Thursday, March 28, 2013

Look Alikes

Walker, Eli and Colin all looked very different to me when they were tiny babies.

Not so with Miss Lydia. The instant she was born I was surprised by how much she looked like Walker.

What do you think?

Lydia 1 Month

Extreme close-up

Trying to smile. Also starting to bald a little, so I cropped the top of her head off. Baby milestones all around.

Walker and a Lion

Who knew Walker would make such a pretty girl?

I asked Walker if we could put a brown wig on him so we can see what Lydia will look like when she is seven, but he declined. forcefully.  I suppose we will all just have to wait.

For reference:

Eli's First Photo Shoot

Coming Home

Eli's Sixth

Eli's 6th Birthday

These gloriously wonderful moments of celebration keep clicking by and on this one we celebrated our precious Eli turning six.

Eli's 6th Birthday

There were wishes and presents and cake and singing and playing and loving being together as a family.

Eli's 6th Birthday

Eli's 6th Birthday

The evening begin with a shopping trip to spend the birthday money burning a hole in his pocket and fulfilling his wish of having a milkshake for (after) dinner at Steak and Shake.

One day is never enough, but how I do love celebrating our sweet, handsome, kind and loving and (for the briefest of moment in time) six year old charmer.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Visiting Lydia

We just can't keep the crowds away.  And that is more than fine because we think she is pretty special.

Lydia at home

Lydia at home

Lydia at home

Lydia at home

Lydia at home

Lydia, Grandma Jayne and Pops

Great-Grandparents Visit

Great-Grandparents Visit

Great-Grandparents Visit

Great-Grandparents Visit

Baby available for holding a snuggling most daylight hours and a few middle of the night hours as well.  Let us know if you want a reservation.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I have been beyond blessed by our dear family and friends over the first few weeks of Lydia's life.  I have been given the opportunity to just be with my baby girl, which is no small feat with baby number four.

There have been meals and childcare and daytime naps and washed laundry and desserts and time to enjoy these fleeting moments of tiny babyhood.  Each night when I look at her I feel the pressing reality that she will never be smaller than she is in this moment.  It makes the support I have received that much sweeter.

And the biggest support has been Jason who now has three busy boys to care for on a much more full time basis while baby girl is much more inclined to mommy. {He is so good at it}

These first few weeks have been a blessing I will forever be grateful for.

Last week we did attempt to start back our school routine and overall it went very well.  The boys were amazingly flexible to work around little sister's feeding and napping schedule, and my ring sling is my best friend.

It is a bit different from when Colin was little.  Now it isn't about getting the baby settled so I can take a shower or brush my teeth.  It's get the baby settled and plow through as much school as allowed.  I wouldn't have it any other way, but it is becoming apparent that there is going to have to be a bit more planning (and less sleep) if I am to wash my hair and stuff.

The routine feels nice and I am excited for us to puzzle together meeting everyone's needs and enjoying our days as a family of six.

{It helps immensely that these boys love her too the moon and back.}

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Love Bear

The weekend before Lydia came we made a trip to the mall to visit the Lego store. The boys did some exchanging since we have half of all Lego sets ever made. I mean really, it is embarrassing.  We need like a Lego registry or something so everyone can know the sets the boys already have.  But in any case they love going to the Lego store to swap.  Everyone was able to walk away with a new set and Walker even shared his birthday money to cover the difference.

We thought it would be good for them to get something for Lydia.  We decided to do a Build a Bear for her.  In short it was about the cutest 30 minutes Colin has ever had.

And Lydia with the bear.

Love Bear

I hope she loves it as much as the boys expect her too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

33 Years and 1 Day

I have now spent two birthdays at Brookwood Medical Center, my original and my 33rd.  By all accounts, both were fantastic.

On the 33rd celebration there were a slew of darling visitors there to soak in the beauty of Miss Lydia.

The most important visitors.

Lydia's Arrival

There are not words to express how much the boys already love her.  It does a momma heart so good.

Lydia's Arrival

Eli getting her first sort-of-smiley picture.

Lydia's Arrival

Cousins showing her just how to pose for the camera.

Lydia's Arrival

Great-Grandparents who never miss a birthday.

Lydia at home

Proud Grandmas

Lydia's Arrival

Lydia's Arrival

An Uncle who came bearing donuts and cupcakes.

Lydia at home

Dear friends and their future babysitters.

Lydia at home

As I sat on that uncomfortable hospital bed in the late hours of my birthday eating a cupcake with a dirty fork and dropping crumbs on my new daughter's nursing head I could not think of a more amazing way to celebrate.

As nice as it was, when it was time to go we were more than ready.

And then on the blustery last day of February they let us come home.  And everyone sighed with joy.

Lydia at home

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lydia's Arrival 2.26.2013

I very much wanted Lydia to have a February birthday.  Grandma Jayne, myself and my sister-in-law all have birthdays the last week of February. But with Colin staying full term, I wasn't too hopeful it would happen. I'm glad I was wrong.

Here is the long-ish story of her birth, mostly for me and hopefully one day her.

On Friday the 22nd I became obsessed with cleaning the school/play room.  Papers were thrown out, supplies organized, the surface of my desk found, and EVERY lego was put in its place.  This was a pretty serious nesting sign for this lady, as organization has never been my obsession. I also started having some physical symptoms that labor could come over the next 3 or 4 days (ladies who have had a baby can read between those lines).

38 Weeks
Saturday morning, 38 Weeks.

Saturday morning I woke with a list of last minute errands that needed to be run. Jason had decided somewhere in the past week to just nod and say yes to everything I said.  I think he felt sorry for all the pregnancy uncomfortableness and he just wanted a peaceful house. We loaded everyone up and spent the day going from stop to stop spending gift cards and using coupons.

That night I started having more regular and stronger contractions, but somewhere in the middle of the night they faded.

Sunday morning we made it to church and then took the boys to the Lego store for some exchanges and last day out prizes.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day so we stopped by the park on the way home.  Jason watched the boys and I did laps and lunges around the lake, seriously.   I had reached the point of really wanting to meet her and really wanting to no longer be pregnant.

Blocking the slide.
Park play.

That night the contractions started.  They were painful and regular.  I told Jason he had to go to sleep because this could be it.  At 3am I laid down and went to sleep.  I was super disappointed when I woke up and things had completely calmed.

I decided early on in this pregnancy to have this baby unmedicated.  I had been praying that I would progress at least some prior to labor, since in the past I have gone from 1-10 all on the boys actual birthdays.  I was hoping for some progression would shorten the time of actual labor.  I sort of regretted this prayer at this point.  I'm so grateful for it now, but at the time I just wanted to move into active labor.

Monday was a normal day at home with nothing interesting to report.  I went to bed early not expecting anything, but very tired from several nights of what felt like early labor.

At midnight I woke up with contractions and some other signs that labor was happening.  After an hour I had to get out of bed.  I started timing them and called the doctor.  They were about 4 or 5 minutes apart and getting much more intense.  Jason had gone to bed at 1:45, and at 2:30 I woke him up and said he had to get someone to watch the boys, now.  I was rocking on the exercise ball and swaying and leaning on walls, but while things were getting more intese they were completely manageable.

Jason parents arrived and we dashed to the car.  Then we began the-very-longest-car-ride-of-any-woman's-life, but we made it.  Luckily in the middle of the night there are lots of primo parking spots available and we were able to get right in the hospital.

We got checked in the hospital at about 3:45 and the nurse confirmed it was labor (ha!) and I was at 7cm.  I was grateful to be closer to the end than the beginning.

We got in a room.  The only position that was slightly more comfortable was to lean over the back of a chair swaying and squeezing Jason's hands so hard that he might have permanent damage.  So I did that for a couple of hours.  He is still able to type on his computer, so any mobility that was lost wasn't really needed anyway.

About 6:30 I was reaching a limit in my mind.  I had never pushed a baby out while the pain was this intense and I really began to doubt my ability to focus to be effective.

My water had not broken and the doctor and nurse both felt that would move things along.  Of course in hindsight things were moving quite quickly, but I couldn't see that.  I was 9 1/2 cm and ready to be done laboring.  I asked the doctor to break my water.  My dear husband who had, in fact, been listening to all the friends, nurses and even me over the past several months knew I really didn't want my water broken and that all information we had been given was that once the water was broken the pain would magnify.  He tried to make sure this is what I wanted and encourage me to think about it, but ultimately I demanded it.

All those people were right.  The doctor broke my water and the remaining 30 minutes were really difficult.  I was unable to open my eyes or find any position to help the pain.  Jason kept encouraging me about how close I was to the end and that really helped.

My doctor was out of town (country and continent) so Dr. Mackenzie came on for the delivery.  He did a great job (so much so that I have almost forgiven Dr. Ross).  During a contraction he was encouraging and supportive and in between he was firm and directive about what had to be done and able to get me focused or a least a bit more focused.  Then there was a point where I jumped out of bed and my body made it clear it was time to push.  The moment I was able to push the euphoria came.  Literally from that point it was amazing.  The nurse got me back in bed and in one push Lydia's head came out.  The room became electrified with activity as the doctor and baby nurses where not there.  I was able to change positions and one more push and she was out.

She was gorgeous, but didn't cry and wasn't pink. I touched her and they immediately took her to the warmer to aggravate her.  She pinked right up and cried.  They brought her over, laid her on my chest and she proceeded to nurse for the better part of the first 3 hours of her life.  The joy of meeting her was a miracle.

Lydia's Arrival

A daughter, a fourth child, another soul and spirit in our family.  Amazing.

Official stats:
7:18am on February 26th, 2013
7 pounds 14 ounces
22 inches long
13 3/4 inches head circumference