Archive for the 'Baby' Category

Nora at two months

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Gender Reveal…

Again, its kind of anticlimactic to get everything out of order on here, but back in October we announced the baby’s gender to the kids. We found out at 10 weeks thanks to a handy little blood test (that is also wonderfully accurate in diagnosing chromosomal abnormalities) and I swear the nurse who called with the results must of thought I was mad. I just sat there laughing when she told me baby #5 will be girl #4. I knew Cash wouldn’t take it well! I’d made cookies that day and every time he walked in the room I was plying him with more. More love. More treats. You name it. I’m this close to naming the baby his name selection just to give him a little win on this one!

The rest of us are of course thrilled. We’re comfortable with this girl thing. I have great plans for our Women’s Conference trips and girls nights while the boys are at Scouting events etc. And of course Mike will have a blast spoiling Cash rotten with all of those one on one excursions (if the girls let their dad out of their line of vision!)

Anyways! To announce baby’s gender we let them each pick a blue or pink balloon to blow up. The blue balloons were rigged. The pink ones inflated to let them all know there will be another sister in the house this May (about that, this will be our THIRD baby born in May! I really need to come up with a birthday party plan!)

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Little Lounger…

After a series of babies who loved to be swaddled, we’ve got a little lounger on our hands! This is Clara’s preferred sleep position…well, if her momma was still snuggled up on that pillow beside her it would be her favorite. :)  These portraits were taken on a lazy Sunday morning while everyone else was off at church.

My view from my position snuggled up to Clara.

Sleep crying

Just home from the hospital

These are out of order, but here are a few pictures of Clara just after we brought her home from the hospital.

Clara is changing so much already. It breaks my heart to see these newborn days flying by so quickly! Especially when I remember that she is very likely my last newborn. Its no wonder to me that youngest children are so spoiled. Sometimes I knowingly throw all of my caution to let her learn to put herself to sleep, or sleep in her own bed to the wind because I just can’t get enough of her! As much as I love admiring others’ newborns, there is nothing like your own baby! The  feelings of tender love and selflessness are indescribable.

During Clara’s first week I literally did not leave the house. We just nestled down and were grateful that Mike was around to chase after Clara’s brother and sisters (those guys did so many fun things!) I could literally sit and nurse and stare at this sweet darling, and before I knew it an hour…even two… had passed.  Perhaps you noticed how smitten I was as I posted photo after photo on Facebook? :)

Yep, I think a nap with Clara is calling even as we speak. :) Got to soak up those snuggles for as long as I can! (AND its my 30th birthday today, so I think a birthday nap is in order!)

Little Clara…

Newborn photos are easier said than done…especially when you’re both photographer and mom! We finally managed to take Clara’s newborn photos when she was 11 days old, and not a day too soon because on day 12 she was suddenly very alert!

Things are great with this little girl of ours! She is growing like a weed- 7 lbs 11 oz at her 2 week check up. She is now in the 75% for weight and 97% for height! She still seems so tiny to me, though!

My mom went home this morning, so Monday will be our first day since Clara’s birth without backup! I can’t claim to be anything but nervous, but I have confidence that I can get the kids on board with our new agenda (survival)! :)

Meet Clara

Madilynn and Lily are spending the day with Nana and Papa (Remlinger Farms + sleep over) and I find that I should use these extra moments of down time while Cash naps to begin a record of Clara’s birth.

Our sweetpea made an unexpected appearance on October 3rd, 12 full days before her due date! The weeks leading up to her birth were both exhausting and stressful, and I’m guessing that had something to do with her early arrival!

Just the night before I went into labor I was trying to express to Mike my exhaustion, fear of a quick and unexpectedly timed labor, and changes within our family afterwards as we lay in bed. He was trying to help me sort out an actual plan, not just vent, and our solution was just that we’d have to wait and experience it! Well, I guess Clara wanted to make the suspense a little more manageable for her over-extended momma, because I went into labor in the middle of that night!

Because Cash’s labor was only 3 hours, Dr. Delorit agreed to induce me a week before my due date. I was so set on making it to that date! I loved the sense of control that provided-I could have a place prepared for the other kids and have confidence that Mike wouldn’t need to deliver the baby in the car! I had tunnel vision on that date, October 9th, and was rationing my projects up until then, but in the back of my head I worried that I wouldn’t make it! I guess there is something to that mother’s intuition! I spent all of Tuesday, the 2nd, preparing freezer meals and while I felt a little more ready the nursery was hardly begun and the girls had just settled into their new room downstairs a few days before (Billy, Mike’s brother, lived there up until 4 days before Clara’s birthday!) Basically, we weren’t ready, not by my standards at least!

So, back to the morning of the 3rd. I woke up at 1:45 feeling crampy, and thought that the pressure and braxton hicks I’d been feeling for week had a different undertone. After a few minutes I decided to download and try out a contraction monitoring app on my phone. From the get go the contractions were 5 minutes apart, so after 30 minutes I woke Mike and convinced him that we should just play it safe and go in to the hospital.

We called my friend Amanda, who was here within 15 minutes to stay with the sleeping kids while Mike’s parents made their way here for the rest of the night. Once in the hospital, we were taken to triage and given the disappointing news that I was only at a 2. While I was relieved that I wasn’t in transition, like I was with Cash, I knew that if I didn’t make fast progress I’d be sent home. As quickly as my labors go, I knew that wasn’t an option, so I opted to walk. After an hour of consistent contractions that stopped when I rested, I was only at a 3. Not much progress, but they agreed that it wasn’t worth the risk of sending me home. We started to walk again.

This walk was different. The contractions were much stronger and I had to keep stopping to manage them. Mike tried to convince me to stick it out through 10 contractions and then go back to triage. After 7 I wanted to turn around. They checked again and I was at a 7! It was go time! One nurse, Kristen, went ahead to prepare the room while another, Kelly, wheeled me there. They were both such awesome supports! I’m actually grateful for that time in triage to feel comfortable with them, as it really helped me to trust them and the process when they later suggested I push unmedicated!

The nurses immediately got to work on my epidural, but there was so much to do. Even with two nurses getting things set up, I needed to get through 1/2 a bag of IV in order to have the epidural. They moved fast, but shortly after it was in place I felt the urge to push. I did NOT want to push. I didn’t feel ready and typically pushing takes 45 min- 1 1/2 hours. The nurses suggested that I do a couple practice pushes, just to see how things progressed, so I did, and after a couple they said that I just needed to go for it because she was almost there.I’m not even going to try to explain how painful this was unmedicated. My epidural was still not working, but that sure made me want to push harder to get it over with!

I kept thinking of the counsel of my sister in law, Rachael, who told me that she just remembered that once the baby was born all of that pain was over and for a good cause. It wasn’t pain because something was wrong, but because something was right.

After 10 minutes of pushing, our sweet Clara was placed on my chest. There is nothing better than meeting your sweet one for the first time, especially with the added bonus that its all over!! Such relief! Mike cut the cord. The nurse took photos (in an unedited nurse-like style! Yikes!) and I just lay there in shock. The nurses assured me that I could claim it as natural delivery. :) A doctor from my practice was there, but I honestly think she spent minutes helping me push before leaving with a “thanks for making my job easy!” Seriously people, why use an OB? Midwives are incredible! Even if you plan to deliver with medication and in a hospital!

Clara was 7 pounds 4 oz, 20 inches long, born at 6:45am.








Glamorous, I know! But its the only photo that I have of the two of us!

At this point we still had not chosen a name for this little girl! We’d discussed it for the gazillionth time, and were leaning to Clara at that point. After looking at her tiny little face, our other top names (Eloise and Lola Belle) just didn’t fit. We have used a family name for the second name for all of our kids, and chose Elaine, after my mom’s middle name, as a nice fit for this sweet little miss. Clara means Bright and Clear, Elaine means Light, and she is already such a bright spot in our home! The girls just swoon over her, admiring every tiny detail, and Cash is a quiet observer of all things “Ca-na”. He will randomly ask about her, or say he loves her, so i think we’re off to a good start!

They all wanted to hold her and lined up with a pillow in each lap. Can you say happy chaos??

Mike left with our visitors to take the kids to dinner and get them tucked into bed. Miss. Clara and I spent the evening cheering Romney on during the first  presidential debate of 2012.

My favorite shot of out sweet girl 

We’ve had great help with the kids since leaving for the hospital, Nana & Papa got them ready for school, Crystal spent the day with Cash, and then Nana & Papa helped them through the evening until Mike could be with them for dinner and bedtime. Lily even got a ride home from school in the Mamma’s Hands bus! The day after we came home, Friday, Madilynn spent the morning with friends (Leap Day, no school), Lily at school, and Cash at the car show with his dad. Today we’ve had a quiet day watching General Conference as the girls spend a special day with their grandparents. We’ve also been so blessed by a few meals and are enthusiastically waiting my mom’s visit next Friday!

Going home

A few things we’ve noticed about Clara:
– She looks the most like Lily, who takes after my mom’s family
– She has remarkably long fingers

– She has the sweetest, tiniest, and most high pitched cry!

– Her days and nights are mixed up, which means she and I have lots of bonding time at 2:00am!
– She nurses just like her sisters, shallow with a tongue thrust! Its going to be a rough couple of weeks as she gets into a better habit!
– She has a silly hairline with her hair longer on the sides than on the top!

Blackberries picking

I was testing out a new lens in preparation for a park trip this afternoon and thought I’d do a quick blog update while I’m at it!

We met some friends at the park behind our house today and of course the kids couldn’t resist snagging a few blackberries on the way back home! Our friends were there for a soccer practice and the mom, Shawna, said that as they saw me crossing the park, her friends were expressing their shock at the “brave” pregnant mom and her crowd of kids. Shawna used the word brave, but I’m pretty sure most people around here think I’m nuts :) Most Seattlites stop at two!

I’m not sure who I’d trade in if I only had two, so I think I’ll keep claiming them all :) They’re pretty cute, huh? And the sum of their behavior is well above your average group of kids! We’ve had some pretty hairy moments lately as Madilynn adjusts to full day first grade and Cash adjusts to being two, but we’re managing and keep praying that we’ll have established some better communication skills by the time littlest sister joins us!  (in 3 to 4 weeks!)

I guess I could share something on that note, too! Pregnancy is going well! Baby girl is growing right on track and I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve had some issues with my sciatic nerve over the past month, but it typically only acts up the day after a photo shoot or really busy day. This pregnancy reminds me a lot of Lily’s as this little girl is already riding low and I get a lot of twingy type pain as she rests on my cervix! Ick! I’m hoping that doesn’t mean she’ll be early like Lily (I just looked at my blog book and I was already dialated at 37 weeks I was dialated to a 2, +1 position and 90% effaced) because I really want some controls in place: i.e. an induction! I’m starting to really get nervous that I won’t have time to get all 3 kids situated, or even make it to the hospital, let alone get that blessed epidural!

This week I washed the newborn to 3 month clothes, blankets, etc. I also started packing my hospital bag. Next on the list is to do work in the girls’ future room so that its ready when Billy moves out (in 2 weeks…1 week away from my expected induction!!!), pick a baby name, and figure out where the kids are going to go while I’m in labor/the hospital! I can’t even wrap my brain around that one, but I should probably attempt to soon!

btw, other than a crop, these images are SOOC. I think I’m going to like this new lens…A LOT!