A few days after I got home from the hospital my mom came to spend a week helping to take care us. I knew that after having a c-section I would need considerable help. I wasn't allowed to drive for at least 2 weeks and I couldn't lift anything heavier than Harper....that meant I couldn't carry Harper in her car seat....or the diaper bag. I was ordered to take it very easy. I knew that wouldn't be possible with 5 kids unless I had someone come in as the "mother" and take over. My mom accepted the challenge. I usually don't like to ask for help but I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to enjoy this little caboose, so if people were willing to step in and help out....I wasn't going to say no. My mom asked me if it would be helpful to sleep in my bed with me so that BJ could get a good nights rest in the basement. I thought that was a great idea. So each night my mom and I climbed into bed with little Harper wrapped up tight like a cocoon in her cradle and talked until we fell asleep. When Harper would wake up she would change her diaper and hand her off to me to feed her. Then after I was done I would hand her back to my mom and she would get her back to sleep. We spent 5 nights like that. I enjoyed my mom so much in those quiet hours---just me and her and sweet little Harper. Then in the morning BJ or my mom would get the kids off to school and then Jace would go to pre-school in the afternoon and we would spend the afternoon together having lunch by the sunny window, holding Harper and talking about everything under the sun. When the kids came home from school she spent time with them, read to them, got the table set for dinner (she never had to cook a meal because little wonderful elves came in each night with a wonderful dinner prepared for us to devour--I will never forget the generosity sent our way!) and took care of everything that needed to get done to keep the house up and running smoothly. I thought that it might have been a bit overwhelming for her but I was completely wrong. She loved every minute...she kept commenting on how wonderful it was to be in a busy house again with lots of children's voices. It reminded me to relish this stage of life. I LOVED having my mom here. It was a week I will never forget!!!!
Friday, January 6, 2012
Harper and I came home from the hospital on Friday, Jan.6th after spending 3 days in the care of wonderful nurses. I had so many visitors and each of them brought me what they knew I would appreciate the most----SUGAR!!! I couldn't have any sugar and very little carbohydrates for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. It was an exceptionally hard thing to handle over Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. So, once I had her and my blood sugars leveled out I was free to eat whatever I wanted. I was so glad that I didn't have to focus on that anymore so I could give all of my attention to Harper. I made Harper 5 or 6 hats and had them all at the hospital with me. Each day I changed her hat to match her outfit. She was one stylish newborn. She came home with this cute little stocking cap on. I think it was 60 degrees outside so the hat was more for style than necessity.
That afternoon once she'd been sufficiently passed around by each of her brothers and sisters...she got her first bath. BJ gets this privilege as bending over a tub is out of the question after just having had a c-section. If I remember right he always does the first bath. The kids all wanted to help so it got a bit crowded in the tiny tub area. We managed though. I love that the kids all want to be a part of Harper's "firsts".
Once she was all dry Brinly got the job of lotioning her up and putting her in her jammies. She was in heaven. I think I may just have a built in baby sitter on my hands. She even told me she'd be happy to get up in the night and feed her so that I could sleep. She is loving every minute of this baby!!!!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Each day BJ would get the kids off to school and then take Jace to a friends house and come to the hospital. I cherished those moments that I got to spend with him alone with Harper. I was acutely aware that there wouldn't be many of them once we got home from the hospital. I love to watch Bj with our babies. He is unique in that he adores this newborn baby stage. He is very confident in taking care of newborns and has always loved that stage. When I watch him hold our babies I see peace and utter joy come over his countenance, and it makes me just love him all the more!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
At about 3pm our good friend Marjean brought the kids in to meet this new little addition. They could hardly wait to see and hold her but mostly they wanted to know her name. They all had very strong opinions about what her name should be. Brinly and Amelia wanted her to be named Ivy Noel since she would most likely be born around Christmas. Jace desperately wanted her name to be Isabelle. Bj and I loved the name Charlotte and were pretty set that that would be her name but everyone of the kids hated it. So, once BJ and I decided on the name we agreed not to tell anyone, especially our kids, so that we wouldn't have anymore input on the matter. When they came into my room and each got a chance to hold her we announced her name........drum roll.......Her name is Harper Lily and to our surprise they all loved it!
I was especially excited for Brinly to hold Harper. She was the most excited for her arrival and wanted to be a part of every moment of the pregnancy. I knew she would be a huge help. I think she was almost as giddy as I was to meet her for the first time!
My due date for this sweet baby girl was January 17th but all of my babies have come early and when I start contracting we know the baby is coming any day. Well, I started contracting a few days before Christmas so I was just hoping to make it through Christmas Day without a hospital visit. I breathed a sigh of relief once Christmas was over and was prepared and READY to have the baby any moment. I went through 2 weeks of contractions every day that would last for a few hours, 5-8 minutes a part and then go away. I was pretty miserable!!! I was so tired of having to eat perfectly because of the gestational diabetes and on top of that I had a pretty severe cold that left me in coughing fits constantly. I peed my pants more than once, I'm afraid. BJ caught me with my belly showing days before delivering.
So, on Jan.2nd I went to a friends house to watch a show with a group of friends after the kids went to bed and BJ said as I was leaving---"laugh a lot so that you go into labor!" Well, he got his wish! As I sat there laughing with my friends my contractions started. I didn't pay much attention to how often but they were coming and they were strong enough that they took my breath away. When I left to go home I thought about going directly to the hospital and then having BJ come if they kept me but I figured BJ wouldn't like that idea so I went home and we started timing the contractions. They were coming every 4-5 minutes for a few hours and not stopping so we put Cardon in our bed so that if anyone else woke up they wouldn't find themselves home alone, and headed to the hospital. My great friend Marjean got a wake up call at 3am to come on over to the house because we were hoping to have a baby.
When we got to the hospital they started monitoring me and sure enough after 2 hours of contractions they finally agreed with me that it was time to have this baby. Everything went super fast after that. I signed a bunch of papers and then I was wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist gave me an epidural and spinal together and then we waited for me to go numb.......and we waited......and waited. He kept saying "You're legs should be getting heavy now and then I would lift them high into the air and say, "They feel pretty light to me" and then he would shoot more drugs into the IV and we would wait some more. Well, it turned out that the spinal failed. Fortunately, he did the epidural also so it took a little longer to go numb but at least I still got to be awake for the delivery. BJ thought that he was forgotten after waiting in the room for over 45 minutes.
I laid on that operating table with so much excitement to see my little caboose....I could hardly keep it in. It took me a long time to get pregnant with this sweet baby, after 2 miscarriages I wasn't sure if it would even happen. I worried throughout the entire pregnancy about her health and safety. Then I spent the last 2 1/2 months with gestational diabetes and worried every time my blood sugars were a little high that I was hurting her. This was the most difficult pregnancy for me and now in minutes I was finally going to meet her! No one except me and the Lord (not even BJ) knew how much this moment meant to me.
The C-Section didn't take long and after some severe pressure and a bit of nausea, out came my sweet baby!!!!!!
I was worried about how big she was going to be because my babies are always big to begin with and so having gestational diabetes only adds to that. The doctor pulled her out and said "She has tons of hair and she's big!" I held my breath as they put her on the scale waiting for it to show 11 or 12lbs.....but no.....8lbs. 13 ounces. I announced to all that was in the room that I had just had a tiny little peanut...and I meant it! After that the rest is a bit hazy to me. Due to all of the drugs the anesthesiologist gave me I could hardly keep my eyes open. I tried with all of my might to be ever present but I just couldn't keep them open. BJ took over baby duty after they finished the surgery.
Look at those cute chubby cheeks and thighs to match!
Look at those cute chubby cheeks and thighs to match!
BJ sat behind me and held my hand through it all. After she was cleaned up, weighed, etc. he brought her over so that I could meet her for the first time. She was beautiful!!!!
Later, when I wasn't so drugged and she was all cleaned up with bows in her hair BJ brought her to my room so that we could get acquainted. I spent the next few hours snuggling her before the kids arrived.
I must say that I'm sure I've felt this extreme love with each baby I've delivered. But there is something quite unique about having a baby that you know will be your last. Each moment is truly precious. The world has suddenly slowed down or maybe even stopped because every second spent with her is treasured. I love this baby with all of my heart and soul and feel so much gratitude to have her in our family....safe and sound.