Max is blessed

4:39 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Craig likes to take his boards at Dixie State because the testing center is small, familiar, and low-key. He scores a lot higher in a setting like that, and so he scheduled to take his boards in St. George at the end of August. After Max was cleared for travel at his two-week appointment, we drove right up to my parent's house in St. George. It's been so nice to be with my parents while Craig is studying his life away in the library. Plus, we love getting to introduce our little one to his great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We decided to bless Max while we are in Utah since we really wanted to have family attend, and in Phoenix it would have been a ghost town. On the other hand, it felt weird to do it in another ward where no one would know who we are. So we decided to do it at Craig's parents' home in Cedar City. I didn't even know that was possible, but I'm sure glad someone told us! It was intimate and perfect. Three of Craig's siblings and their families, his parents, my parents, and my grandparents were all there to support us.

Craig gave a beautiful blessing and I was able to successfully record and transcribe a copy. I'm a big-time journaler/record-keeper, so I'm really excited it worked out. Max is definitely a special boy, and as I look at him as he naps I know with more certainty that he is meant to be something incredible. I can't wait to get to know this little guy. Babies are amazing.



5:02 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Everyone warned me about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, but no one talks about recovery. It's hushed up like a well-kept secret. But it's hard. Like the hardest thing I've ever done. Much harder than carrying a child and a million times harder than my delivery. I think I had a pretty bad case of the baby blues for the first two weeks. Everyone kept telling me to "soak in those first few days" and "enjoy every minute," but I couldn't. I really did not get the appeal. I had no idea what I was doing, my body felt destroyed, and everything -- I mean everything -- made me cry.

My mom flew in the day after my delivery and stayed for two weeks. In that two weeks I think I had an emotional breakdown every other day. I was certain that despite what everyone said, it was not going to "get better." Thankfully, it did. It took what seemed like an eternity and was painfully slow (emphasis on the painfully), but it got better nonetheless.

It's still a hard adjustment. As the kind of person that needs a solid 8 hours of sleep to function, I feel incapable of adapting to permanent parental exhaustion. Working my schedule around a tiny person whose own schedule is TBD is embarrassingly challenging for my "planner personality." I get anxiety when I have to leave the house because I don't want to be stranded somewhere when he's crying or hungry (definitely haven't mastered nursing in private let alone public). I've always loathed packing, and now that I have to pack 20 times as much, I'm a wreck whenever we stay somewhere for an extended period of time (what if I forget something important like a pacifier? Yes, it's happened already).

I blame my perfectionist personality, because I feel like I'm doing everything all wrong, and I'm paralyzed with fear of embarrassment from messing up! But the truth is, I'm just doing everything for the first time! Of course it's scary and hard; it's completely new. I have so much to learn that it seems overwhelming sometimes, and the biggest lesson of all is to let myself be okay with imperfection. I will forever be bitter towards anyone who says being a mom is easy.

Luckily for Max, he won't remember the days when I clearly had no idea what I was doing and his grandma had to do everything for him. I hope that one day he can appreciate how lucky he is to have my mom as his grandma. She truly is incredible, and I know I could not have done this without her. These past few weeks she has taken care of not only me, but also my Max. And yes, I'm terrified to leave her in a week and a half and try to do it on my own.

Although motherhood hasn't felt exactly natural for me, loving Max has! Sure, I don't know everything, but I do know how to love him. Max is teaching me SO much already. I feel unworthy to be his mother, but boy am I glad I have the blessing of taking care of him. I love this sweet, sweet boy.

Max loves his grandma!


Two weeks with Max

12:54 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Max's first week was a hard one. For the first 5 days of his life he went to the doctor every single day. He had jaundice, so they had him supplement with formula to flush it out. However, we still had to take him in to get his bilirubin levels checked two more times. At one point he was so dehydrated and didn't have a wet diaper in 36 hours -- we were terrified! Within a few days, the formula did the trick and his levels went down from high risk to low risk.

Then he was circumcised. Then he had to get his one week blood tests. The poor kid was poked too many times in one week, and it was so hard for me! He is too little for so much trauma! And let me tell you, it was definitely traumatic. For everyone.

Despite the initial trauma, he really has been a good baby. He eats, plays, gets the hiccups, sneezes them away, and goes to sleep. Over and over and over again. He smiles in his sleep like it's his job. He is the cuddliest, sweetest boy. He loves to curl up in a tiny little ball, and when he does, his fuzzy head makes him look like a hedgehog (think croquet in Alice in Wonderland or Sonic).

Probably my favorite thing about having a baby is watching Craig obsess over him. BIG time. I guarantee you that he hasn't said the word "cute" so many times in his lifetime. In fact, he probably said "cute" more times in Max's first day of life than he said it in his entire lifetime. He makes up songs for him, smothers him with kisses, forces him to dance, and flies him around the house like Peter Pan. He was born to be a dad.

And now for a slew of pictures because I can't narrow it down because his little face changes so much so quickly!

 2 days old
 2 days old
Born to be a dad 
 3 days old
 5 days old
 1 week! He already looks so different!
 Clearly LOVING his bath time

 Craig turned 30! 
 Happy birthday Craig!
 11 days old
 Happy baby dreams
Swooooon. Smiling boys.


Baby Max arrives!

10:17 AM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Max Jonathan Parson arrived on Monday, July 27 at 7:24 AM. It was the most incredible experience. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude, and still in shock that I was physically capable of such a thing.

At 39 weeks I asked my doctor when he would consider inducing. He told me that because I was already dilated 3 cm and progressing so well, he would induce me the next week if I wanted -- hooray! I was so sick of being pregnant. I was scheduled to be induced on my due date at 3 AM, checking in at 1:30. 

We were so excited/anxious that we could hardly sleep the night before. I finally fell asleep around 10 PM and woke up exactly at midnight with contractions. CONTRACTIONS! It's like Baby knew his due date had arrived. I got up and started gathering my things just in case these were the real deal. I hadn't had any Braxton Hicks so I wasn't sure right away, but it was soon obvious these were real -- they were coming about 2.5 minutes apart (!!) and weren't going away.

We arrived at the hospital at 1 AM, only 30 minutes before our scheduled induction. We checked in and a nurse in triage checked my cervix - I was dilated 4 cm, 90% effaced, and in +1. Getting checked was excruciating. In fact, it was the most painful part of the whole labor and delivery. She said Baby's head had dropped but my cervix was behind it, and well, let's just leave it at that. It was so painful that it immediately made me lightheaded and nauseated. The nurse left and I briefly considered running out after her to throw up, but I was paralyzed by dizziness. It is truly a miracle that I didn't pass out or throw up.

They checked us into our room, and around 2:20 they placed an IV (one of my biggest fears) for fluids and pitocin to augment my labor. Combining the pain of my contractions (which were quite strong by now) with my fear of needles made placing the IV awful. I was so glad when it was over, but of course just thinking about it hooked up to me freaks me out, so I didn't look at it once all day.

I asked for an epidural, and by the time the anesthesiologist got there, I was shaking uncontrollably. I thought that maybe it was just nerves and pain, but the nurses told me that it was mostly due to hormones. I survived the epidural (no thanks to the shaking/pain/fear of needles/tears). The violent shaking/shivering eventually slowed but didn't completely stop until the following day. It seemed to take forever for the epidural to work. They gave it to me around 2:45, but it took another 30-45 minutes for the pain to go away, and I had to give myself extra doses. Once it kicked in, it was AMAZING. Natural births are NOT for me.

We tried to rest. Craig took a few naps and I read my book. I could still feel the pressure (no pain) of each contraction, so I couldn't sleep. Plus, I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY! How do you sleep at a time like that? Around 6:15 I was checked again. I had dilated to 7 cm! My water still had not broken, and I was still a +1. 

They called Doctor Lythgoe and he arrived around 7 am. From that point on, everything happened so fast it felt like a dream. Not that it was chaotic at all - everything was so calm - it just happened so easily and unexpectedly quickly. He checked me and said he felt NO cervix -- I had completely dilated to a 10! He broke my water and had me do two "practice pushes." I couldn't really feel anything and had no idea what I was doing, but he said that Baby's head was coming! He asked me if I wanted to see and I said absolutely not (YIKES). Three more nurses came in and I pushed. About 10 minutes later, there suddenly was a big baby boy.

I sobbed. Uncontrollable hormones at it again. I couldn't believe I did it. I couldn't believe it was over already. I couldn't believe he was here! I was completely overwhelmed.

Max weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs 8 oz and measured 20.25 inches. No one could believe how BIG he was! In fact, the doctor himself was off by a whole 2 lbs! He thought by the way I looked that Baby would be 6.5 lbs. I looked at Max and wondered how in the world I did that.

All my baby fears were washed away once he arrived. 
We love our little Mighty Max and can't believe he is ours.