Monday, February 15, 2016

Busy November

November was a blur.  Sleep deprivation, feedings, visitors, Thanksgiving, and a baptism pretty much sums it up.  Here are some pictures of the events:

Sister love:
Davin loves holding "Baby sister Leina":
First bath (her cord fell off sometime between 10 days and 2 weeks):
First snowfall (it only lasted a few days before melting):

Some friends brought this giant cookie over:
Thanksgiving:


It was nice to have family for Thanksgiving.  First time in years.  In fact, it was the first time I had been with my parents for Thanksgiving since my freshman year in college--1997--almost 20 years!!
Evan's parents and Amy also came for Thanksgiving and Mea's baptism, which we had the day after Thanksgiving.

Here's Mea's pre-baptism picture.  I surprised her and made her a lei the night before:

Mea's friends eating snacks after the baptism:
Post baptism family picture:
Yeah...we're so photogenic:



And then the extended family picture:



Daddy/daughter:
And then, following tradition, we bought a tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Mea decorated it.  Can you tell?
Eh-eh spent much of the weekend holding Leina while she slept:

Sisters sharing a special day.  Leina was blessed the same day Mea was baptised:

Blessing dress:



1 month old!!


Matching shirts.  This was Mea's idea.  Can I tell you how hard it is to find matching shirts in a size 0-3 month AND size 8??:
Outgrowing her clothes so fast:
Spencer holding Leina:
I can't believe so much happened that month!  It's all a blur now.

Meet Leina

 I've had this post saved as a draft for months now.  It's probably about time to post it:

  October was a long month.  With 3 kids arriving before their due date, it was generally assumed that baby #4 would come early, too.  So all of October was spent waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  My mom has always made flight arrangements a few days before the due dates of each baby, but she's never been here for the birth.  Both my parents were scheduled to fly in the 29th, and Evan was scheduled to fly out for his 6-day conference the 31st.  I never, ever thought I would reach both of those dates still pregnant.  But I did.

 I was having contractions the entire month, too.  Some were even about 5 minutes apart.  But then they always died off.  The day before Evan was scheduled to fly out, they started to feel a little different, and I wondered if it was the beginning of real labor.  But they, too, died off.

So here we were, on my due date, Nov 2, still pregnant, raking leaves, with Evan out of town:
 Davin loves raking leaves.  But mostly because he loves jumping in the pile of leaves:

 My parents were hesitant to let me continue swimming because they didn't want me to go into labor with Evan gone.  But I knew I'd go nuts just sitting around the house, waiting.  So I still swam.

I was the biggest I had ever been.  This picture doesn't accurately show how big I was, even though it was taken just 4 days before birth:
Even my parents would say to me, "I can't believe how big you are."  

Wednesday night came around, and I was Skyping with Evan.  He was scheduled to fly home the next morning.  And with my contractions being no stronger, and with no signs of going into labor, I calmly told him that he'd make it in time for the birth.  And we even discussed the possibility of getting induced that weekend (something I was very much against) so that my dad could see the baby before he left that coming Sunday morning.  Little did I know...

I'm not sure exactly when the real contractions started.  Or when they started getting regular.  But by 6 am, I couldn't fall back asleep.  By 6:20 I realized I had better start keeping track of them.  By 6:30 I had texted Evan and asked if there was an earlier flight he could catch.  Sometime close to 7 am, with contractions 3-5 minutes apart and getting stronger, I was afraid to stand up and move around because I knew they'd get closer together.  But I also knew that I was in real labor, and that I had better get up and pack my bag and let everyone know what was happening.  Sure enough, as soon as I stood up, they were coming every 1-3 minutes.  I called the hospital and they told me to come in anytime.  

Around 8 am we took off for the hospital.  About halfway there I realized that I had left my insurance card at home.  But somehow, sitting back down, the contraction had spread out again, so they were only every 5-8 minutes.  So we headed back home to get my card.  By 9 am, I was checked in, and in my room (I had requested the one with a birthing tub), and hooked up to the monitors.  The doctor came in to check on me, and I was dilated to a 5.  They started filling up the birthing tub.  The contractions were hard enough and strong enough that I was worried I wouldn't make it into the tub before she was born (all my babies have come really fast once I got to about a 7).  

The rest is a blur.  I did make it to the tub.  My mom was there to fan me and to remind me to breathe during contractions.  There was a ledge that I used as counter-pressure to my back labor.  Shortly after getting in the tub I was at a 9.  Not much later I was at a 10 and it was time to push.  She was my hardest to push.  And as soon as her head was crowning, my contractions stopped.  So after a few minutes of waiting my doctor told me to just keep trying to push her out without the contractions.  She was officially born at 10:53 am.  

My doctor is a big fan of the birthing tub, but she usually has her patients get out of the tub for the actual birth.  But with me, she said I could stay in if I wanted.  So I got to have my full water birth, and it was my doctor's first water delivery.  

Evan completely missed the birth.  He tried, though!  He was on a waitlist for an earlier charter flight, but didn't make it on.  Even if he had, he still would've missed the birth. 

With past births, the doctors have put the baby on my chest for just a few minutes after birth before whisking them away to be measured and weighed.  But this time she was with me for at least 5 minutes.  It was great!! My mom cut the cord while I was holding her, and I was able to witness her skin turn from blue to pink.  

 No judging me by my looks--no epidural or pain meds were taken, and she came so fast I had no time to shower that morning.  I was tired and in pain and had just sweat a week's worth in a matter of hours.  No pretty pictures with make-up for me.  :)
  She barely cried the whole time she was on my lap.  But as soon as they took her away to weigh her, she wailed:
 8 lbs, 5 oz, 21.5" long.  My biggest baby yet!  By a long shot.  Mea was my next biggest at 6 lbs, 14 oz, 20.5" long.









 I've never had a baby born in the morning.  It was a nice change.  I had an almost full night of rest and I had all day to snuggle and be with this little cutie.
Evan finally arrived sometime around 3 pm.  And then the rest of the family stopped by in the evening to meet their baby sister:



Proud Pappa of granddaughter #3:
It took a bit for Davin to warm up to her.  He just sort of giggled at her and kept his distance:
Day 2:
We named her Leina Meri.  Leina is a Finnish name, but it's usually spelled Leena.  But I didn't want it mispronounced horrible her entire life, so I tweaked the spelling a bit.  It's still pronounced the same in English (Lay-nuh), and almost the same in Finnish.  Meri means "sea" in Finnish.  She was born in  the water, after all.  :)