Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And now…a new post!

However much I wish I could be, I have realized I am not one of those people who can regularly post on a blog---whether the post be thoughtful or just about a specific event---I just can't dedicate myself to it. I'd like to, but every time I think about blogging I realize that it would take me away from my kids. And whenever they are asleep or otherwise occupied, I realize that there are dishes to be done or things I would rather do (sew, think about napping, sit and do nothing but sip a diet coke, etc).
Anyway, we had a baby. He kind of snuck up on us. My due date is this Thursday, the 23rd. I figured he probably wouldn't come more than a week early, but just to be safe we moved Claire's birthday party from Friday the 24th to Friday the 10th. It seemed far enough away when we planned it mid-July, but as the date got closer I got more and more nervous that I wouldn't be around for the party.
In the last few days of July I got serious sciatic pain. Serious like I spent 3 days in bed because I literally couldn't move. I'd sweat from pain just going up the stairs. I used a step-stool to get in bed. I saw my doctor on day 3 for a regular appointment. My blood pressure was way up, I suspect just from the pain of having to crawl up on that stupid table. By the time I'd been there for a while the blood pressure was a little better. He gave me lidocaine patches to put over my nerve. They were a miracle! By the next day I could move around almost as if nothing happened. I was SO grateful because my nesting need was in full swing. I was a little crazy for the next week getting ready for baby and Claire's party.
On Thursday the 9th we had a doctor appointment. I was at a 3 and 80% effaced. He said we would have the baby as soon as the weekend, but surely within the next week. This was scary and exciting. We had a VERY busy day with preparations for Claire's party. Kyle went down to Lehi with my mom for a sleepover, and Claire and I shopped for the last bits of fabric needed for a baby quilt. She helped me clean the house and was so pleasant. It was such a great day alone with her. I was exhausted by the time we went to bed. In fact, Taylor had to work hard to convince me that a day hadn't gone by between the doctor appointment and our well-past-midnight bedtime.

Gramine’s cake. I got the idea from pinterest. The colors could have been a bit closer to get the ombre effect, but I really liked it. It was really easy to make too.

Claire’s party cupcake. Also idea from Pinterest. They are Rapunzel’s tower. I will not claim to be talented at all at decorating baked things---although the above cake was lovely, and it was about the best cake I’ve ever eaten.

Cupcakes after I dumped them the first time. Fortunately only 4 landed on the floor and we didn’t need them to feed her guests. They survived quite well, not like the kids cared if the frosting was smudged.
On Friday the 10th we got up early (6am, thanks to pregnancy insomnia), and started baking. We were making cupcakes for Claire's party and a cake for our family dinner. It was Taylor's Grandma's birthday that day, so she needed a cake too. Taylor worked until 2, and Claire and I worked hard to have everything ready for the party. We had to make a trip to Winco for drinks and powdered sugar and butter. On our way out there was a downpour. I ran to my car, 9 months pregnant and all. It must have looked pretty funny. (I had just done my hair, and was having a great hair day, so I wanted to avoid as much rain as possible.) When we got home I pulled into the garage to avoid more rain. We've been parking in the driveway because it's hard to squeeze my pregnant belly into the car within the constraints of the garage walls. I squeezed that poor baby out the door that day though. Perhaps the running and squeezing induced labor?
Around noon I started to worry about the baby. He was a lot quieter than normal. He usually kicked strongly and very regularly, but that day he just wiggled a bit here and there. I also started to worry about me because I was SO clumsy. I spilled a lot of things while cooking---I even managed to knock over all of the decorated cupcakes TWO times! I kept thinking that if clumsy was a sign of impending labor, I was in trouble. Claire was awesome that day, so helpful and obedient. She even cleaned my room and made my bed while I was baking.

Another Pinterest idea. We made a water blob. The kids LOVED it.
Our guests showed up at 3. The plan was to have her friends here until 4:30, then have all of our family stay for a barbecue afterward. The kids ate cupcakes, opened presents, then played outside on various water things. It was fun to see them having so much fun. Kyle was the life of the party and developed his own little Olympic "dive" into the 10 inches of water in our pool. It was hilarious. I had a nice time visiting with our family and sitting on a blanket under the tree with my siblings.
The last kid left at about 4:45. I took Kyle into the house and got his shower started then headed upstairs to grab some shampoo for him. My sister-in-law Britten was upstairs with her daughter and Claire, and I started talking to her. A few sentences in I thought the baby must have kicked my bladder really hard, because I certainly felt a little pop and gush. I sat there wondering how to excuse myself without her seeing that I had had a little accident. I took two sideways steps into my bedroom, and it became absolutely obvious that my water had broken. I told Britten, and she went to get Taylor. I was shaking. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know that the water could be pink, and that terrified me that something was wrong. Taylor came up. He didn't know what to do either. My mom and sister came up, and they were equally clueless. So we called labor and delivery. They said pink was fine, and that I could eat dinner. I was starving, and I really did want to eat they food we'd planned. Kyle's shower ended up being super extended in all of the excitement we kind of forgot about him! I'm sure he didn't mind at all though. When he did get out he saw his baby cousin in our baby's crib and thought that I'd already had the baby and the baby was now resting in his crib. If only it was that easy!

Our last picture as a family of 4 right before I left for the hospital. Excuse the BYU pants---my water had broken Smile
We haphazardly threw things into a suitcase ("Pack for the hospital" was the #1 item on my to-do list for the next day! #2 was "paint toenails.") I sat down and had dinner. Everyone around me was a little less calm. It was funny to have all of our family surrounding us, knowing that our baby would be born soon. Taylor's grandma, Maxine, was there and excited that the baby could possibly come on her birthday. We told her that if he was born before midnight we would have Max somewhere in his name. My contractions were pretty hard and pretty close together, so we started to prepare to leave. We took a picture with our kids. Our dads, Taylor, and my brother Jake gave me a blessing. My parents planned on taking the kids with them, and we left the party early around 6:30. I thought it was a tricky way to get out of cleaning up!

View of the sunset--the camera hardly managed to capture how beautiful it was.
The contractions were pretty intense on the way to the hospital. By the time we got there I was having back labor so bad that I had Taylor drop me off at emergency so I could get a wheelchair (Maybe there was a better place to drop off, but "Take hospital tour" was still on our to-do list too!) When we got settled into our room we had a gorgeous view of an amazing sunset. It made me think of my grandma (we often enjoyed sunsets together), and that was a bitter-sweet moment. Grandma loved babies and had visited me in the hospital after both Kyle and Claire were born. I had to reassure myself that she had likely spent a lot of time with our baby in heaven before he came here. It had started to rain again, but the night was still beautiful. They said that storm brought in twice the amount of babies as usual.
The first order of business was to get and IV in me. To make a long story short, it took 4 people, 6 tries, 4 blown veins, and over an hour to get the stupid thing in. I hate IVs, so this was not helpful. To get it in they had my bed tilted with my legs high in the air and blood pressure cuff on my arm. Let me just say, that is not the way to relax during labor! I had planned on trying to go without an epidural, but the IV problem was so aggravating that I couldn't relax enough to stay on top of the pain. The guy who finally got the IV in was the epidural man, and I figured I better use him before someone else got a hold of him. By the time they started the epidural I was at a 7. It took a long time to kick in, but I was feeling nothing by 9:00.
We watched the Olympic track and field events, and around 10 they said the baby was almost coming. It all happened so fast. The doctor got there, I pushed for a little bit, and he was born at 10:30 on the dot. 7 pounds, 8 ounces, 20 inches of perfect baby boy. He cried as soon as they had him suctioned out. I remember wondering if babies cry because they are sad to leave the family they love in heaven. I would be sad to leave too! He has long, curly hair that puffed everywhere after they washed it. They got us both cleaned up, he nursed for a while, and we were off to our recovery room. He had a bath in my room, and we went through a number of instructions and other things that you don't listen to because you just had a baby.

One hour old.
We spent time with him, and around 1:30 decided that we should probably sleep. We sent him to the nursery and settled in. Once the lights were off I noticed that I felt like something was missing. Obviously I wasn't pregnant anymore, and that was a huge thing missing. But I realized that I missed my baby---not necessarily this new creature who had just entered the world, but the baby whose spirit I had been feeling near me for 9 months. How strange to live entangled with someone for almost a year and have them suddenly leave the room. This reaffirmed to me that we have spirits, that we lived before we were born, and that our spirits can recognize each other.

This is how Grayson greeted us the morning after he was born. Cutest thing ever!
The next day was full of recovery and nursing attempts and visitors. Toward the evening Taylor and I realized that we were kinda bored and ready to go home. I was fine. The baby was fine. We saw no reason to stay. So we checked out a little before ten that night. With my last two babies I never could have done this, but I really felt great, so we left.

Little halo hair.
When the nurse wheeled me out I commented that it was a beautiful night. Looking back, I think I had fully expected the season to change when the baby was born. Nevermind that just 28 hours earlier I had arrived at the hospital in 90+ degree weather---I really thought it should be a cool, crisp, fall night. I think I just thought that with such a huge change in our lives that the world would somehow reflect change too. (I remember thinking things similar to this on the morning of my grandma's funeral---I saw people out about their daily business, jogging, shopping, whatever, and wondered HOW could they not feel the change, HOW could they do normal things on that day?)

Three days old.
Grayson (who took a week to be named) is now 11 days old. It seems like forever AND like a blink of an eye since he was born. He is a wonderful baby. He's awake more every day and has truly smiled since he was about 5 days old. It's so fun to see his personality coming through even at such a young age. He's calm and chill and hardly ever cries. I even think he's got a little bit of goof-ball in him like his brother. People have asked who he looks like, and the answer is definitely Claire as a baby. His eyes are a little different, but you could slap a bow on his head and you'd never know the difference. It makes me a little sentimental for my baby girl.

One week old. Probably my favorite picture ever.
I have never recovered this quickly from a birth. It has usually taken me 6 weeks to feel anything close to normal. With Gray I was fine by Monday. I've lost all but 3.5 pounds. I'm exhausted from not sleeping, but feeling really well otherwise. I'm not sure how this has happened or why, but I am very, very grateful. Grateful is the word that runs constantly through my head. Grateful for this little guy. Grateful for my health. Grateful for his health. Grateful for our family. Grateful for Kyle and Claire. Grateful for my awesome husband who is so willing to stay up at night with the baby and help in every way. Grateful for our moms who have been here to help. Grateful that my back doesn't hurt anymore! I feel so abundantly and undeservedly blessed. Every time I hold him I just can't believe that he is ours. We waited for so long, hoped for so long, prayed for so long. He is a little miracle, and I am so grateful.