Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

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Wednesday, March 27

Why Not? Lucy Flashback (October 2011)

Seriously, why not?

Once upon a time, Lucy was six months old and SERIOUSLY cute. She was just past her colic phase and finally the baby of my dreams, and the time came to pass for her to have her first solid foods. And I took photos of the occasion, as I always do. And then life got busy with client work, as life in October always does. And these photos never saw the light of day. 

But I love them. 

And I remembered them recently. 

So I dug them out of the archives, Lightroom edited them (oh how I adore Lightroom)... and voila! Some flashback photos I adore of Lucy at age 6 months, eating her first baby food-- avocado mixed with baby oatmeal cereal. 

Try not to swoon at her pure loveliness, or get too lost in those big blue eyes. Or just simply die a little at how tiny and young and WEE she is in these images:







So strange to think that this was nearly 1.5 years ago. Even stranger to think that this will happen in this house again in less than FOUR MONTHS.

Lessons to be taken from this:

Oh my, the time really DOES fly. People aren't making it up when they tell you the days are long but the years are short. 

Babies, especially, are not babies for very long. Time to sink back into my Quinn's baby smell and squishy helplessness and stop trying to stretch my wings too far too fast with him... He's only this tiny for a bit longer. 

While it's not ideal that I take photos that are never seen again, what a gift to myself and to my family that at least I TAKE THE PHOTOS. Someday, maybe, I'll get better at finishing the process. But for now, at least the moments get captured. 

So there. Random. Happy Lucy. Who is turning TWO in a couple of weeks. Who suddenly looks OLDER and DIFFERENT. Who is racing to catch up with Noah as fast as she can... while I hold onto her hard and try to keep her little as long as I can. 

*sigh*

Natsukashii.

Thursday, March 21

She's Been Under The Weather....


But has been in good spirits this evening.

*
(and yes, I used the "big camera." For once.)

Tuesday, March 19

Quinn's 1 and 2 Month Photos

February 18, 2013:





March 18, 2013:



I didn't think he looked that different until I saw these side-by-side... How much can change in 4 weeks.... Slowly and steadily, he becomes more himself.

*

Monday, March 18

Erin's Photos

Gloomy, chilly Monday. Blech. 

Plus side: 
Joe and Noah are home. Wahoo!

Plus side: 
Quinn is snuggling my shoulder after his 2-month dr. visit.

Plus Side:
I got a hot shower today.

Plus Side: 
Looking back at the tender, quiet photos my friend Erin Duggin took for me while Quinn was still freshly born and we were at the hospital.  These seven were the the set she showed me right away. (I confess she took more, but I've misplaced the disc. Something to look forward to when it turns up? Gotta stay positive!!)








Oh that sweet smile in his solo shot. Oh the quiet dad/son picture at the end...

Thanks, Erin. A million times over. Thanks. These are so special to me. 

*

Thursday, March 14

The Evening Dance



Life sure knows how to throw curve balls, so in the midst of our little family working on learning the "new normal" around here, we received the news that Joe's sweet grandfather, Earl Tanner, had passed away. Though it was not entirely unexpected, it was still sudden.... but luckily we had the option to get Joe out to Utah in time for the funeral. Even more special, Noah was able to go with him. So all of a sudden, our uneventful week looked entirely different. 

Joe and Noah left on Wednesday and will be gone for several days. And while I am so grateful he is able to be there for his family and to celebrate his grandfather, I confess I've had more than one "Deep breath, Emily--- you can do this alone!" moments.

There is nothing like NOT having my husband home to reinforce in the biggest way HOW MUCH I rely on him. How amazing he is at making our life balanced... helping me be a better mom. Filling our home with his strength and calm and selflessness. 

And so I'm missing him. a LOT. The hardest time of day for me, so far, has been dinnertime--- that evening stretch when Joe would normally be coming home from work, taking a kid or two in his arms-- even before taking off his shoes or coat-- and reenergizing the whole group of us who have been at home all day orbiting around each other and slowly wearing out from it. It's a crazy time of day, to be sure--- 5 of us, three of whom are particularly loud and demanding-- gathered in the dining room and kitchen while one parent works on dinner and dishes and chores... the other holding Quinn and/or distributing crayons/paper/markers/play doh/sippy cups/etc. to the other two... usually some kind of music playing.... It's crazy, but it's become a kind of dance: smooth passing of baby to the other parent, one picking up where the other left off.... One parent swooping down to Lucy-level when she trips and falls or loses a toy or other Lucy-crisis...It's messy and loud and not at all easy. But it's a dance I've come to appreciate. Love, even? 

Best part is that quite often, it becomes a LITERAL dance... Hence the video clips up top. Because we're always playing some kind of music, more often than not Noah or Lucy will begin dancing and there it is--- as if that dinnertime stretch couldn't get MORE chaotic, suddenly everyone is dancing and come to think of it, it's like a jump-cut to our own personal Southerland version of the Harlem Shake. It's awesome. 

So the last two nights, and for a few more to come, it feels more than a little empty. Even with three out of five of us left here, it just isn't the same. So for now I'm in "survival mode".... trying to boil down my already simplified routines to even more simple versions... and appreciating just how much my Joe makes a difference in our days. Noah, too, of course. I miss both those stinkers. 

But we're doing okay. I'm weirdly proud of every successful hour I manage this alone. I'm, by necessity, living moment to moment, and somehow it's made it easier to stay mindful AND GRATEFUL in those moments. I'm surprised I've only really had one mini-personal-meltdown so far in the last 36 hours. Yay, me!

Still... I can't promise that I'll be this zen forever, so hurry home, my love. I miss you terribly.

Saturday, March 9

Seven Weeks: Anyone Else Fall Apart At This Point?

I write blog posts in my head. All the time. Sometimes ones that are (I like to think) pithy and deep and observant about the lovely, fleeting things of life. Sometimes just rants or life observations. Lately, I have been in-my-head-writing "reports" on how life has been going with a new baby and the end of winter and the two other kids around.

But they only make it past my thought-writing stage, and then... with the latest round of baby-soothing-holding-taking-up-two-arms, the latest OMG-we-have-mice crisis... the latest I-will-sit-and-do-nothing-useful-since-I-finally-have-a-moment decision....Well, those thought-out blog posts are gone. Past relevant, or more often just completely forgotten. I only have so many brain cells in use, and they have to be applied toward keeping the children fed and living. With about 10% of them reserved for keeping my work stuff from totally falling apart.

I'd type while I nurse, but that either means using my iPhone (oh that it the WORST when I want to really write and blurt and type...THE WORST.)... Or finagling this absurd system at my desktop where the desk just so conveniently does NOT fit with the Boppy, so I have to maneuver the keyboard at a teetery angle on top of a squishy boppy, try not to conk the baby's head, and keep the desk keyboard drawer from spontaneously sliding shut. It's a nightmare. Not worth it. (Though I'm doing it right now, because I am losing my mind today already, so what's a little war with the stupid keyboard and drawer gonna do to make it worse?)

So here I am.... tiny personal fall-aparts and crises and things-so-awful-it-becomes-hilarious happening over the last few weeks... mostly just me being a naturally emotional, but now-hormone-enhanced gal who needs to vent and let off the steam, but can't because of iPhone typing and keyboard drawer-shutting and baby-holding and mice-fighting. 

And I can't blog about it to self-soothe.... So my Crazy just increases a bit more each time I can't let it out. 

Ha. "Self-soothe". That fell out of my brain just now and I almost deleted it--- sounded so "babyish"--- but I stopped and realized-- that's exactly what writing does for me. Self-soothing. Like a binky or a thumb for a baby.... A blankie for a toddler... This blog-writing calms me. Settles me. Lets some of the hurt and unknowing and worry out... gets me back to center. 

And I'd journal it... but writing is even slower than my awful typing if you can believe it. And there is something to be said for those few comments that dear ones leave that are like little lifelines.... helping me get a few more inches I can't get to on my own. 

So I was gonna blog that Quinn is 7 weeks. And this was the same time when I came here to confess that Lucy was a colicky baby. And I went back and skimmed that old post and a few of the first comments... and it had me in tears. because while I don't think Quinn is COLICKY, he is definitely "high needs", as my friend Jaime put it about her own babies. And he's pretty predictable... we can "fix" the problem pretty easily when he's crying. But the fact is, he still cries. A lot more than I suspect many babies do. Tender mercy: he also sleeps really well at night. And also in the day as long as he's being held.Thank heaven for not being completely sleep-deprived!

But the fact is.... this is hard. And today, the seven-week itch must be hitting, because this is when I remember hitting a really rough personal spot with Lucy, and today has just been CRAP for me emotionally. 

So now... with the juggling of the keyboard and the baby's head and I'm kinda a basket case anyway with no cohesive conclusions.... guess it's best to just stop this ridiculous attempt at blogging today. If anyone is still reading, you're probably like SUPER lost by now, because I don't think I have made any kind of sense throughout, so let me just summarize in bullet points:

  • Quinn is seven weeks old
  • Quinn is fussy and needy
  • I have had a crappy morning so far because of this
  • I don't get the luxury of blog-venting about any of it because Quinn is fussy and needy
  • Catch 22
  • I might be losing my mind
  • I *think* I'll get it back. Probably in another 2 months.
  • Time to sign off and go cry. At least I can cry with my hands full. 

Love, 

Me

P.S. Thanks but no thanks on asking me about post-partum depression. If you know me, you know what the deal is there. If you know me but don't remember what the deal is, you can go back and read some of it with the Lucy Era (April-October 2011). If you don't know me, trust me, it's been/being addressed. Sadly, most of this crazy-talking nonsense is pure Emily. With or without hormones.

Thursday, March 7

At the Hospital: Quinn's First Days





And a few in the windowsill of our hospital room, Day 2, with his sweet bruise-y face, still so new....




*

Sunday, March 3

And Quinn Came to Our Family: Birth Story

The Birth Tale:

If birth stories are not your thing, you are not hurting my feelings if you skip this one. It's not especially gory or juicy or anything, but it IS about cervix-dilation and placentas and such. If even reading those two phrases makes you shudder and cringe, that might be your sign to move along... 

But if you're a birth story junkie like me, here ya go. I've finally got it written and documented. 

*

It was a darkkkk and storrrrrmy night.....

Okay, no. But I don't have a solid way to begin this tale, so we'll just dive in. I was pregnant. VERY pregnant. For most of the end of pregnancy I was convinced my little guy would stay put and not come early... There were just no big signs that he was eager to come out. But then, without warning, a few days before my due date, the contractions started. And stayed. I began paying attention. On Monday the 14th of Jan., I had a dr. appt and they very nearly sent me into the hospital for a slightly elevated blood pressure and some swelling. My doc ended up letting me go home, but said he wanted to see me in 3 more days for me to keep an eye on possible issues with headaches and swelling and such. I went home, relieved but pretty sure this baby had decided this was the week. Just in case, I packed my bags.

On Wednesday, Jan. 16th, after a night of pretty consistent contractions, I started the day SURE that I'd end it in the hospital. But as they often do, right when I began to think I could count on the buggers, the contractions stopped. My next dr. appt was the next day, Thursday the 17th, in the afternoon. I decided that when I went, I'd tell my doc I was ready to just head to the hospital and begin the induction he'd offered me on Monday that I had turned down. I was tired of the poor sleep I'd been getting and tired of the failed anticipations-- the ups and downs of counting minutes and timing contractions. My parents arranged their plans so they could be in town by midnight, and I hastily set up other babysitters to cover the gap from my dr. appt. at 3:30pm til midnight when my parents would arrive. Then I headed to the appointment. 

When my doctor checked me, I had made some clear and obvious progress from my Monday appointment, where I'd barely been dilated to a 2. Now, Thursday afternoon, I was a very ready 4, and my doctor was more than happy to call the hospital and see if they could get me in. As much as I was ready to just go and begin this process, the L&D nurses at the hospital ended up telling my doc that they'd put me on the morning call list and would have me come in then. As I headed home, once again NOT having my baby, I decided to let our evening babysitter still take our kiddos, so Joe and I could get one more evening together to wrap up some loose ends and just hold hands and get ready for the coming day. I confess, as ready as I was to just get started in the labor process, I was more than a little but relieved to get one more night with Joe and then to get to tuck in my kiddos for their bedtimes...one more night to give them extra snuggles and kisses on the eve of our life changing. 

So the kids hung out with our friend Jessica and her two daughters at their gymnastics practice, and Joe and I went to Target to get a few things, then go to dinner. And somewhere between the doctor's office at 3:00pm and Target at 5:00pm, my contractions started up again. I was shocked at how hard it was, suddenly, to walk my usual way. Holding Joe's arm like we were going to prom, I kept apologizing to him that I had to walk so gingerly and slow through the aisles of Target. I laughed at myself, but it was really different. He didn't mind, and kept telling me to take as long as I needed. We shuffled through our shopping list and then headed to Red Lobster for dinner. During that short drive, Joe asked if maybe we should go ahead and time the contractions that were now getting stronger. I nodded through one and we began. It was soon clear that they were steady and consistent at 10 minutes apart. 

At Red Lobster, I remember telling Joe I was so frustrated that these things would start up again NOW-- now that we had a plan in place, were trying to enjoy our last evening of freedom, and were looking forward to some snuggle time with Noah and Lucy. But there they were-- time-able and increasingly painful contractions, all throughout dinner. As soon as we got home, I made a beeline for the tub, willing a hot bath to slow things down and get me through the night so I could sleep and be ready for induction in the morning. Meanwhile, the kids were returned home, we had our bedtime rituals and I did manage some snuggling... but there were big pauses to breathe through pain, too. 

At this point, Joe and I just wanted to make it til my parents arrived at midnight. We settled in to watch TV, and I was able to doze for about 1.5 hours curled up next to Joe. I'd groggily wake every 7-13 minutes when a new contraction would start, and murmur that I was having one. He'd mark the time on his iTouch and I'd go back to sleep. Finally, FINALLY my parents arrived, 1:00am, and Joe trudged upstairs to try to get some sleep while I talked things over with my folks and told them I might not make it til the morning. I fell asleep about 1:30am. I slept fitfully for 2 hours or so, waking with each contraction and half-consciously riding the wave of pain til I could doze off again. By about 3:20am, I could tell, even half-asleep, that they were ramping up in strength, turning a corner into something more serious. I was not going to be able to sleep again. I quietly got up and began those last-minute things to get ready: fresh comfy clothes, hair combed and bandanna put on, adding toiletries to the hospital bag, checking the packing list one more time, adding a little thing here, another one there, getting my shoes on... All between pretty painful contractions, coming about 6-7 minutes apart. All while trying to delay the inevitable and let my poor Joe sleep a little bit longer. When I couldn't wait any longer, I woke Joe and woke my dad. They groggily answered the call to action and Joe and I were on the road to the hospital by 4:00am.

As we took the 20-minute drive (though I think Joe made it in 12!), the sitting-down-can't-move-much car contractions REALLY REALLY hurt. I turned to Joe and told him that though it felt like I was copping out, I think I'd decided to go ahead and ask for the epidural as soon as I got there. In my mind, you got to the hospital and gave it a good span of time for things to get going before you gave in to the epidural... but I was hurting. I was ready now. 

We arrived and shuffled slowly and haltingly to the L&D floor. I maintained my composure through the check-in questions, which seemed to take HOURS, but really only took maybe 5 minutes. Finally we were led to a room and I could stop pretending I wasn't hurting. 4:27-- last time I was going to look like this:


I was all too ready to get gowned up and checked... I knew as soon as we got that nonsense out of the way, I could ask for an epidural and we could relax for a minute. 


The nurse came in and the first thing she did was check my progress- I was a 6-almost-7. 
Holy crap. 

I'd NEVER made it this far on my own before. No WONDER it hurt! The nurse laughed and said I was NOT being a baby to be ready for an epidural already. She promised to hurry though the check-in questions and procedures so we could get one ordered. I guess she was hurrying, but with an IV to be put in, blood pressure to be taken, and a trillion medical history questions to be asked and answered through VERY painful and frequent contractions, it took AGES to get the anesthesia order placed. An hour after settling into the hospital room, she makes the call. I am dying and SO READY. The next 15 minutes spent waiting for the epidural cart were the longest, and I began to employ Joe in some relief techniques with each contraction. It felt FAR better to be standing up than sitting or lying down, and the most effective pain management was for Joe to stand behind me grasping one of my shoulders hard while digging his knuckles into the small of my back. I'd push away from him and we had this finely balanced pressure push/pull for the duration of the contraction where all I could do was mutter, "To the left." or "harder".... And then the contraction would fade, he would let go, and I would have a couple of minutes to rest and wait and try not to watch the clock. 
 

5:45 am, and we finally heard the blessed cheerful voice of the anesthesiologist lady as she rolled in the room on a wave of hope and promise of relief. The worst part of epidurals is having to hold completely still during the process, though you are writhing in unbearable contraction pain. I found that moaning into a pillow helped. The nurse was an incredible coach during those 10 minutes, too, and I distractedly wondered if I could hire her to be my doula next time... she just KNEW how to coach and what tone of voice to use for breathing and coping. Somehow I made it to the end of the procedure without jarring the needles loose. 

The anesthesiologist started the epidural with a good strong initial dose, so it was barely 5 minutes before I began feeling a significant lessening of the pain. By 6:00am I was feeling GREAT. And TIRED. The nurse and the anesthesiologist rolled out of the room and the nurse turned the lights low, telling us to get some rest. Joe was only too happy to comply, and after asking if I was okay if he slept a bit, he reclined the guest chair and was out like a light. 


From 6:00am-6:45am, it is a blissful quiet time of pain-free relief. I dozed a bit between text messaging friends/loved ones and between the blood pressure cuff going off at regular intervals to keep tabs on my stats. I was too tired to think ahead too far... not even really wondering when everything would escalate to a birth... Just ready to rest until then. 

Around 6:45, two things happened at the same time. First, I began to notice my contractions a bit again. Second, the nurse came in and told me she was not happy with the baby's heart rate with each contraction. I woke up enough to begin noticing the same thing-- we waited for the next contraction, which I felt coming on, and sure enough-- at the crest of it, baby's heart rate dropped quite a bit. Sadly, I was not surprised. Noah did the same thing and ended up a C-section. Lucy did the same thing and only got out in the nick of time before my OB was set to call for a repeat C-section. Obviously my babies don't handle stress well. Ha. 

So we tried the usual-- roll to one side, sit up a bit more, etc. With each contraction, which I was now feeling quite clearly, I listened for the drop in heart rate. It happened every time. Nurse kept her cheerful face on, but definitely wasn't happy with how it was going. She said it looked like they were going to need to break my water soon-- that it was probably a cord issue and that often the water breaking relieved that pressure/issue. The problem was, I was being put through a 4-hour course of antibiotics for my Group-B strep situation, and I'd only been hooked up to the IV for 2 hours. Still--- the benefits of breaking my water earlier than 4 hours far outweighed the benefits of a full dosage of antibiotics, so she called the resident OB to come check me and talk about our plan. 

Meanwhile, I was no longer able to ignore the contractions. With each one, the intensity and pain got worse until I had to ask the nurse if there was anything we could do. Until that point, I'd had the "pain button"-- a clicker I could click on my own about every 15 minutes to "up the juice"... and I'd taken advantage of that at 6:45 and 7:00. By 7:10 or so, I was not doing well. It HURT. So the nurse called anesthesia and a male anesthesiologist came in to check my situation out. From about 7:15-7:30, he messed with my levels and meds, and would wait out each contraction with me, asking if that one was any better. I think I felt SOME of the edge get taken off, but mostly I was WANTING it to be better and telling him, "Maybe? Maybe that one was better?" But in all honesty, I don't think things improved all that much. I was feeling most everything. I began to sweat and get shaky and it was VERY hard to get through a contraction (coming every 1.5 minutes or so) without vocalizing/moaning/gasping. In hindsight, I was obviously beginning "transition"- the progress to the final stages of labor. But I didn't know it at the time, and neither did he. So we kept chasing the pain, trying to get ahold of it and anchor it down with the right dose of epi-juice. 

Somewhere in here, the nurse checked my cervical progress and I was an 8-- "bags are bulging," she said-- and said all we had to do was wait for the resident OB to come do the actual breaking of my water. When the resident finally came in, around 7:30am, I'd progressed to a 9 and it was no trouble at all to get my water broken. There was an excess of blood at this time, worth mentioning to me, but nothing that seemed to scare anyone. Even if it had been something scary, I swear at this point that I would not have heard them say it. It was all I could do to not lose my mind with each contraction. The anesthesiologist had left once I'd told him MAYBE they were getting better (lying to him and to myself, I think) so it was all up to me. I was NOT prepared. I reached a level where I could feel myself turning feral--- eyes rolling back, moans and hissed swear words seeping out... Unable to believe this was really happening. The edge of madness. I'd not prepped for a natural birth so I simply did not have the focus and tricks in place to manage these things with more dignity. 

Luckily, once my water was broken, the baby's heart rate went back to perfect and stayed there, so no one had to hurry us along this end process. I was grateful he decided to cooperate, because once the pain got so bad, I simply could no longer concentrate on his heart rate and whether or not it was doing well. I was just trying not to fall apart every 1.5 minutes. The time was approx. 7:45am, and somehow in between the hard contractions I got enough of a pain break that I was managing to text and joke back and forth with a few dear friends. (One friend even predicted with razor-sharp accuracy that since I was already dilated to a 9 by 7:15, I'd have a baby in my arms by 9:00am. Smart girl, that one.) Looking back at those text conversations, it's clear now that the two things overwhelming me in addition to the pain were that I was SO HUNGRY and SO TIRED. So so so tired. Not even from laboring yet--- just from the compounded bad sleep of the previous week and the missed sleep of that night. I was so exhausted and unprepared for the levels of natural childbirth pain I was feeling. Looking back, I think I maybe ended up having only about 25% relief from that epidural when it was needed most. 

By 8:15, the nurse took pity on me and checked me again. I was a 10. My OB was called and the nurse asked me if I wanted to go ahead and try some pushing. She asked it so casually, like in her mind it wasn't because it was TIME to push, but rather because it might give me some relief from the transitioning and pressure I'd been feeling. I said a resounding YES and she coached Joe and me into pushing position. I don't know why, though, but being shifted into the legs-up position suddenly crammed my baby into my ribs, and I could NOT get any deep breaths. Yet the nurse was coaching me, "Take a BIG DEEP breath and holditdolditholditholdit.......and...... let it go. And okay, ANOTHER DEEP BREATH and holditdolditholditholdit...." Etc. But I could not get any kind of deep breath. Much less hold it hold it hold it. It SUCKED. Finally after three halfhearted pushes in that position, she helped me shift to a side position, and that helped. I was able to give it some good effort for the next two or three contractions. After a total of maybe 6 contractions, I felt a significant shift in my pushing and suddenly the pressure was like WHOA, guys. I needed my doctor. RIGHT NOW. The nurse cheerfully agreed and told me to hang on (what???!). Luckily, he breezed in right at that moment, but it threw me into total despair to see him still in street clothes. The nurse was holding me off and all I wanted was to PUSH THIS BABY OUT, and it was agony watching him toss his scrubs on and get sanitized and ready. In truth, it probably only took him 4 minutes, and the cart was in the room and ready for him, but it was an eternity with the pressure I felt. The only thing worse than that waiting just then was next being told to get from my side-pushing position to roll back on my back. REALLY? With an 8-lb baby in the way? Agony. But somehow we manged to get me there, and my doc got in position... and with a few good pushes and maybe a yell or two, baby was out. No messing around, it really WAS time for him to be born, and everything happened just in time.




And there he was. Quinn Atticus. No delay whatsoever between his trajectory out and him being immediately rerouted to my arms. (Even Lucy had a "blanket wrapping" pause before I got her. Not this time.) Joe cut the cord, then got put on camera duty by an already-aware-and-bossy me, not wanting to miss a moment. The nurse followed closely behind with Quinn's blanket and hat and there we were--- Mama and son meeting for the first time, EVERY bit of the labor pain completely forgotten as I felt the squish and warmth of this floppy new tiny baby of mine in my arms. 

The afterbirth processes were really simple--- not much more pain to endure, even with some stitching. (I truly believe the epidural took hold from the bottom of my pelvis down my legs--- I didn't feel Quinn's head at the point of delivery, and didn't feel the stitches in full force... But I felt them a little, and felt ALL the uterine pains.) It turned out that all that blood from earlier was because I'd had a placental abruption (where the placenta begins to detach from the wall of the uterus, something that can be VERY scary in earlier pregnancy but was not a big worry in my case because it happened sometime after active labor started.)

Really, from the point Quinn was placed in my arms, all pain was forgotten, I was no longer hungry, and I could have stayed awake for hours yet. It was exhilarating. A rush. And a joy. I could not believe I'd done it with so little pain medication, and could not believe how hard it was, yet how quickly it had gone. Mostly, I could not believe that this new little one was all mine to begin to get to know. 







Quinn was born on January 18, 2013, at 8:38am after I'd been in the hospital for only 4 hours. He weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz, was 20.25 inches long, and came out with a full head of dark hair, dark eyes, and a calm, quiet stare for miles. He barely cried. Within an hour he was bathed and measured and swaddled snugly and we were able to settle into a lovely hospital stay as we took that quiet, still, peaceful time to get to know our new little man.

















I always wondered what it was like for moms and dads of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. kids... did it ever become routine? Was it ever like, "Well, here's another one..."? 

I can tell you with authority, no it does not. Having Quinn in my arms that first day and getting to know him in the subsequent weeks feels as huge, as new, and as special as when we met Noah. And Lucy. He is not "just another one".... he is monumental and remarkable and life-changing, and I am overjoyed that this is the truth of a third child. In all honesty, it tempts me to keep having more... to keep proving this truth. (Well, and to keep having miraculously marvelous kids in our life... :)) 

For now, we'll stick with the three, and give Quinn plenty of time to begin to know our world here in the little white house. It is more than enough. 

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Next up, an iPhoto blitz of photos from those first few days... the kids meeting their brother, the little new details... the whiling away of a now-much-slower life with a newborn.... I'll spare us all the over-writing, which I'm good at, and let the photos tell their own story. It'll be a nice change. :)

(Thanks to Joe for taking at least half these photos. You're my hero in a thousand ways, love, this being one of them.)