Thursday, June 28, 2012

1 month in....

this gorgeous boy joined us a month ago. 

I'd be lying if I said it's been an easy transition but gosh, we've had fun...enjoyed watching each child transition and adjust.  I'm head over heels for this baby and with every purse of his lips, it's like he's luring me closer and closer to him.  For the most part, the nights have been easy and I've really enjoyed nursing him and making that time our own. 

With Simon most certainly our last child, it puts a different spin on everything.  I keep looking at all these newborn clothes/diapers that he's already grown out of and how it's time....time to get rid of them.  I won't need them again.  It's bitter and sweet and beautiful and sad. 

I am choosing to stick to the positive and enjoy the moment.  With the first baby, I remember wishing the 'next' stage would come and with the 2nd, I did a little less of that.  With Simon, I'm enjoying it.  Best I can with two others being needy and intense at times. 

Trying to be the Mom that positively reinforces instead of the frustrated and tired Mom that just yells a lot.  I have apologized to my sons more than once since Simon's birth and have asked them for their forgiveness and grace as sometimes Mommy's tiredness is overwhelming.  I am amazed at their ability to forgive and say, 'We love you still Mommy, it's OK!" and then go about their merry way. 

I am looking forward to learning and growing with these three lads....

Thanks for reading and praying and loving us....all 5 of us! 

We <3 you back!

Monday, June 18, 2012

sick of hearing about baby Simon yet?

Well, I got my birth photos back from friend & professional photographer April O'Keefe.  April & her husband, Dan are phenomenal artists, musicians & photographers....and even greater friends.

I was blown away all day Saturday as I scrolled through the moments I would have otherwise never even given a 2nd thought to....

She even took the time to set many of them to a song we love.  Grab your tissues.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

evolution of Leland

There was this moment I had recently.

It was during labor actually.

I was in the tub.  It was before things got uber intense.

I thought about how the last time I held, kissed & hugged my 2nd born...Leland Ryan I didn't realize that by the next time I'd see him, he'd be the middle kid.  Not the baby.

I cried.
I remembered his birth.
I remembered thanking God for giving him to us.  (here come the tears again)

Then it was different.  He was the middle son, a big brother and no longer the baby of the family.

In the first few days, I noticed my blood pressure rise a bit.  He was simply being himself yet I needed him to be different.  I needed him to be older, more responsible and to maybe even start helping me.  I could tell I got impatient and I probably expected too much too soon.

When those moments were available, I'd grab him in my lap and hug him like I always did....and I could tell when he'd lean back into me like he always felt normal for him.

Guilt ensued.  How do I explain such a change to such a young child?  It was so tough in moments where he whined or needed something that I just couldn't always get it right then....or when he'd flip out when everyone in the room offered to help him put on his shoes but he only wanted Mommy to do it.

So hard.

Well, days have passed - we're closing in on 3 wks since baby Simon joined us...and at a recent story time at the library, I saw something in Leland for the first time.  I saw him really growing up, interacting, being brave and courageous....I started to see a preschool-aged child unfolding out of my toddler-esque boy....

On one hand I LOVED seeing that progression and how he could join Jude in so many more activities....and on the other hand, I missed his little body always sitting in my lap wanting to 'sungle' (aka snuggle)

While I'm so proud of his growth, I'm definitely trying to squeeze in sometime with just him and of course, time with just my Jude.  This is part of those dynamics....the ones I expected but they always feel different emotionally when you are aware they are coming vs. when you are right in the middle of them....

I guess that's how everything in life is, right.  Once you walk through change, it's always a bit different than to be expected.  It's good.  It reminds me that I can't be in control of it all. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

behind the name

We've gotten tons of questions regarding the meaning of Simon's name: Simon Churchill

Thought I'd write it out as it is really special to us.

If you aren't already familiar with our surprise with this pregnancy....we actually found out we were pregnant while on the trip of our dreams to Dublin, Ireland.  With each day so different and was amazing on the last night of the trip when we were about to pack up for home, we took a test and everything was different. 

We searched for an Irish boys name that would be suitable for both our family and ring well with the other boys' names and just couldn't come up with one. 

Simon was special as its meaning was 'To Hear and be Heard' and we thought it sounded lovely with Jude & Leland.

Churchill was a random pick by Joel.

One day I decide to look up the meaning.  It's obvious meaning was church on a hill.  But, if gone deeper into the English means 'Spring on a Hill or Green Hills' - which was symbolic of the hills we saw just hours before finding out about our Simon in Ireland.  Voila!

Update on everything here:

Couldn't be more in love.  (obviously)

Couldn't be more proud of my boys and their love for Simon.

Now, the time is coming to put organization into action.  Keeping a 2 yr old busy while trying to nurse a newborn for 35 minutes isn't always easy but we're getting creative and its amazing how easy it is to build legos on a boppy while me on that!  ;-)

Summer Vacation starts today for us!  We're off to enjoy the sun, read some books, get some exercise now that I'm not going potty every 10 minutes (YESSS!), and of course take dozens of pictures in the process.

Happy Monday!!!
completely content in a milk coma with an array of legos around him. Life as he knows it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The arrival of Simon Churchill

Ok so I should probably be sleeping.

But, it's so vital for me to write down this sweet story of my 3rd son's arrival.

It's completely been a life-altering one (not like my other 2 weren't) but something really beautiful was gifted to me through this unexpected but SO desired son.

With a much more intense and painful pregnancy, I was eager for lots of those symptoms to disappear.  I did know that with waving goodbye to heartburn, shortness of breath & increased potty visits, I was also saying hello to sleepless nights & little to no productivity.

I was ready, though.

After what felt like months of nesting and preparing to celebrate Jude's birthday (a couple times), complete a photo shoot we wanted our boys to be on, see some family I hadn't seen in a while, and really celebrate our 9th Anniversary...I mentally hoped to stay pregnant until May 27th.  Amazing how those mental 'dates' you give yourself prove powerful.

Sunday, May 27th contractions began.  Erratic and unreliable.  They went away with a few glasses of water and a soak in the tub.

Monday, May 28th - Memorial Day - woke up with no contractions.  I decided to take it easy and rest/drink fluids and possibly prepare to labor but also possibly prepare for it to be 'nothing at all'

11:00am - a few sporadic contractions.  Nothing I would consider real. 

12:00pm - They started to come closer but the pain was very manageable with movement.

1:00pm - They started to get tougher....just a little bit and I could tell this was probably it. 

2:00pm - I started to have difficulty walking/talking through them and I hopped into the tub....only to watch them get WAY more intense and closer together.  I'm talking 1 minute-2minute apart consistently.

Joel got intense and basically told me we were going to the hospital even though I kept thinking, 'Geesh, I'm going to get there and they are going to tell me I'm 2cm and then I'll be hooked up to everything and will not be able to labor how I envisioned.'

Good thing he got firm with me and started packing the car.  He walked me out as I moaned and 'shhhhhh'd' through each contraction.  The 91 degree day wasn't helping as my face was melting off from both the heat and from working really really hard.

Getting to the hospital was frustrating.

It just feels like everyone is moving in slow motion when you are in pain.  Granted they aren't.  It feels that way.  Probably because they are NOT in pain and YOU are.  I gave attitude to some various personnel and yelled at a few random strangers.

Apparently, a bunch of babies wanted to be born that day as there were no rooms left.  I felt like Mary & Joseph finding no room at the Inn - we were in a measly little triage unit with a curtain that gave little to no privacy of this girls' moans & groans.  When I finally got checked, I sat there just hoping to hear a number higher than 7....

What I heard:  "You are nearly 9cm; station -1"


I did it.  I labored at home.

I just wish I could push this baby out in a 'real' delivery room with a spot for my baby to be but who knew how long it would be.

The doctor moved things quick and while everyone and their mother asked me if I wanted an epidural, I moved on through and said, 'No'. 

Finally in my bed and trying to stay chips galore and a husband who lovingly affirmed me the whole way....I wasn't in that delivery room for 3 minutes when I 'wanted to push' and I mean, 'REALLY' wanted to push.  The doctor (who had just arrived) checked me, said I was at 10 and told me to go for it.

8 pushes later.

Simon Churchill was born at a perfect 7lbs 9oz and 20.5 inches long.

Surreal.  Beautiful.  Intense.  Perfect.

Arrival at Hospital: 2:45pm
Birth of Simon: 3:22pm


I want to preface my next paragraph by stating that my goal in having a natural delivery had NOTHING to do with earning a star or being that Mom that brags about how "I went natural...."  It was about connecting my body to my mind to my baby and seeing how truly beautiful and intimate it can be to allow your body to do and feel.

What I will most certainly take away from this quick labor and delivery....was that I have never been so in tune with my own self.  The self-dialogue was major.  The 'telling myself' how important this pain was and how it would mean the moment of meeting my Simon would be near.  I loved watching and experiencing how my body just 'did it' and if I listened to it, it'd be right every time. 

The recovery was so easy.  He nurses like he took a class inutero on it. He is up alot at night just like most babies but WOW, he's here. 

His brothers are freaking me out with their insane love & interest.  Jude's tender side has never been more revealed or expressed than it is with his next brother.  My Leland loves to hold him and kiss him and I won't lie, he is so jealous but he's handling it well and every free moment I have, I hold that Leland tight and remind him of my love.  J & L have been such eye openers to us about life, patience, and sacrifice.  We are ready to learn our next lesson from Simon....who right now appears to be about as content a baby can be. 

HUGE thanks to all who prayed for us, encouraged us, brought a meal to us or a sweet gift....we're feeling your love and I wanted to take a moment to tell Simon's beautiful (and quick!) story....he's here and fits in just great.