No More Babies

I’m sure many of you know the rate of speed our kids are growing, and that we do not in fact have any more babies in our house. Sienna is growing by leaps and bounds, will be two in November, Parker will turn five on Sunday, and Mason is 3, with his birthday in March. Whew!
When you’re in the baby stage, it seems so exhausting and never ending. It’s precious, but so draining and requires SO much of Mommy. I wouldn’t change any of it, It is our family, and I love it. I always dreamed of being a Mommy, and as I look around at my life, and my family, it is exactly what I wanted as a little girl. It’s not always fun, not always without frustration or yelling, not always technology free and full of hugs and kisses, but it’s our family and I’m so thankful for it.

I’ve been focusing on the baby years a lot these last few months because Dan and I made the hard decision to stop having babies, and have Dan get a vasectomy. We came to the decision after several factors. One being that we are happy with the size of our family. I know there are GREAT Mamas out there that can divide their love and attention between three plus kids, but I just know it isn’t for me. I don’t know if the decision is made more evident by the fact that our kids are so close together in age, but right now, it’s pretty challenging on a daily basis to make sure I’m dividing up my attention enough between the three kids. Sienna is very jealous of the brothers, and the boys usually have to call my name several times to get my attention because I’m busy with one of the other kids doing something else. I feel constantly torn, and admittedly my fuse can be short at times with them because of it. I know it’s just the season we’re in right now, but after much prayer and consideration, we know that this is what God has for us. It is what we can handle.
Secondly, we don’t use birth control. I know, I know… I get the raised eyebrows and side slanted head from my OBGYN every visit. It’s just not for us. I don’t like to put hormones into my body, and the copper IUD makes you bleed like you’re dying a slow death, which doesn’t sound fun. There’s also condoms, but seriously… who enjoys those? The “being careful method” (also known as the “pull and pray” method, haha!) just didn’t make for a relaxing experience for me. It always made me SO nervous I was going to accidentally get preggers again!
Also, I’ve been working hard lately on my fitness, getting my body back in shape after having Sienna (almost TWO years ago!), Lymes disease, lower back issues, and just lazy bones syndrome. I didn’t gain a ton of weight, I just never lost it after I had Sienna. I went straight from breastfeeding to being sick, and then never got around to losing it. So yeah, that was another deciding factor. I admittly, selfishly, want my body back after pushing out nine, ten, and eight pound babies within a three year period.
Another reason is Money. I mean, speaking strictly from a practical point of view, of course, we could get by with WAY less. Our kids could share rooms, wear each other’s clothes, wait to get a car until they’re in their 20’s…, the list goes on. But why? I agree that teaching them to get by with less, will allow them to be good shepherds over what they do have. I COMPLETELY agree with not getting them every single thing they want, doing chores and earning money only for EXTRA work around the house instead of just what is expected are all GOOD things, but what about college? What about the inevitable doctor bills or sports and extra circular activities they’ll join, or summer family vacations, etc. Shouldn’t we plan from a practical perspective when planning our family too? I think so. I think that three kids is all we can afford comfortably. For now AND down the road when college and all the other big expenses start creeping in.
Lastly, Dan and I aren’t exactly spring chickens. When I say “Dan and I”, I really mean… just Dan. Haha (sorry honey!). No, but seriously. Dan just turned 40 this year, and I turned 33, which is acceptable child bearing age, but for Dan, he just feels like he’s done (and I do too). I had to have an arm twisting session with him to convince him to have another after the boys. SO SO glad I won that battle (or should I say that GOD won that battle) and that we got our GIRL!

So, yeah. Dan had a vasectomy on Friday. He’s fine. He has some pain of course. The worst part was that they offered no sedation. He had a valium and some lidocaine via local injection. It’s hard when you have three kids and have something done like that. Sienna loves to give hugs and her head is right at crouch level. Ouch! Seriously, though. I’m so thankful that he agreed to do it, especially after all the Crohn’s surgeries he’s had, it’s hard to want to have an ELECTIVE procedure done that he knows will be so painful, but I’m forever grateful that he agreed!

Parker cracks me up with his questions too. In our house, we try to be perfectly honest as much as possible given their age and understanding. This is the conversation I had with Parker after I dropped Dan off at the office for the out patient procedure.

Parker: “Mommy, why are you dropping Daddy off?”

Me: “He’s having a procedure done”

Parker: “I heard Daddy said he was getting a needle in his pee pee”

Me: “Yes, he is. He’s getting it done so we don’t have any more babies”

Parker: “Ouch, that will hurt really bad. Why does he have to get a needle in his Peepee when you’re the one who has the babies?”

Me: “…..Well… When two people are married, you need a Mommy and a Daddy to have a baby”

Parker: “Oh, okay. Where is that park at? Is it really far away? Does it have a slide?”

Whew! Lengthy explanation averted!

So, yeah. No more babies. I bawled the other day. A friend posted a sappy video on FB about a few japanese Moms leaving their child’s one year appointment and their husband’s surprising them with an artwork style display of baby photos of the child’s first year along the walls of the hallway. I just cried like a baby. I cried because it made me realize how fast and quick those baby years really are. I cried because I knew I wouldn’t have another baby of my own to hold. I cried because I wondered if I had enjoyed it enough, savored it enough, documented it enough, loved enough without complaining of how hard it was, or if I was doing it right, or if they were reaching their milestones. I mourned the baby stage. It’s a sweet stage and one that goes by way way too quickly.

For now, I will savor the toddler and childhood stages and dream about whats to come, what we can finally talk about doing now that the kids are older. The fun adventures that await as they grow, makes us excited to look forward to the future. The future of them growing into their own person, and us helping them be the best they can be!

Sienna’s First Smile

Around five or six weeks old I was video taping Sienna after a feeding and she cracked her first smile! I’m just now getting around to uploading it to youtube in order to post here, so this is a bit of an oldie but goodie. Please excuse my singing, high pitched squeaky voice, and my messy home and enjoy.

Life with three kids under three

Not enough time to post specifics, but it’s crazy all the time. Loud all the time. Lots of tears, lots of hugs, lots of naps, lots of laughter, lots of screeches and squeals and even screams but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Hopefully these (non edited) pics will suffice for now.

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Meet Sienna Marie

On Halloween night, we went into Northside Hospital Forsyth to be induced, and have our sweet baby girl Sienna.  We were looking forward to meeting our daughter, and since I was past my due date, and the doctors from my practice were on call on November 1st, we decided it was the right time.  Plus, with all that had gone on with Dan’s health (a recent bowel resection and two week stay in the hospital) we were thankful that he was able to be present during the delivery, and wanted to go ahead and have a scheduled date to help us prepare for her arrival.

I was told that I needed a ripening agent to soften my cervix since I wasn’t as thinned out as they’d like prior to induction.  So, we stayed overnight at the hospital after an evening with the kiddos, watching them play in their Halloween costumes at the Herty’s house.  The hospital was fabulous.  The nurses were wonderful, and they did everything they could to make me feel comfortable so I could get a good nights sleep before my delivery in the morning.  I took full advantage of the nice jetted tub bath they had in the room, and after that I got back in bed, and they started the pitocin.  The cervidil didn’t ripen my cervix that much, but did take me from two to three centimeters dilated, which was decent progress.  The midwife broke my water and I went ahead and ordered my epidural.  I got a chance to really feel some intense contractions prior to getting the epidural because it took about 45mins for it to come, and since I have such low resting blood pressure, they wanted me to take two bags of fluid prior to getting the epidural since that could lower my blood pressure even more. By 9am, my Mom and my Aunt Marie had arrived to help assist during the delivery. I chatted with them for a little bit, then tried to get a quick nap in before the delivery. By 11am I was about six centimeters dilated then by 12:30 my Mom and Aunt left to go have lunch.  About a forty minutes later, Dan was about to leave to get lunch, but I was feeling pressure to bear down.  We had the Midwife check me and I was ready to go! I called my Mom and Aunt and they came back from lunch and shortly there after, baby girl was born!

Weighing 8lbs, 3oz, and 21 1/2″ long, she was a little peanut compared to the boys! I was so surprised to see how little she was. Parker was 9lbs, 3oz and 22″ and Mason was 10lbs, 1oz and 22″.  Even though she’s not really small by most people’s baby standards, I think the thing that makes her seem so tiny, is her length.  21 1/2″ is pretty long when you’re just over 8lbs, so her chubbiness isn’t noticed as much as the 8lb babies who are 19″ long.  She had the cord wrapped around her neck when they placed her on me, but they said there was nothing to worry about and that it happens more often than people think.  She had the white vernix and lanugo all over her, which was different from the boys.  I was instantly in love with her and so thankful to finally be holding my sweet Sienna in my arms.  Daddy quickly cut the cord, and they briefly got her cleaned up while I held her.  Shortly there after, I began to nurse her for the first time.  Man, did she take to it like a champ!  She knew exactly what to do and was busy getting her belly full of colostrum within the first half hour after delivery.

The first night, we enjoyed getting to know our sweet little girl.  Since she was delivered so quickly and didn’t stay in the birth canal very long, she still had a little bit of fluid that she was coughing up, which sent Dan and I into crazy panic mode.  We didn’t have crazy random choking episodes with the boys where they would spit up fluid, so this was new to us.  Fortunately after the first night, it resolved itself.  We weren’t able to entice her with the hospital pacifier, so she frequently nursed and didn’t want to be put down at all.  It was really hard because I just wanted to snuggle her and let her sleep in the bed with me, but hospital policy didn’t allow it because the risk was too high of injury to the baby, which I can understand.  However, after repeatedly nursing and waking when we would put her down, the nurse suggested that we bring her to the nursery for a little bit so someone could hold and rock her for a little while so we could get some rest.  I wasn’t keen on doing this since I always was a firm believer of rooming-in and did so with the boys.  However, this little girl just wouldn’t cut us a break, so we decided eventually to take the nurse up on her offer, and we finally got some rest.  Us veteran parents know that good rest equals good parents, and good parents equals happy baby.  A win-win for all!  At least SOME rest… an hour and a half will do!  Nevertheless, we loved her to pieces, and enjoyed every bit of getting to know her in the hospital, just me her and Daddy before she had to share our attention with the rest of the kiddos. 

Our sweet friends Kate and Eddie kept the boys for us during the delivery.  Kate brought them over along with some a pizza dinner to help keep them occupied in the tight quarters of the hospital room.  It worked out perfectly.  Kate stayed for a bit and captured a few family photos- the first of our complete family.  The boys just loved her to pieces.  Granted, the novelty wore off fast, and they were looking through the DVDs only moments after they arrived to see what movie they could watch while they chowed down on their pizza, but I didn’t expect anything different from the two tots.  They are just too young to understand the gravity of a new life and new little sister joining the family, but boy will they find out!  It was a sweet and memorable first meeting with sweet Sienna.  Our family is now complete!

Classic Moments with two under 2

I could write a book on this already…

While I was nursing Mason, Parker was on the other side of the bed messing with the video monitor on the nightstand.  I told him No, and he continued to play with it.  Then I told him that if he did it again that he would go in time out.  So he picked it up, pressed a few more buttons, then happily walked over and put himself in time out.

Mason went for his first playdate with a little guy his age.  His new buddy Aidan is two weeks older than him.  After giving him a “look” as if to introduce himself, Aidan proceeded to sneeze right in his face.

During snack time, Parker and I split an orange.  He thought it was so yummy.  So much so, that he just couldn’t understand why the orange peel wasn’t edible, and decided to throw himself on the floor in a fit of frustration because I wouldn’t let him eat it.

We were in Mason’s room, waking him up, dressing and feeding him. I asked Parker if he wanted to go say “Good Morning” to Mason.  So, he came over, gave him a big kiss, and grabbed his hands and started doing “patty cake”.  Mason started to have his first grin!

After a nice stroller walk through Dahlonega with the boys, we were ready for a nice dinner at the Smith House.  We went to the car to drop off the stroller before heading in, and realized that Parker had emptied his entire sippy cup in his lap.  So, Parker went pantless to dinner.

After a nursing session in the middle of the night, sleepy from exhaustion, I very carefully began to undress Mason to change his diaper.  Soon after, proud that I didn’t manage to wake him in the process, I swaddled him snug and placed him in his crib.  As I go to turn the handle of the door to leave, careful not to make a peep…it happened- the sound of a newborn poop explosion.

Parker is obsessed with dipping food.  So, when we were at Zpizza the other night, and he had finished dipping all of his pizza in marinara sauce, he started to shovel in the marinara by the fist full.

When Parker and Daddy met back up with Mason and I after playing in the playground at Fowler park.  I asked Dan, “Did you see how cute those twin boys were with the matching outfits?”  He said “Yes, in fact, Parker went up to one of them and gave him a kiss on the lips!”

Parker had his first story time at Barnes and Noble hearing about “Chicks and Bunnies”.  He did really well for the first ten minutes or so.  Even waving to a few cute girls that sat near him.  Then all of a sudden he started making this loud grunt noise as if he needed to poop.  Soon after, he tried to walk on stage and I had to come get him.  That’s when the his evil twin emerged.

And… we all live to see another day.

Blurbs on the past few weeks

I’ve tried to post this for about a week now.  Needless to say, I’ve been a bit tied up.  Here’s what I got…

-Parker has been taking to the new addition pretty well.    He loves to bring blankets to Mason, try to give him paci’s when he cries and today he tried to give him a puzzle piece.  That’s my boy, already learning to share!

Pelvic Girdle Pain really sucks.  I’ve been to three chiropractor appointments with two different doctors, and still no reprieve.  I’m really getting antsy!  I want to be able to wrestle with my son, take long walks with the stroller in nice weather, stroll around the mall… all the things I love to do require me to be active.  Not to mention that this henders my daily activities like SLEEPING, walking up the stairs, laundry and dishes (standing in general).  Now that I’ve got all the whining out of my system, on the next one

– There are a few things that I forgot about a newborn

  • they wait until you’ve just finished diapering, dressing and swaddling them, to make another diaper explosion
  • Breastfeeding hurts, even the second time around.  Fortunately around the start of week 2, the soreness subsides, which I’ll take any day over 8 weeks, which is how long it took with Parker for the pain to go away
  • They sleep when you’re awake, and sometimes when you sleep, they think it’s playtime
  • Growth spurts happen unexpectedly, and you find yourself nursing all…day…long.
  • They HATE baths
  • They poop…A LOT
  • Their cry is so small, similar to a screeching bird
  • Car rides and stroller walks are a saving grace.  They love them, and quickly go to dreamland soon after
  • They love to snuggle.  Mason’s favorite spot is curled up on my chest while I sit on the sofa.  Simply, my favorite
  • They make the sweetest little faces, and they don’t even know they’re making them…

-Parker reached the 18 month mark.  We’re going to update his monthly picture every three months now.

-On March 19th, we celebrated our six year anniversary.  We got a sitter, and went out for dinner at Cabernet, an upscale restaurant only a few miles from our home.  It was so nice to sip on an Apple Martini, and enjoy a delicious dinner with my sweetheart.  We hadn’t planned on upgrading my wedding ring, but when I lost my wedding band last month, we thought that we mine as well.  Winning!

-We’ve been getting meals from friends of ours the past few weeks.  Oh my, have we enjoyed the meals!  From chicken pesto pasta to chicken pot pie and the yummiest desserts you could imagine!  We feel so blessed to have such awesome friends provide for us.

-I think Parker is hitting the terrible 2’s early.  Our pediatrician warned us of this, but I thought- oh, not MY Parker…he’s an angel!  Well, he was right.  He has the “nah nah nah” with the swift shaking head motion down pat!  He also does this whining thing when I hold Mason and wants to be held.  Let’s just say…it gets old real fast.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s still my sweet boy.  He’s just finding himself and gaining his independence.  It’s all apart of him growing and developing!

And that, is all I’ve got.

 

Welcome Baby Mason!

We are so happy that Mason is finally here!  Weighing in at a whopping 10lbs, 1oz and 22″ long.  He was was quite the big guy!  My labor went really well.  I was getting concerned because I knew that he was going to be big, and I didn’t want to have a c-section.  Even though Mason was born four days earlier than Parker, he was still almost an entire pound more.  How did this happen?  I exercised more with this last pregnancy than I did with Parker too.  Go figure.

The morning started early.  We had to be at the hospital at 5am.  We had dropped Parker off the night before so we didn’t have to wake him before heading to the hospital.  Dan and I both were so exhausted before the day even started.  They started my IV of fluids and pitocin around 6:30am, after I completed a boat load of paperwork.  They butchered my arm trying to get the IV started (hench the reason for the nasty bruise in some of the hospital pictures). They started me on a really slow drip.  It wasn’t too long after that, I received the epidural.   At 11:30 I had progressed to 6cm.  By 1:45 or so, I realized that the epidural pump was running out.  Shortly after,  I started to feel pain and pressure.  It seemed like forever that they got the epidural cartridge replaced, and got the nurse to come in to check me.  “You’re ready!” She said.  After a few practice pushes, she called in the Dr., and we tried for the real thing.  Three series of pushes through contractions and he was here!  It was SO fast.  I can’t believe how quickly he came.  It was so much easier and faster than Parker, even though he was so much bigger!





The next day Dan went to pick up Parker and bring him to the hospital. Ben and Gracile were so sweet to pick up a “big brother” shirt for him to wear to meet Mason. We think Parker was more interested in his graham cracker than his new brother. Here is how the meeting went… (check out Mason’s face when Parker kisses him, PRICELESS!)

We’ve enjoyed our first few nights home with our boys. It’s exhausting at times, but we are really enjoying the special moments that we’re having and the lasting memories being created.