Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Audri's Story

Audriana Belle
Monday, December 10th, I went in for my weekly doctor's appointment. (Our doctor is actually in the bishopric in our ward, and we are good friends with him and his family. Weird? Well, it wasn't weird once we got over the first 'exam'. I was in Charlie's one year checkup and felt very strongly that he was supposed to be our doctor for the next baby....little did I know, I was pregnant at the time.) Anyways, I was dilated to a one, 39.2 days pregnant, and we had decided that we would try stripping my membranes. Two hours of cramping, and stronger but not regular contractions went by. I thought this would be the night. I loaded Charlie in the car and we went to stroll around our town's tiny mall. The contractions stopped, and I would be lying if  I said I wasn't disappointed. 

Sean came home from work to a grouchy and very disappointed wife. Poor Sean and Charlie-- full term pregnant women are not fun to live with! My mind was consumed by one thing-- I was so anxious to meet this little lady! At 7:15 pm we sat down to have Family Home Evening. By 7:30 my contractions came back. It wasn't until 8 that I realized they were regular, slightly painful, and not going to stop. I started taking notes.
My doctor has a 5-1-1 rule. Wait to call until you have contractions that are 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in length, and continuing for 1 hour.

After an hour I realized that we probably needed to get Charlie to our friends' house, the Watkins, for the night. I was anxious about how he would handle his first sleepover (not at grandma and grandpa's), but knew we had no choice. We dropped him off at 10 and decided to hang out for a little while before heading in. My parents decided that they would be coming down and left their house around 1 am.

Dr. W
My doctor said to come on in to the hospital. I told him I wasn't feeling pain yet, just discomfort, but he wanted to check me anyway. Since he was already there he decided to keep me, even though I was only at a two. I felt like a wuss. I was a woman in labor, only at a two, and checked into the hospital. Embarrassing.

After five hours of being at the hospital, I had only dilated to a four. I tried relaxing in a hot bath, different positions to help breathe, and anything else to keep my mind off of the intense pain. I'm a real pansy. Thankfully I wasn't sent in the 1800s or 1970 for that matter. I gave in to the drugs. My husband was appreciative. I was appreciative. Our nurse was appreciative. Again, embarrassing!

A wonderful and supportive husband.
The glorious angel came floating in with the magic stuff around 4:30. I was dehydrated and my blood pressure dropped down to 60/something. I couldn't see anything but fuzz and my hearing was muffled. They had to pump in the fluids and get me stabilized with other drugs. I started having traumatic flashbacks of Charlie's birth and was suddenly scared that I would go through the same thing. After 30 minutes my heart was beating rapidly, my blood pressure had stabilized, and I was in a happy place. The ironic thing about this whole delivery is that my Dr., Anesthesiologist, and nurse were all LDS. I was lucky and was able to receive a blessing.

Very grateful to have my parents there.
My parents showed up around 5 and we got to visit with them for a bit before they decided to head to our house for a nap. We made sure they put their weight guesses up on the board and sent them out. I thought they would be able to get a good nap in.

Our amazing nurse Danielle-- none of the others could compare.
Sleep came for all of us around 5:30. It was wonderful.

At 7:30 I was checked. I was expecting to be at a five or maybe six. Nope. I was at a ten and ready to push her out. We called my parents, which woke them from a dead sleep, and they headed on in. Luckily it's only a five minute drive from our driveway. Small town blessings.

I am a lucky girl. My friend (also our doctor's wife) Brittany, came to take pictures. With Charlie I don't really have any because they rushed him on out to the NICU. My mom was up at my head taking a video (which I have watched daily) and my friend, the professional photographer, was snapping away.

I pushed three times with every contraction. On the fourth contraction, tenth push, out she came. Our doctor let Sean deliver her. They laid her right on me and I bawled. Again totally different than with Charlie. With him I sat there numb, completely unable to cry. The first question I asked, through tears, was if she was really a girl. It was confirmed and I cried some more.

She was perfect! She screamed and pinked up so quickly. It was a perfect delivery.

So happy they didn't have to take her from me.
Embarrassing, but I like this picture-- says so much.
look at that hair!!
We were playing around with two names and decided that we would know when she came which one to choose. As she was clearing her lungs with great screams, I knew it would be the stronger name of the two. Audri.



Love this picture!
Sean likes formal names that he can shorten, so her name is Audriana Belle. She weighed in at 7.l3 lbs and was 22 inches long. She came out at 8:28 am on December 11 with chubby cheeks, a head full of hair, and a hefty appetite.


So happy!
Still so happy!
Charlie came in to meet his sister around 1 pm. She had a gift to give him (a train). He was soft and loving with her from the beginning. He is a great big brother!

All day every day.
Audri is so sweet. She sleeps, only waking up to be fed and changed every three hours. She is a blessing.

I am leery of germs-- tis the season, I guess. I am nervous around germy little hands. Charlie has to wash his hands so often. Poor kid! He thinks it's a good trade, if I let him hold his sister. He runs up and says 'hold you hold you?' or coooot beebee (cute baby).

This was such a wonderful birth experience and recovery; it makes me feel like I could have ten kids. (I can't tell Sean that-- he would be all over the idea.) We can't stop kissing her sweet cheeks. We love her and love this small family of ours. We truly have been blessed!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pregnancy Notes

My dear friend Natalie took pictures of me yesterday. She's pretty awesome! She shot them in the cemetery next to our house. I guess living next to the cemetery has its perks.

As this pregnancy is coming to an end I feel the need to write down my thoughts, experiences, emotions, and whatever is swirling around in my pregnant brain.

I am now 35 weeks along. I am asked daily how I am feeling. Here's how I am feeling:

~on the verge of tears.
~like swearing, but then feeling guilty for even thinking about swearing, which brings me to tears.
~like an a mood swinging, ankle swelling, obsessive cleaning, baby girl clothes buying, chocolate eating, exhausted mother.
~irritated by some status updates on facebook, then I tell Sean what I would really like to comment on some of the statuses, then I get irritated about even getting on facebook and subjecting myself to the torment.
~hopeful that the stretch marks DON'T come.
~realistic that the stretch marks probably will come.
~anxious after getting all the stuff ready for this little lady all the while thinking that it could be a boy (which I would be happy about).
~like a waddling duck.
~like staying at home and enjoying every little moment with our family of three.
~hopeful that Charlie still feels special after welcoming his little sister.

Most of all I am feeling excited to see this little one!

This pregnancy has FLOWN by! I can't believe that we are five weeks(ish) away from the arrival. We just spent Saturday stocking up on all of the baby essentials that we will need. With it being the busiest time of year, the big day will be here before we know it. We still have a Thanksgiving party at work, Thanksgiving week up at my parents' place, an anniversary getaway to British Columbia, weekly doctors appointments, book club, hair appointments, church responsibilities, a Christmas party for the church as well as for the employees at Sean's office and a patient party, a baby shower, birthdays, and several other little odds and ends.

Eating has been a struggle for me. She is up pretty far and so there is no room for food in my stomach. If I eat too much I have terrible acid reflux all night long. I love orange juice, applesauce, apple slices, chocolate, milk, cereal, any breakfast food, red meats, and french fries. I force myself to put spinach in smoothies, cauliflower in mashed potatoes, and I load our soups with vegetables. I hate vegetables while pregnant.

I have gained 15 pounds so far, but I know I'll put a good ten on in the next few weeks. With Charlie it was the same way.

I love the name we have picked out, but doubt it at the same time. We found it while strolling through the old cemetery next door to us. There was no doubting with Charlie. I knew he was a Charles. I have LOVED his name for years, even though people always questioned me while pregnant.

I know that there will be a difficult and wonderful transition ahead. I am not good with transitions.

I am hopeful that Charlie will adjust okay. We are getting him a baby doll to help him adjust and learn to be soft and nice to the baby. I have brought him around a friend's baby and he is sweet and soft with her. He knows there is a baby in mommy's tummy and will come up to me and hug my tummy and say 'hi baby' and follow that with lots of kisses on my tummy. It's pretty cute. He also requests that we read Mercer Meyer's book 'New Baby' over and over. The last line in the book is 'they think I am so lucky.' Charlie will say 'so lucky' over and over. Makes me melt every time.

We are excited and full of love for this new little spirit to enter our home. She is going to have such a wonderful father. Sean is such a kid fan. He would love to have a house full of ten little ones. I have to put the brakes on. Each child that comes into our home gets to feel lots of love from their dad. I couldn't do this without him. He is truly wonderful and completely focused on his family.

Ready or not.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


About three weeks ago we made the trek (again) down to Portland. It's a good thing I am loving the place, otherwise I'd go crazy with all the driving we are doing. I guess the driving gives us plenty of time to talk, plan, dream, and sleep. Charlie does really well in the car. We read books, watch Elmo or 'Memo' (Nemo), sing songs, point at various things outside, and count to twelve/sing our ABCs. Charlie puts on a show for us in the car, as he says/sings everything he knows, and then is too bashful to talk when we get around others. I need to catch our car trips on video.

(sidenote* Today Charlie was listing off his 'frens' or friends' names while I was driving. He kept saying 'Joe-Joe' (Joseph), 'Cucker' (Tucker), and his new favorite person 'Unc J-J' (Uncle Jason). I wish I got it on video!)

Anyways, we went down to Portland this time to visit with Sean's brothers, sister-in-law, and nieces. It was a packed trip, as always, but lots of fun, as always. We love family; his, mine, and ours-- doesn't matter who!

How we shop. Charlie has refused sitting in his seat. Sometimes we force him, but mostly we let him push the cart around with us.

Meeting up with everyone. 

Still trying to warm up to one another. It took a churro, given to them by Uncle Jason, to warm up.

Checking out Uncle Phillip's dental school. Sean was in H-E-A-V-E-N with all of the new tools.

I am on a role! I keep getting pictures with my sweet boy- decent ones too! Here we are getting ready to board the tram down into downtown. Charlie loved it!

The brothers and their firstborn children pose on our way around Portland via the street car. Proof as to why Charlie's favorite is Unc J-J. Uncle Jason is feeding him his favorite of the food groups-- goldfish crackers (shishees, as Charlie calls them).

Perfect. No waiting in lines for a sip!

Helping these two slide over and over again. They got the hang of it. Their shrieks and giggles were priceless. So far this is our favorite Portland park-- we are still discovering though.

No more assistance needed!


They warmed up to one another! These two keep all of us laughing. It's' a taste of what it would be like to have twins-- only a taste.

Portland is beginning to feel like home, even though we are happy to come home to our plowed cornfield.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Activities

Charlie's favorite time of the year has to be now. He loves seeing the tractors, airplanes, trucks, and trains (choo-choos) all around town busily helping with the crop harvest. He had a front row ticket to watch as a tractor and large truck harvested the corn surrounding our house. He sat there eating his lunch, smiling, and saying 'traco traco traco'. I was not enjoying the show as much. I was suddenly feeling exposed as our corn barrier quickly dropped to the ground. I thought we had at least two more weeks of grainy security.

Swinging with Kennedy and Sofi at the berry farm. We came with several little ones, and their mothers, to pick pumpkins, play on the playground, go to the petting zoo, eat pumpkin donuts and cider, take a hayride, and have a picnic lunch. It was a perfect activity that guaranteed a three and a half hour nap afterward. Poor kiddo was exhausted! 

One of Charlie's favorite friends, Ethan. He loves the big boys, and Ethan gives him a good amount of attention.

I didn't want to disturb him when he was in his 'happy place'. He could play with the tractors all day! We have become country folk. I don't think you could get any of us back into city living.

On the hayride.

Farmer Bill pulling quite the load behind his tractor. A portion of the moms and children that came along. There were a few more moms and kids behind the photographer. Kudos to me for blocking Annette. Why I felt the need to lean that far forward is beyond me. All these wonderful people are in our ward and they've made it feel like home.

Charlie's pumpkin.

Our mode of transportation-- I can't wait to ride on it again at Christmas when we go and pick out a tree!
A hat for Charlie. He wore this envelope around the house for awhile and was so sad when it tore in half. We were dying watching him run around the house in this.

Another great thing about fall has been the co-op that we are involved in. Every Tuesday morning Charlie and I go and pick up his friend Joe and drive into the big city. We get to co-op, which is a class for toddlers his age and their mothers; have circle time; play in a large and fully equipped toy room while mom's attend a parenting class; read stories; eat snacks; play with play-doh; paint with our hands, paintbrushes, cars, and whatever else we find; do crafts; play with water tables and sensory bins; and then head out to the playground to finish up. Charlie and Joe love it, and I love that I am able to handle two kids! I got several stares, as I first started attending, at my belly and then the two boys. I think people thought I was nuts! We are exhausted by the end of the day, but I have been 100% successful at keeping both boys awake on our long 45 minute drive home. Naps feel the best on Tuesdays!

We love fall!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Summer: the one with all of the sand

Towards the mid-end of summer we could be found walking funny, scratching our heads, and applying sunscreen. We lived at the beach for a week. Sand and sunburns could be found in tricky, hard-to-reach places on our bodies, and our scalps enjoyed the nice sand exfoliation treatment they received at no extra cost. We spent much needed quality time with loved family members. We laughed a lot, ate a LOT, watched fantastic olympic events A WHOLE LOT, and played even more than we should admit. It was a perfect family vacation that I would love to relive over and over again.

Pregnancy was at it's best. I was 20 weeks along. I was not too uncomfortable and not feeling sick anymore.  Excellent timing!

Here is our wonderful California week in pictures. Too many pictures.

This attractive seal could be found here daily. He mastered the art of boogy boarding while I mastered the art of toddler chasing down the beach.

Wendy made skim-boarding look like a breeze.

Finding the sharks at Sea World

Proof that I was there and had a key.

Rachel found a beach Romeo to play lacrosse with.

Sean and Josh basking in sand art.

Sean's daily wake up call. He loved the Charlie alarm.

Checking out the sea turtles with cousin Rachel.

Concentrating on the star fish he was staring at. I love how his eyes reflect that he's deep in thought...or maybe he's working on a number dos.

Sean needed an eye-poking sunglass-wearing lesson from the little pro.

A first for Charlie: riding a ride. He wasn't so sure about it and had a look of concern on his face the entire time.

The squeals that were heard around this kiddie splash pad, by Mr. Charles, were too much fun. Sean and I sat watching and laughing at how much he enjoyed splashing with the other kids.

Lady Emily wanted to find a comfy place to lay down at the beach. We decided to all pitch in and help her out. Poor thing was probably finding sand in every crevice possible.

Walking the pier in style. We saw dolphins at the end. San Clemente is behind the models.

Charlie's belly button, or 'butt' as he calls it, is his comfort. He was found all week with his finger in his belly button. He taught the group to find theirs as well and it was a successful lesson.

Charlie's little footprint. 'San Clemente, CA. Charlie 17 months'

Checking out the beach bodies....or birds.

Charlie's favorite this trip was a toss-up. It was either Emily or Uncle Jason. Both entertained him and he loved every minute!

Playing peek-a-boo in our closet. A daily game we played.

On our safari at Safari Park. It was a pretty cool experience to see all the wildlife in more realistic environments.

Finally a group shot! I only wish it was centered and a close-up. Oh well, thank you lady tourist.

Isn't the carousel for adults?

Finally we got to meet up with Meg, James, Linc, and Koby on the last day. We enjoyed more beach time, dinner and then CRASHED at our hotel. I desperately tried to stay awake to visit, but failed miserably.

Koby taught Charlie how to get a tan as well as build a sand castle.

It was too much fun! Can we go back please? I don't even think we were that relaxed on our honeymoon!