Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Zero Birthday Noelle Ruth Maschhoff!!

What began at 10pm on Sunday, April 27 culminated at 3:59pm on Monday, April 28 with the arrival of our beautiful Noelle.

Expected: Noelle is healthy and so am I. Our doctors and medical staff were great. Joe and I got to wear some really stylish outfits while in the hospital...hee! There was pain (yikes). I learned to LOVE epidurals. We're blown away with how much we love this little girl already!

Unexpectedly: Joe was NOT a basket-case when it came to the sights/sounds. We delivered via c-section after a long labor. Our two-day hospital stay was extended to four or five.

Thank you, God, for your presence, your miracle, and your goodness. Thank you, friends, for upholding our family in prayer and for sending us your love. We're so excited!!!!!!!!!

Noelle says hello!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's game-time!

Well, the hour has come! We can't believe we are actually heading to the hospital with hopes of meeting our precious Noelle sometime tomorrow! I finally packed my bags...it was a bit of a process (poor Joe!), showered, touched and re-set everything in our corner nursery one last time, and am finally ready to make the six-minute drive to Noey's place of birth. I'm sure a large, lovely, downy-soft bed awaits me, with plush linens and a terry-cloth bathrobe. Yeah right!!

Our doc plans on trying some mysterious strategies to help me dilate, and to start pitocin in small amounts right away. Yikes! Wild! Someone pinch me!
We'll be sending text-message updates to our family throughout the night and will update all as soon as we can.

Thank you Jesus for miracles. Please keep Noelle safe, give the doctor's wisdom, and help Joe and I to feel your comforting presence throughout it all. You're faithful...she's your beautiful creation and gift to us. Thank you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Farmer's Market - L.A. Style!

As our two-person family days wind down, Joe and I have enjoyed many special moments together. Tonight we dined at one of LA's hot spots for local cuisine and people watching...the Farmer's Market at the Grove. All sorts of ethnic and cultural food stands surround a large semi-outdoors plaza. We feasted on Brazilian BBQ for dinner...garlic chicken and steak....scrumptious! And fine-tuned our French taste for dessert...yummy strawberry/banana crepe and good coffee. As we sat around at various tables and bars, we couldn't help but thank God for this exciting and diverse city in which we live.

Ahh....these days are so fun. We look foward to our newest addition and sometimes just want to scream we want her here so bad, but we will always cherish the days of Joe and Joy.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Joy Rides and Jazz

What are friends for?? After being treated to a scrumptious brunch of homemade Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, eggs and bacon...Lindsay and Dave took us out in their latest blessing from above.

Lindsay won a free lease on a mini cooper at a benefit dinner for the private school we both taught at. Kind of a nice change of pace from the Buick, eh Lins?!

We even found out that you CAN fit two girls in the back seat!

After an afternoon of mini-coopering it up, Joe and I got ourselves snazzed up for a night on the town with Kristine. We LOVED listening to some latin jazz at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, and then sampled heavenly desserts in our favorite BH hotspot...Urth Cafe. Yum!

B-Dizzle and Su-Scrizzle

How fun to have our friends Bryce and Susan visit! Bryce and Susan are expecting their third child...and are due one month after us. They lead the Navigator ministry at University of Arizona, are long-time friends of Joe, and prayed for me years before ever meeting me.

Together, we explored Hermosa Beach, shopped for baby items, enjoyed Beverly Hills, and visited our new home. Good people, the Bouchards!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Save the Date

We saw our doctor for our 37 week appointment today. Noelle looks healthy, although her tummy is still small. We talked labor details, and we set a date! If Noelle doesn't make her grand entrance before, we will enter the hospital on Sunday, April 27 and induce labor on Monday, April 28. Wow...dates! We'll soon have this little one in our arms....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Will she come tonight???

I can't wait to meet our little Noelle....

Our due date is only three weeks away now...so she could come any time! We received some news at our last doctor's appt. that was not our favorite...but seems more okay to us now. My doc wasn't happy with my belly growth, so she ordered an ultrasound and measured Noelle. Noelle's head and leg size were right on target for her age, but her belly was measuring about two weeks behind. My doc said this is a signal that my placenta is probably starting to age and not transfer nutrients as efficiently. She sent us to an ultrasound specialist so they could look more closely. That doctor confirmed that her belly IS behind, and that this is due to placenta, but watched/listened to the blood flow in/out of the placenta and wasn't overly alarmed. He just said that I need to rest these next weeks and that I shouldn't be allowed to carry Noelle past 39 weeks. He also said I need to get ultrasounds each week to keep an eye on measurements and amniotic fluid levels. .... I'm thankful to God for this technology to help us track her health, and praying that God allow me to begin labor naturally before they would want to induce me or c-section.
Any tips for encouraging labor to start?!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Baby Shower for Noelle

What a special day! Auntie Kristine, Auntie Erika, and Grandma Maschhoff threw a beautiful shower for Noelle and I. Good friends from around southern California gathered and blessed us immensely.

We enjoyed delicious food, fun games, thought-filled sharing on verses and truths surrounding motherhood, an intimate prayer time, and lots of present-opening!

So many beautiful women!

Thanks, Jesus, for taking care of us!

Our niece...Vivian Joy!

Our precious niece, Vivian Joy, was born 5 weeks ago to my sister Kristi and brother-in-law Jens. What a ripple of joy this sent among our family! We love her so much already, and look forward to a life-time of watching her grow and develop.

Kristi had a long and difficult labor, but wouldn't trade a moment of it for the gift she receieved at the end.

I got to visit her while Joe was in Nigeria. I loved our sweet moments together.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Back on U.S. Soil!

It was with mixed emotions that I dropped off Joe at LAX two and a half weeks ago. He had an exciting adventure ahead! He had the privilege of traveling to Nigeria with Mike Jordahl (our US Navigator Collegiate Director). The two of them would be visiting with Nigerian staff, speaking at a student conference, and soaking up whatever they could learn from our friends in Nigeria.

But so far away!! All the 'what ifs" filled my mind and heart. What if the baby came early? What if Joe was injured? What if I never saw him again? What if, what if, what if.... Thanks be to our steadfast God who walked with me through my fears, blessed my week with family and friends in Colorado, kept my husband safe, and glorified His name in Nigeria!
Below is a picture of Joe and Mike with some of the young staff and students at the University of Nigeria.

And now...hooray!...I have my husband back in my sight! He's recovered well from jet-lag and is hitting the ground running with responsibilities here in the Sunland region.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ode to Big Bellies

Week 35... only 5 weeks to go! Who knew bellies could grow this big? We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl, Noelle. Our doc tells us she is fattening up and growing more and more scrunched in there every day. Joy's craving for Golden Grahams cereal has been particularly strong lately.

Thanks to Paul, our token photographer, for his recent belly shots. We'll be sure to recruit you for baby shots before long...