bed to watch a little tv, which had to have been a sight. Overall, Abby is sleeping and eating well at times, but she does occasionally show signs of that Barnes/Henriquez stubbornness that Jill and I possess. After some helpful tips from the lactation specialist, though, Abby seems to not fight her feedings as much. To make things easier, Jill's in a laying position that is allowing her to rest comfortably while Abby eats (and semi-naps) next to her. And yes, I'm keeping a watchful eye on them both in case you were worried about Jill rolling over or something.

By the way, we may be able to go home tonight if Jill's OB gives the final sign-off. The OB came in this morning and said everything looked good and would be back after office hours to make the final call. If we do go home, I'm sure you'll see photos on the blog tonight of our grand arrival. Stay tuned.

So, I haven't been able to snap that many photos today, but I did process a few that I shot yesterday. Now I know she's already one whole day older than when I took the pics, but you should be able to recognize her still. Ha!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Abigail Celebrates Her First Day

At 7:08pm last night, our baby daughter made her official entrance into the world and as they say, "the rest is history." Jill's labor moved slowly in the early stages, but Jill's lack of sleep combined with increased strength in her contractions pushed us to the decision to call for an epidural. Around 6:30pm last night, the epidural procedure was finished and Jill began to fill some relief. Seeing an opportunity to step out, I made my way to the waiting room to choke down a chicken sandwich and talk with everyone. I began walking back to Jill's room and was about to bid farewell to my parents (I had just got out of my mouth that the birth was still maybe 4-6 hrs away) when Anita gave me a ring on my cell. Abby's heart rate had dropped from the 145bpm earlier to 75bpm. She was going into fetal distress and Jill's OB made the call for an emergency cesarean section procedure to save her. I ran back to Jill's room just as the nurses were wheeling her out, so the nurses got me suited up in surgery apparel and down to the OR I went.

While Jill lay on the table already being opened up, I waited outside for them to take me in. Within a minute (felt like an eternity) I was sitting inside the OR behind the curtain trying to comfort Jill as they pulled Abby from her womb. I was completely traumatized because this event was supposed to be all about overwhelming joy, but instead I was having to watch my semi-sudated wife go through some excruciating pain. Once Abby was out Jill was given a heavy sedative and I was able to pay attention to our baby girl crying over on the warming table. Of course, she was beautiful and already wiped down I might add (since I joked with Jill throughout the pregnancy that they should hose her off before handing her to me, ha). I know I've heard it a hundred times from other fathers, but when I walked over and begun to talk to Abby, her cries quieted and she opened her eyes at me. It was just about the coolest, most heart-warming thing I've ever experienced. After Abby was measured and weighed (18", 6lbs & 2oz.) and they had Jill all sewn up, the 3 of us headed right back to the original delivery room.

There we were met with Jill's parents and my parents (proud grandparents) and watched the nurse give Abby her first bath. The rest of the night seemed to fly by, but we did manage to move to our permanent room and have the many visitors stop by for their first visit with the newest member of the family.

....I now pause tonight's blog as we all sing "Happy Birthday" to Abigail... :-)

Jill, Abby and me both managed a few hours of sleep last night after a little restlessness with Abby early in the AM. We all woke up first to talk with Jill's OB doc, and then next we met with the on-call pediatrician. The OB explained the situation that led to Jill's C-Section and talked about a few other details, while the pediatrician checked over Abby and gave her a great bill of health. Both Jill and Abby are recovering from the delivery very well, although Jill is still a "little" sore from the surgery. Despite that, both my girls managed to get more rest this afternoon (about 4.5 hrs each). While I've been cleaning Abby's black-tar meconium poop (3 times already, woohoo), Jill has switched over to solids and just ate her first meal. I'm not completely sure, but I think we may be able to go home by Tuesday if Jill continues to recover well.

We're all set for night #2 here, so wish us luck everyone. I've managed to get most of the photos from last night converted over, so look for more photos to pop up as tonight and tomorrow go along.

Welcome, Abigail Jaclyn Barnes


It's about 1:30am here and I have little energy left to explain the events that just took place over the last several hours. Things progressed dramatically from my last entry @ 4pm, so I'll spare you the details for now. Basically, Jill was rushed into the OR for an emergency C-Section due to Abby's heart rate dropping. At 7:08pm, Abigail Jaclyn Barnes was born. I will update the blog sometime in the morning after some much needed sleep. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers.


Matt, Jill & Abby

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh Baby...Here We Go!

UPDATE @ 4pm: Jill had her water broken around 3pm, and she's been on pitocin for a little over 2 hours. Now we're adding pain killers to the IV cocktail to give her some pain relief, which should in turn give her a chance to get some rest. Jill wasn't able to get a whole lot of sleep last night ever since we found out yesterday that she was going to be induced and had to wait for the call that a room was available. With contraction pains growing stronger as time goes by, this should be some great sleep before she jumps into the next stages of labor. Although I should probably catch some shut-eye myself, I just don't think I'll be able to sleep. I'll update in a short while.

Early Stages @ 8:45am: The long-awaited arrival of our baby girl is now only hours away now that Jill is in the first stages of being induced. We've arrived at the hospital around 6:15am this morning after getting the call that a room had finally come available. From there it has been a slow process of checking in, settling into the room, having the baby monitor and contraction monitor hooked up, and now waiting for the drugs to kick in. Since this is the first, the nurse does not expect the labor process to be quick, especially since Jill is not dilated yet. That means we could welcome Abigail into this world anywhere between this evening and sometime early morning tomorrow. I'll be updating the blog as things progress, so stay tuned and keep Jill and Abby in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sooner than Expected by JILL

I just read Matt's blog from earlier today, and Abby will be here sooner than we expected...

I just had my 39wk appt. They did another ultrasound to check on Abby's growth (to compare to the 35wk ultrasound). Abby is weighing approximately 5lbs 9oz (give or take) so my OB wants to go ahead and induce me. I'll be admitted within the next 24hrs, whenever the hospital has a room, and they'll start me on pitocin. The OB said it should be a long process since I'm not dilated at all yet. Please keep us in your thought and prayers, and we'll post as soon as we have more news.

Here Comes Christmas...& Abby!

Holiday Home Decor

Considering how crazy things have been, especially over the last 2 months with our move to Atlanta, Jill and I are welcoming the next couple of days with arms wide open. Christmas is only 6 days away, and normally that would be a big enough event in itself, but of course you all know what we're really waiting for. That would be the arrival of our precious little daughter, Abigail Jaclyn, who is officially due in 4 days on the 23rd. Yeah, we're hoping she's early, though. And now that Jill's parents and Abuela are here from Tampa (drove up yesterday), I'm hoping Abby's done waiting for the perfect time to leave her comfortable little home in Jill's belly and make her appearance into this world. Regardless of whether it happens today, tomorrow or next Tuesday, I can't wait to finally hold my baby girl in my arms and give her plenty of daddy kisses! :-)

By the way, above is a photo of our home all decorated up for the holidays. Since we're expecting many visitors in the next few days, I figured it would be nice to have the house all lit up for this year's very special Christmas. And yes, "Christmas Vacation" is one of my all-time favorite holiday season movies and so maybe that explains all the lights. Ole Clark W. Griswold would be proud. Haha!

"Is your house on fire, Clark?
"No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baking & Burrowing & Giving Blood by JILL

I've somehow been up since 5:30AM! I woke up and was wide awake. Calmly, I nudged Matt from his slumber to inform him NO I WASN'T IN LABOR, just awake and was going downstairs. I made myself some banana nut muffins and some coffee. Then decided I wanted to bake. I pulled the mixer out (yes, mom, I was very careful!) and all ingredients for Toby treats! I even treated Matt to some strawberry muffins. He has to be up so early for his job at Philips I haven't made him breakfast since Griffin!

The huge batch of Toby treats wasn't just for Toby. I bagged them and sent them down with my cousin, Stephen, for Toby's Tampa cousins & friends. After wrapping the remainder of gifts and watching some TV, I took a nice long bubble bath! I really hope Abby likes her bath time, because she's really squirmy when I try to relax and enjoy. Then I decided to treat my swollen feet to a pedicure and on my way out of the driveway I managed to puncture a tire. Matt wasn't thrilled when I got the extra warranty on my tires ($44) but they fixed the tire for free! Unfortunately the pedicure only made me feel worse, the cute Asain lady kept commenting on my swollen feet. :( Yes, they're huge and they hurt! That's why I'm here, paying you, to pamper them!

When I got home I decided to keep baking (more Toby treats, this time actually for Toby and his Atlanta friends). Since the swelling wont be 'cured' until after labor, standing and walking (letting gravity taking it's tole on Abby) while baking has been the project this afternoon/evening. I've definitely had stronger Braxton Hicks or pre-labor (since I don't know what that's like, I don't know if that's what it is) since yesterday. And the burrowing has become more prevalent. You may be wondering what is this 'burrowing' I speak. Basically, it's my description of what it feels like Abby is doing - digging her way out! It does not feel good, to say the least. Seriously, she better be O-U-T in 48 hours!

On another, more pleasant note, Matt gave blood today. While he's had to give blood before (medically), he's never donated. His reward, besides the satisfaction of a good deed, is the nutter butter he enjoyed afterward. Our fathers will be proud! (We think they're both part of the million gallon club by now.) ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Uncle Wesley by JILL

My brother has been polishing up on his uncle skills recently. I received a phone call from my cousin, Alyssa, to share a bit on Wesley's behavior with kids. They were at dinner Sunday night at our grandparents, as usual. Mason (you've probably 'met' him in some of Matt's photos) was a bit cranky and didn't want what was for dinner. All of a sudden, Wesley's phone started ringing, he was getting a phone call from Santa Clause! Wes spoke with Santa, he was calling to inquire about Mason's behavior this year. The phone call got Mason's attention, and I was told he was on his best behavior the rest of the night. Who knew Wes was such good friends with Santa?

And yes, those are huge life-size inflatables IN HIS LIVING ROOM!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pregnancy Update by JILL

My 38wk appt was today. I'm 75% effaced, but still not yet dilated. There will be a lot of walking in the next week for me! Unfortunately, my feet, ankles and legs are swollen and the OB says it wont go away until a good few weeks after Abby is born. Oh joy! I asked about Abby's size since it really hadn't been discussed since 35wks, I was reassured that ultrasounds could be up to 3wks off (in either direction) this far along in pregnancy. Even though it could be off, the OB scheduled me for another ultrasound next Friday.

I am getting to the point of really wanting my body back to myself. I've had such a great pregnancy but it's about time for Abby to make her grand entrance. I'm not sleeping well throughout the night anymore, and it's not just because I'm up for potty breaks. I constantly feel worn down, probably due to the lack of good sleep and all the extra weight I'm toting around. Abby has been in position for a good few weeks, and my belly looks lower which I can feel more since it's now uncomfortable to sit in most positions. Somehow she has not received the eviction notice.

And this is where I stop complaining, because for those of you who have children, you already know exactly how I'm feeling. But for those of you who drank the water (from my previous blog), I don't want to cause you to dread these last few weeks, hopefully you'll just forget in the meantime! And for those of you who wont be drinking the water for another year or more, I do want you to drink eventually! I guess I'm due, after all I'm still overly thankful I didn't have ANY morning sickness! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chilly Visit to Stone Mountain

This past Sunday we decided to make a little trip over to the other side of Atlanta to visit Stone Mountain. We had see tv commercials about their Christmas decorations and figured it would be a good opportunity to get out of the house. The drive only took about 45 mins to get to the park, and we went ahead and purchased yearly memberships since we'll probably be visiting a few more times within the next year, especially for a summer picnic and laser show. And kids under 3 are free...woohoo!

Anyways, we took the late tram up to the top of the mountain where we we're greeted with some even colder temps than at ground level. It took Jill only a few minutes before Jill headed back inside, but since I hadn't made much time to shoot any photos lately I stayed out there. Unfortunately, we had to take the last tram down just as the sun was setting, so I didn't get any full sunset shots, but I'm pleased with what I got.

Don't Drink the Water by JILL

Seriously, do not drink the'll get yourself knocked up!

It wasn't long after we discovered I was pregnant that it started going around. Kristin, a co-worker of mine, revealed she was expecting a month after me. Next was Sara, Matt's co-worker's sister - she was on the co-ed softball team with Matt, she's 8wks behind me. A bit down the road Julie (she was AU IND with Matt) shared her news, she's due in March. Then another co-worker of mine from the hotel, Marina, is due late April or early May. Unfortunately, all but Julie is in I'll be missing out on those babies! Julie actually lives here in ATL, so that'll be exciting for the kids to play.

Onto more pregnancy revelations: My cousin's sister-in-law's surrogate is pregnant with twins, due in June (they've been trying to get pregnant for 5+yrs!). Last month we got the news that as of July, we'll be Uncle Matt & Aunt Jill...Matt's sister is pregnant. And today, I received the news that our friend from Birmingham, Danitza, is preggers now too!

We are so excited for the baby boom! It'll be a lot of fun having more babies around the same age as Abby. And Abby already has one friend waiting on her arrival, Matt's HS buddy's daughter Evie. Abby & Evie will only be 6mo apart, lots of fun! The next few years are going to be so much fun with many little ones around!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tropic Thunder by JILL

Seriously an absolutely HORRIBLE movie. Matt wanted to see this one, so it was added to our Netflix queue. The three main actors: Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. (as a black guy). The actors play actors trying to make a war movie that's gone horribly bad.

The most ridiculous? There a ton of unadvertised actors in this movie too! Nick Nolte supposedly wrote the script of the film. Matthew McConaughey (and his hair is extremely long) is Ben Stiller's agent. Tom Cruise is some flim maker big-wig, he's bald on top with super hairy chest and arms AND he's really into Rap music. Bill Hader is another film maker guy (he's from SNL). Others making cameos playing themselves? Tobey McGuire, Jon Voight, Lance Bass, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alicia Silverstone and Tyra Banks.

I guess Hollywood is still trying to recoup from the writer's strike. So sad!