Friday, July 31, 2015

Tabitha's Birth Story

(abbreviated towards the end because I only just finished it today. I'm in a rush to finish a photo album.)

Dear Tabitha Grace,

You are an answer to prayer and a blessing from the Lord! We are delighted that you are finally here and that the Lord brought you later, rather than earlier. For a short while, I was rather concerned that you would come before you were ready and when your daddy was traveling in China, on a business trip. You see, one day after Bible Study when I was 35 weeks along in the pregnancy, I started to feel very ill. And almost as soon as I laid your sister's down for their afternoon naps, I started throwing up. I would throw up for almost 8 hours, causing me to have contractions every 3 minutes. We ended up in the Emergency Room for fluids. I was dilated to 3cm and 50% effaced, but when the contractions stopped, they sent me home! Miraculously, my cervix closed and you waited another four weeks to meet us!

Your daddy had a very busy schedule and had work dinners the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before you were born. On the 14th, I learned that I was 75% effaced and 3cm dilated. The doctor was expecting you to come any moment. On the evening of the 15th, I put your sister Hannah to bed early because she had skipped her nap. Abigail and I ate ice cream from Dairy Queen and watched part of Pride and Prejudice. I put her to bed around 8:30pm. I had been having lots of contractions for weeks so was not particularly anxious. Your daddy got home soon after. I was exhausted, not having slept much the night before. So we went to lay down and talk about the day's events. I was having a particularly strong contraction, when POP!, my water broke. I jumped out of bed, rather surprised and then headed to the restroom, where I sat on the toilet for the next hour, waiting for my contractions to pick up.

I called a friend, who was planning to stay the night with a friend and already on her way to Peoria. So instead, with her bags already packed, Susan headed to our house to spend the night with your older sisters. The Lord made it so clear that He had his hand on us the whole time.

We got to the hospital around 10:00pm, and my contractions were starting to pick up. I was still walking and smiling and fairly comfortable, only having to quietly breathe through contractions. Ironically, another woman was in front of me, also in labor. And three other ladies came in within moments.

They quickly got me into a room and hooked me up to cordless monitoring, a very different experience from my first two births.  My nurse's name was Katie, and she was wonderful. She brought a birthing ball, ice packs for my back, and she offered to help in every way. Yet she let me labor in my most comfortable positions. I spent the first 40 minutes in and out of the bathroom and the next hour on the balance ball and my hands/knees.

After minimal pushing, Tabitha Grace was born at 12:12am on May16th. You weighted 8lb6oz. The charge nurse took you right away because you needed some extra tending, but in the time that it took the three doctors (much like the three stooges - they were quite jovial at 12am) to stitch me back up, you were back in my arms, nursing happily.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CJ is 9 months

This sweet girl is 9 months, and I've been told that I need to give credit to my parents for keeping her attention while I snapped these pictures. Mimi and Papa are more exciting than all of the sticks and leaves she was trying to eat on our back deck! 

This month, this girl is getting to a sit from her tummy, moving more on the ground, and started crawling around 9.5 months. Yesterday, she also started pulling herself up in her crib.

She still has a toothless smile, so I'll keep saying, "The teeth will be here this week!"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Daddy's Girl

So thankful for a husband who loves his girls so well.

days with the Days part three

Eating cake is serious business:

And that beautiful wallpaper is not long for this world. Our basement project is finally coming along. The carpet is in, the ceiling is 75% done, and the wiring and light is in. This only leaves trim and some finishing work around the window. This means that our upstairs projects will commence soon!

The girls really do like the wallpaper. 

...and this little one looks so sad that she didn't get any cake. Soon, little one, soon. I actually think she was just tired.

days with the Days part two

Even though you're outnumbered by girls, Buddy, at least the girls in your life enjoy tractors, dirt and being outside.

This girl "beats to her own drum," as my parents said after watching her and her two big sisters for a week. Love this expression on her face!

Grandma enjoying some sun and all of her grandkids!

Hunting for black raspberries....

Grandpa gave the kids + Aunt E a tractor/trailer ride while we worked in the garden. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

in the hammock!

Everything is more fun when their cousins are here! The Cousins came down with Grandma the weekend after our visit to Iowa. Every year, the kids enjoy each other more, with diminishing amounts of drama. Us parents are very thrilled at how much more relaxed time with family is becoming, and we're looking forward to even more time with them later in the summer.

I am also thankful that they came for a visit. After having just packed and traveled the previous weekend, sleeping in our beds and getting to see family was all the more sweet.

Hammock hide and seek

water fun!

Uncle Rick gave the girls water guns, a first for these girls.

Hannah had already worn the two outfits I had packed for the day. Note: two outfits is not enough for this mess prone child. So she wanted to wear her new birthday long underwear, even though the day was a bit warm for long sleeves....

I spent many hours on this deck as a child and young adult.

Uncle Dan got very wet!

tunnel fun

We all took turns running through the tunnel, screaming as loud as we could. Tabitha didn't want to miss out on the fun.  Papa and Uncle Dan have the best ideas!

an afternoon walk in Iowa

Uncle Dan was there too!

 T really wanted to hold her big sister's hand. I love watching Abigail learn to love and care for her little siblings.

Rodney replicating the "cheese" smile.