Father’s Day

We had a quiet Father’s Day.  The big boys were at their Dad’s house in Kentucky, so it was just us and the Littles.  We enjoyed a wonderful morning at church, then had a special lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants (Top Dawg Tavern).  After that, we headed to a local State Park to play on the playground and take a few photos (since everyone was matching!).

Walking to the playground together.

Walking to the playground together.

Love her "pose".

Love her “pose”.

Went said "My Turn!" and tried to pose like GO!

Went said “My Turn!” and tried to pose like GO!

GO and her Papa

GO and her Papa

Love these Caterpillars

Love these Caterpillars

Playing on the playground (yes, GO has shorts on under that dress!)

Playing on the playground (yes, GO has shorts on under that dress!)

Otto and his Littlest Caterpillar

Otto and his Littlest Caterpillar

Smiles!

Smiles!

Everyone on the playground! ;)

Everyone on the playground! 😉

Went and his Papa

Went and his Papa

Me and the Baby Girl - I love her headband!

Me and the Baby Girl – I love her headband!

Went giving his "thoughtful" face.

Went giving his “thoughtful” face.

I’m so blessed to have a partner as incredible as Otto.  He’s the definition of co-parenting.  There is never a point where he says “that’s not my job”, from changing diapers and bathing littles, to rocking fussy babies and building retaining walls.  He’s an incredible dad and husband.  We thank God for him every day.

Happy Father’s Day, Otto!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

AHG Spring Court of Honor

After Kindergarten Graduation, it was time for my GO to promote in her scouting program, also.  Kindergarteners are “Pathfinders” for a year, then they move up to 1st grade and “Tenderhearts”.  I have been blessed to not only be the Troop Coordinator, but also the Leader of her Pathfinder group.  With five girls moving up, this has been a pretty incredible year.

The Pathfinders

The Pathfinders

Recieving her Fanny Crosby Level Award

Recieving her Fanny Crosby Level Award

I love this thoughtful pose

I love this thoughtful pose

Me celebrating our Committee (they work HARD!)

Me celebrating our Committee (they work HARD!)

SO happy to not only have my girly become a Tenderheart, but to know that a dear friend is joining us next year.  NC is a Pathfinder and is the oldest of three girls.  Her baby sister, M, will be a Pathfinder in a few years with KB!  (C is in the middle – she is Went’s age!)

Went was excited about the centerpieces...none of them stayed on the center of the table, though.

Went was excited about the centerpieces…none of them stayed on the center of the table, though.

GO holding one of our Mascots

GO holding one of our Mascots

KB watching (and wishing a noodle would fall in her mouth)

KB watching (and wishing a noodle would fall in her mouth)

LOVE how Scouting continues to be a source of good friends and a blessing in our family’s life!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Last Day of School

I can hardly believe that we are already to summer.  Last Thursday morning I had a crying little girl (who didn’t WANT to graduate – her teachers/class is that amazing) and a little boy who wasn’t sure what was happening…but it involved his swimsuit, so it must be AWESOME!  We were blessed with spectacular classes this year, I loved being the Room Mum for the littlest kids.  They celebrated with pizza, sand, and water!

Went's Best Buddy

Went’s Best Buddy

Went and his Pizza :D

Went and his Pizza 😀

Up Close of Went, playing in the sand

Up Close of Went, playing in the sand

And this was a special year – as GO’s teacher has a son, GO’s Room Mum has a son, and I have a son (CW) who were all in Kindergarten together at this school years ago!  That made this year all the more sweeter.  The Kindergarten had a field day, and ice cream sundaes for lunch!

GO running a relay race (dixie cups of water into a gallon jug)

GO running a relay race (dixie cups of water into a gallon jug)

Running her race!

Running her race!

Cheering on her friends!

Cheering on her friends!

SisterSheep in the Big Wheels Race

SisterSheep in the Big Wheels Race

GO in the Big Wheels Race

GO in the Big Wheels Race

Sack Race

Sack Race

Sack Race

Sack Race

Since last August, we have found a church home…Otto and I have become more sure of our future living situation…we added a new daughter, KB…we prepared to graduate our oldest, OPM, from High School…we have discovered new (and closer) friends…  This has been a wild year, and I am thankful that once again, Bright Beginnings Preschool was so integral in all we did.

HAPPY SUMMER FRIENDS!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Graduation Night

Yes, there were tears.  Lots of tears.  My girl is growing up.  I am happy to see her becoming a big girl – and someday a woman – I am a little sad to know she is needing me less and less.  I am so proud of her.  SO PROUD!

Outside the School

Outside the School

Cousins came to see her graduate!

Cousins came to see her graduate!

The three littles: 6 months, 7 months, 3 months

The three littles: 6 months, 7 months, 3 months

I have this picture/pose from the first day of school.  They have ALL grown.

I have this picture/pose from the first day of school. They have ALL grown.

During the ceremony, GO was presented with the Character Award for “Creativity” in her class.  She IS a creative mind.  After receiving her diploma, she then stepped to the mic and said “When I grow up I want to be a doctor who helps babies be born”.  I’ve always talked about how B10 announced he was going to be an Entomologist at age 3.  In going through GO’s paperwork (the school gave us all her records since she was 1 and in the Wee Learn Class), I realized that apparently GO has been the same way – since (at least) August of her 3 year old class she has said she wanted to be a doctor who helps Mums have babies.  That has consistently been her heart!  It will be very interesting to see if she follows the same path and was able to recognize God’s calling on her heart early, as her brother did.

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Singing and giving it her all!

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"When I grow up I am going to be a doctor who helps babies be born."

“When I grow up I am going to be a doctor who helps babies be born.”

We had a cake reception afterwards for each class.  Everyone stayed to eat cake, goldfish, pretzels, and M&M’s (perfect Kindergarten reception food!).  So blessed to be with these friends and family!

Sweet Teachers!

Sweet Teachers!

Went having snack!

Went having snack!

KB listening to the singing

KB listening to the singing

Mummy loves you, GO!

~Mummy Butterfly )i(

Kindergarten Graduation

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My girl graduates from Kindergarten today. For many (most) families, this is a silly little thing, sentimental, yes, but not much different than if they put a “graduation” on 5th grade or 8th grade.

For us, though, this is a special day. GO has spent five years at this school – the longest she will likely ever be in one place. This was her last day in a traditional classroom setting until she leaves for college. It will be over a decade before we celebrate like this for her again.

Look at her:

The smattering of freckles is my favorite...

The smattering of freckles is my favorite…

She’s amazing. Smart. Funny. Kind. Caring. Creative, oh so creative. I love her sense of humor (and her made-up jokes). I love how she tries SO HARD not to hurt anyone’s feelings, even if it means she hurts herself. I love how she faces her fears (even when she is immobilized with terror).

I remember when Boo called me to tell me the story of how GO faced her fear of the giant CFA Cow to obey my instructions. In retrospect, it is a funny story – but it speaks to how much she tries to listen and take care of her responsibilities, even when it’s hard.

I remember her first day of school, she fell asleep on Mrs. L’s lap, after playing all day.

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I remember her first Fall Harvest Fest.

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And her last Fall Harvest Fest and Thanksgiving Feast (the pigtails got a little longer…).

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And all the ones in-between.

I am a lucky, oh-so-lucky, mum to know that she is coming home to be with me. Where I can guide and help shape her as we homeschool. But I am beyond grateful to this precious school that stood beside us for five years and helped make her the girl she is today. My heart is filled with joy and a tinge of sadness that tonight she walks through these doors for the last time as a student.

I love you, my precious and precocious GO.  I am going to cry tonight, but know those are tears of happiness and pride.

Love,

Your Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Early Morning

6:30 am is my favorite time of day.

Everyone in the house is sleeping, but there is enough light coming through my window to cast those blue shadows everywhere. KB is curled up into my chest. I love night with her. During the day, she cries because she wants to be held. And nurses for what feels like hours.

But at night she nurses quickly, then moves herself into me, our skin touching. Her little face turned up, so if she fluttered her eyes opened she would be staring at me. It’s like she knows she has me, so there is no need to nurse any longer than she must to fill her tummy. Her little tiny fingers reach up and curl into fists under her chin.

I can feel her butterfly breath on my collarbone. I can see her tiny nose, and if I squint I can make out her pale eyelashes in the faint light.

This is when I pray. For her, to grow into a godly woman – but not too quick, I can’t lose my baby too quickly. For GO and her next adventure – my new first grader in less than a week. For Went to stay as outwardly loving as he is, and for us all to make it through his toddler stage.

I pray for B10 and CW as they complete their schoolwork. CW has one week left, and B10 has two (his last week is final exams). I pray for CAM, as she is almost a junior – and is dealing with her best friend graduating/leaving for college.

I pray for OPM. She leaves high school in two weeks. Her new adventures are just beginning, even as this set of adventures draws to a close.

I send up prayers for Otto and I. Sometimes they feel like desperate pleas, depending on the night we had.

But mostly, I thank God for the beauty in my arms. I beg Him to make the pain go away, but if that isn’t what is going to happen, then I beg Him to not let me forget how tiny she is. How much I love this part of me, the being a mother. I want to be happy with each stage as my caterpillars grow, but it is bittersweet to know this is the last one.

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I pray I can remember it all through the pain. And I hold her close. And watch her breath.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i( 

Eleven Weeks Later

For almost eleven weeks I have been trying to write KGB’s birth story.  I don’t want to lose it to time, or forget it as happens with many memories.  But every time I start typing, the anger washes over me.  Not even in a “tidal wave” – which might bring some cleansing, but like an avalanche of snow that buries me alive.

Sunday evening, February 22nd, Otto and I decided to go walking at Target.  I had been having very hard contractions, with no regularity, since early that morning.  We went to church, but spent the rest of the day at home – until I just needed to move.  We had a quick supper at a new restaurant, KEBA, and then walked around Target for about an hour before heading home.  I managed to take a warm bath, but by 11pm, we started making phone calls to “initiate hospital protocol”.

GO and Went headed to Queen’s house, CW was on his way to Quilting Bee’s House, and B10 was coming with us to the hospital (Mum was meeting us there).  We dropped everyone off and pulled into the hospital by 1am.  I was nervous and excited.  I knew in my heart the contractions were different, but without my water breaking, I was very nervous that I was either too early or in false labor.

After registering at the desk, I was taken back to triage, where I received the best news – I was 4 cm dilated!  I remember being elated when Otto, B10, and Mum came in the room.  I was so excited to be moved to a real room and truly “admitted”.  That moment when you know there’s no going back and the next time you leave the hospital, it will be with a baby in your arms.  The photographer arrived, and I think it was one of the last moments I was truly happy and optimistic.

My favorite female doctor (Dr. D) was on shift that night, and she hugged me when she came into the room and was so encouraging.  The monitors weren’t picking up many contractions, and KGB’s heart-rate would occasionally drop, so Dr. D and the resident wanted to break my water and put internal monitors for both me and the baby.  I asked if before they broke my water, if I could have my epidural.  Dr. D told me “of course”, and so the anesthesiologist was called.  I had progressed to between 5 and 6 cm, my body was doing what it should, but it seemed to be doing it with lots of time between contractions (though I thought it was more the monitor, because I could FEEL the pain!).

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My phenomenal nurse advocated for me, to allow Otto to stay in the room during the epidural.  And that is where the bad parts began.  Five people in the room: Otto, myself, my L&D nurse, the nurse anesthesiologist, and the anesthesiologist.  Once again (because it happens every time a new person arrived) we went over my allergies.  Most importantly: adhesives.  I am allergic to most medical adhesives, and the only thing you can use on my skin is paper tape and surgical tegaderm.  We had the discussion, all five of us in the room – Otto tried to stand at one point and see what was going on – and was told to sit down, or he would have to leave the room.

The epidural went in, and I felt relief pretty quickly from the pain – but the itching – HOLY COW – the itching… It was horrible and went on for over 25 minutes.  The contractions were still odd, but Dr. D hoped with the breaking of the water, they would become more regular.

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I dozed in and out, more anxious than anything.  B10 was on the floor with his phone, Mum had to leave to get to school to teach, Otto was praying and working, and our photographer was taking pictures.  Dr. D came by to say goodbye, as it was shift change (looking back, I wish she had checked me just one more time).  Less than 15 minutes later, Dr. R came in to check me (Dr. R is a nice doctor, and a GOOD doctor, but a very young and inexperienced doctor).  I was at 9cm, almost ready to push.  KB’s heart rate had been dipping during contractions, but bounced back up right after, so no one seemed overly concerned.  So she patted my leg and said she would be right back and we could get ready to have this baby.

The next 15 minutes are still a huge blur.  I was laying on my side, thinking about what it would be like to FINALLY push and get to hold my baby immediately after she was born.  Something I had never gotten to do, because all my other babies were so early.  I know I was imagining being able to nurse and having photographs of this birth – then the doors were thrown open.  I can remember how in that brief moment, I thought how odd they didn’t knock and announce themselves.

The nurse was on my left and the resident on my right and they were yelling at me to get on all fours.  My brain couldn’t comprehend how I was suppose to get on all fours with an epidural – but they were moving my body for me.  The nurse was trying to get an oxygen mask on me, but I took just a few breaths before she pulled it off (I know it hurt, it caught on my ponytail she was moving so fast).  No one was telling me anything.

I was given a small cup to drink, while another nurse was hitting the large red button on the wall and screaming “code stork”.  At that precise moment, I knew I was having another c-section.  The cup, I always remembered the cup.  It’s the antacid that keeps you from throwing up.  Tastes horrible, and I was trying to drink it on all fours.  I was crying.  The resident was trying to get my jewelry off (my necklace and rings – which I later found out she threw at the photographer, one of the rings had to be retrieved from under the sofa in the room).  They pulled the blanket up to my shoulders and were moving the bed.

I remember the hallway, and SO MANY people pushing my bed.  Not one or two, like normal.  Maybe they weren’t all pushing – but they were running.  Into the OR, where they helped me flip on my back and move to the operating table.  Still yelling, so much shouting.  And no one telling me anything.

I had a new anesthesiologist.  She looks exactly like Natalie Portman.  (I mean EXACTLY – I had to blink, because I was sure it was the drugs making me think that Queen Amidala was helping me give birth).  She was the calming one, while she couldn’t tell me what was going on, she at least was telling me we were going to be okay, and my husband was coming.  I was crying and begging for someone to bring Otto to me and tell me what was happening.

Otto got into the operating room quickly, even though it felt like forever.  And then they were cutting, and it hurt.  I was praying, it hurt so bad.  Later, I found out KB was so far down into the birth canal, that Dr. S decided to pull her out feet first (a decision that would very likely lead to the two hematomas I would develop – 3-5 months minimum healing time).  They whisked her away almost immediately after she was born, Otto following her.  I only got a brief glance.  “Code Stork” is the call to send the neo-natal team directly to an OR, so they were waiting for her.

They stitched me up, and I was crying.  Crying the entire time.  I knew it had to be necessary, but I didn’t know WHY I was there. What was wrong?  Was KB okay?

They took me to recovery, and B10 was waiting.  Both Otto and the photographer are “strong” personalities.  Apparently, all those guidelines about how many people can be in certain rooms were waived, as they went and took B10 with them.  And all came into the recovery room, when KB was brought to me.  The nurses removed the epidural and patches, then gave me the baby to nurse.

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The first time I laughed was when the baby nurse said “your husband has been annoying me to bring this baby to you.”  That was exactly what the nurse had said two years ago when Went was born.  KB latched on as soon as I held her close.  She knew what to do, and Otto was sending out messages to everyone.  B10 asked to hold her, and sang “Amazing Grace” softly while walking her around.  It wasn’t what I had dreamed, but it was good.

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Then we got moved to our room.  And the epidural started wearing off.

Burns.  1st and 2nd degree chemical burns that would eventually cover 75-80% of my back.  Because the anesthesiologist used a product he KNEW I was allergic to under the tegaderm.  Later, we would find the two hematomas.  And after that would come the completely not their fault, but still horrid, spider bite that got infected (right on top of the larger of the two hematomas).

The scar is ugly and off-center.  But I can live with that.  The baby doctors that did rounds told us she had a cord prolapse – the c-section was necessary and saved her life.

I can have both types of emotions: Joy and Relief that KB was born healthy, and also Anger and Frustration that no one talked to me, and I was deliberately hurt, because that was “easier” on the doctors.

And that is what I’m struggling with now.  The anger.  And the pain.  Almost eleven weeks has passed, and I am looking at what feels like an eternity of pain in my future.  She is beautiful.  She is worth it.  I can make it.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i( 

(visit www.jenniferwileyphotography.com to find out more about our amazing photographer)