Friday, February 28, 2014

Sleeping baby

In my opinion, there is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. My favorite moments with cooper have been holding him while he is sleeping on my chest. I have cherished every sleeping moment with him, and unfortunately those are few and far between now that he is not a newborn anymore. My favorite time with him has been in the mornings, especially when he would wake up before the other two. He is usually very sleepy in the morning and I would feed him and then snuggle him on my chest and he would fall asleep and I would hold him as long as I could until I had to put him down in his bed. Sadly, that doesn't happen much anymore...he doesn't often wake up before the other two, and he is too alert to fall asleep around them so I end up having to put him in his bed so he will sleep. I am not the best at taking pictures but I have tried to take more pics of him and especially those moments he is sleeping with me so I'll remember those sweet times. 

First time holding him while he's sleeping 

Hospital snuggles

Sleeping on the way home from the hospital



Sleepy stretches


Sleeping with brother 

First night in his crib-1 month old



He would almost always kick out of his swaddle by morning time

Sweet swaddled baby


One-arm swaddle

First night in a sleep sack. No more swaddle :( 2-27

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cooper's story

Cooper Thomas was born November 7th and I want to record his birth story. About a month or so before he was due, I told mark I wanted to try and go as long as I could this time before I got an epidural. For a few reasons, but the main one was because I wanted the shortest labor possible and Evans labor was longer because I got an epidural, which was fine but it was all night long and I just didn't want to do that again if possible. But I knew there was no way I could do it if he didn't help me. Also, the hospital I was going to be birthing at had tubs you could get in during labor which I wanted to try. They also offered water birth...which wasn't what I planned to do, but once I got in, it all happened pretty fast and there was no way I was moving. So anyways, the story...I'll begin on November 5th...five days before his due date. My mom was flying in that night, we had a normal day and before we went to pick her up we went to the grocery store to stock up on some things and then to the twisted cup for frozen yogurt to use Halloween treat money. Little did I know that would be our last outing as a family of four. We got back from the yogurt place and I finished up some cleaning before it was time to leave to pick my mom up. She was getting in late but we let the boys stay up to pick her up so Emmory, Evan and I headed out to the airport. We picked her up, came home, Emmory and Evan showed her around the new house, and then they went to bed. My mom and I stayed up talking downstairs for a while, then I decided I'd better head to bed since it was pretty late. I slept all night, and was woken the next morning around 6:45 to Evan at the side of my bed saying he had to go potty. I got up and took him to the bathroom, I sat down on the big toilet to wait while he went on his froggy potty. When he was done I sat up to wipe him, and as I sat up I felt a gush of fluid come out of me. I stopped for a second and thought, did I just pee in my pants? Or did my water just break? I honestly wasn't sure at first. I took Evan back to bed with me and had some more gushes. Surely this must be my water, right? I laid down with Evan for a few minutes, then got up to go to the bathroom. Mark was in the shower so I told him "either I keep peeing my pants or my water has broken". After some more walking around I was sure it was my water. I tried to cuddle with Evan some more knowing this would be my last chance for a while, but then Emmory woke up and they both went in the playroom to play. At some point I went in and told them their brother was probably going to be born that day. Then we went downstairs and I got them their milk and snack and turned on a show for them to watch. I got something to eat, thinking I needed to eat because the contractions would start any minute. What happened after that is totally blurry...but what didn't happen is contractions. I remember at some point the boys woke my Mom up, I told her what was going on, Mark didn't go into work, I went on a few walks outside by myself, at some point Marks mom came over and she and my mom took the boys to her house to get them out of the house. I would have a few contractions close together, get hopeful, and then nothing else would happen. I tried walking, I tried relaxing, took a few showers and soaked in the tub, laid on the bed and listened to a sermon, went for another walk with mark, watched The Office on netflix with mark, bouncing on the birthing ball....nothing seemed to get the contractions going. It was very frustrating because I really wanted to go into labor that day and not have an all nighter like with Evan and Emmorys births. Just when I would start having some contractions and get excited, they would stop. Mark went out to get some dinner for us and brought it back. We ate together. The midwife called to check on me. She told me to continue to hang out at home but if nothing started happening at the 18 hour mark they would have me come in to start augmentation. I really wanted to start labor on my own before then. Then, finally, things started to happen. Sometime around 7pm I was having contractions and they were regular enough to start timing. I had been drinking a lot of water to make sure I was hydrated which caused me to have to pee a lot, and for some reason sitting on the toilet really made me have a contraction. Mark was watching the office again downstairs and I would bounce on the birthing ball, get up, go to the bathroom, have a contraction, and then come back and repeat. This lasted for possibly an hour. The strange thing was, the contractions wouldn't come unless I did that. If I just sat down and didn't move, they wouldn't come. But when I was up moving they would and they were definitely painful. We debated about when to go to the hospital...I called the midwife to give her a heads up that contractions had started, she encouraged me to not wear myself out by constantly moving to keep the contractions up. At this point we were upstairs in our bedroom. I laid on the bed for a little while, and
 shortly after the contractions started coming regardless of whether I was moving or not. Emmory and Evan were going to be coming back to our house with my mom to go to bed soon...so we decided we would leave for the hospital as soon as they got back because Mark wanted to see them and put them to bed. They were supposed to arrive around 9.  I started to be in a lot more pain, but the weirdest thing that happened was that I was in pain between contractions as well. I have no idea why that was, but that's when things started to get intense. I went to the bathroom, continued to be in pain, then had a big surge of water (which had been very slowly leaking throughout the day) and the pain got even worse. Mark immediately loaded up the car without me even having to say anything, it was a super intense few minutes before we left it was really painful for me to walk even between contractions and I honestly for a moment wondered if we had waited too long to leave. We were off to the hospital, and thankfully sitting in the car gave me some relief from the pain I was experiencing (the non-contraction pain). We got to the hospital and I tried to walk in but it was too hard it hurt too much. Mark got me a wheelchair and when we got to the delivery floor our midwife was walking by as soon as the elevator opened. We went to check in and I had to fill out some forms which was very hard. Then I was able to go right to a room and skip triage because my water had broken so they were admitting me no matter what. Mark wheeled me to the room and they had me sit on the bed to check the baby's heart rate. It hurt so bad for me to even get out of the wheelchair and onto the bed. They made me stay on the bed for twenty minutes so they could get the stress test on the baby and make sure he was doing well. It was an excruciating 20 minutes just having to lay on the bed and I continued to be in pain even between contractions...I couldn't relax. I remember being asked questions and barely being able to answer...being annoyed at anyone talking to me. Finally it was over, and the tub was ready for me to get in. The midwife checked me and I was 6-7 cm dilated. I went to the bathroom and then got right in the tub. I remember hearing the tub described as a "liquid epidural". Well I think the person who said that has never had an epidural because it was not comparable at all. I didn't expect it to be...I mean with an epidural you feel nothing if it's done right. The water was so much better however because once I got in I didn't have that pain in between contractions that I was having. I was able to completely relax in between. I was laying on my side hanging on to the side of the tub, when a contraction would come I would reach out for marks hand and breathe deeply and stare at the ceiling. I think mark was playing some music for me but I don't remember really hearing it. I was completely unaware of anything else that was going on...whether the midwife or nurse were in the room, whether anyone was talking or not. The contractions got so intense that they took my breath away and made me feel like I would throw up. After being in the tub for a while (no idea how long I was also unaware of time) the midwife came and told me I should move to a different position. I was disgruntled at that suggestion I didn't want to move at all. I didn't at first but then mark encouraged me to so I did. I remember at the very end of a contraction my body would kind of feel like it wanted to push. I didn't say anything because I thought there was no way I was actually to the pushing stage...but after a while it was so pronounced and I couldn't help it, my body was really wanting to push and I couldn't fight it. I told mark so he could get the midwife because I was unsure of whether it was okay to be pushing or not. The midwife had left I later found out because she thought mark and I were doing so well together and she felt like she was just sitting there staring at us and didn't want to be in the way. Mark called her in and she told me it was fine to push to just do what my body was telling me. The pushing stage I can only describe as intense. The first half of the contraction was still painful but then the second part when I would push was better because I felt like I could push away the pain. The urge to push was a crazy feeling it was so strong and all I could do was surrender to it. I know I made all sorts of crazy noises that I never thought I would make. At this point I was on my knees leaning over the tub. This is also the point that mark claims I hit him twice although I have no recollection of that. Not out of anger but a reaction to the pain I guess. I do think I remember hitting the side of the pool. It was super intense. After a little bit of pushing the midwife checked the heartbeat with the Doppler and his heart rate dipped a little bit. She had me change positions to see if that helped so I turned around and sat in the tub, and mark put his arms under my armpits to support me. That did help his heart rate was fine after that, thankfully. I continued to push until I could feel his head between my legs. That was the strangest thing, having his head there especially when it got to the point where it would stay there between contractions. All I could see was all this dark hair. I was really starting to get worn out, the pushing was hard work and I was getting short of breath each time. I was so eager for it to all be over...I don't know how some women push for an hour or more because I was exhausted after only about 20-30 minutes.  Finally, after having the midwife guide me on the last few pushes of when to stop and start to minimize tearing, he came out and the midwife handed him right to me. That was the most incredible moment. The relief of it being over and then having this tiny baby in my arms, it was pretty amazing. I never thought I wanted to hold my baby the second he was born, but the bonus of a water birth is that he was completely clean when she gave him to me because of the water. He also did not cry. He looked normal but I asked the midwife if he was okay since he wasn't making a sound. She said he was fine. He finally started to make a little noise but he never cried. Emmory and Evan both came out screaming so that was a first for us. I got to hold him for a while and then mark cut his cord and they helped me out of the tub to deliver the placenta on the bed. I got wrapped in blankets and they put him back on my chest. Next came some not so fun stuff. One huge advantage of having an epidural is being numb afterwards. After the placenta was delivered the midwife had to keep pushing on me to help stop the bleeding. She said if they don't routinely give pitocin they have to do that (which apparently they don't). I was thinking, please give me pitocin I'd much rather have that than you doing this. They did end up giving me a shot of pitocin because I guess I was bleeding a little more than she liked. There was still more pressing on my uterus, and then she had to stitch me. Thankfully I only had one tiny tear this time and almost didn't need stitches, but I ended up needing one. I could also feel that. They gave me a shot to try and numb the area but it really didn't help. I remember thinking, please just leave me alone I already went through all this pain I want to be done. Finally after what seemed like forever they were done with me, and I got to have a drink, nurse Cooper, and then move to the room we would be staying in. Since he was born at 12:21am it was nighttime when we got to the room. We tried to get some rest and Cooper slept a lot but I wasn't able to sleep much because of the cramping pain I was having. We had a good stay in the hospital and decided to go home early, Mark was staying in the room with me but the sleeping situation for him was extremely small and uncomfortable, and it's always just more comfortable to be home in your own bed.
So that is the story of the birth of Cooper. Very different from the other two, and I'm so thankful for the gift of another healthy baby boy.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's been a while

It's been a whirlwind of a summer and I just wanted to take some time to catch up on the highlights. A lot of big changes for our little family.

The house: we put our house on the market the beginning of the summer...sometime in May I think. We didn't really expect much to happen but desired to move into a bigger house so decided to give it a go. It was a lot of work to get it all ready...we didn't have to do anything major just small things here and there, decluttering and cleaning. There were some tiring late nights. And then, once it was on the market, having to have it always ready to show at a moments notice and be out of the house, well lets just say with two small children it was less than enjoyable. I thought I had come to my breaking point when we had 4 showings in 5 days (or something like that) after our house had been on the market for a month, when lo and behold we got an offer. I was honestly shocked when I found out. The offer was a lowball offer but our realtor was confident we would get the number up and work out a deal. I was skeptical because it was such a lowball, but she was right we negotiated back and forth and we got the ideal number that we wanted for the house. Once again I was shocked. To add to that, we found out the closing date was going to be just over a month away and only four days after we would get back from our west coast vacation. Which left us with 1) little time to pack, and 2) very little time to figure out where to move because, oh yeah, we hadn't looked at one house yet. We were not expecting it to happen so fast. So we either had to find a house to buy really fast or move into a rental. The idea of moving twice was extremely unattractive, especially because I am pregnant and due in November. That was the last thing we wanted to do. There was one house we were already considering, a friend of Marks who had been renting the house he previously lived in since they moved into their new house, so that was one option but we wanted to look at other houses too to compare and see what was out there for the price range we were looking at. We went on a crash course week of looking at houses, and at the end of it all we decided his friends house was going to be the best option. The move went pretty smoothly, and although I wouldn't recommend moving while pregnant I am thankful it happened when it did instead of right before or right after the baby was born. I also could not have done it without all the help I received of people watching the boys and helping me pack.

The baby: The very same day we got the offer on our house, we also found out we were expecting our third son. I was not surprised at all...I am never one to have any kind of "intuition" as to the gender of my babies, but the week we were going to find out the gender the baby started moving A LOT. Just like the boys did. So I started to assume it was a boy. And I ended up being right. I laughed when I saw it on the screen. And then I thought "oh goodness I am in trouble." Not in a bad way. I'm thankful for another son, I love my boys. But I am very outnumbered and that is going to be a lot of testosterone in the house. The pregnancy has gone well, as far as pregnancies go...no complications, and I've been able to keep running which I am thankful for. 

Our west coast trip: we usually make a trip out west each summer to visit my family and typically we will go to Cannon Beach, Oregon while we are there. This year I was really looking forward to the trip, with both boys being a little older I knew they would have a blast and certain things would be a lot easier, and I really wanted to soak up and cherish this time with them on this vacation before everything changes. We had such an awesome time. It was our best vacation yet...normally vacation is so exhausting and you feel like you need a vacation after the vacation, but not this time. The boys loved the beach, they slept great, we had an entire unit all to ourselves which meant we had lots of space...they had their own bedroom, we had our own bedroom, and then a whole living area and kitchen. We went on walks on the beach to haystack rock and saw lots of cool sea life, they played in the sand and the tide pools, they swam in the pool, got so worn out from all the activity that they both took long naps every day....it was great. We had some days in Seattle too to do some of their favorite things there-ferry ride, monorail/light rail to Seattle center, museum of flight, the zoo. It went too fast and I wasn't ready to come back...knowing that we had this big move in front of us right when we got back. But I am thankful for the memories I have of this trip and that I was able to really take the time to enjoy it. 

A few pics from our summer:

And...at the moment we are at disney world(!) so hopefully there will be a post about this trip after we get back, definitely one I will want to remember. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My thinker

Emmory is a thinker. He seems to have a brain that works a lot like mine...he analyzes, over-thinks and has to understand how everything works. This makes for some very interesting questions. He is constantly stumping me with the things he asks. It also makes for some very hard questions. He has already asked several hard questions about God. There have already been times where I want to lie to him. I see the temptation to just tell your kid, don't worry, you are going to heaven, nothing bad is going to happen to any of us, etc etc. But I can't. Even though its hard and its only going to get harder...I want him to worry. I want him to fear. Because life separated from God is real. And even if I make him feel good and think that isn't going to happen so that he doesn't lay in bed at night scared, that isn't going to change reality. And I want him to fear life separated from God. I don't want him to think he is going to heaven and that God has changed his heart. The Bible says it isn't the one who is well who needs a physician, but the one who is sick. I want my boys to know they are sick. No matter how hard it might be and how scared it might make them (or me). During a sermon my pastor preached a while ago, he was talking about teaching the doctrine of election to his kids. And he basically said he wants to teach that to them right away and not shy away from it because he wants to drive the fear of God into their hearts with the reality that they might not be elect. I think about that a lot. Whenever I am tempted to shy away from the truth with Emmory because I'm scared of how it will affect him, I remember that.
So, back to the questions. Last night as I was putting Emmory to bed, he asked some more hard ones. First we talked about David and Goliath. He asked why God wanted David to kill Goliath. Then after I answered he asked why God didn't show Goliath that He was good. (Basically, why didn't God reveal himself to Goliath) Then he wanted to talk about Daniel and the lions den and asked why God closed the lions mouths. That one was an easy one. Then, he goes on to ask questions of theodicy. Really?! A 3 year old asking that. I am continually surprised by him. He asks about fires and why God allows them to happen, what Gods role is in them, and other things like that.
I am seeing why I have to be continually renewing my mind with Scripture and why it's so important for the word of Christ to dwell in me richly. I have to be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. It takes preparation. It takes all those quiet moments of discipline when you sit down and read your Bible. And lots of prayer for wisdom. It is so good for me. It's good for me to have to answer these questions and its good for me to see what I don't know. I often think I don't have a lot of opportunities for evangelism and giving an answer because I am at home so much of the time. But another thing my pastor has taught me is that if you have kids, that is your number one opportunity for evangelism and sharing the gospel. It is built in. I have these two boys who at this point in their lives think the world of me and are looking to me for the answers. What an incredible opportunity, but also a humbling one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Christmas

Traveling, jet lag, geno's, lite rail, monorail, seattle center, pegasus, pancakes, santa pics, cheesecake factory, cinnamon rolls, polar express, parties, extended family, sugar, sugar and more sugar, presents, presents and more presents, zoo lights, snowball fights, carousel rides, children's museum, popcorn, shopping, sickness, seahawks game.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

I actually started writing this while we were in Seattle. But then the flu happened. So the blog wasn't high up on the list (it never is obviously). Emmory got sick at the very end of our trip to Seattle, and I did as well. When we got back to SC, Evan was coming down with it too. And then Mark. Thankfully Mark wasn't down too long, and thankfully I didn't have a fever because I had every other symptom but could still (barely) function. The boys were bad. I think Emmory's fever lasted 5 days and Evan's 7. Besides that and the congestion/coughing, they both had ear infections and Evan got conjunctivitis and threw up a few times. Neither of them slept well at night, I would leave one room and then the other would wake up. Evan was basically attached to me the whole week. When the fever would spike in the afternoon he would just sit in my arms and doze off and on and occasionally look at me and say "don't feel good mommy" or "my belly hurts". When he would wake up at night I would take him to the living room and sleep with him on the couch. A few memories I don't want to forget even though it was a rough time. Very reminiscent of having a newborn. Sleep deprived, feeling like the walls are closing in on you, and forgetting that there is actual normal life going on outside of your home. Yet despite the fact that it felt like things would never get back to normal, they did and now here we are in February! I am very thankful right now for my boys' health. That week was such a minor trial compared to what some families face on a daily basis.

Our flights this past trip were awesome!! This was the first time not traveling with a child under 2 and it makes a huge difference. The boys did so great, even on the way back when Emmory was sick. DVD player and games on the iPhone kept them occupied the whole time. In fact on our way to Seattle, we sat right behind another family who had two boys and they were having such a rough time, each of them threw up, and I just kept thinking "shouldn't this be us?" I felt so bad for those parents but they kept their cool amazingly well even when snarky comments were made from other passengers.









Monday, December 24, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas lights

Tonight we took the boys to a house nearby that goes all out for Christmas...the man uses four of his neighbors yards and pays their electric bill so he can put up all kinds of Christmas lights and other such things. They have popcorn and hot chocolate and music and a path you walk through to see everything. We had a great time and afterwards took a few pics of the boys. I tell ya, Evan turning two has been a great thing. I feel like I can *sort of* breathe now. There are now moments where they play together well instead of fighting constantly. Don't worry, there is still plenty of fighting (they are brothers), but there are times where there isn't. There are times where they get along and entertain each other! This is huge. I feel like we are coming out of the crazy-no concept of boundaries-have to follow them everywhere and can't ever leave them alone for even a second-one year old stage. Except it really starts before one for us because they started walking at 10 and 9 months. As soon as Emmory turned two and started to come out of that stage, Evan was crawling. And then walking (running) a few short months after that. So I feel like I have been in that stage for a very long time and I am very thankful to be coming out of it. And even though when they play together, it always involves a huge mess or something dare devil-ish...they are playing together!!! So I'll take it. They will always be boys, they will always be noisy, yelling, crashing things, banging things, wrestling, climbing and jumping off things, making messes, getting dirty, high-energy...but at least they can be that together now. And hopefully as Evan gets even older...those moments will turn into hours! (I can hope, right?).

Here is a good pic of them we got at the lights tonight. They started off sitting about five feet away from each other, so I told them to scoot closer and put their arms around each other, which Emmory took very seriously, and he tried to force Evans arm around him because Evan wouldn't do it himself.