Saturday, March 29, 2008

Aunt Sharla Rocks

I have a child surplus. Most of you already know that. Thankfully, though, with that surplus God has also graciously provided us with lots of help. I honestly don't know what I would do without my precious mom. She's a lifeline and partly responsible for helping me raise these kids o' mine. I am also blessed with lots of friends and other family nearby. We definitely have a great community of loving, supportive people surrounding us. It really does take a village. Or in our case, a couple of counties.

Yesterday, my lovely sister, Sharla, came and picked up Isabel and Josephine for a sleepover at her house. In a 24 hour period, she made them tacos for dinner, watched Enchanted, made them waffles for breakfast, took them swimming at the YMCA, saw Horton Hears a Who at the movie theater, took naps, and were brought promptly home to us by dinner time this evening. That's more than I do with them on any given lunar phase. Needless to say, they had a great time, and Aunt Sharla was exhausted.

Ren and I had a very relaxing, event-free Saturday. Relaxing, because we had two fewer children than we normally do. We still had Oliver around with us, and he was more than happy to be the center of our attention for a day. I can't remember the last time we had such a relaxing, quiet, and peaceful day. Thanks, Aunt Sharla!!! Same time, next weekend, right???

About a Boy

I was sorting through all my posts, and I can't believe that I've never posted Oliver's birth story on my blog. It's a story worthy of a retelling. And maybe even a dramatic reenactment. Trust me.

It was December 2006. 5 days before Christmas. First off, let me just say for the record that having a baby that close to a major holiday kind of sucks. It's a crazy, hectic, busy, stressful, and expensive time of year as it is. Then throw in a baby, and a new minivan. You get the picture. For more of my real feelings on Christmas, read this.

I typically go overdue with my pregnancies. Oliver's was the closest, and by closest I mean that he was born in the wee hours of the morning on the 20th (his due date was the 19th), and by closest, I also mean that we almost didn't make it to the hospital in time to have him. With all my pregnancies I get to 4 cm dilated without even going into labor. Yeah, I know, I'm lucky. But see, there's a problem that we deal with that most women don't have to even think about. As the due date fast approaches, my poor husband and I worry almost daily about the very real possibility that we may not make it to the hospital, and he'll have to play the role of the midwife and catch the baby. Now, as a young couple with no kids, that was at one time kind of exciting. But as we get older, the reflexes slower, our brood of children more numerous, and our drive to the hospital a little bit further, that isn't so much fun.

Once I get to 4 cm, I am like a ticking time bomb. As I was with Oliver, that cold winter's night.

I had an appointment the morning of his due date with the midwives. They checked me and sure enough, I was 4 cm. So we scheduled an induction a couple of days later. But we never got to that. I started to feel yucky that evening. I thought it was just my dinner not sitting well with me. So we went to bed that night. It was late, about 11:00 PM. I started to drift off to sleep.

I woke up suddenly at around 1:11 AM with a contraction that made me sit up and take notice. See, I am the Queen of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I have like 80 or so a day, but they're irregular, and considered pre-labor contractions. They're doing the work of getting me to 4 cm, I guess. This one particular contraction just felt different. I timed it, and the next one came 5 minutes later. I timed the third one and same thing. At that point, I woke up Ren, and told him that we should call the midwife. So we did, and she told us to come on in to the hospital.

We call my mom, who lives 20 minutes from us, and tell her to come over so we don't have to wake the girls. In the meantime, Ren decided to take a shower, while we waited for my mom, and while I packed some last minute stuff.

That's when things took an even more dramatic turn.

I was still timing contractions, when all of a sudden they went from 5 minutes to 2 minutes apart. Yeah. Ren gets out of the shower and inform him of what's happened. We call my mom to check on her status, and learn that she hasn't even left her house yet!!! Ren then moves into high gear, throws our bags in the car, rips the girls out of their beds from a deep sleep, buckles them into their car seats and we head for the hospital at 1:52 AM.

The girls were so disoriented with all the commotion. Ren is doing 80 MPH to the hospital. 2 year old Josephine starts crying saying that she needs a wipe. I asked her if she was poopy, and she said yes. We tell her we'll change her when we get to the hospital. Then, I smell something. It's dark so I can't see what is the cause of the smell. We turn on the light, take a look back at Jo and's not poopy. Our poor little girl is covered in vomit. All the excitement and Ren's Mario Andretti impersonation behind the wheel was just a little too much for her. Are you getting this picture??? I am in hard, heavy labor at this point. My child is screaming and covered in vomit. The smell is nauseating. Ren's still doing 80. We're not even sure what we're going to do once we get to the hospital. But getting there is all we can think about.

We reach the hospital, and Ren literally dumps me off at the ER at 2:10 AM, tells me to check myself in while he parks and cleans up our Vomit Girl. I walk in, check in and they get me to the delivery room in what feels like an eternity. Ren was still not there. They check me, and sure enough, I am 10 cm dilated, and that Oliver's head is right about to come down. You've never seen people fly into action as quickly as you do at the hospital when a women is about to have a baby! Ren makes it to the delivery room with the girls in the double stroller. Josephine is in her underwear and wrapped in a blanket. We totally did not intend for them to be in the room with us when Oliver was born. It just happened that way.

Remember I said we reached the hospital at 2:10 AM??? Oliver was born at 3:01. A mere 51 minutes later.

His birth story suits his personality perfectly. Our life with him has been a non-stop ball of action ever since. He is certainly the most energetic of all our children, and they'll all give you a run for your money. I've always said he has two personalities--Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even as an infant, he was either the most agreeable happy baby, or baby Tasmanian Devil. He either has Ren and I laughing hysterically or ranting and yelling like maniacs. He brings us incredible joy and laughter, and also makes us more exhausted than we've ever been. He is a force to be reckoned with. He tears through the house at warp speed, often leaving a trail of demolition in his wake. I often wonder if the world will be ready for this young man when he comes of age. I'm not sure I will be!

Jesus is Coming Soon

That's right, folks. I'm calling it. Do you want to know how I know? Just go here and find out for yourselves. Make sure you're sitting down.

This from the man who has previously denounced blogs and all blog reading. I distinctly remember him saying something about how he didn't "get the whole online diary thing." This truly is a miracle of God. This should bring encouragement to you; that is, if the Good Lord can turn around a hardened, cynical, blog-hating man like Ren Buckland, He truly can do anything.

I am so excited that he FINALLY saw the light and joined the Blogosphere. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to reading future posts. If his first post is any indication, then you can be rest assured that his future posts will be just as excellent and classy. Just like he is.

I am so excited and so very pleased to welcome, Ren Buckland (aka, my better half), to the Blog World. It's been a long time a-coming.