Friday, February 27, 2015

Life as we know it--with 3 littles

Our Davis has stepped foot into our lives nearly 3 weeks ago, and it seems as if he has always had his two little footprints stamped in our family for forever. It seems weird to think of life before his little squeaks, soft snuggles, and observant blue eyes.

I was so worried about how life would change when he got here, and then he came...and life....just got so much better. Yes, life these days can be a bit of a juggling act. But honestly, I feel like we have all transitioned the quickest and best this time around. I might even go as far to say that going from two to three was far easier than from one to two. But then again, we are only 3 weeks into this adventure...I may be eating my words come tomorrow.

The moment his eyes open in the morning, both boys eagerly display their genuine affection.

Bennett usually screams, "Baby Dabis, he AWATE (awake)! Tole (Cole), baby AWATE!"  And then this.....

There's usually some bickering about who gets to be in the middle, and who gets to kiss what cheek. But all in all they love having "Dabis" around.  And don't even seem to mind how much I have to feed him, change him, and hold him. Usually they will go about their business playing with each other, and then one will saunter on by, rub his head like they are polishing silver, and maybe sneak in a kiss or two....

 Nursing usually consists of me trying to feed Davis with two other little heads bonking into each other, eagerly checking everything out. Claustrophobia usually comes to mind, as I have to stick my neck out just to be able to grab a few breaths of fresh air.

And then sometimes Bennett blesses his brother with some toys. (reminds me a lot of Cole and his "drive-by's" when Bennett was a baby).

I often find toys hidden under his blankets, and tucked in nicely next to his head, this time it was frogs, but of course.

And this little punkin just rolls with the punches. He stays awake the longest while receiving loving attention (or frogs) from his brothers. And then he passes out in exhaustion from all the excitement. Honestly, I think having older brothers has helped him figure the whole day/night thing out pretty much right away. Pretty hard not to know it's day time when there's ample yelling and fighting going on....and phones being stuck in your face....

He has been giving us 3 sometimes 4 hours stretches at night, eats, then goes right back to snoozing away. I know this probably won't last forever, and we are probably in the honeymoon stage. But can't say I'm complaining. I will take it while he will give it to us.

And I don't think I will ever, EVER tire of this. Prior to having Davis I worried I would never find any time to just snuggle with that little bug on my chest. I feared between the older boys and all their needs, we would never find time to just "be". Time for me to smell his little head, kiss his baby cheeks, and stare at his teeny-tiny toes, because toes just don't get cuter than that.

Surprisingly, I have actually been able to find a lot of snuggle time.  I love it so much that sometimes I wish that I could keep him this little, and needy of me forever. Because nothing can ever top a sleeping baby on your chest. The little puff-puff breathing, the nuzzling in, and sighs of perfect contentment. Or maybe that's really me sighing in deep contentment as I hold him close.

Apparently I'm not the only one who likes to snuggle baby Dabis.

He is always asking to "hold the baby". I'm so glad the novelty of having a baby brother hasn't worn off yet. And I can only hope the love will continue to grow and grow as these two become bigger and bigger.

So yes, life with three littles can be a bit crazy, a lot hectic, but the sweet and tender far outweighs the latter.

I mean, really....

 So so much sweetness wrapped up in that little love bug and our life as a family of five.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Birth of Our Last

Truth is, I have sat down at least 4 different times to write out our sweet Davis' birth story. And every time I sit and stare at the blank page, unsure of where to begin. Because how do you put into words how you are both grieving the lasts of a lot of firsts, how you lost the belly that was once a warm, solid home for your baby, and it will be no more? Yet, amongst the grieving there is a joy that is so much stronger and powerful than you ever imagined. It far outweighs the lasts and loss.

Because when your eyes meet your own flesh and blood for the first time, nothing else matters. The baby that for nine plus months that you worried over, prayed over, talked chromosomes and the possibility of  "abnormalities" over, the one that you loved so much you would be willing to lay down your life without ever even seeing their face. They arrive. And you are hit with something so powerful, so amazing, and incredibly do you even begin to put words to that?

You can't, you really really can't. But I want to remember, the details, the moments, the day when I watched God bring life from within and complete a beautiful love story. The sweetness of those tender moments when worlds collide into one, and tears fall freely from the beauty of it all.

This, is that story. The story of the birth of my Davis boy.

I'm going to begin at around the 40 week mark. I was not in a real good place. I had started the crazy talk about how this baby would never come. Night after night I was being kept up by painful contractions that would peeter off into nothing by the morning light. In fact, I had written several posts that never made it on the blog, here is an insert from one of them (written the night before I went into labor).

"I have never made it to a due date before, I always thought mama's all over the world were being overly dramatic about the whole "due date" thing. But the stigma is true, when they give you a expect everything to come together for a glorious birth by that date and not a day later. And when it doesn't happen, you feel some what defeated. You start saying crazy things to your husband like, "He's never coming out--ever".  You turn into a blubbering mess when you realize that you have to attempt to shave your legs.....again. And you realize that you have to make one more "last" batch of granola before baby comes, because heaven forbid you should run out of granola. Then you cry in the middle of the night while your husband snores away and you are laying there with another contraction, begging God that it will hurt like the bajeebies this time. And when it doesn't, you cry some more...and maybe give your husband a swift kick in the leg.

To all you mama's, I'm sorry I thought you were crazy.

After a month of false labor, of thinking this is it. I.Feel.Crazy. My body is tired, my body is sore, my body feels....done. Right now when I picture my little baby, I picture him bracing himself with both legs and arms, determined to avoid being swept into this world of ours. Oh, but how my arms ache to hold him."

At my 40 week appointment, I was 4 centimeters dilated, as effaced as one could be without being in labor, and my doctor scheduled an induction date. I left feeling defeated and begging God that I would not make it to the date of my induction. I wanted desperately to go into spontaneous labor, I didn't want to choose the date my baby would be born....and secretly I prayed that my water would break. Because if my water broke, then I would for sure know that I was in labor. 

That night I had contractions, oh man, did I have contractions. I lost my mucous plug. I woke up and told Kyle I was positive our baby would be born by night time. His parents offered to come stay with the boys so we could go enjoy a breakfast out together, and maybe try and convince the little stinker to come out already. Oddly, but not surprising, my contractions had almost completely halted. Breakfast was AMAZING, I ate caramelized banana pancakes with a white chocolate cream fraiche. They were heavenly. Kyle and I chatted and laughed and thought of ways to evict our little buddy. Sadly, by the end of breakfast my contractions were done. So we walked, and walked.....and walked some more. We kept waiting for something--anything to happen. On the drive home, my eyes filled up with tears as I felt defeated once again. And I'm sure I blubbered something about not being able to make it one more day. We wouldn't be meeting our little man that night. After I accepted that fact, I just prayed that I would sleep solid, so that I could have energy for whenever labor decided to start.

We went to bed. And I fell into a deep deep sleep (Thank you Jesus for hearing my plea!). Around 4AM I got up to use the restroom. As I started to fall back to sleep (around 5:30)....I felt a small gush of fluid. Not a big gush. But enough that it woke me up with a start and I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom.....faster than I had at any given time during my pregnancy. I waited to see if any more fluid would release...and nothing. Again, I stood there debating, did my water actually break? Or did I just.....wet my bed? Stinker. I finally made the decision to wake Kyle up. We called our parents and decided that we would go in just in case. I was both excited, but hesitant....we had already gone through a month of false alarms, and I was too tired of getting my hopes up. We waited for Kyle's parents to arrive. We were able to be there when the boys woke up, then we kissed them good-bye, and made our way to labor and delivery in jittery anticipation.....had the day finally come?

Upon arriving, I was not having contractions...figures. The little stinker was bound and determined to make his arrival 100% a surprise, and to keep us guessing up until the very end. I told Kyle to leave all of our bags in the car, the last thing I wanted was for them to send us away, with our tails between our legs and dragging all of our bags behind us.

But low and behold,Surprise! My bag of waters had in fact broken! God heard that secret little prayer after all. And then they told us we needed to try and get the contractions to start. So we walked, and walked, and walked that short little hallway, memorized every newborn picture that graced the walls, and basically felt so silly because we were laughing and talking and having a grand time, when we were supposed to be laboring.

We also learned upon arrival that my doctor was in an emergency surgery out at Providence. She expected that she would be done around we were in no hurry to make things get started too quickly.  Our family came to celebrate with us, bringing with them the best chocolate shake I have ever tasted.

And we laughed some more, told secret girl names to each other "just in case"...apparently there were still some skeptics in our family as to whether we would really be giving birth to another boy.

I still had not been checked at this point, since my water had broke, they didn't want to run the risk of infection. We just went off of what we knew based on my last OB appointment. Finally around 11 or so I was checked for the first time. And was completely effaced and at a 5. But still no contractions. My doctor told them that she would like to see them start some pitocin to get my contractions going.

Finally, it started to seem real, we would have our baby soon!

And the contractions....also began to feel real....very, very real.

Someone came in and thought that I had already had an epidural because I was laughing and smiling and really relaxed.  I was in my element, pumped up and so excited that I was finally going to get to meet our baby! About the only time in my life that I actually prayed for and welcomed pain.

At 1pm we were told that my doctor was still in surgery and they started talking about having her midwife deliver our baby. As much as I didn't want to hear that, I felt peace. And I focused on laboring so that I could see my baby sooner rather than later. At that point I really didn't care who would deliver him, I just wanted to see his face and hold him against my chest. (My sweet sister helped massage away the contractions, I cannot express how thankful I was for her during those moments.) And my other sister worked hard at capturing all the details in pictures, something we  will cherish for the rest of our lives. And my mom got to be there with us, just as she had with both my other boys. How thankful I was to have those dearest to me share in such a tender day.

I labored as long as I could, but then decided to go ahead and get the epidural before it was too late. As I tend to go fast once I hit the 7 mark. Never ever have I regretted getting an epidural, especially for this pregnancy.....I would let Kyle tell you about it, but poor thing had a near to pass out experience. (continue reading for that story)

They gave me the lightest dose, as I wanted to be able to move my legs. It was one of the best epidurals to date. And then while trying to push the nurse call button, my darling mom grabbed my epidural button and pushed it like 3 times. To which i started yelling, "that was my epidural, you gave me another dose of my epidural!" And we laughed and laughed at the "Everyone Loves Raymond" moment, as my mom and I were yelling back and forth whose fault it was that she pushed the button. I suppose you kind of had to be there. And I can't even remember what was so important that we needed to get a nurse for in the first place.....

Soon I was back to my blissful, gonna-be-meeting-my-baby-soon-state. All the while my contractions started piling on top of each other, and I just sat there smiling, thinking to myself of all the progression they must be making.

I believe it was around 4pm we got news that my OB was there! I was so happy I could have cried. Around 4:45 she came in to check to see how far along I was. I was at a 9, and then she discovered that I had a forebag of water that hadn't ruptured yet. Probably the reason why my water breaking hadn't caused me to go into full blown labor earlier. She broke the forebag and then left saying if I started to feel any pressure I needed to let them know ASAP.

Not much later, I started to feel a little pressure.....but nothing like I felt with Bennett. I mentioned to the nurse that I was feeling a little with each contraction. Suddenly around 5ish, the nurse came in and said that it was time. She said they could tell the baby was ready and probably in the birthing canal by what they were reading on the monitors. They began to get the room set up.

I remember feeling very nostalgic, I began to tear up as I knew the time was drawing near. I was so close to kissing those cheeks, I could almost taste the sweet baby skin on my lips. My chest ached to have my baby draped on me, skin-to-skin for the first time.  I also remember having such an incredibly calmness fall over me. My mom, two sisters and Kyle were all in the room with me. Just as I had hoped and prayed. They almost didn't let them all stay, but last minute my nurse went and told my mom she could come in for the delivery (there was a strict 2 person limit due to the horrible flu season). I'm pretty sure God's hand was in that decision.

And then my mom prayed over us. The room stood still as we all silently knew the miracle that would be here real soon.

Then just like that, it was time. Almost exactly 12 hours from the moment my water first broke to when I was preparing myself  to start pushing.

They set up a mirror for me, I almost didn't ask for it.....but I am so, so glad I did. There is something uniquely special and miraculous being able to watch as you push your baby into the world. And since this was the last time I would be doing this, I wanted to remember every single little detail about the day my son completed our family.

Then they said it was time to push. I pursed my lips together and pushed with everything in me through the first contraction. I could see his head, barely....but I could see it, and there was hair! I started to feel really weird, my heart started pounding and the nurse calmly gave me an oxygen mask to breathe in to.

The second contraction came quick, and again I pushed like my life depended on it. Everyone kept saying with my next push the head would be out. I honestly didn't believe them, and thought that I had at least a good 5 more pushes to go.  But sure enough I pushed one more time and out popped that sweet little head, and with my next push the rest of the body came shooting out. 6 minutes of pushing total, and there was my baby, fresh from the womb.

And then there was that cry....sweet and strong and ripping into my heart with such immensity. The air was thick with love as he was placed on my tummy. And I all I could do was stroke his cheek, cry, laugh, and speak as much love to him as I possibly could.

Oh how I wish I could capture those first moments and bottle them for forever. The moment your eyes lock for the first time, the first cry, the first touch of that silky, slick skin, still warm from the womb.  3 births and it never gets old,  I die every time. I die and go straight to Heaven for a few moments I'm sure.

Makes the whole 9 month and a month of contraction filled nights worth it.

And then when I think of the blissful perfection that is the end result, it makes 9 months seem like nothing.

To hold your baby for the first time--that moment, I would have waited a million years for it. 

And while I was in my whole other blissful world, where all I saw were quivering lips, long, tiny fingers, and the most kissable wrinkles. I also began to notice that something wasn't going as it should be. Usually, directly after giving birth, you have to deliver the placenta. Only my placenta wasn't wanting to be delivered....

My OB massaged and massaged and massaged my stomach, yanked on the umbilical cord multiple times, but my placenta refused to budge. Finally after trying for about 45 minutes to get it to release, they had to give me more pitocin, and a shot in the leg to help with clotting...but nothing seemed to work. Finally, she informed me that she would need to manually go in to retrieve it. I was never more thankful for the decision to have an epidural as I was in that moment. My doctor was elbow deep trying to remove the placenta.  And that is when Kyle started to get a little light-headed and woozy. He has always handled labor and delivery like a pro, but watching the whole placenta retrieval pushed him over the edge. Thankfully he sat himself down and then quietly dismissed himself from the room.  He was so calm about it, that I didn't even realize he had left. I was just relieved to learn that they had finally gotten my whole placenta out, that Kyle had not fainted, and that nothing more extreme would have to take place.

And we could all go back to soaking in the newest little love of our lives.

He was my biggest baby at 7lbs 3 oz. And 20 inches long. So much scrumptious in one little man. Just look at those biceps.

He came out of the womb all boy, pooping and peeing all over his mama, and ready to eat. After some snuggling he lifted his head and slammed it down on the food source. And then went to town nursing for the next hour or so. He has been a champion nurser every since.

We still can't believe he is here. How much our hearts have grown, third time around and giving birth is just as magical as the first time. The love that swarms your heart is just as strong, if not stronger, because you know the beautiful that is to come.

The beautiful of raising another little human. Another baby boy.

Those cheeks and lips got kissed a million times within moments of entering our arms. That sweet milk-breath was breathed in deeply, and I'm sure the world heard my heart sigh when I felt the warmth of that fragile, tiny baby body upon my chest for the first time. You see the divine power of God, as you watch His intricately created human life being born before your earthly eyes.

Giving birth will forever be the most powerful moments in my life. I thank Jesus for my three gifts, for being able to bare the title "mom".

Welcome to our world and in our hearts forever baby Davis. Your birth day was more than I had ever hoped, better than I thought possible, and about as beautiful as I ever could have imagined.

We love you more than words sweetie pie.

Don't worry, your brothers are eager to show you the ropes. They think you are the best thing that ever happened to them, even Bennett.

You will be smothered in love. Forever.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Our first week

I really can't believe Davis has only been with us just a little over a week and a half. It feels like he has always been part of our family. Kyle and I have actually been quite surprised with how easy it has been to transition back to having a newborn again. Out of all 3 boys, this has been the smoothest and almost seamless transition for sure. I suppose it helps that he is a pretty low key baby (for now at least, Bennett changed dramatically once we hit the 3 week we'll see). And we have fully embraced co-sleeping....which we never did with Cole and finally started to with Bennett when he was about 3 months old...and we were desperate. I would have to credit the co-sleeping to the fact that I haven't once had that up all night, super groggy, kind of in a daze feeling that usually clouds your life for the first week or so of having a new baby. In fact, I feel like I am more rested since I am not up ALL NIGHT long battling contractions and wondering if "today is the day". Plus, I love breastfeeding and snuggling my baby. So pretty much I am in a heaven-like state right now.

We have much to be thankful for in this amazing new life that God has given us to love.

Our Davis, he's a sweet one.

He has pretty much captivated everyone that meets him. He is all boy but with a softness that will melt your heart. Even his cry is as strong as it is tender.

Big blue eyes, just like his brothers.....but dark hair to start his own trend.

He has long fingers, and the cutest little frog legs.

His brothers are eating him really, really eating him up. He's going to have to get used to not having a bubble or any breathing space.

He's gonna just have to get used to being smothered and kissed and snuggled tightly.

 Because he's so adored.

Thankfully he seems to like it, except when a car was dropped on his head...he wasn't a big fan of that. But got over it quickly when followed up with more snuggles and more loves.

He is changing every day, and seems to be losing his scrunchie-newborn-face all too quickly.

Makes me wish I had the power to freeze these moments, just too hold onto this stage a little longer. For I fear we are in for a whirlwind of a ride, and in two seconds he will be up and off to college.

I suppose that happens quicker when there are three boys under one roof. Fast, everything is fast and loud, and going full speed.

Even time.

So we are having lazy mornings, living in our pajamas (or undies--Cole), and enjoying these moments as much as we can.

Because one day he will be too big to hold in my arms. But I am thankful for this time, for how full my heart is. So I will hold him until my back aches, and stroke his cheeks until he asks me not too.

I still can't believe he is here, and ours. 

Needless to say, we are all very much in love.

Even Bennett. How we have all breathed a sigh of relief over that one.

My boys, God has given us more than we ever imagined.