Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby Ben

Benjamin Robert Cutlip is here! He was born July 21, weighed 7lbs14oz and was 19 1/2" long. He is absolutely beautiful and we're all so thrilled to finally meet him.

So, here's our story: After having breakfast with Tom at the hospital (he works there, so we eat there every so often), the kids, my mom and I did a few errands and enjoyed some coffee at Starbucks. Before lunch I had a doctor's appoitment and had Dr Perrin strip my membranes (I was a couple days over-due so I was wanting to do non-invasive things to see if we could get things going naturally). The rest of the day passed without any hint of baby wanting to come.

After we put the kids to bed at 8pm that night, Tom and I went on a walk. My belly was tight the entire time, but no contractions. We sat on the couch and chatted with my mom while Tom rubbed my feet and ankles (it's supposed to help induce labor). As we sat there I started to get a couple of contractions - the no pain kind that I was convinced weren't going to lead to anything and that baby wasn't going to come out anytime soon. But, around 9pm they started to come a little more regularly so we decided to play a game or two of Rummikub to see what the night would bring.

By the end of one game (around 9:35pm) the contractions were still not really painful but I definitely had to breathe through them...you know, "hee, hee, heeee". I thought we should play one more game. Tom, on the other hand, decided we should pack the car and head to the hospital (which is 20 mins away). I'm so glad he's in charge! By the time we left for the hospital around 9:45, my contractions were definitely intensifying and getting more and more painful.

The Lord was so good to us...on the way to the hospital we got all green lights and did not encounter one police officer (we were speeding if you can imagine that). We got to the hospital and were admitted at 10:10pm. I was dilated to 7cm when we got there and was fully dilated when they checked me next around 10:35pm. I remember one of the nurses saying, "Get Dr. Perrin here now" and then another one saying, "Don't worry, nurses have delivered babies before". What! I thought, yeh, I'll go fast, but this was fast (cool!). The next couple minutes were a blur...something about "breathe deeply", "here's the head", one big push and I met our beautiful baby boy at 10:44pm. What an incredible experience!! Everything went better than I could have dreamed.

I'm still just in awe of God's goodness and, well, mercy in regards to Ben's birth. I know that the pain of childbirth was the result of sin...but there's something so incredibly amazing about the whole labor and birth experience, the oh so sweet reward of the pain, that just makes the pain almost inconsequential. Granted I was only in labor for only 1 1/2 hrs and only about 40mins of that was really painful, but...I don't know how to explain it. I'm still just in awe of the birth story that God gave us and I will treasure it for always.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In & Waiting

Well...We still have random piles of tools and boxes to yet go through, but for the most part we're all in. Most things are either unpacked or put into one of two 8'x20' storage boxes in our side yard. Yes, we needed two. It's hard to downsize, lose a garage (what we had at our townhouse) and add a gazillion tools.

Now it's just more waiting...waiting for baby to come (any day now, the sooner the better) and waiting for the plans for the addition to be approved. All in the Lord's perfect timing. Not having the addition to start working on will give Tom some time to take care of little projects in the main house...like putting up lighting fixtures and maybe even installing the tile floor. We're mostly living on concrete floors right now. It would be all concrete except for some really great neighbors who know somebody in the carpet business who "just happened" to have some brand-new carpet just laying around. God is so so good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moving In

Well...there's been a lot of hard work put in here these last couple of days. The drywall is up, the kitchen cabinets are hung, the appliances are working, the bathroom is all put back together, the beds are made and we're ready to move in (minus the little detail of the mound of boxes and stuff that fills the middle of the living room...but, everything will find a home all in time). With the help of the dads, a good friend, and some of our new neighbors, we moved all of our stuff from our storage unit on Sat morning.

Speaking of family, good friends and neighbors, the Lord has apsolutely blessed us tremendously! The dads and my mom have done an incredible job getting things done and cleaning things up. Our good friend's dad (Ken Ketter) stepped forward and voluntarily stained all of new bathroom cabinets (they look amazing!), after the boxes were all out of the van, Scott Castle took it upon himself to prune all of our trees (they look so much more open and healthy now), and most of our neighbors have come over to help out by mowing our "yard", helping us move boxes, offering tools and feeding us dinner. I love this place!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Long Hours & Drywall

Well, things are getting done...unfortunately they're just getting done a little on the slow side. Jim's putting in 12 hour days, Tom's now working every night over at the house, not just MWF's, and my dad is taking off days here and there from his job. Tom is over at the house as I am typing this trying to get the kitchen ceiling and walls painted so that they can hang cabinets tomorrow. It's 10:30pm right now and he'll probably be there until minight at least - all in a days work.

Here are some pictures of the drywall going up and...

Oh...you might not have met all the key players on this endeavor. Well, here they are: This is my honey, Tom...the physical therapist assisant and his dad, Jim...the handy-man, jack-of-all-trades.

And then there's the weekend warriors, my dad, Bob, the F-16 flight instructor and my mom, Marilyn, the do-it-all-helper and #1 baby-sitter.

Livvy and Sammy...the kids and #1 cutie trouble-makers and then there's me, Jenn...the mom and baby grower, for the next 2 weeks (or something like that).