Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lasts and firsts

Today is my 38th birthday. It's been a wonderful day, lunch outside, a trip to the pool, Lou Malnati's for dinner, and hugs and kisses from my boys all day long. I even received several homemade presents including flowers, drawings, and books.

Birthdays always getting me thinking about the past and the future at the same time. Today is no different. In all of our cleaning lately, I came across some pictures from my 30th birthday. At the time, Steve and I were married but had no children. I was blonde, he had hair. We celebrated my birthday at the Nustra cottage with my dear friend Amy, who was visiting from Atlanta. We all look so young and energetic in the photos. Great memories.

And then I started to think about my 39th birthday. I will probably celebrate that one in England. So my 38th birthday is probably my last birthday in the states for a while. Kind of strange.

And that's been my way of thinking a lot lately. Our last trip to Santa's Village, our last get together with good friends, our last doctors' visits.

Of course, these are just lasts before we move. I know we will get together with our friends on trips back, and we might make it back to Santa's Village too.

There's no escaping it, the countdown is on for our move to London. Three weeks to go.

But with that comes many firsts. The boys' first passports, our first car in England, our first places to visit in Europe. And these are pretty fun to think about.

This whole experience is a bit of a whirlwind. With only three weeks to go, you would think we would be all set and organized. The truth is, we still don't have our plane tickets booked because our visas aren't finalized and we haven't scheduled the movers yet. These things are all in the works, and I have complete faith they will all get done in time. It's just a lot is happening at once, a little like lasts and firsts at the same time.

So instead of getting caught up in the crazy, I'm trying to focus on the little important things. Like how I will stay in touch with all of our wonderful family and friends. FaceTime and Skype will be essential. You can find me on Skype at karbarrett11. We taught our moms how to use these this week. I've also become much more proficient at texting using WhatsApp. And of course, I'm trying to blog a little more so I can keep track of all these wonderful crazy things happening for both myself and anyone else who's interested in reading about it.

I'm really looking forward to the last time I drive on 90 through construction and the first time I get to drink proper tea.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Welcome Colin George!

On June 15, 2014 at 12:23 a.m., we welcomed our third little boy into our family.

Allow me to officially introduce you to Colin George Barrett

And now he's almost a month old. Time is definitely flying by, but we are making the most of it. Having a summer baby is definitely different than my two winter guys. Steve and I joke that Colin has done more in his first four weeks than Jack or Reid got to do in their first four months. Colin has already been to several restaurants including Panera and Red Robin. He's been to the zoo, the pool, several parks, Target, Nama and Papa Pete's house, Grandma Sue and Pepere's house, and lots of other little adventures. He's a real trooper.

One of the first questions people ask is how he is sleeping. He sleeps great, lying on my chest or being held, and sometimes in his bouncy chair. Steve has gotten him to sleep in the crib for a few hours, but Colin is not a huge fan of lying on his back. I'm not complaining though, he does sleep, and as we get to know him better, we're learning how to get him to sleep better without being held (so we can get some sleep too!).

Now, just so I remember, here's his birth story.

After giving birth three times, I am completely sure that I am better at giving birth than I am at being pregnant. Even though all three births were different, all three pregnancies were very similar. I spent nine months feeling very sick and not myself. As soon as each boy was born though, I was back to feeling like my normal self (more or less). The nice thing about Colin's birth was that that normal feeling came pretty quickly.

I spent the last month of Colin's pregnancy experiencing contractions. In fact, I was pretty worried that he was going to come super early, while Steve was in Europe on business. Luckily, that did not happen. The last week before Colin arrived, the contractions became more frequent. Pretty much every night I'd have contractions and they would be five minutes apart, but they would only last about an hour or so and then go away. So on Saturday night (June 14), the same thing. Contractions started around 10 p.m.-10:30. I figured they would go away, so I waited. These contractions were a little more painful than normal, but nothing crazy. I decided to time them. They were about 3 minutes apart with the occasional weird 7 minutes or 2 minutes. The contractions started to get a bit more painful, so I woke up Steve and decided to call the doctor. My favorite doc was on call, Dr. Blazek, and after a short conversation mostly about how I didn't know if I was in labor or not, we decided we would wait 30 minutes to see if the contractions went away again. I lasted 10 minutes before I told Steve we needed to go to the hospital and get checked out. It was about 11:15 and I was getting pretty uncomfortable.

So Steve threw on some clothes, grabbed the bags and packed the two big boys into the truck. I made my way to the garage and felt a little sick to my stomach, but I got myself into the front seat and we were on our way. The boys were fantastic. Reid was a little upset at first (he doesn't like to be woken up) and Jack was a little concerned about me. I imagine that's a strange experience for a kid, to be woken up out of a deep sleep to get in a car with your mom acting very strangely. And I was definitely not acting like myself. I was able to make a phone call to my sister Cathy to meet us at the hospital. And I started a phone call to my mom, but had to pass off the phone to Steve after a minute or so because I could no longer speak. The contractions were pretty intense  and coming pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure I didn't actually sit on the car seat for most of the ride since I was holding myself up with my arms and doing my breathing to keep myself "in control" on the ride there. Steve was pretty awesome talking to me the whole ride even though I wasn't responding.

When we arrived at the hospital (at about 12:05), Cathy was there waiting for us. Apparently, so was my brother-in-law Mike, but I don't remember that. I'm pretty sure Colin could have been born right there outside of the emergency room had I realized what was happening. As I stepped out of the truck, Cathy held me up as I tried to ride out a contraction. At this point, the contractions were coming so quickly I couldn't catch my breath between them, so Cathy went inside to get some help to get me into the hospital.

By 12:15, Steve and I were up in the labor and delivery unit. Jack and Reid helped Cathy and Mike park the truck and then went to the waiting room. I feel a little bad for the poor tech who had to take me upstairs. She came down expecting to bring me back upstairs to triage, but as we made our way upstairs, she realized that I was going to need to go directly to the labor and delivery room. She was so nice. By the time we made it to the room, I was having trouble doing anything but focusing on the contractions. The tech tried to tell me something, and I told her I had no idea what she was saying. At that point, she and Steve got me in the bed and the nurses arrived. There was some talk about an epidural, but we all soon realized that was pointless. I was already fully dilated and Colin was on his way. Poor Dr. Blazek didn't make it to the hospital in time. In fact, the hospitalist almost didn't make it to the room in time. The nurses told me I could push, so I did. The water broke. I think I yelled a few times about how I couldn't do this. And Colin was born at 12:23 a.m.

Colin was the biggest of our three guys at birth. He weighed 8lbs 4oz and was 21 inches long. It was definitely a great way to start our celebration of Father's Day.