***I'm determined to catch up on cataloging our family's events this year. Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Jake's Arrival

 this guy is getting chunkier by the minute so it's about time i write about the day he was born while he's still "little".

a bit of background - my pregnancy with jake was pretty much by the book until about 37 weeks.  i was standing up and saw/felt my belly move every which way and i thought maybe he flipped.  after being checked the next day at my dr appointment and having a quick ultrasound, it was confirmed that he was breech when previous weeks he'd been head down.  this led to a couple days of worry, questions, answers, a second opinion, and various options and risks.  we decided the right thing for us would be to do an external version since we wanted very much to avoid a c-section if at all possible.  we convinced my dr to do it earlier (38 and 3) than his 39 week standard, thinking a smaller baby is easier to flip. everything was scheduled for may 25th.  an external version followed with an immediate induction or c-section.

i was stressed and nervous, knowing we'd go into the hospital to have a baby but not how he'd get here.  i felt much more calm after a priesthood blessing and knew everything would be ok, however it happened.  we lined up our babysitters, scheduled visits/help from family, cleaned the house and waited for the day to come.  after a nearly sleepless night we got up bright and early, dropped the girls off, and headed to the hospital.

7:30 am - we checked into the hospital

8:00 am - quick ultrasound to see if the baby flipped back by himself. no luck.

8:30 am - i was given an epidural (it took forever and i was poked so many times. ouch!!) because the version can be quite painful and they want the mother prepped in case there is a need for an emergency c-section.

9:00 am - i was given terbutaline as a muscle relaxant for my uterus to reduce the resistance as the dr tried to manipulate the baby.

9:15 am - the dr came and externally felt around to find the baby's position, located his head way up at the top, and asked if he was about the same size as my other babies.  i was looking at dan and in the middle of answering when it felt like the air was knocked out of me.  he began to manipulate the baby, pushing and prodding, and before i really knew what was happening, the baby was flipped back into a head down position.  it took less than 30 seconds and everyone in the room was really excited.  i couldn't believe it happened so quickly.  he had two nurses hold the baby in place while they double checked his position via ultrasound.  everything looked good so the dr broke my water right then to start my labor going.  he said i was 4cm but the baby was still high (i was 1 cm the week before so this was a surprise).  at this point i was afraid to get my hopes up, thinking at any moment the baby would flip back around and we'd be back to square one.  i held super still and kept my hands close in case i needed to suddenly hold him in place. :)

9:45 am - i was given pitocin to push me into active labor.

**during the next four hours: the pitocin kept getting upped and i was really comfortable and hardly feeling anything but the baby's heart rate had some questionable decelerations.  again, in the back of my mind i kept wondering if a c-section was how this whole thing was going to end.  he ended up being fine and we waited and waited for progress to finally be made.

2:00 pm - this is when things got interesting.  i was checked and finally at 6cm.  then i noticed it was getting pretty stormy outside.  (on the way to the hospital that morning i reminded dan that the chance of a tornado that day was the highest it had ever been since we moved to columbia.  plus joplin, missouri had the F5 tornado come through their city just three days earlier- see pictures here.  it even hit the hospital.) the nurse started prepping the room and when she brought in the baby warmer she said a tornado had just touched down in sedalia, about an hour s/w of columbia.  then the hospital intercom system came on saying code something (i didn't hear what), which means a severe weather warning.  the nurse seemed pretty calm but pulled down a thick window shade as a precaution.  i wasn't sure what to think at this point and asked her how often this had happened at work before.  she said "never". i started to get a little bit nervous.  we turned on the tv to watch the news and weather updates and that didn't help me calm down at all.  what we heard was several rotating storm cells were southwest of columbia and they were issuing a tornado watch.  part of columbia was in the projected path and the sirens were going off.  i started to panic a little bit - here i am stuck in a hospital bed, numb from the legs down and hooked up to a bunch of machines, getting closer and closer to delivering this baby, texting our families to keep us in their prayers, staring at the weather report to see whats going to happen, and just hoping my girls were safely tucked away in my friend's basement.  because of the tornado warning, they moved all of the moms and babies that were already delivered out of their rooms and into the hallway.  i was far enough along in labor that they kept me in my room but turned the bed so i was facing the inside wall and raised the head so i was sitting up.  this was in case of debris coming in the window.  i was pretty shaken at this point.  my dr's office is across the street from the hospital and his building was evacuated down to the first floor so he spent much of this time in our room.  luckily and thankfully, a tornado never materialized and everything they did at the hospital was indeed just a precaution.  thank goodness!  at least the excitement from the storm made that hour pass quickly.

3:00 pm "ish" - things started to settle back down as the worst of the storm passed and the room/bed were put back how they originally were.  unfortunately, because i'd been sitting up, the epidural medication went down to my feet and wasn't very effective in blocking out the contractions.  i was in a lot of pain so they gave me something else to help.  i don't know what it was and i don't care - it worked and i was happy. :)

3:15 pm - the nurse checked me once i was comfortable and said i was at 7cm. pretty soon after i could feel things changing. she had me try pushing once, called the dr, he came, and at 3:45 our little jake was delivered after two more pushes.  six hours of labor from start to finish.  healthy mom and healthy baby.  not too shabby.

random thoughts (as if this post isn't long enough):
** though he was hardly mentioned, dan WAS there for the whole thing and i couldn't have done it without him.  he kept calm amidst the craziness and was a huge support for me. plus he had the girls all to himself until our help arrived and did a great job.
** during my stay at the hospital, nurses and other staff kept asking if i was "the mom with the successful version".  i guess the good news spread quickly because versions don't happen often and even then the odds aren't always in your favor.  we felt very grateful to be the exception!
** last summer when dan's fellow residents were recommending their OB's, i picked a completely random one from the same practice. why? he was from tucson, went to the u of a for med school like dan, and while it seemed odd, i just felt good about it. it turned out that he performs versions when not all OBs do, and he has the second highest success rate out of the 14 dr's in his practice. tender mercy indeed!
** i remember laying in the hospital bed, listening to the beeps of the machines and monitors and looking at all the things i was hooked to (antibiotic/fluid IV, epidural pump, blood pressure cuff, catheter, internal contraction monitor and fetal monitor - no less than six!), and feeling grateful for modern medicine.  i know many women prefer a more natural route to childbirth but as strongly as they feel that's right for them, i know that how i do it is right for me.
** and lastly, what a miracle it is bringing babies into this world!  the whole process from start to finish is such an incredible thing to witness and be a part of.  it strengthens my testimony of the plan of salvation, of the family, and of my Savior and loving Heavenly Father.  i am so grateful for the blessing it is to be a mom and that we've been lucky enough to have these three little people join our lives and family forever.

now on to the pictures!!  

excited sisters!!

proud papa!!

and now we have three kids. crazy. fun. and wonderful.


Newborn No Longer

{boots were a must for madison during the cicada invasion we had.  she wouldn't step outside without them. }
 jake is one month old (yesterday) and starting to get chunky.  
time isn't just flying by anymore, its zooming straight past me.  
i had high hopes for this post but if i try and type more than a few sentences, i fall asleep.
i. am. beyond. exhausted.
other than that, things are great.
so here you have it - a snapshot of our life with little old jake.
one month old and along for the ride.


Father's Day 2011

{june 2009}
today consisted of:
bran muffins, bacon, and oj 
illustrations of our family by madison and grace
a questionnaire about dad
(sample question- what does dad do when he's not with you?  madison's answer - "wishes he could be with me".  so funny!)
a new shuffle
and a new polo - purple w/ stripes, girls' pick
church and meetings
dad's choice for dinner - stroganoff
and skyping with family

dan barely had two minutes to himself today, which is pretty typical around here.  hopefully amid the busy-ness he felt extra appreciated. 

i found these two pictures today.  probably my favorite ones of dan ever.  they capture him perfectly.

i'm grateful for his example, for the way he leads our family, and how he tenderly loves the girls (and jake).  he is an incredible husband and father and i'm so glad he's ours forever.

Happy Father's Day Dan!  We love you!

{june 2009}


Officially Outnumbered

{grandma skinner reading library books with grace and jake}

its been almost three weeks of sweet comments, congratulatory emails, meals brought to our home, thoughtful gifts, and visits from family.  we feel lucky, blessed, and grateful.  not in that order.  the last of our help, dan's mom, left today.  we're on our own and officially outnumbered.

i. am. nervous.

being the mom (and dad) to three little kids is hard work and exhausting.  this evening, dan had his hands full as he bathed the girls and got them ready for bed while they asked for mom every step of the way.  they knew i wasn't available (jake decided he was starving and couldn't wait another minute).  i'm sure we'll have plenty moments of chaos in the future. 

but the small things keep us laughing about this crazy new phase of life for us.

like poor jake peeing all over his own little face before i realized what was happening.
grace bursting into tears as her grandma left today, saying "but she didn't say goodbye to sadie!" (our dog)
or madison asking me, "when your stomach gets smaller, will you still have milk in your two things forever?" :)
and just barely i pulled grace out of madi's bed because they're best friends and wanted to cuddle and sleep together.

i'll take this sleep-deprived, chaotic new chapter of life.  i think it's going to turn out pretty good.


Twelve Days Old

this little boy has stolen all of our hearts.
he gets held, squished and cuddled all day long and none of us seem to get enough of him.

i have lots of pictures and there's so much to write about - tornado sirens and warnings during labor, the art of "tucking it down", the comments from m and g about nursing and changing a boy's diaper, and how this little guy keeps reminding me of my dad and brother.

but for now i am going to be content with one picture. the simple goal of keeping us all dressed and fed is enough to keep me plenty busy.  plus i need plenty of time to snuggle with my sweet girls, husband, and little newborn. 

if only life had a pause button.