Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anna-Kate

There were several times during the last 10 days when I wished I had the time/energy/brain power to sit down and write a thoughtful post. It's been an emotional roller coaster for me and I would have liked to have shared that with some of you.

But even as I type this now, I find myself wishing I were sleeping rather than typing. So, Im afraid this post might be rather lacking in the creative/thoughtful department. I apologize. :)

Baby spent several days teasing us. We'd think, for sure, she was coming ... and she never did on her own. So we tried taking things into our own hands. Here's how we try to induce labor in Montana:  waterslides & four wheelers.





Of course, none of it worked & I ended up being induced on the 23rd. I'm cool with that tho --- as it turned out, the three of us ended up making some pretty special memories together. Our last memories as a family of  3. Maybe it seems indulgent to have spent so much time focusing on/mourning the 'family of 3' thing ... but I don't care. It felt like the right thing to do & I know it meant the world to Isaac. After our fourwheeler adventure I tucked him in that night. I asked, "Do you think I'm dorky for wanting to spend so much time with you this last week." He said, "Yea mom ... I do. But it was kind of great."

I'll take that.  :)

Isaac spent the night with a dear family friend the night before the induction. When we dropped him off that night I felt sad .... We were going to go through something that was going to change our family forever. I felt like he should have been with us for that. He, on the other hand, was totally psyched to spend the night with a house full of women who spoil him rotten. In hindsight, it was the best place for him to be. :)

The long and the short of the delivery day goes like this:

I was on cloud nine when we were checking into the hospital. I felt excited --- we were going to meet our little human! They showed us to our room & told me to change into a gown. I went into the bathroom &  was totally taken by surprise by a wave of sadness and uncontrollable tears. As I undressed I kept thinking, "This is the last time I'll wear this t-shirt." It seems stupid, I'm sure --- but I really loved my pregnant belly. Yea, sure, sometimes it was hard to feel beautifl when I was exhausted or had just popped a button off my jacket. But for the most part, I felt great. I felt pretty when Josh paid attention to it - talked to it, touched it. There's something about a woman's pregnant body that is sexy and powerful. It says, "I'm the mom. What's your claim to fame?"

Wednesday morning as I looked at my reflection in the mirror --- suddenly shapeless in a hospital gown --- all I could think was, "I wish I would have made the time to take a picture with Josh and my pregnant self." Silly, I know ... but true.

I actually took the gown back off and just stared at my belly for a few minutes. Maybe we'll have more kids & maybe we won't. But on the chance that this is it for us, I wanted to remember the belly. I think I got lost in it for a minute because somewhere in my daydreaming I got caught offgaurd by a little foot that kicked my ribs and sent a wave across my abdomen. "Hi mommy! I'm ready to come see you now!"

I had gotten used to those kicks and turns and jabs. But, in my sentimental state of mind I realized I had been selfish with those movements. Yea, I had shared them with Josh in the moments before we fell asleep each night. But I had never taken the time to sit with Ike and let him see his sister roll around. I had never taken the time to hold his hands over the places she often kicked. I'm sure he couldn't care less & this error in my judegment won't be the one he spends thousands of dollars on therapy on in his adult years .... but it still makes my heart ache a bit. Maybe more for me than for him --- it seems like a precious memory I would like to have made with him.

But ... it was too late to fix it. I really only mention it here as advice to any of you who may find yourself in similar situations. When you're pregnamt --- take the time to share the special moments with your loved ones. And don't be afraid to document it all in the form of pictures. Will people think you're cheesy and sentimental? Probably --- but who cares? You'll be glad you did it all. :)

Anyhoooo ... back to being excited. I shook it off and got on with the day. It went like this:


Pitocin @ 9 a.m.
Water broke @ noon.
Epidural @ 1.
Baby at 5:07.

Delivery was painless & quick. And she is amazing.

Here are the highlights in photos:

Waiting for the pitocin to start working ...

Uno.

Jessie gave me a pedicure. Yay.

Grammie Pam showers us with gifts. <3

Puzzles & games.

Love this boy.

Correction: I love THESE boys. <3


Wallace, Ike & Pam.

Welcome to the world Anna-Kate:


Daddy cuts the cord.
"Hello sweet girl. Nice to meet you."

I'm in love.


Rude awakening.

Big brother watching them clean her up & check her out.

Daddy has the calming touch.


Aunt Tammy giving me the ol' 'Good job, mom!"

All cleaned up & ready for mama.


"Eat up, buttercup."


Isaac & Anna-Kate


Our little family.


Daddy & his girl.

Proud Auntie

Wide awake!

Grama Dawn


Grama Sue

Nana & Anna. <3

Aunt Carrie lovin' on our girl.

Grammie Pam inteoduces AK to Kari & Danielle.

Anna-Kate meets her BFF! <3

Ali & Anna.

<3

Auntie Bec

Tandi meeting AK.


Portia, Zoe & their new cousin.

Anna-Kate came into the world on March 23, 2011 @ 5:07 pm weighing 7 lbs 5 oz. She was 19 inches long & beautiful. We're all in love.

We leave the hospital tomorrow morning. It's been nice to have a couple days to regroup ... but Isaac isn't allowed to spend the night here.  I'm excited to get home where all four of us can be together.

Today is a weird day for me ... there's all this love floating around & so many reasons to be thankful. But today marks an awkward milestone for me. I'm tempted to talk about it now ....but I think I'll wait until tomorrow night when I'm home and have had a minute or two to process the strange transition that will take place sometime between the time I fall asleep tonight & the time I wake up tomorrow.

For now, Im going to catch a few Zzz's. Because, seriously, after seeing this ... :

IMG00384-20110324-2356.jpg

... how could you not want to go snuggle in with them?

G'nite all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Josh & I have been reading emails & texts and fielding phone calls from all of our friends & family regarding Baby O'Shea. It's expected that our little household is crazy-excited to meet our little girl. However, it is totally overwhelming (and heart-warming) to see how excited our friends and family are as well. I don't know why the outpouring of generosity & love surprises me ... but it does. In all the best ways. So ... thank you.

I don't have the attention span to sit in one spot for very long so this update will be quick.

Here's the Cliff's Notes on how the bun is baking:

In the last 5 days labor has started ... and stalled ... TWICE.  Josh and I spent Thursday night in Billings --- I was SURE we were having a St. Patrick's Day baby. But I was wrong. By Friday morning labor had stopped and they discharged me around 2:30 pm.

It seems everyone asks the same questions right now so I will just throw out the answers here: I'm currently dilated to a 4. 100% effaced. But the contractions refuse to be regular... so we're home until that changes.  Yes, we've decided on a name. No, we aren't going to tell you right now. You'll have to wait til she's here. :)  Isaac is starting to warm up to the idea of a sister --- it took a while to get over not having a brother but I think he's as excited as we are now.

I spent yesterday laboring at home. Steady, strong contractions around ten minutes apart most of the day.  But today ... nothing.

I am abundantly anxious to meet our girl & have become a sucker for all wives tales, legends, and superstitions that claim to "bring baby to the outside world." Basil, oregano, red rasberry leaf tea, EPO, walking, jogging, trampolines, scrubbing floors, general cleaning .... and, yes, that too.  (Why does refering to that seem dirty when I type it out in my blog ... but people I barely know have NO problem suggesting Josh and I ... well ... you know? Eh.)

The boys are in Fishtail getting groceries. I'm going to scrub my walls, floors, and windows. When they get home we're going to send the afternoon on four wheelers trying to coax baby out.

We'll keep you posted on Baby O's arrival. But for now ... I have floors to scrub.

xo - Nic

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nobody Cares

I copied this from someone who copied it from someone who copied it from someone. I have no idea where it originated. The point is, I didn't write it but I wish I did. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Cheers ~ Nicole


Nobody cares. That's right. I said it. Nobody cares. Nobody cares whether my 5 year old was breastfed or bottlefed as an infant. What really matters was that he was fed well and often.

Nobody cares whether he wore disposable or cloth diapers. What really matters is that he was kept clean and more importantly, that he is not wearing any kind of diaper anymore.

Nobody cares whether he slept in a crib or a playpen or a bassinet or in bed with me or some combination of all of those. What really matters is that he had a safe place to sleep and was tended to at night when needed.

Nobody cares whether we used redirection, time outs or a swat on the bum when he threw a tantrum or engaged in some other behavior requiring some form of discipline. What really matters is that we disciplined him in a way that was loving, consistent and maintained respect for him as a "tiny human" (as Arizona would say on Grey's).

Nobody cares when he started walking. Really. Nobody. I know it seems like THE biggest thing ever when the kid is taking those first steps, but honestly, when that kid is 5 years old nobody is going to care. At all. Especially if they walked early. Then nobody wants to hear it. Or they don't believe you.
Nobody really cares when he started to talk either. Well, the school kind of cares, in that if the kid is still having issues with speech they do need to know about it so they can help accordingly. But in general, other parents and most definitely the other kids...ya, they totally do not care.

Nobody cares about his bowel movements either. Not the color, consistency or frequency. I never would have believed it myself until my babies stopped being babies and nobody cared anymore about their poop. Mindblowing. I know. Kind of makes me wonder if anyone EVER cared about their poop...
Nobody cares how many colds he had in his first year. Or second year. Or beyond. Kids are germy. They get sick, especially when they play with other kids. Nobody is really worried about it.

Nobody cares if he is circumcised or not. And if they did, I'd wonder if they had some kind of sick, perverted tendancy to be so concerned with the state of my son's penis.

Nobody cares if he did baby sign language. I swear on my dead mother-in-law's grave. I know by now some of you must think I'm a heretic but I promise it's true. The only thing that matters about what he's doing with his hands is that they aren't being used to hit or otherwise harm people. Sign language? Please. Nobody cares.

Nobody really cares if he's vaccinated or on what schedule those vaccinations happened. I mean, yah, the school prefers it but nobody asks. Nobody cares. It was our choice and we made it in confidence rather than fear. Nobody cares if he watched tv before the age of 2. Or 3. Or 4. Seriously. What really matters is that watching tv was only one of a very many things he did and that however much he watched, it didn't interfere with his development in any way. (It didn't). The adults may care about this one, but the kids don't care if he is a super-genius or dumb as a post. They care if he's kind, helpful, plays nicely and shares. What a freaking concept.

Nobody cares whether his mom worked or stayed home. What mattered most was that he was in an atmosphere of love and respect every day, and that he was provided for adequately. When I make choices for Olivier now, or simply as I watch him progress naturally and in his own way, through the various milestones, I am not nearly as pre-occupied with the things I was with Raymond. It's a nice feeling not to second guess all the time. So mommies of babies and toddlers, here is what I have to say to you.

Is your child well fed, kept clean and given a safe place to sleep? Is he loved and respected? Is she growing and learning new things every day? Is he read to, played with and taken outside regularly, even if he does watch a little tv sometimes? Is he learning to share, be kind and given a chance to socialize with other kids in a positive way? Is your child healthy? Do you take care of him or her when they do happen to get sick? Do you make the best choices you can for your individual child regardless of what the peanut gallery has to say? Do you take care of your babies, and provide them with a safe, loving, consistent, stable and nurturing home? Do you love your baby boys and baby girls? Yes? Well then, I say good job. You are an excellent mother. You are worth your weight in gold. Don't listen to the critics or the negative people who will never have anything good to say about anyone's parenting choices except their own. Stand tall and be proud of your kids every day.

On the flipside of that. Do you occupy yourself with how other people raise their kids? Do you feel the need to tell them or others what they are doing wrong or why your own choices (or intended choices) are so much more superior? Get a life. Find a hobby. Clean your dirty, nasty house - because if you have small children there is a good chance that something is dirty or nasty in your house. Take a class. Have another baby and keep yourself busy with him/her, rather than the babies of your friends, family or strangers. Shut your mouth or back away from the keyboard when the urge to judge choices you don't understand overwhelms you. That kid throwing a fit in the restaurant? You know, the one you think needs a swift kick in the you know where? That kid has autism, or sensory issues, or ADHD or some other sensitive issue that you don't understand. Her mom? The one you think isn't doing anything or enough about it? She is tired, she deals with this every day. Every. Day. Your judgement isn't helping.

Oh, oh - that mom in the mall? The one bottle-feeding her infant while you look in disgust because surely she must not have tried hard enough to breastfeed. That mom has post-partum depression. She's in the mall because it's the only hour out of her day she gets to be around grown ups. Her baby cries a lot. She is tired and maybe her husband isn't able or willing to help out much at night. And yah, she's not breastfeeding. Switching to formula *literally* saved her sanity so wipe that smug look off your face and tell her how cute her baby is and how great she looks for just having given birth.

 I have crazy love for my kids. I'd bury you and nobody would ever find your body if you hurt one of my kids. But I will lose respect for you if you think you know better than I do about what's good for my kids. You don't. That's why you're not their mother. There are so many things we drive ourselves mental over when our kids are babies. All the grief mothers give each other, both silently and not so silently, over who made the best choice, is such a tremendous waste of time. I'm guilty of it too. Not sure why we are so pushy and judgemental sometimes - maybe we are just insecure. Only someone who is not truly secure in their own choices would waste their time judging someone else's. At least I think that's how it works.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Haps.

It's been a while since I was here --- it's been a crazy week or so!

The Cliff's Notes on the week are this:

Our house has been struck down by the flu, strep throat, and a pesky cold. Somehow we seem to all be healthy again as of tonight. The business has totally exploded. I sprayed 59 women last week & am totally exhausted! So far I've had a really great response from the local gals --- such a great feeling! Josh is preparing for an insurance conference  --- it's my favorite one because it's held in Fairmont. Love that. And Isaac has just been plugging away in school --- mostly on his science fair project. Luther is out of school tomorrow so I think the boys are going to ski & I am going to head to Billings with the Turnbull clan. Groceries, thank-you cards, dry cleaning.

Oddly, the science fair that Isaac is working so hard on is scheduled for March 25 --- that happens to be little babe's due date. So, we'll see if the science fair actually happens for us this year or not. I hope so -- he's been working really hard!

I am secretly hoping (or I guess its not so secret now that I've posted it on the internet) to go into labor while we're in Fairmont. Butte is only 15 minutes away so I feel totally safe going ... and I actually LOVE the thought of not being swamped with visitors while we're at the hospital.

And while I'm on the topic ... I love the thought of not being swamped with visitors once we're home too. My family has been warned --- they know we'll come make the rounds when we're ready to see people.  God love 'em for understanding! But, there's something about country living that invites unannounced visitors at a steady pace -- it rattles me a little but it's the way of life around here ...  so I am trying to prepare myself for a noisy house for the first few weeks after little miss arrives.

As far as the pregnancy goes, I am feeling great --- the best I've felt this whole pregnancy actually. 37 weeks & 2 days --- we're officially FULL TERM! HOORAY! I've got lots of energy & am feeling blessed that so far (knock on wood) I have managed to avoid any water retention, noticeable weight gain or swelling. My only complaint really is that I haven't been able to eat meat really --- but I still have an incredible appetite & spend most of my time craving brown rice, black beans, and green veggies. Plus I drink about a gallon of milk a day! Baby's healthy & everything looks good to go!

You know what ... I lied when I said not being able to eat meat was my only complaint. I have two more complaints ...

1) I'm tired of the grunting noises that come out of me at the most inopportune times. Moving around is  really HARD! Ha.

2) I'd like to re-gain control of my bladder. Yea ... it's one of those not-so-pretty parts of pregnancy ... one of those things you're probably not supposed to talk about. But, how do you NOT talk about something as funny as peeing your pants? Its really only happened once --- today as a matter of fact --- but once is enough. Josh was cutting wood & I was hauling it to the truck. I sneezed and without any warning Niagara Falls was running down my leg. I didn't know what else to do so I just laughed. When I told Josh I thought he was going to pee HIS pants from laughing so hard. Later he complained to me that he was getting frustrated with his chainsaw. I told him to buck up --- the chainsaw not working properly wasn't really THAT bad unless of course he happened to be dealing with a temperamental chainsaw AND frozen urine in his britches. He agreed! The shower I took when we got home was perhaps the best feeling shower I have EVER taken.

Anyhow, it's time for Josh to read us another chapter in 'Where The Red Fern Grows'. So I'm off to snuggle into the top bunk with my itty bitty boy.

Hope this Sunday has a fabulous one for all ya'll.

xo

7/30

Day 07: A Photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet.





I can't see myself ever being an exotic pet owner ---- which is what I think this question was probably referring to. I am a pug lover ten times over & that's how I'll likely stay for life.

We are ucrrently pug-less. But once the cats die off (we have two! ugh! ) that is what I will buy myself. A sweet little pug to call my own again. :)