Friday, December 18, 2009


I find myself in a strange position as it comes to Santa.

First, he wont actually be coming to my house as it's Brian's year with the kids on Christmas Day. Although he will be bringing stocking stuffers I've been told because he loves them. And it's the only way the kids get new socks and underwear in this house. (I kid)

Second, I have three children. One believes in Santa FERVENTLY. The other two, well. One doesn't believe at all but has agreed to keep her mouth shut to help the magic for her sister. Oh, and if we publicly say we don't believe in Santa we don't get Santa gifts. Or stocking stuffers. (Why, yes I did threaten my oldest child. Why do you ask?) The other child, well, he's not invested yet in this Santa business. Really, for him, Santa involved sitting on a strangers lap and listening to Lizzie talk in DETAIL about all the ways Santa watches us and that he better let Mommy sleep at night because waking her up is naughty.

Will did not care about her Santa and his naughty list last night, FYI.

Yesterday I was at the mall 30 minutes from our city shopping and came across a Santa. I thought I would get a quick picture of Will with him. Yeah. Not so much. Apparently at this mall you have to make an appointment and come back. And photo packages start at $20. For 1 5x7.

Back in my day the visit to Santa was all about telling him what you wanted for Christmas and getting a mini-Candy cane. The picture was a $5 Polaroid snapped right before you got off his lap. Now it's about dressing up and packages and all manner of craziness.

I left the mall and drove home. Picked up Ky, got Lizzie out of school early (20 minutes) and we went to the mall in our area. Which I realize is the ghetto mall. The chance of Santa swigging a 40 and the elves wearing booty shorts was high but I chanced it.

No line, no alcohol and no booty shorts, although Santa's elves hate their job and that was obvious.

I am lucky though that to date none of my children have been ridiculously frightened of Santa.

I present to you, our Santa picture for 2009. Not dressed up, not matching and Will is about 4 seconds from blowing out his diaper. Again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grandma Linda

Sorry, I suck and have no pictures of her with the baby. Or my kids. I was tired. A lot. While she was here.

But I thought I would share a quick story about how God plans for us far ahead and how my story involved my Aunt Linda.

Linda is the oldest of my maternal Aunts. She was the first child for my Grandpa Cotton (Harold) and Grandma Violet. She was born pretty much 9 months after they got married so it's safe to say she was a honeymoon baby. Her father was away, fighting in WWII when she was born and for awhile after that so she wasn't so keen on him when he first came home. I hear she eventually warmed up to him.

Linda has been married forever (okay like 40 years) and has/had 3 children. Jon, who has passed away, Jenny (who is 33?) and Jodi (who is 31). She is fortunate to have both of her daughters living near by to her and is an active participant in MOPS for her community.

When I was a small child my mother and father (mostly my mother because my father wouldn't have bothered to care) decided that should something happen to both of them they wanted Linda and her husband Jerry to take me. Like Godparents but a)related and b)without the Catholic ceremony.

Luckily that never happened and I became an adult with both parents intact.

When Lizzie was born Brian also got orders for us to move. Those two things happened about 2 weeks apart. We received orders to Colorado, someplace we had never even asked for (Japan? yes. Italy? Sort of. Germany? Heck YA! Colorado, not so much.) We could not, for the life of us, figure out what purpose we had going to Colorado. It snows there you know.

It also happens to be 6 hours from my Aunt Linda if you don't have to stop 100 times for a potty training toddler to pee.

5 months after Lizzie was born we found out my mother had terminal, stage 4 lung cancer. I was about to be Motherless. And I am essentially fatherless anyways since he sucks so I was about to be an orphan.

Except that God knew that. He knows everything. So he moved me as close as he could to my Aunt Linda while working within the confines of the military and also the destruction of my marriage which was still a couple of years off.

My Mom and Nana used to come for Easter and Thanksgiving without fail. Now I'm able to drive to my Aunt Linda's and have holidays like nothing ever changed. *

God moved me to be close to my family. He moved me so that I would find the love of my life. He moved me to my new home and I never even knew it at the time. Because God is such a miracle worker. That is someone who is very good at his job. *wink*

*Okay, that's not true. Growing up holidays meant horribly inappropriate movies to be watched after the meal but before games. Think "Silence of the Lambs" for Easter and you'll see why I am the way I am.........

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Catching up

You know you've created a monster when your own husband starts asking for a new blog from you.

I would like to tell you that things have been boring and slow around here but I would be lying to you and you deserve better than that.

Little Will is already 3 weeks old. How did that happen? He still has a massive amount of hair and is a pretty content little guy. We jokingly call him the Milk Shark for his attempts at finding a nipple where ever he can. And okay, we put his hair into a little Mohawk looking thing too which helps with the "shark" reference.

He is by far my most alert baby and he seems to throw people off. He's generally awake when we are out and about during the day and so people assume he's months old. But he's small of course because he's three weeks old and so people stumble over their words when asking how old he is.
He seems to be taking it all in and thinking a lot.

We were lucky enough to have Grandma Linda here for a week. I know it must have been so boring for her but she truly was a life saver letting me nap during the day when possible and most importantly entertaining Lizzie before and after school for me. It's hard to get much done when you have someone connected to your chest all the time and Lizzie was pretty desperate for attention which Grandma Linda happily provided.

Speaking of Lizzie all goes well and right in her little world. Her class went to the Firefighter Museum last week in school and she had a blast. She continues to do well and please her teacher and is friends with almost everyone. She is of course in love with her baby brother and he seems to be okay with her holding him even when I feel nervous at his position on her lap.

Kylie seems to be thriving lately. She continues to rehearse for the school play "The Phantom of the Opry" (yes, you read that right, it's a spoof). She plays Felicity and has a song in the play. She also was accepted to Advanced Choir this last week and I believe that begins next year (in January). She recently came home with an Advanced ILP or Individualized Learning Plan from her Literacy teacher although it includes Math goals as well. It will allow Kylie some freedom in her school work and expectations but will keep her focused as well. It also allows for some bigger goals than she would normally have in school like reading "Origin of Species" for example.

The only hiccup we seem to have is that her relationship with Brian seems to be deteriorating at an alarming rate. Ky has requested that she not go over there anymore and I'm unsure as to how to handle it with Brian. I'm hoping for guidance in that area sooner rather than later.

Overall though we are thriving as a family and are ready for Christmas. I hope you and yours are too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Birth Story

So please bear with me in the retelling of this because frankly, I was in a lot of pain for a majority of it and so times may be a little fuzzy.

We were told to show up at the hospital at 7:30am and to eat breakfast. I was impressed because this was the third time I had to be induced and the previous two times I had been told not to eat after midnight. As a side note, during my other inductions I wasn't allowed to eat and was only allowed ice chips, not even water. This time they brought me toast when I asked for it and I was allowed all the grape or apple juice I could desire. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

Anyways, so we got up at O dark thirty and stopped at Village Inn for breakfast. I cried during breakfast and before we left the house. I'm going to own that right now. I was crying because I was scared. Induction is not fun and my induction plan (personally) did not include medication. The reason I chose not to plan for medication was because my epidural failed so spectacularly with Lizzie that I just couldn't do that to myself again and decided I would mentally prepare for an unmediated induction.

So we get to the hospital and it takes about an hour to get my hooked up, settled in the room, and my IV started. My midwife shows up and confirms what I had found out the day before, that I was 2 centimeters dilated and "soft". I almost came off the table during that check and every one after that. They also informed me that while my baby had been facing Posterior (sunny side up or his face was facing my belly button) he was now sideways but still head down. This was good news and we prayed as a group (midwife and both nurses included) that he would turn to be face down or facing my back. It's an easier way to have a baby. I delivered Lizzie sunny side up and it's what made my anticipation of labor anxiety riddled.

At about 9am (I think) my Mother In Law, Leslie showed up at the hospital. Micah started his nap on the couch.

Between 10am and 11am (I think) they started my Pitocin. They started it out slowly and the plan was to jack it up in intervals of 3 (I can't tell you 3 what though) every half hour. Within about 30 minutes of starting the Pitocin I started having menstrual cramps.

Let me stop here for a second and tell you, if you've never labored without Pitocin, you are lucky, lucky people. Pitocin is ROUGH and jacking it up hurts. I knew this going in. I dealt with it when I had Lizzie and while I had some drugs in my IV with her I did okay overall with it. But it hurts.

Micah goes to get Kylie from school around 11am. Things were slow going and I decided we should get her then before all the chaos of birth were to happen. Kylie gets there and promptly falls asleep on the couch until 5pm.

My Midwife broke my water sometime around 2pm. More Pitocin. I was allowed to sit in the rocking chair and was offered to sit on the birthing ball. I chose the rocking chair.

Also, at some point I mentioned to my midwife and my nurses that I wasn't planning on an epidural because mine had failed last time. They suggested I talk to the anesthesiologist if I was open to the idea of it because in all her years of practicing, my Midwife had never seen an epidural fail with this guy. His name was John.

We spent some time discussing why my last one had failed and he gave me some possible reasons and explained how he does the epidurals and how to prevent the failure of them. I decided to think about it.

From here the contractions continued, we watched a lot of Law & Order on the TV in the room and Micah sang to me during contractions. My mother in law talked to me some but what helped the most was Micah singing to me. This was a new preference for me as in previous deliveries I wanted silence during a contraction. This time during the contractions I would breath and lean into my husbands neck and he would sing to me. I just wanted the noise to distract me from thinking or dwelling on the contraction.

At about 4pm my midwife checked me and I was at 4 cm. I wanted to die. I had been on the stupid Pitocin at that point for 6 hours and had only gotten an extra 2 cm dilated. My nurses assured me that getting to 4 was the hardest part and now it should speed up.

At about 8pm I was starting to cry when the contractions would start. Because they hurt, if you didn't know. I was still on the Pitocin and it was crazy high and they just kept increasing it and now my water was broken and it just felt like every contraction was going to kill me. Didn't help my moral that I wasn't dilated very far. My Midwife had put on some lavender aromatherapy for me and we had dimmed the lights and she had electric tea lights all over the room and that was lovely and amazing. My mother in law had rubbed my very swollen feet but I was just crying through the contractions and the singing was starting not to help anymore. I asked for the epidural.

John appeared within moments and had me set within 10 minutes I would say. I had a spinal with an epidural chaser which means I felt immediate relief from the contractions but that eventually the spinal would wear off and the epidural would kick in. I was initially numb from my mid-ribcage down but as the spinal wore off my epidural kept me numb from about mid-belly down. Now, please, don't confuse numb with can't feel anything. I still felt pressure during contractions. Which were 2 minutes apart and lasting about a minute and had been since 10am.

I asked Micah if we could name the baby John after my epidural hero. He thought I was joking.

At about 10pm I started shaking and having a bit more pain during the contractions. My midwife checked me and I was at 8.5-9cms. They had John the Epidural Hero come back and top off my medication which was lovely but at this point I knew I was in transition and could feel the pressure of the baby and contractions.

At about 11pm (This is where my memory is fuzzy) I was complete and it was time to push. My midwife told me to give a practice push. I did. The baby was suddenly in my birth canal and I freaked out. Epidural wasn't a failure but it was done wonderfully so that I still had the urge to push and could feel the contractions. I hurt. And I refused to push anymore.

Leslie tells me that I told people not to touch me. I believe her but I don't remember it. I remember my midwife telling me it was time for the baby to be born and she had her gloves and "suit" on for it. I remember people telling me to grab the back of my legs to push and me refusing. I just refused to push. I kept telling people (I think) that I would push with the next contraction and then fighting each contraction that came along and pretending I wasn't having one so they wouldn't tell me to push. (I know now that no one was convinced)

But here's what I love. My midwife let me. My midwife didn't "make" me and didn't force Micah and Leslie to hold my legs for me or anything. She let me say no. And say no I did for several contractions.

The thing with nature and contractions though, is you can't fight it forever. Despite me telling everyone in the room I didn't want to do it and that I had changed my mind and would wait until Monday (My sad attempt at humor), I HAD to push that baby at some point. I didn't have a choice.

So I finally pushed. I don't remember anything else in the world at that point except Micah talking to me. He was encouraging and helping and holding my leg (I did refuse to grab my thighs for the most part). I pushed again. And everyone was silent. Then Micah started talking about the baby's hair and it was curly he said. Then my midwife said, "Now push his shoulders out."

I had no idea his head was out. So I pushed again and felt him slide out but am still a little shocked that I had no idea his head was out until after the fact. Essentially 3-4 pushes for that baby to be born at 11:31pm.

They laid him on my chest and we wiped him down and that child had more hair than I have ever seen on a baby.

During the birth Kylie hid in the bathroom (a pre-designed spot she and Leslie had discussed if she didn't want to witness the actual birth) but she did hear me and I remember looking over to my right and seeing her standing there staring at me and her new brother while he was still connected to my via the umbilical cord. She looked a little shell shocked frankly.

Micah cut the cord, and I asked them to weigh the baby. He weighed in at 8lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long. The hair on that child probably added at least 2 oz.

So all in all, he took awhile to get here but when he arrived (downward facing, BTW) it was well worth it with all of the not pushing a lot and oh, no rips or tears. Meaning no stitches for me this time, Whooo Hooo!

(I had no rips with Kylie either but with Lizzie, because of the face up position, I had 2. It took me forever to recover from that.)

Nursing took awhile to get established and he had some jaundice which required him to be under the special lights for a few hours but we were able to leave the hospital Sunday early afternoon which I liked.

Overall, happy mommy, healthy baby, proud daddy and adoring big sisters. We couldn't feel happier or more blessed with our newest addition.

Here is Will, a mere hour or two after his birth.