Apr 3, 2011

The Beginning of Spring

My attempt at a group photo of the kids....

Pretty good.


Oh, good grief.

Adeline loving her baby brother.

Miss Lioness



Master William 12-weeks-old

Mr. Long Body Jack 7-years-old

Miss Sunshine Adeline who is almost 5-years-old

Darling Ella at 2-years-old

This is why painting time is outside time.

We spent some of Jack's instructional fund money for homeschooling on these Elenco Snap Circuit kits. Wow, Jack loves them. He has a math/engineering/science brain, so he really enjoys these things. This is a remote controlled Rover that he built with different electrical circuits, wires, batteries, and ummm...other things that I don't understand.

And a special shout out to the ice cream man at the park today. The kids were watching as all of the other kids at the park lined up to buy ice cream. We didn't have any cash with us, so J, A, and E knew they couldn't have any. Well, Mr. Ice Cream Man calls them over when the other kids were done and he proceeds to hand each of our little ones an ice cream. They thanked him and were smiling from ear to ear. What an act of kindness we were blessed with. People are so gracious, and I see proof of it all the time. Thank you, Ice Cream Man. May that kindness circle back to you.

Feb 1, 2011

The Birth of Our Baby Boy

Welcome, William Pierce!

■ January 15 @ 11:18 p.m. (his due date)

■ 9 lb. 10 oz.

■ 21"

■ Born at home in the water (my third home water birth)

I was dilated 6 cm. for at least a week before my due date. (My body seems to always dilate beforehand without me really knowing, and then I have quick labors once they start.) My previous labors have been 5 hours, 3 hours, and 2 1/2 hours. I get a little anxious when my due date approaches because it can be unnerving when you don't have much warning of when baby is going to be making its appearance!

Well, due date arrives, and I have no signs of labor. I get my older two children to sleep and then lie down with my 2-year-old. She's been acting weird all night....not sleeping, rolling around, taking her clothes off (lol)....just being strange. So, I'm lying there with her and.....I get a contraction. I know it's a "labor has begun so get ready" real contraction. I look at the clock. It's 9:45 p.m. My daughter Ella still isn't asleep. Crud. I make a quiet plea to the baby, "Please wait until I get Ella to sleep." Baby basically says, "Um. Nah. I'm gonna go ahead and come now." (lol) And a few minutes later I get another contraction. So, I tell my sleeping husband, "Labor is here. I'm having contractions." He rolls over and mumbles, "OK, just let me know," and rolls back over to sleep. Hmmm. OK. I say much more definitively, "I AM IN LABOR. THIS IS IT. GET THE POOL READY, DEAR." Well, that gets him up. He throws on his special T-shirt (he wore this same shirt when we met, got engaged, got married, and at the birth of each of our children), and he starts getting things ready.

I go to the bathroom. Bloody show. Have another contraction. Call the midwife. She's on her way. Then I quickly get things organized. Make sure (my still awake) Ella has on a clean diaper. Contraction. Get out her "distraction" items for while I'm laboring (read: lollipops and DVDs). Contraction. Put on my top to wear in the birth pool. Contraction. Find my robe. Contraction. Fire in the fireplace. Contraction. Light the candles. Contraction. Make sure the cameras are out and ready. Contraction. Midwife assistant arrives. Takes my blood pressure and listens to fetal heart tones. Contraction. Really wanting to get in the pool. It's almost filled enough. My friend Anna arrives (who also happens to be a midwife assistant). Hug her. Contraction.

Get in the pool. Now I'm deep into labor land and contractions are coming fast and hard. Midwife arrives. I start to make grunty noises with the contractions, so I know I'll be pushing soon. All of the kids are awake and by the pool now. Sean is kneeling down with his face by mine. I grab his hand and squeeeeeeeeze it. I hear my 2-year-old make adorable, curious sounds of wonder and aww as all the activity is unfolding. I'm moaning and starting to push now. Undeniable urge. The contractions are nearly on top of each other. Squeezing my husband's fingers, pushing, reach down and feel the baby's head. It's right there. I know if I push I'll have my babe in arms.

PUUUUUUUUUUSH, head is out.

PUUUUUUUUUUSH, body is coming, I turn over, reach in the water, and pull up my beautiful baby into my arms.

Joy! Relief! Happiness! Elation! Bliss! Baby! Our wonderful baby is here.

I hear someone say the time is 11:18 p.m. Good grief, it was a 1 1/2 hour labor. Exhale. I relax and lean back and let the kids look to announce if it's a boy or girl. My four-year-old daughter says, "Girl!" Um. No. (LOL) It's a BOY! We now have two boys and two girls. We wait until the cord stops pulsing and my husband, son, and oldest daughter all cut the cord. Such a sweet moment. Eventually, we get snuggled in bed and just love all over our newest family member. He looks so tiny to me. I swear he must only be 7 lbs. Anna weighs him and he's 9 lb. 10 oz. Oh my. OK, so I won't ever be the "guess your weight" person at the county fair.

Anyway, he's just an adorable, smooshy, blob of perfect baby. He nurses and rests in my arms as we all soak up his sweetness. My two-year-old finally decides it's time to sleep; I guess she really didn't want to miss the birth of her baby brother. She nurses and falls asleep on one side of me while the baby snoozes on the other side of me. My other two children and husband are at the foot of the bed. There is no better place to be in the world.

All is right.
All is peaceful.
All is good.

Welcome to our family, sweet baby Will.

A photo montage of the birth:William
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