Monday, January 26, 2015

Kira Marie's Birth

Miss Kira Marie Graham was born on July 29th, 2014- her due date. She weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20" long.  We all thought she would come earlier, being the 4th baby and all. Plus my body was already getting ready weeks before, but she was holding on for dear life.  It was definitely frustrating- in the moment those last few days of being pregnant feel like an eternity.  Every hour goes by so slow.  And boy was I super uncomfortable and not sleeping at all those last few weeks.  Now that it's over though, I am glad she held on because she shares a birthday with some amazing people- more to come on that, but back to her birth story for now...

My Dr. and I decided a few weeks before my due date that if she hadn't come by then that she would induce me (we both thought for sure she'd come before!) on the 29th.  My parents were coming into town the 31st and I needed to have her before that so they could both meet her and be able to help out once we were home from the hospital.  The morning of the 29th, they had us check in at 5am at the hospital. I didn't sleep at all the night before.  It took a few hours just for all the paper work, questions, checking in, signing papers and getting all hooked up to IV's, and then we waited for the Dr to come break my water.  I was at that point already dilated to a 4, so they didn't want to give me too much pitocin and start labor until they saw what my body would do after my water was broken.  So for those few hours we sat around and walked around the room bored to death- such a weird experience for us since all the other kids I didn't get to the hospital until I was in full on labor and in pain.  The Dr. wasn't able to show up until 9am, but that's when it all started! She broke my water at 9:10 am and sure enough, my body started having serious contractions just minutes later.  They started out about 2-3 mins apart too and never slowed down.  Within half an hour they were already intense and painful so the nurse started getting paperwork ready for an epidural and called down.  

The next hour and a half were quick and painful, but so much smoother than any other labor I'd had. The anesthesiologist kept getting called elsewhere and a new one was called, but it took him over an hour to get there.  A few minutes before he arrived, my contractions were 1 minute apart, lasting for a  forever long minute and I was already dilated to an 8!! My nurse informed me before he got there that I was most likely too far along for an epidural, but that he'd be able to give me something else.  I am so grateful for both my nurse and for John at that point. They were an awesome support team.  They kept me deep breathing so I didn't pass out and kept me calm and relaxed in between contractions.  They gave me the encouragement I needed and kept me going strong.  I surprised myself too and have to say am pretty darn proud of going through almost all of labor without pain meds! The anesthesiologist finally showed up right at the end there and was able to give me a little bit of pain meds through an intrathecal.  It doesn't numb you completely like an epidural, but takes the edge off just enough to make it.  I still felt and had to breath through every contraction, especially at the top of them, but it made them feel shorter and more doable.  I would HIGHLY recommend it over an epidural and wish I had been able to do that with my other labors- especially Morgan's since I was so close to the end with her as well.  They only give it to you however, if you're really at the end and will deliver in less than 2 hours because it doesn't last long.  

Anyways, a few minutes after that I felt her drop completely and felt that need to push with each contraction. At that point, the nurse called the Dr and told her to get there STAT.  It took her what felt like FOREVER to get there and get dressed down in scrubs.  I had to blow and hold back through several contractions.  I kept telling the nurse I couldn't last without pushing and one of them kept telling me I could push some if I wanted to. HA.  I promptly told her that if I pushed at all, this baby was coming out.  They never believe me though.  Sure enough, to their amazement, when the Doc was finally ready, I pushed her out in about 1 1/2 small pushes.  I felt like saying, I told you she was coming out!! She was born at 11:14 am- just barely over 2 hours total of labor. It was so intense and crazy fast, but also it was pretty awesome to be done and through already.

Kira came out crying immediately and with perfect coloring.  First thoughts as soon as she was placed on my chest was 1.) She is BIG! So much bigger and healthier looking already than Morgan was! Hooray! 2.)  She is beautiful and looks just like I had dreamed about  and 3.) I am done! She's out and I'm not pregnant! (I even told this to John through tears) haha.  She got perfect scores, latched right on and ate for 2 hours and was still hungry.  They even tested her blood sugar levels at some point because all she wanted to do was eat and would cry when not eating and din't stop until we gave her a little formula to supplement, which also brought up her blood sugar levels. She just came out starving! That's my girl! We also noticed right away that she had huge paw like hands and a really loud, strong cry.  Even the nurses commented on how loud she was. 

Back to her name- Long story short, we had a hard time finding a first name that we liked that was a family name (all of our other kids have family names).  There were a few we liked that weren't family names, like Kira.  When I was about 13 weeks pregnant I had a major melt down.  I was so so sick and dehydrated and tired of throwing up.  I was feeling depressed and like there was no way I was going to make it to the end of this pregnancy when I was barely surviving each day and had so many days and months left.  After crying myself to sleep, like I did most nights, I had a really vivid dream of her birth.  It was pretty amazing because it was almost exactly how it really happened and I came away with two thoughts:

1.) She was a real person- she was absolutely beautiful and full of life and would be worth every single hard day of pregnancy.

2.) Her name was suppose to be Kira Marie.  Marie is a very special family name on the Baron side of my family.  It comes from my Grandpa Baron's mother- Anne Marie and has been passed down along the lines many times as a middle name.  Kira was one we loved and in my dream she had dark hair- darker than any of our other kids and a more olive complexion, especially compared to Morgan who has such a pale porcelain complexion.  After that dream I looked that name up and sure enough, in parts of Europe, it means dark little one and is used to name children with darker hair and complexion.  When she was born (in real time) and she looked exactly the same with that darker hair, I knew that was suppose to be her name.

Also, as I mentioned earlier- she shares a birthday with two family members and joins the same birthday club (John and I share a birthday!).  She shares her special day with my Grandma Baron and her Dad, Truman Chapman, my Great-Grandpa. Since I grew up 10 minutes from my grandparents I have spent a lot of time around my Grandma Baron and have many fond memories with her.  I also have a few fond memories with Grandpa Truman because he didn't pass away until I was 14! I love that Kira will have this special birthday bond with her some amazing ancestors of hers.  Makes up for her first name not being a family name :). 

All in all I felt like Kira's birth was a great experience. The hospital facilities and staff were wonderful- the best experience we had of all 4 kids!  The nurse was absolutely wonderful and the Dr was great too. We got to go home just a little over 24 hours later since both her and I were doing so well and it was fabulous to be in our own beds. John's parents had taken our kids and kept them for a few days, so we didn't have to worry about them the first night we came home either, which made it easier to come home so early.   I am just so happy she is here and healthy and in my arms!! We immediately sensed her strong but sweet spirit and are so excited to have our little family complete with her here.  The kids loved loved coming to meet her in the hospital and can't get enough time holding her- even Morgan! 

Now on to a few pictures- which are mostly taken with phones and didn't all turn out since everything happened so fast and we were really just living in the moment and then were exhausted from lack of sleep! 

 Those lips...

Morgan turns 2

For Morgan's birthday we did some of her favorite things- went swimming, did lots of bubbles, ate hot dogs, chips and watermelon, played with water balloons, jumped on the trampoline and of course had cupcakes!  Our friends the Muntiferring's came out to join us.  It was a great day celebrating Miss Mo.  We sure love this girl.  She is sassy and strong willed and super picky.  Her favorite person in the whole world is Aunt Heather.  She loves being free to do as she pleases and therefore loves being outdoors.  She is getting smarter and adding words and sentences everyday!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

4th of July Camping at Diamond Lake

Nick & Christi came to town for the 4th of July and we all went camping at one of our favorites, Diamond Lake.  I was 37 weeks and didn't enjoy having to hike up a hill 10 times in the night to pee, but other than that it was a lot of fun! It is so beautiful there and we had perfect weather. Our kids are great campers and are the happiest out in nature! It was a perfect last trip and adventure before the baby came.

Baron's preschool graduation

Heather's graduation

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Girls Pictures

I really wanted to be able to have pictures of Kira when she was born and Morgan since she didn't really cooperate as well as my boys did during our family pictures in June.  So when Kira was just 2 weeks old I had my friend Angie take their pictures.  She is really talented and so so patient.  She followed a grumpy Mo around for 3 HOURS trying to capture some smiles.  She is a saint.  And then Kira cried and refused to stay asleep and pooped and peed everywhere, haha. I was pretty sure none of them were going to turn out.  When she sent them to me I seriously cried.  She was able to capture smiles from Morgan and the sweetness of baby Kira with those dark eyebrows and puckering lips. I am so happy with them!  There are a lot of good pictures and I posted those on facebook for family to see, but here are my two favorites (our computer is having issues and takes forever long to download pictures onto the blog currently, so hence the lack of pictures):

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pregnancy Sucks

Just came across this post I wrote a year ago, but never actually posted. I don't whether to laugh or cry. I was such a hot mess!! What a blessing to be through that pregnancy and to have our sweet Kira with us.


I have sooooooo many blog posts to catch up on.  For now I wanted to write down instead what's going on at the current moment.....

I am pregnant and deathly sick for the 5th time, but with baby #4, as long as everything goes well.  I feel miserably awful.  I'm thinking it may be the sickest I've been out of all of them- and that is really saying something.  Each pregnancy has gotten harder and worse.  In addition to puking a million times and feeling like I need to the rest of the time, my stomach has been crampy and achy a lot.   Most of that is because I am super dehydrated and swollen and bloated from puking so much.  As I learned with Morgan's pregnancy, being dehydrated causes braxton hicks, so I've been dealing with those already too, even though I am a mere 10 weeks along. Oh and don't forget wicked indigestion burning a fire up my throat most evenings.  Fun times.  Is it July yet?  My body is tired and done already and I still have a long long time to go unfortunately.  I've been through the ringer already and am not handling this last one too well.

There's two reasons I wanted to write this all down:

1. If in future years I see another little baby and feel that desire to have another, I'll simply come back to this post and hopefully be dismayed, or at least reminded why this is the last one.  It's hard, not only on me, but my family.  On top of feeling horribly physically, I feel tons of guilt all the time.  I hate it when the house is a mess and the kids are on their 3rd movie of the day and I'm not able to give them much attention.  I'm not that kind of mother and wife.  I love supporting my husband at home and having him come home from a long day at work to a clean home and healthy meal on the table.  I love being able to give him the breaks and attention he deserves.  Of course John has taken over all dish, house and kid duties that he can without a single complaint because that's just who he is, but I just know he's getting exhausted and worn out too. My body is drained, our family is getting drained and we have a looooonnnng way to go. Sigh.

2. Anytime my daughters, daughter-in-laws or simply other young moms I know get excrutiatingly sick while pregnant, I want them to know they are not alone.  I can't tell you what it's like to feel this way and have another pregnant friend tell me they hardly even notice they are pregnant and feel just great! I want to punch them in the face.... and then when that feeling passes, I want to curl up in a ball and cry because "I must be the only one in the world who hates being pregnant and feels like death".  There's no "glow" going on here.  Between my pale swollen face and running mascara from puking (when I do actually find the energy to put any on), I am not one of those cute glowing mama to be's.  That would be nice.  But I'm just not.  My first two pregnancies with my boys were a lot easier on my body, true, but I was still super sick.  Both my girls have killed me though.  I think it is the extra extra amount of girl hormones.  No really.

All that being said, I know this will be worth it.  John and I both felt strongly, even before Morgan was born that there was yet another little girl waiting to join our family.  I cannot wait more than anything right now to be holding her in my arms at the end of July.  I know it is a huge blessing to be able to have children when so many have that desire but cannot.  I absolutely love motherhood, even after the hard days.  I just wish every single day didn't have to go by so slowly right now!

Future Steph- you are ok with 4.  That is a lot of kids. In fact, you are super happy that you finally made it to four through all of those hard pregnancies and are DONE! Wahoo!!  Babies are so stinking cute, but they are also hard and each pregnancy is a forever long almost year of feeling anything but yourself.  It is flipping hard. Go steal someone else's baby for an hour or two- you know they could use a break and some free hands for once anyways! And enjoy those babies you have, no matter how much they've grown up.  The end.

Graham Family Pictures

Since all the Grahams were in town for Heather's graduation, they decided family pictures were in order.  I can't tell you how super thrilled I was to have my picture taken while 8 months pregnant in my worst pregnancy. Lovely.  The kid's pictures turned out great though! Here are just a few of my favorites: