Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Birth of Sophie

Once again, our child’s birthday was set.  No waiting until she came on her own.  Being two hours from the hospital and never having an extremely long labor, our doctor has always suggested inducing at 39 weeks.  Being somewhat of a planner, this has always been great with me.  I know I miss out on starting labor naturally, and I've never known what it feels like to be more than 1 day past the 39-week mark.  However, it works for us, and we were definitely ready to meet our little girl!

So, the night before, we went to Amarillo and stayed with Jeremy’s parents.  In the past, we’ve gone out for dinner and a movie while the kids stay with Mimi and Pops.  This year, I think we were just a little too tired.  We had a fun dinner with everyone and then watched a movie at home (Non-Stop with Liam Neeson…wouldn't recommend).  We slept as well as we could (aka no sleep) and were at the hospital ready to go at 7 am. 

Having pre-registered, there wasn't a ton of paperwork left to fill out, so the nurses got started right away.  Five minutes in they hit a roadblock.  My veins were not cooperating for the IV (story of my life), so forty-five minutes, two different nurses and about five sticks later, they finally got it in and set for the day.  That was probably the worst of it all – honestly it makes me a bit queasy to think of my veins just “rolling around in there,” so the worst part was out of the way.

I began the process at almost 3 cm and about 60% effaced.  Around 8:30, the doctor arrived and broke my water.  Then things started rolling.  Pitocin kicked in as did the contractions.  Then after about 1.5 hours, they just tapered off to almost nothing.  That had never happened before.  So, I called the nurse to see what was wrong and she said I just needed to change positions.  I didn't know that bed could be made to look like a chair, but obviously it can, and boy did that speed things along.  After about two hours, I couldn't take it anymore and asked for the epidural.  There were a few people in line ahead of me, I was told, so thank goodness I asked when I did, because when the anesthesiologist finally arrived, I was more than ready.  You know how I said the IV process makes me queasy?  Well, imagine how much more fun it is to listen to your anesthesiologist explain the entire process of the epidural step-by-step for a good half hour.  Not fun.

For some reason part of the epidural didn't take.  For the most part, I was in Heaven.  But there was one tiny problem area, and it wasn't exactly the best spot to have a problem area when getting ready to give birth.  After a bit, I wasn't progressing like I had hoped…between 4-5 cm right before the epidural.  However, I knew when I hit a 6 (if anything like all of the other births), it would just be about 30 minutes until I was holding my baby.  Well, they put me in a new position to further speed things along.  It was called the fire house?  I think?  Something with “fire” in it, and as my nurse left, I reminded her that once I was a 6, it wouldn't be long. 

She came in after an hour, moved me back to my back and said I was a little over 5 cm and she’d be back in an hour and a half.  I thought that was too long for her to wait, and I didn't think that I’d be able to feel when I needed to push.  That spot that didn't really get numb suddenly became very painful.  So painful after 20 minutes that I felt I didn't even have an epidural (minus my legs feelings about two tons apiece).  So, I pushed the nurse button one more time.  I asked her to check me.  She quickly laid me down and said to not do anything, and that the doctor would be right over.  Needless to say, Sophie was ready to come.  As soon as the doctor got there, I pushed twice, and our little baby girl was out and screaming at 3:03 pm…for 45 minutes.  She weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz and was 20.5 inches long!  Bigger than each of her brothers by a couple of ounces, with a head as full of hair as any of ours have, been, she captured our hearts instantly. 

And, just like that, we fell in love all over again.  

Within the hour, the boys came to meet her.  She wasn't cleaned up very well.  Towards the end of the video, notice Carter's response when he sees her.  To his credit, she was pretty messy and according to him "smelly."  However, he's regretted saying what he did ever since (he's a worrier).

And, recently home, here's John Paul and a tiny snippet of his every day.

We love, love, love being new parents again!  Welcome to the world Miss Sophie Therese!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vulnerability (and a Dose of Humility)

Giving birth does a funny thing to me.  Well, maybe it's not just me, but I don't want to speak for everyone. When I arrive home with a new bundle of love to completely care for, I'm flooded with emotions.  One thing leads to another and before I know it, I'm sobbing, wondering if my older children even know they are loved, worrying about one of my kids getting into an accident, and dreading the day my husband goes back to work (he did yesterday, and surprisingly, I lived).

Seriously, it's probably amusing from the outside looking in, but from the inside looking out, it reminds me of what being a parent entails...extreme vulnerability.  We cannot control everything.  We cannot predict or will the length of our children's lives.  Bad things will happen.  Everything will not be easy.  The worry will probably not go away, even as they leave the home eventually and begin families of their own.  They will always be that little baby we brought home from the hospital, each expanding our depth of love for our growing family, and each adding another dimension of vulnerability.

As I sat on the couch holding sweet Sophie on Friday after we returned home, my husband was sitting next to me, and the boys were with my mom.  Her little tiny head rested so perfectly in between my chin and chest, and nothing else in the world was more important in that moment than holding my baby girl.  She was sleeping, completely trusting me to do for her what she could not do for herself.  I began to cry.  I wouldn't get to hold her like this very long (the boys would be home soon and need my attention too).  She wouldn't be this little ever again.  In fact, she was already growing.  My husband wouldn't be right at my side the following week (but he's never really much father than an hour away).  In a few days, I would truly have a family of four littles home to raise together (something we definitely wanted and even hope for more). However, in that very moment, all I could think of was how out of control I really was.

I couldn't stop her growth (but truly, I wouldn't want to).  I couldn't keep my husband home - he does what he does in order that I can do just what I was doing that very minute (being home with our babies).  I couldn't go back to just being a mom of one (but I had no desire to) - I just wanted each of the kids to have their place and know the unconditional love I have for them...and sometimes that isn't equal to the amount of individual time I get to spend with them.  I couldn't do these first few days alone, and for someone who has a hard time letting others help her, I couldn't help but feel I was burdening others who so graciously helped in so many ways.  And, finally, I couldn't keep my children from going back to their true home whenever He calls them back.  All in all, I realized (as I realize over and over again) that I couldn't control everything.

Only He can.

So, as these hormones settle and the tears fall (a little!) less frequently, I'm learning what it means to be a mom.  It means being completely vulnerable.  All.the.time.  And as part of that, it means coming to terms with Someone else taking care of the worries for us.  I don't think it will ever be easy for me to not worry.  In fact, I have to work really hard to keep it in check.  But I can find a way to suppress it and try my hardest to live in each beautiful moment I have.  Boy, do I have a lot!  And truly, the vulnerability and humility is an easy exchange (most days) for the utter joy that comes with raising these little ones.

So, I'll just wipe these little water spots off the keyboard now and go enjoy the four little miracles and incredible husband that I've been given for a certain time.  How did I get so lucky?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sophie Therese Fisk

We're home and loving life with our little girl.  Life doesn't get much better!  Here are a few pics from the day of her birth... 

The best OB alive...

 My favorite picture...
 The next day she received a blessing from our priest...

Right before we left the hospital...

And, her first day home...

More to come when things get a little less crazy :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Link-Up: Summer Recipes

Well, it's the second link-up in a series of link-ups hosted by:

Becky @ BYBMG
Elizabeth @ All Kinds of Things
Tara @ Mrs. Coach Sims
Britt @ The Fisk Files
Sarah @ Abiding in Grace
Denise @ Gratefully Inspired
Katie @ The Lane Above
Keri @ Living in This Season

So, grab this button and link-up with your favorite summer recipe (or two)!
The Fisk Files

I love scones, and I love the fresh fruit available in the summer to make them.  While I initially make them for breakfast, I find myself having them for a snack with a glass of iced coffee more often than not.  This particular recipe can be found here.  It's by far one of my favorites, and they really do melt in your mouth.  
Speaking of breakfast, we've made a lot of these...what I like to call the New Mexican version of a Caprese Omelet.  Just add a little roasted green chili to what's otherwise fresh mozzarella and tomato in an omelet, and voila!

Last year, with our garden, we found ourselves making these little skewers as an appetizer all.the.time.  Light, refreshing and so much better home grown!

This is one of our favorite summer dips/sides.  The recipe is here.  I obviously altered it a bit.

Lastly, one of our favorite summer drinks - Three Citrus Lemonade

Now, it's your turn.  What are some of your summer go-to recipes?

Also, here's an idea of what we have coming in future link-ups as well.  We'd love for you to join us!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

WIWS: 39 Weeks

Well, this is the last of the maternity series of What I Wore Sunday for awhile.  I'm linking-up with Fine Linen and Purple one last time!

dress // asos maternity
shoes // cole haan

We've reached the end!  Tomorrow be a new normal for us.  Thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers. Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Roses for Sophie

As per the usual, it's dry here.  I've already re-planted my vegetable garden once. However, what's amazing is that these little rose bushes in my flower garden have never had more than one or two blooms at a time.  A couple of days ago I counted the blooms - at least thirty/plant.  Unreal.  I can't help but think they're a reminder of Sophie's patron saint (Therese) and are a little sign of her upcoming arrival.  

As we prepare for a new little one to join our family, I'm always flooded with emotions.  I am the crazy lady who after just giving birth holds my new little one in my arms and thinks, "I hope we have more."  I l.o.v.e. the newborn stage.  Yes, it's tough.  No, I'm not always smiling.  In fact, I think I cry quite a bit.  But, there is absolutely nothing like their smell, the way they fit so perfectly cuddled up in your arms with their head at the base of your neck.  They are only tiny for a few moments, and every thing in their life is dependent upon you. As I watch some of my friends' babies grow via Instagram or other forms of social media, I realize just how quickly time passes.  It's the one thing I think people say the most.  And, I have to constantly remind myself that the passage of time and their growing up is a's a good thing.  What if they didn't get the chance?  I just have to remember to soak up every no more precious than the other on their journeys.  Regardless of their age or size, they are always our children.

So, as I anxiously await seeing what little Sophie will look like, whose nose she will have, what color her eyes will be, if she'll have hair, if she'll have dimples, and if she'll be as big as the doctor is predicting, I also remember that on Monday, our lives will change forever.  For the better.  But there is still that teeny tiny part of me that gets caught up in wondering exactly how things will change.  Have I spent enough time with each of my boys?  Do they know that I love them just as much as I will love this new little baby, even though the time spent alone with a child will be heavily weighted in her direction for awhile?  Will they know when she arrives home how much their lives will be better with her in them, or will they just be a little upset for awhile?

With each new birth, I am more clearly aware of the blessing of a child.  And, each time around, even though I worry over inconsequential things, I'm made more aware of the gift of a sibling, a new son/daughter and the incredible gift of life.  It is something that even on the most trying of days, I never want to take for granted.

I thank God for the opportunity to have one more, as I know it is an incredible gift and a complete miracle. Yes, come Monday, our lives will be altered but in the most beautiful way.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Birthday Celebration: Carter Turns 4 (almost)

Carter's birthday isn't actually until next week, but if all goes as planned, that's the day we will be bringing Sophie home from the hospital.  So, I really needed to do something beforehand (mom guilt) because I didn't want his birthday to be overshadowed by her.  

So, we went to Amarillo.  With that came the park, Discovery Center and an early evening of swimming.  He got to hang out with both sets of grandparents and a few cousins, too!  Life was good, and he loved every single minute.  

We brought some bread for the ducks and geese.

He opened some presents.

And, everyone played while we tried to keep the food from blowing away for an hour or so.

Water guns were there for all, and John Paul got the biggest kick out of spraying himself in the face.
The Discovery Center was a ton of fun, as long as random children weren't running up to my kids taking away what they were holding and screaming, "Mine!" It wasn't terrible, but there were some very possessive little ones there and it was all I could do not to jerk it back out of their hands and give it back to the boys. Calm down and walk away, Britt.  I did.

All Carter had wanted for weeks was a "stwaberry cake."  Then the little toot was too excited to eat it.

We made it back home and Carter's present from us was waiting.  He's basically spent the last four days on it.  

This little guy lights up our lives.  He's very "spirited" yet so kind.  A people lover but an anxious one.  Full of energy and remembers everything he hears.  He loves tractors and construction vehicles, could watch cartoons all day, prefers the outdoors, and adores his grandparents.  He has to have his routine (often saying the exact same thing at the same point in each cartoon watched or following a very specific order in his night time rituals).  He loves candy, specifically gummies ("Everything is better with gummies."), and enjoys a slim jim as a snack.  Carter loves to learn but wants to do it his own way (don't try to tell him how to hold his crayon)!  He's stubborn but doesn't want to hurt feelings.  He loves life.  And, he loves Jesus.  He's quite the ray of sunshine in our lives, and the past four years have been nothing but a blessing.

Happy Birthday, baby boy.