Monday, October 4, 2010

One Just Wasn't Enough!

Well, it has been a thrilling, exciting and interesting last six months since the monumental birth of our first beautiful daughter, Julianna. There have been smiles and tears, and amazing memories already. Jules is absolutely everything that we could have hoped for! She is such a joy, and it is a privilege to be her parents. Obviously, however, we couldn't just stop with Jules. Yes, you have read correctly....on Wednesday, September 29th, we discovered that we are expecting a second precious little one!

Though a little shell-shocked at first, at the prospect of being pregnant again less than six months following Julianna's birth, it didn't take long for the excitement to set in. We are going to be parents again! There is truly no greater blessing than the gift of a child :) The official due date is May 30, 2011. I am currently six weeks pregnant, and feeling great! We are so excited about the weeks ahead and how this new bab will change our lives. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family!

xoxo Kels, Andrew & Jules

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Julianna Claire Van Kirk is here!!!

Andrew and I are proud to announce the birth of our precious new daughter, Miss Julianna Claire Van Kirk, born on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 at 12:27pm at Northwest Medical Center. She weighed in at 7lbs. 12oz. and measured 19in. long. As many of you know, we had been planning a midwife-attended home water birth, but God had other plans for us!

Beginning around 2 a.m. on Monday, April 5th (my due date!) I began having regular contractions ranging from 10-15 minutes apart. As the day wore on, and my contractions stayed regular and consistent, it became apparent that baby was on her way! By 6 p.m. the contractions were coming every 5 minutes and we called our midwife, who lives 2 hours away. She and her assistant arrived at our house at 9:30 p.m., at which point my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. With everything set up and ready, it was just a matter of waiting for labor to progress. Around 1 a.m. the intensity of the contractions had significantly increased and I was about 7cm dilated, so I decided to enter the pool of warm water for relief....and aaaahhhh, was it a relief!!! Andrew and I were both getting excited at this point (albeit tired!) because we thought that she would be arriving soon. Unfortunately, I kept progressing pretty slowly. Around 6 a.m. we determined that I was fully dilated and able to push if I felt it was time. So, with each contraction, I began the unexplainably painful task of pushing my little girl down and out. My contractions continued to get more and more painful, as I continued to get more and more tired, and I began to feel like it would never end. As Andrew sat next to me, gripping my hands while I braced against my contractions, I repeatedly began to tell him I thought I was going to die, please, PLEASE take me to the hospital. He showed so much strength, courage, and love to me throughout the duration of my labor and delivery - especially given the lack of sleep! After over 4 hours of pushing, I finally felt a bulge begin to emerge and thought initially that it was the head. It turned out, however, to be my bag of waters, which was very healthy and strong, and had not broken yet. I continued with renewed vigor to work on pushing it out in the hopes of soon seeing my little girl. With my midwife monitoring our baby regularly, we knew she was doing great, sustaining a heart rate of 136-142 beats per minute. Continuing as I had for the last several hours, I breathed through my contractions and pushed. Once again, it felt like I was getting nowhere. I was simply not progressing. Finally, at around 11:30 a.m., I gave a big push and my midwife got a funny expression on her face, and looked to her assistant with a probing glance. Calmly she told us, "I think I just saw something in the bag...I think it was a hand. Now I don't want to freak you out, but if it is her hand, that means we have a shoulder presentation and we need to transport to the hospital immediately." Neither Andrew nor I knew what to think, we were both so deliriously tired. With the next contraction I pushed the bulging bag out just enough for the midwife, her assistant, and Andrew to all see that it was indeed our small baby's hand emerging. Immediately we set into action.

Slowly I stood from the pool, dried off, and was wrapped in a towel and taken to the car. At this point, the bag of waters still had not broken, which turned out to be a miraculously amazing thing, given the circumstance. I was instructed not to push with my contractions so I wouldn't risk breaking the bag and getting the baby's arm stuck. We were minutes from the hospital when the bag broke on its own. Andrew and I were both beginning to worry now. When we arrived at the hospital moments later I was placed on a gurney and rolled into the emergency room, which was being prepped for an emergency C-section.With Andrew by my side the entire time I felt a God-given peace that everything was going to be OK, despite the less than ideal circumstances. Once the doctor and nurses had explained to me what was going to happen, the doctor said he needed to check out what our situation was. After examining me, he turned to Andrew and said "Daddy, that's a full head of hair right there - you ready to see your baby?!" It was a miracle! At some point during the transport the baby pulled her arm  back up and repositioned herself correctly - we would be able to have her naturally after all!!! As we shifted gears, I began to push my little girl out. After arriving a mere 15 minutes before, Julianna emerged at 12:27, perfect as a princess, and we were all done.

The outcome of our birthing experience was truly nothing short of a miraculous gift from God. He was watching over us all, including Julianna, the entire time, and saw to her safe entrance into the world. After being cleaned up we were all taken up to a postpartum recovery room and finally, we were able to relax and bask in the joy of our amazing accomplishment. Almost two days later, Daddy, Jules, and I are all doing great and ready to go home to our new life together. Thank you all so much for your diligent prayers and support. You are a huge blessing to us and our daughter!

Love Kelsey, Andrew & Julianna xoxo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maternity Portraits!

Hey guys, I am super excited - last night I got all dolled up and had Andrew take some really nice maternity shots! They turned out great! We are officially at 36.5 weeks and counting. I can't believe she's almost here! As you can see by my belly in these photos though, there's not much room left for her! Our midwife is coming to the house tonight to get familiar with it and do a labor/delivery walk-through. Yay!

Monday, March 1, 2010

All Moved In!!!!

So we, are officially the newest residents of Villages of Cross Creek Apartments in Rogers, Arkansas. Woohoo!!!! We are SO excited to finally be able to set up house in time for baby to arrive :) We have everything moved in, all utilities on, address changed, library and video store accounts open....needless to say, I have been very productive today! The rest of the week will consist of unpacking, decorating, and tons of job applications and interviews for Andrew. Pray for God's favor in the job department. We are walking in faith that He will provide for us out here as we prepare for little Julianna to get here. Will post photos soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pregnancy Hormones....

Something I have become all too familiar with during the course of the last 34.5 weeks are (dun dun dun) "P-R-E-G-N-A-N-C-Y HOROMOOONES"!!! Who knew that my body was a closet bartender capable of mixing such a potent cocktail of biological chemicals that could be responsible for any and all oddities I have experienced for the last 242 days?!?! Well, cat's out of the bag. From the incessant and overwhelming desire to spend exorbitant amounts of time snoozing in bed, to the ever-present lake of fire that erupts into my esophagus every night, to the fact that my breath has taken on a new persona (as I have been informed by my husband) thanks to an increase in mouth acids, I don't really remember what life was like before the PHs became my closest of companions. BUT, a little perk is that anything and everything different about myself can be blamed on the pesky little boogers!!! Which, I have to admit, is nice sometimes...having a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for 280 out of 365 days in the last year is not always a bad thing :)

My latest discovery involving my PH boarders is that it is definitely NOT a smart idea for me to watch any movie or read any book with anything:
  • Too violent
  • Too suspenseful, spooky, scary, or psychologically "thrilling"
  • Potentially vomit-inducing
  • Disturbing, terrifying, or just too weird
..........and lastly..........
  • Anything that will keep my mind reeling for hours on end in the dark, wee hours of the night.
Unfortunately, I did not fully realize this until last night after I watched the movie Conspiracy Theory (which is a fabulous movie with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, that I've seen countless times before mind you) before bed. Now, under normal, non-pregnancy hormone affected circumstances, watching said movie with my husband and father-in-law would have been very enjoyable and I would have easily fallen right into a blissful slumber with no more thought given to the movie. However, now that the PHs have turned me into a psycho paranoid freak of nature, I spent the first half of the night with eyes wide open, darting across the room and back at every little sound, my brain an overactive mess of over-imaginative spaghetti. THEN, when I finally decided to get up to pee and then read for awhile (to hopefully quiet my brain), I choose, inevitably, a book entitled Why I Jumped, authored by Tina Zahn, which details her gruesome childhood of sexual abuse and her subsequent battle with severe post-partum depression. NOT the best book to quiet and soothe my already troubled mommy mind.

The point of all this rambling is - I'm really tired today because I didn't sleep good THANKS to my wonderful friends, The Pregnancy Hormones. So now it's naptime :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 39 in Due Date Countdown...

With each passing day I am amazed at how I am becoming more and more content to spend as much time in bed as possible....which can be fun because I am provided with the endless entertainment of watching the "alien" in my tummy compete in the Amniotic Olympics! Birth supplies are ordered and on their way, all of our belongings are being packed and loaded into a trailer to move into the new place this weekend, and we are one day closer to meeting our little one. Here are some fun photos of our anniversary trip:

World's largest ice cream cones....I got the baby cone!!!

About to pop!!!

Our child is going to be oh so very attractive!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Beginning...

Hey everyone! As this week wraps up my eighth month of pregnancy, I decided to start this blog so you all can share with us in our journey of new beginnings.

As many of you know, we have been staying with Andrew's family in Golden, Missouri for the past few months while getting ready for the baby's arrival.
We have been fervently seeking after God as to His will for us in regards to work, where to live, etc, and have been enjoying time together, just the two of us, while we still can! Last week, on February 17th, Andrew and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary by taking a quick little trip to Rogers, Arkansas for some rest and relaxation. In addition to returning home refreshed and rejuvenated, we also returned with keys to a new apartment! Andrew plans to seek part-time work in Rogers while also continuing to build his own handyman/landscaping business. With less than six weeks to go until my due date, we are in a scramble to get ourselves situated for the baby's arrival!

We are so appreciative to all of you, our wonderful friends and family, for your prayer and support during this exciting new chapter in our lives! We have been tremendously blessed with a wonderful first year of marriage and know we will continue to be blessed when our little bundle of joy arrives!

Check back in for updates and photos as we continue on this exciting journey together :)