Where to begin? Since I last posted, I’ve hobbled painfully through the end of an exhausting pregnancy and navigated the first three weeks of having a newborn. We are now a family of seven, with five children 8 years old and under.
Here is our new baby.:)
Aidan David was born on November 14th at exactly 39 weeks. I had actually scheduled an induction for the next day, but he decided he couldn’t wait quite that long. I had a feeling all along that he would come a little early; three of his siblings were two weeks early, after all. I had a lot of anxiety this pregnancy about how fast my labor might be, since my previous baby’s labor was a mere four hours. As much as I wish I were strongly convicted otherwise, I am an epidural-loving momma.:) In fact, I barely got an epidural at 9cm and then 8cm for my third and fourth babies, and in all honesty, I was hoping very much this time to (a) get an epidural at all, and (b) not be in quite so much pain by the time I got it. (Before those wonderful meds kicked in this time, in a slightly-out-of-my-mind moment I actually told Michael that I would have entered a convent rather than marrying him if we had been born before the time of epidurals. I kid thee not.)
To make a long story short, God was merciful and so kind to me in this labor and delivery experience. I’d say it was the “easiest” delivery and recovery out of all five children, as giving birth goes. I still had a very fast four-hour labor, but I got to the hospital only 6cm dilated, and got an epidural by 7cm or so. I am laughing at myself as I type this paragraph; the “I’ve done this a few times before” thing manifests quite clearly in me relating that I was very happy “only’ have to labor to 7cm. Only.
The new and frustrating part of this labor experience, though, was that I had prodromal labor for about a week beforehand. Basically, I had one to three mildly painful contractions an hour, around the clock, for six days. The contractions intensified at night and would wake me up, too. One night, we actually went to the hospital and were sent home with false labor! So much for being a pro at having babies by the fifth one.
I am so very, very glad to be done with this pregnancy. It was the most physically exhausting, uncomfortable one I’ve had, by far. I felt so much better all around even 24 hours after delivery. And Aidan is a solid, easygoing little guy so far. With a name that means, “little fire” or “fiery one” (I know, what were were thinking?), I secretly hope he doesn’t start to live up to his name at some point.
The past three weeks since bringing Aidan home have gone well. My oldest three children are very loving and caring with the two youngest boys (much more so than with each other, unfortunately). They get a little bit helicopter-parentey at times, but it usually brings me a chuckle or two to watch their antics trying to make one of the babies laugh or stop crying. That is, unless I’m holding the crying baby and five or six little hands are touching and thrusting lovies or pacifiers towards me at the same time. Then I get a little nuts.:)
Roman, however, who was 15 months old when his little brother was born, has been much more needy and whiny since we brought Aidan home. It seems like he cries most of the time he is awake. He isn’t walking yet, and the little pad-and-shuffle sounds of his crawling (if I can hear it above the crying), follow me around the house instead of playing happily with his siblings or toys like he used to. And I just can’t hold him and carry him around constantly. That’s been the roughest part of starting to settle in–dealing with Roman being unhappy much of the time he’s awake…especially if Michael isn’t around to help out. We’ve been trying to shower him with affection and attention, and that has helped. But the boy feels The Change. He’s not the baby anymore. I hope that time, love and patience see him settle down a little.
Our family, friends and church have been so generous with bringing meals to us these past few weeks. I am always a little embarrassed to admit it, but one of my love languages–how I receive love, at least–is through gifts. The meals, gifts, and kindnesses have meant so much. If you are reading this post and you were one of my gift-givers over the past few weeks, thank you!
I’ve been looking back on my Official Blog Introductions of all of my children. Humble Handmaid has become such a memory-keeper for me over the years. I thought I’d link to those precious posts from the archives, just for fun.:)
Ah…my first little love. A tiny 6lb, wrinkly, red-faced baby who is turning EIGHT YEARS OLD this Thursday. On another note, I just cut my hair again to this length.
A girl! A girl! I will never forget how excited I was to hold my baby girl in my arms for the first time!
Gianna’s was my most difficult birth and post-partum experience. Michael had just been badly injured, and the inner-city hospital where I delivered just…wasn’t the best, in hindsight. However, I was thrilled to bits to have another baby girl, and Gianna continues to be a delight to us.
It feels like just yesterday that I had Roman. Maybe that’s because it was only about 16 months ago?! Roman was our first baby after a surprise pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. He was so hoped-for and wanted. He is a handsome, strapping almost-toddler now. (Almost-toddler, since he’s not quite walking yet.) He has the sweetest little mannerisms and personality, and he is so loved in this house.
All during this pregnancy, people would ask me what number baby this was for me, and I’d say “five,” and they’d say (something like) “Wow! You’re brave!” Often, I’d say something jokingly like, “Yes, it will be a party for sure!”
It is chaotic having all of these young children. The bedtime hour is NOT peaceful and snuggly and full of reading and stories. There is a lot of craziness and running around and toothpaste getting into people’s hair and the baby needing to nurse right then and taekwondo demonstrations and rampant nakedness and Roman needing a diaper change and Michael and I both being dead-tired to the max.
But we do have a lot of fun in this house, in between the mess and the craziness. Despite it, even. We have our hands full. But then, we don’t like to go empty-handed to a party anyway.:)
Brandi Lynn T. says
I just figured out who you were for the Christmas play. Sister was holding Aiden….Congrats to your family on the new blessing…he is beautiful!
Erica Karam Girouard says
Love hearing about you and yours. You are an inspiration in your grace and in your authenticity. Thanks for showing both sides 😉 big hugs to you and your crew!!! God bless you and heal you up quickly so you can feel so energized chasing after those precious people.
Congratulations! I love his name. I’m also a big epidural fan 🙂 Hoping that you have a smooth day today!
Jime Leonard says
Oh my goodness CONGRATULATIONS Erin!!! How exciting!!! I always get excited when you post – but this is even better! What a lovely little guy and I love your labor story – YES EPIDURAL FOR THE WIN! It’s already a very hard and painful experience anyway (before, during and after) so I think a little help is OKAY. I am so glad you had a good delivery and are doing well. Every birth is an adjustment, and from your post it sounds like you’re doing JUST fine. No worries, I know that even we love and devote ourselves to our vocations we have days where we think: HOW DID GOD EVER THINK I COULD BE A MOTHER?! Haha, the hard and challenging days are a part of it all as well.
I’m quite impressed that you got to write a blog post 3 weeks after welcoming your fifth – way to go mom!
Congrats to you and Michael, and to the whole fam.
God bless you and Our Blessed Mother guard you all under Her mantle.