Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I have a good excuse...

...or several excuses for being the worst blogger ever.

In the past month:
-Harrison graduated from Ranger School
-We welcomed sweet baby Fisher into our family
-Harrison flew across the country twice, and drove across once.
-We house hunted near Fort Lewis, WA
-We moved out of my parents house, and into our new place.
-And Harrison started his new job here with his new unit.
And now with the holidays coming, things are only going to get more crazy!  But we're loving our new house and city!  And after living in 4 states during the past 14 months, we're ready to not go anywhere for hopefully three years or so.  Now if the boxes would just unpack themselves...
This is the view from our front porch!  See Mt. Rainier in the back?  Beautiful!  Except it hasn't stopped raining since we moved in, so Jack hasn't gotten much use out of that park yet...I guess it rains a lot here?? :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Angry Birds

Remember this post? I'm not the biggest Halloween fan. BUT apparently when you have two cute little boys that you can dress up to match, it makes it so much more fun.  And this is the first year Jack has really gone trick or treating, and he loved it.  At one house, the woman at the door let him pick out his own candy.  He picked out a sucker, and from the front porch yelled to us on the sidewalk, "Sucker!" (in a "Oooo, lookie what I got" sort of funny!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Labor Story

I think this is the 4th time I've sat down to finish this post...apparently having a newborn and a toddler keeps you pretty busy, who knew??

My due date was October 10th.  But since Harrison was going to be at Ranger School until about the 19th or so, I had no problem letting Fisher hang out inside me for as long as he wanted.  I was induced a week late with Jack, so I figured this pregnancy would go past the 40 week mark as well.

The morning of the 17th came, and my doctor just wanted to make sure Fisher was doing well enough to let me go a couple more days late, so his heart rate was monitored at labor and delivery for about an hour, and they did an ultrasound as well.  I got the okay to wait longer (little did I know I'd be back 8 hours later..)

It was 9:30 PM, and I was lying on the couch watching TV (I'll never forget you now, Sing-Off) and my water broke!  This was the last way I had expected to go into labor, I'm not sure why I just assumed it wouldn't happen like that.  I jumped up, and told my dad who was sitting in the room, " water just broke."  I felt so silly saying it haha, like I was making it up.  So I ran into the bathroom, and he ran upstairs to get my mom.

My entire family was so great.  My little sister helped me finish packing my hospital bag, my brother and Grandma stayed with Jack the whole time I was in labor, and my parents took me to the hospital.  I surprisingly felt so calm and relaxed through everything.  After making sure my water had actually broken (they kept asking me questions like, "So what time do you THINK your water broke?"...) I got settled into a hospital room.  It was after midnight now, and I still hadn't felt any contractions.  A couple here and there, but  nothing stronger than the sporadic contractions I'd been having for weeks.  I saw the doctor on call at 2AM, and she decided to start me on Pitocin to make the contractions stronger.  By 4AM, I was dilated to  4cm, and the contractions had come, fast and strong, and I was ready for an epidural.  I don't think there is any feeling in the world that is better than the realization that your epidural has kicked in.  I was feeling wonderful from that point on.  I was much more numb on my right side then my left, but I didn't let that go unnoticed, and they fixed that problem pretty quick for me. I'm not ashamed to say I was born during the right century to utilize modern day medicine.

Around 5:30 AM they checked to see how I was progressing and I was only at 5cm.  I figured I had awhile to go still and I had not eaten or slept all night.  But, just about 2 hours later I was already dilated to 9.5cm!  And around 8:20 AM I was ready to start pushing. Unlike Jack's delivery of pushing for an hour and a half, I only pushed for about 20 minutes, and little Fisher was here!  They put him right up on my chest as soon as he was born, and I loved it.  Jack was cleaned and wrapped up before I even really saw him, but he had some breathing complications they were really watching.  Fisher wasn't crying quite as loud as they had hoped, a little more grunting, so after awhile of being with me, they took him to the NICU to be watched just for about 3 hours or so.  He never needed any breathing treatments like Jack, and he was completely fine and back with me again by noon.

My whole family was so supportive.  My mom, dad, and little sister were all in the delivery room with me.  Although my dad and Emma were careful to stay up near my head :) We gave Fisher my Dad's middle name, Vaun - I've always loved that name.  My Grandma and brother, James were at home with Jack.  I couldn't have done any of this without the help and support of my family.
I was in touch with Harrison several times throughout the labor.  I called the emergency number I had for Ranger School as soon as my water broke, and he was able to call me back within twenty minutes or so.  He called every couple of hours, but was on a bus driving from Florida, back to Ft. Benning, Georgia when Fisher was actually born.  That night, he got permission to leave Ranger School 3 days early, to get home to me Wednesday night, so we bought a plane ticket for him for a flight that left in 24 hours.  He was supposed to be done by 10 AM the next morning, but we've quickly learned that the Army works on it's own time schedule, and we wasn't actually free to go until after 4PM.  He took a taxi 90 minutes to the Atlanta airport, and barely made it there 40 minutes before his flight left. His bag missed the flight, but thankfully he didn't. 
Fisher held on as long as he could to wait for his dad, and although I would have loved for Harrison to have been there when he was born, we were blessed in so many ways.  I was lucky enough to have my family there with me, my labor and delivery was so smooth (and dare I say, almost easy?), my recovery has been wonderful, Fisher was healthy, and only 3 hours after I was discharged from the hospital, Fisher and I were at the airport to meet Harrison.  I think the thing I am most grateful for is the continuous peace and comfort I had despite the fact that my husband wasn't by my side.  I felt so calm, and at ease the entire time, and was able to focus on the amazing miracle of having a sweet new baby.
Harrison was on paternal leave and we had  planned on him being with us for 10 days before heading back to Georgia to out-process (since we're technically still stationed there, and there were some things he had to take care of before we could move up to Ft. Lewis, WA) and he had to pick up our car and drive it back across the country.  But after being here only 12 hours or so, we found out his sweet Grandpa was passing away from a long time illness. So 10 days turned into 4 so that Harrison could go to St. George and be with his family for the funeral.  I have always admired Harrison's grandparents so much, and I wish I could have been there, but we figured taking a 5 day old on an airplane wasn't the best idea.  We love you so much, Grandma Smith. After the funeral we decided that instead of coming back up to Washington, Harrison should cut his paternal leave short and head back to Georgia sooner than we planned so he could get going on out-processing.   He's almost done and should be on the road tomorrow then we move up to Fort Lewis next week to start the next chapter of our lives as a family of four!

Thank you to all those who supported us through everything!  My family has been so amazing.  I asked to come visit for 2 months while Harrison was gone, and instead it turned into 3 1/2 months and having a baby here, and they didn't even threaten to throw us out once!  And my incredible friends who checked up on me and kept us in their prayers, it meant the world to me.  I feel so overwhelming blessed and I know I have my Hevenly Father to thank for all the miracles that have happened over the last several months.