Saturday, April 02, 2016

SB's Birth: Oct. 4, 2015!

Our sweet baby girl is almost 6 months old and I'm finally here to announce her arrival! SB joined us on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 at 2:50 a.m. She made quite an entrance into the world just 15 minutes after we got to the hospital! I will tell the wild and wonderful story in a nutshell: I started having contractions midday on Saturday but I wasn't admitting it to myself or anyone else, possibly due to the fact that it was 8 days before her due date or maybe also because I was a little nervous about seriously trying natural childbirth for the first time. Early that afternoon I went out by myself and got a pedicure, then shopped at Hobby Lobby and Trader Joe's. I got home about 5:00 and we did supper and bedtimes for the kids, contracting in denial all the while. I did text my doula around 6:00 and told her I didn't think it was anything real, but just in case wanted her to know I as having some contractions. Finally at 11:00 p.m. I said to Trey, "Maybe we should get that app to track contractions." So we started timing them and at 12:30 a.m. tried to go to bed. Trey went right to sleep; I got right back up. I couldn't bounce on the ball...totally uncomfortable. I was struggling through contractions and finally called my doula at 1:45, and while I as on the phone with her I threw up (I've never done this in labor before). She said she thought it would be good for me to go on in to the hospital, so it was time to get someone to come stay with the kids. The first two ladies on our list were both out of town that night! I hadn't worried about that ahead of time because I assumed she would not come 8 days early. So I called another friend who'd offered to come over and lives just down the street but her voicemail picked up. What now? I had not talked to anyone else about coming over. Thankfully God brought to mind another friend from our church who lives in our neighborhood. We called her at 2:01 and she answered and got to our house about 2:15! We left home close to 2:30 and called the hospital on the way, and Trey had to talk because all I could do was try to manage the contractions at that point. They were so hard and close together but still I was thinking that we'd get there and they'd tell me I was at about 5 cm. Our doula was planning to meet us there, and we pulled up to the assessment entrance and I was stumbling into the lobby when a nurse was walking back in with a wheel chair. She offered it to me and I told her I couldn't sit down. She asked me what number baby this was for me and when I told her "Seven" then doubled over in pain holding onto the counter she told me to walk right back to the assessment room. Just as I was going back my doula ran in the entrance. I remember seeing very little after this because my eyes were mostly closed. They checked and I was at 10 cm!!! I was shocked but relieved in a way and thought we'd just go ahead and deliver her right there. But no, they said they were going to take me up to a delivery room! So I was lying on my side on a rolling stretcher with my eyes squeezed shut and several nurses along with Trey and my doula were rolling me down the hall to the elevator when I felt my water break. I told them that and then thought to ask if there was a doctor there. I remember hearing a man say, "Yes, I'm Dr. Cruz" and knew we were going up in the elevator. As the doors opened a nurse said, "Want to run?" And then they literally ran with me on the cart all the way to the delivery room. We rolled in and they told me I'd need to move over to the delivery bed. I think I said something equal to "Are you crazy?" and then they picked me up and moved me over. Everyone was in place and they told me I could push whenever I wanted to. My doula told me later that at that point I asked her "Do you think this will take long?" And then I pushed once and SB was born! It turned out that Dr. Cruz was a resident but there was no time for things to go wrong. I asked what the date was and someone said "10/4" and our doula said "10/4, over and out!" A perfect summary of what had just happened! SB weighed 7 lbs, 9 oz. and was perfectly healthy. It ended up being a little silly to have a doula, but I do think preparing for natural childbirth helped me be calm about how it all happened since I obviously couldn't have had an epidural anyway. It was intense but not scary, and looking back on it I can see so many ways God orchestrated it all perfectly even though I was in complete denial of reality all day and night! I can totally understand how people have babies in the car or even at home by accident now...I had no idea we were so close to that ourselves! While they weighed and checked out SB I got up and took a shower! Our doula stayed with us for a few hours and then we went to our regular room and settled in for some rest. The next morning, Gran and PopPop came to meet SB and Trey went home to get the kids and brought them to meet her before he took them to church. They were all so sweet and excited to see her! Later that day Nana and Grandpa came to meet SB, too. She is certainly a very beloved little girl! After one more night at the hospital we got to bring SB home at about 10:30 at night (another first!). There are pics of her below with most of the people mentioned above. What a precious blessing she is!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

IS's 2nd Birthday!

We got back from our trip just in time to celebrate IS turning 2 at the beginning of June! All 4 grandparents came for lunch and cake; we are just so thankful for this precious and sweet little guy! In the months before and since his birthday, he has become increasingly busy, verbal, and engaged with playtime with his brothers and sisters. He is making all kinds of sentences now and through the summer some of his favorite things to say were "Doot!" (as in "I want to do it!") and "Holt!" (and in, "I want to hold it!"). He is a combination of fearless physicality (like climbing, diving onto the furniture, and initiating wrestling matches with his brothers) and heart-melting affection and sweetness (like insisting on nightly rounds of hugs and kisses for us all and twirling his hair and cuddling like a champ). We finally got his hair cut a month or so after his birthday (see last pic below) and that made him look older instantly, but I am still hanging onto his bedtime routine and putting him down in the crib because I hate to give up that sweet time (which includes him reciting all my facial features in his sweet little voice)! He is a wonderful blessing to us all!

Washington DC

We kicked off our summer with an extra-special week for the whole family! The three boys spent several days with each set of grandparents and had tons of fun while T and I took the girls to DC for the week! It was an awesome week all-around, from the flights (the first in any of the girls' memories) to the sights and so much more! The following pictures show just a sample of our jam-packed days of touring, sight-seeing, and visiting dear friends we hadn't seen in years. In order: we toured the White House, SJ, LL and our friend A met some neat creatures at the Museum of Natural History, enjoying a picnic and jazz in the garden outside one of the Art museums with our friends from way back (the Parkers), me and the girls with my friend E and her daughter A at the National Zoo, A and the girls loved the ducks at the WWII memorial, A and girls at the Lincoln Memorial, with Earhart's plane and the National Air and Space Museum, touring the Capitol and getting a behind the scenes look at a reception room honoring Lincoln, outside the Capitol with it's dome under renovation, girls with the Washington Monument (which we toured!), and the girls enjoying their favorite treat in DC, shakes at Potbelly's. We are so thankful we got to enjoy this trip and the boys had such a super time with their grandparents that week! It was maximized memory-making for all of us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NO Zoo

In early May we finally made it to the NO zoo and had a great time exploring! Here are a few pics for the record! I especially want to remember that this was in the middle of IS's commitment to constant cap-wearing, though he took it to a rare extreme in the photo below. And not surprisingly, our little extra-affectionate guy was super-friendly with the gorilla statue!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Super Bulldog Weekend

Back in mid-April we had a fun weekend trip to Starkville with Gran and PopPop. It's been years since we'd been there and it was fun to go back and see how things have changed and catch a few baseball games and the spring football game. We also go to visit with Uncle M and Aunt C on campus and had a great visit with the pastor who married us (our campus minister) amazing to see him 14 years later and introduce our kids! I'm including a series of pics of T and IS because I love how it shows IS's total commitment to displays of affection; he is very generous with his kisses and hugs! We really did have a super weekend!