Monday, June 23, 2008

Life with 4, 5 and Under

We're a little over two weeks into this crazy parenting gig we've gotten ourselves into. And there's no turning back. Even though Ren and I have always said we wanted at least 4 children, and we wanted to have them close together, honestly, it's rather difficult to imagine oneself caring for this many small children at one time. I know, we should have planned and prepared ourselves a little bit more. It boggles my mind when I think of the sheer magnitude of tiny people running around this house at any given moment. We are our own day care center. At times, it even appears that they are multiplying. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork. One will leave the room, and suddenly 2 or 3 or more suddenly appear! In fact, they're a lot like Mogwai. Remember them? They deceptively cute and fun and snuggly upon first introduction. But there's something about getting them wet and feeding them after midnight that turns them into these bad boys. What's even funnier is when friends with little ones come over to visit. It's like one big, energetic, attention span impaired, sassy, K4 infestation.

Basically, my day consists of playing short order cook, wiping multiple tiny hinies, not showering until 4 PM, rescuing the baby from imminent danger posed by her siblings, and watching hours of children's programs. I would be lying if I said this is how I imagined what my life would be like back in high school. I probably imagined something a wee bit more glamorous. But, it is what it is. I know this time won't last forever. They'll all grow up too fast, and when I'm an empty nester I'll be wishing they were all back home pestering me. Unless of course, Ren and I win the lottery. Then we'll be cruising the world, and we'll be too rich and too busy to miss this crazy biz.

Here's something worth pondering: Someone pointed out to me the other day that when Isabel (#1 in birth order) is 25, Abigail (#4) will be 20! How the heck is that even possible? I think we're going to have to win the lottery. Either that or they're funding their own way through college.

Abigail is 17 days old as I write this. She is spending more and more of her day awake now, and she is still just the sweetest, loveliest, and most easy going baby ever. I guess God gave her a good talking to before she made her entrance into this world!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Abigail Jean

She's here! Abigail Jean Buckland was born on Friday night, June 6, 2008 at 11:01 PM. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 6 oz, and measured 19.5 inches long. She's totally beautiful and perfect in every way. And we are all so very happy to have her in our family.

Now her original due date was June 11. So she is 5 days early. A first for a Buckland child. All my other labors were overdue. I've never been a big fan of induction, and thankfully have never had to be induced. However, this being my fourth pregnancy, taking care of three small children, and my last labor experience, were all factors in helping Ren and I come to a brave new decision.

I allowed myself to be induced with Abigail. *gasp*

I didn't really plan on this until the very end. As I was growing more and more exhausted, and as we approached the due date with hastening speed, I was getting more and more nervous about what we would actually do once I went into labor. Isabel and Josephine were present for Oliver's birth, but that wasn't by design. That was by necessity since we barely made it to the hospital. They handled it well, and they were very sweet to have with us in the delivery room. My son, on the other hand, no dice. I knew one thing for certain. I DID NOT want my 18 month old bundle of energy in the delivery room with me. I kept thinking we needed to come up with a better plan.

I kept telling Ren that if I went to my next appointment and the midwives told me I was 4 cm dilated (a common occurrence in all my pregnancies), that I would probably go ahead and check myself into the hospital and let them induce me. I had my weekly check-up on Friday morning with the midwives, and sure enough, she said I was a good 3-4 cm. Meaning: This baby could literally come and any time and when it does hold on to your hats! So, I went back home, got my bags packed, kissed the kiddos goodbye (my mom was already with them), ate some lunch, and waited for Ren to meet me at the house. We left for the hospital at about 2:45 PM. It was so calm and civilized. A far cry from my last labor!

We made it to the hospital. Checked in. Got settled. My sister Sharla arrived. And my midwife started me on a VERY slow Pitocin drip at 6:45 PM. And when I say slow, I mean that in a range of 0-40 cc, she only got me up to 4 cc. Very slow, very controlled. And the way to go, in my case. I've always heard horror stories about Pitocin, that they cause horrendous contractions, that the pain is unmanageable without an epidural, etc. My midwife told us this is usually because the doctor jacks it up too high, too soon. I started having very regular contractions after just an hour of being on 2 cc of Pitocin. I noticed no difference in Pitocin contractions vs. the regular non-induced contractions from my previous labors. They felt the same to me.

I got to 6 cm after about two hours with just the Pitocin. Then she broke my water about 9:00. Labor picked up and started to intensify. Still, everything felt so calm, controlled, and smooth compared to my last labor, that all I kept thinking was--INDUCTION ROCKS!!! Granted, there are numerous factors involved. It depends on the pregnancy, the one performing the induction, how far along you are, etc. And I know it should never be entered into lightly. And in our case it wasn't. It couldn't have gone any smoother. Abigail Jean was born a couple hours after the midwife broke my water. All without an epidural. No stitches needed. Momma and baby both very happy.

We got home Sunday afternoon, and have had a nice time to relax and transition to being at home. Ren has been home with us for two days, so that's been wonderful. I will be sad when he has to go back to work, but somebody's got to earn some money around here! Thankfully, we are surrounded by a lot of loving family and friends, so we feel like we have a good support system already in place.

So far, she's doing great. Nursing and sleeping really well. The other kids are smitten with her. Especially her sisters. They adore her. To them, she's a living baby doll. Even Oliver likes her, which is surprising to me. He wants to hug her and touch her a lot. He's already a great big brother.

God is good.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Days=Fun Days

I've really been enjoying my time with my kids already this summer. Funny, considering that summer hasn't even technically started yet. I may be singing a different tune come August. But for now, we've been hanging out and taking advantage of the beautiful, warm weather. Going to parks, libraries, and swimming pools. We've been so busy this past year, that I haven't really had time to just enjoy my kids. But now that I am unemployed, and Isabel's out of school, our schedule has really cleared up. Being unemployed kind of rocks.

For some reason, taking them places used to feel like such a chore. But compared to our hectic schedule this past year, lately it's been feeling like a walk in the park. Literally, like a walk in the park...since that's what we did yesterday. I've gotten so used to getting them ready and out the door every morning, that now I feel like I'm on vacation. I truly needed this break. Today, we spent all the glorious morning/day with our dear friend, Amy, and her amazing pool. We all had a blast.

Not sure at this point what life with Baby #4 is going to add to our fun equation. Hopefully, we'll still be able to get out and have as much fun as we've been having together. Lately, more now than ever before, I've been realizing how special these kids o' mine are, and how quickly they are going to grow up. And one day, too soon I'm afraid, I'll be wishing they were little again. I am realizing, more and more, how precious this time is that I have with them.

I like my kids.