Dean Family Blog

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And the Rains Came Down
We've heard from several of you lately asking if we're ok because of all the flooding. Thankfully, we are pretty much unaffected because our house is up on a hill, but roads all around us are closed and many of our friends are dealing with flooded basements and evacuations. Mama and I took the kids shopping in Iowa City this morning and came home a little early when Philip called to warn us our path home might be closed if we hung around too long. We were grateful we had listened to him when we realized water was already over the road and heard later that it was closed about 20 minutes after we got home. As we watch the news tonight it's very surreal to see places we go all the time under enough water to cover semis and collapse bridges. So, yes, we are ok, but we certainly hope you'll be praying for all the people here who aren't doing as well.

PS Gracie officially has a belly button today! The funky stump fell off and she has an innie.

PSS For more information on the flood you can view the Cedar Rapids Gazette online or KCRG news.


Snot Suckers and Rainbows
Gracie had her first check up yesterday and is doing great. She's still a bit jaundiced, but nothing to worry about. While I've been excited to see the numbers on the scale go down this week, she's been working hard to gain weight and it's worked. She's up to 7 pounds, 10 ounces. She’s still long and lanky, but at this rate she won't be for long!

Philip and I have been pleasantly surprised that Gracie is sleeping really well at night. We made it 3 nights in a row with only 1 feeding per night (last night there were 2). I don’t know that this will last, but I’m really grateful for it while it’s here. I’ve had more sleep in the last 9 days than I have in the past 5 months and I feel like a different person.

Josiah still likes Gracie and has decided his jobs are to rock her in her car seat (with continual reminders to do it gently!) and make sure she has her bulb syringe (otherwise known as the snot sucker) with her at all times. He thinks it’s her toy and gets upset when he sees it just lying on the changing table or dresser. He still checks periodically to make sure she doesn’t want a cheerio or goldfish cracker. I hope he still wants to share this much next year when she’s stealing his snacks.

Mama and I took Gracie with us to get haircuts yesterday and had several offers from stylists to trim her hair. She actually IS a little shaggy, but she was also only 8 days old. Not even Josiah got a haircut that early. She has blond tips on the hair in front that make it look like we frosted her hair. We’re waiting to see if she ends up with the blond spots on her temples that I had as a baby. I got 10 inches of my hair chopped off and donated and it feels great! I have a really short bob that is so much faster to dry and it stays out of my eyes in all this Iowa wind. We’ve been having some really bad storms lately and I’ve been blinded multiple times when my hair wrapped around my face and got tangled. Thankfully, our house is high enough that we haven’t had problems with flooding, but parts of our gravel road have washed out and many of our friends are dealing with flooded basements and evacuations this week. Gracie actually had her first tornado drill this past weekend (she slept as we hung out in a friends’ basement for a while). Josiah got to see his first rainbow and got very excited because he loves the story of Noah and kept telling us that God put the rainbow in the sky.

We’d like to send out a great big “Welcome to the world!” to Noah Kozloski. We’re very excited for you Rachel and Kass and can’t wait to see more pictures. I sure wish we could be there to celebrate with you. We’re also happy and sad for Philip’s family. Mawmaw died the day we brought Gracie home and Philip spent last week in Tennessee for her funeral. We just got word this afternoon that Pawpaw just died. They were both very strong Christians and we’re so happy that they get to be with their Lord and are done with all the sickness of the past several years, but it’s obviously hard for the rest of us who are going to miss them. I’m sorry that Josiah and Gracie won’t get to grow up with them, but grateful for the lives of faith we’ll be able to tell our kids they lived.


Family of Four
It dawned on me on the way home from the hospital that we’re now a family of four. That sounds so weird. We’re all doing really well so far. This labor and delivery went so much smoother than the last and was, as strange as it sounds, really enjoyable. As we talked to one of the nurses during check-in about labor stories we realized we could make ours sound pretty impressive. Labor is technically considered any change in your cervix past 4cm dilated…which went on with me for weeks. Let’s see…a little math…my labor lasted at least 336 hours, which sounds horrible until I mention that I really didn’t have any pain until the last few sets of pushes (thank God for an epidural that actually worked!). I’ve felt so good during and afterward that I got to enjoy things I totally missed with Josiah. I think the best part was getting to hold Gracie right after she was born. By the time I saw Josiah he was all cleaned up and fairly calm, but Gracie was still gooey and mad and very alien-looking. She figured out how to nurse in about 30 minutes and we just hung out together, both relieved that we’d made it this far. Philip did a great job as coach and photographer and it was awesome to get to see him hold a tiny baby again.

After our dress rehearsal of running to the hospital Saturday night (when labor stalled and we were sent home) and then doing it again Sunday night, we were both pretty exhausted and took full advantage of the nurses that offered to watch Gracie while we napped periodically. As Philip said, one midnight delivery is rough, but two in a row is really tiring. Thankfully, Gracie is a low key kid so far and has been giving us several 2-5 hour stretches of sleep throughout the week.

Josiah still thinks Grace is pretty cool and he really likes being a big brother. Since we’ve been home he’s wanted to feed her his raisins and goldfish crackers, shared his fuzzy blanket with her (the one NO ONE gets to use but him…this is a big deal), prayed a lot for ‘baby Gacie,’ rocked her in her car seat and tried to sit on her. I think he was trying to hug her during the sitting episode so I’ve taught him to giver her ‘toe hugs.’ He can gently hug her toes all he wants and there’s little chance that he can actually hurt her this way.

The nurse came to visit today and Gracie is doing fine. She’s a little jaundiced, but nothing to be worried about, especially with as much as she’s filling her diapers. She is back up to 7 pounds 2.5 oz, so at this rate she’ll reach birth weight again by one week (the goal is 2). The kid is an eater!

Ok, it’s taken 3 days to get this much written so I better post it while I have a minute.


Eighth Time's The Charm
Praise God, Grace is here with us and everyone is doing Great!! I won't take the time to give you all the details here, I am sure Kimmie will update soon. I would like to give you enough to celebrate with us though. For starters, the stats:
  • Name: Grace Elizabeth Dean
  • Birthday: June 2nd, 2008
  • Time: 10:52am
  • Weight: 7 lb 6 oz
  • Length: 19 in
We got to the Hospital at 2:30am on Kim was dialated to a 7 and we were ready to go. As is Grace's style, by 8:40am we were still only at 7 cm. So, Dr. Pickering broke Kim's water. We are on our way. Well, by 9:45am we were still only at a 7. Go figure! They started Kim on a pitocin drip. (on the lowest dosage) Kim's epidural took great so she wasn't feeling a thing. By around 10:17 am she was fully dialated and ready to push. Dr. Pickering came in at 10:31 am and Kim pushed for about 20 minutes and WOW baby!!

I will leave all the other details and descriptions for Kim. I am sure she is looking forward telling you all about it. There are more pictures up in the gallery here. I hope you enjoy and thank you all for your prayers!!

P.S. I will edit the pictures when I get home and have a PC capable of doing it. Right now just pretend they are corrected, cleaned up, and rotated. Thanks!


In Typical Gracie Style
Our day started early today....about 12:30am with cramps and contractions. By 3:30am Philip and I were in the hospital with active labor (well, actually I was the only one in labor, but Philip was there) and I progressed to 5.5cm and 95-100% effaced with contractions every 6-8 minutes. But this is Gracie we're talking about here, so everything stalled at about 9am and we hung around until 2pm trying to get things moving again. We walked miles around that maternity ward and I tried the whirlpool, but nothing seemed to work. If we could have made it to 6cm we would have gotten an epidural and had her water broken, but nothing else would happen so we got sent home with a warning that we are to jump in the car and come straight back as soon as I feel anything. This could happen later today or she could hang on till Friday. There's just no way of knowing at this point. Luckily we've been through this waiting game with her for so long that I was actually expecting this and wasn't too upset.

Mama has been keeping Josiah very busy today trying to keep him from missing us. I hear they've played outside quite a bit and read 'If You Give a Moose a Muffin' about a dozen times. He seems to have had a fun day and doesn't want to let Philip or me out of his sight for more than a few minutes. Although Philip and I are working on about 3 hours of sleep, we've actually had a pretty good day. This is the longest we've had to just relax and talk in a long time. It's an extreme way to get some time alone, but I guess you do what works!


We booked an inducement for June 6th so we've officially started the countdown. As I was doing some research about inducements online and trying to figure out my Bishop score (just a measure of how ready your body is for labor)I happened to mention what I had heard the doctor say Thursday and Mom and Philip both looked at me funny. My cervix hasn't progressed since last time, but apparently I heard wrong because I thought Gracie's head had moved back up and instead he'd said it had moved down quite a bit (to a +2) fact, if it moves much more we'll be able to see her! After a day of moping around and generally being pretty miserable to be around (sorry guys) it was incredibly encouraging to know that something HAD changed and that I'm really not as big a wimp as I was feeling like. Turns out when the baby's head is that low she really is sitting inside your pelvic bones, which is why pretty much everything except sitting still is painful right now. We're still hoping she'll come without the help, but at least we know she really is coming soon and this guessing game can end. Another good part of this is that we can hopefully be assured of avoiding the doctor we don't like and I can cancel the office visit for next week (with that doctor). No more biophysicals!

So, Rach, I guess it's anybodys' guess as to who will win the delivery race. Maybe we can tie!


Beans and Carrots
We had our appointment today and I have to say that the highlight was when Josiah thought the diagram of the female reproductive system was a picture of beans and carrots. We really have no idea how he got that from the poster, but he was convinced that's what was up there.

Grace refused to 'practice breath' during the biophysical, so we failed it and I ended up back at the hospital for another non stress test (during which she decided not move much so it took longer than necessary) and we learned I haven't progressed from last week. I think I made the doctor feel like scum when I started crying out of frustration. He offered to schedule an inducement for June 6th (just a few days shy of her due date) and I think we're going to let him.

Thankfully the rest of the day went better. Josiah and I picked flowers for Mama and sang happy birthday to her this morning and we all took her out to dinner tonight. We have pedicures scheduled for this weekend too. I'm looking forward to that...a good foot massage sounds great right now.


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