08 November 2009

Welcome to the world!

John "JACK" Stephen Dickerson Jr.
joined the world on October 29, 2009 at 8:17pm

Contractions started around 4:00am and continued for 16 hours.
He weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long
We went through delivery without any pain medication, plenty of good, relaxing music and lots of warm showers.

It was truly magnificent.

Painful, yes, but worth every second the minute they handed him to us.

He is a gem and such a gift.
Praise God for a healthy and safe delivery!

28 October 2009

Snow is falling in Prescott and it's a chilly 37 degrees outside.

I am loving it.

I can't help but pray that today would be a wonderful day for our little boy to come. Wouldn't it be great to be able to tell him he came on a freezing cold October day with snow flurries and cloudy skies? I sat in the waiting room at my doctors appointment and just watched the snow dance around like teeny tiny marshmallows.

Last night I woke up at about 3am and couldn't fall back asleep. I went to my usual "second bed" ie the lazy boy and tried to fall back asleep. I couldn't, however, because I heard rustling above me. Squeaking in fact. My eyes nearly shot out of my head. The scratches came and went, but all I could imagine was the movie An American Tail. Hundreds of families of mice in the space above me and I couldn't bring myself to want to kill them, I just didn't want them there. I could imagine them talking and planning on how they would investigate the house and eat all of our food. They were so cute.

Then, my dear John insists on us having a space heater. A Lasko. Which he
loves. I mean, loves. He loves the remote, the oscillating feature, the automatic shut off, the whole bit. But I am still 9 months pregnant and that thing makes me wake up in sweats (or is that those hot flashes....I'm not quite sure.) Either way, I spent a lot of the night fiddling with the dear Lasko to shut it off. ....Then turn it on again.

Needless to say, when it was light outside I realized the squeaking wasn't hoards of mice families, but only a tree branch gently scraping against the window.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and maybe it will bring with it a little boy.

21 October 2009

Last Minute Purchase Before Jack Comes

Although I've had this CD for a few years, it takes on a whole new meaning listening to it as a soon-to-be mom.

These songs are precious and sung by one of my favorite artists. One song has been spinning in my head again and again...

"When you reach the proper age
I will teach you to read and you can turn the pages.
How to dress and tie your shoes
Your one plus ones, and your two times two's

And you'll teach me

Of hearts and dreams
And all the most important things
And all that i have lost along the way
And I can't wait

As you grow, I'll show you things
How to ride your bike and kick your legs out on the swings
To fold your hands and bow your head
How to say your prayers before you go to bed
And you'll teach me
Of hearts and dreams
And all the most important things
And all that I have lost along the way
And I can't wait
Fall keeps tricking me. It's like it can't make up it's mind. Do I stay or do I go? I guess I need to remember that we do live in Arizona.

Thankfully, I do believe it's finally cooling off for good. And Prescott falls are simply beautiful.

We went to a pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago...and it was hot. The lovely Arizona sun was adamant on showing it's face that day and what else can you do, but try to enjoy it?

Check out THAT pumpkin! I'm nearly as big as the ones on the ground!

Yesterday we had our 38 week appointment! How incredible to think he could be arriving any day now! The doc says I'm 2 cm and 75% effaced. Praise God!

Our little Jack is doing great and getting ready to make his way into this world. The only bummer is our doctor.

She's always been a nice lady. It's a typical wait-in-the-lobby-for-30-minutes and see-her-for-5 kind of scenario, but she's never been really sassy.

Until yesterday.

We took our birth plan to her, knowing it might not go as well as we hoped, but still hoping.
She proceeded to go through every single detail and respond to them with statements such as, "Well, that doesn't make sense." "Did your doula write this for you?" "Why would that even matter?" "Let me tell you why I
don't like birth plans..." "I don't care what you do after the birth, that's the pediatricians job." and so on.
It was insane.
But we stood our ground. And prayed for grace because somewhere along the way she decided she did not like birth plans.

Not only was she reacting to simple requests (not demands, but requests) in a completely emotional way, but she was acting as if we hadn't paid her a nickle for her service. To top it off, she decided to try to "mix things up" when doing an exam and attempting to strip the membranes, after we had spent 20 minutes discussing how we wanted a natural delivery and onset of labor.

When she was finished with the exam John asked her, "Did you just strip the membranes?" In which she stuttered to reply, "Well, kind of, but I couldn't quite reach it. I find that a lot of girls get to their due date and nothing has happened, so I like to help it along a bit." Such a procedure was not one she asked permission to do, nor did I want it done.

We went to Subway after that and I got to finally eat a bag of Cheetos. That helped.

But thankfully, I'm not feeling any more contractions than normal. A friend of mine had her membranes stripped (without permission, by the same doctor) and she was in labor the next morning. Thankfully, God knows what's best for little Jack and he's not quite finished cooking yet...though I have to be honest when I say that I can't wait to meet him.

We're having a doula aid us through the labor and I couldn't be more thankful. She'll be there during the early stages at our home and through until the end. We're also doing a type of birthing called Hypnobirthing which I'm really looking forward to. It's all about techniques to aiding your body to relax and go deeper into relaxation as the birth progresses. We're praying for a healthy and safe delivery!
...hurry up, Jack! We can hardly wait!

10 September 2009

That Time Again

Although it's still about 80 degrees here in Prescott it's beginning to get cold at night! Sometimes I feel like the weather is playing tricks on me.
I have to admit, a couple nights ago we took a late night trip to Walgreens to pick up the first bag of candy corn....and they were on sale 3 for $4!

Some fun facts about candy corn...
  • Candy corn has been made with the same recipe by the Jelly Belly Candy Company since around 1900.
  • What's in that recipe, exactly? Sugar, corn syrup, and marshmallow.
  • One serving (about 30 pieces) has 140 calories, the equivalent of three miniature Hershey bars.
  • The National Confectioners Association reports that more than 35 million pounds were manufactured in 2005, amounting to almost 9 billion kernels.
Welcome, Fall. I've missed you.

03 September 2009

Two Things I am a little Embarrassed To Admit:

1. I had another dream about the Jonas Brothers last night. I don't even listen to their music (very often) or watch their TV show (.....very often)! I keep having this dream where I will meet them and just want to be their friends. So weird.

2. I finished New Moon in one week. Which, for anyone who has read the Twilight series knows that's not big deal, but John kept saying, "Mel, you have to pace yourself. Once it's over it's over." But I couldn't help myself, it was that good.

Last night was the first night of our birthing classes. It was great. We had a wide variety of character in the room and it was so nice to be around pregnant women and not feel like the only whale in the room. A friend of mine told me the other day I need to be around other pregnant women and I won't feel so large. "Yeah right." I thought to myself, but as soon as I walked into that room with all those other pregnant bellies and swollen feet I realized she was right. I did feel normal.
Anyway, they opened the class with this clip from my favorite, Bill Cosby. I think John and I were the only ones laughing out loud, but I couldn't contain myself.

Why can't stand up be this funny anymore? (Though there IS plenty of funny stand up comedy out there.)

My dear, dear crony and her dear husband came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. It was a great reunion full of laughter and great quality conversations. One night I realized that she and I share a gift of being able to hold a conversation pretty much 24/7 if we wanted to. There's rarely a silence, dull moment or a speechless reply. There is always an opinion to be shared, a thought to be discussed, questions to be mulled over and plenty of jokes to fill the room. It was a grand visit.

Even Jack came!

The beauty of the Grand Canyon


Monday we went for our 3D ultrasound. It was awesome/weird to see these distorted images of our soon to be arriving son. I tried to be optimistic, but John couldn't help but say what he was really thinking.
"He looks like a walrus without husks!"
"He looks like a pig."
But what I kept saying over and over was...
"He looks like an old black man."
The technician tried to calm our fears by reminding us that the parts that seemed to stand out were just the closest things to the camera and the way he was positioned.
It was so surreal to see him. It's really happening.

Those are so John's lips...

That's his hand/cord in front of his face

He's rubbin' his little eye..

Those are John's toes! But I think he has my big toe. (Sorry, kid.)

All I could think of was Bill Cosby when I saw this picture.

07 August 2009

Last night I was reminded of what life was like a year ago. It was the end of our second carefree summer as a married couple and Scottsdale was at the peek of it's heat. It was miserable to walk in, drive in, and live in. The nights cooled down, however, and brought with it the monsoons. We would turn off all the lights in the house, lay on our bed and watch the lightening display it's beautiful self across the city sky. It was magical. Often times we even opened our windows so we could smell the fresh rain hit the hot pavement.
This morning I thought back to August of 2008. It was a monsoon night and our electricity went out. We lit candles and opened up the screen door so we could listen to the thunder and smell the rain. I wish I could have seen where God would take us from then until now.
One year ago tomorrow we mourned the loss of our unborn little one. It was too early to tell the sex of the baby, but I like to think it was a boy. We had only known for a total of two weeks so in many ways it felt like a wonderful vacation and the loss was the feeling you get when you return home and deeply miss the moments you had the week before. Our little bean was unplanned, yet planned and rejoiced over. Looking back, I was young and a bit naive of the depth that pain could go. It was a broken and hard process. I wish I could say that every painful event will result in something that will make the pain worthwhile, but I know that isn't true. Although the pain was real and heavy, it was comforted and carried by Christ. Those tender weeks after that would often end in a weepy mess, but I was reminded of Him and how I knew He could resonate with my pain.

Sometimes it doesn't help to have someone tell you how to deal with your hurt, but rather just be in the hurt with you.
I'm still not sure why we lost our first little one, but I do know where he or she is and that he is safe there. This morning I felt the need to mourn the loss, but rejoice in the present. However painful, the experience drew me closer to Christ. These words felt/feel truer to me than ever before,

"Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down"

Here we are, August 2009, and the
monsoons are welcomed once again.
Our setting, however, has changed a little. We now live beyond
those mountains and in the hills of Prescott and
we are welcoming our second little one into
our lives in November.
I feel undeserving, a little overwhelmed and ecstatic all at the
same time.
It's a wonder that is possible to feel all of that at once.

Though time doesn't take away the loss of our little bean, it does
unveil my
eyes to the beauty in the way He works.
Even if it hurts

On another note, I found this song that has captured my attention. It is originally
by Wilco, but has been redone and put onto a baby lullaby cd. It's captivating
and beautiful. To do it true justice, you should probably read the post that I
read while I listened to it,

31 July 2009

the summer at a glance

I am a little nervous the child growing within me is going to be big. I'm only 26 weeks and he's kicking up a storm and growing like crazy. I have an appointment on Monday and while there I will ask the question, "Is he going to be a giant?" Not that anything would be wrong with a giant...I just don't know if I'll be able to birth one naturally.

Ladies at the store keep making comments. "Are you trying to sneak out an extra watermelon under there?" or "When are you due?" (and after I tell them.) "WOW. He is going to be BIG."

However big he may be, he be welcomed. and joyfully. We can't wait. 94 days to go!

This summer I spent watching my nephews and niece up at a camp. It was hard work, but full of rewards as you'll see in these next pictures.

I had no idea she was sticking her finger up her nose in this picture. How cute is that?

Maggie also came to help me out for a couple days. They loved her!

"Hi Jack!" He kept saying. After we went outside for a walk he came back in and said, "Is Jack tired?" I thought about the question for a second and then promptly responded with, "Yes, he is!"

And the newest addition--Dominic! (He's Ethan's little brother) Isn't he cute?
Nolan kept saying "cheeeeeese" the entire time I took this picture.
I just love these kids. It's hard to believe that I've watched these kids since they were this little...
and I can hardly believe John will soon be doing this with our own little guy... Crazy how fast time flies.
Kate also came for a quick visit! She was on a road trip with two of her dear friends and could only stay for a little over 24 hours. Oh, what a dear 24 hours those were. She is greatly missed.

So there is the summer at a glance...thus far anyway.

17 July 2009

The summer thus far has been busy. It's good to be busy when it makes time past quickly, but not so good to be busy when it makes you tired all the time.

I have had enough time, however, to discover the beauty and wonder of pandora. It's my new obsession. Favorite station thus far? Regina Spektor has been great fun.

Ideas are swimming around our heads about what to name our little guy and how to build his little fort (his room, actually.) There's still time, so I don't feel the pressure just yet.

Our kiddo is indeed growing...and kicking and rolling and dancing. It's been delightful.

He's getting bigger, that little guy...

A morning walk...John loves the mornings. (or not.)

Just a few ideas we have for our little nursery. It's still coming together, but I told Rachel I'd post what we've come up with.

18 June 2009

It's a BOY!

(and that's his profile, not proof that he's a boy. I felt that might be a little too much. ;)

Still in a bit of shock, yet wildly excited, we can't wait until November to meet our little guy. John was so convinced it was a girl so it was pretty funny to see the obvious in the ultrasound on Tuesday.
"A boy. Most definitely a boy. Don't you see his junk?" The technician asked. We all laughed--uncontrollably and for a while.
We're still thinking of names, though we have a favorite. In due time...

This is what our kiddo would look like if we could put a camera inside and snap a picture--isn't that amazing?
...The bump keeps growing, which is a blessing in itself. He kicks often for both of us to know he's there. Like we could forget. Or would want to.

at 20 weeks

On another note, I had a great dream last night. I was back at Capernwray (where I went to Bible School) and it was like a ten year reunion or something. Everyone that we went to school with was there--including extras. The school had done a remodel and had somehow grown another two stories. It was pretty much like Hogwarts, come to think of it. A lot like it. Someone told me in the hall that there was even a detached wing called "Enchanted." I saw old friends and gave hugs and had some laughs. I saw my friend Kate and she quickly reported that her entire suitcase had "exploded" on it's trip up the stairs. Literally. How a suitcase explodes, I don't know. I then saw Sharelle who was giving someone a big hug and I immediatly wanted to go and hug her myself. Another friend Irena was there (on a beach that the school had recently added, it was awesome! ) with her daughter and we chatted for a while. What an incredible adventure. To say the least, I was very disapointed when I awoke to discover it was all just a dream. It started my day well, though.

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