Friday, November 29, 2013

Of Visitors and Visiting

Gordon's first week was full of hugs and cuddles from those who love him, both from extended family and friends. 

On Monday, Brad's dad, Grandpa Wayne came with Lucy and Michael to meet Gordon in the hospital:
He had come to our house to watch the kids when we left for the hospital (the first time) on Sunday night. 

Grandpa kept the kids the rest of the day and through the night as we rested at the hospital. The kids had a ton of fun and we SO appreciated his help.

One of our pastors and his wife, Noel and Grace, came to visit us on Monday evening in the hospital. I don't have any pictures of their visit but it was so fun to hang out with them for an hour or so. 

On Tuesday, we came home and relieved Grandpa of kid-duity. He went home to work for the afternoon but he and Grandma came back that evening AND they brought us an amazing dinner!
Meeting Grandma Lori

Thursday afternoon our friends the Luthey's came to visit and meet Gordon.
Amanda and Kaiyah

Selah and Ben 

A bit later, Brad and the older kids got home from Detroit with my mom, Grammy! 
Grammy Jo meeting her Gordon :) 

The kids listening intently as Grammy read them new books after dinner. :) What a treat to have her in our Lansing house!! 

On Friday, Amy and our friend Kaleigh came to visit us after work.
Auntie Amy

On Saturday we went to Hastings to show my mom where Brad grew up and to introduce Gordon to the Great-Grandmas. :)
Great Grandma Buning 

Aunt Kris

Brad's cousin, Hanna

Grammy Jo at Grandma Lori and Grandpa Wayne's - Lucy and I counted at one point together: 1, 2, 3, 4 Grandmas all in the same room! What a treat. :) 

Great Grandma Kidder

Gordon Charles is named after Grandma Kidder's late husband, Charles Wellington Kidder. Grandma was thrilled to meet her great grandson and teared up at one point, saying how happy she was that we had named him after Grandpa. :) 

My mom was able to spend a week with us! It was so very helpful to have her around. Lucy and Michael LOVE her and it was fun for me to see mom spend time with them in person (and not over Skype!). She got to see their eccentricities, the good and bad (with a little ugly too!) and got a glimpse of what our lives look like on a day to day basis. We took a trip to the library, got to show her our favorite grocery shop, took her to our favorite lunch restaurant and took advantage of free babysitting on my birthday! :) 

Mom asked how she could be a help to me and took care of everything on my list and more - when we drove her back to the airport on Thursday all my laundry was done (washed, dried AND put away!), the floors in my house freshly vacuumed and my bathroom was clean. She set me up for success and for the next week I was able to take it easy as I figured out what our new normal was going to look like. Thanks mom! It was such a help and delight to have you!

And thanks to all our friends and family who loved us well during our first weeks with Gordon! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Going Home

In keeping with our MO, we were itching to get out of the hospital as soon as we were able. We received wonderful care while there and were very thankful for the time we were able to spend resting and getting to know Gordon without the distractions and responsibilities of home, but at the 24 hr mark, we were ready to return to our space. :) 

So we got our little-big lad all dressed 

He JUST fit into his outfit - it was almost too small! Never did I think this would be an issue for one of my children! (If you remember, Michael was swimming in his going-home outfit!)

All tucked into his seat in the car - a better response than his sister! He was disgruntled, but didn't fuss. :) 
Look at those precious cheeks!

Home sweet home! 

There was quite the welcome crew awaiting us! Dad Kidder headed back to Hastings so he could work for the afternoon and we, after Michael's fiftieth request started on the "hugs."
Such thrill. 

My boys! I can't believe I have TWO sons! 

My big helper girl. 

All three of my guys - Lucy and I are lucky gals! :) 

Gordon and I spent the afternoon (and the next day) chilling out on the couch with the heating pad on my back, working on nursing. :) We watched the live streaming simulcast of the Resurgence conference - it was a really encouraging and restful way to spend our first days at home. Brad was so so helpful, taking care of the older two kids and going above and beyond with keeping the house tidy and picked up.

My recovery after Gordon's birth was so much better than with Lucy or Michael. By Friday, after my mom arrived - I was up for lunch out at Chipotle and a trip to our favorite grocery store, although I did feel like I hit a wall after walking around the store for 15 minutes - it was humbling to admit that I needed to get back home and sit. My mom's arrival and presence for those first days of figuring out what our new normal was going to look like was so helpful... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Pictures of Gordon's visitors are coming up soon! :) 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sibling Meet and Greet

Gordon was born right as his siblings were waking up for the day. Brad headed home at about 10:30 to pick them up and bring them to meet their new brother - they were all so excited! 

Lucy's facial expression.... I love it. 

Michael was so so excited, he wanted to "hug" the baby and kept posing for pictures, "Cheese!"

I hope these three are best-buds.

I had no idea how Michael was going to respond to his new brother - he has always been a mommy's boy and hasn't liked it when I've held babies in the past. It made my already thankful heart almost explode to see how affectionate and gentle he was with Gordon. I think he'll be a great big-brother.

We are a family of 5!!! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gordon Charles Kidder

We are thrilled to announce that 
Gordon Charles Kidder
Was born on November 4th, 2013
8lbs 15oz, 20.5in long

Contractions started at 3:15 on Sunday, the 3rd. They were different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for the previous two weeks and remained about 6 minutes apart as I got up and began to do some chores around the house. "If this isn't labor, at least I'll start the week out on a good foot." I thought to myself as I folded three loads of laundry, put it away, decluttered, washed dishes, tidied and made the guest bed in the basement. I was afraid to hope that this was really labor and had told myself that the contractions were going to stop when I went to bed, like they had been doing.

So, chores were completed, house was tidied, kids fed and put to bed. As we sat down on the couch to watch TV, Brad and I looked at each other and he asked, "Well? Are we in labor?" "I have no idea!" I responded in a pretty exasperated tone. "Let's just continue with our evening, as usual, and if things continue, they continue." Well at 8:15 the contractions changed in intensity from light to "Ok, we're in labor." They weren't super consistent, but were coming anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart. We called Dad Kidder, who had offered to come and watch the kids when we needed to head to the hospital. He arrived at 11pm and we headed to the hospital - the contractions were coming to 2-5 minutes apart and we had no idea how far I had progressed (I had been at 2cm at my appointment three days earlier). My midwife had said we should head to the hospital when contractions had been less than 5 minutes apart for a few hours and Brad did not want to deliver the baby at home or in the car.

I was trying to keep my expectations low. Trying to not let myself hope that I'd be holding my son within 24 hours, but there was a part of me that thought, "This is my third baby! This has gotta move fast right?"

We arrived at the hospital, got signed in and were brought to a triage room. The nurse checked me, 1-2cm... wah wah wah... I was able to choke back the tears until after the nurse left the room, but I felt so deflated. Only 1cm?! What?! After walking the halls for two and a half hours, I had progressed to a "good 2cm." My midwife didn't want to admit me until I was at 4, I knew I would need to keep walking if I stayed, I was tired - it was 1:30am - and emotionally not prepared for labor. I knew I needed to try to sleep. So we headed home. I was embarrassed. I felt so dumb. I was exhausted.

Because Dad Kidder was sleeping in our bed we crashed in the guest bed (I was so thankful I had put the clean sheets on earlier!). I slept/dozed in between contractions and woke up at one point thinking, "I think things have changed." At about 5:30, Brad asked me how I was doing. "I'm ok - Definitely still in labor." I answered. After listening to me breathe loudly and moan through a few contractions, he said, "Things have changed - you didn't sound like this earlier. We're going to go back to the hospital."

(Brad was remembering labor with Lucy, I finally was able to sleep after 32 hours of labor and progressed from a 4 to an 8 in an hour)

They admitted us right away. I cried again when they told me I was at 7cm. I was so glad I was actually moving forward!

They called my midwife and she arrived, contractions continued, my water broke. I lost track of time and had to really focus through contractions. They were so intense. Brad was amazing. He was calm, held my hand, stood by me and helped me breathe through the pain. He kept eye contact with me during the really strong contractions and reassured me that I "could do this." Toward the end, I thought about Lucy reciting Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go." during the strongest contractions. The nurse came in and told me, that there was meconium when my water broke and so they were going to have a pediatrician in the room and would need to clean up the baby as soon as he was born." I really appreciated how she communicated with me, I had wanted to wait to cut the cord - but I was ok with not doing that anymore. They were going to make sure my son was ok and I was glad we were in good hands.

I really wanted to push, but was only at 9cm so they encouraged me to wait. It was hard, but with Brad's support, I was able to do it.

Gordon was born at 7:35am, after less than 10 minutes of pushing (I think it was less than 5, but Brad says it was closer to 10 - and because he was more aware of our surroundings, I trust him). He didn't have as much hair as Lucy and Michael but he had some! Brad cut the cord and they quickly took Gordon to the warming table to get him cleaned out. He had a really strong cry. It was difficult not to be close to him right after he was born, he felt so far away - even though I could easily see him and knew he was ok.

And then I got to hold my boy!!

He was/is beautiful and perfect. The Pediatrician told me as he handed him to me, "He's a big one! I bet he's 9lbs!" "No," I told him, "I don't have 9lb babies." Haha - they weighed him later and sure enough, he was 8lbs 15oz!! As you can see, I was emotional but so thankful. I couldn't believe labor was done and that he was here!

He latched on well and we were able to nurse soon after he was given to me.  As things calmed down and everyone cleared the room Brad and I kept looking at each other and saying, "He's here!" "We did it!" "Can you believe it?"

Gordon Charles, 

We are so so so happy you are here! We can't believe how much we love you. You are truly a blessing and we are thankful, so thankful you are healthy and doing well. 


Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Carving "Punkins"

One lovely fall day, Brad took the kids to pick out their "punkins" for our annual family pumpkin carving "event." (By event I mean: daddy carves them for us after we sketch our's how we roll) They came home with 4 large pumpkins and huge grins! :) 

Michael kept hugging the pumpkins - he LOVED them. :) 

All set up to help clean them out.

More hugs.

I have no words.... 

Lucy was so curious! She had been looking forward to the activity ever since she saw the first pumpkins of the season at the grocery store!

More curiosity - he looks so cute in an apron, don't you agree? 

When Brad started scooping out the "guts" Lucy's demeanor completely changed - she wasn't so excited anymore... more timid and unsure. 

Michael tried to help, but hates having dirty hands.... 

Getting some reassurance from Daddy. 

Being brave and trying it out! 

Ha! I love her face, she wasn't too ecstatic about the textile experience, but she tried it out and did something she was uncomfortable with - I was proud of her. :) 

Later that weekend (we did some unexpected oven shopping for/with Great Grandma Kidder that afternoon) Brad carved faces into pumpkins for us (he's the expert carver in our house!). Here they are!
Mamma's Pumpkin :) 

Lucy was set on her pumpkin having "heart shaped eyes and teeth" :) 

Brad's pumpkin

Michael's - the grin on his might make it my favorite one. He wasn't too interested in the design, so I got to choose for him. :) 

Happy Fall from the Kidder's house to yours! :)