Saturday, April 26, 2008

Closing the Deal

We are officially homeless. After 6 months on the market we decided to take it off the market March 31 for a couple months until things calmed down with the baby. We got an offer on March 29 and came to agreement on the 31st. Lucky Day, but I was always a little nervous that our agreement would fall through.

Yesterday at 12:30 our realtor called me and asked if we were ready to close. I said "Sure, when is it?" His response: "Can you make it to Grandville by 2:00?" Not a lot of notice, but we got it done.

Less than 30 days until we will be Zeelanders.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Popular Baby

Erin and I decided we wanted to be surprised by the gender of our baby at birth. With everyone really curious about when the baby would be born and what the gender would be, we had a lot of fun making phone calls Friday morning and afternoon.

Evelyn was the first grandchild on both the Elenbaas and Veldhof sides so there was an added level of excitement for her birth. The new grandparents quickly made their way to the hospital on Friday to meet Evelyn.

Evelyn was also the first great grandchild in the Soper family. I am the 4th of 20 Soper grandchildren, so G&G Soper knew it was only a matter of time, but I was happy that Evie could be the first and I think they were too!
Evie made Derek and Dave first time uncles and Carissa and Lindsay first time aunts. For Evie's contribution we expect lots of free babysitting.I think this is a neat picture. 4 generations of Elenbaas women. Three married into the Elenbaas family and Evie was lucky enough to be born into it :)The male counterparts with Evie.Plenty of other friends and family visited to make our hospital stay very exciting.
In the quiet hospital moments Erin and I enjoyed the chance to hold and cuddle with our new daughter.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Evelyn's Birthday

It really started on Thursday afternoon. Erin was having contractions more frequently than before and they were now starting to become a little painful. When I returned home from work at 5:00 they were still sporadic and on average about 30 minutes apart so we decided to proceed with our evening plans. Our evening plans were ambitious - grocery shop, check out a furniture sale on the NW side, car shop, and buy a crib from a baby store on the SE side. We hoped we could get all this done and perhaps speed up the labor with all the activity.

The weather was absolutely awful. Hard rain, 35-40 degrees, and huge wind gusts. Going from car to store was miserable. But by the end of it all we had bought groceries, bought a crib, found a vehicle we liked, and rented a movie. At the end of the movie it was 11:30 and Erin's contractions were 10-15 minutes apart. We debated going to the hospital but Erin didn't want to be sent home so we decided to try to get some sleep and let her labor continue to progress.
At 12:15 I fell asleep and Erin read. Erin never fell asleep as her contractions continued to strengthen. At 1:30 she got out of bed, showered, had a snack, and called her doctor. At 2:58am Erin woke me up, smiled, and said "Do you want to go have a baby?" I smiled and said "Yes."

We packed the car and arrived at the hospital at 3:45. This is when Erin's work connections began to pay off. We walked into ER and instead of checking into triage we were sent straight to a corner room on labor in delivery. Erin's work friends had even decorated it for us.

Erin changed into the hospital gown and the nurses began monitoring her. From 4:00 to 4:45 Erin's contractions became more uncomfortable and a nurse broke her water. As soon as her water broke the contractions really picked up intensity. After 20 minutes the anesthesiologist came to give an epidural. The epidural worked like a charm as the contractions were now essentially painless for Erin as her labor continued to progress.

From 6:00 to 8:00 it almost felt like we were just hanging out. Erin's nurse friends came and went and we passed the time with small talk. Finally at 8:15 they began preparing Erin to push.
Erin did amazing! For 6-7 contractions Erin pushed and the baby moved perfectly into place. The doctor told her that the next one was it.
The whole time Erin pushed I sat by her head and just watched Erin. I don't have a good stomach for blood and was happy to stay on the other side of it. But when Erin made her last push the nurse told me "look, it's the head!" I looked down and saw it, and my emotions overwhelmed me. The baby began crying right away and as the shoulders passed Erin reached down and grabbed the now crying baby. What a moment!

As Erin picked up our newborn, she looked and proclaimed "It's a girl."
I'm so proud of Erin; she was amazing. I think being a labor and delivery nurse was both good and bad. On the one hand, Erin knew in theory just what to do. But on the other hand, she also knows what can go wrong. Well we were blessed with a great delivery, we couldn't have asked for anything better.

As we both cried tears of joy the doctor had me cut the umbilical cord and then the nurses took our baby daughter to be weighed.
She was a healthy 8 lbs, 1 oz and 21 inches long. Her official birth time was 8:47 am on April 11. We named her Evelyn Elizabeth Elenbaas.

Erin's friends Amy and Carla came in to be her nurses for the delivery. They were terrific and it was fun to have them with us.
After Erin and Evelyn were cleaned up we shared a few special moments as a new family.

The entire experience was awesome. It is hard to describe the emotions we experienced because there were so many. My clearest memmories will be of Evelyn's head coming out and Erin announcing "it's a girl." I am a proud dad and even a prouder husband. Praise be to God!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Baby Elenbaas

Introducing Evelyn Elizabeth Elenbaas. What a miraculous gift from God she is. Many more details to come; for now please enjoy this pictures of our brand new baby daughter.

It has been a very long day. This just about sums it up, my two little girls...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Life Changes

Four years ago I had several significant life changing events within a 6 week period. They were:
  • Graduated from college
  • Started my career
  • Moved (from a college house to an apartment 10 miles away)
  • Married Erin

Overall, those changes were smooth and easy. Graduating college made me very happy. My new job was with the same company I had interned with the summer before and part time throughout the school year so there was really nothing new, except I made some money and didn't have to go back to school. My move was just to the other side of GR. Getting married is a big deal, but it isn't as big of a change as you think considering you date for years, get engaged for a year, and by the time you're married you already know so much about each other.

Now I'm about to embark on another phase of rapid life changes.

  • Have a child
  • Move (from Kentwood to Zeeland)
  • Buy a new vehicle
  • Change job responsibilities.

I would argue this set of changes will be a little more difficult. None of these changes have happened yet, but in the next 2 months they will probably all happen. Yikes.