Saturday, May 15, 2010

Naptime Prayer

Iain: Mommy! Pray! Pray!
Erin: OK. You pray for us.
Iain grabs my hand: Dee Jesus, I thank you a Iain and Foner Lynn, and Daddy, and Mommy, and Mana, and Nanu, and Nani, and Nani, and Nani, and Toby, and Auntie Doodie, and...Mommy who else?
Erin: What about Elisa Rose?
Iain: And thank you Elisa Rose. And I ask for Poppa a working, and Ahhmen.
Fiona: My turn!!! My turn!!!
Erin: OK, Fiona, do you want to pray?
Fiona, grabs my hand: Jesus, a tank you my fairies and my bunny. A Mommy, a Daddy, a Elisa Rose, a Mana, a Nanu, a Nani, a Toby....A-MEN!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Midnight Madness

This is husband doing a quick blog about being married to wife. Wife has interesting blood on her mother's side of the family. This blood causes them to wake up in the middle of the night and either say or do strange things. Her brother tends to work and answer telephones to take orders at 3am. Wife's sister famously woke up in a hotel while wife and her mother were watching a movie. Wife's sister got into a pose like she was pushing something. She was trying to prevent a wine rack from falling on them while they were watching a movie. No word on the other brother.

Last night, wife wakes up and says to me in a voice similar to talking to a dog/baby, "Hi there, how are you doing? " She starts rubbing my shoulder and back like a dog. "There you are, how are you? " She keeps petting me like some sort of companion animal. I know I have fur, but not that kind, nor that same density. "Where'd you go?"

To which I respond, " I am right here."

She still pets and asks again in this good boy voice, "Where are you?"

I give her a kiss on the lips.

Her voice turns from a sweet honey to a sour grape. "I see how you really are!" She turns around and falls right back asleep. I stayed awake long enough to remember this oddity so I could remind her and hopefully the rest of the world. I wondered how far she would have taken this if I had not kissed her, maybe I didn't want to find out.

A multi generational ailment of the Madden/Griebahn blood is the search for babies in the bed. Wife's Grandma did it, Wife's Mom did it, and Wife has done it. Lil' Fiona or Elisa may too when the have children. Wife's brother does this too, so it crosses the chromosomes. Wife's dad used to aggravate his wife by even asking her where the baby was just to watch her search. I learned from his mistake that this does not produce happy wife.

that's all for now

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recent Dialogue

The pure joy in my life are my little babies, and the ones that are talking continue to make Husband and I laugh hysterically. Here is the most recent sampling, fresh from their mouths last night.
Synopsis: Recently, Iain has been exposed to Errol Flynn's portrayal of Robin Hood. He found some small wooden, erector set type of toys from Jake's childhood, and asked Husband to change the construction from an airplane into a sword.
Iain, sticking his sword towards Fiona's belly: I'm Robin Hood! Give me your money!
Sitting on Jake's lap, Fiona lifts her hands to Iain and said: I'm poor!
Iain: No you aren't poor, you are rich. Give me your money!
Fiona: No, I'm poor!Last week, I was feeding the baby in her room, and I & F wanted to be playing around with her toys as well as opening and shutting the door. I told Iain to stop trying to close the door, but eventually he did shut himself out of the nursery. He had been wearing a train conductor hat that Nani got him for Easter.
Iain knocking on the door: Let me in!
Erin and the girls inside ignoring Iain.
Iain: Hey guys, let me in.
Still ignoring him.
Iain: Hello! I'm a choo choo man. Let me in! You guys need a choo choo man.
Erin: Oh thanks, but we don't need a choo choo man right now.
Iain: You GUYSSSSS!! You need a choo choo man!
Erin: Actually, Mama told the choo choo man to stop playing with the door, and so now you are locked out and I am feeding Elisa, so you will have to wait.
Iain becoming weepy: need a choo choo man.
Erin: I might need a choo choo man in a minute, after I am done feeding the baby.
Iain becoming hysterical, and crying: Mommy! Pleeeease let me in!
Erin getting up with Elisa still eating to let the choo choo man inside with all of the girls.Husband's uncle came into town for a business trip, so he was visiting at Nani's house. We went over to say hello and make a visit. Iain became very loud, and was rolling all over the floor, and jumping on and off of furniture. The behavior was very odd, and we realized he was trying to get tons of attention from everyone in the room.
Iain, singing at the top of his lungs: Makin' love, makin' love....
Jake looking at me: Is he saying 'Makin' love?' Where did he get THAT from?
Erin shaking her head.
Iain continuing to roll all over the floor.
Burton IV starts singing some sort of "Makin' Love" song.
Jake: Ahh!! He is singing "Make 'em laugh!!" from Singin' in the Rain"
Jake begins to sing along with Iain: Make 'em laugh! Make 'em laugh.
Burton IV: Singin' in the Rain 'eh? That's an odd movie for him to know a song from it.
Jake: Well, that's because Erin loves musicals so the kids watch them with her.
Erin: Thank you Iain, that was a wonderful song! Let's all just settle down...We had oatmeal for breakfast last week, and the kids are not fond of the hot mushy stuff. I fixed all of our portions together in the same bowl and loaded up the pile of hot oatmeal with butter, maple syrup, fresh raspberries, coconut and some carob chips.
Erin: Iain come here and take a bite of this.
Iain looking into the bowl: Mommmmmmy. That's strange. I don't like it.
Erin: It's not strange, it is delicious! Try a bite and then you can be done.
Iain taking a bite while grimacing. Starts to chew and then smiles: Mmmm Mommy. That's delicious!
Fiona: I have some! takes a bite Mmmmm delicious!

A few Sundays ago, Husband and I were getting the kids settled down for their nap. I had brought in a pile of coats and hats and things that needed to be put away.
Iain, in his attempts to stall the nap time: Hey, you guys clean my room now, OK? My room is all messy.
Erin: Uh, no. Your room is not messy right now, and I will decide when I clean your room.
Iain: No Mommy, this room is very messy. You guys clean this room up right now, OK?
Jake: No, it's not OK. Go to sleep now.Fiona running down the hallway, stubs her toe: Owwww! Mommy, I hurt my body. Kiss my body Mommy.

Fiona yelling from her crib after she was tucked in for the night: Daddy!!!! I need to go potty now! I make a ka ka now!!! Help me! Daddy!!!!

We had some green beans along with our hamburgers a couple weeks ago. Fiona started grabbing up each bean and quickly stuffed each one into her mouth saying: Mmmmm Delicious!
Iain: Mommy? These beans are not right. whinning like a sad puppy You have them Foner Lynn.
Erin: No, Iain, you need to eat your beans. They are good for you.
Iain: No Mommy. They aren't riiiiiiggghhht!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two months gone

Today marks the technical two month anniversary of Elisa Rose's birth. She is changing like wind, and such an easy baby! I don't mind saying this, because it is the truth. Plain and simple. I will not be one of these mothers that down plays the obvious rough start we had with Fiona Lynn. I love Fiona with all her fervor and zest for life, but she was a horrible baby! Elisa and Iain have been so much easier. I feel happy and well rested, with this two month old already sleeping "through the night." At least for the past week, she has been going to bed around 11pm and sleeping through until 6:30 and today 7:15am. That's enough to be a completely different day! Elisa laughs at all the kisses and hugs and snuggles that anyone gives her, and she is so easy to please.There are two dimples in those cheeks! I see them everyday! They may not have as deep of a hole as her Mother figure, but they are present and accounted for: one on left, and one on right.Yeah, I can't blog often if ever. I am making an exception today, since it is the two month point with Elisa Rose. I would love to be one of these SAHMs who has paid advertising on her blog, with glorious recipes and homemade projects to post and blog about, but I don't have time to even read these blogs anymore, let alone maintain my own, rather sorry little space in the blogosphere.

Husband and I still love each other. Isn't that great? I love saying that...still. It means so much to me to say that when I realize that we are one month away from our 4 year wedding anniversary. Some of the crazy circus rides we come across, I hope to never ride again because what normal couple would say, "Hey, that was a horrible experience, resulting in an avalanche of arguments! Wanna do it again?" I love that we seem to never be stagnant, and we could never say that we have a boring relationship together.Iain and Fiona continue to amuse everyone they come in contact with, even perfect strangers approach us wherever we go to say how amusing and cute they are. It was quite embarrassing when we were approached in a restaurant by a very sweet old lady, and she said, "Your children are so adorable and cute!" and Iain said, "I'm cute too!" and the old lady saw another little girl in the booth behind us and then corrected herself, "Yes there are lots of cute kids in this restaurant." The cuteness comes with a price, because they are littler terrorists around the house and in the back yard. Last week they were digging holes...for some reason, and dumping the dirt right in front of the door on top of the new patio. Very vexing to have more mud brought into the house that I desperately try to keep looking presentable. I mean, if the queen decided to pay a call, the house should be 1/2 way presentable! So far I am doing very well on my chore list from

Fiona absolutely adores Elisa. Most days, she is asking, "I kiss Elisa Rose? I hug her too?" Some days, she is in a holding mood and so she gets herself ready by sitting on the couch and holding out her arms. Fiona gets very quiet as she prepares to hold the baby, and her smile is so big and her tenderness so adorable.
Then, big brother asks for a turn, because he sees that there could be some fun in holding this smaller person. Of course, he is never interested until Fiona is enjoying her self so much that he would actually make Fiona upset by asking for his turn. Do you get the picture? If not, see below...In this first frame, Iain is truly enjoying holding the baby, and Fiona becomes traumatized.In this 2nd frame, Fiona is besides herself and so overwrought with anguish that her brother is getting a turn with her baby, that she has to bury her face in the couch pillow. Iain realizes that he has won under the guise of caring enough for his baby sister to want a turn holding her.3rd frame, Fiona has her possession back, and Iain has realized that he truly doesn't have to hold the baby in order to have "A picture of all three Mama!" Thankfully, I found the battery charger to charge the battery in my fancy camera to actually get some good photos, quick enough!Here we are again, spending some good quality sister time together.Ah, this is the life! "How sweet it is, to be loved like this."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our Fiona Lynn

I was hoping to find a minute of time to post a little birthday post to my oldest daughter, actually on her birthday. She turned 2 today, but we did the main celebration yesterday to not have her birthday overcast by the fun and amazing Easter holiday. Lucky for her, her birthday just basically turned into a 2 day ordeal in her 2 year old mind: "I opened presents for 2 days, I turned 2, Mommy said Happy Birthday when I woke up for 2 days, Mommy made me 2 cakes, and everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' 2 times as well."
Oh, my dear little Princess Fiona. I love you so much! I have dreamed about you for a long time-even before I knew your Papa, I knew your name. I wanted to have another baby so quickly, and I must have been thinking of you. You came in like a furry, and with your name being "white" and your middle name meaning "waterfall," Papa is right that you are a white waterfall: So beautiful and mesmerizing, but strong, powerful, and determined. You are growing up too fast for me, but I love to see how you know what you want and you do everything to get it (even if it means throwing a fit on the floor and screaming your head off). You are very giving and sweet when you want to be, and the kisses and hugs you give are so precious. Because you are particular, I know you are a detail gal, just like Mama, and I like that about you. We detail people make this world so much fun! Even though it bugs me, I know that in your own little mind, you have a very particular and good reason to demand the "other one" when asking for a princess cup. I know that there are days when you find something really comfortable to wear, you just want to sleep in that outfit, and wear it the next day...especially if it has a fairy princess on it.You seem to have a good intuition, even now, but it makes me nervous when you will walk up to a table and sit with a random stranger, but then not let an aunt or uncle look at you without wincing. It is good that you are independent, but I do love it when you need time to sit on my lap and rest your head into my chest. I need that time with you too. Even though we have just hit the 2s, you are so articulate with your words and feelings and sometimes we forget that you are still have those 2 year old demands and limitations-like when you need a nap, you really still need a nap!You are so kind to your older brother and your baby sister, and I am so thankful that you enjoy both of them so much. I hope that all three of you stay close with each other and grow in fondness for each other. You will learn from both of them, and you will have a special place in both their hearts too.Even now, I am praying for your husband. I am praying that his parents are raising a very strong and determined little man to some day sweep you off your feet. And the Lord knows how to prepare him...even if it could mean that he needs "big boots to kick you with, and big lips to kiss you with."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So what's new on Planet Little Joseph?

Mama is busier than a one legged snow shoveler.

The kids dumped all of the bath toys in the toilet today, to make bath toy soup? This was while I was feeding l'bebe.

The weather is awesome, and the kids love being outside. I feel as though the backyard is a very cheap baby sitter, as long as the naughty neighbor kid isn't home antagonizing the kids and luring them to escape out of the gate.

Our water heater exploded on Saturday. Yes. Exploded. I ran down, barefoot, and I kept walking through scalding, rising water and hastily got Husband on the phone to figure out where the water main switch was located. Thankfully, he keeps that space cleared in the basement.

We somehow managed a very fun dinner party with the impromptu visits from both of my little brothers. The kid population grew by the two twins. One uncle came a week early for Fiona's birthday party, so instead he had some lovely hamburgers (said in the Julia Childs voice) on ciabatta rolls, waffle fries and a very fun mint ice cream cake that Husband and I just "threw" together last minute. We somehow managed to keep one brother and girlfriend here until 11ish, and then other brother with wife, and twins, stayed the night...we are crazy parents to be up talking with each other and watching...what were we glued to anyway? The conversation is always so riveting, and exciting. The only sad part was that Auntie Doodie called many times, wishing she was here with all of us. I absolutely love that my house turns into the clubhouse, especially when my parents have skipped town to dance on the beach.

Baby Elisa is growing like a weed, and it will be 6 weeks on Saturday. Where does the time go? She is such a good baby, and my demands as a mother have not truly increased with her because she is so pleasant and easy to take into any situation. Iain and Fiona are the handful to be had, but they go like bread and butter everywhere with each other and truly get along very well.

It's a meatloaf night, so time to put on the apron to get things started. Here is the photo update.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Beginning of our fiscal year

We had a great St. Patrick's Day, spending time with friends and serving up my very first attempt at corned beef and cabbage. I love remembering the day, now FIVE years ago, when I knew that Husband had a thing for me. Those big huge butterfly wings hitting every side of my stomach...I still get them. What leaves me in disbelief, is that another year has gone by! March 17th somehow is the beginning of my calendar each year, like my own personal fiscal year or something. March 17th, even though it was two days ago, is the start of everything with Husband and it seems as though anything before that is ancient history. So what to report?
  • We got pregnant, sometime in June, and had our third baby in February. We survived all of the comments, and have come to accept that once we got past two kids, it is just the fact that we are officially "breeders."
  • Iain was potty trained, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a long haul since I know we started trying sometime last March. Potty training is one of the most liberating things in parenting. There is, however, an entire new list of yucky things to have to think about, but I would rather wipe up pee off of the floor from a crazy little willie than wipe the smashed doodoo off of the bum. No contest there.
  • Fiona talks a mad streak! We love knowing what she is thinking and speaking, even if that means she is extremely opinionated.
  • Husband attempted a garden last year, and wife learned how to can some things. It is much easier buying pre-grown things, but it is very rewarding to see and taste things that were from our own yard.
  • We all flew in an airplane to visit Nanu and Mana's Sandcastle and played in her pool.
  • Husband won a 3rd place ribbon at the State Fair for a photography entry.
  • We played at the Highland Games in July.
  • Husband's brother got married in September.
  • Wife went to Weston Price nutrition conference in November.
  • We became Aunt and Uncle to the first cousins-the twins!
  • A few house projects, including a new lamp post, and paint on the last white walls in our house.
It is possible that I did not put one photograph in a baby book, and I have started several sweaters for different members of the family, but finished none of them. We had many disagreements about many different issues, but I can't remember one of them. And most days, when I feel I got nothing accomplished, I wonder why my man seems to loves me more each day. The kitchen is a disaster, he steps over train tracks and baskets of laundry that needs to be folded. Maybe I haven't showered in a few days, and not worn mascara in months, he still looks at me the same way he always has. I confess that I have the same situation, because I am more smitten with him each day and my heart leaps when he walks in the door each night even if I can't hear him above the noise of our sweet, sweet babies.

How does that happen? How do we not see each other all day, and then we share each other with three little people, and we still have the "za za zoo" that officially hit on March 17th, 2005? Every cuddle in the morning is worth all the snores through the night, and I only hoped he would be the best father that he is to our children. So, Honey, another year has gone by, and I'm still the one by your side.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BEWARE: It's the birth story

If you dig birth stories, read on...but from this point on, I will be candid about the birth story of Elisa Rose. I have had many people ask me to write it down, and with such a marvelous story, it was easy to do. I can't predict if anyone would be squeamish about the details, but whatever, I'm sharing it. I have been so inspired by friends, family and strangers' birth stories, I can only hope that mine might inspire as I was by those who shared theirs.

I probably started having some contractions sometime during the afternoon, but I might have had a few the night before. By 4pm I was sending text messages to my friend Deborah, trying to figure out if they were real contractions or Braxton Hicks. I didn't want to time anything, because I felt like I might get paranoid if I was actually in labor. So it was Friday the 19th of February, which was technically my due date. My midwife had given me some extra time with her special equation using my actual cycle instead of the predetermined pregnancy wheel so her date was February 26th. I told everyone that my due date was March 1st, because I knew I would have a baby by then, and I didn't want this pregnancy to revolve around a magical, worshiped date.

I was in denial that I was having contractions, and found the entire situation to be rather funny. I say funny, because I think I knew that I was having contractions, and there were several things that kick started the entire process (acupuncture treatment the day before, cleaning my living room floor on my hands and knees after a child puked, and the snow storm) so I
shouldn't have been surprised. I gave Husband a heads up, after Deborah predicted I would be holding my baby within 72 hours. I thought he should start getting prepared for the blessed event. We went through our normal evening routine, but had a few things to get done around the house and Husband had some errands to run. I called Teresa, my acting doula, to tell her
about the contractions and some bloody show, but I told her I was getting some loose ends tied up around the house and I wanted everyone to be able to get to bed and sleep as much as possible before things got serious.

When we went to bed that night, Husband clocked the contractions about 10 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute when I was lying down. I was very restless through the night, because I would wake up with each contraction, trying to breathe through each one. At about 2:30am, I got up to move around to see if the contractions would become greater when standing, and they were closer to 5 minutes apart. I lit candles throughout the house and in our bedroom, hoping to calm my nerves and grow to accept the fact that I was truly in labor. Husband kept cycling through the instrumental soundtracks on the iPod, and he was snoring away except for my demands to dJ through the night. At times I would feel nausea, but my body was going through the bowel purge that has happened with my previous babies. I would get my "nervous stomach" as well when I would glimpse the reality that I was actually in labor, but quickly calmed myself since everything was planned in our home and we weren't going to be heading to the hospital. The labor progress was surreal but nice.

With Husband enjoying the sleep so soundly (interpret snoring) about 4ish, I decided to take a shower to see if water would help me through the hard contractions that were still 5 minutes apart. I had notified my midwife on Friday evening that I was having contractions, and she was glad to have the update, but at another birth. We had ordered a heated birth tub, but we were waiting for some other moms to give birth. The birth tub guy had called me Friday night with the good news that a tub had become available and he could come and set it up Saturday morning. I again started laughing as I told him that I might have a baby by that time, so to make sure and call before he came to the house. We had another inflatable birth tub at our disposal, but I thought the shower would still make me independent of Husband for another hour or longer and I really don't like sitting in a bath tub anyway.

After the shower, I moved to the living room to try and distract my mind with music and knitting, but when I was sitting or standing the contractions got closer together and I was annoyed by the discomfort each contraction would bring. By 6am I was so tired I went to rest in our spare bed. I had no contractions when I would lie down with my last baby, and I kept hoping that maybe they would just go away so that I could rest. Contractions went back to 10 minutes apart. I challenged myself to pray while awake, and only breathe through the contractions instead of groaning and wincing...thinking I was getting too worked up about potentially being in labor.

Husband found me in bed at 6:30, and as he snuggled in behind me to rub my back during a contraction POP my water broke. He immediately jumped into action and wanted to call the doula and midwife, but I said we should wait until contractions became closer because I was still unsure how things would progress (this is the point I stalled out with my last baby at the
hospital and I was required to have Pitocin. I was fearful of calling people to the home if I would stall out). I moved to the bathroom, and resumed my text messages with Deborah. She was awake and started to coach with little texts and comforted me with prayer from IL. Within one contraction they jumped to 2:30 apart, and Husband called the doula. The next contraction was 2 minutes apart and everything started moving very quickly.

I remembered the post from Emily and that she had been singing, and I had watched the youtube video of the woman in labor, softly singing Psalm 23. I began to sing two different
praise songs back to back through contractions and in between. The first was Psalm 5-

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God, For unto Thee will I pray, My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lordin the morning, will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.

The other song was

"You Are My Hiding Place" You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance, whenever I am afraid I will trust in You...Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of the Lord..."

I was able to re-program myself from saying, "No, no, ouch!" to "Yes, yes, this is good, thank you Lord! Please be quick, please be safe. Thank you for your protection and mercy. You have designed me well Father, and my body will do what You have made it to do."

At 7:06 Deborah said "Relax, breathe deeply, focus. Fully submit to each contraction which is bringing your baby out. No fear! It's happening for you! You're saying 'yes!'" Husband was the switchboard operator taking over the communication and he called Deborah again to
talk to her to tell her that the contractions jumped to another energy level at 1:30 min apart. I continued to sing and sway while leaning on the sink. I noticed black specs dropping into the sink and then realized that the wick on my candle was too long. I called to Husband for a scissors to trim the wick, but then realized my insanity and I just blew it out. Deborah was walking him through getting towels put in the dryer to have warm towels when baby would arrive.

I thought to move from our main bathroom, into our master bathroom. Everyone had been called and they were on their way, but my thinking brain took over for a moment and I thought I should be closer to our bed in case it would be suggested that I get into bed to push. Husband
and I moved between contractions, and when I got into our bathroom, I realized it was too cold and the lighting was too bright. I said we have to move back, and Husband said, OK let's go. I said, WAIT! Here comes another one! I can feel pressure! I need to push! Husband got back on the phone with Deborah (I believe) because she suggested that we get a pillow and lean over the tub. This was helpful since I was a great idea since I had the feeling like I might puke (ta da! transition!) and this not knowing how far along I had dilated or how long I had been in labor,
or knowing what time it was just allowed me to continue to ride the contractions and welcome each one as progress. Deborah told Husband to get my vocals under control! I was escalating with "ahhhAHHHH" and she told me to say "ooooohhhhh" in lower tones.

I was alone again in the bathroom, and felt as though this baby would come before anyone arrived, so I needed to just see if I could touch what I was feeling. I checked myself, and I could feel a head, and I might have panicked for a brief moment, but I called to Husband that the baby was coming, and I felt her decent during that next contraction. I continued to pray and try to relax my muscles, and I had an immediate need for water. I took several long gulps of water, and then Jake left the bathroom to let in the midwife. I yelled for all of them to come immediately as the contraction built again, and the baby was there! I briefly heard a bag rip open and then gloves going on hands. The second midwife came in and I felt that fetal ejection reflex that Emily had experienced and that I had been reading about...and Cosette only touched my back gently, and very quietly said, "Guide the baby out gently" and without even one of those "traditional pushes" she said to Kari "Head is out."

I became extremely shocked at this point and kept saying, "You are kidding me! The head is out?!! What? That can't be possible!!" I asked Cosette what I was supposed to do next as I thought she might want me to be in a different position or do something with my body, or
start to push...she said "You will just wait for another contraction and...." I interrupted her and said "I have another one right NOW!" I had a brief moment when I tensed and I felt my muscles clench and the baby start to retract, but as I could feel what was happening, I relaxed again and the contraction, literally, just slid the baby right out. The next moment she was put on the towels on the floor between my legs, and I could barely stop shaking with so much excitement. I was in complete shock and elation that this baby had come so quickly, so peacefully with NO INTERVENTIONS! and was quietly starting to take her first breathes while still allowed to be attached to me through the cord.

I was a bit dramatic, but overcome with emotions. I covered my mouth and realized I could be startling this beautiful baby before me. I then realized that even though I was shaking, I should pick the baby up, but to look first to see what we had. She was a girl, and I just grabbed her fresh body and pulled her into my chest and started to cry. She was so perfect and I pulled her right into my neck as her body relaxed on my chest. The warm towels arrived in Husband's arms as he poked his head into our very crowded bathroom. My doula arrived after the birth, and she poked her head in as well with tears in her eyes saying, "You did it!!"

At our follow up appointment, Cosette explained how I was doing things with my body and riding each contraction during the brief moment she saw. I can't remember thinking to do anything, but I wasn't commanded or forced to be in any position. I just did whatever made things easier on my body, and the baby was telling me through the movement I felt from her coming down. I was so excited to hear that Cosette did not manipulate her head or body at all, because once baby's head came out, her shoulders rotated and her head followed that rotation. Cosette said that her role was to have her hands cupped behind baby's head and merely catch her as the shoulders and body slid out. Cosette's mantra of "how truly safe birth is when we don't muck it up with intervention EVEN in the home setting" was truly carried out in my home with my birth.

Elisa means "God is my oath" and I truly believe that the free expression of prayer, communion, and worship with my God during labor was the absolute key to this beautiful and perfect birth. God granted me every desire of my heart to be healed through the trauma of Fiona's birth, to be healed of the septic blood infection at week 35, to be allowed to birth in my home with no intervention and to have a perfectly healthy baby, all the glory is to Him! As a true Father, He
wants the best outcome for His children, and this story is only possible through every detail that He orchestrated.

Since February 20th is my sister's birthday, we were getting some strong suggestions to name the baby girl Elisabeth, using Sarah's middle name. The strongest point she made was that Elisabeth would be a very strong name, following the Biblical King James spelling of Elisabeth the mother of John the Baptist and nodding my head to Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. Although compelling, Husband and I didn't feel that Elisabeth was the appropriate name. We went through our own short list, and then I told Husband to stare at the family tree. Eliza is a grandmother on Husband's mother's father's mother's side-that would be 5 generations from our daughter. Rose is also a family name coming from my father's mother's father's mother. We had the name...but we changed the spelling to reflect the connection that Auntie Doodie will have with her niece being her birthday sister.

Monday, February 22, 2010

We have added another girl!

I think with the last post I was still maybe 50% in denial that I was actually in labor. HA! February 20th, at 7:47am our little girl, Elisa Rose (eh-LY-suh) entered the world, in our first ever home birth, peacefully and speedily! God is so good, and he did grant this baby some quick speed when she did decide to make her emergence. She weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces and was 21" long. I am calling her my string bean, because she is my longest, but lightest baby. I have an amazing birth story, but for now, here are the photos that we keep reminding ourselves to take:
She's here! Complete elation from Mama.
Big brother Iain: "Ah, she's cute!" He was awake, but occupied by his shows. Confused when he needed to use the bathroom that morning.
A midwife for each of us: Cosette helped me and Kari (holding Elisa) was in charge of baby

Still too early for photos...a grimace quicker than any flash!Snuggled on Mama's chest with the Miss Dashwood hat.
Auntie Trisha stopped by to meet her after work.

Uncle Josh and Julietta also dropped in that night (Josh is a ginormous hit with I & F, flying them around the house, but he didn't want to hold Elisa...not until she is a bit bigger: "I don't hold my nieces at this age.")
Bright and early the next morning, Kari came back for assessment and the weigh in: 8 pounds! She must be eating well!
The 24 hour checkpoint, and still the grimace from that horrid flash!
By Sunday, Fiona was not as crabby about her new sister's invasion on her baby status.
The amazing Husband taking a rest with baby Elisa. He has been cooking, cleaning, getting laundry, oh and don't forget being the labor coach and switchboard operator during that last hour of crucial instructions from our good friend Deborah (oh and she is also a Dr. and prophetess) in IL.
Day two, and still comfortable in my recovery room: my bedroom!
Such a good baby!
Our 3rd morning. Maintenance man fulfilled our order for a bedroom TV so we could all be in bed together, while Mama still recovers. No age requirement for this ward.Nani Joseph came this morning to meet Elisa. She had been at the Vancouver Olympics.

In her own time, Fiona became ready, and excited, to be a big sister. She asked to "hold Baby Elisa, now my turn. Shhhh! Baby Elisa sleeping. Wow. Wow."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Planet inhabitants to increase

Things are moving over here at Planet Little Joseph. The laundry is getting done, the counters are getting cleared off, and we are getting ready for a party! A new baby party! I am almost positive about this new Joseph sailing in sometime over the weekend, and the weekend starts tonight, right?

Yesterday I went for a wonderful acupuncture treatment to relieve some stress from the recent drama of my kidney health and to help with all of this back pain. I love the woman who treats me, and she is always so complimentary of me during pregnancy. "Oh you just look great! You are radiating these beautiful Mama glow everywhere! Are we kick starting things today?" WHA? Ummm I don't think so. Oh wait, we are getting close, I guess it wouldn't matter. So she went after all of those labor inducing points, and dang! Those spots really did sting. Last night, I noticed a little bit of cramping action, but what can I say? I am just trying not to think about it.

HA! This morning, we are greeted with another snow storm approaching the DSMetro, and I am reminded that Iain and Fiona were both born during snow storms. Yes, both. Husband gets out of the door, and I was feeding I & F during departure, and they are just in love with these little Stonefield Yo Baby! yogurts. They have bi-passed the eggs two days in a row, and have decided that they like to dip their sausage links in the yogurt....Fiona then declares, "Mama a mess! Help me! Wash hands. Yogurt ewweywhere." This morning she had yogurt everywhere TWICE: once going down and a second time coming back up. I was folding CLEAN clothes, and I was caught in that freeze moment, trying to decide is it better to move a puking child to the bathroom and risk cleaning up a trail of puke? or do we let it just all come out in a puddle, splashing mom's feet and kid's feet, and then have puking kid walk away saying "All done" as she makes another puke puddle by my knitting corner? Both are bad ideas. So this brings me to scrubbing my floors on my hands and knees. I don't know if it is an old wives tale, or what, but I have heard it suggested if you are past due, to get on your knees and scrub the kitchen floor. I got to scrub my living room floor, and I only realized after I was half way through that I was again priming myself for labor.

So here we are tonight, and after some nice little texting and phone conferences with my birth confident Deborah, we are getting close! I am trying to be excited. No, wait, I AM EXCITED! I had some little errands to run today like dropping off some serious correspondence at the post office, dumping off a bag of books at Goodwill, and swinging through Little Padded Seats to pick up a Moby wrap. There were very few people on the road, and I realized I was crazy when they lady at Goodwill said, "What possessed you to come out in this kind of weather today?" Oh, well, you know. Just trying to tie up my loose ends around the house since I will be heading for a new level of being home bound with my little flock of chicks.

Just to throw in another element, I continue to be glued to the TV each night, watching the Olympics. Last night I was up much later than Husband, watching the Men's Figure Skating Final, and tonight I am just soaking up this pairs ice dancing. How could it get any better than figure skating with ballroom twisted together. Granted, I am not catching my breathe as much since there are no jumps, throws, lifts, etc. but the Men's Super G is giving me the gasps and adrenaline sufficient for Olympic watching and could that also be potential labor starter?

Godspeed to my little one.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My little man is 3!

I was trying to get this blog posted on the day! But I had my little 3 year old telling me to "get ready for my party! my friends coming soon!"

After I took the cake out of the oven, and let it cool before dumping it out of the cake pan, I got into bed along side Husband and said, "Three years ago, where was I at?" Pretty groggy he said, "I don't know..." I kicked him. "Was I pushing at this point? or was I just turned up as high as possible on the contraction inducing drugs? Oh nevermind...I guess the better question would be, where were you? Making jokes in front of me, or visiting with my brother in the waiting room?"Every long minute and every crazy machine that was hooked on me or inside of me was worth it. After 40 testing weeks of pregnancy, I found every ounce of discomfort or pain to melt away when I held my 9 pound 3 ounce baby boy to my chest for the very first time. To look at his face and watch him take his first air born breathes, complete elation washed over me.We didn't know what to call him. Every name that we liked just didn't fit. After half of a night's rest, and so many important people to have their first hold of the first of a new generation on both sides, we decided on Iain Fitzwilliam. Still riding the high of our Scottish themed wedding, we were browsing through Celtic names and as Husband read down a list, my ears perked up with Iain. "What does it mean?" God is gracious. "Perfect! We'll take it! Iain Fitzwilliam..." The Fitzwilliam was the only thing I had planned and it was for a middle name, and it is from Austen's Pride and Prejudice. (I like it, so there. I have had quite a bit of grief over the length and sound of Fitzwilliam, but does it sound any worse than someone naming their son OR daughter Peyton, after Peyton Manning? Hardly!) I still struggle with Will's "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" since I can never get Anne Shirley out of my head saying, "A rose couldn't smell as sweet if it was named a skunk cabbage..."Such a good baby, and such an active little boy. He is always moving around, creating, pretending things with his massive imagination, and loves discovering the backyard. 100% boy by having collections of rocks in the garden, trying to escape the fence and chasing the dog with a stick, laughing all of the way. His spirit is quiet and sweet during prayer with Jesus and always tells Husband to "drive safe!" on his way to work. He takes such good care of "Foner Lynn" by sharing his food and drink with her, and listening for her to wake up each morning. He is starting to be a bit bossy with his Mama telling me "don't touch it Mama, remember" when I try to help him on the potty or by getting him into bed. He knows that his independence still has limits and pretty soon changes his tone to "Help me Mama." I was glowing when he told everyone that I had made his birthday cake and he had to show it off to each person that came for his dinner. After singing "Happy Birthday" along with everyone, he looked straight at me and said, "Thank you Mama. I love you too," and gave me the best bear hug from my little man.Iain, my hope for you is that you continue to explore this world that God has created for our enjoyment. I pray that you will come to an understanding and knowledge of a Savior who loves and died for you, and that you seek His kingdom first. I pray for a godly wife for you, and that her parents are striving to raise her to love the Lord. I hope that you will never see limits in life only challenges that you wish to conquer and that you don't ever take life too seriously, because your laugh melts my heart and your smile lights up a room. God has blessed me with you, and I am so thankful that your Papa told me to "jump in" with him. You are my life's example of allowing God to be in control and I see the wonderful blessings he had in store.