I think this is the earliest I've ever written a birth story!
Liam, I was so excited for you to get here! With you being my third, I felt like I more or less knew what to expect. I assumed that we would have a bit of a difficult time getting you here, just like your brother and sister. I assumed you would be tiny and perfect and I couldn't wait to hold you on my chest the second you were born. I was most excited for the hospital bubble, spending time relaxing with just you.
But, I want to rewind for a second. Your original due was September 30th and the plan was to induce you on the 26th (daddy's birthday). Your pregnancy was normal and healthy. You measured a little bit small, but after Fitz we weren't super worried. My blood pressure was up and down though and because of that my doctor was on high alert. It had actually lowered for the 3rd trimester, so we didn't think it would be any sort of problem. So, I went in for my weekly appointment on a Thursday and I had high BP, just 2 points higher than it needed to be. When my doc saw this she turned to me and asked if I wanted to have you by Saturday. I was more than ready and agreed because I wanted her to be the one to deliver you. I don't know if my doctor just wanted to deliver you at a convenient time but either way, it was divine intervention, I'm sure of it.
I called your Dad on my way home and he was shocked. I was too excited to care. I was actually scheduled to go in the next night (Friday) to get everything moving, so we had to get everything ready quickly. Friday was the longest day ever. I was called to go in to LDS hosptial at 9 p.m. We loaded up Ellie and Fitz and they admitted me. I was planning on sending your dad home with the kids but at the last minute we decided to have him take Ellie and Fitz to Nana's and Papa's for the night. Good thing he did because I progressed quickly and by 4:30 you were ready to come! I couldn't believe it because it took Ellie and Fitz FOREVER to come, especially Fitz.
You were a bit different from your siblings in that labor wasn't very stressful. My anesthesiologist was amazing and I was sitting pretty for most of it. You kept your heart rate up for the most part but I did have to strap on the good old oxygen mask. I was planning on it though. When my doc got there I was ready to push and you were out in about 5 pushes. You made it to my stomach, but as they cleaned you up they realized that you were having a hard time breathing on your own. So they had to take you over to the table to help you with that. They kept saying that you should be good in just a second, but they had to take you to the NICU because you just couldn't hang. Before they took you the nurses kept saying, "look at all that hair!". I thought they were joking, but they weren't. You came out with the cutest, longest, silkiest blonde hair I've seen on a baby and you still have it at 4 months. It's still untamable and I LOVE IT.
I sent your daddy with you and I was surprised how not worried I was. I think I was mostly in shock, and was for the next 48 hours. After living through it all and looking back, I'm sure it was my coping method because being wheeled to my room without my baby was heartbreaking. I still get a lump in my throat thinking about that. Once I was settled into my room I got extra anxious because I just kept waiting for your daddy to bring you back so we could all be together. He sent me these 2 pictures in the process:
I couldn't even see what you looked like! It was killing me! Eventually, Dad came back, but without you. In my mind, it was just a matter of moments until everything was back to normal, but it was 6 hours until I was even able to go and visit you. Isn't that ridiculous that I had to go and visit my own baby! I hadn't even held you yet, or seen your face for that matter. When I was finally able to hold you it was surreal. You were so tiny and so adorable. Granted, I didn't get to see you without any kind of tubes until you were almost a week old, but I could just tell. I knew how long you had waited to get here and it just wasn't fair that you had to be under so much stress. After the nurse gave us the rundown of what everything was and what was going on I asked when I would be able to take you back to my room. She told me you'd be staying here, until I was discharged, at least. I was shocked and was so sad. What I have learned about the NICU is they don't like to give parents timelines. Which I get, but is the most infuriating thing ever. I do have to put in a plug for our nurses. Nurses are angels that walk this earth, I'm sure of it. You were always under the best care.
So, again, I was sent back to my room, without you. My doc came in to check on me and gave me an ambien so that I could finally get some sleep. The second I woke up though I was back to needing to see you. The second time there, everything hit me much harder. I realized that even after almost a whole day, things had stayed the same and I would be going to bed without my baby. Moms should never have to be in their hospital room without their babies. Never. If we're looking for the positive, I did get almost a full nights sleep your first week of life, which I guess is unheard of. It was such a bitter sweet time. When all of the emotions and fears were stripped away, I knew you were going to be ok. I knew you'd come home with us. I knew how badly you were fighting to be here and I was (and am) so proud of you.
The next week ended up being one of the most trying weeks of my life. But I'll write about that next time. I'm so glad you're here my sweet Liam. You were so anxious to get here. I'm sure I've told you, but you came to visit me a few days after we brought Fitz home from the hospital. I couldn't tell much about you except that you were SO excited to come. I felt like you were telling me that you were ready to come whenever we would have you and that you missed your brother. You came a few other times the year and I really and truly believe that if I hadn't felt you, I wouldn't have been very ready for you to come. Honestly, I think Fitz wasn't very anxious to come here because he didn't want to leave you. I can't wait to watch your relationship with each other grow and develop. You two need each other. So, thank you for coming to visit me before you came sweetheart. It is one of the experiences I hold most dear to my heart and I will never forget it.
I've been sparsely updating this blog for the past 7-8 years, and while I've been doing it to record our history, I've been writing it mostly with the idea that other people will be reading it, others besides you. That's all well and good, but I'm really hoping if I shift my focus and dedicate this blog to recording you for you, that I will do a much better job at doing it. All of you deserve it. You're each so special.
Ellie Bean: I'm so sorry. I've missed the most of your first 4 years and it makes my heart ache a little everytime I think about it. I'll do better baby girl, I promise. You are so spunky sis. Something I hope you don't remember about your first 4 years is that I didn't get down on the floor and play with you as much as you or I would have liked. Today all you wanted was to play with me. So, we played princess and unicorn. You were the princess and I was your unicorn. We roped your dad and Fitzy into playing with us and you both rode around on our backs and you both giggled and fed us imaginary carrots. It was the best. I promise to get on the floor and play with you every day. You keep me honest and you are truly my dream come true. I didn't think I'd ever get to have a little girl and if you end up being my only one, I'll be deliriously happy with all of the mother/daughter times we have to come.
Fitzy: You're having a bit of a hard time adjusting to being the middle child. Luckily, you're not taking it out on your brother. In fact, you have nothing but kisses and love for him. I think it was a very long 2 years that you boys spent apart and I'm so happy that you're reunited together again. Anyway, you're throwing a few extra tantrums and are a bit more clingy than usual. I hope I never forget how you call me over by saying, "mere! mere!" (come here!). You curl your cute little hand and I have about 10 seconds to follow or else you get ticked. Luckily, you're still my sweet little boy and you'll always hold a special place in my heart. You're such a cuddle bug and you give the best kisses ever.
Liam: You're 5 weeks old and really couldn't be the more perfect baby. You're eating so well. At night you'll go 4-5 hour stretches before you wake again and you only cry when you're hungry. Well, you do just like a good snuggle once in a while too, and it's usually when I'm trying to get all 4 of us ready and out the door in a hurry. It's a good reminder to slow down a bit. Sometimes I get too busy and I tend to put you down when I could be holding you just as easily. I'm trying to do better at that because the moments when I hold you are some of my sweetest. You're beginning to give me the tiniest smiles and whether or not they're gas, I'd like to think they're for me. I'm so excited to watch you play with your brother and sister and what elements you bring to our family sweet babe.
So, my loves, these words are for you, every single one. I hope you enjoy your memories and pictures, but mostly I hope it reminds you how much I love each of you, no matter what. I promise.
I cannot believe we're already here! This is totally going to be the run of the mill sappy mom post, plus, pregnancy hormones, plus insomnia. Ridiculous.
I remember thinking how far away preschool is, but it's here! It does fly! Why does no one tell you that it really really really does fly?! You're right, they totally do. Granted, this is only her first year, but we're officially on a school schedule and as long as the boys stay on the same schedule, we are tied into a half day schedule for the next 6 years, AT LEAST!
But you know what? She's so ready. She loves learning. She's so social. Mom and Fitz just aren't cutting it anymore, and that's ok. It just doesn't make it any easier. I haven't done any crying, but that whole morning I had a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach as we were getting her ready. I made sure to get up before her so I could get ready and focus all of my attention on her. I was in the bathroom and I heard her feet hit the floor, a gasp, and then a squeal of PRESCHOOL! She ran right into the bathroom, had her blue dress in hand, and asked for Elsa hair and pink lip gloss. I happily obliged, and loved listening to her chatter about her hopes and expectations.
I do need to rewind for a moment, the night before school, her dad gave her the sweetest father's blessing. He blessed her to be kind and brave. To find good kind friends, to have an enthusiasm for learning and a desire to make good choices. He also blessed her that it wouldn't hurt when mom put in her new earrings because apparently that was the biggest deal of them all. It was perfect and gave her the exact confidence boost that she needed.
Ellie loved having her picture taken with the sign and loved it even more that her backpack was involved. She's been waiting months to use it. And yes, she really does want to be a mermaid when she grows up...as long as Fitz will come with her. After snapping a few pictures, we dragged Fitz out of bed (he's such a good sleeper now!!!) and took her up to the school. She was almost shaking with excitement. We found a hook for her backpack, she took my hand, led me into the classroom, gave me a kiss, and found her friends. She didn't even look back. It's exactly what I had hoped for her. Fitz was actually the only one who did any crying that day. He was yelling for his sissy and for the trucks and none of it was fair at all. He actually kept trying to get back into the car for the whole 2.5 hours she was gone. He would point out the window, say "car" and "sissy". Darn it.
I have to remember her "about me" bag. They sent her home with a white paper bag that she was to decorate and fill with 4 things that describe her. I (mostly) let her take the reigns on this one and we were both very content with what she chose. She put in a ballet shoes because she loves to dance, an avocado, because they're her favorite. She chose her swimsuit because she loves swimming. The best part, and I swear she picked this all on her own, was the family picture that she wanted to include, because she loves being with her family the best. Oh, I hope she always feels that way. I hope we're her happy place.
I held my breath as I walked back in to pick her up. She immediately ran out with the biggest grin and hug. She could only tell me about recess (which she calls sesame for some reason?) and what she ate for snacks. But you know what? That's good enough for me. She loves it and I love that she loves it. I'm sure her spongy little brain is soaking up all the necessary preschool things.
So while I don't think I'm completely ready to let go of her hand, she's ready to let go of mine, and I'm so so happy for her. She's going to have so many amazing experiences and I can only pray that I can create the safest haven at home for her, where I'll be ready and waiting to listen and help.
I'll always be here for you baby girl. I love you so so much.
Okay, so we're not even halfway through September, but it is baby month and we are SO excited over here! If I'm being totally honest, it depends from day to day my level of excitement. I'm always looking forward to it, but I'm also finding myself being very overwhelmed and scared. I know they're all normal things to feel. I'm trying to soak everything in, feel it all, and then let the bad things go. So far, it's working quite nicely.
As I've said before, Ellie can hardly stand it. I told her baby brother would be here in 2 weeks and she immediately took it as 2 days...which is still basically forever in her almost-4-year-old world. We did a name switcheroo on her a few weeks ago and she said she didn't want anything to do with the baby if we changed his name. Silly girl. She actually stuck to her guns until we had the sweetest bedtime conversation. She was asking about heaven and why she jumped down first. I told her it was because she was first in line and oh so brave. She loved that. And then she looked at me with almost sad eyes and asked if she gave Fitz a hug before she jumped down into my tummy. I got a little teary eyed myself and I told her that I was positive that they gave each other the biggest hug and kiss and promised to be together soon. Then she asked if she hugged the baby as well and called him by his actual name that we will be giving him. It was the sweetest experience and she has been so excited ever since. She also threw in there that she hugged her baby sister that's coming after this baby...we'll see. I love the sweet spirit that children bring into our home. There is nothing like it.
Fitz probably has no idea whats about to hit him, but he has been sweetly playing with Ellie's baby dolls and its enough to make me melt. He has me wrap them up, he rocks them, kisses them, gives them a bottle, and puts them to bed. Then we're met with lots of "sshhhhhh's" for the next 5 minutes. It makes me happy that he's so sweet and does give me a glimmer of hope. He also loves to poke my belly, say "bebe", and then kiss it. I die. Seriously, kids are the best, especially when they're yours. Fitz has been a little slow to talk but this last week he has started stringing 2-3 words together. Most of them have to do with trucks, tractors, or motorcycles, but when he says "love you mama" followed with a kiss, well I wouldn't trade that for the world.
Random pictures, but Ellie and Kendall showed up to church in the same dress, which also happens to be Ellie's favorite, so we had to get a picture of these 2 hooligans. Oh, I love them. And would it be a Chelsea blog post if I didn't include a few sleeping pictures. I guess I'm kind of creepy that way. I just can't resist a still sleeping angel child.
Just a few random pregnancy facts before we wrap this up:
1. I actually packed my bags before my due date. With Ellie I packed my bag on my due date and with Fitz it was the night before I was induced...at 11 p.m. as we were leaving to stay with my mom. How ridiculous am I?! I think it's just some weird mental block, like I don't want my body to think that I'm ready. Silly, I know. But, at 37 weeks, I am packed! Baby boy can stay put for a bit longer, but it does give me a nice peace of mind, which I'm desperately searching for this pregnancy.
2. Before I got pregnant I started attending High Fitness classes. They are so hard for me, but have been the best workout. I didn't keep up with working out during my previous 2 pregnancies and have always regretted it, especially after Fitz. I actually was not able to loose much weight after Fitz at all, so getting pregnant with a bunch of old pregnancy weight was a leap of faith for me. Anyway, I promised myself that even if I had to march in place during the whole class, I would workout and go to High my whole pregnancy. And guess what?! I've totally done it! I'm not even bragging, I'm just very very proud of myself, and I should be! It has not been easy. I was a little hit and miss my first trimester, but really started to dedicate specific dates and times to attending during my second and third trimesters. With the exception of a few weeks, I've made it 3-4 times a week religiously. I'm pretty positive that I would have quit about 3 weeks ago unless I would have made myself this promise because man, the jumping, lunges, and squats are getting difficult, but there's not many better feelings than walking out of that class. It's amazing, I've never had an easier pregnancy and I'm positive that it's because I've stayed active. Fingers crossed for an even easier recovery and delivery than last time. I have so much more confidence in myself and my body, and know that I'll be able to keep it up after I heal from delivery.
3. I am a list person and I have most definitely had a before baby list. And again, I've killed it. I think all I have left to do is hang a few pictures in the baby's room, clean the sink, and sit back on my couch and keep the house clean and the kids alive for the next 2 weeks. Ah, it feels good. I'm finding out I will need to start wearing blinders though because there are always projects and gosh dang it, I deserve to relax.
4. Catching up on blogging has been on my list, so this feels extra good. Yay for journaling. My babies deserve it.
Here's to 37 weeks and being full term. Keep getting chunky for us baby boy!
We welcomed that amazing solar eclipse on the 21st! Jeremy had the amazing foresight to get a pair of glasses for each of us. I didn't think I'd get that into it, but that morning I cancelled my exercise class appointment and we hung out outside and enjoyed the hazy sunlight. Even though we didn't get the full eclipse, we still really enjoyed the experience. The kids were way more into it than I thought they would be. They would take turns using the glasses and finding the sun, or the moon as Fitz called it. At first I was worried that they would burn their corneas, but I think the best part for them was the actual glasses, so I didn't have to worry after the first few times out. The shadows were my favorite part, so pretty! I also loved the temporary cooler temps.
I'll probably regret this one but...I'm almost to the point of a total eclipse of my feet. I'm starting to feel large and in charge, but am just really happy that I have a healthy growing baby in there and I would give up another 9 months of not seeing my feet to get him.
Jeremy was able to take a few extra days off right before Labor Day, which was the perfect way to wrap up August. We made sure to hit up Cherry Hill 2 more times and it's always more fun with dad. It's crazy to think how much Fitz has grown up just over pool season. He's so big now and my goodness, he needs to slow it down. It helps that he's still a big of a scardey cat in the water and needs his mama.
We also always try to make it to the zoo when Jeremy is off. I think he might like it more than the kids. Plus, I've vowed not to step into the reptile house until after the baby is born so Ellie dies for him to go just for that. We lucked out this time and saw all of the big cats, which are very obsolete during the hotter months. Ellie knows they are Jeremy's favorite and loves going with him. I love how she looks at him with starry eyes, and I hope she always does.
I also jumped at the chance to drag everyone to Ikea with me for some dang frames. I hate that it's so far away, but you cannot beat their frame prices and the other random things you need for cheap! We left Ellie at the play place (her happiest possible outcome) and we had Fitz all to himself. He tried to talk us into a few stuffed animals and we only walked out after a few tantrums.
That night we met up with J+M fam at one of our favorite parks for hobo dinners. It's one of my favorite summer traditions, and we're just now getting to it! We always go AT LEAST twice. Melinda and I have talked and we decided next summer we need to plan on May and August and any others in between are lovely bonuses. This time didn't disappoint and Fitz even made it down the slide a few times on his own. That's huge.
That Saturday I ditched my normal obligations and snuck off to Logan with my equally as pregnant friend Maren. We're literally due on the same day and it's been about the best thing ever. I don't think I would have gotten through this pregnancy without her. Anyway, we drove up to Logan, had the most delicious brunch at Herms, shopped literally until we dropped, went to see a horrible dollar movie, and then chatted late into the evening. It was so refreshing. My for closet as well actually because I came home with a few nursing friendly dresses that I cannot wait to wear. Dresses are my Sunday jam and good nursing ones have been difficult to find. Of course, I got 1 picture...of our food. We even have matching dresses, but I haven't given up. We will get a picture in them before we deliver our twin boy baby friends.
That long weekend left myself and Ellie exhausted. Ellie fell asleep on the long 5 minute drive to Costco on Tuesday and stayed asleep after I put her in the cart. Looks comfy, right?
She also hasn't been loving when I'm gone for long periods of time so she's really been wanting me to put her to bed. I've happily obliged and am always rewarded with the best snuggles. Oh how I love this girl of mine.