Friday, December 26, 2008

Payton Joy's Birth Story

Payton Joy’s Birth Story
December 17, 2008

On Tuesday, December 16 my water broke at 6:45 a.m. I was uncertain if it truly WAS my water that had broken, so I spent most of the day at home waiting around to see if contractions would increase. They started around 8:20 a.m. and I had four within that first hour, which was a great sign. They slowed to about one per 45 minutes for the remainder of the day. I knew it was not “active labor,” and I really wanted to stay at home for most of my labor if at all possible. Michael convinced me to call the doctor around 2:00 p.m. that day just to tell them what had happened up until that point. They wanted me to come in to be checked to determine if it was, in fact, my water that had broken.

So we checked into the hospital at 5:00 p.m. They determined that my water had broken, so they told us to get settled in for the duration. Since it had already been almost 12 hours since my water broke, they were instantly concerned about the slow onset of contractions, and they wanted to put me on Pitocin to get the contractions going. Our wishes were to go as “natural” as possible with this labor, so we had to decide if we wanted to artificially start the contractions with the synthetic hormone. After much discussion and deliberation, we agreed to start on the lowest level of Pitocin just to jump start the process around 7:00 p.m. that evening. By 11:00 p.m., my contractions were strong and steady and quite intense. In fact, they were often occurring one on top of the other not allowing much time for me to breathe in between! I went at that pace for about 45 minutes but then I asked for an epidural. I had intended to “go natural” but the intensity of the contractions was overwhelming! I have never experienced any pain like that in my entire life. In fact, I felt like I was dying. All women out there who have had children before are shaking their heads in total agreement with me right now. Needless to say, I DID experience a “natural” labor for about 18 hours (since that morning) but once I had that epidural, I felt like a new woman. I regained strength for what ended up being a much longer, arduous night and the following day.

By 10:00 a.m., I was dilated to 10 and 100% effaced. The labor nurse asked me to practice pushing, which quickly turned into the real stage of pushing. Michael was on my right, and my sister, Anne, was on my left. Let me rabbit trail real quick here, and tell you just how much of a CHAMPION my husband was for me during the whole experience. Not only did he do interesting and funny things to distract me during the slower times of labor, but he also confronted every challenge with strength and resolve. He was definitely my advocate at every turn, and he remained a strong tower through it all. I am so glad that I had HIM as my partner, and I could not have asked for anything more from him. I met a whole new side of him during this experience, and I love him more because of it!

After 3 ½ hours of pushing, the baby’s head was wedged in my pubic symphysis at station 0 (station 5 is crowning/birth). For some reason, my pubic bones did not want to spread to accommodate her 14 ½ inch head. I was shocked. In fact, I was truly in disbelief that my body was not properly responding to the process. The baby’s heartbeat had been very strong and steady all through the night up until the last 45 minutes of pushing. The doctor knew how much we wanted a vaginal birth and they were doing everything within reason to support our wishes, but then she told me it was now affecting the baby. She was just as tired as I was after all that pushing and it was causing her distress. Well, like any parents would do, we gave up our notion of “natural” birth and agreed to do a cesarean section. It was very, very upsetting to us, and I broke down out of sheer exhaustion and disappointment. I could not stop crying. I asked for more drugs and they whisked me away promptly into surgery.

I was so looped up on the pain meds that my eyes could not focus on anything. I only remember feeling them tug on me and prepare me for surgery and talking to me occasionally. Once they were about to begin surgery, the only thing I said was, “Where’s my husband?” His voice came from behind my left shoulder, “I’m right here, Babe.” That’s all I needed to hear!

On Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 1:59 p.m., our precious Payton Joy was born. The doctor held her up for me to see her, and both of her hands were in fists! I remember thinking, “She came out fighting!” Within minutes, they laid her across my chest, and I got to hold her for the first time. She weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz., and measured 21 inches. We took lots of pictures, and I felt at ease for the first time in 31 hours.

It was probably one of life’s most traumatic experiences for both Michael and me. It teaches us that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that we have to be flexible enough to weather the proverbial storms as they occur. The result was the same, however: a healthy, happy baby who brings insurmountable joy into our lives! Holding her in our arms over-shadows all 31 hours of the unpredictable labor and delivery. Thank God for that!

So we have ourselves a Christmas baby. She is our Christmas Joy, and we are celebrating her birth alongside the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of HIM that she was conceived in my womb. God knew that we needed her in our lives for such a time as this. God also knew that we were going to have a perfect, happy baby. What else could anyone hope for? I thank God for our Payton Joy. She is the best Christmas gift of all!!

We appreciate all of your prayers and well-wishes.

Much love,
Michael, Christy, Payton, and Maya

For more photos go to: Ghaffari Photos

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Payton Joy Arrives December 17, 2008

Without further ado, let me introduce to you our perfectly precious baby girl, Payton Joy! Weighing in at 8 lbs, 6 oz, and measuring 21 inches long. See video below for Payton and Mommy's first meeting.

Payton's Birthing Day
(1:59 p.m.)

Papa's new grandbaby
Her first bath!

Day Two (after Momma's more coherent)

Mommy meets Payton


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Waiting Game

I realized it had been awhile since I last posted on this blog, so I figured I'd send out an update. Of course, most everyone knows that we are past our due date (Dec. 5). Tomorrow (Monday), it will be ten days. My mother was about two weeks late with all but one of her kids (5 total), so I feel as if this might be in the genes! Frankly, even taking after my Mother regarding my pregnancies and birth tendencies is something I can and will be proud of no matter how impatient I might get.

The doctor has scheduled an induction for Tuesday, Dec. 16, however, I am feeling more and more uneasy about going through with it. I feel that I need to give my body a full two-week window to go into labor on its own. Thankfully, this has been a perfect, healthy pregnancy. At my ultrasound last Friday, the doctor said Payton looked wonderful and seemed perfectly happy and content. Why disrupt something that has already gone SO smoothly just because we or the doctors are impatient? NATURE cannot be controlled, therefore, I hesitate to try to do so. If Baby G wants to stay in there a while longer, I don't have a problem with that. Granted, after this coming Friday, I will give in and allow them to induce me since most pregnancies do not fare well that last beyond the 42 week period.

What is unbelievable to me is that we are going to have a Christmas baby! I really did not think we'd be this close to the holiday when she was born. We have said since day one that she was a gift of JOY to us, and it only seems fitting that she be born during the true season of joy. You see, I believe God is in control of my body, Payton's life and hence her birth into our world. As long as we are both healthy, I find no reason to induce and disrupt the natural order of things.

Payton could come tonight or tomorrow or...the waiting game continues. I feel peace in my heart about this decision, and I trust all of my family and friends will support me in this final week as we patiently await her God-controlled arrival.

Love to you all,
Christy, Michael, Maya...and soon-to-be, Payton Joy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Prenatal Photos

To view all the photos taken by Susan Bryant, click the following link at Ghaffari Photos.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Payton Joy's Nursery

The walls are painted a light lavender, and the furniture is cherry wood. Michael did an awesome job installing the hardwood floors, too. It's exactly what I had envisioned!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Opryland Hotel's Christmas Lights

When Michael and I first became a couple in 2004, one of our first dates was to go see the lights at Opryland Hotel. We figured it was time for us to make another visit to the beautiful hotel since our little one will be here soon, and it just might be one of our last "dates" before we become parents forever.

We enjoyed walking through the Cascades Conservatory and the Delta Island to watch the dancing waterfalls, listen to holiday music, and absorb the millions of Christmas lights. It sure put me in the holiday spirit! I'm ready to put up my Christmas tree, now! Moreover, it was a special memory for us to make right before PJ's arrival into our little world. Who knew we'd end up getting married and having our first baby just four years after our first date at Opryland? Life is funny...but kinda neat like that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

36 weeks

I started maternity leave this week, and I've been running myself ragged with all the last minute appointments and things to get checked off my to-do list. It's silly, really, but after this week maybe I'll be able to rest a little more. We are still interviewing pediatricians but hope to make a decision by next week. I still have to pack my hospital bag and pick out my "labor music" but other than that, I feel totally ready for this baby!! My 36 week check up was good and normal, and my cervix is still in tact! No dilation yet. I'd like to take bets with all you folks who are SO sure she's coming early . We shall see...

Here's my 36 week belly:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

3D/4D Ultrasound

WOW, we had a fun time today at the 3D/4D ultrasound appointment! Rick, the technician and owner of the business, was very friendly and he spent more than the allotted time with us to get Payton to cooperate. After drinking some HI-C fruit juice and two trips to the bathroom, we were able to get some good shots of her chubby little face! She was head down (good news) and her legs were bent up next to her ears, so we had some funny shots with her little feet in them. Anything you see on the far left side of the picture next to her face is her foot! The umbilical cord was shadowing her face in many of the shots, but we finally got it out of the way to provide for a better picture. Also, the dark shadowing above her face is not hair...although, I'm sure she has plenty. Hope you enjoy these shots (and my commentary)!

Peaceful Sleeper

"Little Chops"

Pretty Girl - look at those kissable lips!

She's grinning!

Sweet Payton Joy

Saturday, October 4, 2008

31 weeks, only 9 weeks to go!

So many thoughts fill my head these last few weeks. Many of them good but some of them a bit anxious or uncertain. I hear that is normal with all pregnant women, so I just try to keep them at bay and truly exercise the scripture from 2 Cor. 10:5 that encourages us to, "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." To me, that means praying instead of worrying and then trusting that God is giving us this child as a GIFT from Him to raise and provide sound wisdom to in this earthly life. I can rest in that knowledge, and I just keep telling myself that she is a GIFT of JOY!

We have been attending child birth classes for four weeks now, and we only have two remaining. I have decided that they are meant to prepare new parents for "worst case scenario" and, in effect, have been contributing to my anxious thoughts! I do not want to walk into child birth being completely unaware and naive, however, so I have decided to take it ALL with a grain of salt. I understand what "could" happen but I am not going to focus on that. I'm going to focus on the natural progression of things to occur in their own timing. Women have been having babies for centuries and way before any medical interventions were created. God designed our bodies for this so I trust in His wisdom and perfect construction of MY body to handle it.

What sends my emotions for a whirl is when I see a newborn meeting his/her parents for the first time and their reaction to it, or when I see the mother put her new baby to breast for the first time. I cry EVERY time without fail. I have never been such a sap before but, then again, I've never been pregnant before either! Yeah, everyone says it's due to the raging pregnancy hormones, which I believe, but I think it's more than that. I think it's God preparing me to become a Mother by giving me that sensitivity toward the little one about to enter our world and change it drastically - forever! Having such a huge change would not be nearly as enjoyable or tolerable if you did not love that baby with every fiber of your being. I think THAT is what is happening, and I think it's wonderful.

I also love being able to share my thoughts via this blog without having to justify anything I say! So maybe THAT is why people become writers!?! They just need a safe outlet to share their many thoughts/opinions/decisions/research/etc. with the world and not have to listen to people's responses. What a great idea! It is rather liberating when you think about it like that. I do, of course, welcome any comments from my posts, so please feel free to leave comments on this site!

One last thing: our house is NOT ready for baby girl's arrival just yet...we still have to lay hardwood in the nursery; assemble the crib, dresser, and changing table; put all the wonderful clothes we've received away (which can't happen until the dresser is in place); lay new carpet in the living room; and buy a new couch, chair, dining room table, and chairs. It seems like a daunting task, and if we don't get to the carpet and new furniture before she arrives, it will be totally okay. These are just the goals we have made for ourselves. Goals are healthy and they propel us into action, right?

So that's the latest update on our lives as of today. Thank you for reading about it and thank you for caring about us and praying for us. We need each of you, and we really love having you in our lives! 9 weeks to go...and counting. :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I just returned from a blissful three days in...Las Vegas! One might wonder, how is Las Vegas blissful? Well, for a woman who is seven months pregnant who lounged by the pool during the day and ate at nice restaurants during the evenings, that's how it was blissful!! Michael attended a VMWare conference this week and invited me to tag along and keep him company in the evenings. At first, I wondered if I would have any fun but the minute I realized that Las Vegas is in the desert with 90 to 100 degree weather this time of year, I realized I'd be a fool not to take him up on his offer! I immediately started daydreaming of slathering SPF 30 across my big belly and lapping up every minute of that desert weather that I could handle! The pool was HUGE, and I swam laps and did tumbles in the water and it all felt SO good to me and PJ. I do believe water exercise has been an essential element in my pregnancy that I have been sorely missing. I just do not have a swimming pool at my disposal in good ol' Nashville, so I was happy to oblige myself in the Balley's Casino pool and sunshine.

On Monday night, I actually won $10 at the slots, and then we went to the top of Mandalay Bay Hotel into the VIP Foundation Room to see the most exquisite view of the strip...

And then we saw the Cirque de Soliel show, KA, on Tuesday evening. Our seats were right in the middle of the stage midway back - Michael spared no expense on that purchase!

Coming back to work today was not easy, however. The time change really got to me since I arrived at 12:30am CST to Nashville last night. I have been a zombie all day today but man, it was SO worth it! So I'm quite thankful to my precious husband who thought to invite me along on his work trip and allow me to enjoy pure indulgence just one last time before Baby Ghaffari enters our world and changes it forever - for the better!

Our trip to Italy earlier this year was wonderful yet very exhausting. I'm so happy to say that our trip to Vegas, however, was truly a "babymoon" getaway that allowed me to rest, relax, and read to my heart's content! Now on to the business of becoming a mother...stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Special Memory

When Mother was still with us back in February of this year, I was alone with her one morning. I was doing her hair and makeup for the day, and we were having a nice mother/daughter chat. Michael and I had decided to go off birth control, and I STRONGLY felt like I should tell my Mother. I didn’t want to tell anyone else, but I decided to tell her. I'm not kidding, it was like I had told her we were already pregnant!! She ooh’d and awe’d and got all excited! She started asking about the colors of the baby’s room and she said, "Well, you know I DO things when babies are on the way." She shared different ideas with me about making a blanket or crocheting little toys, etc. (She was big into crocheting since she was hoping to pick up the hobby again to help her pass her days at home.) I told her that nobody else knew and that it was our little secret!

So in a way, I did get to tell her about our pregnancy…it just hadn’t quite commenced yet. Now that I retell this story, I realize what a blessing that special moment between us really was. I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to share our decision to have a baby with her even though we were not pregnant yet. But to her, it had already happened so, in a way, she got to celebrate with us after all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DMS Test

I had the lovely privilege of drinking some awfully sweet, orange flavored cocktail this morning before my gestational diabetes test. They said that they would only call me if I tested positive for it. It has been over three hours and I still haven't heard from them yet. I wasn't too worried about it, honestly, but it's still nice to hear the confirmation verbally.

Something that I wasn't aware of that interested me is that I had to get a RhoGAM shot today because my blood type is O negative. If the baby's blood type is positive, and if it interacts with my blood type at any time, it could mean serious problems! So they gave me a shot today to basically neutralize my blood type IF it were to mix with the baby's. I will get another shot after delivery. I'm not worried about it but I found it interesting that I needed that shot in the first place. Oh the joys and discoveries of pregnancy! For more info, read about it at:

I am looking forward to my first baby shower in Missouri next weekend! It just solidifies little baby Payton's impending arrival into our world by sharing and celebrating with special friends and family members. It should be a good time!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Braxton Hicks...who knew?

Just two days ago, it was a beautiful Monday morning, and I excitedly took our precious pup, Maya, out for her morning walk. The cool, crisp air exhilarated me, and I felt like a million bucks! Not only that, it was my day off, which always gives me a crazy high since I get the whole day to myself to do whatever I need and/or WANT to do. Who doesn't love that?

I felt so good, I decided to jog for a few feet but soon after had to stop as Maya needed to do her "business." We briskly walked around the neighborhood with an occasional jog in between only for a few feet. Now, mind you, I am not a jogger usually but I just felt strong and happy and wanted to bounce around if only for a brief moment or two. After about 20 minutes of high intensity, heart rate increasing walking, my tummy started to tighten. It did not hurt but I could tell it was very, very firm and somewhat uncomfortable. I slowed my pace for the last ten minutes and finished the walk home. I did not really think too much of it since I immediately started stretching to cool down and drank at least 24 oz. of water.

About one hour later, I decided I needed to thoroughly vacuum and dust my hardwood floors in the bedroom, kitchen, dining room, foyer, and hallway as well as vacuum the carpet in the living room and the tile in the two bathrooms. First, I used the Swiffer Vac (which is pretty awesome for quick jobs) but decided I need the stronger vacuum cleaner to do a more thorough job. So I basically cleaned all of that surface area - TWICE. The whole intent was to mop and shine the hardwood but I could not do that until I cleaned them first (but of course). After cleaning and leaning, bending and twisting, sitting and squatting, for about 1.5 hours, guess what happened? My tummy tightened up again and made me stop completely! I was SO frustrated because I still needed to MOP everything (the whole purpose for the entire project). But alas, Baby G had other things in mind. I had to relegate myself to the fact that my body was tired and needed to slow down.

Needless to say, I experienced my first real Braxton Hicks contractions twice that day! I've read all about it and it's nothing to be concerned about unless it happens more than four times in one hour and if one feels pressure really low - neither of which applied to me. BUT I did learn that I hate having to stop mid-project! It's just going to take a little longer to accomplish these household tasks when I'm pregnant. Either that, or Mr. Michael will have to pitch in more often!

I did get the floors mopped the very next day, by the way. A clean floor makes me happy, and the shining hardwood was very gratifying. :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

What's in a name?

Today is August 1, 2008. I cannot believe we are now 22 weeks pregnant - more than halfway through the pregnancy! I have been feeling baby G wiggle and squirm around every day now since her first kick just this past Sunday. It's unbelievable how quickly things are changing inside my body. I'm overwhelmed by the miracle of it all!

I've had a few people asking us about baby G's name, so I wanted to share with you all the reason behind the name we've chosen for our baby girl. We have always known that our first child's name would be my maiden name, Payton. Since the Lord is blessing us with a girl whose arrival comes during an otherwise sad and difficult year, she has been a true gift of joy not only to me and Michael, but also to my whole family. Her birth just nine short months after my Mother's death symbolizes God's grace and love to us, His children. It is the cycle of life, and I am so blessed that MY baby is the one to come into this world on the heels of her Grammy's life. Therefore, we are naming her Payton Joy Ghaffari!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First Virginia?!?!

I visited one of my best friends, Tenley, in Virginia this past weekend. We toured the national museums and monuments in D.C. on Saturday, and we had a delicious dinner at the Inner Harbor that evening. We went to her AWESOME church, Grace Community Church, on Sunday, and then we had indulgent pedicures that afternoon. Later that day, we went to a pool party with her oldest brother and sister who are both married and have children. I was inundated with much appreciated baby information from her sister and sister-in-law! I even came home with my suitcase packed full of baby clothes from her sister, Erica! They were such gracious hosts to me, and I really enjoyed spending time with all of them. This was my first chance to visit Tenley since she moved from Nashville last year. I am so happy that I got to visit her before the baby arrives in December. We had such a great weekend together!

While I was with her this past weekend, something very exciting happened! On Sunday, July 27th, I awakened early in the morning (6am) to use the bathroom (as usual), and then went straight back to
bed. I was just settling back in to fall asleep when I felt the strange sensation of a little foot or fist poking me from the inside. I felt Baby G kick for the first time! It was definitely a new and unique feeling, and I drifted back to sleep with a grin on my face. The doctor had told me that I may not feel her move much at all until weeks 23 or 24, but I definitely felt her sooner than that! Since that morning, I've been able to recognize her movements; therefore, I am feeling her more often. What a cool and crazy experience!

This is a picture of Tenley and me at the Inner Harbor where
we ate a fabulous dinner on Saturday night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Friend's Baby

Today, our wonderful friends, John & Kathy Polumbo, welcomed their first baby into the world. Jackson Robert was born at 3:39 a.m. I was so excited to get their news when I awoke this morning! Kathy and I have enjoyed being pregnant alongside one another these past few months, and I secretly wanted to BE THERE every moment during her labor and delivery. I was SO thrilled when she called me this afternoon and told me ALL about it! Then we went to meet Mr. Jackson this evening at Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna, TN.

He is SO precious! He is just perfect-literally! 7lbs 9 oz. and 21 inches long. I was so overcome with emotion as I walked in and saw her holding him all wrapped up like a papoose! He was wide-eyed and seemed perfectly content laying in his momma's arms. Just seeing her and John with their precious miracle right in front of me sent my emotions all out of whack!! I'm so happy for them, I just can't stand it.

When I held him and talked to him, I quickly realized that this would be ME one day very soon...holding my newborn in the hospital. What an amazing, overwhelming, yet inspiring and exciting feeling! I feel so blessed to have friends like John & Kathy who have now "gone before me" in the world of pregnancy and birth; and I feel so grateful that they have allowed us to be apart of the whole experience.

I pray many blessings of happiness, love, joy, and fulfillment for John and Kathy with their new son, Jackson. I thank God for His grace and mercy poured into their lives not only because He gave them this precious child, but also because I know that He has sustained their faith and trust in Him through the entire process. I praise God for this new life in their lives AND in my life!

Jackson Robert Polumbo

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's a GIRL!

We had our first major ultrasound today at 20 weeks, and we discovered that we're having a baby GIRL! I was surprised because I had this "feeling" that it was a boy all along. I guess my maternal instinct hasn't quite found it's niche?? HA! Well, we were both quite excited to learn that she was squirming around and healthy. All of her measurements fell within the proper developmental guidelines, and both the technician and my doctor seemed pleased with her!

I was overwhelmed by the experience and in complete awe! I could not believe she was moving around so much and I couldn't really feel much of anything! The doctor reassured me not to worry about it and that I would really start feeling regular movement between weeks 24-28. One thing was certain, she became more of a real person to me (us) after today. What a fantastic miracle!! Thank you, Lord, for this precious blessing.

This is her profile with her head on the left, her arms up above:

This proves her gender (see arrow):

These are her cute little feet!

Here is Momma the day we found out it was a girl:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

19 Weeks

I've been thinking about creating this blog ever since my friend, Miranda, told me about it. It's taken me awhile to get around to it but here I am! My husband, Michael, and I are expecting our first baby due December 5, 2008. We are currently 19 weeks along, and our ultrasound is scheduled for this coming Friday! We are going to find out the gender of Baby G. I have a feeling that it is a boy but what truly matters to us is that our baby is healthy. Michael says that he'd like to have a boy and KNOW that he gets at least one...but again, he really doesn't have a preference.

My pregnancy experience thus far has been a good one (for the most part). I had constant nausea during the first trimester and then, magically, it disappeared by week 13. It was like flipping a switch! The heartburn/indigestion has hit this week, unfortunately, but hopefully good ol' Prilosec will do the trick for awhile.

We went to Italy for two weeks, June 23-July 4, 2008. It was such a fabulous opportunity to see all the world renowed monuments, artifacts, paintings, and sculptures. That trip fulfilled a life-long dream of mine, so I am very content with our experience (this picture is of us in front of St. Peter's Basilica). I will say that we realized just how spoiled Americans are...we sure do have life easy over here! Hopefully, our next trip will be relaxing some place on a beach...I'd love to do that before Baby G arrives in December.

Well, that's it for now. I will post the exciting news we receive on Friday! :-)