Wednesday, December 30, 2009

These are the Days of Our Lives

Today is December 30, 2009. One year ago today our lives changed again for the better. My little baby boy was born on December 30, 2008 at 4:54am weighing in at 6 lbs 4 oz and something like 21 inches long. He was 16 days early and really a pleasant late holiday surprise.

For those who don’t know the story of when Oliver was born, let me take you back a little over a year ago. Over Thanksgiving 2008 holiday Lucky, Kate, and I had driven over to Coeur d’Alene so we could see the family and spend at least one holiday with them. We had already decided that we weren’t going to go back to Idaho for Christmas because knowing our luck Oliver would come early and have to be born away from home. (Although I would have been able to use the same doctor – my favorite! - that had delivered Kate.) Over Thanksgiving my sister, Crista, announced that she and her fiancĂ©e, Joe, were going to get married on December 28th (yes, only 4 weeks later) and that Lucky, Kate, and I were all in the wedding party. So although we were happy for Crista and Joe we had to admit that a part of us were kind of upset that we had to go back to CDA for a wedding at the end of the year. But Kate was born two days after her due date so I figured that Oliver would most likely do the same thing and wait to make an entrance in the middle of January. I mean, does any kid of mine really want to come early?

We stayed in Seattle for Christmas because Lucky had to work the next day at Borders so we left around 5pm on December 26th to make the trek over to Idaho. After a whirlwind of a trip and a fabulous wedding Lucky and I decided that we didn’t want to leave directly after the wedding and we’ll take an extra day so we don’t have to rush home.

We left Coeur d’Alene in the early afternoon on Monday, December 29th. The trip home took a little bit longer than usual with the icy roads and snow ridden pass. We didn’t really have a relaxing holiday with all the travelling so neither of us were looking forward to going to work the next day. I think when we stopped in Cle Elum I had mentioned to Lucky that I wish the baby would come tonight so I wouldn’t have to work in the morning. :)

We get home at 8:30pm and start unloading Kate and the items from our car. I knew that we would have to pack everything back up in a matter of weeks so I wanted to make sure things were quickly put away so I will know where to find them when it was time to go to the hospital. We were home for 15 minutes and after two (2!) trips to the bathroom in that timespan I realized that my water broke. So after *just* unpacking the car Lucky had to pack it back up with items not only for me and the baby but clothes for him and Kate as well as toys and DVDs to keep her occupied.

We finally get to the hospital, checked in and into our room by 9:30pm. Kate knew what was going on but she was tired from the trip and had the nurses falling all over her so she was relaxing and well taken care of. My doctor was out of town so the delivery doctor-on-call was brought in and after some talking we find out she’s originally from Cocolala, ID and knew the area in which we were from. We had much to talk about as she was reading the heartbeat stats and doing some of the more unpleasant checkups.

Our whole hospital experience was kind of a whirlwind because they got me in there, started doing all their checkups, gave me good drugs almost immediately, gave me an epidural around 3:30am and then I had to start pushing around 4:15am. This was about 7 hours after I was checked in but looking back it didn’t seem that long at all. After pushing for only 45 minutes or so out pops Oliver, screaming angrily at the world that he went from warm to freezing in 0.06 seconds. What’s interesting to me is that my reaction was almost exactly the same from when I had Kate: I was so in love with this tiny baby the minute he came out but this time I wasn’t thinking that I was finally a mommy but that now I have two children.

Kate had fallen asleep around 1am and slept through the entire delivery which I wasn’t unhappy about. One nurse was actually worried that Kate might wake up and wanted to move her into a different room or call someone to come get her. Lucky and I both laughed because for one we didn’t really have anyone to call at 3:30 in the morning to get her (that would get to the hospital in less than 4 hours) and for two Kate could sleep through anything! This was nothing compared to all the motorcycle rallies Lucky was tattooing at or tattoo conventions with the loud music and tons of people milling about. If Kate can sleep through that then I’m sure she could sleep through my delivery. Funny thing is that it was pretty quiet in the delivery room. I was all drugged up and couldn’t feel any pain and maybe because of the late (or early depending on how you look at it) hour everyone was not stressed or excitedly talking loud. The only thing that was loud was Oliver’s little tiny baby scream and all the nurses cooing to him. Lucky woke up Kate to show her that she had a new brother but the poor girl was so tired that she took one look at him, kissed him on the forehead and gave him a hug and went right back to sleep.

I do have to give a huge shout out to my brother Scott who, after hearing at 9:15pm that my water broke, drove all night to get out to Renton and to the hospital 10 minutes before I delivered.

I look back at that morning in wonder because I can’t believe that it’s been an entire year! So much has happened yet it only feels like it’s been three of four months MAX. During this past year Lucky got fired from his horrible job at a crappy tattoo shop (THANK GOD!), started his own tattoo business on Capitol Hill and is at the point where he needs to expand into a larger place. I have started to work more with the other members of my team and loved *almost* every minute of it and I have started to take more of an interest in crafting. Kate has developed rapidly and has gotten so smart that people are starting to think she’s gifted. She has loved her brother from the second he was born and we can tell that he loves her just as much. I think that alone constitutes a great year, no?

As for Oliver, there aren’t enough words to describe how well he’s developed in the last year. He’s just as headstrong as Kate, which makes Lucky and I laugh because we know we’re in for trouble with the two of them. After Oliver learned to crawl his world opened up for him and hasn’t stopped moving since. He learned to walk at 10 months old and now it’s no holds barred and he thinks that there is nothing off limits to try and grab. We can see the wheels in his head turning when he’s deciding if he wants to get into trouble or if it’s not worth it; he will actually look to see if we’re watching when he decides that he wants to get into something off limits. He loves to be picked up as much as he loves to be set down and he loves to give us drive by hugs (crawling around, stops to hug us for 2 seconds and continues crawling away). Oliver thinks the world of Kate and will follow her everywhere. Kate is amazing with Oliver and will sing and dance to him to help him stop crying and fall asleep. I think they are most definitely two peas in a pod and I’m excited to watch their development as brother and sister over the years.

People always talk about how your life changes after having one child and everything is more difficult but no one ever talks about how difficult two children can be. It’s not an equal equation by doubling the children = doubling the difficulty. It’s more like double the children = quadruple the difficulty. Seriously. The kids work together to work against you and all you want to do is pull out your hair and strangle your partner for letting you have another kid. When one goes down for the nap the other finds that it’s time to wake and then maybe scream at the top of their lungs. When one is hungry the other needs your attention in the bathroom. I could go on all day about the things they pull (and try to pull) to make me go crazy. I’m kind of surprised to see I still have hair left and my marriage is still sort of intact! :)

But I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I love my life and although I sometimes just want a full quiet 24 hours to decompress I would probably get bored and go straight back into the chaos.

Happy 1st birthday Oliver.

Mommy, Daddy, and Kate love you with all our hearts.

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