Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nori's Birth Story

The night before Nori was born, that last thing on our minds was the thought that we could have a baby the next day. She wasn't due for almost 3 more weeks which seemed like forever! So yeah, we still  hadn't done a thing to get ready. We hadn't bought diapers, we didn't have clothes, (I made the mistake of giving all my girl clothes away after having Cam) We didn't even have car seat to bring her home in! But my babies never come early, so instead of getting stuff ready..
Taber and the girls camped outside in the igloo! (see previous post
Taber didn't get much sleep, but who needs sleep? It's not like we were going to have a baby the next day… 

The next morning was business as usual,  Cam made breakfast...
And the girls and I headed down to my sister's house for my niece's birthday party. I was planning on running errands during the kiddie party to get ready for the masquerade work party that me and Taber were going to that night,  but I was feeling super tired so I just sat on my sister's couch and watched the festivities. 

While I was sitting there I adjusted my position and suddenly felt a little gush of liquid. I stood up and told my sister, "Um I think just peed my pants." (Pregnant ladies pee their pants sometimes, it's cool.)

My sister (whose water broke before) looked at me and said, "No, I bet your water broke." I just laughed. In my mind I was like, "My water never breaks on it's own. My baby isn't due for almost 3 more weeks. I have a party to go to. I just peed my pants."

I got up to go the bathroom and noticed some spotting in my underwear. For a split second I was like, "wait a second, DID my water break?" But I didn't feel any contractions, so I continued my state of denial and went back to the couch. When the party got over my sister offered to keep the girls at her house so I could go to the hospital. Her gut told her I was having a baby that night.  I said she was being ridiculous and loaded them up in the car for the 45 minute drive home. 

My sister's gut feeling did have me a little nervous though. What if I went into labor on the drive home? Maybe I should call Taber... No, that would stress him out. It's fine, I'm not having a baby.

I did have one pretty strong contraction on the drive home but that was it. Naomi's gut feeling was obviously a false alarm, so we stopped at the party store to look for masks for the masquerade party that night. 

While we were at the party store Brinley said she had to go potty so we all crowded into the bathroom and since we were all in there, we all went. When it was my turn I noticed a lot more spotting in my underwear. Suddenly my gut started sharing feelings with Naomi's gut…I did a quick internet search on my phone to see what it means when your water breaks. All the results indicated I would most likely be having a baby within the next 48 hours. Oh snap!

When we got home Taber asked how the party was and if the babysitter was still on for that night. I told him the party was great, and that we should definitely still have the babysitter come. Then I said, "Also I don't want to alarm you, but I think we're going to have a baby in the next 48 hours."

Taber's eyes got huge and his breathing started to accelerate. 
"What do you mean? What does that mean?! What do we have to do? Oh my gosh nothing's ready!" 
 He started running around the house looking for…I'm not sure what, a hospital bag maybe? Yeah, we hadn't packed one yet.    

I told him to calm down and that I wasn't in labor yet, I wasn't even having contractions! I said we could still go to the party and see if labor started on it's own. He wasn't having any of that. He wanted to call the doctor. So I did, just to show him that everything was fine. The doctor said to come to the hospital so we could take a test to see if my water had really broken. I started to think we might not be going to the masquerade party that night. 

Our neighbors came over to watch the kids until the babysitter got there. I was glad we at least already had a babysitter lined up for the night. When we got to the hospital I didn't even bring in my bag because I figured we would take the test, everything would be fine, and they would send us home. 

Not the case. The test came back positive that my water did indeed break. "So does that mean we have to stay?" I asked the nurse. "yes ma'am!" She said, "You're having this baby tonight!"
And that's when things got real.

They started an IV and got some pitocin going. I tell you what, when your water has already broken, and you've already birthed 3 babies it doesn't take much pitocin to get the party started. 30 minutes after they started the IV I felt my first contraction. OW!!! My body wasn't messing around. 2 minutes later came the next one. OW!! One after another every 2 minute they came. Big, body wrenching, eyeball bursting, sledge hammer contractions …15 minutes later I was like, "OKAY PEOPLE IT'S EPIDURAL TIME!" 

Just a note, you should really never wait until you NEED an epidural to ask for one, since it still takes them at last 30 minutes to get the anesthesiologist in there to give it to you. By the time he got in there I was in tears. Luckily experience had taught me that despite the way they felt, the contractions would not actually kill me, so I only cried silent "this hurts." tears and not frantic, "I'M GOING TO DIE!" tears. 

The epidural went in and each contraction hurt less and less. Oh the sweet beautiful relief of a blessed epidural!! Praise whoever invented that glorious cocktail of goodness!

15 minutes after the epidural my OB came in and told the nurses to turn up the pitocin, put me in stirrups and get ready to push. I was like, What? Reeally? It's pushing time already? How far am I even dilated? 

The nurse went to check and was like, "Whoa! there's the head!" And then it got all crazy in there. The doctor started barking orders while the nurses ran around suiting him up in his baby catching gear, getting the cart ready, and telling me not to push. 

"I'm not pushing, but the baby is coming!!"
"Wait!" Said the doctor.
 Out came her little head.

"Stop!" he said.
The cord was wrapped twice around her neck.
"Sorry Dad, you're not going to be able to cut this one." he told Taber
Taber was like, "do what you gotta do Doc."
 The Doc did some ninja moves and her neck was free.

One more push and the rest of her came out.
6 lbs 1oz and 18 inches of perfection.
From the first contraction till that peanut was in my arms was about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Not too shabby.

We did it!

When we went into the hospital my favorite name was Kensington, but when we looked at this girl we knew she was a Nori. 
Nori Ke'alohi Rigg

Oh my we were smitten!

Naomi's family came to visit the next day.

And so did some neighbors and friends. Grandma Karen even flew in last minute even though her original baby visit flight was scheduled for several weeks later. She just couldn't wait. 

The girls came to see her and it was love at first sight.

Cam wasn't too impressed. 
He wouldn't even look at her without some bribery from the iPad and a popsicle.

Family of 6! (Cam was still working on warming up to her.)

Mommy and her girls. 

First diaper change goes to Daddy!

He didn't mind. Anything for his princess.

Even though she was early and a tiny little thing, she still had the most scrumptious little cheeks. 

Welcome to the world baby Nori!

You are perfectly perfect in every way.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Night in the Igloo

When you've got Alaskan blood running through your veins it's not enough to simply build an igloo, 

you've got to sleep in it too. 

So on January 24th, when the weather had warmed up to the low 20's, Taber and the girls bundled up for a night in their snowy fortress. 

 It's not every night you get to put on snow pants to go to bed!

 Taber made sure the girls were as bundled up as they could be.

Despite the whipping winds outside they were snug as a bug in the igloo.

They FaceTimed me to say goodnight and assured me they were plenty warm. 

 With their winter hats, sub zero mummy sleeping bags, and down comforter how could they not be?
The night went pretty well as far as winter camping goes. Taber didn't sleep much because he kept checking on the girls to make sure they were warm and still breathing…At one point Teya had to go to the bathroom but no one wanted to leave the igloo so she peed in a plastic bag which turned into a yellow slushy by morning. (sorry no pictures… ;) It was pretty adventurous. 

The next day they woke up bright and smiley!

 Daddy made them oatmeal and hot chocolate and they ate their breakfast in bed. 

 All in all it was a huge success! These girls made their Alaskan papa proud.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mommy/Daughter/Niece Date at the AG Doll Store

When Teya got her new Kanani Doll for Christmas I promised I would take her and Brinley to the American Girl Doll store in downtown Chicago to get their doll's hair done and have a girls day out. I knew that being super duper pregnant would make the outing somewhat challenging, but I also knew that it would be even harder with a baby, so 5 days before Nori was born, I dropped Cam off with Auntie Naomi, picked up Brooklyn, and took the girls downtown. 

 They were so happy and excited to be there!

We started off with some snacks at the cafe

 And enjoyed chatting and having girl time 
(Photo cred goes to Brooklyn for this pic, not bad for a 5 year old!)

We spent the afternoon checking out all the adorable (and ridiculously expensive) American Girl doll accessories with a museum like approach, (look, don't touch, cuz money doesn't grow on trees people!) Luckily the girls didn't care that we weren't buying anything, they were just happy to be together. 

And to discover neat things like the doll holders in the bathrooms. (Brinley seriously thought those were the coolest things ever.)

The highlight though was taking their dolls to the doll hair salon.

They watched with rapt attention as their dolls got fancy new dos.

 I, of course, could have done the dolls hair for free... but somehow it's just not as cool when Mommy does stuff. :) 
They also exchanged the shirts Grandma Karen got them for Christmas for sizes that fit a little better, so with new shirts and fancy doll hair they were all feeling pretty awesome. 

And I guess I was feeling a little awesome too, for braving frigid weather, Chicago traffic, and hours of waddling around a doll store 9 months pregnant. It was all worth it to see these smiles. Love these cute girls with all my heart!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Big Mama at the Bulls game!

The last week of pregnancy isn't my favorite. I get so big and uncomfortable and pretty much just feel like hibernating in my pajamas and avoiding all contact with the outer world.  But a week before Nori was born Taber scored some tickets to a Bulls game, and that was exciting enough to convince big mama to put on some clothes and get out of the house. 
The weather outside was frightful, but inside the Untied Center was one big party.

 It felt so good to be out of the house! I even let the Chicago Bull take a photo op with Big Mama.

Those Bulls put on a good show, when the flying bull blimp started cruising around the arena I was like, "This is awesome!"
 Naomi and Kevin came with us and we had a good old time. The Bulls were destroying the 76ers, so there wasn't a question of whether or not they would win, but they have a deal with McDonalds that if the Bulls score over 100 points, everyone at the game gets a free Big Mac! When the score starting climbing into the 90's the whole crowd started chanting, "BIG MAC! BIG MAC!!" Every basket they scored set the crowd on fire as we got one point closer to greasy goodness on a bun. With seconds to spare, the Bulls sunk the last basket that tipped us over 100. The whole arena exploded!!

The cheerleaders ran laps with giant Big Macs on a stick. Everyone was going NUTS!! It was awesome!

Totally worth shedding my pajamas and getting out of the house!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Camden Turns 3!!

In January our little Cammer turned 3!
This was a a pretty big birthday for him because when you turn 3 you graduate from the early intervention program.

The Friday before his birthday he said goodbye to his amazing occupational and speech therapists, Ms. Karen and Ms. Allie. I definitely shed some tears saying goodbye to these wonderful women. Ms Allie especially had a huge impact on his life. She gave him his first words, and opened the door to communication for him. She taught him to say "Mama," and "Yes!" and "help!" Those words did not come easy, she worked with him for months, but the first time he said them we jumped for joy. She truly loved him, and he knew it. 

 With the early intervention program behind him, Cam's next step was to continue his therapy through the school district, so on his birthday, he started his first day of preschool!

Bus driver Ron came to our house to pick him up. He'd never gone anywhere without mama or daddy, so it was pretty hard loading him on that bus and waving goodbye!

I was so nervous that I actually followed the bus to the school so I could greet him when he got off. He was all smiles! Ron said he was singing the whole time!

His teacher Mrs. Juergens helped him off the bus and took him into his classroom.

I got a sneak peak before the kids got there and it looked like a a great place for learning. His class was the special education class, so there were only 6 kids and 3 teachers. He also would still have sessions with a speech and occupational therapists each day. 
After school his teacher called me to say he had a great first day! I couldn't be happier for our birthday boy. 

When he got home he took a nap, and then he woke up and discovered his birthday decorations which he was pretty excited about. He kept shouting, "IT'S THOMAS!!"

When Daddy came home from work we played pin the whistle on Thomas.

Then we had birthday cake and ice cream

It was a simple celebration but perfect for Cam. He doesn't like big crowds or lots of noise so a cozy family party was just how he likes it. 

Besides, his cake had a Thomas the Train on top…What more could he ask for? :)