Monday, June 28

Jack's birth story

The birth of Jackson Paul, according to his mama :-)

As you probably know, Jack was 5 days "late." In our desperation, we tried multiple ways to hurry him up and get him out; we were on a deadline to have him out before multiple family members left the state to move and leave for vacation. Jack, of course, had his own schedule.

The Monday before he was born, I tried to have my membranes stripped, but my cervix was still so high that my midwife couldn't even tell me if I'd dilated or not. Wednesday I tried acupuncture with my chiropractor and then went to the midwife to try to have her strip my membranes again, but again she couldn't reach. Feeling very let down, I went home and proceeded to have an uneventful evening.

Thursday morning I woke up to a couple of small contractions, but since I'd been having braxton hicks contractions for several months it wasn't of any concern to me. The day progressed, and Ryan and I decided to head to Home Depot with the kids to get a couple of things for the yard. I had two pretty strong contractions in Home Depot, and told Ryan it was time to get out of there. As I lifted Luke to put him in his car seat, and as he fought me with all his strength, I had my first REAL contraction when I thought, "Oh crap, what the heck did I get myself into? Is it too late to go to the hospital for drugs?!" We came home at 4:00 and they kept coming, only every 10 minutes or so. A little after 5 I decided this was real labor, and we called my mom and asked her to come back (she'd been visiting family nearby). They started off slowly but pretty hard, I was finishing folding up some laundry on the bed since I knew we'd be back home with a new baby soon! At some point I wanted to lay down on the bed, and only minutes after that we figured it was time to head to the birth center. We wanted to get there earlier than when we'd arrived with Luke, so we wanted to leave before my contractions got too close, and at this point they were coming every 5 minutes or so.

At about 6, Ryan loaded the car and we left, the ride was long but it wasn't as horrible as it was when I was in labor with Luke. I felt like I was doing an awesome job managing the pain with low moans and deep breathing, and they didn't feel too bad. When we got to the birth center, my midwife Melanie was waiting for us. She wanted to check me to see how far I was, by my lack of discomfort and how quickly things were going I told her I thought I was about a 6. She checked me and said I should be very proud of myself because I was an 8-9! I told her holy cow, no way! They filled the bath and I hopped in about 10 minutes later. As I labored in the tub, I felt my water break naturally (the first two times they'd broken it for me), and at that point things went quickly.

I soon felt the urge to push, it was about 7:20. I love that my midwife told me to follow my body's urges, and other than checking the baby's heart rate every so often, there was no other intervention. I couldn't believe how fast my labor had progressed, so I counted my pushes, thinking I might be one of those crazy women who birthed her baby in 4 pushes. I lost count after 6, but it took about 20 minutes from the first push to birth! While I handled the rest of my labor well, and felt on the whole it was relatively painless, pushing was definitely not painless. Crowning and pushing out his head was in fact the most painful thing I've ever experienced! But it was quick, and the endorphins of post-birth bliss and "catching" my new baby boy as he emerged from my body suddenly overtook all the pain I was in.

As we counted his fingers and toes, we all took guesses on his weight: I thought he was upper 8s, Ryan said lower 9s, and the nurse said lower 9s. We were all shocked that the scale read 9 lbs 12 oz, and 23 inches long! I'm still getting comments on how my small body handled such a big boy, and I can tell you now (4 days later) that it wasn't without a price! My abs (or what's left of them) are still incredibly sore, and I'm even having difficulty walking. I'm so thankful I didn't tear and need stitching because that's one less thing I need to recover from. But I'm also trying to comprehend how my biggest baby gave me my easiest labor. Sort of a miracle, I think.

He's a wonderful nurser, and so far he's pretty mellow. He just spent at least two hours napping in his swing! We're celebrating this new little guy and we're so happy "Frisbee" decided to finally come out and join our family!

Saturday, June 26

More pics

Here are a few more pics from yesterday, including pics from his 24-hour birthday party we had. Any reason for some chocolate cake!

Uncle Matthew, Jack's Godfather

My grandma, Jack's first visitor

Balloons on the mailbox to announce his arrival!

Jackson Pics

Friday, June 25

Introducing Jackson Paul

Baby Jack was born last night, June 24, at 7:24 pm
9 lbs 12 oz
23 inches

Birth story to come within a couple of days... We had another successful natural childbirth, this guy came out in under 20 minutes!

Wednesday, June 23

No Baby Yet

Yes, the little one is few days "late." This is truly a lesson in "letting go and letting God," because every time I try to find a new natural way to induce labor, nothing continues to happen.

So, here I am at 40+4, which means he's gone as long has his older brother. Monday we tried to induce labor by having my midwife strip my membranes, but my cervix was still so high that she couldn't reach up far enough to do anything productive. In fact, she couldn't even tell if I'd dilated at all. Today I went in for a chiropractic adjustment and he offered acupuncture, and I accepted. Still, nothing. I went back to my midwife for my regularly-scheduled appointment and asked her to try again, but nothing had changed since Monday. She did discover with her poking and prodding that his head is slightly off my cervix, so he's not really pressing up against me enough to get labor going. She assured me that since this is my third baby, things will probably get going pretty quickly once he lines up correctly (he's still head down, left occiput anterior, which is the right way for him to be). She suggested I do lots of lunges to try to open up my pelvis even more.

And so we wait.

Monday, June 21

Car Wash part 2

My mom and brothers have been here for about a week now, and we're running out of things to do to keep these kids entertained! What occupies a 10-year-old, and 8-year-old, a 3.5-year-old and a 20-month-old? A car wash!

Luke is slowly learning how to properly hold a garden hose. Earlier this week he nearly drowned himself by spraying himself in the face several times in a row! I think he's figured out that he should point it away from himself, but he still has no aim.

Except he's sort of learned how to aim at his sister...

That's a smile of bliss. :-)

Pretty girl.

We ended the wash with some snow cones, which keeps them both happy for about 20 minutes. That little machine might be the best $20 I've spent all summer!

And for the record, yes, I'm overdue. Again. 40 weeks 1 day. Today I went to visit my midwife for an impromptu appointment, hoping she could help me start labor. I asked to have my membranes swept- a fairly common procedure- but my cervix was still so high that she couldn't reach. And boy she tried...It was awfully uncomfortable! I had some cramping and a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions today but that's it. I guess the little guy isn't ready to come yet.

Sunday, June 20

Father's Day Weekend

On Saturday, Beth and Ryan made a homemade pizza for lunch!

before baking

enjoying it, but apparently beth does not like to be photographed while eating!

lazy dog

brunch- french toast, egg mcmuffins, a breakfast burrito and sausage on a stick!

proud papa before the feast

jumping, i love my fast shutter speed!

Saturday, June 19


'Cause drinking a beer while reading Breaking Dawn (from the Twilight series) makes it more manly. ;-)

Today's Pics

Here are three pics from today, the first two I'm really happy about and the last one was too odd to not include!
he was about to yawn, i'm not sure what happened here but it makes me laugh!

Thursday, June 17

My new baby

And it's not the baby you were expecting!

Today Ryan brought a gift home for me. An extremely well-timed, perfect and wonderful gift: a brand-new digital SLR Canon Rebel xsi, the camera of my dreams. I had absolutely NO idea he was going to buy this for me, but he'd been researching DSLRs for a couple of months now and decided that before the baby was born would be a good time to give it to me. I've been wanting a nice digital camera for over a year now! I am so excited, I can't even begin to tell you. I had trouble falling asleep for a nap today because all I could think about was the camera, hehehe.

Of course, I know nothing about the magnificence of this camera so it's going to take me a little bit of time how to learn how to use it properly! Hopefully I can get the basics in before Frisbee comes!

Here's what I took today, just playing around. They're all of Luke because Beth was busy playing with her uncles!

Wednesday, June 16

Pending Labor

Saturday morning I woke up and thought I was about to go into labor. I gave my midwife a call to explain my symptoms and she predicted I'd go into labor within 48 hours. It was incredibly nerve-wrecking to think I was on the edge all weekend long, only to have nothing happen. We spent Saturday getting our last-minute things done, mostly installing the infant car seat into Ryan's car. Good thing too, because I'd forgotten how to switch the straps to the smallest setting and it took me awhile to figure it out!

After mass on Sunday, I spent some time praying and anticipating labor and delivery. I started crying because I felt so overwhelmed and so very scared all of the sudden. I think I was able to relate to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane because I felt like I was begging God to let me bypass this pain that I know I'm about to go through, as silly as that sounds. Laboring with Luke, specifically through transition and pushing, is the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. It's the closest I've felt to death and total despair.

Knowing that I am inevitably going to experience this again is a double-edged sword. I want to go into labor now because I am so incredibly uncomfortable, I am ready to have my body back and I am ready to meet my son. I am ready for this next phase of my life. BUT in order for me to achieve this, I have to experience labor again. I'm physically prepared as there's not much more I can do at this point besides continuing to take my vitamins. Mentally I think I'm up for the challenge. For some reason though, on Sunday morning, my hormones and emotions caught up with me and I just let it all go.

I am so thankful my priest was there and able to talk to me, to remind me that the devil slips in where we're weak to make us despair and tell us we're not good enough. That I'm not good enough for this path He's laid out for me. We chose life for this baby and Ryan and I have no doubts that God has huge plans for his life.

So I'll offer my suffering for those special intentions, especially for those people who want nothing more than to hold their own baby in their arms but haven't yet been blessed. It gives me great strength knowing that my suffering is not in vain.

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." Luke 22:42

New Things

We finally bought a new-to-us kitchen table! We've been wanting one for a looong time, our current table seats 4 and is missing the leaf. We bought my cousin's table since they're moving, and it seats 6 but has a leaf to seat 8. It's perfect for our space and now we're excited to be able to actually invite people over for dinner!

We also received a few hand-me-downs this weekend... matching decor for our half-bathroom, a vacuum cleaner for upstairs (though I think that one is going to need a tune-up), and a new-to-us television! Plus a few other random things. Our house feels a little more home-y with the nice big table.

Sunday, June 13

Beth's first dance production

I've noticed I'm posting less frequently lately, and it's not that nothing is going on. I don't even think it has much to do with the fact that I only have 6 days until my due date! I've just been a little behind on my game, not to mention the fact that Ryan and I have a free one-month trial to Netflix! We've been watching movies in the evenings. :-) So here's what I haven't blogged about this week...

Beth's dance production was on Friday, and she did wonderfully! I was very concerned about the timing since the production didn't start until 7:30, and her class didn't perform until after intermission! She hung in there though! I totally wasn't supposed to take any pictures, but I turned off my flash and snuck a few. Ryan wants to buy the DVD of the entire production so we'll have that on hand for anyone who wants to see Beth's first recital!

(beth is in the yellow costume right in the middle)

she received lots of beautiful flowers after it was over!

This week was also a big week for Finley. Poor guy had to have three teeth pulled! We brought him in on Friday for his annual checkup and his first teeth cleaning. His breath has been horrid lately, and as it turns out he had pretty bad gingivitis, a cracked tooth and two teeth rotting as a result of the gingivitis. Ick, poor guy! I have no idea how he got a cracked tooth since he's an indoor-only dog and doesn't ever chew on anything! I am hoping that after this round of antibiotics, his breath will be much better, lol.

We didn't have a big weekend project this weekend, instead, Ryan's been working on the kid's bathroom all week. He painted it yellow, and it took one coat of primer and three coats of paint plus touch ups to get it right! That's a LOT of painting! To tone it down, we picked a brown shower curtain with colored dots. I think it looks pretty good, very cheery but not overly kiddish.

Yesterday morning I thought I was going into labor, and even my midwife said it'd probably be 24-48 hours until labor began. So all weekend long we've been anticipating hard contractions, and I haven't felt anything. It was very disappointing and really stressful to keep thinking that any second now, things could get started. I have a checkup with my midwife tomorrow (I was 39 weeks yesterday), but there's not much she can tell me that I don't already know. I guess we'll just have to keep waiting. :-/

Tuesday, June 8

Mow Mow

Luke has an obsession: his mow mow. Beth called the lawn mower the "mow mow" when she was younger, and I guess it stuck in our heads because that's what we've called it since. He loves this toy! I truly think it's one of his favorites. Could it be because it's one of the loudest toys we have? Could it be because it's like mommy's vacuum cleaner or daddy's big mower? Or because it's incredibly fun to chase Finley around with it?

His vocabulary is growing, and it's constantly surprising to me when he'll say something that I understand, but didn't really formally teach him. He doesn't end the words quite yet, but he's moving into two-syllable words and slowly starting to put two words together. Every day he's talking about something new!

He is all boy though, and though that might be a stereotype, it's hard to describe in any other way! He won't let Beth put her arm around him for a picture, he loves bugs, he's got quite the rough arm (though we're working daily on "sweet hands!"), and he's very into his play toolbox. I just bought him a little baseball cap because he adored one at a friend's house, but of course he won't wear the one I bought for him! But, Ryan doesn't wear hats ever, so it's sort of a new concept for him!

Beth's first dance production is this Friday! Tonight she and I went to a rehearsal and I have to admit, I teared when she ran onto the stage. Though she was in her plain black leotard and pink tights, she just seemed like such a big girl up on that stage! She rehearsed as well as any 3.5-year-old will rehearse, including one tiny little fall. She is so excited about the production on Friday, she won't stop talking about going to "the stage" and watching the "big girls" dance. After this, we'll be done with ballet for the summer, but I think Daddy has plans to take her for some soccer lessons!

Her speech is also becoming clearer, and I think it's obvious to most everyone. I think she's always been easy to understand, but for some reason lately it's like she's hit another milestone in terms of speech development.

We had a photographer come to our home on Sunday afternoon to take some pictures of Beth to use in her portfolio (she'll also come back to take pics of Frisbee too when he's about 10 days old!), and Beth was a HAM. She loved it. I can't wait to see the pictures, I know we're going to wind up buying a million of them because I'm pretty sure they ALL came out adorable.

She and I are continuing to try to have "school" during the days, I haven't been diligent about posting what we're up to but this week we're on letter G. I had big plans to take her to the fire station last week for letter F, but I never made it out. We were going to make cookies and bring them to our local firemen! I still hope to do this soon, but maybe it'll have to be after Frisbee comes.

Ryan's weekend project last weekend included setting up our pack n play so I could get things a little more organized, and he also decided to prime and paint the kid's bathroom. We agreed on a yellow that I initially picked out, and it is bright. Insanely bright. We're trying to figure out how to tone it down, including adding a faux finish or a stripe of a complimentary, less-bright color. He's been working very hard on it though, not letting me near any of the paint for fear that Frisbee might grow a third arm!

I'm about 98% ready for Frisbee. Well, in terms of being prepared at least. We have all the supplies we should need for him and me, I've stocked our pantry after a humongous run to Sam's, and I have his clothes pulled out and my postpartum wardrobe pulled out. Only thing left is that I have to install his car seat into Ryan's car, and I'm waiting until after Friday to do that. On Friday, Finley has a trip to the vet for his first- ever teeth cleaning, Ryan and I are praying that it will do something to help his awful stinky fish breath. Ick.

Ryan and I have also picked three possible name combinations for Frisbee, and are going to keep them secret for now. :-) We're going to wait to meet him and see what fits him, hopefully it will be a miraculous event and we'll both just instantly agree on the perfect name. Hey, I can hope, can't I?
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