Sunday, May 10, 2015


My Precious Lydia,

You're 4!  You are so excited to be 4!  You have been asking for months if you're 4 yet, or "am I still 'free'?"  It has been so much fun to see your excitement.

Every time I asked you what would be fun to receive as a present, you had different ideas (Elsa and Anna dolls, My Little Ponies, dress up dresses, running shoes with yellow like Hannah and Abby's).  The one idea that stuck every time...the one most important to you:  sour gummy worms!  You are such a crazy girl!  You wanted purple and blue cupcakes, so we made an Elsa dress out of cupcakes.

What have you been up to this year?  So much!  You are still my busy girl...loving to dress up, climbing and jumping off of everything, doing your gymnastics, exercising to my workout videos, fighting off pretend bad guys (you've been introduced to the're still asking for a mask and a super hero suit), pretending to hunt, and serving up tea parties.  You are very excited to play on Stevie's soccer team this summer too.

A couple of months ago, you became a big sister!  You love Adelyn so much....and you keep talking about your next sister already.  You even helped in our decision to name Addie.  You knew she was a girl throughout most of my pregnancy.  It is so fun to you when it's just girl 3 girls.  You help me get her bath ready.  You pick out clothes for her to wear.  You bring me diapers and wipes.  You love to give her hugs and kisses ..and make her smile.  According to you, she's been smiling at you from the womb.  You've been teaching her exercise and gymnastics moves.  You also asked me to join you the day after we got home from the hospital.  Holding her is pretty special too.  The first week, you would hold onto the handle of her carseat in the make sure she wouldn't fall over.  Such a loving, protective sister...for the most part...but when she cried, you just covered her carseat with the blanket cover because "you don't like that sound."  We've worked on that since. :) Your Grandma H. got you a baby doll and baby doll bath for when she was born, so you could take care of a baby too.  You weren't so've got the real thing!  You made the doll tub into a sled and rode down the opened recliner from the top to the bottom to the floor....backwards.  Scared this mom to death.  Still not sure how you squeezed into that thing!  You can turn anything into fun...and anything into something a little dangerous!

Your favorite movies are Frozen, the Air Bud movies, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music.  When you got your "barilla" you asked if it would make you fly like Mary Poppins.  We saw the Sound of Music this spring at a high school.  This was one of my favorite memories with you!!  You were mesmerized by the whole thing.  The music, the acting, the lights, the scenery.  You sang along, and a man in the audience (who saw you on one of your bathroom exits), thought you should've been Gretl.  When it was over, you joyfully clapped and shouted, "Bye Maria!  Bye!  See you later!"  At home, you asked if you could go to Maria's house.  Maybe some day you'll be on stage.  Maybe some day, you'll be a Maria!  If not, that's ok too.  It was so special to share those moments with you, and I hope we're able to enjoy more musicals together down the road.

You've been really into making crafts and projects ...whatever you think of in the moment: waterpark slides, roller coasters, a hot pink holster for Daddy, bows and arrows, paintings, and stickers galore everywhere.  You now have a craft/project bin to keep your supplies and art work.

Your beloved bunny has been on vacation the last couple weeks.  We're not sure when she's returning.  Yes, she's lost.  You've handled it well.  You still make your brother laugh with your bunny "voice" even in her absence...making up wildly silly stories.  You always have something to answer for everything.  You ordered steak at the restaurant.

You are full of confidence and joy.  It's contagious!  I hope you hold onto that through your 98th birthday!  I bet you'll still be jumping off furniture...even though you'll hear my voice in your head.  You love hard, you play just do everything to maximum capacity, haha.  You exude what Christ came give us to the full!  I have no doubts that you'll make a difference in others' lives as you grow!  You have already added so much joy, fun, and love in mine!  I love you so much!!  Enjoy #4 to the fullest!

Love always and with a kiss,

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

She's Here!

She's Here!  1 week old.  Adelyn Grace!  We are still shocked she's a she!  She had us fooled! :)  But, she's super beautiful.  The day after she was born, all I could think of was the troll lady in Frozen (yes, that's about all that is ever playing in our house).  "Cutie(s), I'm gonna keep you!"

For my own sake, and maybe for your curiosity, I'm going to record her birth story here.

Because of big brother's size at birth and my very difficult recovery that led to surgery, etc., we had been keeping an eye on this baby's size.  When I hadn't gone into labor on my own by 39 weeks, we broached the induction discussion.  I really hoped I would go into labor naturally.  However, I really didn't want to deliver a 9lb or greater baby either.  We scheduled my induction for 39 weeks 5 days.  Weird and craziness began.  As I left my 39 week appointment, I realized the day I was scheduled was not on my doctor's schedule.  Maybe the doctors had switched?  Either way, I felt like I was ready as I'll ever be.  Maybe I should've waited for the next day with my doctor (who I love), but it is what it is, and she is here...and she is beautiful.

I tried pretty much everything to go into labor on my own for a couple weeks...and all I did was wear myself out.  Not great to go into an induction with sore muscles.  Don't try that.  I couldn't sleep the night before.  I was excited, and I was nervous.  I'd never been induced before.  There was that.  As wonderful as my other labors were, I had real fears.  There was that.  I had other fears and emotions in play this being our baby after a miscarriage.  There was that.  I wanted to know if this baby was a boy or a girl.  There was that.  And, I was still mulling over our girl names...a bit stressing to me not having had it ready.  There was that.

The morning of, I received my call saying they had a room ready for me.  Then she gave me the blowing news that no visitors under 14 were allowed due to the crazy flu going around.  I get there are reasons for this.  But poof.  My dreams of my babies coming to see the littlest baby shortly after birth were dashed.  Not a really big deal in the grand scheme of things, but when you never leave your kids overnight anyway...and they were SO excited about this baby....we had talked about them coming to visit, etc.  Now we were going to have to wait 2 days before they even saw their sister.  Anyway, I cried after I hung up the phone and got ready to go.  We woke the kids up.  Grandma and Grandpa were here to take care of them.  Lydia gave me a big hug goodbye.  Stevie patted my belly one last time saying goodbye to the baby.  It was the sweetest.

We got to the hospital around 8am.  I got into my hospital gown and laughed.  I had seen an episode of One Born Every Minute, and the expecting mom had put her gown on backwards.  That's all I could think about.  I guess the laughter was a little stress relief...had no idea how much I would need.  We met the doctor who was really on call that day (yeah, not mine...but we decided to just go with it), and there were concerns about no documentation about my placenta previa they had found at 20 weeks...and I was not told about.  I said, I hadn't found out till my 36 week ultrasound, and they checked on it then, and said everything was good.  It took awhile, and that was confirmed.  I didn't really need that extra uncertainty tossed into the mix of my ever swirling emotions.  Was I going to end up with a c-section?  Craziness.  Enough with the curve balls.

IV time.  The nurse said she was the best in the unit.  I had awesome veins.  Awesome veins to blow apparently.  2 sticks and I have the ugliest bruises on the front and back of my arms to prove it.  Next nurse came in and was able to insert the catheter, but they couldn't use it for the blood that would be additional sticks.  I'm starting to lose my confidence in this whole process.  Around 10am, at my request, we started with breaking my water before jumping to pitocin.  She was able to, but no fluid came out.  So, we started the pitocin.  They only had to bump it up twice before my body took over.  It honestly was going so smoothly at this point.  I was encouraged my body kicked into gear, and don't you know, my waters were finally starting to gush. No pretty way to say that.  So, gush it is.  While I was in labor, I had a million visitors...yup, a million.  Some lady asking to test me for herpes??  While I'm in labor, contracting, you're asking me for some kind of sample for herpes?  What even in the world?!  No!  I don't have it!  Get out!  Other people...I can't even tell you.  And a million students, name it, they were there.  I began to get angry all these people could be there, and I couldn't see my kids later!

Matt is going to school full time right now and is nearing the end....halleluia!  But, he had this big research paper thing he was working on due that night. Guess what he was doing while I labored?  By the early afternoon, I had started to stall out briefly.  They were quick to bump me up....and bump me up again with the pitocin.  Before this, I was chatting online with family, and we were busy watching 19 Kids and Counting, The Middle, and Reba.  At this point, the tv was off, I was blowing hard through contractions, bouncing on that ridiculous ball.  Matt had dropped his schoolwork, and was now furiously rubbing my aching back.  3:00 rolled by.  No thank you to the nurse who had guessed me to be having the baby at 3.  The clocked ticked on, and I was hurting...hurting very badly.  I couldn't stay calm.  I was shaking.  As out of control as my body felt, I knew, this is good.  This means I'm near the end.  The baby is coming.  This is totally transition.  The doctor came in and wanted to check me.  She finished up and sat next to me on the bed.  She told me I was 4cm 100%.  Pop. the. balloon.  4cm!!  She told me I had just started active labor.  Active labor!!  Not the best move.  She should've told me nothing, haha.  I cried.  I couldn't do this any more if I was only 4cm.  Bring me that epidural.  Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.  I was so spent.  I can't even describe it.  I told Matt I was tired of trying to be strong.  I was so tired.  So much pain.  A lot of fear.  2 natural deliveries were enough for me.  I couldn't do this anymore.  I cried.  Yup, broke the rules.  I also begged them to turn down the pitocin.  They actually did bump it down once.  The resident came in to tell me the epidural would not take away the stretching and burning pain (the biggest fear I had this time after previous deliveries and tearing).  Thanks for not being completely honest with a woman.  She wanted to check me one more time before honoring my pain relief request.  I was complete.  In less than 20 minutes, my 4cm was now 10.  So, forget the epidural, we're just going to get this baby out.  With the 100 nurses, doctors, residents, and nursing students by my side, I was at the mercy of one particular resident.  She had me push in a ball.  That was different.  I felt like an armadillo.  Bed down, I was supposed to curl my body in pulling my legs up.  Not the best position....and ended up with a bruised tailbone.  I should've argued it.  But, I hurt, and I just wanted the baby out.  About a half hour of armadillo curls and my baby came....and came....and came.  5:06pm.  I screamed, a lot.  Grunts turned to yells because the burning didn't stop.  Probably because I was pushing her out up hill...she didn't just slide out once her head and shoulders were out.  Poor baby.  I was definitely the most vocal with her out of the 3 deliveries. And this is the one Matt got on tape, hahahaha.  Oh well.  It is what it is.  Matt and I had an agreement to give me a moment after delivery before sharing, "It's a..."  I wanted to be able to hear it...and understand it, haha.  He was amazing to be by my side (saying he was so ready to punch someone...anyone...over my pain...he was seriously amped up), remembering to record the final moments, and remembering to watch my cues for my "readiness."  He's great.  After a little crying from the intensity, I said, "ok."  "It's a girl."  Shocked!  In fact, I thought I may not have reacted well because my head was so cloudy, and I thought she was a boy through most of my did I look like I heard him wrong? haha.  Everyone thought it was a boy...except for the kids.  I got to watch that video back though, and I smiled....without confusion, haha.  She's a surpriser that Adelyn...just like her sister.  They laid her on me, and I said the same thing I did with Lydia.  "She's so tiny."  I really thought she was smaller than Lydia.  Nope, 8lbs.  Just a half inch shorter at 21 inches.  I had a rough evening as I was stitched up and smushed and poked.  We still had to decide her name.  Matt called my parents on speaker phone, and Lydia asked about her sister Adelyn.  Ha!  (We had talked about name possibilities with the kids, but Lydia usually just called the baby whatever she felt like at the moment.)  That sealed the deal I think, and I let Matt make the final decision.  Adelyn Grace it is.  "Beautiful.  Noble and bright."

She's perfect. She's the perfect addition to our 2 other perfectly beautiful babies.  We do make cute ones.  After she was born, I cried to Matt and said, "I can't do this again.  I'm done."  I may not have the prettiest birth story.  It may have been a bit traumatic.  But let me tell you, she's totally stolen my heart (as each of our kids has), and reminds me over and over how worth it she is.  Must be the Grace part of her name. :)  She's the best part.  It's over, and I have her.  She's such a gift.  A much longed for and prayed for gift.  I'm totally in love.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dear Baby,

Am I really writing that?  Dear Baby?  Your due date is in just over a week, and what a whirlwind this pregnancy has been.

First of all, I love you.  We are all so anxious to meet you.

I found out you were on your way at the end of May.  I was completely shocked.  What a surprise!  I laughed, and I cried.  I just couldn't believe it.  After 2 years of hoping, you were finally on your way.  Your Dad was leaving for Germany at the end of the week, and I wanted to think of a great way to share with him.  I took your brother and sister to Walmart, shared the news with them, and had them pick something out for you.  Lydia picked a little bear with a blue blanket.  They didn't really get it that day, but I couldn't stop smiling.  I didn't tell anyone else all day.  You were my secret to hold onto.  I just kept asking God, "Really?"  I have life in me.  I have you.  I couldn't stop smiling or tearing up.  I was soaking in every precious moment.  It was so hard not to tell Dad, but I wanted to wait for Wednesday.  I had him help me fold the laundry, and in the laundry were big brother and sister shirts, a baby outfit for you, and your little bear.  Oh yeah, and a "pregnant" digital test....just so he would believe me.  Talk about a shock!  He cried.  Yup, your dad cried.  I've got most of it on tape.

You are a miracle.  You are dearly loved.  Your brother and sister adore you.  Stevie asks every day when you're coming.  Lydia drapes herself across my belly, lavishly gifting you with hugs and kisses, telling me every time how much she loves you.  She loves to see you move.  Stevie brings a ball over for you to kick, or he just thinks your burping.  He gives you little pats and will rest his hand on you to feel your strong kicks.  The big booming voice you hear is your dad's.  He says goodbye to you every morning before he leaves for work.

We cannot wait to meet you.  Are you my little boy or my little girl?  Will you look like your brother or your sister?  It almost seems as if I've been holding my breath the last 9 months.  It's still hard to believe you're here, but you are already such a gift.  I cannot wait to exhale as soon as I see your sweet face.  Your Grandma says I've never laughed so much as I have since carrying you.  I'm so thankful for you.  I wish I could express to you the joy you bring to us... already.  I pray I'm a mom who can show you that joy and show you how much I love you for the rest of my life.  Gear up for this crazy family, little one.  We're all waiting with our party hats on!

Love always ...just waiting for the kiss,