Friday, May 13, 2011

My heart just grew another 10 pounds.

As I type this I'm balancing my laptop on my boppy pillow and cuddling a super snuggly baby on my shoulder listening to happy little grunts and taking every other minute to smell his sweet baby smell and kiss his soft little bald head.

Benjamin David Grummons was born Thursday, May 12th at 5:07am. He weighed 10 pounds even and was 22 inches long. Here is his birth story. :)

A week ago I went to my regular doctor's appointment and had my first "check" to see how things were going with the journey to delivery. It was super promising. His head was engaged in my pelvis and I was even starting to dilate. I left the doctor's office happy thinking for sure that this was going to happen for real. :)

Wednesday the 11th I went again for another weekly check up and had another check to see how things were going. It was incredibly disappointing because his head was no longer engaged in my pelvis and my dilating had shrunk. It was as if things had gone backwards in time! When I asked my doctor what she thought happened she said, "Honestly, his head has probably grown too large for your pelvis and it popped out." But, she agreed that we would wait another week (even though my due date was this weekend) and we would see what happened. But she told me that her recommendation would be to have a planned c-section if I was still pregnant next week. Of course, I felt like crying, and was actually encouraged to do so. So, I cried, went back to the office, wrote my "I'm now going on maternity leave" email message to my pastor and the parents then went to coffee with a friend to decompress a bit.

While at coffee with my friend, she mentioned a "cocktail" that she could whip up that she swore brought her into labor with her first child. At that point I was ready for anything so she agreed to come over Wednesday evening to make me up her drink. Basically, it was a drink with Castor Oil and stuff to keep the Castor Oil taste tolerable. Bottom's up!

So, that night at about 8pm I tucked Aaron into bed and drank a doctored up Root Beer float. We giggled about the coming side effects (basically being married to the bathroom for a few hours) but at that point I was ready to try anything and I figured taking the drink at night would guarantee a good night's sleep before things kicked in.

Ha! At 8:40pm I was sitting on the couch with my computer when all of a sudden I felt the urge to sneeze. I sneezed and thought, "Oh crap, I think I peed my pants." Then I jumped up from the couch because there was a tidal wave of water. My water had broken from the force of my sneeze! I dashed to the bathroom telling Sam, "I think my water broke!" and he called our friend who was going to watch the kids to alert her that things were indeed starting.

I spent the next hour and a half counting contractions (which hit me hard right afterwards) and making sure we had everything we needed. By 10:30 I was ready to head to the hospital, and I am so glad we went when we did. My contractions went from 7-13 minutes apart to 2-3 minutes apart really fast. When I walked into labor and delivery I saw my o.b. (who happened to be on call that night) and said gleefully, "My water broke! I'm totally in labor!" to which she replied, "You are not in labor (probably because I had a huge stupid grin on my face), and even if your water broke, it doesn't mean you are past 1 cm!" So, like the mature person I am, I stuck my tongue out at her and called her a negative Nancy. :)

Sure enough, I got taken into the delivery room and into my glorious robe and I was at 3cm. For the next hour I paced through contractions, breathed through contractions, answered random questions (I thought they were random anyways), signed paperwork and got my blood drawn and i.v. started. I was also told that if I wanted an epidural (which was recommended just in case of emergency c-section) I should have it soon.

By 12:30 I was ready for my epidural because my contractions were every minute or so and they were super painful (duh, but they were pitocen free contractions!). It took the anesthesiologist 3 tries to get my epidural in!! Three separate pokes!! Me, sitting perfectly still through numerous contractions while the anesthesiologist is talking me through what she is doing. I just kept thinking, "Shut up!! I don't want to hear about it!!". Finally, at 1am I was set up and ready to go into blissful epidural land.

I encouraged Sam to go sleep in the chair because it might take awhile (I was now at 4 almost 5 cm) and got ready for the happy numbness associated only with the happy drugs blocking the pain. That happened, but then my legs got all "holy crap my legs fell asleep but now they are waking up with giant pins and needles" feeling. It was like restless legs syndrome, only much much worse because even though I had the urge to move my legs (stretch them, kick them, etc.) I couldn't move a muscle. In fact, I noticed that I couldn't feel anything below my armpits. Plus, I was feeling super woozy and beginning to panic. They put an oxygen mask on me, but that made me feel claustrophobic. So, for the next two hours I had a panic attack (go me!).

It was horrible. I just wanted to move my legs, and the logical side of me was telling myself to just calm down and breathe. But, the illogical side of me kept saying, "I just want to move my legs!!" The nurse had to monitor my heart rate (which was in the 130's) and Sam kept telling me to breathe deeply, to which my response was to hold my breath because I couldn't concentrate on breathing. Finally I calmed down enough to fall asleep at around 3-ish (I think, at one point I woke up to being checked, which is a little awkward...).

I woke up at 4am because the epidural was wearing off (yay!) and every time I had a contraction (about every minute or so) Benjamin would jam himself into my rib cage. Finally, at about 4:30 I called my nurse because I felt funny. So, she came in to check me and said, "Okay, let's push!" I was all, "Wait, what? I've only been at the hospital for 5 and a half hours! I haven't even seen the new nurse staff yet!" So, I tried waking Sam up. It took me three times of telling him that he needed to get up and help before it registered for him that it was time to push. :) I pushed twice and then was told to stop because they needed to call the doctor. Again, what?!?! In my previous deliveries pushing was a 1.5-3 hour process, why call the doctor now?

The delivery team broke down the bed, got the bassinet ready and had me push one more time as the doctor got ready for delivery. Then I was told to wait again. Really? Wait? *sigh* I kept breathing deep through each contraction because I just wanted to push.

Finally, everyone else was ready and I was given the green light to push. 15 minutes later Benjamin was on my chest being rubbed down and I was grinning like crazy. 10 minutes after that I was on the phone calling my mom and texting my friends.

He is perfect and healthy. His head is perfectly round, and he was a VERY successful VBAC. I was praising God for how quick and "easy" the whole labor and delivery was. Even as the placenta was delivered (and I was a little uneasy about how that was going to go) I was super happy.

Thanks for all of the support and well wishes. We got home this afternoon (I was in the hospital almost as long as I'm usually in labor!). If anyone wants to visit please call first to make sure we aren't sleeping or having other attitude issues from boys. :) Pics to be posted later (or see Sam's facebook page...).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Reflections for Mother's Day.

Since becoming a more "granola" mom (ha ha ha, what that has meant is using cloth diapers and purchasing local produce from Tanaka Farms. I still have no qualms about throwing my kids a package of fruit snacks-oh the yellow 5!- and having them sit and watch Toy Story 3 so I can have some sanity) I've become slightly addicted to, a website through which I have purchased my cloth diapers (and cloth diaper accessories).

They are hosting a contest for Mother's Day called, "I'm So Glad You Were Born", meaning if I write a good enough comment I could win 100.00 towards their website. Sam would thank me because even just last night I was on the website drooling over their products and saying, "You know, they are having a buy 5 get one free sale..." To which he replied, "We have enough cloth diapers! We'll see what happens when the baby is born!" Boo. So I had to settle for purchasing just the laundry detergent which we love (Rockin' Green Hard Rock). Oh, that and another wet bag, that way when one is being washed, we have another place to put dirty diapers. :)

Anyways...To have more of a chance of winning I'm supposed to link the contest on my blog. So, here's the link:

But the stinky thing is, I can only use 250 words. You all have read these posts, it's nearly impossible for me to use 250 words to describe anything. Heck, it's taken me how long just to get to this point! Plus, I have almost three children, how can I pick just one child to comment on? *sigh* I guess since Benjamin has yet to show his cute little pudgy face I can't talk about how I'm glad he was born. I could talk about how I wish he were born! (getoutgetoutgetout!!!)

So, here on this blog I will post about how I'm glad each of my children were born, and then post one of them on the cottonbabies site. Then, if I win, I can get my 6 diapers without complaints from Sam. :) And, since I'd be spending 100.00, I could also get a sweet pair of leggings for free!

Nathaniel: I'm so glad you were born because you added to the love of our family. You gave me something to look forward to and count down for while Sam was away in Iraq. You have taught me more about compassion and empathy than I could have possibly learned anywhere else. You have shown me that these traits are part of the fabric of your character, and not something that can be easily taught. While your tears and your timidity sometimes drive me batty (I promise, your teacher will not eat your face! Just tell her what you need!), I see your thoughtfulness shining through as you reach out to other kids who are quiet and shy like you. I see your compassion as you try to teach your brother how to do "big kid" stuff, and I see your love for the brother who has yet to be born as you whisper "secrets" into my belly, touch various places and ask in wonder, "Is that a leg?" and simply cuddle up to get as close as you can. I love you, my first born child.

Aaron: I am so glad you were born because you have shown me how deep my love can go and how I can easily love a child so different from another. I love your passion and zest for life. You have met everything with a head on determination and stubbornness that has already gotten you far in your short 27 months here on earth. It got you crawling at 5 months, walking at 11 months, and potty trained at 26 months. Your war cries when anyone tries to help you, while often driving me INSANE tells me that no matter what life throws at you, you will be okay. I love seeing how no one will ever walk all over you, no matter who that person is. I know this because you won't allow your brother to make you do things you won't do (and he has the bite marks to prove it!) and I see you shrug off the hugs of the little girls at daycare as you back away and say, "No, high five!" I also love that no matter how tough and big you are, you are never afraid to give your mommy, daddy and brother hugs and kisses and show us how fiercely you love by giving giant hugs that last forever.

I can't wait until Benjamin is born and I can revel in a new little creation and a new little personality. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

School, sentences and sweetness.

I am continually amazed by my children.

For the record. I don't want to feel like I'm bragging about how aweseome my kids are and take any credit for it. We are seriously blessed big time by our kids' temperments and how healthy and bright they are. Plus, I know that most everyone thinks their kids are pretty special, I am just taken back by the things that they do for one another and for others.

That's not to say that two little someones don't act out. They certainly do, and we have the bruises from bites and punches to prove it, but within minutes of a bite or a punch or a shove, the culprit (Aaron) is sweetly hugging the victim (Nathaniel) and saying, "'Orry, Bubba..." while Nathaniel either responds with a punch or an "I forgive you..." (playing out last night for you).

Aaron, my little non-verbal boy, has exploded with full sentences the past two days. I am proud to say that his first sentence was..."No! Kitty, don't you bite me, okay?" (This was after a few minutes of harrassment on Aaron's part when Socrates finally moved to bite him). From that point on Aaron's been full of, "Mommy, more juice, please!" and "I'm cold! I want a towel!" Okay...

Aaron also started at the preschool today. He was so brave! He jumped out of the van, ran to the gate, waited while I opened the gate, rushed through the door, tried to put his lunch in someone else's cubby, ran through the classroom out to the playground where he immediately attached himself to my leg. It didn't help that every single child in Nathaniel's class came running over to say hi to Nathaniel's little brother. At one point Aaron was climbing my leg. He eventually warmed up (after trying to eat his lunch at 9am, seriously, he was so excited about having a lunch box!). He decided to hang out with Nathaniel for outside play time. We'll see how the day goes, especially for nap!

Finally, Nathaniel has been super sweet lately, and very helpful. He helped Sam plant more seeds on Sunday (and got a whole dollar for it!). Then, yesterday, I was doing dishes and sweeping and mopping and doing some other general cleaning. While I was doing dishes Nathaniel dragged a chair over to the sink and said, "Mommy, I want to wash those for you!" So I let him wash the plastic cups and the silverware. Then he grabbed the broom and tried to sweep for me (which is hard when the broom is twice your size) and then while I mopped he would spray the floor for me with the cleaner. At one point my back was aching and Nathaniel said, "Mom, let me pop your back." and began to rub my back. He also took a rag and cleaned the front of the stove for me! Then we made lemonade together and sat and did a puzzle together and chatted about different stuff. His Cubbies lesson was on heaven and asked what he thought would be in heaven. He said apples, people (then asked me if grandma was in heaven. I told him no, that all of his grandmas were still alive...then he asked me if Uncle Ian was in heaven, then he said, "No...Uncle Ian is still alive too...") and chocolate chip cookies. :)

We also talked about my great grandma Smith and the yummy things she made (applesauce, frozen strawberries, etc.), and he was super interested. It made me really treasure the afternoon I spent just hanging out with Nathaniel while Aaron slept. While we cleaned I told Nathaniel that when the baby is born I won't be able to do as much with him at first, but that I would still make time for him. He is super excited for the baby to be born though, and even ran and put stickers on my belly saying, "This one is for you, Mom, but this super awesome one is for Benjamin!"

Yup, we're pretty blessed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Processing a moment in history.

Yesterday was a super long day for me. Between church, a youth luncheon, worship team stuff and a going away party for some dear friends who (like many people around us) are moving due to employment stuff, I wasn't able to sit down until about 8:30 last night. When I signed onto the internet I saw a ton of facebook statuses about bin Laden's death.

I was shocked and yelled for Sam and we rushed to the t.v. (which never comes on at night, so it was a treat for the kids to watch t.v., even if it was the news). As we were turning on the t.v. I commented, "You know, it's great that they finally got the man who masterminded 9/11, but I don't think we should be rejoicing. As far as we know, he wasn't a Christian, which means eternal punishment."

I just can't celebrate eternal punishment for anyone.

Was Osama bin Laden evil? YES. I am not sad that he was finally found. I'm not even sad that he had to be killed in order to be taken captive (as far as we know. Maybe that was the plan all along, but I rarely question military involvement because I know that we will never be given all of the information that they have, for people to sit there and say otherwise are incredibly naive...).

On the other hand, watching the t.v. and watching the President's speech I was thrilled and a little apprehensive. I'm thrilled that FINALLY this evil man was captured. He was not innocent at all. He masterminded an attack on our soil, killing thousands of people. He changed our history. He made it so that SO MANY families were affected. I wrote in my journal on that fateful day that I knew Sam's future was going to be changed by the events that took place on 9/11. So, while I was not thrilled that he was killed (because how much more justice would have been done if he had been captured and imprisoned and brought to justice that way, even though it probably would have led to death as well) I was thrilled that he is no longer out there.

As we sat with the boys watching the t.v. I explained as best I could what was going on. We have a book called, "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers" that we bought when we went to New York last year. I asked Nathaniel if he remembered that the towers were no longer there, and then explained that the man who they were talking about on t.v. was the man who made it so that those towers weren't there. Then we told them that they needed to remember this day if they possibly could. We'll see if that helps :).

Finally, we did our story reading and our family prayer time as usual. We prayed for bin Laden, as weird as that may sound. We prayed for God's mercy and that bin Laden was able to know God truly before he was killed. We don't ever want our kids to rejoice in the death of someone, no matter how evil. Especially if they did not know Jesus.

Disclaimer: I hope people who read this realize that we are not saying that his death was bad or not justified. It's just a loaded event. It's hard to process and hard to know how to process such a thing. While it's good that he's gone, I wonder if we've made him a martyr and I wonder what will happen next. But, no matter the outcome, he needed to be brought to justice for what he has done.