After that appointment Ava and I enjoyed a quick target run together, then grabbed Brooks after preschool...to go home?...Or more grocery shopping? Well, I chose the latter. I had plenty of things needing to be checked of the to-get list for baby's arrival. Procrastination is my middle name. It was while shopping that I felt contractions. At first I assumed they were just the strong Braxton hicks I had been feeling the past few week...but then they started happening in my lower stomach, they were getting stronger and just 10 minutes apart. Could this really be happening??
I called Adam as I was loading the groceries in the car...telling him the contractions were closer together and much lower than I've felt before. And we should plan to go to the hospital tonight to check things out. :) Part of me was giddy on the drive home, but a another part of me was thinking, "Wait little one, please! Just a few more days!" I still had some things to get done and clean at the house, items to buy, my bag to pack, and I was mentally and emotionally prepared and looking forward to enjoying "one last weekend" with my little family of 4, and a date night with Adam. I felt sad I was being so selfish, but goodness those feelings wouldn't go away.
After getting home, putting away the groceries, and showering, with plenty of contractions through it all, I called my mom. I told her this could be it! And through tears I asked for her to pray for me. Anxiety and the fear of not feeling totally prepared was smothering me. And I'm not even the always-prepared type! That angel woman shared encouraging words, and told me she'd book a flight to come Friday, which was such a relief.
Later, while Adam was putting the kids to bed and I was packing my bag for the hospital, thoughts of doubt in my ability to mother THREE children had crept into my mind and I wanted those thoughts out! I stopped and knelt to pray, practically begging Heavenly Father for comfort and strength. I heard my three loves laughing in the kids' bedroom. :) And an incredible feeling of calm washed over me. It was all going to be okay...the house didn't have to perfectly clean, I may not get my "last weekend" but instead I'll be enjoying my "first weekend" with our new family of 5, and I'm not a perfect mom but I'm doing my best. This baby would come home to a family that was ready to love and cherish him/her, and that's all this baby really needs. Well, that and a few fresh diapers and mama's milk. ;) The excitement I had felt through my pregnancy was back and I could hardly wait to meet this little boy or girl!!
Adam's sweet mom came just before 10:00 and we headed to the hospital, knowing Brooks and Ava were in the best hands. On the drive there, we shared our final guesses as to who this babe was...we both said girl. Upon getting to the hospital, we found that a room had been made ready and waiting for me, thanks Doc! :) I was at a 4 and fully effaced. The contractions were staying consistent (now less than 5 minutes apart) and, like Ava's birth, focusing on my breathing helped me get through each one.
I was anxious to know how I was progressing so my nurse checked me again (laying down for those checks made for some HARD contractions) and I was now 7 cm dilated. In between contractions I could feel baby moving...and I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness knowing how much I'd miss being pregnant. This go-around giving birth I was buckled down tight on an emotional roller coaster! But Adam put a smile on my face by talking about how awesome it's going to be when we finally hold our son or daughter. That desire to meet our babe and find out if it is a boy or girl has given me extra motivation to get through the contractions and push harder--with all three of my births.
Our doctor handed him to me and with tears in my eyes I said something like, "Hey little guy, you sure are messy. Goodness I love you!" Haha ;) I kissed him and snuggled his tiny body, looked at his Dad, and soaked in the euphoric feeling that WE DID IT. There's nothing like it! After the umbilical cord stopped pumping, Adam cut it, and they took our little boy to be measured, weighed, and get prints of those tiny feet. :) He was 6 lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long. He was calm during all of that, and then came over to cozy up with mama. That first feeding, with Adam by my side...I'll treasure it forever.
My two handsome boys went off so the littler one could get his first "bath" and then they met me in the room we'd be staying in the next few days. Adam headed home to get a good night's rest, I stayed and enjoyed the magic of our first middle of the night feeding (trying to enjoy those still, but it's getting harder, haha). I went to sleep looking forward to introducing Brooks and Ava to their new baby brother in the morning!
When they came I was so so excited to see them and squeeze their little, but not-so-little-now-compared-to-baby-brother, bodies! And they were happy to be with Mom. :) Dad and I introduced them to their brother, Ava was more than excited to snuggle the "Beebee!" I suspected that, she's always been a little mama. We giggled and counted his toes and found his tiny nose. I was in heaven! Brooks just wanted Dad at this time and was very hesitant. I could see he was almost getting upset and not wanting anything to do with the baby. It was then I remembered I had a tiny "gift from baby" for them. I pulled out two Pez Candy toys and told them their little brother wanted to give these to them. Brooks was thrilled with his Buzz Lightyear Pez, and I think it warmed him up to our new addition. ;) His little heart melted a bit, and watching him be so tender with his brother was magic! Adam helped Brooks be "so careful" with the baby, Ava was coloring, I was beyond content watching it all, and in that moment our little family was complete. I'm so glad I have these photos--physical records of memories I'll never forget.
It took us a week to decide on his name...Boston Karl Kjar. Karl after my Dad, a man whose footsteps we hope Boston follow in. :)
Now, it hasn't been easy adjusting to to caring for three little ones at home. If it wasn't for Brooks' preschool, I'm pretty sure days would go by without us leaving the house. But we take things one day at a time, and we are SO happy our Boston is here. Brooks and Ava have been incredible with him...kisses and snuggles around the clock. We love you sweet boy!!
*** And a huge thank you to Malissa Mabey for taking these photos! They are treasures to me.