Sunday, February 5, 2017

Alvin's Birth Story

Alvin’s Birth Story

My due date was January 22nd but I was pretty sure he was coming before then.  I felt like I was much bigger throughout this pregnancy plus I was so uncomfortable for such a long time I thought there was just no way my body was going to make it to the 22nd.  We decided to have a family contest about when the baby would come and the prize was the person who was the closest got to name the baby.  Initially both Ivy and Oskar said they wanted to name him Santa Claus but at some point Oskar changed his mind and wanted to name him Frederick.  Ivy guessed the 5th of January, I guessed the 12th, Joel guessed the 15th, and Oskar guessed the 25th.  I laughed at the thought of not having the baby until the 25th, it was just absurd.
The 22nd was a Sunday and the prior Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment.  At that appointment my doctor checked me and let me know that I was dilated to a 3.  When I went into the hospital with Ivy’s birth I was at a 2 so it was nice to know I was already farther along than that.  
My due date came and went and there was no baby.  I was very surprised as well as disapointed.  I was so uncomfortable I just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.  Mom had come up the previous Friday to be here when the time came.  But day after day the time didn’t come.  I had braxton hicks pretty consistently for weeks but I did feel like they were coming stronger around and after my due date. On Monday Oskar took me on a walk at the park.  He rode his bike and I walked as fast and as bumpily as I could.  I kept asking him if he was ready to go home and he kept telling me we should do one more lap so the baby will come out.  
On the morning of Tuesday the 24th I had another doctor’s appointment at 11:15.  Before my appointment I had a few contractions, hard enough for me to feel like today was going to be the day.  Since I had the appointment it was nice to be able to get checked by the doctor and have a sense of what was going to happen without having to go into the hospital yet.  She checked me and said I was at a 3.5, not a big jump from a week earlier.  She asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes, which I didn’t because it sounded really painful, but had her do anyway because I was getting desperate.  Once she was done she said I was now dilated to a 4 and would probably have the baby in the next 24 hours.
After leaving the doctor’s office I had Joel take us by Burgerville to get a chocolate hazelnut shake because I was sure the baby was coming soon and I needed some strength.  We got my treat and went home, which was about 20 minutes away, at about 12:00 and then the contractions started coming stronger.  Mom decided to take Oskar and Ivy to Keri’s house for the night so they could go to Mari’s concert, so I had to get all of their things ready to go and switch the car seats into her car.  So I kept moving and taking care of things all while the contractions kept getting stronger.  I felt like I needed to go to the hospital but Mom told me to try and stay at home as long as possible.
They were finally ready to leave to go to Keri’s at around 2:00 and by then I was really ready to go to the hospital.  I wasn’t timing the contractions but they felt like they were coming faster than every five minutes and were strong enough to make me want to change my mind about having a baby.  They left for Keri’s and before we could leave for the hospital Joel wanted to take out all the trash and close the windows which I was really impatient with him about.  I just wanted to go to the hospital.
Finally at 2:30 we left for the hospital and I endured the most painful 20 minute drive of my life.  We got to the hospital, got checked in, and they took us to the triage room.  In the triage room I started asking for an epidural.  I was crying from the pain and wanted to get some drugs.  But the lady was as slow as molasses.  She had me change out of my clothes and checked me to discover that I was dilated to a 7.  I was really feeling it now and kept asking her when I was going to get an epidural.  She said they had to take my blood and so some other things before I could have one.  As I was standing in the triage room nearly butt naked because I was so focused on the contractions I wasn’t able to get my gown on, my water broke and gushed out like a giant water balloon was popped from deep within, and got all over the floor and my shoes.  At this point I was a little out of my mind.  I had to keep my hair in front of my face and shut my eyes tight to deal with the pain and I’m sure I looked like a feral creature.
They somehow got me onto the bed and checked me again, this time I was on my hands and knees, not able to move into a laying position, and I was dilated to an 8.5.  I kept asking and asking for an epidural but they kept putting me off which was making me real mad.  They wheeled me into the room, me clutching Joel’s hands too hard the entire time.  In the room I didn’t see what was going on because I was still focused under my hair with my eyes shut tight praying over and over for God to please help me but it felt like chaos.  People kept coming in and asking me questions, which I wasn’t really answering, and introducing themselves to me.  The anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found but they finally did get an IV in and take some blood, both of which I was not conscious to because that pain meant nothing compared to the contractions I was feeling.  I kept telling Joel and everybody else in the room that I couldn’t do it and I needed an epidural.  They told me that yes, I could do it but I really did 100% feel that I could not do it, it just wasn’t an option.  I felt the urge to push a few times but the people in the room, whoever they were, told me not to.
Eventually the anesthesiologist got his act together and gave me the epidural, who knows how far I was dilated when I finally got it, probably to a 10 and probably could have started pushing.  But I got the epidural and those glorious drugs worked within minutes.  The pain lessened and I turned back into a human being.  Pretty soon after getting the drugs I started pushing.  The doctor and the nurse were really great.  They were positive and upbeat and very patient.  The doctor thought it would only take 20 minutes to push but it ended up taking an hour and 15.  
At 5:30 PM the big guy was born at 9 lbs. 6 oz., 20 ¾ inches long, and a head measuring 14 inches.  Joel was right there the whole time being very helpful, I could not have done it without him, and his hands may never recover from the squeezing they got from me.  Before he came out but when his head was visible they asked if I wanted a mirror or to reach down and touch his head.  No way.  I never want to see what’s going on down there and I can wait to touch until he comes all the way out.  They took baby  boy out and plopped him right on my chest, he was covered in blood and goo, and was purple but started crying and kept crying which helped him turn the right color.  He started nursing almost immediately and nursed for about two hours straight.  He passed all his tests and we stayed in the hospital just one night before we named him Alvin Wilson Ackerman and brought him home.
Mom brought the kids to see him the next morning after he was born and they, Ivy especially, were completely enamored.  She kept kissing him and talking about baby brother.  Oskar was excited too but he was also pleased to just sit and play on the ipad.  Ivy still can’t leave him alone and wants to be next to him kissing him all the time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016, the first Christmas in our first house!  It was really fun to do our own thing this year. Santa left us a candy sculpture, a letter, and presents, and he treated us well this year, in fact a little too well.  Now Santa has a better idea for next year about how not to go overboard.  Oskar was so excited after he went downstairs with Joel he came back and jumped up on my bed and shouted, "Santa came!  This is such a THRILL!"  Ivy was excited but didn't show it nearly as much.  She opened one present and wanted to play with it and didn't care about opening anymore, we should have just got her one thing!  After opening presents we went to church and then drove up to Keri's house for Christmas dinner, which was deeeelicious.

It has snowed a few times this winter but last night was the biggest snowstorm of them all!  The snow started yesterday evening and went all night and into this morning.  I was so stressed I was going to go into labor and have to call 911 so I could get to the hospital.  The roads aren't clear yet so we're not totally safe but since I have no signs of going into labor I think we'll be okay.  Oskar and Ivy went out and played in it this morning and it was so deep Ivy kept getting stuck.  It was fun but I'm okay if it's just a once a year kind of day.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Pictures

A new friend in our new ward offered to do a quick 20 minute Christmas photo session for us a few weeks ago.  It was so nice of her and we really loved the pictures she took.  Joel knew he wanted to do a Tiny Tim picture with Oskar so he dressed himself and Oskar in period clothing and me and Ivy just wanted to dress up too.  It was funny because when we got to her house we realized she was planning on just taking pictures of the kids.  We felt pretty silly but she insisted we all get some pictures and they really turned out great.

I just want to blow this one up and print it out.  What a sweet picture!

And this little girl posed this way without being told to!

8 months pregnant is not a good time of life to get pictures taken.  Oh well.

"God bless us, every one!"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thanksgiving and Birthday

 For Thanksgiving this year we were supposed to go to Keri's house where Grandma and Grandpa would be along with Jordan's family and Kamron.  But they had some sick kids there so we decided at the last minute to stay at home to keep Oskar from getting sick.  So with very little time to prepare we had to throw some Thanksgiving plans of our own together.  I was pretty down about not being able to be around family and I really didn't want to cook anything.  So Joel and the kids cheered me up by reenacting the first Thanksgiving.  Below are my two little Indians.

Then we made a thankful tree and listed all the things we were thankful for.

 And even though I didn't want to cook, we had to eat something so we had a roast and green beans and it ended up being fine.  We had just purchased a dining room table a few days before so we were able to have our first meal at our new table.

We have A LOT to be grateful for so it was nice to focus on our blessings and talk with the kids about how much we appreciate all the good things that we have in our life.

Here is a shot of our dining room.  The house still needs SO much work, like painting, I can't handle those purple walls for too much longer.  But very slowly it's we're making progress and it really feels like home.

And a few days later was my birthday.  I turned 30 years old, which was depressing, but I couldn't be depressed too long with my 2 3/4 kids' smiles (and kicks from the 3/4 one).  I made my own birthday cake and it was delicious.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ninja Warrior

Oskar wanted me to film his ninja training at the park yesterday.  I am always amazed at what he can do.  He's so strong, there's no way I could do what he is doing, at least while I'm pregnant.  I need to get him signed up for gymnastics or something.  It's kind of a long video but the end is my favorite part.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Beginning our Life in the Northwest

This is just a random smattering of pictures I've taken in the last month.  We've been very busy with Joel going to LA for two weeks for work and house hunting.  

The house hunt has been ... interesting.  We found a house that we liked and made sense on paper but was at the top of our price range, we put in an offer, and then ended up not feeling good about it so we backed out.  Now we're back where we started.  Soon after saying never mind to the first house I found the most beautiful, perfect house that was also at the top of our price range but was my dream home.  I wanted to put in an offer on it but, of course, Joel didn't like it.  So we're still looking.  Everything Joel likes, I hate, and everything I like, he finds boring.  So I don't know how this is going to work out but I'm hoping we can find something soon.  Living in a two bedroom apartment with the two crazies and being 22 weeks pregnant is not a great combination.

Other than the stress of trying to find a house I LOVE living in the Northwest.  As soon as I got here it just felt like home.  And without trying we happened to find an apartment that was within walking distance of my BFF Jamie D.!  So now I get to see her all the time and I'm loving it.

Ivy showing her muscles

Keri gave Lena and Ivy "Tinkerbell hair"

At least these two are having fun looking at houses!

Finding fun spots to hide in, in our apartment.

Ivy with pigtails!  

Baby #3

Finally, at nearly 22 weeks along, we were able to have the mid-pregnancy ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby!  I was 100% sure it was a girl and had a name picked out and everything.  Oskar really wanted a little brother, since he already has a little sister he said, but I tried to warn him that it was probably a girl and that he shouldn't be too disappointed.  Well I was wrong and Joel and I were both very surprised.  There were so many times in the last two huge moves I wanted to get rid of the bags and bags of baby boy clothes I have accumulated but now I'm really glad I didn't.  There are no boy names I currently like so I guess I better start thinking!

This is how he was positioned the entire ultrasound, knees to his nose.  I guess he wanted to make it ABUNDANTLY clear he was a boy.  Joel asked the ultrasound tech probably three times if she was sure and she kept showing him the crotch shot and saying, yes, she was very sure.