Eamon Eugene: a birth story.

“I will sing of your faithfulness and tell the whole world of all that you have done because you, God, have done awesome things for me. You have not let me down or let me fall into trouble. I trusted you and you gave me peace. I was not afraid and you filled my heart with confidence. You heard my every request – even every unspoken request – and you satisfied my desires according to your loving kindness . You have dealt so kindly with me, God. Let me tell about what you have done!”

He’s here guys! The tail end of May just two days after his expected due date marks his arrival.

Meet Eamon Eugene. All just under 9 pounds of him.

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Isn’t he wonderful? And I’m smiling! (or crying/shaking a little?) Y’all, No. HELLP. Syndrome. What a precious gift, both this sweet little honey as well as a healthy pregnancy, labor, and birth.

Let’s get to it. One of my very first prayers upon laying eyes on the positive pregnancy test was that I would literally be in labor for about a week without knowing it and baby would then just sort of, you know, come out. (I can ask right?) Considering our first born came 38 hours after my waters broke and our second was traumatically evacuated, the prayer made a lot of sense to this momma. God heard and He answered. For nearly 7 days I experienced regular contractions, 10, 5-7, and 2-3 minutes apart for a number of hours or sometimes all day long, then they would stop. It was quite frustrating not knowing what was going on, but then I would remember my prayer and suggested to myself that perhaps, just maybe, the Lord really was saying yes.

Memorial Day weekend came. I remember praying months ago that whichever day baby came, whatever we happened to be doing that day, wherever we were, that it would simply be a peaceful day. Storms rolled in and out all day. The smell of rain permeated the air and I was so satisfied. We played outside. We pulled a few weeds. Tad worked on his cafe racer in the garage. We ate outside on the deck under a few light sprinkles. I took 3 or 4 walks around the block between bouts of rain amidst more ‘false’ labor contractions. I remember thinking and saying, ‘Lord, this is a peaceful day. Don’t you think today would be a great day to welcome a babe? If not, thanks for a sweet day – and the smell of rain.’ Did I mention my love for the smell of fresh sweet rain?

Bedtime came. Contractions were still regular, perhaps slightly more crampy, but nothing to get excited about. We went to bed. I could not sleep. Something about having a large baby on my bladder and the constant need to make potty visits. So I got up. Things were more crampy still. I figured if this is legit, I may as well be moving to get this show on the road. If not, at least the dish washer would be empty! I had cleaned up the whole house, washed the dishes, and even purchased a lovely bouquet from my favorite florist, Beth from Elizabella Flower Farm, who also happens to be our across the street neighbor (win!),  downtown at the Ames, IA Main Street Farmer’s Market that weekend juuuust in case I did happen to go into labor and needed something pretty to look at. Aren’t they?

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It was now 11:30pm. I finally called my momma and told her that should these continue to come and remain strong, perhaps she should come crash at the asayplacey just in case we needed to head out. We didn’t have a set plan in place for our two big kids. I asked and trusted the Lord to work out those details with some apprehension in the back of my mind – not knowing exactly how events would unfold. But I make myself out to be the fool every time I doubt, because true to His character, He proves to be faithful in everything. I called our doula, Ami, who arrived right around midnight. It was evident at this point that it was indeed ‘Go Time’. I was needing to pause at each contraction, and things were starting to be expelled (I’ll spare those details). In perfect timing (thanks for that Lord) as soon as my momma arrived, and it was time for us to head out to the hospital (I laid down my desires for a home birth a long time ago. deep sigh. content heart. moving on.)

We arrived at the hospital, were admitted to our room, everything with me and baby checked out. I had to use the potty and stayed there for what seemed like an hour (that’s probably not too far from the truth?) until my water broke – handy. Baby was CO-MING. It’s incredible how things can intensify so quickly after that point. I went and lied on my left side on the bed to give easy access to my arm as they needed to draw blood to make sure everything continued to check out seamlessly. A blood test was the only way HELLP was detected with W, our second born, and was again needed. It wasn’t long after that I realized I needed to stay right where I was – baby was almost here! Slowly baby’s head emerged and what I couldn’t see was that the cord was wrapped tightly around his neck. I am so very thankful for the knowledge that this is fairly common and easily remedied. That knowledge kept me from much unnecessary worry and anxiety. However, the cord was too tight to pull over baby’s head, so the midwife needed to clamp and cut it before the rest of baby’s body could be delivered. I remember having a thought that this might happen. I eased the rest of baby out while holding onto his little body and it was done. Over. Finished. He (it’s a boy!!!) was here!

He came some quickly (roughly only 3 hours of ‘work through it’ labor) and so slowly at the end. We had only been at the hospital for 2 hours! Hallelujah! What an amazing answer to my request and the requests of so many interceding on our behalf. Not only did we remain healthy, but the day was incredibly peaceful, relationships were happy, the timing of everyone’s arrival and our departure for the hospital was seamless, and he came without too much longing for it to be over (I had so much of this with LL after 15 hours in the hospital). Eamon’s birth was by far the most intense and most painful (he was, after all, two whole pounds bigger than Whitterboy), however, it was by far the best of all three births. Yes, somehow, those things can and did go together. Despite his size and the intensity of his arrival, the Lord answered yet another request – that my pieces and parts would remain intact, that I wouldn’t require any stitching, and that using the potty postpartum would be a breeze. Y’all. Truly. This may be TMI, but every time I make a visit to the wash room I thank the Lord for his kindness to me. I’ve experienced an awful tear my first time around where crying was needed to make it through every potty visit and you’d hold it for hours to eliminate even just one trip to that awful place that day. I still, a week and half out, thank God for that bit of mercy every time I see the toilet.

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We were all rejoicing. We could finally let our breath out. This daddy especially had been holding his breath for months – waiting. Not knowing. Waiting is hard when you’re not given a definitive outcome. We worked hard to live wisely throughout the entirety of the pregnancy; to eat and supplement well, exercise, and do what was needed to be as well as possible. But I had to keep reminding myself that my hope was not in my diet or what I could do. My hope was ultimately in God and what He would provide the birth perfect for my good and the birth that would bring Him the most glory.

*Because God gives wisdom to know how to help our bodies function optimally, I know many of you have asked about my diet and supplement regime during this pregnancy. Just wait a teensy bit longer! That post is in the works!*

Eamon was given his name a number of hours after his birth. It’s an Irish name meaning ‘guardian of riches’ or ‘wealthy protector’. Our prayer is that he would be a protector of true riches, things that are of true value – people (namely those who cannot protect themselves – the unborn and the slave) and the gospel to name two.

His middle name, Eugene, was also my gramps middle name. He passed away three years ago and his birthday was just one week before Eamon was born. While I had hoped they would share a birthday, I still wanted to use his middle name should we give birth to a little boy. When I looked and saw the meaning of the name, I all the more desired to use his name. Eugene means ‘well born’. What a gift that the name which first came to mind literally means ‘well born’. He totally and completely was well born into this world. Now I pray one day he will be well born again into new, true, eternal life in the one to come. Eamon Eugene, what a precious surprise you are! We are excited to see what you will become. What a gift. A crazy, emotional highway of a gift.

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Eamon, you are clearly so loved.

 

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Whittaker | 6 months

My goodness it happened! Six months have passed all too quickly. I’m trying as hard as I can to eat up every bit of our little brother, but he just keeps on growing and growing!

whitt3I believe ‘ham’ is the word they use to describe him.

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I just call him so so sweet. He’s developing quite the will though. Don’t mess with his popple while he’s trying to fall asleep or he’ll throw a mini fit of rage at you. Serious. He doesn’t really wimper or cry – But he shouts and hollers until he’s got it back in his mouth! I guess the Asayplacey is about to experience a fit of raging because this momma is about finished with the popple for similar reasons as I was HERE.  I prefer to dwell on the sweetness though…which in all honesty is pretty much all the time. He’s lovely. Whittaker 6 months-11Sweetness and DETAILS! Oh, they change so quickly!

whitt5 Whittaker 6 months-18 Whittaker 6 months-19 Whittaker 6 months-12 Whittaker 6 months-24He has even begun to sit up on his own for just a moment – before drooping off to the side.

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I have loved being able to reuse the same tools and toys as I used with Linley. Remember this ‘I love you’ teether? It’s just one of the many things they’ve shared. Whittaker 6 months-10

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Gah. I love him.
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whitt7 Whittaker 6 months-5I’ll leave you with sugar lips, a chunky chin, and a sweet bow tie hand made by one of my incredibly gifted lady friends, Lindsey Nims of Riglee Mae – handmade and custom children’s clothing and apparel.

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Here’s to a wonderful month of new experiences!

A brief ten month overview

Well, we’ve just been doing other things around here besides keeping up to date with our web log – here is an overview of Linley’s TENTH month with us. ENJOY!

These are her Valentine’s Day jams. But around here, holiday jams aren’t just for holidays, as you’ll see below in her Christmas jams in February.

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A few weeks ago we made a weekend journey to the twin cities to do some furniture shopping at IKEA. Tad accepted a new position still in our city (praise the Lord!) and had the week off, so we took advantage of the free time. Linley was such a sweet trooper on our trip and had a BLAST exploring things inside the shopping cart.

I found this wicker chair, just her size, and was oh so tempted to purchase it, but just didn’t. A photo would do for now.

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Needless to say we found some deals and loaded up! Tad’s got some skill when it comes to efficiency. What can I say?

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I don’t have an image of it here, but Linley was buried in the back cab of the truck for the trip home. With items stacked on both sides of her, you’d not have known we had the little lady with us if you didn’t here her chatter! She had a hard time falling asleep initially, as it was her bed time heading out of the cities, but she thankfully fell asleep eventually. Tad and I then enjoyed 3 hours of the constant brown noise that was playing for Linley’s sleeping convenience. (sometimes, that’s just what is helpful).

We started putting together our items the next day. Linley loves helping – especially when her daddy is involved. They’re pals.

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I WILL post some images of the after with everything set up, but we’re still finishing some construction/painting. When it’s all done (goal is by the weekend!) I’ll find the befores and post them with the afters. QUITE the change.

I’ve been trying to keep Linley away from the stairs as long as possible, but alas, she found them and was super eager to climb – and that she did! yeah girl! just caution yourself, okay!

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Another new venture we had that month was introducing Linley to one of the many neighborhood cats we have gracing our driveway and backyard daily. She’s been intrigued by them whenever they pass by, so when we were finished with our walk a few weeks ago, we decided to let her explore.

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The kitty was … friendly.

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Then the kitty got annoyed by Linley’s love pats:

Oh, kitty. Just don’t get too annoyed with my babe. (or momma, don’t let babe annoy the kitty too much).

I love these two. They’re my favorite people. I can say that right? Brushin their toofers together. (again – don’t judge – see the xmas jams out of holiday). They fit and they’re cozy.

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I had to include this one also. They ALWAYS make the same expressions it seems!

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And of course – Tad on his first day of the new job. The main reason I wanted to take a picture was to compare the difference between his old work attire and this; however, he doesn’t really want to put his holey, acid-clad jeans and fleece back on (he used to work designing machines that packaged chemicals), so here’s the new, cas, Tad!

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And now we’re in the middle of month 11! Let the party planning begin!

celebrating christmas twenty-eleven.

Tad, Linley, and I celebrated with three different groups of people. My mom and step-dad (celebration 1), my dad and step-mom (celebration 2), and Tad’s parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. (celebration 3). Here we go!!

CELEBRATION ONE:

First, there’s Gus. He’s the horse seen below. When we first arrived, Linley started SCREAMING after just looking at him! She didn’t know what to make of the rowdy, ‘i’m so big but think i’m a small puppy’ dog. Needless to say she took after cousin Maggie’s outlook (below with her daddy – my big brother) and by the end of the night was okay with him licking her face (not by request).

Then we celebrated with gifts and even had special helpers to pass them out.

I made Linley little booties to where… can you see them? They were so sooo simple: felt and yarn. This is Aunt Dani hangin with the LL:

She had fun and as usual put everything in her mouth. The doll in the middle right image, was made by grandmomma marty. 

Hey Papa Chan!

A ring for Momma from my brother and sister-in-law found on Etsy:

gmomma and the two girls – LL had already changed into her jams (a theme throughout). Maggie is saying, ‘bye-bye’!!

CELEBRATION NIGHT TWO: Friday before Christmas at my Dad and step-Mom’s:

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY! Linley got this sweet top and turtle neck for my shower before she was born from a sweet friend and it was perfect for today. Doesn’t she look like she’s off to a holiday party?

Gifts gifts galore! and practice with paper.

SO MUCH FUN!

oops. same picture twice.. see it?!

okay, the SWEET poncho knit baby cape beauty was made by my ever-so-talented-sister-in-law, Nichole. She is a machine! If I had the link ready for our Etsy store, you could purchase there and get your own goodies. Both the sweater she is wearing herself and Linley’s brand new cape (which you’ll see her wearing again Christmas day) were hand knit by her. Nicely done sister!

One of my very favorite gifts that we gave this year was to my dad. (it was my favorite because I knew he’d love it so much). It was a Melodica. We attended a concert with them a number of weeks ago where he saw it and was very interested in it. He’s a SUPERSTAR when it comes to ANY musical instrument and is VERY gifted. Don’t be shy, Dad. We who have heard/seen you pick up an instrument and just ‘figure it out’ ALL know it’s true.

And I can’t leave out these two buddies. They were having lots of fun together:

But so much fun wears a girl out, and when this happens, you know it’s about time to say goodnight.

On to CELEBRATION NUMERO 3: Off to Omaha immediately following Christmas at my dad’s. (Saves driving the hour+ home then making the trek again the next day). However it also meant lots of sadness in the back seat. :(

Christmas Eve day, the happiness returns! Linley and Grandpa Thom reading the newspaper together.

We went to the Christmas Eve service at Tad’s family’s church in Omaha (Thank you Grandma Michelle for the lovely red dress!) followed by dinner, traditionally chicken sandies, rice pudding, and treats:

Because all of the little ladies were wearing their best, we thought it’d be good to have them sit nicely together and pose for a nice Christmas picture. Below are our attempts (not too bad… you know):

In hopes of not having an over-tired, emotional babe, we attempted to put Linley to sleep in a pack N play we had brought with. ‘Attempted’. And failed. So we just partied and hoped for the best!

We again gathered ’round to celebrate by exchanging gifts (blessed-blessed-blessed! – but not as blessed as the reason why we exchange gifts in the first place – to represent the BEST gift given, EVERY year – His name is Jesus. He’s God. Know the Story?):

I really wish I could say what was going on here. Suggestions anyone?

Linley’s oldest cousin was trying out her new wings! I’m not sure why she seems so unpleased in this photo. She was really very excited about it…I think!

Linley, too, had fun practicing her climbing skills on the boxes. But little did she know there was a little (bit bigger) someone on the move behind her. Her other cousin, Addi! So LL got plowed by the bigger baby.

She didn’t mind, though, as you can see below, she went right back after her. I feel like these are WAY better little lady photos than the ones we attempted earlier :) They always are!

Finally it was time to say goodnight, so we packed up and headed home to Grandpa and Grandma Asay’s placey. Linley just deliriously stared out the window, would close her eyes, then throw her head back and whip her eyes wide open again (exhaustion setting in.) Praise the Lord though, she didn’t have too much trouble falling asleep once we put her in the crib.

CHRISTMAS DAY we enjoyed lunch, games, and dinner together at Tad’s other Aunt and Uncle’s home. Linley was having fun playing with toys and her (2nd?) cousin Molly.

She was getting sleepy and ready for a nap, but I knew if I waited, the light would be gone and we’d miss a good opportunity for photos, so we put Linley’s lovely new cape on and away we went!  – However, when she’s sleepy and you set her down somewhere without joining her, she seems to become very troubled, so we did our best to cheer her. It worked! I thought she looked like a little peddler boy (girl) with her leggings riding up like that (thanks gma marty!)

With the light right there and our cameras out, I asked cousin Molly to snap of few of the three of us (as this is unfortunately a rare event), so THANKS Molly!

And then Granda Michelle and I headed back home for a quick nap and returned for more family fun. What a weekend!

I thought we took LOTS of photos (and we did) but after sorting through all of these, I realized that we really need to do a better job of taking pictures WITH grandparents! Something I missed this year. Even still it was a great first Christmas celebrating with a Little Lady!

Thank you Thank you everyone for sharing time, resources, love, and gifts with us! MERRY CHRISTMAS… and now, HAPPY TWENTY-TWELVE!