We have done lots of fun things this month:
But October has also brought quite a few tough moments along with the cold:
This week, the girls and I adventured to the outside world for the first time without Andrew. It was interesting (see previous post about the runaway stroller).
Actually, it was really nice to be outside and hang out with family. On Tuesday we went to the zoo with Stacey and her daughter Clara. Grace and Clara are only a few months apart, and as they grow it is fun to see how their relationship blossoms. They shared snacks and rode on the carousel together. At one point, Clara started tickling Grace and they both laughed their heads off about it. Their friendship is super cute!
The next day we ventured out to farm country with Heidi and her kids. Heidi's son, Parker, is another one of Grace's favorite cousins. He can always get her to giggle. Grace loved petting the goats and bunny rabbits. She was also obsessed with the baby chicks. But I think her favorite activity of the day was sitting on the gravel and moving rocks. haha. (Why are non-toys so clearly more engaging and fun to play with than actual toys created for kids?)
Some other random highlights of the week include:
Being a parent comes with so many learning curves. Of course, we are going to make mistakes along the way. But there are some mistakes that you wish could be avoided....like the run-away stroller incident I experienced this week.
It all started with a trip to the zoo. This was my first outing by myself with both babies and a new stroller. As I parked, I started trying to play how I would get everyone out of the car.
I decided to proceed in the following order:
It seemed like such a simple plan, but things took a turn for the worst when I failed to engage the break properly.
I had just strapped Grace into her seat and had turned back to the car to get the bassinet when suddenly I heard someone screaming across the parking lot, "YOUR STROLLER!!! YOUR STROLLER!!!" I glanced to where I had just left Grace and instead saw her rolling away.
I freaked out and ran after her. Luckily, the parking lot wasn't busy, so Grace wasn't in any danger, but STILL! As I pushed her back to the car, I could feel the embarrassed tears filling my eyes. I tried to breathe deep and continue assembling the stroller, but I was flustered and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The man who had yelled at me came over with his family. He was an older gentleman, with his wife, daughter (who was probably around my age), and grandson (about Grace's age).
"Sorry," he said as he approached. "I didn't mean to scare you. I would have grabbed the stroller if I had been closer."
"No, don't apologize. I am very grateful you yelled." I reassured him through my tears.
His wife smiled at me. "You'd be hard pressed to find a mom that hasn't had a similar experience."
Their kindness calmed my tears. They wished me luck on my outing and left. I said a silent prayer of thanks that everyone was safe, packed up the rest of the stroller, and headed into the zoo to meet up with my sister-in-law.
So, everybody survived and I learned the invaluable lesson of the importance of stroller breaks.
Please tell me if you’ve ever had any similar parenting mistakes... let’s bond through our weaknesses :)
Andrew returned to work this week after enjoying 3 weeks of paternity leave. It was difficult for all of us, but I think Grace found it especially rough. Her daddy is her favorite person right now. His name is the first sound off her lips every morning as I open the door to her room, and she loves climbing all over him or sitting in his lap to stack blocks.
When people asked me how the day/week was going, I sent them this first picture with a caption: This is my view while nursing Madelyn.
A picture really is worth a thousand words sometimes.
It was brutal, but we made it! I just have to keep reminding myself that as long as everyone is safe, it's ok if someone isn't perfectly happy. Mom only has so many arms to go around.
Today, I was supposed to be induced. Instead, I'm sitting on my couch next to my little 2 week old baby. It's crazy how plans change when it comes to babies :)
Madelyn Estelle Macey zoomed into our lives on Saturday, August 24 at 1:07 in the morning. I say "zoomed" because I was only in labor for about 4 hours (but more on that part of the story in a minute). She weighed in at 6 lbs 11 oz and was 19 inches long. She has a full head of dark hair and big eyes, and I think that she looks very similar to how her big sister, Grace, looked when she was born (although family and friends swear she looks more like me). We are so in love with our little Maddy.
At about 9 pm
On Friday evening (Aug 23rd), Andrew, Grace and I went out. We visited with family and stopped by Crumbl to get some cookies to celebrate the end of Andrew's Birthday Week. While waiting in the car for Andrew to pick up the cookies, I started to feel grumbles in my stomach. I wasn't sure if they were contractions, but I started wondering what we would do if they were: Who would watch Grace? How long would it take for baby to arrive? Would my mom be able to make the birth this time? How would this labor compare to my last? These questions all ran through my mind, but I seriously doubted that what I was experiencing were true contractions.
Well, as we drove home and the pains continued, Andrew urged me to text some friends and neighbors to see if any of them would be willing to come sit on our couch so that Grace wouldn't be home alone if we had to go to the hospital. My friend Wrenn gave me an enthusiastic "100% Yes!" and I laughed as I reminded her that I wasn't so sure this was the real deal. In the mean time, I started tracking the pains on my contraction counter and decided to try taking a warm bath to calm my muscles. The pain continued to intensify. And by this time, I was sure these contractions felt very similar to my experience with Grace's delivery. I hopped out of the bath, got dressed, and hobbled downstairs to Andrew to tell him the situation.
"Hey babe," I mumbled through the pain of another contraction. "We should probably put the bags in the car and head to the hospital soon."
"Ok. When does the book say we are supposed to go to the hospital?" he asked as he casually cleaned up the kitchen.
"When contractions are at least 30 seconds and about 5 minutes apart."
"How far apart are your contractions?"
He looked up, shocked. "Seriously?! Oh wow, we really do need to leave." Suddenly, cleaning the kitchen was no longer the priority.
The next few minutes were a rush of calling my mother-in-law to ask her to drive out and stay the night at our house, calling Wrenn to come stay at the house until my mother-in-law arrived, grabbing the hospital bags, texting my parents to let them know we were heading to the hospital, and checking on Grace to make sure she was asleep. Finally, we got into the car and drove the glorious 5 minutes to the hospital (I am very grateful we live so close to our hospital).
about 10:15 pm
We arrived to the hospital and I waddled to Labor and Delivery. The nurse led us to a small room and instructed me to change into the hospital gown. As I changed, I told Andrew my big fear, "I'm going to be seriously upset if these are not real labor pains!"
But after a few checks, it was clear my body was definitely preparing to bring baby girl into the world very soon. We were moved into a bigger delivery room and I immediately asked for an epidural. (What can I say, I am a fan of the medical miracles provided through drugs). Pretty sure the anesthesiologist arrived by 11pm and quickly provided a healthy dose of medication to help numb the pain. I was grateful, and I'm pretty sure Andrew was grateful too because up until then I had been rather indecisive and demanding (not a good combination).
"Andrew, come here."
"Andrew, rub my back."
"No, stop. That doesn't feel good."
"Ahhhh, shiz, do something!"
"I don't know what."
"Andrew, push on my back again." ....and so on.
Honestly, Andrew is a saint! Through all my pain and complaining, he lovingly and patiently tried everything to help me through the contractions. He put counter pressure on my back and rubbed my shoulders. He reminded me to breathe when the pain was getting extra brutal. He held my hand and let me squeeze as I got the epidural. He said such sweet and encouraging things, and I am so grateful that he is my husband and partner through all the craziness of life.
After the epidural kicked in and I was no longer writhing in pain, Andrew left to get the bags from the car. I sat, talking to the nurse when I suddenly felt a gush.
"Um, I'm pretty sure my water just broke."
And it had. The nurse checked my body's progress and announced that I was dilated to about a 6.
"I'll come back in a little bit to check you again," she announced, and then left to let me rest a for a while. Andrew and I tried to get some sleep, knowing that it could very likely be a long night.
At about 1 am
Before we were even able to fall asleep properly, the nurse came in again and announced that I was fully dilated and that she was calling for the doctor. Dr. Black (who happened to be on call that night) came in, I pushed for about 5 minutes, and out came our little girl. It was crazy fast and wonderfully uncomplicated.
As I held my little Madelyn close to my chest, I could hardly believe that I had just given birth to my second beautiful daughter. Childbirth is such a special and sacred moment. It's something I truly cherish. I am so grateful for all the people who helped along the way. My husband, the nurses and doctors, our family. Everyone played such an important roll in making this experience what it was.
And now a lifetime of adventures with Madelyn begins!
Andrew and Maichael
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