Friday, May 31, 2013

archery henry leif :: a birth story

~ ~
my birth story with archer was not the most pleasant experience.
it ended beautifully, and there were no life threatening situations.
just weird complications.  
you might think i'm silly for writing about it, but i want to remember it, for some crazy reason :)
i guess crazy birth stories just make the gift of life, of a new itty bitty baby, that much more miraculous. 
and, this is my blog, so i get to write about what i want, right? :) 
and if you are like "ahhh stop now! don't tell us the hard parts! then i'm sorry. 
maybe just skip to the bottom? hehe :) 
someday when i have more time, i'll upload more pictures and the video from this day!
~ ~

march 28th, 2013.
today we would meet our baby.

it was hard to say goodbye to roman that morning, i felt like we were leaving him and my mom in a disaster zone, to go have a baby, and continue to disrupt his little life even more.

we got going late.  
who is late for their baby's birth? we were.
but you know, it's not like they could start without us or anything :)

my range of emotions went from anxious, to nervous, to excited, to scared, freaking out, and HUNGRY all on the 15 minute drive to the hospital.

and then i realized i didn't have breakfast.
yay, a sonic cheeseburger the night before, and no breakfast...let's have this baby, ey?! ha.

we checked in, and they broke my water, and then we started walking the halls.
i didn't get to do that with roman, i was in active labor when i went to the hospital with him!

but this time was different.  my contractions were very few and spread out.
so, mr leif and i had a little date right there in the halls of the labor and delivery floor.
hand in hand we strolled around, it was actually a really sweet time :)
blessings, ey?!

after walking around for an hour and a half, we returned to the room and found this little bed.

i think i could have a million babies, just to see this little bed all ready and eagerly awaiting new life :)
oh my.  heart flutters...
they decided to give me a hint of pitocin, to get things going.
my doctor said i was already to a 5, so just sniffing the stuff would send contractions more regularly.
so i sniffed some and bam! there was archer.
(bad joke?)

but really, they put a tiny bit in, and whoa, contractions came roaring in like a freight train. 
at the same time i got the pitocin, i asked for the epidural, i knew i needed one to have the other.

and. . . i waited . . . and the epidural didn't come. . .
and my contractions were getting worse. 
and it still didn't come . . . 
so we called for the nurse, and reminded her we were still waiting!
finally he walked in, the anesthesiologist.  [the man i would come to dislike.  a lot.]

he gave me the details of the procedure, and reminded me to how to sit on the bed, hunched over, etc...
and so we began, i hunched over and tried not to move.
he put catheter needle in, and turned to the nurse to get the anesthetics.
she didn't have them. they were in the closet.
i continued to have contractions, sitting there with the needle in, and tears just started pouring out.
it was horrible!

finally, the anesthetics were in, whew.
what probably was just a few moments, seemed like
and then the anesthesiologists proceeds to tell me that there was a leak, or "wet tap" and i would probably end up with spinal headaches from a "brain sag".
whatttt?????  why are you using these weird terms??  not now.
why are you telling me these things while i'm still sitting up right WAITING for the numbing to kick in and feeling every single contraction.
cant it wait?

so i responded with, "cool".  
because that's the only word that i could mutter out to get him to stop talking and leave so i could lay down and get through these contractions until the meds kicked in.
and i guess he didn't like my response, because he looked at me and said, "no ma'am, it's not cool".
oh dear.
whatever dude. 
i just need you to move out of my sight now so i can get on with this baby having stuff. ok? ok!

. . . 

the epidural brought the itchies.... like, everything itched.  
(this didn't happen with roman, what the what?)
and though my sister warned me about her itchy stint, and getting Benadryl and feeling SO groggy....
i still got the Benadryl.
i couldn't stand the itching!

not too long after it was time to push.
however, the Benadryl
i couldn't even complete a set of three pushes without my heart rate slowing down and feeling like i would pass out.

so, while dilated to a 10, and after several pushes, my doctor said we needed to stop.
the Benadryl needed to wear off, and she thought we could rest for about 30 minutes.
so, i rested.
i fell asleep for 30 minutes, while they hooked me up to a sugary IV substance to try and give me some energy, and 30 minutes later i woke up, downed two popsicles, and we resumed pushing.

as soon as i began pushing, my nurse needed to leave because she got a phone call from her kid's school, it was urgent.  so a new nurse came to take her place.
it was like God knew i needed to be done with that nurse.
and the new one He sent me?
she. was a GIFT. from God. 
for reals.
she coached me right through, and just a few pushes later, little archer was in my arms :)

and look at him!
my little sweet archer man.
oh man.
i'd do it all over again.
i would i would!
what a wild ride.
and yes, as cliche as it sounds, my heart expanded to a size i didn't know was possible.
more kids, more love :)

i ended up getting those darn headaches, and so i had a blood patch done before leaving the hospital.
after about a week of bed rest at home, i was starting to feel better.

i always knew there were epidural risks,
but i didn't really ever think to worry about them.
i know next time i'll be a bit anxious, but the chances of it happening again are so slim.

i will still get an epidural, if i'm blessed with more babies.
but i think next time i'll try and advocate for myself a little better along the way.
i'll ask for the epidural sooner, and i'll probably ask way too many questions throughout the laboring process.  but hey.  you do what you gotta do.

looking back on archer's birth story, i have such a grateful heart.
was it a bit chaotic? yes.
but when i got to wheel out of that hospital with a new little baby?
gratitude poured over.
God is so good, and i know he gives us these "bumps" to teach us to lean on Him.

i find a reoccurring pattern in my life, whether it's this crazy move, or a wild birth story, or just the struggles of parenting on a day to day basis....
i'm brought to a place of desperation, and i'm left with one choice, to cry out for help.
i'm learning i can't do life on my own.
my Savior wants to walk with me, every step of every day.
it's hard to surrender control sometimes.
we women like to think we run the show :)

but He does.
and it's a beautiful show.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

going "home".

oh, this day.
this day was hard for me.

it was wednesday, march 27th, and my doctor and i decided that i would be induced the next morning (thursday!) because she was going to be out of town for a week starting on friday, 
and i really wanted her to deliver me.  
plus, i was already dilated to a 4.  
and plus plus, i needed to just know when this baby was coming at this point.  
the house stuff had me wanting to run to the nearest pool of xanax and do a swan dive right in.

let's start at the beginning.

casey had a meeting at work he had to be at, so my dad and brother went to go pick up the wood floors, or maybe it was the washer and dryer? i don't even remember at this point.  regardless, we were all up and going at the crack of dawn.

my mom, roman and i packed up the room and headed down to load up the cars.
i'm sure anyone who saw us on the elevators that day thought we were cray.
and, well, we were.
matter of fact, we got in the elevator and just stood there for a good couple minutes talking before we even realized no one pushed the button.  
and at that point you just start laughing, because if you don't, you'll cry :)
our first stop was target, because duh, why not.
we needed stuff.  probably cleaning supplies.  again, i can't remember.
but we ended up strolling through the isles and eating pizza.
and then we had to change someone's diaper, so he assumed this position:
for a second (or maybe it was a minute) we thought about just leaving him back there so he could nap.
but then we realized a fender bender could really not be good in this situation.

and then we were off to the house,
i was a bit scared to go in, because i knew it was all tore up...
but romes had no fear.
in fact, he thought he would just jump right in and start vacuuming.
while everyone worked, i began to freak out.
the carpet layers weren't even half done.
we already checked out of the hotel.
where were our beds even at?  the storage unit? i couldn't remember where they were.
i was supposed to go in the next morning bright and early to have the baby, but i wasn't sure how we would even get to tomorrow morning...
so, i did the most logical thing i could think of, i called my friend krista :)
she let us come over and take a nap in her guest room.  that girl knows how to love well, i tell ya!
so we took a ginormous nap. momma, romes, and thumper.

i felt refreshed and ready to head back "home" to see what needed to be done next.  
as if i could really do anything, i was literally waddling like a duck.
when i got home, the carpet layers were arguing with each other in spanish, mom was vacuming and cleaning everything in sight, and i don't even know what mr leif was doing.  something, probably laying the wood floors?  
regardless, i freaked out.
it was getting late, and we still had no beds.  heck, no where to sit.
i sat down on the plywood for a bit, and started to have really strong contractions.

and then i left.

i drove to sonic, balling the whole way there.
i was having contractions regularly and didn't want to be.
i couldn't have the baby.
my mom wouldn't have anything or anywhere to go, and she was supposed to watch roman, and the house wasn't ready, and... and... and...
i called my sister and told her something, i don't know what, and she said she would fly to KC asap.

and for some reason that made things seem a bit more manageable.  

on the way home i called mr leif and said we needed to focus on tomorrow, and what we needed to do before the morning came...
first up, unload the car with our suitcases. 
so we did that.
and then i told mr leif i needed those mattresses hauled in. we needed beds, and it was already dark out.

so we set up the mattresses in our room and in one other bedroom for gma and roman.
and then we ate sonic.
and i spilled on the brand new carpet.

and then we filled the tub for our little love, found some bath toys in a box, and threw romes in for a scrub a dub.
and then?????
we relaxed.
and breathed.
and our exhausted bodies all went to sleep, we had a big day ahead of us!

well, i didn't sleep.
but that's ok.  
who sleeps the night before they have a baby anyways?


hotel errrrrbody.

last stop!
embassy suites!

now now now... before you go and think we're all high rollers and all that.... put yourself in my shoes,
39 weeks pregnant.
wild, almost out of control toddler.
lots of bags and toys and stuff.

we needed room to breathe, room to play, room to try and be normal while cooped up in a hotel for 5 nights... and when you go to a regular hotel, you get two beds in one big room.  i think i would have driven myself crazy, my child crazy, my momma crazy, and my husband crazy (when he returned "home" from work)

so, we opted for a place that had a "living quarters" and a bedroom.
and it was magnificent.

[here's gma and romes, running around at the yummy free breakfast, that we pigged out on every morning....yes, omelets and pancakes and oatmeal, oh my!]

and then, we kept thinking we were getting into our house, and then it kept getting pushed back.
gma abbi and uncle cam even came to help paint, thinking we would have the keys...but it was a no go.
so they hung out at the hotel too.
let me tell you..... it was a party.
[uncle cam helping with bedtime!]

but hey.  they have free happy hour, where most of my group got to partake in a few brewskies each night, while i chugged free fountain dr peppers, and roman ran around like a wild man.

the hotel folks got to know us pretty well.

and yes, i got the looks and the questions of when i was due, and why i was at a hotel.
but those questions don't bother me like they do some preggo girls, i mean, heck....i too would be curious to know why such a waddling preggo woman would be living in a hotel.  do tell! they begged.

i asked the hotel manager if i got some sort of prize ( discount) if i was to be the first one to bring a newborn home to the hotel.... and he didn't really promise me anything.  dude, did he know how badly i wanted to be promised something! anything! a badge! happy hour all day! a free night stay!  but nope.

[daddy, romes, and momma all shared that king bed for 5 nights, oh, and baby too
.... baby was clearly in that bed too...]

it was still snowing.  even though it was march was blizzard mania.
which was great for romes, gma linda has super powers and halls tubs of snow up to our room so he can drive his trucks in it.  thankgoodness for grandmas.

we could see our room from the breakfast spot.
it was sort of fun to get dressed in the mornings, head out to the elevator and ride down to a hot breakfast.  i think i could be a NYC momma.  just get me a bugaboo and we'd be off on our adventures.  what kid doesn't like starting his day by riding an elevator!?!!

every time we drive by the hotel, roman recognizes it and asks to go there...
he remembers throwing money into the fountain, playing with gma and gpa, and riding the elevator, and watching the snow plows... it's sort of bitter sweet when we drive by, i remember all those things too... and those final days wondering, "am i going to have this baby today?"  or  "am i going to lose my  mind today?" 


occasionally we would leave the hotel, for things like frozen yogurt, but mostly, we hung out there.
it was like a mini vacation.
a great way to end our crazy trek.
i mean, don't ask us what we had to pay to stay there that many nights....
but there comes a time when you just do what you gotta do.
you only live once, and we're pretty glad we lived this one up.

there's our little kitchen back behind mr leif, the foot masseuse. 

we got pretty creative with our meals.
below, i give you:
blueberries, steamed green beans in the hotel microwave, and microwave mac and cheese.
a little fresh, and a little processed.
take that!
a mighty fine lunch for little romanator.

and then it happened.
we got THE call.
the one that says, you can have the keys!

so tuesday was spent tearing our carpet (thanks dad and donavan!) and other random demo work...
mr leif rounded up whoever he could get to help that tuesday,
and again, the body of christ is amazing.  
friends came and helped and served and we were so grateful.

. . .
so, it would finally happen, the next day, on wednesday, march 27th, we would move "home".

i think i had 4 mini cups of dr pepper that night at happy hour.

Monday, May 27, 2013

third stop!

don't let this picture fool you:
roman continued to be a rockstar on what was now our 3rd "stop" between moves.
that's just roman in his barney trance. 
[he really loves barney, and riff, and bj, and babybop]

. . . 

our sweet, dear, lovely friends (hi, porters!) went on vacation and let us stay in their home for the week!
normally, being 39 weeks pregnant, not having a home, and living out of suitcases would have made staying in someone else's house a bit cray for me...but amanda is so dear to my heart, and i truly felt at home.

roman got to sleep in his friend's bed, and play with toys that he already has played with multiple times before.  the porters blessed us so much with letting us stay in their home.  and, well, i'm just continually being reminded how the body of Christ comes together to love and support each other when it's needed.  God is so good to us, friends are truly the balm to so many sticky life situations.  we love our friends.

that week at the porters i started having lots of contractions.  
one particular night, i ended up having mr leif call my momma and ask her to come down from nebraska, i was quite positive i would end up havin that baby soon.  so, my mom decided to come the next afternoon.  um.... HOORAY!!!
the relief i felt knowing she would be here to help with roman, especially if i went into labor, was awesome.
you see, my main concern through this whole shebang was roman.
how would he adjust to moving around from place to place?
how would he sleep?
would he just beg to go home?
how would he handle momma going to the hospital?
who was going to watch him when we needed to go have this baby?  
and having my mom here fixed all of those worries, she would help him adjust, be there for him, and spoil him way too much..... and that would be just perfect :)

. . . 

then it hit me.
tomorrow would be my last day with just roman.
me and him, him and me.
yes, i'm going there, sappy mc sapperson.

the end of such a sweet 2.5 years as just the two of us.
i was all emotional (still am! ha!) and thought i needed to make some sweet little memories with my baby.

so we found a random bakery and stuffed our faces with giant cinnamon rolls.
[and then roman pooped in the bakery and stunk it up]

and then we went to trader joes.
and didn't buy anything.
but, boy did he fill that little cart with things we pretended we would buy.
and he bumped into people (on accident!) and into the isles of food,
and i had a big dirty spot right on my chest from dropping the cinnamon roll on myself,
but we had fun.
and i love my little boy.

and then we ended our little jaunt with a target trip.
because, obvi. target is the ultimate mom and kid outing.
(and actually, i went for a bag of easter candy, because i figured at this point, i needed little chocolate eggs to bribe my toddler into compliance... i'm just a really awesome mom sometimes, duh.)

there's always a ton of other moms at target with their screaming kids too, 
so when your kid starts running around through the isles and chucking underwear over the the top of clothes racks, you sort of don't have to feel as bad.  
you kinda get nods of "yep, i've been there" from the other moms.
and when you get the looks of "what the heck are you doing here with your crazy child and a baby that is about to fall out?" you just tell yourself maybe they are having a rough day want to give you nasty looks to make themselves feel better, and you are doing the best you can!!!!!

oh we had a good time that last day.
but boy were we ready for gma linda to come rescue us.  both.

because, next stop?
the FINAL stop?

a hizzy hizzy hotel.

stay tuned for my babycation, right here in KC.....
a 5 night stay at embassy suites.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

still homeless...

the week we moved out of our house, we had a family tragedy back home in nebraska.
my uncle passed away, and i wasn't going to miss being there for my aunt and sweet cousins.  
our family is uniquely large and super when things like this happen, we all flock together.

i was 38 weeks pregnant, so i called my doctor to get permission, and she granted it.
she gave me tips on stopping every hour or so for the drive home so i didn't swell, and also making sure i had a hospital located back in nebraska in case i went into labor while i was home.
and since our bags were already packed for the next couple weeks, heading to nebraska wasn't hard to prep for.  
basically we just rode the elevator down to the lobby with out stuff, haha.
i got in my car, my mother in law got in hers, she followed me to a friend's house where i parked my car, then i got in with her and roman, and we embarked the 4.5 hour trip north.

 [[romes and sweet hazey]]
 when our family gathers, there's usually lots of talking, laughing, opinion giving, food, games, food, wine, food, and more food, and usually some more wine.
my sweet cousin megan also threw in a foot massage and pedicure, FOR THE WIN.
she has a servant heart.  and she's good at what she does :)
roman also got to go out to gma abbi's and play with uncle cam.
this is not only a nice break for me, but my little dude is truly in his element out in the country.
wide open spaces.
farm stuff.
and family who loves him to pieces.
we love being back home.

this trip, which turned into about 5 days, was the perfect rescue to my hopeless state i was feeling when we were in kansas city.  God knew i needed a break, before i literally was about to break.

i love my family, i love going home.  nebraska will always be home.

that weekend mr leif drove up to pick us up and we all sandwiched in his truck and headed back to the city.  
we still didn't have a house, so it would have been easier to just stay at my parent's house....after all they totally took care of roman, i just lounged around :)
but, i was about to have a baby, and things would be easier in the long run if i just went back "home"....

some of our close friends went on vaca for the week and they were letting us stay at their place,
so upon arriving in the KC, we headed to our 3rd destination of the trek.
little romes was a trooper.

still no baby, still no house!

[. . . to be continued]

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

that one time we were homeless.

alrighty, let's try this again.  regular blogging.
well, truth be told, i can't seem to stay on top of life, so blogging has taken the back burner.
but these last few months need to be remembered.
the chaos, the hard stuff, the good stuff, the new baby stuff....i must write about it!
so, buckle your seatbelts, i just turned on PBS for romes, and archer is milk drunk and passed out on my bed.

it's go time.

so, way back on march 13th we walked out of the green house for the last time.

though, i couldn't really be too emotional...... i was exhausted, trying to pack us up for the next three weeks of limbo, my head was spinning like the roccoplane carnival ride from my hometown's summer festival, and i felt like any crazy stress induced freak out sesh would land me in the hospital with early labor. so, i "kept calm and carried on". and made lists. and more lists.  somewhere in the next three weeks, we would potentially have a new baby born, so that was all sorts of awesome to try and prepare for as well :)

here's our gear for our season living as nomads:

meds had to make the packing list, because romes got a horrific virus and rash days before we moved out.  my sanity continued to be tested. 
{the starbucks was for me}

bags packed, boxes loaded, and on our way.

all along, we have been trying to get into our new house.  
but things can get complicated with real estate these days.
and so, we were on a roller coaster of constant ..... "you can get in on this day!" YAY! 
and then ...... "oh wait, nevermind, we need to process this and that and do this paperwork"
and then "ok! you can get in on this day!" YAY!
and then..... "ooops, we were wrong, still not ready"

again, a super dooooper test of our patients, and truly, remembering how to find perspective amongst chaos.
and the take-all, gratitude.  always searching for gratitude.

. . .

so our first night away, we headed down to the burbs, to a hotel with a pool.
my mother in law came down to help me with roman, as mr leif had to go to work, and hauling bags and tubs out of cars and up into hotel rooms was hard to do when i was about to pop.
also, i have a toddler who runs around like a mad man and i don't always know how to control him.
judge me if you want.
 roman lasted about 10 minutes in the pool and then he asked to go home.
and his demands to go home continued to filter in throughout the night.
mr leif didnt get in to the hotel until about 1am because he was finishing up a few things at the old house.
roman wouldn't fall asleep because he was too big for his pack n play, and he was begging to go home.
so i cried myself to sleep, wondering how i would ever get through these next few weeks.
there was no way, i didn't think it was possible.
i felt defeated.
i knew i needed to be grateful.
we had a hotel to stay in for now, family who loves us, friends offering to help, and a God who's plan would reveal itself regardless of how many dang lists i made....
but still, i couldn't' seem to see how this was all going to work.
obvi, my preggo hormones were raging.
i wanted to just go back to how things were, in our old house.
i wanted to be in my bed, setting up a space for the baby in that house, giving roman his comfort and his routine, i wanted to go back home!  but darn, we just sold it!
to be continued...
[i've secretly always wanted to write that at the bottom of a post]

Thursday, May 9, 2013

the calm before the storm.

let's begin here.

just kidding.
but dang. i must have really been losing it.
clearly, we were using food as our coping mechanism.

but really.
way back in march, we packed up our house.
march was a long month full of snow and living amongst boxes and trips to the storage unit and the crazy, CRAZY hoops we had to jump through to get into our new house.  

however, we had a good last few weeks in the green house.
and now, as i type this...tears come to my eyes. 
oh the memories.
such a sweet sweet 5 years in that home.
so much growth, i think my heart tripled in size while living in the green house.
God was so good to us there.
He IS so good to us.

and, as i think back to march, through my very sleep deprived memory,
....i think of one main little person:
 our sweet little roman joe.
what. a. trooper.
 he may have thought packing up our house, making trips to the storage unit, home depot, and helping daddy load up the trailer a bajillion times was all fun and games, but he didn't realize his whole world was about to be rocked.  
and he just kept his little light shining.
 and.  he worked very hard at preventing any stretch marks in the process.
 oh my sweet baby.
our lunch time now looks so different with a baby around, 
i didn't realize how sweet those last few lunches were...just you and me!  
[and your puppies]
chatting up a storm. giggling. and always wiping your dirty hands on your shirt.
i know we'll get back to more regular meal times.... someday....
but i will always miss those last days together, just the two of us!  what a special time.  
God has blessed us little roman.  He is so good to us.
it was nice to take things slow that last month.
i mean, it's not like a 37 week preggo lady can do anything very fast.
but really.  we were lazy and loved it.
 spending our days looking at machine magazines...
 watching machine documentaries...
napping together...
[ my heart ]
 watching our cousin play basketball...
 digging up the laundry...

 and reading our library books.

and our nights were spent with parenthood. [and other sappy shows momma loves]
....and packing, and packing, and packing, and trying to imagine the next crazy month upon us.
sweet roman joe.
the little one who made me a momma.
thank you for those beautiful first 2 and 1/2 years.
thank you for pushing every button i have...for stretching my patience...for making my days hard...
for in those moments i'm being refined.
in those moments, i'm learning to lean on my Father.
i will always cherish our time together, just us two :)
and now, i'm so excited to see you as a big brother.
keep shining little dude.
shine shine shine.
shine bright like a diamond.