Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introducing: Our Scarlett Gray! A birth story...

Before I can update you on life with two (seeing as it is July), I'd like to backtrack for a few weeks and write down our sweet Scarlett's birth story.  I had always had a premonition with Finn that he would be early and indeed he was...12 days.  When day 12 came with you, my sweet little girl, I was a little discouraged and thought I might be wrong.  Dr. Lee and I decided you would be induced on your brother's birthday (starting at midnight, so you would get the 8th not the 7th of April) because I was having a large amount of hip pain.  The following week, I started setting up a busy day for April 7th, seeing that it was Finn's actual 2nd birthday:  we invited both sides of the family to meet us at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, I bought favors and made decorations, and we planned on seeing a movie or grabbing a glass of wine before we headed over to Hoag at the stroke of twelve.  To my surprise, though, you wanted to come on your own agenda...
   On Monday morning, April 4th, Finn and I went to the grocery store to gather our ingredients to make a last hurrah meal for "Supper Swap" that week.  The menu was going to be roasted tomatillo chili, skillet cornbread, and sea salt caramel brownies and I needed to start soaking the beans that afternoon.  After Finn's nap, we decided to head to Corona del Mar to meet Cait and lil Kyle at the park.  We were going to join them for dinner because Steve had a meeting and Papa was going to be at grad school class that night.  Kyle and Finn wore themselves out at the park for about an hour with me being 38 weeks pregnant and Cait, 30.  Stepping off the curb, I felt a little something wet and got bummed that I had peed through another pair of pants (oh the joys of pregnancy!)  We drove over to the Beckett's house and I decided to try and reach Papa before he went to class.  My watch read 5:30 p.m.  As I got out of the car, he said, "Are you in labor?  I'm on the other line with Uncle Mitch."  I replied, "No," as he switched over to hang up with him.  Just as he got back on the line, my water broke all over the Bruegger's Bagels parking lot in CDM next to the Beckett's house. It definitely took me a second to believe it (and verify that I wasn't peeing my pants for the "3rd" time that day!) I asked Cait to come out to the parking lot and judging from the long, make that, river, that was snaking its way to the gutter...she said, "Yes, Sarah, you're in labor!"  Meanwhile, Finn was still strapped into his carseat and seemed a little in shock at the details that were unfolding...
   Luckily, we had Finn's overnight bag and my bags packed in the car, but Papa was close enough to home to grab a few more things. He called Grandma to make her way down to CDM to pick up Finn from the Beckett's house and I started making more phone calls:  Bella and Andrew were still in Moorpark, Grandpa was in Palm Springs, and Jonne Rasmussen called the Labor and Delivery Unit at Hoag Hospital on my behalf to request the best possible nurse for us that night!  When Grandma picked up Finn and Papa and I drove down Pacific Coast Highway to the hospital in Newport Beach, I was flooded with tears at how our lives were about to dramatically change with the presence of this beautiful baby girl.
    Pressing "floor five" on the elevator at 7:00 pm, we headed up to L&D and were greeted by our amazing nurse Tien.  Rumor had it she had delivered Christina Aguilera, among other celebs at Cedar Sinai and Jonne told me she would trust her life with her...I was relieved!  At this point the sun was setting in the harbor as we looked out at our ocean view and I still was not having any contractions but I was dilated at 2 and my water had definitely broke. Just before 9:00 pm, Bella, Grandpa, and Uncle Andrew walked in within minutes of each other.  I was hooked up to a pitocin drip but it was still very mild (and I wasn't feeling the contractions). Tien insisted that I get my epidural before the pain really started and after much encouragement from your dad and Bella, I decided to follow her advice.  I thought I needed to reach a pain threshhold before they would administer it, but she wanted me to be as comfortable as possible, which I was certainly grateful for! My epidural was given around 10:00 pm, and Tien told us all to get some sleep while we waited for me to dilate.  I remember looking around the soft glow of the room at Papa, Bella, Grandpa and Andrew who were all dozing and being extremely grateful to God that each of them were present there with me for your birth.  
    At around 3 in the morning, I started to shake pretty heavily and was in the "transition stage" of labor.  Tien checked me, but I still was only at a 3.  An hour later, I was at a 10!  Dr. Lee had told us she wouldn't be able to get a babysitter for her son if I went into labor during the middle of the night, so we got the doctor on call in the unit. While Dr. Illeck was paged, Tien did a few "practice pushes" with me.  Dr. Illeck had been sleeping and the big groggy man now sitting down in front of me definitely fit the grizzly bear description that Tien had given us.  With Papa at my left side and Bella at my right, Bella suddenly said, "Oh my gosh...she has dark hair!"  To my shock, I asked Dr. Illeck, "Do I need to start pushing?"  He replied, "'re having a contraction right now and she's gliding on out."  Praise God for epidurals.
    Our baby Scarlett was born at 4:24 in the morning weighing 7 lb. 3.5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  Such an easy birth for such a perfect baby girl.  I keep trying to replay that intimate evening in my head before the details get too was such a special memory for me and I will always hold it dear to my heart.  I praise God for the gift of another child and the privilege it will be to be her Mama...

Mama at 38 weeks
Hello Scarlett Gray!  You look a lot like your brother Finn here...

You came out sucking, just like Finn.  Here you are trying to eat your hand in the first few minutes of holding you!

Proud Mama and Papa!

Uncle Andrew!

Grandpa bought See's suckers to hand out to visitors.
Our AMAZING nurse, Tien.  She ran the show and couldn't have facilitated an easier labor for grateful.

We got to our recovery room around 7:00 am and all took a nap for a few hours.  Here you are resting peacefully and of course, Mama had to play dress up with a head band or two...


Bella and Grandpa picked Finn up from Grandma's house in the afternoon and brought him to meet his baby sister.  He couldn't have been happier to get a lollypop on Scarlett's behalf.  She brought him a Thomas the Train Misty Island track set. 

Auntie Jess, Mitch and Gavin all came to meet you that afternoon.

Cait meets Scarlett.
Grandma meets her "princess" as she calls her.

Auntie Court

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 5, The 4-6 Week Project

3.27.11  You and food.  Well, you must not have been birthed from your Mama's genes on this one because you are quite particular and inconsistent, despite Mama trying many many things on you (though probably not the 15 times they tell me to before you'd eventually like it!).  Oh well, I've stopped making such a big deal of it and applaud you greatly when you eat what's on your plate.  I never thought my freezer would be stacked with nuggets, pizza, corn dogs, and mac and cheese, but amazingly,your tummy will never reject any of those classic toddler menu foods!  I hope to start cooking more with you this summer and maybe we will see your appetite diversify...for now, I love you for who you are and accept the fact that you're not destined to be a food blog guinea pig.  

 3.28.11  Here are you with Wallace and Skyler Kennedy down at the park on the Laguna Beach boardwalk.  You and I have fallen in love with being at the beach at least once a week and hope we can continue that tradition once your sister comes.  Laguna is such a darling city and we now love to get treats at the Scandia bakery (thanks Kelly!) and make a stop in to see the clown fish (Nemo), blue tang (Dory), and lion fish at the Quicksilver boutique (thanks Elizabeth!).  
 3.29.11  Organic Chocolate Milk.  We now cannot drive by a Starbucks without you recognizing the establishment that provides you with this beloved treat.  You know the emerald lady and you know what she brings you.  With there being so many of these around town, you are bound to enjoy your chocolate milk multiple times a week.
 3.30.11  Kyle is one of your dearest friends, so lucky to have gotten to watch her on several occasions this year while her Mama slept from the nightshift at Hoag.  Here you are in front of the Corona del Mar library.  You two were so well-behaved at our Nordstroms Cafe lunch after storytime.  Mama loves to see you learn the importance of friendship and we're so thankful to know sweet Kyle Grace!
 3.31.11  Today we met up with Gavie, Kyle, and Anniston at the Spectrum water fountains.  Of course, Kyle was the only one who truly loved running through the water!  Interestingly enough, you have made great strides since last summer's torturous swim lessons and actually request going to the "cold pool" (as opposed to the jacuzzi) at our apartment with Mama every week.  I love to see you be brave and get more comfortable with new things.
4.1.11  You cuddling with a book and your "Blue Blankie" is a classic site in our car.  I love that you are content in the car considering that Orange County is very spread out and we frequent the car for long periods of time to get to our favorite places and friends.  I love to watch you in the rearview mirror as you read, scout for cool-looking vehicles, or dance to the radio.  
 4.2.11  On Saturday morning, we met up with the Rutenbars for yummy waffles at Bruxie.  Kyle and Papa chased you and Raegan around and around the old-fashioned fountain in the Orange Circle while Mama and Courtney got carried away antiquing.  We can't wait to meet baby boy Rutenbar in August!
 4.3.11 It was fascinating to watch you organize your crayons by color as opposed to coloring.  You did this the other day in the Lakeshore Learning store by grouping all the puffer fish together, sting rays together, and sharks together from a plastic fishing game that was on sale.  So fun to see how your mind works!  This is is my last post in the series because my water broke the very next day.  I'll wait for a separate post to elaborate.  For now, we love you so much little man...we know your world's about to be rocked, but we pray you and your sister will become dear friends. What will she be like?  I find myself bursting with this curious question day after day and accept that she will be different than you.  It's hard to imagine much better, but we look forward to opening our hearts to the joys of a little girl...