Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ian's birth

Sooo I don't know that I'll ever catch up on this blog or if anyone is still reading this, but here is a brief update on our lives this past year. Since I last posted:

  • Jamie turned 6 
  • Thomas took a research trip to France
  • We packed up, said good bye to Knoxville, and moved to New York
  • Thomas began teaching at SUNY Orange
  • We announced we were expecting a third baby 
  • Jamie started kindergarten and after 2 weeks moved up to first grade
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Knoxville with the Tietjens
  • We celebrated Christmas at our home here in NY
  • Thomas applied for, interviewed for, and was offered a job at Grand View University in Des Moines... Iowa here we come!
  • We've taken brief trips to Maine, Vermont, NYC, and Philadelphia. We're trying to make the most of our 1 year in the Northeast.
  • And about 2 weeks ago, we welcomed our third baby boy into our family!

Even though I'm so behind on blogging, I want to write up his birth story while it is still fresh in my mind.

As soon as we arrived in NY, I found a group of midwives I loved and immediately knew that I wanted to stay with them for my pregnancy and delivery. The only small issue was that the hospital where they deliver is in Kingston, about an hour away from Middletown where we live. But while that wasn't perfect, I also didn't think it was really a big deal since I was sure we'd have plenty of time to get there. Quick reminder: I was in labor with Jamie for 20+ hours and spent 3 hours pushing. Then I was in labor with Jacob for even longer, 27.5 hours, with about 1 1/2 hours of pushing. So a quick labor and delivery was about the last thing on earth I expected.

My last bump picture at 39 weeks + 1 day

As my due date approached, I hoped the baby wouldn't be too late but was a little worried because Jamie was born at 42 weeks on the nose. The waiting period after you pass your due date is the most miserable part of pregnancy and I did not want to go through that again. Luckily, as it turned out, I did not have to! On March 3rd, my exact due date, I woke up at about 5:00 in the morning with some contractions. At first I wondered if they were just extra uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions but as I experienced more of them that seemed less and less likely. When Thomas woke up at 6:30 or so, I mentioned that I might be in labor and he immediately wanted to cancel his classes for the day and get everything ready to go. I, however, was not in such a hurry. Given how long my other labors had lasted, I expected it to be another long drawn-out process. I told him he should still go to campus and just come home after his classes were over. Meanwhile I planned to take Jacob and go walk around the mall to see if things would pick up more.

But none of that ever happened. The contractions were coming much closer together than I expected that early on, and they also started to get more intense. Thomas went ahead and cancelled his classes. Everything was happening so quickly I didn't know what to think. I was very worried I would have another 20 hours of labor to go, and since I was already in rather a lot of pain, I didn't know how I could make it that long. At 8:00 I called my midwives to let them know I was in labor. Whitney, the one I spoke to and the one who would be at the hospital that day, suggested I come into their office in Kingston to get checked out, just to make sure it was worthwhile getting admitted to the hospital. We made plans to meet there at 10. When I got off the phone, I got in the shower to see if that helped with the pain (it helped a lot with Jacob) but somehow this time it made the contractions worse! They were suddenly even longer and more painful with very little break in between. I was starting to panic a little bit and I kept saying to Thomas, "It's not supposed to feel like this already!!" He called Whitney back and told her we were heading straight to the hospital. At this point it was after 9. With great difficulty, I got out of the shower, got back into my clothes, put on shoes, and got into the car. The drive to Kingston is normally nearly an hour but Thomas made it in about 40 minutes. Now that is a car ride I do not ever wish to relive. Thomas says he was super worried he was going to have to deliver the baby himself on the side of the road, but happily it did not come to that. We blared the Hamilton soundtrack and at first getting in the zone of the music helped me get through the pain but after a while even that stopped working. My water broke before we'd made it very far at all and by the end I was having very intense contractions every couple minutes and feeling a lot of pressure as well. Being stuck in the car and not able to move much was not fun, to say the least. We pulled up to the hospital at 10:25. Thankfully they had free valet parking, so we rushed out of the car and straight inside. They had a wheelchair for me but I could barely bring myself to sit in it while we were quickly admitted. Finally we got up to the maternity floor and into my room.

One of the reasons I had been so excited to deliver at this particular hospital was because of the variety of non-epidural pain management they offer. In addition to showers, a labor tub, birthing balls and stools, etc, they offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which, while extremely common in other countries like England, is rarely found in hospitals in the United States. It doesn't take the pain away but takes away your anxiety about the pain and helps you stay calm. I had been very much looking forward to using it and by the time we got there I desperately wanted it right away. But when we got to the room and Whitney checked my progress, she could already see the baby's head. He was already a good way down into the birth canal and it was too late for anything, including the nitrous oxide. I was a bit in denial because after my other 2 deliveries I just could not believe that the baby could have come down that far on his own. But he had and I was definitely feeling a lot of pressure and a need to push, so I did. I was standing on the floor leaning against Thomas and holding onto his neck for support while I squatted during contractions/pushing. Happily I did not have to push for long. At 11:05 a.m. on March 3rd, 2017, Ian Alexander Lecaque was born! It had only been 6 hours since I had woken up wondering if I was in labor and only 40 minutes since we had pulled up to the hospital doors. What an insane whirlwind of a morning.

Ian was delivered onto a pillow on the floor beneath me. I was then helped onto the bed and given my sweet boy, who I held and nursed for the next 2 hours without any interruption. He nursed like a champ from the get-go. I could tell right away he was chubbier than his brothers had been, and when he was finally weighed, he came in at a whopping 10 lbs, 1 oz. For my family that is really not out of the ordinary and I commented that we had finally had a Tanner-size baby. The funny thing is that I definitely had the fastest and easiest delivery with Ian despite his being the biggest of my babies. He was 22 inches long, exactly the same as both his brothers.

Ian with Whitney, the midwife who delivered him

That afternoon around 4, Aunt Emily brought Jamie and Jacob to meet their new brother. Jamie was SO excited to meet him! Jacob talked as though he were also excited (as soon as he came in the room he told us he was going to "teach Ian to be a knight") but he was definitely a little wary of the baby and didn't want to hold him. He did give him some kisses and patted his head, and he warmed up to him more at home, though, so it's all good. ;) The boys had made super cute pictures for Ian and had put up a welcome home sign back at the house as well. It was so cute and sweet to have my 3 boys all together for the first time.


We went home the next day and began our life as a family of 5!
He's home!!

Between coming on his due date and having such a short labor/delivery, Ian kicked his brothers' butts at this whole birth thing. ;) Luckily I had been planning on having a natural birth (though I would definitely have appreciated the nitrous...). Also luckily, for the third time I had no tearing! When Whitney was checking to see if I would need stitches she actually commented, "I can't even tell you just gave birth!" This time around I didn't even have an IV or a hep-lock either. I love that I was able to choose my own position for delivery without anyone suggesting I move, and I super love that I was able to have that immediate skin-to-skin and bonding time with Ian for so long after his birth. His cord wasn't cut til it stopped pulsating (Thomas cut it this time...the only time he has) and he didn't leave our room or have a bath til the second day. It was definitely my best birth experience out of the 3. Such an amazing delivery and truly one of the most amazing days of my life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


And a third weekend in a row was spent with Mark & Sarah's family! They spent part of their spring break in Asheville, NC, and we met them at Biltmore for one of the days. Biltmore was built/owned by one of the Vanderbilts and is the largest privately owned house in the US. The one big downside to the trip was that it was an extremely windy, cold day. When we arrived, the wind chill was below freezing--not what you'd expect when you go to NC in April on your spring break! We took turns going in so we could tour the house without the littlest kids, so poor Christine and Jacob were stuck out in the freezing wind all day. The house was amazing! Seriously. My favorite room was the library, but the basement was also extremely interesting, with all the food preparation areas, an indoor pool, a bowling alley, and an odd "Halloween room." When we had all finished at the house, we went to the farm in the nearby Antler Hill Village, where we got to see animals, climb on tractors and wagons, play old-timey games, and watch a blacksmith and woodworker at work. The blacksmith was one of the highlights of the day. It was a very fun day and we all had a great time!! If only it had been a little warmer...

Poor Jacob and Christine! So, so cold.

A tiny, tiny portion of the grounds...


Our visit happened to coincide with a "Fashionable Romance" exhibit. Throughout the house were displayed costumes from wedding scenes in movies, including some of my favorites!
Elinor & Edward's wedding clothes from Sense and Sensibility
Marianne & Colonel Brandon's costumes in Sense and Sensibility
Darcy and Elizabeth's outfits from Pride and Prejudice!!

A few rooms inside...

indoor pool

At the farm...
Seriously, he was the best!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

another trip to Atlanta

The week after Easter we had another quick trip to Atlanta. Thomas had a job interview (at SUNY Orange, as it turns out!) and he flew out of Atlanta, so we drove him down and stayed at Mark & Sarah's for a couple days while he was gone. The cousins love getting so much time together. :) We also had a very quick surprise visit with Thomas's dad, who was coincidentally at a conference in Atlanta at the same time! It was such a quick visit that I hadn't brought in my phone so I don't have any pictures of the boys bouncing off the walls in Papy's hotel room.

trip to the nature center
Jacob & Savannah

Easter in Atlanta

I'm super behind in blogging again, so I'm going to try to get a bunch of posts up with mainly just pictures and little writing.

We spent Easter weekend in Atlanta this year, but we did Easter baskets at home before we left. Our niece Adriana got baptized that weekend and several other family members were able to come as well, which made for a very fun holiday weekend.

bored in the car, haha :)
first time meeting our newest niece, Eleanor
Eleanor and Daddy :)
at Adriana's soccer game
Adriana's baptism
baby Eleanor
baby Savannah
Jamie & Eleanor
Savannah & Eleanor
Easter dinner
Matthew Wilder & Jacob Wilder