June Happenings

So, what happened in June? As I’ve already detailed the absolute most important day of the month, let’s take it week by week from there…

Week One
We’d decided before Sylvia was born that we wanted to have the first week with our new baby to ourselves so that we could bond a bit as a family. This ended up being a great decision – not only because we were able to get to know our new family member, but also because Sylvia was so sleepy that we didn’t need as much help as we did indeed need later. I was even able to spend several hours finishing up my school work for the year.

So, in that first week we did a lot of hanging out, walking around town, and taking pictures of the girls. Everything was thoroughly enjoyable – especially since I seem to have bounced back much quicker this time around. One of our favorite pictures ever comes from that first week:

Jeff did an amazing job taking care of us. Lots of cooking and cleaning and he hasn’t really stopped since! We were both psyched to receive a brand new grill from my parents as a Baby/Anniversary/Mother and Father’s Day/Birthday gift. Needless to say, it’s gotten quite a workout – thanks M & D!

Week Two
My Mom came into town, eager to meet Sylvia, on Friday June 11th. Sylvee and I picked her up at the airport and still managed to make her wait, despite the fact that her plane was 3 hours late. I’m blaming Sylvia because my new mom, time management skills weren’t quite up to par yet! Mom called as I was rushing around Walmart at 10:00 PM, trying to decipher my list and simultaneously talk to my Dad (who’d had a few drinks) on the phone from Chile. It must have been a sight, but I would definitely recommend against taking a newborn to Walmart late at night – too creepy for me!

Mom’s visit went by way too fast! She got to spend a lot of time goofing off with Reese, going to the park and generally catering to all of my needs! The spending time with Reese part was awesome – Mom has so much more patience for playing dollhouse and making little families out of every object imaginable than Jeff and I do. Being that Sylvia requires so much of my full attention, it was so nice to see Reese thriving with Grandma. Reese even got up the courage to go down the scary, bumpy slide at the park! Of course Grandma got plenty of cuddle time with Sylvia as well ;-)

Mom also made the first pass on the lawn mower – with a lot of rain and our busyness concerning the arrival of Sylvia, the lawn had gotten extremely long, so it was a big and much appreciated job. While she was here, we discovered a nest full of baby robins outside Reese’s room – what a treat!!

Mom was just finishing up massage therapy school at the time of her visit. We are quite proud of her and I am certainly looking forward to reaping the benefits of her new skills. She left MT just in time to make it back to Vancouver for her course graduation and then start packing for their move to Santiago. It was hard to see her go, but it was easier with the knowledge that she’d be back in just a few weeks with my Dad.

Week 3
The day after my Mom left, Jeff’s parents came into town. We kicked off their visit with a gallery tour of Carbon County. We started at the new Beartooth Gallery in Red Lodge and then headed to the Arts Guild. We then picnicked in the park and followed that up with a trip all the way to Joliet to see the Ringer Gallery. We would have done a few more galleries along HWY 212, but we have a baby and a two-year old so we were pretty pleased with our progress!

Saturday, June 19th was our 11th Anniversary and our friend JJ’s birthday (she might be old enough to drink now). So, in honor of these very important events, we had Nick and Jes over for a nice dinner. And in a strangely symbolic coincidence, we were witness to a beautiful double rainbow that was nearly identical to the one that appeared eleven years earlier during the rehearsal dinner for our wedding – very cool!

Sunday was Father’s Day, so we headed to Regis for a nice breakfast on the patio. Char cooked up a wonderful dinner and we ended up having Annie and Kate over at the last minute. They’d just gotten back into town and John was at a football camp. As usual, the girls had a great time together!

On the Monday of their visit, Sylvia had her second doctor appointment in Red Lodge. Unfortunately, I was feeling terrible and had a hard time getting my get up and go into gear. I finally made it and was so thankful that Bob and Char were around to take Reese to the park while Sylvia got checked out. She’s perfect. She’d already gained nearly a pound since birth and everything else looked great. The only concerns we had were the fact that Sylvia’s grunting and squealing at night is unbelievably loud (to the point that I slept with her for a few nights in the nursery so that Jeff could get some rest) and she’s got a weepy eye, which is apparently caused by an underdeveloped tear duct. The tear duct will definitely get better, but may take up to a year. The grunting…I guess we just have to deal with it…poor kiddo!

The rest of their trip was marked by several trips to the park and several delicious meals. I always enjoy the Pasco’s visit, but I was especially grateful this time around because through a combination of a stomach bug and a 3-week old baby, I was dragging and really truly needed their help! They took off on Thursday and on Friday, I was wishing they were still here because I had a clogged milk duct that caused a fever and completely threw me off my game!

Week 4
Fortunately, by Saturday morning, I was back at 100ish % and was able to take Jeffrey and the girls to Bozeman for his Father’s Day Adventure. We started with a picnic and a tour of the Museum of the Rockies. It was a bit above Reese’s head, but she stayed thoroughly entertained between the dinosaurs and the gift shop. They also have an amazing, living history exhibit, which includes a transplanted homestead, complete with the house, the chicken pen, a blacksmith shop and thriving gardens – very cool! After a couple hours there, we grabbed some java and headed up Hyalite Canyon for an easy hike with the girls in the Chariot. Sylvia was a little bit fussy and seemed to do better when Jeff was pushing them quickly, so he shot ahead in an obvious attempt at the elusive 4 minute mile and proceeded to reach the destination – a beautiful waterfall – in about 5 minutes, while I mosied along at a much more reasonable pace and enjoyed being by myself in such a beautiful place. After a thorough feeding at the Falls, Sylvee allowed us to walk down together. I think both girls enjoyed the fresh mountain air…Jeff and I certainly did! After dinner, we headed back to Bozeman and had a great dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill. We were both pretty darn impressed with the food. We were seated outside, where there was some fun live music. Reese was on her last legs, but provided ample entertainment for us and the surrounding tables. One couple came up and said that we reminded them of themselves a few years earlier – because we looked exhausted – ha ha! Apparently they had two girls, about the same age difference. After dinner, we all piled in the car for the long drive home and then proceeded to veg out for most of Sunday. It was a great weekend and if nothing else, it provided us with the much needed proof that we can still get out there!

So, we were on our own for most of that week and I’m proud to say that we did pretty well, but we were certainly excited for Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Casey and Aunt Shannon to come into town to help us celebrate the 4th of July!

That was June – in a just a little over a nutshell! Great company, Great memories and gearing up for more to come – what a fun month!!

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Sylvia’s Birth Story

On Tuesday, June 1st, I was having fairly strong and regular contractions for the better part of the evening. It got to the point that I decided to take a shower so that we’d be ready to head to the hospital at any moment, but much to our disappointment, as soon as I got into the hot shower, everything stopped – ughh.

The next day was my doctor appointment in Billings and it turns out that I was already 4 cm, so I was under strict instructions to come right in if the contractions got regular again. As I’d pretty much had everything I needed to get done accomplished by the last week in May, I was READY, so on Thursday, June 3rd, while Reese was in daycare and Jeff was at work, I finished up my school work, chatted for a bit with my Dad and brother on Skype and then decided to put myself into labor with a brisk walk around our entire neighborhood – it worked!!!! It didn’t happen right away, but about an hour after I got home from the walk, strong and regular contractions started – approximately 3:00 PM.

Jeff decided to run a few errands while I packed up the car and arranged for Annie Fitzgerald to take Reese home with her (Reese was beside herself excited to get to stay with Katie and Miss Annie!). We left Red Lodge between 5:30 and 6:00 PM with a quick stop to give Reese a kiss and hug. Oddly enough, I’d spent most of my pregnancy worried that I wouldn’t make it to Billings in time for the delivery, but in actuality, I spent the entire car ride worried that my contractions would stop and that they’d send us back to Red Lodge – ha ha! Jeff did an awesome job driving and keeping my mind occupied.

When we got to the hospital, they checked me and then had us walk around for an hour or so to see if I progressed at all. Apparently, you’re in labor if the contractions are “making progress,” otherwise, it’s false labor. Much to our relief, the contractions were indeed moving things along and I was admitted around 7:30 or so and the doctor was called in. It didn’t end up being the Billings doctor that I’d been seeing, Dr. Goodman, but it was one of her partners, Dr. Hemmer, and we were quite happy with him.

As they knew I intended to get an epidural, and they didn’t want to be there all night, they got me started on pitocin as soon as Dr. Hemmer got there. And, as soon as I started to feel uncomfortable at all, the anesthesiologist was poking me in the back with my second favorite part of labor (first being meeting my baby) – the leg numbing euphoria of the epidural!! The anesthesiologist was extremely confident and proceeded to spend most of his time in the room talking to us about skiing and telling Jeff about the merits of on-site childcare at the mountain. Once the epidural kicked in, Jeff and I settled in for what we thought (based on previous experience) would be an all night nap…

However, much to our surprise, a resident, Dr. Clark, came and checked at about 1:45 AM and said we were ready to go – what?!! Well, I’d hoped to get a good night sleep before putting forth the effort that I’d been preparing for, but the baby was ready, so I put on my game face while they turned on the spotlights and donned the appropriate sterile gowns and at 1:50 AM, I started pushing.

They kept saying I was doing a really good job and that things were moving quickly, but I thought for sure that they had to say that to everyone in order to keep women motivated. I certainly didn’t expect that at 2:10 AM, after only 20 minutes of pushing, I’d be welcoming my new little baby into the world…IT’S A GIRL!!! Sylvia Grace Carroll emerged, screaming and kicking her way out of my body and directly into our hearts with an incredibly striking, full head of black hair! Beautiful, Perfect, and Blissful.

After she received her necessary weighing and cleaning and we’d had some wonderful family time (with a brief round of low blood sugar panic on my part, cured with a delectable hospital turkey sandwich), we made the requisite phone calls and then settled in for a pretty good night’s sleep. Friday was filled with more excited phone calls and lots of staring at our new little girl. Annie, John and Kate brought Reese all the way to Billings so that she could meet her new little sister and then took her back home for one more night so that Mommy and Daddy could spend just a little more time alone with Sylvia. Reese was a bit overwhelmed at that first meeting, but she started warming up to Sylvia pretty quickly. It was clearly hard for her to see Mommy in the hospital gown and bed. Fortunately, she certainly didn’t mind spending another night with her best buddy! Thanks Fitzgeralds – you’re the best!!

I was soooo hoping to go home on Saturday, but I had tested positive for Strep B, which meant that Sylvia and I needed to stay in the hospital until Sunday morning for observation. So, Jeff went home late Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day with Big Sister Reese, while Little Sister Sylvee and I enjoyed cable TV and room service. Unfortunately, Reese developed a terrible stomach bug that afternoon and spent all evening with a fever and even managed to throw up a few times. Poor Jeff was up until 1 AM with that sweet, sick little girl. I guess God was looking out for Sylvia and I by keeping us in the hospital while Reese didn’t feel good because she was nearly back to 100% by the time they picked us up on Sunday morning.

And that’s it, the amazing birth of our sweet Sylvee. Certainly, uneventful compared to Reese’s birth, but so much easier and no less of a miracle. After experiencing an “easy” birth, neither of us can reconcile how we managed to make it through the first time and we can finally understand why people might not be so hesitant to have more children!

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Welcome Baby Sylvia Grace

Born: June 4, 2010 / 2:10 AM.

7 lbs 19.5 Inches.

Healthy and Happy.

More news and pictures to come…

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