Caleb Can Sleep Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow

You betcha I’ll be adding pics to this post over the next 13+ years 🙂 Just try to not be amazed at this progression of photos I’ve taken since he was 2-years-old!

The sequel to this post shall be entitled: “Evie Won’t Sleep Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow” (UGH!)

*If you enjoyed this post, you will also like the post documenting Caleb’s shenanigans.

Seth’s Birth Story (And Why We Can’t Have a 4th Bio Child)

Can anyone relate? And no, it’s not that we can’t have another kid because I got my tubes tied. It’s just that each of our kids has been born progressively later in the pregnancy, and I’d be too concerned the next kid would never make a dĂ©but!

*Disclaimer: The story you are about to read may or may not be accurate and probably contains illogical fallacies and other nonsense. It’s only been 2 months since Seth’s birth, but it feels like forever ago and it all seems very fuzzy…which I can only chalk up to a bad case of “mommy of 3” syndrome (aka my brain is complete rubbish now. And has apparently taken on a British alter ego).

The Familiar Waiting Game:

Leading up to Seth’s birth, I had plenty of “Braxton hicks” contractions, but not many painful ones (unlike my 5-week-long labor with Evie). His due date of June 3rd came and went uneventfully. Although passing his due date was a bit disappointing, I knew better than to have any expectations based on my experience with previous labors.

On June 9th (6 days after his due date and 2 days before his birth), I had a non-stress test done to make sure Seth was still doing ok. This was the first time I got far enough past my due date to need one. It took forever to do because he decided to sleep the whole time, which made it difficult to get the measurements needed. After poking him a bunch of times he eventually woke up, and the nurse was able to confirm that everything still looked good. After that, I saw my doctor who swept my membranes for a second time, hoping to kickstart labor.

The Standard False Alarm (It Happens Every Time):

Later that day, I finally had some contractions that seemed to be ramping up. They were consistently coming every few minutes but weren’t very painful yet. I called the hospital to see if they thought I should come in, and they said I could probably wait. However, Seth hadn’t been moving around as much as usual (gee, maybe ’cause it was getting a little cramped in there??) so they told me I should come in because of that.

When Sean and I arrived at the hospital, the contractions were still coming regularly and often, but weren’t increasing in intensity. We unintentionally walked the halls for a while because we forgot where labor and delivery was and couldn’t find the elevators. Turns out, the elevators are right at the entrance when you walk in. Don’t judge – I was (sort of) in labor. I have no defense for Sean, though.

We eventually found our way and I was checked into a triage room. On the computer in the room, we could see the contraction monitoring charts for everyone checked in. We passed the time by watching the screen and fist pumping each other every time my contraction looked more intense than women in other rooms. After a few hours of this and my pain level remaining relatively low, I was discharged around midnight and we went back home.

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Ya know, you’d think by your third labor you would know if you’re really starting active labor, but apparently not. Although if you can play a dumb game, laugh, and generally be in a good mood, it’s a fairly good sign you’re definitely not.

The Day Before Seth Was Born:

By the time we arrived back home it was past midnight and the contractions had petered out. I was able to get some sleep that night, and I woke that morning hoping to go into labor sometime during the day before returning to the hospital that evening for my scheduled induction. No such luck – I guess Seth was just too dang comfy. Even though I managed my expectations much better this time than last, I never imagined he would be so late I would be induced!

5 pm:

I felt pretty disappointed as we made the drive out for the induction, so I drowned my sorrows in a huge Olive Garden dinner which I immediately regretted (I absolutely did not have room for it, bleh)!! I called the hospital at 5 pm to confirm they had room for me, and I was told to call back and check again at 7 because they were busy.

That was the second day in a row we had made the 45-minute drive out and I was a week overdue, crabby, and not about to be sent back home again, so I had Sean break my water. JK! But it did cross my mind.

7 pm:

When I called back at 7 from the hospital parking lot, I was told I could come in at 8 pm. What a relief! No questionable medical interventions required 🙂 We went in and while we sat in the waiting room, a soon-to-be-dad and his friend were sitting next to us eating pizza and drinking beer, discussing how his fiancĂ© had been in labor for a really long time. Hellooo 1960’s!? I almost punched him in the face and yelled at him to get back in there on behalf of his fiancĂ©, but I refrained because I needed to save my energy. Bizarre. Anyway, I digress.

8 pm:

I checked in for the forced eviction and I’m pretty sure I was put in the same room I gave birth to Evie in! (Although I’m not 100% sure since I was delirious for her entire birth and it’s all a blur). I must say it was pretty strange being admitted while not yet in labor…it was so calm and I was actually aware of what was happening around me for the first time since I wasn’t already in a trance like state.

It was also the first time I noticed how much it hurt to have the IV line put in…especially since it took the nurse three tries to insert it correctly! And even after the third try, I still don’t think she inserted it correctly because it hurt a lot the entire time I had it in.

The bruise I still had 5 days after Seth was born (and I almost NEVER bruise from anything)!
The bruise I still had 5 days after Seth was born (and I almost NEVER bruise from anything)!

9 pm:

After the IV line was placed and the baby monitoring stuff (that’s the technical term) hooked up, the midwife came to check my dilation. Her name was Evey (pronounced the same as Evie). What are the odds!? After checking me, she gave me the option to either start oral doses of Misoprostol or to begin administering Pitocin through the IV. I really wanted the labor to mimic the progression of a natural one as closely as possible, so I chose the Misoprostol which she said would be more likely to do that.

10 pm:

I took the first dose of Misoprostol. It was just a half dose because they wanted to monitor me and make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction to it. In the meantime, I googled Misoprostol on my phone since I had never heard of it before, and I discovered it hasn’t been officially cleared as a labor induction method – it’s actually an ulcer medication! So, um, that was a little disturbing.

11 pm:

There was a shift change and I got a new nurse. Just before the shift change, my previous nurse (the one who botched my IV) told me she was going to begin giving me fluids. But when I looked down at my IV a few minutes later, I noticed it wasn’t hooked up to anything. So when my new nurse came in, I said to her: “I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure this needs to be connected to one of those bags in order for me to get fluids…”

She appeared mortified as she took a look and realized the bag of fluid had been dripping ONTO THE FLOOR for half an hour!! I don’t know if my previous nurse was just near the end of her shit (<– haha! that was honestly an accidental typo) and really tired, but I think she could benefit from a little extra training. The clearly irritated new nurse had a janitor come mop up the sticky mess as I thanked God I only had the previous nurse for a short time! Yikes!!

12 am:

I began having contractions similar to the ones I had the previous night – every few minutes and very consistent, but they were hardly painful at all. My next miso pill wasn’t supposed to be given until 2 am so I tried to get some sleep, but it was nearly impossible with various people coming in and out of my room every 20 minutes. Everyone told me being induced at night is the best because you can sleep before the “real” action begins…ya, right (cue dramatic roll of the eyes)!!

2 am:

Because I was having consistent contractions, the nurse thought I shouldn’t take another miso pill because she thought it might ramp labor up too quickly, which the midwife seemed to disagree with. It was weird – there was a lot of disagreement between the nurse and midwife which was awkward.

Initially, the nurse was mad the midwife hadn’t told me what my stats were when she checked my cervix. Next, they disagreed about continuing the miso. Then, after it was decided I would not be given another pill at 2, the midwife told me I should go walk the halls to see if that would move things along, while the nurse told me that wasn’t a good idea and it would be better to sleep so I wouldn’t be exhausted when active labor began. I ended up walking around for a bit, but when it was having no effect, I went back to my bed to lay down.

6 am:

By 6 am the contractions weren’t progressing, and the midwife came in to check me again. This time, she checked my cervix during a contraction which altered my stats, and she determined Seth was low enough to break my water safely. Had she checked me the previous night during a contraction, I’m pretty sure she would have come to the same conclusion since not much had changed over the previous 9 hours. So frustrating!

6:30 am:

Just before the next shift change, the midwife broke my water. It always amazes me how much fluid comes out…and continues to ooze out…and ooze, and ooze, and ooze…like a leaky faucet you can’t turn off! And then BAM! Within minutes, contractions came fast and hard – to the point I couldn’t talk and had to breathe through them. It really was incredible how instantaneously active labor began after breaking my water – like flipping an on/off switch! Of course, Sean had just left to go grab something from the car which was an unforgivable offense in that moment because I had no hand to cut the circulation off from!

7:30ish am:

The contractions became extremely intense and painful and I was given Fentanyl (a narcotic) which was AWESOME. I also readily agreed to receive an epidural. I know, I know, I wrote in Evie’s birth story I would never get it again after the bad experience with it during her birth, but a) it seemed like I had more time left than I had with her and b) I can’t think rationally when I’m in that much pain.

After the Fentanyl took effect, I recall the nurse explaining something to me but I couldn’t comprehend anything she was saying. I just smiled and nodded with a 100-yard stare and struggled to hold my head up.

After she left, the bags of fluid next to me made a noise every couple of minutes that made me think they were talking to me. Every time they made the noise my eyes jerked wide open and I turned to Sean to ask: “did you hear that?” Haha! Sean says it was highly entertaining 🙂

8 am:

The epidural was placed, which also would have been AWESOME had it worked on both sides of my body! The drugs kicked in fully on my right side but not my left, which was a new experience. Since I could still feel the contractions fairly strong on the left, I had to focus and breathe through them till the very end. What a bust! My right side was happier, though, so I guess it was worth it.

8:45 am:

I had an increasingly strong urge to push. We called my nurse, but I guess the delivery crew must have been busy because they didn’t show up until 9!?

9:05 am:

The delivery entourage all got in place and I began pushing. 5 minutes later, Seth Josiah Felker was born on 6/11/16 at 9:10 am, after just 2 hours and 40 minutes of active labor. And I thought a little over 4 hours with Evie was fast! This time, I only got a 1st-degree tear (with Evie it was a 2nd, and with Caleb a 3rd).

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Expressing how he felt about his forced eviction. Not just one middle finger – nay – two!

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Seth was born 8 days past his due date but was born on a palindrome date, which I suppose makes up for it (the date is the same forwards and backward). What? I married into a family of engineers…they note these kinds of things 🙂

He got a 9 and 10 on his Apgar scores, which amazed everyone because apparently, it’s very rare for a baby to get a 10/10. I’m sure it’s because he was practically a man by the time he was forced out! As he came out he was already crying and breathing, and Sean says he had his hand by his face and gave a little wave as he made his grand entrance. He also weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 7 oz. and measured 21 inches! I think Uncle Drew is right when he says this kid will be a savage 🙂

So. Mad.
So. Mad.

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Our Stay at the Hospital:

Our recovery went well – it was uneventful, really. Of course, you can never get any sleep which is just par for the course (and it’s not because of the baby). It’s the pediatrician, nurses, lactation consultant, janitor, billing people, birth certificate person, photo people, dropping-off-the-Kaiser-gift people, meal people, hearing test people, infant screening test people, etc. etc. etc. popping in every 5 minutes! I think it’s all just a ploy to get you to want to go home ASAP to keep Kaiser’s costs down 😉

All in all, we stayed in the recovery room for about 24 hours. For the first 12 hours, Seth had to get his heel pricked before each nursing to check his sugar levels and bilirubin since he was so fat (they have to do this for babies larger than 9ish lbs. because they can have a diabetic episode). So that was a new experience.

Nana, Pop Pop, Caleb, and Evie came to meet Seth the afternoon he was born, which was fun to experience:

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Seth cooked for so long his fingernails were like razor blades when he finally came out and he scratched up his face :/
Which son is which? Our boys look like twins, only 5 years apart! (Caleb is on top, Seth is on bottom).
Which son is which? Our boys look like twins, only 5 years apart! (Caleb is on top, Seth is on bottom).

Pop Pop also captured the video below, which is classic Caleb and solid gold. I promise it will make you chuckle (and it’s pretty cute, too) 🙂

And there you have it – the complete and overly detailed story of Seth’s arrival! It really is fascinating to me how unique Caleb, Evie, and Seth’s birth stories are. But all were beautiful, amazing, special, memorable, and crotch-destroying in their own ways 😉

Missed Caleb and Evie’s birth stories? Here they are:

Caleb’s Birth Story: Rated PG-13 for Language, Nudity, and Drugs 🙂

Evangeline’s Birth Story: The Womb that Cried Baby

2015 Year-In-Review

After a ridiculously insane and overwhelming 2014, we were desperately in need of a calmer 2015. Thankfully, 2015 delivered such a year (for the most part). Praise God!

Here are the most noteworthy things that characterized 2015:

January-June:

After my church hired me in April of 2014 as the database administrator, I soon realized how lacking the software we were using was. After annoying the crap out of my boss about it and doing lots of research, we decided to switch to a different database software. It was exciting to switch to a better software, but it gave me and my supervisor (and lots of others) a boatload of work!

So, the first half of 2015 was super busy at work and pretty stressful for a couple of months as we approached the data migration and immediately after the transfer. That last sentence already got way too nerdy, so I won’t bore with further details 🙂 It was intense. But awesome. My face broke out a lot due to stress. But the end result was so much better. The end.

April:

Caleb turned 4! He had a great party with lots of friends from church:

And he woke up on his birthday to the most epic streamer obstacle course (which he navigated with Olympian-like skill…didn’t even knock a single one down):

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He also had a fun celebration at preschool:

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June:

  • My sisters and niece paid us a fun visit:
  • Later in the month, our long-time friends, the Cooks, also paid us a fun visit:
  • On June 30th, I turned 30…my “golden” birthday! I had a great time celebrating with coworkers, and later with Sean:

August:

  • Evie Love turned 2! We invited two of her best girlfriends from church to celebrate – Kaia and Atley:
  • We visited my family in southern CA and had a great time, as always (minus the multiple times Evie barfed all over the car on the drive down. I just gagged recalling the experience). No pics captured of that awesomeness, but we did get these:
  • After a lot of thought and prayer, I made the tough decision to leave my job at church. During my 18 months working there, I experienced many great things, learned so much, and contributed a lot. However, I wanted to spend more time with my kiddos, as well as pursue a dream of mine to start an online business. I miss all the wonderful people I worked with, but I do think it was the right decision.

September:

  • Sean and I celebrated our 8th anniversary, which I just realized we still have yet to celebrate…
  • Caleb began his second and last year of preschool:

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  • Sean was promoted to a lead engineer role at work – a great accomplishment!
  • And, of course, the most exciting event of September was becoming pregnant with our third kiddo! Hmmm, maybe we did celebrate our 8th anniversary, after all 😉 We meant to take our standard “excited-to-find-out-we’re-pregnant” pic, but yeah…that never happened. Also, I informed Sean of the news via text. Sorry, Seth. We really do love you, I promise. #thirdchildproblems
The super creative text Sean received ;)
The super creative text Sean received

October:

  • We took Evie to the cleft clinic for her 2-year-old checkup. She had her speech and hearing tested and passed with flying colors! We weren’t concerned, but it was still nice to confirm that everything looked good. And following up on last year’s recap post, God obviously has a sense of humor because Evie is not missing a tooth – in fact, she grew TWO teeth where she should only have one! A problem that will certainly be much easier to correct than a missing tooth, thankfully. Woop!
  • We spent 10 days in Hawaii with Sean’s fam, compliments of Nana and Pop Pop 🙂 It was beautiful and the kids had so much fun!
  • With obnoxious (yet predictable) timing, morning sickness set in while in HI and kicked off the typical 3 months of first trimester hell. At least for me, pregnancy hormones are no joke and always work me over. So, for the last few months of the year, I became pretty depressed which is normal for me during pregnancy. This round, I also felt especially worn down, wrangling two “spirited” children, while growing a third. I didn’t get out much, avoided interacting with people, and wasn’t very productive (aside from growing a human…ya know, no big deal).
  • At the end of the month, we said goodbye to “GG” (Great Grandma Jane). It is sad we won’t see her on Earth again, but she lived a very long, well-spent life and we know she’s in Heaven now. She was so wonderful with the kids and we’ll always cherish these great memories and photos:

November:

  • Sean finished relandscaping (is that a word? It is now) our front yard, which was a project that spanned many months and was a great feat! It was a crazy amount of work and he did such an awesome job:
Wowzahs!
Wowzahs!
  • We visited my family for Thanksgiving:

December:

We spread the news of our new mini human with this fun announcement:

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And here are some various other memories from the year:

 

Favorite family photo of the year on Easter
Favorite family photo of the year on Easter

 

And most hilarious photo of the year goes to Drew's gut and Evie's face in this pic
And most hilarious photo of the year goes to Drew’s gut and Evie’s face in this pic

Looking back on the year-in-review post from 2014 and reading the goals I made for 2015, I would say I mostly failed. Ha! I guess they were a tad too ambitious. There’s always 2016. Wait – nope, we’re already more than halfway through 2016 and I’m still failing. Crap. I’ll definitely have to pull the I-grew-a-freaking-human-from-scratch card here. 2017?? Maybe? Obviously, I am very determined. To be continued…

2014 Year-In-Review
2013 Year-In-Review
2012 Year-In-Review
2011 Year-In-Review

2014 Year-In-Review

Our 2014 was um, interesting and humbling to say the least. I’m pretty sure I cried more in 2014 than the previous 9 years combined…and I can’t even use pregnancy to justify it! Not one to be undermined by previous years, 2014 ranks right up there in “eventfulness.” There were many challenges, but many blessings and celebrations as well. God has been faithful and good to us. He taught us a lot this year. It was a year of refinement, self-discovery, and growth. It was a year we became intimately acquainted with our human failings, and experienced what a mess we really are. It was terribly painful at times and there were plenty of moments I wanted to give up, but I know we are better, stronger, more Godly people because of the difficulties. Above all, it was a year our need for Jesus was made abundantly clear.

We wrapped up 2014 the same way we entered it…feeling broken and burnt out. Yet despite these feelings, I am filled with so much hope and excitement for 2015, as well as an appreciation for all that 2014 was. “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:7-9…our theme Bible verses for the year).

Since a lot happened this year (and none of which I blogged about previously), this post is long. If you are interested in all the details and up for a challenge, be my guest to read the whole enchilada 🙂

January:

Evie was still recovering from surgery. Even though we were five weeks out and she had mostly healed physically, I’m certain she was still experiencing psychological and emotional trauma from it (as were we, ha)! She continued to be quite fussy, and also decided napping was for weaker babies. With no breaks or alone time during the day from caring for an irritable 5-month-old and a “spirited” 2-year-old, and enduring week after week, after terrible week of doing the cry-it-out method (literally the worst thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent so far), this introverted mama was exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, and beginning to go a little wacky in the head.

I couldn’t get through a day without crying (which is super unlike me), and I felt so anxious all the time from listening to Evie scream. It reached a tipping point one afternoon, when the intensity and relentlessness of the previous five months caught up to me and resulted in a panic attack (for the first time in 9 years). It was rough, and I felt SO helpless. I had tried every trick in the book with no success, and was at a total loss how I could help her. I felt incompetent as a mom and at my wits end.

Just as I was coming to terms with the probability of an eteFELKERrnally no-napping crabby baby, I figured out at the end of January (by nothing short of divine intervention!) that Evie would nap in her car seat in her room. In my personal opinion, this discovery was on par with electricity or gravity. Maybe even better. I regained a piece of lost sanity back at that point, which was such a relief! My younger sister also visited in January, and she was an amazing help:

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February:

That piece of sanity I regained was short-lived, when at the beginning of February,
we found ourselves in a messy situation after attempting to show the love of Christ to a woman by allowing her to stay in our extra room. This story could be three blog posts by itself, so I will attempt to keep it brief. In October 2013, we were connected to a woman in need of housing via a mutual friend, who knew we had offered a room to someone in need before. Despite the awful timing (Evie was about to have surgery), we agreed to it because we felt bad for her in her current situation and wanted to help, so we offered the room at a low rate.

The first time she owed rent, it was late and short. We agreed to excuse it, provided she work with us on learning how to budget and develop better financial habits. She agreed, so we created a budget with her, helped her fill out her w-4’s correctly to adjust her tax withholding, offered suggestions on how to spend money more wisely, and encouraged her to get a second job (all in the midst of the insanity of Evie’s recovery from surgery)!! Despite this assistance, her irresponsible behavior, deception, and outright lies continued over the next couple months. It became apparent to us she had a mentality of entitlement, and eventually unearthed she had a history and ongoing pattern of taking advantage of caring people.

Long story short, we asked her to leave in the beginning of February. Over the next week, she sent me a barrage of text messages accusing me of all sorts of terrible things, refused to leave, refused to pay money owed, threatened to sue, and challenged me to try and have her removed. I kept my responses short and civil, we filled out all the proper legal paperwork, and gave her until March 3rd to vacate. Fortunately, she ultimately realized she had to comply, but it made for an extremely stressful month. Sean and I had difficulty sleeping knowing we had a hostile housemate and two young kids in our home, we felt incredibly uncomfortable in our own space, and I felt like a terrible mom because I was so distracted and consumed by the situation. It was the biggest relief when she moved out!

March:

A few days after our housemate left, I applied for a job managing the database at our church, Cornerstone Fellowship. Prior to having kids, I wasn’t sure if I wanted or would have the “right” opportunity to work outside the home while my children were little. After Caleb was born and we left staff with Cru and moved to Livermore, I had periodically considered working at our church, but the timing and job availability wasn’t right up until that point. There were many factors involved in the decision to apply for the position at that time, and after a thorough evaluation, I decided to put myself out there and go for it! I actually wasn’t confident at all I would get the job, since Cornerstone is a big church and there were a lot of applicants (and I had not worked outside the home in a few years).

We also enjoyed a visit from “GG” (Sean’s grandma) this month:

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April:

I continued the interview process for the database position into April, and after five (!!) interviews, I was offered the job! Over the previous 5 weeks I had wrestled with the decision and prayed a *ton* for God’s guidance, especially since it was a 40-hour-a-week job and would be a huge change for our family. I asked God to simply take me out of the running if it was not His will for us, which seemed easy enough for Him to do. He never did – even with a very large number of applicants – so I felt that was confirmation of His approval and provision, and I took the job! My first day was April 15th:

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My “commute” is 8 minutes, my kiddos are cared for on-site as part of the children’s ministry, both of them have bonded with the other staff kids, I work with awesome people, I get to play a role in something that is super meaningful, the job is less boring than it sounds, and I have since been able to reduce my hours to 32. …And my unofficial title is “madmin” (master admin). A pretty sweet gig, I would say!!!

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Caleb and his buddies
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Evie and her best friend…cracking each other up 🙂

Aside from beginning to work outside the home, my crazy boy turned 3 at the end of April! We had fun surprising him the morning of his birthday:

Obstacle Course!
Obstacle Course!
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Filled his room with balloons (a fave) while he slept

And he had a super fun birthday party:

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He still talks about the “shoe pinata”

And got a trampoline as our gift to him:

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…And he took his first trip to the ER (for an injury) on Easter, after puncturing his head down to the bone on a sharp point on our banister:

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He was impressively brave!

May/June:

May and June were somewhat less eventful months, mostly characterized by the adjustment to working outside the home full-time after spending the previous three years staying at home with the kiddos. We all got sick a lot over the summer (I guess a fun side-effect of your kids being in child care)…one time of which involved vomiting *all over* the bathroom of our best friends’ hotel room, after assuring them I was feeling better and up for a visit. It was pretty embarrassing. Fortunately, they believe in forgiveness and we’re still friends 🙂 I don’t know why I have a knack for such things…I think it must be genetic. Sorry I don’t have a pic of that.

These months were also really fun with adventures in potty training…sorry I don’t have a pic of that either. Best advice I was given: this is no time to be cheap…just throw out the underwear!! Three months and countless poo clean-ups later, we were finally victorious! I would definitely say potty training is my next most despised parenting duty, right after baby sleep training.

In less bodily fluidy news, Sean turned the big 3-0 on May 7th:

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And in June, we celebrated my brother-in-law graduating from our Alma mater, UCSB:

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Where we found ourselves when Caleb became bored with the graduation – the benefits of UCSB 🙂

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I think Caleb has some Uncle Drew in him 😉

It was fun to visit, but also bittersweet considering the tragedy that happened there a few weeks prior. It hit close to home, since UCSB and Isla Vista hold a very special place in my heart – it’s where I became a Christian, met Sean, and made a lot of great friends.

Evie also began walking at the end of the month:

Victory!
Victory!

July:

In July, we went down to So Cal to visit my fam for a week, which was great and better told in pictures:

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4th of July
One of those Duck Dynasty guys kidnapping Evie…actually no, that’s just crazy Uncle Jake
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Nothing like crushing your 3-year-old at a game of chicken fight…he didn’t want to play after that, haha!

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A picture of Uncle Matt’s biceps…I think Evie’s in there somewhere too 😉
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Celebrating Caleb’s 3rd birthday late and Evie’s 1st birthday early
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Picnic at the park
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Mud park
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In his element
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Birth Buddies

Evie also began sleeping through the night this month (at nearly a year old), which was a much anticipated milestone! And just to balance out the awesomeness of getting seven straight hours of sleep again, at the end of the month, Sean had an extremely stressful situation happen at work, which triggered an intense battle with anxiety over the next several months. Those months were a really, really hard time for our entire family, and many tears were shed as Sean dealt with the situation and personal difficulties it sparked. As an unforeseen side effect, it also brought some relational issues to the surface, and it was our toughest season in 7 years of marriage (actually, the only tough season maritally I can recall).

Throughout this trial, the Lord was right there with us showing us needed areas of growth in our relationships with Him, each other, and individually. During those months we were forced to simplify our lives, as God brought us back to some basics. We learned so much during that time, and I am so thankful God carried us through and ultimately drew us closer to Him and each other. He is faithful and awesome like that! (And I am so glad to be past it now).

August:

Evangeline Love turned 1!

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And got a ‘tude with it!
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…And a streak of mischief to follow in big brother’s footsteps (notice her fingers in Caleb’s ear – it’s why she’s so happy in this picture)

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September:

Caleb started preschool:

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We began a new Life Group/Bible study with our good friends, the Shooks:

Our 'Friendsgiving' get together at the beginning of November
Our ‘Friendsgiving’ get-together at the beginning of November

I also weaned Evie this month, which was pretty huge and freeing for me since she refused to ever take a bottle. I used a baby app to log almost every nursing session (I don’t really know why, I guess I just got in the habit), and the stats the app generated still blow my mind! In 13 months, I nursed her 2,481 times, for an average time of 1 hr and 40 minutes per day. This amounts to a total nursing time of close to 28 days, or 672 hours. That’s nearly an entire MONTH in 13 that I solely spent nursing. That’s pretty incredible!!

In September, I also learned my Myers-Briggs personality type – INFJ (less than 2% of the population, the rarest type). I’m sure you’re wondering why I thought this was significant enough to include here, and I know this sounds crazy, but this discovery seriously revolutionized my life. As I delved into reading about this personality type that describes me to a T, I learned so much about myself that my brain was constantly exploding with epiphanies. Why I do the things I do, think the way I think, or struggle with the things I struggle with finally made so much more sense to me.

It was also helpful for me to realize there aren’t many people who share my personality type, which is why I often feel “abnormal” and misunderstood. Conversely, it was encouraging to discover there are at least some people out there like me, which was normalizing and made me feel known and understood. This self-discovery has empowered me and changed how I view myself, and has helped me be more comfortable in my shoes and who God made me to be! And now I feel slightly less insane 🙂

October:

At the end of October, I celebrated 10 years of being a follower of Jesus. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long…I can still vividly remember that time of my life and the circumstances that led me to make that decision a decade ago (which you can read more about here). I think it was the only time in my life that could match 2014 in tear drop count. It was a painful decision that came at high cost (in my perspective at the time), but it was the best and most important decision I’ve ever made in my life.

From time to time, I think about who I would be now and what my current situation would look like had I not made that life-changing decision, and I am so glad I made the choices I did, despite hardship and opposition. Philippians 3:7 – “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Knowing God and choosing to follow Him is a game changer – if you don’t know Him, I encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible, get acquainted with the Gospel, do some research, and make a choice for yourself!

November:

In November, Sean’s anxiety struggles finally began to subside after a very long and trying few months. It was a huge relief and burden lifted, all praise to God! No sooner did that happen, did I encounter a stressful situation at my work. I won’t go into detail about it, but it was super overwhelming and anxiety-producing for me, and greatly impacted my emotional, mental, and physical health.

As a much needed and encouraging break from the tough things happening at work, we visited my family for Thanksgiving:

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Tidepools!

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Cousins!

And I was especially blessed to meet and spend time with my 3-week-old niece, Eden Nazir’ah, who honored me with the brand new title of “Auntie” 🙂 Grammie couldn’t keep Eden and Evie’s names straight 😉

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December:

In the first half of December, I continued to be all-consumed by the difficulties at work. To my relief, the situation improved by halfway through the month. I think I had a 2-second breather from that, when we were surprised by the discovery at Evie’s first dental appointment that it’s likely she’s missing her top and bottom lateral incisors on her cleft side. We will know for sure by the time she turns 2, but if this is the case, she will wear retainers with false teeth until she reaches a certain age and gets permanent implants. I was pretty upset and sad for her at first, but I am still hopeful and praying they will come in. And even if they don’t, I realize it’s not the end of the world! Thankfully we ended this month by celebrating Jesus’ birth, which redeemed it 🙂

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…Oh and in the midst of the year’s never-ending chaos, we somehow thought it would be a good idea to do work on the master bedroom, downstairs bathroom, and living room, plus build a shed and huge play set. Why!?!? Because we’re straight up ridiculous, that’s why.

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Sean and Caleb building the playset

My hope and prayer for 2015 is a slower, restful, less crises-filled year. We decided to step down from all optional commitments, and plan to focus on our personal health this next year. It sounds pretty selfish, but I think experiencing periods of focused rest is important. We can’t expect to pour into others if we ourselves are running on empty. With that said, here are my 7 goals for 2015:

  • Pursue well-rounded health and achieve consistency with essential spiritual and physical disciplines (this is really 10 goals wrapped in 1, ha)!
  • Kick some bad habits I’ve had since childhood (this will probably be the toughest one to master on the list)
  • Improve in disciplining consistently and following through with consequences
  • Pursue a dream of mine
  • Invest in friendships
  • Find a mentor
  • Get better at relaxing and having fun…seriously

To 2015!!!

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2013 Recap
2012 Recap
2011 Recap

 

 

Comical Calebisms 2014

IMG_2165Caleb: (Hits Sean)
Sean: “Ow! What are you doing?”
Caleb: “Hitting you. It’ll heal.”

Caleb: “I thought I heard a snake in the closet, and I was really scared and I prayed to Jeeeesus. I prayed to Jesus really REALLY LOUD!”

After getting cut off at the airport –
Caleb: “Mama, please don’t crash. I don’t want to crash.”

 

To make the next quote even better, I will provide no context for it –
Caleb: “Can I have some coffee too with my crack?”

Caleb: (Pointing to my shirt) “Mama, what is that??”
Me: “They’re beads.”
Caleb: “Ohhhh. They’re cuuu-te!”

Negotiations at the park –
Me: “Caleb, 5 more minutes and then we have to go.”
Caleb: “20 minutes.”
Me: “No, just 5 more minutes.”
Caleb: “2 minutes.”
Me: “Ok sure, you win.”

Sean: “Caleb, don’t rock back in your chair. You might fall backwards and crack your head open, and your brains will come out.”
Caleb: “Oh no! I would crack my head open and I would get lots and lots of germs in it!”

Caleb: “Can I watch a show?”
Sean: “Well, I looked at the clock and it said it’s too late, so we can’t watch a show.”
Caleb: (Turning to the clock) “Clock, can I please watch a show?”

Caleb: “Mama, you’re a beast.”

Me: “Caleb, do you remember what sin means?”
Caleb: “Yes.”
Me: “What does it mean?”
Caleb: “Doing bad things. But I don’t want to do bad things! Only mama and pop pop do bad things.”

Me: “Caleb, did you take a nap today?”
Caleb: “Yes.”
Me: “Caleb, why are you lying to me?”
Caleb: “Lion?? Raaawr!!”

Caleb: “When I get bigger and bigger and I’m a Dada, I will work at the lab with Dada and pop pop. It will be so so SO good!”

Sean: “Ok Caleb, 10 more minutes then bath time.”
Caleb: “But why?”
Sean: “Evie got yogurt in her hair so we have to wash it.”
Caleb: “But why?”
Sean: “If we don’t, it could grow bacteria and make her sick.”
Caleb: “But why?”
Sean: “Because if it gets inside her, it can multiply rapidly.”
Caleb: “But why?”
Sean: “The biological conditions are ideal.”
Caleb: “But why?”
Sean: “Because of the temperature of our body, and the availability of moisture.”
Caleb: “Oh…yeah, we have to protect our bodies.”

Sean: “I’m sorry Caleb, you have to go to time out.”
Caleb: (Crying half-heartedly)
Sean: “I’m sorry buddy…you weren’t listening.”
Caleb: “But look at this saaad face!”

Caleb: “Today we played mommies.”
Me: “Oh yeah? How do you play mommies?”
Caleb: “You get buried and then make a baby.”
Me: “Married??”
Caleb: “No…buried.”
Me: “Huh. How do you make a baby?”
Caleb: “You put tan bark under your shirt.”
Me: “And then what?”
Caleb: (Imitating barfing sounds)
Me: “…Cool.”

Grammie: “Can someone please say grace?”
Caleb: “Grace!!”

Me: “Caleb, who’s in charge at church?” (child care)
Caleb: “Nico. He’s 6. He knows everything.”
Me: “Really? What about your teachers?”
Caleb: “No. Nico is in charge.”
Me: “Who’s second in charge?”
Caleb: “Me.”

Mickey: “Caleb, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Caleb: “A vacuum cleaner.”

Sean: “Caleb! Why did you drink out of mama’s water?? She’s feeling sick!!”
Caleb: “I’m sick too…I have crabs.”

Caleb: “I want to marry a girl…and a boy.”
Me: “You’ll probably just marry a girl.”
Caleb: “No, I want to marry a girl and a grandpa.”

Conversation with Caleb at bedtime –
Caleb: “Stay and lay with me!”
Me: “I can’t, I have to get some work done.”
Caleb: “Noooo, stay and lay with me!”
Me: “I would love to, but I really have to get some work done.”
Caleb: “Noooo…lay with me!”
Me: “Caleb, I have to go order some presents on Amazon for you and Evie for Christmas, otherwise, there won’t be any gifts.”
Caleb: (without skipping a beat) “You should go RIGHT now!!”

Comical Calebisms: October-December 2013

2013 Year-In-Review

Yeah, yeah, I am well aware it is the middle of August 2014, and this is the type of post that should be written the first week of January, but I am coming to terms with the fact that this is what life is like with two littles…always 7 months behind on, well, everything. This includes vehicle registration renewals, which as it turns out, come with some regrettably hefty late fees. Yikes! So, not being one to leave started projects unfinished (no matter how inappropriately timed), here are the 15 most memorable happenings of 2013 for the Felker fam:

1. I was neurotic pregnant the first seven months (which I blogged about at 16 weeks and 37 weeks). As we all know, I simply *adore* the state of pregnancy.

2. When it became apparent we could no longer keep Caleb caged in his crib any longer at 22 months (a sad, sad day), I willed myself to do something other than eat half-baked chocolate chip cookies and watch the train wreck of a sociology experiment (better known as ‘the Bachelor’) in my spare time. We finally cleaned out the-room-of-which-we-did-not-speak (i.e. it was filled to the brim with stuff), and transformed it into Caleb’s new “big boy” room. And when I say “we,” I definitely mean Sean.

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3. We finally traded in our dumb phones for smart phones, bringing us into the modern age.

4. Discovered Evie’s sex in an unconventional way, and had a lot of fun with it 🙂

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5. Caleb entered the terrible twos, and had I written this post back in January, I would have said that parenting a 2-year-old is a task no human being should be subjected to. But now, I scoff at my naiveté, as I have since been enlightened and know that the terrible twos pale greatly in comparison to the terrorist threes. Before the negative press begins in regards to these comments, I do try to maintain a balanced perspective, and I do love Caleb and who God made him very much, which I wrote a little about here.

Caleb's 2nd Birthday Party
Caleb’s 2nd Birthday Party

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And on his actual birthday, Caleb wanted everyone to know he’s sexy and he knows it:

6. Evangeline Love Felker was born on August 1st at 4:08 pm at Kaiser Antioch Medical Center. She was 19.5 inches and weighed a whopping 8 lbs. 11 oz. (thanks, dear daughter, you know how much I LOVE birthing GARGANTUAN babies), which confusingly took her entire first year to double (for reference, most babies double their birth weight by 4 months). But hey, at least I didn’t give birth to her on the side of the road, or barf all over the car due to her father’s poor culinary discretion. You can read her eventful birth story here.

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7. Bought our first car ever – a minivan – reversing any coolness factor we may have gained by purchasing smart phones.

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8. Evie had cleft lip surgery on November 21st, which commenced what easily ranks in the top 3 hardest months of my entire life. I tried to think of a way to spin this one humorously, but it’s still just too soon. Too soon.

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9. Caleb said and did a lot of crazy stuff, which I’m sure took years off my life, and will all be avenged when we recount them on the day of his wedding.

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10. I led a women’s Bible study and formed close relationships with some incredible women, who have continued to be a blessing in my life.

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11. Fun family visits:

12. Took Caleb’s pacifier away. He stopped sleeping. Gave it back. Took Caleb’s pacifier away…again. He stopped sleeping…again. Gave it back…again. If I was sent to a deserted island with my children, and I had to choose between bringing Sean or a pacifier, I’d go with the paci. Just kidding, I would take Sean, but his first task before searching for food or water would be to fabricate a paci and a couple of spares. Seriously, I would cut off my right pinky for paci. I legitimately wonder what they did back in the olden days before pacis. You know, in all honestly, I’m almost positive the invention of pacifiers is the reason child mortality rates have declined so significantly in modern times.

He'll never know I love this paci more than he does
He’ll never know I love this paci more than he does

13. Did lots of exciting outings, celebrations, and activities:

14. Three of my blog posts: “It’s a…,” “Out of Cleft Field: Evie’s Cleft Adventures,” and “Days 6-10 Post-Surgery Update,” reached over 500 hits each in 2013, which practically makes this blog famous. Fo’ real. Digital copies of my autograph are available upon request, however, my schedule is booked in regards to speaking engagements at this time.

15. And finally, this picture won best family photo of the year:

A true gem
A true gem

Evangeline’s Birth Story: The Womb that Cried Baby

According to my early ultrasounds, Evie’s due date was July 29th. According to my calculations, it was July 26th. But then, I figured her due date was actually July 18th, because Caleb was born eight days early, so obviously she would come early too. So you can just imagine my surprise horror when July 18th passed, then July 26th, and then (gasp!) July 29th. Apparently what baby #1 does has no bearing on what baby #2 does – so I learned – and Evie’s birth story could not have been more different to Caleb’s.

Even though Evie arrived “late,” the last month or so of my pregnancy was far from uneventful. At 35 weeks pregnant, I began experiencing painful contractions (not braxton hicks). The first time they began I was at church, and they lasted a couple hours, so I legitimately thought she could be arriving that day. Since I was only 35 weeks, I was completely unprepared, so I rushed home after church to pack bags and get things ready for her. However, by the time I finished getting ready, the contractions had disappeared…and thus began a long 5+ weeks, and the sub-title of this post: “The Womb that Cried Baby,” or alternatively, “my ridiculous 5-week-long labor.”

These on and off again contractions continued sporadically over the next few weeks. Then on July 17th (2 weeks and a day before she was born), while I was at church again (what’s up with that?), they started up yet again, but seemed a bit stronger. Because it was nearing rush hour (meaning if we didn’t leave soon, it could take us up to an hour and a half to get to the hospital), I called Sean and told him I wasn’t sure if it was time yet, but that we should just head out there to avoid getting stuck in traffic. So we made the 45-minute drive out to Antioch, and walked around the lobby to see if my contractions progressed. After 6 hours of consistent contractions, they disappeared again. Poof. I was disappointed and exhausted, but we turned it into a date night at Red Robin, so all was redeemed 🙂

After that day, the contractions came more frequently. About every other day, I had relatively strong, consistent contractions lasting 4-6 hours in the dead of night, that had me preparing for the hospital and thinking: “today is the day!” However, they always vanished by morning, leaving me exhausted from no sleep and super frustrated. It felt like I was on a crazy, totally unpredictable roller coaster ride!

Exactly one week before Evie’s birth, I had a check-up and was 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and she was literally 1/4 of an inch from crowning. I had so much pressure on my pelvis, it felt like I could sneeze and she would shoot out. If you know what prairie doggin’ means, that is literally what it felt like, baby style. It was terribly uncomfortable. Every time I saw my OB, she kept reassuring me – “it really should be any day now,” and then was surprised when I showed up for yet another appointment, and another.

So, the contractions just kept coming and going, as did Evie’s official due date. Three days past her due date, I went in for another OB appointment. My doctor checked me, and even after an entire week of contractions, my stats were the same. The SAME!!! I fought back tears, as she asked me if I wanted to schedule an induction. Flashing a Benjamin out of my purse, I eagerly said yes, most definitely…can my little friend convince you to do it today? (That may or may not have happened, my mommy brain doesn’t remember). She scheduled me for an induction on August 5th (not quite that same day, but I took it).

Leaving the office, I felt so depressed. I know that sounds entirely pathetic, but I was just so frustrated, confused, and exhausted after weeks and weeks of non-committal contractions (and let’s not forget I was pregnant, and overdue at that, which = totally unstable). I called Sean at 10:30 am, and had a complete meltdown. At this point, Evie was 2 weeks late in my book, which is like 2 months in pregnant time. Pregnancy is particularly difficult on my body, and the thought of even one more day sounded impossible. I recall praying in the car: “God, you could make her come right now if you wanted to, and it seems so inconsequential when she comes since she’s full-term, so why can’t it be now??” After a good 5-minute cry and deliberate attempt to release it to God, I pulled myself together and drove home.

An hour-and-a-half later, at noon, contractions began again. “Here we go again,” I thought. Not wanting to get my hopes up again for the umpteenth time, I tried to ignore them and just go about my day. However, by 12:30, they were becoming stronger than they had ever been before, so I called Sean and told him to be on call, since I was worried about getting stuck in traffic. I told him not to come home yet, though, because there had been so many false alarms, and it was likely another one.

Over the next 30 minutes, the contractions ramped up so quickly to a level at which I knew it was time to go to the hospital, so I called Sean at 1 pm and told him to come home right away. (Sidenote: Anyone else think it non-coincidental that I went into labor an hour-and-a-half after having the epic parking lot meltdown? Pretty sure Someone⇑wanted me to stop being so controlling and let it go, let it go and give it all over to Him. Lesson learned). Sean arrived home, we grabbed our things, and left for the hospital at 1:45. Sean hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so he grabbed some leftover pizza from the fridge to eat on the way. We drove about 10 seconds before I politely irritably informed him I could not stand the smell of the pizza. In my mind, that meant he should throw the pizza in the trunk of the car to eat later. In his mind, it meant he should throw it onto our neighbor’s sidewalk. ??? He jumped back in the car, exclaimed “sorry neighbor!”, and we drove off. I love my husband 🙂

Fortunately, we left just before rush hour, so it took just 45 minutes to get to the hospital. My contractions were pretty intense, and Sean made fun of me for most of the way, because he said I sounded ridiculous. At least, that’s how I remember it. In his defense, I did sound ridiculous. Probably the best way to describe the noise I made during each contraction was a semi-melodic voice warm up exercise for a group of tone deaf ogres that rose in intensity and volume every few minutes (Sean’s description) 🙂

We arrived at the hospital, and I was admitted to triage around 2:30 pm. I remember a nurse saying something that implied she didn’t think I was very far along, which I gave a big harumph to in my head. I did all the standard stuff – peed in a cup, answered a million questions, and was examined. The nurse said I was 4-5 cm dilated, and I would be admitted. I was ecstatic at this news (as ecstatic as anyone can be in labor), because that was exactly where I was hoping to be – far enough I would be admitted and not sent back home (like my experience with Caleb), but not so far I couldn’t get an epidural (which I knew from experience, I definitely wanted).

I was transferred to a birthing room around 3 pm, and my contractions were very intense at that point. For some reason I could not wrap my mind around, the nurse’s began asking me the exact same questions I had just been asked in the triage room, but because my contractions were so intense, Sean was answering for me because I was totally unable. Since it was clear I couldn’t answer them, they said they’d resume asking the questions after I got the epidural.

The anesthesiologist (who looked to be about 13-years-old, but who am I to judge), arrived around 3:30 pm, and began the process of inserting the epidural. It was extremely difficult for me to keep still as he inserted the needle, because my contractions were so painful and coming so fast. After 3 attempts, yes THREE (do you know how big those needles are???), he finally got it placed by 3:45 pm.

Ten minutes later, at 3:55 pm, they asked if I could feel the epidural kicking in, and I said I couldn’t. They adjusted the dosage, and told me it could be another 20 minutes before it did its job. A couple minutes later, I felt like I had to push, so I told the nurse. She basically dismissed me, and said: “oh, some women feel that way during the contractions, but it’s not really time yet…but I can check you if you want.” To that I replied: “no, really, I have to push…check me.” Well, she checked, and subsequently panicked as she called the appropriate personnel in, because like I said…I really, actually had to push!

The nurse told me to wait, which could be likened to instructing someone to hit the brakes on a car that has flown off the edge of a cliff. Not gonna help. So I started pushing. As the nurse scrambled to get everything in place, I pushed about 5 times, and out she came. We didn’t even have our camera, video camera, or bags with us, because Sean had planned to go grab them from the car once the epidural kicked in, when things weren’t so intense and I didn’t need him right by my side. My water never broke during labor, so she started coming out inside the amniotic sac, which the delivery nurse (who showed up in the nick of time), was pretty excited about since it’s not something they see very often. The sac burst on her way out, so unfortunately, we didn’t make headlines for a baby born inside the amniotic sac 🙂

Evangeline Love Felker made her grand entrance at 4:08 pm on August 1st, 2013, and she was beautiful. Like I wrote in the post I did detailing her cleft adventures, I noticed something was wrong with her lip right away, but I really didn’t care. We cuddled, and it was wonderful. I tore like I had after delivering Caleb (but not as bad, the nurse said it was nearly a second degree, and she could tell my previous tear was nearly a third degree). She stitched me up, and in an oh-so-timely fashion, the epidural kicked in at about 4:15 pm…7 minutes after I delivered Evie. Served. In fact, double served, because then I was stuck in bed until the epidural wore off since my legs didn’t work – ha! And we never did get to all those questions they were supposed to ask…

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So, my entire “active” labor was a total of 4 hours, and I was in the birthing room for only a little over an hour before Evie’s arrival! I suppose it makes sense that once the ball truly got rolling it all happened so fast, since I had practically been in labor for 5 weeks! It was the shortest, longest labor ever. We called all the grandparent’s to announce the news of her arrival, and a short while later, Pop Pop, Nana, and big brother Caleb came to meet her:

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Giving Evie a kiss
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Probably scheming
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A perfectly accurate portrayal of their relationship from day 1. They love each other and thinks the other is absolutely hilarious 🙂

Overall, I would say my labor and delivery experience at Kaiser Antioch was positive…the only major negative was the epidural. I don’t know if my nurse was inexperienced or what, but in retrospect, she really should have checked how dilated I was immediately before the epidural was administered, because I must have been 8-9 cm at that point, and the strength/frequency of my contractions should have tipped her off to that (and epidurals are not supposed to be given that late in labor). Not only was it super awesome to have a huge needle stuck in my back 3 times for medicine that didn’t take affect until after I had already given birth, but the following day, of all the places I could be hurting, the epidural locations on my back were the most sore. So yeeeeah, if we ever have another bio kiddo, I definitely do NOT want an epidural. Noooo thank you. Funny how my attitude on that one did a complete 180…after Caleb’s birth, I thought maybe God had given them as a concession to womankind after realizing the “painful childbearing” curse was a tad bit unequal to men’s “you must work to eat your food” curse 😉

Speaking of Caleb’s birth, I wrote down a few of the interesting differences between the two labors and deliveries. Caleb was born within 48 hours of the first painful contractions I ever felt, and Evie was born more than 5 weeks after the first painful contractions I felt. Definitely set me up for some misguided expectations for round 2! 🙂 With Caleb, my active labor was like a marathon, and with Evie, my active labor was like a sprint. And since my active labor with her was so short, I felt much better physically after Evie’s delivery, than I did after my 19-hour labor with Caleb (which left me feeling like I had been mauled by a bear…then hit by a bus). Getting an epidural when I was in labor with Caleb was a life saver, and getting it with Evie was a total bust. And just in case you’re wondering, given the choice between a marathon labor with an epidural, or a sprint labor without an epidural (like you get a choice, ha!) I would unquestionably pick a sprint labor without an epidural.

The remainder of our hospital stay was also much smoother than with Caleb – I could understand my nurses, I had a private room, Sean was able to stay with me, Evie took much better to breastfeeding (even with a cleft lip), Sean was much less anxious, my body was less jacked up, I felt more confident in my parenting abilities since I was no longer a rookie, I could hang a “do not disturb” sign on my door whenever I wanted, and the hospital even brought us a celebratory dinner. Now that’s what I’m talking about. And when we came home, we weren’t living in an apartment complex full of partying college students!! So all in all, I was very grateful for a much better experience the second time around…despite Evie’s leisurely, tardy arrival. It’s ok, I get it…she’s a female. Just preparing us for the next 18 years 🙂

Click here to read more about Evie’s subsequent cleft experiences, or here to read Caleb’s birth story!