Friday, February 27, 2009

Labor Story

This is a first for me--writing about my labor via blog-- which is crazy because I do have 2 other children. I did write about Bentley's birth in his baby book but because I was induced, there wasn't anything all that exciting about it (which was fine by me--made things easy and stress free. Oh, except for the fact that he was my first child and I was scared to death about breastfeeding, how he'd sleep, how I'd know what he needed, how to bathe him when he was so tiny, how my body and stitches in the you know what would ever heal...but I digress...) Here is the way things went on the fateful days of February 17th and 18th, 2009:


That was me timing my contractions on Tuesday evening. I had seen Dr. Watts at 1:00 pm, earlier that day, and was dilated to a 4 and still 70% effaced. He asked me when I felt like my baby was coming and I said "my other babies have come in the 20s so hopefully soon." He then asked me if I knew what signs to look for and what I should do if I went into labor. I laughed and said "tell me again because that hasn't ever happened to me before." He told me that if my contractions came 5 mins or closer for at least half an hour to get right to the hospital, especially since I was already dilating.

I left the appt, picked the kids up from my mom's house and felt a few contractions as we drove home. Once we got settled, I suddenly felt really tired and grabbed a 40 min nap on the couch while the kids watched a movie. I woke up feeling great and started picking up around the house and finishing up some laundry. After a while I started noticing that my contractions kept coming and coming. I am used to having 2 in an hour but I was feeling 2 or 3 pretty close together. So I sat down and decided to relax and focus on timing them for a bit (hence the list above). By the time Joseph got home from work, around 6:30, I was pretty sure I was in labor but at the same time, I didn't want to drive all the way to the hospital just to have them tell me it was false labor and turn me away.

While eating dinner, I was feeling contractions really regularly and my hubby was getting more and more excited about heading to the hospital. I told him I wanted to bathe the kids first and then we could leave. He just smiled at me and said "I don't think we should wait that long." So, we hastily dressed the kids in PJs, packed them a quick overnight bag for sleeping at Nanny's, I threw things into a hospital bag and we were off. And I just sat in the car laughing (a little nervously to be honest) because I could not believe we were really heading out to potentially have a baby--I was still 3 weeks from my due date for crying out loud!

We arrived around 8:00 pm and as soon as I was hooked up to the monitors we saw that the contractions were indeed coming every 3 minutes and that they were nice and strong too. I had progressed to a 5 and plain and simply--I was in labor. At around 10:00 the doc came in and broke my water. I expected it to really hurt since I didn't have any drugs in me yet but it was surprisingly bearable. Soon after I started feeling a lot of pressure "down there" and it kept getting more and more painful. I thought I must be dilating like crazy but when the nurse checked me I was still at a 5. That's when I called in the epidural...ahhhh, I do love modern medicine:)

The epidural worked like a charm but it also slowed down my contractions quite a bit. So, they stared up the Petocin and things got right back on track. At 2:30 am I was at 8 cm and 80% effaced. Soon after I felt the baby move from my left side right down into position and that made all the difference--20 mins later I was complete and ready to deliver. I pushed with one contraction and that was it. The nurses held the baby up for me to see and announced "it's a girl!" It was such a great moment--I really was so excited to finally find out what "flavor" my tiny one would end up being.

And now it has been over a week since miss Olivia joined our family. And she has been really easy for us thus far, eating, sleeping, looking around in curiosity, sleeping some more, grunting and snorting and rooting when she's hungry, and then eating and sleeping--typical newborn lifestyle :)

I am so grateful for my new daughter. She is healthy and beautiful and such an amazing gift from God. I look at her and still can't believe that my body created her and turned her into a little human miracle. I love her.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Wonder

Spending so much time at home this week has given me a lot of time to think. And the thing I think about most is my kids. I wonder what kind of people they will grow up to be. Will they make an impact for good? Will they make righteous choices? Will they have the courage it takes to change my diaper when I'm old? Each of my children is so different, so naturally my concerns for each are unique.


I wonder if Bentley likes cars. I wonder if he has enough cars? Or if that is even possible.

He dumps out his two full car baskets every day. As you can see, they span 1 foot long and the full width of the hallway. They're also piled a couple of cars high. Anyone out there need some cars for their kids? I think we may need to share the love.

I wonder if he will ever have a little brother. We still want more kids, but what will they be? I also wonder if he will be a good example for his sisters, and if he will be a kind older brother. Luckily, so far so good.


I wonder if Caroline likes pink enough. Will she take good care of her plush animals? Does she have enough cuddly animals and blankies? I count 8 animals, 3 blankies and one sweet little girl.

Can anyone name any of her animals? Quiz yourself. I'll send an exclusive "comfy" pic of Cares to whoever guesses any names correctly.

I also wonder if Caroline will listen to her mom. Will they be good friends when she's a teenager, or will they be sworn enemies? A neighbor told me at church that she is going to be trouble, because she has eyes that you can't say no to. Unfortunately that's true.


I wonder what kind of daughter Olivia will be. She's certainly easy so far. Will she be our peacemaker? Will she take after her sister, and will they be best friends?

Will her white skunk stripe and white patch eventually blend in with the rest of her hair? Or will her hair look like the American Idol contestants for the rest of her life? I wonder.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Greeting Her Fans

Little Miss Olivia
She has been quite popular the past week:

Meeting Aunt Krista and Uncle Johnny,

Aunt Cecily and cousin Maddie,

and cousin Connor.

With Uncle Tommy and Aunt Jess, a princess big sis, and peeking cousin Porter,

and with cousin Isabel who is exactly 1 month older.

Of course, Olivia's Daddy absolutely adores her. And she loves to snuggle peacefully against his warm body for evening naps.
I love Caroline's little hand in this picture too--she really loves to inspect her baby sis :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Too Cute

We are home and all 5 of us are cuddled up watching The Furious Five. There is so much to share from the past 3 days and many pictures to post. But I am getting sleepy and it's almost bedtime for the big kids and "dinnertime" for the little miss. So I'll have to wait.

For now, Joseph caught this great shot of Olivia's patchy colored hair with his iPhone. Isn't it fun? Has anyone ever seen this in an infant before--I am wondering if it will stay forever or if it's just a newborn thing?

And thanks to my adoring hubby for his post on baby Olivia. I hope it won't be his last--it was so much fun to discover an update on my own blog! He really is too good to me. No one better to create and raise a family with...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweet Olivia

We had a surprise visitor early this morning. Olivia Ann LeBaron made her grand entrance at 3:01 am. And she is beautiful.

Last night when I got home from work, Carrie looked a little worried. She was having contractions every 3 or 4 minutes. But she was convinced that if she showed up at the hospital it would be a false labor. Fortunately, we decided not to take any chances. Bentley and Caroline were very worried about Carrie and wanted to come into the hospital to see her room and make sure she would be ok. Thank you grandpa Neil for taking them home, reading them stories, singing them songs and watching over them.

Bobbi and Ruth Ann stayed to watch the birth. They took care of Olivia so that I could take care of Carrie. She did great.

Olivia is just perfect. At first I thought she looked just like baby Caroline, but after a little bath, her hair looks a lot lighter, and after some vigorous eating, she is plumping up quickly. Just look at this comparison of 3 am vs. 2 pm this afternoon.

When I climbed into bed next to Bentley at 5 this morning, he stirred a little and sat up. I hugged him and said "Mom had a new little baby." He was so bleary eyed. "For real?" he said. "Is it a boy or a girl?" He stayed awake for just a few more moments, asking all about her. He will be such a nice brother. We're still not sure how Cares will handle being displaced as the princess, but I have hope for her. They were very sweet and gentle with the baby when we went to visit her this afternoon. They cuddled her and cooed to her and kissed her all over. I took Olivia for a quick nap in the chair and the kids just laid in the bed with Carrie, touching her face, and snuggling her. It was precious.

Before I left, I snagged a picture of all of them in bed together. Hard to believe everything I love in this world can all fit in one tiny hospital bed. One beautiful, hard-working wife, two perfect rascally kids, a brand new healthy baby girl.

Welcome to our family, Olivia!

Obligatory baby details:
Weight: 7lbs. 13 oz.
Length: 19" long
Favorite food: milk
Favorite color: pink

Monday, February 16, 2009

Party, Party

On Saturday we celebrated the February birthday girls Sisi and Tillie. My kids loved the ultimate dance party Mary DJ"ed" in the living room and they could not be more fascinated over the princess castle cake Krista made complete with a blue Jell-O moat and ice cream cone towers.

I'm sad that I didn't end up with a good photo of the birthday girls but here are some silly shots of the party:

I love these tiny dancers!

Isabel made her family party debut dressed in a ballerina onesie. She was a huge hit :)

Caresie was so very sweet with her tiny cousin. We're practicing for our own turn soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Gifts for my sweethearts
(can you spy a corner of Bean's Valentine's box in the background?)

I got the kiddos new cuddly kitties. I am such a sucker for their obsession with them!

Heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast

My 3 valentines

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I am browsing a few blogs and Cares has decided to come brush my hair for me (dressed up in her Ariel dress and holding Twyla and her blankie as she does so--just so you can picture her...) Honestly, it feels so so good. I am loving it and she is just working away. OK--now I am going to close my eyes and enjoy it for a few more minutes...

Our Photo Booth fun a few moments later

Princess Ariel and her mommy--with smooth and tangle free hair :)

and an early Valentine's kiss from my favorite little boy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Month...Or So

My baby is due in one month from today. It seems so soon! And I don't think I even have that long (may be wishful thinking, may be mother's intuition...) It's just crazy to think that in a matter of weeks I will have 3 children--such a huge life changing event looming in the future. But I am excited for it :)

Today the doc told me I am at 3+ cm...

Monday, February 9, 2009

iPhone Weekend

A peek into our weekend via hubby's iPhone:

Joseph took the kids to Discovery Gateway on Saturday where they met Uncle Jim and cousin Tiago. They played there happily for hours.
(and this mommy was left with a whole bunch of free time to prepare her Relief Society lesson and run errands--such a relaxing day!)

After the Gateway, the dads took the kids for more playtime at Burger King (this helped meet the goal of the day--to wear out the kids' bodies which have been cooped up inside for many winter days)

And Joseph threw in some indoor plant shopping. We are horrible at keeping anything alive in our home but we're ready to try again--the rich colors of real plants are just so appealing this time of year!

On Sunday evening at my mom's house, Bentley really loved making Sam the cat carry Whiskers around on his back. It was pretty cute :)

My hubby and I also snuck in a date night on Saturday to eat Marble Slab ice cream and see the movie He's Just Not That into You. Loved the night out with Joseph and really liked the movie.

(sorry sisters-in-law--I had a chance to finally see a movie and so I went ahead and saw the one show we talked about going to. Still go see it with your hubbies--I think they'll like it!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Luckiest

I read this recent post by the eloquent and real Sheye Rosemeyer today. It won't matter much if you read it and don't know her story because her entry is a lovely reminder of all the beauty and simple joys children bring into our lives. Even though my kids are very sweet and learning to be quite obedient, I need these kind of reminders often (because my kids are also kids--independent and very energetic and quite naughty at times too :)

As I read Sheye's tribute to her daughter (a darling 3 year old who passed away almost exactly 2 years ago) I looked over at my Caroline and felt an immense wave of gratitude pass over me. She looked so feminine and content, working away in a huge coloring book sprawled out on the floor. My heart was full of love for my own, happy, healthy girl. I grabbed my camera and took some pictures of her right there, just how she was (and she of course added her own personality to them.) And now I have decided that you can never, ever have too many pictures of your children. And you can never, ever love them too much--it is simply impossible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Belly

Wow. There it is folks--at 35 weeks in the making. I saw my lovely doc today for a good old fashioned pelvic exam. And things are actually happening down there. Turns out that Braxton-Hicks and I are old friends. But as long as my contractions are serving a purpose then they are most welcome :) As of today, I am 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced...which could mean anything really.

Anybody want to make a prediction of baby's birthday?