Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Quick Day

Ever have those days that seem to race by and are over before you know it? Today has been one of those days for me. It isn't that I had SOOO much to do. Though I was busy all day. I am not sure why but today the time just flew. And with it went the month of May. 

So now I have to step into June. I am not sure I will ever feel the same about the month of June. June should be a happy bright, sunny, vacation type month. Now seeing the word June or saying it just makes me feel like there is a great big storm cloud hanging over the month. 

Maybe I can ignore it or "think" or "not think" it away. I don't know. Ready or not, here she comes -- June.  No doubt she will bring the waves with her. And me -- I will huddle down in the boat with my friends and together we will weather the storm that besets us.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

8 is Great!

Eight years ago right now I was in the hospital in MAJOR pain. I was about 5 hours away from giving birth to a beautiful gift from heaven that would bring me more joy than I could ever have imagined at that time. After a long difficult and traumatic labor, Sabrina Lucile Waite entered the world and immediately stole my heart.
Today we had a small birthday party for her with a few friends at Peter Piper Pizza. It was a very easy way to do a birthday party. That was exactly my objective with a newborn in tow. And Sabrina loved the party. She and her friends all had a great time playing the games and eating pizza, cake and ice cream.

Next week Sabrina will be baptized. In our church we wait till children reach the ripe old age of eight before we baptize them. This is the age the Lord has set out in revelation to modern day prophets to be the "age of accountability." Or in other words, the age where children know right and wrong and are accountable for their actions before the Lord.

My sister took these photos of Sabrina about a week ago. We used several on her invitations to her baptism. I love them and love having such a stunning visual record of my little girl at this beautiful time in her life.

Sabrina is a beautiful girl. I think this is pretty obvious to anyone who looks at her. But what pictures can't show is how incredibly beautiful she is inside. She has the most gentle loving spirit I have ever known. She is happy and helpful. She is very obedient even when she really doesn't want to be. She loves deeply and purely. She is completely without guile. The sight of her, the thought of her, being next to her, just makes me smile. It is that simple. She brings me joy. She is my gerber daisy -- bright, happy, colorful, cheerful, sunny, and simply beautiful.

May you always be as pure and clean, as happy and tender, as loving and kind as you are now my sweet Sabrina. You are heaven sent and heaven bound. I thank our Heavenly Father that He sent you first to blaze the strait and narrow trail for your sisters and be such a solace to me personally. I love you more everyday - which hardly seems possible -- but it is true. Happy Birthday Sabrina Lucile.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dance Auditions 2

I don't have too much to say about SYTYCD this week. I LOVED Adam Shankman's partnering of the lindy hop girl and the critique by the former contestants. That was classic. 

I also love the guy who does the old Gene Kelly style dance that made it to the top 40 last year. I am so glad he came back this year and his tap dancing brother was great too. I hope one of them makes it further this year. 

I was a little bugged by how much of the "bad" auditions they showed and how few of the great ones. I would rather watch all good ones and just leave out the sad ones. But Jon likes the ones that aren't good so at least he will watch this part of the show with me. 

I just don't find much humor in watching people embarrass themselves, purposely or otherwise. 

I am looking forward to seeing all the good dancing that is sure to come in Vegas week.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time to Lose the Weight Ms. Waite!

I have this thing with being accountable. I am FAR more likely to get something done if I have to account for my doing it to someone. That is part of why I shared that I wanted to do the labor thing without drugs. I figured I would be more likely to follow through if I had shared that with all of you. And it worked. 

I am taking the same approach to my desire to lose the baby weight and fit in my clothes again. So though weight can be a taboo subject for many, I am sharing my stats with the world. 

After my first 3 kids I never even had to try to lose the weight. Well the last 10 lbs. has been slow to go but it eventually went. After Camille it was a whole different story. I lost 10 lbs. giving birth and then the rest just stayed. 

Maybe it was the whole age factor? I don't know but the same thing seems to be going on now. I lost about 15 lbs. in giving birth to Noble and now I am just sitting around 150 lbs. Normally I like to be between 128 and 135. I started this pregnancy at 130 ish. So that means I have about 20 lbs to shed. 

One thing I have done in the past that has worked really well for me (actually this is as close to a real "diet" as I have ever done) is to write down each night everything I am going to eat the next day. That is the whole plan. I don't have "restrictions" on what I can or cannot eat. The only restriction is that I have to have written it down the day before.

Of course, I am trying in my writing it down the day before to be good and plan to eat healthy foods. I am after all trying to lose some weight right? But I am also very realistic. If there are cookies in the house, I write down 2 cookies. Then the next day I know I can have cookies but I usually wait till the end of the day to treat myself to them. 

The way this method works for me is that normally I would eat the cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner. :) Nobody PLANS to eat 15 cookies right? Well at least I don't. But by the end of that day it is totally possible that I will have eaten that many. So if I write it down I limit the number of cookies I eat. 

Also if I am craving something not on my list, I tell myself that I will write it down that night and eat it tomorrow. (Procrastination is a great tool for me in dieting.) The thing is that often by the time I get to writing my list that night I am no longer craving that thing so I often don't even write it down after all.

The other good thing about this plan for me is that it makes meals really easy. I never have to think "hmmm what should I eat?" I have all the meals planned the night before so I don't just grab the easiest closest snack instead of cooking. 

This writing things down really addresses most of my major issues so I hope it works this time too. I'll be weighing myself weekly. I will let you know how it goes. Feel free to join me if you like and let me know if it works for you. Oh there is my little guy wanting his "dessert" for the night. Off to go give him some of my calories!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Daily Routine

Jenny asked about my daily routine -- she wanted to know what I do that makes me "me." I am not sure there is any correlation between these two things but I will use today's post to tell you about my "daily routine."

I am terrible at "routines." Really REALLY terrible. It is one of several reasons I shy away from home schooling. I think routines are important for kids. School is great at routines. But that is a different subject. 

There are a few things I do routinely everyday almost without fail: 
Pray - morning and night and over meals and as a family.
Put in and Take out my contacts - Gotta be able to see.
Brush teeth -- enough said.
Kiss, hug, and love my kids and tell them how much I love them and how wonderful they are.

I know. Short list. But those are the things I am REALLY faithful about doing EVERYDAY. There are more things that I do nearly everyday and I would consider them part of my routine even though there are times when I "fall off the wagon." Here are those:
Read scriptures as a family and personally.
Clean something.
Blog.
Practice Piano with Sabrina and Violin with Ann Marie.

Okay so it is also a short list. Like I said, routines are not my forte. As for a sneak peak in my daily life. Here was today.

Last night I was up till 11 p.m. working on getting Noble into a sound sleep so I could go to bed. I watched the basketball game with Jonathan and some other dumb show that I can't even remember now while rocking/burping/and nursing. 

After I laid him down, I got a fresh journal out and planned out my next day and wrote down everything I was going to allow myself to eat today. This is something I just started. It has helped me lose the baby weight before. More on that later maybe.

This morning I woke at 6 and got out of bed to nurse at 6:20. I woke up Sabrina just before 7 am. I got on my contacts and workout clothes. I prayed and read my own scriptures. I read scriptures to the girls, practiced piano with Sabrina and helped get her ready for school.

As soon as she was off I jumped on the treadmill to walk for a bit. Noble woke up 15 minutes into this so I left the working out to take care of him. After feeding/burping etc. I jumped quickly into the shower and then piled everyone in the car to go to violin lessons for Ann Marie. 

On our way home we stopped by Trader Joes and did some grocery shopping to buy healthy food. We got home and put the groceries away. Then I got Ann Marie ready to go to school. With her off to school I let the baby cry for a bit so I could get the dishes done. Then I was back on nursing/burping/holding duty. Meanwhile, Lauren was playing with a neighbor friend here at the house. 

I then took the friend home and picked up the kids from school and took mine to swim lessons. As soon as we got home we got them showered, I made dinner, did hair and got the kids dressed and we took off across town for Ann Marie's first violin recital. She did great. As soon as we got home I had the kids get in PJs and brush their teeth etc. and I put them to bed. 

The next 2 hours were filled with lots of baby rocking/nursing/burping etc. to get Noble to bed. At least I got to watch SYTYCD while I was soothing him. Now I have shut down the house and I am off to get myself ready for bed and plan out tomorrow. 

Full day today. But not every day is like this for me. Most days are much more chill.

I am beat. Goodnight for now.
***********************************************
edited to add: No Tami -- My baby is NOT sleeping 11 - 6. I wish. I just didn't write about the 2-3 times he was up during that period to eat. You are not alone in your middle of the night stupor! I am right there with you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Good Hearty Laugh

Every once in a while we just need a good hearty laugh. I got one yesterday. It had been too long since I had laughed this hard and I really needed it. I have my little son Noble to thank for it. 
Noble is still in that sleepy newborn stage. He sleeps quite a bit. When he is awake he is either eating or working on getting bubbles out of his tummy one way or the other. He is not an easy baby to burp. Often it will take 30 minutes or so before we can get him to burp. Burping is important though because eventually the bubble will come out. If it comes up, it will bring anything fed to him after with it. 

So yesterday we traveled home from the cabin. There wasn't time to burp properly between feeding and putting him in the car and we certainly didn't stop long enough to burp him along the way. 

When we got home I fed him and gave him to Jon so I could make dinner for our family. Before I knew it he had thrown up all over Jon's shirt. :) Nice. So I took the baby (who was still spotless) and Jon went up to change his shirt. He came back a few minutes later with a nice new clean shirt on.

I gave Noble back to him this time with a cloth to cover his shirt and went back to getting dinner ready. Not 10 minutes later I hear Jon saying "Oh NO!" Yep. Noble had thrown up again all over his shirt. Apparently he turned his head away from and off the cloth just in time to get his dad's shirt again. :)

So I took the baby back again and Jon went up to get now his third shirt of the day on. When he got back I gave him the baby and finished dinner. We ate quickly and sat down to watch a movie together. Noble was now fast asleep on Jon's chest and it had been about 30 minutes since he last threw up. 

Suddenly Jon got up and pulled the baby off his chest a little. Apparently he had felt a damp warmth on his chest. :) "AW MAN!" He said. This time Noble had somehow managed to pee on his dad's nice clean shirt without getting his onesie wet at all. 

As Jon went upstairs to change into his fourth shirt in an hour I found myself in a fit of laughter and called up to him as he ascended the stairs, "That's YOUR Son Jonathan! That's YOUR BOY!"

Jon took a photo to document the occasion.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Holding Back the River

Some days holding back the tears feels like it is as difficult as holding back the river from flowing. One leak and the damn breaks and I wonder if there will ever be an end to the tears that flow without permission. 

I don't know why some days are just harder than others. I don't know what brings the sorrow and grief pressure to the point of tearing open the hole in my heart. It just is the nature of the beast. But like the river that right now is raging angrily down the mountain at the brink of overflowing, in time the waters will recede and the peaceful happy stream will return. 

But for now the river rages and my mind is turned to the past. We have made a tradition of coming up to the cabin for Memorial Day. 

Two Years Ago
Last year we made an exception to go to Disneyland for Sabrina's birthday. We left Camille home with Grandma and Nana. I am glad she got some time with these wonderful women alone before she had to leave us. 

I remember dropping her off with Grandma Waite. Grandma hadn't had much alone time with her. Camille was just barely starting to understand us when we asked her things and still did not talk at all. I turned to her and asked "Are you ready to go visit Grandma?" It was meant as a rhetorical question. But Camille gave an emphatic nod of her head to say "Yes!"

That simple gesture gives me comfort now. I feel she knew what I was asking and was excited to spend time with her grandparents.

One Year Ago
Playing at Nana and Grandpa's house.

Missing my girl this weekend. Missing my girl. Let the rains fall. Let the river rage. The Sun still shines behind the heavy dark gray clouds. It will return in time. But for today, Let the rains fall. Let the river rage.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dance Review

Seeing as so many of you share my passion for "Dance" and you do not live close enough to come to the parties I will be hosting. I am going to make the day after the performance show a review post. Sorry to those who don't watch the show or don't care about it.
I actually was travelling last night so I had to wait till this morning to watch the first show. So after a sleep deprived night and after my first big nap of the day, I turned on some "Dance" to wake me up enough to be a responsible mom.
New York is always good for big talent. It did not disappoint. I loved the very first audition they showed. I could not believe that girl suffered from RA. She was amazing. Performance wise I think she might have been my favorite. She stood out from the crowd for me.
I loved that Natalie (Katee's friend) and the other guy that made Mary cry were back and that they both made it though. I have high hopes for them.
I was disappointed by the lack or really cool hip hop dancers. Seemed there were more amazing contemporary dancers last night. There were also few good ballroom auditions. I loved the one with the eternal pot spin but was sad that the girl didn't make it past choreography.
I will defintitely be watching this show again when I get home on my HDtv. :) I was thrilled with all the great little dance clips they collaged together and hope to see more of those great auditions in the coming weeks.
I wish FOX would post on the internet more of the auditions so we could watch them. Anyone out there work for FOX???
What did you think of the show and who were your favorites from this round of auditions?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It is that Time Again

Okay, I have held off writing about this because I am a little embarrassed about how excited I get for something so inconsequential but... yes tonight is the first night back for my favorite TV show "So You Think You Can Dance." 

Once the show gets to the top dancers and they start competing I will be hosting parties weekly for anyone who loves dances and wants to come hang out to watch with me. But I hope there are some good moves to enjoy during these initial audition shows too. Looking forward to it tonight!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Living in the Round

Morgan Noble Waite
7 days old
taken by Lesli Streets

I am back to living in the continual round of diaper changing, feeding, burping, feeding, diaper changing again, burping again, sleeping some only to be awoken by a cry to feed again. It is a world unto itself. I call it the newborn cocoon. You lose all track of time and days all seem to run together. It is a tiring time. It is an emotional time with hormones on top of tiredness. But this more than most, it has been a sweet and precious time.

I have been treasuring the gift I have been given in being able to mother this healthy little son. Each child is a treasure and every day we have them a gift to us from their Maker. I am hyper aware of this reality now. 

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Lord gave to me, and gave to me, and gave to me, and then he gave again. Then he took from me and now he gives once more. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

There are moments, in the quiet sleepy hours, when I am beset with sorrow and missing for the daughter who would have been ...

But mostly there is peace. Peace in the sleeping face of the son who would not yet be but for the loss. Peace in knowing how much good has come from our sorrow. Peace in knowing all is well and right as it is.

It is a sweet and tender time in this newborn cocoon. Heaven's breath still on his lips, all the rest of us mourners suck it in quenching our thirst for the sweetness of his newborn perfection.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Answers to Questions

I have had a couple of questions posed in comments that I thought I would answer for today's post.

First -- Am I going to add a 5th ice cream cone to my header for Noble? You know that is funny because I never noticed that there was an ice cream cone for each kid. I had a friend do my header. If I knew how to add a 5th cone I would totally do it. Hmmm. I will have to look into that.

Second -- Does Noble have my hair line? Hard to say on that. He has so little hair and I am not sure what my husband's hair line originally looked like. I will say he looks very little like my husband. Or at least that is what my husband says. I think all our kids are a good combination of both Jon and me. He is no exception. At this point his hair line looks far more like mine than Jon's. His nose and forehead look like Lauren's. His eyes seem to be hinting they may be blue like Camille's. He has my feet and Jon's hands. Of course all this is subject to change. Babies change their looks so much as they grow.

Third -- How is Lauren feeling about boys and having a baby brother? Lauren said to me the other day -- "Mama, you know I REALLY like GIRL babies... (pause) and one boy baby." I think that sums it up. She has made one exception for baby Noble. She really loves him and thinks he is super cute. 

I got all choked up last night explaining how Lauren felt to Ann Marie. They had been having a rough day getting along. Both Ann Marie and Lauren like to be the boss and like to be right. That can be difficult sometimes. 

The three of us were in the kitchen last night and the subject of Lauren liking girl babies best and wanting a girl baby came up. Annie was not being very sympathetic to Lauren's desire to have a girl baby. I explained to Annie that after Camille died she still had Lauren around as a little sister to play with. Sabrina still had 2 little sisters here on earth to play with. But what about Lauren? Lauren lost the only little sister she had. So that is why she wants a girl baby. She loves Camille so much and misses having a little sister to love and play with. Annie finally got it. 

I told Annie that was the reason Lauren sometimes like to pretend she is the big sister and Annie is the little sister. She misses having a little sister. Annie walked over and gave Lauren a big hug. I think she may be a little more patient with her little sister trying to be the boss of her now.

Okay baby waking and little mothers upstairs with him. I am off.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Winner of Take a Guess!

I am officially declaring Tiffunny as the winner of the Take a Guess Game. While a few of you were really close and many right on for certain stats, I think Tiffunny came the closest overall.

Her guesses were: 
May 7, 2009 (got that right)
20.5 inches (she was only off half an inch)
8 lbs. 14 ozs. (only off 2 ozs.)
9:45 p.m. (only off by 16 minutes)

So Tiffunny, go to my profile page and email me so I can get your address and send you a prize. 

Congrats!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love Multiplies

How can so many people so completely capture your heart? With the birth of each child I am once again amazed that love is not divided but multiplied. It feels as though each of my children has the full capacity of love from my heart. It is a mystifying reality.

Tonight I was thinking about Sabrina as we are preparing for her baptism in a couple of weeks. As I was thinking about her and imagining her in her baptism dress, my whole self was filled with love for her and joy in seeing what a beautiful, loving young lady she is becoming. I wondered that there could be any room to love any other child. And in the middle of that thought I was filled with missing. 

It is with that same intensity that I love my sweet Camille though I cannot see her grow and become. I know she is still growing and becoming. And there is the same consuming love and joy in that knowledge. But there is an equally intense missing.

Motherhood is a magical thing. That we are able to love so fully each of the children God allows us to assist in creating is truly miraculous and wonderful. Through the joy and the sorrow of such great love we learn so much about our Father and our relationship to Him. Oh that I might live my life to bring Him joy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saying Goodbye


One of the curious parts of birthing Noble was how long it took for him to come out after my water broke. Now I am very aware that his birth was a quick one. But I expected it would have been much shorter from the time my water broke (I was fully dilated on one side and just had a little bit of cervix left on the other side when this happened) till the time he came into the world. 

I thought it would be a matter of minutes but it turned out to be just over 2 hours. Yet as I labored through the contractions waiting his arrival, one thought kept me filled with patience. I remember how hard it was for us to say goodbye to our sweet Camille. I felt distinctly that he was saying his goodbyes. That was not something I wanted to rush.

Later on in one of those quiet moments alone in my room with Noble, I laid him up on my bare skin just over my heart so he could hear it beating. As he was settling down and falling asleep he reached his little hand over and grabbed hold of my Camille necklace. I wished someone were there to photograph it. 

A few minutes later Jonathan came in and I had him take a picture even though Noble by now was fully asleep and had lost his tight grip on the necklace. 
I have no doubt that these last 11 months have been sweet for Camille and Noble to be together. I only hope I can help him know during this life a bit of this sister he knew so well before. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Shoot 2

This morning we spent some time with my sister Lesli and her camera. Can I say one more time how awesome it is to be related to talented people? Yeah. We had a fun time posing sleeping 5-day-old baby Noble.  Here is one of her mock up announcements. So cute. Love it.

You can see more of her work on her photography website HERE.  Check it out!


Pain or No Pain

Life. It is a journey of experiences. So many are pleasant and pass without notice. Some are so wonderful they mark our memories and are savored for years. And, without fail, each of us will encounter painful experiences. 

In the height of our most painful experiences, we are reduced to our most primal selves seeking desperately for a way to make the pain go away. In today's world that is often possible. It isn't always, but for so many pains that we as humans suffer, there is now a pill or a drug or a distraction to take the pain away. How wonderful that we are spared so much pain through modern medicine.  

Still, life is far from pain free. So often we distract ourselves from realities that hurt. It is a good coping mechanism. One I have relied on heavily. But where would we be in this life if we could really rid ourselves of all pain?

I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lows of life than I did a year ago. A year ago I thought the law of "opposition" in all things was all about being able to better appreciate the sweet things in this life. Certainly bad experiences do help us appreciate good ones. But I have found so much more value in being acquainted with grief. 

It is our painful experiences that tie us to humanity and connect us on deeper levels. Painful experiences can tenderize the soul and soften our hearts. They can expand the chambers of our heart to experience greater love and empathy.

Painful experiences give us opportunities for growth. Though we would that they should pass and in their height we would do anything to make them go away, they can be spiritual fertilizer. They stink and are unpleasant but they help us grow. 

Last night as I said my nightly prayers, my heart felt heavy. I let myself feel the pain that is ever running in the current of my inner soul. And in the depths of it I felt surrounded by the love of the Savior. I felt a closeness to Him unlike anything words can describe. I know He walks with us, and even carries us, though our painful experiences. Though we would rush through them, it is in these experiences we are closest to Him and through these that we can come to "know" Him.

I am so grateful to know in a new way today that I am really not alone in any pain I feel. Those pains I feel in this life tie me to Him. And I am grateful for those ties that bind.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To the Generations of Mothers of the World

I have been trying to decide how to properly or best record the story of the birth of Noble. I have wonderful photos to share that almost tell the story all on their own. I have a great time table to tell the facts of what happened when and how I was feeling at each moment. I have a mirrored perspective of this experience as compared to our last experience at that hospital. And, with a few days perspective behind me, I have some thoughts and reflections I want to record about my "natural" birth experience. So bear with me in what I am sure will prove to be a rather lengthy post. I just want to get all of this recorded before it fades from my mind. If I can't finish today maybe I will do a few posts on this and put my reflections down a different way tomorrow.

Thursday May 7, 2009 8:55 a.m. - I have just gotten Sabrina off to school. I am still very pregnant. I haven't had any major contractions for a couple of days. I have been trying to kick myself into labor but nothing seems to help much except having my doctor "check" me. She is pretty rough about it and I always seem to have contractions for a day or two after she "checks" me. I am trying to decide whether to call and see if she will check me one last time and irritate my cervix in a last ditch effort to go into labor on my own and avoid having to be induced once again. I decide that the effort is worth the pain and make the call. I get a 2 p.m. appointment.

2:00 p.m. I go to my appointment where the staff is shocked to see I am still pregnant. They have already switched my chart to a "non pregnant" color because they were so sure I would have had the baby by now. I think "yeah right. me? go in on my own? I will probably still be pregnant come Sunday."

The doctor checks me and it actually doesn't hurt as bad as it has every other time. She gets wide eyes and tells me I am a 5 to 6 dilation. She says I am going to have this baby sooner than I think. I have heard that before. I discount it. She asks if I want her to irritate my cervix one more time. I figure why not? She does it again and it still doesn't hurt nearly as much as it has in the past. This time she says I am a 6 to 7 ... no I am fully a 7 and I am scaring her. She wonders how I am walking around and tells me I need to go to the hospital. She asks if I want her to break my water right there. I tell her no. I am still not really believing all this. I mean how can I be a 7? I am not even in pain. I tell her I will go home to walk some and think about it and hopefully see her tonight to have a baby.

3:00 p.m.  I call my parents, my in laws, and Jonathan to tell them the news on my way to the school to pick up the kids. Jon says "yeah right. You aren't having a baby tonight. Come home." My parents plan to head over to help with the girls. I call my friend Bari (she agreed to come act as my doula) and my friend Janelle (she is a labor and delivery nurse at my hospital and agreed to be my nurse for this birth.) They both say to stay home as long as I can, especially since I am not in pain and not having regular contractions. I tell them I will call them when I am.

I go home and pack all my last minute things for the hospital. Jon keeps wondering what the hurry is. It isn't like I am in labor. I take a bath and my parents arrive. We make dinner and watch a ball game.

5:00 p.m.  I have been home walking around my house and drinking water and eating some dinner. My contractions are hard for me to time but they are stronger and seem more frequent. My friend Janelle comes over to the house to check my cervix for me. She says I really am fully a 7 with a bulging bag of water and that I should head to the hospital. 

My dad stays with Lauren who has fallen asleep on a rocking chair watching the game. Sabrina, Annie, Jon, my mom and I head to the hospital. Janelle will meet us there.

6:00 p.m. We check in at the hospital and Janelle is there with our paperwork ready. She hooks me up to the monitors for 20 minutes. My contractions are about every 5 minutes but only one out of three is really strong. The strong ones I feel but they don't hurt. The monitor tracking their intensity records them "off the chart" intense. I find this curious and figure it must be because my water isn't yet broken. 
Here is Ann Marie very excited to finally be at the hospital to see the baby born.

After 20 minutes of monitoring, I begin walking the halls with my mom. We walk till my legs are tired (30 - 40 minutes) and then head back to the room. Janelle hooks me up with an IV lock in case I need an IV for any reason. My friend Bari heads to Target to get a birth ball for me. 

8:00 p.m. My doctor shows up. She checks me and my water breaks in the process. She says I am complete on one side with just a lip of cervix on the other side. Should be soon now. I blog that I am about to have a baby and wait in terror for the next set of contractions. 

My doctor, Michelle Lewis, eats a popsicle with Sabrina (in the lower right corner). She is ready for me to start pushing anytime.
Here I am blogging my post about my water being broken. Janelle is on the phone behind me.

The next set of contractions are a little bit more intense but still not bad. I am still a little scared but the fear is leaving me as I see I am able to handle this pain level rather easily. I do have to focus during the contractions now but I am still smiling and laughing between.

Here I am focusing during a contraction on the birth ball. Annie and Dado are giving me air in my hair with the pump. I was too focused to realize they were doing this.

This is my "focus" object. A necklace a friend of friend made for me after Camille passed away. It has a picture of the two of us on it. I know she will help me through this.

The contractions continue to get stronger and I am really working through them. Janelle checks me after my doctor steps out to help a colleague with a C Section. She says I am an 8 on one side and totally dilated on the back side. I am feeling the contractions totally in my back. I turn over on my hands and knees for a bit to see if the baby will turn around and face the right way. It works and the pain transfers back to my belly. 

I feel the contractions change to the "transition" type of contractions and I really have to breathe through them focusing on relaxing my body. They are about every 2-3 minutes now. My lips are dry and I am eating ice chips. I am getting tired.

9:30 p.m. My doctor comes back and checks me again. She says I still have a bit of lip on one side but that it is really elastic and she thinks I will be fine to just start pushing. I have no urge to push. I feel no pressure. I usually feel pressure with my epidural. I thought when you don't have the epidural you are supposed to "know" when to push. I am scared to wear myself out pushing too soon. I have done that before. I prefer to let the baby come down on his own and push when I feel the need. But somehow it seems that could take all night this time. I decide to give a few pushes a try and see how it feels. 

9:45 p.m.  I am gentle in my pushing. I am a little scared of pushing so soon. Between pushes I am smiling and happy to see the best coach ever encouraging me on. Ann Marie has the doctor gloves on and is standing next to the doctor. She is giving me thumbs up and counting the pushes for me and motioning with her arms like an air traffic controller to tell me to bring that baby on out. She is seriously WAY too cute.

My little doctor coach helping me push.



I am pushing and everyone is telling me I am doing great and the baby is almost here. It is only an inch from crowning. They say they can almost see his head. I still can't feel any urge to push and I feel no pressure. Why can't I feel him if he is really so close to coming out? I mean I definitely feel the pain of the contractions but why no urge to push? I ask for the mirror so I can see. (this proves to be big mistake.) 

9:50 p.m. They adjust the mirror so I can see. I see nothing. I push twice more and still see no head. Janelle tells me not to look at the mirror because it is not helping. Everyone is telling me I can do this and that the baby is almost here. I lose all confidence. I lose all rational thought. I lose myself and become a crazy lady. 

I am sure they are all just saying that I am doing great to try to keep my spirits up. The baby (if there really is a baby in there), must be still way high if I can't even feel him yet. This could take all night. How many shows have I watched where all the nurses and people are telling the mom she is doing great and the baby is almost here and an hour or two later she is still pushing. Too many. No. I can't do this. I start to scream through the contractions and tell my mom to take the girls out. I don't want them to see me go crazy. I start bawling and tell everyone I can't do this. I have changed my mind. I want an epidural. I can breathe through the contractions. I just can't push. I am too tired. 

My doctor puts her fingers in to help open the way for the baby to come down. I yell at her. That really hurts. I insist on an epidural. She looks to a nurse and nods. Then she tells me she is having the nurse call about the epidural but she wants me to push just one more time before it gets here.  (A very clever lie.) 

I am in another world. I have completely checked out. Someone else takes over in my body and decides to follow the doctors orders and push. She pushes with everything left in me and suddenly I feel the baby's head at my tailbone. My eyes are closed but he must be crowning. The nurse behind me says if I push it will counteract the pain. I realize the end is really in sight. I am mad at the pain and done with all of this mess. I am mad that I turned into crazy lady and that I couldn't control myself enough to feel comfortable letting my kids stay for the birth. All of that madness channels itself into the next contraction and in less than 2 seconds the whole of the baby is shot out of my body and into the doctors arms and then up onto my chest.
 
10:01 p.m. I open my eyes to see that my doctor has jumped up on the bed with me and her eyes are full of the fire of excitement. She is a great cheerleader. She helped me feel the pressure to push with her hands in those last two pushes. She is the reason the baby is out. I love my doctor. I love whoever it was that entered my body and made it push. 
I am still hurting though. I thought the pain was supposed to be gone as soon as the baby came out. I am still crying as I look at my son for the first time. I am hurting too much to hold him but I do take a moment to touch him and see his cute face. 

We cry together. 

He is taken away to be cleaned up and weighed and all that. Here he is weighing in at 8 lbs. 12.4 ozs. Meanwhile I am still laboring in my bed to deliver a placenta bigger than a honeydew melon and swearing that next time I am getting myself one BIG FAT epidural. I continue in this frame of mind all through the sewing up of my 2nd degree tearing. I feel most of the that process too despite the numbing shots. Is there an end to the pain? I am then hooked up to an IV to get Pitocin to contract my uterus back down and get my bleeding under control. Finally it is picture time.
Here are the angels that helped me through my own personal Gethsemane. 
After about an hour I am able to enjoy a few peaceful, tender hours with my newborn son and the unseen angels who helped the two of us through this most painful transition. I spend a good portion of the night enjoying their presence. 

I have contractions every 10 minutes or so till about 3 a.m. (Where is my epidural now?) Between the contractions, the nursing, the hospital interruptions, the trips to the bathroom, and the sheer adrenaline I only sleep from 5 to 6 a.m. The rest of my time is spent in shock and wonder at the reality of this all.

A few thoughts:
Opposite Expectations: This birth proved to be the opposite of everything I expected. I expected I would have to be induced. I expected the dilating part of labor to be hard and tiring. It totally wasn't. I expected transition to be part of labor where I was most likely to lose my mind and ask for the epidural. I was totally fine through this part mentally. I knew I could handle that pain. I expected to want to push - to feel an overwhelming urge to push - to know how to push. Nothing there. I expected to be able to keep my head and that if I got into too much pain I would internalize it. I did NOT expect to turn into crazy lady. Highly disappointed with myself for that one.  I expected to have a feeling of high after the baby was born. No didn't get that. Was still just hurting too much. I expected to recover much faster. No. I think my tearing was worse because I pushed the baby out too fast. This has been my worst recovery since Sabrina. I have torn every time but the other 3 were really quick to heal. I was ready to go dancing the next day. Sabrina it took 10 weeks (that was really a bad one) and this one I am feeling better now 3 days later. 

Would I ever do it without drugs again?: Hmmm. No. Mostly because of the after birth part. I like being able to enjoy seeing my child right after they are born because I don't feel any pain. I like being able to be patient in the pushing part so I don't tear as much. I like not feeling the delivery of the placenta or the stitching up of my tear or the first after birth contractions or the pushing on my uterus to check it etc... If all the pain ended when the baby came out I would certainly consider doing natural again. But, next time I want my kids to be able to be there and be sure I won't turn into crazy lady and I want to be able to enjoy my baby as soon as he or she comes out. But I am glad I did it once and especially this time.

In Comparison: I am very grateful for this experience. I found it cathartic. I found it interesting how similar the things that came out of my crazy lady mouth were to the day of Camille's accident in the consolation room. I am sure I was in somewhat of a "crazy lady" state that day too. Both events changed my life forever. Both were incredibly painful. Both were highly spiritual and attended by angels I could powerfully feel. Both were experiences I learned a great deal from. Both are experiences I never want to have again.

What I gained: I have a whole new perspective and respect for mothers through the ages. I have a new respect and appreciation for my own mother and what she went through in bringing me into the world. I realize all too vividly that I had a really easy time with this labor. I really don't know that I could have endured what so many women do in hours and hours of hard contractions and hours of pushing after. 

After Camille's death I have thought to myself SO many many times, "generations of women have felt this pain and endured it. They are all united with you in this grief." There is a certain comfort in being connected to these valiant strong women who have passed through this veil of sorrow in losing a child. Now I also feel connected to the "generations" of women who have passed through the valley of the shadow of death to bring a life into this world.

I am completely amazed that life has been perpetuated by these generations of strong, brave, powerful women. Seriously. This was my 5th kid. My labor was short and relatively painless up until the last 2 hours. How a woman does this with her first labor - the one most frequently the longest and most difficult - and ever is able to think of having another kid ... Well it just must be a heavy dose of Heavenly Amnesia that allows for that.

So this post is dedicated to all the mothers out there. I am newly in awe of mothers on this most special Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

First Photo Shoot

Here is Morgan Noble just hours old. 
My sister Lesli took these photos of him.
 I love the hat she brought. 
It is so Dr. Suessish.

And now for our first "new" family photo.  
Thanks Lesli for the great photos!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Going Home

We are just waiting for the 24 hour mark to hit so we can head home. I found out that Noble is 21 inches long. i can't believe how close some of you came to guessing all the stats right. I will have to do some calcuations to find the winner.

I am excited to go home to my own bed. I don't sleep well in hospitals. I only slept an hour last night. So I am pretty tired and grumpy.

I want to write up the whole story of Noble's birth properly so I am waiting to do it till I am home. Maybe on Mother's Day I will do it.

I also can't post photos till I get home, but they will be coming. He already looks different from when he first came out. They change so much in the first little while as the swelling goes down.

I have had a few really treasured moments here in the hospital when all has been quiet and calm and the veil thin. This experience in so many ways mirrored my last experience in this hospital. I am still processing it all.

I am still in a bit of shock that I am no longer pregnant and that I didn't have to be induced. I am even more in shock that I somehow (and really I am not sure how) I was able to birth this child totally free of medication. I didn't even have an IV.

This has been an unreal experience and the hardest parts were "other worldly." The same could be said of our time here 11 months ago. Only this experience has ended in a sweetness that brings tears of joy where the last one ended in bitter peace and tears of sorrow.

My sister came and took some photos of Noble today. I look forward to seeing them. She has a really great eye for photography. It will be fun to see what she got.

I'll try to get a photo or two up tomorrow. Till then ...

Morgan Noble Waite

It is finished ... sort of. I am still hurting from nursing contractions but the baby is born.

Noble entered the world at 10:01 p.m on May 7, 2009.

He was 8 lbs. 12 ozs. I don't know how long he is yet. I will have to ask the nurse later.

I will write the story of his delivery tomorrow.or later today I guess.

Thanks for all the prayers. I needed them and they helped. Will post photos later.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

About to have a baby

Well my water broke about 10 minutes ago. I guess my cervix is just a lip on one side now. hmmm. this is different. Haven't really been in pain yet. Kinda scared of the next big contraction but feeling REALLY lucky to have dilated this far with no big pain.

May be my last chance to update till baby is out. Isn't my hospital cool that it has internet access?

Ok. here comes that big contraction. Going to focus now. Yeah. bye

7 and headed to hospital

I just had my friend who is a L and D nurse at my hospital come over and check me. She says I am a 7 with a bulging bag of water. My contractions are about 3 mins apart but not all are strong. So we are headed to the hospital to birth this baby.

Will update later. 

Baby Tonight?!??

I just got back from the doctor. She says I am about a 6. She says I am going to be having the baby tonight. Hmmm. I am not having regular contractions or anything so I am home to walk and shower and pack my last minute things just in case. 

Who knows? Maybe I will have a baby tonight. That would be cool huh? You can watch here for further updates.

Advice

I think it is funny how so many of us have opinions (strong or otherwise) on labor and delivery. I thought I had heard all the theories on how to get a baby to come out after being overdue 4 times. I think my favorite was with Sabrina when one woman at church SWORE that taking a walk on the beach in the full moon would put me into labor. 

I love that there are so many comments on my last post. Now for the record, I am pretty much a skeptic about all the ways to get yourself to go into labor. Nevertheless, some of these suggestions or theories are kinda fun and not going to hurt anything so I am entertaining myself trying a few of them out. 

Sorry to those of you who said not to do the trampoline. I had already done it by the time anyone suggested it might be dangerous. In any case, I found it to be one of the highlights of my day. I had so much fun bouncing and having my girls show me their "tricks." They were tickled that they could do so many tricks that mom could not. 

I am not too worried that it did any harm. I wasn't jumping high or anything and I am pretty sure if little Noble has any loops or knots in his cord it is due to his extreme sport movements inside. This guy flips and flops and turns all over with the best of them.

I also did eat pineapple yesterday. Not an over abundance of it but it was in my sweet and sour chicken dinner. And nipple stimulation -- well that didn't seem to work too well either. I would do the pickle thing, but I really don't like pickles. I would also totally do the teeter totter thing except that I don't know where there is a teeter totter anywhere near here. That sounds like fun though.

I am going back to my doctor today to have her strip my membranes or irritate my cervix one last time. That does seem to help move things along even if it doesn't put me into active labor. Then maybe I will take my husband's advice and eat lots of chocolate and go to a movie with him tomorrow. 

Thanks for all the fun advice. It has been fun to read in all my spare time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Officially Overdue

Once again I have seen my due date come and go. I guess my body just likes to hold on to these babies a bit longer than the norm. At least I still feel pretty good. (Although I suspect that after I give birth I will realize I didn't really feel good but just had forgotten what it was to feel normal.)

So I am trying out a new "theory" on starting labor each day I go over. We will see if any of them work on me. I did the walking thing. I did that again last night. I figure that can only do good things for me no matter how I look at it, so I plan to walk everyday. Oh and yes, I have also tried the "do what got you into this mess" advice. That hasn't worked on any of my kids, but like walking it doesn't hurt to keep trying right? 

Last night a friend did acupressure massage on a spot above my ankle that is supposed to make you have contractions or go into labor or something. I must admit that I did have more contractions than usual during the hour she was rubbing my ankles. I will likely be rubbing that spot in my spare time over the coming days.

This morning I humored another friend and tried jumping rope. That did get baby awake but did not break my water as she had suggested it might. I will try jumping on a trampoline later today.

The one trick I will not try is Caster Oil. I don't really doubt that it would work. I just don't feel like starting my labor with the kind of stomach pain I believe it would give me. If you have other suggestions, feel welcome to offer them. I can't say I will try all of them but I will get around to as many as I feel I reasonably can.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Doing my Part

The girlies and I with my full term belly

In an effort to do all I can to help get labor going at home, I put on my dusty tennis shoes yesterday and we all went on a good long walk. We walked the trail around the circumference of our neighborhood. By the end the girls were complaining that their legs couldn't go any more and Jonathan was carrying Lauren. 

I am not sure I had a single contraction during our walk but I was surely sore. I soaked in a tub last night and felt much better. I woke almost every hour and at about 4 found that I was having contractions about every 10 minutes. They were not too painful but hard enough to wake me up every 10 minutes. 

They have subsided now and I am going to go get a good nap in just in case. I almost got hopeful of going into labor on my own this morning. I think I will try taking another walk this evening. At the very least it will help me build up my lung capacity for the pushing phase.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Baby This Week

I just got home from the doctor. She irritated my cervix. Never a pleasant experience. ;) She thinks I will go into labor on my own this week. I am not getting my hopes up, but will do all I can to help things along. 

I already cleaned all my bathrooms this weekend. Maybe I will end up scrubbing my tile floors downstairs just for the heck of it. That put two of my friends into labor last week. They were both not due till later this week. 

If nothing happens this week she has scheduled me for an induction on Sunday. So a week from now I should have a new baby. 

Just giving you all the update. I'll let you know if anything crazy happens like I actually start having contractions on my own.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Babies Blessed

We had two babies blessed in church today. First a little girl, then a little boy. 

Lauren was sitting on my lap (what is left of it at least) during these blessings. After the little boy was blessed. I said "Look at that tiny little baby boy. Isn't he cute? Pretty soon you will have a little brother just like that."

"But, mama, I still want a girl baby," she says to me. 

"I know and maybe someday we will have another little girl baby, but it will be fun to have a little brother."

"But, mama, I really liked Camille."

"Yes Lauren. I love Camille too, and we miss her huh? But even if we had a girl baby it wouldn't be Camille. And if we don't ever have another girl baby, you will always have Camille. She will always be your baby sister and when you get to play with her again she will still be little and cute just like she was."

The months pass. The memories grow dimmer. The waves of grief hit less frequently. Yet still the hole, the missing, the longing for her presence remains. I feel it for myself and in conversations like today's I feel it for her sisters as well.

Sister's in pajamas 
Adoring new sleeping baby Camille
May 12, 2007