Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94

Tuesday, July 26

AAJ: One Week

Our little man had his one week appointment yesterday and he's doing great! He is almost back to his birth weight which means he is getting all he needs from my milk!

Birth weight: 8lbs 4oz
Weight when we left hospital: 7lbs 10oz
Weight at 1 wk appt: 8lbs 3oz (average)

Birth Length: 20"
1 week length: 21 1/4" (above average)

Austin has been a joy. He has 2 million different faces he makes that will melt your heart including the "stank eye" and the "milk-drunk grin". He also has an assortment of adorable noises that he alternates throughout the day...our favorite is the bicycle horn. He grins a lot after eating and has giggled in his sleep three times....FREAKIN ADORABLE! He has been sleeping in his crib since day 2 and is an awesome sleeper with the exception of last night, it was a little rough but we all survived. He has taken to breast feeding like a hotdog eating champ and never misses a meal which explains how he is already back to his birth weight. I'm not gonna lie, motherhood might be the hardest thing I have ever done. It has been a painful week between trying to heal from childbirth, getting used to breast feeding, and developing a case of mastitis which brings severe chills and a spiked fever every night before I go to bed. But God is providing me with the strength, energy and tolerance of pain to get through each day. Zach has been amazing and between him and my parents, I have been able to take some time for myself.

Friday, July 22

Things I have learned this week...

Happy One Week Austin!

A week ago right now I was in the thick of contractions on my way to motherhood. Its hard to believe it's been a week....some moments it feels much longer but most moments it feels like it was just yesterday. It's like Zach and I took a crash course on parenting and have learned so much in such as short amount of time...many lessons we learned the hard way. So here are some takeaways from 7 days of parenthood:

1. Swaddling rocks but the double swaddle has magical powers. Thanks to one of our incredible nurses in the hospital, Anne, we learned not only how to swaddle but how to double swaddle to ensure that he doesn't kick out of the chimichanga during the night. The double-swaddle makes him feel so secure and ever since I started using 2 blankets, he has been sleeping all night. Coincidence, I think not.

2. Never say "We aren't gonna be ___(insert parenting convenience)_____ people". Things such as formala-feeding, sleeping with baby in bed, feeding the baby everytime it cries, etc. Well for us, it was "We aren't gonna be pacifier people". I guess I figured we would develop magical calming powers. So when we didn't, we became paci people. Austin's Dougie (thanks Aunt Eldy) is just what the doctor ordered when he works himself into a tizzy. It's a paci with a dog sewn to the end so he can hold onto the dog and the paci stays in his mouth. Genius invention.
Austin and Dougie

3. Zach discovered our child is a triple threat...and not on the ball field. Day one home from the hospital, we take off Austin's diaper when all the sudden a fountain of pee....followed by a the poop train... and to top it all off projectile spit-up (coming out of the mouth and the nose). We learned very quickly a) always have the back-up diaper ready, b) keep his peepee covered at all times during diaper changes, and c) sacrifice your body, clothing, and any other object in sight to save the carpet, wall, and lampshade.

After one of his baths

4. I learned to appreciate the small things like regaining the ability to tie my own shoes, shave my legs, sleep on my back, walk upstairs without getting winded, and not having to pee every 10 minutes.
5. I learned never to have your heart set on an outfit, for you or the baby. Inevitably one or both of you will end up with pee, poop, or spit-up on you before you make it out the door.

6. I learned "I always feed him naked". I know this sounds funny because I said it out load in the hospital with my entire family in the room and I got a lot of crazy looks before I clarified. I feed the baby while he is naked, not me. This goes back to #5, less mess and it helps to keep him awake.

7. The biggest thing I learned is that my heart has stretched and it will never be the same. I have experienced love on a whole new level. Love that gives you wings, may it be in the form of energy to get you up every 3 hours or the emotional high that takes you soaring every time you see that precious face. And seeing Zach as a father and a protector has brought more joy than I can explain. He has been amazing to our little man and amazing to me, especially when I felt less than amazing.

This picture pretty much sums it up... these 2 will never know how much they are loved.

Friday, July 15

It's DUE DATE!!!

Here we are...DUE DATE!!! I had to post some pictures of the day we found out our little baby was a boy! (Thanks to Becky for capturing the moment so beautifully) I can remember that amazing moment like it was a second ago and I can't even imagine the way we will feel when we hold our little man this week.

Beyond thrilled

My Momma telling her parents

The Jex Men super excited for the first Jex baby boy.

Dad on the phone with Grandma Marilyn

Let me start by saying how thankful we are for all of you! Zach and I have been overwhelmed with messages and emails with well wishes and sweet sentiments and are so excited about how lucky Austin is to be so loved.

This morning Zach and I had a big breakfast with my parents at the Coffee Shop, it was doctor's orders to eat a good meal before the tests and I wasn't complaining! Then Mom and I headed to the hospital for the Anti-Stress test and an ultrasound. I was monitored to test things like heart rate, muscle mass and fluid levels and they also did an ultrasound to measure the baby, make sure all his limbs were moving properly and get an approximate weight. After all was said and done, they compile all the tests and assign your baby a score from 1-8.

Our little Austin is already impressing us and scored a SOLID 8!! What that means is he has more than enough fluid, muscle mass, and dexterity to continue another week if needed. He is weighing in at an approximate 8lbs 6 oz....I sure did scream when I heard this! If he has another week in there he quite possibly could gain another 1/2 lb. However the sonogram tech said this is only an estimate based on the measurements and it could be +/-1lb. I felt heavier just getting up from hearing this news.

The contractions I was having the past 36hours subsided last night and I had only a few light ones today until about an hour ago. I had one on my way home and I actually had to stop the car it was so painful. So we will see what the afternoon brings...I will be totally amazed if this baby comes on his exact due date. But baby....I am up for being amazed!

Thursday, July 14

Day 1: Countdown to Austin

Zach and I decided since we didn't have anything else to do at 2am, we would time how long it took us to get to the hospital. Note sarcasm! Really, I started having contractions at 7:30pm and by 2am they were between 4 and 5 minutes apart. So we loaded up and headed to the promise land. After an hour and 1/2 of being monitored, the contractions grew stronger and continued to stay steady at 4-5 minutes apart but after that time I was still at 2cm which meant I was not in active labor since no progress was made. So around 4am we returned home and hit the bed, hard! I could barely pick my head up off my pillow this morning to get dressed for my doctor appointment. My poor legs felt like they had just run a marathon and my stomach ached like a well worn punching bag. I guess after your body contracts every 5 minutes for over 12 hours it begins to feel like a floppy noodle.

So here is the latest from the doc: They were very happy that my body has started the process on it's own (many first babies have to be medicinally encouraged) and with the contractions staying consistent they said it really is just a waiting game for the contraction to loosen my cervix. I am still 70% thinned, 2cm dilated, and on my way to babyland. However the train to baby land has many speeds and we are just waiting it out. If the baby doesn't come tonight, I have a stress test/ baby physical first thing in the morning to make sure he can handle going past his due date. Then if I don't deliver this weekend, I have an appointment Monday to evaluate my progress and we will then schedule and induction for either Tues, Weds, or Thursday.

For now, I am resting a lot and I have stopped working. Doc said it's time to get some sleep and hydrate like a fish.

I am praying for this little man to make a lot of progress in the next day or so and I know his cousin Nate is praying for the same thing so Austin and Nate will share a July 15th bithday. I just really want him to to come safely on his own..not to mention contractions aren't a cake walk so the sooner the better!

Feeling blessed at the moment! Somewhat surreal to have looked forward to a day for over 9 months (okay I am lying....I've looked forward to it my whole life) and knowing it is almost here.

Prayers welcome!! Thanks for the continued love and support!

Wednesday, July 13

Day 2: Countdown to Austin

So here it is....from 4 to 40 weeks! The first picture was taken within an hour or so of us finding out we were expecting and the last one is me today, hopefully an hour or so before I go into labor! Wishful thinking, I'm sure!

Austin, it's been a fun ride and you really were pretty good to me! With the exception of a handful of sick evenings and a few dizzy spells, I can now say I really enjoyed being pregnant. So my little buddy, I hate to evict you but your lease is almost up!

Tuesday, July 12

Day 3: Countdown to Austin

I know I said I would try and do something each day pre-baby that I couldn't do once he gets here, but with a full time job that is getting harder each day. To be honest, absolutely nothing noteworthy happened yesterday except for a full days work. I guess that's something I won't be doing right after the baby... so I will count it.

As the summer heats up, it seems like the yards and flowerbeds are yearning for a drop of that sweet liquid from the sky. The dark clouds gathered over Natchez last night but to our surprise we received no rain. Instead, I began to rain, emotionally. I think I was due for a good cry and upon doing so I realized, or better yet, I was reminded of what a wonderful man I married. Sometimes you just have to let it all out for everything to make sense.

Thank you Zach for being a very supportive husband. I know I am going to find a million more reasons why you are amazing over the next few weeks when I see you as a father.

Day 4: Countdown to Austin

Last night consisted of furniture re-arranging, design star, and a late-night 80's movie.

A little nesting followed by a little relaxation! We are enjoying these last few days (maybe weeks) before the baby arrives and with each passing day I accomplish a little more around the house that I never would have done otherwise so I am starting to enjoy my last days of productivity. Oh but don't misunderstand....the baby is more than welcome to arrive anytime!

Monday, July 11

Day 5: Countdown to Austin

5 days pre-baby and it was time to roll up our sleeves and be productive. We finally completed the finishing touches on the nursery bathroom makeover. I love how bright and happy this room looks now and I feel like we really accomplished the "Hampton's Beachy chic" look we were going for.

Here are the improvements we made:
  • We replaced the vinyl flooring with 14" ceramic tile in a tumbled ivory.
  • We replaced the unfinished vanity and laminate counter tops with a new vanity, warm cinnamon granite counter top and and ivory undermont sink.
  • We replaced all brass fixtures and faucets with nickle fixtures.
  • We added wainscoting to the walls as well as a new, detailed chair rail.
  • We painted the walls to match the darker strip in the nursery and used a contrasting white on the wainscoting.
  • We added brighter vanity lighting and a new large mirror (to accommodate both short and tall people!)
  • Although we originally wanted to re-tile the shower and replace the toilet, once we replaced other dated elements in the bathroom, the shower and toilet blended nicely and got to stay!
I also finished hanging Austin's keepsake shelves in the nursery. I wanted a place to display my silver rattle, spoon, and cup, his new silver cup (to be engraved), Zach's framed lock of hair from his first haircut and Zach's baby dress shoes. I also added some empty frames awaiting his pictures and tah-dah....the diaper changing wall is complete. Now Austin can come.

Saturday, July 9

Day 6: Countdown to Austin

On day 6 pre-baby we slept in (past 7:30am) and had a late breakfast from the Coffee Shop. The rest of the day was pretty low key and I did something I could never do with a new baby....I scrapbooked for hours! Austin's momma is slightly artsy-fartsy so a generic, store-bought baby book just wouldn't fly and thanks to nesting, Austin's baby book scrapbook is now close to 40 pages! I wish I nested right after our wedding since I have yet to choose our wedding album photos let alone scrapbook the event.

Here is a little peek into his album. I was able to use many of my blog posts over the past 9 months to chronologically journal and I highly recommend this to anyone that blogs because as I read through them, I realized how few details I remembered. I got chocked up reliving some of those emotional days!

On the agenda for Day 5..... clean up the total mess I made in the art studio.

I guess a mother's intuition doesn't take effect until the baby is actually born. I totally thought today was going to be the day I went into labor....but it wasn't. So Happy Birthday Aunt Nette, looks like today will continue to be your special need to share.

We just topped of the day with a fabulous dinner prepared by my "shoulda' been a chef" husband. On the menu: Chicken breasts breaded with a secret seasoning, lightly pan fried and then baked with rosemary roasted red potatoes. Amazing.!!! Zach warned me it might make my legs swell....hahah! This deliciousness is worth the risk!

Friday, July 8

Final Countdown Friday

Okay peeps, turn your volume up and JAM WITH ME!!!! It's the final countdown ladies and gentleman. This last week of pregnancy deserves a little 80's rock!

I decided to start a daily FINAL COUNTDOWN. I might make it one day... or I could make it 15. Who knows, but starting today I plan to do at least one thing a day that I won't be able to do PB (Post baby).
Day 7: Countdown to Austin
Today's agenda includes a leisurely adult-only lunch at Mammie's Cupboard. Chicken Pot Pie is Friday's special so Zach and I are meeting Mom and Dad out there to stuff ourselves with Southern goodness. I might even finish the meal off with a slice of pie.... because I am pregnant and I can! Tonight I plan to walk Silver Street (the big hill on the river), take a really long shower, pluck my eyebrows, and stay up really late watching a movie with the hubs. And when I say late, I mean irresponsibly late. Like 12am or maybe even 1am.
The whole table split Banana Caramel Pie, yummy!

Thursday, July 7

Prayers for Elle

My best friend's baby, Elle, is undergoing open heart surgery as we speak to repair her sweet little heart. She is 28 months old and has been such a tough cookie her entire life! Please pray for the wisdom and steady hands of the doctors at Texas Children's Hospital as they operate on Elle. Visit THEIR BLOG for more updates.

We love you Lisha, Lee, and Eleanor!

39 week update

This morning I went to the doctor to check on the baby- we will be 39 weeks tomorrow. Everything is looking exactly like it should. Here is the rundown:

2cm dilated

80% effaced

Belly is measuring 39 weeks (right on the money)

I lost 1lb from last week (Most likely due to swelling I experienced last week. It has completely gone down which is great news) +29lbs overall

Doc was able to feel his head- said he is head down and ready to rock-and-roll

* * *

So I have heard so many different schools of thought from women concerning how their doctors approach the final weeks of pregnancy and how they address going past your due date. To each, his own and please don't take offense if you totally disagree with me....this is just my perspective as my first pregnancy comes to an end.

Today I asked my doctor what his beliefs were and why. Dr. Guedon will not induce your first child before the due date if everything is progressing normally…period. He said it’s so important to let your body take its course on your first child so you know what your body needs in order to prepare. It may need more time to grow/stretch/dilate, etc. Not to mention the baby might need those extra days to position and prepare. Not only will this provide you an accurate frame of reference as to how your body works for your next pregnancy but he said many 1st time inductions can lead to c-section due to the body not responding because it's just not ready to have a baby. Not that c-sections are frowned upon but once you get one you need to have the remainder of your babies by c-section. I know c-sections are routine but to me, surgery is surgery and if there is a way to avoid it, I will.

He said inducing in subsequent pregnancies is very common and he's much more flexible in that situation. In our situation (first time baby approaching the due date) he said he will do a stress test the week of the 18th (3 days post due date) if the baby has not come and at that point we will consider our options (most likely he will induce early that week) but he said as of now we just play by the little guys rules. I told him I really respect him as a doctor for letting mother nature take its course and letting God be God when it would be easy for Doctors these days to play God, especially to keep a complaining woman shushed.

I am sure if I was swollen, miserable, or sick I might not be so accepting of his cautious principles but as a first time mom, I am so grateful for such a quality caregiver.

I will keep you updated as we head into the last week of the pregnancy and please pray for this little guy and his mama if we do go into labor this week. As eager as I am to meet Austin, I am also very nervous about labor and everything to follow. I pray that I will make a good mother and that God will lead me through the sleepless and helpless moments with confidence and patience.

Wednesday, July 6

Ah Sweet Relief (38 ½ weeks)

Well I didn’t produce an offspring on the Nation’s birthday like I had hoped however I am feeling better than I have in weeks. The last 2 weeks I have been struggling with uncomfortable contractions, swollen feet and ankles, and just a general feeling of blaaahhhh! Can I make that a double BLAH with a side of gross…supersized.

But Friday brought sweet relief and I started to pull a 180! My ankles and feet are totally back to normal, I have been able to exercise again, Zach and I did some major house cleaning and preparing and I feel like I did at the beginning of my 3rd trimester. I think it might be God cutting me some slack because he knows I have a rollercoaster on the horizon. So whether this is here to stay or simply just the calm before the storm, honey I will take whatever relief I can get!

Also the baby has dropped a few inches so I can breathe again! I can’t describe what a wonderful feeling this is….my lungs are in heaven. I find myself taking really deep breaths just because I can.

Special thanks to my parents, my father-in-law and my wonderful husband for spending their 4th of July with me sticking close to home. Usually this is an eventful weekend at the lake but this year they all hung out with me… swimming, eating ribs and homemade Butterfinger ice-cream, and enjoying a really great fireworks show. I realized how lucky I was to have such a loving family that made our low-key 4th of July very special. (I'll post pics as soon as I get them from my family..I don't carry a camera these days...I just look too scary!)

I go to the doctor Thursday to see what, if any, progress this little guy is making. It feels like he is just as snug as a bug in a rug and has no intentions of arriving anytime soon. Zach’s guess is the 16th and I think my guess might be the 11th but anyday now would be fine with me!!

Friday, July 1


I have been counting down the months, days, and minutes to July for what seems like an eternity and I am so glad it's here! Sounds like a great month to become a mommy to me! Today I am officially full term and 38 weeks pregnant! So he could come any day but most likely he'll be camping out for another week or 2.
We installed the carseats in both cars this week and I still am not used to seeing that cute little seat in my car...makes me smile everytime! And thanks to my sweet husband for a mani, pedi, massage certificate....I went and got a manicure so I could officially be hospital ready! I waited off on the pedicure and massage because there are so few comfortable positions for me these days and I didn't want to chance that the massage might be a really bad experience so I figured I would just wait until after the baby. Also my feet have decided to swell up like the marshmallow man so there was no way I was wasting a pedi on these pitiful pups.

This weekend we plan on getting the house ready inside and out for the baby's arrival. That means lots of cleaning. laundry, organizing, etc. Then we'll be celebrating the 4th with my parents and Zach's dad...just doing what you do on the out, making homemade ice cream, watching fireworks, and maybe even going into labor!!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Independence weekend full of family, friends, food, and fireworks. Be safe and if you have a spare minute...pray for a 4th of July baby (I will be!!)!