Friday, November 30, 2012

Max's Birth Story

Room #17:  where it all went down.
On the 17th of November, 2012.

But let's back up for a second first.
If you've been following along here, you know I had a false labor episode two weeks prior to this day.  (I spent the day in the hospital, having contractions every 2 minutes -- before being sent home because I hadn't dilated more than a couple of centimeters all day.)
I left the hospital that day with the nurses suggesting that perhaps I should stay with relatives in town - or asking if we had an RV so that I could stay in the hospital parking lot!

And backing up even further ... you might want to read Lucy's Birth Story {HERE} first.
It'll give you a better idea of why I (and the nurses) were so concerned with being near the hospital!

(The short version is that I delivered Lucy exactly 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital.)

I was bound and determined to be at the hospital for HOURS before giving birth this time.
Mostly because I wanted drugs.
Lots of drugs.
An epidural, especially.
I had been dreaming about one of those since I was pregnant with Lucy.  
It was my plan to walk into the hospital with a sign around my neck saying "I'd like an epidural NOW, please."
(And clearly, with the delivery happening 20 minutes after arrival, there was no time for THAT.)

So ... getting back to Max's grand entry.
After the false labor episode, I continued having contractions sporadically for two weeks.  They were never very strong.  And seldom consistent.

I also had every pre-labor sign and symptom possible.
Mostly things involving the bathroom ... and frequent trips there, ETC.
(I'll leave the "ETC" up to your own imagination.)
But I'll tell you none of it was pretty.

On Saturday, November 17th, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. .... as I had pretty much every morning at 3:00 a.m. throughout my pregnancy - to use the bathroom.
At 4:00 a.m. - I was back in the bathroom.
Again, it was not pretty.
And again, I'll just leave it at that.
But let's just say ... I was pretty much POSITIVE Max would be on his way SOON.

I took a shower and tried to be patient.
I re-packed and loaded up the car.

By 9:00ish, I started having small contractions again.  Not strong ones.  And again - not very consistent.
But they were enough to keep me hopeful that Max would be arriving that day.
I went to my mom's house to pass the time (because Scott was at his brother's - nearby - making elk sausage from their recent hunting expedition ... and because my mom lives about four minutes from the hospital).

At about 4:00 p.m., I had a STRONG contraction.
And not just strong, but about three minutes long, too.
I decided if I had another contraction like that, we'd probably better go to the hospital.
I called Scott and told him to come get me.
About ten minutes later ... BAM.  There was another one.

Scott arrived, and we headed to the hospital.
In the four minutes from my mom's house to the hospital, I had two more contractions.
Bad ones.

We arrived at the hospital around 4:45 p.m.

Thankfully, upon check-in, the nurses acted quickly (thanks to notes from my doctor about my extremely fast delivery last time), and within a few minutes I was in my hospital gown, discovering that I was already 7 cm dilated.


Scott frantically started asking if I could get an epidural.
(While I sat there, shaking my head with the unfortunate realization that this wouldn't be possible.  Again.)

Why do I have to do this AGAIN!?!?!  
That is what I kept asking.

As much as I desperately wanted another child ... doing so in the same fashion as the last time was NOT on my wish list.

In fact, it was more like on my top 3 list of things NEVER to do again.

They couldn't reach my doctor. (And even if they had, he wouldn't have been there in time.)
The on-call doctor they did get was WONDERFUL though, so that worked out.
She arrived about five minutes before I started pushing.
(Which also means she arrived about six minutes before Max was born.  Maybe seven.)

Unlike Lucy, who came out with one (involuntary) push ... Max took about 2 1/2 pushes.
And boy did his two-inches-bigger-than-his-sister's-head HURT.  Wow.
Kind of like the stitches that followed.

Max was born at 5:28 p.m., about 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

It was a cryfest from that moment.  I was bawling.  Scott was bawling.
I was thanking God over and over through my sobs.
Every detail of the last 3+ years of infertility struggles, early-pregnancy complications ... and all of the emotions associated with all of it just overwhelmed me ... and poured out of me.

Tears of pain.
Tears of relief.
Tears of indescribable, overflowing JOY.

And pretty much .... they haven't stopped since.

I could stare at this little guy (who is currently snuggled up on my chest) all day long.
Well, okay ... I kind of DO stare at him all day long.  :-)

It is completely and utterly overwhelming to be holding this true miracle in my arms.
God is so good.
And gratefulness doesn't begin to describe what is in my heart.

And here are a few pictures.
I (obviously) was a little preoccupied, so I didn't take many pictures myself -- I think my sister took most of these!

Max Tucker
11/17/12, 5:28 p.m.
7 pounds, 7 ounces
20 inches long
14 inch head

Lucy, meeting her baby brother for the first time!

(Yes, she's wearing Hello Kitty on her head, courtesy of Aunt Steph.)

Daddy and Max!

Nana surprised Lucy with these twin baby dolls she had been begging for ... she named them "Lucy and Max". :-)

  Nana and Max!

Lucy holding Max for the first time...

Meeting Aunt Steph ...

Family of four!

Nana, Lucy, Me, Max, and Aunt Steph

The next morning ....

All dressed and ready to go home!

THANK YOU again to all of you who follow along on Facebook and wished us well and congratulated us on Max's birth!
It is so special to know that there are so many of you who have been praying for this baby right along with us, from the very beginning!
We appreciate this more than you can imagine!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Psalm 23:5

"My cup runneth over .... "


For those of you who aren't fans of Little Lucy Lu on Facebook, and therefore missed the announcement a few days ago ...
Max Tucker arrived, safe and sound, on Saturday night at 5:28.

I honestly can't even TYPE the words to explain the thankfulness in my heart without crying.
I am so overwhelmed with joy, I don't even know where to begin.
My heart is so full, it feels like it may burst at any moment.
I don't think it gets any better than this.

I will post Max's birth story soon ... but I'm pretty busy staring at my new baby and trying to soak in every precious second.

But today, on Thanksgiving, I just have to say .... THANK YOU, LORD.  For blessing me, much more than I deserve.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Christmas is Coming! ... Got Cards!?

I don't know about you, but time is FLYING by around here!
Thanksgiving is next week -- which means it's time to start thinking about Christmas cards!!!

Every year since Lucy has been born, I have used Tiny Prints for my photo Christmas cards.
I have absolutely LOVED them every year.  .... So much so that I leave the cards out on display year-round!  (Sorry if that makes me weird -- but they really are THAT beautiful.)
At least I think so.  

This year's cards will be extra-special with our extra-special new addition (baby Max!) included ... so I've already been having fun browsing through the amazing choices over at Tiny Prints!
(Now if he'd just hurry up and get here so that I can get the Christmas cards ordered before New Year's, that'd be great!:)~

I picked out ten of my favorite Christmas cards from Tiny Prints to show you ....

LOVE the idea of having the "year in review" right on the Christmas card (rather than the three-page letter some people include! ... though I love those, too:)~

LOVE the chalkboard effect and simplicity of this one ... 

LOVE the cards that double as ornaments!  What grandparent wouldn't love to have these to hang on the tree for years to come!? 

 ... You can even

This one reminds me of the one I chose for our family last year .... LOVE.

What do you think?  
Got a favorite in my bunch!? 

Oh ... and if you're looking for a place to get your Christmas cards this year ... head over to Tiny Prints!  You will NOT be disappointed with their products OR their customer service!  
They often have special promotions going on, too ... be sure to check them out HERE!
Happy Shopping! :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Update: 38 Weeks!

38 weeks!?  
I can't believe it.  
I'm assuming (maybe dumbly) that this will be the very last baby update ... until there is actually a BABY!
I'm starting to get a little nervous, I'm not gonna lie ... 
The whole idea of the birthing process again is a little scary.  

I actually spent a day in the hospital about a week and a half ago.  
I woke up in the middle of the night with horrible cramping, which turned into regular contractions.  
We got up and headed to the hospital, got hooked up to the monitors, and discovered that I was contracting every 2-3 minutes.  
I was 1 cm dilated when we arrived ... and 2 cm about an hour later.  At that point I thought ... "This must be it!"... (and so did the nurses, I think!).  
But -- six hours later, there was no more dilation, so they sent me home -- and the contractions stopped a few hours later.  

False labor!

(Which was actually a good thing because I was only about 36 1/2 weeks at that point ... and they were really hoping Max would wait at least another week.)

Well ... the good news is ... he waited.  He's still cookin' away in there!

I've had pretty much every pre-labor sign and symptom that I had before going into labor with Lucy ... but so far -- to no avail.  

On the positive side -- because of the whole false labor episode -- my hospital bag, Lucy's overnight bag for Nana's house, and Max's diaper bag are now packed and ready to go ... and my car is now sporting TWO car seats. :)~

I think we are officially READY.  
Well ... as ready as one can be for this whole ordeal. :-)
It's definitely a bit more complicated this time around, with a kiddo at home to worry about planning for, too!

So .... that's been all the "excitement" around here the past couple weeks.  
I guess I better post a darn picture, too....
Do I look tired ....?
Because I was.  
Some nights, I sleep GREAT.  
Not at all.  
This pic was after one of the latter.  

I also keep going back and forth between "crazy-nesting mode" and having the energy level of a slug.  
Pretty much on a daily basis.  
I'm such a confused mess! :)~

However, other than some major hip pains here and there, I feel just great -- and am just trying to thoroughly enjoy my last days of pregnancy.  
Some mornings (like this morning), I wake up so sad that the end is so near. :(  
Heck, some mornings, I still have to pinch myself to even believe I'm pregnant!  How have nine months gone by already!?  

But .... on the other hand, I can't wait to snuggle this little guy!!!   And I can't wait for Lucy to FINALLY meet this little brother she's been hugging and kissing and talking to (and wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to) for weeks and months!  It is going to be such an AWESOME experience, I know!

Can't wait to be sharing some baby pics with you all!  

(Oh!  And did you all see Max's nursery post!?  Be sure to check it out if you missed it last week!:-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Know You're Nine Months Pregnant When ...

I'm part of the "November Birth Club" at ... and there was a recent post that made me chuckle!
"You know you're nine months pregnant when ...."

Of course, it got me to thinking about my own ways to finish that sentence!
So, purely for entertainment purposes ... here are some of mine AND some of my favorites from the other ladies in the November Birth Club! :)~

You know you're nine months pregnant when ....

... you cut in front of your three-year-old to use the public restroom.
... maternity shirts no longer cover your belly.
... you could trim your leg hair with scissors.
... you have to ask your kids to pick up after you because it's too hard to bend over.
... the only towels in the house that will fit around you are beach towels.
... you don't want to eat because you'd rather be able to breathe.
... you're hungry even though you just ate 20 minutes ago.
... you'd rather just sit on the toilet all day -- because you're going to have to pee as soon as you get up, anyway.
... you actually look forward to cervical exams. (Nothing like hearing the sweet words of dilation and effacement!)
... you eat mostly cold cereal and PB&J -- because they are easy and quick.
... you have to sit down to put on your underwear (or pants ... or socks ... or shoes).
... walking up the stairs sounds like the equivalent of running a marathon.
... you go to a restaurant and ask for a table (with movable chairs!) instead of a booth.
... getting up, showered, dressed and going to the grocery store is an ALLLLL DAY event.
... you ponder for five+ minutes whether getting up to get something is REALLY worth the effort.
... feeling "THIS CLOSE" to wetting your pants results in about five drops of urine once you make it to the toilet.
... you begin every phone call you make with "Don't worry, I'm not in labor!"
...  your breathing starts to sound like Darth Vader anytime you do anything remotely physical.
... you look at your belly sideways in the mirror at least once a day to see if the baby has dropped.
... it's easier to use your belly as a table than an actual table.
... you get into bed at night -- and have to get up again to pee before you actually fall asleep.
... you no longer care if your water breaks in public.
... you seriously consider installing a tow rope next to your bed so you can get up on your own.
...your hubby gets about a quarter of the king-size bed -- the rest is belly and eight pillows.
... your belly is so big it makes your butt look small.
... it takes you five minutes to roll from your left side to your right side, all the while grunting like a pig.

Gotta love pregnant humor!  (It's either laugh or cry, right?:)~
How about you ladies out there!?  Got anything to add???

Max's Nursery: The Details.

I hope you saw Max's Nursery reveal the other day!  If you missed it, please click HERE to check it out in much more detailed pictures!
(Thank you to you sweet folks who commented, complimented, and pinned!  I really appreciate it!:-)

I know I gave most details in that post, but I thought I'd spell 'em out one more time, just in case you care. :)~

First thing first:  the paint color.
Pickle by Sherwin Williams.
I went with a pretty bold color ... mostly because I felt like it was the best way to keep this space a baby/little boy's room, amongst all of the vintage decor that isn't typically associated with such a space.
Plus, with the vintage/farm thing I was going for -- I couldn't help but think of John Deere.  (My hubs was happy about that -- he is a John Deere man, all the way :-).

#1 - Wooden "Chalkboard" Map, from World Market. (I got a GREAT deal on a sale day + a coupon ... paid about $40.00.)
#2 - I took an old barn wood frame, cut a piece of chipboard to fit, wrapped (and hot glued) a piece of burlap around it, and affixed a painted black "M" from the craft store - cost me about $3.00?
#3 - Vintage bronze horse, purchased at an antique store.
#4 - Small, natural-colored globe, also from World Market. (Also used a coupon, paid $15.00.)
#5 - Vintage cubby cabinet that came out of an old tool shed.  Found at an antique store in Redmond, Oregon.  I put on a coat of beeswax and added little alphabet decals below each cubby.  
#6 - Old metal bucket, found at an antique store -- then I added the "TRASH" decal with stencils and black paint.  Paid $5.00 for the bucket.  

#1 - Awning we made from a simple wood frame -- and some rusty corrugated metal we found at a salvage yard.  My handy hubby cut the metal with heavy-duty tin snips and screwed it to the frame.  Then we simply screwed it to the wall above the window frame!
#2 - You Are My Sunshine print on a wooden block, purchased from Goodnight Room
#3 - Natural Bamboo Roman Shades, from Home Depot - $70.00.
#4 - Custom made upholstered rocker by Best chairs , purchased from Goodnight Room, $529.00. (Yes, this is a splurge - but well worth it!  It is SO comfy -- and will easily be usable in any other room in the house after being used in the nursery:-).
#5 (which you can't see well in this picture) - an old bushel basket, used for storing rolled up vintage quilts.  
#6 - "MAX" faux metal letters, made for just a few bucks.  You can find my tutorial HERE.
#7 - Old wooden ladder (from a junk pile), painted red and used to hang an old burlap sack.  (I will use it to hang blankets and quilts, also.)
#8 - Old Radio Flyer wagon used to hold Max's little shoes, and an old wire basket full of worn baseballs - just for fun! :)~

#1 - Three custom made vintage farm prints (on wooden blocks), which I mounted on two old barn wood boards.  (I'll show this project a little more in depth in the future.)  The whole piece cost about $100.
#2 - Hudson crib by Babyletto, purchased from Goodnight Room, $399.00.
#3 - Super Star Scout (fawn stars) crib sheet by Aden & Anais, $29.95. (*Notice I have no other crib bedding -- bumper, skirt, etc.  I had all of that hoopla in Lucy's nursery -- and found it pointless.  Plus, I like the simplicity of just the sheet anyway ... and saved myself a whole lot of money because of it!:)~
#4 - "Cortland" Bronze lamp base, from Pottery Barn Kids ... and burlap shade from Target.  (Mixing spendy and cheap helps keep the cost reasonable!:)~
#5 - Old table I found at a "junk sale" for $5.00 and painted.
#6 - Old bushel basket used to store stuffed animals.  
#7 - Rusty old bed springs I found, spray painted (antique bronze), and am using with mini clothespins to display photos.  
#8 - Vintage wire basket I painted red, then added a burlap sack for a liner - for dirty laundry!

I'm sure I'm probably forgetting something ... but of course, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment and ask!  (If you are an anonymous commenter - or a noreplyblogger - please makes sure to leave your email so that I can reply to you!:-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Max's {Vintage-Inspired Farm Nursery} Reveal!

Whew!  This post has been a long-time-coming!
There is one major piece of the room that isn't finished yet ... but I'm not sure when it will get done, so I've decided just to save that to show you in the future (hopefully!).

The end of last week ended up being a little more eventful than planned ... I got to spend a day in the hospital, having contractions every 2-3 minutes.  The contractions eventually stopped, and they sent me home (I was only 36 weeks, so we want lil' Max to bake a little longer!), but it definitely made me realize he could be here any time now!!!

(and that I better get these darn nursery photos posted!:)~

So ... on to the nursery pics.
Today, I'm just going to show you mostly "the big picture" ... then in the coming days, I'll have a "details post" ... and posts with more specifics on my "projects" in the room.  If there is anything in particular about the room you want to know more about, please comment and ask so that I'm sure to address it!

Where to begin?
I guess with the 'BEFORE' picture.
This was the one room in our house that was essentially untouched.
There was NOTHING in this room, boring beige on the walls, etc.
Pretty much a blank slate!

And now for the 'AFTER' pictures...
(a whole-lot of them!)

(We turned the old, white, boring bi-fold closet doors into barn doors.)

The cubby I found in an antique store in Redmond, Oregon.  It came out of an old tool shed!
A coat of wax, and it was good to go!  Love the rustic quality it brings while being so functional at the same time!  I've got toys, books, receiving blankets, burp cloths, and other essentials in each cubby.  
As Max grows, it will probably be matchbox cars, legos, and action figures! :-)

LOVE the wooden chalkboard map -- got it for a GREAT price from World Market!  The little globe I got there, too.
They are two of the few accessories in the room that are actually "new".  

We made the rusted corrugated metal awning for over the window.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

My faux metal letters I showed you in a tutorial back HERE...

An old Radio Flyer holds some itty-bitty shoes ... and an old metal egg basket holds some old worn baseballs.  

The crib is the Hudson from Babyletto.  (I purchased it from a local baby boutique called Goodnight Room -- one of my favorite stores.  --I bought all of Lucy's nursery furniture there, too!).
Although the crib is intended to be very modern ... I like the simplicity.  It has an almost-primitive feeling to me.  And I love the grey color, too! 

The art piece above the crib I made with some wooden western/vintage prints (that I custom designed at Goodnight Room) and some old barn wood. (more in a future post)

A "photo display" from some old bed springs (which I painted).

An old red wire basket with a burlap sack liner is perfect for dirty laundry!

An old bushel basket became the perfect bin for stuffed animals...

And another one for rolled up quilts.

I simply stenciled a dented, old galvanized bucket to make the trash can!

I purchased the "You Are My Sunshine" print (on a wooden block) from Goodnight Room.

And one of the toughest decisions (thanks to all who gave me your input!) -- the light fixture -- ended up being the Depot Ceiling Lamp from Pottery Barn Kids.

A rusted barbed-wire star hangs by the door.

I just love it.  
One more look .... 

I'm done now.  
I hope you kinda like it!
And I hope my little Max kinda likes it, too! :-)

*Linking up at the Power of Pinterest party!