in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

new 'uncles'

the station 8 b shift guys who helped me deliver charlie
for 12 days now - do the math, that's as long as charlie has existed on this planet! - i've been meaning to bake cookies and bring them over to the fire station for the guys who came and got me and helped me delivery charlie. there's this weird fog, though, around the first two weeks or so after having a baby, and since that's just finally clearing, grammie and john and charlie and i headed over there to mckinney fire department station eight this afternoon.

i knew it would be cool to see these guys again, but it was even cooler than i expected. they were SO amazingly indulgent of john, giving him the tour of the station and letting him see, touch, ring bells, check out flashing lights, and generally explore the whole engine and ambulance. they each took turns holding charlie, and they were so genuinely excited to have been a part of that crazy day for our family. 

it is really very cool to know that our first responders around here are not only proficient, compassionate, and helpful, but also just very nice, family-oriented guys, who shared stories of their own children and told me that charlie's got a batch of uncles over at the fire station who would love to stay in touch.

what an awesome afternoon ... makes me grateful all over again that i had their support back on october 10, and makes you feel good to know that your local fire crew is so cool.

(maybe tomorrow i'll post of john's temp tattoo that is probably his highlight of his life - all evening he kept telling me, "it was like a sticker, mommy, but now it's not a sticker, it's a tattoo!")

Friday, October 11, 2013

charlie

so first of all, i am typing this on my iphone at the hospital at 549 am, so please forgive the inevitable errors! next, the most relevant facts:

as john would say, the real charlie is here! born at 324 pm on thursday, october 10, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 19.5 inches long, charles robert made quite an entrance. he waa born on the same day of the pregnancy that his big brother was - 38 weeks 2 days. i delivered him fully naturally without any pain meeications. and yes, he was born in the back of a racing ambulance! 

here's the whole story - and this birth story is relatively free of medical detail so even the squeamish among you should be ok!

i woke up at my normal midnight, one am, and two am pee times wednesday night, but when i woke at three something was different. i just couldn't get comfortable and back to sleep. by 5 am i could identify actual contractions. i called melissa, my doula, and we decided that since contractions were irregular and not too intense, i would just wait, rest if possible, and we'd see how things progressed.

it is worth noting that while my husband went to work, john and i just hung out at the house. there was a new roof being put on our rental house so we dodged the banging and i did some laundry, cleaned the house a little (was planning a birthday party for my husband for friday night, so just in case labor stalled out or anything i figured we'd try to get ready!)

throughout the morning, the contractions never got less than about 10 mins apart, and sometimes theyd stop altogether for as long as an hour. they weren't ramping up in intensity either, so we began to wonder if this was really IT after all. (melissa still suspected we'd have a baby that day, but figured it might be later in the evening, etc. i wondered if labor was going to stop entirely and we'd wait more days!)

around 130 pm, john finished his lunch and, despite the roof banging, went down for a nap. i updated melissa, my husband, and a few friends and family that nothing had changed, and at 145 pm
i laid down to rest myself. the contractions still happened every 10 minutes ish but i closed my eyes in between and rested on the couch.

at about 240, i had a bigger contraction that ended with a gush of fluid. i hustled to the bathroom, saw some blood, and promptly called melissa to discuss. we decided i should call my husband and all meet at the hospital quickly - a feat as the hospital is in downtown dallas, 40 minutes from our house without traffic. hustling but not overly concerned, i started to get up to get dressed.

and suddenly, was having contractions every minute. by 3 pm, i called melissa in a panic because i needed to push. he talked me off the cliff and told me to call 911, as this baby was coming fast.

my husband beat the paramedics to our house by a few minutes, as i stood in the empty bathtub, talking to a 911 operator who wanted me to lay down and wait for the firemen - i only wanted to push. when the paramedics arrived, i probably could have birthed charlie right then and there but understandably they wanted to control the delivery a little more.

i was totally naked when the ambulance arrived, so they threw a sheet over me and raced me out the door past curious neighbors and the crew of mexicans working on our roof! they asked me what hospital i wanted to to to and i told them it didn't matter - they were delivering this baby in their ambulance.

on the 5-8 minute ride to the hospital, i was contracting every 40 seconds. and the urge to push was so intense, even strapped to the board, that i couldn't have fought it if i had to. two intense pushes and one of the firemen caught charlie as we raced down the road, sirens blaring. we arrived at the hospital with the baby resting on my chest, and we're joined there not too much later by melissa, and then my husband and a sleepy john, who had slept straight through all the excitement.

what is truly amazing to me is how cold and scary a delivery this could have been - i was home alone until my husband's arrival, and then in the back of an ambulance with strangers and none of my support team. but thanks to the amazing compassion of that crew, and the amazing capacity of the human body, it was still a beautiful and incredible experience for me. not at all what i had planned, and i think we're all still a little shell-shocked, but i am so grateful to those strangers who shared one of the most intimate moments of my life, and my support team of melissa and my hubby who helped me through from afar.

what a day.

ps my husband took john to a drop in play place for a little while last evening so that john could play off some energy and husband and i could spend some quiet time with charlie. when my husband brought john back to the hospital to say goodnight, john was so sweet and gentle with charlie and only wanted to snuggle mommy and his little brother. i feel so very overwhelmed with love for my little family, and so blessed to have all those boys - daddy included - around me.