We prepared ourselves for a storm when Isaac was born because we knew it would be hard on Elijah after being the baby for the past 3 1/2 years. We braced ourselves for major issues and regression and possibly aggression toward Isaac.
We were pleasantly surprised that we only experienced a small storm when Isaac did arrive. Elijah seemed to adjust better than we could have imagined.
However, after having Isaac on the other side of the womb for 5 weeks today, the storm has arrived.
It has been slowly building intensity over the past few weeks.
Now it has reached it's max and we are all looking for shelter and bracing for impact!
Elijah has spent his days complaining about anything possible from his scratchy skin, to a runny nose, clothes that don't fit right, pain in his legs, to other issues that I won't go into detail about on here. At first I wasn't sure if this was attention seeking behavior or legitimate concerns.
I have done a few scientific tests that have proven that Elijah is NOT a fan of sharing his momma. What kind of tests you wonder? Well, I suppose I can share my data with you.
If Elijah is having a good day, or rather a good moment, I will take advantage of it and spend some quality time with him (reading a story, snuggling, playing legos, etc). After I have loved on him for a bit, I will tell him I need to do something else...
Test #1= "Elijah I have to go put a load of laundry in I will be right back"
Result #1= " Ok mom, but then you can play with me?"
Test #2= "Elijah I have to feed Isaac now, but than I can play with you"
Result #2= "My legs hurt, my back is scratchy, my nose is running, etc..."
(at the top of his lungs, while whining and throwing himself around)
I have been trying not to draw extra attention to the storms or tantrums and offering to help "fix" his problem (ex: blowing nose, putting on lotion, etc) and if he refuses help just telling him he can fuss and whine on his bed and when he is ready to be a big boy he can get up. This has been working for now, but I am hoping it won't last forever.
I have also been trying to give him some extra one on one attention. On Sunday he and I went to Target to run some errands and we went on a date to Starbucks. We had a blast while we were there and he didn't fuss once. We pulled into the driveway and the storm erupts again.
Fortunately he has NOT been taking this out on his little brother. The funniest part is that if Isaac is fussing while Elijah is having one of his emotional breakdowns, he will stop the tantrum and attend to his brother's needs. He will turn off the tantrum, run to Isaac's aid and offer him his pacifier, a song, etc
The warmer weather has helped a little and I have been able to send the older two outside to play while I take care of Isaac/or the house.
I have also been trying to not take these years for granted. Even though I have felt like I couldn't handle anymore storms and just need a little sunshine, I know this will pass. I also know I would take the storm over no Elijah any day! I also have friends who are dealing with infertility, mourning the death of their child, or watching their child fight cancer!
My troubles seem pretty insignificant when I look at the bigger picture! The one that includes 3 adorable healthy boys. The three boys that have given me the title Momma.
So while I am waiting for the storm to pass and the sunshine again...
I will be spending a little extra time with my middle man.
Sorry your world was turned upside down 'Lou...I love you and am praying for sunshine again!
As hard as it is to believe that my baby is a month old, it is even harder to remember how busy this month has been! I still can't believe he is really here and how perfect he is! I have been trying to write things down and take mental snapshots of the kodak moments we have been having as we adjust to being a family of five.
Since I am way behind on blogging, and want to remember these first few weeks with our littlest man, I decided to do a recap of the month in pictures. And I happen to have taken just a few pictures of my sweet Isaac, so here they are to help illustrate his first month and what he has been up to...
Isaac has had a busy month of looking very cute in his many outfits (explosive diapers and fountains of pee have allowed for them all to be worn at least once)
His big brothers have been helping him learn all about important things in life
He has fabulous hair (that happens to be the same color as mine) and has been sporting an adorable mohawk
He has been able to get some quality naps in on daddy's chest
Having some talks with "Bampa" about his day
Being loved by BOTH his big brothers, even Elijah!
Making great faces while making great noises in his diaper!
Dreaming about milk
Lounging in his swing
Wrapping himself around his big brothers' little fingers
Checking out his toys
Talking and showing his love for his Daddy
But for the record Isaac likes this shirt the best...
Snuggling with Auntie Laura
Meeting some of mommy's friends (yeah for Joey)
Having special visitors travel from far away to come meet him (Grandma Irene from California and Great Uncle Frank and Great Aunt Mary from Minnesota)
Snuggling with Auntie Nikki from Montana
Going for walks in the new stroller
Being held by mommy and told once or maybe twice every day how much he is loved
Being a super sleeper at night (4-5 hour stretches) and a super eater!
Snuggling in the Baby Bjorn so mommy can get some things done and Isaac can be safe when his big brothers are saving the world from evil
Drinking his first bottle like a pro
Becoming more and more adorable every day and filling our house with lots of love and laughter! Helping us realize that the long road we traveled to be holding him in our arms today was worth every step and worth the wait!
We are praising the Lord for this little man and feeling so blessed with our three sons!
One of my favorite things about having a new baby is all the "firsts" they do! I love to keep track of as many of them as possible with pictures and by writing them down on the boys' baby calendars. Jonah has enjoyed this too and every time we go some where (Target, a restaurant, the library) he asks if this is the first time Isaac has been there.
I didn't get a picture of Isaac's first official bath at home (we did get it on video), but this is a substitute for the real first bath (it was when he was only 3 days old).
He loved it and the older two boys joined him in the tub. I had them put their swim suits on, since we were video taping, Elijah decided he would rather just use a washcloth to cover himself up. They both helped me "wash" Isaac and the kodak moment ended quickly when Isaac pooped in the tub and both boys got out of the tub faster than I have ever seen before!
Another of my favorite firsts to record is our boys' first major outing. Jonah's was the mall (to get some clothes since we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl), Elijah's was to Richard's softball game, and Isaac's was to a Sioux hockey game! The Sioux won too!
He was only 10 days old, slept through the entire game, and helped Richard and I enjoy our first date together in months by being the perfect baby. We also went to Red Lobster after the game! It was so much fun and such a great memory. Thanks to Grandma Irene for watching the other two boys so we could do this! It was an extra special treat!
This next first is a special one, Jonah was playing near Isaac and I walked in the room and he was introducing Isaac to Batman. I just thought it was adorable so I took a picture.
He continued to give Isaac the run down on all the major superheroes and definitely gave Isaac a head start on learning these important statistics so young! Jonah then told me "Mom, this is Isaac's first time meeting Batman and playing with him!"
He then told Isaac about how we called him Bruce before he was born, but that his real name is Isaac. He also let Isaac know that Jonah is batman and Elijah is Robin, but Isaac could be a different superhero. It was so sweet!
I am looking forward to many more "firsts" for this little man and hoping he doesn't get too big too fast!
This past week my sister Nikki came for a visit from Montana. We have been fortunate enough to see her quite a bit over the past month due to the death of my grandparents and both of their funerals, but we still miss her so much! It was a long drive for her and she was only here for a few days, but we sure enjoyed our time with her! We were able to do lots of fun things together while she was here and the boys even had a sleepover with her.
On Saturday we all headed to Fargo for the day. Richard had his first track meet at Concordia (where my sister Laura goes to school). Laura was working at the meet so we headed there for a few hours to see her and watch a bit of track. Then we spent the rest of the day together and had a nice time despite a few grumpy boys who didn't get a nap. Nikki spent the night with Laura in her dorm room and then headed back home.
It was hard to see her go since we don't know when we'll see her again. Hopefully this summer we can meet up somewhere...or just convince them to move back home again!
We are looking forward to having Laura home for the month of May before she heads to Medora for the summer! We have seen her a little more since she is only an hour away for school, but we miss her too.
I am so glad the boys get to see their Aunts and uncle so frequently and know them so well! Richard's family lives so far away (Texas and California) and it is hard that we don't get to see them very often at all. We sure feel blessed to have such a great family!
Isaac and Laura at the meet
Isaac and Nikki at the meet
We are praying for God to open up some doors for Nikki and Tom and move them back to ND! We know Montana is great with the beautiful mountains, scenery, and outdoor activities, but does it really compare with good old North Dakota?
I can't believe that it was only 3 weeks ago that God blessed our family with you! It's hard to remember what life was like without you. It has been fun watching you grow, learn and change over the past 3 weeks too. You are very laid back and easy going and rarely fuss. You LOVE to be talked to and watch your big brothers play. You also enjoy eating and sleeping! You enjoy bath time, but hate getting out and don't like getting your clothes changed. You love being swaddled or snuggling and enjoy your pacifier! Hurray!
You have an awake time in the morning and the afternoon/evening for a few hours, otherwise you are sleeping the rest of the day. I look forward to those awake times, but sure enjoy that you are such an excellent sleeper! You also sleep really well at night (4-5 hours) at a time. When you get up to nurse in the night you eat, poop, eat, and go right back to sleep! No messing around for you!
We have seen a few smiles here and there, but today you started smiling all the time when we talk to you and have some wonderful facial expressions! You started "talking" more and more too and I just love hearing those sweet noises. What a great St. Patrick's Day present!
We love you lots Isaac and thank God for bringing you to our family! Happy 3 week birthday buddy!
Richard's mom was here for the past 2 1/2 weeks helping out while we adjusted to life as a family of 5. She headed back to sunny California today and we will miss her. She was a wonderful help doing laundry, washing dishes, playing with the boys, and letting me take naps frequently.
It is funny how I can hardly imagine life without Isaac and he is only 3 weeks old (well tomorrow) and the older two are LOVING him! I can't believe how big he has gotten in only 3 weeks! I took him to the doctor yesterday for his 2 week check up and he was 10lbs 2oz, 22 1/4 inches long, and his head circumference was 15 inches! He has gained 2 pounds since we left the hospital!
He is still the BEST baby ever and I am so thankful for that! He is so laid back, mellow, and sleeps and eats like a champ. His eyes are still dark blue and the jury is still out on whether or not they are going to stay blue or change to brown. His eyelashes and eyebrows are growing in very light like mine so there is hope his hair will stay the same color as mine! If none of my boys are going to look like me at least I will be able to claim Isaac as my own ;0)
I have been spending LOTS of time thanking the Lord for our sweet 10lb bundle of joy! It is funny how different my perspective is this time around after having to wait for him. Not that I didn't enjoy my other boys as newborns, but getting up multiple times in the night, being sleep deprived, and washing MANY loads of laundry a day are things that bring joy to my life and a smile on my face after many prayers, tears, and days of longing for this moment.
I am trying very hard to NOT take any moment for granted as they go too fast and are too precious! I am also trying to look at each situation that may be stressful in a more positive attitude.
Like when Isaac had his first blowout in Target and I was quickly reminded of how explosive those poops can be and how easily that situation can warrant tears I laughed instead.
As I am waiting for the changing table to be available to change him in the bathroom, and he is crying I just laugh. When it is finally my turn to use the changing station and I peel off his poopy pants only to realize that I was deceived by the small stain on the outside and amazed at the amount of poop down his entire leg and up his back: I laugh.
When I am struggling to keep his feet out of the poop, keep the rest of his clothes from getting poop all over, and he is screaming pretty loudly: I laugh. When not just one, but 5 people ask me if this is my first child (since I apparently didn't look as though I knew what I was doing): I laugh. When I realize that the only outfit I have in the diaper bag for him is already too small and I can hardly get it on him: I laugh. When my milk is letting down from his crying and I can feel myself leaking onto my shirt because my nursing pads have moved and I can't do anything about it because I have poop all over my hands: I laugh.
When a few women ask if I need help: I laugh. When I am crying because I have been laughing so hard and probably peed my pants a little bit: I laugh some more. When it is finally over I find myself thanking God for Isaac and for fun memories like blowouts in Target. I also smile as I remember that I wasn't laughing when Jonah or Elijah did that!
I pray you are able to laugh today when you may feel like crying.
The adjustment to three kiddos has been so much smother than I ever imagined. I was VERY afraid to bring a baby home mostly because Elijah had never really expressed any interest in wanting a baby in our house. He is a mama's boy through and through and at 3 1/2 years old he did NOT want to give up his spot as my baby. Richard and I prayed for this adjustment to go well, but we both were preparing for it to be a bumpy road. I won't go in to great detail about how much Elijah really didn't want a baby brother or sister in our house, but he did make it very clear that wasn't on his list of likes.
At the hospital Elijah was very removed and a bit distant when he came to meet Isaac for the first time. The boys didn't want to know the gender of the baby until they could come see for themselves. Elijah walked in and announced he knew it was a boy. When I asked him how he knew he said he just did. Jonah had to investigate for himself of course ;0) Elijah didn't really want to see or touch Isaac at first and didn't even want to give me a hug.
We eventually discovered it was because he thought I was going to see Jesus like my grandmother did. I hadn't even thought about how hard it would be for them to see me in the hospital after seeing my grandma knowing she was going to pass away soon. I explained to Elijah that I wasn't going to see Jesus and just had to stay for 2 days to make sure Isaac and mommy were ok before we came home. Once we had that taken care of he started to warm up to his baby brother.
He touched him every once and awhile, but during the entire stay at the hospital he was happy watching cartoons on TV, eating snacks, and letting everyone else love his baby brother. We had to bribe him to be in pictures and he was quite upset that I had to stay at the hospital and couldn't come home, but he thought Isaac should just stay there because "mommy works with the babies and they stay at the hospital. They don't come home, so Isaac can stay at mommy's work."
The day we brought Isaac home the walls started falling down. Isaac was all strapped in his carseat and we were ready to go and Elijah went up to him and touched him and kissed him! He seemed excited to get him home and did it again when we got home.
Slowly each day he has warmed up a little more and now will call him "little buddy" when he talks to him and gives him kisses on his own terms. (Elijah has always been stingy with giving hugs and kisses, so it is pretty special that he is doing this).
Finally Sunday, February 28th, (Isaac was 4 days old) we had a major breakthrough. Richard had taken Jonah skating, I had laid Elijah down for a nap and told him I would join him after I fed his brother, and while I was doing that Elijah came out of his room and asked to hold Isaac! I had tears in my eyes watching Elijah falling in love with Isaac. He checked him out and sang him a few songs (yankee doodle, and another one he made up) and was captivated by Isaac's sweetness.
The first time Elijah held Isaac
Melting my heart as he sang him songs
Then Elijah asked to read him a story!
He read him "The Monster at the end of this book" which happens to be my favorite book from childhood and one we have been reading quite a bit lately.
Since then it has been so wonderful watching the boys falling in love with their little brother. Jonah holds him constantly during the day and loves to help gets things for him or help me feed him ;0) Elijah still keeps his distance a bit, but when he is close is kissing him and calling him "little buddy" and doing very well sharing me with Isaac.
Elijah doesn't care for Isaac crying and whenever he does he immediately yells "Give him milk! Give him milk!" and covers his ears. He also doesn't think Isaac should wear jammies (sleepers) during the day and makes sure I put "clothes" on him when he gets up in the morning. This is just a great excuse for Isaac to wear all his adorable outfits that otherwise probably wouldn't get worn.
Thanks for all your prayers during this transition! Everyday has been an adventure, but my heart is overflowing with love for these 3 little boys and my one big boy! I feel truly blessed and am enjoying every moment. Especially the ones where I am quickly reminded how much I appreciated being able to shower, leave the house, throw a load of laundry in the wash in less than 45 minutes!
We had Isaac's pictures taken on Sunday and I am so excited to see how they turned out! My friend Stacey Rygh took them and did a fabulous job again (she took our pics last summer). She has a few on her website for a sneak preview: srygh.blogspot.com/ Check them out and I will post a few when I get them from her. If you are looking for unique and great pics of your kiddos she is your gal!
It was so much fun and so relaxed to just do it at our house and not have to deal with the stress of being at a studio. She was so sweet and let Isaac have a few snacks during the session to keep him happy. The boys joined in the fun for a few pictures, but most are of Isaac. It will be so fun to have these to remember how sweet and small he was! I can't believe how big he is already...I just wish he could be little forever.
PS...I have so many things I want to write about, but life is just a little too crazy right now to get that done...so hopefully I'll have lots of posts coming soon!
Today is my due date. Today I have an 8 day old, 8+lb baby sleeping soundly on my chest. As we adjust to a "new normal" in our house with Sir Isaac, I am still overwhelmed by God's gift. It feels so surreal still to have him finally here after waiting so long for him and after the hills and valleys of this pregnancy.
Before I forget, I wanted to write about God's abundant grace surrounding the labor and delivery of this child. I am still in awe with how smoothly and well it went! I was so fearful for labor this time around. I am not sure if it is because I felt as though I had been in labor since Dec 17th when we thought we were meeting Isaac at only 29 weeks. For each week after that we held our breath and prayed God would get us through just one more week. Little did we know that he would give us almost 10 more weeks and allow this little man to arrive at 38 6/7 weeks instead!
Tuesday night (Feb 23) I spent the evening cramping and contracting. They started to get a little more bothersome at midnight on Wednesday, but I was able to sleep most of the night. I was woken up by the contractions, but would be able to go back to sleep after breathing through them. They weren't consistent at all and at best were every 10 minutes. At 6am the intensity increased quite a bit and I mostly felt uncomfortable from the cramps. When Richard got up for work I went to the bathroom and was passing my mucous plug (this hadn't happened to me before) so I knew at least my cervix was changing.
At this point I decided to get ready to go to the clinic and at least get checked out. Looking back now I can see the early signs of labor, but at the time I was so afraid they would turn me away and I would continue being uncomfortable until Friday when I was scheduled to be induced. The contractions weren't much worse than the ones I had felt the past 10 weeks. I knew I wasn't contracting frequently enough to be admitted, and I was still able to talk and do things around the house while I had them. However, with both the older boys I didn't feel the intense pain of labor until the very end and knew I would feel better just getting checked out.
I called my sister Laura, who happened to be home from college for a break, and she came right over to watch the boys. I called the clinic and they said my Dr was in the OR, but one of the Nurse Practitioners could squeeze me in whenever I could get there. I packed a bag for the hospital, finished a few things around the house, and my sister dropped me off at the clinic.
At 9:30 am I saw a nurse practitioner, who happened to be Richard's aunt. It was so comforting to know that I was seeing her. I had some pretty decent contractions while I was there and she listened to Isaac's heartbeat while I was contracting and he tolerated it beautifully! She went to check me and I told her I better at least be past 2cm and 50% effaced (what I was a week ago at my appointment). She surprised me when she said I was 5cm, complete and going to have a baby today! I prayed for strength and told God that only he knew what was coming and I needed His help to get through it!
After that I began frantically calling Richard and my family to let them know what was going on as a nursing assistant wheeled me over to labor and delivery to be admitted. No one was answering their phones! I finally got a hold of Richard and told him the great news. I told him to go home, get my bag, and get here quickly without dilly dallying! I wanted my mom to be there too so I let her know what was going on and that we would call her with more updates later so she knew when to come.
The next few hours are a bit of a blur. I needed an IV to get my antibiotics going since I was group B strep + and the nurses were having a hard time with my veins. This isn't the first time my veins have been uncooperative! They had to call someone from IV resource to come do it.
Richard showed up in 40 minutes (a record for him getting to the hospital while I am in labor) and had a Caribou coffee in his hands! I did playfully scold him for dilly dallying, but was relieved he was there.
Things quickly progressed after that and before I knew it I was almost 7cm, so we called my mom to come. During this time my dad told me my grandfather (his dad) probably wouldn't make it through the day! It was also my mom's 49th birthday! My Dr. came in and told me she had mandatory computer training at 1:30pm and would stay as close to the time as she could. There was another physician on call who would deliver Isaac if she couldn't. I was heartbroken thinking of her not being there! She had done such an excellent job during our pregnancy and we felt so comfortable with her after all we had been through it only seemed fitting she would deliver him.
Needless to say things moved fast enough that she was able to deliver Isaac and make it to her training! I couldn't believe it when they checked me again around noon and I was almost 9cm! I warned them that Elijah (our second son) came very fast and was out 1 minute after I was 10cm. The OB techs set up the room, I had a few more contractions and called the Dr in when I felt some more pressure.
I was able to talk with Richard and my mom and realized how fortunate I was that I did go in and get checked because at 9cm I was uncomfortable but would have still be at home waiting for the intensity to increase before going in!
Finally it was time to meet this little one! The Dr broke my water, I waited for one more contraction, and pushed him out in just a few pushes. He had the cord around his neck, just like the boys, but our Dr. was able to slip it off quickly and he never showed any signs of stress during labor like Jonah and Elijah did.
My mom and Richard said that as soon as his head was out and they saw his face, they knew he was a boy because he looked just like his big brothers! It was pretty exciting to hear the Dr announce "It's a boy!" and finally meet this little man.
I was so thankful to have Richard there and my mom! I was also so grateful that I was able to deliver him naturally. I was so afraid and God gave me the strength I needed! My dad was waiting patiently down the hall and was able to meet Isaac shortly after he was born.
I know that it was only by the Grace of God that he arrived safely and did so as a healthy little man. I have been enjoying every moment we have together and am thankful for the new perspective I have after waiting so long for this precious life. As hard as the past 2 1/2 years have been waiting and wondering, I know God's plan is the best and I am thankful for that!
Richard and I are both overwhelmed with joy and our hearts are still bursting with love for these 3 boys. Thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement during this pregnancy. My grandfather passed away 6 hours after Isaac entered the world. We witnessed the circle of life all in one day!
After 10 weeks of labor, 6 weeks of bedrest, 3 hours of labor, and 2 pushes we have been blessed with 8lbs and 10.6 oz of sweetness. I have been enjoying every moment, even the ones at 3am, and look forward to many more.
I am so in love with this little man who is finally here safe and sound and HOME! I have so many things I will write about when I get time (if that happens), but I am just overwhelmed with God's blessing in our miracle! We are all burnt out emotionally after loosing my grandmother 2 weeks ago and welcoming Isaac into the world the same day my grandfather passed to join his beautiful wife in heaven. Isaac is helping bring joy to our lives as we grieve for Grandma and Grandpa.
Isaac has been the perfect baby so far and I am enjoying every moment of him. Isaac is adjusting to life very well in our home and seems more bothered by the quiet than he does by the increased volume from his brothers! Here are some fun pictures until I get a chance to write more...
Isaac with his blanket made with love from his Great Aunt Mary!
He does a LOT of sleeping! Praise the Lord!
He gets lots of lovin' from his brothers (and yes I mean both). Jonah can't keep his hands off Isaac and Elijah has been growing more fond of him every day. More to come on that!
I have been waiting so long to hold him and snuggle him up that it is still surreal to have him here! I am still on cloud nine and cherishing the moments we have together, even if it is at 3am. I spent so many days in prayer for this child and prayed that I would not take these moments for granted when he arrived. How can you be sad you aren't getting enough sleep when you get to stare at such an adorable face?
Isaac I am so in love with you! You were worth every ache, pain, puke, day on the couch, and moment we had to patiently wait on the Lord's sweet timing. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Thank you for blessing me and reminding me how precious life really is!