Greeting Greta

The kids were really sweet meeting Greta for the firs time. They were so attentive and deliberate. And then they got stir crazy in the small room. But the initial moments were very tender.
Helping me bide time - Go Fish. Right after the delivery, Dr. O'hara asked me when I wanted to go home. I assumed he meant I could leave as soon as I could get out of the bed. And I think he might have let us go. However, due to a looney OB, a "chance" of GBS +, and only one round of penicillin, we were stuck there for the whole 48 hours.
A close second to a new baby sister - jello in miniature cups!
Chit chatting.

Going home! She's really excited. It just looks like she's ticked off.

Welcome to the world baby girl

Whew. It is odd how I remember the uncomfortableness of pregnancy stronger than I remember the pain of labor. Maybe because it lasted longer. But the end/beginning was in sight here and we were excited...and a bit tired. It was about 11:30 p.m. We deliberated for a couple of hours whether or not to go to the hospital. With Joseph coming so quickly, we were nervous to push it. In the end we decided it was better to call our friend Sarah (who was going to stay with the kids) at 11:00 at night than 2 in the morning. So here we were.
Ruth. The best labor and delivery nurse in the world. She is a young widowed mother of three daughters. She works two 12 hour weekend shifts so she can stay home with her girls through the week. I am sad to say I do not have a very good picture of her. You will have to believe me though that she was beautiful, in many ways. She had all the great Mexican features of long, thick dark hair and smooth, dark skin. She loved her job. She was a true servant. That is her elbow below. Can't you tell how great she was?

So this picture was taken when we arrived in L/D. She was checking vitals and then I was free to roam. The doctor on call came in to inform me that he was there to "check my cervix and break my water." Not a question, a statement. I told him I would rather he didn't and asked if we could have a minute to try to get things started on our own. Clearly annoyed, he said that I had two children at home and should not still be pregnant and he could "put you out of your misery, but if you want to prolong this that is your decision." Such a sweet man. Said he had a c-section to do and would be back in 45.

We all but ran up and down the hallway for 45 minutes. Nothing. I was contracting regularly, but she wasn't coming down and my water was still in tact. When he returned, I shared my fear of ending up in a c-section if he broke my water and my labor stalled or the cord came out first. He assured me he would not break my water unless her head was right at my cervix and he promised that she would be here in an hour if he did. That was 2:54 a.m.

And this is what he started, real labor. And now I know what my brother was talking about when we were kids and he said I made a face that looked like a cat when I was mad. I wasn't mad here, but apparently it is a face of pain as well.

3:55 a.m. Apparently he wasn't too confident in his prediction because he missed most of the birth. (By the way, no fear in looking at the picture below. There is nothing gross or immodest. Only baby and doctor/nurse hands.) Note his ungloved hands and all that was left of Greta to be delivered - her feet. Those are Ruth's hands - one behind Greta's head and the other holding her leg. Despite all my sass about Dr. O'Hara, he was very professional and did a great job...for what he made it for. He had a nice smile too - he should use it more often.

So, this is the reason (well, not the only one) that we go the natural delivery route. Look at that enormous contraption on my arm! I do not like needles or the pain they bring. I whined more about this i.v. port than anything else I think. Epidural? Ugh, no way. (However, I might change my mind if my labor lasted longer than a minute like it has so far.)
And here she is. Weighing in a whole pound bigger than Joseph who was 12 ounces bigger than his big sister. Suppose we could get an 8 pounder if we keep trying.

Mamma to Mamma

People have often said I look like my mom. I don't always see it. Mostly because she is mousy brown (originally :) ) and blue eyed and I am dark brown (originally) and brown eyed. But, boy do I see it here.This picture was taken about 4 hours before she helped welcome her 6th grandchild into this world. We had to move across the country for her to make it to a delivery. We called when we went into labor with Olivia and they weren't even out of the neighborhood before we called back to say, "She's here!" And she almost missed it here. Her plane was scheduled to take her home on August the 10th and Greta tarried until the 7th. Nerve racking.

If I had one thing I could go back and do differently about having my mom here, it would be to go back and pay more attention. I spent the first 7 days anxious that she was going to miss it. Then, once it started...well, labor and delivery is pretty overwhelming and all my mental energy went to that once it started. I find myself straining my memory to those 5-6 hours - waking her up to say, "let's go" - walking in circles around the hospital lobby, wondering if we came too soon (above picture) - sitting in the triage, annoyed that my contractions seemed to have slowed, listening to the woman barf in corral #2...not everything is worth straining my memory for.

There were comments and looks exchanged that I am certain I will forget over time, so I have written them in my journal (the one I have kept of my pregnancies, deliveries, and growth of the kids - remember my "issue" with journals - yes, I have one just for this). We have talked about what the experience was like for her...being there for the birth of a grandchild...watching the one you brought into the world, bring in another. But, I doubt I will ever really know what it was like for her, deep in her heart. But deep in my heart it was very special. Special to have the one who endured such pain for me (not just in child birth), hold my hand in my own pain. To have her wipe my smudged eye make-up (as only a good southern mother could) after it was all over. To have her tell me I could do it just when I was thinking trying this for a 3rd time was the dumbest decision I ever made.

Thank you for being here, Mamma. And thanks to Daddy for letting you come and stay so long. It was an experience I will never forget. And if I do, I'll just reread it in my journal.

The difference a month makes

June 30thAugust 6th - the day before. Labor had begun.

The week before - III

For Karl (and Karen, thanks for the shirt).

The week before- II

Tide pools at Cabrillo. I think we about gave Mimi a heart attack - high cliffs over the Pacific and a 3 and 4 year old.The Pirate Band at the library. This guy is hilarious. We've run into him all over town at different gigs, including our own neighborhood. Last fall these same 3, plus to more, were the Irish Band at the library. Very versatile this group.
O and Joe are typically the only Gringos at the downtown library.
Corn dogs at Seaport Village. I think this is where I started this pregnancy - corn dogs at Seaport Village.
The bird man and his birds.

Biding time, walking a lot, trying to eat odd food - anything to get things started. Nothing.

The week before - I

My mom arrived on August 1st. Her plane was scheduled to leave on August 10th. Greta's due date, officially, was August 13th. Hmm. When your first two are three weeks early...what else do you have to go on? It was nerve racking. Day after day passed. I knew I didn't want her here any earlier than she needed to be, but it was going to be so disappointing if my mom missed her. So, we did our best to keep ourselves busy and remind ourselves that God's timing is perfect. We played foozball.We looked fat and miserable while playing foozball.
We played in the sand table.
We laid around (under) baby Greta and asked her to come out.
We went for long walks - on the Coronado side of the harbor. Some guys caught a leopard shark - you wouldn't believe the number of questions we answered about this. What will they do with it? How will they eat it? When will they eat it? How will they cook it? When will they cook it? Will it bite them? What will it taste like? Why did they catch it? How did they catch it? Why are they filling that cooler full of beer? (That was Mike)
Coronado bridge
Our lovely city (views from our walk)

Happiness is...

When we find ourselves out at lunch time unprepared...In and Out Burger with a milkshake.

Things we did to occupy ourselves while we waited "patiently" for Greta.

Budding friendship

Some days they are at each other all day. Other days they are joined at the hip and play so pleasantly together.They do both look like they are plotting how to take each other out as soon as the picture is over...

Sew on

One last minute project before Greta was born. I made the pj pants for Olivia. I almost made them too small - thankfully there is a sister to hand down to now.

Miss Minna's ballet class

Olivia is officially a graduate of Miss Minna's ballet class. She recently finished her second semester with Miss Minna and her progress was lovely.

Official recital film. She danced for 1:33 to Fonseca's Mercedes. The move where she disappears into the bathroom is supposed to be her big jump/leap...I think the leap happened in the bathroom. After the leap was "free dance" and then the bow. Enjoy! And thank you Miss Minna. Special memories.

Why there are two of us

If it were just me, we would do art and music and animals and culture/social studies for school all the time. But thanks to Mike they are learning about sets and the circulatory system. Olivia did this whole board by herself. I was impressed.p.s. Mike just said not all narratives are in chronological order - meaning I can post pictures of Greta now and catch up later...I'm going to go to bed now...I'll think about whether or not I can handle being out of order tomorrow.

Surfs up

I know you really just want to see baby pictures, but I am just enough anal that I have a hard time posting pictures out of order. Plus the fact that I keep thinking that one day I will print out our blog in some sort of photo book form and I want everything to be in order. So I will try to get things updated quickly so we can get to the baby pictures.Thanks, Grandma, for the new suits. They were both very pleased.
He claims he is surfing.

Still waiting you can see.
But with Mimi here we can actually get a shot with everyone in it.