Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Londyn Rae Gadd (picture overload!)

Londyn Rae Gadd is here!  I still can't believe I have FOUR kids!  I have been TERRIBLE at documenting our life for several years now, but I have so much to be thankful for!  I need to keep a record...so here's my attempt at starting over!
I was due with Baby #4 on April 3, 2013.  Since I went into labor with Lily, I wanted to wait it out with this baby as well.  When Lily was born, I woke up in the middle of the night having contractions, and she was born 3 hours later.  I wanted a quick, easy labor with this one too, so I waited...and waited...and waited...
Until my doctor discouraged me from waiting anymore.  We spent the night at my parents house for almost a week "just in case."  But as it turned out, this baby was in no hurry to get here!  I wasn't in a hurry either.  I've never wanted to stay pregnant until this pregnancy..."easier in than out" was my motto.  Not to mention the crazy nesting this time around...I'm pretty sure I started nesting the day I took the pregnancy test.  I painted nearly every room in the house, recoverd the baby rocker, painted the hutch in the dining room, organized the pantry, kids' closets, etc.  I didn't sleep a lot, but I was productive!
My doctor scheduled my induction for 7:30 am on April 10th.  Joe went on a bike ride that morning, and we were late getting to the hospital, but we knew they wouldn't start without me!  By the time we'd done all the initial stuff, I was finally officially induced around 10:00 am. 
With each of my pregnancies, I've said that I wanted to deliver my babies without an epidural.  With the first three, I've changed my mind as soon as the contractions got harder.  I felt the same this time around...I REALLY wanted to go natural.  As silly as it sounds, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  But of course, they started me on Pitocin, and I started getting really nervous.  I was still on the fence, and ready to change my mind, when my amazing, wonderful, super-hero-of-a-mom stepped in.
Joe has always been a great labor coach, but having never given birth himself, the second I say that I want an epidural, he quickly agrees that I should get one.  I have no doubt that if I hadn't invited my mom, I would have gotten another epidural. 
Moms are pretty amazing that way.  My WHOLE life, my mom has been telling me that I can do hard things.  And I've believed her.  So when she knew that I really wanted to give birth naturally, so took my face in her hands, looked me in the eye, and told me that I could do it.  From that moment, something clicked inside my brain, and I knew that I could.  And I knew that I would.  And I DID!  I think something clicked in Joe's brain, too.  He became a new and improved labor coach.  The combination of my mom and Joe coaching me together was exactly what I needed.  (Besides the time I told Joe to stop asking me questions.  I didn't want to talk to him, I just wanted him to talk to ME).  (Another motivation to not get the epidural was the fact that the anesthesiologist MISSED the right spot for my IV twice!  I wasn't excited to risk the epidural).
During labor, my mom watched the monitor, and talked me through each contraction.  She told me when it had reached it's peak, when I was halfway done, when I was almost done.  I'm a math girl, so I love knowing exactly how much longer I have to endure, and I can do it.  I'm the same with running.  I can sprint as long as I know how long until I can slow back down.  I could handle the contraction knowing about how long until it was almost over.
Joe took a different approach.  He reminded me of our Ragnar races that we've run together.  When you pass a runner, you call it a "kill."  Some people tally their "road kill" on their vans.  Joe decided to call each contraction I made it through a "kill."  He started keeping track of my "kills."He didn't start this until it started getting intense  From the time he started, and the time I delivered, I had about 25 "kills."  Around the 25th one, I screamed, and everyone knew we were close.  (At one point, I had the doctor check me, and I was really depressed that I was dilated to only a 6. I didn't know if I could make it much longer.  Luckily I was a 10, ready to push only 10 minutes later).  Joe helped me stay focused on the goal by reminding me of the marathon I ran a few years ago.  I was so focused on the race and my time that I seriously had NO IDEA that I'd run by a beautiful lake.
Just when I thought I couldn't handle labor for much longer, I felt like it was time to push, and it was.  An army of people ran in, I pushed about 3 times, and out she popped!  Londyn Rae Gadd was born at 3:25 in the afternoon.  I DID IT!!!
I didn't get an epidural, but I felt like I needed on AFTER Londyn was born!  They let me tear, so they had to stitch me back up!  And I could feel EVERY stitch!  This picture is actually perfect....I felt great after pushing Londyn out, but I literally started crying when they were stitching me up.  I just wanted it to be over, and it felt like the stitches took FOREVER!  The doctor was instructing a resident on how to stitch me.  Next time (not that there will be a next time?!), I'll tell the doctor to take over and teach on another patient!  Ouch!  While everyone else loved on my new baby, I endured major pain for a few more minutes.
 I am so happy that I got to help bring Londyn into this world.  She's already two months old, but I have loved every minute with her.  She is the sweetest baby...
 I've loved watching my 3 other kids with Londyn.  They all adore her...sometimes a little too much.  I was worried about Lily.  I knew she'd have a hard time losing her place as the "baby" in the family.  She did have a hard time, but now she's doing great.  My first day alone with the kids, Lily fell on top of Londyn.  I was sitting right there, so as it happened, I pushed Lily off so that Londyn wouldn't get hurt.  They both started screaming, and I picked up Londyn.  Lily cried and told me to "put her down.  Hold me!"  We've had a few moments like that, but the kids can't get enough of their baby.  Neither can I!  I'm SO grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with these four amazing children.  I'm tired, but I'm very happy and thankful for my life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here we are in Tennessee!

Last Saturday, we decided to drag my parents out for an impromptu family photo shoot.  They happily obliged.  Not too bad for a bunch of amateurs!