Sunday, July 14, 2013

Olive Elizabeth's Big Arrival

She is here!  Just 3 days late, Olive arrived at 12:23 on July 7th weighing 6 lbs 9 oz.  We couldn't be more excited and so happy.  I won't get into all the details but here is a little bit about her birth...

On July 4th at about 2am I had contractions that were 6 minutes apart and painful.  We called the doctor and she said to head to the hospital.  This was it!  We couldn't believe it!  We arrived at the hospital, checked in and then it was time to wait.  My contractions stayed regular but nothing else was progressing so we walked the halls, and bounced on an exercise ball and still nothing.  So after 5 hours at the hospital, they sent us to "labor at home".  Well, that was a disappointment!  We were so close to meeting our little girl but still had to wait.  So for three days I had contractions.  They didn't stay regular.  but they were still there.
It wasn't until a few days later that we were having dinner and they started to get regular again.  All day that day they were about 30 minutes apart, but at dinner they were only 15.  By the time Joel and I went to bed at 10:30 they were less than 5 and getting closer and closer!  Was this it?  Another call to the doctor and she said to come in.  This was it!
We arrived at the hospital to find that I was 3cm dilated and within an hour I was to 5.  After about 2 hours at the hospital I was given an epidural and it was wonderful.  I was able to rest and relax and feel no pain.  When I got to 7cm, my labor stalled and the doctor finally gave me a little boost of pitocin (a medicine to speed up labor) and before I knew it it was time to push!
The pushing part I thought would be scary but it really wasn't.  It was just me and Joel and a nurse for the majority of it and we had the lights low and it was very calm.  The only scary part was that every time I pushed Olive's heart rate would drop and an alarm would go off.  In between though the nurse gave me oxygen and it would pop her heart rate back up.  Everyone seemed pretty calm about it but after almost 2 hours the doctor came in and thought we should speed up the process.  Her head was stuck and with her heart rate dropping it was a good idea to just get her out.  The doctor ended up using forceps to grab her, but not before the anesthesiologist came in to give me a boost of pain meds.  Because we chose the forceps, our room was suddenly flooded with people.  Extra nurses for me and for Olive were on standby for when she actually came out to make sure that her rapid birth didn't affect her.  Within a minute she was out and Joel was able to cut the cord and I was able to hold her in my arms.  They placed her on my chest and all I could really see of her was her tiny ear and I couldn't believe that she was finally in the world.  The hospital gave Joel and I plenty of time to fawn over her before weighing and bathing her.  While the nurse was bathing her she said exactly what we were thinking, Olive was perfect!
The rest of our stay at the hospital was wonderful.  We loved all the staff at Lutheran and we had plenty of visitors to come see our bundle of joy.  It was so nice to get home though, and take a nap while grandma watched her for a bit!
Over the past week, we have had so many people coming to the house to see her and have even had out of town visitors coming from all over to hold her.  Last night we had her baptism and Joel decided to be baptized as well.  It was very special, so many people coming to bless Olive and Joel on the big day.
Well, that is it for now, Olive is one week today and we can't even remember what life was like without her.  God has really blessed us and we are thankful everyday!
Now for the good stuff.... millions of baby pics!

First moments on earth.

First bath at the hospital.
Daddy was so happy!

Meeting grandma.
Meeting Grandpa.

Meeting Uncle James and Grandpa Lissy 
First pacifier.

At hospital, sleeping with her wubba nub.

Baby's first ride!

Heading home, too small for my carseat!

Made it home!

Welcome Olive!

Baby burrito.

First walk on golf course.

First nap in crib, with nervous mom and dad.

She loves her vibrating chair!

At the baptizm.


Lots more photos to come, even her first photo shoot!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Lissy's Next Move...

I think I have been keeping you all waiting long enough to hear of our next adventure!  I am sure you all have been holding your breath in anticipation (well, maybe not) but here is our big announcement...
Joel and I are moving to Grand Cayman!  
If you are facebook friends with me then you saw recently we took a few days to travel down there.  It felt like vacation but it really was a little looksy to see if it was a place that we wanted to live for the next couple of years and to see if Joel was a good fit at his new company.  He loved everyone he met at work, and signed the contract just a few weeks after!  So we are heading down there at the end of the month.  Everyone has asked us why Caymans and I know it seems like a huge change from crazy Shanghai but it will be great for Joel's work.  Grand Cayman is a huge hub for finance because there are no taxes, so it draws a lot of private equity firms.  So Joel will still be in the same line of work, just with a little more sand and sun!  We also thought it would be such a great family friendly place for our growing family.  Olive will be a water baby!
Here are the details that we know so far...
Our move date is dependent on when Olive arrives (she better come tomorrow!) but Joel is hoping to start August 1st.  He will fly out a few days early, find us a house and a car and get a little settled and then my mom will fly down with me and Olive shortly after.  We looked at houses when we were there but it was too early to start a rental so we are hopeful he will find something quickly!  Island living comes at a steep price but we are keeping our fingers crossed for the perfect place!
Who knows how long we will stay, it will all depend on Joel's job but we can't see staying shorter than 3 years.  A lot of Joel's coworkers said they were only supposed to be there a few years and then just stayed so we will see!
That is all I know for now, we are hoping to have lots of visitors so start planning your trip to see us!

Here are a few pics from our trip:

Joel enjoying a boat ride.

Joel swimming with the sting rays... I wouldn't get in!

Look how many there were!


Preggo on the boat.


I was a little sunburned...this may be my life for the next couple of years!

View from our Condo.

Beach Babe!

I guess I could stand looking at this everyday ; )

Fresh lobster mac and cheese.

Relaxing on our patio.


Joel at Coconut Joe's.

Joel in "hell" (a volcanic outcropping)

The belly at sunset.

So that is our big announcement!  We are excited/ nervous for this next chapter in our lives, but what could be so bad about a new baby and a beach move??  Life is good!

Now we just have to wait for the baby part.  Send me good labor thoughts so she can arrive on time tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

China Catch Up- Zhuo Zhuang Water Town

Another China catch up post is from a day we went to Zhuo Zhuang, which is a water town a few hours outside the city with some friends.  We hired a private car and driver for the 6 of us and spent the day exploring and eating in the small town.  It was really a nice day, we took a boat ride and window shopped and would recommend it as a day outside the city!

View of the canals.

Joel buying a snack, spicy peanuts!

Boat ride!

the group exploring.

Fish market.


Showing a bit of the baby bump!

Goodbye Zhuo Zhuang!

End of a great day!

I think this was my last catch up post to show our pics from China!  The next post will be way more exciting... where are the Lissy's going next???