Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thor's Birth Story

I know I haven't even documented our son's pregnancy, but lest I forget the details of his birth I'd better record it somewhere. And, neglected as this blog is, it still serves an invaluable purpose as an easily referenced journal.

I found out I was pregnant in mid-july 2013 after realizing the constant fatigue and lack of appetite I was experiencing might be due to more than just being busy. I'll admit I was less than excited by the positive pregnancy test. I felt like was already doing a pretty crappy job parenting my two girls that I had no business adding a third child to the mix. Also, we hadn't totally decided we would attempt for a third at all. I hadn't yet shown any signs I was even ovulating again and we were taking precautions to avoid a pregnancy, so the news came as a total surprise. Once I finally got in to see a doctor I was even more shocked to learn I was already done with my first semester. We were having this baby and it would be here soon. (His original due date was March 5th). Consistent with everything else about this pregnancy, we were again shocked to learn this addition would not be another girl like we expected but a BOY! (I did mourn the little girl I though we would be welcoming...she would have been named Petra Gold and I'm sure she would have been a joy. Anyway, back to the boy.)

Despite stressful circumstances surrounding our situation (mainly of a financial nature),  Kenny often commented that I seemed unusually calm throughout this pregnancy. (I was incredibly stressed/anxious/worried throughout my other two pregnancies.) I attribute my calmness to a few things: first and foremost, I hadn't planned to or attempted to get pregnant this go around. The whole experience seemed out of my control and I was therefore resigned to my fate, come what may. No use getting worked up over things. It was going to happen however it was meant to happen and that was that. Second, and more significantly, I had an undeniable outpouring of the Spirit anytime I started to get worked up internally. That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't know how, but I was continuously assured that things would work out. Somehow. (And so far, they have thankfully.) The pregnancy progressed fairly easily, although the demands of parenting two toddlers made it hard for me to take care of myself in the manner I would have liked. That being said, I was able to make it to the gym most days and eat well. I didn't experience any major issues and truth be told, I often forgot I was pregnant at all (until it was time to eat/cook or until I was too big and uncomfortable to ignore it).

And suddenly it was time for the boy to make his arrival. And he was late. By four days. Which was actually fine. We squeezed some last minute projects into those days and tried to just enjoy the extra time as a family of four. We decided on Friday night (March 7th) to go ahead and switch bedrooms with the girls on the rationale that the bigger room would accomidate all three kids much easier and provide them a place to play (that wasn't the sole common room in the apartment). So most of Saturday was spent moving furniture, clothes, toys, and books in addition to building a new dresser. We squeezed in some time at the beach, but overall it was a busy, labor-intensive day. And in retrospect it may have been what put me in labor.

That evening while on a run to Target, I noticed the frequent contractions i had been experiencing all day (nothing new, I'd had them for weeks) had started to be felt in my lower back. My prior two labor experiences had felt the same... when the contractions didn't really let up we texted Amelia to let her know that this baby might be making his debut soon. Around 12:30am (1:30? It was Daylight Savings that night) we finally called the hospital and let them know we'd be coming in soon. Amelia came to stay with the girls until Ana and Michael showed up at which point Amelia came to the hospital ready to photograph the arrival of our son as she had done with our girls. I was already dilated to a 6 by the time we got to the hospital and they quickly got me an epidural. EPIDURALS (when given time to work) are AMAZING!  The contractions which had become really painful were suddenly PAINLESS. I kept staring at the monitor and marveled that I really couldn't feel a thing. Such a difference from my prior labors. Had I known the staff was just going to let me hang out like that until the doctor felt like coming in (which wasn't until after 8:00am) I would have tried to sleep. But instead we all chatted and hung out ALL NIGHT. A doctor finally came to check me around 6:30 and was surprised to learn I was already at a 10 (and likely had been for some time). They decided to break my water, but that there was still no rush. They'd let me "labor down" and told me to call them in when I "felt pressure." Ha! I couldn't feel a thing! Anyway the doctor made his way in around 8:30 and got prepped. He walked over and said alright, you know the drill, here's a contraction PUSH! Just like that. So I did. I think. I still couldn't feel anything, so I made a pushing face and hoped it was working. Three pushes later the contraction was over and the baby's head was already out. What?! This was SO EASY. Next contraction came, and I pushed once and he was out. Thor Kenneth True Brady was born 8:43am, was 20.5 inches long and wighed 8 lbs 13 oz. BIG BOY! Thor had lots of dark hair and looked just like Lola but with two dimples instead of one. He was perfect. He immediately nursed and for a time I thought i'd finally have an easy time nursing. that sadly would not be the case, but after bout of mastitis and a few weeks of strictly pumping to let my torn up nipples heal, things seem to be improving in that department. He was born with a "healthy set of pipes" to put it nicely, but thankfully he doesn't use them often. He's a pretty mellow little guy. or Big guy. And we love him.

Lola immediately was in love and couldn't get enough of him. She's a little too confident in her handling of him, so we are careful to monitor their visits carefully. I thought Jade would mostly be indifferent to her new brother like Lola was to Jade. Or maybe she'd be a bit resentful if anything. She definitely was aware of Thor, but avoided him. I'd catch her peering into whatever room Thor was in, but she'd run off when she noticed we could see her. She wouldn't approach him at all for the first week, but after that curiosity slowly won out and now she too is in love. Her behavior has been a bit rough - she gets aggressive with Lola and acts out more than usual - but we're hoping that she gets over it soon. Having my mom come down and help with the girls was fantastic. SHe took the girls and got them outside most of the day. Just what I needed (especially when the Mastitis had me completely out of it for three days. Kenny doesn't get much time with Thor except for during night time feedings the girls demand his attention the rest of his time at home. I know that will change over time.

In all...things went really well (except the nursing part) and we're all doing great. Thor is already so loved and adds such a calming, almost healing, element to our family. Although he wasn't planned, we're so happy he came when he did.

Friday, September 20, 2013

So Lola is a generally a happy silly little girl. She’s really come out of her shell in recent months. Whereas before she was content to play alone, or simply to observe from the sidelines, she now will run up to people with her smile wide and introduce herself, “I Lola!” while patting her chest. Her playmate of choice is usually whatever girl is wearing the frilliest dress. “I like your dress,” is the typical follow up remark I hear her say when her introduction goes unreturned. My heart swells to think of the games she’ll play and the scenarios she’ll concoct with her newfound playmate until I see her still alone and confused. I worry it’s her speech. A year of constant ear infections, followed by surgery to insert tubes left her speech a tad delayed. Her poor brain seems to go so much faster than her speech and she mumbles or stutters through phrases trying to catch up. I’m repeatedly told that she’s fine, that she’ll catch up, and that it’s worse in my own head than it really is. Adults seem to follow along just fine, but her peers aren’t as patient it seems.

And there she still is. Still without a playmate. And my heart breaks a little more.

I had hoped preschool would help. And I know we’re only two weeks in and I’m premature in my evaluation, but I’m feeling more worried than before. This vivacious little three year old who ran into the classroom so excited those first two days now stands alone near the window, head down, shoulders hunched, crying softly as I reluctantly walk toward my car. I’m the opposite of a helicopter parent and yet I find myself wanting desperately to stay. Me, who so looked forward to this day where I could drop her off for a few hours (Freedom!), is now dreading next Tuesday and the thought of leaving her. I’ve noticed other little girls already linked up and wonder what it is about my daughter that’s making her be left out. And then every hurt feeling and bad memory of my own youth rushes back and I feel like the worse parent for subjecting to the horror that is this Big World and more specifically the hell that can be little girls. (Teen girls will be worse, I know, but I can’t even go there yet.)

Is it me? Have I failed her in some way? Did I not prepare her properly for these social interactions? Was I too much of a loner myself to give her a proper example? Did I not seek out enough opportuniites for her to meet and play with other children? Should I have given in and bought that horrible “Hello Kitty” lunch box she wanted so she would fit in better with the four other little girls sporting similar merchandise?

I don’t know, but I can’t shake these worries. So I’m just putting it out there. Universe, please be kind to my girl, my baby. Please don’t crush that soaring little spirit. Please grant her at least one great friend. Help her grow into the confident, kind, intelligent, fun, creative person I see. And Universe, I’m not asking you to do it alone. I want to help. Please show me how I can be better. Show me when to stand back and when to intervene, when to let her fall and when to catch her. Show me how I might better teach and prepare her.  Please show me…

I knew parenthood would be hard. Logically I knew it. But the hurt and heartbreak - while not entirely unexpected - is so much worse than I could have ever imagined.

And with that I’m signing off. Nose running, eyes puffy, but relieved to have gotten some of my concerns out of my head. And hopeful. Hopeful that the Universe will be kind to me, but more importantly, that it will be mindful of my oldest baby. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

My girls on the first day in July.

Lola...modeling some new clothes (that I WON!!! I never win).

 Really demonstrating what it means to "Lounge" in her new lounge pants.

And Miss Jade...who is teething. Still. (Will it ever end?!)

And who always scrunches up her nose when smiling big. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013


In October (2012) Kenny and I left Lola at her grandparents and took Jade up to Mammoth for a weekend away. Since we're usually in Mammoth during the winter we've never realized how close it is to Yosemite. Once realized, we decided to make take a day trip and do some hiking in the park. We literally just drove in, parked the car in this beautiful meadow, and started walking on pretty much the first trail we found. It ended up being a six-ish mile hike round trip up to Cathedral Peak and back. It was beautiful. Jade was a trooper in the back pack, sleeping most of the actual hike and smiling and giggling all through our exploring and picnic-ing.

Here's LOTS of photos (in no order):
A baby in a meadow. 
 Cathedral Peak

 Half Dome. Because you can't go to Yosemite and not see Half Dome. 

Still determined to catch up (at least on the big stuff) ... stay tuned. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

No title.

So it seems Jade is destined to be the typical second child whose life is far less documented than that of her older sister's. The thing is, however, that we've taken tons of photos, but they just don't seem to make it onto the blog. And that makes me sad. Jade is going to be TEN MONTHS OLD in less than a week and I haven't posted a single photo of her since she was three days old.

Oh, Blog, she's beautiful. You're missing out. I'm going to attempt to be better. Truthfully, most posts will likely be instagram dumps and the like - and I doubt I'll have time or the brain power to ever write anything clever again, but oh well. I just want one place where I can come and see all these photos and remember these times.

So these are all phone pics from just this last week. Some are edited, most are not. They aren't in order. Just some moments of each of our girls.

First up: Jade.

Jade is our big, curious girl. still in the 95th-ish percentile for everything and getting into everything possible. Her favorites are trash, cords, and whatever Lola is playing with. It's so much fun. A happy baby when her needs are met, a banshee when they're not. Loves Big Sister, but doesn't love when Big Sister knocks her over. Jade is a quick learner and such a sweet baby. She scrunches her nose up when she smiles big. I love it.

Friday was spent trapped in our apartments with no power all day. Seriously trapped. Couldn't get our car out of the gates and it was dumping rain. We read lots of books that day. And ate a few, too.
 Jade is pulling herself up on everything and loves to "walk" with assistance.
 She gets really bummed that she hasn't figured out how to get down.
 She's the happiest after long stretches of our bed, preferably.

 Assuming she's fed, rested, and getting attention, she's the happiest baby ever.

 She (mostly) loves when Big Sister pays any sort of attention to her.
 And Lola. Oh, Lola. You have been a challenge lately. Strong opinions, strong will, and lots of power struggles this month. It didn't help that you (and Jade...and Kenny) were all sick this month. As in the WHOLE month. But you are still ridiculously fascinating and fun.  Your verbal skills are improving and we're working on full, descriptive sentences. The result is that you say some pretty funny things. I love getting these glimpses into your thoughts.

 Miss Sass. (She's acting like Time Out is no big deal in this photo. Bummer for me, because I want her to KNOW that it is a VERY BIG DEAL when she decides to kick her little sister.)
 But she's still so pretty.
 She's hit or miss on naps lately. I LOVE when she'll still take one. Mainly because I love how she sneaks down stairs afterward.

 Finally learned that with proper footwear, puddles are FUN.

 The beach is still her favorite place on earth.
 "Mom! I very, very, too, too cute. A lot." (wearing my Easter dress from 1985.)
 Rain boots, rain coat, no pants. No problem.
 Making valentines (part 1) while Jade naps.

So there's our week in iphone photos (mine at least). January 22nd through January 28th, 2013.

Till next time.