Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hey Guys! We had a baby!

Wow. So, times flies when you have two kids, huh? Suddenly changing diapers, bathing, eating, and surviving come before blogging. Weird. Who knew?

Let's back WAY up to December 7th. 
I started having contractions in the wee small hours. They were strong enough to wake me up and came every 30 minutes. I was pumped to be nearing the end of pregnancy, but also terrified about going through labor a second time. Ignorance of labor pains was no longer my reality. I KNEW what was coming. 

Long story short, my contractions last ALL the live long day and didn't get much closer than 20 minutes apart. Well, that just wouldn't do. My parents weren't sure whether to come over from Wisconsin or not (they did). Months earlier, we had arranged for my sister to watch Adeline while we were at the hospital. By 8 pm, we were torn about whether to put Addie to bed or to go to Carey's. 

Eventually (and by that I mean, 20 minutes later), we decided to head over to Carey's to put Addie to bed there. We could always spend the night, but at least we'd be closer to the hospital. 

Being a part of another woman's labor is Carey's nightmare. She'd rather get a phone call when the baby has arrived and be the friend that brings 5 meals over to be helpful. She just doesn't want to worry the whole time. So, here I am...on her couch, having contractions. Poor Carey. 

My mom kept asking, "Are you going to leave yet?" 
"No Mom, my contractions are 12 minutes apart. They'll send me home."

Since Gerrit had been timing my contractions all day, my dad took over once we got to Carey's. He was falling asleep next to me with his timer. I would nudge him every 10 minutes or so to mark the time. I am actually having a contraction (and not laughing at SNL on TV) in the picture below.

Around 11 pm, I had had enough. More accurately, my family had had enough of waiting and made me call the Baby Line to ask to come in. The nurse was hesitant to let me come in, since I have a high pain tolerance and didn't sound like I was dying over the phone. But since I had been having contractions since 2 am, she allowed it. Golly, thanks Nurse Lady. 

On the way to the hospital I told Gerrit, "I can't express how badly I don't want to do this." Oh yes, I wanted to have Reyer, but I certainly didn't want to push a baby out. Ugh. No, thank you. 

When we got there, I was plenty dilated and having contractions I wasn't even feeling. Every ten minutes, I would feel a very strong one, but I was having smaller ones in between that I was unaware of. To the labor room we went! 

The nurse said she would give me some meds to help me sleep to keep my strength up for later. I agreed, thought it over, and said, "Actually, can we just get an epidural going? I missed my window last time and I'm not interested in natural labor again." 

Booyah! Epidural ordered...on time! Labor dreams coming true! 
I was hooked up to get IV fluids and had several intense contractions that made me swear a lot in my head. I had a lovely mantra of cursing going on internally. 
Mr. Anesthesiologist Tom came in after my IV fluids. What a wonderful man. I mean, I don't know anything about him personally. But he had the needle and I loved him. I will love him forever and ever, Amen. 

Fast forwarding a few hours, when I drew nearer to pushing time, Reyer's heart rate was decreasing to an almost unsafe rate when I was on my back or left side. We found out afterward, that his cord was just slightly wrapped around his neck and would tighten when I turned. Because of this, I had to push while laying on my right side only. Such weird way to go through labor, but I was willing to do whatever worked and kept the kiddo safe! Around 7 am, I pushed for about 30 minutes and Reyer made his entrance! It was so fast at the end, I could hardly believe he was here. 

And what a good looking boy! Seriously, the kid looked amazing right away. Certainly better than I looked at that moment.

A few hours later, our families got to visit. Adeline was really more interested in eating my pancakes than seeing her new brother. 

But she warmed up. I was surprised that she took to him so quickly. She also seemed to understand that this was the baby that had been in my belly. Throughout the first week, she kept saying, "Reyer was born!!!" 

 We got to take him home on one of the coldest days of winter. He didn't seem to mind a bit. And that's how he's been ever since: easy-going and happy. 

Welcome, Bubber! We're so glad you're here! (Sorry it took Mommy so long to blog about you.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We Now Interrupt Your Life to Bring You This Pregnancy

 Sometimes, while pregnant, I feel like my life is on pause. 

 Sleeping comfortably must wait. 
Eating what I want is on hold (gestational diabetes = no fun, and with Thanksgiving around the corner, possibly torturous). 
Simple tasks like bending and reaching are difficult until the babe is not hindering movement.

The autumn clothes I long to wear hang lifeless in the closet....until next year, my friends.
If I were into exercising regularly and vigorously, that would have to wait as well.

But the obvious truth be told: Life has gone on.

 In the 35 weeks of my pregnancy, 
I left a job after 5 years and started a new job -- the first one since graduating college where I have used my degree. 

Addie turned 2, started sleeping in her toddler bed more regularly, and began potty training.
Gerrit and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.
Old friends have gotten married.
My sister announced her own pregnancy.

We finished one year and began another year of Bible Study.
Gerrit became an elder at our church.
Seasons have changed.

Oh, AND....
God grew a human in my body!!!!

Life is never on pause. It passes whether I am ready or not. It goes on whether I choose to stop and enjoy the season of life that I am in or not. 
So, I would rather choose to enjoy this season. For it too shall pass.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Annual Apple Orchard Trip!

As she does each year, Maria had a birthday! Keeping with tradition, we ventured out to an apple orchard. This one was darling, complete with pumpkin patch, tractor ride, apple donuts, and petting "zoo."

Delia and Adeline got into the spirit of the day and explored every little thing.

These goats were obviously used to little hands poking through the holes in the fence. 
Here Addie is channeling Dr. Doolittle and saying, "Hi, Goat!"

There was so much to see and do!

Jon is not pictured, but he was taking our picture with one camera while Adam took it with mine. Once again this year, Gerrit is looking good in our picture. I don't know what Addie and are up to.

Here is the S family, obviously loving the ride out to the pumpkin patch!

Bless little Delia. She sat still for the ride and enjoyed it. Adeline, on the other hand, was playing musical chairs whenever the tractor stopped. That is why Addie needs Delia in her life. 

 All the fun wore these little ladies out. They chose to unwind together afterwards. What's better than a day of fun and relaxation with your best bud? Not much, I tell ya.

Happy birthday, Maria! Thanks for being born and loving apple orchards so we can visit one each year!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No More Nuks!

Gerrit and I have wanted to get rid of Addie's nuks for some time now. We tried and failed miserably when she was 18 months old. We set a new goal for age 2, thinking she might have a better understanding that pacifiers were leaving her.
But other parts of life got in the way. She'd be sick, or we'd go out of town, or potty training began. There  never seemed to be an appropriate time. 
So, this week, we just decided it's time. I brainstormed some clever ways to make this less traumatic for her. I've heard advice about "giving the nuks away to a baby." But she's 2 and she's selfish. That would be a no-go for us. 
I've heard of many others giving the nuks to a "pacifier fairy." But Gerrit and I decided before our kids were born that we are not introducing pretend characters in her life and claiming them as real. 

Alas, I decided an awesome trade would be in order. 
We told her that if she wanted to open the BIG bag, she first had to gather all her nuks and put them in the little bag.

 She thought the pacifier hunt was pretty fun. 

Then together, we all said, "Good bye, nuks!"

What could it be?

Rapunzel of course!

 A fair trade, indeed!

Addie exceeded our expectations at bedtime. We were prepared for war, but it was only a small battle. She asked for her nuks a few times, but was satisfied with the reminder that we said goodbye to them. She fell asleep a little later than usual and woke up once in the night. Otherwise, the transition has been smoother than we thought. She didn't need toddler rehab or the pacifier patch. 
Great success!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Look at Me!" and Other Fun Phrases

One of Addie's new favorite phrases is "Look at me!" And she is usually quite the sight to behold.

Other frequent phrases:

Don't DO that! 

I tell you, no!

Wake up. C'mon, daddy. C'mon, mama.
(As she yanks on our sleepy limbs, after she has crawled out of bed.)

Here ya go. 
(As she hands me my glasses in the morning, thinking this is all it takes to wake me up.)

I wan' goldfish. 
(the snack)

I wan' 'Punzel. 
(She is obsessed with the movie, "Tangled.")

Pine out! 
(She puts her toys in time out, and is actually doing that as I type.)

I wanna help you.

Stop, please.
(When she is annoyed.)

My do it!
(Referring to just about anything.)

I wanna see it.
(She likes to see what we are cooking for dinner.)

No work!
(She yells at Gerrit when he is getting ready in the morning.)

I want [fill in the blank], Honey.
(When she really wants something, she sugarcoats it with a sweet nickname for us.)

I do it, 'gain.

Close your eyes! 
(If she catches us with our eyes open while praying. "Pot, meet Kettle.")

I wanna dance. I wan' tutu.
(An essential accessory when even the hint of a melody is playing.)

I have to go rescue the Little People farmer from "pine out" now. 
Until next time....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Don't You Love Being Pregnant?

Pregnancy is beautiful. Growing a human in the womb is a miracle. Life is a sacred blessing. Motherhood is an honor, not to be taken for granted. 

With that, I might offend some by saying this: I don't like being pregnant. Don't pause here waiting for me to say, "I don't like it, I LOVE it!" 
I am not that woman. If you'd like to read that, there are other bloggers who will satisfy that need for you. 

Nope. There's not much I enjoy about this 9 (actually 10) month experience. For some women, it is a time of hormonal blessing. Their skin radiates. Their tresses grow and curl naturally. They are energized, motivated, and exhilarated. And the sex has never been better! Well, I would love that, too. 

However, I break out. My youthful appearance goes full-blown Teen Queen and I get judging glances from elderly women at the grocery store. My hair falls out in clumps during, and especially after, pregnancy, leaving me with an unmanageable mane. I feel fatigued, lazy, and lethargic. 

And then I get diabetes. Forget about satisfying any cravings. It's protein and vegetables for me! My body is carrying about 30 pounds more than my frame can handle. Sometimes my sciatic nerve gives out and I collapse mid-walk (think Sandra Bullock as Ms. Congeniality in heels). 

Sleeping well is a memory, which only contributes to my out-of-whack emotions. I feel on the edge of rage for most of the day. Gerrit will ask me to "come see this or that." Goodness, doesn't he know how much work it is to get off the couch? There's a lot of rocking, pushing, and heaving involved. Whatever he needs me to see better be epic, because it certainly was to get off my rump. 

Every inch of my body is affected. Headaches, nausea, wonky eye-sight, turbo smell and taste, sore boobs, stretched skin, swollen fingers and ankles, charlie-horses at midnight.....

Yes, Cassie, cherish this magical time. Yes, the reward is a I will have to rip forth from my nether regions, and without an epidural with my luck. But that's another blog for another day. 

I am happy for the women who love their pregnant selves. I grieve for those that wish they could be in my place, but cannot conceive. And I am absolutely grateful to be a mother. I cried and prayed for motherhood. 

Forgive me for not being a woman who glows from within during gestation. For me, the blessing is the child, not the journey to receive him. For me, these months are the first of many sacrifices for my son. And I am willing to give him that. 

But a crazy woman must vent form time-to-time to avoid becoming homicidal. This blog post was for the safety of society. 

You're welcome. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sibling Bonding

At around 4:30 this morning, Adeline woke up. She's been wanting to come sleep in our bed when this happens. I compromised and decided to rock her for a while.

We sat down in the chair and she laid her head on my chest for a moment. Then she sat up and said, "No baby. No baby." (She used his name instead of "baby." She calls him by name now). She didn't want the baby taking up all the lap space. I said, "Well, he's here. He has to sit here."

She decided this would have to do and said, "I want to talk to [baby]."
I said, "Okay, you can talk to him."
This is the first that she has initiated interacting with him. I had been frustrated to get out of bed and miss precious sleep. But I got to be a part of a moment even more precious.

Adeline bent her little head down, rubbed my belly bump, and started whispering ever so softly to the baby. He woke up and started moving in response. I couldn't hear what she was saying. It was their little secret. The first of many, I'm sure.