Sunday, October 29, 2006

Welcome Holden Charles

Our son is here!

Holden Charles was born October 25, 2006, at 7:13PM via emergency C-section. He weighed 6lbs 12 oz, and was 20.5 inches long. He is a mini-me of my mini-me (looks just like Jackson who looks just like his Daddy). He is perfect and wonderful and we are all madly in love!

On Wednesday the 25th I woke up and told Shawn I was going to have the baby that day. I knew something was going on. I had intense back-pain and stomach cramps, and just felt "off." I had a Dr's appointment already scheduled that morning. She said I was likely in early labor and would have him in the next day or so. The bad news was that he was sunnyside up, so thus, the intense back pain I was feeling. Back labor was in my future. The contractions grew steadily the rest of the day. They were coinciding with my (intense!) back pain, so I knew I was in labor. They climbed steadily from 7 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart, lasting about 45-60 seconds long. Shawn came home around 2PM so I could try and rest. Yeah, right! The contractions were in a definite pattern, but I wasn't sure it was true labor yet. Fortunately Alison, my mother in law, decided to leave work right around 3 so she could beat out the crazy snow storm headed our way. She arrived at 5:00PM, just as I was talking to my Dr. Dr Miller said I should head into the hospital - we were likely ready to go!

It was around 5:45 when we arrived at the hospital. We got into a room and settled around 6:15. The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm (!) dilated and definitely in labor. Woo-hoo! Around 6:45 my Dr broke my water and things were progressing swimmingly. I asked for the epidural, but before it could arrive chaos started in the room. I'm still not 100% certain of the details... The baby's heartrate began to drop dramatically, dipping into the 40's. They were moving me around, trying to get a fetal monitor onto the baby's head, calling for emergency help in our room, etc. It was a complete whirlwind and very scary. Shawn and I were both crying -the Dr handled it beautifully but we knew something wasn't right. They would not say the baby was ok when we asked. They just said "we're working on him, stay calm." In an instant my Dr (who was thankfully on call that night) said we were doing an emergency C-section. They took me back in a matter of seconds, leaving Shawn bewildered in the delivery room. I imagine that was very scary for him to be left alone like that. I have very few memories of those last few moments before being put under. I just recall continually asking if the baby was ok and where my husband was. I didn't get a good answer for either I don't think.

I was knocked out completely at 7:04 PM and Shawn was not allowed in the room. This was very sad for us, and very scary and confusing. At 7:11 they cut me open, and at 7:13 my son was born. I'm AMAZED by how quickly they worked. He came out completely healthy and strong, with apgars of 8/9!! I woke up about 45 minutes later, very upset, but as they began to explain to me what happened I calmed down. Our son was alive. He was taken immediately to Shawn (thank God) and Shawn was able to video his first bath and take pictures of him being weighed and checked out. They had a good bonding session before I woke up. I love that they had that time together. I vaguely remember Shawn bringing Holden to me...but what I do remember is that he was beautiful, and perfect, and within minutes he was latched on and nursing like a champion. I cried at that moment - it was truly a wonderful feeling for me as we did not have as much luck in the early days nursing Jackson.

Apparently when my water broke Holden's cord got pinched by his weight, and it was wrapped around his neck a few times -- essentially, if my water had broken at home, our son might not have made it. He was also sunnyside up, facing sort of off to the side, so it would have made for a very difficult delivery. I'm so thankful my Dr made the call as quickly as she did. She felt badly that I didn't "get" a traditional birth, but I am 100% at peace with what happened because I have this beautiful child to show for it. He is so perfect. He eats beautifully, he sleeps well, he is adorable and wee and overall, he is just perfection. Jackson loves his little brother and wants to hug and kiss and touch him. He was so excited when we got home yesterday. He just kept saying "Baby Holden! Baby Holden!" They are going to be great pals. As I am mostly recovering from my surgery in bed with Holden by my side, Jackson wanders into the room and checks on us, pats Holden's head and says "He has hair! Cootchie-cootchie-coo!" I have no idea where he got this but it is adorable.

The staff at the hospital where I delivered - Sky Ridge Medical Center- were exceptional. They were very attentive, fawned all over Holden and Jackson (and me). We had an OB and pediatrician come by daily to check on us, and the lactation consultants were also wonderful. So even though I'm recovering from a C-section, I have to say so much of this experience was better than what I had with Jackson because of the attention we received and how well cared for we were. I loved my birth experience with Jackson, and am thrilled to have given birth vaginally to him...but I also have not minded the C like I thought I would. I have new respect for any woman who has endured one. They are very rough.

I'm sure I have so much more to say but I really wanted to commit these details to "pen and paper" before I forgot them. My husband and older son are at the grocery store and Holden is asleep at my feet curled up in a boppy. I'm in some minor pain so I should probably rest. We adore our new son and feel even more blessed to have him with us here on earth. God has blessed us doubly with our two gorgeous sons. Our family is now complete.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dirty Laundry

I'm 38.5 weeks pregnant. I'm miserable. I needed a project to pass the time today while Jackson slept. I could do laundry. But instead, I expressed myself in art (see photo below). Thanks to Diane for the inspiration - I've loved her "I Hate Laundry Rooms" wallpaper since I was a little kid, and have always wanted to reproduce it. Close enough!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


  • 10 minutes searching for boots, hats, mittens, snowsuit
  • 5 minutes struggling to put a size 2T child into a size 18 months snowsuit
  • 7 minutes arguing over the wearing of mittens and hat (guess who loses)
  • 4.5 minutes putting my enormously pregnant self into a pair of snow boots that were hidden in the garage
  • 12 minutes in the snow: shivering hands, sliding on rocks, cold ankles, wet tennis shoes, water and mud all over my clean kitchen
  • Creating the world’s smallest snowman with my two year old…priceless!

Friday, October 13, 2006

"Come back Scoop! Listen to me...stop right now!"

This is the conversation Shawn and I just overheard our 28 month old son say to his Bob the Builder Scoop truck. It rang a little too close to home. Replace "Scoop" with "Jackson" and you have me yelling after our son at the park this afternoon. "Come back Jackson! Listen to me...stop right now!" Whew. They learn fast don't they? One day he's a baby babbling nonsensical words and the next day he's mocking me in imaginary play. It's amazing what a little sponge he has become. I guess I should be thankful that we've managed (so far) to keep any choice curse words out of his mouth. That is, until the next time one of us stubs a toe or breaks a dish. Then I expect Scoop might become more of a potty mouth.
Note to Shawn and I: Keep our tongues in check! This kid's on to us....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


My sisters have always told me I'm too emotional. They are probably right. But I'm wired this way, for 33 years, and ain't noth'n changing. I'm so emotional today. Everything is making me cry. I guess I'm just ready for him to be here, safe and sound. I'm ready to find out how Jackson is going to respond. I'm scared. I'm hopeful. I'm excited. I know our lives, once again, are going to change and never be the same. The anticipation of it all is getting to me. I think I'm more worried about Jackson than anything. We are buds. We spend all day every day together and it's just the two of us. We have fun and pal around and I can't imagine it not just being the two of us. I think it will be hard to share myself. I know it will be hard on him. I just hope and pray that he'll adapt easily to being a cool big brother. He talks about the baby a lot, pats my tummy, goes and looks at the baby's room and swing and says "when baby comes!" But I know when the baby actually does come, my sweet little man is going to have his world rocked. And it makes me cry. Everything makes me cry. Damn these hormones!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


THIS is what they mean by "nesting" when you are close to delivering. Oh my gracious! I can't stop organizing, cleaning, cooking, and "nurturing." I didn't have this with Jackson. Or maybe we were just more prepared. Or maybe it was because I was put on bedrest and couldn't do all this. But all the sudden in the last couple of weeks I feel like I have so much to do and so little time. I've washed all the baby clothes. The nursery is completely done. The carseat is installed (thanks honey). Swing and stroller are assembled (thanks again honey). Diapers are ready. Linens are washed. Pump and bottles are sterilized. Hall closet with meds, towels, sheets, toilet paper and batteries is stocked. Yard is aerated and fertilized. I have a list of a dozen meals I can prepare in the next week from the contents of my freezer, fridge and pantry (and I NEVER have a full pantry - but I do now!). I made two lasagnas today, one for tonight, one for the freezer. I keep baking cookies, brownies and cakes for reasons that escape me. I have 4 kinds of ice-cream in the freezer, when really I should just have none! I've bought most of our Christmas presents. I know what I'm getting everyone who has a birthday between now and New Year's. I've made a list of preschools to visit this winter to prepare for Jackson's first day of 12 more months. Every room in the house is completely organized. Emergency numbers are programmed into the phone. Hospital bag is just about ready to go. My hair is cut and colored and my toes are painted (have to look pretty when you are pushing out a watermelon, right?!?). Whew! I seriously can't think of another thing that needs to be done. Except of course, maybe actually giving birth this baby. Come out, come out wherever you are! We are least, I think we are....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pumpkin Pick'n

Today we took Jackson to the Castle Rock Garden Center where they set up a pumpkin patch and some cute attractions for kids. It was grey and misty and reminded us of pumpkin pickin' in Seattle. Except this was a garden center so we didn't have to drudge through muck and mud like we would at say Barringer farms back home. I like this way of picking pumpkins better. Especially since I'm 9 months pregnant with a pumpkin of my own. Jackson had a ball. He wanted to buy every pumpkin they had, and tried to pick each one up. They also had a corn maze, haunted house and jumpy castle. He really liked the jumpy castle. He fell in love with a cute little 3 year old girl in the jumpy castle , who, according to him, was a "funny kid!" We finished the afternoon off with grilled cheese sandwiches, soup and a nap. This may be one of our last few weekends as a family of three and we loved every minute of it.
click on image to see larger

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Popsicles for Breakfast

We asked Jackson what he wanted for breakfast this morning. "Popsicles!" he replied. We reminded him we don't have popsicles for breakfast and he could have waffles, toast, or cereal. he settled, begrudgingly, for waffles.

An hour or so later Shawn and I were both upstairs getting ready for the day. We could hear The Wiggles from downstairs so we knew Jackson was entertained. Suddenly he yelled up the stairs that he needed to go outside. I went to the foot of the stairs, looked down at my angelic little boy in his fireman pajamas, and noticed a big red popsicle in his hand. I wanted to reprimand him, but I couldn't stop laughing. Neither could Shawn. Jackson just insisted he needed to go outside -- because that is where we eat popsicles. Naturally. Apparently he had climbed into the freezer, taken out a single red popsicle from the box, closed the freezer, unwrapped it, and enjoyed! I'm sure I should have taken it from him but instead Shawn went outside to the steps and he happily ate his popsicle. We are still chuckling over it. And I've moved the popsicles to a higher shelf in the freezer.