Friday, October 11, 2019

Newborn Pictures

Our friend, Jake Egbert, who is our photographer here in Oregon, was incredibly busy around the time Easton was born. He went on our stake trek as the designated photographer the week he was born, he shot a wedding the weekend after he was born, and then he was in Utah the week after that. 

I had wanted him to take Easton's newborn pictures as soon as possible, but it got pushed back until the day before he was 2 weeks old. I was a little nervous about having him do them because I didn't know how much experience he had with newborn pictures, but I didn't know who else to have do them. And because he is our friend, he charges us much less than anyone else would. 

So we waited for him to get back and I'm so glad we did. If we had done them any earlier, I wouldn't have wanted to be in them because it took me almost that long to get back to looking like my normal non-pregnant self. And he did an absolutely amazing job! I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. It really helped that Easton was an absolute angel and slept soundly the entire time.

We started in our bedroom (which is also Easton's nursery) and took all the newborn pictures there. 









I wanted some with his quilt in them. These two ended up being my favorite pictures from the whole photo shoot!








I put together a birth announcement with a few of my favorites.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Easton's Arrival

I had an appointment the Thursday before I was scheduled to be induced (at 38 weeks and 2 days). At that appointment I was dilated to a 3. I had been having some contractions, but nothing that made me think I was actually going into labor.

I took this picture on Friday and it ended up being the last pregnant picture I took (even though I meant to take one before heading off to the hospital).


I spent Monday doing everything I normally do in a week in one day - groceries, laundry, library, and I even got all caught up on our budget while I waited in the lobby during Peyton's two dance classes Monday night. My parents flew in Monday night and I gave them instructions for taking care of the kids while we were at the hospital. 

I was scheduled to come in to be induced at 8:00 am, but the charge nurse called me at 5:50 am to say they needed to push me back until 10:00 am. It had taken me a long time to fall asleep the night before, so I wasn't very excited about being woken up early only to be told I'd have to wait to come in. I didn't think I'd be able to fall back asleep, but Logan came in and I snuggled with him and did fall asleep for a little bit longer. 

While I was getting ready, the charge nurse called again to say not to come at 10:00 am and that she didn't know when she'd be able to have me come in. She called me a few more times and offered to have me go up Salmon Creek (in Washington) at 2:00 pm. I turned that down since our hospital is only about 8 minutes away from our house and so convenient. I mentioned to her that Rog works there and I don't know if that helped, but the next time she called she was telling me to come in at 3:00 pm!

While this was going on, the kids were at track camp and were expecting me NOT to come pick them up. But I was home and had nothing to do, so I went with my dad to pick them up and after we went to Costco to get some milk/kill time. Rog was working from home while he could. We had lunch and then I turned on Ralph Breaks the Internet (while Rog, my dad, and the kids went to the high school to play tennis) hoping I would fall asleep on the couch watching it (because I knew I wouldn't be able to fall asleep if I just tried to take a nap). I didn't fall asleep, but the timing worked out well because as it was ending, it was time for us to get going to the hospital (FINALLY!). 

Our neighbor and good friend, Kellen Martyn, is a nurse anesthetist at our hospital and I was really hoping he'd be able to give me my epidural. He'd been working in labor and delivery all day and if I hadn't had to be pushed back so many times, it would have worked out perfectly for him to do it, but since I didn't get there until 3:00 pm, I wasn't ready for my epidural yet when he was getting off. It was fun to have him be the one to go through the risks and all that with us before he left though.


They started me on Pitocin around 4:00 pm and we started the long waiting game. Even though I'd been having some contractions over the weekend I was still at a 3 when we came in. With the Pitocin going I was having regular contractions, but they weren't painful enough to justify an epidural until much later that night. 

When my sister moved here, she got me and Rog started watching A Million Little Things. We had planned to watch that while I was in labor, but Hulu wasn't working at the hospital. Fortunately Netflix was working, so we watched Friends until we got tired of that. Then I watched National Treasure and started To All The Boys I've Loved Before, but I had Easton before I finished that one. I had watched Gilmore Girls while I was in labor with all 3 other kids, but I had finished that (for probably the 5th or 6th time) a few months ago and didn't feel like starting it again just yet.

Apparently since I had Logan, they've decided that you can eat after being induced, so I was able to order food while I was waiting for the Pitocin to do its job. I had an oriental chicken salad and a turkey sandwich with some fruit. It felt so weird to be eating since I wasn't able to do that with any of my other babies. I also could drink regular water and didn't have any ice chips which was also weird since that was the only thing I could eat or drink with all my other babies. It wouldn't have been the same anyway because they don't have snow cone syrup to go on the ice chips here like they did at UVRMC in Utah.


My mother-in-law and I are grammar nerds, so I texted her this picture while I was in labor. Can you spot the mistake? 


"Its a surprise!" should be "It's a surprise!" That drove me crazy the whole time I was in that room!

After Kellen left and I knew he wasn't going to be able to do my epidural, there wasn't any rush to get Easton here on the 23rd, so I decided to kind of hang out and wait until the 24th (Pioneer Day - a Utah/Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holiday) to have him. They offered to break my water not too long after they started the Pitocin, but I had them wait to do that since I had Peyton and Logan within an hour or two of them breaking my water. I also wanted to make sure I had my epidural before they did that just in case things progressed quickly.

I'm fuzzy on the exact times everything happened, but I was able to piece together a timeline based on text message updates Rog sent to my mom and his mom who were up waiting for the news. It was around 11:00 pm that I finally got my epidural. Then the doctor broke my water around 11:40 pm. I was only at a 4 when she broke it, so I still had a ways to go. I could feel some pressure with the contractions, but not any pain. I had forgotten how uncomfortable the epidural is though and how you really can't move on your own. At this point I was just so exhausted and wondered how I was going to have a baby in the next hour or two. They got me an apple juice which helped perk me up a bit. I was also so incredibly itchy which was something Kellen said could happen, but I hadn't experienced with any of my previous epidurals.

Around 1:15 am a nurse came in to turn me since Easton's heart rate had started dropping with each contraction. That didn't help, so she checked me and sure enough, I was ready to push. I started pushing around 1:25 am and at 1:31 am, he was born. (He probably could have been born faster, but I had forgotten how to push!) We had told them that both Corbyn and Logan had trouble breathing when they were born, so they had someone from the NICU team in the room, but as soon as he was born, it was quickly apparent that he wasn't going to need any help. His initial Apgar score was a 9! 

They immediately let me hold him and I felt such a rush of relief that he was here safe and sound. (And that he wasn't going to be rushed off to the NICU!) Their policy is to wait an hour and a half before they take the baby away to weigh, measure, and do anything to the baby (as long a the baby is doing well).


We were too curious to wait though, so after a few minutes we asked them to weigh him. They were more than willing to oblige because they were all curious too! He weighed in at 9 pounds exactly which is the average weight of all our babies. He was 21 inches long (the same as Corbyn). Peyton was 19 inches and Logan was 19.5 inches.


They gave him back to me and I nursed him for a good long time.




We had planned for me to have a tubal ligation done soon after giving birth, so they left my epidural in. It worked out that they were going to be able to get me into the OR at 6:00 am, so they had us stay in my labor and delivery room until then. They let me drink liquids until 4:00 am and then had me stop in preparation for the surgery. At some point we tucked Easton into his little bed and we all tried to get some rest. I think I got some sleep, but not much. The labor and delivery beds are definitely not meant for sleeping!

 I had talked to my regular doctor about having a tubal ligation while I was pregnant and he made it sound like no big deal and he encouraged it. The doctor that delivered Easton (Dr. Melendez) was the one who would also be doing the surgery and when she talked to me about it, she was not so positive. She worried that because of the ovarian cyst I had removed back in 2008, there could be some scar tissue that would prevent her from getting to my right tube. I was so tired and after talking to her, I felt like saying forget it, but since it was our plan, I went ahead with it.

They took me to the OR a little before 6:00 am. Rog stayed in the labor and delivery room with Easton during my surgery. In addition to my epidural they gave me a little something to help me relax and fall asleep while they did the surgery. I do remember waking up toward the end and I could feel them finishing up. Dr. Melendez said that everything went perfectly and that she didn't have any trouble getting to that right tube. They took me out to recovery where Rog and Easton met me. They had me all covered up in warm blankets and I was able to get some good rest for the hour I was in recovery. Then they took us up to our room on the mother and baby floor. 

We ordered our celebration breakfast and got settled in there. My parents dropped Corbyn and Peyton off at their track camp and then brought Logan to come meet Easton. When they first got there he hit his head on something and wanted his mom to comfort him.


He didn't want to hold Easton, but we made him.


And I think he did actually enjoy it.


Grandma and Grandpa also took turns holding him.


After they picked Corbyn and Peyton up from track camp at noon, they came straight to the hospital since the big kids were excited to meet their new baby brother. Seeing Peyton's reaction was the best. She was just so excited and couldn't get over how cute and little he was.





We had them wash their hands and Corbyn saw some gloves and also wanted to put those on to hold Easton. 😂


I didn't want the only pictures of him holding Easton to be with the gloves on, so before they left I convinced him to hold him again without the gloves.

 

Grandma hadn't wanted pictures with Easton earlier since she hadn't showered yet, but in between visits she had showered and was ready for pictures.



They didn't stay too long because Rog and I were just so tired. The rest of the day was spent admiring our new baby and trying to catch up on our sleep.





Kellen was working in L&D again that day, so he stopped by to see us and was the first non-family member to meet Easton. Also, in the afternoon Rog went with the pediatric doctor to have Easton's circumcision done.

By the end of the day I was in a lot of pain. The day nurse only gave me Tylenol and Ibuprofen, so by the time the night nurse came on I was begging her for something stronger. She talked to the doctor and got me some Oxycodone.

 At Kaiser they aim to get you home fast, so we made it through that first night, checked off everything we needed to do to be discharged, and then it was time to go home. With all our other kids we were at the hospital a full extra day - I didn't know if I would be, but I did actually feel ready to go home and sleep in our own bed!


We got home a few minutes before the kids came back from their track camp, so we enjoyed a few minutes of peace before real life kicked in. I love this picture because Easton is giving a thumbs up. 👍 I guess he was happy to be home too.


We are just so happy and grateful to have this little rainbow baby/caboose here to complete our family. It took longer than we expected, but he was worth the wait!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Second Quarter Reading

Another good quarter of reading. I'm a little behind on my goal to read 24 books this year, but I'm not worried. I do some of my best reading while I'm nursing babies.

Books I Read


Books I Listened to


Excellent

1. QB: My Life Behind the Spiral by Steve Young. Steve Young tells about his football career, but also about his struggles with a severe case of separation anxiety. My dad recommended this one and as a major BYU football fan, I knew I had to read it. It was so interesting to learn about his struggles as well as his great successes.

2. Front Desk by Kelly Yang. Mia and her parents immigrate from China to the United States in the early 90s and unfortunately learn that life here is not at all what they imagined it would be for them. They think they are finally catching a break when they land a job managing a motel in Southern California, but that doesn't turn out like they had hoped either. This was definitely an eye-opening book for me. I had no idea things were so hard for immigrants in my lifetime.

3. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her 21st birthday, they tell Nell the truth and she sets out to trace her real identity, but it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. After reading The Secret Keeper, I wanted to read another of Kate Morton's books. No ending could compare with the ending of The Secret Keeper, but it was interesting to see how everything unfolded in the end.

4. Becoming by Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama's autobiography. She reads it herself and it was very enjoyable. I didn't vote for President Obama (and I was especially crushed when Mitt Romney lost to him), but I have a lot more respect for him after listening to this book.

Great

5. This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. A non-fiction book about how we come to feel at home in our towns and cities. She provides suggestions about how to develop place attachment - the deep sense of connection that binds us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being. I found this book extremely interesting. I think I am naturally good at becoming attached to places (We are not movers!) and it was fun to learn about why that might be the case. Even though I was incredibly interested in the book, it was NOT a page turner and it took me months to slowly work my way through it.

Books I Read to Corbyn and Peyton


The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal, although colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his community. Another Newbery winner to go along with all the ones we read (or listened to) in the first quarter.

The Bravest Princess by E. D. Baker. Annie still can't rest while trouble in the kingdom threatens her good friend, Snow White. Snow White's evil stepmother has disappeared, and her father wants her married off right away, but who should she choose? How can she tell which prince is best? It's Annie and Liam to the rescue! 

Princess in Disguise by E. D. Baker. Annie and Liam's wedding day looks as if it's going to be perfect until everything starts to go wrong. Liam's father doesn't show up, nor do the magic-wielding guests. Members of the wedding party come down with strange afflictions, Annie's gown is ruined, a storm floods the castle grounds, and an unknown king lays siege to the castle. Queen Karolina decides that they need the help of her fairy godmother, Moonbeam, but only Annie and Liam can get past the magical fog to find Moonbeam. Even after they find her, it's up to them to discover who cast the spells that ruined the wedding, and why the unknown king wants to conquer Treecrest.

Books I Read to Peyton

I had somehow gotten out of the habit of reading books just to Peyton (Rog reads books just to Corbyn), but I picked it up again when our library finally got Tiana's Best Surprise. After we got caught up on the Disney Princess Beginnings books, I remembered the Never Girls series that I saw years ago when Peyton was just a baby and all those years ago I thought I'd like to read them to Peyton someday. She could read all of these books herself, but it's fun to read them with her. 


Tiana's Best Surprise by Tessa Roehl. Tiana is planning a surprise. Her daddy's birthday is coming up and she wants to make him the best gumbo ever. But there's one problem: she's never made gumbo without her daddy's help. Will Tiana be able to make her dream come true and give her father a gumbo he'll be proud of?

Aurora Plays the Part by Tessa Roehl. Aurora doesn't even know she's a princess! She's lived her entire life in a cottage in the forest with her Aunt Flora, Aunt Fauna, and Aunt Merryweather. She is thankful for her animal friends and the birds that sing with her, but she longs for some adventure. When she meets a young girl who is part of a traveling troupe of actors, Aurora's whole world opens up.

In a Blink by Kiki Thorpe. In the blink of an eye, Kate, Mia, Lainey, and Gabby are whisked off to Never Land, home to Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. The adventure of a lifetime is just beginning! But how will the Never Girls ever get home again?

The Space Between by Kiki Thorpe. It’s time for the Never Girls to go home. Lainey thinks it’s goodbye forever, but is that a Never mouse in her mother’s kitchen? And why can’t Mia find Bingo? Could there be a splinter between the worlds?

Books We Listened to in the Car


A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. Mary Alice's childhood summers in Grandma Dowdel's sleepy Illinois town were packed with enough drama to fill the double bill of any picture show. But now she is fifteen, and faces a whole long year with Grandma, a woman well known for shaking up her neighbors and everyone else. All Mary Alice can know for certain is this: when trying to predict how life with Grandma might turn out . . . better not. Yet another Newbery winner.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice. We needed a long book to listen to on our spring break adventure, so this one was perfect. It's my least favorite of the Harry Potter books, so I didn't mind letting Jim Dale do the reading instead of me.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. As she discovers Manifest’s secrets one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town. A final Newbery winner for this quarter.