Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet Claire.

I'm the ideal incubator.

I have generally easy pregnancies, I don't experience morning sickness, and I'm a dang cute pregnant woman, if I do say so myself.  When it comes to the actual delivery, my labors are uneventful and with both boys, I had the babies out in two pushes.  The only area in which my body ranks less-than-satisfactory is labor-readiness.  I make so little progress on my own that elective inductions tend to be my best option (and I was two weeks overdue with Jonah with zero progress, so I'm not exaggerating...for once).

For child #3, my induction was scheduled for August 27th at 8:00 AM.  I was up at 5:30 AM to place my confirmation phone call with Labor & Delivery, and within a matter of hours, the hospital postponed and then reinstated my induction, totally throwing off my meticulously planned morning.  Not good.  As soon as I received the go-ahead from L&D, I quickly called my Dad -- Jonah's ride to school and Sam's caregiver for the morning -- who then got stuck in traffic. Tyler left to take Jonah to school himself and I stayed home to wait for Grandpa with Sam...and watch the clock as my induction appointment time came and went.  We were finally en route to the hospital at 8:30 AM, and the impatient phone calls from the hospital began soon after.  "Your doctor and nurse are standing here waiting for you!  Do you realize you were supposed to be here 30 minutes ago???"  Of course I realize that!  This is why I wanted to schedule my induction for a weekend!  I knew this would happen!!!  Anxiety attaaaaack!

I'm never late.  For anything.  Well, anything except for church and the birth of my children, apparently.  Tyler dropped me off at the front of the Women's Center at 9:00 AM and sped off to look for a parking spot.  I blasted my way through registration (seriously -- why, oh WHY do you have to register 20 thousand times when you're being hospitalized?!) and ran into L&D, sweating like a pig and apologizing profusely for our tardiness.  They rushed us into our room and I threw on my gown.  (SIDE NOTE:  For those that requested I take a photo of my pregnant belly, I'm sorry.  While I don't quite understand why you want to see me 27 pounds overweight, I had planned on snapping a pic prior to putting on my gown.  Unfortunately, the circumstances prevented me from feeling like I had time to do so since I was already an hour late to my own induction.  My bad for procrastinating!)  My doctor had long since returned to her clinic, so the nurse immediately hooked me up and started the pitossin. 

The contractions started off hard and fast.  Within minutes, I was contracting 2 minutes apart, steadily.  I had a personal goal to have this baby born by 3:00 PM so I could be cleaned up and walking by the time the boys came to visit.  Lame, I know, but I do those kinds of things.  My doctor came down and broke my water at about 10:15 AM and predicted we'd be done by lunch.  I typically give birth 45 minutes after my water is broken, so I texted my mom to let her know she should be on her way.  Mom showed up just in time for my epidural, which was done around 11:30 AM.  For the next couple hours, nothing happened other than I began to question the effectiveness of the $1600 epidural I had been given.  My legs were tingly, but I could move and feel them, and I was feeling an increasing amount of pressure on my right side.  My previous epidurals had rendered me completely numb so I let the nurse know I was feeling more than I wanted to.  She assured me that was the mark of a great epidural because it gave me more control over my pushing.  (But I only push twice!  Who needs control over two pushes?!  I want to be numb!)  The pressure quickly evolved into what most people would consider pain.  I say "most people" because I operate on a completely different pain scale.  A "10" for the general public is more like a "5" or "6" for me, which makes situations like these a little tricky.  By 2:30 PM, when a contraction would come on, I'd squint and say, "Ow," which I guess is hard to take seriously.  I called the nurse again (who was probably rolling her eyes at this point).  She gave me an extra "boost" in my IV after rolling me on to my side in hopes that gravity would assist the epidural.

While she was there, she decided to check my progress: "Goodness!  You're at a 10!  I'm going to go call your doctor.  DON'T PUSH!"  I assured her, "I don't even feel the urge to push.  I'm good." (...except for the fact that I'm paying for this swear-word-of-an-epidural that is not working!)  She left and the three of us resumed our conversation.  At the next contraction (now remember, I'm still lying on my side at this point), I literally felt something "bubble" out of me.  I didn't know what it was, but it didn't feel right.

This is where it gets crazy.

"Tyler, something's wrong.  Call the nurse. Now."

Tyler presses the button.  Another contraction.  Thanks to my failed epidural, I feel more movement between my legs.

The nurse finally walks in with a medical student and I explain that something isn't right, so she lifts up my blanket and gasps, "OHMYGOSH!  THERE'S A BABY!"

The baby had literally slipped out.

I look over at my Mom who has the most horrified look on her face I have ever seen.  (Comforting.  Real comforting.)  I then look up at the nurse who -- get this -- turns around and RUNS OUT OF THE ROOM!  And the medical student follows her!  Tyler yells after them, "UM, we have a BABY here!" and as if on cue, the baby starts to cry.  The door closes behind them and we all look at each other, completely unsure of what to do.  We can hear the nurse out in the hall yelling frantically for a doctor - any doctor.  A minute passes...or maybe it was 15 seconds?  The door flies open, 8 people rush in yelling and complete chaos ensues.  I get flipped over onto my back and the nurse nearest to me yells, "I'm going in without gloves!"  She scoops up the baby and begins to suction her mouth while an OB Fellow clamps her cord.  Tyler cuts the cord and they hand me to her for a minute before the other nurses move her over to the bassinet so they can examine her.  The whole time I'm exclaiming, "I didn't push!  I swear I didn't push!!! Not even once!"  I think they believed me...I swear, I didn't.

When my doctor finally came in, there was very little for her to do other than a few icky things.  The baby was 100% fine.  Better than fine, actually.  She had the nicest head out of any of my pushing can do that.  Once the crowd began to dissipate and I thanked an awful lot of nurses, I finally got a chance to really hold her and take it all in.  She was perfect.  Very Eves-looking except for a Crocker-esque nose.  At 6 lbs, 1 oz., 19 1/2 inches long, she was the exact same birth size as my sister Rachel, who happened to be born the exact same way -- in a delivery room, sans medical staff.  There was a tender feeling in the room as we remembered her and thought about the fact that those two spirits were so recently together.

We named her Claire Marie.  Claire, because we could agree on it, and Marie after a few very cherished family and friends who share that middle name.  Claire also shares her birthday with one of my dear cousins, a wonderful aunt, and a childhood best friend.  You just can't come into the world on better terms than that, I think. 

So now I have a daughter, and I no longer have to get the boys a puppy.  Its been 3 1/2 weeks and we are all completely in love with her.  She has strawberry blonde hair and very blue eyes which I still find quite puzzling considering I have one child with eyes the color of "chocolate" and one with eyes the color of "mud."  I suppose it was only fair that Tyler have one blue-eyed child.  But I think she's beautiful...and my heart is full.

And, in case you were wondering, she was born at 2:43 PM.  17 minutes ahead of my goal.  Is that a good kid, or what?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gender Reveal

Ultrasound today. Aside from the placenta previa they'll be keeping an eye on, it all looked good. Tyler couldn't wait to spread the news and stole my thunder by texting our immediate family with the gender announcement. I was at least able to surprise Jonah when he got home from school today. And let's face it -- his reaction was really the only one I cared about anyway!

It was exactly what he wanted. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Surpise!

As part of our Valentine's Day celebration this year, we put together a treasure hunt for the boys with a grand finale! I recorded the very last clue. You may have to turn up the volume on your computer to hear what Jonah is reading -- he's speaking pretty quiet and the echo doesn't help (I know, I on the walls would help that!). If you still can't make it out, just scroll down and read the text below.

(written by Tyler...that man can rhyme!)

Once upon a time in a house that was small,
There lived a little brother who wasn't yet tall.
Inside his white pillow is said to be found
A treasure so tasty...
Go look around! (...candy for Sam, Vanilla flavored Carnation Instant Breakfast for Jonah...he's a weirdo!)

Now that you know that you're part of this tale
You must find a treasure that you can set sail
Up with the clouds this treasure can fly
But only with help from your Mother and I.
To find the next treasure, hurry and see,
What you can find behind the love tree. (...kites...)

To find your next fortune you must start to think
Where we get water (and I don't mean the sink).
A place that we lather, we rinse, and we scrub,
Hurry and go there! Its down in Mom's tub! (...bubbles...)

For your last and your final treasure today
Go to the room where together we pray
Go into the room where you'll find a warm flame
Sit in the chair where you find your name
Sit there and listen to mom and to me
We have something exciting to tell to you three?

Your Mommy has something inside of her tummy
Not last night's dessert that tasted so yummy
But a brother or sister to be part of our team
Someone to help you to scrub and to clean
A small little baby to love and to cuddle
To teach and to care for and keep out of trouble.
Go tell Mom you're happy and you just can't wait
And tell that darn baby not to be late!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The end of the year...and the beginning of a new one.

Time for a holiday report. So what if its a week late? That just means I've been doing what all self-respecting moms-with-kids-on-break should be doing: Rolling out of bed at 8:30 AM (...okay, 9:00 AM...don't judge me!) and spending the better part of the day in my pajamas. That's what school winter vacation is for, right? Cleaning up the aftermath of Christmas, assembling new toys, and breaking up fights. And there's been quite a bit of all of that around here! Now on to business...

Santa Claus plays a rather small role in our family. In a cast of characters, he definitely wouldn't be the leading man -- he'd be more like "the storekeeper" with a few poignant but fleeting lines. We don't discourage the presence of Santa in our home -- in fact, we do try to maintain a sense of Christmas magic in our celebrations, and Santa is a good contributor to that -- he just doesn't seem to make it into our conversations all that much. Instead, we try to focus more of our holiday effort onto discussing the birth and ministry of Christ and looking for ways to serve and show our love for others. We don't ask for Christmas lists from our boys and we keep our gifts rather humble, both in quantity and monetary value. Santa leaves no presents, but only fills the stockings with small, inexpensive treats. For this reason, when the boys have the opportunity to meet Santa, you'll never find them asking for a new bike or Playstation because they know something of that caliber won't fit in a stocking. I joke that I work hard to keep my kids' expectations low, but I guess in all honesty, there's some truth to that. I know some parents may disagree with that practice, but taking this type of give-not-receive-and-work-hard-for-what-you-do-get stance takes a lot of the pressure and stress out of the holidays and is a sentiment that lasts well beyond the Christmas season.

This year, Santa visited our church Christmas breakfast. We mentioned to the boys that morning that Santa was going to ask them what they wanted him to bring them for Christmas, and that they needed to have an answer prepared so as to not clog the line. (You don't want to mess with Jonah's indecisiveness. Trust me.) Jonah had wanted a wristwatch more than anything since the start of the school year, but he wasn't sure if that was a wish Santa might fulfill. I told him to ask for it anyway (having already purchased one on Amazon, but intending to take the credit myself). He was instantly concerned, however, about Santa's follow-through:

"But I want a digital watch, not an analog watch. What if I tell him I want a digital watch but he forgets and brings me an analog watch? That would be disastrous!"

"I think you can trust him to remember you want a digital watch -- besides, just because you ask for it, doesn't mean you're going to get it."

"Nope. I just don't want to risk it. I'm going to tell him I want something else. Something I know he can handle."

Once the boys hit the front of the line, Sam decided to go first.

Santa: "...and what do you want for Christmas?"

Sam: "A bell."

Santa: "A bell?"

Sam: "Yes. A bell."

A very puzzled Santa: "What kind of bell?"

Sam: "A small one."

Santa: "But--what are you planning to do with it?"

Sam: "Ring it, of course."

Well, DUH, Santa. What ELSE would you do with a BELL?!

Then it was Jonah's turn. In the end, Jonah asked for Legos. "Any Legos are fine," he said. It was quick and to the risk whatsoever. And it provided additional evidence that cautiousness is genetic. (Santa did seem relieved that Jonah's request was a little more mainstream than Sam's!)


Christmas day itself was a whirlwind of family and togetherness. Jonah was extremely generous with his gift-giving this year. In addition to draining his piggy bank to buy gifts for Sam, he also rooted through his own prized possessions to find items he knew his brother coveted and carefully wrapped and stashed them under the tree. He kept whispering, "Mom -- can't you just imagine the JOY we'll see on Sam's face when he opens this???" It was so heartfelt. We had to keep reminding Jonah to open his own gifts because he was so preoccupied with watching Sam. In addition to the DIGITAL (not analog!) watch, Jonah also received our hand-me-down 8-year old Sony digital camera. He was thrilled. By the end of the day, he had filled two memory cards and completely drained the battery. Both boys were extremely grateful for each gift they opened, and we got lots of hugs and thank-yous. And nobody impaled themselves on Sam's new cactus (courtesy of Santa), which was also a success.

We attended church that morning with Tyler's grandparents and aunt, followed by lunch at our house. A quick stop at my parent's house (we spend Christmas Eve with them) was followed by an evening with Tyler's parents and siblings, where we are always sufficiently spoiled by my generous in-laws. Late into the night I made my annual stop at the home of my best friend's parents where we meet up to exchange gifts, sit in a dark room, and laugh until we start to question the effectiveness of our aging bladders. Its always the perfect way to end the long Christmas day.

New Year's Eve came and went as well. I'm not usually one to make resolutions, but I have been taking stock of this past year and the things I'd like to reevaluate and change in 2012 (more on that later). I sat down with the boys to fill out an end-of-year worksheet to help them bring 2011 to a close and start thinking about their goals for the upcoming year. Jonah's answers were enlightening -- his only goal for 2012 is to learn to get along with his brother. Let's hope he makes some progress in that direction (although, for that to happen, perhaps I should have convinced Sam to list "stop picking on my big brother" as his 2012 goal).



We spent the evening together at home, eating their favorite dinner, getting haircuts, playing computer games, watching Winnie the Pooh, and then ushering in the New Year with party hats, noise-makers, sparklers, and sparkling apple 12:00 AM EST. That's 10:00 PM MST. I try to be a fun mom, but I'm not a crazy person! Tyler and I turned in soon after. Because we're old like that.


In case you didn't get a Christmas card from us this year, here's our year-end family recap:

TYLER entered his 7th year at Myriad Genetics, only put 2,000 miles on his car, probably logged the same on his bike, spent many evenings tinkering with the sprinkler system, broke a rib or two mountain biking, reluctantly planted new sod in both yards, put in countless hours serving in the Elder’s Quorum presidency, built a home theater PC, and now plans to temporarily abandon Liz for the ski slopes.

LIZ put down the floral clippers indefinitely after one last busy wedding season, purchased a fancy new sewing machine, took a trip to CA with her sister, became the Den Leader for a Cub Scout troop of 17 eight year-olds, helped Jonah master 2nd grade math in six weeks, got the best tan of her life hanging out at the park (which isn’t saying much), and enjoyed every second spent with the kiddos...almost.

JONAH started the 2nd grade at a new school after testing into the district’s accelerated magnet program, made good use of his library card, built amazing things with Legos, spent time with live penguins at the local aquarium, joined the Chess Club, became a Cub Scout, was baptized, knee-boarded for the first time at Lake Powell, savored evening bike rides with his dad, and never, ever stopped talking.

SAM graduated from Joy School and moved on to Preschool, made friends with countless strangers, tried his hand at swimming lessons, developed a fondness for the Peanuts gang, ate more than a 14-year old boy, enjoyed scaling rocks at Moab, kept a very busy social calendar with his best buddies, lost his cherished doggie but learned to love a new one, realized he can beat up his older brother...and did.

Wishing you a lovely 2011 Christmas!
Tyler, Elizabeth, Jonah (8) & Sam (4) Eves


...And a very Happy New Year, too.