Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Washington

Five times through this labor and delivery thing and you'd think I'd have a better grasp on what's happening when it's happening.
But it just goes to show that every single baby and delivery is completely unique. Washington's birthday just went and caught us all off guard. The day before we had been at basketball games and walking around our new property. 
I had plenty of energy, I wasn't achey or feeling "done", I had no contractions nor any feelings that it was almost time kind of thing. A few of my sisters had even been visiting us that day and asked if they should stay the night just in case. I sent them all home with reassurances it didn't seem like anything would be happening anytime soon. 
But that night I did start to feel achey, so I drank a ton of water, laid on my left side and the achiness drifted off as we fell asleep for the night. I woke up maybe 4 or 5 times during the night feeling a contraction but nothing that made me even think about it being real and I fell right back asleep each time. 
Around 6:30 in the morning when I woke up with one of the contractions I decided to get up and move around just to see what happened, if they picked up or tapered off. I went up and down the stairs, walked our kitchen loop, and switched the laundry and started folding the load. At 7:15 all of a sudden I had two back to back contractions right at 2 minutes and then 2 minutes later again. I decided to go jump in a hot shower and see if they spread back out or stayed consistent. 
At 7:30 I was in the shower and started shaking really bad and the contractions did indeed stop, but not in the false labor way. I knew what it was, I was already in transition after not even half hour of anything resembling labor. I immediately hollered for Matt who was still sleeping and knew nothing about what was going on. He sleepily said he'd call family to start heading our way to stay with the kids. 
I told him we had no time to wait for family, we had to go now! We had friends from our small group who were graciously on stand by and they were awesome! They arrived within minutes and Matt and I literally ran out the door. By the time we got in his car I had to push. The thirty minute drive took 20 as Matt broke records rushing up I-95 yelling at me not to push. We were a movie scene!
By the time we got to the hospital I couldn't stand up or sit down, so in the most awkward position in my life we made it to L&D where they took one look and within second had me in a bed where sure enough I was complete and baby was on his way out. But due to the extremely fast paced labor his heart rate was "flat" and my vitals were a tad off. They had me lay on my side to slow down the process and stabilize his vitals and mine. 
It was too late for a full epidural but they gave me some pain meds to help relax a bit to give Washington some time to recoup before delivery. After waiting about 20 more minutes both he and I were good to go so they broke my water and about two minutes later he was in my arms. My family hadn't even made it halfway to our house at this point so we are so thankful for our friend's back up plan! 
Washington Paul Clark was 7lbs 6oz and our longest baby at 21". He came quick, unconventional, and on his own terms. I wonder what this says about future personality? So far he's been laid back, easy, a champ nurser, napper, and cuddly little brother. Which is good since he has arms lined up for days waiting to cuddle and hug. 
He has the best big siblings in the world. They are protective and gentle and every single one of them are incredible with him. Harrison is the most gentle big brother carrying his littlest brother strongly in his arms and even taking his dirty onesies and sleepers to be washed and dried before bringing them back upstairs from the laundry room for me. Jefferson is quick to monitor if Washington needs changing or his paci. The doctor in him loves learning all about newborns from umbilical cords to sleeping habits.  Wils is never far from his baby brother. He asked every day for 9 months if he could hold him and now he can't get enough, gently stroking his brother's soft hair and telling him how much he loves him. Madison is always right by his side, literally, suffocatingly. But she is the best big sister and Washington can't move or make a sound without her knowing about it. She will always have his back. 
Washington Paul, we love you more than words can say. Last summer you rocked our world with two little lines on a test but we honestly cannot picture our family any other way now that you're here in our arms. We are so honored God chose us to be your parents! What an incredible creation and miracle you are and we give you to the One who gave us you! We love you Washington! Welcome to this crazy beautiful family :) 

Friday, February 17, 2017

38 Weeks Not Pregnant

How Far Along: 38 Weeks and 1 Day
Size of Baby: 7lbs 6oz and 21" long 
Gender: BOY! Washington Paul Clark 
Maternity Clothes: Being able to wear all my favorite tunics and sweaters not wrapped around a baby belly has been wonderful haha!
Movement: He's pretty still and content swaddled up in a ball :)
Cravings: I'll have a footlong turkey sub and a huge bowl of cookie dough now please! 
Best Moment of the Week: Welcoming this sweet man into our arms and hearts! He came in a flurry of surprise within hours on Sunday morning and it's been an incredible week of being a family of seven! We've all been quickly taken in by this fluffy head baby boy and we are so in love with this person God has designed and planned for our family. We love you Washington!

Madison at 38 Weeks (Was born at 39 Weeks)
Wilson at 38 Weeks (Waited until his due date, exactly 40 weeks)
Jefferson at 38 Weeks (Born during week 38)
Harrison at 38 Weeks (Was already a week old)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

37 Weeks

How Far Along: 37 Weeks
Size of Baby: Around 6 1/2lbs and 19" long 
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: I decided that if I was going to get some use out of some of my favorite maternity clothes I better start wearing them. And yes, I have a few favorite maternity clothes, weird I know, but "few" is the key word :) 
Movement: He's feeling squished in there, but it's been fun to feel definite body parts and imagine this little person in our arms very soon! 
Cravings: Nothing, nada, zip. Food and I just aren't friends right now. 
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks are a constant companion, oh and not sleeping. That makes for some growing opportunities as I parent four well rested kids on a couple hours of sleep! Haha! 
Best Moment of the Week: Got the last few things organized and ready for this little man. His clothes are washed and folded, his bath car seat is put together...probably should still get some diapers and maybe pack a hospital bag at some point. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Finding Mommy

 How my boys have come to define pregnancy brain:
One day this past week we were rushing out the door.
This is normal for us, it doesn't matter if it's a sports practice, Bible study, a dentist appointment, or grocery shopping. 
It's a flurry of shoes on, coats on, water bottles, gym bags, snacks, etc. all the while the clock is ticking. And no matter how organized I try to be, I always forget something, it's even worse with preggo brain. 
So on this particular morning of rushing to make an appointment on time, Harrison asked if we were running late again. 
"Actually", I assure him, "we are right on time!" His face did not mirror my excitement. "Mom, that's only if you don't forget something again and we have to turn around and come back. That's kinda what always happens."
"That's not what always happens, sometimes, but not all the time." He shook his head as I continued tying Madison's shoes and buttoning Wilson's coat. "Mom, you're kinda like Dory lately."
"What?!" I asked not following. 
Jefferson had been listening close by and quickly came to explain and agree with Harrison. 
"You're like Dory Mom," Jefferson laid his hand on my shoulder to deliver the rest of the news, "You have short term memory loss." 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

36 Weeks

How Far Along: 36 Weeks
Size of Baby: Big! Actually he probably isn't much bigger than 6- 6 1/2 lbs at this point but he feels huge in there! 
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: In this picture I am wearing my very first maternity top. Also, it's not technically maternity clothes, but I've gotten to the point where I raid Matt's t-shirt drawer for something comfy to sleep in haha!
Movement: His movements are definitely changing in nature as he becomes more squished in there. He still makes some powerful movements but they aren't all over the place and as drastic.  
Cravings: No cravings right now, but I'm looking forward to little things like being able to lick the brownie again!
Symptoms: Braxton hicks are picking up even more in frequency and intensity. I'm also waking up every few hours all night which my mom always told us was God's way of training us to need less sleep in just a few weeks ;) 
Best Moment of the Week: Last weekend we decided to just go out for lunch, something we very rarely do, and celebrate our family of six becoming seven! It's been such a blessing from day one to have all the kids so incredibly excited about their newest brother and his arrival. From Madison's constant kisses on my belly, to Wilson asking if he can hold him yet, to Jefferson and Harrison asking if he's coming every day, it's been so sweet to see their excitement! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Big Church

Growing up, Sunday mornings meant putting on lace socks and dresses, getting our hair fixed, and heading to church. We went to Sunday School and my parents went to what we kids called "big church."
Sunday school was where we sat in a circle and listened to a Bible lesson and then snacked on ring cookies and drank apple juice from waxed paper cups. We'd play a game and make a craft involving some combination of elmer's glue, yarn, and a paper plate. 
But occasionally our parents would take us into "big church" with them. As a kid I can remember associating big church with sitting for what seemed like hours on a pew bench trying to stifle yawns while drawing on the back of the bulletin or reading lyrics out of the hymnals. In our minds, Sunday school was way more fun than big church.
But "big church" is important and my parents had it right by taking us to be a part of it. Children's presence during a sermon might seem out of place or more work than just dropping them off to run wild with apple juice and elmer's glue, but it's part of discipling to train little hearts to listen to elders speak, be a part of corporate worship, soak in the examples of grown believers around them worshiping and praying, and if they've made a personal decision to follow Christ, partake in the Lord's Supper. 
Our kids join us for "big church" frequently. We totally let them get their Sunday school experience, but it's important for them to sit alongside mom and dad and learn from a sermon. These growing hearts need to and can retain from the "meat" given from the pulpit. We require them to tell us three things they learned after the sermon. They can draw it or write out bullet points depending on their levels of ability, but this requires them to be in tune to what is being taught and trains their ears to listen for what they do understand. They come away with questions we can talk about as a family later and use as further discipling opportunities. They've even witnessed their Daddy turn and silence loud talkative teenagers and then stood beside him as he confronted them after the sermon, challenging the teens to be respectful of the freedom to worship and the blessing of being together as the Body. 
These Sunday's all sitting together under our pastor are some of our favorite, all of us. These little people are soaking up everything and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have them soak in some "big church" and learn how to grow as a believer alongside us. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

35 Weeks

Better late than never...
I haven't posted a weekly updated since like the second trimester. I'm now in my 6th trimester. 
I kid, but seriously it feels about that long. 
So let's play catch up and begin back at 35 weeks, even though that's a week behind, but I still want to document all that's happened...
How Far Along: 35 Weeks (at least in the picture)
Size of Baby: We got an ultrasound this week and they estimated he weighs 6lbs.  
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: Believe it or not I still live in my Blanqi leggings and tank, but wear my regular tunic tops. Thank goodness for the current styles! I haven't worn one maternity top yet! 
Movement: Little man is extremely active! He doesn't cooperate well for ultrasounds and monitoring since he won't ever stay still. But it's been a blessing because they want me to do frequent kick counts and I've never had to think about it too long before he's rocking and rolling in there. 
Cravings: No cravings, no room to eat, and no appetite haha! But once he's born I'm sure my list will start growing of things I want to eat!
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks are starting to pick up a lot which is always an exciting sign of baby being here soon! 
Best Moment of the Week: This week was a very full one! At my appt last week my blood pressure was elevated. They immediately ran tests and lab work and started throwing around words like "hospitalization, bed rest, and early inducement." Through much prayer all tests came back normal and blood pressure stabilized. We're not sure what happened there since I've never had blood pressure problems before but it was several days of learning to trust completely on God!
At my appointment this week we had another adventure. I had started experiencing itching along with some other minor symptoms. This began another whole gauntlet of testing and monitoring over several days. But we got to get an unexpected ultrasound to check on our guy and see how he could potentially handle an early delivery. Their measurements confirmed what I've been feeling for weeks! This guy is big; he was measuring 2- 2 1/2 weeks ahead! His lungs were practice breathing perfectly and he was looking around and sticking his tongue out and sucking his thumb. After another few days we were once again cleared after lab results came back but I think it's safe to say we're ready for an easy week with no adventures. It would already seem this boy is all about keeping us on our toes and making sure we know he may be the youngest but certainly not the quietest! :)