Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giving thanks for the little things


Last night thanks to members of my husband's family we went out for a nice anniversary dinner. Today has been filled with much more mundane things like the care and feeding of our two littles and post-holiday wrap-up. Which is just fine because eight years later I know that it is the daily tag-teaming through the chores and knowledge that my friend and partner has got my back that truly makes me feel loved and cherished within my marriage.

So here's to the everyday adventure of living, laugh and loving each other well as we seek to the best of our ability live out our vocation to build a marriage that serves as a loving and strong foundation for our children and a warm and restorative home base from which to serve the world around us. I'm so glad to be on this journey with you.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas

as you enjoy all the wonders and blessings of the season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: December 21st


1. Do you do any volunteer work?
Not at the moment other than my ongoing mentor/friendship with my 'little' sister.

2. Do you have night and/or morning ritual?
Not in the morning but at night I'm fairly consistent about how I get ready for bed (brushing teeth, contacts, etc).

3. Would you rather exercise or diet? Why?
I rather do a bit of both so that I don't have to do either all the time. Eat well with the occasional bowl of ice cream, be active but don't beat myself up if a miss a couple of days.

4. If you would rather exercise, do you prefer going to a gym or working out at home?
I prefer going the gym ~ and hope to get back into that routine next year.

5. What do you think is a huge waste of time?
Trying to 'Keep up with the Jones'

6. What is one way you save time?
Cook a big batch of something on the weekend, and then have dinner taken care of one or two nights during the week.

7. What is your current obsession?
Reading blogs, trying to improve mine.

8. What is a current obsession you can’t wait to pass?
Meaning hype: Karadashian sisters, I'm ready for their 15 minutes to be up.

9. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what book? Would you recommend it?
My Life with The Saints by James Martin, which I would recommend

10. Since we had the 90s question last week, what’s your favorite songs from 00′s?
In general I'm more likely to listen to his wife (Faith Hill), but Tim McGraw had the knack of release the song I need at just the right time. " In My Next Thirty Years" came out right around that birthday for me, and "LIve Like You Were Dying" around the time that my father and father-in-law passed away.

Please visit Roots and Rings hosted by Chelsea to share your take on this week's batch of questions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Takes Vol. #68


  1. Winter has officially arrived for me with the first snowfall that has stuck. Upside: it is very pretty and Lisbeth is very excited to go out and play, downside: we've yet to get her snow boots. Now this current snow fall is less than an inch so her rain boots are working just fine, but me thinks something just got added to her Christmas list.
  2. The age of tea parties has begun ~ or rather picnics, where I am served ice cream and ginger ale. Lovely no? The menu somehow reminds me of 1920's lawn parties and everyone in pastels.
  3. Have most of the shopping and baking done for tonight's Christmas party but a lot of wrapping still to go, here's hoping for long naps this afternoon.
  4. Congratulations to That Married Couple on the new addition!!
  5. One of my goals for this Christmas season was to become more confident with cookie baking. I have progressed from the separate & bake to the add an egg and butter variety, up next baking from a recipe.
  6. Am somewhat in denial that Christmas is a week away ~ while simultaneously so excited to visit and celebrate with family. I'm also very curious to see how much of the holiday observance and celebration Lisbeth and her 'sister' toddler cousin join in on.
  7. Plans for the weekend include cleaning/clearing and continued preparations for next week's travel and festivities.
Please head over to Conversion Diary to enjoy the rest of weeks round-up of Quick Takes

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Small Successes: December 16th


  1. Christmas cards sent!
  2. Did not panic this week when the hot water heater died and needed to be replaced, I just did it ~ and gave thanks for the resources
  3. Caught up on the laundry.
  4. Shout-out for my toddler ~ She peeled (de-shelled) an egg all by herself!!

Giving Thanks this Thursday for:
  • a warm place to come in from the cold
  • baby laughs
  • an imaginative toddler who takes me along on her adventures
  • a hard-working loving partner
  • hope renewed and love everlasting
Please visit Faith and Family Live to share your successes; small and otherwise.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wondering Wednesday:Advent Music

First a confession: I love Christmas Carols and music far too much to only listen from Christmas to Epiphany; I listen throughout Advent.

However also enjoy listening and giving majority listening rights to Advent music this time of year ~ so I was wondering ~ what are some of your favorites??

Personally: Cherry Tree Carol; traditional though sometimes attributed to Peter, Paul & Mary
Advent Suite, & The Final Word; Michael Card
and a great CD by Marty Haugen "We Come Dancing"

Your turn....
My thanks again to Maggie of From the Heart for inspiring the wondering.


(sidenote: New Years resolution ~ will learn how to load videos on blog)

Monday, December 13, 2010

13 ~13th ~3


Today my little guy is thirteen weeks on the 13th and three months!

  1. he is starting to laugh
  2. while still a bobble head, is holding up his head for longer periods of time
  3. will tolerate the car seat for short periods of time
  4. starting to reach out for stuff
  5. still largely naps in the corner of the couch, but would live in my lap if possible
  6. loves his sisters tight hugs
  7. fun to hold short but enthusiastic conversations with
  8. no longer reminds me of an old man
  9. still sleeps in a swaddle and often wakes with a smile
  10. Growing, thriving and blessing us everyday!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Joyful Sunday!!


As a child I loved to try and count how often I would hear my name or a variation of it during mass, I always lost count somewhere along the way usually during the homily.
Now as an adult I have an even greater appreciation. It feels so right and fitting during this season of reflection and prayerful anticipation to focus on the happier aspects of this time of year. When preparing for a big test; it takes hard work and study ~ but ideally it includes taking a break from the intense focus and having some fun ~ more importantly remembering why I'm studying so hard.

Focusing on improving the place within our homes and hearts where we invite Christ to live is a good and worthy goal, but for today let us lighten the purple with some Christmas white and rejoice in the idea of the gift long ago given and that he desires with be with us wherever we are on the journey if we but invite him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Small Successes: December 9th

  1. Holiday photo shoot done, with a couple of good shots (I hope).
  2. Christmas cards bound for overseas mailed and the rest working their way out
  3. Advent wreath out ~ Advent calendar started

Giving thanks this Thursday for:
the new day
a little girl in her princess dress
a little boy who smiles at me more everyday
a husband to lean on and laugh with
coffee and scones on the tough days
Mary who said Yes, and teaches me to
that I am forever loved and forgiven if I but seek

Please visit Faith and Family Live and share your successes small and otherwise.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: December 7th


1. What do you order at Starbucks?
Grande Mocha, hot or iced depending on the season. Pumpkin Spice Latte in autumn

2. Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast?
Panera or IHOP

3. Are you on Twitter? Why or why not?
No, one more thing I've not yet had the chance to explore.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Its A Wonderful Life

5. Are you a good gift giver?
I like to think so

6. Do you like your handwriting? Bonus points for posting a picture.
When I'm journaling yes, most of the rest of the time yes/no

7. Is your signature legible? Bonus points for posting a picture.
Provided I'm not holding a child trying to escape ~ yes.

8. Have you ever been to New York during Christmas season?
Yes ~ twice I think

9. Are there any items that you are completely brand loyal?
Yes, a couple ~ my contact solution, shampoo and laundry detergent

10. Who is your favorite public speaker?
My husband ~ having attended a couple of his lectures and presented with him at Pre-Cana ~ my husband

Please visit Roots and Rings hosted by Chelsea for others take on these questions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quick Takes Vol. #67

  1. Thanksgiving: Perfect ~ a little parade, a little football, delicious food shared with family ( of which Lisbeth ate rolls and cranberry sauce) while the new little blessing napped. Bonus: a surprise snow shower lasting maybe 40 minutes to go out and play in!
  2. Baptism: Craziness and chaos of gathering family and friends from many states slows into a wonderful calm as Liam wearing the same gown his father did is welcomed into the church; though having just fallen asleep found the cold water a bit of a rude awakening. Big sister behaved beautifully and the cake afterwards was everything I remembered from previous cakes from this bakery including our wedding, my inlaws anniversary and Lisbeth's baptism.
  3. Advent: Let the journey begin ~ committing and pray for the guidance to prepare my heart and mind as I prepare my home and buy gifts for Christmas and the coming of the Christ child.
  4. Lisbeth: (this really deserves its own post, but I want to get my thoughts down in part) Growing and changing so ~ now truly able to hold conversations with, often at her direction as she explains the imaginary game we are about to play, her hand very nearly fitting into mine allowing us to truly hold hands as we walk around the neighborhood, noticing the absence of baby budge when she dresses.
  5. Though still little with moments of cuddlesome especially right after a nap, and at bedtime.
  6. NFP and discernment: Excellent post this week by Rebecca and Sarah
  7. Weekend: Family Time and beginning Advent observance in earnest
Please visit Conversion Diary for the rest of this weeks Quick Takes

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: November 30th


1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?

I'm from Rhode Island, but have also lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Texas and currently live in Pennsylvania.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?

Comfortable Modern ~ usually jeans/pants and a nice shirt/sweater ~ though I like skirts/dresses on Sunday.


3. What kind of car do you drive?

Prius
4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it (or already do!)?

4 Bedroom Colonial with a big porch out front ~ Someday!


5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?

I have two ~ I was 34 and 37 when they were born.


6. What is your favorite hobby?

Pictures ~ taking them, putting them in albums, have just started scrapbooking


7. Are you going to have any New Year’s resolutions for 2011?

Not sure but if so probably fitness related


8. What is something, if anything, that you’d want to change about yourself?

More confidence ~ less afraid to stand-up for myself


9. What is something that you love about yourself?

My compassion and that others find me to be a good listener


10. Pick one of the following: Someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.

Someone to cook for me; I like to cook but knowing that someone had it covered would take the pressure off and my husband already likes to do dishes.

My thanks again to Chelsea of Roots and Rings for this fun weekly adventure!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Birth Announcement

Make a statement with Shutterfly birth announcement cards.View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks


Thanks be to God,
and to all of you for loyalty and caring comments throughout the year!

Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: November 23rd

1. What are your plans for the holidays? Do you travel at Thanksgiving? If you celebrate Christmas, do you travel then, too?
Usually Thanksgiving is at our house since often one or both of us has to work part of the holiday or weekend. For Christmas we are usually traveling.

2. How do you make the plans for the holiday? If you have a significant other, how do you decide which family to visit?
Check work schedule, check-in among family members, and try and alternate between families

3. Do you have your Thanksgiving meal at lunch or later in the day?
Generally mid-afternoon

4. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Good Food!!

5. After a big meal do you lounge around or get up and take a walk?
A combination of watching TV and doing yardwork

6. Do you shop on “Black Friday” or do you avoid it?
Depends on the year and who is around.

7. When do you usually finish your Christmas shopping?
December 23rd

8. Do you and your significant other exchange gifts? Is there a budget?
Definitely ~ with a general idea but no specific amount budget

9. When do you decorate for the holidays?
Over the course of the week after Thanksgiving ~ except for the tree which is live and comes a week or so before Christmas.

10. Do you go “all out” with the decor or do you keep it simple?
We keep it simply but there is something for almost every room.

Please visit Roots and Rings to enjoy others answers to these questions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Takes Vol. #66~ Moments of Grace


  1. Blowing bubbles in the backyard at dusk
  2. Nursing my little nursling
  3. Playing hide & seek with Lisbeth
  4. Glorious weather to enjoy the autumn colors at home and the playground
  5. Stuffed squash made by my husband to be enjoyed as part of our dinner & a movie nights
  6. Big hugs and reconnecting after nap-time
  7. Life slowing enough to see the moments of grace amidst the rush
Please visit Conversion Diary for the rest of this weeks round-up

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Small Successes: November 18th

  1. Everyone who needed a haircut was able to get one.
  2. Laundry largely caught up on, including washing some 3 month sized sleepers for my growing little boy.
  3. Bathrooms cleaned!

Giving Thanks this Thursday for:
lovely autumn days
sweet conversations held with my favorite toddler
watching my children smile and laugh together
My Children!!
my hardworking husband
Our loving and forgiving Savior

Please visit Faith and Family Live to celebrate your successes big and small.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: November 16th


1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
Chocolate croissant

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
Recitals, but not plays (that I can remember)

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Earrings ~ am really enjoying this window of wearing them again before another hiatus when another little person will begin pulling on them.

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
Jeans

5. What is your favorite color and why?
Purple ~ not sure, just is!

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Choosing among many faves ~ Russian Tea Cakes

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)
  • Food ~ again many faves: this time of year, baking: pies, cookies, breads
  • Perfume ~ Arpege

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
Clorox wipes

9. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
I thought I would be an Olympic Gymnast ~ nope, and a nurse ~ yup

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
? Zac Brown Band?

Please visit Roots and Rings to enjoy other great answers to these questions

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Liam at 2 months




1. Great smiles and wonderful cooing that makes me think that laughter is coming soon.


2. HATES the carseat


3. Loves faces and watching him brighten as Lisbeth talks to him is one of the great pleasures of my life.



4. Good about sleeping in the sling for short periods of time.


5. Beginning to notice the mobile above his swing and changing table


6. Has survived (along with his family) his first big roadtrip, traveling to VA to meet and visit with my family


7. Had his first cold, the sniffling was a bit heartbreaking but thanks to a humidifier no one lost a lot of sleep.


8. Is out growing his newborn sized clothes.


9. Consistently sleeps 3 - 4 hours spans at night ( meaning often I'm only up once).


10. In celebration of his new two month status will begin 'Tummy Time' today!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: November 9th


1. Who makes your Thanksgiving dinner?
Everyone usually pitches in but primarily my husband and his mom.

2. What is your favorite recipe the includes pumpkin? (bonus points for including the recipe)
I love Libby's pumpkin pie, and usually follow the recipe on the can except for a little more cloves and a little less cinnamon.

3. What are 5 things you want for Christmas?
  • nursing tanks
  • BOOKS!!
  • West Wings DVD
  • Kingfield sweater
  • ?cleaning lady?

4. Does your family draw names or do you buy for everyone?
We buy for all the kids and draw names among the adults (but I've found it impossible to not buy something for my mom).

5. How do you feel about motorcycles?
Not my thing.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?
Good book or an old movie

7. What is the coolest thing to do in your city?
Run the 'ROCKY' steps

8. Do you paint your fingernails?
Occasionally

9. Who is your favorite actor over the age of 50?
Robert Redford

10. Do you have a high school letter jacket?
Not anymore, it got donated a couple years ago.

My thanks to Chelsea of Roots and Rings for continuing to host this fun meme

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick Takes Vol. #65

  1. Successful Trick or Treating ~ Lisbeth went to about ten houses, said her lines very well and would explain when asked that she was a monkey like George. Liam tolerated his costume for about 30 minutes ~ so some pictures exist.
  2. Went to Adoration again this week for the first time in a long while ~ Wonderful!!
  3. This was an 'on service' week for C. which meant very long hours and missing bedtime. The effects showing last night as Lisbeth explained sadly that she was snuggling her family ( a word she recently acquired ~ very cute) but someone was missing. I guess I need to explain better where he is and that the weekend is coming.
  4. Baptism plans in the works ~ yay! Both our families live a good distance away so finding a date was a little tricky.
  5. Further complicated the discussion ~ the mass we usually participate at is a 5 pm. Ultimately we decided that we wanted to celebrate with our church family too, and are hoping to not cause too many issues with traveling family.
  6. Have been thinking about 'patron' saints, did you choose your children's based on their names, birthdate or something else?
  7. Weekend plans: Catching up on house stuff and enjoying family time!
Please visit Conversion Diary hosted by Jen for the rest of this weeks round-up!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wondering Wednesday: Patron Saints

Inspired by Maggie of From the Heart ~ what I'm wondering about today:

All of the details for Liam's baptism are coming together ~ date, time, godparents and reception ideas. Observing All Saints on Monday has me thinking about patron possibilities for him and no one really jumps out for me. His middle names are Charles Pierre, and he was born on the feast of St John of Chrysostom so many options but no faves ~ any suggestions?

BTW he certainly could have more than one. For Elisabeth, I was torn between St Elisabeth of Hungary and Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton ~ finally deciding to seek prayer from both these mom saints for my little girl. Bit of irony ~ we live in D.r.e.x.e.l Hill and she was born on the feast of St Katherine D.re.xe.l

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Weekend

We raked ~ she jumped and threw them in the air!

His first Halloween, her first time actively Trick or Treating

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Small Successes: October 28th


  1. Managed to get us all to Virginia and back ~ carseat not his favorite place (yet) but overall a good trip and really wonderful to introduce Liam to some of his aunts.
  2. Maternity clothes either put away or given away
  3. Found a little brother onesie in newborn size (photo shoot in the works).
Bonus: This post!!

Giving Thanks This Thursday for:
newborn smiles
raking with toddlers
colors of creation
A-framing husbands
ice coffee
bloggers who share their wit and wisdom
God's love everlasting

Please visit Faith and Family Live and share your successes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: October 26th



1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?
The artwork in our dining room, it is a wonderful mix of new and old pieces.

2. What is your favorite hair product?
Pretty boring but Pert Plus ~ have been using it for years and am very happy

3. Are you a good dancer?
Decent, thanks to my gymnastics background but am aging out of knowing what is current.

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?
My husband

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?
Take the pictures

6. What is your shoe style?
Cute, comfy slip ons

7. How often do you eat out?
About once a week

8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?
If I know them, yes

9. Do you fold your underwear?
Yes, but then sometimes shove them into the drawer ~ oh well

10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
Dark ~ always, Milk ~ sometimes, White ~ rarely

Please visit Roots and Rings hosted by Chelsea to enjoy others answers to these questions

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I Love My Husband, vol 1


Picking up a wonderful idea started by Kaitlin of More like Mary ~ More like Me

  1. No matter how long the day was or how tired he is ~ will read Lisbeth's favorite Curious George book, lifting every flap and discussing every plot point.
  2. Encouraged, teased and cheered until I discovered a talent for cooking I did not think was there.
  3. Washed my liter 'water' bottle every night all summer so that it would ready to be filled again. (Back story ~ I'm terrible about drinking enough but given that I was pregnant and how hot a summer it was, I was trying hard to drink the recommended 2 liters a day.)

Thank you for being you

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quick Takes Vol. #64


  1. Thanks to a new favorite show, my two year old has taken to introducing herself as Lisbeth-braciosauris and occasionally informing me that I am a micro-rafter. Rather humbling that my toddler is better at identifying different species of dinosaurs.
  2. Kaitlin of More like Mary recently a wonderful post on Posting on sensitive topics without fear. Being very much a peace-maker myself, has me pondering if there is something I would post about if not for the concern that I would be offending someone.
  3. Newborn laundry: Small volumes, great quantity! Reacquainting myself with the multiple outfits a day due to blowout concept.
  4. Speaking of our local one month, he is still quite the bobble-head so I was happy to get a good shot in before he collapsed on himself.

  5. For his first couple weeks his big sister called him Baby Sheep ~ without any of us understanding why, until my mom suggested that perhaps she thought we were saying 'lamb' when we saying 'Liam', hence his growth marker in his monthly pictures is a lamb.
  6. ?Do the Facebook memes about bra colors and purse placement actually promote breast cancer awareness or is an annoying distraction?
  7. My thanks again to Jen of Conversion Diary for hosting this weekly round-up!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Small Successes: October 14th

  1. Many thank you notes sent, with hopefully more going out today
  2. Both kids have Halloween costumes
  3. Gaining mastery with the side-lying position, a great blessing in the early morning hours
Please visit Faith and Family Live to celebrate your own small successes!

Thankful this Thursday for:
  • Growing baby
  • A happy, talkative toddler
  • Sleep, wherever it shows up
  • Supportive friends
  • A hardworking, loving husband
  • Grace abundant and Love everlasting

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ten Things about Liam at One Month



1. The yellow tint about his skin is nearly gone

2. During his quiet alert periods he is better and better about making and maintaining eye contact, though much of the time I have no idea what he is looking at so intently

3. So sweet listening to Lisbeth try and comfort him when he is less than thrilled to be in the carseat.

4. A good nursling, it is his preferred way to fall asleep

5. In the category of something I never thought I would be doing: sitting on a couples panel at Pre-Cana while nursing. Luckily he did not mind being under-cover or rather Udder Cover (tm).

6. Hates his bath but seems to enjoy diaper changes ~ which incidently Lisbeth loves helping with and so she pulls her little stool over to the changing station to be of assistance.

7. Has only been peed on me once. Hoping to maintain that once per month ratio

8. Will often cluster feed in the evening which makes getting dinner a bit of a challenge, but does tend to sleep for 3+ hours at a stretch at night.

9. His grins at gas bubbles are a great preview of things to come.

10. Fits just right in our home and heart!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: October 12th


1. What does your work out schedule look like?
At the moment ~ none

2. What is your favorite machine to use at the gym?
When I did belong to a gym ~ elliptical trainer

3. What is your favorite class to take at the gym?
Mom/baby swimming :-)

4. Where do you shop for work out gear and clothing?
?Target/Old Navy?

5. If you can’t go to the gym, do you have a favorite outdoor activity?
Hiking (also swimming, but that is more seasonally dependent)

6. What about a favorite work out DVD? If so, please share!
10 minute Pilates

7. Are you more active now or when you were in high school?
Hard call ~ I exercised more in high school, but motherhood keeps me on the run in a very profound way

8. How has your dieting/working out philosophy changed since high school?
It is more about feeling good rather than looking good now

9. What do you do while working out– (i.e., day dream, read, listen to music, gab with a friend)?
By myself ~ daydream and listen to music, but really enjoy hiking and talking with friends

10. What working out resolution would you like to make for yourself this year?
None really!

Please visit Roots and Rings to enjoy others take on this weeks quesstions

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blogs worth a check!

I'm giving Quick Takes a pass this week, but please head over to Conversion Diary to enjoy others take on the week.

Also all week, This Heavenly Life has been running a wonderful series on Breast Cancer Education.

Happy Weekend!
And to those of you reading from the Land of the Maple; Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Liam's birth story


A little background: At 37 weeks we discovered that the baby was potential 'growth restricted' so we began weekly NST's and decided that if I reached my due date we would induce labor rather than risk pushing the placenta beyond its limits.

So September 12th came and went with some mild contractions, some mild nerves but largely a nice Sunday spent at home enjoying being a family of three for one last day. Went to the hospital the morning of the 13th and began cervical ripening around 9:30. The morning passed very quietly, watching TV and reading. After a couple of hours I was beginning to feel stronger contractions, that I needed to focus on breathing through, but my cervix was essentially the same so we ( midwife, Charlie and I) decided to try another dose of cytotec after letting me eat lunch.
I got the second dose around 1:30 p.m. and it hit like a brick, by 2 p.m. I was having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes with very little break between which was more than the baby could take, so by 2:30 I had an IV, and supplemental oxygen, in an attempt to prevent the fetal heart rate decelerations which were happening with every contractions, at 3 p.m. I was given Terbutaline to try and stop the contractions and give the baby a break. That hour was such a scary roller coaster ride of almost instant strong labor, worrying about the baby and wondering if any moment the decision for surgery was going to be made. Throughout all of this C. was amazing, supportive and absolutely my safe place.
The medication, IV fluid and oxygen worked and the contractions spaced out and the baby's tracing started to look better so we decided to wait a half hour and then switch to pitocin for contraction stimulation, the midwife also attempted to place an internal monitor for baby's heartbeat, I was not dilated enough but she did probably come very close because about twenty minutes later my water broke.
So at 4 p.m., we collectively took a deep breath and started pitocin which within an half hour had the strong contractions back (though for some reason they weren't tracing which lead to a small meltdown by me that I was having these strong contractions and no one would believe me because the tracing did not show anything ~ my midwife and C. assured me that it was abundantly clear by palpating my abdomen how strong the contractions were) and so were the heart rate dips by the baby, so I tried different positions changes in the hope of improving my and the baby's experience of the contractions.
Around 5:30 p.m. my midwife again wanted to try and put internal monitors in to monitor the baby closer and also potential start an amnion-infusion (infusing fluid into the uterus in the hope of improving the baby's heartbeat during the contractions) ~ and I decided it was time for an epidural, I wanted to be able to be in whatever position the baby liked best and did not want to worry that the need for surgery would happen so fast that I would have to be asleep. So I moved back to the bed and waited for anesthesia to come, ironically the tracing began to improve and the decision to place internals was postponed until I was more comfortable.
So by a little after 7 p.m. I had an epidural which had given me the shakes but otherwise was working well and the midwife I knew best had come in special for attend the rest of my labor and birth. Around 8 p.m., she placed the internals and started the amnion-infusion ~ I was 4-5 cm dilated and we joked that the race was on to see if I would dilated to 10 before the baby said 'uncle'! I then napped as my support team grabbed some food, later we chatted about life and kids when the baby's heartbeat took another long dip ~ my midwife wondered if I should flip to the other side and I suggested that she check my cervix since I was starting to feel pressure with contractions ~ blessedly I was 9 cms and stretchy at that ~ so after a long afternoon of worry a vaginal delivery seemed within my reach.
I started pushing around 9:40 and at 9:53 into his fathers hands came Liam, who than came to rest on my abdomen for a few moments before being checked out by the nursery team. Despite complaining about nearly every contractions, he looked great and got a perfect score on his first test (Apgars). We all got some insight on the reason behind his small size a few minutes later when the placenta delivered and was found to have a marginal or Battledore insertion of the cord, meaning that instead of inserting in the center of placenta as it should this cord had inserted on an edge and partially off the placenta onto the membrane. Eep! Ironically after all the worrying about his size, Liam weighed in at 6 pounds 2 ounces which put him just one ounce smaller than his sister.

Blessedly at that point it became very joyful and routine as we made phone calls and began to cuddle and love on our son.

* Amusing Aside* Both of my kids were born on a Monday night just before 10 p.m. (9:44 and 9: 53 respectively)!