Monday, October 13, 2008


Here it is, my second born's third birthday. I can't believe that three years ago, this morning at 2:00 a.m. Alaina Grace came into the world. Every birth is an amazing story, but Alaina's is especially dear to me because she came so quickly and we weren't quite as prepared as we had hoped.
First, when I was about 7 months along, we went down to Mexico and got an ultrasound. We took along another couple who are friends of ours. They came into the room while the doctor did the ultrasound. Nate and I didn't want to know the sex of our baby. While the doctor was going through his usual checklist of things to look for, he asked us again if we wanted to know what the baby was. We said no, but our friend, Emily, could see for herself what the baby was. Nate and I at the time weren't really sure what we were looking at on the screen, and so we missed it. Emily later told me it was so obvious! But we've improved looking at ultrasounds with each one. Nate could tell immediately when it was Charlotte's turn.
Anyway, so Emily knew the rest of the time what our baby was and we didn't! And she never slipped up. She did email my mom and told her. Well, my original due date was the 6th of October. My mom was scheduled to fly out a couple days after that. Well, my mom arrived and the baby had not!!! So my mom and I got to hang out for a few days before our child decided to make her arrival.
The whole time we were waiting, Nate and I were just sure this one was a boy. I carried different. Even my midwife admitted she thought we were having a boy. Another reason we thought we were having a boy is because Emily only has boys, so we thought the reason she could tell what we were having is because there must have been something extra there and that is what she is used to seeing. God humbled us lots!!!
On Thursday, the 12th I went for my 41 week checkup and my midwife said she thought it would be anytime. That evening I went home feeling depressed and like I was going to be pregnant forever. Around six thirty, I noticed I was having contractions. Nothing huge. I didn't have to stop my activity. Around nine we went to bed. I had Nate time them to see how close they were and my contactions were five minutes apart. At this point, I knew I probably wasn't going to be able to sleep. Who can sleep when they know they will be delivering a baby at some point during the night?
Since Larissa's birth had taken 12 hours, I figured that it would be until at least mornning light until I would be in full delivery mode. Nate fell asleep for a little and I labored quietly. Around one thirty he woke up, and found me kneeling on the bed, breathing through my contractions. At this point they were coming so close I couldn't hardly catch my breath, and all I could say was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Nate took one look at me and asked if he should call my midwife. I nodded and he did. Stephanie said she was on her way. I got up and went over to my birthing tub and got in. I thought the warm water would help relax me. I no sooner got in the tub than I felt relief, and then dread because I just knew it was time to push.
I looked at Nate and said, "I have to push!" And he looked at me like I was crazy. So he called Stephanie back and told her and she told me I had to get out of the water. Nate woke up my mom and told her what was happening and she came and got Larissa and took her to the room my mom was sleeping in. I got out of the water and went back to my bed. Stephanie talked Nate through the whole birthing process. Neither of us were prepared for how blue the baby's face was. Of course, at the moment Alaina's head came out, Nate lost connection with Stephanie. For a few scary moments we weren't sure if the baby was okay or not. Stephanie quickly called back and Alaina was born. Nate got my mom and she came back and helped wrap her up tight and I took her back to see if she would nurse. Stephanie asked us what we had, and in our excitement we forgot to look. Nate unwrapped her enough to report that we, in fact, had a girl! Of course, we then had to come up with a name. Alaina was a name we liked from before, so we went with it. Alaina Grace. Alaina means beauty, and she definitely is that! Not that I am biased or anything!!!
When Stephanie arrived, she told us that was the first time she never made it to a birth in time to deliver. I think she was very proud of the calm way in which Nate handled himself. I don't think it's a job he would willingly take on again, but I know he would if he had to. Of course, Stephanie made sure that I called at the first sign of contractions with Charlotte, so that didn't situation didn't repeat itself!!!
But we had a healthy, beautiful baby girl, and that was all that mattered. And a really great story to pass onto Alaina as she grows up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I know it's been a while since I have last written. It feels as though a lot has happened. Not really, but we did go to Pennsylvania for two and a half weeks, and that meant me flying with my three little girls by myself. That was quite a feat, and I am happy to say that we all survived and the girls actually did quite well. Kids can and will surprise you. I wasn't sure how Charlotte would do being held the entire time. She is quite the active 18 month old. Other than kicking her sister in the head a couple of times and pulling hair, she did just fine. Larissa loves to travel and I never heard much out of her the whole time. She just sits there and plays with her dolls and looks at her books. Alaina, too, did pretty good. She only had meltdowns once we landed, which is better than on the plane. The only major problem we had was when we landed in Philly. We were in the very last row and so the very last ones off of the plane. Alaina started crying as soon as the plane stopped. So of course she was crying the whole time everyone was getting off the plane. When we finally had our turn to get off, I was setting up the stroller to put Charlotte in when I heard screaming. I turn around and here Alaina has managed to get her foot stuck between the little space between the plane and the tarmack. Yes, only my child would do that. In case you don't know Alaina, she has "accident waiting to happen" stamped on her forehead. So I quickly go over and unstick her foot. She immediately starts hopping around like she twisted her ankle, so I get her in the stroller and push it with one hand and hold Charlotte in the other. Now, Charlotte weighs over 20 pounds and I walked as far as I could, but my right arm was shaking so bad, and I am a lefty, so I knew I couldn't push the stroller with just my right arm, so I stopped my little caravan and told Alaina she would have to get out of the stroller. She did, and then proceeded to tag along about ten feet behind me and cry the whole way down to baggage claim. People were stopping and watching and trying to hide their laughing. I FINALLY made it down to baggage claim only to find out I was at the wrong one!!!! I had to walk outside the building to the US Airways baggage claim. By that time, my parents thought they were early and went upstairs to see if they could see us coming down, so when I got to the correct baggage claim, they weren't there. Thank goodness for cell phones! I texted my mom and they came down pronto and I was so happy to unload the kids onto their very adoring grandparents!!! All in all we had a great trip and the plane ride home was pretty much uneventful! PTL!
And as I've been home now for almost two weeks, I was thinking the other day about joy. I realized I don't have a lot of it during the week. I pretty much get frustrated and angry very quickly. And for those of you who know me, I am typically laid back, but not when it comes to my children. And then I started thinking about what they must think about me. That I am really not that much fun and I don't enjoy being silly and playing with them. Which, honestly, doesn't happen nearly enough. I realized I am not the same adventurous, almost silly girl I used to be. When I was a teenager.....well till I was married, I used to sing into hairbrushes with my sisters when a really cool song came on the radio. Do I do that with my own kids? Uh, not too often. I used to be more spontaneous and fun. Now I am all about making sure my house is clean, the laundry is done and the bills are paid. Not that those things aren't important, but you still need to make room for the unexpected. And then I thought, is this because....gulp.....I am getting older? I mean, I am going to be hitting the big 30 next year. Yuck! I don't even want to think about it. But no, that can't be it, because I have family.....namely my dad and a very funny uncle who still act like they are teenage boys. I love that about them.
So I have decided that I need to let loose a little more often, so my kids will enjoy spending time with me. Not that I am trying to be their friend, I need to be their mother right now, but as they get older, I want them to feel like they can share things with me and that we can have a close relationship outside of "put your toys away. brush your teeth. eat with your mouth closed."
I need to be able to just live. Enjoy life and seek out those special moments that you can just feel God blessing you and smiling down upon you, even if there is mud on the kitchen floor and the laundry is piling up and I missed putting fabric softener in the rinse cycle (I hate when that happens!). I'll let you know how it turns out.