Tomorrow Alice will be one. All I can think is, I'm not ready. I'm not ready to not have a baby in the house, ever again. I'm not ready for her to grow up even a little bit. I look forward to getting to know her little self so much. But saying goodbye to her babyhood is hard. I love her so much.
She has been walking for about 6 weeks. Alice is a pro, now. Loves chasing games. She can move her little rear end pretty fast if she sees a bathroom of refridgerator door has been left open. She navigates the stairs with ease. Four teeth showed up around 10 months. No more have been spotted since.
Her dairy allergy persists, unfortunately. But that doesn't mean she doesn't get a taste of ice cream every now and then. Alice is strangely uninterested in food. Even if something tastes good, she's only interested in a couple bites. Every bite after that gets spit out.
She will give hugs and kisses if she's in the mood. Every now and then she will sit and be still with someone. If Alice does this with you, consider yourself lucky. She'll say night-night (niy-niy with a little wave), da-da, no-no, and babble if she thinks she's having a conversation with you. Daddy is maybe her favorite person in the world. Lots of smiles when he gets home from work.
Alice has the best big brothers anyone could ask for, I think. They both watch out for her and are more than willing to check up on her or retrieve her when she wanders off in public. :) If she's dangling off the side of a chair and crying about it, Grey will, almost without even thinking about it, come to her aid. They love her almost as much as I do.
Don't grow up too fast, baby girl. You gotta wait for me to catch up.

Alice's Birth Story
Alice's Story

Well it's been six weeks and I finally feel like writing this out.

Tuesday, April 5
I was very ready for this baby to come out.  I had a friend in town for the birth who was due to leave in 4 days and I really wanted her there.  Two days earlier I spent an entire day cleaning my house top to bottom hoping it would kickstart something.  Nada.  I didn't even know it was possible for me to clean it in one day.  Especially 39.5 weeks pregnant with two small boys running around.
That night (Tuesday and one day before my due date) I went through the house and put everything in it's place and cleaned the kitchen before bed.  This is not something I usually do but for some reason felt I needed to.  I got to bed about 11 I think.

Wednesday, April 6 (Due Date!)
I woke with a start and immediately felt warm fluid start to come out of me.  This is exactly the same way it started with Grey.  I woke up both times seconds before making a mess of myself.  I jumped out of bed and didn't know what to do.  It was obviously my water and it was coming out fast.  It was 1:30 am.  I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could leaving a trail on the carpet behind me.  Gross.  I sat on the toilet for some time waiting for it to subside.  I checked out the color and really tried to convince myself that it didn't look the slightest bit yellow.  Or that that might just be a normal variation.
I was finally able to crawl back into bed  at 2.  I took my iPad with me to monitor contractions.  Jeremy was still sleeping obliviously.  As soon as I lay down contractions started.  They were not very painful.  About a minute long and 5 minutes apart.  I timed them for an hour until they were 4 minutes apart.  Jeremy's alarm clock was set to go off at 3:30.  I got up at three and went to change my pad.  
As soon as I did, I knew something was wrong.  The fluid had not changed color but there were a couple well-formed little "poops" there.  I know that is terribly specific but it gave me a pretty good indication of what was happening even if I did not want to accept it quite yet.
I got cleaned up and knew it was time to call my midwife, Janice.  My contractions had stopped when I got out of bed and my brain wanted to wait to see what happened but my gut knew I had to call.  Plus I knew I needed to get the ball rolling before Jeremy got up because there was a pretty good chance he was going to be a little freaked out.
A sleepy Janice answered the phone.  I told her what was going on and she said she would pick up her assistant (Bonnie) and be there soon.  I heard Jeremy's alarm going off and went to tell him the news.  That my water had broke, baby was pooping and that Janice and Bonnie were on their way.
They arrived about 4:30 am.  I had already started gathering some things for a trip to the hospital.  We talked about what was happening, checked baby's heartbeat (which was fine and a big relief) and Janice asked if I wanted her to check me.  This was another situation where my brain and gut were at odds.  I followed my gut.  As soon as I took another look at what was coming out of me we both knew it was bad.  She checked for dilation, said I was just starting to dilate and that she did not know what position baby was in but that she could not feel a head.  
Janice asked me what I wanted to do but it was clear to both of us that we needed to head to the hospital.  This is where I start to lose it.  I put all of my mental energy into packing my bag for the hospital and gave Jeremy a list of people to call.  I knew I couldn't talk to anyone or I would be a mess.  
Dad and Linda arrived to stay at the house with our sleeping boys at about 5:15am. Everyone else would meet us at the hospital.  My mom, Jessica P., Jessica C., and Jeremy's mom.  We got everything ready to go and arrived at the hospital at 6:00.  Janice and Bonnie had gotten there first and a room was ready for me.
I got a heartbeat monitor, a contraction monitor and a nurse checked my cervix.  I was at a 4 but, once again, she could not figure out what position baby was in.  An ultrasound machine was brought in.  I made sure to tell her we did not know baby's gender.  Still it was difficult for them to make it out.  The doctor had been called in and as we waited for him, we got all the necessary paperwork filled out and questions answered.  I had been contracting since I had gotten in the hospital bed.
Dr. Rudeen arrived about 7am.  He also checked my cervix (sheesh!) and also did not feel a head.  He checked baby's position from outside and easily felt her head hanging out in the top left portion of my belly.  Her bottom was lower right.  Her back came around top right.  The backs of her little legs were presenting.  Perfect.
The O.R. was prepped and so was I.  I received my I.V. and was talked through everything that was going to happen.  None of it was news to me and I easily agreed to all of it and let the nurses do their thing.  I should mention I was doing my very best to hold it together but was not succeeding a lot of the time.
I should also mention that not one time was any one of us treated badly for being a home birth transfer.  All of the nurses and even the doctor were very understanding and tried to make the process as easy as they could for me.
I was wheeled off to the O.R. at about 7:30.  This was all very surreal for me.  Getting the spinal, talking to the anesthesiologist, telling everyone in there we did not know what we were having.  It seemed like every single person asked me and were delighted at my answer.  It was a very friendly environment.  
Until there I was staring at the ceiling, all draped up with Jeremy at my side.  Crazy.  Dr. R got right to it.  I immediately told the anesthesiologist they needed to stop.  I was feeling way more than I should be.  For some reason this was hard for them to believe.  Like it was all in my head or something.  I would think anyone could understand how terrifying this prospect is and to please take it seriously.  So I was given more medicine and a few minutes to let it take effect.  
My heart was racing and I think I was close to a panic attack at the thought of them starting again.  Luckily everything worked and I felt no pain.  What I didn't expect was to feel everything else.  No pain but I felt everything they were doing and did not at all need to be talked through the procedure.  Yuck, it was awful.
We were told she had all of her toes.  Remember, she was in there backwards, lol. Then out of nowhere: "Its a girl!" O.M.G.  You have got to be kidding me.  Jeremy and I were blown away.  Neither of us were expecting this and we were both immediately very emotional.  What a crazy couple of minutes.  She came out at 7:50am. 
She was taken to a warmer that was inexplicably just out of my view.  I could hear her crying and could see people around her but that was it.  The rest of my c-section was awful.  I could feel hands inside me and things being tugged around and I really, really just wanted it to be over.  It seemed to take forever for them to finish.  I got to kiss Alice on the cheek before she and Jeremy were taken to the nursery.  I would give anything to go back and ask if she could have gone with me to recovery.  This separation was and is easily the hardest part of the whole thing.  I was taken to recovery for an hour while everyone else was meeting Alice and being told her gender and name.  I'm told it was an exciting time.
I impatiently waited and chatted with a very nice nurse until I was able to convince her I was ready to go to my room.  The rest of the day is mostly a blur.  I hardly remember holding Alice for the first time.  As soon as I got to the room I think the drugs and lack of sleep hit me pretty hard.  I started throwing up and got dead tired.  The boys met her about an hour later.  
We stayed in the hospital until Friday morning when the pediatrician finally released Alice.  Luckily Jeremy was able to stay with us the entire time while the boys stayed with grandparents.  We were more than ready to be home.

Alice Katherine
April 6, 2011
7 lbs. 6 ozs.  22 inches

It was quite the day.  Amazing how so much can happen within just a few hours.  I'm finally healed now and I still can't believe sometimes that we have a beautiful baby girl.



30 weeks. That's 3/4 of the way there for those who don't think in weeks.
Well since January rolled around, I've been way more focused on preparing for this baby to come. I made myself a very motivating to-do list broken down by month and am ticking things off left and right. It really won't be long now. Eek!
I believe we've nailed down names. Which feels really really good. Especially since I really love both choices. I can't wait to share them. Well, I can, and will, but you know what I mean. :)
My insurance company has completely come through and I believe we're all set there as far as them covering the birth. Woo-hoo! That is a lot of stress off me. I see my midwife next week. After that we start bi-weekly appointments and then weekly until Birth Day. I can't wait!
So, to pictures! A belly progression, because it's fun.
Whoa Nelly!
I got the baby's room painted a couple weeks ago. I love it, it's perfect. It'll be nice to add some accessories when we find out who will be living there. The room went from this color: Photobucket To this color: Photobucket
And here's Grey being a goofball while the camera's out, just because.

Edited to Add:
I got the best note from Owen's teacher today. I am the proudest mommy.

"Sara and Jeremy
I just wanted to let you know that Owen is excelling rapidly! He is really a brilliant kid! He can read with great fluency and even expression! He is so fun to have in class! He is so happy and always makes us laugh! Thanks!
Katie Carhart"

Enough to make me go all mushy about my kid. But you don't have to tell me he's brilliant. :)
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Halfway there
Three months later...

Tomorrow I am officially 20 weeks pregnant. How time has flown. I am so excited to meet this baby and find out if it's a boy or a girl. Although every time I think that, I get a little stressed out because we haven't found a boy name yet. I know, lots of time. I feel like I've seen everything at this point, and we still can't agree on the perfect name. I'll keep up the search every day. I guess that would be another good reason to have a girl, huh?

I had my first midwife appointment about 3 weeks ago. Took a while to get our plans straightened out. We had to switch midwives, then found out that possibly our only choice was too expensive for us to pay out of pocket for. Yikes. The day I met her, I knew this was what we wanted to do. I called my insurance company straight off and started what I thought would be a long fight to get her covered. Two weeks later I called them back and she was approved!! How perfect and low-stress.
The appointment went very well. She and her assistant were her about 45 minutes and we had a great visit. I finally got to hear baby's heartbeat, which was so lovely. Everything measuring right on track for an april due date. They'll be back in another couple weeks, can't wait. I'm now feeling little kicks every day. I can't wait until the boys can feel them.

She did recommend I get my blood tested, like you normally would while pregnant. I also asked about ultrasound. She said that's up to me.
I called my gyn/former OB's office to ask whether I can set these things up with them. The receptionist had to ask my doctor and give me a call back. The next day she left me a message that since I wouldn't be receiving any other care there, they would not provide these services to me. Very frustrating and disappointing. I got the same response when I told my doctor we were having a homebirth last time. He told me I could not receive any follow-up care with him or his office. I'll be finding a different doctor in the future, one that can get over his/her ego long enough to accept my money and provide the care I ask for.

So now I need to find out which doctors are covered by my insurance and cold-call until I can get someone to draw my blood. I hope it's not difficult, but considering my own doctor won't help me, I'm not looking forward to those calls. God how I hate the health care system in this country.

In other news...
Since starting school, Owen has absolutely loved it and has done so well. I'm so proud of my smart little boy. He's the only student in his class who can read and count to 100. We work on his reading every day, and I can't believe how fast he's getting it. He'll be reading chapter books in no time, :) . His school had a first quarter award ceremony a couple weeks ago. Owen's teacher gave him an award for academic achievement which came with a certificate and a medal. Boy was he proud of his medal. Let me figure out how to add pictures, it's been a while.
Here he is on his first day. So cute.

Walking to school.

At his table.

My he's cute isn't he? Oh, and I was so fighting back tears the whole time Grey and I were there. It really was tough to leave him. He of course had no problem with it. He may have been a bit nervous and unsure but I'm so glad he wasn't crying like a couple girls there were. I would have been a complete wreck.
He loves his teacher and lists off his friends every few days, sometimes the names change but there are a few constants.

Grey is Grey. Demanding as ever but he can pull it off with his sometimes unbelievable cuteness. I love that kid so much I just want to squeeze him all the time. He's still a mommy's boy.

The boys are excited about the baby. Owen is sure it's a girl and we talk about names a lot. He has as much difficulty with boys' names as we do but has suggested some nice girls' names like Molly, and Lilah. Grey only remembers there's a baby every now and then and asks me if the baby's coming soon. They will both make great big brothers no matter who's in there.

I think that's about it. Jeremy is thankfully still busy at work, although it is the layoff season. We're hoping he'll get through it this year, but it's hard to know.
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Well, here we go again.
Yep, it's been a while. Not going to bore myself or anyone else with updates or what's been happening since I went away.
Still can't quite believe it, but here I sit, pregnant. Again. :) This one caught us off guard, but we are so excited and can't wait to meet this baby.
So far I've been sicker this time than either time before. There are days where I just feel like crap all day long. I'm super exhausted every single day. Hopefully it doesn't get any worse, and by the time I get to the second trimester I will feel like myself again.
Other than that, things are good. I can still eat and sleep and hang out with my adorable boys.
The question on everyone's tongue seems to be: "Will you have another homebirth?"
The answer is, it's a definite possibility. In about three weeks, I'll visit a birthing center I've never been to and meet with the midwives who run the place. If that feels like the right answer, that's what we'll do. But if I'm still pulled to have this baby at home, I'll get in touch with my lovely midwife and hopefully she'll be available and affordable. We'll see when the time comes.
Oh and this baby's coming in April, FYI.
The second most exciting thing happening is my baby boy Owen is starting Kindergarten in 4 (!!!!) days. O.M.G. I can't handle it. I can't.
Tonight we had his open house. We toured his classroom and talked briefly with his teacher. Even met the little girl he sits next to. An adorable blondie named Ashlee. Owen was able to read all his colors to his teacher from the worksheet they set out for the kids to keep themselves busy with. She was impressed he could read a little and it was a total proud mommy moment.
So Monday I have to take him to school and LEAVE him there. I still don't know how I'm going to handle it. I promise I'll be crying my eyes out. I'll get through it, everyone does.
I'll keep you posted on how that goes. With pictures I'm sure.
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A teaser for Jessica

Too Cute

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Mother's Day 2009
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Baby Stevie-Newborn
This little guy is such a sweetie. I just wanted to cuddle him all day.
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Owen at 4.
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