|Our last picture as a family of 5- on Easter Sunday.|
|Mom, Audrey and Me|
|Big girl turns 2!!! Only 1 week before she officially became a BIG sister!|
|Back to belly, I just barely fit!|
|The night before Graham was born- so big!|
|All the girls having a night before sleepover.|
So all hooked up and checked out we started settling in. And that is when it started. The amazingly annoying construction noises. Yes, hammer, hammer, hammer, saw, saw, saw on repeat- I was like "WHAT!" It wasn't too bad but when you're about to be put into labor it was rather annoying. It didn't start until the "workday" started at around 8:30-9. The nurse came back in a little while later and I asked about it. Then we were the really annoying- about to give birth- people and asked if it couldn't be stopped was there a room we could be moved to that wouldn't be so loud. So our request to be moved was granted, but we were moved to the furthest room away, like the big annoying people, we were put in the naughty room. But at that point I didn't care because it was the quiet room so I was happy being put in the naughty room.
Now resettled we began the big wait. The wait for my body to start doing its thing. We watched some TV and texted. The only memory I have other than just waiting around is the anesthesiologist coming in to see if I was going to want an epidural. Which I said no thank you too. He didn't seem to like my refusal and hung around a bit just being triple sure I didn't want one. Like I was some kind of freak or something for saying no. I have a few pictures of this time frame.
|All settled in for the big day|
|This is the room- very nice without the construction noises|
I was like, "What did she just say." Was she pushing the pause button on this?!? I mean I completely understood it all and was fine with it, but I was laughing just the same. Matt took this time to get some lunch and refuel since we had such an early rise and shine time that day. I believe it was around 11:45ish when they resumed my Pitocin and we were once again on the road to having this baby. You have to laugh at this because come on now!
It was at this point that she also began the second dose of Penicillin. Oh how I hate that stuff, ouch. Anyway, my doctor also instructed the nurse to put me in this crazy position and use a peanut birthing ball. Here is the picture I got off Google in case you're like me and had no idea these things existed. I had no idea until that moment. I'll do my best to describe what they did to me.
So they inverted the bed. My head was lower than my feet. Not by too much but it seemed counter intuitive to have gravity not working for me but what do I know. On top of me being heals over head, they put this peanut ball between my legs which was to help open my hips up allowing baby to have more wiggle room I think. She put me in this position and left. At first I didn't notice too much but it truly took no time at all for this position to work its magic. My contractions started become more intense and more frequent. But I also started losing blood in my arm. The arm that just moments earlier was burning with pain from the medication was now tingling and really hurting even more, pretty unbearable. At this point the nurse didn't come even though we had called for her (must have been busy with other people who didn't need to be put in the naughty room), I'm not sure what was going on but my needy self was on her own. Matt helped me get into a position that allowed blood flow to my arm and yet didn't compromise the birthing position they had me in. Amen for my amazing hubby and birthing partner!
It was about an hour more of this and I was ready to roll. If my timeline isn't wrong it was about 12:15 when the nurse left us on our own and it was like 1:00 or sooner when I went into active labor. And then boom just like my body has done many times before it went so fast from active labor to transition phase. In just one more hour, about 2:00, I was ready to push. I was ready to get this baby out of there. But again, PAUSE!! Yes, I was told I couldn't push. That the doctor wasn't there and I'd have to wait. I did ask that the stinky peanut ball be removed because it was driving me nuts at this point. I remember specifically asking to "get into the birthing position" and being told no. It was, what felt like forever, but was more like 20 minutes or so from when I told the nurse I was ready to roll and they were ready for me to roll. I really don't think the nurse believed me when my doctor and I told her I labor fast and furious once my body gets going but she sure got on board fast!
So I had to breath through a 'few' (20+ minutes) contractions resisting the urge to push, so not fun. My doctor finally ran in the room and suited up and they let me get into position and got the bed all ready for me. I think it was just four pushes and little man was out. Graham Michael was born at 2:49 pm. He was 20 3/4 inches- almost 2 inches longer than his sisters and 7.6 pounds- the heaviest of my babies as well. Now I see why I was ready for him to be out!
That might not seem like a big baby to some. I know of smaller woman giving birth to bigger babies- but he was my biggest baby. He was also in utero the longest. He was born 2 days prior to his due date and that was my longest pregnancy. But I completely understand if you've had bigger and dealt with it longer and so feel free to roll your eyes at this.
Anyway, I was overjoyed enough to tell Matt that I didn't want to do this again. I was deep breathing and taking this little man in and the "joys" of labor and I looked at Matt with my most sincere eyes telling him thanks but no more please. I was praying and singing God's praise don't get me wrong but I was so tired, just so tired. I understand that minutes after giving birth might not be the best time to make such decisions but it seemed like a great time to broach the subject if you asked me and my poor body.
Here are some sweet pictures of our little man:
|Snuggles after a busy morning for mommy|
|So precious and such a sweet boy.|
Love at first sight!
We called my mom and the girls and told them the great news. We called my dad and step-mom, along with Matt's parents. We just sat and enjoyed him.
My mom came with the girls after they had eaten dinner. So it was about 6 when they got there. Here are some pictures of him and his very excited big sisters!
|A had been so excited about "her" baby! She was so|
excited for her newest buddy. She wanted to do
everything for him. True love for sure.
|L and her newest little sibling.|
|O was the one who knew it was a boy.|
She was praying for a brother of her own.
I had cute shirts made for the girls. They said "sister squad" and their name. They were so excited. My mom had looked like the day had been a full one with all the girls. She was enjoying the time to sit for a minute and hold her newest grandson. I think O had given her a run for her money and climbed into the play area at the local fast food restaurant but cried and wouldn't come out (because she had gotten scared, not disobedient) and my mom had to climb in and rescue her. Then she had gone to the wrong hospital and one of the girls had fallen and hurt her knee once they arrived at the correct hospital. Needless to say she had had a full day with the girls.
Here is our first picture as a "Party of Six!"
So my nurse was ending her shift at 6. Before she ended her shift I had called the nursing station and asked for help going to the bathroom. No one came. Twenty minutes later I called again and again no one. Matt had to help me to the bathroom. They had been pumping me full of fluids all day and my body could only hold but some much. I had to have Matt look in all the drawers to get the supplies I needed to do this undertaking. If you've done this birthing thing before you understand what goes into this seemingly simple task. I was a bit annoyed but then again I was in the timeout room, so I guess this is what I get. Anyway, I got that done- with Matt's help. Then I started to get hungry as the 5:30-6 o'clock hour approach. I mean I hadn't eaten since the night before. So I asked my nurse when she came in before her shift ended, but I guess she hadn't relayed the message to the new nurse. So I tried again to get someone in the room to help a girl out but I was again left on my own. This was the third incident that day where I called and no one showed. I'm not a nasty person so I tried to take it in strides but it had been a long day- heck a long 9 months. My mom and the girls arrived so I was busy with them and distracted. I would have had my mom get something had I known. Finally I think at 7 the new nurse finally got around to coming in and checking on me.
By this time I had so many needs- like how to get food and when was I going to be moved to the post-delivery room. Where I could settle in and maybe, not be left to my own devices. But all the information I was given was to call in my food order and to have them deliver it to the room I was in. And she dropped hints that there was some big fiasco going on and that's why I had been ignored. So I took a deep breath and tried not to think of how hungry and tired I was as I waited patiently for things to work out.
I look back now and it was one of the many times over the next year or so where I was slowly learning that lesson. You know the age ol' lesson of God's timing and not ours. And to take a deep breath, sit back, pray and let God work things out instead of being so stubborn and bull headed. Of how it's not always about us and how I need to set my sin-nature/self-contentedness aside. I wasn't moved to my postpartum room until 9:30 that evening (just reminding you that I gave birth at 2:49 that afternoon- with no complication or medication that would required me to stay there that long). And no my food was not delivered to my delivery room. And I had to be the one to call the kitchen and get it all worked out. It was like 9:15 and a lady showed up with a wheel chair out of the blue. She did not have the best bedside manor either. I had hit a brick wall. But I continued to just shut my mouth and go with the flow.
But when I finally arrived upstairs things settled and I was checked on every few hours whether I need it or not. I was spoiled as they tended to me. My nurses there were very sweet and made me want to stay a few moments longer. We tried our best to enjoy this precious time with just him. Enjoying the quiet and having just one baby (and a host of nurses to help with him). When it's your 4th you appreciate things a bit differently.
But by Friday I was ready to be home. I missed my girls and I was ready to be back at my own home. I was overjoyed and get this show on the road!
Here are some pictures of that day:
|Mama and G ready to head home.|
We were just up north visiting family and I had the joy of meeting two of our newest nephews (2+ months, and 5 weeks old). They were as tiny as G in these pictures. And I held them and tried with all my might to remember my children being that little. But it's so hard. I see them now, all of their personality and the amazing things they do and say. I see how God knew all the way back before I could have imagined my life now but I could only really see what was in front of me. Lauren, 8.5 years old and smart and sensitive, thoughtful and spunky. Olivia, 6.5 years old and full of music, dance, imagination, generosity and love. Audrey, 4 years old and full of passion, laughs, desires of her own, and snuggles. And Graham, 2 years old and full of new words, sweet kisses, jumping, running, exploring and enjoying having a memory (every time we pass things he remembers he lets the world know).
Matt and I recently had a conversation about how we've been together for 18 years. We began dating/courting back in June of 2001. Could we have written our story with such purpose and love as God did? How being parents for the past 8.5 years has blown our minds as we navigated thought and around every corner. And then I said to him after we reminisced, "Can you imagine what the next 5, 10 or 15 years will be like?" Our minds cannot even begin to fathom what it will look like then. How different they'll be- heck we'll be. Makes me think of the verse in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4 verse 18 that says "So fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
I'm so thankful for a God who has it all under control. Who knows it all and sees how it will perfectly fold itself together to make the pages of our book. A book of love, loss, struggle, joy, gentleness, forgiveness, triumph, and one where we pray that each moment and each memory points to a God who loves his people and sacrificed in a way I don't want to imagine but do. I don't know when I'll post on here again. But what I do know is that I'm blessed and I hope to pass that blessing on to my family, friends and neighbors. To those I know and don't know along the way. And above all- that God's love and my love for His Son, Jesus, is my legacy to these sweet children God has given us.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he as become my salvation.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.