Monday, August 27, 2007

Life is sooo sweet!

I must admit that the beginning sentences of my thank you notes these days are less than original..."Life has certainly gotten sweeter in the Berry household since Ella's arrival"... I try and try as I may to come up with something equally as clever, but alas I cannot put into words any better than that the description of our life. We are so blessed. Ella is such a gift. Every day with her has been pure joy, and the thought of being her parents for the rest of her/our lives is simply wonderful.

We have been learning so much about God...his role as our Father who loves us unconditionally, through this new experience.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Home Life

We have really enjoyed being at home. My parents (Nicole's) were here for the first week that we had Ella here, and helped out so much with cooking, cleaning, yard work, changing diapers, and of course, cuddling the new bundle of joy which gave us some time for naps during the day and even a date at Blue Fire Grill where we had a gift certificate given to us from Redemption for our anniversary. We REALLY enjoyed our meal that night...sushi (which is forbidden for pregnant women), ribeye (cooked medium--also a no-no for pregos), and Coke (which didn't sit too well with me during pregnancy because of heartburn). We also had a rack of lamb that it would have been a sin to put a knife to because it was so fall-off-the-bone tender...it was a wonderful time together, but we actually missed ella so much and were so exhausted that instead of going to Barnes and Noble after dinner, we happily headed home. Brandon's parents have also been a great help to us during the transition.

Besides the occasonal drop-bys the first week, Denice came down on Thursday night and John made it Friday. They stayed through lunch on Sunday, and were busy with house and baby duties throughout their stay. We woke up Saturday morning to the smell of bacon, fresly made biscuits and gravy (B's favorite) and coffee (which is another thng I missed while I was pregnant and am now enjoying immensly again).

We are thankful to be a part of a group of couples who gets together to study the Word of God, pray, talk and eat together. One of the girls in that group organized dinners for us every night for the second week we were home! Thanks, Kelsey, and all of you who have brought over yummy meals! (The Earles, The Smiths, The Shufords, The Chandlers, The Martins, The Wherleys, & The Crowders--y'all rock!) Besides that, we've had a steady stream of fun visitors from all over...Ced and Kobe brought Malachi over for a visit, Leesa and Dave Northrup stopped by after taking their two youngest to Clemson to get them settled in, Ashley Shockley came by and actually had the opportunity to be Ella's first non-family babysitter while Brandon and I went to return a DVD and grab a Sonic slush (what a treat!), and my best friend's mom, Mary Johnston came by for a while to hang out with us.

We enjoyed a great visit to Dr. Jones at Parkside Pediatrics. Ella had gained 11 ounces in 4 days...she was up to 7lbs 5oz on Monday, August 13th, and was deemed perfectly healthy. She even had an opportunity to show Dr. Jones just how well she's been eating by demonstrating her projectile pooping ability in the exam room. Brandon, Dr. Jones and I all managed to get out of the firing range, and she slept through the whole ordeal, but we laughed so hard that the nurses were wondering what was going on in our room! (I hope I don't give her a complex for writing that--do you think she'll hate me for this when she's 16?) We love our pediatricians, and would HIGHLY recommend this group to anyone in the Upstate. The entire office is completely wonderful and we are thankful to have found what we feel is the best care for our princess.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Berry Sweet Berry

The entire labor/delivery process was a wonderful experience. Saturday, Aug. 4 was the 'Due Date' but I had decided that I wouldn't get my hopes up...it's funny that I had that date in my head for 9 months but when it actually got there I was kind of in disbelief.

Brandon and I had a wonderful morning and afternoon...eating breakfast, running errands and just enjoying each other--having a Saturday morning together with no ministry agenda is an anomaly...I can count on one hand how many of those we've had since we've been married. We really enjoyed spending that time together (I already said that, didn't I?). Around 12 noon, I started having some contractions, but nothing overwhelming...we kept on with our day. Around 2:30 we began to document the contractions which ranged anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 minutes apart. We did that until our friends, David and Jodie came over to watch a movie (we watched Denzel Washington's DeJaVu...sooooo good)! During the movie, there were a couple of contractions that were rather strong, and about an hour after our friends left, they got close enough together that we called the dr. who told us we could come to the hospital or stay at home for a couple more hours. we stayed, packed our bags, finished the dishes (who wants to bring a new baby home to a pile of dishes?) and got excited. Around 2:45am we left for the hospital. They checked me and admitted me around 4. The contractions were not pleasant, but not too awful either, so I held off on the epidural until I was 7cm dialated (around 8am). After that, it was smooth sailing! I couldn't feel any pain, and the process moved forward at a great pace. We were stalled only by the nurse who was delivering a baby next door and was tied up for almost an hour after I was fully dialted. The dr. finally got another nurse to help because Ella was on her way. We pushed for 10 minutes, and our precious daughter entered the world! Brandon hooted and hollered, I examined Ella for any signs of abnormalities (found none--she's perfect) and then they cleaned her up, I fed her, and the family came in to meet their new addition. The entire experience was joyful and relatively easy (sorry to all you moms out there who are reading this and didn't have an easy delivery).

The doctors and nurses at Greenville Memorial Hospital were wonderful, and we enjoyed all of our visitors. We had the baby go to the nursery at night so we could sleep (we'd been up for well over 36 hours). They discharged us on Tuesday, August 7th.

She was soooo little! we put her in an outfit that her Aunt Pepper gave her--Preemie sized, but it still looked big on her little arms and legs! she was beautiful, though. The carseat, as you can tell, has some room for her to grow into. I know it won't take long before I look back at this picture and wonder how she was ever this small...

Home life has been wonderful. We've had lots of visitors and wonderful people bringing over food and gifts and spending time getting to know our precious angel. She is a big eater and loves her sleep (just like mom and dad!) and has really been an easy baby to handle. Brandon and I are actually getting sleep (in shifts, but hey...we'll take what we can get), and life is just wonderful.

Here are some more new pics of Ella!

This is her Redemption Diva onesie that Mommy made for her. She actually messed this one up pretty bad the other night. It's being pretreated before the laundry! :)
No, we don't usually sleep with Ella in the bed, but after a feeding I was up and thought it would be a cute picture. She is usually in a bassinet by our bed. Brandon and I who are both usually VERY deep sleepers, have laughed at how each little squeak she makes has us up and at 'em in an instant!

By the way...he's COMPLETELY WHIPPED!

More to come, so stay posted! Thanks for your love, prayers and comments!

The Berry Bunch

Monday, August 06, 2007

She's Here!

Ella Christine Berry
Born August 5, 2007
6lb. 15 oz., 21 inches long

Meeting Mommy for the first time

This hat won't stay on!

Being held by one of my admirers

Look at my mohawk!

I didn't like my first time in the nursery...they were pretty rough with me!

This is Dr. Stamm...He made sure I entered the world safe and sound
Tuckered out with Daddy...I could get used to this.