Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Sun will come out.. TOMORROW! :)

I know this is gonna blindside you, but it's a cold rainy day here.. again. The world is not ending though because I don't get out much these days to know the difference. However, I am really ready for warm sunshine....I might give way and visit the fake'n'bake soon for fear you might not recognize me through my ghostly skin.

Today Ryan is busy lost in a sea of seminary books and I am buried under a blanket with Titus sleeping on my chest. I have finally figured out how to hold a baby, a labtop, and still manage to type with two hands. I never realized the skills I would develop in my new role/job! We tried to go to this cute little restaurant for a hearty breakfast this morning, but unfortunately didn't make it there until 2. Better late than never eh? We still ate breakfast though!

Just in case you're wondering it's true what they say.... things take much longer, cost much more, on way less sleep with a baby. I plan out my days in 3 hour increments (sometimes 4) and mainly live in a robe! I feel "oh so hot!" Obviously I'm still learning how to make adjustments so perhaps one day I will look presentable by 5 PM with supper cooking. It may be a while on that one! Baby steps!

It's also true that life seems more full of color, moments more tender, and worldly goods more worthless... with a baby. Ryan and I often look at one another and talk about how we can't imagine our life without Titus. Perfect timing, so different than our own! I heard a lady mention the other day that she would love to go back to the days when her kids were little. I've certainly heard many women talk about the same thing.. when everyone was under one roof. It dawned on me that THESE are THOSE days they are talking about FOR me... make sense? Of course life isn't perfect (I'm hormonal remember), but when will it ever be?! But today, I'm soaking in our little family...even if it would be nice to be sitting in the sun working on a tan in sunny SC!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Update.......

Hello from Rainy City, USA. I keep wondering if this city got the memo that it is now Spring?! It actually makes sleeping when a newborn sleeps a little easier with the absence of sun! The joy of postpartum leaves me sweating to death one minute and freezing the next. Hormones... geez.. and I was a hormonal one to begin with. I remind Ryan on a daily basis to not take anything personal! So far we're still married... only kidding!

I spent Saturday morning in the emergency room trying to figure out what in the world is causing my awful headaches. The nurse thought I was confused by writing down my DOB for Saturday's date. I looked at him and said "No, today is my birthday," and crumbled emotionally! Poor male nurse probably wasn't bargaining for all that, but perhaps it goes with the job!! All that to say I am thankful I went..even if it was my 23rd birthday! They did a CT scan and found nothing...PTL!! Boy, was I ever nervous! They did notice that my blood pressure was really high, and they are now treating me a couple weeks for high blood pressure with hopes that it will regulate itself and also help the headaches. So far yesterday and today only one has come (and thankfully gone). I'm just taking it a day at a time....sometimes a moment at a time. While in the hospital (after a really long labor ending with a c-section) I became grossly swollen.

Easily 15-20 lbs of water weight was put on. I was in shock when I noticed that I could no longer see my knees..my feet were...well unable to fit in shoes!! Ya know it's bad when you wonder if you will fit in your maternity clothes AFTER you deliver because they might be too tight! Good thing my husband either 1) totally finds me beautiful no matter what or, 2) is really good at lying through his teeth! Y'all this was humbling and I'm not even exaggerating in the slightest way! So all that to say between the water weight in the hospital and other pregnancy weight coming off I have lost between 40-50 lbs in 2 weeks. Holy moly... I'm not even on the cabbage soup diet! I say this not to brag, but to say I don't want to touch an iv with a ten foot pole and I think more than anything my body has been working over time and the headaches are just a reaction to that....coupled with some awesome hormones.

Enough about me though.... Titus is just as sweet as can be, but maybe I'm just partial. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health today. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 10 oz...he might be a big boy in the coming months! He loves to nurse and be held... especially around 10-12 and 2-4 AM!! Woo hoo..party at our house. Hopefully, we'll get all that sorted out in the coming weeks/months. The poor thing hates baths and having his diaper changed. So far he mostly cries when he is hungry, cold (putting on a new outfit) , or being cleaned (bath and diaper changed). I say that with a grain of salt knowing there's no way Ryan and I have a mild mannered child! We are totally crazy over him and can't imagine our life without our little surprise/love child! Being a mom is definitely the hardest job I've ever had, but hands down the most rewarding. I love it the most when he hears my voice and looks up at me..those sweet little eyes melt my heart!

Friday, March 20, 2009

no fun headaches

hey guys... just a quick little note to ask you to please pray for some intense headaches I've been having. I started having them on day 5 or 6 after my c-section. They are completely debilitating. After my birthday dinner date with Ryan and Titus we were on our way to Target to look for some new clothes for me and one hit. I was in tears/screaming moments later. We drove home quickly for me to take medicine and jump in a hot shower. It still hurts but not as intense as when it hit. I am going to make an appointment for Monday to see my doctor. Shortly after my epidural was taken out, I began leaking fluid from the site. The anaesthesiologist thought it was fluid due to the TONS of swelling I had, which it may be, however I'm beginning to think it is all tied together and now resulting in the worst headaches of my life. Who knows. I think it's probably a spinal headache. The doctor on call did not think it was anything neurological, but it still makes me really nervous. I'm just praying they go away soon. They usually hit at night, and like I said they are really painful in the front of my head and make my neck feel still. Caffeine seems to help some. Going to sleep is even better, but once they are in full force sleep can't happen. Thank you in advance for the prayers.

-Jessica

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update :+)

Greetings from the land of the living! I feel like I am dipping my toes into our new life as a little family of 3. I am painfully dreading my mom's return to Charleston tomorrow. From the time she got arrived all someone had to do was mention her return and I'm a emotional wreck. It's an emotional subject to begin with, but add some major hormone changes and I'm a goner on the SLOPPY tears! I know the Lord will walk with us as we adjust to our life.... it's just the miles and visual presence in my daily life that makes me sick to my stomach! It's just a season though. What a blessing it's been to have her here though... I'm so thankful I don't know what I would have done without her! Thanks, Mimi! Just 8 weeks and I'll be headed to Chucktown.. not that I'm counting or anything! We truly have awesome support here from friends and family and that gives me great comfort and reassurance! How sweet to know our god perceives our needs from afar.

Titus had his first doctor's appointment today and he did great. The doctor said he does not have anymore jaundice and is doing great gaining weight. He has now regained his birth weight plus 2 ounces, however, a full diaper might be to blame on a couple ounces. Either way, I was reassured that he is getting the milk down his pipes! It made my day to know he is growing and healthy. Thank you Lord. He is completely confused as to which is daytime and nighttime... hopefully we'll figure that one out soon, but in the grand scheme.... whoever needed sleep anyways! Not! I guess that's about all from the Epp household.

If you think of it, please say a prayer for my emotional state as my Mom leaves.... maybe for both of us, yet I know there is a full family ready to see Mimi as soon as she's back. If you couldn't tell I'm slightly attached!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Titus' Birth Story



The house is quiet as my mom is snuggled up with Titus sleeping in her arms and Ryan is finishing a school project. I'm reminding this evening of what a whirlwind the past week has been, yet the blessed assurance of Jesus' sweet presence every step of the way from labor to a healthy baby boy nestled cozy on a cold and rainy Portland night. I am overwhelmed by the blessing it is to have him here, safe and sound. As I'm sure all you mama's out there would say... he's beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. I love being a mom. I've found my place, despite the longing for sleep beyond 2 1/2 hours and a little scar that now marks me. I LOVE motherhood.
Well, it all started at a OB appointment at 11:50 AM on Tuesday. The nurse informed me that the doctor was running behind and I could see a midwife instead or wait for my dr. I chose to wait for my doctor. She came in and I expressed concern over not being about to deliver him naturally (meaning pushing him out) due to his possible size and my frame. Again, she agreed and said that she would not induce me until next Thursday if I had not yet gone into labor. I was thinking... alright... I'll make it and I just have to trust her wisdom. She went ahead and began checking me and a couple minutes later informed me that..."uhh I think I just accidentally broke your water." I was in disbelief, but thankful that this was starting. I was so close to going on my own so it was fine by me. Thankfully, my mother-in-law had driven me to the appointment. We headed home where I met Ryan and off to the hospital we went.

In the meantime I called my mom at 4:00 PM eastern time and she booked a flight using some sky miles for 5:10 PM. Yes!!! She would most likely make it for the birth. Little did I know! Her flight was a little delayed leaving Charleston, which allowed a little extra time to run through the airport. She arrived at midnight Portland time. I can't tell you the blessing it was to have her there.

I continued in labor with steady contractions. I was on pitocin, but surprisingly my contractions would only sporadically intensify. the nurses were baffled as to why they would not grow stronger. I was right below the highest level they could put the pitocin on without doctor's orders. I was also having a ton of back labor and opted for the epidural around 6:00 PM. BEST THING EVER! It was not bad at ALL... actually getting my blood drawn scares me more now...well maybe it's a tie!

I continued to be in the same state for 27 hours. I finally progressed to 4 cm, but that was all. They even inserted a device inside my uterus to measure the intensity of the contractions more accurately to know how much more pitocin I could handle. Around 4:00 PM after being closely monitored by the doctor, we collectively made a decision that a c-section would be the best idea. Titus was not in distress, but showing signs of a fluctuating heart rate and an "unhappy" baby. My doctor said that she thought that my uterus was too small to contract around him and push him further into the birth canal. We later found out that he was also sunny side up and turned at a diagonal angle. I was thankful that she did not rush into a c-section, yet monitored me closely and made the best decision for my child and I. Praise God!

By 5:01 PM we were looking at our son for the very first time. He was perfect! the c-section was very scary for me, but I felt God's peace and presence so close. While I was laying on the table I sang to myself the song that says "You dance over me, while I am unaware.. You sing all around, but I never here the sound... Lord I'm amazed by you.... " My mom was so reassuring to have there because she has had 3 sections. It truly isn't that bad... more scary and a little more challenging on the recovery, but He IS SO WORTH IT! After so many hrs of labor, I was royally full of fluids. My legs, feet, face, hands... well everything looked like an elephant's. Titus was 8 lbs even and 19 1/2 inches long. I love this baby boy Oh so much!
Thank you all so much for your prayers, congrats, love, and support! We feel so blessed and cannot wait to introduce you to our little guy!




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Introducing....




Titus Ryan Epp!!!!!!!


March 11, 2009 5:01 PM.
8 lbs. and was 19 1/2 inches long.


You may be wondering how or why we have chosen Titus Ryan to be his name. Well here's the deal... Shortly after Ryan and I moved to Oregon, we began reading the book of Titus together (in the bible..it's a one nighter kind of book)! We loved the fact that Paul trusted Titus to stay behind in Crete to build the church. Titus was not completely in the spotlight as a spiritual hero in the Bible, but he was completely trusted and faithful to complete the task he was given.. growing the church in Crete. Ryan and I were both challenged by the expectations for elders, older men and women and younger men and women. During this season I began to pray for my son to fall in love with Jesus more than anything in this world.


Our prayer is that he would become "temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in indurance... as well as "show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us."

Titus 2:1-2 and 6-8


I (Jessica) continued to research what the name Titus meant and found that it means "defender." We wanted to use my husband's name... Ryan.. which means King. AH ha! We finally had it and loved the meaning....


Defender of the King


Ryan and I are completely in love with Titus. He is such a sweet, snuggly little guy! We are blessed beyond measure to be able to love and cherish our first born son.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Todo, we're not in Kansas anymore.....

Each day I'm still pregnant I get a treat. It is helping to get my mind off the not fun part of pregnancy. Today, I went to lunch with a friend and it was yummy!

Tomorrow, I have a doctor's appointment in which I am praying my doctor will be open to giving me some "juice" aka pitocin soon. The doctor I have gone to for YEARS back in SC talked to my mom briefly on Sunday and said... "if they'd just give her a little pitocin, she'd be having that baby in no time." Things are a little different in "Organic Oregon." I won't really go into all my reasoning on the world wide web, but based on a few things, I'm praying that one of 2 things will happen. She will strip the life out of my membranes and send me into labor really soon (Wednesday is a full moon) or tomorrow-- we will set a date for a soon induction. A good size baby (already) and a small bone structure causes me to think the sooner the better on getting this little guy out of my body naturally. By looking at Ryan and I's natural frame (not in pregnant state) you might be surprised to know he was a BIG baby and I was 7 lbs. 3-4 weeks early. Eeeeeek. Please feel free to lift this situation up!

Wednesday, I will visit the beauty school for either a facial or highlights. Hopefully I won't come out looking like a cheetah because they are students, but I'll give it a world for cheap. It might just be amazing.

Thursday- I'm not sure yet, but Friday you can find me chained to the door step of my hospital with a sign that reads "INDUCE." You know we live in a twisted world when a woman can choose to abort her child because he/she is unwanted or out of "practicalities", but another woman can't request a little bit of pitocin to get a big baby out before he gets bigger resulting in hopefully a healthy delivery.

Well that's my soap box for the day! Ryan has been having to remind me to be nice in my very pregnant state! I guess that's where my rubber needs to hit the road! Let's just say the "glow is gone" and mama bear is in the house! Ok, maybe not that extreme.............. anyways.. enough of me rambling! Have a Manic Monday (it has rained, sleeted, hailed, snowed, and finally the sun is out here today)... but I guess all you 80 degree sunny skies Charleston friends don't feel the pain! Still sending love your way though!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Towanda




One of my favorite movies of all times is Fried Green Tomatoes. It makes me laugh until I cry and cry until I laugh! Last night... in my state of being really uncomfortable with a bad attitude like a cherry on top, I decided to watch it around midnight! If you have never seen this movie.. this may not make since to you, but this scene takes place during a moment when this woman, Evelyn, gives up on some of her frustrations. Frustrations about mean people, things she can't control, and little injustices in her life. In my case... nothing serious.. just really ready to not be pregnant, but completely blessed all the same for the privilege. I can't control the timing because if I could I wouldn't be sitting here looking at a very large belly! This waiting game really throws the planning and type A part of me. I want to be careful in my ability to be "real", yet grateful for the opportunity to become a mother. With that said today... I say obviously I can't control this matter. I give up little man... I've walked... cleaned the house until I can eat off the floors, googled how to go into labor, done the freezer meal thing... and a whole host of other suggestions that are safe in pregnancy. Now I sit with a baby who's really low, 80% effaced, and 3 cm dilated and think to myself...................TOWANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDAAAAAA!!!

Don't worry... my towanda is just mental... you don't have to avoid me in parking lots! However, I have thought about pulling off all the clothes from the hangers in my closet and scattering them all over our house. Wild huh?! I think I'll refrain! I guess we all have little "towandas" in our lives where the hard part is most likely our ability to hold so tightly and control, yet reaching the letting go is where I freeze!

May all your "towanda" moments be shared with good laughs and leave you with affordable insurance.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dear.....

Dear Feet,

Soon, we'll be able to see one another again.

Love, Eyes


Dear Cankles,

It feels like a pool party in here.

Love, Ankles


Dear Organs,

Soon, you will be returned to your proper position in my body.

Love, Jessica


Dear Skin,

Soon you will be loose and squishy again.... even though your owner isn't a fan of that either.

Love, Muscles


Dear Sleep,

Forget about it!

Love, The Mom Club


Dear "Girls,"

You have no idea what is to come... moooooo!

Love, The Mom Club


Dear Heart,

Soon you will get to see him and fall in love with the 2nd main man of your life!

Love, Selflessness


Dear Baby Boy,

I have cute clothes, pacis, blankets, and a nice Daddy for you... won't you come soon?!

Love, Mommy (I'm not so bad either)


We're in the single digits people... (hopefully). I say that with a grain of salt. Perhaps today's appointment will jolt something, but I don't recommend holding your breath. Wouldn't it be fun if he was born on 03-06-09? We would never forget his birthday?! After the 6th, I will think of a new reason for him to come 3 days later. These days I measure my life on 3 days spans!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday MOM!





A typical day in the life of Ellen Moore begins long before the rooster wakes. Just after 4:00 AM she is up and embracing the morning with her bible open and pen in hand. She gives first to her God. By 6:30 AM(estimate) she's out the door and on to love on a class of cute kindergartners.... ready to give, yet again. At half past 12 her cell phone has probably rung three times already from 3 daughters ready to see what's up..... well sometimes the other 2 just go straight to her house, but one is left to the phone (she's not entirely bitter though). Her afternoon is sometimes spent eating a bite with her man, loving on her grandkiddies, hospital visits with the "pastor," preparing Sunday school lessons, Upwards basketball practices, visits to a home for unwed moms-to-be, planning a mission trip to Nicaragua this summer, hanging out with friends, and lesson plans.


It truly amazes me how one sweet little lady can give so much to so many people. As a pastor's wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend... she wears so many hats with tenderness and grace. Soft spoken, polite, generous, tender, nurturing, a listener, and faithful are only a few characteristics that describe her. If the only thing she had ever given me was carrying me in the womb for 37 weeks (I knew life would be better not cramped..hint hint) I think at this point I would think that was enough. I have only begun to realize all the sacrifices my MOM has given for me, and I look forward to sharing the title of mother with her hopefully REALLLLLY soon! The crazy thing is that all 3..very different, but alike daughters not only call her mom, but our best girlfriend.

I've been trying to encourage a little man to come out today so that he could share his birthday with such an amazing woman, but with no contractions on the horizon, I feel doubtful.

Mom, you are such a beautiful woman inside and out. If at the end of my days I'm half the woman you are, I will consider myself accomplished. Thank you for your abiding faithfulness to your God, husband, and family.... Your worth is far more than rubies! Happy Birthday!
Love, Jess

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy 1 year Anniversary!..(whew)


This is my fav picture of Ryan.. it was taken as I was walking out toward him in my wedding dress. He looks really serious and a little emotional, but I love it!

Happy One Year ANNIVERSARY!!!! Can I just say that saying that immediately makes me feel a little more confident about the task we have ahead of us any day now! What a year. I can hands-down say that Ryan and I have grown more this year than any other time in our life. Folks, the learning curve has been straight up from learning how to pay bills (me), follow a recipe, moving, becoming parents, letting go of our independant spirits we sometimes fight so hard for, and simply dying to self and becoming more like Jesus (all of which I am still working on.. esp the last).

Today, we are basking in the joy of the union our Lord and Savior created one year ago today. It was the best day of my life. I was so at ease and felt complete peace about the journey I was embarking on. The day was truly perfect from the 75 degree sunny skies to the radiance I felt as the bride I always dreamed of becoming. I remember thinking to myself... this is everything I've ever hope for on my wedding day... the man, the family, location, weather, cake, flowers (jule you did awesome), food, decor etc... Lord THANK YOU! It was so special and I will treasure that day forever. This is a poem I read last year and now have hanging in my house.. still today... it remains my prayer..
A Bride's Prayer

O Father, my heart is filled with happiness so wonderful that I am almost afraid. This is my wedding day and I pray thee the beautiful joy of this morning may never grow dim with years of regret for the step I am about to take. Rather may itsmemories become more sweet and tender with each passing anniversary.
Thou hast sent me one who seems worthy of my deepest regard. Grant unto me the power to ever keep him loving and true as he is now. May I proved indeed a helpmate, a sweetheart, a friend, and a steadfast guiding star among the temptations the beset the impulsive hearts of men. Give me skill to make home the best-loved place of all. Help me to make its light shine farther than any glow that would dim its radiance. Let me, I pray, meet the little misunderstandings and cares on my new womanhood, and guide thou my path from failure all the way. Walk thou with us even to the end of the journey.
O Father, bless my wedding day, hallow my marriage night, sanctify my motherhood, if thou seest fit to grant me the privilege.
And when all my youthful charms are faded (hello 9 months prego) and the cares and lessons of life have left their touches, let physical fascinations give way to the greater charms of companionship, and so may we walk hand in hand down the valley of the shadow which we will then be able to lighten with the sunshine of good and happy lives.
O, Father, this is my prayer.
-unknown