Noah’s Birth Story, Part Four

*Side note- when my parents were on their way up to my house to pick up Kellan for the next two nights, I started crying, uncontrollably. At first I didn’t know what it was about, I was kneeling down in the hallway so I could be eye-level with Kellan and was hugging him and giving him kiss after kiss, and I realized it. Kellan would no longer be the only child. I was ecstatic to have another baby, I just didn’t want Kellan to be “mad” at me. After all he is only 19 months old, so he does not comprehend why my belly is so big, why we are reading him “Big Brother” books, why we keep talking to my stomach saying the word “Noah” all the time. Like any first time Mommy I just wanted everything to be okay for my first-born. Noel and I had been prepping Kellan for this day for months, but it seemed like I hadn’t done enough (in my mind anyway).  Noel reassured me that everything was going to be okay, Kellan would love his baby brother, we have done a great job raising Kellan and the four of us would and will get through anything & everything together. Noel is such a positive man and when I am being a negative-nelly, he lets me know. Then I think quietly, not saying anything out-loud and realize he is right and snap outta my funk. My crying spell lasted all of about eight minutes but I needed to get it out, hold my little boy one last time as the “only child”, and shower him with a billion kisses. It felt good.
 Now, back to Part Four…
 My next contraction was coming up, I looked at Noel then at Stacy and she said “Okay Katie, push”, so I did. I pushed once, took a tiny breath, pushed again, took another tiny breath, and pushed again. Done with that contraction. My Mom was trying to take pictures and hold a large mirror for me so I could see my progress, but the mirror was a little cock-eyed so I couldn’t really see, so a nursing student held the mirror for my Mom and that way she could take some really good photographs. Carly was behind me, sort of over my left shoulder video recording. Noel was sitting in a chair holding my left hand, feeding me ice chips, re-applying chapstick for my lips (they get so dry from my “mouth” breathing with the contractions), and resting a cool washcloth on my forehead. He is good! Then a nurse was on my right hand side, spewing out words of encouragement, and of course Stacy was front and center ready to do her job.
 The second contraction came, I pushed… The third… The fourth… Then somehow we missed my fifth contraction from all our chatter we were doing. Stacy laughed it off, she was so relaxed which made me feel relaxed, then I thought to myself “I can do this!” Stacy had that much confidence in me that missing one contraction was no biggie. In between my contractions I would look at Noel and we would just smile at one another. Knowing what my job was, what his job was and anticipating in a few short minutes we would meet our second baby boy. Noel would tell me “You are doing such a good job babe” or “You are so strong hunny”, and hearing those positive comments from him kept me going strong. I don’t think he knew how much those words influenced me at the time, but any type of “cheerleader” comment was greatly appreciated. Maybe that’s why I kept hearing my mom and sister saying those encouraging words as well.
 The sixth contraction came and I pushed four times. I kept on hearing the clicks of the camera, Stacy saying “good, good, good, steady, good Katie”, and I saw Noah’s dark hair being reflected in the mirror. Yes! Progress. After the sixth contraction I asked Stacy if I could reach down and pull him out once it was time. She smiled and said “Yeah, of course.” So contraction number seven was quickly approaching and I just felt like this was it, I was going to push him out… I pushed hard. Once, twice, a third time, and then I saw Noah’s head start to get further and further out, then I knew this was the moment, I pushed again one last final time and I looked down, I could see half his body, so I reached down with both my hands, I could feel Noah, then I gently pulled him out and up onto my tummy and chest. Oh sweet baby! He was here!! I kissed his little head, I placed both my hands around him. One hand around his back and little tooshie, the other hand cradling his tiny head. I smiled. I kissed Noah again. I kissed Noel. We locked eyes and he looked so proud. Proud of me, and proud to have another little boy. Two sons.
 The next little bit seems to have meshed together, but I do remember Stacy taking Noah to the “Panda” baby warmer where he got weighed, his height was measured, and his head & chest circumference were measured as well. He did not make a peep. He was so quiet, it made the nurses nervous. They wanted him to wail a loud cry, but he is just like his Momma: calm and relaxed. He had his first little sponge bath under the “Panda” and came back to me smelling like a fresh, clean lil boy. I started breastfeeding Noah right away, he latched on, hallelujah. Breastfeeding is challenging, painful (at first), and if you don’t have your heart set on it you might end up giving up and giving in to buying formula. But, hey I get it, by all means do whatever you need to do in order to feed your wee little babe. I just love nursing, the bond you develop with your baby, the closeness, not to mention you and only you are keeping your babe healthy, thriving and alive. That is a cool feeling!
 The four of us are doing quite well. We are at home, adjusting to this new life with our sweet little Noah. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long. At his two week checkup he weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and his other stats led our doctor to inform Noel and myself that he is a happy and healthy little dude. He is thriving! Everyone in our families have gotten a chance to see Noah, except my older brother Alex and his girlfriend Christine, who will get a chance to meet & snuggle him during Christmas.
 It is hard to imagine my life without my two little boys. What did I do all day long before I had them? My life has changed so much, for the better. I feel like I have a purpose now, I have to be on my A-game, think on my toes, nourish lil’ baby Noah, and teach Kellan right from wrong. However, I get so caught up in daily chores that need to be done around the house, and while my mind is going a million miles a minute I need to just slow down, breathe and remember everything else can wait. The only two things I should be concerning myself with are Kellan and Noah and just being a Mommy to them. I give my boys my everything, from the time I get up in the morning to the time I fall asleep; they are in my thoughts. I think to myself, “could I do this better?”, “did Kellan eat enough veggies for the day? Did he get enough calcium?”; “I wonder how much Noah weighs now?” Every Momma is consumed with these thoughts, right?
Being a wife and Mother are my most proud and honoring titles in my life. I get that warm & fuzzy feeling just thinking about. I count every blessing, honor every smile and giggle I get from Kellan, cherish those deep blue eyes gazing up at me from Noah, and every “I love you” from Noel. Yes, I enjoy the little things in life because they make my life complete.

[photographs, courtesy of my Mom, taken on Noah’s birth day]


Noah’s Birth Story, Part 3

Stacy informed us that only one person could be in the room while the anesthesiologist performed his duty.  Of course Noel stayed; there was not even a discussion about it.  A woman needs her husband.  (I am sure my sister and Mother knew that, so they gracefully stepped outside for the time being.)  As Noel walked to kneel in front of me, he grabbed both my hands as I was enduring contraction after contraction.  I sort of heard what the anesthesiologist was saying, but was trying to focus on my breathing.  In between contractions, he gave me my epidural and he timed it just right.  Thankfully.  I must have squeezed Noel’s hands so hard because I left red and white marks on them.  Although I do not remember doing so.  Then after about 20 minutes, the contractions were up-lifted and I was free from the hard contractions.  I could still feel a little pain, but nothing near as torturous.  With Kellan’s birth, the epidural was set to a setting so high that I felt like I was on a cloud.  My speech was slurred a bit, and I just did not feel like I was in my own skin.  This time around we explained that I wanted to feel some pain so I would know when to push (when it came time), and I did not want to have that feeling of being “high”.  Mission accomplished.

About an hour and a half after I received my epidural, Stacy came back in and announced she was going to break my water.  Hooray!  I did not feel a thing.  I am sure this is a good thing.  It only took her a minute or two and then hopefully I would start dilating more quickly.

I was wrong.  It took me another three hours until I was dilated to ten.  I was lying in the hospital bed, having Noel assist me to roll from side to side and was chatting with everyone in the room.  Noel was looking not so pale, which made me extremely happy and my Mom and sis were chatting and making me laugh.  They are very good at doing this.  The three of us have a tight-knit bond, so anytime spent with one another ends in laughter and gossip.  Good ol’ gossip.  Celebrity gossip people, okay?  Plus my Mom brought me a card of congratulations from my Auntie (my Mom’s sister), it is always nice to hear from her, and being that she lives in Michigan and obviously can’t be here, I knew she was proud of me.

So… three loooooong hours later, Stacy checked my cervix and I was dilated to ten.  Booyah!  I couldn’t believe it.  I felt like I had my energy back and could push for hours until he arrived.  I got a little nervous and anxious as well.  Thinking, “Oh my god, I get to finally push now, we get to meet our little Noah”.  Noel was taking a nap on the couch in the room, and I said rather loud, “NOEL, we are dilated to TEN, I can PUSH!!!”  He jumped up and rushed right over to hold my hand.  We looked at each other our eyes connecting, I didn’t have to say a single word, we just knew what the other was feeling.  I love that bond I have with Noel.  It is so encouraging.  He doesn’t have to say a single word and I know.  I just know.  Hard to explain unless you are deeply in love with someone.

My Mom looked a little nervous, but she had the camera all ready to take pictures.  My sister was smiling, and looking at me like “You got this!”  Stacy looked pretty excited to get to deliver her 493rd baby.  The nurses were prepping everything.  There was a lot of commotion going on and I was ready.  I was ready to meet our little boy, I looked at Noel and he said “Okay babe”, that’s all I needed to hear.

Stay tuned for Noah’s Birth Story, Part 4…

Noah’s Birth Story, Part 2

I did get sick, sadly multiple times, and I believe it was due to the amount of pain I was in.  Noel, had caught something far worse.  The stomach flu.  My niece Ali had it the previous weekend, and unfortunately passed it onto both my parents, one of my little brothers, Kellan and now my husband.  And let me just say it was no picnic.  To be sick or to hear someone being sick is just a sad state of affairs.  I was in the hospital after all, contracting & dilating and was full of emotions that one more thing did not really affect me.  I just felt like I couldn’t bring my A-game through labor and all the hard contractions that I would be going through that night, while my coach and best friend was as sick as a dog.

Once I got into my hospital gown, and had a few bouts of sickness myself, I was laying in the hospital bed.  My midwife was on her way to the hospital, my sister was on her way, and we had notified all our family members that this was “it”.  Once the nurses strapped on my heart rate monitor and the fetal heart rate monitor around my round belly, I finally felt at ease.  The nurse asked me what my birth plan was for the pain.  I told her that with my first labor, I had fentanyl and an epidural and I had planned on doing both those things this time around again.  She set me up with an IV in my left hand and gave me my first dose of fentanyl.  At last a little relief.  The contractions were still coming, in frequent now, which upset me (I did not want to be sent home), and who walks through the door, but my midwife, Stacy.  She checked to see how far I was dilated and I was still only 3 ½ – 4 centimeters, and 80% effaced.  I thought okay, what do I do?  The nurses suggest I walk around the halls of the maternity ward.  So I got up and did some walking… a lot of walking.  My sister, Carly finally arrived and she was with me all through the night walking the halls.  Noel slept for a few hours, and then Carly had her turn to sleep for a few hours, while I stayed awake the entire night having contractions.  They were painful, but not excruciating quite yet, so I knew I still had hours of labor left.

Stacy stayed at the hospital the entire night, in her sleeping room, but it felt good knowing she was there in case anything happened.  (She is amazing!)  At around 5am, I started feeling a few hard contractions.  They were starting to get closer together and I looked outside and the sun was coming up.  I had not slept in over 21 hours, I was getting tired.  I got a regular dose of fentanyl every two to three hours, but I was starting to fear that I would not have enough energy left in me to push once I got to 10 centimeters.  I told Stacy my concern and she told me some options we could do.  I did not want to induce my labor, so she told me once I got to 6 centimeters, she would call the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural, and then Stacy would break my water and hopefully that would encourage my labor and contractions to progress as naturally as possible.

Our nurse, Heather informed me that because Noel was “sick”, there was going to be a meeting with the director to see if he could stay in the room any longer.  I brushed it off because there was no way in hell I was going to deliver our baby without my husband.  I never heard anything more of this.  But our room was on quarantine.  Every nurse, every doctor, or in my case, midwife, who entered our room had to wear a bright yellow gown.  How attractive.  But at least there was no more discussion as to if Noel could stay or not. 

I was dilating, but very slowly.  Heather brought in a rocking chair for me to sit in and rock back and forth.  This was nice.  It felt good to be out of the hospital bed, and in a new position.  I knew once I got my epidural, I would be bed-ridden until after the delivery.  Once the sun came up, my Mom came to the hospital.  I had wanted her there to support me and take pictures of the birth.  I was in the middle of having some pretty painful contractions and I heard her voice, then I smelled McDonald’s or something greasy.  At the end of my contraction I said, “Whoever just brought in something greasy smelling get rid of it… please”.  Hey, at least I said please at the end.  I couldn’t eat solid foods, just ice-chips, popsicles, water, juice, J-ello or pop.  What a menu, huh?  I was starving, so smelling actual food made me annoyed.  The contractions were every five minutes apart, I could feel them coming on, and knew I would be in pain.  Stacy came in again and suggest I try to lean up on the bed with my tummy (sort of looked like I was on all fours) and breathe through the contractions that way.  I did this for a while, and then it started hurting again.  So I lay on my back she checked my cervix.  Yes, I was finally 6 centimeters.  Hallelujah!  Stacy called for the anesthesiologist right away, I felt like my body was getting weakened with every contraction I had.  Although I had encouraging people by my side, rooting me on, I felt like I couldn’t go on any longer with my labor…

Stay tuned for Noah’s Birth Story, Part 3…

Noah’s Birth Story, Part 1

It was just a regular Tuesday afternoon.  I had my 39 week check-up with my midwife, Stacy, at 1:10pm.  I was looking forward to this appointment because I was feeling extremely uncomfortable being pregnant.  Even though I still technically had one more week of my pregnancy, I was ready to have our baby.  No contractions in the morning, everything was looking up to be a normal regular pregnant day.  Then I arrived at my appointment, Stacy said everything looked normal and asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes.  I immediately with no hesitation said “Yes please!”.  Stacy told me I should expect some cramping, but that I was good to go.  I called Noel right after the appointment and told him everything she said, then I ran some last minute errands that I wanted to do before Noah arrived.  (Getting my oil changed, stopping at Bountiful Fruit to get our fruit for the week, and a stop at Auto-Mocha for my favorite banana smoothie.)  Once I got home, Noel, Kellan and myself just hung out and I wasn’t feeling like myself, so we ordered Pizza Hut.  After I hung up the phone, I started having contractions.  This was at around 4pm.  I instantly knew these were real contractions, not cramps, and if they continued we would get to meet our little boy soon.  Our pizza arrived at 5pm, I wasn’t even hungry (which was weird), but sat down with Noel and Kellan anyway and tried eating a slice.  Through every bite I took I had a contraction.  They were not exactly regular, every 5 minutes, every 9 minutes, every 3 minutes… so we waited.  Then I remembered what my friend told me to try if I believed I was in “real” labor, take a bath and if the contractions are still present, then you are in true labor.  I ran a bath, stepped in, had contraction after contraction, got out, told Noel that this was it, and we called my Mom and sister.

I had asked my sister, Carly if she would video record the birth, and she jumped at the opportunity and said “YES!!”  She lives in Cheney, so we wanted to give her plenty of time to drive the 3 hours into Wenatchee and make it for the entire labor and delivery.  We had asked my Mom if she would be in charge of Kellan while Noel and I were at the hospital.  She said, “Of course I will do that for you, Katie”.  So after making those two calls, Carly was on her way into town and my parents were on their way up to our home to pick up our little dude for the next two nights.  I was still having contractions, pretty regular at this point, and as soon as my parents showed up to get Kellan, we left within 45 minutes to go to the hospital.

Noel helped me finish packing my hospital bag, we loaded everything into the Edge and I kept on looking at Noel and I could see the excitement he had.  He looked the same way when we were headed to the hospital when I was in labor with Kellan.  He looked like a proud Father.  An excited husband.  Anxious and joy.  So many different emotions, I know, because I was feeling all those same emotions as well.  Then he said, “Hunny we are gunna have this baby tonight!”  Yes babe, yes we are.  He is truly my rock, and when I doubt myself, Noel reminds me that I can do it.  He is such an amazing partner and lucky enough for me, he is my best friend.  So when he tells me with confidence that I can do it, I believe him.

We arrived at the hospital at around 8pm, checked in with the ER ladies, and was wheeled back to the maternity ward.  This time around, I could actually walk into the hospital, but felt nauseous, and had been feeling this way for two hours or so.  Vomiting is associated with extreme pain, but I was so excited that I was finally in labor I thought it was an excitement nausea.  Little did I know, my dear husband would get the brunt of this sickness all through the night.

Stay tuned for Noah’s Birth Story, Part 2…

[photographs are from Noah’s baby shower, four days before his birth]

Noah Munro Mathison

We are a family of four!

I gave birth to our sweet little boy, whom we named Noah Munro Mathison, last Wednesday, November 7th at 1:46pm weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 21 ¼ inches long.

I might stray a little from the blog for a bit until we get adjusted to our newest addition to our family.  Also, Noah’s birth story will be coming in the next couple of weeks as well.  But until then, I introduce our precious baby boy…

“I can go at any time.”

I have been a little M.I.A. for the past week and a half.  I will explain everything.  I’ve got good reasons.  Let’s start from where I left off last time, shall we?

I have been showering my lil’ boy with loads of love, completing all my “nesting” projects, and have learned to take it easy.  For the past few weeks I have been making myself little “to-do” lists for the week.  This is so I don’t feel overwhelmed, I get to “check off” items on my chores list, and feel a sense of accomplishment.  (With this big ol’ belly getting in the way of pretty much every day simple tasks, everything takes me double the time.  Having a list keeps me on track, and doesn’t scare me away from doing them.)  My thinking has led me to just acknowledge all the new adventures our family will embark upon, and we are all ready to do this thing!  This leads me into a new area…

I am now 38 weeks & 3 days pregnant.  My tummy is as hard as a rock, it is huge (my older brother Alex asked me if I was having twins… thanks for the self-esteem booster brother!), and we are finishing up the last little decorative things I wanted to do in the nursery.  I am in the beginning stages of labor.  I have been having contractions (Braxton-Hicks) every day now, multiple times each day, I am dilated, I am effaced, I am exhausted.  I feel like:

“I can go at any time.”-Arnie

“Arnie, no!”-Gilbert

“Anytime.” –Arnie

Tell me you have seen What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?  If you haven’t it is one of my favorite movies, and I highly suggest you run to the store and buy it.  You will not be disappointed.

But yes, back to my pregnant self, I am anxious and excited.  I am a little nervous, just for the contractions and labor part.  I have done it before, but each birth is a little different, and I just hope for the best.  I know how much pain I will be in, that is no shock, but just finally getting to meet our lil’ boy will be pure & utter bliss.  My sister, Carly, decided a few weeks ago that I must have a baby shower for this lil’ guy.  Who am I to stop her?  Eating good food, seeing my friends, chatting it up, playing games, opening gifts… and when will this take place you ask?  Why tomorrow at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  So, I just have to wait until after tomorrow evening and then I can go into full-on labor.  I honestly think he will stay put until Tuesday, but you never know.  I could start getting hard contractions any minute.  Labor is such a game of guess when?  You never know.  A mother’s instinct is usually correct, and I believe that he will grace us early next week… but like I said you never know.

Tomorrow will be such a beautiful day, I have my outfit picked out, my high-heel boots ready to squeeze my tootsies into, and I am ready to see all my friends (and their babies), not to mention there could be four or five other pregnant women in attendance!  Yippy!!  Such a fabulous time in my life right now, right before the birth of our second baby, getting showered with love, it is truly an amazing thing.


On a totally separate note a holiday came & went.  Halloween 2012!  Yes we celebrate, we usually carve our pumpkins, we go to at least one spooky party, and of course we eat our fill of fun size Butterfingers.  This year I had high hopes of being extra festive and going to an actual pumpkin patch and searching for our perfect pumpkins.  I wanted to dress us all in nice clothes with accents of oranges, reds or yellows, take a billion pictures, and drink some hot apple cider.  Sadly this did not happen.  We did venture out to a local pumpkin patch called “The Patch”, which was not open, so that idea got botched.  On our way home I proclaimed, “Next weekend we are going to Smallwoods Harvest and picking out our pumpkins there!”  Knowing that they would have just as many pumpkins, plus Kellan would get to see the animals they have there.  The weekend rolled around and we did not drive out to Smallwoods.  I was a little bummed, but knew we could get our pumpkins at our local Fred Meyers.  Ahh yes, that is what we did.  Not as magical as I had wanted it to be, but Kellan did enjoy picking out his pumpkin and painting it. 

That’s what it’s all about.  Seeing your children’s eyes light up, having the opportunity to do something crafty or new exciting them makes it fun for the parents to witness.  Creating memories, really getting into the holidays, making it fun for them, all these things wrapped up into one makes me very enthusiastic about the upcoming holidays that are quickly approaching.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.  Not to mention five birthdays to celebrate between these three holidays.  But in order for me to relax and enjoy every moment, I need to tell myself constantly to slow down & live in the present.  Usually the holidays give me anxiety, all the buying, wrapping, thinking up ideas to do with the family, just the excitement of it all.  I always want to do it all, knowing I can’t; I strive to do it anyway.

I got side-tracked there.  Sorry.  Halloween 2012!  Okay, so we ended up doing our pumpkins the morning of the 31st, Kellan didn’t know any different.  He got to paint his pumpkin, I scooped out all the seeds of our three pumpkins and roasted them in the oven, and then I used a sparkly paint and painted our other two pumpkins myself.  Noel usually carves all three for us, but because we were a little late this year, we had to improvise.  Mommy took charge, I am not strong enough to carve, so paint it was.  We also went to a Halloween party at my sister in laws home; which was amazing!  I made some edible eyeballs, cut up fresh veggies and made an onion dip to go along with that.  Then I doubled a batch of fresh homemade sugar cookies and iced the cats black, the pumpkins red and white (Freddy’s ran out of orange, thank you Fred Meyers!) and pureed a pumpkin dip for the cookies.  It was quite tasty.  The party was fun, all the kiddos really enjoyed themselves and everyone dressed up in costume of course.  Kellan was batman, Noel was Robin and I was a vampiress vixen.  Thank you Leah for hosting this fabulous party!

October 31st, was an overall cold and gloomy day in our valley.  It usually is for Halloween, mark my words, for the past decade, every time this ghostly holiday rolls around our town turns into a scary city.  The clouds hang above us, the streets look a bit darker, the costumes look even scarier and the people get more festive.  & by festive I mean they add way more fake blood to their faces and dress in black from H to T baby!  (That’s a phrase from America’s Next Top Model, it means Head to Toe, and yes I still watch it even though I am 27 years young thank you very much…)  Our friends, Morgan and Whitney have a little munchkin named Mack who is now 10 months old and Kellan loves him!  We have a few pictures of Mack on our fridge and every day, Kellan points to them and says “Makk, Makk!!!”  So cute.  The six of us went trick-or-treating down on the Avenue this year.  The men pulled the two boys in our Radio Flyer wagon up and down the Ave. and it was just so nice seeing everyone elses costumes, as well as being part of this Wenatchee tradition.  I have never been down there for this occasion, but I think it was a good way to spend it with friends, plus our boys loved it!  They couldn’t stop smiling & neither could we.

…and yes back to the upcoming holidays… This year will be quite different.  I will have a newborn, a toddler, a husband (who by the way, decided to make new shelves in our garage, so I get a constant ‘hack hack, or zzzzzzzz noise’ coming from the garage… but the finished product will look amazing!) and this year I am going to ask Noel for more help with the buying and wrapping of the gifts.  He is always eager and willing to help me, it’s my problem because I have to ASK for help.  I am not good at doing this.  He knows that.  So hopefully our worlds will collide and he will just do it without me really asking for help.  We will see what happens, heck I still have 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and 7 and a half weeks before Christmas.  I got this.