Christmas of 2008 we were at my husband's father's home for a huge family potluck dinner.
I think I was in charge of bringing chips. Or cups. Since I'm new to the family I believe they are breaking me in gently since Kendall's mom's and dad's sides both have around 40-50 people for any holidy "family gathering".
Kendall's step sister presented a tray of B with crackers to which I inquired, "What is this stuff??"
And stuff replied, "Hello lover, my name is Braunschweiger. And I take tastebuds for a spin."
One word to describe her birth- quick. My water broke at 4:45pm, about a half hour after Kendall had left to do some shopping at Menard's. We'd spent the day in Elk River and walking around Walmart, so we came home to drop the boys and myself off, then he turned around and drove back to finish getting things on our 'before the baby comes' list. I hesitated at first to call the store and have him paged, but have a few intense contractions, I decided it was best to get him home.
"Hey, I wanted to let you know my water broke at 4:45."
"Your water broke?"
"Yeah, at 4:45, can you go ahead and come home?"
Ok, I guess he's coming home.
I had given Ernest a bath and when I bent over to get him out of his little tub I thought my bladder had lost a battle, but no, it was the begining of the end of pregnancy. I made a few phone calls and my friends know what was going on as well as some family.
Kendall came home and immediately started getting kids in pajama's and in the car. He was NOT messing around.
We dropped the boys off at a friends house, ran down to the hospital, and while Kendall parked the car a security guard came with a wheel chair to take me to the third floor. Super cool because Ernest crowned in the wheel chair last year.
As we entered labor and delivery I told the nurse behind the desk, "Water broke at 4:45, contractions are about 4 minutes apart." She nodded her head and directed us to the 'labor' part of labor and delivery. I'm so glad they had a room ready because we didn't call ahead and let them know we were coming in. As soon as I got there I spelled my name for her, let her know I wanted Dr Jensen, she took my blood pressure and temperature, then checked my dilation and I was at a 5. Great! I was a 3 two weeks ago. I then asked "Am I done? Can I get in the shower?" Sweetness, I'm granted release from the prison of the wheelchair! Kendall had made it upstairs by now and I didn't care who saw my butt I wanted in the shower with the hottest water on my back. My nurses said I'd been in there about 30 minutes when they wanted to check me again, now I'm at a 7 and my friends have found my room. I now know to have a designated photographer! These are the most candid pictures of myself I've ever seen.
Between the contractions. See? It is possible to muster up a smile! I think the idea of it almost being over gave me the patience to breath through every contraction.
During a contraction I'd try to swivel my hips around on the birthing ball in hopes that gravity and motion will help the baby on down. Plus, my friend Lisa is digging into rubbing my back. There's no such thing as 'too much pressure' on your lower back when in labor.
This one looks like a doozy. My mind is in a completley other world of concentration and focus. Mostly focus. Also, my breathing reminded me of the song Hosanna so I was also singing while trying to breath and contract. I'm a great multitasker.
She's out!! Relief is an understatement. It is such a good feeling to be DONE delivering a baby.
Men will never understand.
Seconds old. Look at those cheeks! And all of that hair!
Seriously, how precious is this picture! See that pinky finger? Yeah, he's totally wrapped around it.
FAT CHEEKS! This is what an 8lb 15oz baby looks like at minutes old.
My crew. Lisa, Anna, me, Jody holding baby Tessa. Jody came as soon as Dan was home. Lisa was my back rubber and 'quiet and calm' person. Anna was my photographer and another 'calm and quiet' person.
Can we see a trend in the type of people I need around me during delivery?
Ohhhh the pinks and purples and reds and yellows that filled our room.
The girls brought a closet full of goodies and outfits. Eleanor, girlfriend, you will be the
Bummed doesn't even begin to remotely start how I feel. I've bawled two times today and slept most of the other times. I'm feeling so discouraged from a lack of contractions, or at least of lack of real contractions that feel more like contractions and less like cramps. Bring on the pain! Let's do this already! Lord, give me some patience and perseverence. I'm hoping to look back in a few weeks and be able to piece together this puzzle to see why she isn't coming when I'd like her to. Bleh! I've been able to keep up with most of the household stuff despite being so tired. I don't remember being this tired with the other two this late in pregnancy. Is it because I'm going into this one heavier? Is it because I'm older? Is it mind over matter? Or are women who are 40 weeks pregnant really this exhausted?
My oh so sexy cankles. THIS is why I gained 9 pounds in one week.
I can handle death, pain, and illness pretty darn well. Part of it is from growing up in hospitals and clinnics from following around dad's cancer and COPD. Usually, it doesn't phase me and I can see the person, not their illness.
However, lately I have been reading way.too.many. blogs about death and sickness.
Matt - lost his wife Liz to a pulmonary embolism when she got up from bed to meet their newborn.
Katie- a missionary in Uganda. Oh my word, it makes me want to adopt from Uganda so badly!
Renee- another missionary in Uganda. She has such faith that God will heal the sick. Graphic pictures but I feel that they help to bring the stories to life. Total reality check to appreciate America.
Karol- my pastor's wife. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2009. Her caring bridge site is updated pretty reguarly which is nice because my church is large and I want to be updated on her health. She called and left a message on our answering machine the weekend before her and her family left to California for some treatments. She is always always always smiling. Always. And her hair and makeup look fabulous, you'd never know she had a cold much less cancer. I want faith like Karols.
Ian- critically injured while serving in Iraq but is making an amazing recovery. Totally floored because it is totally God!
The Reed Family- have adopted eight orphans so far bringing their family up to fourteen. Wow!
Raising Arrows- her daughter passed away and you'll need kleenex. On the other side it's encouraging to see how well themom heals. Just hug your kids tonight, okay?
Another side of my morbidity is my total openess to death with pregnancy and labor. Let's face the facts- women die giving birth. 11 out of 100,000 in 2005 is not bad at all but still! It could happen!
Sometimes I catch myself in a fog of worry over this issue.
Does Kendall know where Ethan's socks are? How about his folded undershirts?
Would Kendall sing Jesus Loves Me to Ernest every night like I do? Does he know Ernest needs to transition into sleep and can't just be laid down and told go to sleep?
He'd bathe the kids, right? I mean, at least before church or something?
Does he know what size shoes Ethan wears?
WOULD HE FEED THEM NOTHING BUT TOP RAMEN AND FROZEN PIZZA!??!?!????
Would Ethan grow up on Pixar movies and Veggietales day in and day out?
I hope he'd remarry on the sooner than the later, the boy's need a mother figure in their lives!
Thank GOD my sister in law has boys and all of his family is within an hour and a half.
Thank GOD we have an established church we attend. Those women would step right in and help out if he needed anything.
Thank GOD I have friends out here in Minnesota who know me and my boys. They would step right in and help out if he needed anything.
Scratch that- our church family, blood family, and friends family would step in to help whether he asked or not because they know that's what Crystal would want.
AND thank you JESUS I have all of our children's clothes organized and labeled by size AND gender. I know I have put Ernest in pink pajama's on laundry day but still, it's nice to know the kids stand a chance at getting something on in a size they could technically wear.
Today we had our first co-op meeting. It goes from 9-12 the 2nd Friday of the month. To say Ethan had a good time is an underscore! He was so excited and had a great time with his teacher letting me know he was well behaved. Praise the Lord! I am volunteering in the nursery since Ernest and the future Ms. Eleanor will be both be in there. We start with circle time which is the Pledge of Allegiance, singing happy birthday, and announcements. Then we break to our rooms and rotate every 45 minutes to a new class. Ethan started in a classroom, has phy ed, then ends in the classroom again. It is well structured and he was pretty tired by the end. Several mom's rotated in and out of the nursery to help with the little ones, so there was someone new to talk to every so often, which is a great way to get to know the other mom's. I started off tired so I sat a lot and played on the floor. Easy peasy.
Afterwards we went to a thrift store and got a great deal on a beautiful dress for the brother in law's wedding on Sunday. Sad to say I'm waiting two days before the wedding to purchase a dress but I didn't want to get a dress and not go or have it not fit. Plus it's something I can wear in the future, black and white floral halter top. Pretty! The boys did great too.
To end our journey we went to McDonald's which is a TREAT in our family. I didn't know what to get and had to tell them to wait several times while I did calculations in my head. Ethan ate a LOT and I ended up going back to order more! He had most of Ernest's burger, another kids burger, a McDouble, most of the french fries (a medium) and we refilled our small drink several times. A growing boy I tell ya! Then Ernest only had a piece of his first burger since Ethan scarfed it down, so he had another one and some french fries. I'm afraid of the teenage years, let me tell ya! Ethan had great time playing in their playscape said "Mom, I'm done. I want to go home." after about 45 minutes!
Now we are working on cleaning the house and preparing for the baby! It's definitly an ongoing process.
While getting ready for #3's arrival we have been sorting and packing away Ernest's 12 month clothes, Ethan's 5t clothes and all of the summer shorts. Sigh, it's true. It's too chilly for shorts and sandles. We now have to wear socks, real shoes, and at least a hoodie.
Some of Ernest's 18 month clothes are short sleeved and shorts, so I explained to Kendall I don't plan on putting him into these clothes at all, eventhough they'd fit. So question is: "What do you want me to do with them?"
Several times I have exclaimed that I'm done having kids, I can't do it with two much less three, we can't afford three, we can't afford two in diapers, what are we going to do, blah blah blah. But still, I feel deep inside, we are not done. I cannot seem to garage sale or give away baby clothes. I look forward to storing them and awaiting the arrival of the next little baby to wear the handed down clothes so perfectly folded with love, marking them now by gender instead of just by age.
When I asked Kendall "What do you want me to do with Ernest's clothes?" I held my breath and hesistated. What if he says to put them in the garage sale bin? Craigslist? Send them off to the thrift store! MY BABY'S CLOTHES!!!! (ohhhh how a woman's mind can race)
Instead, he replies with "Put them in a bag and we'll put them in storage."
Ernest resting at the park. "Just hold me and all is well."