Monday, May 24, 2010

Going Mallin'

My Uncle Poppy had a song he sang to me as a little girl that went something like: "Going mallin' with the Bates', you'll be all over town . . ." Well, we weren't exactly "all over town," but at only 18 days old, Jackson has his first trip to the mall yesterday! Justin and I took him shopping at Fair Oaks Mall to get out of the house for awhile. Since I'm nowhere close to being ready to shop for myself, Jackson did snag a pair of clearenced blue jeans and swim trunks from The Children's Place (that store has the BEST prices!). He slept the whole time, but I'm already preparing him to be a good man to shop with--just what any mommy (or other woman) wants!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meet Mick and Liz

Meet Mick and Liz ^ They are two wonderful friends of ours from Hartlepool England. We met them by chance last summer on a cruise vacation in Europe and have kept in touch since. Boy did we have some good times aboard that ship--from hilarious dinners (with Mick and Justin misbehaving), to poolside chats, to introducing them to fatty American burgers at Jonny Rockts, to countless late night in the pub where they introduced us to Newcastle Brown Ale.
Here is Liz and I waiting to enter the grande dining room.

Here is Mick and Justin just outside the pub.

And--here is Jackson wearing one of the adorable outfits they sent him. I know it's silly, but we think it's so neat for baby Jax to have clothes all the way from England! Thanks Mick and Liz--you are so thoughtful to send us a gift. Please always keep in touch! xoxo
Jen, Jus, & Jackson

Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak at Jackson's newborn photo shoot. Beth was so kind to post this one to give us a taste of what's to come. I can't wait to see more. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beth Simmons Photography

Jackson had a very busy day today. I discovered a blooming professional photographer through a friend named Beth Simmons. She is from the Roanoke area but was willing to come all the way up to Northern Virginia to photograph Jackson for us. I have always wanted to capture newborn shots! Beth spent an incredible 5 hours in our home photographing Jackson, and we feel so incredibly blessed to have encountered her talent and sweet spirit. Jackson was such a good boy too--he slept most of the time, making from some beautiful images. Stay tuned--I will post them as soon as they are in my hands!

If you'd like to check out Beth's work beforehand, visit:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Busy Day

Mommy and Jackson had a very busy day, but it was very fun!

We went for our very first walk together around the neighborhood. It was so sunshiny!

Mommy was the one walking, but I got tuckered out too.

Mommy can't get enough of my sweet cheeks.

Then tonight I got my own workout with . . . tummy time!

It was a long day--so now I'm going to take it easy! Tomorrow is a new day, and I'm going to go shopping at Babies R Us for the first time with Mommy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Week Old Yesterday

Wow, time is already flying! Jackson turned one week old yesterday. I know I have 18 years to enjoy him, but I'm already thinking slow down! Being a mommy is the best job I have ever had!

Jackson's First Bath at Home

I just love getting my hair washed (and Mommy loves how fuzzy it looks afterwards).
Washing off isn't so bad either.

Okay, maybe just for a little while.

But getting dry and snuggly makes it worth it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jackson Scott Heath

May 5th, 2010
Jackson Scott Heath

Here we are, obviously at the very beginning of my labor induction! Everything got rolling when Dr. Liao broke my water at 8:35am and started my Pitocin drip at 8:50am. I tolerated contractions well for several hours on my own--until about 11:15am, when I asked my wonderful nurse, Dominique, for an epidural. It took the anesthesiologist about 45 minutes to get to me, and THANK GOODNESS I asked when I did--because I was miserable by the time he arrived! Thank goodness for modern medicine! My epidural worked like magic for about 2 hours, but then the issues began. I started getting nauseated because my BP dropped from about 145/90 (PIH) to 84/45. When the nurse repositioned me, Jackson's HR dropped to 80-90bpm, so they put my on oxygen and called in Dr. Liao. He checked my cervix (I was 4cm at 2pm), and repositioned my back onto my right side (where I had been). Baby Jax's HR responded well, and we all decided I needed to stay on that side. Unfortunately, because epidurals are somewhat gravitational, my right side got WAY too much medication, and my left got almost none. Basically, I was having severe one-sided contractions. My nurse called back the anesthesiologist to give me a bolus dose of medication through my epidural to help with the left sided pain. This worked for only a few minutes until I started to feel my left eye drooping. My nurse was very concerned about this (in 13 years as an L&D nurse she had never seen this happen). She started to assess the situation, and we quickly discovered that I was numb up to my collar bones on both sides. When she grew concerned about my ability to breathe, I started to panic. Although I was very comfortable, I was incredibly anxious about the high block affecting my ability to breathe. My nurse decided to check my cervix given the situation as I asked her to turn off my epidural (I decided I would rather experience the pain of childbirth than feel like I couldn't breathe or move). The time was 4pm. She checked, and said "oh my, you're ready to push!" WHAT?!? In 2 hours, I went from 4cm to 10cm and my doctor was at his office seeing patients!!! Dominque called Dr. Liao who rushed to the hospital, threw on sterile garb, and prepared me to push. I had to push "old-school" in stirrups because I couldn't feel anything although the epidural had been shut off completely. Eventually, I started to feel strong contractions again, and I could push against the pain since I had no urge to push on my own. In about 35 minutes (or about 7-8 contrations) Jackson arrived at 5:20pm! The little stinker was born OP, or "sunny side up" (looking up at the ceiling). Dr. Liao was quick to tell me that he would always want to induce me because I had such a rapid labor despite being my first pregnancy, being induced, having a high-block epidural, and having an OP baby. He said with my second child--we might have the baby on the way to the hospital! Despite the hiccoughs, everything turned out perfectly in the end-- and May 5th, 2010 was the happiest day of my life--I have a perfect, beautiful son. I am a mommy. I am forever changed and forever grateful for the miracle of life. Glory to the Lord.

My very first glimpse of Jackson.

Apgars were 9 and 9.

Daddy did the honors of cutting the cord.

Baby Jackson was 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

One of Jackson's first pictures. Justin says he looks like he could star in the next Step Up movie.

The beginning of our family

My greatest accomplishment--being Jackson's mommy.

Daddy is in love too.

Utter bliss.

Jackson goes to the nursery for his bath and bloodwork.

Little guy getting ready to go home.

Going home from the hospital.

You are our greatest joy in life and we can't wait to get to know you more and more each day. We love you!
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alien Forces

My body has been overtaken by an alien force. I am no longer in control whatsoever. This is NOT a pleasant feeling to have. Can anyone out there tell I'm frustrated to still be pregnant?!? At nearly 38 weeks, I am asking myself daily "Can I take this anymore?"
The worst part of all is my aching lower back and hips. They always get worse overnight, and at 4am this morning I had a mini breakdown. Then, when I wake up in the AM, they ache for hours, and nothing seems to provide any relief.
Then there's the constant wondering when I'll actually go into labor. I've had several stints of regular contractions that last for a few hours, but they never get closer together or more intense. Then, to my dismay, they just fade away. Believe it or not, I actually WANT to go into labor and get this baby out! It is high time for his eviction!
Call me a control freak (you might be right, too), but this is really hard for me. I have absolutely no control over when this baby will be born, yet I am carrying him around inside of me. It's like an in-body, out-of-body experience. Because I can feel Jackson swimming around in my belly (and all the aches and pains that go with), logic tells me that I should have SOME control over when he arrives. However, medical science says "Nope! You just have to wait (i.e. suffer)." Say a prayer for me--I am going crazy waiting on this child to be born!