July 31, 2011

SITS: The Secret to Success is Sleep

I woke up this morning with Kira squirming on me and a little sweaty and my legs were unable to stretch out...it's not very often that everyone in the house migrates to our bed. Usually it's just a couple of extra bodies. And as awesome and as terrible as a family bed is, it has nothing to do with this post. But it does have a photo to go with it. So there you go. A photo and a post. Both about sleep.

One of the most powerful pieces of advice we ever received was when we were new parents. I thought I knew what it was like to not get enough sleep. Ha! I had no idea.

Graeden was a few weeks old and I wasn't getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at one time. I'm pretty sure the perfect description of me was in fact: zombie. It must have been the same for Tymon because as he was on the phone with his mother one evening telling her about our struggles with sleep deprivation.

My middle of the night feedings often went like this: I hear cries and groggily turn to the bassinet next to the bed and get Graeden to nurse. Then I lay on my back with my knees up...the side view looking like this: o  /\. No need to get out of bed to burp him...or even sit up for that matter...I just prop my baby up against my knees to burp him. Then when I hear the magical burp, I lean over and put him back in his bassinet. It's the perfect set up. And the only way I could get through these feedings without totally "waking up" and being wired in the wee hours of the morning when I should be sleeping.

However, a recent incident had us frightened. In the middle of the night after I had nursed Graeden and put him up against my knees, the exhaustion took over and I fell asleep before hearing the burp. When I woke up, I found Graeden was under the covers and in between my legs. Um yeah. That's not so healthy for a newborn. It's more like life threatening. I'm pretty sure he could have suffocated like that or I may have even squished him or rolled him right off.

So, my mother-in-law's life changing advice? Don't feed your baby in the middle of the night.

She sleep trained 3 of her 4 kids starting right after birth. (One of Tymon's brothers was sick as a newborn and she didn't do it with him.) And I'm thinking, so that's it?! Just don't feed your baby? Sounds simple. Me likey. And it also happens to go contrary to everything we hear from the doctors and nurses say about a newborn's needs. Me double likey. Mostly because I disliked random nurses at the hospital coming into our room and giving us instructions about what we had to do as new parents with our son. Regardless as to the wisdom of the advice or not, I get annoyed with someone telling me what I have to do. So in this case, I was very intrigued about what we could do if I wasn't going to feed my baby on demand, every 2-3 hours, no matter what time of day or night.

What to do when baby cries in the middle of the night: 
Do wake up with your baby.
Rock him back to sleep.
Or walk him around the house.
Sing him songs.
Put him in the baby swing.

Do whatever you must but DO NOT feed your baby! Pretty soon, he will just stop waking up to eat. When this method is used with a brand new baby, it's not a big deal. They are already accustomed to not eating at night since pregnant momma didn't eat in the middle of the night (hopefully). But with a baby who is already used to eating every 2-3 hours 24/7? Well, that's a bit tougher. And I send my heart-felt condolences to you if you are in this situation.

Graeden didn't like his new way of life. And he cried. And cried. And cried. For a few nights. It was brutal. For us. For him. It took an hour or two trying to get him back to sleep. But we'd already discovered that the alternative was worse. The next few nights he whimpered a little but easily fell back to sleep. And by the end of the week he stopped waking up in the middle of the night completely. That first sleep filled night was on my 28th birthday. December 9, 2003. Graeden was 6 weeks old. And gave me the best birthday present ever.

I should mention that my definition of sleeping through the night changes over time. At first, it's about 4-5 hours. I nurse from about 11:30 pm - midnight and then again at 4 or 4:30am. Every week or so that time is extended by about an hour until the baby is sleeping for about a 7-8 hour stretch. And my body ceases to produce milk at night. I should probably also mention that there may be times of growth or sickness when reversion occurs. That's just a part of life but if you are consistent in not feeding the baby in the wee hours of the morning then the problem will fix itself soon enough.

Here we are just a couple of months later and well rested. We used the no feeding at night method with the rest of our children. The only one who rebelled against sleeping through the night was Evan. It took him a month to buy into the program. When all is said and done, that's not too shabby.

I didn't think I'd be sleep training Kira for a while. I was worried about her more fragile physical state and thought she may actually need to eat often. It turns out, though we may have issues with her heart in the future, at present she is doing very well. Let the sleep training begin! We started as soon as we got back from our family reunion. She's done marvelous...the easiest of all children to get into a sleep habit. She goes to bed between 10 and 11 pm. We wake up anywhere between 4 and 5 am. Once it was 7 am. I woke up earlier...but find it counter productive to wake a sleeping child so early in the morning just because I experienced my milk letting down.

I'm pretty sure getting enough sleep is the reason why we have had so many children so quickly. We're running on full energy instead of reserves. Our kids also move out of our room at 3 months of age. Except not Jocelyn. Jovana was staying in her room so Jocelyn slept with us for several months. In fact, she's kind of still with us...though sometimes will sleep in her own bed. Maybe she'll like her room better when Kira moves in.

Most parents we share our sleep training story with ignore it. Months later they are still talking about being up at least once and maybe twice in the middle of the night. At that point, I just smile and nod since I've already shared one of my most powerful life lessons. And really don't have any other helpful hints to help with the problem. However, we have had a few families thank us for sharing the sleep secret. And that makes the polite nods and occasional eye rolling responses worth it. The secret to success is most definitely found in getting a good night's sleep.

July 26, 2011

Fetal VS. Infant Kira

There are many similarities between fetal Kira and infant Kira.
Both display mellow personalities.
Both have been caught smiling.
Both have hiccups. Often.
And both look the same.

I didn't get the head angles to match exactly...but it's close enough to see how amazing 3D ultrasounds are.
One difference...I like snuggling infant Kira a lot more than fetal Kira.

July 21, 2011

Postpartum Bliss

Kira is one week old. Plus a few days. And I feel great! Not just because I'm not pregnant, which is fantastic in and of itself. But my body seems to have rebounded much faster with Kira's than it did with Jocelyn's...though I was grieving then. But all the same, I feel way better now than I did postpartum with Evan, Elliott, and especially Graeden. I think the first one is the toughest. At least it was for me.

I think my great health right now is a blessing I get because of that awful labor. I can walk around without hurting and cook dinner without sitting on a stool to rest. My pants all fit me and my belly seems to be shrinking daily (goodbye muffin top). I love losing 20 pounds overnight. Talk about a fantastic diet! Ha ha. I've only got 15 more to go. But don't worry. I won't try to take that off for another few months.

When Kira came out breathing on her own we decided that we would go to Tymon's family reunion last weekend. We checked out of the hospital on Wednesday, came home, packed our bags and left Thursday morning for Utah. The trip down wasn't so great. Well, I was fine. Sitting in a car all day is fairly restful. But Kira wasn't latching well and losing weight. I wasn't concerned with that since my milk came in just that morning. But I got concerned after we stopped by her pediatrician and found out that what I thought might be blood in her diaper was actually urine crystals. Those come with dehydration. So, yeah, time to take waking up our sleepy baby seriously and get her to feed. Every stop we made ended up being about an hour long, which turned a 14 hour drive into almost 20.

Salt Lake City, UT -  July 17, 2011
Friday morning, after arriving at Tymon's aunt's house, Kira started eating and we worked on latching. Again. And again. We did a happy dance with every wet diaper. I took her to the pediatrician again when we got home a couple of days ago and Kira had gained an ounce a day. Yes! And she also grew half an inch. Really? My snuggle bunny is growing taller? She's in the 98% for height. And I just want her to be little. And cuddle her. Forever.

Kira - one week old. Photo by Katie Fawcett.

July 13, 2011

Kira, The 7-Eleven Slurpee Baby

I'm still processing the nightmare that was Kira's birth...so for now, no intimate birth story. Just a quick rundown. 

The waiting game: We checked in after a few hours because we didn't want to go home. It seemed dumb to go home since theoretically, from first contraction to birth, I can have a baby in 3.25 hours. Here we are, hanging out at the hospital...not wanting to check in until my contractions got more serious. Tymon's taking a rest and my mom's telling me family history stories...I wanted to hear about the midwives in my family's line.

Definition of Living Hell: 28 Hour Labor. Um yeah. That's all I'll say about that right now.

7-Eleven: A convenience store that sells Slurpees, a frozen slush drink that I love. Many participating locations give away free 7.11 ounce Slurpees on July 11th. That means Kira can get a free Slurpee every year on her birthday. Sweet! Tymon got me one after the birth...except it was after midnight so he had to pay for it. No big deal. I got one a lot bigger than 7.11 ounces.

Kira's echocardiogram: She looks pretty good. Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf. God has been so good to us.We are so thankful that we are out of the hospital and at home. Kira still has a few issues...but they aren't life threatening. Her breathing is normal. But just in case, we have her medical information with us. An ER doctor who was in the medical records room this morning said he is very grateful for parents like us. Just that we knew the terms "small pulmonary branch arteries" and "right-sided aortic arch" were very helpful and telling if there were ever an emergency and we had to take her to the closest hospital. We will follow up with a cardiologist at Children's Hospital in a couple of weeks and have another echo. At that point, we will be able to have a clearer understanding of what we're looking at. For now, we are so so so grateful for our Little Miracle. We are counting our numerous blessings.

Moment of sweet: Jocelyn coming to visit Baby Daya (Kira). All 9 pounds and 4.5 ounces of her. She is 22 inches long. My largest baby by a long shot.

Kira Jade Johns: She's got some fabulous cheeks and auburn hair. We'll do a photo shoot next week with Aunt Katie. And in a few days or week or two or three, there will be some birth posts coming. Probably more than one. There are just so many life lessons to process out of this birth experience. I need to sort it all out.

Thank you all for your well wishes: I'm having a hard time keeping up with them. I'm sure I've missed several on my Facebook wall. I'll try and catch up later. Right now I'm tired. And ready to go to sleep. After I nurse Kira, of course. And put a new load of laundry in. And maybe eat a snack. And drink some water. And take some iron. Ha ha. So much for sleep.

July 10, 2011

Semi-Long, Kinda Strong, Sort Of Closer Together

Did I tell you about my friend Sabrina? She brought us an early dinner the day Jocelyn was born. Tymon was outside talking to the guy who was painting the outside of our house. I had come outside to do a walk around and then Sabrina came. I felt a good solid contraction. So solid that Sabrina had to help me in the house. Jocelyn was born just over 3 hours later.

Sabrina called me up the other day. She said she was going out of town but would be back on Saturday. She wanted to bring me dinner, if Kira came or not, on Sunday afternoon. Fabulous. Sabrina's good luck.

I lay down this afternoon and then felt a contraction. The same as I've been having for the past few months. Same intensity. Only this time another one followed. Then another Am I in labor? Maybe. I started timing them. To see if I have more. Bottom line, it's been 2 hours and I still have them. Except I'm walking and talking just fine. And I lose track of timing the contractions when someone distracts me. Or I write a blog post. Ha ha.

We ate dinner. My boys are begging me to get Sabrina's teriyaki chicken recipe. And for the cake, too. Delicious. We'll call it Kira's birthday cake. I ate. I haven't thrown up...which is standard for me in labor. The boys have packed over night bags. We're loading the car up now and are headed to the hospital. And it's still a little unreal to me that this may be it. Our adventure is about to begin.

July 9, 2011

Breakfast Blues

I originally thought I should title this post, "Labor of Love," but didn't when I realized that many of you checking my blog daily are actually waiting for news on my labor of Kira. Ha ha. I'm still pregnant. Kira seems to love her safe and warm home and though I think all day every day that "this may be the day," she doesn't appear to want to move out any time soon. So for now, while I patiently wait, I continue moving forward with life. 
These days Kira likes to push her bum up into the right side of my rib cage. Bless her.
My new obsession truly is a labor of love. I've been wondering what to do for a while now about the breakfast problem in my home. Well, it's not a problem for anyone but me. No one but me sees the need to change the Johns' family status quo. Let me explain...

Problem #1
My children sneak into the pantry at all times of the day and sneak snacks. Usually it's cereal. And all I need to do is open the pantry door to figure out that they've done it.  The box is usually left on its side or upside down with cereal spilling out all over the place. I wonder at what age they will learn to cover up their tracks. Even my 6 and 7 year old haven't learned that yet.

Problem #2
The more I read on soy, effects of soy in non-traditional forms (pretty much everything besides soy sauce), and genetically modified organisms, the more disturbed I became at its prevalence in most food products in grocery stores. So much so that I'm in agreement with the experts who rather label them as food-like substances rather than real foods with nutritional value. Breakfast cereals are full of sugars, additives I can't pronounce, GMOs and various forms of soy. A couple of months ago, I put my money where my mouth is and stopped buying cereal.

It was hard for me to stop buying cereal because alternatives for breakfast involve effort and a lot of time. I got up a half hour earlier to make the boys breakfast before they left for school and work. Sacrificing my time wasn't all bad. We did eat breakfast together as a family. There's definite value in connecting each morning. And we had a variety of real foods to eat...like scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, oatmeal, hot cereal, pancakes, toast, muffins, etc. They were good times...but deep down, I kind of like sleeping in a little longer. And now that school's out, I like waking up when my kids do instead of when Tymon leaves for work.

Make my own cereal. I checked out grain puffers...like that you put wheat, rice or corn into and it puffs it up like cereal or snacks. Those are pretty expensive, though. It seemed like I was destined to wake up early and be creative with breakfast the rest of my life. And then I read Carrie's granola post, which has nutritionally inspired me for the past month. And given me freedom and flexibility. We still eat together and I make breakfast a few days a week. But I am relishing this new kick. 
Peanut butter and jelly granola, with honey, almonds, coconut, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, craisins, ground flax seed and cinnamon.

I've experimented with each batch I make. Elliott loved helping me make a peanut butter and jelly version tonight. We used half honey and half jelly for the sweetener. It's good. So so good. Jocelyn sneaks it. Which means that I still have problem #1. But I really like that problem #2 has gone away. I haven't saved time since I still need to make the granola...but I can do that in the evening with my kids instead of in the morning when I'd rather be laying in bed.

July 7, 2011

Off Balance

Nah, it's not my mind that's out of whack. Well, maybe it is. But that has nothing to do with me slipping down a couple of stairs this evening. Two stairs. One broken toe. Ouch. I thought it was the same toe that I've broken 7 or 8 times in the last 30 years. I originally broke it when I was 5 and it's been weak ever since. Every so often when I land on it wrong or abuse it in some miniscule way, it breaks again. Then I looked at it this evening and compared it with the other one. Um, yeah. My scar from the original accident/break was on the other foot. So this is the first time I've broken this toe. Which is totally random to me.

Picture my swagger now. Imagine a nice prego waddle. Throw in a little swing to get a hip back in line. And finish it up with a pop up for my limp. Yeah. It rocks. Ha ha.

My conversation with Jocelyn, the sweetest 2.75 year-old ever...

Jocelyn: Are you hurt Mommy?
Me: Yup
J: Aww. (Kisses my foot.) I sorry. 
Me: Will you get me Boo Bunny (a small ice pack)?
J: Yeah! (Runs out.)

J: (Immediately runs back in.) Mommy, I have to go potty!
Me: Go!
J: Otay! Then I get Boo Bunny.
Me: Thank you!
J: Here Mommy! (Returns with the bunny and a teether frog she found in the freezer.)

I just love her compassion.

July 5, 2011

Overdue - My Search For Purpose

About 2 weeks ago, after going grocery shopping, I came home exhausted. I was alone so it wasn't like I'd been chasing kids throughout the store, either. After going through the check out line, I actually had to sit down on a bench a few feet from the register. The checker asked me if I needed help out. Nope. Not unless she could put me in the cart, too. I just needed to sit down for a few minutes. And make the contractions go away. Once home, Tymon brought in all the groceries and I told him this was the last time I was going shopping before Kira came. I've already eaten those words. Twice.

My nephew's birthday party - June 25, 2011.
Listening to my body cues, I'm overdue. Not so much by 2 days like my due date indicates, but more like a by month. I know the signs...relaxin or some other hormone has taken over my joints and ligaments and allowed them to loosen. The desired effect is to work with Kira in her birth so that the pelvis expands easily and allows safe passage. I've been feeling good and loosey goosey for 2+ months. It makes for difficult sleep, getting out of bed, and standing up from a seated position.

The next sign? Kira is low in my pelvis. Not so low that she'll just fall out...though at times that's what I think may happen. She's just low. And heavy. I've begun ignoring my bladder when it tells me it's full. Not only because I just used the toilet. But because most of the time I only go enough to fill a teaspoon at a time. Who has time for that? I don't. I'm leery now every time I get a gas pain and need to have a bowel movement. Because it could be that it's a contraction and Kira's on her way out. Those two signals share the same sensation (to a way lighter degree).

The biggest sign for me is with the Braxton-Hicks contractions I've had for the past four-ish months. This time around, they have been stronger than last and lately have been happening with increasing frequency. On occasion they have seemed very similar to that first labor contraction. That is unmistakably etched in my mind first contraction. Except I'm unsure if it is one or not. So when the next one doesn't happen then I realize it wasn't as bad as it could have been and no it wasn't real. I just read in the wikipedia link and found that maybe these practice contractions feel a lot worse than I remember because I stopped using the toilet 20 times a day. I'll have to pee after the next one and see if it disappears.

I'm searching for meaning in still being pregnant right now. The logical side of me says that Kira needs to gain weight or perfect some body functions before birth. After all, she may need that strength if a surgery is in her near future.

The spiritual side of me tells another story. Perhaps, it's me who needs a lesson in patience. Or a lesson that God is in control and has His own timing. Or perhaps, my children need the experience of waiting for and anticipating an event so that one day they will understand one of their future life lessons. But truly what I think I need to understand is that even though I'm 40 weeks or 10 months pregnant, I can choose to be happy. I don't need to be miserable even though I physically feel like garbage and my grass allergies have kicked it up into high gear.

I can choose to not be frustrated with the seemingly endless anticipation birth. Where I will be... What traffic will be like... What wee-hour of the morning time I will be trying to wake up my support network... It's also okay to have a sparse calender. And to not know what's going to happen today. I've still got to move forward and live my life. Even when I'm waiting. Kira won't stay in forever. She will come out. It's okay for me not to know all the details. The bottom line is that it will happen.

July 2, 2011

Birth Story: A Compilation

No matter how many times I have given birth and how free I keep my calender, I am always nervous about where I may be or what I will be doing when I go into labor. And also important is who will be home to take my other kids at that time? Does anyone hear their phone at 3am? Because that's what time I woke up this morning with a strong contraction and urge to pee. My pelvic bones are looser than all get out and I needed to turn over. I think that one seemingly simple movement took me 2 minutes to accomplish. And it took another minute to walk to the toilet. It had me seriously wondering if today is the day.

And it might be. After all, I did get the freezer defrosted and cleaned yesterday. I'd only been putting it off since Memorial Day. And Tymon and I got a couple of shelving units put together that have been sitting in the garage for months on end. And some of the chaos sorted. I wouldn't exactly call it nesting. Just doing a few things that have needed attention. For a while. Kind of like these birthing posts. I truly meant to do one per week before Kira's birth. Ha ha. But they are all here now.

All of my previous birthing experiences have been drug-free. I expect Kira's to be the same. All babies have been in the head down facing backward position, except Jocelyn. Her head was sideways with an arm up. I expect Kira to be head down. I wonder if she'll face forward and the back of her skull will move past my pelvic bone in a worst pain of my life type of manner. And pray that she won't.  Each birth, my water has broken at the very end of labor. A few pushes left to go. Except Graeden. His was an hour before birth. I expect Kira to be the same as the majority of her siblings. 

I know I'm in transition when I start chanting. And the more guttural the sound, the closer the impending birth. I know that the only way to get through the ring of fire is to actually push through it. It sounds so simple. It's just not.  Pain doesn't just go away on its own. It has to be worked through and finessed. Metaphorically speaking, it took me a long time standing on Labor Cliff unsure if I really wanted to jump into Birth Lake or not before I actually did. I'd prefer to do it on my own, naturally, rather than have someone else carry me down and slip me into the water. It's been an faster decision with each successive child. It only took one push to get Jocelyn's head through the fire. I expect Kira's to be the same.

Each labor started on its own and took me by surprise...even though Graeden's was jump started by the doctor stripping my membranes. Every day I think, "today may be the day." And still I wait. Unsure if my expectations are realistic. This birth will be different. I won't be at home. In my tub. With Heike. Listening to stories from my mom. Getting tired. Sitting on my birthing stool. Holding Tymon's hand. Resting and pushing at the same time.

Kira's birth will be different. But in most ways, I expect it to be the same. Even in a hospital setting, Tymon and my mother will be there doing what they do. Heike will be there if she's available. I'll still have a midwife. And a birthing stool. And a tub.

While I do not know the meaning of all things, I do know that God loves me. Each new experience helps me to grow and molds me into the person I am today. While I only understand a small portion of who He is, my journey through life and motherhood help me to understand Him better. 

And so a new journey begins! Maybe today.

Birth Story: Jocelyn, The Fifth - A Home Birth

As luck would have it, I was actually blogging when Jocelyn was born. So, you've already read this story. But if you haven't been reading my blog for the past 3 years, read Jocelyn's birth story here. The week before Jocelyn's birth was the most difficult of my life. I had wanted her to be born early like Evan.

That all changed with Evan's sudden death on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. My prayers changed to that of not going into labor while being in the Emergency Room. And while making burial arrangements. Meeting with the funeral home. Going to the cemetery. Planning a funeral for Saturday. Wondering if we'd get Evan's body back from the coroner in time. Friends and tons of family flooding into town.

Evan's accident was in itself enough to turn our world upside down. But for me, the underlying stress of an impending birth just added to the burden. Heike came to the funeral. I was unsure of what would happen with me. With Jocelyn. I couldn't even write down that Evan had a sister in his funeral program. I didn't want to assume the ultrasound had been accurate on Jocelyn's gender.

It was accurate. And as soon as the last of our family had left town (well, later that afternoon), I had my first contraction. We planned another home birth, my favorite birthing place. Jocelyn was born just over 3 hours later.
An hour into Jocelyn's labor. Building strength to get to the tub and hot water.
Heike (midwife), Me, Jocelyn, Carrie (assistant)
Jocelyn was my ray of sunshine in my darkest days. She strongly encouraged me to get out of bed each morning. In fact, she demanded it. And contrary to the photo above, she was a happy baby. She smiled early and often. Intertwined with our family's Circle of Life.

July 1, 2011

Birth Story: Evan, The Fourth - A Home Birth

The day Evan joined our family, we had a full day planned. We attended an early church service and then Graeden and I went with Tymon to his baccalaureate degree graduation from the University of Washington. Elliott and Jett stayed with my parents. I think just walking to and from the parking lot into the pavilion is what did me in. That and chasing after a 3 year old during the ceremony.

Afterward, we dropped by Jett's birth mother's old house to see if her brother still lived there. He did. We talked for a bit and he gave us his parents' address so we could continue sending letters to them on Jett's birthday. Then we went to a graduation barbecue at one of Tymon's classmates house. When we arrived, I wasn't feeling very well. I said hello and asked to use the restroom...maybe I was car sick? This classmate is from Eritrea in East Africa and along side the burgers there were some traditional dishes. I tried a couple of them. But seriously wasn't feeling well and made Tymon finish my plate. I told Tymon I wanted to leave and it seriously wasn't because I didn't know anyone. I just didn't feel good.

As an aside: the most hilarious part of the evening was talking to an American black guy who sat with us while we ate. Because nearly everyone (various friends and neighbors) was black and from Eritrea, several of them also saw that he was black and started to talk to him in their native language. That had never happened to him before and he looked at them with a blank face and explained that he only spoke English. Hearing him tell about these conversations was hilarious. Ha ha.

As we walked to the car I had a contraction. Not just any contraction. Like a labor contraction. We planned to have a home birth with Evan so we got in the car and headed home. I didn't want to call Heike, yet. I wanted to time the contractions just to make sure they were regular and this was really labor...because seriously...my babies, even the adopted ones, are late. Timing put me at 2 weeks before my due date. I didn't believe I was really in labor though. Just a little nauseous. It took us about 15 minutes to get the freeway and I'd had 3 good contractions. We called Heike. Unfortunately for me, Heike had just delivered her 7th or 8th baby in a row and was exhausted. The other midwife I'd seen had just moved the week before to Montana and so another midwife came with the a couple of assistants who I did know.

We dropped off Graeden and my mom came back to our house with us. As I labored in the tub, my mom told me stories. Two stand out. The first was about her great or maybe great great aunt or grandmother or someone like that who had been a midwife in the 1800s. I think I'll have to get the story again during my next labor, though because I'm pretty foggy on any real details aside from what I've just written.

The second story was really a question. She asked me if I'd had heartburn during the pregnancy. Why yes, yes I had. My ordinarily non-superstitious mother proceeded to tell me that my baby would have hair because heartburn = hair. I couldn't believe it. Seriously, Mom? Since when have you ever believed any of those old wives tales???

I was exhausted after such a long day and wanted a nap. Tymon and my mom helped me out of the tub so I could lay down. As soon as I got out I had a contraction and leaned against the bathroom counter. My water broke. Or burst. And it was full of meconium. At least I was still in the bathroom and clean up was easy. I was still too tired to move and had one more contraction. I used it to push and Evan was born at 10:25 pm. With hair. Huh? I have bald babies. Seriously? Hair? My mom hadn't been telling me a story?

Midwife, assistant, me and Evan, another assistant.
Evan had some other signs that he was full term and not "early." Like his size. He was nearly 8 pounds and 21.5 inches long and had finger prints, which usually come later for pre-term babies. Plus, the vernix had sloughed off. 

Me exhausted with Jett and Evan, my Irish twins, just 9 ½ months apart.
Looking back, I believe that Heavenly Father gave us these extra two weeks with Evan on earth because He knew his time with us would be short. So, it's probably the best sign ever that Kira has not arrived early. Despite not wanting another hospital experience, I will survive my next birth story and Kira will come out
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