Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life with Red…DAVID??

So, it's, uh…been awhile. Like, a year. No time for catch-ups! Well, one…I cut my hair.

I'm dedicating this post to Jocelyn. I'm sorry this is such a short one, but I promised I would write you one soon. :)

Let's get right to bidness. You know about Red Ruth. Did you also know about Red David? Oh, yes…there is one of those. He very, very rarely makes an appearance, but when he does…it's like a RAGING MONSTER OF -- okay, yeah, I can't even fake type something. David's "temper" consists of eye rolling, a lot of sighing, and just repeating, "Ohmygosh, you're ridiculous," over and over. It's really adorable.

It takes a lot to get David frustrated or up in a tizzy about something. He's reading this and said, "I don't get in tizzies. That's something a cat does." Okay, fine, he doesn't get huffy about things…HA, he just said, "I don't huff either," as he huffed off. I could literally say, "I want to paint every room PINK!" and he'd just shrug and be like, "Eh, that's cool. Just use tape around the door frames." I'll leave bras hanging on the doorknobs in the bathroom. I use his good razor all the time. I put his glass in the dishwasher the second he sets it down anywhere. I randomly paint the stair banisters. He doesn't care. He's just so chill.

However, there ARE two things that temporarily transform him into a glarey-eyed, semi-dragon man…the only two things he ever asks of me…the two things in this world I just can't quite make myself do.


1. Use a pencil, level, whatever and only hammer in a nail once when hanging up pictures.

2. Wrap the extension cords back up neatly (he has, like, a method for this).

The energy of the universe just doesn't allow me to do either of these things and I hate it for him, I do. But even when I don't accomplish his requests, he's still a honeybearchookykins.

Red David and the Perforated Drywall

Red David and the Attack of the Orange Snake

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Sutters!

My sweet perfect Sutton, 

Happy First Birthday, buddy! No words can express how much we love you, what you mean to us, and what an incredible blessing you've been to us. 

You're freaking amazing, kid. No really. You're the easiest baby ever. Like, sometimes we forget you're in the room because you're so chill and quiet. A little chirp every now and then alerts us to your presence and we're like, "Oh gah, we have another one! Totes forgot." Granted, we only have your sisters to compare you to and that's not really fair to them because they were twins and there were just so many of them, but you're just so easy-going and relaxed and just like "whatever, man." Thank you for that. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT. 

We prayed so hard for you. We were so excited to find out you were on the way that wonderful day back in January 2012. And we freaked out when we found out you were a little mister! I still can't believe it. I counted the days until you were born. I did out of eagerness to meet you, but also, you were mega-uncomfortable, bud. Your two sisters at once were way more smooth about being in there. But, I couldn't wait to meet you. And I will say, I don't know that anyone was more excited for you to be here than your sissies. Good gracious, they adore you. I'm pretty sure your first sentence will be, "Girls, step away from Sutton!" They just smother you with love. And nobody can make you laugh like they can (except for Daddy when he pretends to throw up.) 

You are into everything. They were right about boys. I was clueless. I just thought, "Eh, a baby's a baby..." BUT are so much different than Piper Lee and Harper. You eat like a boy, you poop like a boy, you burp like a boy (well, so does Piper), you sweat like a boy, you're stubborn like a boy, you explore like a boy...and it's wonderful! Your curiosity is unparalleled and I hope it stays strong with you throughout your life. I hope you annoy the heck out of professors with the endless questions I know you'll ask. But still, ask them. 

Your little personality is just the best. Always smiling, always asking questions with your eyebrows, always wanting to make friends with other tiny people. I can't wait to see how it blossoms. But, whew, you have some sass when you don't get your way. The girls didn't give me this much 'tude until they were right at 3. I have NEVER seen such a fit thrown as the ones you can throw. Your back legs go straight out, you throw your face down on the ground, and screech like a banshee. It's hilarious. I'm always in awe as it happens...sweet little Sutton throwing the champion of fits. But then, the next second, you're smiling and giggling, always with a mischievous glint in your baby blues. So dramatic, you are. 

Your absolute favorite toy is the little plastic microphone I got for the girls in the Target $1 section. You sing and sing and sing into that thing. Why I bother with fancy pants learning toys when I can just hit up the $1 section, sheesh. You love the trampoline and just exploring everywhere in the yard. Lost count of how many bugs you've eaten, but so far you're doing fine. 

You're so handsome. And fat. And just the sweetest little chunk. No idea you'd be such a giant, but I'm sure it's by God's design, so you can defend yourself against the twinser attacks. Your eyes are the deepest blue and your hair is just amazing. I do get a few "you have three beautiful girls" comments here and there, but I're so pretty and those curls are just precious. I just can't cut your hair yet. And I promise I won't call you "pretty" when you're 16, but right now, you are and you can't do anything to stop me, so... 

We love you so much, son. Our sweet Sutty Buddy Butterbear Butterbean Sutter Butters Sutternut Squash Suttsball Sutts Suttsman Suttersby Suttsy Butterball Turkey. I cannot wait to see the man you become. I pray for you and your sisters daily. Every night, I lean over your crib and whisper, "I love you, little monster."(And then add a hissy, "Please don't wake up!" when I carelessly knock the rails...rookie mistake.) I would do anything for you, I hope you know that. I'd even share my last chocolate with you. And sometimes I have to because you're being dramatic in the car and I'm not happy about it, but I do it...because I love you. And then your sisters want some and it's just CHAOS EVERYWHERE STOP ASKING FOR MY CHOCOLATE. 

What was I saying? 

Oh yes, Sutton, my darling baby boy... I can't believe you're a year old. Time has flown. I so vividly remember the day you were born...well, really, the day before because you were born at 12:11 a.m. that morning. And I'm so glad you came. I'm so thankful to God for blessing us with you. We are lucky people to have you and know you. Thanks for taking us, kiddo. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Life with Red Ruth: The Hangers

Hey, well it's only been six months. But, I'm a full time stay-at-home homeschooling mom now who does freelance on the side, so I CAN BLOG AGAIN! Awww...*hugging computer*

Thank you guys for hanging with me and being so supportive. Really. It means the world.

Please excuse the "mess" on here. I'm working on updating everything, but it's taking me awhile. I love designing for others...hate doing something for myself. I'll catch you up on errythang later, but here's a Red Ruth for you! 

David is the SWEETEST guy. I mean...THE. SWEETEST. GUY. I can't even tell y'all how lucky I am. He's amazing. I definitely got the good end out of that deal. He never complains about anything. I picked out every single color of paint in our house and either he just easily loves it all or is being so generous and kind and lying about it. And I love him for that. He's so laid back and easy-going. He doesn't get frustrated with me when I ask him to explain an economic or accounting principle 100 times because the first 99 times, I wasn't listening/was bored. He's perfect.

And there are really only maybe 3 things we bicker about. Everything else, I'm just right about. 

1. The dishwasher. He loads it like there's an award for dishwasher loading and the record officials will show up at ANY MINUTE with balloons and confetti to recognize him for the most BEAUTIFULLY LOADED DISHWASHER EVER...and expects me to do the same. I set personal challenges for myself to see if I can get even more in there today than I did yesterday. Maybe it gets everything clean the first go-round, maybe not. But, I loaded 128 pieces of dinnerware in there today, so BOOM. David doesn't take too kindly to that. 

2. The glasses of water EVERYWHERE. Have you seen Signs? The M. Night Shyalamananan movie about the aliens? David is the little girl. He leaves glasses of water everywhere. I mean, everywhere. I've found one in Sutton's closet before. Behind the toilet. On the trampoline. INSIDE THE MAILBOX. And maybe one day we'll have an alien invasion and the glasses of water will save us and then I'll apologize, but for NOW...freak of nature, PUT YOUR GLASSES UP. One is all you need...take your sip, put it in the sink! Or put it in your precious dishwasher. 

3. The hangers in the closet. When you take an article of clothing off the rack, you put the empty hanger at the end of the line of clothes. RIGHT?? That is what you do. That way, when you put up laundry, all the hangers you need are right there. David will just pull it off and leave the hanger there...sometimes it's sticking straight up in the air, caught between two pairs of jeans. 


I found 17...SEVENTEEN...hangers mixed in his side of the closet the other day. 


So...that's what I'm dealing with...and can I help it if Red Ruth comes out?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Parenting: IT AIN'T EASY

(I wrote the post yesterday as just a spur of the moment type of thing, but I've been writing this one in 5-minute sessions here and there whenever I had a chance over the past few weeks. I'm posting it because I thought it kind of tied in with the one from yesterday. So, it's a little disjointed. I'm not very articulate and my grammar is atrocious, but I'm just hoping this can encourage you, even a little.)

It's 4:00 P.M. I'm done with work for today, for the week, and I'm counting down the minutes until David gets home. My life is now arranged in segments of time. The hour and a half between the time I'm done with work and the time David comes home is the longest frame of time in the history of time itself. I just said "time" a lot.

I'm in the office with the lights off. I feel like it makes it quieter. It doesn't, but I tell myself it does. The twins are in the playroom watching Dora (nervous twitch...arriba up abajo down.) Sutton is in his crib chattering away. He's starting to squeal...half just to hear himself and half because he's getting fussy/demanding. Harper just walked in and asked for a sucker because her "froat" hurts. Piper Lee is asking to wear her cupcake panties. And all I can think is, "QUIIIEEEEET! I'M TRYING TO WRITE A BLOG POST ABOUT HOW MUCH I ENJOY BEING YOUR MOM!"

It's been a long week. Well, 3+ years. Man, times were easy before kids. At least once a day (hour), I ask myself, "What did we used to fill our time with? What did we used to get stressed about? Why were we ever tired?" We don't sleep very much now. It's hard to take them to church sometimes because 9 out of 10 times, the twins get sick. Our hands will be raw and bloody from washing them, trying to keep Sutton from catching it. I've been cursing work from keeping me from taking care of and spending more time with my kids. I've been cursing the kids for distracting me and keeping me from creating incredibly inspired designs for the job that I truly enjoy. I've been pouting. I've been feeling sorry for myself. I've been snappy. I've yelled at the twins. I've said, "Duuuuude, come OOOOON," way too many times to Sutton. I've literally cussed at the weather. THE WEATHER. For inconveniencing me.

And then I'll read a news article or Facebook post about a child who has a brain injury after he fell at church, or a mom still in a coma after having an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter...and I'll think, " You are selfish and a big fat pair of whiney pants. Do you even kind of realize how incredibly blessed you are? SO BLESSED." And then I'll cry and calm down and hug each of my three perfect crazy tiny people and tell them I'm sorry for being grouchy and then I'll vow to myself to not yell or ever lose my temper again.

Three seconds later, Sutton is furiously jabbering about something and I run in to find the twins wiggling his legs up and down trying to "teach him how to dance." And then I yell through my memorized speech about NOT TOUCHING THE BABY FOR THE LOVE.

I'll talk to David later about how horrible I feel for raising my voice at them. I feel like a failure as a mom. I'm doing the best I can, but it's not good enough. All those people that say to "enjoy every moment, cherish this time" and I'm not. I don't enjoy every single moment. What's wrong with me? (And how are those people's kids so freaking perfect? Are they robots?)

And then I read these posts...shared by my sweet friends--Erin, Jenny, and Allison...written by real women who can verbalize things so much better than me. If you have a chance, do read them. (That sounded British.)

Don't Carpe Diem
Christian Subculture and the Stay at Home Mom
I Yelled At My Kids


It's so easy for us to not want to share things with others, especially other moms who are probably going through the exact same thing. Someone paid me a huge, huge compliment one time. They said I always look like I "have it together." I about melted on the spot. Truth is, I can fix my hair fairly quickly and put on a smile and look mostly "together," but most days, I feel like I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown. A lot of days, I WANT to cry, but I'm physically and emotionally too tired to. And I know that's okay. I know I'm okay. I know my kids are okay. I know I have the best support system from my husband. I'm not a failure. I'm okay. I'm going to make it. And it's okay to admit that I'm FREAKING OUT some days.

I'm not a perfect human, not even close. I make lots of mistakes. But I am doing the best I can and that's good enough for my kids. They don't seem to mind my faults. They forgive so quickly. They have the most generous spirits and I am so grateful to them for that.

Sometimes, I send the girls outside, all excited, getting them pumped up to "Go outside! Yay!" And then, the second they're out, I lock the door so they can't come back in. Just for 5 minutes of peace so I can eat a sandwich. I know they're okay, the yard is fenced in, I can see through the windows. But those boogers come in and out and in and out and I'm starving.

Sometimes, when we're in the car, I'll tell the girls to "look for bananas running across the road!" just to keep them occupied long enough so I can have a two-minute conversation with David.

Sometimes, when I'm rocking/feeding Sutton, I don't look ever-so-lovingly down into the depths of his lusciously long eyelashes, gazing upon his sleeping face...shoot, I'm on my phone reading these blog posts, trying to stay sane! I'm also ordering things off Amazon, checking the weather, texting my sister telling her I was glad she wasn't running in the Boston marathon, paying bills, comparing streaming devices for the TV, shopping for the kids' clothes, looking through my brother's pictures of Laos, and maybe I've also fallen asleep myself.

I have a horrible tendency to try to be that picture-perfect idea of what a mom is supposed to be. And then I feel so guilty for not matching up to those silly expectations I've set for myself. I'll read what someone else did that day, all the things they accomplished, all the outings they took their kid on...and I didn't even come close to that. Those people are not making me feel bad...I'm doing that to myself.

CONFESSION: I have never (post kids) cooked a meal for my family. I work during the day, wrangle the kids until David gets home, do laundry/dishes/etc., and then someone feeds and bathes Sutton while the other fixes the twins' dinner and bathes them. David and I fix our own meals after the kiddos are in bed just so we can eat in quiet. Everybody is fed and happy, but I feel bad for not preparing this big fancy dinner. Isn't that what I'm supposed to do? No, it's not. It's okay TO do that and it's also okay not to.

The twins are picky eaters. I've read articles about how kids aren't actually picky eaters, the parents make them that way. Yes, I purposefully did this to myself. Thankfully, the twins are finally coming down off their high thrones to eat with the commoners, but even if I did bake us all some tilapia and asparagus and called it "chicken" and "baby trees" know they ain't gonna eat it.

I question our methods of discipline. Are we doing enough? Too much? Why are they so crazy? Can we legally give them a Benadryl IV? And then I remember, they're three years old. They tell us all the time they love us. They give us endless hugs. (I'm obviously talking about the twins here...Sutts is still just kind of a ball of sweet cuddles that makes noises sometimes.) I think we're doing okay.

I'll turn on the TV and situate all three of them in front of it to entertain them so I can use the bathroom. And then I take credit when someone compliments me that I've taught them to count by 10's. Mickey Mouse did that.

I give them LOADS of chocolate to keep them quiet just long enough for me to make a phone call. And then later I'm like, "Why are y'all so hyper?!?! Oh...right."

I get frustrated with them for still being utterly terrified to poop on the potty. And then I remind myself, once again, that they are three years old. And I mean, who's to say there ISN'T a giant snake monster that lives in the toilet? It's a valid concern.

I hang my head in dismay, shoulders so heavy, when I walk out of my office to discover every single toy is out of its proper place, covering the entire playroom floor. I know I'll have to do most of the cleaning. (Did you know that asking children to pick up the same toys they earlier got out is THE END OF THE WORLD?) I ask, "Why...girls, why did y'all pull everything out like this?" And they respond, "Mama, toys sad. We play with them all." (Thanks, Toy Story). And I mean, you can't help but experience the joy in their huge, beautiful imaginations.

I literally hold my breath for a minute when I see that they've covered their bodies with a black Sharpie that I didn't even know we had. And then they present to me a perfect, yet slightly creepy, representation of our family in a field of flowers that they so carefully drew as a gift to me.

We pray over them every night. We pray for their future spouses. We pray for their salvation. We pray that the twins will go to the same college and room together because that would be sooooooo much more convenient for us them.

I know I'm a good mom. I'm trying to be. I tell my kids I love them constantly. And then sometimes I stumble and think, "You are a pain in my bahonkus, Tinsley," when one of them asks to changes outfits for the 200th time that day. But they don't care about my homemaking skills, or lack thereof. They don't care that I'm still in my pajamas at 5:30 p.m. They don't care that I can't sew a lick. I CAN french braid, though. *dusts off shoulders* They care that I put together puzzles with them, play Mommy Dog and Baby Dog with them, dance at the Princess Ball with them, look for cheetahs and hippos in their ears (yes, that's a thing we do), color with them, tell them they're the most beautiful girls in the world, tell them they're special and so very adored.

They won't always have home-cooked meals. I won't always have super adorable crafts for them to make that day. I won't be able to read them a bedtime story every night. I'll still raise my voice. I'll still lose my temper. I'll still worry I'm not doing something right. Satan will whisper things in my ear...telling me I'm a failure as a mother. Gyah, he knows just the things to say.

But if I give my children over to God and pray diligently to Him to help me raise them in a way that's honorable to Him, that's all I can do. And I feel good about that. And that's enough for me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Note to All Moms

Dear Mom,

You are doing a good job.

Whatever kind of mom you are, keep at it.

You're a Pinterest Mom. You create and craft beautiful memories with your family and for yourself. You make delicious meals and share the recipe with a huge community. You innovate and reuse. You inspire. And hey, if your kids' rooms don't look anything like the "Kids' Rooms" board you have, even though you've recreated the wall art and bought bedding and curtains in similar's okay. (I'm almost certain those photos were taken before the kids got ahold of that room anyway.) But the fact that you so carefully chose whimsical prints, patterns, and paint (I did not plan for that alliteration) for your little ones...that's all that matters.

You're not a Pinterest Mom. You may be insanely busy or not even have a Pinterest account. No worries. You use recipes and craft ideas from your childhood or close friend to share with your youngins and you create many wonderful memories with your family. You're inspiring, as well. Maybe you give your kids frozen chicken nuggets, set on their place in the shape of a smiley face, and bring home crayons and coloring books because you didn't have a chance to get glue or scissors due to your hectic day. Uh yeah, that's totally fine. Kids like chicken nuggets and kids like to color. They're okay.

You're an iPhone Mom. Maybe you've been with your kids all day long and need just a few minutes to yourself to catch up on news, the weather, look at a friend's newborn baby pictures. As long as you know your kid is safe, you go ahead and check Facebook. Or possibly you're texting a friend who is dealing with cancer and you're sending her encouraging words. Or maybe that huge project at work is coming up and you're checking your email to make sure everything is lined up. It's cool. You're allowed to take time for yourself.

You're not an iPhone Mom. You see your son or daughter swinging, sun glistening off the beads of sweat on their forehead. They're precious kids and you're happy to enjoy this moment watching them just be kids. Sometimes it's so nice to just disconnect and get away for a little while, and that's okay, too.

You're a Stay-At-Home Mom. You're a Work-At-Home Mom. You're a Work-From-Home Mom. The decisions you've made are exactly what you know is best for you and your family. You enjoy your job...whether it's being at home, working in an office, or both. You get dinner on the table every night, that's great. You picked up your kids' favorite pizzas on the way home, fabulous. Maybe your kids are home with you all day. Maybe they're in daycare all day. Or maybe they're in a Mother's Day Out program. Your kids love being with you. Your kids love making friends and playing with other people their own age. They're okay.

You're a Mom In Waiting. God has called you to something incredibly special. Your perfect child(ren) is waiting for you and you're waiting for him/her/them. You pray for them daily. You check the weather where you know they temporarily live and imagine a rainbow over their heads when you see it's scattered thunderstorms today. You've been asked to sacrifice so much and give so much. You've already planned crafts and outings and nursery/bedroom designs that you can't wait to share with them when they get here. You miss them so much.

You're a Mom With Lots O'Kiddos. Sometimes you and the hubs look at each other and think, "What have we done?" But you wouldn't trade a second with any one of those babes for an extra hour of sleep. (Well...maybe a second.) You have stretch marks, saggy skin, hair where there shouldn't be hair, acne many physical signs of the beautiful blessing God chose you to carry. You were also called to something special.

Are you a mom who posts pictures of your food? Go ahead! I like to eat food! (I mostly like pictures of desserts, though, you know...for future reference.)

Are you a mom who posts pictures of your feet at the beach? UH FINE WITH ME. Y'all know I love the beach. And I wish I was sitting beside you reading a gossip magazine.

Are you a mom who posts tons of pictures of your kids? Go ahead! Post away! I totally took pictures of the twins' first poops in the potty. I did not post it, no, but I'm PROUD of my kids, even the small, "mundane" things they do. They make ridiculous faces, they say ridiculous things, they keep us laughing non-stop. Share it! I'm thinking that 99.9% of people got on Facebook to stay connected with friends and family and if someone doesn't like all the pictures, they can hide it from their newsfeed. But the rest of us want to see the pictures.

Did you turn 57 shades of purple when you discovered the fruits of your loin, the twins ahem – children you so fervently prayed for even years before they were a twinkle in your eye, destroyed the amaryllis plant for which you've so meticulously cared for 8 years, and threatened to said children, generally speaking, that if they ever touch anything again in this world again EVER, they may not live to see 4?


Do you buy all organic? Or does "organic" mean anything that's edible and digestible? Either way, you're feeding your family.

Do you sneak into the closet to eat the last Cadbury egg so you won't have to share with your offspring?


Do you use cloth diapers? Or do you buy Pampers and Huggies in bulk? I've found that most kids will poop in just about anything. Neither saving money nor using something that's quick and convenient is wrong.

Did you handcraft your kid's Halloween costume last year months in advance? Or did you pick it up at Walgreens on the way to the party? They're took them to a fun party!

Do you slap on some mascara and gloss every morning? Or has your face not made contact with a make-up tool in 100 years? You're freaking beautiful regardless.

You're a MOM. And you're doing a GREAT JOB.

Do not ever let a Facebook post, Twitter post, blog post, meme, anything, or anyone make you doubt yourself or fill you with guilt for doing something or not doing something. Social media is a wonderful networking tool. But, it's also become an environment for bullying. Sadly, it's usually us attacking us.

Dude...being a mom is hard. KIDS ARE HARD WORK. It's not always pretty or perfect. You'll question yourself on so many things. But, we can't let THE INTERNET decide how we judge ourselves as parents. Y''s the INTERNET. I mean...there are videos of goats screaming like people on here. (I'm not complaining...I have a few bookmarked.)

Do you love your child immensely...more than yourself? Would you give up anything for them? Would you give your life for them? That's ENOUGH. That's all. You're done.

And maybe also feed them.

Last I checked, and scientific studies have shown, nobody can do what you can do. No one has ever done what you've done. No one can fill your shoes. No one can dictate your role as a mother to your own children. People will judge their adorable little hearts can't control that. But you can control how you feel as a mom.

You're doing a good job. Keep it up.

Monday, April 8, 2013

October 17, 2012

Disclaimers: This is really long. And I haven't proofread this. This is basically word barf. I just typed it as it came to, no editing.

So, wow. It's been awhiiiiiile. To get right to the point, life has been wonderful and insane the past six (SIX!) months. We had a baby, we moved, craziness. I've never been more exhausted or had the greatest time in my life. I could spend hours catching you up on everything, but who's got hours.

Breakin' it down real fast:
Sutts was born October 17.
We had Thanksgiving in the apartment.
The apartment got smaller and smaller and smaller. I went a little crazy.
We closed on the house December 18 and moved in December 22.
We love the house. (I'll do a house post with pictures day.)
We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. Very quiet. Just us at home.
We had the twins' 3rd birthday at a place where you rent a room full of inflatables. That was fun.
I started back to work full-time 4 weeks after Sutts was born. Yes, it almost killed me.
We've settled into a manageable routine with work and 3 kids.
We're very tired, but oh, so happy and so very blessed.
That's about it.

But, I promised I would tell you the whole birth story in all its glory, so here goes.

So, October 15, 2012. The last post written before I had Sutton was the one of me going wah wah wah about still being pregnant. I had been to see Dr. Mac that day. He stripped my membranes yet again and sent me on my less than merry and enormously knocked up way still just 1 cm dilated. I was to have a C-section at 12:15 p.m. on the 18th. That night, I was uncomfortable as usual. I tried sleeping in the recliner again. It helped my lower region feel better, but it killed my back. So, David helped prop me up in bed. It took about 32 minutes to get me situated. I had contractions all night long, but that's how it had been for several weeks. We woke up the next morning, October 16, like normal. The twins were rotating between Mommajoe and Poppadoc's and GranJan and Papa's...they had graciously offered to take the girls for us in case Sutts came at any moment. I worked all morning, sitting on my exercise ball. It got mightily uncomfortable when I had a contraction, so I switched back to my chair. Still was having contractions, so I eventually just kneeled in front of the desk to work.

I got to thinking...Hmmm, these contractions are stronger than normal, so something is definitely up. They were just like Braxton Hicks, but at the "peak," it felt a lot more crampy. I started timing them and they were about 7-8 minutes apart. My little sheet said to call if they were 10 minutes apart, but no way was I gonna call and then go in and have them send me home because I was only 1 cm still. If I was truly in labor, these contractions would dilate me more and by the time I went to the hospital, I'd be like 1 million cm dilated, right? And I still wasn't sure if this was true labor. I was checking Facebook and a sweet friend made the suggestion of trying eggplant to induce labor. By this point, I had tried everything...EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. and I thought, Well, it can't hurt. The only other thing I hadn't tried was castor oil and I wasn't desperate enough for that. So, I called David and sweet thing ran by Olive Garden and brought me lunch...salad, breadsticks, eggplant parmesan, and black tie mousse cake. Y'all...I have never had eggplant before. It's a funny looking vegetable and I don't see the point of it. But, this was DELICIOUS. I was impressed. I'd order it again just because. We're sitting there eating, and I have a crazy contraction. It took my breath away. I had to stop talking and close my eyes. I wasn't crying from pain, but it made me tear up. David said, "Well, that's new." I laughed and said, "Holy cow, if this kid comes today because of this eggplant parmesan, I've GOT to tell Bekah." (Bekah, he did come and I do think the eggplant helped, so THANK YOU! You're in our will.) David asked if we needed to call the office and I said, "No, I'm gonna sit it out and wait a little longer." He kept insisting, but I said I had a few things to wrap up with work. I cannot stand to leave things unfinished. He went on back and I went back to kneeling at the desk. Maria told me to take a sick day since I was so uncomfortable, but naaaah. I've been actually sick sick sick before and kept working. Labor's not gonna stop me. And it didn't stop me. Until about 3 p.m.  It was getting super uncomfortable and I was having stronger contractions that I couldn't walk through anymore and they were about 4 minutes apart. And I remember reading you should probably go to the hospital by that point. But first, I put on some mascara and lip gloss, checked my hair, and called David. He literally teleported to the apartment. No idea how he got there that fast. He helped me put on my shoes and we loaded the car up with our suitcases. David's a little frantic at this point. He's so attentive and watchful over me. I'm pretty chill. I'm more worried about him.

We're pulling out of the apartment entrance and a lovely warm wet feeling enveloped my fanny. Nice. "Well, my water just broke," I casually stated to David.
"Are you sure?!"
"Well, either that or I peed my pants and I'd really rather not have peed my pants."

With the twins, my water broke at the house and I was able to change my pants and basically made a towel diaper. I thought about going back to the apartment and getting some new pants, but David was already pulling out of the complex and I thought, "Eh, who cares. The seats are leather." And then, I was happy my water broke because I know that helps encourage labor along and if it doesn't break by a certain point, they do it for you and I mean, nobody needs to be up there that doesn't have to be.

So, we hop on the interstate and David, getting a little more worked up, puts on the hazard lights. It's 3:20 p.m. on a Tuesday...nobody is on the road. I say, "Sweetie pie, there's no need for the lights. We're okay."
"But, I just want to make sure people get out of the way or if I'm caught speeding, the cop knows something is up."
"We're fine. Turn off the hazard lights."
*click* He turned them off and we got to the hospital just fine, no traffic. They've redone the women's center in the past year or so and where we parked when I was in labor with the twins wasn't there anymore. No big deal, I wasn't in any real pain. We drove around for probably 20 minutes and still could not find the "Labor and Delivery" parking. Last time, there was a huge sign. We didn't do anything birth classes or hospital tours this time, because I need, right? Totally should have done the hospital tour. I forgot it was a whole new place now. We never found a sign. I just told David to pull in somewhere and park and if we got a ticket, we could fight it or whatever.

So, he pulls into this parking garage looking place and offers to get me a wheelchair. I thought, It looks fun in the movies, why not! So, I'm getting into the wheelchair and y'all, we could not get the leg things down. Not that I needed them, but I couldn't sit in the chair because of how they were positioned. It was so dumb and we looked like idiots and I'm like, "If I can stand here and take the time to figure this out, I can walk into the hospital." And that's what I did. We walked into the lobby of the new center, so perfect parking place.

And then the Red Sea parted. Everyone...visitors, doctors, nurses...took one look at me and my pee pants and backed up like I was a leper. We got on the elevator and rode it up to the labor floor. There were three teenagers on there with us. They were huddled in the corner like sardines. I wish now I had jumped at them to see what they would've done. It's just amniotic fluid and a baby, sheesh. The elevator doors opened and the teens motioned for me to get off first, which was sweet. The nurse at the check-in desk takes one look at me and "whispers" to the other nurse, "Mmmmmmm hmmmm...her water broke.  Yes. It. Did." REALLY? IT DID?

I sign in and they motion me toward a delivery room. I went into the bathroom and changed into one of those ridiculous green gowns. I understand how convenient they are, but gaaaaah, there has got to be a better clothing option. I go potty really fast because last time, they wouldn't let me back up to potty and I ended up having to use a bedpan and that's just no fun for anybody.

Still, at this point, no real pain. Just strong contractions, but it seemed like they had let up after my water broke. I thought, this is gonna be eaaaaaaasy breezy.

David and the nurse, Alex, helped me climb up into the bed. I liked the new women's center. Big TV, fancy artwork, magic toilet. Oh yes. I'll get to the toilet in a minute. So, I situate myself in the bed, cross my ankles like a lady, and just hang tight like Nurse Alex said to. I really was pretty amazed at how smooth it was going. I had been in early labor for about a day, so I thought I must have been progressing pretty well. After my water broke with the twins, my contractions started getting pretty heavy on the way to the hospital. They were painful by the time I changed into my gown and excruciating a few hours later when I was 6 cm and just about to get my epidural. So, by this point with Sutton, I'm thinking, Easy sailin'.

Sara joined us at the hospital after she got off work and we just chatted.

Alex brings in some equipment and hooks up the heart monitor to my finger. She gets me to lean forward so she can wrap Sutton's heart rate monitor around my belly. She velcros it into place in the front and walks back out of the room. He's kicking like crazy and knocks it off a couple of times. I move it back into place. Alex comes back in and tightens the strap...really tight. At that exact moment, Sutton kicks the monitor and out of my mouth bellows this unearthly "Hghhhooooooooooogh." It felt like someone threw a bowling ball at my stomach. Out of nowhere, the real contractions came. I got about three mild ones in before the ones straight from hell showed up.

For those first three, I was telling Alex, "Whew, these just came on all of a sudden. Right when he kicked. I wasn't expecting that." I could talk through them until the peak of the contraction came and then I had to close my eyes and hold onto the bed. They came about 2 minutes apart. Alex commented, "Hmm...they're really close together." YOU THINK? But, it was just beginning. Alex asked what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10. I said, "Seven." David asked, "Why don't you say more if it's more?" And I said, "Well, I know it's going to only get worse, so I have to save 8, 9, and 10 for that." And then Alex goes into Brian Reagan's bit about breaking your femur vs. having a baby and saving the numbers. And we ALL GOT IT. Because Brian Reagan is is Alex the Redheaded Nurse.

It was a fun little moment and I thought for a bit, I can totally handle this. Eye of the Tiger! DO IT! But then, after the warm-up contractions left...Sutton brought the big guns. Contractions are very much like a wave. You can tell it's starting and it builds and builds and builds and your body tenses up and every single muscle is straining and everything related to having a baby hurts (which is everything). And then it's like BOOM, intense pain from another realm, crash. And then it's relief and just an uncomfortable ache until the next one starts up. Usually, there are a few minutes in between contractions. For whatever reason, Sutton decided to give me 1-minute contractions. I would have about 15-20 seconds to "rest" before the next one started. And they only got worse.

I would hold onto the bed rails during the peak and close my eyes and I just swished my right leg back and forth under the sheets. I couldn't move my left leg because it hurt too much, but I had to do something. I didn't do anything breathing classes or training or anything, but I've seen enough movies to know how they breathe. So, I sucked in through my nose and blew out through my mouth. It didn't help the pain AT ALL (load of crap), but it helped take my mind off the baby beating my nethers with his in-utero mace. Alex kept mentioning how "good" my breathing was. "You're doing so good." I KNOW I'M DOING (bleeeeep) GOOD! I kept wanting just a little more time to recover and prepare for the next one. I kept hoping they would slow down, but they never would. I asked if this was normal for them to have come on so fast and strong and Alex said no. So...yay for me. I was overly concerned with my finger kept falling off. I don't know why, but I was like, "This HAS to stay on!" Alex eventually took it off because I was cussing at it and obviously I'm still alive.

Alex finally decided to check my progress. I'm thinking, I've been in labor for over a day. My water broke on its own. I've been having stupid contractions for an eternity. I've got to be at LEAST 8 cm. Alex dons her gloves and does her thing. She raised and eyebrow and declares, "You're one and a half centimeters, but fully effaced, so that's good."

One and a half centimeters? ONE AND A HALF CENTIMETERS? ONEANDHALFCENTIMETERS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! (bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep)

That was all in my head. What I really said was, "Well, that's unfortunate." And then another contraction came. Another nurse came in and asked if I was going to have an epidural and I said, "UHLETMETHINKYES." I asked if I could go ahead and have it and Alex gave me the bad news, "Dr. McCutie is not going to want you to have one for a little while." Uhm, what? Does Dr. McCutie have a vagina? Does Dr. McCutie have a uterus? NO, NO HE DOES NOT.

By the way, Dr. McCutie is thusly named because he's a cutie pie. Dr. Mac was not on call that evening. I was very disappointed, but equally elated when I found out Dr. McCutie WAS on call.

So, wait I must. The contractions kept coming. They were getting worse. Y'all, I'm not kidding...109 people...nurses, secretaries, random workers in the hospital...came to ask me questions and get me to fill out paperwork. I know that's part of it, but I'm like, "Do I look like I'm in a position to answer anything right now?" So many people came in to ask ridiculous (so I thought) questions. I signed so many sheets of idea what they were. They would ask a question and I'd say, "I'm so sorry. Hang on just a second." I felt like I needed to apologize for not answering them right away or for being in labor. I don't know why. I was just trying to keep it together, but I felt like I was inconveniencing them. It's funny to me know. Alex finally asked the folks to give me a second to catch my breath. I literally had about 20 seconds between where people could ask me something and I could answer before it'd start all over again. Finally, I couldn't do it anymore and David had to answer them for me. I mean...couldn't we have done that all along?

Alex came in and out of the room. She checked me again. In about an hour, I had progressed to 3 cm. It wasn't much, but it was progress, so I took it. I asked again for the epidural...answer was still "no." Sara was super awesome and calm, as was David. I'm honestly not sure at what point Bryan got there, but I know he eventually came. Alex asked me again what my pain level was and all I could say was "10...10. Maybe 37."

My biggest fear at this moment was, "Please don't let me start making weird noises." I'd seen the movies. I know the faces and noises women in labor make. And that's right when I started making weird noises. I couldn't help it. I was laughing inside at myself, but also just trying to breathe. I just involuntarily started going, "Heeeeee heeeeeee heeeeeee hoooouuuuuuuu..." I was so embarrassed and kept saying, "I'm sorry. I'm not trying to sound weird." Alex laughed at me. Sara and David kept telling me to stop apologizing. I was being SO WEIRD. Alex left again and I waited for my break and I told David, "I'd rather have a c-section. I can't do this anymore. I literally cannot do hurts so much. See if they can get me something."

David went out and I could hear him in the hallway asking if I could have something...anything for the pain. So, they called Dr. McCutie again and he approved them giving me something intravenously called Nubain. Alex said it would "take the edge" off the most painful part of the contractions. I was ecstatic to get anything. It took about 15 minutes to kick in and I could definitely tell it helped a little...for about 10 minutes...and then it was back to how it was. I was so defeated. Y'all...I try to have a sense of humor in every situation. I could not find the happy or anything funny in this particular moment. I could hear two nurses talking about how quickly and intense my contractions had come on. WHYYYYY MEEEEEEEEE?!?!

(There's absolutely no way to describe labor/contractions, but I'll try. Imagine a giant centaur. And he's carrying a mace. And that mace is covered in spikes. And the spikes are oozing molten hot magma. But not just any magma...magma that is made up of razor sharp eagle talons. And this centaur is a jerk and he's repeatedly wailing on your region with his stupid mace. And all the while, your torso is in a nail-encrusted vice that's slowly being tightened. And evil rabbits wearing steel-toed ice pick boots are jumping up and down gleefully on your uterus, laughing the whole time in their silly rabbit voices. And then, you're stuck on It's A Small World and all the little robotic children are beating you everywhere with their wooden animatronic hands. And a million people are asking you questions and you don't know the answers to anything anymore. AND NOBODY WILL LET YOU HAVE ANY FREAKING WATER! That's kind of it. But worse.)

I was just about to ask for a c-section JUST to get an epidural right then and Alex came in and checked me again. I was 6 cm. She called Dr. McCutie. AND HE SAID YES!!!!!!!

I felt like they took their dear precious little times calling the anesthesiologist to get his little fanny down there to give me the drugs, but they called him FINALLY and I could hear him rolling his cart down. I'm still making weird heee heee hoooooouuuu noises. I'm still apologizing because I'm a freak. And in walks my angel...Dr. Amazing. He was my favorite doctor that day. Alex asked everybody to leave the room and she helped me sit up on the bed. That was an event. It took probably 5 minutes to get me up. I had to wait to move between contractions. I was ridiculous. So, I'm hoooooouing and Alex is telling me to lean over on her. I can't control the noises I'm making. Dr. Amazing goes off into this whole shpill about what he's going to do and I'm thinking, "I don't care. I DON'T CARE. JUST DO IT." And he's asking what all I'm allergic to. I am literally not even answering and he goes on to the next question so fast. It's hilarious. He had to know I was over it. Bless him and that wonderful wonderful needle.

My epidural with the twins was a piece o' cake. I barely felt a thing. This one wasn't bad bad, but it was definitely not as comfy as the other one. It didn't hurt so much as felt really really weird and slight uncomfortable. But, whatever. I could barely hold still. Sweet Alex, who probably weighed 90 pounds dripping wet, did most of the work holding me still. I could hear a familiar voice outside...sweet Malinda had come to with me luck. Finally, Dr. Amazing was done and taped the line to my back and they let me lean against the bed again. Again, with the twins, my epidural kicked in almost immediately. I was expecting that again this time. Didn't happen. It took about 20 more minutes for it to take effect. Sara, Bryan, Malinda, and David came back in, but I still wasn't feeling awesome. But, after several more contractions, I could tell the pain was lessening. I could think again. I could talk again. I could rest for a second. Oh my word. Thank you, dear Lord, for modern day medicine.

The next several hours were very relaxing. Y'all...epidurals are wonderful. We visited with Malinda, who was about 14 weeks pregnant with Evalyn, sweet little gal. Bryan, Sara, and David ate supper in the room. I couldn't have any food, but I wasn't really hungry. However, once again, I was beginning to notice that I was extremely thirsty. They let me have ice chips. And it was the good, chewy ball ice. I was very happy about that.

They eventually let me have a popsicle. I think Alex more or less snuck one to me. Sara got one, too. Bryan went to the bathroom a million times. He finally told us he was just checking out the magic toilet.  Sara, Bryan, David were all on their iPads watching movies or just rest. I tried to sleep a little, but couldn't. Bryan Googled how much one of those toilets were if you wanted one for your house. It was $700. (The toilet had a heated seat. And a gazillion settings. You could have it wash you in all sorts of directions. It would dry you with warm, heavenly air. It smelled nice. It was fancy.) After a couple hours. I had progressed to 6, then 7, then 8, then 9 cm. It went really fast all of a sudden. Alex propped me up and I sat straight up in bed to speed it up even more. When I got to 9.5, they called Dr. McCutie and it was time to start pushing. I was so excited.

Alex asked who all I wanted to stay in the room. I was my husband, my sister, and my bro-in-law. Sara was about to make Bryan leave, but eh, I said he could stay. He'd been with us up to that point. I told him he had to stay in the corner and not look at anything. Poor guy literally shoved himself into the far corner of the room with a movie and headphones. You were awesome, Bryan. I'm glad you were there.

I was so, so ready to meet our little guy. They backed off on my epidural a little so I could feel more to know when to push. I asked about how long pushing usually took and Alex, little optimist, says, "Usually not long. Maybe an hour at most ??" I mean...AN HOUR...heck, let's do this!

I'm getting carried away giving you EVERY detail. This is getting long, sorry.

So, pushing. Sara held one leg. Alex held the other. When a contraction started, I grabbed hold of the bed, pulled myself up, breathed in deeply through my nose and pushed. Alex counted to 10...very slowly and then I let out my breath through my mouth. And I pushed two more times just like that and then that was one "set." After about 3 "sets," I was already exhausted. No idea it took so much energy. I mean...NO IDEA. Immediately, I knew my entire upper body would be sore for days after from pulling myself up and holding there. Because my contractions were still coming so fast, I never had a chance to really rest. So, Alex suggested pushing every other contraction. That helped some. I literally dozed off for about 15-20 seconds between each set. I could hear people talking, but my eyes were closed and it really was like I was somewhere else.

One time, about 45 minutes in, Alex says, "Ruth, try pushing with your abdominal muscles, not your face." I laughed at that. Stop pushing with your FACE, RUTH. I kind of wish now I had pictures of what my face looked like. I remember asking at one point, "The veins in my neck aren't going to pop, are they?"

I was still so thirsty. Sweet David fed me ice chips. He stayed by my head the whole time...he never left. At the hour mark, I looked at Alex and asked, "Almost done, right?" She shook her head and said, "No, just a little ways to go, but you're doing so good." It was then that I realized Alex was a LIAR. That little ginger had been lying this whole time. I wasn't going to be done in an hour! No, this went on for 3+ hours.

During this time, they asked if I wanted a mirror to look at Uhhhhhhhhh...I mean....well.......UHM NO. That never needs to be seen. However, Sara, a nurse practitioner, saw everything. I told her not to go into detail, but just asked how much progress I was making after each push. I got her to show me how much of baby boy's head was showing. She made a much smaller than I'd hoped for circle with her hands. My mom was texting everybody at this point and asked the same question. Sara said it was the size of a cookie. Mom asked what kind of cookie. And Bryan said, "Homemade." So...there you go. That's how much of Sutton's head was showing...homemade.

Also during this time, Alex got ambitious and got me to do one extra bonus push during a set. I mustered up everything ounce of anything I had and pushed one more time. It took it all completely out of me. I felt really nauseated all of a sudden. And hot. And cold. And clammy. I couldn't focus or o pen my eyes. They leaned me back and put an oxygen mask on. Y'all, pure oxygen is nice. They told me to take deep breaths. But, you know when it's coming and there's nothing you can do to stop it. I pulled the mask off and motioned for a trash can. David said, "Trash can??" I nodded "yes." You gotta hurry, you gotta hurry. I was wiggling my fingers as fast as I could. NOBODY WAS MOVING FAST ENOUGH. Alex and another nurse grabbed a bag and right as they brought it to the bed...SPEEEEEEEEW. Grape popsicle, water, and eggplant parmesan...everwhar. But I felt soooo much better. They leaned me forward, changed my bedding, my gown, rinsed my hair out. I apologized for throwing up everywhere. And for probably having major vomit breath.

David kept a cold, wet rag on my forehead, replacing the ice in between the layers, for the rest of the time. Sara said at one point, he was so nervous, when he lifted the rag to put some more ice in it, I had ice indentations on my head. He's the best ever. I love him.

Dr. McCutie came in to check on the progress here and there. He kept saying he was betting I'd have him before midnight. I said, "I'm hoping for after for a Wednesday baby!" So, we had a little bet going on. He put a monitor on Sutton's head to more closely judge how strong the contractions were.

After about 3 hours, the head nurse came in and she and Alex talked for a second. I don't like it when nurses talk privately. Basically, everybody was doing fine, but because of how long Sutts had been stuck in the birth canal, he was getting a tad stressed out. I thought, I'll be (bleeeeep) if I have a c-section after all of this because he's a little stressed out. I'M STRESSED OUT, TOO. The nurse said I was still deliverable and that I most likely would still have a VBAC, but seeing how things looked, I would probably tear. I've heard horror stories about that. She asked if I was open to an episiotomy. I've been told once before if they ever offer you one of those, you take it. So, I said, "Go for it."

A few minutes later and Dr. McCutie comes back in and takes my hand. He asks if he can pray over us. I felt such a peace. Prayer done and he goes right to work. Episiotomy done. I push about 5 more times. So gross...but I totally burped a few times pushing. I was so embarrassed. I was like a drunk preggo. Ah well. They've probably seen worse. Dr. McCutie and Alex and the other nurses are all cracking jokes. We're having a good time. I got my second wind because I knew it was getting close. I looked at the clock...Midnight! David gives me some ice and Sara says, "RUTH, LOOK!" I say, "I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYTHING!" They all say, "No, look! It's him! He's coming out!" I see Dr. McCutie tug once and in his hands is this lump of cuteness. I hear a weird little noise and ask, "Was that an animal? It sounded like a bird." And Dr. McCutie laughs and says it was him suctioning out Sutt's nose and mouth. Then he asks how much Dr. Mac had guessed he would weigh and I said, "8 pounds, 3 ounces." He said, "He was WAY off! This is a big baby!" And then he just plops him right up on my chest. Totally was not prepared for that. These were my first thoughts:

1. Holy Charles Dickens, he is heavy.
2. Oh my word, he's absolutely perfect. Look at those hands.
3. Usually, in the movies, babies cry a little, right?
4. He's kind of gray.
5. Why are there bubbles around his mouth?

I was smiling and so happy, but I looked at a nurse and asked, "Should he be fussing a little? Why is he so still?"Alex grabs a blanket and rubs his back and butt really fast. She said, "We've just got to get him to wake up a little bit. Come on, buddy." She rubbed for awhile, but he never moved. And for the next hour, time stood still. I felt like my heart never beat a single time.

The nurses from the nursery took him off my chest and to the incubator. I just watched. I had no emotion at all. Nobody said a word. It was so quiet. Sutton wasn't making any noise. They were roughly toweling him off...shaking him a little...suctioning his mouth. Finally, he started making these pitiful little breathy sounds. He was trying so hard to breathe and cry. Dr. McCutie was down below stitching me up. I ended up having the episiotomy and a tear, but nothing like it would have been. He broke the silence and started talking. I don't know what he was saying. My eyes stayed on my precious newborn son...just a few feet to my left. Barely breathing. More nurses came in. They all hovered over him, talking quietly amongst themselves. They weighed him and told me he was 9 pounds, 6 ounces. I was so proud, but I really was just trying to catch a glimpse of his feet or anything in between the mass of scrubs. Then Alex came over and said they were calling the NICU nurse to come and look at him.

That's when I started crying. Just tears rolling down. All I could do was pray..."Dear Lord...please don't take him, please don't take him, please don't take him." Sara kissed my forehead. David held my hand. Dr. McCutie crackin' jokes near my hoo-ha. I just kept praying. Then, one of the nurses exclaimed, "Whoo! Look at that color. He just flushed pink like I've never seen." They tested his oxygen level and it was actually okay. The NICU nurse got there and examined him. He just had a lot of fluid and was just trying to figure out how to breathe on his own. They were going to monitor him in the transition nursery for a little bit, but this was fairly common. I still couldn't stop crying. I nodded my head and thanked them all. Dr. McCutie said so quietly, "Hey, Ruth...he's gonna be okay. This is okay." I cried some more. Then the NICU nurse suggested putting Sutton on my chest, skin to skin.

I unbuttoned my gown and they brought him to me. He had a little cap and diaper on. He looked so much better already. So pink and fat and wonderful. His eyes were open and he was so calm. Still making little labored breathing sounds, but nothing like before. He just looked at us and laid there so still. Oh my gosh, he was amazing and so warm. Within moments, his breaths got deeper and clearer. It was the greatest sound.

Sara said, "Look at his sideburns!" He has awesome sideburns. And it was at that moment I laughed so hard, because I remembered Bryan's been in the room the whole time and I completely forgot about him. He never made a peep. They let me hold him for about an hour before they came and took him to the transition nursery to monitor him. They told me all about what they were going to do and watch for and I knew he was in good hands. Dr. McCutie had finished up and prayed over us again before he left. I thanked God for bringing us to such a wonderful, God-fearing group of doctors that safely delivered my three babies. I couldn't be more grateful.

When all the nurses had left, I asked Sara how crazy it looked. Again, no detail, just in general. Her eyes were huge and she said, "It There was a lot going on. I saw...A LOT." So, that's why I didn't want a stupid mirror.

Sara and Bryan left. I'm so thankful they were there. They're wonderful.

I had won the bet. He was born at 12:11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17. Which meant that all five of us were born on a Wednesday. And that's how OCD I am.

It was just me, Alex, and David. I had to stay there to be monitored for an hour. Alex brought me a huge cup of water. I thought, I'll sneak in a little nap. And right as I close my eyes, I hear the most unearthly and terrifying sound I have ever heard in my entire life. I heard doors open and slam shut. And that SOUND. It was as if a werewolf and banshee and tasmanian devil had a love child and this was its cry. Alex said, "I'm gonna go check and see what's going on." She rushes out and the noise continues. It got louder and ended up in the room right next to us. Alex rushes back in, kind of excited, " Y'all, this lady waited until the last minute to come to the hospital and now she's 10 cm dilated and begging for an epidural, but it's too late!" She was maybe a little too excited. She rushed back out to help. The woman was in so much pain. She was begging for something to help the pain. I got sick to my stomach. This is so insensitive, but I had to get David to shut the door and I covered my ears. Literally, the second I covered them, I hear a baby crying. It took her about 45 seconds to push and that kiddo was out. Unreal. Alex told us later the doctor never had a chance to make it down to deliver the baby...a nurse had to. Craziness. DON'T WAIT TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL, PEOPLE.

So, my hour in recovery was up and David, Alex, and another nurse wheeled me somewhere. I was so lost. We get off the elevator and I immediately hear a baby screaming. I thought, "Aw, poor kiddo." We got closer and closer to the wailing and we turn into the room it's coming from. I gasp a little, "Is that him??" Alex said, "Yep. That's Sutton!" Bless him, he was SO MAD. I was THRILLED. Baby boy got his lungs. I wasn't expecting him to have been so okay so fast. I had been having flashbacks to Harper in the NICU hooked up to so many breathing machines, wires all over her, big needles in her tiny hands. The NICU nurse said, "It's that skin to skin contact. That first bond. It does miraculous work...better than any medicine. Nobody can understand it." But I knew God created that bond.

He was getting a bath and that's why he was so mad. But, he was beautiful. He's the handsomest baby I've ever seen. I'm not biased at all...he really is. His complexion was perfect. When the nurse poured water over his head, he stopped crying and was like, "Ooooooh yeaaaaaaaah." He loves his baths. They swaddled him and gave him to me. I know I've said it a million times, but he was just perfect. I held him for a little bit, but had to give him back. They had to monitor him just a bit more.

They wheeled us to our room and we never got an ounce of rest the entire stay. They brought Sutts to me about 30 minutes later. He nursed immediately. He and the girls were all three champions at that. I was very grateful. It was such a short hospital stay, especially compared to how long we were there with the twins. But, we never got a chance to rest. So many people coming in and checking us, waking us up. I understand it's part of it, but they gotta know we just want a second to rest. One nurse named Sam did leave us alone for a few hours. I appreciated that. The first time I got up to walk was just a few hours after I delivered. Big change from the 24 hours after my c-section. The epidural wore off fast, but I wasn't in much pain. I could walk almost immediately. The nurse asked if I needed to use the bathroom and I was like, "I probably do, but I don't feel like I need to." As we were walking to the bathroom, I peed all over myself and the floor, so that was cool.

The toilet was my best friend. Oh magic toilet. Taking a shower was always fabulous. I loved that I could stand up and do it myself. It was uncomfortable, but I had a lot of accessories to help ease the pain. Witch hazel is the bomb. We had visitors and it was so nice seeing folks. The hospital food was delicious, it really was. We FaceTimed with our parents and the twins. We got to go home Friday afternoon. I was so happy to be home. I was definitely done with that hospital stay. Just ready to be left alone.

We had two weeks by ourselves with just Sutton. The twins rotated between the grandparents. We are so thankful to them for that time. We definitely couldn't have done it without them. Sutts has been an easy baby from day 1. With the twins, we tried to get them on a schedule as soon as possible because we knew it was the only way to survive and get any kind of sleep, so we did the same with Sutts. But he kind of put himself on a schedule. He was great.

Since we were still at the apartment, he slept in a little travel bassinet in our room. I do not like babies sleeping in the room with me. Every little coo and gurgle and noise wakes me up. But, we had no other choice. He was so good, though.

There were about 3 days at home when I thought, "I kind of wish I had had a c-section again," but once that phase passed, the recovery was much better. It was fairly painful some days. I think I did too much too fast. But, all in all, much easier than a c-section.

The girls came home and they loved him immediately. They love him a little too much sometimes. He's very lucky to have such awesome big sisters. Sutton "bought" them some princess dresses. They still remember that "Baby Sutton gave me my princess dress." I love that. They call him "Baby Sutton."

When we left the hospital, he weighed 8 lb. 13 oz. Two days later, he was 9 lb. 10 oz. It's ridiculous. He's now almost 6 months and weighs 22.5 pounds. 

He is the happiest baby. He smiles at everyone and laughs all the time.

I have a ton of in between pictures, but this is already novel-length, so here are the most recent pictures. There's a big grassy field nearby and we walk by it on our daily walks and we decided to stop to take pictures one day.

I miss blogging. I miss reading blogs. I probably write a post every single day in my head. I just never have a chance to sit down and type it out. Hopefully I can start up again soon. When I feed Sutts, I can get on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with folks, but I miss the blogging community. I'll be back soon, I promise!