12 August 2019

A letter to my Kindergartener.

Sweet boy,

The day is here! Your very first day of Kindergarten. The days ahead will be filled with long hours away from me, homework, and the start of lifelong friendships.  We have talked about this day for a long time, and even though I have so many mixed emotions about this day, I know you are SO excited.  Today is the start of an entire lifetime of learning. From the time you were born until now, you have spent almost all of your days with me.  In fact, we've only been away from each other maybe 4 days total.  Today will be hard because I am having to let go of my firstborn, my baby boy.  I am having to learn how to let you fly!  And dang-it, that's not easy.

I will pray today, and everyday, that you will have courage.  That you will be brave and kind.  That you will stand up for yourself and others that need a voice. I pray that you will find the intense love of learning within you that your dad and I have. 

  A wonderful world awaits you, sweet boy, and I cannot wait for you to see all that it has to offer.  Do you know what this also means, though?  The "baby years" are coming to a close.  You will start to need me less and less and I can't decide if I want to sob or swell with pride at the boy you are becoming.  You make me so proud to be your mommy. (And yes, you still call me that and I will cry when it stops!)

It has truly been such a joy having you as my helper and my sidekick. I know five (almost six!) years isn't a whole lot, but we have truly had the best time together. You made me sick as a dog when you were in my belly.  I still worked full-time and had to run to the bathroom in between clients to throw up.  I slept in until 1pm on the weekends because you would keep me up all night kicking my ribs!

Then you arrived swiftly(six hours from start to finish!) but on your own time.  Let me just day, NINE days late seems like NINE HUNDRED to an overdue hormonal pregnant momma. #41weeks3days

Then breastfeeding was HELL.  It wasn't easy, fun or enjoyable.  It took a good 6 weeks for me to not cringe when it was feeding time.  Thankfully, we stuck it out and you nursed for 16 months.  Can we also remember how you wouldn't take a bottle and I was back at work while my precious mother-in-law had to SPOON FEED you milk at 3 months old?  I told you, you do things on your own time!

You slept great and were the sweetest, most content baby so you made up for it.  Fast forward two years and you became a big brother!  I still remember the day you came to the hospital room to meet baby Hogan and I cried because you were now a HUGE toddler and big brother.  But you filled that role so well, and still do.  You are so patient and loving to Hogan and Silas.  They adore you.

When you were 4.5, you gained another brother and you helped me so much in those early days.  Playing with Hogan, bringing me diapers, buckling car seats.  You still do that for me!

Not only are you a Kindergartner now, you will be six years old in a week! You are growing up right before my eyes.  It seems unfair, that time takes away my baby like that.  But it's also a privilege to watch you mature and take in the world around you.  The sparkle that you get in your eye when you figure something out on your own, when you read to me and nail a big word, when you fly a kite, or finish a LEGO set, or catch a lizard.  Those small moments of childhood are the ones I hope you remember.   

And we survived it all-and we grew. And now, it's time for me to let go of my little boy and watch him grow on his own.  As much as I want to keep you little, safe, and mine forever, I am looking forward to watching you figure out this next step in your journey.  You will soar.  Remember I am always in your heart.  I love you past the moon, sweet boy.



06 May 2018

Silas Henry's Birth Story

It's been over SIX weeks since Silas Henry entered the world- I cannot believe it's been that long already.  Time is flying...especially with three boys!

Since I wrote down all the birth stories of my other two boys, I need to do his too, right?  You know how they always say you have way less time to do things with the more kids you add to your family?  Well, that is so true. I haven't even gotten out my DSLR camera one time since Silas has been born, and I certainly haven't blogged in over a year.  Ha..But since one day I hope my family will come back and be able to read all these stories/memores on my blog, here is the birth of Silas Henry!

So, my pregnancy was pretty similar to my previous ones in regards to the fact that I was SUPER sick until around 22-24 weeks, I craved COLD white milk the entire time (did this with my other boys too), hot chocolate, spicy things, and carbs, and I ended up gaining around 26 pounds with Silas.    The major difference in this pregnancy than my others is that I started getting chiropractic care around 30 weeks due to pelvic pain.  Let me tell you, my chiropractor changed my entire pregnancy.  I had NO back or pelvic pain the entire time after getting adjusted every week.  Highly recomend a chiro if you are pregnant.  Best decision ever.

When I was 37 weeks, my doctor requested an ultrasound of the baby to check fluid levels, get an estimated weight, and make sure he was in position for birth.  So, I went to the ultrasound and quickly found out some surprising news:  Silas was NOT head down, he was breech.  Footling breech to be exact. (One foot/leg is down instead of his pelvis like a traditional breech baby)

This was devastating news to me.  I had researched natural, medicine free births for months prior and felt completely confident that I would not have any medical intervention (unless necessary, of course) with this birth for a couple reasons.  1) This is my last biological child/ pregnancy and I wanted to be able to labor at home as long as possible/ use a birthing tub to labor in/ move around during contractions etc  and 2) Both of my previous epidurals have not been great. They both did their job, but with my first birth, it was inserted incorrectly and had to be redone (it was a little traumatic for me), and with my 2nd birth, I had back pain for several months following.  So both were not the best experiences, so I really wanted to make my last birth med free.

One of my last pregnant photos!  39 weeks here.

When you are told you have a breech baby(at most OB offices in the USA), there are basically three options for you:  1) Have the doctor turn the baby externally 2)try an array of home remedies to get him to turn 3) Have a c-section.

1) My doctor would not turn my baby externally due to the shape of my uterus.  I have a "bicornuate" uterus, meaning it's heart shaped, and basically, Silas' head was "stuck" in one of the "horns" near my ribs.  It is too risky for both baby and mom to turn him due to this because it could possibly put too much pressure on the cord or cause placental abruption.

2) Home remedies-  Google provides an extensive list of things you can try at home to make the baby "flip" inside of you.  Believe me when I say, I tried A LOT.  From chiropractic care twice a week, to laying upside down on an ironing board, to doing flips/handstands in the swimming pool, essential oils, to music and flashlights down near my pelvis...i did a ton of things myself to try to help him get head down.  Nothing worked.  ;)

3) C-section...so this was my option basically.  I've had two vaginal births and they've both been very easy and uncomplicated, thankfully.  A major surgery such as this was terrifying to me. But the worst part was knowing I would have to get anesthesia.  I literally had nightmares about it for weeks leading up to his birth.  I would start crying just thinking about getting that needle in my back.  I would stay up and just worry all night about the darn thing.  It was not fun or healthy, to be honest...but I was so uneasy.

I talked to my doctor in detail about the procedure, and although he made my feel a lot better about it all, I still was terrified.  The thought of being cut open while still being awake was bizarre. A major surgery was not something that I necessarily wanted to do, but you know what?  It was basically my only option if I wanted this baby to come out safely.  Since I have had two quick births (6 hours from start to finish with my first and 3 hours with my second), my doctor did not want me to go into labor on my own with him being footling breech.  We scheduled my surgery for when I was 39 weeks, so March 22.

I soon called my momma and she decided to come and stay with us so she could watch the boys while we were in the hospital.  A few days before delivery day, I had a LOT of contractions.  They were even as close at 5 minutes apart for 2-3 hours straight.  I was pretty worried that I might be in labor, because even when I layed down, they still came.  They were not painful, but they were very consistent.  I wasn't ready for a c-section yet in my mind, so I was terrified to call my OB- he told me previously that he would probably admit me regardless if I had lots of contractions because he didn't want me to go into labor.  So thankfully, after 5-6 hours, they stopped completely and I didn't have any after that.  Whew.

So we woke up on March 22, took Winslow to preschool, and then came back and got our things ready to go.  I was supposed to show up at the hospital at 10:30AM for prep, so we went and tried to check in.  The admissions nurse told us that there had been a LOT of moms who went into labor the previous night so basically there was no room for us.  So she asked us to wait around for an hour or so and then she would see if anyone had been moved upstairs to a mother/baby room.

I was not allowed to eat or drink since 8pm the night before, so I was hungry and thirsty, obviously.  We walked to the cafe and Seth had a cookie while I stared in envy at him. ;)  We came back an hour later and there were still no rooms available. She said we would be admitted that day, but she didn't have a time frame. So we talked about whether or not we should go home, or just wait there, and she actually came back and told us she could admit us then! So relieved.  It had been probably 1.5 hours since our scheduled arrival time.

So, we finally go to the pre-op room, and they did one more ultrasound to make sure he was indeed still breech.

He definitely was.  I was actually having contractions too, and the nurse could see the outline of my heart shaped uterus from the outside of my stomach since i was lying down- it was crazy!  She had a couple other nurses come and look at it, it was kind of funny to see how intrigued they were.

After the ultrasound, the nurse tried to insert my IV.  Keep in mind, it was 12:30-1 by this time and I had not eaten or had anything to drink since 8pm the night before...so I was somewhat dehydrated.  Well, she blew my vein the first try which hurt like CRAZY.  Then she decided to try on my other arm...keep in mind, I DO NOT LIKE NEEDLES.  I do okay with them, but sometimes I just get light headed and I have even passed out in the past.  So for the second time trying, she couldn't find my vein at all, and just kept digging around with the needle.  It was SO painful and finally she gave up again.  By this point, I was not enjoying this experience, and so she called for another nurse to come help.

This nurse ALSO poked around in my arm and couldn't find the vein (due to my veins being small because of no fluids, i think) so by this time, they have tried THREE flipping times.  FINALLY on the FOURTH try, she finally got it.  Goodness gracious, I was so relieved.  That was so painful and it was not enjoyable at all.

Then my OB doctor walks in and tells me he may not can perform the C-section (I had just gotten my IV fluids started literally 5 minutes beforehand)  because he had to speak at some huge conference in a couple hours.  I laughed at him and thought he was joking- I told him he was funny and then he told me that he was dead serious.  If we didn't get wheeled to the OR in 5-10 minutes, he was going to send me home and have me come back tomorrow.  Every operating room had been packed since daylight and so we may not even have anywhere to go...

I was SO mad/sad/anxious/worried...everything.  I DID NOT want to be sent home, because this was a HUGE day mentally for me. I had accepted my surgery, I was ready.  But to be sent home would throw me off and I really didn't want them to poke me again for the darn IV.

About to be wheeled into the OR.


We got an operating room and I was wheeled in.  This was around 1:45PM.  Seth stayed back since he was not allowed to be in the OR while I was getting my anesthesia.  I was so terrified to be by myself during this procedure, but my nurse anesthetist, Jen, was AMAZING.  She calmed my fears, and walked through EVERY single step with me.  The anesthesiologist came in, marked my back for the procedure, and then Jen performed the spinal.  I listened to music during the entire thing and it helped so much.  Honestly, I did not hurt at all.  It was just so strange to feel the medicine numbing you. I kept reciting scripture over and over and the nurse was holding my hand and letting me lean on her shoulders.  It was SUCH an answered prayer that everything went so smoothly, because I had been having nightmares for weeks prior. Thank you, Jesus.

After about 20 minutes, I was numb and Seth was allowed in-he sat by my head and held my hand the entire time.  I was shaking like crazy from the medicine, but other than that, felt great.  I didn't get sick at all, but I did feel like there was a couple bricks on my chest.  Jen told me that was normal and that it was the numbing medicine.  She sat on the other side of me and held my other hand.

Dr. Sullivan then did a couple tests on my legs and stomach to make sure I was for sure numb and then he started the surgery.  There were so many nurses and lights and beeping everywhere, I was just focusing on Seth and my worship music that was playing.  I kept asking everyone if I was really being cut open and if he had even started yet, and of course, I was only about 1 minute away from meeting my baby..it was just so crazy to be awake and have your body cut open. haha.

Then, Jen, told me to be prepared to say hello to my baby soon! She lowered the drape so I could see what was going on, and then in just seconds later, I heard a cry and Dr. Sullivan lifted up my precious baby so I could see him!!! 2:28PM.

It was surreal and amazing and I was crying and so happy!  I remember the first thing I said was " he is so tiny!!"  He just looked so little compared to Winslow and Hogan.

And he was- at 7 lbs 3 oz, he was a pound lighter than both boys and 2 inches shorter.  My perfect little peanut was here and after just a couple minutes of getting cleaned up, they placed him on my chest!

While I was being put back together, I got to hold Silas the entire time, I even nursed him!

When I was all done, they let me hold him while they wheeled me into recovery.  They never even took him off of me, that was so amazing because it was one of my concerns about having a c-section.

So, overall, my c-section went really well.  I had so many fears and apprehensions about it, but really, it was as good as I could have hoped for.

Recovery has been slower than my other births, for sure, but now that I'm 6 weeks postpartum, I feel completely normal and am hoping to start working out soon.

We love you so very much, Silas Henry, and you are the perfect addition to our family!

 To read Hogan Graham's birth story, click here! 

To read Winslow Prevost's birth story, click here!

08 March 2017

An exclusive interview with Mr. Winslow Jones

Oh you know, just spending my days interviewing my 3 year old and laughing at him daily.  He is so stinkin' funny!

1. What is your favorite color? Brown (He is such a boy!)

2. What is your favorite toy?    Paw Patroller and my whistle

3. What is your favorite fruit?  Macaroni and Cheese, Blue Cow Cheese (These are the little laughing cow wedges) and Watermelon. Oh! And fruit snacks. 

4. What is your favorite tv show?  Youtube Kids 

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter and jelly.

6. What is your favorite outfit?   Boys will be boys (t-shirt, doesn't care which shorts!) Shorts with no buttons.

7. What is your favorite game?  The go to sleep game (Seth and I pretend to be asleep and he tries to poke us in the ear/nose/eye without waking us up) and super-baby (we fly around the house with Hogan aka superman)

8. What is your favorite snack?  fruit snacks.

9. What is your favorite animal?  kangaroo

10. What is your favorite song?  Come Thou Fount

11. What is your favorite book?  Going on a bear hunt

12. Who is your best friend?   CeCe and Hogan

13. What is your favorite dinner? S'getti 

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Ride my bicycle and watch the flowers grow.

15. What is your favorite drink?    chocolate milk

16. What is your favorite place to go?  The park and school.

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Monster truck

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Cereal and noly (granola) bars

19. What do you want on your birthday?  A billion things.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?   A lion tamer or a doctor like gpaw.

Man, i love this 3 year old!  Such a funny and bright little boy.