Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time to dust off the blog . . .

Here we are again.

See, here's the thing. I don't have time to be on the computer. I get it now. And I apologize to all of my friends who I may have mocked for not checking their email more or updated their blogs more or whatever. Two kids ages 2 and under makes that pretty stinking difficult. So, here it is:

I am very sorry.

There is way too much to update on, but I will do my best to start adding some fun back to this dusty, old, forgotten corner of the internet.

It will come as no surprise to you if I say that all of my children are growing like weeds. But I said it anyway. Ha!

Soren has most definitely passed me up in height. He seems to have flung full force into a growth spurt that can't be stopped. This year was the start of 8th grade for him and, loser that I am, I missed that "first day of school" picture. I suppose he is getting too old to be bothered by them anymore, but I am sad I missed it. Bad mommy! The school schedule this year was adjusted a bit, 5 periods instead of 6, so that threw us for a day or two. He is working hard already and I expect that trend will continue. Two of his classes qualify for high school credits, so he only has a little bit of stress to get awesome grades. . . . haha! This year he is doing wrestling for the first time and has plans to participate in basketball, and track. I'm also attempting to find some soccer team for him. Piano lessons started in October as well as Jazz band. This is where I would toss in a picture of him, but unfortunately they are on my phone and . . . yeah, I am not smart enough to get them onto the computer right now. Let it be noted that he grows more handsome and grown up every day but I still can see that mischievous twinkle in his eye that he's had since the day he was born. LOVE THIS KID! Erm, I mean . . . young man.

Caroline . . . where do I start with this girl. WOW did the Lord ... erm... bless me... with ... her? She is my challenge. Every. single. day. I love her to bits, but she and I definitely butt heads. Frequently. I am learning to choose my battles and yet still teach her valuable lessons (like that mom is the boss! haha!) every time we have a struggle. We still have a few issues now and then with the potty, but we really are through the tough part (I hope)! My princess will be three years old on Friday and that pretty much freaks me out. I can't believe how fast (sometimes) it has gone. It is fun to see her really begin to embrace pretending and playing. She also is in a pre-ballet class, which is like heaven for her. It seems like she has a smile on her face the entire time she is dancing. LOVE IT!

My baby boy, Henry, is just an absolute joy and his smile is the sunshine that starts my day (usually earlier than I want to be up, but that smile seriously saves him - and me!). He is huge - just over 20lbs, and loves people. The kid smiles at anyone and tries desperately to catch the eyes of strangers at the store so he can give him a grin. He is working on cutting tooth number 4 (so close!) so we've had lots of tears and even more drool!! Henry is very aware of all the people in the house - he knows daddy and will almost leap out of my arms while saying "dadadada" if Alan is in the room. Soren is bababa (brother) and they adore each other. Caroline is not an easy word to say and neither is sister, but he knows who she is and I can see his little brain calculating ways to outsmart her so he can get his hands on the many toys she tries to hide/take from him. I think he is plotting a takeover and it will begin the minute he is a stable walker, but maybe before! I figure he will outweigh her in 3-6 months easily, so that will help in his battle. Crawling is just around the corner, but for now he is scooting around, rolling around, and rocking around on his knees/hands while he tries to figure out the coordination that crawling will involve. LOVE my Henry!!!

So that is a quick run down of the kiddos. Alan and I both are working hard to keep things running as smoothly as possible here at home. Our house was hit with various illnesses for pretty much all of October, but I think we're all on the mend now and hope to be able to fight off the sickies for the holiday season.

I did have an interesting (to me anyway) thought today as I sat on the floor, Caroline in my lap and Henry crawling around me. Caroline was watching Toy Story and I was contemplating how much laundry I needed to do, how badly the floors need to be swept/washed, and how desperate I was to get the laundry room organized (again) when it hit me . . . 100 years ago - even 50 years ago - the day to day responsibilities in taking care of a home were much more complex. There weren't nearly as many conveniences to help with things like laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. I believe that one of the reasons we have the many time savers that we do today is to allow us to spend quality time with our children. They need us more now than ever. The world is a scary place with so many twists and turns that will pull our children down paths that no one should be on! It is so important for them to get the guidance, love, and care that they need in order to arm them before they walk out the door - either each morning or when they leave our homes to live on their own. I'm grateful the dishwasher is washing the dishes this morning so that I was able to love on my kiddos. I am so happy to have a washer and dryer to do laundry while I put puzzles together and play peek a boo. I love my crock pot because it makes the hours after 4pm a little more bearable on the days I remember to load it up and plug it in.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this morning! :) Hopefully next time I update I will have lots of pictures to throw on here, too! Today, however, words will have to have to suffice!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

April is over?

(If you are viewing this via facebook and can not see any pictures, please head to my blog at

How in the world is time flying so quickly?? Didn't I just update this blog? Guess not! Haha!

April was a great month for our family! Henry was blessed on April 10th and we were able to have lots of family here for the event. Both of my brothers were there and 6 of the 8 kids in Alan's family were able to be here with their families as well as Alan's parents. We were so thrilled to see all of them and missed those who weren't able to come - including my parents who are over in the Philippines.

Here are some pictures of the big day!

The group of us (sans my one brother and his wife who had to leave early):

Our family with a cranky 2 year old:

A few shots of Henry, our happy little handsome boy:

Oh my goodness, don't you just want to eat him up? He's so flippin' cute. Ok, here's one more:

My parents sent this outfit from the Philippines and it looked adorable on him - even if the shorts were a little off season. It was such a special day and we loved being surrounded by family.

I wish I had taken pictures of all the fun we had while the family was here. They started arriving the Friday before the blessing and the last ones didn't roll out until the Thursday following. Caroline LOVED having cousins here and Soren enjoyed it as well, though I think he had the most fun with his uncle Stephen, who is only a few years older than him. Henry enjoyed all the cuddles and smiles! And Alan and I enjoyed visiting. Good times!

Soren has had a few band concerts and one of these days I will upload all of the video footage we have of him. . . he's kind of amazing. I tried to upload one via blogger, but it took hours and didn't work, so I will get some up on youtube soon. He is loving playing the piano in jazz band, though I think there are times he longs for the trumpet. I think in the past month he has had 2 jazz band concerts and a regular band concert as well! It wouldn't surprise me if Soren is really looking forward to the summer. He's been very busy the past month or so with band, track, scouts, and other responsibilities. I sure love him and all that he does. He's an awesome kiddo.

Caroline has turned a corner in the land of potty training. What a relief for all of us! She also has been showing so much love and affection to her "Baby Henry." It's adorable!

Just look at the love on that girl's face! While I'm trying to enjoy every second of Henry's "babyhood," I also am looking forward to the time that I can watch the two of them play together. Caroline is also becoming more and more independent. When we ask her if she needs help, we often here, "No, I good," or "No, I got." Rarely does she say these things in any kind of mean tone, just very matter of fact. And a lot of times she does "got." Haha! It's fun to watch her grow and learn!

Our little Henry is not so little anymore. I mean, yeah, he's still a baby, but wow is he getting big and heavy! At his 4 month checkup he was nearly 14lbs and 26 inches long! Lugging him around in his carseat is definitely akin to a work out in the weight room. Geez! I love his little chubby legs and cheeks and tummy! He's also started "talking" to us. Sometimes when he's eating he'll just stop and look at me and start making noises. Too cute! And when he gets angry he sounds like a little tiger cub. Hard to take that seriously . . . hee hee! We are slowly working on spending more time on the floor so he can learn to roll over, but I know that will come eventually, so I'm not worried. He can take his time.

As for me, I'm tired most of the time - still trying to learn to juggle two little people as well as keep up with my almost teenager. (OH MY GOODNESS . . . Soren is going to be an officially REAL teenager in 2.5 months. UGH!) I try to keep up with housework, but it often falls by the wayside. Still working on finding a balance in life. I know I will get there. I've been trying for months to finish 2 books. I'll keep trying. And whenever I can find an adult conversation, I am there! Although socializing with telemarketers generally makes for an awkward afternoon. I much prefer to chat with friends. :) I'll get our new normal figured out soon and hopefully that will free me up to do some things for me - aside from sleeping and eating (when I remember).

My little tiger cub is complaining. Time to go!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Latest....

Oh, life. How I want to enjoy you daily!

Life pretty much consists of chasing a toddler to the bathroom and feeding a baby. And sometimes attempting both at the same time.

Caroline is still struggling with potty training, but I know she'll get it eventually. We had a really good run where she was only having trouble with #2 and #1 was easy peasy lemon squeezy. No pun intended. However, then we had some major trauma with #2 and she is now struggling with both again. We are working on solutions and I'm trying not to lose my mind. However, I will not be putting her back in diapers, so please don't suggest that ;) Otherwise she is such a cute little source of laughter and joy in our house. I love it when she gets excited about something and her eyes light up. I love that she still wants to snuggle with me still. I love to watch her with her brothers. I love listening to her cute little voice requesting things. I LOVE listening to her recap her day for her daddy when he gets home. I love watching her play with her toys. I love reading books with her. I love chasing her around and listening to her giggle. I just love this girl, stubbornness included! She wouldn't be Caroline without the added dose of spice!

Soren is a pretty amazing kid. Heavenly Father sure blessed me something crazy with this guy. Most of the time he jumps up without complaint to help out with almost anything he is asked. This makes the times he rolls his eyes, sighs loudly, or asks why a little frustrating, but I'm grateful that they are few in comparison to how much is asked of him. He is a great kid and I love him. Soren has been fighting with allergies and some nasty virus for a couple weeks now, but that hasn't stopped him from working hard with his school work and continuing to excel in band. I love listening to him perform and I really need to upload some of his concert footage. I also really enjoy listening to him tinker on the piano. His piano teacher is out of commission (she just had a baby) for a while, but that hasn't stopped him from taking the initiative to learn a few songs on his own. Not only that, but Soren also pitches in when it comes to cooking and baking. And to top it all of, he is very helpful with his siblings. It's so fun to watch him with Caroline and Henry and see the joy on his face (most of the time haha).

Henry is now 3 months old and when he isn't hungry or tired he is full of smiles and laughter. Most of the time he sleeps wonderfully - plenty of naps during the day (even with all the screaming that his sister serenades him with) and he has generally been sleeping well at night, though we have some off days now and again. He is growing like crazy! I think I am too late on a few of his 3-6 month outfits . . . the kid is LONG! Not that surprising, though. This weekend is extra special for our Henry! This Sunday he will be blessed at church. This is the longest we have waited to bless one of our kiddos, but worth it because so much family is able to be here. Hooray!

So that's the latest. Alan's still working hard, I'm still being a momma. And while it's challenging, the rewards are worth it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Let me preface all of this with saying that I love my family, I'm grateful for them, and I know I have many blessings. But sometimes it just feels good to vent.

1 - Potty training is horrible and is ruining nap time which just creates a cycle of drama that culminates in me feeling like a failure by the end of the day.
2 - Newborns who wake up to eat then go back to sleep without much of a problem in a crib are great. Until they decide that they don't want to be put down to sleep anymore but would much rather be held. And then if you put them down they wake up really angry because they are tired and you put them down and now they are awake.
3 - Toddlers who finally figure out there is someone smaller in the house have a tendency to suddenly need mom more, want to be "up" all the time, and decide that, if that doesn't work, they'll just start hitting everyone. It's awesome.
4 - Nearly 3 months into sleep deprivation, mama's temper starts to come out more and more.
5 - Toddlers who know how to push mama's buttons tend to do so just to see the angry monster come out. As a parent, it sucks when it works and you find yourself irrationally angry at a two year old.
6 - Feelings of inadequacy suck, too. Don't even get me started on the feelings of inadequacy. I can't count how many times I have felt sorry for Alan and Soren when they've walked through the door after work/school.
7 - Being a mom is hard work. Really hard.
8 - Crying is therapeutic, but I still hate it.

I know this is just a moment in time, that it will pass. I know that in a few short years I will be longing for the time when my kids were small. But right now each day seems very long. And on days like today, I wonder how my kids will remember me. Right now I just feel like an angry, grumpy, emotional tyrant.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lots and Lots and Lots . . .

So I have a minute to breathe and update life, so here goes!

Henry is TWO months old!!! How did that happen?? Anyway, he is now starting to give us some smiles and giggles. His sleeping patterns are starting to emerge, but he also has been a pill the past few nights. We need to figure that out. And boy, oh boy, he is growing like a weed! At his 2 month appointment he was 24.5 inches long (2.5 inches longer in 6 weeks!) and nearly 10.5lbs (over 3lbs gained in 6 weeks!). He is actually heavier and longer than Soren was at 2 months. Impressive! We are loving having this little guy around - such an easy going kiddo!

Caroline has big things going on, too! We are on the potty training ride right now. I hate potty training. However, she is doing remarkably well. Today is day 5 and she has managed to take herself to the potty successfully twice without any help from mom. Well done, big girl! I'm hoping we'll keep making progress because not having to change her diapers is awesome. Other than potty training, Caroline has also discovered her little brother. She has also decided she loves him. This is fabulous for all of us!

Soren continues to amaze & impress me. He is doing very well in school, trying very hard to take the initiative with his school work & keep his grades up. This year he participated in National History Day again. For his project he created a website (last year he did an essay). He won first place at his school and 5th place in the region, missing out on going to state by one place! I was so proud of him, especially because Alan and I were so busy during the prep time for his project that we were of little help to him - he did this mainly on his own with the help of his teachers. Such a fabulous job! Soren also continues to amaze me with his musical talents. He had a jazz band concert at the beginning of February and played not only the piano, but then ran across the stage twice to play his trumpet with solos and everything. This past weekend he also performed in a duet and an ensemble for Solo and Ensemble - a state wide music event. For middle schoolers, they perform and are adjudicated. As you progress to high school, however, it becomes a judged competition with scoring and all of that. I participated in Solo and Ensemble in junior high and high school so it is fun to see Soren doing the same, even if it is for trumpet and not for voice! Soren continues to be an amazing kid, even when he acts like a teenager. Haha!

I love my kiddos and right now my life pretty much is them. I'm okay with that, though. I'm so very blessed to have the three of them in my life and even more blessed to have an amazing husband who continues to help me every single day and love me even when I'm falling apart.

Life is pretty stinkin' good right now, even with a toddler, newborn, and tweenager. It's not great at every moment, but overall I really can't complain.

And it's a good thing I'm writing this post today and not yesterday because I would have been singing a whole different song! Haha!

Videos and pictures coming very soon. However, there is a certain little guy who needs a fresh pair of pants and a little more food. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Infertility & Motherhood (Part Two)

Part two has been a long time coming, but I have good reason! Not only have we been adjusting to life with a third kiddo in the house, but I've also had LOTS of visitors. So here's the rest of the story (I hope).

If you remember, I mentioned that I agreed to do a Clomid Challenge test with my ob/gyn to assess the quality/quantity of my egg supply. I wasn't overly worried about it - I was busy working 4 jobs, not including the job of wife & mother, and didn't really have time to worry! But the day the doctor called with the results it was very obvious that the news was not good. His tone of voice told me before he did that it didn't look good. I was told that the only way we'd be able to have more children was if we did InVitro Fertilization with donor eggs - that mine were no good.

I don't remember exactly what happened next - I don't remember if I was crying before or after I hung up the phone. I don't remember if I called Alan and told him or if I just sent him an instant message. I do remember lots of crying. Sobbing, really. I vividly remember sitting at my desk in my home office unable to catch my breath because I was crying so hard. I finally got it together enough to say a very long, heartfelt prayer - I knew it was the only way I'd get through the day. Not only did I have work at home to finish, but I had to physically go to work (another job) that afternoon. I needed the strength to get through the day and I knew it wasn't going to come from me - I was emotionally spent.

Thankfully the Lord stepped in and seriously carried me through the rest of that day. He also prompted me to immediately seek a second opinion - to finally get myself to a fertility specialist (also known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist or RE). I'd had appointments with them before, but had to cancel them due to insurance or financial issues. My sweet ob/gyn sat on the phone with me as we went through every RE on my insurance list, giving me his opinion as to where he thought my best fit would be. I am forever grateful for the time he took out of his day for me.

That horrible day occurred January 15, 2008.

To illustrate miracles . . . I had a positive pregnancy test on March 22, 2008 which resulted in our little Caroline.

And while I could say that was the end of the story - it isn't, really. Having two kids 10 years apart has had its own challenges. One of the more odd ones is that I still didn't feel like a normal mom - my experiences were still very different than those of my friends. I went from not fitting in because I only had one child to not fitting in because my two children were so far apart in age. So for 2+ years I felt almost like I fit in and yet I didn't really feel I did. I had two kids, but it was really like I had two families of one kid each. There was still so much I could not relate to or subjects I couldn't really join in on because I did not have experience with two kids close together in age . . . and there were times I still felt like I was in between worlds - the world of the infertile woman and the world of mother.

And then we headed in for another round of infertility treatments in April/May of 2010, hoping we'd be able to finally have something resembling the family we'd both pictured in our mind for years. Quite frankly, I was shocked when the treatments worked! And now we have our baby Henry.

I won't pretend I didn't get a little annoyed with all the comments about how I'll finally know what it feels like to have kids close in age or how I finally get to deal with all of those horrible things - like fighting, sibling rivalry, trying to potty train a toddler with a baby running around, etc. etc. etc. Yes, I am starting to learn for myself what that is all about. And there are days I feel like I want to pull my hair out. But then there is that part of me that smiles when both little ones are screaming because I finally have that in my life. Finally I can join in conversations, maybe not right now - but soon, about all of the things those "real moms" have talked about for years. In so many ways, I finally feel like a "real mom," even though I know I've been a mom for over 12 years.

(And today is one of those days that I needed to post this so I could remember to be grateful for the screaming toddler, the unpredictable newborn, and the hormonal teenager that were all making me crazy! They are all blessings, right? Right!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Infertility & Motherhood (Part One)

You would think that since I've had three kids now this whole "mom" thing would be old hat. However, my journey through the realms of motherhood has been colored with infertility, which makes everything different.

Soren's first year of life was fabulous. He was a great infant and an energetic toddler. I was juggling school and some part time work and Alan wasn't home a lot (he was juggling work and part time school), but we made it. I remember chasing him around the house, playing outside in the fall leaves, filling up the swimming pool in the backyard and letting him run around naked in the summer . . . lots of smiles. But by the time he turned two, we headed to our first specialist appointment to figure out why, after a year of trying, we did not have a new baby on the way. Unfortunately for all of us, the rest of Soren's young years would be tarnished by the tears, stress, anxiety, and frustration of infertility.

There were days when I would grab hold of Soren and never want to let go - wondering if he'd be our only child and wanting to cherish every second I had with him. There were other days when I wanted to be left alone in my misery, crying and pleading with God - wondering what I had done wrong in my life, in my marriage, or in my parenting that God was keeping us from having more children. It was a tough time - especially the first 4 years. I remember sending Soren off to kindergarten and forcing myself to take on a project (painting the interior of our house) to keep myself from sobbing. It wasn't supposed to be like that - I wasn't supposed to be putting my oldest child on the bus and coming home to an empty house. That wasn't the plan - that wasn't supposed to be my life.

I was stuck in this weird place. I didn't belong with the infertile women - I had a child. How could I possibly relate to those that had none at all? And I wasn't a full fledged mom because I only had one and couldn't possibly understand what it was like to juggle a household of children. I didn't have 2-3 kids screaming for my attention or fighting with each other. I didn't understand. No one purposely left me out (to my knowledge), but I felt very isolated.

The isolation increased once we moved to Washington, DC. At this point, Soren was in school all day, so I wasn't invited to any of the mommy groups, trips to the park, etc. (though I don't know if I would have gone anyway). All the women my age were in those groups and I was on the outside. It was a very difficult time for me and I slipped in to what was probably my worst depression to date. I felt as though I had no friends, no connections, no one to relate to or confide in that would remotely understand what I was feeling.

Secondary infertility (unable to conceive after the birth of one or more children) blows. The pain is different from primary infertility (unable to conceive and carry a child to term). I would NEVER say it was worse, it's just different. You just don't fit anywhere. Or, at least, you don't feel like you fit. I never felt like a real mom because there were too many times I'd actually be talking to other mothers and they'd invalidate my opinion (not in a purposely mean way) because I only had one child. That was hard to deal with because in so many ways, I didn't feel like a mom. I didn't have the full picture of motherhood, just a small piece of it. It made those moments where I did actually have a conversation with another mom tainted with feelings of inadequacy. I might technically be a mom, but I wasn't a real mom.

There came a point around the time that Soren turned 8 that I think Alan and I accepted our fate. We'd done 6 cycles of Clomid and none were remotely successful. We decided to put it all behind us and just move forward and enjoy the family we had, however small it was. We started talking about all the benefits of having only one child. Believe me, when you sit down and think about it, the list can get pretty long! And, as a result, our attitudes started to shift. I started being more open to talking about our situation and not being ashamed of it - it was just fact now. I started to embrace who I was, accept it, and move forward. It was during this time that I started to love me. And wow, did I need that! Infertility taught me many things, but most of all it forced me to confront me, accept me, and love me.

When Soren was 9 1/2, I went into my ob/gyn for my annual checkup. He brought up Clomid again and, on a whim, I agreed to do what is called a Clomid Challenge Test to determine egg quality and quantity. This is when our world took a huge turn. This test would forever change our lives and our family. And, seeing as Henry is about to wake up again, I'm going to have to leave the rest of this story for another day.

But getting just that much out has been very cathartic.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


If I stop to think about all the blessings that have flooded our lives over the past 6 months or so, I start to get all teary eyed. But I often find myself stopping and thinking about them and then I have to pull myself together or I'll be in a pool of tears - but at least they are happy tears! :)

When we arrived home on the 6th, we were brought dinner by someone from our church. This continued for days on end. In fact, we have only had one night where someone didn't bring us dinner since our return. How blessed are we?? It's been so nice to not have to worry about dinners, especially as Alan has had to take over everything around the house, for the most part. He's enjoyed the break from cooking.

I continue to thank my Heavenly Father for the job that Alan has now. It was a long road getting there, but the blessings are overwhelming. He was given the entire first week of Henry's life off from work - paid and none of it counted against his vacation time. As a results, he was able to be at the hospital with me every day and night. This past week he was allowed to work from home OR take a vacation day - depending on what we needed on our end. How fabulous is this job?!?! As an added bonus, he really does like it there and, if I haven't mentioned before, it's 2.5 miles from our front door. Goodness sakes with the blessings!

And as if all of that wasn't enough, I have had a flood of visitors - usually at least one per day - who come to chat, hold the baby, and keep me from feeling isolated from the outside world. One visitor is a sweet friend from middle school who I hadn't actually seen since I was 16! (LOVE FACEBOOK!!) I also have two dear brothers & their families who I know are there to help if I call (and have helped already). I have a sister who is coming to help me the last week of this month and another who is going to try and come as soon as she is able. I also have a dear friend who is ready and willing to come as well, we are just figuring out logistics. The love I have felt since Henry joined our family is seriously overwhelming. But I'm handling it just fine, thank you very much! Haha!

Henry is an absolute joy. Again, we have been very blessed to have a new baby who allows me to sleep for 2+ hours at a time (sometimes even 4!), who eats well and consistently, who poops and pees just like he is supposed to, and who rarely cries. After my sweet Caroline put me through the ringer with all of the above, I seriously am close to tears when I think about how good Henry is. If I had a difficult baby on top of a c-section, I dunno what I would do. I'd handle it, I'm sure . . but I'm glad that, at this point, I don't have to figure out how I'd handle it. Haha!

I'm also very blessed to have a wonderful husband who has sacrificed basically his entire life the past two weeks to turn himself into Mr. Mom as well as caretaker of Mommy. He makes sure I'm fed, well-rested, and not doing too much. He lets me watch Gilmore Girls ad nauseam. Basically he really is my knight in shining armor and I love him. :)

Soren & Caroline are adjusting to things as best as they can. Soren's schedule hasn't been disrupted too much, so he's plugging along, trying to get in time with his new little brother as much as he can. Caroline is slowly adjusting to the new presence in the house, though she has yet to hug, hold, or kiss him. Baby steps.

Overall, I am feeling so much love and so many blessings it's kind of ridiculous. But in a good way. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year & Happy New Baby!

(Warning: This post is long and contains the birth story of our little guy!)

Can I just say I'm glad to see the end of December?? What a month that was! I wanted it to end almost before it started. And now we are in a new month and a new year! As I type this, I am trying to keep my eyes open because I'm sleep deprived and full of drowsy drugs, but I want to get this all down before the memories start to fade.

After an awesome New Year's Eve party and a busy New Year's Day getting bags packed and the house clean, it was almost time to go to the hospital to welcome baby #3 into the world. I debated about going to church on Sunday, as I assumed I'd be up all night and would need some rest, but decided to go and, in the end, am very glad I did!

That night we headed to the hospital leaving our other kiddos in the trusty hands of my amazingly wonderful sister in law, Kim. She is amazing and I love her for taking care of Soren and Caroline for nearly 3 full days!! Plus my other sister in law, Sarah, pitched in as well as my sweet friend (also named Sarah). This doesn't even touch on the number of people who offered to do anything we needed over the week! We are so blessed to have such awesome family and friends!! Ok, that was a tangent - now back to the story of our little guy!

Admission to the hospital went fairly quickly; no pile of paperwork, just a few things here and there. Then the real fun began! Not knowing how many different drugs I might need for delivery, I needed two IVs thingies (catheters?) put in - one in each arm. Last time I needed a butt load of drugs because of all the complications I had, so they wanted to be prepared. It only took two nurses an hour and a half plus the use of an ultrasound machine to be successful. Apparently I have crooked veins. Who knew? I now am sporting some pretty awesome bruises on my left arm, though. Sweet!

After the IV debacle, we settled in for a night of what we hoped would be a progressive induction. Caroline had taken 36 hours to get the hint that it was time for her to come (for her own safety), so I was preparing for things to take at least that long but hoping it wouldn't! Haha . . . be careful what you wish for!! Anyway, the plan was a Miso tablet to help move things along, then another after 3 hours, then we'd move on from there to Pitocin and a baby!

Miso tablets, apparently, cause a lot of cramping. Sleep didn't really happen because every time I'd doze off, I'd wake back up in pain. Not major pain, mind you, but just annoying enough to keep me from sleeping. Then, of course, the nurse came in quite a few times to check baby and blood pressure and all of that fun stuff. After 2 rounds of Miso, it was time to hook up the pitocin. My nurse changed around 7:30am, but not much else changed. I wasn't progressing very quickly, so they were slowly turning up the Pitocin.

Generally I am pretty tolerant of pain, but during labor I feel like a big wuss. The sooner I can get something to stop the pain, the happier I am. However, no matter how many times and ways I mentioned that I would sure like something for the pain, I didn't get anything. Finally the doctor arrived to assess the situation and I asked her what the general protocol was for giving me drugs. After checking to see how baby was progressing, she told me she wanted his head to be a little closer to the exit before we put in the epidural. I trusted her opinion (she's a great doctor from what I've been able to ascertain), so I went with it.

Shortly thereafter I began to disagree.

I've been induced with each of my pregnancies, so I've done the whole Pitocin thing before. I know that the pain associated with Pitocin (and labor in general haha) sucks, but I was experiencing some nasty, nasty pain. With Caroline, my epidural stopped working 45 minutes before she was born and I went through the final bit of labor without anything to kill or dull the pain. The contractions I was feeling this time were more painful than that. I'd get one contraction, it would start to fade and then before it went away, another one started. Then I'd get about 20-30 seconds before it all started again. This is when I started whining to the nurse! Around 11:30am, after watching me and my contractions disagree for quite a while, she turned the Pitocin down. It was heaven! For all of 5 minutes, anyway. I was expressing my joy at the relief when I felt something familiar. I looked at the nurse and told her I was pretty sure my water had just broken.


Except then I was worried that I'd have to do the labor without drugs again because after my water broke with Caroline, she came VERY quickly! I braced myself for it, but after the nurse checked things out, she looked slightly concerned. She told us there was some blood and she wanted to check with the doctor on the next step. After maybe 2 minutes, she came back in and that's when the crazy started. Apparently I was dripping blood - everywhere. I couldn't see it (thank GOODNESS!!!), but there was blood all over my bed and literally streaming onto the floor, creating a puddle.

The look on the nurses face told me that things were not good. And suddenly there were at least 6 other people in the room. I had an anesthesiologist in my face (his name was Doug and he was super nice, actually) going through the risks and warnings, I had my nurse telling me they were doing a c-section asap, I had a doctor (not mine, of course - she was already in surgery) telling me her name - which I promptly forgot - and saying she'd be performing the surgery, there were papers being tossed in my face to sign, and then I was being rapidly wheeled down halls to an operating room.

By this time I had lost so much blood I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. I tried to do what they told me to so I could get the spinal block and they wouldn't have to knock me out completely. If there was one thing I remembered from the anesthesiologist, it was that if they had to knock me out completely, Alan would not be able to be there with me. I was not ok with this and I knew he'd be pretty upset as well. Thank goodness I was coherent enough to get the spinal block! Before I knew what was happening, the nurses and Alan were trying to inform me that our baby was here.

And he was beautiful.

Our little guy, Henry Alan Tullis!!!
Arrival date: 1/3/11
Arrival time: 12:21pm
Weight: 7lbs, 3oz
Height: 21 1/2 inches

I wish I'd been more coherent . . . I was too weak to even hold him - I didn't trust myself, but I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him. At that point I just wanted to sleep. The nurses needed to take Henry to the nursery because his blood sugar was a little low (and I was in no position to feed him! Haha!) and he was having a little bit of trouble fully figuring out the whole breathing thing. Alan stayed with me while they finished with the surgery. I think it was at that point that the doctor told us that my placenta was torn and that's where all the blood was coming from. Later we were told that it wasn't a "traditional" tear - the placenta hadn't pulled away from the uterine wall or anything, it had just torn during labor. Apparently this happens in less than 2% of pregnancies. I'm telling you, my luck with medical stuff is amazing!!!

Anyway, after they sewed me all up, I was wheeled over to a recovery room where I shook so much I think I caused a minor earthquake. I remember shaking a lot after my Gallbladder surgery, but this seemed more intense. They finally gave me some Demerol and the shaking went away. After about an hour hanging out in recovery with both my nurse (KC was her name, by the way) and our friend anesthesiologist, Doug, they finally let me go back to my room. I think I slept, but I can't really remember.

After over 6 hours, the nursery finally released Henry and he came into the room. I held him and didn't want to put him down or share or anything!!

We were blessed with many visitors at the hospital, but two of our favorites were Soren and Caroline.

Overall, the nurses and doctors were impressed with my recovery. My doctor was almost certain I would need a blood transfusion, but I was very blessed and my red blood count did not dip down low enough to require it. My blood pressure remained low during my entire stay. I was up and walking around within 24 hours of the surgery. Things just looked great and continued to for the rest of my stay. And our little Henry, even though he dropped nearly 10% of his birth weight, was doing really well!

I was released on Thursday afternoon and able to come home and be with my family.

So that's the basic run down. It's time for me to feed our little guy ad then get a nap. I'll be sure to write more about our first week with Henry in our home!