Monday, April 25, 2016

When Lars met Townes

For weeks leading up to the birth, I would play scenarios over and over in my head of what it would be like for Lars to meet his baby brother.  Would I give birth during the day and Lars would be awake for the whole thing? Would it be in the middle of the night and he'd sleep through the whole thing then awake to a baby brother? Well of course I knew deep down that I would have a middle of the night birth just like Lars but that didn't guarantee Lars would sleep though the whole thing.

Lars generally wakes up during the night and either comes and crawls in our bed or wants someone to come lay with him for a minute or two. So when my water broke at 930 my mind went racing about what to do if he woke up and I was in the middle of labor.  Luckily my aunt was headed over to help out with that exact situation.

Being that the birth lasted all of an hour and 20 minutes, Lars slept like an angel through the entire thing.  I'm really thankful for this.  I don't have calm peaceful births, they are fast and furious and Lars would not like seeing his mama in pain and screaming.  It would have been a pretty traumatic experience I think for him if he were to witness it.

Once Townes arrived and everyone was cleaned up and in bed (about 1 AM) our midwives left, my aunt stayed the night and my mom arrived around 2 AM from Lake Charles.  Poor mom, she can never make it in time for my record fast births.  We had just turned the lights off and were going to try and get some sleep when I heard footstep running down the hall.  Deep down I was so excited and I didn't care that it was 2 in the morning. I couldn't wait for Lars to meet Townes.

Lars crawled in bed with us, right in the middle like always and was dozing off when Townes, who was laying on my chest started making some grunting noises and sighs.  Lars, barely awake, would look over at me with his eyes half open and then nod back off to sleep.  Then, Townes let our a pretty big newborn sigh and Lars rolled over and looked at me in the dark room and said, 'mama, what was that ughhhhhhhhh sound?' I put my arm around him and said, 'your baby brother arrived while you were sleeping.'

Lars jumped up in bed, yelled for Bob to turn on the lights and when he did, the look on Lars' face was nothing but pure pure joy and excitement.  He was so ecstatic.  I will never ever forget his face.  Once he realized that the baby was laying on my chest he leaned over and hugged Townes and gave him a thousand kisses.  My heart was exploding.  (my goal was to capture this moment on video but like most things in didn't work out as planned. )  But it was the most beautiful moment of my entire life and it was just the four of us.  It was really perfect.

(the first kisses)

After Lars covered Townes in kisses, he yelled for my aunt to come and see his baby brother and then he dashed out of the room to go find a toy to give Townes. I was in tears. He came back with a tiny baby blanket that was his when he was a baby and of course a dinosaur. Things felt very perfect and complete.

Since that day Lars has been the best big brother in the world.  He hates when Townes cries and suggest that I take him in the other room or give him some milk but other than that he is so precious with Townes and adores him.  I have to limit him kissing and hugging him.

Lars waited for a very long time for his baby brother to arrive and although I think Lars expected Townes to come out crawling and able to play, he has taken to his role as big brother so wonderfully.  We couldn't be prouder of him.  Lars makes my heart swell with how loving he is.  I"m sure there will come a day when they are driving each other crazy so I'm going to soak up all this love while I can.

Townes first morning with his big brother

my precious boys...all of them :) 

this is what my mornings look like.  i may be exhausted but this makes it all worth it

Monday, April 11, 2016

A birth story

This is Townes Authement-Keates.  He a) obviously couldn't wait to arrive and b) didn't have an official name for a day or two because well.....because I just knew he was a girl.

After weeks of ridiculous false labor pains and contractions and days of being certain that today was the day, Townes arrived on Friday, April 8 at 10:55 PM at 37 weeks and 4 days.  Friday was strangely not a day I felt like things were going to happen.  Funny how that works out.

I woke up Friday morning and decided to stay home.  Bob didn't have to go into court and I had been having a few light 'false' contractions early that morning and was tired.  We brought Lars to his little gym class and Bob and I stopped in at Starbucks for a bit to both get some work done.  We picked Lars up, grabbed some mexican food with friends for lunch and headed home.  I was actually feeling pretty good and it just ended up being a lovely lovely day (which I'm really grateful for now).  We all played together outside, made some special treats, set up the tent in the backyard and got a few things ready for baby.  It was just a really peaceful and sweet day and maybe it was intuition but I remember just really cherishing all the little moments that were happening.

Later in the night Bob gave Lars a bath and I laid in bed with him, we read books and I sung him to sleep (like any other night).  I gave him some sweet kisses and like every night for the week prior I stared at him and soaked in this precious angel of a boy because I kept thinking it may be our last night as a family of 3.

I decided to take a bath.  I was laying in the tub reading Amy Poehler's Yes Please when I heard and felt the infamous POP.  I did not have that with Lars but I knew.  I've heard lots of women talk about it.  I stood up and waited to see if it really was my water breaking.  It was.  I panicked just like I did when my water broke for Lars.  I have this moment of panic where I'm overcome with self doubt and feeling completely not ready to do it.  I walked into the living room and told Bob, "hey, my water broke" he smiled and walked over and I started crying and leaned into him and told him I was scared and didn't know if I could do it.  He of coursed was so loving and perfect and reassured me that I had this and that everything was going to be OK.

I asked Bob to call my mom and my aunt.  I called our midwife and got dressed.  I told her my water broke at 9:15 PM, she asked if I had started any contractions which I hadn't at that time.  She told me to let her know when I start contracting and she would head over.  She was aware of Lars' quick birth and was planning on heading to the house as soon has contractions started.  I hung up and within 2 minutes had a contraction.  This was at 9:33 PM.  I called her back and told her to head on over.  From then on my contractions were 2 minutes apart and were incredibly intense.  I think part of me was in a bit of denial...actually Bob and I both were. Surely things could not have been moving this quickly.

At 10 PM I was in transition.  Throwing up, cursing and telling Bob there's no way I'm up for this again.  I had a contraction at 10:02 and felt very pushy.  Bob called our midwife and said Ashley needs to push! June let Bob know that she was on the dirt road and 3 minutes away.  Y'all....this baby was coming and was NOT wasting any time.

I was completely exhausted and was unable to wrap my head around how fast things were going.  June arrived in the middle of a contraction.  I was in the kitchen hanging on the kitchen island.  She checked the heart beat and had to keep moving the stethoscope lower and lower.  She finally found it and looked up at me and said, Ashley this baby is so slow and ready.  The baby may have been ready but I did not feel ready to be at this point and by this point I mean pushing.  I hate pushing. I hate it so much.  It's so incredibly painful and hard.

We moved to the guest room and I found myself just trying to find a position that was comfortable which is nearly impossible at this point. I tried hanging on the yoga ball, being on all fours, laying down.  Nothing was working.  June checked me and reassured me that I was completely dilated and ready to push whenever I felt ready. It was about 10:15 PM at this point.  Only 45 minutes from the time I had my first contraction.

I had a contraction in the guest room and was certain I had to poop and wanted to go to the bathroom.  June kept telling me that it probably wasn't poop but just pressure from the baby.  I knew this.  When I was birthing Lars I kept telling our midwife that the baby was trying to come out of my ass.  I was serious.

June suggested I try getting in the bathtub which didn't sound overly comforting but to be honest nothing did at this point.  I got in the water, reluctantly pushed 4 times, dropped a few curse words, screamed for someone to 'GET IT OUT!" and then had a baby on my chest one hour and 20 minutes after my first contraction.

I kept asking what 'it' was.  I mean I guess I didn't think I had the permission to check and see if this baby was a boy or a girl because I just kept asking.  I finally looked up at Bob with tears in my eyes and said, what is it?? He reached over and pulled a leg up and there was a penis! I have never been so completely shocked and floored in my entire life.  I said, "why is there a penis?" I wasn't upset, I was confused.  I was 100% certain that there was a girl in there this whole time. The most beautiful surprise in the world.

Our lovely midwifes got everyone all cleaned up and comfortable. And were headed home by 1 AM.  It was such a whirlwind and so stinking quick. I couldn't believe that a baby had arrived in less than an hour and a half.  I'm so glad we opted for a homebirth because the only other option would have been a car birth.  We wouldn't have had time to make it anywhere else.

The next post will be the most adorable post about my 2 precious baby boys meeting for the first time.  Have some tissues ready!!!!

his big brother picked this outfit out for him.....dinosaurs!!!!

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