three

Thursday, October 30

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Today you are three my little sunshine. My ever observant, ever gentle, ever curious boy. You love screwdrivers and flashlights more than any toy, and your bubbly giggle is your trademark. Your words have started to pour out of you, delighting me daily with the sentences you put together from the things you're observing around you. Every day you ask me, "hey mama, wanna play wif me?" and every day I do. We play hide and go seek, we play dominoes, we play blocks and chase, and Legos and trains, and I'm immersed in your little world. You ARE my world little boy. Every day your dad and I look at each other and just shake our heads, amazed at you and how funny and smart and beautiful you are. You became a big brother this year, and my heart has grown 10 times in size watching you love your little sister and take care of her in the best ways you know how. I told you today, while I was squeezing you tight, that you would always be my baby. But you told me that you weren't a baby, you were just Everett. And you're right, you know. You don't have to be my baby and you don't have to be my big boy either. You're just Everett, in all the just right ways. I'm so lucky that you're mine. Happy 3rd birthday sweet boy!

Isla Loie: a birth story

Wednesday, October 29

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I know it's been ages since I last posted. It took a couple months for the dust to settle and figure out how to manage a new schedule with these two babes while Tyson has had such long hours. But! We're doing it! And it's going better than I could've hoped. I think? We get dressed sometimes.

But onward. Birth story ahoy!

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I was about 38 and a half weeks pregnant on the morning of August 26th. It was a normal, relaxed morning. Tyson had left for work early, and after spending some time with Everett playing in his room, we went to the kitchen together to get some breakfast. It was there that I experienced my first hard contraction around 9:10am. It was about a minute long and intense enough to make me stop what I was doing and breathe through it. This was a mildly thrilling moment since, due to Everett's unexpectedly early birth, I had been packed and ready to go for weeks and weeks. My first instinct was to text Tyson, "Hey, I've got a painful one over here, let's bounce" but I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I put some morning cartoons on for Everett and we laid in bed together while I breathed through them and timed them out.

For two hours, they were fairly strong and consistently 10-12 minutes apart. I'd heard that a second birth tends to be much faster than the first, so I was hyper aware of the fact that our birthing center was about an hour away. (I'd loved my birth experience so much at this particular birth center with Everett, that even though we'd moved to Winchester, I really wanted to birth there again. ) I was feeling overly cautious, so I called Tyson and told him about the consistency, and then called my midwives. They told me to come in, just in case. Tyson was home in a suspiciously fast amount of time, bursting through the door in his "this is it" fury. He packed his overnight bag, while I got ready and put together Everett's things for his stay at our friend's house. Tyson peeked his head around the closet door while he packed and observed me tying my hair up in the bathroom, commenting on how "together" I seemed. It's all very impressive when your contractions are still 10 minutes apart.

We drove over to drop Everett off, and took him in together to give him a kiss and make sure he felt settled in. I was feeling sheepish, since my contractions were still so far apart, so the whole time we were there, I was walking around like a fully functional person. Yeah I'm in labor. Sure. Totally.

We drove the hour. It wasn't terrible. We walked into the birth center together and up to the woman at the front desk. Hey, what can I do for you today? she said. I think we need to sign in, I said with a half-smile, I'm in labor? We signed in and were ushered back to triage where I put on the blue sheath and sat in bed while they hooked me up to contraction monitors. I stayed on the monitors for an hour or so, while my contractions stayed about the same. I was only dilated to a 3 and 60% effaced, so even though my midwife couldn't admit us yet, she suggested that since we were already there, and the contractions had been consistent, that we take some time to get my body in an active state. Walk, get some food, climb some stairs, curb walk, and come back in an hour. We did all of that and lunges too. Back and forth down a mostly deserted hallway, which for the record, is a terrible moment to catch a reflection of yourself. During this hour, I was really feeling it. I'd have to stop while we were walking and grip the wall rail, breathing through the contractions and crying out a little as they got progressively stronger. It was totally working.

We walked back to triage, feeling hopeful that I would have dilated enough with those contractions to get admitted and JUST DO THIS ALREADY, but as soon as I was in a resting state on the bed again, the contractions tapered off almost completely, and there was no change in dilation. It was wildly frustrating. We left the hospital with the instruction to go home, lay down for the rest of the day, and sleep if I could so that my body wouldn't be triggered into continuing with the false labor. It was a quiet hour during the ride home. We were both pretty bummed after being so ready to meet our baby all day, and I was tired from all the contractions, little sleep, and the most vigorous exercise I'd had in an embarrassing amount of time. We picked Everett up from our friend's house and drove home. As was recommended, I tried to rest on the bed with Everett while Tyson tried to squeeze in some homework in the living room. I'd only been laying there for maybe 45 minutes when my first real, hard, gut punching contraction hit. Another one hit 3 minutes later. And another. I writhed on the bed, trying to maintain control so that I wouldn't alarm Everett. Thinking back, I don't know why I didn't call out to Tyson to be like --- heeeeey, guess whaaaat. I think I was still feeling so frustrated for traveling so much that day, and all for nothing. It had felt like such a waste, and I was feeling bad for inconveniencing our friends (even though they assured us that we hadn't, but you know, mom guilt). I let the contractions go on like that for a little while longer, I can't remember how long, until Everett asked for a drink and I got up to get him one, but ended up on the couch instead, bent over my belly, just yelling. Yelling way too loudly.

In double time, Tyson ran around the house, gathering our things up for the second time and loading them in the car, all while Everett bent down around my hunched over body so that he could see my face while he rubbed my back. I wished the pain away just so I could take the worry off his little scrunched up face. I could hardly speak. This wasn't how I'd hoped to leave him. Tyson scooped him up and walked out to the car to buckle him in. "Mama's going to have a baby today. Isla Loie is coming to meet you!" We sped over to our friend's house again, with Tyson calling ahead of time, so that they could run out, grab Everett from the car and make it a quick drop-off. My eyes were clenched when we pulled in the drive-way, just trying to get through the next minute, so I didn't even see him as we drove away. But we were reassured through text a little while later that he was whisked in and got right to playing, happy as a clam.

During the hour drive, my contractions started to come on top of each other, only a minute and a half apart. I was gripping my armrest and the door handle, deep in the hell that is being strapped to a seat for an hour while in active labor, every bump and jostle intensified. I yelled, barely aware of Tyson praying out loud for us to make it in time. He narrated to me along with the navigator. 10 minutes left! You can do it, you're doing so great! 8 minutes til we get there, we're almost there, you're gonna make it. 5 minutes, the exit is coming up right here babe. Hang in there 3 more minutes.
He was probably half talking to himself, poor guy. ;) 

When I stood up to get out of the car, I was immediately dizzy from expelling and taking in so much air during the drive. I flung my arm around Tyson's shoulders and we made it into the packed waiting room in time for another contraction to hit. With my mascara streaked cheeks, frazzled hair and hugely pregnant body, I put my hands on my knees and I yelled-breathed through it, while they retrieved a wheelchair. They whisked us back through the doors, past triage where we had been just a few hours before, and straight to our delivery room.

I WANTED THE DRUGS. Oh man I wanted them. I remembered the last time I was here, doing this exact thing, and how I'd felt out of my mind with pain then too. I climbed up on the bed and Tyson answered questions for the nurse while I yelled over them. "Breathe", she coached. "Don't feel self conscious about the yelling ... yell all you want ... breathe ... good. We've paged the anesthesiologist." My midwife came in then and checked me. Shockingly, depressingly, I was still at a 3. But only ten minutes later, I was a 7. I mean BOOM. That's a second baby right there.

I never even saw the anesthesiologist's face, since my eyes were closed, trying to get through each contraction, but after he came in 40 years later, we got to work. They swung my legs over the side of the bed, with him at my back, and Tyson and a pretty, kind, nurse at my front. They held my hands while I accidentally spit on them a little. These are just the rules of travailing, laborious breathing I suppose. There's going to be a little bit of spit flying around and stuff. I took three contractions while bent over. The cool, wonderful, mind-restoring peace swept over one half of my body, while the other half still scorched and surged every minute. It was weird. So they did it again. Another three contractions while bent over, and it was done. I could laugh again. I could drink. It was a total party. The nurse got some tissues and gently cleaned my tear streaked face up, and then everyone cleared the room, with instructions to let them know once I started to feel pressure. It was late then, so we dimmed the lights and tried to sleep a little. About an hour later, I felt it. Her little body was ready.

Tyson notified the nurses and midwife in the hallway, and they came in to check me. "Oh yep, there's her head!" The lights flipped on, I moved into a comfortable pushing position, and Tyson and I looked at each other in anticipation. Finally! We were going to meet our little girl! Everything else faded away for me. I don't even remember where Tyson was standing. It felt good to push. I bore down hard during one contraction and then rested. I bore down hard again during the second contraction and there she was. My Isla Loie. Pink and blue, her lungs blazing. Tyson was emotional as he placed her on my chest. She was just the most beautiful little person. We'd waited so long for her. I tipped my head back on the pillow and full out laughed. It felt so good to breathe! To have my body emptied and lightened! The room cleared of people immediately, and everything around us seemed to blur out. There was only Tyson's arms around me while we observed her happy little sucks.
The next 24 hours were so full of peace. We kept our recovery room dimmed and had a spa-like soundtrack playing on repeat. It was our little baby bubble. I drank my weight in sparkling cranberry juice, never once changed a dirty diaper, basked in newborn smell, and even got a complimentary full body massage. It was truly the best after-birth experience I could have asked for.

We got an early check-out so that we could go home to Everett and get settled as a family of four as soon as possible. I'll have to write about when they met a little bit later. (It is so sweet getting to be the mom of these little siblings! Oh my gosh. Magic!)

For now, a few more pictures!

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the last of the bump

Monday, September 1

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Shoes: c/o Free People (check their newest shoes out right now. heart eyes.), Jeans: H&M, Lace mini: F21, Top: TJMaxx, Hat: UO, Bag: c/o Stela 9

I just want to point out that these photos are in no way a reflection of my state of togetherness right now. In fact, my pregnant insomnia would like to take this opportunity to apologize for having the audacity to even call itself insomnia last week. Me and my eye bags, we're all just laughing our heads off over here. But. All I can smell is newborn right now so, WHO IN THE WORLD CARES.

P.S. Happy Labor Day. Ha ha.


she's here!

Friday, August 29

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-1-3-2

Born at 11:12 on Tuesday night, we welcomed our 6 lb 7 oz, 18 inch Isla Loie into the world. (A few have asked about pronunciation. Her middle name rhymes with Bowie. :))  So many thoughts and feelings experienced over the last few days, everything is such a blur right now. But we are so happy, and we are so in love and there are four of us. All of us together is the best thing Ive ever experienced.

a very very good weekend for no reason in particular

Monday, August 25

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Shoes: Converse, Skirt: Target, Top: TJ Maxx, Bag: c/o Stela 9, Sunglasses: ASOS

Oh what to say about a perfectly perfect weekend that included almost nothing noteworthy. We will of course, take note of it, because that's what we do here.

Everett's jumping head-on into the "I have opinions about my clothes" portion of his life, so on Friday night, before heading into town, it was me and Tyson and Everett cross-legged on the floor in front of his drawers, running through the options. 
No mom, the skeleton shirt is too scary.
Wait let me see it again.
Ahhhh! Too scary.
The "numbers shirt" aka the football jersey looks good, but wait no, it's actually a dress so never mind.
The yellow rain boots are an absolute must.
No, not the orange shorts.
No, not the black shorts either.
Suspender shorts? OK
Wait no, do the hiking boots instead.
The black tank top is a winner. Hey dad look at my big muscles.
Oh! We forgot the pirate hat.

So we're never going to be on time to anything ever again.
(But I like it, I do. Strong opinions are important in life. Gumption and stuff! And I would totally want to go to the park in my onesie monkey pajamas tucked into my rain boots too, if that wasn't the most disturbing mental image that ever existed.) 

So after that fun fest, we headed out. But not before I dutifully threw my hospital bag into the back seat, just to insure that I wouldn't go into labor that night. Since these are the facts right? Nothing ever happens when you're actually prepared. In town, we shopped for the man who never shops, we dined in the place where the free balloons are abundant, and in a darkened car, with a sleeping boy in the back seat, we parked and savored some truly delightful red velvet cake.

Saturday was rainy all day long. But it was, you know, that stupendous kind of rainy.
 
You sleep in, you mosey into the clouded kitchen light around 10 to scrounge up some oatmeal or leftover waffles to be eaten in bed. And you listen to the heavy drops on the street below, while you give the yays and the nays on your husband's closet clean-out, while your son walks on your calves and uses the mountain of pillows around you as his somersault arena. Later, you will all nap for 10 years. And then make a very late-night run to the grocery store for a light bulb and a limeade, because no one is even thinking about going to bed any time soon, most especially not the adorable chatterbox in the backseat.

So anyway, just sign me up or another weekend. I'll take mine tomorrow.


happy birthday tyson!

Friday, August 22

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This is Everett's favorite picture I think. He digs it out occasionally from the bottom of the desk drawer, holds it to his forehead, hides it down his shirt, balances it in the palm of his hand while walking "reallllly carefully mama", the regular things that one does with a picture. When I ask him who that is in the picture he says, "Iss daddy when he was an Everett."
Today is his birthday, this fine guy of ours. And today, we're bidding adieu to the 28 and welcoming in the 29 with NOT a trip to the hospital apparently. No, no, no, this baby does not believe in sharing birthdays. (No really, I get it. It's fine.) Instead, we're doing the obvious next best thing, which would be driving exactly one hour to go pick up the very best red velvet cream cheese cake that birthday card money can buy.
Happy birthday to you, baby! I'm having such a good time spending my life with you.

hi. these are my I don't care pants

Thursday, August 21

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Shoes: Converse, Pants: Target, Tee: F21, Hat: stolen/borrowed semi-permanently from my bro

I just want to point out that I'm totally aware of how wrinkled these pants are. But what is even the point of owning pants like these if you can't stuff the crap out of them in your drawer? And also pull them out at week 38 just to really drive home the point that you have NO idea what is happening below your belly button.

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