Wednesday, December 11, 2013

millie's birth story

I've been meaning to write this down and I have had a couple requests so here we go:

I had been having braxton hicks for about two weeks, sitting at a 3 for about two weeks and she kept dropping lower and lower. I thought for sure my hips were going to give out. I was hoping that Millie would wait until my mom arrived on Oct. 12. Thank goodness she did and then just for fun she had us wait around for 5 more days. I have never hit my due date before, when I did it was pretty discouraging.

 On Oct. 17th I was having contractions throughout the day and they were really strong but very inconsistent. I knew that I would go into labor that night or maybe the next day. At 4pm my contractions started to be about 10-15 minutes apart. I called my OB to see if I could head to the hospital because my babies come fast. She said to wait a little bit longer.

At about 5:30pm the whole family and I were sitting down to dinner and about every 8-9 minutes I had to excuse myself to go in the other room to scream into a pillow. It was time to go. By the time Braden and I got to the hospital it was 6:15pm. I walked in smiling and happy because my contractions were still about 5-6 minutes apart. The nurses looked at me like I was crazy and showed us to our room. I started to have a strong contraction upon entering the room so I sat down on the edge of the bed and as I did I felt a pop. My water has never broken on its own before (another first). But I knew with my others after the OB broke my water, it was not long before I was holding my baby.

I had Braden yell into the hall that my water just broke and then the nurses started taking me seriously. I hobbled into the bed, got all the monitors set up, and the nurse began to ask me all the registration questions. She checked my progress and I was at a 5. I knew I didn't have much time so I asked for drugs right away. I was nice at first but my contractions were getting stronger and closer together very quickly. As time went on, I was not so nice.

The nurse kept saying, "Leah, you are halfway there. You can do this without drugs." And I, not so kindly, said, "I don't care how far along I am, this hurts like hell. GIVE ME THE DRUGS!" Honestly, I was not mentally prepared to have a baby without drugs. I was scared. Really scared. The nurse did her best to satisfy me by trying to hurry the anesthesiologist along, but my contractions were so on top of each other that we all knew it wasn't going to happen. No one dared to say it out loud for fear of my reaction.

The anesthesiologist actually made it into the room and starting prepping the needle and whatnot. But with the sounds she heard me making, she started packing up- she knew. I was closing my eyes through most of this to deal with the pain, so I would catch glimpses of my hospital room. It was just chaos. Nurses trying to get IV's in me in between contractions- not happening, Braden's look of horror as he watched me turn into a crazy beast, an anesthesiologist that knew her being there was pointless, and me squeezing the rails of the hospital bed so tight I thought for sure my hand would break or the rail would.

Okay, I had to deal with it. I had to face reality. Drugs were not going to happen. I was going to delivery this baby naturally. I tried to give myself a prep talk to boost my confidence, but there just wasn't time. My contractions were basically a constant and the pressure in my hips was so intense. I started screaming, "I need to push!" The nurse of course says, "You need to wait for the doctor. Just a minute, she's on her way." Um, no. My body was taking over. It's such a crazy thing. In this moment, my mind and body felt like they were completely separate beings.

Finally, the doctor comes in the room to check if I'm okay to push. Yes, she says I can push. Well thanks for your permission. The next 5 minutes were the most excruciating, the most intense moments of my life. I pushed, screamed, cursed, groaned- everything a wild animal does, if they could talk. I tried really hard to be quiet. I didn't want to be "that girl" in labor and delivery. But, once again, the body and mind were not connected. I remember saying,"Just pull her out!" over and over again. Psh, I don't know why my OB didn't.

With one last painful push, Millie was out! At 7:13pm she was in my arms. That's less than one hour. Braden and I both just balled. Exhaustion, fear, relief, joy, love. Too many emotions to comprehend. And Millie was here- healthy and beautiful.

I did it. Without drugs. Don't I feel amazing? Don't I feel empowered? No and no. I felt traumatized and utterly exhausted. It was a frightening experience for Braden and I. I never ever planned on having a baby without drugs. I don't feel the need. For those who do it without drugs by choice, good on yah. Do I want to do that again without drugs? NO. But when we have more (yes, more), I may not have a choice.

I will say, the recovery time was amazing. I felt so great after a little nap and some awesome grub.

Congratulations if you have made it this far. That's a long birth story. I will end with a quote from one of the nurses who was at the nurses station listening while I went through all of that, "You blasted that baby out of you!" Indeed, I did.

2 months.

This sweet little munchkin is 2 months old. She is just so sweet and so happy. She is growing well and so fast. She has reflux; she and I are constantly covered in spit up but she's still happy. I figured out that she sleeps really well after I have given her a bath. So this baby gets a bath every night. Momma needs her sleep!

The two big kids are doing great with her. May is now completely obsessed with her baby doll. Constantly carrying her baby, the baby's blanket and her play phone around the house. Monkey see, monkey do. May is definitely on her way to terrible 2's. She doesn't listen very well and does not respond to the same disciplining techniques that Leo does. So back to the drawing board. Anyone got any ideas that aren't speaking sternly, swatting on the bum, or timeout? Because none of these work. Also, it's really hard not to laugh when she is completely unfazed by my attempts.

Leo is just the greatest big brother. Almost every morning he comes into my room and asks, "Mom, how's Millie doing? Is she doing okay?" He loves to watch her observe the world and notice when she smiles at him. Leo is in preschool now and adores it. And momma does too. He always comes home covered from head to toe in arts and crafts supplies. Batman and superman still make their daily appearances in our home (shirts, socks, underwear, action figures, towels, books, shows, capes). When I ask Leo what he wants to be when he grows up, his response is, "I want to be bat-kid when I grow up!" Ya done well, Braden, ya done well. Socializing; it works.

Christmas is almost here! We are all done shopping. The first year ever in my life that I actually finished shopping two weeks before Christmas. Let me tell you, it feels great. Braden and I are so giddy anticipating the glee that will come from our children opening their presents. We both keep saying, "We have to wait two weeks to give them their gifts?! I want to give it them now!"
Kids + Christmas = FUN FUN FUN

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Harker, party of 5.

Millie Rue Harker was born on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. She weighed 8 lb. 9oz. and was 20.5 inches long. 

Millie is our biggest baby so far. Each child weighs about a pound more than the previous.

Everyone is doing well adjusting to our new bundle. I was really nervous about May May but she's doing great. I think I am having a harder time with it than she is. Leo is so excited to say hi to Millie and give her a kiss when he sees her. He's a great big brother. 

The last time I posted on this blog, I had found out the day before that I was pregnant. Oh, how our life has changed since then. It's a crazy life, but it's filled with loud laughter, squealing toddlers, and sweet newborn noises. I never thought I would be a mother to three at the age of 25, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Building a family is the most rewarding and love-filled choice to make in this life. I am so glad to find us here, as a party of 5.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

birthday number one.

She's 1! She had a great low-key birthday. I took Leo to the store the day before and he had a great time helping pick out a small gift for May.

On her birthday we sang happy birthday to her almost all day long. Every chance Leo would get he would get down in her face and say, "Happy birthday, May! You're so cute! Mom, can we have cupcakes now?" He might not look happy in the pictures, but that boy scarfed down three cupcakes!

We were able to facetime with all the grandparents that day and some joined in for the happy birthday song and cupcake eating. Thank you, technology.

May wasn't too sure about the cake at first, but once she got a real bite of the cake she dug right in with both hands. She ate two cupcakes!

May is such a special girl. She is a very mellow child. Although, she is quite the wiggler right now, wants to be everywhere. She follows her brother everywhere and wants to play with whatever he is playing with. She will pick up any airplane or car and make the correct corresponding noise.

 May also loves to pick up any small item and carry it around with her as she travels. Right now that item of choice is one clean diaper wipe. She likes to wipe down the wood floors as she goes- I kid you not. This girl loves to take everything out of a container, but she will promptly put everything back where it was after. Girls are very different than boys.

Her favorite new challenge is climbing the stairs, we are still working on going down the stairs but she is getting better. Luckily, no tumbles down those stairs yet.

May love love loves her mama. And what can I say, I love that she loves me. She's my bud. She snuggles like no other (I am really lucky both of my kids love to snuggle) and gives me sweet kisses whenever I ask.

A special thing about May is that her whole life she has always loved and responded to music. She loves to dance and now that she is more vocal she will sing. It's so sweet. Braden claims she gets that from him, but I am pretty sure that I am the one singing around her all day... :)

She isn't picking up talking as quickly as Leo did. No biggie. Leo had about 7-10 words down by one year (baby genius). She is really great with answering by shaking or nodding her head. She also is pretty good with a couple of signs- more, all done, water, milk. So as long as she communicates, we're cool.

Also, no walking yet. Cruising along furniture and every once in a while she will stand on her own for a second or two. Leo didn't walk until 15 months, so I expect she will be about the same. Which I am totally okay with.

So many more wonderful things about May. She is the best little girl. We just love her!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been a little MIA recently. Mostly because I can't stand that I have to pay $2.50/month to have a blog! Bad move google, bad move. Haven't decided what to do about it yet, so here I sit paying it in rage.

Well Christmas happened, New Year's happened, Valentine's Day happened, and birthdays happened. So much for documenting them. They were all wonderful! Braden had a cake made by Leo and I with a choo choo train on it. And I had an amazing ice cream cake for mine. (perfect because I was sick with a sore throat)

Next week my baby turns 1. I can't believe it. She is such a sweetie pie and we are so grateful she came to our family. The two of these kids are best buds. They love playing together, hitting each other, pestering each other and loving each other. They know how to be true siblings.

That's all for now.

Monday, November 26, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

Picture overload. Sorry, I am just a little excited about our mini Thanksgiving vacation. We decided to get out of town. About 2 hours south of us to Williamsburg. We visited Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown battlefield.

It was an unforgettable experience. We were transported back in time to the colonial era. It was unreal. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Campbell's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. This tavern was George Washington's favorite place to eat when he was in town. I could have stayed in Colonial Williamsburg forever. Beautiful fall trees, quaint cottages, fall wreathes on every door and horse drawn carriages.

Next, we went to Jamestown Settlement. This is a replica of the first settlement on American soil. There were canon demonstrations, food preserving demonstrations -of both Indians and settlers, and big boats and buildings to be explored. Leo loved the boats but not the loud canon fire or musket fire. (See the pic above of Braden covering Leo's ears)

Finally, we visited the Yorktown battlefield. I was only able to take one picture of this beautiful place before my camera died. (See the pic of Leo running to the canon) I couldn't believe I was climbing through trenches dug up by the British more than 200 years ago. We walked from across the field to the French trenches and I could almost see the battle happening in my mind's eye. Thousands of men had fallen where I walked.

This trip really made me love where we live. There is so much history here. This is where our country began. I couldn't help but feel gratitude for all those who sacrificed everything for freedom.  I am so blessed to have been able to explore and learn about it all with my family. This Thanksgiving will be hard to top.