After a pretty tough delivery, Jack finally made it, and on his terms! Not sure if it was the Mexican food for dinner, the hay ride at the Reindeer Farm, or the long talk we had the night before, but I started feeling good contractions at about 3pm. We called Peggy and told her that she might start heading this way, and were super excited to learn that Tom was home and could watch the big kids. Both moms/ grandmas were going to be able to be there for Jack's grand entrance!
We went to the hospital about 6 when the contractions were too much to talk through. With my history of quick deliveries, we didn't wait until they were five minutes apart like they say!
The nurse confirmed what I already knew... I was definitely in labor! Yay!! Once we were checked into our room, things progressed pretty quickly. My doctor's car was stuck in her driveway, so another doctor attended to us while she worked on getting another ride. By the time she arrived, I was in active labor and all too ready to be finished! But with Jack, I never got that "urge" to push. It was like he realized it was time, but I would have to make it happen. I remember the other doctor asking me at 9:45pm why I didn't want to push, and thinking that I just didn't need to yet... She told me that if I started pushing, that I would have my baby by 10, she just knew it. I pondered that for a few minutes and decided that holding the babe in my arms seemed a much more desirable way than the current one, and I started pushing. Meaning to hold her to her word, Jack entered this world at 10pm on the dot, weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces, and 20 inches long, and looking JUST LIKE his brothers and sister!
This picture totally cracks me up. I think someone just told him that Jack is coming home with us and going to take up even more of mom's lap space... UGH!!!
This day began as most of the others had since we moved into our new home. I woke up and realized, sadly, that it was not contractions that had awoken me. Being the day before Christmas Eve, we decided to head over to the Reindeer Farm in Palmer and wish Santa's Helpers good luck as they prepared for their big journey. If you haven't been, I would definitely add it to the list! The reindeer are all super friendly, and there's a ton of stuff to do... including a hay ride that can put a lady into labor =). With my twelve layers on... here is my last outdoor pregnant picture! There are some mixed feelings about that one!
To tell Jack's story requires going a little further back than his birthday. All looked like we were set to deliver a few weeks early, which we did our best to prepare for in the middle of our move. Without going into detail, I was having some signs, confirmed by the doctor I might add, and Jack was head down, engaged, and ready to go. I was most uncomfortable, and, like most 9 month pregnant ladies are, ready to hold my baby on the outside!
Each day started first with the let down that I woke up for reasons other than contractions. Two weeks before his due date, I slipped on the ice, total arse over tea kettle style so hard that it knocked the wind out of me. The whole time I was trying to catch my breath, all I could think of was... maybe??? But, no, not even then.
To my absolute surprise, as well as that of my doctor, I started my 39th week by actually UNDILATING and feeling amazingly less pressure as the baby moved back up into the womb. All that we could figure was that he had presented himself and knew that he wasn't in the right position, so he took his time to be meticulous and try again, this time doing it right.
However, my blood pressure was skyrocketing, and it seemed that we might need to give him a little nudge, meaning induction.
Now, as a general rule, I am not supportive of inductions. However, I had to have my water broken with two of my three babies to get things going, so I am open to the discussion when they are necessary for the health of mama or baby. So when the doc mentioned the word, rather than being horrified, I will throw the idea out there that I may have been ecstatic. When you are almost sure that the baby is going to come any day, and then three weeks go by, you are mighty anxious to say the least!
Then... my blood pressure stabilized. No induction. And no baby.
So we talked about an elective induction. Brian only had one more week off of work, and my mom was leaving in three weeks. We were ready. The appointment was set for Thursday the 22nd at 6:30am. Such a strange feeling to set your alarm to have a baby. My OB was open to the idea of breaking my waters to induce, and then we would use pitocin if I did not start having contractions.
The doc showed up at 7:00 to give it a try, but the baby was so high that she couldn't access the bag of waters! He wasn't engaged at all!! I tried to hold back my disappointment, and tried a few natural things to kickstart some contractions and get him to descend a bit. All to no luck. She suggested pitocin, but I just had a bad feeling about it all. I couldn't shake the thought that he just wasn't ready and that what we were trying to do to him just wasn't right. I think that Brian was as ready as I was, but after a long talk and lots of tears, we told the doctor that we were not anxious enough to use chemicals to make it happen. And we went home. It was such a let down... I had thought that I would come home with the latest addition to our family... and I am only mentioning my disappointment. Kailyn, Charlie, Aiden, and my mom were pretty bummed, to put it lightly!
But, I knew that I was doing the right thing by Jack, and that's our job as a mama, right? I knew in my heart that he would not stay in there forever... I went through all of my girlfriends that had been pregnant, and they had all delivered their babies at some point. So I went home, took a long shower, and loaded up the kids to go look at Christmas lights and take our minds off things.
So... we've decided to make the move. To Wasilla that is. We have loved our chapter in Valdez, but feel that the time has come to move closer to family and our friends in that part of the State. Of course, I have mixed feelings about the move, but I know in my heart it's the right thing for our family. But here's the catch: We found out 2 weeks ago, and I am due to have Baby Jack in 4 weeks. And.... my kiddos like to come three weeks early. Meaning that when we leave next week, I should be good and ready to go into labor. Moving while this pregnant isn't the most fun, but I suppose it's better than moving with a newborn!So... in the last two weeks we have accepted a new job, bought a house, sold a house, found a doctor willing to deliver a full-term woman she's never met, packed a house, and shipped a car. Oh yeah, and fed, bathed, and entertained three kids under the age of 6 all the while trying to keep my legs crossed and up so that I don't go into labor. Aaaaahhhh... I am looking forward to sitting in front of the woodstove drinking a hot chocolate and watching the moose from my new front window. And... the best part... my new quilting room!!! Yippee!
I've known many people that thought that they... I don't know... had the best house. Or the best car. Or the best hair. Or whatever. Who cares is what I wonder. It just seems to be a silly way to look at things - always wondering if what you have is better than the next guy's. Because there is ALWAYS someone, something, somewhere that is better. Even if what you have is great.
BUT. Can you be snobby about the place that you live? Really, I can think of no place that I have traveled that rivals my home. I have been to many BEAUTIFUL places, but being able to raise my family in a place that has THIS in just a six minute drive and about an hour snowshoe... come on.... I think that I REALLY DO LIVE IN THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. There is no better. Sure, we have some ornery weather, but when it's nice, it's NICE! I'm watering my "lawn," and it's looking gooooood!!!!
In case you are not familiar with Valdez, these icebergs are "floating" in a frozen lake. They are different every year, though always amazing. The ice that you see is probably a bazillion years old. The rocks that are still frozen inside have probably been frozen there since our ancestors tossed them aside in search of a better shaped one.
OK. I am a little imaginative, I suppose, but what a fun adventure we were able to go on.... all the while searching for lost or hurt animals (Kailyn's concern). We chose not to point out what was most likely some bear prints. With the strange weather we've been having, it looks like they are waking up a little early this year.
Total side note: Good morning, bears. Please eat lots of fish and berries, and stay away from our backyard. We would really like to play there this summer.
Brian had an unexpected meeting tonight, so I decided to switch my morning "shoot" to tonight. He's booked up Sunday, I'm booked up tomorrow afternoon, and then he leaves on Monday for Anchorage for the week. I hate to sneak away all by myself when I will be all alone for several days next week anyways!
Not one to take advantage of the GREAT OPPORTUNITY to go to bed early, I had a FABULOUS time giving baths! There are 3 towels soaking up the water, and the rug is hanging from the rod to drip dry. The water was cold when I got the boys out - I can't believe how kids just don't care about that stuff.
If you're wondering why his face is blue, please, read on to the next post. He also got a bath yesterday. This is what is stubbornly sticking to him.
The funniest part was when Charlie noticed the camera and put his arm around Aiden. I did not ask him to do this, he just did... and Aiden wasn't all too pleased. I just love Charlie's little face... it is so sweet that he is trying so hard!
This week we are working on shutter speed. All these pictures are shot in shutter priority with no flash, except the last one. So far, I really like this mode; you are able to do alot of really fun stuff with it!
I woke up with the kids today. I try to wake up first, really, I do, but sometimes I just can't do it. It's my only real hope for looking presentable, but sometimes I just can't swing my cozy, warm, lazy legs over the side of that bed and make it happen.
Charlie seemed to be happy. Until Aiden offered the idea that he'd like to share Charlie's dump truck. By taking it from him. This was tantrum number one. A full fledge, flopping like a fish on the floor, tantrum. Good morning to you. Good morning to me.
Then Kailyn began to cry because she was traumatized by Willie jumping in her bed to snuggle. I was able (somehow) to get her laughing because she is so cool that everyone, brothers and pets alike, all want to be with, or on, Kailyn. And it's true. She is one cool kid.
Downstairs we went. There were just enough bagels for the kids. Yippee. Not nearly enough raspberries. Not yippee. Charlie wanted more, preferably of the ones that Aiden was shoveling into his mouth. Tantrum number two. (Charlie, not me.) And yes, it's another full fledge, flopping like a fish on the floor, tantrum.
Then everyone's cue to immediately begin screaming and swinging from the light fixtures. The phone rang. Yeah. No caller ID on the phone in the kitchen, so I answered it. It's the guy with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE ON LAKE WINAPASAUKEE. And I answered it. Ugh.
Trying to escape the chaos, I walked into the living room, leaving Charlie at the bar with his breakfast. This I have done many many times in the past. So my sweetheart of a child, who was eating his breakfast quietly (DANG IT.... should have been a clue), found a marker that was left out from the night before. Blasted, non-washable, dark blue marker. And redecorated MY ENTIRE KITCHEN with it.
This he did with the most amazing efficiency that I have yet to see when I could use it, like, say.... when we are trying to get Kailyn to school in the morning. No need for efficiency then. But mom could be off the phone any minute, so he WENT TO TOWN. And fast. My floor, every single wood bar stool, the high chairs, the back of the bar, and the bar itself.
Having two boys 13 months apart has changed my outlook a little, just saying. Most of these days I can step back and laugh. Sometimes I cry, but I really try my best to laugh.
But today I could not laugh. Ever have one of those days?
I am a wife, a mother, and a compulsive craigslist shopper. After growing up in sunny Florida, I moved to Alaska to see snow and never turned back. I married a hunky fireman who makes me laugh every day, even when the world seems to be changing so dramatically that I cannot hardly bear to watch the news anymore. I have the sweetest, most angelic daughter that I pray every day I am alive to watch her grow into the amazing woman that I know she will be. We are also blessed with three sons who are always up for a laugh, and I know that this is a sign of times to come as they continue to change each and every day. I used to think that I knew happiness, but I wasn't even close. The love I have for these five people is immeasurable; I feel so blessed and often wonder what I have done to deserve all of this. I love to quilt, scrapbook, read, and shop. As a child, I secretly loved our school cafeteria food and hid under the table during a food fight so I wouldn't have to throw my mexican pizza - they only had it once a month.