Sunday, December 20, 2009

Annabelle is here

Annabelle Nicole was born on Monday, weighing 6 lbs 11 oz, which was exactly what I guessed she would weigh. The Doctor was impressed.

Anne is so easy going that even I can handle it when she cries. Most of the time she doesn't even cry. She just makes cute little baby noises. (I still laugh when I think about the time right after Alli was born when Ty said, "Don't worry, you're going to be a great Mom when the kids are five and older...") Now that I have a five year old, I'm less sure, but I'll take what I can get.
After two emergency C-sections, Anne's was my first scheduled C-section birth, and let me tell you, it is a whole lot scarier. I think it was the adrenaline I missed because the whole experience was terrifying, and I don't remember that from before. Unfortunately, the adrenaline hit after the surgery was over and, instead of enjoying a morphine induced coma, I was wide awake at midnight, at 3:00 am, at 5:00 am... When the nurses came in to check my vitals, I was so excited to see them that I don't think I've ever been so chatty. Weird, but then again, don't discount the morphine.

The surgery was just plain uncomfortable. The wonderful anesthesiologist, Kelly Myers, who, coincidentally works with my Dad when someone wants a laser treatment, told me just what to expect and practically held my hand through the whole thing. Even still, when he explained that my brain wouldn't register deep breathing because my chest was numb, I wasn't prepared for an hour of near suffocation. And when he said, "Okay, this is going to make your heart race for a minute," what he meant was, "I think interrogationists use this to simulate heart attacks." I would totally talk.

On the upside, Dr. Myers bent the rules a bit and let my Mom come in with Ty. I heard one of the nurses was upset about it, but oh well. I was grateful for another hand to squeeze and for another set of eyes to watch that monitor saying I was getting 100% oxygen absorption. No, you are not suffocating, that little number on the screen said to me. Just relax.

Afterwards, I spent three more days in the hospital with the best nurses I've ever had. They were so nice to me and made my stay as comfortable as possible, even with staples in my stomach.

We're home now and so happy to have baby Anne in our family. I know she is going to bring us all joy in ways we can only guess.

Our Christmas Letter


Happy Holidays all,

It’s time for decking the halls again: time to finally turn on those lights strung from our rooftops and pull out the Nativity— maybe set up a tree sometime before Rudolph comes to eat the magic reindeer food Alli threw on our lawn. It’s Christmas time! I’m ready to bake sugar cookies and wrap presents. There’s just one hitch: there’s this little baby girl named Anne, and she’s coming to our family right in the middle of it all.

On December 17th Anne will interrupt the festivities with her birth, hopefully coming home just in time to celebrate another important birth one week later: our Savior’s. As we gaze upon the fresh newborn face of our little one, we will remember another pure countenance—one that also radiated peace and love in ways that continue to guide me through the hardships of this life. This experience is certainly a privilege—one I will remember fondly and hopefully never duplicate…

After two emergency c-sections, I’ll have this c-section on my own terms. I’m excited to reduce the mayhem associated with childbirth, even if it means another surgery. I just pick the day and the time, and my Dr. shows up. What could be better? Not walking on Christmas day will entail some creative planning, such as freezing sugar cookie dough and what not, but maybe that makes it all the more fun and stress-free. I just might change the way I approach the holidays forevermore.

This year has been one of possibility and pain, firsts and “let us never speak of this again,” moments. Through it all, we’ve had a lot of fun. For me, it was catering my first wedding, while for Ty it’s been climbing and running 15 miles at a time like it’s easy. Alli started piano this summer and Kindergarten in the fall, and she continues to surprise us with her brilliance. I continue to hear, “Everyone thinks their kid is smart, but yours really is.” I know. We don’t know where she gets it.

Alli played “Silent Night” on par with her 7 and 8 year old counterparts for her first piano recital. She continues to love Nancy Drew, and her biggest wish is becoming a super spy when she grows up. She carries around her little girl makeup in her “spy purse” that also contains a compass, flashlight, and pretend PDA device. She cracks me up.

Even though Maddie still doesn’t fit into 2T clothes, she acts grown, and her third birthday party this February is all she talks about. She wants a lunchbox so she can go to school like Alli. (This little tidbit of Kindergarten lore has been lost in translation somehow because Alli doesn’t take a lunchbox to school.)

She could be getting her faulty information late at night, since Alli and Maddie recently started sharing a room. It was such a meaningful experience for Maddie that she responded by losing the diapers. That’s right; she potty trained herself, and I couldn’t be happier. In the midst of all these big changes, Maddie still has a killer smile that could melt a rock, and the kind of laugh that teaches me true happiness.

With so many blessings this year, it’s hard not to feel grateful for family. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas season full of joy with your own families.