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Archive for April, 2009

2 Weeks, 2 Days

With each day, I get a little stronger, and Tess gets a little prettier.  For someone who’s not technically old enough to smile yet, she sure does smile a lot.  I even heard her laugh in her sleep the other day.

We’re living these days for the times when Tess is awake.  She follows our voices with her eyes and stares into our faces for minutes at a time.  It makes me think of night 2 in the hospital.  She fussed and fussed in her bassinet until I got her and tried to feed her in the hospital bed.  She wouldn’t eat, but instead just stared into my eyes for about 15 minutes before she fell asleep.  As if she wanted to get a good look at me for the first time.

It’s difficult to admit, but I didn’t really look at her for the first time until the day after she was born.  It seemed I was so preoccupied with my own after birth pains and trying to feed her and feeling so weak that it wasn’t until the next day that I bent my knees up toward the ceiling in my bed and rested her on my legs so that I could really see her face for the first time.  Her lips were pursed and her chin was up.  Her back arched in a stretch.  I noticed how “bald” she was compared to her sisters.  I kissed her neck and felt her chubby flesh against my lips.  I couldn’t believe that I was getting to experience this AGAIN.  I couldn’t believe that God was entrusting me with another life.  I couldn’t believe how blessed I was to have her in my arms, finally.

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The Birth Story

It’s been over a day now.  My plan was to catch up on sleep before attempting to recount the happenings before the birth of our little Tess.  As it turned out, however, sleep does not come to those charged with adrenaline from the birth experience.  I lay awake last night in bed while Tess did her job of occupying the nursing staff at the hospital.  For the entire time we’ve been here, she’s been their only patient.  But even for the opportunity to sleep, I lay awake and listen to the whir and click of my pitosin drip, happy to have at least that for company as the experiences of the day ran through my head over and over again.

The two days before the labor started I fought a stomach bug which left me tired and dehydrated.  On Monday night, I was relieved when the nausea went away and I was able to eat some dinner – chicken soup.  I went to bed early, I was exhausted, and maybe my body knew how much I would need the rest because when I got up Tuesday morning between 7 and 8, contractions started and I was happy to have had a full night’s rest.  I labored while I got a bag packed, took a shower, brushed my teeth…  I sent Isaac on a couple of errands and sat down with Sophia to play Candyland and the Fancy Nancy game.  I paced the house, feeling relief from the walking and eventually asked my dad to come with me to the mall so that I could have a little change of scenery.  While we walked we ran into my friend Cody from high school – it was the first time I’d ever had to have a haven’t-seen-you-in-forever conversation with someone while in labor. 🙂   My dad was getting kind of nervous and thought I should go in to the hospital so we went home and Isaac and I drove together to see how far along I was.  It was noon when we checked in and the midwife said I was at 9 cm.  The next hour was spent with me lying perfectly still while the nursing staff tried to find a vein that wouldn’t collapse.  Finally one was found and I had to walk around a bit more to get my body to remember what it was trying to do.  The midwife broke my water, which helped to get contractions going again.   It was 2:00 before I started to push, at first on my own because it didn’t seem like my body was going to help me with that, and then finally, two good pushes in one contraction, and several little pushes to get her head out.  I looked down and saw that she was screaming before I could push her shoulders out.  It was the most amazing thing.  Another push and the shoulders were out.  Isaac did the catching.  He turned her over to show me we were blessed with another beautiful girl, and then he handed her up to me.  She reached up and grabbed onto my cross as tight as she could and didn’t let go until one of the nurses forced her hand open.  I could see both my girls in her right away and as it turned out, she shares Jolie’s birthweight of 8 lbs 11 oz and Sophia’s birthlength of 19 3/4 in.  A perfect mix but still uniquely her own.

Welcome Tess Elizabeth.  Mama’s third baby girl.  The one who made us wait…and wait…and wait.  You’ve been born into a pretty great family who loves you so much, but I’m sure it won’t take you long to figure that out.

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Welcome Tess Elizabeth, 8lbs. 11oz.  4/7/2009 2:25pm.

 

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Three to the beach

Rotary Beach, Saxman, Ak

When you were born, Papa called you his “littlest one”.  Every day now, when I wake up and the baby hasn’t come yet, I think about how we are blessed to start our day with you still being our baby.  I know you might have a hard time adjusting to being the middle child, but you will have something the others don’t have – you will share the same position in life as your mama and papa; so we will always relate to you in a special way.  I watch you more closely than ever these days around babies, and although you aren’t as gentle as you think you are with your poking and patting, I can see your gentle heart and know that you are going to make a fine big sister, just like your big sister.  I’m excited that the two of you will now be sharing the position (and I know that this baby won’t be able to get away with anything!)  I love you Jolie Ruth, and we are blessed to be able to spend this one-on-one time with you before our family grows by one.

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