Monday, October 27, 2014

Miss Emma

sak photography

Emma June
September 9, 2014
2:05 pm
7 lbs. 11 oz. 19 1/2 in

I don't even know how to write a birth story. First, it's so personal - I mean, we are talking about a child coming out of your Area. And yeah, Area deserves capitalization there, you know what I'm saying? But, it is also amazing, a true miracle, completely natural - the most natural just awesome experience this world has to offer and a silly blog post is the least of places it deserves to be written for. But, for now, the Internet is kind of a permanent place where I can keep these precious gems and one day this little miss will want to read how she came in to this world. Maybe? I hope so. 

You think you know how things are going to go. At least I did, this time. The fifth baby, you'd think I am a pro at birthing them, but if there is one thing I know in this life is that you never know. We arrived at the hospital in the morning, as scheduled, and things went routinely for an induction: paper work, room, IV, waiting. My doctor decided to break my water before starting pitocin. That was new. She wanted to see if labor would progress on its own by breaking my water, but...nothing. So, the nurse started pitocin and had to increase the dose every hour because nothing was happening. I was contracting, but I couldn't even feel them and they were all over the place.. Finally, at 9 ml/hr I started feeling the contractions, but I wasn't dilating. ...and let me just say here that all the boys were born quickly. No problems dilating, nothing, so I starting to get on edge. The nurse provided a ball and once I started moving around on it a bit the contractions started coming closer together and more painful - good sign for a baby!

But no dilation. So more waiting. And then, two nurses came in and put an oxygen mask on me. And that was new, too. So I started getting a little more anxious, obviously, but the nurse said not to worry that baby's heart rate was going down just a bit and this would help. But, little Emma wasn't descending.

Things get a little foggy here. There was an influx of nurses and the doctor was in and out and Travis kept pacing back and forth, and everyone looked worried.  I didn't know what else to do except to pray and it was kind of a desperate prayer along the lines of " Please keep this baby safe and dear God I cannot handle a c-section with four other children at home to take care of so please help me out here". And, as soon as the word amen left my lips, even through the epidural, I felt this baby move on down to where she was supposed to be and I don't take that lightly. I was helped in that instance. I followed up with a quick prayer of thanks. 

So, I was all ready to push. And it was hard. I've never had trouble pushing a baby out, but I felt like I couldn't even get any kind of grip to push. Travis, bless his heart, is such a supporter. He was on my right side doing and saying whatever he could to encourage me to push - but he just didn't get it. I literally could not push! Eventually I managed to push enough for her to descend and with a little help from our doctor, Emma came out. 

She got a quick check and spent the next couple of hours getting snuggled. (i actually hate that word.) And the rest of the time in the hospital was smooth sailing. It took us a little while to pick her name. When we finally settled on Emma, we still were on the fence about her middle name. It was between Lynn and June. I just love the name June and since we didn't use it for the first name, I just couldn't let go of it. So, Emma June it was.

She got visits from lots of family: the boys and Cheryl, followed by my Mom and Dad, and Aunties Danielle and Lauren. Lauren came back the next day with Michael, and Chris and Lorrin, a friend of Travis', and Great Grandma and Grandpa Wilson came before we left.

We had amazingly nice nurses and everything just went great. I appreciate their hard work.

And then, we came home....

(and aren't the pictures just darling??! My friend Sarah does an amazing job! Can't wait to see our family photos we had done over the weekend!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I Finally Stopped Watching The Walking Dead.

***contains spoilers of the first episode of season 5. 

So, the Walking Dead. Just about one of the best shows ever on tv, right? I know. I've watched every episode, even though I say I'm never watching it again everytime. But, I'm really done watching it this time and I'll tell you why.

Secret: I kind of love zombies. It's the only area of the horror genre I can handle. I don't do ghosts or demons (certainly not demonic children...can someone please tell me why this is a recurring theme?!), haunted or evil houses, gory deranged serial killers, or just gore in general. It's apocalyptic - which caters to my borderline doomsday prepper disorder perfectly...and gives me ideas about what to do/not to do in dire situations!  It's an us vs. them mentality and you always want the good guy to win, right? C'mon humanity! ..and then you have the tiny detail that it's COMPLETELY fictional and could never happen. So, even though I never want to admit that "yes, I'm a Walking Dead fan" to say, like, my Bishop...I'm a fan because it's secretly kind of fun. 

Except this new season isn't fun, at all. Did you catch the first episode last week?!  Gore, gore, more gore. We can definitely agree that the gore level has been increasing each season, but it's always looked pretty fake...and it's a zombie show, so there has to be some gore, right? 

But, we're not dealing with just zombies anymore. The good guys aren't just running away from fictional monsters. In this season, the fractured group we've all been rooting for comes together at what they thought was a safe haven free from 'walkers'. But, the people who run this compound called 'Terminus' aren't just misguided folks who steal to survive - they're in the business of pillaging, torturing, murdering, and eating people. 

Eating people. 

In the premiere episode of season 5, I watched in horror as 8 people were shown waiting in line at a giant trough-like stainless steel sink to get their heads beat in with a baseball bat while another guy jumps in to slit their throats. The show didn't just insinuate this was watched it happen. 

Obviously, the 4 main characters in that line-up survive this ordeal by killing their captors, stealing automatic guns, and then firing on more of these people to get the rest of their group and get out of there. Oh yeah, and they have to walk past corpses hanging like slabs of meat, butcher shop style. Like, human bodies without arms or legs just hanging there. All the while, zombies are taking over the camp and biting people everywhere.

 And then we have the guy with intentions of hurting the baby, which, for a mom with a new baby and four other innocent kiddos - I don't need another reminder of all the people in the world who would hurt children if given the opportunity. And can I just add - you never know what kinds of ideas people are getting from these crazy shows. There's a lot of freaks out there. 

Anyway, after watching that episode I have been mauling it over all week. I think we, as television viewers, should demand more of our tv shows, yes. But, I don't have time to do that and there are millions that don't want to do that anyway. And, if that is your prerogative, go for it. 

But maybe there's someone out there that feels like me and wants a reason to stop watching, too. As I couldn't get images of that episode out of my mind this week,  I was reminded of an article by Richard G. Scott that I used for a talk I gave in church one Sunday. You can find it in its entirety here.

Here's a few snippets: (bold is mine) 

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming. Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind. 
You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.
It's a stretch to apply these snippets to someone who watches shows like the Walking Dead. Do I think it's going to undermine my character? No. Not specifically. But, I do think - that for me - consistently watching shows - or consistently doing anything that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ will eventually erode my character - absolutely. Not religious? You don't have to be - the shock value of shows like this desensitizes and normalizes things that should be outrageous to everyone. 
"You become what you do and think about". I want to be better at being a mom, and a wife, and even though I rarely have the time for it anymore - a writer.  I want to be a better cook and friend and someone who freely gives service. And watching the filth that I saw last week will not help me achieve any of those things. I want to consciously choose entertainment that makes me happy and that I can share with my whole family - and the Walking Dead definitely is not a family affair. Not to mention - it's pretty stressful to watch that show anyway. 
"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day" - Consistently making better choices in all things will add to and fortify our character and help us develop into what we want to become. 
And when you have that perspective - that show gets a lot less important. 
And I'm hoping my "better choices" in television programs won't come with nightmares. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

5 Weeks In.

I'm 5 weeks in to a new "normal". There's so many things I have wanted to say and write down and REMEMBER about this time period, but it all comes down to this: I am tired. More tired than I have ever been in my entire life. And so hungry - all. the. time. - thank you breastfeeding. This last month has been a frustratingly wonderful kind of way. There have been some growing pains, especially with Nash, but it is getting a little easier every day...and I'm pretty sure Emma kind of likes me, like - a lot. Which is good, because I'm kind of over the moon about her. 

How about a birth story for next time...yes?! 

iPhone Dump 2019

In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...