Monday, May 16, 2011

Graduation Day--Saturday, May 14

My baby is five weeks old today.  I swear it seems like he should be five months old.

Today was my long awaited graduation ceremony.  So much has happened since completing my coursework and thesis this past February; the actual ceremony seems long overdue.  I am proud of the work I completed and the impact my studies had on my teaching.  It feels really good to say I have a Master's Degree.

It feels even better to take Jackson to Montreat.  Montreat is a college as well as a conference center.  It instantly feels like home every time I drive through the stone gate.  I have been involved with Montreat summer camps every year since I was 13.  Jesse and I were chaperones for my former youth group this past summer.  It was there that I first suspected I was pregnant.  That suspicion was confirmed with a positive pregnancy test the day we returned home.  I pray that Jackson will be able to have such positive experiences at Montreat one day and feel God's love, just as I have.

We prepared for the day by packing the diaper bag, preparing two 5-ounce bottles (of breastmilk), and feeding and changing Jackson.  The drive was just over two hours so we were hoping Jackson could go without eating.  Jesse needed to stop after an hour and a half to use the restroom so I went ahead and changed and fed Jackson in the car.  We were back on our merry way.  We had planned to leave early enough to be able to enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of my favorite Italian restaraunts in Black Mountain.  I had to meet in the auditorium for directions and lining up an hour early, so Jesse met up with my sisters, nephews, and his parents.  The actual ceremony was quite dull and long.  Jackson consumed one of his bottles, slept, and was held by family members.  Afterwards, we walked around the campus and took pictures.

Happy Family

The Three Sisters with Our Sons
 My sisters joined us for dinner at Denny's.  Despite very poor service, we enjoyed lots of laughter and cheap food.  Jackson consumed his second bottle before we even ordered.  I would be absolutely lost without my sisters and husband, so it was very fitting that they were able to share in another milestone moment. 

By the time we were finished eating and ready to drive home, he was hungry again.  Having not nursed in eight hours, my boobs were heavy and engorged.  I had to manually express 3 ounces of milk into a bottle before he was even able to latch.  Before long we were on our way home.  Thirty minutes later and we had one majorly screaming baby.  I pulled over to get gas and Jesse sat in the back seat to offer Jackson the pacifier, blanket, and comfort. It rained the entire way.  My body was so tense trying to see the dark, wet roads.  As soon as got off the interstate I pulled over and made Jesse drive the last ten minutes home.

Jackson was once again hungry but I geuinely felt like my chest was going to rupture.  Jesse gave him the 3 ounces I had expressed while I pumped a whopping 10 ounces, then offered Jackson my breast.  Now that we are unpacked, bathed, and changed we are off to bed!

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