Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gabe Martin is here!

Well, Monday night was a big disappointment. I was scheduled to go in for the induction around 9:00 that night, but got a call around 7:30 to let us know they didn't have beds and were going to have to push back the induction. It was a big blow, first of all because I was having deja vu of my induction with Brynn being pushed back for almost two days. And I just felt like the time my mom was able to be here was really going to be ticking away if we had to wait that long. So Marty and I took a short date to Fry's to get a Redbox and some ice cream to try to take our antsy minds off of just waiting. I really did not feel like being at home. But then when we got out and about, I realized I really didn't want to be there, either. I only wanted to be at the hospital. So when we got home I just decided to go to bed early and try to get some sleep. Marty and I tossed and turned all night, not knowing if they were going to call at two in the morning that night or two days later on Wednesday. But we got the call Tuesday morning at 10:50.

We got to the hospital at about 11:30 and of course had all the checking in and everything to do. After I was finally admitted and ready we found out I was only at a 2. We started the pitocin at 1:00 and it seemed to be fairly slow going as at 5:00 I was still only at a 3. Although, considering the labor and delivery I had with Brynn, "slow going" is relative.

 Leading up to the epidural I was having a lot of back pain, which I don't remember having my other two deliveries.  It was a big relief to sit/bounce on the exercise ball.  But pretty soon after that I had progressed enough on my own and decided I was ready for the epidural.  This is the first pregnancy I've had where I've really considered trying it without one, but by the end of this pregnancy, I decided I had been through quite enough pain, thank you very much.  After that, things went pretty smoothly.  There were small things - like how the anesthesiologist forgot to turn on the pump for the epidural.  So after the first dose of medicine wore off I asked my doctor (she came in to break my water at 7:00 pm) why nothing was really numb or anything anymore and she snooped around and said, "Hm, maybe because the machine is off and you're not getting any medicine."  The other crazy thing was that anytime I tried to either sit up or lay on my back I'd get extremely light-headed and nauseous and my blood pressure would go way (way way way) down.  I think they decided it was the way the baby was putting pressure on the veins or something.  So I had to spend most of the delivery from that point on on my side, on ephedrine, and with the oxygen mask, which really bothered me.  But I suppose there is a reason they call it labor, right? ;)  As my three labors/deliveries have gone, I would place it somewhere in the middle.  Brynn's was super traumatic, Bryce's was ridiculously easy.  This one wasn't bad either.  Funny though, as difficult as the experience is, the overwhelming feeling is one of a beautiful, sacred sacrifice.  Anyway, by 11:00ish pm I knew it was time to push (and not a minute too soon).  I pushed once and there was his head, pushed a second time and there was my sweet baby Gabe!!  He was born on 11-29-11 at 11:07, weighing in at 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20 1/2 inches.  And was perfectly healthy and handsome!

 Hehe, look at his old man hair!  Bald on top, hair around the edges.  Before I had this baby, I predicted him to be my first redhead, and he just might be.  His hair is much lighter and less thick than my other two babies.

 So, he does resemble my other two babies, but he has his own look, too.  When I first saw Bryce it was the strangest feeling because it was like looking at an exact replica of Brynn.  I was like, "Wait a minute, I already had this baby a couple years ago, where's my new one?" :)  And to me, B & B still look SO much alike.  What/who are you going to look like, baby Gabe?  I think he's a Johnson....

 My wonderful doctor, Barbara Newman, who has delivered all three of my babies.  I absolutely love this woman.  She is so easy to talk to, never makes me feel stupid for asking questions, lets me call the shots, and in general she just takes really good care of me.  I remember when I was in labor with Brynn, Marty was hungry but kept putting off going to the cafeteria because he didn't want to leave me.  It was just a few days before Christmas, but she said, "Go ahead and eat, I'll just hang out."  So she just sat and chit-chatted with me about Christmas, what I was going to eat (morning sick the whole nine months - I couldn't WAIT to start eating again!), and other little topics.  Then just before this last pregnancy they built a hospital which is literally just down the street from me, but she doesn't deliver there.  So I tried another doctor - just once - and remembered how much I loved Dr. Newman enough to make the long drive out to her office and the other hospital.  She wasn't going to be on call over the Thanksgiving holiday, but she gave me a special card to take with me to the hospital in case I went into labor that weekend.  She said, "You drove all this way, and I am going to be the one to deliver this baby.  You make sure they call me, even if it's on Thanksgiving day." 
And Marty, of course, was amazing as always.  He's gentle when he needs to be, backs off when he needs to, holds me when I need it, sticks up for me and my preferences, and is so intuitive about the whole thing.  I love the feeling of being so "in this thing together."  It's beautiful (I'll try to stop using that word, now).

I know it's hard, but just try not to be jealous of how great and non-icky I look in this picture (ugh).  The first time the kids met their brother is definitely on my top 5 list of best parent moments ever.
 They were both totally smitten.
 THANK HEAVENS Grandma was around.  I don't know what we would have done without her.  The day after I had him she spent a good part of the day at the hospital with me and let Marty go home with the kids.  She was so calm and has such a gentle quiet voice and mannerisms.  She loved on my baby while I slept and got anything I needed before even telling her I needed it.  That's such a mom thing.  She also worked her tail off at my house which was a huge relief considering how anxious I felt about getting so behind on everything.  Bryce was broken-hearted when she went back to Utah.  He was weepy and pouty all afternoon after Marty took her to the airport and has said multiple times since she left:
Bryce:  Mommy, where's Grandma?
Me:  She's back in Utah with Grandpa."
Bryce: (pause).....I neeeeed her!"

What can I say?  We are in baby heaven!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Last thoughts...

Well, this is it.  By tomorrow I should be holding the most heavenly thing I ever get to touch.  I am so ready and excited to welcome the newest member of our eternal family.  I wanted to write down a few last thoughts on the pregnancy, but now that I get here, all I can think about is how badly I just want my baby! 

The kids have been so excited.  I've been kind of surprised at how well Bryce seems to understand what's going on.  He's been asking me most days if the baby was ready to come out.  About a month ago I was laying on the back and all of a sudden felt a sharp pain in my stomach.  I look down and Bryce is trying to shove a half eaten pretzel in my belly button.  I asked him what in the WORLD he was doing and he said, "I giving the baby a nack (snack)."  He kisses my belly all the time and I just think he's excited.

Brynn has been excited also, although the last few days she seems like she's been developing some serious anxiety over the whole thing.  Last night we had a long talk about what it was going to be like when we went to the hospital and when we came home, etc.  We told her we knew she was going to be such a good big sister and we were so proud of her and she started getting really emotional and trying not to cry.  I couldn't figure out if it was because she was worried or really excited or what.  I think maybe she just understands the depth of the situation and got a little overwhelmed emotionally, just like I have the last day or two.   This is a big deal!

Marty is SOOOO baby hungry!  He mentions being baby hungry multiple times a day and has started randomly stealing babies in church and from our friends.  He is the cutest daddy.  I can't wait to see him silly with a baby again. 

As for me, I just need to be DONE with this pregnancy.  It's been rough.  Worth it, but rough.  I know Brynn is ready to have her mom back. The other day she said she was going to have daddy cut off all my hair so that I would look like a boy so that I couldn't have a baby in my tummy again.  That was kind of hard to listen to.  She's been a total trooper, though.  Very patient and helpful, but she's ready for the whole thing to be over with, too. This is the first time we will have left for the hospital not being sure about a name.  We're close, I just need to see him first to be sure. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our really random Fall

Brynn right before a birthday party.  This girl and her poses.

This picture is a funny story, and I can't believe it's almost all I have to show for Marty's amazing birthday.  His brothers and family and Dad drove down from Utah on Labor day weekend (Marty's birthday) to SURPRISE him.  I was in charge of keeping it secret and getting him out for a little while the day they came.  Well, Marty was IMPOSSIBLE.  Seriously, I had no idea how STUBBORN he could be.  Long story short, we were gone much later that day than we should have been and his family had to break in through the back window and wait around for us.  But the look on Marty's face when he saw them all in his house was so priceless.  I honestly was worried he was going to pass out, he was so shocked.  Anyway, we had a wonderful time and I am so grateful they were all able to come out for a few short days for Marty's big 30th.  
Here are the kids with the cousins, 

 And games with the Johnson boys.
 I told you this was random.  This is our new temple wall.  I made the frames with scrapbook paper and black paint. Marty and I visited a whole bunch of temples on our honeymoon and loved it so much that we decided that whenever we travel anywhere we'd make sure to see any temples that are around.  So, finally six years later we got all of our pictures together and ta-dum!  There are a few prints I'm missing, but if we find those, we'll be able to expand it even more!
 Speaking of temples, we've been taking the kids to the new Gilbert temple periodically and taking pictures to document the growth of the temple and the kids. 
 Oh, HEY!  Remember how this was the hottest August on record for Arizona?  And I was lucky enough to be pregnant for it?  And I thought the summer was NEVER going to END?  And now it's November and FINALLY beginning to cool off?  Just wanted to make sure you know how triumphant this picture is of us finally outside and enjoying the weather.
 Oh, this is cute.  Brynn picked up the idea of a field journal from a movie and decided she HAD to have a field journal to record her observations in.  Then we called Uncle Corey who has real life experience with field journals and she's been even more determined.  Brynn can stick with something for so long and work at it so determinedly.  (new word?)  Her last picture was labeled "I see mi cran box."  I love trying to interpret four year old chicken scratch.
 Two playful kids I can't get enough of.  True story:  this is the infamous Buzz Lightyear suction cup that my very strong two year old used to pull the entire TV off the entertainment center.  Have to keep an eye on this one.
 Constantly dancing.

 Brynnie-Pie's first piano recital!  It was just a simple five finger pattern I let her do before my other students performed.  But I think she was pretty cute.

And I'll leave you with this hideous belly picture courtesy of  Brynn.

Remember Halloween?

Little Red Riding Hood
This was before the trunk-or-treat.  And yes, we went trick-or-treating also.  And yes.  We ate all the candy.  Now let us never speak of being 7 and a half months pregnant at Halloween again.

The cutest little skeleton you've ever seen.

 And by the way, give me a moment to sing praises to good friends for free costumes. :)
 And here is Jimmer Freddette and his basketball.  Sigh.  It's humiliating.  As if I weren't enough of a spectacle already.  Now let us never speak of being 7 and a half months pregnant at Halloween again.
 It was fun to have a Marty with dark hair for the evening.  Although, I have to admit, I was slightly worried about not getting the all the black out of his hair before going to work and having him get in big trouble!  Of course I didn't tell him that until after I sprayed it dark....

We did other fun Halloween things.  Of course carving a pumpkin.  We are big, huge fans of Halloween at our house.  I don't remember being all that into it, and then I had Brynn and she looooves Halloween. 

 Another fun thing we did on Halloween was to read our favorite Halloween book, "Big Pumpkin!" about a witch who uses her home-grown pumpkin to make pumpkin pie for her Halloween guests.  Then we made our own real pumpkin pie.  I always thought pumpkin pie was gross until my sister-in-law convinced me to try it with a real pumpkin.  And then I loved it!

And here is a new favorite smile from the Brycer-Boo.  Fun fact:  Bryce has started calling himself Brycer-Boo.

Shake it off, Johnson

Not gonna lie.  This has not been a good week.  It's been an emotional and physically intense week.  I realize I'm starting to annoy myself, and if I'm this bad of company for myself then I must be even worse company for my family! :)  I've been watching everyone post their "thankful thoughts" on blogs and Facebook, and I know that thankful people are happy people.  And then I started looking through pictures on my camera and remembering how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for.  So here is my therapeutic plan to snap out of it.  I'm going to go ahead and post about my week, and then spend the day posting the wonderful things I've had in my life recently but haven't yet recorded. 

Where to start?  I'm being induced in a week!  Monday the 28th we will welcome the newest edition to our eternal family!  I've been glad it worked out for that day, because my parents were planning to come up for Thanksgiving anyway.  And after we got the induction scheduled, we figured my mom would already be here, she could just stay a few extra days while I had the baby.  So I'd get her a few days before the baby to help me prepare and a few days after.  Which would be especially nice, because I don't carry my babies well and I've been in a LOT OF PAIN. 

Anyway, on Tuesday I started feeling sick.  I don't want to be sick two weeks before my due date.  I do NOT want to go into labor sick.  I'm feeling kind of bummed when my mom called Tuesday night to let me know that my Grandpa Oldham passed away.  That's why I've been emotional.  I'm really glad we were able to see him last month when we went up to Utah.  No way did I think it would be the last time I'd see him.  The really emotional part is not being able to be there.  I wish I could be there for my Grandma Oldham, and of course for my Dad.  I wish I could be there at the funeral tomorrow.  If I wasn't only a week away from the big day, I'd even just send Marty up there for the day to represent our family.  But I can't imagine going into labor without him.  I miss my grandpa.  I miss my family.  Even my brothers and SIL in Alaska are flying out.  And I'm here.  And it's Sunday, and I'm still miserably sick, at home missing my little girl's primary program.  I should be running around cleaning everything, making freezer meals, getting ON TOP of things the last week before baby comes, but instead my house has fallen to pieces and I'm about as behind as I get. 

See how good I am at feeling sorry for myself?  Ok, now that's out of my system.  Let's start over:

I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to know and love my Grandpa O for 27 years.  I'm grateful that my family is together for this.  I'm grateful that as one family member leaves the earth, another is coming in just one short week (maybe they'll get to high-five each other on the way in and out!).  I'm grateful that although my parents won't be here for Thanksgiving now, my mom will still be able to fly out and help when the baby is born.  I'm thankful that my husband is a saint.  He's GOT to be getting sick of this pregnancy.  It hasn't been an easy one and this week I've just been at the end of my rope, but he never complains.  As soon as he walks in the door he knows he's on duty and I can ask him for anything and he treats me like gold.

And now a short tribute to Grandpa:
(Can you tell from the picture how much FUN my grandpa was?  Always joking, teasing...I love this picture)

Robert Jay Oldham

"Humor Even in Adversity"

Robert "Bob" Jay Oldham slipped peacefully from this life Tuesday evening, November 15, 2011. He was surrounded by his dear wife, children and grandchildren.

Robert was born April 27, 1929 in McGill, Nevada, the first child born to Verlin Henry Oldham and Ruth Lucille Madsen. He grew up on horseback in Mt. Pleasant, Utah and spent most of his youth working on the family farm. One of his fondest memories was his time spent working as a cow puncher on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

He was a sergeant in the Army during the Korean conflict. After returning home he married Gloria Ann Sperry in the Salt Lake City Temple, his sweetheart and best friend of 58 years. He worked primarily for Hill Air Force Base on the F16 fighter jets. He received various awards for his work there.

He loved fishing, hunting, and motorcycles. He was a hard worker and always willing to help others. Although he spent most of his life dealing with pain he never complained or let it stop him or slow him down. He will be greatly missed by his family members for his example and love.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria; son, Allan (Debra); daughter Barbara Davies (Edwin); sister, Beth (Melvin) Jones; brother, Jerald (Mary Ann) Oldham; brother in-law, Jay Sperry; sister in-law, Elma Sperry; grandchildren: Corey, Justin (Helen), Emily (Marty), Christy (Eric), Brent (Melinda) and Eric; great grandchildren: Anthony, Kathryn, Molly, Brynn, Bryce, and another great grandson expected any day. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Phyllis Sperry.

Funeral services will be held Monday, November 21, 2011, 11:00 a.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road where a viewing will be held Monday, 10-10:45. Interment, Mona City Cemetery.

Published in Deseret News on November 19, 2011
And here are a few memories I e-mailed to my cousin.  I didn't think at the time that I'd be posting them publicly or I would have written them out better.  But here they are:
There are a few things I always looked forward to when visiting Grandpa. First of all, I loved playing with his smooth, shiny rocks. I loved getting new rocks from him and still have several bags of rocks from Grandpa. I also remember a couple times when he gave us a geode and let us pick some figurines to glue in. Another thing I couldn't wait for was to hear him call Grandma "Button." I don't know why I loved that so much. But the main thing I absolutely couldn't wait for when I went to see Grandpa, was to be teased by him. I loved being teased by him, and he knew it. I felt special, he made me laugh. It was kind of like our love language. One time that sticks out in my memory was when he started taking the food off of my plate, taking bites, and putting it back. I couldn't believe he would do that! But again, I absolutely loved that. I also loved that he called me "Emmy" for most of my life. Even as a "too-cool-for-that" teenager I loved it. I was either Emmy or Em, I don't remember him ever calling me Emily and that was something else that just made me feel special and loved by him.

Another random memory was when he and Grandma were (sweetly) bickering over whose spoon was in the sink and who should wash it. I think Grandma thought she had won, but we came in a few minutes later and found the dreaded spoon, hanging from a noose over the sink. He had to have been entertaining to live with!

And now I'm so grateful that my kids had a chance to get to know and love him. Especially Bryce. He is only two and might not remember Grandpa as he gets older, but we will make absolutely sure to talk to Bryce about him throughout his life, because they truly had a special connection. Bryce had acid reflux and was a really fussy baby, so when he melted into Grandpa to drink his bottle I was kind of surprised, but of course thought it was really sweet. Then after that, it always stayed that way. After Bryce learned to crawl, he would crawl to Grandpa. He was content on Grandpa's lap. This last summer, there was a bulldozer out by grandma and grandpa's street. Bryce loves those, and he was so excited. He ran back to Grandpa, grabbed his hand and practically dragged him over to see it, saying "C'MON, Grandpa!". It was this nail-biting moment of "He's going to pull Grandpa to the ground!" As Grandpa has said, "I took a step, skipped a step, took a step, skipped a step." For how little they were able to see each other, they just seemed drawn to each other. As Bryce's personality has developed, I think those two have some definite similarities.

Ok.  So there is the heavy stuff.  Onto the lighter moments of the last couple of months that are missing from my blog!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"I went right on biggering..."

Name that book!!!  (I'll give you a hint:  It sounds like Dr. Seuss because it is.)  Anyway, I think that's a pretty accurate statement of how I feel right now.  Here are a couple new mommy pics.  It looks like I'm torturing Brynn, but I'm just braiding her hair to keep it out of the ice cream. :)

This one was taken yesterday after church. 
And Marty thinks this very clever picture he took is soooo funny (eye roll).

The kids have gone right on biggering, too.  Sorry about this picture quality, I'm in a big hurry right now, though, so....

 Bryce got a much needed haircut....

  (this is the before, by the way)

 Everyone in our family is biggering except this guy, who has become a health food nut and exercise junkie and has lost about a bazillion pounds since we got back from Utah.

(Brynn caught his concentration face.  He is no doubt in the midst of a serious football game and is calculating the effect on his fantasy football leagues.  I know Marty's faces.) 

Maybe someday I should take relieve Brynn of camera duty and actually take a decent picture of him.  But you get the idea. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Letter to Arizona #3

Dear Arizona,

You are victorious.  You have crushed my resolve.  I withstood the heat to the best of my abilities during June and July, but August has offically kicked my trash.  I'm inclined to blame the pregnancy.  But, no matter.  I have a secret weapon - he is my knight in shining armor.  He got me out of the valley and took me on an over-nighter in nice, cool, Snowflake, AZ, where we took walks in the cool night air and ate breakfast on the patio in the morning and I almost (almost) got a little chilly. your FACE, AZ summer.