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Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Half Dozen

Three weeks after Charlotte was born we went up to a friends house to have her take our pictures. Brianna has been a friend for many years and happens to be a fantastic photographer {she also has an indoor pool so it was great bribery to get the boys to behave and take good pictures}

 I love this picture of our family. It makes me so happy to know that these people are in my life. I love that our family feels complete.  {and look too.... everyone's face is in the general direction of the camera!!}

Swim was fun... what was even funnier was watching Brianna working so hard to make him laugh. I need to get her a funny hat to wear. And it was work to keep him from falling into the little creek in the park.

This boy is CRAZY!! He is non stop when he is awake and into everything. You can see where he has been as he likes to empty my drawers. Also for some reason he loves my wallet. He will search for my purse and only get out my wallet, and pull everything out, or rearrange it. He babbles all day long and we totally have conversations, only I have no idea what about.

I love Benji's eyes! They are a really pretty blue, but they turn grey when he is mad. I love his dimple!

He loves to give hugs and will ask me to hold him. He is independent which would seem nice... but it's not. He likes to pour his own juice {onto the floor} help get the markers {for Swim} will make sure everyone has their shoes {but not give them to anyone} and will put his own seatbelt on {only he doesn't and I don't realize it until we are on the free way and he is dancing between the seats!}

Of course there is our newest addition, our sweet little girl. I didn't realize that I wanted a girl until I held her in my arms. I would have been perfectly happy to have 6 boys running around, but she has completed me in so many ways. And the joy she brings to me is amazing.

I do have to mention the hand.... I have short stubby fingers. So I hired a hand model {Jen, and paid her with dessert} She has long beautiful piano playing fingers that look much better in pictures.

She was born with lots of hair and long curled eyelashes. Seriously... she is a doll!!

After 14 years I still really like this guy!! He is definitely my better half. We have been through so much together and are still going strong. He makes me happy, he wipes my tears when I cry, he makes me laugh, and he holds me together when I feel broken.

{And we make some pretty cute kids!}

Tim is 7 now and on that boarder of wanting to be a little kid, and wanting to grow up a little more.

He still likes to be held and cuddled and will curl up in a blanket with me and look at books.

Those dang teeth show no signs of coming in, so he has a jack-o-lantern smile that makes me laugh.

Tommy is our resident smarty pants. Don't know how to spell something??? Ask Tommy, he'll tell you.
He's a jokester as well.. He is also a schemer and always has something going on in his mind. He will be our first kid to hit the $1,000,000 mark.

He does have a soft spot for his siblings. Most of the time they drive him crazy, but at night when they are suppose to be asleep I'll hear him and Tim giggling over something, or reading Benji a book. He is always willing to hold Charlotte, or help Swim. And he is more than happy to sit by James and help him with homework.... or Mind Craft.

I can't believe that I have a 10 year old!! {He'll be 11 in December!!} The time has gone so fast and it keeps going. James is a good kid. He is at that boardering age too... between kid and young man. Watching him grow has been harder on me than I thought. I want him to stay little but he reaches my eyes now... another 2 years and he will be taller than me.

Every now and then he'll turn his head and I can see where his jaw will form, or he'll take off his shirt to play in the sprinkler and his muscles are starting to be defined, and when I see him pick up his sister I get a small glimpse of the man he is becoming.

These boys have been my life for so long. Everything has been for them. I am so happy to be their mom and to raise them. They are going to be extraordinary.

And now with her in the mix just adds a new element of fun and wonder to our family. She has soften us all.

These people make me happy!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sweet Baby Girl

I knew she was coming and had met her a couple months earlier. It was a different experience hearing her voice, and one that I will cherish.

I knew this would be my last pregnancy boy or girl, this was it. I am getting older and I want to be focused on raising my family now instead of having babies. I was thrilled to know that I would end this chapter in my life with a little girl.

My pregnancy with Charlotte was normal… very text book.

But at the same time it was so very different. I have never had a baby while inside so aware of their surroundings. But she was.  She would kick a long to whenever Benji would sing to her. She would squirm around so much when the boys were being loud around me. And she would sit so quietly when ever Swim was crying and I was holding him. 

Once I was over my morning sickness, which thankfully is only until 12 weeks, I felt really good.  I enjoyed this pregnancy, and other than minor discomforts everything was fine.

My original due date was April 28, but I knew that I would go over. I knew that She wasn't going to be born that day, and in fact when I did have contractions on that day I pretty much ignored them. They were constant and regular but I just knew that they would go away so even after 3 hours I just carried on with my night.

We had made the sad decision to put our dog down on Tuesday the 29th, and I needed to see my boys through that. I needed to make sure that they were ok and that they were taken care of. I'm glad I was late because of that.

I went through out the rest of the week... and the next week... just doing my job of being a mom. Holding my boys and enjoying just them. I was also trying hard to enjoy these last moments of having her inside of me. I really loved feeling her move and squirm. I held on to those moments.

I used the couple weeks that I had left to prepare myself. At night I would practice breathing. During the day I would prepare my house. The cleaning that needed to be done, and things made and bought were checked off.

I was in the clinic many times that last two weeks. I was checked... and checked again to make sure she was safe and healthy. She was... she was just snug and happy where she was at. I got many calls and texts from people checking on me to make sure that I was doing ok. Being 2 weeks late is odd to most people, but I was thankful for the extra time. I just needed it, I needed to be ready.
The boys were all hoping that she would be born on May 4th {*May the fourth* be with you…. yes, we are Star Wars fans} but she had her own ideas.

As I was nearing 2 weeks past my due date, things were being set in motion for my induction. It wasn’t really what I wanted, but being that I was a VBAC there was protocol in place. I was hoping for a birth like Swim, and hoping she would come on her own, but I guess she needed a little nudging to come.

May 8th we were up early to be at the hospital at 6:30. I got checked in and undressed and they monitored for a bit. I was ready, I was mentally and physically ready. Being induced wasn’t ideal, but I was excited that I was going to get to meet my baby girl.

Because I’m a VBAC and I was going t be induced the doctor had to be at the hospital that day, physically in the building. Well, when the induction was scheduled they double booked Dr. Wall. He was scheduled to be at another hospital that morning so I was asked to wait. 

It made for a fun impromptu morning. Steve and I went out to breakfast and then we went to walk around Costco. We then took Benji and Swim up to my brother and sister in law’s house for the time that I was in the hospital. It was nice to have a little more time with her so close to me.

Finally at 3:00 the hospital called and said that Dr. Wall was back and that I could come back to the hospital to start the induction.  Part of me just wanted to say screw it, I’ll come back when she’s ready and I’m in labor on my own, but I’ve was having days where she hardly moved and that was making me nervous. For my sanity, she needed to come. I needed to have her in my arms seeing that she was ok.

So, back to the hospital I went.  

Once there I changed and got hooked up on the monitors and waited….

My sister Erika came to take pictures for me, and my niece who is thinking of becoming a midwife had never been to a birth before so she came to mine, and of course Steve was there. I’ve birthed without him present and he truly is my rock when I am in labor.

First Dr. Wall came in and we talked about what was going to happen. I was delivering with a midwife, but Dr. Wall was overseeing my induction. My water was broken and the pictcon was started. I do have to say how thankful I was that Dr. Wall was so willing to listen to me. I really wanted a natural birth… already wasn’t getting that with the induction, but he made sure that the pictcon was turned down really low so my body could work up to labor.

When I had gone to the hospital that morning I was a little nervous, but mostly calm. Having to leave and go back, my mental calmness was shot. I was so panic-y. It was hard to concentrate on breathing through my contractions. It was hard to focus. And on top of that… I had a horrible labor and delivery nurse.

This nurse…. I hope she was just having an off day and not normally so mean, because it was bad. Everyone in the room felt the tension that she brought in. I had to be hooked up to everything and pretty much had to stay in bed. I had to go to the bathroom so I unhooked myself from everything and went into the bathroom, and sitting on the toilet felt good. My contractions weren’t so hard on my body being in that position. I was there for about 20 minutes and the nurse came back in and was mad that I wasn’t in bed. She was mad that my bed was wet and I asked her to change my sheets, I was leaking fluid from them breaking my water, and she was mad that my sister was taking pictures. She was just not nice, and I think that really threw me as far as being able to labor in a place where I felt safe.

I got back in bed. I was breathing and just feeling what was going on. I don’t mind being in labor. I am amazed at what a woman’s body can do. Grow a baby and then when the time comes to labor to help the baby come into the world. 

After awhile the contractions started to get a bit stronger and fortunately there was a shift change and the nurse that came in was so nice! She saw how miserable I was on the bed and got a ball out of the closet and unhooked me from everything and just stayed in the room with me. She and my midwife just monitored Charlotte by hand so I was able to be up and around more. 

As things got more intense I felt so frustrated. I wanted to be at home laboring without being hooked up to everything. I wanted to feel more like I did this on my own.

I was up and swaying and sitting on the ball and I was doing ok, but then I started to get dizzy.  Being upright made me so dizzy so I laid down and then the contractions were so intense. I tried to sit up again and I got so light headed that I laid back down. It felt like a no win situation.

I cried because this was not what I wanted. This was not what I had envisioned, this wasn’t how I wanted Charlotte to come into this world. And yet here I was. Hooked up to so many things, unable to move how I wanted, feeling so much pain, and the loss of focus and unable to control it. 

I asked for an epidural.

I felt defeated.

Once the epidural kicked in and I was numb I felt so relieved. I wasn’t dizzy anymore and I felt like I could catch my breath and I was able t relax. 

I think because I was able to relax, my body just opened up and she came down. I felt her come down lower into my body. She was ready to come. 

I gave a couple hard pushes and I felt her move again. I am thankful that the epidural was mild for me so I could feel more than what I thought I was going to.

I was getting ready to push again and then it seemed like my body just took over. They said I was pushing, I felt like I was breathing.

 And then she was here.

A perfect little girl with a lot of dark brown hair. Our darling little Charlotte came into the world with a head full of hair and a body full of rolls. She was here with me. This time I fought off the nurses who wanted to take her from me. They wanted to weigh her and measure her, and put hats on her. I wanted to hold her, and nurse her and love her. All of their stuff could wait. This was my moment, and I didn’t want anyone to take that from me. I forced the world away while she squirmed in my arms.

I looked around for Steve and he was there, just as he was the whole time. We just looked at her and touched her soft skin. This little perfect person was finally here.

The nurses finally did measure her and check her out. I kept saying that she was a big baby, at least 9 pounds. The midwife, and even Steve was sure this baby was going to be closer to 8 pounds. She was 9pounds 14 ounces, and was 20 inches long, she had rolls and was a cute fat baby.

After everything was done, after everyone had left and it was just her and I, I laid in the dark with her and felt like our family was complete.  We sat together and just let our souls speak to each other.

This girl is special. She had come not only to complete our family with the number of children we have but to complete our family with what we are to learn. She will teach it to us.
In the quiet of the night she opened her eyes and looked at me. Really looked at me, and a sweet little smile came. It was there and it was intentional. As quick as it was there it was gone. But that sweet little smile bonded me to her. 

He spirit is a strong one and she already knows so much. I have so much to learn from her, and I will try my best to teach her.

This child, this sweet baby girl, in my arms completed me as a mother.

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