March 27, 2007

Bath Time

I love this little bath "cradle." Before, with the other kids, we used a baby bath tub that fit over the sink. It was among the baby things we gave away, so I got this handy little contraption with a gift card. It's great! It fits in the kitchen sink and allows for easy bathing of an infant. Kenna's not so keen on her baths, however, but mostly because I think she gets chilly. We have some wonderful baby lotion that is lavender scented, and while I didn't necessarily believe the label when it said it was "calming and soothing to help babies sleep," I have noticed that after getting clean, dry, lotioned, and cozied up in a blanket, Kenna is so alert and calm. I love cuddling with her after a bath, and I have noticed that the next nap she has is a very good one, so who knows?! Maybe there is something to this lotion potion!

Baby Seat

Here is the infant seat we got for Kenna. It's way cool, much more exciting than a bouncy seat (although we loved the one we had for Arden--we gave it away last year, though). It converts and can become a rocking chair for toddlers! The kids love the little toys that dangle from the bar, but frankly, I am already sick of hearing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" in that high-pitched, dingy musical sound when the cow's tail is pulled. Oh, well...

March 26, 2007

Baby Pool Winners

And the winners are...

Date of birth--February 27
Winner--Monica, who guessed March 7

Time of birth--6:12 a.m.
Winner--Claire, who guessed 10:35 a.m.

Birth weight--6 pounds, 5 ounces
Winner--Monica, who guessed 7 pounds, 3 ounces

Length--19 3/8 inches
Winner--Sarah, who guessed 19 1/2 inches

Duration of labor--"Real" labor, probably 4-5 hours (This is hard, because usually I count from when contractions first start. But they literally started days, even weeks, before Kenna's arrival!)
Winner--Claire and Megan, who both said 5 hours

So, Claire and Monica are the winners, I guess, since they each got 2 answers closest to the real numbers! Congratulations, ladies! Your prize is that your names are mentioned in my blog. ;-)

I should have written down my own guesses. I guessed she would arrive earlier than any of my other children...I wasn't prepared for her to come two WEEKS early, though! I also guessed she would be born at 6:30 a.m. and almost nailed that one. And finally, based on Charis's birth weight, plus the fact that I gained less weight during this pregnancy, I had guessed her weight would be under 7 pounds, but I didn't write or think of a specific weight or length.

The Birth Order of Children

I know this has gone around before, but it always makes me laugh, and these days humor is definitely a good thing! Enjoy!

Your Clothes:
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children

Swallowing Coins:
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!

March 25, 2007

Thanks, Mom!

My mom was here to help out from March 6 - 20. I'm so glad Kenna arrived early so that Mom could enjoy time with the baby instead of the hanging-out-waiting-for-me-to-go-into-labor phase. She was such a great help, and I miss her already...and not just because I don't get to nap every day. :-)

Here are a couple of photos we took last Sunday before we went to church. You can see Tobin is still a clown when posing for pictures! He insisted on wearing his Easter outfit to church last week, and I didn't object. Who knows how long he'll actually WANT to dress up?!

Charis's cute little smile cracks me up because Mom and I know what really happened right before the photo shoot...I had asked one of the kids to get the newspaper from the driveway and take it to the garage. Tobin and Charis both rushed for the paper, and Tobin won, triumphantly carrying it into the garage. Charis had a fit!! In the first pictures we took, she looks like we just fed her a lemon. I told her she needed to stop pouting and at least try to look happy, and she began wailing that SHE was the one I had asked to get the paper, NOT Tobin, and it wasn't FAIR! (I probably did ask her to get the paper...I don't remember, but it does sound like something Tobin would do--run ahead and do the job for her just to make her mad.) Finally, in frustration, I threw the paper back into the driveway and said, "Fine. If you're so upset about not getting the paper, then here's your chance to go get it!"

Immediately the tears stopped, and she happily ran to get the paper. After depositing it back into the garage, she was all smiles. Mom and I had to shake our heads and laugh at the silliness of it all!

Sweet Sleep!

Ahhh...last night I fed Kenna at 7:15 p.m., 11:45 p.m., 3:15 a.m., and 5:30 a.m. I went to bed myself at 9 p.m. and slept well in between all feedings, though I did lie awake for about a half hour when the 3:15 feeding was finished. I think my body didn't know what to do after actually getting some rest! God is faithful not to give me any more than I can bear. Praise the Lord for His strength!

March 24, 2007

Whew, What a Night...

Just in case anyone happens to be wondering why I haven't blogged lately, I thought I'd give you a rundown of how my night went last night. While it (thankfully) is not typical of every night in our house, you can get an idea of the challenges we are facing these days!

8 p.m. All children are in bed. Kenna last nursed at 6:45 p.m., so I figure I can get a little bit of sleep before her next feeding, since I haven't had a decent nap since Tuesday.

8:15 p.m. Arden emerges from his room, finds me, and reports that he needs to poop. I have a nice conversation with him while he poops, then wipe his bottom and tuck him back in.

8:30 p.m. I am in bed.

9:00 p.m. Tobin wakes me up to tell me that HE needs to poop. I tell him to use my potty and doze off again.

9:10 p.m. "Are you finished yet?!" I ask Tobin. His affirmative reply has me wondering just how long he would have sat there if I hadn't asked!

9:45 p.m. Kenna wakes up to feed.

10:00 p.m. Tobin peeks out of his room and immediately shuts the door when he realizes I am with Kenna in the living room. Since she is in the process of being burped, I immediately head for Tobin's room to find out what in the world is going on. He assures me he will get right back in bed and that I don't need to come into his room. Of course I do come in. Ah ha! I discover a Calvin & Hobbes comic book on the floor of the bathroom--he uses the bathroom light as a night light with the bathroom door cracked a bit. I see that he has been sitting on the floor and reading by the bathroom light. I deal with this unacceptable behavior and hide the book so he can't repeat the offense. 10:00! My stars! It's 2 hours past the time I tucked him in bed. Sigh.

10:30 p.m. I have finished nursing and changing Kenna and crawl back into bed.

1:15 a.m. Kenna wakes again, this time with a scream that startles me. I rush out to the living room (she has been sleeping in the pack-n-play in the living room during the night so that I can get more sound sleep without hearing her little noises), where I see that she has snorted some milk out of her nose. She's done this on occasion, so I'm not alarmed. However, after a few minutes of nursing fussily, she pushes away, arches her back, and her screams begin to crescendo. With some concern, I try burping her, thinking she has a bubble in her tummy that is causing her distress. She screams louder. I walk with her into my bedroom, holding her in a variety of positions, patting her back, and wondering what is wrong with my baby and how I can help her.

I'm beginning to get quite alarmed--this has never happened before. Suddenly I hear noises from her nose as she tries to breathe in through her nostrils, and it clicks: she must have some milky mucous still up there, and the poor little girl can't breathe. I remember the nurse at the hospital telling a tech during one of Kenna's check-ups that babies are nasal aspirators; they only breathe through their nose. No wonder Kenna is so panicked. I rush back to the living room, where we've been keeping the bulb syringe, and I begin sucking as much junk out of her nostrils as I can. It doesn't look as if much is coming out, though, and Kenna is still screaming. By this point I am in total distress, crying, "Dear God, please don't let my baby die!" I continue to suction out her little nose, praying that God will help me know whom I should call.

Amazingly, all this takes place in only a few minutes, but it seems like an eternity. Finally Kenna's cries change...she is no longer frantically screaming but is now crying in a slightly softer tone, a cry I recognize and am so thankful to hear. She's ready to eat.

As she nurses, her little body completely relaxes, and she makes contented little noises, utterly unaware of the helpless anxiety her mother has experienced in the past terrible moments. I wipe Kenna's tears off her little cheeks and continue to cry myself, thanking God over and over for helping Kenna be able to breathe again.

1:45 a.m. Kenna is finished nursing and is bundled up for the night. She is blissfully sleeping, but I can't bring myself to let go of her yet. I rock with her and shower her head and face with kisses.

2:15 a.m. I crawl into bed again, thinking that after that ordeal, surely both of us will sleep out of sheer exhaustion for several hours.

3:15 a.m. Arden wakes me out of a sound sleep. He tried to go potty but didn't get there in time. I send him to the laundry room to change out of his wet clothes and go to clean up the mess. At least his bed is dry...the bathroom floor, however, is a completely different story. How can so much pee come out of one little body at one time?! I tuck Arden back in bed, then go to the laundry room to rinse out all the pee stuff. I find that Charis's fitted sheet is on the floor of the laundry room--great. She must have wet the bed. But I don't see her pajamas. Sigh. I go into her room and pick them up off the floor so I can rinse those out, too. She is sound asleep in her "nest" of blankets on the floor. At least she didn't wake me up, too.

3:35 a.m. Kenna wakes to nurse again. Typically I wouldn't feed her after only two hours, but I did notice that she hadn't nursed as long after her traumatic experience at the last feeding. In fact, I am noticeably uneven...I NEED her to nurse off the left side NOW!

4:15 a.m. I go back to bed.

6:45 a.m. Kenna wakes again to nurse. Guess it's time to start my day...

March 19, 2007

Baby Shower

March 10 was my baby shower. It was tons of fun, though I was a bit stressed out just before it began because Kenna needed to eat and was still having her nursing issues. However, she did manage to consume enough milk to fall asleep and stay asleep during the whole event, so she got passed around to everyone and of course was the star of the show. We had wondered whether March 10 was a reasonable date for the shower in the first place, as it was just 2 days before my due date. However, since my mom came into town on March 6, I thought it would be nice for her to be able to attend. She hasn't ever been at any of my baby showers before, so March 10 it was. We figured we could reschedule if worst came to worst! As it turned out, it was the perfect date since little Kenna was a week and a half old by then!

My friends Debi and Sarah coordinated the shower. Debi is the event planner extraordinaire. If you ever need a party planned, this is the woman to contact! (This picture of her and Kenna is just too precious!) Debi hosted a birthday party for me in November that was so beautiful and fun, and the shower was the same. She chose pink and brown for our colors and made the most adorable invitations. She found the cutest decorations, cups, plates, etc, and the cake was beautiful. She thought it would be fun to do a brunch, which was a perfect idea, I thought. We enjoyed breakfast casseroles, fruit, and banana bread and chatted for awhile at the beginning. I think around 16 ladies came. Charis was also least for part of the shower. She was bored by the grown-up talk and ended up reading in the family room until it was time to eat or open gifts!

Sarah was in charge of the games. There was an interesting trivia quiz, during which we were all shocked to learn that the mother on record as having given birth to the most children had...drum roll, please...SIXTY-NINE babies! Apparently it was a Russian woman who had many sets of twins, several sets of triplets, and quads as well, just for good measure. I'd have to check with Sarah for the details, but that just makes me tired thinking of it! We also played Family Feud with various baby questions for the "survey says." It was fun doing something besides the typical games played at showers. Then we cut into this scrumptious cake that you can see in the picture with Sarah, Charis, and me. Yum!

And of course we opened presents. Mostly we got tons of adorable baby outfits, which is wonderful, because we had given away just about all the girl clothes in newborn through size 2T. Plus, Charis was born in the fall and spent winter in Idaho, so I don't know that many of her first-year clothes would have been appropriate for Kenna, anyway. We did get a few packs of diapers, always welcome, and other fun towels and washclothes, wrist rattles, bath toys, bibs, a pink, girly Boppy cover, etc. Sarah and her family ordered a beautiful personalized quilt with Kenna's name and birthdate on it. It comes in a matching bag. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture on my camera of the blanket, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's terribly cute and of course very special.

Sleeping Beauty

Here's a picture of Kenna sleeping in the cradle. A friend of ours is loaning the cradle to us. It's currently in my closet. Sounds strange, I know, to have a baby in one's closet, but my closet is approximately the size of a small apartment. Of course, with all the clutter that has been filling it lately (an influx of baby clothes and a random assortment of other items), it doesn't look as big as it did when I cleaned it out before Kenna arrived, but still, I don't think she minds. She sleeps in the pack-n-play in the living room for a lot of her daytime naps, which is great because she is learning to sleep through ANYTHING!

Tobin's Take on the Baby

Tobin, our resident comedian, has had some funny things to say about Kenna. Of course, he doesn't realize how funny they are, but leave it to Tobin to be the one to say things like...

"Mommy, I really wanted to see the baby pop out of your tummy." (He was genuinely disappointed that he wasn't in on the action at the hospital!)

While stroking Kenna's hands and feet: "I didn't realize that babies had such soft fur."

While watching a movie and getting slightly disgruntled that he couldn't hear because of Kenna's crying: "Awww...maybe you should take her into another room."

When first watching me burp Kenna (said with a certain amount of alarm): "Mama, why are you hitting her?!"

When first watching me nurse Kenna: "What are THOSE?!"

Upon hearing that "those" are how Kenna gets her milk: "Where are the holes?"

"Did you have those things before Kenna was born?"

("Those things" are now the typical way he refers to my boobs--I decided it was better to have him say "those things" than to hear my almost 5-year-old boy talk about my "breasts" or my "boobs.")

"Those things are silly!"

"Will Charis have those things when she grows up?"

"Will I have them?"

"Why not?!"

March 16, 2007

A Story by Charis

I found this written on a piece of paper in Charis's bedroom the day I came home from the hospital:

My Baby
My baby sistr Kenna was bron. I fand ate it was hard haveing a baby. But I hade fun. I played with har. She held my fingr. Most of the time she was asleep. Only Mommy fed hre.

March 15, 2007

Two-Week Update

Kenna turned 2 weeks old on Tuesday and had her check-up that afternoon. Her weight was 6 pounds, 15 ounces (compared with 6 pounds, 5 ounces at birth and 5 pounds, 14 ounces 48 hours later), and her length was 20 1/2" (compared with 19 3/8" at birth). I thought it was interesting that her stats were so close to Charis's birth stats. (Charis came 2 days before her due date.) Here's the comparison:

Kenna at 2 weeks: 6 pounds, 15 ounces, 20 1/2"
Charis at birth: 6 pounds, 13 ounces, 20 1/4"

The doctor had to cauterize Kenna's belly button, as part of the cord was apparently still deep down inside and oozing a bit of blood. I have some antibiotic ointment that I have to rub on it 3 times a day, and I can't give her a "real" bath until it's healed. Other than that, she's looking quite healthy! She did great at the hospital, especially considering we were there far longer than I anticipated. I nursed her right before the appointment and had to finish up right afterwards--they actually called me to come back 20 minutes EARLY, would you believe! Then it was off to the pharmacy for her ointment, followed by a stop at the lab where they had to do her heel prick again (she did NOT like that but promptly fell asleep after the trauma was over), followed by a trip to Labor & Delivery to get the hearing screening done. Normally it would have been done after birth, but they didn't have the necessary equipment when we were there before; hence the extra trip.

Whew. We were at the hospital a total of 2 1/2 hours, which I guess isn't too bad considering all that we had to do there! I'm just happy to know for sure that Kenna is gaining weight. She has continued to nurse well, and I am very thankful for that.

March 12, 2007

Baby Love

For your viewing enjoyment, some pictures of our family with Kenna! My mom arrived on Tuesday, March 6, and will be with us through the 20th. You can probably tell that some of these were taken in the hospital. To view larger images, just click on the picture.

Nursing Woes

Whew. After nursing 3 babies successfully for about a year each, I wasn't prepared for any problems with nursing Kenna...other than expecting the initial soreness, I mean. She nursed great the first 4 days of her life. Friday evening, March 2, Ted and I were quite taken aback when she began screaming and couldn't seem to latch on. No problem, we thought, I'd just pump a bit to make things easier. After all, my milk was definitely in, and I was considerably engorged (though not nearly so badly as I was with Charis, as I recall). It didn't help. We tried for about an hour, and after then, she was so frantic that we decided in desperation to just give her a bottle of the milk I had pumped. She took it all right, but then we went through the same scenario at the 11 p.m. feeding. I was dreading the middle-of-the-night feedings, but she actually did very well, so I thought the worst was behind us.

Boy, was I wrong! We continued to have problems, so much so that I sent Ted to Babies R Us to purchase nipple shields, which I had never used before. My mom had recommended trying those. Of course, as Ted was walking out the door to go get them, Kenna latched on great and had a wonderful feeding. Still, I asked Ted to go ahead as planned, and I'm glad I did, because she had problems during the night as well. She refused to latch onto the shields during the night, but I did manage to get her fed (with minor help from a bottle once or twice).

Sunday morning she nursed with the shield on, and I was relieved, thinking that now, finally, she'd get the milk she needed from me and life could go on. Wrong again! All last week, each feeding was a complete drama, with anywhere from 10-40 minutes passing before she would finally latch on. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what was happening...I began making notes so I could try to see trends, but there were none! After she would finally latch onto the first side, she would nurse just fine and then switch sides as if nothing were the matter. It was the initial latch that was the problem.

During some of the more difficult feedings we occasionally tried offering her a bottle again, and she began refusing the bottle as well. That was probably a good thing, because it forced me to keep trying.

I am pleased to report that as of Saturday, March 10, at the 5:30 p.m. feeding, she latched on like she had been doing it all her life (!) with no problems, and we have had no problems since. Every now and then I've had to start her with the shield, but she'll suck on that for a minute or two, then seems to decide that she'd rather have the real thing, full strength. :-)

All I can think is that perhaps she was having so many problems because she was early and still so little. It's just strange that she eventually WOULD latch on and continue the feeding on the other side with no problems. At any rate, I am SO thankful and am still praising the Lord for getting us through the past week. It looks like we'll have no more latching problems from here on out, as it is now Monday evening and she has consistently been nursing well. Thank God!! I'm so glad that we stuck it out!

March 08, 2007

A Labor of Love

Here it is, the labor story with all the glorious details! Feel free to skip this post and head to the next one with the cute Kenna picture if you haven't yet seen it! :-)

Sunday night, February 25, I was awakened several times throughout the night with uncomfortable contractions. All day Monday I felt "weird." Probably other moms can attest to the same unexplainable feeling--it's just different, a sort-of-knowing-but-not-entirely-sure that something is going to happen soon. My contractions came and went throughout the day. I had called Ted, who was TDY to Florida, to let him know I had been having contractions and put my friends on alert in case something happened before he got home.

I scrapped with some customers at my house that evening, and the contractions came fairly regularly, 15-20 minutes apart. By this time they were more than just I called Debi and took her up on her offer from earlier in the day to come over and camp out on our couch, just in case. The other ladies left around 10 p.m., and Debi and I headed to bed shortly afterwards.

I slept for about an hour before I woke and started timing contractions. They were about 7-8 minutes apart. I called Sarah to let her know they were coming closer, and after we talked a bit, I took a nice, long, hot shower. I decided to lie down after that to try to get some rest, since the contractions were consistent but not getting any closer together. Lo and behold, they slowed down, so I dozed about 10-15 minutes at a time only to wake when another one came. It was at this point that, though the contractions were 15-20 minutes apart for about an hour and a half, that I truly felt the onset of labor--the pain was greatly intensified. It was approximately 2 a.m. Debi heard me moaning through a contraction and came in and sat with me. After we talked awhile, I got up. The pains began coming at regular 4-5 minute intervals, so I called Sarah back. She arrived at the house around 3:00. I went in to kiss all my kids before we left. The boys didn't move, but Charis smiled sleepily at me. I told her I was going to the hospital to get her baby sister, and she said, "Oh!" and gave me a hug. I'm not sure whether she was really coherent, but it was cute anyway.

I called Ted as we were leaving the house, and he immediately began doing what he could to make arrangements to come home early. During the 14-mile drive to the base hospital I had NO contractions. Debi and I were beginning to get worried...the last thing I wanted was to mobilize the troops only to be told I was having a false alarm, something that happened twice with Arden. (It's rather embarrassing to be in the hospital TWICE thinking you're in labor with your THIRD child!!) Fortunately, I had another contraction right as we were getting ready to pull onto base property, and they began coming regularly again as we made our way up to Labor & Delivery.

Once I was hooked up to all the monitors, etc. (probably around 4:15 a.m.), the nurse told me that after they checked my cervix, they'd probably have me get up and walk awhile. (I don't know, maybe I wasn't moaning loudly enough?!) Upon checking, however, they discovered I was 4-almost-5 centimeters dilated and having very regular contractions. Whew. They asked what my "pain management" plan was, and I said I wanted to try to get to 6-7 centimeters before getting an epidural. I had epidurals with both of the boys--Tobin's labor was quite quick and intense, and I was about 8 centimeters (possibly even more) when I got the epidural, and he was born shortly afterwards. With Arden, however, I got the epidural at 5 centimeters, and labor progressed extremely slowly throughout the night, so slowly that they ended up giving me a couple of drops of pitocin, which was awful. I had to get the epidural adjusted, because it wasn't doing anything for the pain, and it was just not a pleasant experience. I didn't want to chance having my labor slow down this time, so I figured getting to 6 or 7 centimeters would be reasonable.

In the meantime, I had Debi read a couple of passages I had felt God lay on my heart during my quiet time:

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory which far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that youwill not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

She read these verses while I squeezed her hand during each contraction, and we made it through the next hour or so. I remember the contractions during my labor with Tobin were so intense, coming one on top of the other so that I could hardly breathe. The Lord obviously knew how much I could handle, and this time there was breathing room in between the contractions, for which I was most thankful! It seemed like the nurses and staff kind of left me alone for awhile, and I wasn't checked again until 5:30 a.m. I didn't even have an IV in my arm, which is very strange--they usually poke you as soon as you get admitted to a base hospital, it seems. Anyway, by this point I was more than ready for some pain relief, so I was glad to hear that I was at 7 centimeters. I talked to Ted, who was waiting to board his plane, on the phone to tell him that I would be getting an epidural shortly. By the time we hung up, however, the nurse informed me that, "Um, actually, you're now at 10 centimeters and her head is right here."

What?! "Isn't there anything I can get?" I begged.

Nope. Not when the baby is so close to coming out! My immediate thought was, "I'm gonna die. I can NOT do this."

Well, needless to say, I did not die, and I DID do it. I had Debi call Ted back to tell him the baby was on her way, and she caught him right as he was boarding the plane. I'm not sure how many contractions I pushed through, maybe 4-5. The contractions were cake compared to pushing Kenna out--I felt like I was being ripped open, and I truly do not know how women can choose to go through natural childbirth more than once. My hat is off to those of you who have done it! However, it's nice to be able to say I had a baby naturally, and I do love the fact that she was so much more alert in those first hours and days than my sleepy epidural babies. (I had a spinal with Charis, which was beginning to wear off as I started my 45 minutes of pushing, plus I had had some IV drugs that must have taken the edge off the pain of pushing, because I know I certainly didn't go through that much pain when she was born.)

Debi was great to take some pictures for me of Kenna in the delivery room, and I'll post some later. She was born at 6:12 a.m., just about 2 1/2 hours after we arrived at the hospital. So--how long would I consider this labor to be?! That's really hard to say! I had had contractions for literally weeks leading up to her birth, and definitely had them off and on Sunday and Monday. However...I think the turning point was those no-kidding-delivery-is-just-around-the-corner painful contractions that started after my shower late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. So, approximately 4-5 hours, maybe? Much different than when I had Tobin and the contractions DEFINITELY began at 8 p.m. and he was born 6 hours later.

Kenna nursed like a champ right after she was cleaned up and handed to me. By that point I was breathing again and feeling better after having been told that despite how my body felt, I actually did not have any tearing. Wahoo! I then walked to our room since L&D was especially busy and they needed the delivery room ASAP. Kenna was whisked away a bit later for her bath, and then Debi got to spend some time holding her before she headed home for some well-deserved rest. She was a great labor coach, and I'm so thankful she was able to be with me during these special moments. I think I scared her half to death with my yelling during Kenna's delivery, but that couldn't be helped. :-)

Ted's plane landed in Las Vegas at 11:40, and the B family brought him and all of our kids (ours and theirs, I mean) to the hospital. About 6 hours after his daughter was born, Ted got to hold Kenna for the first time, and it was definitely love at first sight. Then the kids came in to ooo and aaah over her, and we spent some precious moments together before Ted took them home for lunch and gave Kenna and me a chance to rest. They came back to the hospital for dinner and spent another hour and a half with us in a very tiny room that seemed to have more buttons than we could keep the boys' hands off, but the important thing was, we were together!

Kenna and I were released from the hospital the next morning, my shortest hospital stay ever. (I was required to stay 48 hours with the other babies.) It was so wonderful to get home, and now that Kenna has been with us for 9 days, as usual, our family has expanded our hearts and we just can't imagine life without her.

Pictures to come in the next post. This mama is tired, and Kenna is ready to eat again!

March 02, 2007


Kenna Joelle
Born February 27, 2007, 6:12 a.m.
6 pounds, 5 ounces
19 3/8 inches long

Kenna (Scottish): To tell or make known
Joelle (Hebrew): Jehovah is God

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Kenna is both a blessing and a reminder of the privilege we have of teaching our children about the Lord our God. As we seek to raise her in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we pray that we will not only make known to her that Jehovah is God, but also to all who cross our paths.