Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Caves and Christmas Trees

Rick and I were watching a show and learned that when Panda Bears have a baby they don't leave their cave for three weeks because the baby is so helpless. I decided I was going to remain in my own cave as long as I could.
I have my own helpless baby and am so happy to hide out inside with him. I didn't quite make it three weeks but even two weeks was an accomplishment for me. I'm not usually one to be home all the time. It helped that it was incredibly cold outside, that my amazing friends were picking up and dropping off kids all day long, that so many kind people brought me dinners, and most of all, that I had this adorable boy to hold and stare at. I'm sad that my cave days didn't last longer.
Grant's first outing was to get a Christmas Tree. I didn't want to miss out on our favorite Christmas Tree farm-Loch Lolly! It always makes us happy.
We found the perfect tree in no time at all.Grant hung out in the car.
After we found our tree the kids visited with Santa.
Santa with his reindeer.
Then we went to the frozen pond where we enjoyed hot chocolate and a warm fire.

I guess Connor wasn't enjoying all of it.

Since our first outing to get a Christmas tree, Grant and I have tried our hardest to remain in our cave. For now, that is where we are happiest. But we couldn't stay away from violin recitals, Stephanie's awesome concert, birthday parties and a ward Christmas party, a date with Rick, and just a bit of last minute shopping-I would hate to miss the Christmas chaos.

Though very sleep deprived, I am starting to get the hang of life with five kids. I feel well and am enjoying having Grant around. Such a sweet baby. I have little panic attacks when I think about the time when I can't hide out in my cave anymore. But for now, I'm grateful for the next two weeks of holidays to be with my family. Life is good.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Story

I love a good labor and delivery story. It seems women never tire of sharing how their little ones made it to the world. We put our lives on the line for them and regardless of the pain or misery, it is always so very, very worth it. The story is long-so don't feel like you have to read it! It's for me anyway. To tell story number five, I have to start with number one.

Abbie's delivery was traumatic for me and not anywhere close to what I had imagined it would be. Having said that, compared to other women, it went amazingly well. My doctor talked me into being induced early (later found out he was headed on vacation the next day). I was already dilated and effaced and he assured me it would go well. I had vision of a natural childbirth but once the pitocin entered my system, I knew that was out of the question. It was way too painful and I asked for an epidural. I dilated quickly, just as he assured I would, but spent the next two hours in misery as I tried to push her out. It ended in a huge episiotomy that would take me weeks to fully recover from and a resolve to take control of future births. And that is just what I did.

When I got pregnant with Connor I checked out every book I could find on natural childbirth and found a midwife who would support me. I trained Rick on what I would need during labor and delivery and spent time practicing relaxation techniques. It all paid off. Connor's birth was as perfect as they get and I learned that my body is made to have babies.

Grant's birth was almost identical to both Emily and Holly's birth. Now, here's the story:
For months, I have Braxton Hicks. They get stronger and stronger as the due date approaches. Often, they are painful and frequent enough that I begin timing them, only to become frustrated after a few hours when they stop. It gets very frustrating and depressing near the end. Especially because many nights I would wake up because of the pain of the contractions, be up for hours, only to have them stop. I would spend the day sleep deprived and wondering what it would take for the baby to come.

Monday night (Tuesday morning) wasn't any different. I woke up at 1:00 am to contractions. Because the same thing had happened just a few nights before, I didn't think anything of it. I tried sleeping on the couch and would fall asleep only to wake to another contractions. After an hour I started timing them but would still fall asleep in between the 10 minute contractions. It wasn't until 4:00 that the contractions went from 10 minutes to 5. I started packing my bags-more just to have something to do and to put these contractions to the test. After 3o minutes the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and I finally believed it to be the real thing. I woke Rick up at 4:30. We continued to pack, time contractions and call Steph. Rick gave me a blessing, so grateful to have that added strength, and we were off. I called Heather on the way to the hospital and we made it by 5:30. They checked me, and as with every other birth, were amazed that I was as dilated as I was. By this point I was at a 6. Because I am strep positive and I am suppose to get antibiotics in me before the baby is born, they speed things up at this point.

They hurried me to the delivery room where they put in the IV and where I spent the next hour becoming completely dilated. Rick was an awesome coach as always, and though painful, I was amazed at how manageable it was. That was until I felt the need to push and they encouraged me to wait. The first dose of the antibiotics (they had already given up hope on getting the required two doses) hadn't been in long and they wanted to give it a bit more time. Yeah, right. I had absolutely no pain medication in me and was able to feel everything. You can't tell a woman not to push when her body is telling her to do just that. I begged them to break my waters, knowing from the past four births, that this step was essential for me to completely dilate and be able to push. Because midwives are awesome, they trusted me and did what I needed. With the waters broken, I dilated to a 10 after an excruciating transition and was able to start pushing.

All of my babies heads are turned the wrong way (always head down, just not facing the right way), so pushing gets tricky. It took an exhausting hour to finally get him out. Because I had full control of my body, I was able to try all different positions which helped keep me focused. When he finally turned the right way and made it out, I felt such huge relief and sobbed as I held my sweet newborn. I couldn't believe that he had made it, and that I had accomplished giving birth for the fifth time. It was one of those unforgettable, perfect moments. The midwife handed him to me as soon as he came out and I stared in amazement at my son. He didn't even cry but was perfectly healthy. He spent the next 1 1/2 hours in my arms with eyes wide open, taking in his new world. He found his finger at one point and sucked on it-something I'm sure he had been doing in the womb. He also nursed without any problems. That bit of time made every ache and pain over the past 9 mos. worth it. I was so happy to have my baby boy safely in my arms.

He is almost a week now. I feel much better than I did being pregnant last week at this time . My brothers always tease me about my great ability to have children. They wonder why I don't just squat in the field, have the baby, and get back to work. Though we joke about it, I really have been very blessed with amazing pregnancies and births. I suppose that's why I was able to convince myself that I could handle five kids. There have been those moments, however, when Rick and I assess our family of seven and just shake our heads in disbelief. I suppose we will just hang on tight and enjoy the ride, regardless of how crazy it gets at times.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Have a baby: CHECK!!



Grant David Bruno

8 lbs. 7 oz.

20 1/2 in.

Born 12/01/09 @ 8:35 am

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check

Catch up on blogging-check
Get a pedicure-check
Send a Christmas package to Heather-check
Clean all baby clothes and blankets-check
Finish Christmas shopping for the kids-check
Clean carpets-check
Everything else I can think of-check
Have a baby-If only I could check this off as well. Still patiently, actually very impatiently, waiting!!!

Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving wasn't nearly as exciting as Heather's Thanksgiving in Zambia but it was just what I needed. I knew I wouldn't be up for lots of cooking so it was real nice to have Steph around. All there was for me to cook were the mashed potatoes, rolls and pies. Compared to years past that was a breeze! The day was blissfully relaxing as we put puzzles together and went for a walk.
Stephanie did an amazing job with the food and we were all sufficiently sick and happy by the end of the meal. Yum!

Even with only five adults and six kids, I still made five pies. I just couldn't resist. It was nice having the kids around to help. Abbie did all but the crust of the banana cream pie. I've enjoyed eating pie every day since. When you are 40 weeks pregnant you deserve to eat at least two pieces of pie a day.
And I had to include a picture of straight-haired Emily. It had been a while since we used the straightener on her hair. She loved having a change.

Soccer

I figured since almost every evening and every Saturday for the entire months of September and October were spent playing soccer, I needed to make a post out of it. We started soccer with Abbie 4 years ago and have continued to add to the fun and chaos every year. This year Emily joined in making three kids in soccer. Someone had practice every night of the week, with Emily and Connor's practices overlapping. And Saturdays were nonstop from 8:30 when we would leave the house until we got home around 12:00. Rick and I would often split up when games conflicted and we relied on friends to help out as well. Thanks!

As crazy as it was, I loved that the kids were doing it. I loved the exercise they got, that they were learning a new skill, that they were playing with friends, that it got us out of the house on Saturdays and I loved watching them grin when they scored a goal. It's so nice be done for the season but I'm sure we'll be doing it again next season.

I was awful at taking pictures this time around. I've seen it all so many times before! These are the few soccer pics we had from this season.

Emily loved her season, but only because she got to flirt with the boys. She was so funny to watch. She's not very competitive so making goals was not at all important to her. But she smiled and laughed the whole time. The few times she did score, she had been bribed with a dollar or a slurpee. She'll do what it takes to get a treat!
Here she is with some of her soccer buddies at their party.

And her first soccer medal ever. She was thrilled.
This is the one and only picture I have of Connor from the season. He did awesome and loved hanging out with his friends at games and practices. We missed his party because we were at Great Wolf Lodge.
And we missed Abbie's soccer pictures because she and I were in Utah. But we got some party pictures.
One of many medals and trophies. It was especially fun to watch Abbie this year. She is one of the better players on the team.
They all provided me with hours of entertainment. Next up-Basketball for Connor and dance for the girls. Go team Bruno!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Getaway

I love vacations. They give me something to look forward to and memories to cling to. I know once the baby comes that I will need some time just to be at home, so I got my pregnant body into a swimsuit and spent two days playing at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark/hotel. We surprised the kids. They didn't know where we were going until we pulled up. I loved their smiles when they realized the surprise. We have been once before and they loved it.



When we weren't getting drenched, we found plenty of other things to do. Connor and Abbie spent hours on a quest through the hotel with their magic wand. We also spent some time in the arcade and played bingo in the kids room. Emily was the black out winner. How fun is that!
Besides the fact that I was way too pregnant to be in a swimsuit and that sleeping anywhere but in my own bed was just about impossible, the weekend was the perfect memory maker. I always love the chance to get away with my hubby and kids!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How are you feeling?

I can't leave the house anymore without being asked this question. Along with, "When are you due?", "What are you having?", "Do you have a name picked out?" and the many other questions that very large, pregnant women get asked. Even people I have never met can't help but to ask the questions. Can you blame them? Such a large belly!!

How am I feeling? Well, it hurts to walk, bend over, sleep, get out of a chair, sit...you get the idea. It just isn't possible to feel good when you have a large baby inside of you. That aside, I really do feel ok. As you can see on the counter, I still have it in me to make, and eat, many batches of cookies. I'm still doing everything I normally would. The nesting instinct is hopefully going to kick in soon and closets will be cleaned! I do have lots and lots of contractions, many of which are very uncomfortable. Luckily, I have gone into real labor with 3 of my 4 children and I know just how it feels. For now, I use the contractions for practice-the goal is to have the baby without any painkiller-wish me luck!!

I'm due the beginning of December-less than a month! Why does it still seem SO far away?

I'm thrilled to meet my little boy and no, we don't have a name picked out. After renaming Emily (she was Grace for a few days) after we brought her home from the hospital, I don't really trust myself with names. We have some ideas but won't decide until we see this little one.

I can't wait to take the month of December off. What a fun month to snuggle up with a little baby and give all my attention to him...at least that's the fantasy. Truth is, I still have 4 other demanding children who I will be giving lots of attention to as well. But there will be plenty of time to cuddle with my baby boy. Sounds wonderful. Now if I can just survive the next few weeks and a painful delivery. Wish me luck!!

And keep the questions coming. I like to complain when I get the chance. And I can handle any big comment you want to throw at me. Tonight after I changed out of my dress and had PJ bottoms and a tight shirt on, Emily saw me and said, "Hi, Fat Mama". Love that girl.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun

I'm sure there are, and will be, many Halloween posts in the next few days. How can a mom resist showing pictures of her adorable kids for all to see?

Abbie and Rick got to dress up a week early for a Daddy/Daughter cowboy date. They had a great night out.

Once we got all our decorations out and the pumpkins carved, we were ready to celebrate.
Connor as a glow-in-the-dark skeleton.
A princess, a monkey and a witch.
My favorite photo of all time.

Ever since Abbie was able to give an opinion about dressing up, she has chosen the furthest thing from a princess. She has been a witch, ghost, vampire and this year a mummy
My costume took me 8 mos. to get it just right. Here I am with a very sweet witch.
Rick loves the chance to smother his face in makeup.

This last picture makes me sick to look at. Way too much candy. I know Heather. It's not right for us to have so much. We'll send some your way. Of course, the kids think it's fabulous. We just couldn't stop! The weather was great, I needed a good walk, and the kids were in heaven. What a magical night.