Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lincoln Maxwell

We are so happy to have Lincoln here with us. He was born on Tuesday, January 20th at 9:40 am. Lincoln is 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21.5 inches long. He has blue eyes for now... I hope they'll stay that way! He doesn't look much like our other babies. Both Mercedes and Cooper had a TON of very dark hair, big round eyes, and of course Lincoln outweighs them both by 2 pounds. Lincoln has lighter hair, and with his receding hairline he looks a lot like an old man. Rather than red, splotchy skin, he's a beautiful peach. So far he seems to be a pretty serious kid, more interested in sleeping than in what's going on around him. Maybe when he finally gets a full tummy he'll be a little less cranky and more interested in socializing.

The hospital, doctors and nurses were all wonderful. This has been our best experience. We decided to stay in and area of the hospital called "The Nesting Place", rather than having Lincoln stay in the nursery. It was wonderful to have him in my room the entire time. I was able to nurse him within 3 hours of his birth and didn't have to worry about nurses giving him formula and sugar water. It made a huge difference, and so far he's a great nurser. (The other kids never really caught on to nursing after being "force" bottle fed in the hospital.) Brent deserves a gold medal in the supportive husband department. He stayed with me the whole time, sleeping a bit here and there in an old "nasty" chair.

So now we're all home together and things are going well. Cooper and Mercedes would each like to hold the baby non-stop. We weren't sure how Coop would react, but so far he's thrilled to have his very own baby. Of course my mom has been a lifesaver and we're so grateful to have her here taking care of us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I shall conquer this...

One of my favorite chapters of scripture is Romans 8. Verse 28 of that chapter is possibly my very favorite scripture:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God...

This was running through my head as I was driving home from my last prenatal visit yesterday, in tears.

I don't handle pregnancy well. When I was younger, I thought of myself as a strong person. These days I realize that I had strong will confused with strength. At two weeks pregnant I was feeling well one moment, and dreadfully sick the next. It's amazing how it can come on so suddenly! In July we moved to what the locals call, "the screen door to hell." That is the nickname of Columbia, South Carolina because of the extreme humidity. There are five rivers that flow through the area, and many small bodies of water. There is also a large lake near our home. The humidity definitely intensified my sickness. Just as things were beginning to cool off in early October, the VERY painful Braxton-Hicks contractions began. And continued. And intensified. And made sleep impossible. By Christmas my mother-in-law was sure that I'd go into early labor. The baby was already almost as big as both Mercedes and Cooper were at delivery. I hoped... but no.

Yesterday the ultrasound technician informed me that the baby is now 9 pounds, 2 ounces (possibly 10 lb.) and that I have a condition called hydamnios, or too much amniotic fluid. She mentioned more than once what a strain my uterus is under. At least by that I felt validated - there's a reason for all of this pain. It's not all in my head. She said that it's good that my c -section is already scheduled, because were it not, she'd be telling them to schedule it immediately.

For the past week I've been counting down. Each night that I lay in bed in pain, not sleeping, and say to myself: "just five more nights.. just four more nights..."

After the ultrasound I was examined my the nurse practitioner who informed me that my c-section had been rescheduled. It took me a moment to process the information. WHAT????!?!?!? Yup. Luckily I didn't yell at her. I kind of just stared in shock. We've had this surgery scheduled for months. Initially I was upset that they didn't schedule it for 39 weeks. I tried to get it scheduled for the 15th or 16th, but the doctor was immovable. So we planned for the 19th. And waited.

We'll be waiting just one more day. I know that one day seems like nothing. And now that I've cried it out, I realize that it's not a big deal. Sometimes, though, it's not easy to be "submissive" and "easily entreated." Especially for me. Because of my "strong will." Brent is much better at such things... most of the time. When I got home (with a red, puffy face and bawling) he was MAD. Once Mercedes hugged and comforted me and I finished crying I was fine. I tend to have huge reactions, but then I let things go pretty easily. Brent is still mad. I think that he'll be mad about this for a while. However difficult or painful this pregnancy has been on me, I think that it's been much harder for him.

So the good news is that at 9 am on Tuesday the 20th of January, we will finally meet Lincoln Maxwell Bethers.

Just three more nights.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some Recent Pictures

It's a good thing that we have some nice winter days here. I'm glad that since Brent refuses to own a swing-set, he at least gave in to my demand for a trampoline. Otherwise, most days I'm afraid the kids would be doing this:

Brent calls them "our little couch potatoes." In the past few months Cooper has discovered TV. His favorite show is "Blue's Clues," and he loves to carry around a little notebook and crayon. Mercedes is wearing her "Piggly Wiggly" shirt (our local grocery store). It has a huge picture of a pig on the front, and on the back it says, "I'm big on the Pig." An adult medium was the smallest we could find, so it's now her favorite nightgown. And yes, those are Strawberry Shortcake sunglasses that Cooper is wearing. He also likes to carry purses and his favorite shoes to wear are Mercedes' black patent-leather high heeled church shoes.

A few weeks ago I asked Brent to take pictures of the kids before church. In my mind, I was hoping for a nice picture in front of the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, Cooper was NOT in the mood...

His jacket is black velvet, and Brent calls it his "pimp-daddy" jacket.

Here's Mercedes:

For her birthday Mercedes got a 6 pack of mini-sodas. This was exciting for her because Brent is strongly opposed to soda. At 16, he heard that it was unhealthy and stopped drinking it. Now he also knows from a Dental standpoint how bad it is for teeth. It's a rarity for her. Just now she opened her sixth and last one. She showed Brent who said, "nasty!" In defense she replied, "Daddy, it has MOUNTAIN water in it." It's Sierra Mist brand. We got a good laugh from that one.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cooper's Birthday

I was excited for Cooper's birthday this year: the first year that he'd enjoy opening presents. He's really so much fun these days, I just can't get enough of him. We're still amazed at having a two year old who talks to us! Mercedes seemed to have her own language... a mixture of sign language and sounds that we actually understood quite well, but she refused to repeat words. Cooper will repeat almost anything we tell him to, and so his vocabulary seems huge to us! He loves to follow Mercedes around, and chases after her and her friends. He thinks he's a big kid, and I feel sad for him when she leaves to play at a friend's house. He loves vehicles of all kinds. He gets excited every time he hears a bus drive down the street, points at cars and trucks and airplanes, but his two favorite things right now are trains and boats. He refuses to say the word "train," preferring instead to say "choo-choo." So for his birthday we got him a train:

He was pretty excited, and still carries his train everywhere.

Unfortunately, my brain is not functioning a full capacity these days. Weeks before his birthday I bought a candle for his cake. I don't know what I was thinking, buying a #1. Here he is ready to blow...

Of course his favorite part of his birthday was probably the ice cream:

I sure hope that baby #3 is as happy as #1 and #2. We have been blessed with exceptionally happy kids. Sure, they whine and cry when things don't go their way... but the rest of the time they are really cheerful, full of love. Both Cooper and Mercedes are social, and love to be with people. They are always generous with hugs and kisses. Cooper used to say "you too" when I'd say "I love you." Now he says, "love you!" Before he was born I wondered how I'd love another child as much as I loved Mercedes. This time my query is, what will the next one be like? We've got a mini-Lisa, and Cooper is definitely a carbon copy of Brent... we sure are anxious to meet Lincoln and get to know him. Just two weeks left!