Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daddy's Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts for today.....

On music -- At our wedding, a good friend, Stephanie Schneiderman, sang a beautiful song, Grow Old with Me, by Mary Chapin Carpenter.  Friends and family are still telling us how beautiful it was, nearly two years later.  When I put together the Birth CD, the 12th song was Mary Chapin Carpenter's version (as Stephanie hasn't recorded it yet).  And at the moment that Karen Teresa was born, this very special song was playing. 

Months ago, we purchased the Moby Wrap, so our baby could be close to us while we work.  Once she was born, this wrap looked just way too confusing.  But, now that we've been using it for a few days, it is really fantastic.  Karen Teresa stays nice and warm and gets plenty of rest while Daddy is wearing the Moby Wrap.  Susan gets some good rest too, which we are all very thankful for.

That's it for today!

Oh, and if you haven't seen them yet, here are Karen's First Pictures.  Soon enough we'll set up the lights for some professional portraits!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Introducing Karen Teresa Jones

Hello Friends,

First things first, thank you for all your prayers!  We've felt your prayers for the past nine months, and especially these last few days.  Thank you!

The big news everybody has been asking about is her name.  If she had been a boy, we had a name ready.  But since I'm sure she wouldn't want to be called Benjamin, we needed to take some time to think about her name.  We did have a few names in mind for a girl, but did not expect to be able to name a girl immediately.  For two days after her birth, we tried a number of names out, for a few hours each. 

The name that stuck surprised both Susan and I, as it had never come up prior to her birth.  But once we started calling her Karen, no other name seemed to work for her.  Karen means "pure one," and until tonight's diaper changing, she sure was pure.  (After that change, we aren't so sure.  She had three more servings of meconium after we took off her diaper!!!)

Teresa is both after Blessed Mother Teresa, and is a variant spelling of my mother's name, Theresse. 

A 100% natural childbirth was pretty rough on Susan, but she was very grateful to have given birth at home.  She is getting better each day, but is very much looking forward to total healing.

Much has happened these past few days that we would love to share with you, our friends and family.  But there is too much to write in one sitting.  So, we'll probably share bits and pieces of our Karen's birth story with you throughout the next weeks and months. 

Oh yeah, and here is a link to Karen's First Pictures.  Sometime in the next week, we'll set up the lights for some professional portraits, but these are a start!

Peace and Love,

Matt, Susan, and Karen Teresa Jones.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


She was born at 2:57 this afternoon, weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. 

We are going to take some time to get to know our baby before deciding on a name.  She is beautiful, and soon enough we'll post some photos. 

Thanks so much for your prayers.  Please keep it up! 

Nurse is on the way, Doula is here!

Contractions are now about 5 minutes apart.  The nurse is on the way.  Jennie, our wonderful doula, arrived about 30 minutes ago. 

The contractions are hard, but Susan is doing great.  Please keep praying for her today, as we prepare for our baby's birth today!

Filling the tub & contractions

Contractions are now between 6-8 minutes apart.  And we've just decided that it is a good time to start filling the water birth tub.  It will take a few hours to fill, as it holds 80 gallons, and our hot water heater only has 51 gallons. 

Obviously, as this gets more intense, you'll have to wait until it's over for the big update!  Keep us in your prayers!


The water broke about 20 minutes ago (midnight).  We've called the doctor and the doula.  Dr. Zumhagen said to get some rest, but of course we are so excited we can't sleep, and had to let you all know!

Please keep us in your prayers, and check back regularly, as this will be the easiest way for us to let you know the progress!

Monday, September 11, 2006

40 weeks, 6 days....

We spent some time at the doctor's office today with Susan hooked up to the fetal monitor for the Non-Stress Test, to make sure that the baby and placenta are doing well in their extended stay.   During this test, they check to make sure the baby's heart rate goes up when baby moves around.  They also monitor contractions, and while Susan was connected, she had another Braxton-Hicks contraction, or pre-labor contraction.  Unfortunately, it's nothing to get excited about, she's had them for the past few months. 

The fetal monitor is the same type of monitor that many women who deliver in a hospital are hooked up to throughout labor.  It has two sensors attached to long velcro-belts that wrap around her body.  They tend to make it rather difficult to change positions and to move around, which we hear helps a lot with labor pain.  Luckily, during the labor, our doctor will do intermittent monitoring rather than constant electronic fetal monitoring, so Susan won't have to be hooked up to the machine during labor.

Some have asked what we've been doing with our waiting time.  Susan has spent some time looking at homebirth videos online.  Here are a list of her favorites:

Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

No Baby Yet

We wish we were writing to let you know of our baby's birth, but alas, it hasn't happened yet.  And for the record, since we answer these questions over the telephone at least 10 times a day, you must be wondering....

  • The baby has not been born yet.

  • No, there have been no regular contractions.

  • No, Susan hasn't felt much cramping either.

  • Yes, we know we were supposed to have the baby by now.

As a side note, due dates are set at 40 weeks.  But the most common day for a first time mother to give birth is 41 weeks, 1 day.  So by that calculation, maybe the baby will come on Wednesday.  But we are hoping for sooner.  :-)

Tomorrow, we have an appointment with the doctor for a non-stress test, to make sure baby is holding up well during his or her extended stay in the womb. 

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers!  We are excited to share some good news with you!

Friday, September 8, 2006

Today would be a great day to be born!

It was a beautiful sunny September day.  I don't remember why, but I was a little late getting out the door.  When I snuck into my regular pew, there was an older lady sitting near the end, but next to her was Susan, and that was the first time that I was graced with Susan's smile.

A lot of people under 30 just go to Mass out of obligation.  But Susan was different.  She didn't just stand like a mute during the songs, she really participated in Mass.  Then, at the Sign of Peace, she smiled at everyone, but I felt she gave me an extra big smile.  [I found out later, this is when she checked my hand for a ring!]

During the closing hymm, our pew emptied out, except for Susan, myself, and the older lady who was trapped between us.  But I was thinking "Mass isn't over until the song is over, and if she's not leaving, I'm not going anywhere."  Susan was thinking similar thoughts.  :-)

After we let the woman leave, I spent a few nervous moments trying to figure out what to say.  Lucky for me, Susan started the conversation by inviting me to a bible study.  I invited her to coffee and she wrote her number on my church bulletin (I still have that bulletin!).  The rest is history.....

So, wouldn't today be a great day for our baby to be born?

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Labor Day is Almost Here

Well, today is Sunday, September 3rd, and our baby's due date is on Tuesday. Tomorrow is Labor day, and who knows, we might be in labor! At this point, the preparations are complete and we are ready to go.

A week and a half ago, at our Dr. appointment, we picked up the birthing tub. It weighs about 45 pounds and comes in the case to the right. Our doctor is so cool, he even helped load it into the car!

Of course, we are pretty excited about the birth, so we promptly set it up in the bedroom. Here is a photo of the tub. The walls are actually made out of a heavy duty styrofoam. And what you see right now is the permanent liner in the tub. Before the actual birth, we'll put in the disposable liner, which is currently sterile. Then, we'll fill it up with a hose hooked up to the faucet. We are told that it will hold about 80 gallons of water. Our hot water heater is only 50 gallons, so it may take a while to fill.

What else....I've started reading a great book called The New Father by Armin Brott. Baby Jones gave it to me as a Fathers Day Gift. It is kind of a month-by-month manual which explains child development and is full of great tips for fathers! Susan has been re-reading The Birth Book and The Breastfeeding Book by the Sears'. Also great books for new parents.

The only thing left is to make some refinements to the Birth CD. This is supposed to be music that will help Susan to relax. It actually is pretty much done, and includes music from our wedding and some other relaxing songs. But thinking about a birth CD is kind of fun. Here is a list of songs that are not on our CD, but based on their title or lyrics, maybe they should be part of a birth soundtrack.

  • "It's the end of the world as we know it," REM

  • "A whole new world," Aladdin soundtrack

  • "Push it, Push it real good" I don't know

Can you think of any fun or satirical ideas for a birth soundtrack? Login and let us know!