May 19, 2013

First week as a family of 5

Katie gave these little comfort items to Alice.
When Zac and Kate saw Alice at home for the first time
Nathan said that Alice didn't like the bright lights so he made her a canopy.
Alice's first bath at home.
She is voracious and eats everything aggressively.
Grammy brought a treasure bag for the kids and us.
Katie got shut in the automatic door at
  Albertson's. They gave the kids balloons. Zac lost his in the store and Katie freaked out that hers would fly away too. We had to tie it around her waist and she had to tuck it the car seat to make sure it didn't fly away.
Katie wanted to wear her sandals to bed. She cried about it.
Nathan's quilt that Diko loves to cuddle with.
The dress my mom, Grammy, made for Kate.

May 18, 2013

Blacker Baby #3

Alice Emily Blacker was born on May 8th, 2013. I had lots of contractions between weeks 35-38 and then week 38-39 was one of the best weeks of my pregnancy. Isn't that crazy? At 38 weeks I was dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced. I had them swipe my membranes but it didn't speed up the process. At 39 weeks, I was still dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced though I was more "ripe" so to speak. Nathan and I felt like I was just going to be pregnant indefinitely. I was pretty at ease, which was nice. Tangent: So, I wanted to have her on the 7th because then her birthday would be made up of prime numbers: 5/7/13. I was sad that didn't happen so then I wanted her to be born on 5/8/13 because 5+8=13 :) When I told Nathan's family these things they looked at me a bit incredulously, but, hey, I grew up in a family of math people so sometimes I think like that. Anyway, we put the kids to bed on the night of the 8th and we showered around 8 PM. I started feeling like I was Braxton Hicksing while showering and just wrote it off because I'd been having much more intense contractions in the  previous weeks. I blow dried my hair and then went out to the living room, where Nathan was working on his quilt, to straighten my hair. My contractions got stronger and I started complaining to Nathan about how I hated having all of these contractions that weren't really labor and how stupid it was to be in pain for nothing. The contractions weren't consistent in length or distance apart. After I was done with my hair I told Nathan I needed to get in the bath to ease my discomfort. He followed me into the bathroom to see if I needed anything. That's when I started having serious labor - like crying in pain during contractions. I didn't believe it was labor and Nathan was really concerned that it was real. He asked me if we should be timing the contractions and I told him that they weren't real, that they weren't consistent or long enough; I was convinced they were only 20-30 seconds long. But I conceded that he could time them if it made him happy. So, he timed the next contraction and it was a minute long. When he told me that, I realized that I might actually be in true labor and told him to call his family right away; his parents and brother and his wife were going to  come the birth and Shantae, his little sister, was going to watch Zac and Kate. We timed the contractions and I was having them 1-5 minutes apart and they lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. I kept saying that I didn't care if it was real labor or not, I just wanted it to stop and I wanted an epidural and hopefully, when the contractions stopped, we would already be at the hospital and they would just break my water for me. Then the contractions got harder and faster.  I was getting worried that I was gonna have the baby at home and I really wanted an epidural. It took a while to get out to the car because of the contractions. I had three long, strong contractions in rapid succession in the car and when they were done, I realized that we had left our house with our children in it and Shantae wasn't there yet. I tried to not freak out and Nathan assured me Shantae was minutes away. The thing that helped me stay sane on the way to the hospital was that I believed I'd be able to get there in time to get an epidural. Time: 10:15 PM. Nathan dropped me off at the front doors of the hospital and I waddled through the first set of doors only to have a contraction right by the wheel chairs. I waddled through the second doors and a nurse saw me and made me sit in a wheel chair, luckily Nathan came running in right then and started wheeling me to triage. Apparently, people exiting the hospital congratulated Nathan as he ran into the hospital. It humored us. So, we went up to triage and I was dilated to 6 and the baby was low enough to start pushing, I just wasn't dilated enough. Time: 10:30 PM. I begged the nurse to hurry so that I could get an epidural. I couldn't remember my midwife's name and they had to get an IV in me so that they could give me an epidural. Then I started to feel like I  had to bear down. I was not thrilled. I told them and they got me into a delivery room only to tell me that I was at an 8. Time: 10:45 PM. I asked, "I'm not gonna get to have an epidural, will I?" The nurses, there were 3 of them, and Nathan all looked at each other and no one would answer me. I was so disappointed. Luckily, I was very mentally with it. I started to feel like I had to push again and told them. They were frantically trying to get a doctor to come deliver the baby. She got there and I tried pushing and then they said I was only at 9 1/2 cm and needed to not push with the next contraction. So, I didn't. I was laying on my side and asked to push on my side. I had asked for a bar so that I could squat but didn't end up moving because I started pushing instead. Anyway, I pushed about 5 times, just a couple of contractions, and our baby came out! Time 11:09 PM. With the last push I had instinctively straightened my legs, I guess that happens sometimes, and kicked the doctor in the face and then glanced off of her shoulder. She was pushed back about 5 feet but luckily, shook it off quickly and jumped right back in time to catch the baby. (I didn't know about this until a couple hours later. Poor doctor.) So, I had a maybe 3 hour labor with Alice. It was intense. But not as intense as Kate's labor was (I had Katie naturally as well because the anesthesiologist had been in with a C-section and I gave birth before he could come give me an epidural). With Alice, I was able to stay with it and aware of  my surroundings, minus the doctor's face. It also was not as painful as Kate's labor. I had always assumed that the shorter the labor, the more painful it was because that was my experience with Zac and Katie. Not so. Alice's labor was the easiest of my three kids.

The kids love her. Zac doted on her the minute he saw her. He pointed to her nose and said, "Her tiny nose" then pointed to his and said, "Big nose" and pointed to Nathan's nose and said, "Big nose." It was cute. Kate liked the baby but didn't really understand what was going on.

Being at home, the kids LOVE Alice and Katie tries to share everything with her and pick her up, which is not so cool.