Snow Day

The only bad thing about having a soft-coated dog...snow days. Caleb is like a snowball magnet.


They Just Keep Coming

I'm a little late in posting this great news, but I feel better when I realize Pete hasn't even posted this to his own blog yet:
I have another neice or nephew on the way!!! My sister Amber and her husband Pete are expecting baby #2 in October. For those of you doing the math...yes, Elijah and his little brother or sister will only be 13 months apart! Yikes! Amber & Pete weren't planning on having their kids so close together, but praise God, a baby is still a blessing and God's timing is always perfect!
I'm super excited. I think it's a girl. At least I kind of hope it's a girl - that way Rae won't be totally outnumbered. :) But it would also be fun for Elijah to have a brother so close in age to himself.
This is the cute picture they took to share the news with Pete's family.

Welcome sweet baby!!! Your Auntie can't wait to meet you!

Two and a Half Weeks


A few more pictures

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Everything is going great and I can't believe how big Israel is getting already. She now has a double chin and is filling out the clothes that would have drowned her two weeks ago. She is awake longer during the day now and continues to sleep very well.
Here are a few more pictures!


Social Butterfly

Israel made her first social calls today, first to visit my friend Jenn at Target Corp. downtown, and then across the street to meet the gang at WCCO-TV, including Uncle Bill Carlson. :)



Not Much New

We are still doing great and having fun getting to know our baby girl. Yesterday she took her first big outing to the Camping & RV Show at the Convention Center. :)
Here are some pictures from her first family dinner with the Harpels. Thanks to Grandma Harpel for getting some pics of me with my girl - I've been behind the camera so much that I didn't have any with her other than in the hospital!

I love this one...


Doctor, doctor, give me the news

Today Israel had her first doctor's appointment. She is healthy and strong, and has gained back all of her birth weight plus one ounce. Thank you Jesus for a healthy little girl. We were concerned about a hint of jaundice, but Dr. Spencer says she looks great.
We had a bit of a scare today, though. When I was filling out Rae's paperwork for being a new patient, we found out that her health insurance does not contract with our clinic! I am covered there on my insurance through WCCO, but JP and Israel are on Minnesota Care's Metropolitan Health Plan, and the clinic doesn't work with that plan. I nearly started crying because I was so upset that she wouldn't get to see Dr. Spencer. And since I will soon be on Minnesota Care too, I would not be able to have Dr. Spencer deliver our future children. After finding such an amazing doctor, I was so upset.
But HALLELUJAH - I called MN Care as soon as I got home and requested to switch onto a different health plan that would include the clinic in our network. At first the guy told me we couldn't switch until next fall (so we'd still need to find a new doctor for Rae), but then he put me on hold and did some checking around. Turns out the law changed just recently and we were able to switch to Medica. That was a huge relief to both me & JP. (Have we mentioned how much we love this doctor?) :)
So anyhow - that's the doctor update. I also had good news - I have already lost nearly all of my pregnancy weight. Guess I was all baby, and I'm sure nursing has a ton to do with it.
That's what's new for today!


Gift of Peace

JP and I have both been amazed at how peaceful of a little girl we have. She is every mother's dream baby. She eats full feedings when it's time to eat. She is awake, alert, and cute during her "awake" times. She goes down for her naps without crying and sleeps peacefully the whole time. The only times she ever cries is when she's either cold (like during diaper changes) or gassy.
God ministered to us yesterday that she is our gift of peace in a time of storm. Normally, newborn babies are associated with sleepless nights, red eyes, and extreme fatigue. Things have been rather stressful for JP at work, and the last thing he needed was a stressful home situation right now. So God blessed us with a peaceful baby. JP is able to pick her up and forget about all of the weights he's carrying. She brings peace to our home instead of fatigue.
We thank God for this special, amazing gift.

Bath Time

Today I gave Israel her first bath (well, other than the one they gave her at the hospital). I didn't have anyone there to take pictures of her during it - but it was cute. She never screamed, just moaned and wimpered. She was very happy to be wrapped up in her towel once it was all over!


More Pics

I'll just keep them coming...


Look Alikes

The top picture is of JP when he was a newborn, the other two are of Rae.
Check out the nose, lips, eyes - she is 100% Charlebois!

Rae Rae

This picture is the one that I think most clearly illustrates what little Israel looks like. C'mon people - you can't tell me she's not gorgeous!!!
We had an AMAZING night last night! Israel did not cry more than just a peep here and there, and I was able to sleep all night long other than getting up to feed her. I probably got between 6-8 hours of sleep between 8:00pm and 7:00am. It was such an answer to prayer! She has been going down for her naps NO SWEAT! I think the secret (other than God's goodness) is the baby papasan. She hated sleeping in her crib, so we put her down in the chair and she has been doing awesome.


Daddy's Girl

Israel is SUCH a daddy's girl. Not only is she the spitting image of him (check back tomorrow for the comparison photo of JP as a baby and Israel), she also adores being with him. These pictures are reflective of her favorite part of the day - daddy cuddle time.
Daddy, in return, is reduced to a pile of mush every time he gets to hold her like this.


Back Home

Hi Everybody!
This is Audra typing again (Thanks, Dad, for filling in!). We are home tonight, Sunday. The doctor said we could stay till tomorrow or come home now and we opted to come on home.
We are so, so excited about our little baby Israel. She is the most beautiful, amazing thing I've ever laid my eyes on.
I am exhausted and will write more about the whole experience tomorrow or sometime soon. Right now I need to take a nap.
Here are some pictures from our camera. She looks so different today than she did yesterday now that her face isn't quite so swollen anymore.
Love to all of you - thanks for your support and prayers!

Proud Mom And Dad

One more picture this morning. Here is the proud Mom and Dad holding Israel in their arms. "We are family"


Two More Pictures

Here are two more good pictures of Israel thanks to grandma Gail. This will have to be enough for today as I have not slept since Friday noon. Enjoy.

Israel Is Here

Israel arrived today at 4 PM She was beautiful. She looked like her Dad. She had the most beautiful ruby red lips I have ever seen. Her hair is dark. She does not cry much. Both mother and baby are doing well.

The labor went along well at first, however it was slow. It took some time for Audra to finally get to 4 cm dilated. At that point they finally could give her an epidural. Her spirits picked back up and she was even able to rest and take a relaxing bath.

The work of labor took place without pain but then they added pitosin. This is a drug designed to speed up labor and it has its effect. Audra began to shake and tremble. Labor continued to 9 cm dilated and then the transition began. Soon the nurses gave Audra permission to push at about 1:45 PM. At 3:51 officially, Israel entered this world to her huge awaiting family.

The Harpels, Charlebois, and many others filled the waiting room and spilled out into the halls. It is a good thing that it was a quiet night in maternity. There was no room for anybody else in the room. Brothers, sisters, moms, dads, nieces, nephews, were all blessed to hear that everything went well.

Israel was 7 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long. And everything was perfect. Finally it was time to sleep 12 hours after the first call. Glory !

I am sorry I was not able to blog all day due to the fact that blogger was down for routine maintenance. Better late than never. Amen?

Live Birth Blogging Update 2

We are here at the hospital. JP just stepped out for food. Audra is resting at about 2 CM New revised estimate. We may be here until noon. Everything is fine. Mama and baby are doing well.

It's Baby Time! WOO HOO!!

It's 4:23 am and we are about to head to the hospital!
My water broke at around 3:00 am this morning. Right away the contractions were about 5-5.5 minutes apart. I called the hospital and they said come on in!
My dad will be updating this blog with news and pictures as things progress. Please be praying for us!!!!!


Live Birth Blogging

Hey everybody,
This is not Audra typing this. This is her Dad. Audra asked me to take over the blogging responsibilities while she has the baby. And she is having the baby.
We are not at the hospital yet. It is 4 AM and she just called and said that her water has broken and she will be at the hospital at 4:30 AM The contractions are moving from the 5 minute range into the 4 min range. I figure Israel will be here at about sun up.

Well, better pack up here and head for the hospital myself. Thank you Jesus.


Baby Update

Today I left the doctor's office with a big smile on my face for the first time in weeks!
The report is that I am 1 cm dialated and 50-60% effaced. Dr. Spencer said this is good - the fact that I'm already dialating (and I didn't even know it) probably means that when I DO go into labor, things will move along rather quickly.
So here's the plan (sorry if this is gross to anybody): if the baby hasn't come by next Wednesday, they are going to send me to St. John's for a Non-stress test (to make sure the baby is okay) and they will administer this gel that is supposed to help ripen my cervix. If nothing happens, I'll go back on Thursday and get the gel again. If that still doesn't work, they will induce me on Friday. That's only one week away! The end is in sight!
Of course, anything and everything could happen between now and Wednesday, as well.
Oh, and I gained one more pound this week, putting me at 27 pounds total so far. Not bad!
I am so encouraged. I totally thought that I would have come out of the office today thinking no progress had been made and that this baby was still 2 weeks away from arriving. Thank you Jesus for this encouraging news right when I needed it most!

Urine Meth Labs

This is so disturbing.
In the news: Meth addicts are turning to urine to get high. Some people drink the meth-tainted urine to get high, while others filter the drug back out through the cooking process.
You can read the whole story here. Yuck.
It's amazing what addictions will lead people to do. The lust, the desire is so strong, they'd be willing to drink urine for the buzz.


14.5 POUND BABY!!!

Have you guys seen this in the news yet?
a 14.5 pound baby was born in Cancun, Mexico on Monday. His name is Antonio, and he drinks five ounces of milk every three hours, and is 22 inches long. Antonio's mom delivered an 11 pound baby girl seven years ago.
The biggest baby ever born was a 22 pound, 8 ounce boy born in Italy in 1955. CAN YOU IMAGINE???? Yikes!
Of course, these babies are born via C-section.

Here is Antionio compared to a "normal" sized newborn:


Today I am officially "overdue."
January 31st came and went with no sign of baby, so I guess we're having a February girl after all!
Please continue to pray for me, JP and baby Israel. I am battling frustration that we still haven't gotten to meet her yet. But I know that "He makes all things beautiful IN HIS TIME," so I'm doing my best to both "hope and quietly wait." :)
I believe that God is using every extra day in the womb to fine tune her digestive, immune and respiratory systems so that she will be born healthy and without any of daddy's allergies, asthma, or stomach issues.
Then again, maybe she is more than ready to go and God is just trying to teach me patience!
We love you, Rae, and we can't wait to meet you!!!