Monday, September 19, 2011

Speedy Delivery!

With fierce pride and great joy I would like to announce that our fourth son and fifth child was born on Tuesday evening at 6:38pm (September 13th, 2011), weighing in at 7 lbs 2 oz and measuring 19 inches long. We named him Reed Jeffrey, and here is his story...

On the morning of Tuesday, September 13th, I got a phone call from my mother. She told me she had been asked to babysit for some other family members for an extended period of time. She wanted to check with me before agreeing and making the arrangements. "Now, you won't be going into labor today, right?" she asked. "Not today, mom," I replied, and felt certain. My due date was not for another two and a half weeks, and I had never gone into labor early. I'd never even gone into labor on my own. And I was decidedly holding out to the end and then some - I wanted to have him in October. So as to double curse me, I guess, my husband also asked me that morning, knowing that he had a full load that day and would be tied up until late at night. "You're not going to have the baby today, right?"
"That's right!" I reassured him.
He even texted me around lunch time, in between cases..."No babies?"
"Nope. Nothing."
I ran errands, cleaned house and started a sewing project that afternoon. I picked my kids up from school, and got dinner going, and around 4:45 I started to recognize some occasional contractions. By 5:15 I felt like they were strong enough that I should call Scott. Once I got him on the phone, I told him that I thought something might be starting and maybe he should head home. He asked if he had time to stop for fast food and I didn't see why not. Then I got on the line with my mom and told her not to panic and not to worry, but to head over if she could, when she could. I began to clean up around the house and pack my things for the hospital. Within half an hour, I was in hard steady labor, my mom had not even left yet, and Scott was at some Burger King somewhere...
I called Darah.
Darah is my neighbor, my visiting teaching companion and my dear friend, and she had been texting/calling me for several days saying "Are you feeling anything yet? Are you dilated? Are you having contractions? Call me if anything happens!" My thoughts were, "Take it easy, Darah. I got two and a half weeks to go." Apparently, she knew something I didn't know. Plus she lives super close so I called her. Thankfully (and unlike the other two) she didn't listen to me when I said there's no rush. She showed up like a minute later, and she was just what I needed. By that point I was on all fours on my bedroom floor in total agony, making a lot of noise and scaring my kids. Darah distracted them with a movie and some microwave popcorn, then gathered up my things and put me in the van. When Scott finally pulled up, the van was already running. He hopped in and we tore off...
The fifteen minutes between our house and the hospital were excruciating, the worst 15 minutes of my life. That is accurate, not exaggerated! I was crouched in the back of the van, trying not to make a move that would break my water, resisting the urge to push, and screaming through every contraction (I have learned that I am very loud when I'm in pain). Scott was speeding, flashing the hazard lights and trying to get through to the hospital on the phone. He wanted them to meet us at the curb with a gurney. They kept transferring him to medical records. He got desperate and called 911 - they notified the hospital that we were coming. When we hit the curb at the emergency room, there were about 5 nurses ready with a wheel chair. Once I was secured, they sprinted for labor and delivery. And other than the part when I pull my pants down, climb on the table, and push the baby out (pretty much all in one motion), that is the end of the story. The time that lapsed from the onset of contractions to Reed's arrival was one hour and a half! I still don't believe the story myself!
Though I didn't love the way he chose to come here, I am now totally in love with this baby. He is happy, sweet and perfect, and I am blessed as can be.

This is Reed's Uncle Jeff and the person he got his middle name from. When he grows up and asks me why I named him after Uncle Jeff, I'll tell him what a good brother Jeff has been to me. How he beat up my bullies for me from the time I was a grade-schooler. How he stayed with me in the hospital when I had knee surgery, and did a funny running man dance to keep my mind off the I.V. How he stepped in as a father figure, and set the example for us younger siblings after our dad died. How he loves and cuddles little babies, and can somehow quiet them down and get them to sleep better than I can. And how he still does thoughtful things to show me he loves me, like taking me out for sushi on my birthday. I hope Reed will be grateful when he grows up, that we gave him such a good name.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nolan's 9th Birthday

The fates really came together for this boy on his 9th birthday. The weekend before, Scott happened to be invited through work to a Diamondbacks game (two tickets, catered in a luxury sweet, and spending money included). So Nolan got treated to not only a professional baseball game (which he found thoroughly riveting), but also ballgame food and a new hat! I was so glad he could have that experience with his dad for his birthday.

Then on Sunday we had Uncle Paul and his family over (one of our favorite traditions), because Paul and Nolan share the exact same birthday (and the same love for cake and video games). Therefore, we had cake and played video games. So fun.

For presents, Nolan got his own set of scriptures (finally!), and a super cool watch - both at his request. Kinda sad that he's graduating from toys and games to big boy presents. And on Monday, the actual day of his birthday, we were invited to a bowling family home (away from home) evening with some extended family, including some of Nolan's favorite cousins (also a fortuitous happenstance, yet perfect birthday surprise!). The kid lucked out for his birthday. And I've lucked out to have him for a kid!

Nolan, I'm so glad you were born!

Blogging Belatedly on Baptism

Nolan recently had a birthday, which means one whole year has gone by and I haven't blogged about his baptism. I remember that time last year being very stressful - lots of planning, preparing, etc. I remember blogging about the fantastic party he had, but not about the baptism (which is a much bigger milestone), and I want to make sure it gets onto the records, so here goes...

The thing I remember about Nolan and the whole baptism thing was how hard I tried to make sure he understood what he was choosing to do. In the church I belong to (The Mormon Church), we don't believe in baptizing babies, or in signing kids up for spiritual covenants without their permission. We figure that at about eight years old they're able to recognize right and wrong, and that they might have a sin or two to repent for, and that they can grasp the concepts of redemption and salvation, and they are therefore allowed and encouraged to be baptized at eight and/or any age after that.

So in my efforts to make sure it was really what he wanted, we had lots of long talks and lessons on the subject. He must have wondered if I even wanted him to get baptized, because it was almost as if I were trying to talk him out of it. I told him he shouldn't do it unless he really believed in Jesus Christ. I told him that if he got baptized, that meant he was making big promises - he would have to choose the right (even if mom wasn't watching). I told him it meant no lying, no stealing, he'd probably have to leave home at some point to serve a mission, and he'd definately have to go to church EVERY sunday for the rest of his life!

I was totally prepared to postpone the event if he couldn't agree or commit. I'm so grateful that he could. I'm so grateful for the pure faith of a young child, and my eight-year-old's willingness to believe in an invisible being and trust Him enough to follow Him. I'm so glad Nolan said, "Yes mom! I will, I promise! Will you please let me get baptized?!" So, of course I did. And it was such a special day. One worth blogging about - even a year later :)