Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day

Ellie went off to Kindergarten today. Wow. What a beginning! I woke up to an alarm to the first time in months, perhaps a year. I went in, woke her up, and she jumped out of bed, totally ready to face the day. She was so excited to get dressed and ready for the bus. We got her hair combed and pretty, and breakfast commenced. It was a nice 30 minutes of just her and I, reminiscing about life and things she has done. She kept asking me, Mama, how much time do we have until the bus is here? (She couldn't wait) Inside I was a mess, just trying to hold myself together. We walked hand in hand out to the bus stop, before taking a couple of very glowy and sweet photos on our porch. We greeted our neighbors who assured me that they would keep a close eye on Ellie on the bus. We took a couple of photos, and 5 minutes later, the bus arrived, she gave me a couple of great big hugs, and before you could say 'off to kindergarten' the bus was driving down our block. I wanted to call out, 'wait, I need just one more hug', but instead I just cried as my sweet first child drove off to school. I walked back to my house unsure of what to do next. I crawled back in bed, but was unable to sleep. I downloaded my camera's photos and sniffed through the darling images of my sweet girl, hoping she was excited and ready for her first big day.

Soon after this, Sophia came in to find me, asking where Ellie was, and we both had a few tears together about missing our big sister. I then perked up and told her it was time to get ready for her friend's birthday party, and that really helped to get the mood back on track. Sophia ate breakfast, I took a shower, baby brother woke up, he ate, we headed out for the party. It was the best way to spend the morning, I was able to see good friends, Sophia was able to play with her favorite girls.
Later this afternoon Chris, Sophia and I marched back out to the bus stop and waited for the bus. I kept looking around the corner for it to show, and finally (10 minutes late) it arrived. Ellie bounded out, ran right for me and gave me the most amazing hug. I will never forget it! She was so happy! We walked hand in hand back to the house, and for the first time all day I realized that I was going to survive kindergarten.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

One month old

My little baby is one month old, and I am so happy to say we have made it through the month in one piece! It has been a crazy, sometimes tearful, blissful, TIRING month. We are making it through the baby fog, I think we will still have a few awkward months, but I am pleased that we are beginning to figure this little man out. For instance, he will sleep like a dream during the day in his swing. The swing is something my girls hated, but this little guy loves the swing. This has been a huge breakthrough. He is still only sleeping no more than 4 hours at a time at night, but we are hoping that longer stretches are around the corner.

I went back to church today after a month at home. I would have LOVED another week at home to rest and get myself together, but it was probably for the best that I went back. Church today was one of the hardest Sundays I have had since being called to be the primary president in this ward. When we came home from church I literally escaped to my room and had to take a nap, I was so frustrated, so tired, so weary of the day, I had to just put it behind me. I know that our work in primary is important, and we will get the help we need, but today was just horrible.

Tomorrow Ellie goes to school. ON A BUS. I have had many tearful moments about my firstborn, precious, tender, sweet, eldest daughter going to public school for the first time, but I think its going to be great for her, for me, and for Sophia. I just need to make it through her first day, then the first week. We need to get into a routine and I will feel better.

Speaking about feeling better, I am so anxious to get back to the gym. I am so ready to have my body back. (Or at least something that resembles my body) Post baby body is so yucky, and I am determined that this time next year, I will be prepping to run a race in October and feeling good again. It's amazing how much your body changes with each baby, and this time is no exception.

Chris is back in school. He went back last week, and already I am sensing that this year is going to be much more intense than last year. There is going to be MUCH more studying, and perhaps more time away from us, but I know Chris will do his best to balance med school and his family life. He has been amazing with us and the baby this past month.
All in all, not too bad. We are making it one day at a time. Next week we are excited to have family come into town to celebrate Gradon's blessing day. I know we will enjoy having family here to celebrate that special day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One Week

Before school starts. WHAT?! Yep. I have a soon to be Kindergartner. This is insane to me. My sweet Ellie is going to go to school, ride the bus, and be on her way to really growing up and leaving me behind. It's amazing how many mixed emotions I have about this, on one hand, she is READY to go to school. This kid has been reading for almost a year,  is a champ at math, and well, is quite honestly BORED out of her mind at home. Especially since baby brother came along and disrupted our whole summer flow. She is anxious about it, almost every day she tells me how much she is going to miss me, and asks what school will be like. Poor girl, she has inherited her mother's anxieties. I tell her in a cheerful voice how much fun she is going to have, the friends she will make, and how busy she will be, so busy she won't have time to miss me. Her evaluation went really well at school, all the teachers loved her and thought she was so cute and smart. ( I agree)  But, I do know how she feels inside, all too well. She and I are so alike, its scary sometimes, I know what she is thinking, and how she is worrying and wondering about the future. I am the same way. I am trying to encourage all the good thoughts, and keep her focusing on the big picture, but I can't blame her for how she feels, because I am just as anxious as she is for this new chapter in our lives. I hope it is going to be a wonderful adventure that we will take on together.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Leaf

If LAST week was amazingly hard and awful, TODAY was amazing. Let me explain a little bit about the last seven days with our sweet baby Gradon. Until last Tuesday Gradon was on a great pattern of eating, sleeping eating sleeping. He was even sleeping well at night! Well, then last Tuesday rolled around, and napping during the day was OUT! It was totally off Gradon's radar. The past 7 days we have had a very tired cranky baby, and two very worn out parents. In the evenings sometimes we would just hold him so he would sleep in our arms so he would get some kind of a nap, Monday night I cried myself to sleep thinking about how much I dreaded a new week, and Chris was going back to school this week! How was I going to cope!?? I was terrified.

Well, this morning Gradon slept until 9am, went back down without a fuss 2 hours later, slept for 2 hours in his bed, went back to sleep at 4pm, transfered easily to his car seat for Ellie's ballet class, and is STILL sleeping. It's almost like he wore himself out over the past week and now has decided that napping is great. I hope he continues to feel that way indefinitely. Gradon also lost his ambilical chord today and he had his first real bath which he LOVED. It's been a good day for us.

This morning the girls and I took some fun impromptu photos in the gorgeous light in my room. Sophia was especially wonderful today with our little man. Here are a few of my favorites:

Friday, August 13, 2010

2 weeks

Soooo. The past two weeks have gone as expected for a newborn. At the beginning, he slept like a dream, I had to wake him up to feed him, so that my milk would come in. At first I was worried that he wasn't going to be interested in breast feeding, he seemed so un interested! Then he 'woke up' and has been eating like a champ. Around 1 1/2 weeks old he decided that he didn't want to nap during the day. Poor Chris and I have tried everything; swaddling, rocking, holding, giving him a pacifier. Nothing was working. Sometimes Chris would hold him for 2 hours at a time, day or night with the hospital pacifier in his mouth, just hoping he would go to sleep. Little boy was up sometimes for 5 hours at a time without sleeping, and that made him so cranky, and us super frustrated and tired. I was constantly nursing him, every hour and a half during the day if he wasn't sleeping, and at night to get him to go to sleep, nursing him to calm him down. I worried that it was me, that my milk wasn't enough for him to keep him happy. We tried giving him a bottle occasionally, but that really never did anything productive, in fact he usually just vomited that right up.

We determined that this kid is just a little fussy, and we are just going to have to wait it out to improve. Last night was horrible. Baby boy has been sleeping so well up to this point at night, until last night when he was up every 2-3 hours. It was ugly. I woke up feeling very defeated and frustrated. What are we supposed to do?
SO. Today, a friend from church offered to watch the girls so that I could have a break and maybe get some sleep today. I didn't think I would actually get any sleep, but after round one of trying to get baby boy to sleep he actually slept in his crib for almost two hours. Then I thought about trying the nuk pacifier this afternoon. I could tell that he was tired, he fought me for a while and I rocked and nursed him and finally stuck the nuk pacifier in his mouth and had to walk away. I got in the shower and expected to get out hearing screaming.

When I got out of the shower, it was quiet. Still. NO SOUND. I peeked over into his bed and he was asleep, with pacifier in his mouth! Okay, this to me is a triumph. Who knows how long it will last, but I am so grateful that he is sleeping. Tomorrow may be a whole new issue, and different circumstances, but right now, the baby sleeps, and I have the Nuk to thank for this break.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa Enns

Came out for a fun visit and help with our our new baby boy. It was a lot of fun having them here. They came out a week before the expected arrival of Gradon, and were able to stay for a few days after his birth. We made a trip into Baltimore to the Science Center, visited the pool once, and enjoyed nights at home visiting and waiting for our baby. They were so much help with everything around the house, and the girls loved spending time with their grandparents. It is always a tearful goodbye for our kids when their grandparents leave (from either side) Ellie wants to go visit Grandma's house next summer and play in their pool and help her in the garden. She says that Grandma's house is so FUN. =) I agree, I hope we can get to CA next summer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nine years ago...

On August 4 2001, I married my best friend. I know people say that all the time, but truly, Chris IS, my best friend, and one of the most wonderful people I have ever known. For us, nine years equals 3 beautiful children, five different homes, four duty stations, one over seas tour, one MAJOR career change, coupled with moments of joy, triumph, sadness, hard work and satisfaction. A marriage is many things, but most importantly to me it is about joy and gratitude. I am so grateful for his amazing man I married, so grateful for the life we are building every day together. He is truly my 'best life'.

We spent our anniversary at home with the kids, Chris got me the most amazing bouquet of flowers, and we ate sushi at home. YUM. I baked an oreo chessecake. We mused how subdued the day was, considering the new  little force that entered our lives only six days before. It was so nice just to be home as a family, with life in order thinking back on the past together. I am so grateful for everything we have learned up to this point, and I am totally excited for what lies ahead.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gradon Cochran's Birth Story

Wednesday night, July 28th we went into the hospital for cervidil. I was admitted  to the hospital, feeling very uncertain about this choice. I was feeling very anxious and nervous about perhaps 'pushing' the date and being too impatient waiting for Gradon to arrive. I was only 2 days over due, but I had been feeling very uncomfortable and huge for a long time. Chris assured me that we were making a good choice, getting the ball rolling with the baby's delivery.

By 830pm the cervidil was inserted and doing it's work. I began to have contractions, and we were hoping this trend would continue. The nurse gave me some Ambien to help me sleep. At about 1030 things began to get difficult. The baby was not reacting well to the cervidil, having extreme drops in heart rate. The doc pulled the cervidil out and I continued to have contractions. When the doc checked my cervix at 10pm, after taking out the cervidil, I was only dilated to a 2 which was disheartening, but we were hopeful over the next few hours things would progress. At 315 am, my water broke. By 6am, my contractions were really intense, and I was ready for my epidural. It took well, and luckily only took one 'stick' to get it in correctly. (With Sophia it had taken 3 tries). I was able to relax and doze a bit.

By 10am I was ready for the doc to check me again and see about how things were going. I had been hoping she would be by around 8am, but things had been busy on the OB wing that day. When she finally checked me, there was no change! I was still at  2cm after 12 hours! Once I had gotten my epidural, my contractions had slowed way down, and unfortunately my cervix wasn't dilating. The doc recommended we start pitocin, and I agreed. From 10-1pm I was getting increased increments of pictocin every 15 minutes. The doctor predicted we would have a baby between 4-6pm.

At this point, my contractions were building, and I hoped things were finally progressing. I was feeling pretty discouraged at this point. With Ellie, from start to finish (water breaking to delivery) my labor had been just under 12 hours. With Sophia's induction, I labored for about four hours once my water had been broken and the pitocin had been started. At 10am Thursday morning I had already been at the hospital for 14 hours, and I was worried that my body was not going to dilate and I was going to have to have a c section.

Chris tried to reassure me, and I began to say little prayers inside my head that things would improve and we would have our baby safely without complications. Around 1pm I began to feel a lot of pressure, and told Chris I thought I needed to be checked. He found a nurse, and the nurse was skeptical I was fully dilated, but she agreed to check me. Sure enough, I was ready to go, fully dilated. The doc was still busy, delivering a c section baby and another vaginal birth right ahead of me. She came in at 130pm, and both the nurse and doc commented that the baby was still really high and it might take some work to get him down into the birth canal.

The doc wanted me to try pushing, so I pushed once, and the one push got him down where we needed him.  Second series of contractions came along, and we were working on getting him out. Third series of contractions came, and I could feel him wiggling around inside me, trying to get out. Sure enough, he popped his head out of me, and the doc had to tell me to wait to push again. By 146pm he was out! Both the nurse and doc were impressed at how quickly the delivery went, they both felt it would take much longer to push him out.

He was a big baby, 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Healthy cry, Daddy got to cut the chord, which was a first for him. =) I was thrilled to have my little boy safe in my arms. He was so cute and chubby when they placed him on me, I noticed how beautiful his face was, sweet full mouth, cute nose. I felt at peace and full of joy.