Saturday, May 08, 2010

Elayna Turns 3!

When I discovered I'd gotten knocked up for the third time while I was still nursing my 8 month old AND on birth control, I was less than thrilled.

When I finally moved past the initial state of denial (hey, 8 pregnancy tests COULD be wrong, you know) I then had to deal with the barrage of comments and questions people kept asking me.

"Wow, you guys are ambitious, aren't you?!"

"Was that PLANNED?!"

"You do know how this happens, right?"

Really, how is a person supposed to respond to that last one? "Well, I AM fairly certain I know how that works, but why don'tcha spell it out for me just so I know we're on the same page?"

I tried to bite my tongue.

Most of the time.

At first it's just the people who know you - whom you actually TELL the news to, but as soon as the bump starts to make itself seen total strangers add in their two cents.

I pretty much spent the whole pregnancy wondering if they were all... right. That maybe I'd gotten myself in WAY over my head. I mean, before I knew it I was going to have 3 kids aged 3 and under. It even SOUNDS like something a crazy person would do. Not a sane person.

By the end I'd accepted the fact I'd lost my sanity and there was nothing to be done about it but hope that in my old age my children didn't blame me too much for their nervous ticks and the outrageous bills coming in from their therapists.

I was tired.

I was grumpy.

I let them watch WAY too many videos.

But eventually we survived to see the day I went into labor.

After the quick birth of my 9 pounder, I thought for SURE this baby would be a breeze. Once I knew I was in a progressive pattern around 9 am we called the midwife and got our stuff together for a trip to the hospital.

We got there around 10:30, got through the admittance stuff and into our room... but barely. I was at a 4 and my contractions were slowing down.

"Oh well", they said, "we'll get your antibiotics in you and you'll get relaxed and we'll have a baby by 3pm!"


It was a slow progression. Walking, getting checked, laying around while they poked my arm repeatedly for half an hour till they got a vein, sitting on the ball, and best of all.... getting WATCHED.


Well, at least most of those there were watching me breathe. Except ONE.

I realize there is NOTHING else to do, but when you (ahem... hubby...) turn on a basketball game and leave it on between 4 and 8 centimeters you had BETTER take the cue and MUTE the TV whenever I say I feel a contraction coming on, otherwise you just simply run the risk of having to pay the hospital for the tv I break when I throw a tray at it.

And then there was that whole issue of having to keep the hospital gown on WHILE IN LABOR. I do not like clothes of any sort while breathing deeply and concentrating on relaxing every muscle in my body.

Breathe in through the nose....(Ssssss) .... Breathe out through the mouth...(Whoooosh).... relax your shoulders..Wait. What is this?! A TAG?! Some STITCHING?! Against my SKIN?!

And then all concentration is lost.

I need to be FREE! I need to be swimming in a deep clear mountain pool letting the water rush over me, and here I am having to deal with sleeves and snaps and.... good grief. I can't do it. I just. Can't do it.

Finally I got in the shower for some peace and quiet. And to be free from the stupid gown. The hot water will relax me, I thought.

Except that it didn't. It was already almost 5:00, well after that magic 3:00 hour I was promised a baby by. I was so anxious to make progress and get on with it that the shower did pretty much nada.

"I feel some pressure!!" I said to the nurse that kept coming in to check on me every two minutes. Not that I didn't already have someone already right there watching me in case I fainted or something.

I must be about ready to push, right?!, I kept thinking. I mean I got in the shower when I was at an 8, so I must be right on the edge of hitting transition. I must be!!

"Okay! Let's get you out and check for progress.", replied the nurse.

A long, frustrating hour later I was back in the bathroom. In the tub this time, on the verge of tears, wondering why it was taking me so many long, hard contractions to get to a 10!!

And then I puked. Well, maybe it was more like... dry heaved. 'Cause by the third baby, I knew it was inevitable so why bother trying to eat or drink? It's all gonna come up when I hit transition.

TRANSITION!! Thank heavens, I'd finally hit transition. And then the typical panic mode set in. It's when the contractions are piggy-backed and double-peaking and the only thought that goes through my head is that the pain is going to make me pass out and then the baby and I are both going to die. I'm sure of it.

In that moment, I don't care who else is in the room with me. I can only hear one person's voice and the rest is just mumbled background. It is the only thing that gets me through the panic. I hear HIM. His voice, his words of encouragement, his arms wrapped around me, giving me strength.

I'm so glad he is there! What would I do without him? Oh wait. HE knocked me up, that's right, it was HIM! Oh yeah, I definitely don't feel guilty for squeezing those fingers a little tighter in that death grip.

At that point I was still in the tub. I looked at my midwife. She looked at me. I think she read somewhere in my face that I was NOT about to get up and haul myself over to the bed so I could lay there on my tailbone and give birth. No sirree. I was going to stay put in my 6 inches of hot water and do it. So she helped me breathe through the first contractions where I felt the need to push (absolute utter misery to NOT push when you need to) and by the time she signaled the nurses to come in and help it was obvious I wasn't going anywhere - the baby's head was crowning.

Two pushes later and she was out and the fuss began over some crazy lady who gave birth in the bathtub. I laid there holding her on my chest while they suctioned her and cut the cord, and as I handed her to the nurse so I could get out I couldn't help but wonder whose child that was. Didn't look a thing like my other two kids.... It was the first time I didn't feel like, Hey, I KNOW you!!, the first time I laid eyes on the little creature that had been taking up space in my body. Maybe it was because she has her daddy's chin and tippy ears.

Right about then one of the grandmas called out, "Well, you guys only have ONE pattern, don't you?"

Turns out she was kind of right. Elayna did end up with the blonde hair and blue eyes her brother and sister have. But to me she just looked... different somehow. Long and skinny, for one thing. After Emmy's 9lb. 2oz. entrance into the world at not quite 21 inches long, Elayna was a surprise. 8lb 6oz. and a whopping 23 inches long. How ironic that she is the peanut of the family, with a projected height of 5'3" just like her momma.

She is the child I wouldn't have chosen to have right then, but that God knew we needed. She is our little ray of sunshine, always eager to please, eager to help, and rarely imposing, unless it's to snuggle. It was because of her birth that we switched doctors and found Joshua's heart condition. It was rough to go through all that with a tiny baby, a toddler, and a little boy with a broken heart, but it made me realize that God has His plans and works things together in the most amazing ways.

It was exhausting to say the least, but I wouldn't go back and change a thing. She is a blessing and a joy.

Hello, Baby!

Joining the crew of Cutest Kids Ever! :D

10 months - such a happy, happy girl!

First Birthday, we knew she had a sweet tooth already, but... wow. The way she attacked her first cupcake was something to see!

2 Years Old! Still with a sweet tooth...

2 1/2 years old! Such a sweetheart.

Happy Birthday, my little Laney Bean!!

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