Sunday, August 31, 2014

three really isn't that bad.

Now that we have our third kid, one of the first things people ask me is "so hows life with 3?" The second thing they ask is "are you going to try for a girl?"

I can see how people think having three kids, all three and under would seem like it's hard, almost impossible and most certainly exhausting... and yes, I would have to agree that some days are, but really it's not that bad. And to be  honest, just having two was harder.

When Hampton was born Hudson was 16 months old. 16 month olds are babies. not toddlers, babies. So life with two babies while living with your inlaws then moving into a 1100 square foot home and not even 6 months later moving 900 miles away to a completely new state away from all your friends and family... now thats hard. Depressing really.

But to be even more honest, having just one has and was probably the hardest. Because everything is so new. I mean I called the pediatrician because Hudson didnt poop for 4 days. Seriously. I filled the kiddie pool up with "luke warm" water from our sink carrying buckets of water through the house because the hose water was too cold. I sent an email out to family telling them not to come to the hospital even if they had the sniffles in fear of Hudson getting sick (now thats embarrassing to even admit).  Being a new mom is hard. It's like sitting in a calculus class looking at the syllabus for the year when you know "math" is totally not your thing. Its all a learning process and some days you fail and some days your just thankful for the curve the Lord gives out.

One thing i am learning is that most older moms can forget what it feels like to be a new mom.   I know the fears, I still have them. I know how exhausting it is, I'm still exhausted. I know how lonely it is, because I am alone. I pray on a regular basis that I never forget these days, because it really is easy to forget the bad and hold on to the good. And yes, I know we shouldn't dwell on the bad but I think its important to learn how to cope with the hard days especially when it could help someone else down the road and we all know more hard days are just around the corner.

So the next time you are around a new mom who is worried about her 2 month old sniffling, or doesn't understand why her son's poop is purple (personal experience), or is wondering if she will ever sleep again... dont just give her little smirk and make a "its only just a season" comment, listen to her, try your hardest to remember the nights you were up alllll night long with your kid running a fever and nothing would get him back to sleep... not even your boob. nothing.

Being a mom is hard, being a new mom is even harder. The great unknown, we only learn from experience and from what I experienced the more kids you have the easier it gets, more like "controlled chaos" and immune to the exhaustion ;). I mean look at Michelle Dugger, now that lady knows what she's doing. ;)

Friday, August 29, 2014

And we're homeschooling... I guess

 So a couple of Mondays ago we officially started pre-schooling at home. I guess it's considered Pre-K3 or is it 4? I have no idea. Hudson is 3.5 and Hampton will be doing "tot " school since he just turned 2.

I never planned to homeschool it just sort of happened, and so far we all are enjoying it. I love seeing my kids learn, I love learning how they learn, I love being the one to first see it "click." Some days I'm pulling my hair out but most days, like all other aspects of parenting, I love being their mommy and their teacher. So here I am, getting my feet wet in the unknown adventure of homeschooling, I have no distant goals, only short term. Most of our days are centered around simply just playing with a purpose, learning how to finish a task and to make learning fun & interesting.

I wasn't going to really blog about our homeschooling days, but a lot of people are always asking me about ideas, curriculums and activities so I figured I could slowly get those questions answered all in place. It is a bit scary to blog about what were doing, in fear of what others may think or that we just aren't doing something "politically" correct so to speak. But it is all just another adventure, it may just last a few months or end up being a few years. Only time will tell. =) 

The curriculums we use are all bible based, and I don't use them all at the same time, I just sort of pick and choose what I like about them. For instance, we aren't doing our ABC's in alphabetical order, we are starting with the easiest ones to write, mainly because Hudson knows his ABC's he just has a hard time writing them. Here are the links to the curriculums:

I then of course am always pulling ideas from pinterests and other mom blogs! 

We do school on Monday, Wednesdays and Saturday. Why Saturday you ask? well because my husband works and Saturday is our Friday. Tuesday is family day, Sunday is Church, Friday we have bible study and Thursday is our off/free day! Our lesson plans revolve around the Letter of the Day, a bible verse, a number, a shape and a sight word.  We start school at 8:30 and end at 10:30 or 11:00. Our break is usually at 9:45/10:00. Sometimes this schedule has to be altered if Palmer's sleep schedule is off and I'm nursing for 15-20 minutes. But the boys just read books or have snack time then. 

The first day of school I did an assessment test with Hudson to see what he knew and what we really needed to work on. This was really neat to do with him. A lot of it was being able to trace lines, cut straight lines, identify all the letters upper and lower case, how high he count, patterns, shapes etc. This pretty much took up our entire first day, him doing each test. The boys each have their own sets of storage containers that I organize the night before. They start at the top and will do whatever is in that box, and once they have completed that box they take it back and pull out the next one. They both love it. They never know whats going to be in the next box! might be a craft, might be a book for story time, might be an adventure walk...who knows ;) Before they start their boxes we pray, sing a song, go over the bible verse and talk about what the day of the week is, the weather etc. 

Here are a few pics of our first day:

this is one of Hampton's favorite activities! A little bag filled with random things to match up his colors. 

Hudson is my littler learner. He is definitely a Montessori kid, will sit and work on anything as long as its planned out well and expected. He knows when I'm not prepared ;) Our first day was a little different then our rest, as it was all testing and a lot of worksheets and things we don't do too much of on a regular basis. I was worried he wouldn't last very long, but to my surprise he did awesome. 
Hampton is mainly working on colors, shapes and matching. He struggles with his colors but is learning letters because of Hudson. He knows the songs we sing and his bible verses. So sweet but a full blown two year old ;)
So the rule is: Whenever you get off task you must either role around on the carpet or jump on the trampoline for 10 times. ;) Hampton jumps a lot. 

My next school post will be over our first real week of school over the letter "L!" So stay tuned ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Palmer's Birth Story

I never would of thought by my third non induced vaginal pregnancy that i would be in labor for over 24 hours, make two false alarms to the hospital and go past 40 weeks with over a 9 pound baby. No. never did i dream that this is how baby ruth number three would end his time in my womb.

i thought for sure this pregnancy would end up being, do i dare even say it...easy?! pain free?! quick? what contractions?? But little did I know, someone bigger, greater and all knowing...knew better ;)

The last couple weeks leading up to Palmers birth were very exhausting and pretty painful. I was having such a hard time walking, sleeping, even sitting. I was emotionally drained and physically just done carrying this baby around inside me. Thankfully, I have the greatest inlaws ever. yes my inlaws are better than yours. seriously. and no you cant have them. They came to my rescue. First Dannys mom flew in and then a few days later his dad came! They cooked, they ran errands, they encouraged, they prayed, and most of all they entertained H & H. I will forever be grateful for having them around during the times of all three of our babies being born.

The Wednesday before Palmer was born I was having contractions around 10-12 minutes starting around noon that day.  Danny decided to stay home that day bc we both felt like today was the the day and since he works in Dunwoody, depending on traffic (and theres always traffic in Atlanta), his commute home can be anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes especially if he left after 3.  No one wanted me to take the risk of having this baby at home...and neither did I for that matter. all my midwives/doctors/nurses kept reminding me "we dont mess around with third babies, ya just never know." So when I called to let my midwife know what was going on she told me to go ahead and go to the hospital.

We get to the triage room, they monitor me for about an hour and ended up sending me to home depot. i mean home, but we went to home depot after getting a sandwich at jason's deli. getting sent away from the hospital is really a weird feeling, especially when your in so much pain and expected to be an "experienced" mom who should be well aware for when its actually time to have a baby. But in my defense, I was dilated to a 5, having consistent contractions, membranes had been stripped, mucus plug lost and baby was low...very low. so then my midwife says "third babies are tricky." what does that even mean?!

Thursday came along, contractions. all. day. long. Danny went to work because he had given up on the baby, along with everyone else for that matter. I would end up being the only person who literally was going to be pregnant forever. but by Thursday evening my contractions finally got to 5 minutes apart, Hudson was even timing them for me and by 9 that night we went to the hospital.

Got to the triage room and once again the lady told me my contractions were only 7 minutes apart and I was still only dilated to a 5. They monitored me for about an hour and checked me again & by 10 pm still no changes. The triage nurse told us to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back and get checked. So here I was waddling around the labor and delivery unit in an over sized hospital gown walking past all these rooms were women were either laboring or already had their babies...super encouraging.

After walking around for an hour I knew my contractions had picked up and were pretty strong. I no longer could walk or talk while they were happening and even had to do squats during them in the hallway (which was super attractive). once we got back to the triage room it was now 11pm, the same nurse checked and hooked me up to all the monitors and believe it or not said these words "you probably just need to go home and labor some more!" I wanted to slap her but I was in the middle of an awful contraction that clearly was a sign of progress.

I started crying. I could not go home! No, i could not go back home and just walk around in the middle of the night having really hard contractions that were at the most 5 minutes apart while everyone sleeps. No I was not going home. I started praying.

I kid you not, the moment I said "Amen" an new older nurse walked in saw how upset I was and said "let me check you again, you seem like your in a lot of pain." (duh) She checked me and informed us that i was about a 7 now and clearly was going to be having a baby tonight. Danny asked if he could go move the car and bring in our stuff, her response was "probably not Dad, were about to have a baby, I dont think you need to go anywhere."

At this point my contractions were now about 2 minutes apart and by the time we were admitted to the delivery room it was close to midnight. Getting to the delivery room took awhile because I chose to walk so every 5 steps or so i would have a contraction. brutal. My midwife met us there and right at midnight we decided to break my water, we all knew breaking the water was really the one thing that had not happened that pretty much needed to happen.

About 3-5 minutes after my water broke, i started regretting the whole "natural birth" plan. you see, even though i choose to have all natural births, i'm a terrible laborer. i really am that girl you see on the movies...all calm & collected, breathing in & out, proud of my decision to go this route but once i hit that transition phase...i want the drugs. like crazy. like i have absolutely no control over my body.
yeah...why i keep having all natural births? i have no clue.

So there I am in the most extreme amount of pain ive ever been in, in the most awkward positions a 40 week pregnant woman could be in and i remember everything getting a little cloudy as if I was going to pass out and remember looking around the room and noticed everyone just staring at me, so calmly, just waiting for me to push this baby out. weird.

My midwife was so steady, so relaxed. She just waited at the end of the bed and told me to push whenever I wanted to. This was a little different for me because I never really had that 100% moment of being ready to push like I did with the last two. But the pain was too unbearable to not push, meaning I was pushing just because I was hurting so bad, I wanted it to be over. So I pushed, and I pushed and I pushed some more.

And then his head came out, but nothing else. His shoulders were stuck on my pelvic bone (shoulder dystocia). And what was only a couple of minutes felt like forever. They pushed the emergency button and in flew a handful of other medical assistants...nurses I assume. (This is when you really regret not having pain medication.) I was terrified to say the least. I thought they were going to have to rip me open or do something horrific in order to get him out. 3 or 4 people were pulling my legs in all directions and just telling me to push as hard as i could. And then they told danny to step back, and thats when I lost it. I remember for a split second we made eye contact and thats how I knew how bad it was. It was a look I really cant explain but its tattooed into my head as the look i never want to see again, i'll never forget it. He was scared. I was scared. I finally just called out "Lord, please deliver this baby" and he did. just like that, as if that was the only thing he was waiting for me to do, for me to depend on his strength and not mine, or dannys but HIS.

And at 12:33 AM Friday, May 2nd sweet 9lb 2oz baby ruth finally popped out. I had a small tear a little shaken up and a bit traumatized but we were all okay. Everyone was pretty shocked that he was 9lbs considering my last sonogram estimated a 6lb baby, my other two were 6 & 7 pounders and well...I'm not a very big person. The triage nurse that was going to send me home came to see us and said "man, you need to give that baby a cheeseburger!" I smiled and then said "and you were going to send me home an hour ago..." She didn't say anything. Shoulder Dystocia can be pretty scary and usually do not turn out as well as ours did. We are so thankful Palmers shoulders were not harmed, I didnt have to have an emergency c-section, no medical tools were used to get him out ,I didnt tear as bad as I could have and that I didnt have him at home!

Natural births are without a doubt Amazing. Empowering. Hard. Miraculous. but awkward. Man are they awkward and hard (did I already say that?).  But  my midwife was awesome. danny was even better. And for the third time I can honestly say that without my husband I would not have been able to deliver these babies the way I wanted to. He was my voice and my rock. And when we both crumbled we were grateful to know and serve a God who was there watching, guiding and protecting the whole event.

We are proud to welcome Palmer Mays Ruth into our car crashing, train colliding, furniture jumping, pillow fighting, jesus loving home!