Overalls Make People Smile

We had two firsts today: overalls and catching Dayla’s smile on film.
If you have ever been around me and babies, you know that I grin whenever they wear overalls. My sister Suzanne discovered this when I visited her and her little girl a year ago and I asked everyday if I could dress her in overalls. So today was the first day that Dayla was big enough to wear overalls and it made my whole day!
To top it off, Dayla has been smiling for about two weeks now. They were small at first but now have grown to big smiles and even a coo (like a laugh). Today was the first day that I could catch this smile on film…so overalls must make Dayla smile too.
Dayla showing off her new overalls.

Dayla’s bunny toy makes her happy.

A Month With Dayla and the Many Faces She’s Shown

Wow! I can’t believe that it has been a month since little Dayla came into our lives. This last month has been hard, but it was also nothing short of the best blessing I have ever received. Motherhood has been everything and nothing I expected. Let me share:
Expected/ Unexpected:
Lack of sleep/ I don’t mind not sleeping
Lots of Diapers/ Seriously, this many diapers?
She does 3 things: poop, sleep, eat/ She does those 3 things an awful lot!
She is cute/ I could stare at her for hours! Yes, hours.
Baby takes up a lot of time/ Baby takes up A LOT of time. I can’t do anything else!
Enjoying Motherhood/ My heart melts when she looks at me.
Loving her more then anything/ I am overwhelmed with love, everyday, every minute.
One of my favorite things is watching her faces. Yes, she is in the “lump” stage, but I am surprised at how many faces she does make. Since you all don’t get to stare at her all day and all night like I do, I thought I would do a photo shoot and share her faces with you. Check her out!

My Labor and Delivery Story

Many of you have asked…and now that Dayla has given me a little reprieve, I have time/energy to sit down and tell you all about my experience of having a baby. The truth is I also want to document it for myself before all the “love hormones”, the hormones that make one forget all the hard parts of labor, set in. I am hoping that I have not forgotten too much in these last two weeks, though I can sense the truthfulness of the pain already slipping from my memories. For those of you not interested in the true story of it all….please don’t feel obligated to read on. I will be happy to supply the severely edited, “it was so easy” story for you upon request at a later time. So here we go…my labor and delivery story (sorry it is so long!).
As I sat with my midwife on Wednesday, August 15th, discussing the options of what will happen if I were to go past my due date; it was the first time in my pregnancy that a little panic set in.
Since long before I was ever pregnant, I always wanted to have a baby as natural as possible. I thought it would be so wonderful to experience labor as God originally intended it…as painful as it might be. God promises in Genesis that we would have pain in labor, but I knew that the pain I would have would be nothing that God had not intended my body to be able to handle. One of my customers at work asked why I would choose pain when I knew there was a way to escape it. I had trouble explaining it even to myself without somehow also coming across as a masochist, but deep down I felt like it would be a way for me to be close with God. During my whole pregnancy I felt closer to God then I ever have before. I felt like everyday he revealed a new way that we were perfectly created in his image. Everything from how your blood increases 50% to supply for the baby, to the fact that your uterus expands up to 1000x its original size squishing every other organ you have out of the way. Even now, as I am healing day by day, I am astounded by my body and the beauty of the healing process that is taking place. It just all works so absolutely perfectly. So I knew that going through the labor process was just another way to see and feel how my body worked…in God’s perfect way…in order to get a baby out…and I was so excited at the prospect of being able to experience that.
I felt the panic arise in my body as my midwife explained that if I didn’t deliver by 42 weeks, I would have to be induced and would have to deliver on the labor and delivery floor. As I looked at her, my fear just beginning to drown me, I saw comfort like a life raft in her eyes. She didn’t want me to have to go to the labor and delivery floor either. That was why I switched to the midwife and the Birthing Center, because we had like minds. She, like I, wanted to deliver this baby in the natural way, the way women had for centuries. However we both knew that neither of us could control it, we just had to trust God’s plan. I left the office that day saying one more prayer. It was a prayer of trust in God’s plan, but also a prayer of my desire. I told God…I will do all my errands and be ready anytime after Friday…and I will trust him….no matter what day he wanted that baby to come (but please make it come soon!).
That Saturday morning I awoke to the usual gourmet breakfast prepared by my loving Daniel (yes I am blessed with a husband who loves to cook), sat down for a good old episode of the Simpsons, and felt my first contraction at 11:30 a.m. I couldn’t believe it! In fact I told Daniel it probably wasn’t contractions and we should go along with our original plans of having our friends Jason, Sarita, Beth and Justin over for an afternoon of pool lounging and games. But as the morning progressed and the contractions went from feeling like cramps to sharp pains, I realized God really had listened! 🙂 Much to my surprise our friends were not thrown by the fact that I was in labor and decided to come over anyway. Little did I know then what an amazing blessing that was going to be! The girls jumped right into action, like they had been training to be labor coaches all their lives. Completely calm, loving, patient and supportive, they timed my every contraction (which were about 3-5 minutes apart) from 2p.m. to 7p.m. The men, just how I imagine it would be like the olden days, distracting my husband from worry with every kind of game you can imagine. (Thanks again guys!) Finally, by 7:30p.m., we were ready to make the trek to the hospital, everyone on our way out excitedly making bets of when that baby would come!
As we made our way through the hospital parking lot, I felt an incredible calm. I would take glances at Daniel and see that he was trying as hard as he could to stay calm for me too, though I swear I could see the glimmer of both excitement and panic in his eyes. As we ascended in the hospital elevator, so did my excitement. I had a flash of realization. “This is it!” I let myself feel the warm rush of anticipation and joy for the first time. The fourth floor was quiet, no gurneys rushing about or screams of labor as I had expected. In fact by that time my contractions were so hard and painful I was a little disappointed at the lack of panic by the nurses and midwives walking around. I wanted the television drama, “oh miss…you are in labor? Right this way…hurry!” but everyone’s demeanor was sweet and mellow, which helped me relax once again. We were escorted to a dimly lit room with a queen bed, two high back chairs, a rocking chair and a strange painting on the wall. There were remnants of a hospital room here and there, an emergency call button and oxygen mask on the wall, but mostly it felt warm and homey just like I had hoped. Then the long night began. There was a lot of walking in circles, breathing deep and praying. Nurses came and checked my vitals every 2 hours or so, and every time they came I thought to myself, “It has been 2 hours already?” It was a strange mixture of feeling like it was rocketing by and feeling like it was taking forever. At 10 p.m. Daniel and I were both sure by the look on my face and the whites of my grasping knuckles that we had hit the hardest of the contractions. When 2 a.m. rolled around and the whites of my knuckles had become the purple of my knuckles, we knew that we had been wrong. It is hard to describe with words this kind of pain. It is not an aching or even a stabbing sensation. I didn’t feel it in only one spot in my body, but everywhere. At the peak of it all, it is truly like no other pain. In the moment of the contraction I felt it, and the echoes of my screams bouncing off the corridors let everyone else know I was in pain, but part of me felt completely out of body. Finally, after hours of contractions, 3 a.m. came and so did the time to push. I felt a wave of relief completely wash over me, for the end of the agony was in sight.
Three hours later I was still pushing my heart out, barely breathing in between each push, and still no baby to show for my efforts. I couldn’t help but joke in my head that she better not be this stubborn once she is out. My midwife and doula encouraged and coached with inspiring words. “Millions of women have done this before you, you can do it to.” “Yes, God” I encouraged myself. Suddenly I looked up and saw a panic, troubled look in my midwife’s eyes. “You have to get this baby out,” she said “because if you can’t deliver her in the next half hour then you will have to go to the labor and delivery floor.” My heart sank into the depths of my stomach. I had been pushing too long and they said my body would give out soon. All this work for so many hours and I had to go where I dreaded to go? Really, I didn’t want to leave my spacious room and my comfortable queen bed that I had already gotten so attached to! What could I do in the next half hour that I wasn’t already doing now? And then the doula came up with the most encouraging, inspiring line of all, “It hurts so bad because she is stretching you, making way for all her brothers and sisters that will come after her. You can do this. Embrace the pain.” I don’t know what it was about that thought, the thought of our future family and the thought that there was a purpose for all this pain, but it was the thought that got me to the finish line.
I pushed again, what I thought was just another push in the barrage of pushing, when I heard startling screams of joy. “You are doing it! We see her head!” Before I knew it I felt a strange burn and then relief. It was a relief more wonderful and relieving then a cold pool on a 100 degree summer day. My body was finally calm. A baby’s cry sounded out. A warm, slippery, small body was placed on my chest. I looked up and saw a blur of people rushing around the room, then looked down and saw the most beautiful, peaceful sight I have ever seen. Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt an emotion that was unlike any emotion I have felt before. People had told me how much the love for your child is unlike any other love, but I think it is a stretch to call this love. I have felt love. I love my family. I love my husband more then I ever thought possible. The feeling I felt for that little bean on my chest was much more than love. I wish I could give a word picture of what it felt like. But telling you it is a rush of warmth or a joy or a feeling of love just doesn’t do it justice. I truly believe there is literally no word to describe the feeling a parent has that moment they first meet their child. There I was though, meeting Dayla, smiling and drowning in emotion.
And that is how our little one made it into this world. I survived. Now I can say it was a wonderful experience and I know that this is just the beginning of our adventures together!

What Have I Been Up To? Waiting…..

I have been off of work for a week and a couple days…waiting for a baby…and trying not to be too anxious. I thought it would be fun to give you a little window of what I have been up to.
First, it is weird to be off work and not on vacation. Some days I will purposely drive by my work just to prove to myself that, yes, it is there and it is still open and, no, I am not there. I do miss it. Not the working part….but the fact that I had a lot of customers who I connected with and talked to everyday, and now I don’t get to. It makes me realize how they were serving me with joy just as much as I was serving them their coffee.
So since I am a natural worker (thanks mom and dad for that work ethic) …I have found myself wanting to keep very busy. Actually, I really want to keep busy to keep the anticipation and anxiousness from seeping into my head. I keep telling myself that she is due in August so I don’t have a specific date haunting my brain. But that stuff is like a nasty mold…in the crevices of the brain, growing in the dark even after you thought you got rid of it all. So anything I can do to make me relax and not think about the upcoming excitement has been wonderful. Mostly trying to be out of the house as much as possible (and trying to ignore the comments about her coming soon…cause let’s be real…GOD only knows!)
Now to fend off the mom comments about me being busy when I should be taking it easy, I will clarify. I am not working too much, just catching up and lunching with old friends. I was able to have my friend Jen visit for a weekend and Daniel’s sister Kristy spend a couple of days with me. Both visits were so much fun! I have had more energy then when I was working, so it has been nice to catch up on the little things too. The kitchen stays clean, I am finally writing my shower thank-you notes, running an errand here and there, etc. I have about a 2 hour limit for everything. I can be on my feet for 2 hours, be sitting down for 2 hours, laying down for 2 hours, even only being able to sleep in 2 hour increments. So I just switch off every 2 hours doing something new. It is also been a WONDERFUL BLESSING that I have a couple of pregnant friends who I have been able to spend time with. We are at each others speed….resting when we need to, walking when we are restless ( and being able to walk slow and not having to say, “wait up!”), icing up when we ache, and suppling each other Tums when the heartburn sets in.
My favorite things recently are 1. chewing ice chips. Mostly to keep me cool, also to distract me at night time from thinking about my pains. I have even become very picky about which is the best. For those who are curious…Jamba Juice has very good ice! 2. Fruit. Can’t seem to get enough fruit. Cold…fresh fruit has been the craving for the last 2 months or so. 3. Boba. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is like a smoothie/ fruit slushie drink with tapioca balls in the bottom. Since it is the perfect combination of fruit and ice…you can see why I am really into it! Sounds weird, but yum. Nina…I hope you are proud of your egg you created! 4. Pool. I am so lucky to have a pool that is heated! Everyone said I would like it…and I do feel so good when I am swimming. Unfortunately my pregnancy swimsuit is starting to get snug and itchy (I think it is because my skin is getting so much more sensitive), so that is why it is number four on my favorite things list.
So, that is what I have been up to! Call me if you are bored cause I would love to hang out…just remember that it is only for 2 hours…and if you want to make me really happy you should bring along some ice chips, cold fruit, or Boba drink with you! 🙂
And don’t worry…for those of you who are far and near…YES! we will call you/ text message /email you when Dayla arrives. I promise. So for right now just say a prayer that it will be in August and hold tight! 🙂

Little Changes

So my body is definitely continuing to change and grow even though I am now in the “home stretch” with only 4 weeks left. My tummy is continually popping out more and more, which leads to some new challenges and discoveries. For those of you who don’t get to see me all the time, I will share with you my new body quirks:
1. It is easier to lean back then forward. In fact, I can no longer reach the radio dials in my car comfortably, so unless someone is riding with me I listen to the same CD over and over. Daniel noticed that I have now been hearing the same CD for 2 weeks…luckily my commute is only 5 minutes so it is not that big of a deal.
2. My belly button is almost an outie. I didn’t think it was going to occur…but the last two days I can see the end. Not quite at the out position yet. I think it is very odd.
3. I am continually able to lift less and less. Arm muscles shrinking? I think it is just that everything takes more effort. But it is fun to measure at my work. Pre-pregnancy I could lift 7 gallons of milk (re-stocking the fridge). It has been dwindling down…and now I am barely able to lift two!
4. Hot all the time! Funny…I actually do not mind it as much as I thought. I am finding great pleasure in the fact that I don’t have to bring a sweater to the movie theatre or when Daniel and I go out at night. Previously I have always been the cold one…so it is kind of fun to be the one who never has to bring a sweater anywhere!
5. I think I finally have the pregnancy “waddle” that everyone gets. Mostly due to some aches (not weight)…but everyone loves penguins right….so I waddle away with pride!
So those are my changes! Stay tuned for some more thoughts in my final weeks of pregnancy! 🙂

My “innie” wants to be an “outie”!

Big healthy baby….itty bitty living space

It is funny how context is everything. I had a doctor’s appointment on the 18th of this month that threw me into a worried panic. The doctor routinely measured my stomach and said the dreaded words “I am worried”. Had that “worry” been in any other situation I might have written it off and thought it was no big deal. (I am a very relaxed person. Not a “worry-wart” as my mom used to call it). But everyone told me that when you are pregnant it changes you. Apparently that is true. The reality of realizing that you have a life in your hands becomes all too real and true when you hear that something is not right. So when she told me that I was measuring too small and that she was concerned about the baby’s health…but not too worry….I worried.
God willing we got an ultrasound appointment today even though the next appointment opening wasn’t until July 13th…and today my worries were once again subsided. It was so astounding to see the baby one more time in the womb….being able to see all the heart chambers and the spine and the brain….all working just perfectly….what a miracle. They measured my amniotic fluid and uterus and all looks well! As we were ending our appointment the doctor came in to assure us that all was fine. She said with a big grin and slight chuckle…”in fact it is the exact opposite then we thought…it looks like you are going to have a big baby! She is already measuring at 5 1/2 pounds!” I will add in here…I still have 8 weeks left and the baby can grow up to a 1/2 pound a week from here on out! So there you go…I might look small from the outside…but I can assure you she is making herself big and comfortable on my inside.
BIG healthy baby…itty bitty living space! Praise God!

I Look Pregnant!!!!

Me at 31 weeks. Okay…I am finally showing! I had my first couple complete strangers ask me if I was pregnant. It was monumental for me! I was so excited. I know everyone wants to be small when they are pregnant…but I was REALLY ready to look pregnant! At last I am there.
The pregnancy seems to be going well. Although, I am at the point now where it is hard to sleep at night, she kicks me HARD in the ribs (owweee!), I am worn out after lifting my fork to my mouth, and all the other usual aches and pains that come with pregnancy are here. But I keep telling myself it is all worth it…cause really, what better reason?

 

 

 

 

 

Me at 29 weeks. The shirt in this picture I think is awesome. It was a hand-me-down from my sister Suzanne who works with a construction company, so it was a little funnier for her…but I still really like it. 🙂

And her name will be…

Dayla Marie Sundin

What is in a name?
When thinking of what to name your child the criteria for the perfect name seems like it could be endless. Every person I talk to seems to have different thoughts on what those criteria should be. I wish that I could write that for us it was different. I wish I could say that this was the perfect name and it just “came to us”, but the truth is that picking a name for a wonderful person you have not met yet is not an easy process. There was much deliberation involved. Well, “how did this one win?” you might ask? We liked it…it matched our criteria….and when saying it out loud it was the only name that seemed right.
A little more history…
“Dayla” is Hebrew in origin. Not biblical…but a cool Hebrew name we stumbled across when looking up biblical names. It is not a common name that most people have ever heard. Yet it is easy to say when you read it and hopefully for most people, easy to spell.
Her middle name is my (Ginette’s) middle name. My sister Suzanne told me when I first found out I was pregnant, that I was the 7th child in my family having the 7th grandchild. The coincidence does not stop there. The 7 grandchildren have gone in the exact same sex order as the 7 children. (so it was meant to be that our baby would be a girl!). Giving her my middle name just seemed like a neat way to pay homage to the Senasac family.
There you have it…no need to share if you don’t like it…we already bought a stone and carved it in. 🙂

20 Weeks

When Daniel and I announced that we were pregnant at our Young Married’s church group several weeks ago, three other couples all announced that they were expecting too. (we are all due within one week of each other). One of the most fun things for me is seeing how pregnancy is affecting us all completely differently. When we talk I constantly realize what a miracle God is performing in our bodies each day…and how each body is handling it in a completely unique and beautiful way.
So here I am at 20 weeks. Others have told me they are jealous I am not showing very much yet, and I am jealous of the others who look pregnant. But I suppose all in all it is just the way God wants our bodies to be! 🙂