Nov 21, 2010

First Smiles

One of my favorite things about newborns is the first smile. Aly has been smiling since about three weeks old. Seems really early, right? That's what I thought. I thought it had to be a coincidence, as all my other children didn't smile until about 6 weeks. Well, I got him to smile 11 times in one day, so I accepted that he just smiled early. I just thought I would share pictures of all the kids' first smiles. I think you all should do the same. I think first smiles are the most genuine and love filled smiles you could ever get!!
Duncan always had a calm and peaceful type of smile.
Liam always smile open-mouthed and often very intense. This is very much how Liam is as a person. An adorable, intense, and happy boy.

As you can tell, Gwendolyn smiled more often and more easily than any of my children. She was such a happy baby and rarely cried. She is still a very smiley and giggly little girl.

Rosaline was our latest smiler. It was rare that we caught pictures of it, but it was well worth the wait.
Last, but not least, Alastair. Our earliest smiler. I rarely catch his smiles on camera also. He is the first baby that I got to smile before Mark. All of my other children have smiled for Mark before they have ever smiled for me. Most of Alastair's smiles are saved for the angels. I like to this that my dad is the one making him smile. My dad always loved babies. Right after I gave birth to Alastair I could feel my dad's presence so strongly. It was the first time I have felt him since he died. So, I like to think that my dad is the angel entertaining my baby multiple times throughout the day.

Nov 20, 2010

Aren't they just so pretty?

I know I am a bit biased here, but I think I have been blessed with beautiful(mischievous and naughty) daughters.
I can't believe how much my little Rozzy has grown.
I can't believe how long her hair has gotten. She still has the shorter hunks from that oh so fateful day of Gwenie and scissors, but I part it on the opposite side and it stays hidden well. It's also long enough for me to pull back the shorter chunks when I do her hair.
So pretty!!
Rozzy was totally ready for bed in these ones, but I still think both girls look pretty.
I can't believe how much Gwenie's hair has grown since January. I cut it to just at the nape of her neck back then. She says she wants her hair to be down to her bum like Sleeping Beauty's. I know I wish my hair would grow like her's has, so I will allow this, haha. Mine hasn't been cut since January, but it won't grow anymore. The cut must have stunted the hair growth and now I am sad about it.
Sorry if you're bored, but I don't care!! Haha!!

This is Halloween!

This year's Halloween was ever so slightly less hectic than last year's. We knew where all the costumes were, everyone was ready on time. The only problem was that we had a terrible storm right during prime trick-or-treat time. It did leave us with a bit of this though:
It left us with some bitter cold that we were not quite yet accustomed to this fall. I wanted to go with everyone, even though I had recently had the wee one. It felt great while we were going along, just not afterward. I had serious ligament pains after, but it was well worth it!! I love my kids!
Attempt at cute Halloween picture #1
Attempt #2
There we go!

Nov 18, 2010

A little bit of, okay a lot bit of Aly

I know I've needed to post many more pictures of my sweet baby, so here are a few or more:
Little baby jaundice. This was his first week of life, the day we got the "biliblanket."
This is the "biliblanket." For those of you who have never experienced the at-home treatments for jaundice, this is one of them. The other is a suitcase. Mothers who have a negative blood type are much more likely to have a baby born with jaundice. I have 2 friends on my blog lists who are negative, just like me! Well, their blood type is negative.
Okay, I totally meant to rotate this, but I didn't. So, tilt your head to the left and you will get the full effect.
This is one of the few pictures I have of him with his eyes open. They are open more than you think, but he blinks so slowly I never catch them open in a picture. My husband, obviously, adores newborns. I love this about him!!

Well, you know we all do goofy things with our newborns and take pictures of it. I just happen to post them and email them and the rest of you don't, but you know we all do it. I am immature, I know, I'm down with it.
Pacifiers always look so huge on newborn faces, don't they?
Looks just like his daddy when he sleeps, mouth gaping and everything!

He gradually whitens as these pictures go on, haha.
This picture is from today. He is such a sweet addition to our family. He is such a peaceful little guy with a wonderful spirit. We love him so much. I will try to get more pictures of him awake, haha.

Nov 17, 2010

Yes, my girls certainly have brothers.

Last week I was outside with Rozzy as she attempted to ride her tricycle. She was trying so hard to pedal. The poor girl has short legs, so this is a little difficult for her. I pushed her along to help her get the feel for it. Then I decided to just give her an extra hard push and let it go for a little bit. She soon went off the path and the tricycle tipped over, dumping her off.
She immediately started laughing and grabbed her crotch shouting, "My beh-wees! My beh-wees!(=Rozzy for berries)"
I laughed so hard!! Yes, my girls certainly have brothers.

Nov 16, 2010

Never thought I would experience this...again!

Only one week after my kidney stone, I was so thankful to be over the whole thing. My ward members were kind enough to bring meals to help me and my family out, earlier in the week. Things were going well.
It was Sunday morning and we were going to church for the first time since I had the baby. I got up with a little back pain, but no worries, it wasn't terrible. I ate breakfast and continued to rub my back periodically to help it feel better.
Mark noticed how I was acting and asked me about my symptoms: "Is the pain in one spot and doesn't seem to change or let up if you changes positions?" He was worried it was another kidney stone. Ha, good one. Last Sunday I joked in my head, "Watch, I have a kidney stone, hahaha." This Sunday I joked, "Watch, I have another kidney stone, hahahaha! Right." I continued to get ready for church.
As I was getting ready, the pain got progressively worse. I thought to myself, "If I go to church the Lord will bless me and my pain will go away and this won't be a kidney stone." Well, sometimes the Lord blesses us in different ways.
As I sat through church my pain started to get, well, quite uncomfortable. Mark kept asking me if I wanted to leave or if I wanted a blessing. I felt so awkward. How embarrassing! I really didn't want anyone to know about this. This was my private(obviously in pain) situation that no one would know about.
Well, I didn't think it would get to that point, but it did. I was ready to leave our combined Relief Society/Priesthood lesson. Mark asked me if he should get some guys to give me a blessing. My response was, "If you want to. I won't say no."
He escorted me to an empty classroom then returned with a couple of guys from our ward. They gave me a blessing and offered me free babysitting and escorted me to our car. The bishop's wife had our baby and brought him to the car. She said she would come by later with dinner and vitamin C tablets to break up my kidney stone.
Mark was ready to take me to the emergency room, but after last week, I was a bit reluctant. I changed into something much more comfortable and laid on a heating pad on my bed. I took some pain reliever and vitamin C tablets and laid with the pain until I fell asleep. When I awoke my pain was gone. A beautiful thing I think. The next few days ward members brought our family dinner to make things easier on us.
Our new ward is wonderful! They will do anything to help without even being asked. So many people offered their help to us. I felt so grateful and blessed. Thank you to everyone who helped us!!
This last Sunday I was blessed to be kidney stone free!! I was worried with how my luck had gone, but I had good luck this time.

Nov 15, 2010

Never thought I would experience this...

On the two week anniversary of my trip to the hospital to give birth, I ended up with terrible kidney pain. It started feeling like gas pain. I really thought that's what it was since I recently had a baby and my body was all out of whack. I was alone with the kids and Mark was working at the mortuary. I called my mom to see if it was possible to have gas pain where your kidney is. She said I was probably just dehydrated. I went and drank a bunch of water to see if that helped.
I continued to do some laundry and other such household type homemaker mommy type things. I realized it hurt more standing up straight so I went to lay down for a bit until the pain subsided.
The pain started increasing ever so slightly. It was a dull sort of ache at first. Then gradually it because a little more sharp. I turned on a heating pad and laid on it(yes, it warns against this, but I do it all the time ha!). That helped me relax, but didn't get rid of the pain. Then my pain got really bad. Not labor of two weeks ago bad, but I wasn't liking it.
I decided to give my dear sweet husband a call. No answer. I called my mom and explained my situation. She told me it was probably a kidney stone and that I should try and find someone to watch my kids and someone to take me to the emergency room. She had some good advice, as usual. But being the bad daughter that I am, calling her for advice, then not following it because I feel awkward or something lame like that, just just tried call Mark again. I tried calling him so many times. The pain was getting worse and worse and I was calling more and more. It just so happened that Mark was embalming and didn't feel his phone vibrate.
Finally, on what I later learned was the (clears throat) um 24th call, he answered. I explained the situation and he was very sympathetic, as he has experienced kidney stones himself. That combined with my recently giving birth and having torn, currently healing ligaments(which indeed were very much in pain, just as the dear dr. said), combined with being home alone with the kids, well, he felt very sorry for me. He called my brother, Geoff, and his wife, Jessie to watch the kids.
Mark arrived and soon after that Geoff and Jessie arrived. Mark and Geoff helped me out to the car and we were on our way.
I don't like the emergency room. I don't like waiting. I don't like waiting a long time. I don't like being in pain. I don't like strange people staring at me. I don't like waiting a long time in the emergency room in pain with strange people staring at me, people who obviously are not in pain. I prefer labor and delivery. It was such a lovely place. They asked me what my pain level was. Really? I just had the most painful labor of my life two weeks before. I told them it was a 6. They sent me back to the waiting room. I waited for over an hour. As my pain and awkward feelings increased I thought to myself, "Dang, I should have told them 8!" Eventually, I got some IV pain relief, and it really wasn't so much of a relief. It made me feel high and in pain, but because I was high, the pain was not on the forefront of my mind. A good high can be a bit of help. I got a CT scan. The Dr. said I did have a kidney stone. This was after his earlier guess diagnosis of "a pulled muscle." Lame. After 4 lovely hours, I was sent home with my 2nd prescription for Percocet since having the baby.
Mark and Geoff helped me up the stairs and into my bed. Mark held up my sagging pants for me. Things just don't fit like they used to. Percocet, like the IV drug, was good at making me feel high carefree, but did not relieve my pain. Luckily, the pain subsided, thanks to a blessing I received from dear brother Geoffrey. Sorry I do not have pictures to give you a better feel of the experience. I will try to remember my camera for next time. I hope my story made you feel a little more grateful for labor and delivery.

Nov 12, 2010

Finally, the telling of the baby story...

It all started like this...
38weeks pregnant(2 days before the blessed day!)

I know it's been 1 month and 1 day since my little baby was born, but I have had quite a lot going on. I have hardly been on the computer. Here's the story:
In the wee hours of the morning on 10/10/10, at about 3am I started having some pretty hefty contractions that prevented me from sleeping all night. They continued until about 11:30am at about 5-7 min. apart. About that time they began to taper off and I fell asleep. My contractions came back that afternoon, but were only about 6 min. apart. I was getting frustrated because things just weren't moving along as quickly as they normally do with my labors.
My contractions started picking up about 6:30pm and got to be about 3-5 min. apart. I just wanted to have the baby. I was getting crabby and emotional about the whole thing. I really just felt like I couldn't be pregnant another day. The pain from my torn ligaments was just getting to be too much and I was tired and big, and well, just pretty much ready to be done.
After discussing things with Mark we decided that after how long I had been in labor that I had to at least be 5cm so the hospital would keep me. I called my dear friend Ellen to come over and watch the kids. She was on her way.
Mark went to get a shower in before we left and I laid down on the bed. I went to stand up and felt a little gush. Mark quickly grabbed a towel. My water had officially broken. It wasn't a big break, but I was still worried because normally, once my water is broken the baby is out in less than an hour. My contractions were getting stronger and I was feeling a bit panicked. I called Ellen to stress to her the time situation and learned that she was almost there. We were on our way to the hospital.
I got there and was only 5cm and 80% effaced. My contractions weren't that bad, but I was really hoping I was further along than that. I told them they could fully break my water and my baby would just be out really soon, but because my water had broken and the baby wasn't coming down yet, they couldn't. They were concerned that the umbilical cord would float over the head, cutting off oxygen to the baby. We had to wait for the baby to come down on his own.
We were really hoping that we would have a 10/10/10 baby, but it was not his plan. The hours were ticking by and I was dilating very slowly. I was determined to go without an epidural with this baby. Our last payment for the anesthesiologist was going in the on the 15th(from Rosaline) and I was not about to start all that again. I was handling it pretty well and the contractions weren't bad at all. With Duncan I had gotten to 10cm without and epidural(and on full pitocin), Liam 9cm, Rozzy 7cm. I was pretty sure I could do this.
They fully broke my water at about 10pm. I was really thinking I could have this baby before midnight. The contractions were getting stronger, but I still wasn't going very fast and the baby was still high.
By about 2:30am(still awake from the night before!) I was 8 1/2cm and 100% effaced. The baby still hadn't come down. By that point my contractions were excruciating. They were like nothing I have felt before. The pain was taking over my whole belly, back and thighs. My contractions were 2 min. apart. I was so disappointed that I was not fully dilated. I was so frustrated. My Dr. came in to see how I was doing and was very surprised to see that I still was not fully dilated. The pain I was in was not normal. The Dr. said that the baby was probably face up and that's why he hadn't come down and that on top of my ligaments being torn made things difficult. She said I was doing so well, but suggested that I get an epidural so that I could relax and the baby could come down. I not so reluctantly agreed. I was exhausted and ready to have the baby.
I got the epidural, but apparently only on my right side. I could still feel everything on my left. The anesthesiologist tried to fix it, but to no avail. By that point I didn't care and was ready to push anyway. Being half numb relaxed me enough to get the baby down. I was so tired I was about ready to pass out from exhaustion,but it was pushing time. I gave a few pushes and out little Aly came. Alastair Nicholas Smith was born on 10/11/10 at 3:28am. He weighed 8lbs. 1oz. and was 19 1/2in. long.
After little to no sleep and 24 hours of labor, I finally did it!! Ugh!!
He seems to be a combination of all my children in one. Wouldn't he be a lovely finish to a birthing legacy?
He is really pretty I think. He could have been a girl, haha.
Poor little heels.
We got to come home to my mom staying with us and taking care of house and kids. I will be eternally grateful to her to that!! It was my first time having this much help. The baby had really bad jaundice and got to be on the Bili Blanket for a few days. There was one point when things got really bad. He was really lethargic and hadn't wet his diaper or anything in 8 hours. I really didn't want him to go to the hospital. I had already done that with Liam and it was so difficult. We all gathered as a family and prayed together. I sat and held Alastair for about 45min. just waiting for him to wet his diaper. Then suddenly he did!! He started waking up more and just got better from then on. Never underestimate the power of prayer!!! The Lord will work his magic if you have faith.
I enjoyed my time with my mom and my time relaxing and sleeping whenever I could. I was so tired and it took a while to catch up.
Even with my nausea, illnesses, fall down the stairs, gestational diabetes, and longest, lamest, most painful labor, I am glad to have my baby, I am glad to have a newborn again. I could never get tired of this. I love it.