Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mason Alan

We were so excited when we found out that we were expecting baby #3! We told our parents and siblings very early on in my pregnancy (about 5 weeks). Good thing, because I felt by 6 weeks I was already starting to show! I guess that's what happens when you have three pregnancies in three years! We waited a couple weeks before telling anyone else, and once I had my first ultrasound at about 9 weeks, we shared the good news with all our friends and family. Having two kids so young, and being pregnant with number three, I got a lot of mixed responses to me being pregnant again. It was either pure excitement for this new little blessing, people thinking I was absolutely crazy for doing this again or purely not surprised seeing as how I'd either been pregnant or nursing for basically three years prior! Either way, we were beyond excited for God's miracle and this new little addition to our family.

Thankfully I never experienced nausea during my pregnancy but man was I tired. Some days all I lived for was nap time and bedtime for my kids and myself! I also had horrible back and pelvic pain especially during my first and third trimester. This was by far my most painful and uncomfortable pregnancy, Needless to say, by the time my due date drew near, I was so ready to finally meet this baby. When we found out we were pregnant, we knew from the very beginning that we were not going to find out the gender of this baby. I think that made the arrival of Mason Alan much more special and anticipated.

My due date was June 9th, but I just knew that I wasn't going to carry until then. I had Matthew on my due date and Mollie 10 days early, so I figured that we would meet this little one a tad earlier. On Sunday May 18th, at exactly 37 weeks pregnant, I was up in my room getting ready to go to evening church at 4:00 pm when I thought my water might have broken. I didn't experience the typical gush like I did with Mollie, but I just noticed a slow trickle and some had some intense contractions. After waiting about 20 minutes, I knew for sure that my water had indeed broken and it was time to get things ready. We called my parents, who quickly came over to our house.

(Our last picture as a family of four, just before heading to the hospital)

I scurried around and finished packing bags for Matthew and Mollie to spend the night at Miss Jen's house, one of my dearest friends. This was the first time that Matthew and Mollie had ever spent the night anywhere else but Gabby and Grandpa's house. I knew that Jen would smother them with love and my kids were so excited to have a sleep over with Grace and Faith, that it put my Mommy anxiety to rest. My parents took Matthew and Mollie up to church where Jen took them for the night, and then my parents met us at the hospital.

After my kids were gone, I showered and packed my hospital bag (I know, total third time mom thing to do....wait until the very last minute to pack bags!). I did have a hospital bag already packed for baby. By this time I wasn't having regular contractions, but was still leaking fluid, so Matt and I took a few minutes to pick up the house and stop by the store for some drinks and snacks. On the way to the hospital was also confirmed our baby names for both a boy and a girl, since we weren't completely decided on either!

I arrived at the hospital about 6:30pm, they checked me into my room, hooked me up to the monitor and I changed into a hospital gown. Being my third pregnancy, and the fact that I was dilated to 3cm at my appointment the week before, I was expecting for labor to progress quickly and we would have our baby before midnight. I was so wrong!

For the next few hours I walked the hospital hallways, bounced on the labor ball, and laughed and enjoyed the evening with Matt and my mom and dad.

I had a few irregular contractions, but nothing regular and nothing that was painful. My contractions eventually stopped.all.together. Seriously??? So here it was, almost 11pm, my water was broken, I was not in labor, I was 4cm dilated, baby was high and not engaged in my pelvis. My doctor said I could wait until morning, hoping that labor would start on its own, but by then baby would be at increased risk of infection due to my water being broken, or we could start Pitocin. Initially I was very opposed to using Pitocin. I wanted a natural, drug free labor like I had with my other kids. Thankfully I had an amazing nurse, who answered all my questions and eased at least some of my fears about inducing labor with Pitocin. I finally decided to start Pitocin about midnight.

My contractions started to pick up, and oh my goodness, Pitocin contractions are no joke....they hurt! I've been through a natural labor where my water was not broken, I've been through a natural labor where my water was broken the entire time, and labor augmented with Pitocin is by far the most painful. I was exhausted at this point, but was most comfortable being out of bed, walking the hallways, and bouncing on the labor ball. After 4 hours of hard, painful back labor, I had only progressed half of a centimeter. I was so frustrated and was ready to give up and get an epidural, because at that point I felt like labor was never going to end. My nurse was such an encouragement to me and kept telling me that once we got baby into the right position, she was confident that I would progress fast. We tried different labor positions, in bed, out of bed, walking, bouncing, you name it I tried it!

Thankfully, things started to pick up and a little after 7am I was 9cm. Shift change was starting and I met my new nurse who was coming on. I felt like I finally had to push, so my new nurse checked me and I was still 9cm dilated. I continued to feel the urge to push, but I refused to be checked again and have someone tell me to labor a little longer. So I got out of bed and suffered through a few more contractions, trying to forget about the fact that I felt the need to push. My new nurse was slowly starting to set the room up for delivery. At 7:36am my night nurse walked through the door to check in one last time, with the delivering doctor behind her, and I immediately told her I had to now! She rushed over to the bed and literally as I got into bed, she reached under my gown and caught baby! No pushing, completely self delivered. Nothing was set up, no doctor, nothing! My nurse immediately put baby up on my chest and all I remember is Matt saying "It's a boy!" The excitement of that moment made it 100% worth not finding out the gender of our baby.

Mason Alan Stevens

Born Monday May 19th, 2014 at 7:37am

7 pounds 8 ounces

20 1/4 inches long

I had so many thoughts going through my mind...feeling pure joy that our baby boy had arrived safely, laughter, so thankful that labor was finally over, and utter disbelief that I had just delivered a baby within the blink of an eye! I savored the next hour of baby staying on my chest, nursing and bonding with my new baby boy! Instant love at first sight.

A proud Daddy!

A blessed Grandpa and Gabby! After snuggling baby Mason for a bit, they headed home after a long night to get some sleep before two other little munchkins joined them later in the day!

So quiet and content during his first bath.

Papa meeting Mason!

Happy Grandma!

Mason passed his hearing test and rocked the ear phones

Matt and I enjoyed a quiet, restful morning and early afternoon with Mason.

Later that afternoon, Grandpa and Gabby returned with a big brother and big sissy who were eager to meet their little baby brother! I was blown away with how much they instantly loved Mason and were so interested in holding him and loving on him. Matthew would hold him for a minute or so and then say, "You can hold him now." They both were thrilled about the baby doll, remote control car, books and treat that Mason gave them!

After a wonderful visit from our kiddos, we said goodbye and enjoyed a quiet evening with some visits from our friends and family.

I love the rest and special time I get with my husband and baby while being in the hospital, but by the next morning I was so ready to sleep in my own bed, see my kids and start this new adventure as a family of 5!

"Behold children are a heritage from The Lord" Psalm 127:3

We are so blessed!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Mollie 2 years old

Mollie Lynn you are 2 years old!

Happy Birthday to our sweet and sassy little 2 year old. Mollie Lynn, these past two years seem like they have flown by. I still vividly remember the first time I laid eyes on your big beautiful eyes just after you were born. My heart immediately swelled and I knew the special love a mommy has for her daughter. Although there are days where I feel knee deep into the terrible twos, my love for you grows every day. You bring so much life and spunk into our family and we are so blessed to call you ours!

What have you been up to lately?

Weight: 27 pounds (50th percentile)

Height: 35 inches (88th percentile)

Head circumference: 19.5 inches (91st percentile)

You wear 18 month-2t pants and tops, depending on the fit and brand. You are also wearing some 6-9 month pants as capris. You have a skinny little waist! You wear size 4 diapers.

Sleep hasn't changed all that much, other then the fact that you have been waking up early. You usually sleep from 7:30pm-6 or 6:30am. I'm hoping you will start to sleep in a little later! We've also found that it doesn't matter when we put you to sleep, you are still up early. With an early wake up time you are exhausted by nap time and will take a 2-3 hour afternoon nap. If you skip a nap, you are absolutely exhausted and usually asleep on the couch at 5:30!

You usually wake up in the morning incredibly happy. You grab your baby or whatever toy you took to bed with you, turn off your noise machine and walk out of your room. If we are still sleeping, you immediately walk into our room to wake us up and say "Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy!" Morning snuggles in bed are my favorite.

You are a dairy lover. You would drink milk all day long if you could. You also love yogurt, cheese, ice cream, frozen blueberries and pretzels. Some days you are a great eater, and other days it seems like you don't have much of an appetite and just pick at your food throughout the day.

There are only a very small handful of people that you let see your true personality. You talk ALL.THE.TIME. and in full sentences at home and around a few other people. However, at church and around most people, you are very quiet, barely talk, and just bat your big, beautiful eyes at everyone.

We have been working on first time obedience, so sometimes Mommy will say "Mollie Lynn you need to come here right now." Lately, when you want your milk you will demand, "I want my milk, right now!!" Whoops, maybe I need to work on phrasing my commands a little differently.

You moved up to the 2-3 year old class at church, which is the same one that bro bro is in. You love going to class and are always talking about and naming your friends at church.

We had our first Mommy/Daughter date at the nail salon. We both got our toenails painted and you loved it! You picked out a hot pink color and sat so still while you had your toes done. So fun!!

You love to play with your baby dolls. Your favorite doll right now is my old cabbage patch doll from when I was a little girl! You always want a specific baby blanket for your baby too. You put diapers on the. And change them when they "go poopy". You put them to bed in your new baby bed and you burp them when they cry. You are my little mommy's helper in the making!

You also love to kiss and snuggle real babies. You love your cousin Parker, but you always think that he needs his boo boo, and try to constantly stuff it in his mouth.

You are going to be a big sissy in about a month and a half! You kiss and tickle my big pregnant tummy all the time. I'm going to have to watch you closely though, because I think you are going to love your baby brother or sister just a little too much!

Your favorite song is Wheels on the Bus. You also like to sing the ABC's and Jesus Loves Me.

You count to 15, skipping a couple of numbers along the way.

When asked how old you are, you say "two" and hold up 2 fingers.

You like to play the I-pad. I'm amazed at how well you can navigate through it to find and play your favorite apps. You also love to look at pictures or watch our home videos.

Your favorite TV shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Ella the Elephant, and Little Einsteins. You are interested in the show for a few minutes, but that's about it!

You are our little helper, most of the time willing to clean up or go get something we need. You LOVE to sit up on the counter while I prepare meals, especially in the morning when we make Daddy's lunch. You are so proud to hand him the finished product!

You love to play Patty Cake, Row Row Row your Boat, and Ring around the Rosie.

You sing the song Old McDonald Had a Farm every time we pass a McDonalds restaurant.

You absolutely LOVE to read books.

We call you our little hoarder and our little bag lady. You are always putting trinkets or money in your pockets. You love to carry around bags, your Minnie backpack or your pink Halloween bucket and put toys, food, or really anything you can find in it. You take an armful of babies, books and blankets with you to bed every night and will not leave your room in the morning until you have everything stuffed back into your arms to carry downstairs.

You love your purple blanket.

You are 100% a Daddy's girl.

You dislike riding in the car or being in your carsest.

Mollie Lynn you have the most beautiful big blue eyes, one of the most infectious smilies around, and a sweet endearing personality. But my, oh my, you are going through the terrible twos early and things can change from sweet to all spice in a matter of seconds. You are Miss Independent and want to do EVERYTHING by yourself, from putting your pants, shoes and socks on, brushing your teeth, wrapping up your baby doll, getting a snack etc. If we say no to that, or are in a hurry and need to do it ourselves, you throw a screaming and crying fit, to which you find yourself in timeout often.

When you get upset, hurt or in a fight with your brother, you get mad and will throw anything that is in your path. We are working on self control!

Happy 2nd Birthday Sissy! We thank God for you every day!