Friday, August 31, 2012

I Love This Man...

...yep this one pictured below:

Eleven years ago when he and I began our courtship, it was the two of us versus the world.  We felt invincible.  Then came Rob, then Caroline, and now William.  We have gone from two to five in virtually no time!  Over the years we have faced our ups and downs, but I have learned that I truly love this man.  Wanna know why?  Well I would love to share three of the many reasons with you.

He is a man of his word -- he is loyal almost to a fault!  Don't get me wrong by this sentiment; I know I can count on him and trust him with my heart and my dreams.  Yet the "almost to a fault" attribute is because when he gives his word to anyone, he keeps his word no matter what.  If he volunteers to help someone, if he offers his assistance coaching a youth sports team, if he is called to use his brute strength to move a piano for the eighth time, he is going to show up and do just that.  There are times when selfish me wants Bobby all to myself.  But I know that to love Bobby is to love what he loves.  And he loves to be consistent and generous with others.

He is a man of faith -- Bobby is a believer in God.  Every night he quietly says his bedtime prayers.  Personally, my faith waivers.  I am a doubter and a worrier and a scared follower who is not often certain of the path ahead.  I don't know what conversations he and God have, but I do know that when my insecurities threaten the best of me, Bobby can not only calm me down and assuage my fears, he also does this by assuring me that if we pray through it, we will get through it.

He is the father of my three beautiful children -- People often joke that it must be impossible for me to have a child who looks like me.  Caroline comes close, but she still has plenty of Bobby's maternal family's looks about her.  Some of the qualities I love best about my children are derivatives of their father.  Rob has this dry humor and quick wit that seems well beyond his six years of age...all Bobby.  Caroline is determined, head strong, and (if raised right) will eventually be a confident, good natured example to others...all Bobby.  William seems to be a fighter and extremely resilient to presented obstacles...yep, all Bobby.  Because it takes both a Mommy and a Daddy to have a baby, I am so glad that my children are half him and only half me!

The summation of this post is this:  In the past two weeks life has been pretty rough for me both emotionally and physically.  First I was in the final days of my (likely final) pregnancy.  I was fatigued, swollen, and sore.  Ironically, I had this crazy worry in the back of my head that something would go terribly wrong.  Bobby was right there rubbing my feet, silencing my fears, and allowing me to sleep.  Now, he did record my pregnancy snores and poke fun at my huge belly, but I knew it was all in jest. 

Then came William in a nine-hour labor and delivery.  Bobby was right beside me the whole time fetching my ice chips and holding my hand.  Next came the health scare heard round the world.  I actually saw Bobby break down and weep for a moment.  He deserved that moment.  He later said that he had only just met William and he instantly knew a love he had never before felt.  Yet he also recognized my post-pregnancy hormones and maternal instincts were taking over my sense of reason so all of the qualities listed above were put to use. 

Bobby gave his word to many people that he would take care of us and he has not stopped yet -- even after we have brought our healthy baby home he has been keeping the dishes clean, allowing me time to nap, managing the behaviour of our two older kids, and praying incessantly that life will find its new "normal" soon.  Bobby's word, Bobby's faith, and Bobby's fathering skills have been put to the test over the past couple of weeks and he has aced every challenge put forth.  I never had any doubts of any other result.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perfect...a.k.a. William's Birth Story

I am a planner...maybe not a great planner, but I still like to think I know how things will transpire.  In fact, sometimes it may be much more accurate to say that I am a dreamer and a wisher.  I am a future designer whose mock ups do not always come to fruition.

I am that person who up until Tuesday was pregnant with her third child.  I am that person whose OB is a highly skilled and well respected physician who offered her an induction date.  Perfect!  I was given the opportunity to plan when and how my son would enter the world.  Here were the details: oldest child will start Kindergarten uninterrupted then we will discreetly sneak away and birth the final branch of our 5-member family...older two siblings have matching Big Bro / Big Sis outfits which they will wear to the hospital on specified OB (as opposed to another on-call doc) will be there to deliver my baby...a professional photographer will come up to the hospital to capture all of those beautiful once-in-a-lifetime pajamas...a baseball for baby's hand print via Pinterest dad even managed to be in town and was here to meet his namesake grandson.  And as of Tuesday morning, everything had fallen into place perfectly!

Slowly those plans began to crumble.  What was supposed to be a swift li'l induction quickly became anything but that.  First, my water wouldn't break because of my baby's too-high position, but it finally did break and labor officially began.  Then my contractions were crazy and felt nothing like they did with my previous two deliveries, but they finally were controlled with my epidural.  My OB had 2 mid-day surgeries, and I am thinking that he kind of expected to come out of surgery and find me almost complete and ready to push.  That would be, well, perfect timing for both he and I and for a number of reasons.  Unfortunately when he did come out of surgery at 1:30 PM (six-and-a-half hours after labor began) I was still only halfway to that magical ten-centimeter-dilation goal and it looked like the other half was still hours away.

At 3:45 PM I was still only seven centimeters and the baby was still extremely high.  We all started discussing a possible need for a c-section; however, my RN was not ready to give up on me yet.  She came up with the perfect solution by remembering a position for me to lay which was rumored to really speed up the dilation action.  Guess what?  It worked!  At 4:15 PM I was ready to push and so giddy!  I reminded my OB that I had not required an episiotomy (look it up here if you don't know what it is) with my first two deliveries and was really hoping that this would would be the same, although I trusted him to let me know if that would need to which he agreed, reassured me, and even joked "You like things perfect, huh?"  If I only knew how that seemingly innocent observation was about to implode all around me...
William Joseph Morris was born on Tuesday August 21st at 4:39 PM with 10 fingers, 10 toes, gray/blue skin and an umbilical cord tightly wound around his neck.  My professional photographer friend was supposed to shoot Bobby cutting the cord, but instead my OB had to quickly cut it from the back of his throat.  The photographer was supposed to shoot that moment when they put him on my chest and I burst into proud-mama tears but instead I barely saw him as they whisked him across the room and put an oxygen mask on his tiny face.  No one was saying anything.  I did hear tiny, muffled grunts coming from William which alleviated my very worst fears, but still I knew something was terribly wrong.  At some point shortly after this, my photographer left the room because obviously this was not a routine birth.  The OB was still there and he kept saying "William is okay," but we were not told what was not okay or why I still wasn't not holding my li'l blue baby.  I kept hearing the nurses reporting that it had been one minute, three minutes, fourteen minutes (since he was actually born).  I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I knew as the time increased, so did the alarm in their voices.  A tube was put in his throat to suction out mucus, he was popped on the bottom, beaten on the back, then wheeled away in an incubator to the NICU.  I never held him.  I barely even saw him.
As it turns out, William's heart rate sky rocketed to almost 300 beats per minute which was rendering his heart unable to circulate oxygenated blood properly to his body.  His first night offered many questions and no answers.  He was put on an antibiotic and a BETA blocker and I recovered from childbirth without my child.  That first night of his life all of my family and friends slowly trickled in and then out while we all waited for answers.

As of writing this today, still during William's first 24 hours of life, he has had a couple of EKG's and a cardiac ultrasound which has ruled out all major problems: no holes, no tears, all the requisite valves, chambers, veins, arteries, etc.  Right now his "episode" has been chalked up to some synapses misfiring due to childbirth stress.  He is maintaining a stable heart rate with the help of the BETA blocker.  But I will likely be sent home from the hospital without William, as they want to keep him at least a full 3 days for observation.  He has only been given fluids, so he also has to learn to start eating/drinking for nourishment.  Having a NICU baby was definitely not in my birth plan.
I want to share Bobby's (my husband's) Facebook status:
If you ever think you have problems or just need a little humble pie....walk through or past an NICU! Thank God my child is doing much better, but others in the unit not so well!! You think you have problems? I doubt it! Thanks for the prayer and send some the way of these other kids up here in this hospital!
William is obviously one of the healthiest babies in the NICU, but nevertheless he is there.  During an emotional breakdown this morning, I wondered aloud if God were showing me just how UNperfect His plan sometimes can be.  I know that no amount of planning can overrule what God has in mind for our lives. 
I want to thank everyone who already knows this story and has been praying for us for the last day and a half.  I want to thank God for the gift of my child, for the health care he and I have received, and for the seemingly healthy outcome William will eventually have. 
Please, everyone reading this, remind me sometimes that life does not seem perfect when compared to what we want out of life.  I need to just breathe, listen, and follow.  I look forward to some perfect beautiful newborn pictures of William and perfect beautiful family-of-five stories which I will share with you all on this blog.  But for now, I am still getting used to the fact that this birth is just not what I planned, but you know what?  It's still okay.

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Twas The Night Before Kindergarten

"'Twas The Night Before Kindergarten" -- A Recap of the Past 16 Hours:
(poem excerpts by Natasha Wing)

‘Twas the night before kindergarten and as they prepared,
kids were excited and a little bit scared.
They tossed and they turned about in their beds,
while visions of school supplies danced in their heads.
Erasers and crayons and pencils galore
were stuffed in their backpacks and set by the door.
...all of this is required to start public Kindergarten these days!
Outfits were hung in closets with care,

knowing that kindergarten soon would be there.
In the morning it came – school starts today!
Would the teacher be nice? Would they still get to play?
Faces were washed, and teeth were brushed white;
Kids posed for pictures with eyes sparkling bright.
Parents packed snacks and kids hopped in cars
As if they were boarding a spaceship to Mars.

So last night I knew Rob would have a hard time settling down and going to sleep.  We tried to have a calm bedtime with a good routine.  First, Rob was presented with "Ready Confetti", a concoction of magic confetti to be sprinkled under your child's pillow.  It helps you relax, sleep easily, and wake up ready to start the new year.
We then read a bedtime story about a mouse named Henry who starts Kindergarten and is very happy to discover how cool Kindergarten is!
Before bed, Rob and I talked one more time about what he should expect for the first day.  I got extremely teary eyed, but reminded Rob that they were happy tears because I was so proud of how well he has grown up and how excited I am for this next phase of his which Rob promptly responded that I was embarrassing him.  He begged me "Please don't cry tomorrow morning at the bus stop."
Rob decided that he needed all of his friends to sleep with him in his bed.  Sounds like he's ready for bed and ready to get the new year started, right?  Wrong!  He came back downstairs several times to tell me his confetti was broken.  He couldn't sleep.  He needed to go to the restroom.  He was thirsty.  It took forever for Rob to go to sleep.  But sleep he finally did...

This morning Rob woke up almost before I did!  He came bounding into my room with a great big "Good Morning!"  He ate breakfast, washed his face, brushed his teeth, and got dressed with no hesitation!  He was bugging me to head to the bus stop to board his 7:00 bus by 6:35!  Luckily for documentation sake I didn't let him leave the house without some obligatory photographs:
My silly boy.  Check out the fog in the background.  It did not make for very good first-day pictures. 
Oh well...
Rob insisted on walking to the bus stop, which picks up at the end of our street.  Don't worry; the mother-hen that I am followed him in my car!
Rob was a little more timid once we got to the stop.  He hopped back into my car and would not get out and interact with the other neighborhood kids.  I had a promise to keep (no tears) so I kept focused on the clock.  Finally the bus arrived -- bus #05-23 which we have been memorizing for several days now.  My sweet baby big kid boarded the bus and didn't even look back to wave at me.  He was on an I'm-Going-To-Kindergarten mission! 
...and that's pretty much when I totally lost it and sobbed all the way back up the street to my garage!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kindergarten Here We Come!

Look out Kindergarten, here we come!

Six years ago today I was extremely pregnant with Robert Corry, Jr..  Rob was not due until the beginning of September, but he was born on Aug 28th.  I was induced early due to some pretty strong pre-eclampsia issues.  Six years ago today Bobby and I were two young people who knew nothing about being parents.  We just knew that we were on the fast track to a family.  We knew we had a baby boy on the way and we were certain that life would never be the same.  If only we knew then how much goodness was behind that sentiment.

And now, my sweet little life-changer is about to experience a life change of his own.  He is so tender and gentle to those he loves.  I know he will always be this way, but he is also turning into, well, a boy with boy humor, boy interests and boy toys.  Don't get me wrong; this is a good thing.  He is shaping into the person God designed him to be.  But again Bobby and I are on the fast track -- this time to raising a male adolescent. 

I have been told by many that once your child starts school life never slows down again until you are one day sitting at a commencement ceremony wondering where the time went.  I can certainly envision where that may be true.  This morning Rob had the chance to go see his classroom at Helena Elementary and meet his teacher. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that my firstborn is entering Kindergarten! 

Rob testing out his new seat at his table.  Don't let that smile fool you; he was so shy this morning!
Rob and his new teacher, Ms. Stainback.  See you Monday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Rob (and me)

Yesterday, 8/15 was my 34th birthday.  Wow, I can't believe I just admitted my age.  No, you are not getting my weight and measurements next!  However, there is so much going on right now with the new baby, new house reno and decor, etc., that yesterday was the best possibility to host Rob's 6th birthday party.  He won't actually be six until August 28th.  Hopefully by then I will be back in enough of a stable routine that I can blog about his turning six!

Rob is very much into dinosaurs right now, so that became our theme for the party. This blog by Hostess with the Mostess is where I give all credit to my printables creativity...I used her color scheme as inspiration and then designed the invitations and all the printables using Powerpoint.  Then I saved them all as .pdf versions and sent to my local Staples for printing.  I'm no professional; there is some pretty generic use of clip art here.  But I think they turned out great!  I can't remember the source of the font I used, but I do know I Googled "dinosaur font" and downloaded a free one that popped up.  It's called "prehistoric".

Here are the food items served.  Look closely at my kitchy food labels...I love having fun with stuff like this:
Overall the party was a success.  Rob's buddies from POP (pre-school) were there and he hasn't seen most of them all summer.  So it was a reunion of sorts!  Here are some images from all the fun:

Cousins Lauren and Caroline coming down the slide
There was a hurricane wind machine there.  It was a hit with the kiddos!

Caleb and Rob

buddies RJ, Rob, and Caleb
Carson and it me or do they look like they are up to something?
After playtime it was time for all of those yummy snacks pictured above...then cake!
sweet brothers Colby and Houston enjoying the party
I just love this shot of Caroline and her Rocky...and the one below of CC and Aunt Laura!