Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Blog Name

Since it seems rather rude to keep referring to Ingrid as a "bump", I have changed my blog name to Jessie's Girls. Now I need to get the Rick Springfield background music to go along with it - although I can't see how the lyrics would be relevant to anything in my blog. Eventually I'll have to get around to updating my header photo and whatnot, but I seem to be spending a lot of time nursing these days :)
Its nearly impossible to post without a photo

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Habits to work on...

Somehow this one doesn't bother me as much as...

This one!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ingrid's Birth Story

My Labor Day started pretty much like any other day on this babymoon, except that I quickly noticed that my contractions were rather closer to regular than they had been thus far. But, this being our vacation, and already having a busy day planned, I opted to ignore this fact.

By the time we got to the beach with the girls and my mom and brothers, they had grown in strength and frequency, but not quite enough to spoil my last chance to dig in the sand with my girls.

When we got home that afternoon I started considering seriously that these contractions just could develop into the baby-producing kind. Jessie and I decided to leave the girls with my Mom and go on a date, since I felt pretty strongly that it would be our last breastfeeding-infant-free date for some time.

We had dinner at Panera Bread, throughout which my contractions remained strong and steady at every 8 to 10 minutes. They weren't exactly enjoyable, but I don't think any of our fellow diners had any inkling that I was less than 5 hours from delivery. After that we headed to the pier for a walk. I figured, if I might be in labor, I want to give it a good sporting chance. The pier is a great place for walking, its also a great place to measure the size of your bladder. I swear it shrinks two sizes every time I set foot there. Fortunately there are public restrooms galore all along the boardwalk - its a pregnant woman's paradise.

Once we started walking, my contractions quickly intensified and started coming at every 4 minutes or less. Still, the evening was very pleasant, and the contractions hadn't exactly reached an intolerable level in their intensity yet, so we pressed on. Eventually I had to stop for the restroom, and was stuck in there long enough to make Jessie nervous and to catch the latest installment of a riveting teen drama (Kevin, if you're out there, be assured that Kaitlyn will drop J.D. in a heartbeat if you ever actually, like, commit yourself). After that I figured we'd better get back to the car as soon as possible and get on with my labor in a setting more conducive to childbirth.

We reached home base by 10 pm, just in time to kiss the girls goodnight. I tried lying down to see if my contractions let up, but they were coming at every 2 minutes at that point, no matter what I did. Even though I always feel guilty calling the midwives if I'm not having contractions of the white knuckle variety, I realized that contractions of that frequency should not be discounted, no matter what they feel like, so we called the midwives. Barb, who lives closest, arrived at 11:15pm and took my stats and helped Jessie get the birth tub warmed up. Patrice and Amanda had both arrived by 11:45. I was still having unpleasant contractions every two minutes or less, but I came out of our bedroom to greet Patrice and Amanda and stopped to check my email on the way back to our bedroom (Patrice later told me that she thought to herself at that point that maybe I had called too early since I was obviously in no great distress and she couldn't even tell I was having contractions). I then retreated to the bathroom and decided to go through transition right there on the toilet.

No sooner had I sat down, than my contractions turned the corner and I yelled through the next five or so (apparently not very loudly, because the midwives still had no idea that I was in transition already). It seems that no matter how laid back the rest of your labor is, transition will always hit you like a train and entirely overwhelm you. I suddenly realized that the sensation I was feeling was a definite need to push.

Jessie ran out and summoned in the midwives. I had just enough time to climb into the tub and get in my favorite "pushing pose" (on my knees with my arms and chin on the edge of the tub in front of me) before I started pushing with my next contraction. I asked Patrice, rather stupidly, "do you think you should check me? I haven't been in labor long enough to be pushing yet." She just laughed at me and told me she could already feel the head. I then realized my mom wasn't in the room, so Amanda went out and had to wake her up to bring her into the birth room. You can hardly blame my mom for thinking she had the luxury to fall asleep, since the last labor of mine that she attended was 3 days long. Once I really got started pushing, everything progressed very quickly. Two pushes was all it took to birth the head, then I had to wait for another contraction before I had my baby in my arms.

I held her to my chest and she was covered with a towel immediately, before we even knew she was a she. She didn't cry at all, but had good color and was moving. We had a couple precious minutes of snuggling and looking at her before we decided to peek and find out what we would be naming this baby. I was immediately struck by how small she was. I expected this to be my biggest baby since Eliza had been bigger than Theia. I was sure baby #3 would weigh at least 8 pounds. Ingrid weighed a whole pound less than Eliza at 6# 13oz. I still can't believe how tiny she is.

Jessie was exuberant that I managed to deliver on my due date; just barely at 12:07 am! That put to rest all the skepticism of his co-workers over our presumptuous vacation plans. He very much enjoyed sending out the announcement email to his office!

We are so thrilled to be the parents of THREE beautiful girls! I am sure we would have been equally thrilled with a boy, but having all girls really gives one such an air of distinction, I think :). I am so glad that Jessie doesn't have any machismo "need" to have a son to feel complete. He is perfectly happy to be a Daddy to little girls, and he is so good at it! He already went out by himself and bought Ingrid her first outfit. That is a tradition of his; he did it with Theia and Eliza as well.
She is so very Lovable
First Smiles

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sacred Sunday

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in
God my Savior.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear
Him from generation to generation."
Luke 1:46b, 47, 49-50

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ingrid Ralene

Ingrid Ralene was born at 12:07 this morning after only 4 hours of active labor. I will tell more about the birth later, but I can say that I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The intense, difficult part lasted less than an hour, and during that time I knew that the end was very near at hand - which makes it so much easier! Ingrid is our smallest little girl to date, 6 lbs, 13 oz, 18 and 3/4 in long. I never imagined I'd have a baby smaller than 8 lbs, let alone 7 lbs, seeing as I weighed almost 10 lbs at birth!
Ingrid and Grandma O.

I will be changing the name of this blog soon

I am considering "Jessie's Girls", or "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Girlies".

Friday, August 22, 2008

This is probably it!

This is Holly's husband; Although we took the girls to the beach again and have made several trips to the store Holly has been having contractions pretty much all day. We just got back from a lovely walk on the pier and Holly is lying down. Her contractions were about 2 - 4 minutes apart while we were walking and are now about 2 minutes apart. The birth tub is filling, the parents have been notified, and the midwives are on their way. The first midwife should arrive in about 20 minutes or so. Please pray that the delivery goes smoothly and that the baby will be a healthy one, just like the other two. I am so proud of Holly. ~Baby Daddy

Eliza Gets a Little Excited

video

Tantalizing Name Game

Since we have always tried unsuccessfully to keep our baby name choices secret in the past, we are especially proud of ourselves that nobody has even an inkling as to what our name choices are this time around. We ourselves did not know our boy name until just last night, for the simple reason that we had not chosen one. But now, they are more or less set in stone, unless the baby arrives looking entirely unlike a [insert boy name here], or a [insert girl name here]. We will however throw some hints out there and see if anyone gets close. Girl Name: More likely to be heard in Western Europe than in America, Reminiscent of a certain movie starlet. Middle Name: Has literary origins, rhymes with the name of a certain ruminant. Boy Name: Also has a European ring to it, character in a children's movie. Middle Name: Napoleon Bonaparte may have uttered this name frequently, more likely to be found in a dictionary than a baby name book. Happy guessing! No, you will not be rewarded with a confirmation if you guess correctly:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ahoy there, Mateys!

We've been working hard at walking this baby out every day. And, I can report that we seem to be on track, judging from the symptoms I've been having. But, I make no promises :). Jessie's co-workers think we are crazy for taking a vacation to have a baby, as if we can predict its arriving during the allotted time. So, Jessie is very motivated (not that being motivated makes a modicum of difference) to have me deliver as close to my due date as possible. Thus far though, I've been Old Reliable. Theia was born the day before her due date, and Eliza the day after. And I'm experiencing the same symptoms that I did several days before both of their births. Still, I really have no expectations and I'm happy to hang out for a while like this because we are really having so much fun with our girls. And now my Mom and three brothers are here. They arrived late last night. Theia was so excited to see them when she woke up this morning.
The Girls in the "Boat" at Mulligan's Hollow

Theia discovered Hanging

Just Another Beautiful Sunset on the Pier Theia asks to see the boats every day, several times a day. We love this Pier

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 3 of Babymoon

This day was not what we planned it to be, but fun nonetheless. We had planned to make it a beach day, but it just wasn't warm enough and the girls didn't get a nap early enough.
We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast (of course!) and then left for a walk. We went to Ferry Park by the waterfront, then decided to continue down the bike path to another park with a larger playground. It was quite a long walk for me, but I need to be getting as much exercise as I can throughout these days since I haven't done as good a job at getting regular exercise with this pregnancy as I did with my other two.
We got home barely ten minutes before Patrice, Barb, and Amanda arrived for our home visit prenatal. We get along with these ladies so well - I am so glad that we have decided to come here again to deliver with them. We had lunch together (Pruebelo!) and checked out the bumperoo. Everything looks great; baby is head down, not posterior, and has great hearttones and movement. No trip to this town is complete without seeing "The World's Largest Musical Fountain", so we dutifully packed up the girls and brought them to the waterfront to pay our dues this evening. As always, the fountain proved to be a very impressive show of synchronized water, lights, and music, and it held the attention of a 1 and 2 year old for about 18 seconds. We spent most of the time laughing at Eliza's attempts to walk on the somewhat steep hill we were viewing the fountain from. She would get up and fall over and over and take off running down the hill, screaming with laughter, knowing that her Daddy would catch up with her and scoop her up before she got to the pavement. These girls are so fun - I just love 'em :).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Day in Pictures

Are these not the cutest little bloomers? I hope I'll be able to get out the blueberries that Theia managed to emblazon across her seat today.
"Just park us right here, Daddy. Yeah, that's good."
The theme of this picture is "Blue"
Eliza was happy to be liberated from the stroller finally. This was posed; we didn't really trust Theia
to carry around a bucket that full.
Eliza discovers the most direct route of picking blueberries.
Oh, wait, this is even better!

This requires both hands.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dull as Tombs Around Here...

Eliza checking out the slide in the backyard
Not really, but nothing to report, other than feeling pressure and having more regular braxton hicks. We all know that can go on for days, or forever (I know, not really). I just heard tonight that a friend of mine from church who was due a whole month after me just gave birth to her firstborn! I was shocked, I just talked to her yesterday and nothing was going on at that time.

Dave even has bikes for the girs to ride here!

We are planning on taking the girls blueberry picking tomorrow morning. Theia loved picking raspberries when we went to PA earlier this summer. I don't expect her to contribute much to the bucket though, she's a hand-to-mouth picker. I am really grateful that both of our girls still take naps, but at times like these I really wish they didn't. There are so many things we'd like to do with them before the baby comes, but there's only so much fun you can fit in between naps.

The lake at the end of our street - plus, a really adorable 2 year old

We went to church this morning and then had lunch with Scott and Christine (and kids). I was really quite proud of the group of us; for having six kids under the age of 6 in tow we were remarkably non-disruptive. Of course everyone near us in church were distracted anyway because our children are all so incredibly good-looking, but you can't hardly blame them for that. After the girls napped we packed them up and went to the pier for a walk. Unfortunately we didn't discover that our camera battery was dead until we were already there. Crud. So no beach pictures tonight. I'm sure we'll be back several times though, I didn't bring their "baby soups" (as Theia calls them) and sand pails for nothing.

This is just a cute video of Theia talking about my coffee while we sit on the porch. I love how she calls it "foffee".

video

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Home-away-from-Homebirth

We have arrived at our "babymoon resort" where we will remain until this baby decides to make its appearance. If you're going to use up all your vacation days for childbirth anyways, this is definitely the way to do it! Our midwife really should use us as her poster child family - this is the second time (in 13 months) that we have travelled across our state to use her services. We are so comfortable with her and her associates that we've hardly given finding another midwife a second thought. If you are going to give birth at home it is so important that you have absolute confidence in your attendant's ability to assess a situation and address it appropriately, and we've just never found anyone whose experience comes close to ours. Plus, we just like them!
We are staying at a summer rental home that belongs to a friend of ours. It is right down the street from a beautiful lake, just a couple blocks from our friends (on the street where we used to live) and only 3 miles from Lake Michigan! Hopefully tomorrow we will get to spend some time lakeside. We'll be posting a lot this week so we can keep family and friends back home up to date with events. We are loving this house so far, and so are the girls! It is so relaxing to be here. In a few days we will be joined by my mom and three of my brothers, aged 17, 15, and 11. The girls will be thrilled to have their uncles to "play" with.
Here are some indoor pictures of the house:

Theia likes her little trundle bed. Well see how well she stays put while we're here. Her latest trick is climbing into the crib or pack n play with Eliza as soon as I leave the room.

These cuties will be Theia and Eliza's playmates while we're here. Sharon, 5, Katie, 4, Josiah, 3, and Wesley, 19mos. They're our kind of people!

They were so kind to share their stash of recently captured toads with Theia.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Overheard:

Jessie: I need to change! Theia: Yeah, Daddy's stinky!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

What More can I say?

Objects in Photos are SMALLER than they Appear...

*Haha, I just had to change the title of this post because I realized I had said larger, not smaller. That is most certainly NOT what I meant!* That is the disclaimer I wish I could post before every picture of myself taken after 32 weeks or so, but I have this sneaking suspicion that its not true. Oh well, only 10 days left, give or take a few. Increasingly, I'm wishing I could say this about my daughters too. I was looking through the pictures we took of them at the park last night and thinking, "Those just can't be MY daughters!" Theia especially looks so mature with her pigtails (I know, maturity and pigtails don't usually fit in the same sentence, but for a 2 year old, it works).
Eliza likes climbing the stairs to the slide, she's just puzzled about what to do at the top; and when we try to show her, she is less than thrilled.
"Why do they think I want to do these things?"
If you ever really want to feel fat, just try sitting on a swing and let it ever so gently remind you that it was designed for heinies much smaller than your own (this is assuming that you are a 9 months pregnant woman, if you're not, deepest apologies). I don't really feel that I need this daily reminder, but Theia apparently does. I let her sit on my lap for a ride a while ago and now she insists on it every time. This is growing increasingly difficult as my lap is already almost entirely monopolized. However, we manage, and Theia loves it!
"Mama, we goed high!"
Eliza takes a tamer turn with Daddy - Daddy gets motion sickness on swings!
Cute little bean...