Thursday, January 9, 2014

Remember When...

We celebrated Jack's 8th birthday this week!  So I thought for this weeks update we can take a look back at what I looked like when I was expecting our kids and their stories...


Kisses from Daddy just a week before Lydia was born

First Family Photo

I was only 21 and Ben was 22 years old when Lydia was born.  Most people must have thought we were very crazy to plan on having a baby at such a young age.  Looking back now, we think we were crazy, but we knew what we were doing, maybe?!?!  WE HAVE NO REGRETS!  Lydia was a week late.  We were preparing to become parents and have Ben leave for his deployment to Iraq.  We went into the hospital on our first anniversary to have something placed to help me dilate and I was induced the next day.  Knowing Ben was going to be leaving in five days, we wanted Lydia's birth to be very private and didn't want visitors until the next afternoon.  I didn't want many photos of the birth and I didn't want it video taped (UGH, total regret!).  I hung on for a long while without any pain medications but at some point caved in and got an epidural.  I think I pushed for two hours and the doc said they might need to use the forceps or suction to help her out.  I knew that they weren't going to use that on our baby, so buckled down and was able to push her out on my own.  We didn't know her gender until she was born.  Most of you don't know, but I made a deal with God that I needed to have a little boy if something terrible was going to happen to Ben.  I NEEDED to have a little boy who would remind me of him everyday.  When this little head of red hair started crowning I knew it was going to be the little girl of my DREAMS (I wanted a little red-headed girl for as long as I could remember).  I had an overwhelming peace that Ben was going to be okay, we had a girl!  
Long story short, Ben didn't go to Iraq and Lydia is healthy. (See one of my earlier posts for the full story)   



 For some reason I can't make the rest of the photos larger...sorry!
This is Lydia giving Jack kisses just a couple weeks before he was born.
He came earlier than expected and we didn't get a really good photo  :(
The birthing ball is my favorite way to labor in the hospital other than walking.  I used it with all three of our kids and will use it with this baby, too.
                                                                               Family of Four 
 It wasn't long after having Lydia that I told Ben that we better have another baby or I didn't want another one, because Lydia terrified me of being a new mom again.  Lydia and Jack are seventeen months apart.  I figured since I wasn't sleeping already that we should just have our second, and final baby, and thankfully Ben was on board.  Lydia was on an apnea monitor her first year and I honestly don't think I slept for nearly two and a half years after she was born. 
Jack's pregnancy was uneventful and his birth was perfect, except Auntie Meggie and Kristal (Ben's sister) missed it!  Eleven days before my due date, Ben was heading out to work and I was on the couch holding a sick little Lydia.  I told him that I'd been having contractions since six that morning and he might want to stay home for a bit to see it if progressed.  We knew he was a boy.  Just a couple weeks before we had changed the name from Kai to Jack because I couldn't stand the reaction I had gotten from people (Thanks everyone!!! I'm a fan of telling people the name for this reason).  Labor continued and I did much of it at home in the bathtub.  Ben became unsure of the name, Jack, when he realized that it was his adoptive sister, Jaclyn's, birthday (who left the family many many years earlier).  I totally understood.  We dropped Lydia off at my friend's house and headed to the hospital.  Ben said he purposely hit as many potholes from the ice storm that we just had on the way that he could!  When we arrived at the hospital around one in the afternoon I was already dilated to 9cm.  The doc broke my water right away and he was born within two hours.  They didn't have time to give me an IV and I had the perfect drug-free delivery!  The first thing Ben said as the baby came out was, "HI JACK!"  I didn't think we'd have a name for him for days.  I can't imagine him having a different name!     
My sister and Ben's sister were both supposed to be at the birth.  Megan was on her way home from Florida and we called Kristal late because we didn't' realize how far along I was.  Neither of them were there to watch, but Ben video taped the birth and that's a treasure to have!  


This photo was taken at 38 weeks with George
Taken by the Amazing Frank Marino from Life Touch in California
Frank photographed our family all the time while we lived in California.  He was our FAVORITE!
Typical labor look...quiet, peaceful, and on the birthing ball
Not many people give two thumbs up when it's time to push

                                                                                                        Our family is complete

Within a month of having Jack we had a vasectomy consult for Ben.  Our insurance at that time made us wait one month from the consult to the procedure.  I did what any 22 year old would do and changed my mind in that month!  We were finishing up with college and were planning our move to California.  I loved being pregnant!!!  Being a mom was the best, other than the fact that I was terrified of newborns because of my PTSD from Lydia, and so we got pregnant soon after moving.  We found out that we miscarried at our 10 week visit.  I could tell from the beginning of the pregnancy that it wasn't "right" and it felt very different than the others.  We waited a week to see if it would pass naturally, but I was scared to go to the bathroom, so at 11 weeks we had a D&C.  We were told to wait one normal cycle and then we could try to get pregnant again.
George is 25 months younger than Jack.  I did have a low lying placenta with his pregnancy that eventually moved up and I was able to have him vaginally.  He was a week overdue and I selfishly let our doc induce me.  I was so ready to have the little guy out of me!  Megan, Bethy and Shawn (my brother and sister-in-law), joined Ben and I in the hospital for the birth of George.  I actually called and asked Shawn if he wanted to watch his birth that morning and about two hours before he was born he decided he'd come and watch.  I think I was dilated to 6cm when I had an epidural that only worked on the left half.  I was totally fine being able to feel the right side, because when I pushed him out it only took two pushes. Having a room full of people meant that we were able to get awesome photos and a video of his birth. 
By the time we had George, I was already signed on with a surrogacy agency in California.  We knew we were done having kids, but I knew I wasn't done giving birth.  I love childbirth and really wanted to experience it again.  Ben said, "So long as that baby doesn't have to come home from the hospital with us, more power to you!"  And here we are.
I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow and I got a terrible cold this week.  For the first time I felt like I would like to have this baby out of me, just because I want to take drugs to knock me out and be able to sleep off this cold.  I'm starting to slowly feel better as the week goes on except for the acid reflux.  I cut out the carbonated water and that's helped a bit.  I can also feel my stomach stretching, so he must be growing fast inside or trying to stretch out himself!  He's still a little night owl, which is why I think I got sick.  I'm not sleeping nearly as much as I should.  Rant over, I still love carrying this little guy  :)  My IPs will be up next week for our appointment and we hope to take our third "blow up the belly" photo.  They're also coming to watch our family in The Wizard of Oz production.  Tomorrow is opening night for our three little munchkins and my big Ozian, and this pregnant lady will be doing the spotlights!