Monday, December 27, 2010


How do the girls feel about their new baby brother?



and excited.

These pictures are over two weeks old. Sorry they are so late in coming. Emeth is just over 3 weeks now, and he's definitely looking plumper, older, and clearer than he did when these were taken.

Life is BUSY. But that's partly because we got home with barely enough time to scrape Christmas preparations together for our family. Its definitely been a happy busy. Once December is over, I guess we'll find out what life with four is really like.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emeth's Birth according to Clay

I promise I am working on the actual detailed account of Emeth's birth from my perspective. I had the chance to do some writing during our 3 day trip home while I wasn't engaged in backseat conflict resolution. But until I finish it, enjoy this account from the perspective of my 7 yr. old nephew, Clayton. Its a much better (and briefer) read, I assure you. Click image to enlarge.

Disclaimer: Although I make my fair share of noise during labor, and especially while pushing - with no apologies, everyone who was present agrees that at no point did any of those noises deserve to be labelled as "screeching". Thanks, Clay.

Monday, December 13, 2010

40 weeks

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the couch at my parent's house when I was startled by the alarm on my phone ringing loudly. I looked down at the screen to see this message: "My Due Date". I had entered a countdown calendar event in my phone several months ago so I could check on any given day to see how many days exactly were left in my pregnancy. Then I promptly forgot about it. I glanced over at Emeth and felt grateful to be carrying a six day old baby in my arms instead of a full-term baby in my belly! The view from here is much nicer after all:

I had wondered to myself four weeks ago, in my 36 weeks post, if I would make it to 40 weeks this time. I felt pretty confident at the time that I would, since I've always been a dependable due date gal in the past. The most important thing, of course, was to make it to 38 weeks plus 6 days, so as to avoid a complete overhaul of our birth plan. Mission accomplished :).
In other news, I feel like I have hit an important milestone in my journey as a boy-momma today. Yes, I was pee'd on in the middle of a diaper change. I have officially arrived.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Emeth's Birth in Pictures

A photo documentary of Emeth's birth will have to do until I can find the time to put the words together for his birth story. No worries for the faint-hearted, there is nothing graphic in here :).

Many thanks to my wonderful birth attendants; to my midwives, Amanda and Jamie, whose knowledgable watchfulness put us at ease throughout the whole evening, to my mom for staying awake the whole time ;), and for giving birth to me at home 28 years ago even though I weighed almost 10 lbs! (I appreciate that fact much more now than I ever did before giving birth myself.), to my sister Rachel for providing the wittiest remarks of the night, to my sister Penny for being our birth photographer, to my sister Robin for opening her home (and my brother-in-law Brian!) to us so we could bring our fourth baby into the world surrounded by our family, and lastly to my 2 month old niece, Rebecca, whose occasional cries caused all the waiters downstairs to think that the birth had already taken place multiple times :).

I can't list Jessie as a birth "attendant", because I think he works just as hard as I do. What an amazing supporter he is! I can't imagine getting through labor and delivery without his enthusiastic and sensitive presence by my side.

Still dressed up right after returning from our abbreviated date

- 2 hours and 40 minutes to go -

Two outfits sit waiting by the bedside

- we don't know yet which one will be used -

A lower back massage is a boon to laboring women

- I must not be in the midst of a contraction, because I'm smiling -

Getting to the point where I cannot go through a contraction without him at my side

- 1 hour and 5 minutes to go -

Time to get in the tub

- 55 minutes to go -

In between contractions

- its crazy how normal you can feel between really intense contractions -

Getting ready for the next one

- these things are requiring more of my concentration now -

Getting a lot sharper

- how much longer do I have to do this? -

Late in labor there is a lot of bad humor going around the bathroom(birthroom?)

- ask Jessie sometime about why a pitchfork is required in calving -

Jessie has climbed in with me to help me deal with my contractions

- 6 minutes to go -

I am pushing with the very next contraction

-3 minutes to go -

My Reward - unquestionably worth it

- Jessie caught Emeth entirely on his own, he was first to see his son -

These moments are some of the most memorable and beautiful of my life

- Now I can say that of all four of them -

Nobody could doubt that this is a boy's face

- 1 minute old -

Resting a minute before moving into the adjoining bedroom

- what a great "babymoon suite" this has been -

It doesn't take Emeth long to find his reward

- he's still nursing like a champ -

No caption required


Cute little wrinkled baby feet

Finally we turn him over to Amanda to do the newborn exam

- everyone is curious to find out how much he weighs -

7 lbs, 15 oz

- my biggest baby, but everyone had guessed over 8lbs -

One of my favorite parts of birth at home, the newborn exam

- always done in my presence, at my baby's pace, and with a gentle hand -

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I know I said I'd try to post yesterday, but I ended up being busier than I reckoned. I had a little piece of work yesterday evening as I helped this little guy make his grand entrance.

Emeth Garrison
joined us at 9:47 pm last night, after about 4 hours of active labor.

That's right. Daddy has a son. He's thrilled as can be :).

I'm pretty crazy about him too.

The girls met him this morning - I'll share more about that later.

Emeth Garrison

Born December 6, 2010
7lbs, 15oz ~ 19 3/4"

Sunday, December 5, 2010


We are here. I am still pregnant. The rest of our trip was uneventful (thankfully!). Michigan is cold - but not snowy; however, Kentucky was. We spent our second night on the road with Josh and Bree and their three girls in Lexington. I love having 6 little girls in the house all together. Lots of high-pitched giggles, playing "mother", and modeling of every princess dress in the dress-up bin. They woke up to several inches of snow in the morning. All the girls were ecstatic.

All except Ingrid, that is. She thought it looked great through the window, but once she was outside in it, her 2 year old little self was freaking out


I am feeling very on track to be holding a baby by the end of this week at the latest - but no promises :).

Hopefully I will have a chance to blog a little more tomorrow. We had a very full day of family today. A very blessed day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 1

...did not go as planned, but nothing a few dollars and a good night's sleep can't fix. The good news is that I'm still pregnant. The spectre of going into labor while we are on the road is one I can't shake, even though I know, from all indications, it is highly unlikely to happen.

We did have a very smooth day of travel, driving with reasonably harmonious children, eating natural trail mix and Utz pretzels, watching a few episodes of Veggie tales, working on my latch hook rag rug, and getting out to walk around and use the facilities every two hours promptly, until around 5pm. It was at that point that I mentioned to Jessie a vaguely unpleasant smell, and he noticed at the same time that we were trailing exhaust behind us. Just like that the van lost power. He pulled off I-75 immediately and popped the hood. He discovered that the serpentine belt he had just replaced yesterday (along with our alternator, at our mechanic's suggestion) had come off. We were blessed that a kind man (who we later learned is a christian, and a father of three himself) pulled over within 2 minutes of our breakdown, and drove Jessie up the road to get a new belt. Jessie had no trouble replacing the belt, but in the process discovered the reason the belt had been knocked off is because our water pump had bit the dust. Rather a frustrating development since we had just had the van in the shop and this problem went undiagnosed. Anyhow, we managed to make it to the next exit, where, providentially, there was a Dodge dealership right off the exit. They are going to replace the pump for us first thing in the morning and send us on our way. Everything else we needed for the night (lodging and dining) was right there across the street from the dealership.

I can't help but count our blessings in the midst of the annoyance though. I know too many people right now who have had incomparably more devastating things happen in recent weeks and days. Our little bumps in the road seem pretty trivial in comparison.

We hope to make up our lost time tomorrow and arrive late evening at Josh and Bree's place in Lexington, KY. Thanks to all of you our friends and family who are praying for our safe travels and for me and the baby specifically.

Here are some pictures we took earlier at one of the rest stops in Georgia, where we took some time to walk around and play with stick and pinecones. Its COLD here, by the way (which agrees with my pregnant thermostat just fine, thankyouverymuch) .