Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back to School

I took a summer break from the blog and poured hours of my evenings working towards catching up on Family Photo Albums.

We had a full summer - swimming lessons, lots of trips to the library, and the girls spent extra time with my parents so Rodney and I could get away and celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary.

Fall Schedules are almost in full swing, and I just happened to take impromptu school pictures last week.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

the girls and the tractor

Charis Joy's Birth Story


I felt as though I was in labor with you all of your third trimester. Starting at 29 weeks, I found out that I was dilating and effacing early. But that's a whole other story. Many weeks and prayers later, we finally arrived at the night of your birth. At a day shy of your due date, I was more than ready to meet you. Two weeks previously at 38 weeks, I had spent most of the day in labor, starting the day with contractions every five minutes, which lengthened to every six, then every 8 minutes and finally every 20-25 minutes. Yes, I was more than ready to meet you. So ready, in fact, that I told your Grandma that you would be here any day more than a week before your due date, so Grandma came to stay with us the Sunday before you were born. And then Monday passed, then Tuesday, and so forth until the morning of Thursday October 2nd.

We joke that you and your sisters bleed Caterpillar Yellow because you always seem to hold off for all of Daddy's important work engagements. And sure enough, your Daddy had important meetings through Thursday afternoon, so it was fitting that I wait to see my Midwife to help your labor along until Thursday afternoon.

When I saw my midwife, Mary, that afternoon, I was still 4cm dilated (like I had been for the previous 3+ weeks) and 75% effaced. She was able to do a very thorough membrane sweep because everything was soft and ready for you to be born. After "the sweep", I picked up a Decaf Pumpkin Spice latte and headed to the grocery store. I kept waiting for the contractions to pick up in frequency, and while the intensity of my contractions changed, the frequency did not. So we enjoyed baked pork chops and noodles for dinner and carried about our normal evening routines.

My contractions were still only 20-25 minutes apart around 9:30pm, so I took a long hot shower. I even blow dried my hair! Later that evening, I sent a rather discouraged message to friends that were praying me through your pregnancy, saying that I didn't think you'd be born anytime soon. I crawled into bed, resting and waiting through rather uncomfortable contractions, which were still only about 25 minutes apart.

And then my water broke. It was 11:30pm, and I felt as though I was walking through a memory. Before Tabitha was born, my water also broke before my labor started. I woke your daddy up, and he got up to get dressed. I then told him to crawl back into bed; I was fully expecting to have 45 minutes at home while my labor picked up.

But after about two minutes, I realized the contractions were suddenly coming very fast and hard, and I knew we had to leave for the hospital. Thankfully, Grandma was sleeping in the guest bed and we didn't need to call for anyone to come to the house. We were able to leave right away!

At this point, less than ten minutes have transpired from when my waters broke, and I was having to breath through the contractions. Your daddy drove us quickly to the hospital, and it was a relief to see the all too familiar sign of the ER. It was  a little bit after midnight.

Upon checking in, I asked if I could use the restroom. One nurse said that I was an experienced mom and could go, while the other nurse insisted I go right up to Labor and Delivery. They sat me down in the wheel chair, and I chatted between contractions and breathed when I had them as we made the long trip from the ER up to L&D. The intensity of labor was picking up.

Upon checking in, I was welcomed by a familiar face. Katie, who had helped deliver Tabitha, was working that night, and a little bit of my apprehension dissipated. It was now about 12:15 and I finally got to go to the bathroom. At this point, my contractions were very painful, and they wanted to feel how I was progressing. In the car on the way to the hospital, I had told Rodney, "I'm for sure a 6!" So I was very discouraged to learn that I was a 5! At this point they asked if I wanted any pain medication, and I started to panic. Teary, I said to Rodney, "I don't know if I can do this!" But in my head I knew that my labor would be fast and pain medications would do little to help me through to the end.

I labored through several hard contractions and suddenly found myself in the throws of transition. Charis Joy, I am not a quiet woman during labor. I'm sure everyone could hear me down the halls as my body prepared for you to be born. At this point, my midwife had me climb into the bed to check me again, and proclaimed, "You're ready to push!"

"What?!" And three pushes later you were here, sweet girl. It was a whirlwind. They plopped you on my tummy in all of your goo and glory, and I couldn't stop saying, "I can't believe she's here!" "I can't believe she's here!"

We were able to snuggle and get to know eachother for almost an hour before they finally cleaned you up and weighed you. 

You weighed 7 lb 7.6oz, and you were 19.5inches long. You were born at 12:40am on October 3, 2014.