Sunday, June 26, 2016

Clara's birth

She's here!  She's a part of our eternal family.  And she's perfect.  

Clara Jean Johnson
Wednesday April 20th 2016, 10:44 pm
7 lb 13 oz, 20 1/2 inches

So Clara's official due date was April 26th.  The same day as Bryce's birthday.  Two days before Camille.  3 and 4 days before Marty and Brynn's concerts.  The EVMCO concerts were a big deal because, well they always are to me, and also because Jenny Oaks Baker was playing with them and in a couple months they would be performing and recording in DC.  I did NOT want to be in labor on those days.  After talking with awesome Dr. Newman about it she was willing to induce a few days early but I just could not make up my mind.  I was so excited this time around to feel like I wouldn't have to induce around when my mom could fly out.  She was here for the whole pregnancy and I was looking forward to just going into labor whenever Baby Girl was ready.  We set an induction date on Thursday April 21st early in the morning, but I kept thinking I was going to call in and cancel it.  I also talked it over with my girlfriends a week before on my birthday when a bunch of us met up for ice cream and it made me feel better that so many of them simply said, "Go for it, I say induce next week!"  

Well, the very next day (the 14th)  I woke up feeling completely horrendous in every way.  I felt sick to my stomach, my back pain was very different and intense, so fatigued I felt like I couldn't even roll out of bed (and other unmentionable things).  I was having strong contractions, although that was nothing new for that whole last trimester.  Basically, I felt just like I had one day at the end of my pregnancy with Camille and my water broke just a couple days later.  I called my mom and Marty and put them both on alert.  I told Marty to make sure his phone was on during his classes because this was it.  After that I tried to just function the best that I could and take care of the kids.  And all day I waited; no Baby Girl.  The next day I was a little bummed to have not gone into labor plus I still felt awful.  Still no Baby Girl.  A day or two later my mom's sweet Uncle Garth passed away and  I wanted so badly for her to be able to go to the funeral.  I thought if I were to go into labor over the weekend she could see the baby for a couple days and then fly out for the funeral.  So on Sunday we went to my parents' for dinner and then took a long (and painful) walk to try to get things going.  No Baby Girl.  I was actually really shocked.

On Wednesday, the day before my induction, I had lunch with my good friend Jana (also pregnant) and we commiserated about struggling to go into labor on our own.  I knew I couldn't complain because my babies and I have always been so healthy and safe, plus I wasn't even due for another week.  It was just such a very important week for me and I had gotten my hopes up thinking I was definitely going into labor. It felt really good to talk to her even though I think I was pretty poor company.  I went home, took a shower, spent extra time on my hair and make up and cleaned my downstairs to get ready for the book club I was hosting there that night.  It was complicated because Marty and Brynn had a big MCO rehearsal that night. I had planned on just taking the kids to my parents before book club and letting them sleep there. Then Marty and I would get up at 3 and go to the hospital!

Well at around 4:30 pm I was texting my friend Natalie and she said she was sending all her good vibes that I could go into labor that night on my own and...I got the next best thing.  A call from the hospital saying that Dr. Newman was worried I was going to get bumped to another day based on the induction schedule.  But at that exact moment they had a couple of beds open and wondered if I could come in right away.  Well, Marty had just gotten home from work, the kids' bags were packed and they were ready to go anyway.  So we ran around getting a few last minute things ready and hopped in the car and went!  

 After we got to the hospital I was a nervous wreck that they would send me home for some reason or another.  But we got in and prepped pretty quickly and I think Baby Girl was ready!  Dr. Newman came in right away to check me and I was already showing lots of contractions on the screen and was at a 4.  So she broke my water and left saying she'd go home and take a nap and probably see me sometime in the middle of the night - but everything went so fast!

After just a short time with the pit I was ready for an epidural and it was the best one I've ever had (totally even, and blocking pain without making me so numb).  Marty and I thought about starting a movie to pass the time but only made it through a few minutes before I could tell it was time to start pushing.  Even though I knew it was time, I think I was sort of in denial because it was all going so fast and that's not usually the case for me.  I thought for sure she'd have an April 21st birthday and it had only been a couple of hours since we'd gotten to the hospital.  So I felt totally caught of guard.  But Marty was so steady as usual and everything went smoothly.  What I remember is having my eyes closed concentrating on pushing and someone said, "Open your eyes!" And there she was!  The chubbiest little cheeks I had seen on any of my newborns!  And the nurses were commenting on "all that hair" while Marty and I gave each other a look to say, "This is a Gabe amount of hair - not much!"  Oh, and I squealed, like, a lot. She was just so darn cute.

She was NOT happy about greeting the world!  I think she cried twice as hard and twice as long as our other babies.  Marty and I said to each other, "Buckle up, it's another April!"  I love love love my Bryce and Camille but it's no secret they were hard babies.

I know I look terrible, but honestly I was feeling pretty good!  So tired, but good.

And we are five for five!  Every time I see Dr. Newman walk into the delivery room I feel better.  I know she'll take good care of us.

Still screaming...

I love seeing this guy as a dad.  He is such a big teddy bear and makes babies seem even smaller!

What a chubby newborn!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

It's coming...

I'm dying to post about the newest addition to our family. But it's been so long since I've done anything with my blog that when I logged in I found a bunch of posts that had been written but not posted.  So while I am recording, here are some really old pictures in the meantime!


My Highlights of 2015

I can't believe we baptized our little Brynnie Pie!  

Our most enjoyable citrus season ever; we devoured grapefruit with my dad and Kelly as they were both moving to AZ and waiting for their wives (and we also enjoyed a whole lot of dates!).

I went to UT to help my mom pack up and say goodbye to the house; Marty stayed behind on "littles" and drama camp duty.

Cake month!!  Everyone was together for all the April birthdays!

Truly, the most spectacularly beautiful Spring I have ever experienced here in the desert.  It was cooler than normal and leaves floated down from the trees and landed in your lap, like it was some magical, unreal paradise.

Our trip to Nebraska for the Ostvig Family Reunion.

Our dorky dream realized for our 10-year anniversary - the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando!

And a few days later we took a cruise to the Bahamas!

Officially one of the longest months of my life - horribly morning sick and trying to potty-train the un-trainable toddler.

Most of the month slipped away with my head in the toilet - but at least we had a very enjoyable Halloween week!

We loved having Thanksgiving combining the Kelly Johnson/Greg Johnson/Marty Johnson/Oldham families.  

Had a VERY fun ultrasound and started getting ready for a baby girl to join our family.

Christmas 2015

I'm in the looking-forward-to-Christmas-all-year-and-so-sad-when-it-ends camp.  This year the pregnancy combined with back-to-back colds got me down a bit, but I loved our December.

Here is Bryce helping Marty to get the Christmas stuff down from the attic.

Brynn had another EVMCO concert.

She sang Deck the Hall, Gaudete (Latin), and Maria Wiegenlied (German).  I was so excited when I found out she was singing the German piece because it's one I sang all through high school and college but I never heard anyone else sing it and thought it was a sadly undiscovered Christmas song.  It is more fun than I can express to share my love of music, specifically classical music, with this little girl who has sacred music in her soul.

And this year she was joined by Daddy!  I admit that I was very pushy about him trying out for the adult choir.  The timing seemed like it was as good as it was going to get.  He kept wanting to do it when we could both try out, but I'm simply not going to put that on my plate in my child-bearing season. ;)  We worked really hard on his audition, he did fantastic, and was crossing his fingers he'd not only make it in, but be placed as a tenor.  The last couple choirs he was in moved him to Bass because that's where they needed him, but he LOVES to sing tenor.  And...he made it in, first try, as a FIRST tenor!!  I've been so proud of him and so grateful to share the journey with him.  Having him in rehearsals as well as Brynn complicated the schedule so much more than last time, but it was so worth it.  He included me in everything.  He asked me to play his parts on the piano, note-check, memorization-check, sing the alto on Youtube versions while he sang tenor, etc.  It's a huge commitment and tons of music to learn in one semester.

I absolutely had to make it to two of the four concerts, which was also very tricky to work out.  But I'm so glad I made it.  After both nights Marty and I talked all night about every detail of the music.  And I obsessed over the music, completely obsessed.  To the point where it kept me up all night for two or three nights strait trying to sing through parts, then trying even harder NOT to sing through it.  It's a thing I do from time to time, I'm a crazy lady.  Anyway, one of the concerts I attended with my mom and we brought Bryce along because my poor dad was too sick to use his ticket.  Bryce was excited and was a very mature audience member.  But he was pretty mad about having to sit through an encore ("Hey, I thought you said that was the last song!").  The next night I went with Neil, Kelly, and Christy.  We just had to laugh about sitting in seats where we couldn't see Marty pretty much the whole concert and couldn't see Brynn for one of her songs, haha!  I'm a little worried about the next concert series because they are scheduled for April just a couple of days after I'm due.  Christy and I devised a plan that if I haven't gone into labor yet, we will go to the concert together, bring a towel, and she will rush me to the hospital if my water breaks. :)

We watched the first presidency Christmas devotional together and the kids were being so good and sweet together.  I left right after because I was a part of the stake choir for the local Christmas devotional night.  I kind of feel like it's part of my ward choir director calling to support the stake choir as well, and even though I was so morning sick for the first couple month of rehearsal, it was a really good experience.  I got to sing in a quartet with a couple other ladies I am going to miss having late-night practices with!  Also, speaking of choir, I was so pleased with how my ward choir did at the Christmas program!  Of the three songs I picked, two of them were very hard (one was a Rutter!), but I have a really big choir right now and an awesome pianist and I just had to take advantage of that!  It was so cool for me, and I think a good experience for my kids, to have all the choir at our house on Sunday filling the house with this sacred and seasonal music.

Another exciting thing that happened in December was the Star Wars Force Awakens preview.  We got to go the day before it opened because the UVU Alumni association was doing an event down here so we got tickets for Marty and me plus the oldest two, and a few for Kelly's family.

It's always fun to be back for the alumni stuff!  I always kill it in the trivia. ;)  At this event they had hot chocolate and donuts and character pictures.

I love being able to keep up park day in the winter, and I love that my friends and I get chilly chatting together instead of all sweating together.
I like to bring hot chocolate to park day once in a while!

Brynnie Pie turned 9!  Marty took the day off and in the evening we went to IHOP (free kids meals!)  with M&D and Uncle Corey who was visiting from AK for the holidays.

Christmas morning!  By the way, I am surprised as anyone to see the clock reading 7:41.  For the first time since I have been a mom (literally) all of my kids slept in together.  They had been doing it for days and it was a luxury that this pregnant momma will forever be grateful for.  I guess it was a combination of putting them to bed later, wearing them out, not having to get up for school, and especially them just getting older.

 We told the kids there was an addition this year; a want, a need, a wear, a read and someplace really fun to be.  We had told them their main gift was the polar express, but we also finally got POGO passes (to get into stuff free around the valley).
So there isn't a lot around the tree to unwrap, but I think they kids made out just fine. ;)

I loved how laid back our Christmas was.  I wasn't having to pack to go to Utah the next day and I wasn't hosting any guests.  My parents and Corey came by for a bit to see what the kids got and then we all headed to their house in the evening to open family gifts and have a nice dinner.  This was our first experience like that since the year we were first married and I loved it.  The next day we got to have the cousins come over to play with new toys and they slept over.  I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I just can't get over the novelty of having family in the state!