Well, the newest addition to our little family is here... and she came on her own terms! Eden Faith was born Saturday July 16, at 11:39 a.m. She was 7 lbs 2 oz and 20" long, a runt compared to her 8lb 9 oz/21" big sister and 8lb 14oz/22" big brother. Eden's arrival surprised us a little, as it came four days before my scheduled C-section (and 12 days before her due date). I'd had "Braxton-Hicks" contractions off and on the last few months of my pregnancy, but last week, they began feeling more intense. By Friday night they were uncomfortable but not very close together. However, by Saturday morning they were about seven minutes apart so I called the on-call nurse. Since we live an hour from the hospital, she suggested we get on the road "just in case." Fortunately, Andy's mom was already here so we packed up, I wrote up a schedule for the kids and off we went. On a side note, we had planned to take the kids and Grandma to our favorite donut shop Saturday morning before visiting the Farmer's Market. Ava and Jax had been looking forward to our fun Saturday for a few weeks, so I sent Andy to the donut place while I finished packing. On his way home, my safe-driving husband was pulled over for going 50 in a 30. And he got to use the excuse, "My wife is in labor and I'm on my way to take her to the hospital." Seriously. How often does that really happen? The officer was very nice and let him off with a warning.
I thought we were just going to the hospital for observation and wasn't at all prepared to actually have a baby. So, when after about 30 minutes the on-call doctor came in and said, "It looks like we're having a baby today." I broke into tears. I had just had July 20th in my head for so long, not to mention, I didn't finish all the projects around the house I had hoped to before the baby came, hadn't done all I had wanted with Ava and Jax, hadn't made freezer meals for my family, hadn't finished painting my toes the night before (seriously). I kinda fell apart. Fortunately, my good husband was there to comfort me, to tell me this was actually for the best, that the kids were excited to meet their baby sister and that my toes looked cute. So, the preparation began and within 20 minutes I was in the operating room getting a spinal. A few minutes later, our sweet Eden Faith made her debut, with a loud, healthy cry! She looks quite a bit like Ava did as a newborn, just smaller and with a little less hair. She's absolutely, perfectly beautiful!
A few hours later, a wonderful friend picked Ava, Jax and Andy's mom up from our house and brought them to the hospital so the kids could meet their new baby sister. It was love at first sight.
Modeling the big sister and big brother shirts (and skirt) I made.
The C-section went so smoothly. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better surgery (as far as surgeries go). It was the easiest, least painful and quickest of any of my three c-sections. Overall, my recovery has been the best too. I haven't been in nearly as much pain as with my others and I was up and moving quite a bit sooner... if you consider hobbling around like an old woman "up and moving." With some persistence I convinced my doctor and nurses to let me go home Monday, just two days after my surgery. Why anyone would choose to stay in a hospital is beyond me. I never love my bed more than my first night home from the hospital. It's like sleeping on marshmallows.
The adjustment to life with another child has been great! Our older kids have been a dream, seriously. Jax, who I thought might act out, has been the best big boy. He throws Eden's diapers away, loves on her gently, gives her "baby trucks" to play with and says things like, "Don't cry baby girl, big brother is here." Ava has been the helpful big sister I knew she would be, however, I was not prepared for the jealousy issues. Oh no, she's not jealous of the attention I give the baby, she gets jealous when other people are holding her baby sister. She wants to have a hand on Eden at all times. She can't wait for her to wake up, she follows me around like a little shadow, whether I'm feeding Eden, changing Eden, burping her, bathing her, you name it, Ava is there because she simply doesn't want to miss a moment with her baby sister. It's so sweet, but to be honest, sometimes I just have to ask her to back off a little. It's hard because I want her to know how appreciative I am of her love for her little sister, but a baby's gotta breathe! I will say this, the time Ava and I spend together in my room as I feed Eden is precious. We've been able to just talk and laugh and really enjoy some special time together. As I prepare for my big girl to go to kindergarten in just two weeks, I can't even begin to explain how much I cherish these moments with Ava.
Now to the million dollar question: Am I getting any sleep? Actually, yes. Much like her big brother and sister before her Eden has, thus far, proven to be a good little sleeper. She usually sleeps in three to three-and-a-half-hour intervals at night, waking to be changed and fed, then as long as the lower half of her body is swaddled, she's back to sleep. Not too shabby. Am I still tired? Yes. We've had family here all week so I'm not resting during the day like I should. But, my good husband has made an effort to provide opportunities for me to sneak in an extra hour or two whenever possible.
Despite the lack of sleep, I'm enjoying having a newborn in our home again. I've loved the newborn stage with each of my children, but I have to admit, this has been my favorite because of the extra added joy of having an excited big brother and sister in our home too.
Our family is truly blessed! I feel my Heavenly Father's love each time I see my three children on the couch together, Ava and Jax giggling at the silly sounds and faces their baby sister makes. I am grateful for my wonderful husband, how sweetly he shows his love for me and for our children; wrestling with Jax for hours, reading chapters of "Harry Potter" to Ava several times a day, waking up in the middle of the night just to stroke Eden's hair as I change her diaper, telling me I'm beautiful even though I haven't showered for two days, my hair is in disarray and I have dark circles under my eyes. As our eternal family grows, I can't help but wonder what I did to deserve such a blessed life, whatever it may be, I am grateful.