Friday, July 30, 2010

It Was Supposed to be a Relaxing Day at Home

Ryan has been gone a lot this spring and summer for work.  It's been a challenge being pregnant in the heat and having the boys alone, but we've been managing pretty well.  Ryan left two weeks ago for his last TDY of the summer to Las Vegas.  We knew he would be cutting it close on the baby's due date and even closer on the c-section date, but it was a really good opportunity for him, and he needed to go.

Meghan and Lizzy came in for a visit on Wednesday.  Meghan came to help with the boys and keep me company until Ryan got home on Friday or Saturday.  She kept the boys for me that night while I got my hair cut, and then we did a little shopping later that evening.  We stayed up past 1am talking and then turned in for the night.  I was having some back and leg pain, but that was nothing out of the ordinary for me. 

At 3am I woke up with some pretty severe abdominal pain and terrible nausea.  I've always had scheduled c-sections, and I have never been in labor.  I have never had a single contraction and only had one episode of Braxton-Hicks contractions one afternoon when I was pregnant with Colin.  Based on my reading, I didn't think the pain I was experiencing was labor.  I was beginning to worry about kidney stones, as I've had a couple other symptoms of those.  At 5am I got in the shower to try to relax.  I was able to sleep until 6. 

Meghan woke up around 7am, and we talked about my symptoms.  She too didn't think I was having real contractions, so we decided to just wait it out for a while.  My doctor's office opened at 9am, and I left a message for a nurse to call me.  A few minutes later I decided I probably needed to go up to Labor and Delivery just to get checked out.  The pain was pretty severe, and there was definitely something going on that wasn't normal for me.  It was just Meghan and me with three children, so we decided Meghan would drop me off at the hospital and then bring the kids home and wait to hear from me.

When I checked in, the nurse really didn't think I was in labor.  She was concerned I may have a stomach virus and was dehydrated.  She took me back to a labor room and brought in the equipment to hook me up to the monitor as well as start an IV.  Once the monitor was on, it became clear that although my pain didn't exactly match the usual definition of labor pain, I was most definitely in labor.  Upon exam, I was at a four, and my contractions were about 40 seconds, 2 to 3 minutes apart.

Oops!  Ryan was in Las Vegas.  Meghan was at home with three children, and I was alone at the hospital.  To top it off, my doctor was also out of town.  I began frantic phone calling.  I gave Meghan a list of friends to start calling to see if someone could babysit so she could come be with me at the hospital.  Meghan called my mom who immediately jumped in the car and began the six hour drive up here.  One of my doctor's associates was on call, so he came up to the hospital.  Ryan had been flying late the night before.  I woke him when I called, and 30 minutes later he was at the Las Vegas airport trying to buy the quickest ticket out of town.  There had been talk of monitoring me as long as possible and waiting until the very last minute to do a c-section in an attempt to get Ryan into town, but when the doctor arrived and realized this was my fourth c-section, he said they couldn't wait.

I have amazing friends.  Without any warning, Elana dropped everything and raced to my house to relieve Meghan.  She had another committment with her own kids, so my friend Katie left work to help Elana with all the logistics.  Meghan raced up to the hospital and met up with me just in time.  They were just starting to move me to the OR.  Meghan got dressed in her scrubs in the hallway while I got my spinal.  The hospital staff was really amazing and very compassionate about the whole situation.  Ryan was not able to get on a flight right away, which actually worked out better for us because the surgeon allowed him to be on speaker phone the entire time.  They also allowed Meghan to take all kinds of pictures throughout the surgery.

Aaron Wesley was born screaming at 11:52am, and Ryan was able to hear those first cries.  He was 8 pounds, 3 ounces.  The doctors correctly predicted he would be my biggest baby.  He was 19 inches long, shorter than Colin, longer than Eli, and the same length as Clayton.  I don't think he looks very much like Colin, but he does have a blend of Clayton and Eli's features.

Within minutes of arriving in the recovery room, a captain from Ryan's office arrived.  Her generosity and the generosity of many in Ryan's squadron was amazing.  She had a long list of things she and others could do and would do for me, and she begged and begged to know what else she could do for me.  I told Ryan that I think if I had asked her to put lotion on my feet, she would have dropped everything and done it right then.  She coordinated dinner for Elana, Katie, and all the kids.  She also arranged for someone to pick up Ryan at the airport and bring him to the hospital.  She brought a little gift for Aaron and contacted the Red Cross about the situation (standard procedure when things like this happen to military). 

Ryan and my mom arrived at the exact same moment that evening and both were happy to meet little Aaron.  It was definitely a whirlwind kind of day, but so far everyone is healthy and happy.  Aaron had his first echo this morning, and the preliminary results look good.  I am so appreciative of everything my friends, family, and the hospital staff did for me to make this delivery go as smoothly as possible.

And now, introducing

Aaron Wesley
July 29, 2010 11:52am
8 lbs, 3 oz  19 in

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bed Head!

This is how I find Eli after his nap most afternoons.  No matter how low I keep the thermostat, and let's face it, I'm pregnant in the middle of the summer- I've turned it down a few notches, this boy wakes up sweaty, which results in some serious bed head.  Here he is the other day.  I promise I did nothing to his hair.  This is how it looked when I walked in. 

Yes, Eli still has a binkie (the newborn MAM variety... he's extremely picky, and those can be difficult to find).  It's his great love in life.  It stays in his bed.  I know he's always soooo willing to go to bed because he knows he can get his binkie.  Clayton had one too at this age, but it wasn't very long before we took it away.  It wasn't that big of a deal for him, but I'm really worried about taking it from Eli.  This boy is attached.  We'll see.

Who is This Kid?

We spent some time over at our neighbors' house Friday night.  Their boys are a little older than ours and have lots of cool "big kid" toys that my boys adore.  My neighbor put Eli on this little four wheeler, and believe it or not, he pretty much had it figured out after a few minutes.  Steering was not his specialty, but when he wanted to go, he pressed the pedal and went.  He was so excited.  Mama was so nervous.  And Ms. Chasity, our neighbor, was probably pretty worn out from chasing and steering the driver all around the backyard.

Clayton also had a great time playing with his buddy, G.  Neither of these boys were up for having their picture taken last night, but I did get a smile from Clayton here when they wedged themselves in the side yard.  Clayton likes to drive the power wheels toys as well, but he's also just as happy being chauffeured around in the Escalade by G. 

Chasity and I laugh everytime these two are together.  G is exactly one year older than Clayton, and he's about twice Clayton's size.  They are on the extreme opposite ends of the growth chart.  It's not surprising though, as I'm sure G's dad is at least 6'4'' and his mom is probably 5'11''.  Ryan and I are just not that kind of people.

We had a great night with our friends and are grateful to have such great neighbors.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Have I mentioned...

that August 2nd is the scheduled c-section date?  That's two weeks from tomorrow.  I'm ready.  I think Ryan's ready.  Clayton's really ready.  Eli doesn't have a clue, and this baby is going to rock his world.  Poor Eli.

I've spent a little time doing some baby-prep this weekend.  The boys are moving in together, and I think I've got all of Eli's clothes and things crammed into Clayton's room now.  We recently bought a set of bunkbeds that the boys will eventually share.  Mama's not quite ready for Clayton to be a top bunk kind of kid or for Eli to be out of the crib, so for now, Clayton's on the bottom, and Eli will stay in a crib, possibly temporarily in his old room, possibly in with Clayton.  It just depends on where I can get the baby to sleep the best, our room or Eli's old room.  We'll see.  Eventually though the bigger boys will be together, and the baby will have his own room, and now everyone's things are in place for that.

I also went through all the baby clothes this weekend.  They sure are tiny.  I held some of them up to Eli and couldn't believe how much a child grows in their first year and a half. 

Signing off with an achy back, restless legs, and swollen feet...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vacation Bible School

Clayton just finished his first Vacation Bible School at our church.  It could not have been better.  I had been helping out at the church a couple mornings a week getting things ready for the last month or so, so Clayton had seen the decorations going up and had heard the music, but I could tell he had no idea what VBS would be like.  I was very pleased when I learned who his teacher would be, and I really hoped he would have a really great experience and behave himself.

I think things went really well.  Preschool was a big adjustment for Clayton last year.  He's a homebody who has very little desire to get dressed in the morning, and I hate to admit it, but most days it was like pulling teeth to get him out the door to school.  I was worried about VBS, but Clayton got out of bed every morning so excited to get dressed and get to the church.  He was excited every morning when I dropped him off, and he could not wait to show me his craft each day when I picked him up.  I bought the music CD for him at the beginning of the week, and it's the only CD we've been allowed to listen to in the car and the only CD he's listened to during his naptime.  He has a particular favorite song, and it is so cute.  He has motions and everything.  It's too funny.  The ocean voyage theme didn't hurt anything either, as Clayton is really into ships and pirates.  He's been watching Jonah, the VeggieTales movie. 

Tonight was the Salty Seas Grand Finale.  The preschoolers performed Clayton's favorite song, and it was too cute.  Then there were hotdogs, chips, and drinks and lots of outdoor water games.  Ryan sweated it out with the boys outside while I sat around with all the new babies in the gym (we've had a baby boom in the church in the last month, and there are a couple more coming soon).  The boys had a blast in the kiddie pools and sprinklers.

I'm so pleased Clayton had such a great VBS experience.  It helps when you have a great teacher and great volunteers running music, crafts, stories, etc.  I hope he'll look forward to this for years to come.  I love seeing kids get great, positive, joyful experiences at church.  Loving Jesus should be fun, and that's just what VBS was for Clayton.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I love taking my kids to a splashpad.  It's so easy.  Throw on swimsuits, grab a couple towels and a couple water bottles, and we're off.  There is a pretty nice splashpad not too far from our home, but it's always sooooo crowded, and there are a lot of big kids there that aren't really watching out for little ones that get in their way.  Our city recently opened a tiny little splashpad in one of the neighborhoods close to our home.  It is complete with all of about four splashing items, but when you're four years old, you're not interested in fancy.  You just want to be wet.  That's where we've been lately, and apparently no one else knows about it because we have had the place to ourselves a lot.  Today was no different.

Clayton (AKA White Boy) loves the splashpad.  He runs and runs the entire time we're there.  He's soaking wet almost immediately, and he has the time of his life.  He thinks this is the greatest place in the world.

Eli (AKA Other White Boy), on the other hand, can think of other things he'd rather be doing.  Apparently he's not really into splashpads and sprinklers.  I've been a little surprised by this, but maybe it will just take him another year to warm up to the idea.  He generally spends most of the time walking the perimeter of the splashpad.  Heaven forbid he should get a drop of water on his head.

After about an hour today, Eli had watched Clayton run in and out of a little fountain several times.  I was shocked to look up and see him heading over to check it out. 

Then the fountain got a little bit bigger, and reality set in.  He immediately retreated in a panic.

Then he needed a drink.
Check out that sweet face.  Poor baby had a little fall on the edge of the concrete and really did a number on the side of his face.  He wasn't phased by it, but it sure looks ugly tonight.

I love spending time like this with my boys. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Brotherly Love

Yesterday I was somewhere in the house, and I heard Clayton yelling, "Get off of me, get off of me.  Eli is on top of me."  This is NOTHING out of the ordinary in our house.  Eli is a wrestler.  Period.  He will take Clayton down at any chance, and he'll even attempt to take me down on occasion.  Sometimes it's funny.  Sometimes it's not.  He's a beast, and now that he's really gaining on Clayton in size, it can get ugly fast.

I decided to get into the living room to referee the situation, and this is what I found.  That's Clayton under the basket.  That's a completely thrilled Eli on top.

Yes, he's trouble.