5.27.2017

Henry is five!





I feel like this picture sequence from when the boys visited me in the hospital captures Henry quite well. Energetic. Creative. Not a huge concern with safety...

Henry turned five at the end of February and since Walter had a "knight" birthday last October (my first big/with friends/not in our home party) I wanted Henry to have a fun but low key experience like that as well. First off: planning a birthday party one month postpartum is no joke. Thankfully, Ryan was still on maternity leave (oh those blessed six weeks!) and Henry was happy to have a simple "red" theme. I invited all his friends to wear red shirts and we hung out in the church parking lot/basement for a scooter derby. We had pizza, brownies with raspberries on top and a piΓ±ata to end the party.

Unfortunately, the only record of the party I got was Henry blowing out his candles. But it's a cute little video and I'm grateful I remembered to get something. I fed Theo until right before we had to leave to get the party set up and he slept the entire time, what a kind little brother birthday present :).

Henry has grown in leaps and bounds since starting pre-k this fall. He's becoming both a leader and a follower, he has made so many new friends, and his interest in writing and drawing has grown so much thanks to some super loving teachers. And it's been fun to see him in Primary as a bigger kid, with Wally in the class below him. He still loves to sing in Primary and he's memorized a few lines to some favorite songs of his friends as well. We started reading chapter books after reading some picture books before bed and I love watching him listening to Ryan. He has always loved to be read to. He started baseball this spring and even got a bike as a belated birthday present (in May <--insert am="" and="" at="" been="" being="" building="" closed="" different="" emoji..="" energetic="" eyes="" for="" friend="" fun="" grateful="" hard="" has="" he="" him="" his="" i="" kid="" loves="" magnatile="" many="" monkey="" of="" outside="" p="" pictures="" playground="" practiced="" proud="" s="" see="" so="" still="" structures="" taking="" the="" them--it="" this="" to="" today.="" with="" work.="">

4.27.2017

Theodore Louis. (his birth story)


We found out I was pregnant in the spring. It was fairly uneventful pregnancy, but at 37 weeks baby boy went from transverse (sideways) to breech (bottom-down, instead of head-down, like he was supposed to be). Apparently I have a roomy uterus? Goodness. After tears were shed I had the option of seeing if he went head down on his own (not likely) or having the doctors move him (and making a pros and cons list with that, too) I went into the hospital for a version, where my doctor, a physician's assistant and a nurse manually turned him from the outside while I played flat on my back. At 37 weeks pregnant. Without an epidural. I am amazed at modern know-how and that he was safely turned from the outside, and I didn't want an epidural because honestly, I haven't ever had one and just wanted to keep it that way. But I had a contraction while they turned me and was reminded just how much contractions/natural births/labor can be. OUCH. They stopped turning him while I breathed through my contraction for a few minutes and then finished turning him. He was finally head down and the goal was for him to stay there. After the version I had a scheduled induction date for the day before my due date. I really didn't want to be induced. I also didn't want an emergency c section. But I also knew that it didn't really matter how he came. During my last week of pregnancy he was starting to come on his own. YAY! And at my last doctor's appointment she predicted that he would be born that week--before the induction date--and she was right! On the day before his induction date, he came.

My mom came the day after my doctor's appointment, on Tuesday night. She had booked her ticket the week before after I cried and moped to her how much I didn't want to be induced. I was so grateful for this amazing pregnancy, for a healthy baby, and I knew deep inside that it didn't matter at all how he was born, but I still had it in my mind what I wanted and was in mourning that the birth I had imagined may not happen. Nothing happened on Tuesday other than some cramps/Braxton Hicks and I went into Wednesday thinking nothing may not happen again. But shortly after Ryan left for work and Henry left for school I was feeling like moving and that this baby may just come with a little walking. Or he would have come anyway and I just wanted to feel like I was doing something to come a little quicker. So my mom, Walter, and I headed to Target to walk this baby out. We got to Target, picked up a few things for baby boy, Wally got a new shirt, and as we headed home for lunch I felt a big contraction. A real-deal contraction. I timed them on the way home and they were about 6-10 minutes apart. Since we were still unsure if he had moved from head-down we quickly headed home, I called Ryan to meet me at the hospital, dropped Walter off at a friend's place a little before 1, grabbed my hospital bag and headed out.

Of course once we were at the hospital the contractions subsided and I was worried that they had stopped altogether and I was the "experienced" mom who headed to the hospital for false labor, but once in triage, donning that beautiful hospital gown, the contractions started back up and stayed consistent. I was officially admitted around 2:45 when I was 4cm at 90% effaced. Unfortunately, while in triage I could only have one person with me, so my mom headed downstairs and Ryan stuck around. And unfortunately, there had been an emergency and all the nurses/resources were in the OR so they couldn't find enough nurses to staff a labor and delivery room so unfortunately, I labored the whole time in triage. Boring, small room, no window, triage. FORTUNATELY I always try and watch a comedy while in labor (Parks and Rec. for Henry and Walter, and this time, The Office) and laughter is the best distraction. And season 4 does not disappoint. It was pretty fun to laugh with Ryan as he timed my contractions. As with Hank and Walt, I did not get an epidural. I sat in the hospital bed for a while, waiting to be wheeled from triage, but when it looked like I was going to be there a while they graciously took off the monitoring belts and let me walk around the room and in the hallway. So the contractors were coming, the crampy stomachaches were continuing, and I was nervous that this baby was going to take longer than I thought I could manage. But lo and behold, around 3:30 my water broke. I knew it was go time, that there was no more barrier and this baby was ready. It's all a blur after that, but they checked me one more time, quickly wheeled me into an L&D room, and Ryan called my mom to come up. I had to move myself from the triage bed to the L&D bed "in between contractions". But the contractions were coming so fast and that seemed like an impossible feat, but I got to the other bed, my mom came into the room, and I pushed baby Theodore out of me within minutes. My mom was pretty ticked she didn't get to really labor with me since I was stuck in triage, but I was so grateful she was there for the birth and for the recovery, giving me kind words and calming my aching body.

And here's baby Theodore in all his newborn glory!



Born at 4:11 pm, he was a whopping 9 lbs 15.5 oz, with a beautiful head of hair, and beautiful baby blues (that are turning grey? I'm still hopeful!). I am still amazed that my body pushed that huge baby out of me. It was my third baby and my biggest and my body is definitely having a harder time getting back to normal. But when I remember that it pushed a huge child out, I cut it a some a lot of slack.

And although I am so grateful for my birth story, I know that this story is not the only way neither is it the "right" way to have a baby. And I know that having a baby is not the only way to know that our bodies are amazing and capable of amazing things.

Having a newborn in our home has made it even better than it was before. There is something so special about having this brand-new beautiful spirit in our home that has made all of us a little better.


4.05.2017

I'm (we're) back!


It's been a whole year since I last posted. Instagram has been my thing lately, and it was just easier to post quick recaps of our day than make posts. BUT, in that time I'd been feeling a bit lost and have been trying to find my voice again, so I thought I'd start it back up. I think the blog, while staying mostly our family blog, will eventually become a bit more of my journal. At least that's the plan, anyway.

Starting in the new year I've been thinking about what to do, how to stretch myself, what talents I have, what talents I should have, what talents I have or could develop to bless my family, what talents I have or could develop to monetarily bless my family...and I've been coming up short.

BUT.

I've been feeling really good about who I follow on Instagram lately. Social media can be a force for good or a force for distraction and self-loathing, and lately I've tried to clean up who I follow. I follow women who are inspirational to me. Who are real. Who are helpful for me right now. It can change month-to-month, but a few women have been especially helpful to me as I've prepared to give birth, as I have been recovering and finding my voice again (I know, I never really lost it, but I feel like I was wondering for a bit last year...).

Alison from @thealisonshow said something on Instagram recently that just CLICKED:

thealisonshowFor a really long time, like forever πŸ˜‚, I was so obsessed with the idea of "WHAT AM I DOING?!" Or "What should I be doing?!" Or "what's the best thing to do?!" That it made me nuts! Scroll back and read like years of IG and blog posts if you want. πŸ’ But can I just say it's SO FREAKING FREEING when you realize ⭐️ it doesn't matter WHAT you're doing, nearly as much as it matters HOW you're doing it. ⭐️ Our old mailman of 7 years (from before we moved into our new house) stumbled into my office yesterday because he was filling in for a coworker and ended up being on my office mail route. I was (and still am) so obsessed with him because every day he delivered our mail with so much love and light and awesomeness, that he'd make my day better EVERY time I saw him. And seeing him yesterday made my day better yet again. The way he delivers mail makes the world a better place because of HOW he does it. πŸ’Œ So I just share in case like I was for years you're feeling overwhelmed with the "WHAT AM I DOING?!" conundrum. And I'll even give you an answer: as long as you're doing your best at something, and you're moving from love and not fear...IT DOESN'T really matter. Or it doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does. 😘 Trust me. 


And then the day after I read her post I read an article from the Ensign about living the good life, about putting the gospel of Jesus Christ above my worldly aspirations. About living a life of gratitude. About putting the virtues I would want said at my funeral above the virtues needed for a good resume.

And THEN, I remembered another instagrammer (ok, she's got a blog, but Instagrammer is a pretty fun name to say),  @simplysadiejane, mentioning that she meditates every morning, she loves who she is and her journey, and that it only makes sense that she was blessed with an opportunity because of that.

All that to say, go check out these women, read that article and stay tuned. I think I've figured out that by staying true to who I am, writing down my thoughts, what I do with my family, things that I'm learning, it will all fall into place, little by little. I'll write up Theodore's birth story soon and can't wait to share it, as well as some of my favorite pictures of his short 9 weeks here so far.