Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who's Who

Granted, I know everyone says new babies all look the same.  What do you think of my three?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Aria One Week old

So this is unfortunately all I was able to get today in the 7 minutes of shooting before she pooped on the set!  Hopefully we will have some more cute ones in a couple days after the umbilical cord thing falls out too.  She is happy and healthy and lets all knock on wood that my luck will hold out this time and I finally got me a mellow kid that just hangs out.  That would be an awesome gift! She has the cutest little pair of dimples just below the corners of her mouth.  Hopefully I can catch them on camera soon. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Aria Olivia Graf

 The following account if almost straight out of my journal and therefore contains all the "gory"  details you may not want to know, but read on if you wish

We were beyond blessed to have our 4th child (Aria Olivia Graf) come healthy and happy to be part of our family on June 15th. I was not actually due till the 19th but we were planning on being induced on Friday the 15th. The previous Friday I had my doctors appointment and she checked to see that I was already dilated to a 4. I was absolutely sure that I was going to go into labor that weekend. This proved for a very different experience in the days proceeding labor. I had been in pain quite often throughout the last month of this pregnancy. I just could tell my body was not really liking being pregnant and weak. I know I sure didn't like it. Good nights sleep was impossible, picking anything up off the floor more than once was out of the question. I was exhausted and so ready to be done. So, I was sure we were going to have a baby early. So we just kind of sat around all weekend waiting. We had things to do, but in the back of my mind I was constantly thinking what I would do in each situation if I went into labor. Then Monday rolled around and Charles went off to work. I was tired of just sitting there so I tried to spend some time accomplishing something. Monday I cleaned my house. I picked up everything and got some things organized. It felt much better to actually have a clean house. However, that worked me into so much pain that I had to take a day off again on Tuesday. Not enough to send me into labor, just enough to make it so I could barely walk! Then Wednesday came around and I was tired of sitting so I tried to do a few things in Aria's room. I got her crib set up, sewed the bed skirt, ironed the bumper covers I had gotten and DI and put the whole room together. This also meant moving the full size bed out of the room and vacuuming (probably a little more than I should have attempted by myself being days away from delivering). I also got a few little decorative projects done to help tie it all together. I am pleased that it looks pretty put together and pretty cute for spending almost nothing extra. This however, once again overworked me and I spent most of Thursday sitting and resting again. At this point I had come to terms with the fact that nothing was going to happen before being induced. I was strangely a little disappointed. I think mostly for curiosity sake I was wondering what a normal labor for me might be like. Audrey and Ethan were both induced and I am not sure that Emily counts as normal because she came so early.  Although it was good that nothing happened early because I might have had to do it alone seeing as Charles carpools to work 40 miles away and the likely hood of me getting a hold of him at the dam and him making it back in time was slim.  I was glad I did not have to go through labor by myself.  

So this Friday morning arrived with a check in time of 8 am.  Ethan woke up to go to the bathroom at 5:30 and I just could not go back to sleep. So I just got up and showered to get started and ready. I had finished packing the bag the day before so didn't have that to do, but there were a few things that needed picking up and cleaning. However, at 6 am on the dot I was standing in my room after getting all dressed and sneezed, and my water broke! The next half and hour presented an experience that was NOT my favorite. I always hated having my water break in the hospital bed and having to kind of sit in it. That was gross, but at least it is contained. I couldn't believe how much water kept coming. I was trying to do things, and put on make up, and move around, but then this huge gush of water comes rushing out and you don't quite know what to do with yourself. My first real contraction came at about 6:30, thankfully my parents were already on their way planning to be here at 7 am anyway. So as soon as they pulled up we hopped in the car and off we went. 

We arrived and I was in the bed by about 7:20. I was having contractions about every 5-7 minutes. This continued for about 45 minutes. It occurs to me now that I have lived through two experiences where I am silently thinking that the people around me are not behaving quite like I think they should, that maybe in the future I might need to be a little more pushy. Not that we are having more kids, but both with Emily and now with Aria, I have had lots of thoughts like, “Why are they not moving faster” I don't say anything because I don't want to be THAT person to people who have a job to do and have done it before. I think it was about quarter till though that she finally hooked me up to monitors and checked to see that I was dilated to a 7 already. She said, “now you did want an epidural right? I thought my voice conveyed enough urgency and eagerness to mean, yes right now please! She did go to the door and talk to someone out there about calling someone to see who wanted to do this, so I thought we were covered. So for the next half hour while the contractions were still manageable I didn't say anything. The next half an hour after that however, is a blur of motion, yet so precisely at the forefront of my mind that it is nightmarish. My contractions were manageable till about 8:15 and then I had three that were all of a sudden a lot stronger and I told Charles to go check where we were at with the epidural and what did the nurse do? She came in to check how far I was. Now at a 9 she told them to put in a 911 to my doctor. She left the room and a few minutes later I had that last contraction where you know somehow with every fiber of pain in your body that this baby is ready to come. Charles ran to get her and the next 10 minutes or so were complete chaos. There happened to be another OB on the floor passing by and they yelled out to him really quickly and there were now people everywhere I just remember seeing him looking quickly and then frantically trying to throw on a gown and gloves quick enough, and one nurse bringing things in, another nurse doing something else, and another nurse telling me to lift up (YEAH RIGHT) to put the pads under me before this baby came out. I vaguely remember something like a whimper escaping my lips about, “seriously there is nothing you can give me”? And the next 10 minutes equate the most awful pain and distress I have ever been through. I could feel my contraction put that baby's head right there all on it's own and they told me to push. I did so 4 excruciating times and felt every single detail of her little body make it out. I remember begging inside my head that my luck as of the past would hold out and this would go fast. I remember pleading in my head to, “get her out, get her out” And then when they said one last time, I took them seriously and did it, and felt immediate relief (for a minute or so) that I was no longer being torn apart.

There was some part of me that knew this was going to happen. I knew it, although of course I would never admit that even to myself that. Why on this good, green, modern planet would any woman want to do that without an epidural?!?! I have heard women say they think they heal faster with no drugs. That is a load of crock in my very humble opinion. When you have an epidural you also don't have to feel all the pain for a while AFTER giving birth that no one talks about. The pain of being sewn back up, the pain of them ramming their fists into your stomach to get all the blood out, and the pain of your uterus starting to contract (which FYI feels almost as bad). With Audrey and Ethan, I distinctly remember feeling that rush of – whew it's over- but with them I got to turn over and go to sleep while they took care of the baby and cleaned everything up. Not so when there are no drugs in you. I do remember them giving her to me to kind of hold while they toweled her off and she cried out. I smiled and talked to her little white and purple body and empathized about how I knew she didn't like that.

So far things are going pretty well.  She seems to be a fairly mellow little baby.  Although she does not like dealing with poop or gas pains.  So last night it felt like she was awake most of the night grunting and mad.  That was not fun.  But it is still early and we will figure things out.  What a testament of  a seasoned mother eh?  The fact that you can say, "it will be ok in a week or so"  I remember so distinctly with Audrey that if someone could not give me immediate answers and relief then I just was NOT going to make it through the next couple of hours!  Having other kids and distractions helps.  I think it is good that it is too hot outside to even want to open my blinds.  It forces me to be ok just sitting and not having real high expectations for the day.  I do have moments of restlessness, but for the most part I am trying to enjoy this sweet little girl.  And we are.

Audrey and Ethan are beyond infatuated with her.  They give her kisses about a million times a day and they both want to hold her all the time.  Audrey held her in her lap (with the boppy) for almost an hour yesterday.  It is just so cute.  I love it.