A Major Curveball

Hello Dear Readers,

I figured I’d start with the biggest even that’s happened in the last couple of months. I know you all probably already know this story, but I’d like to have it recorded here too.

So not long after the dust had settled from our move to Utah and we closed on our house, Chris and I decided we were “ready” (can you ever really be ready?) for another baby, and nature didn’t make us wait too long. The pregnancy was pretty uneventful, though I was more sick than I was with Lindsay. Nothing too bad though. Our due date was about a month later than I thought it was going to be, which is interesting to think about when it comes time to talk about delivery day.

So our due date was February 26, and much of the pregnancy was spent with me thinking and worrying about whether or not I should have another C-section for this baby. I went to a group practice, and got six different doctors all telling me that I could go either way and no one would blame me. A few of them said I wasn’t an ideal candidate for attempting a VBAC (a normal birth after a C-section) because I hadn’t had one before, but I could try if I wanted. As the day got closer and closer, we talked and prayed about it, and went to the temple. It made me so nervous to think about attempting a regular birth and then ending up with a C-section and that horrible double-recovery anyway, that I decided it would be easier to just schedule for the surgery. Not to mention that there’s a small risk of the incision scar from last time opening and causing major problems for me and the baby, though I wasn’t as worried about that. I’d been reassured by all the women I spoke to who had had a second C-section that the recovery was way better without all the labor beforehand. There was no way I could have kept up with my toddler with that recovery, and I felt so much peace once that decision was made. We had it scheduled for February 21 (because I didn’t want to have her any closer to my anniversary than I had to) and all was well.

This little one had other plans though. I still wonder if her due date was off, because of the way she decided to come.

I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions since around week 20, so in January I was very aware of them, and even started writing down the times they came in the last couple weeks before she came. There were never more than three an hour though, so it wasn’t actually labor, despite me being convinced otherwise at least once.

So I had a regular appointment with my doctor, and when he checked me I was dilated to a 4 and 90% effaced. Looking back, I’m kind of surprised they didn’t send me to the hospital at that point. But apparently some women sit at that for weeks, so he wasn’t too worried.

That night I felt miserable. (This is February 9th, by the way.) Going to bed, I told Chris I wasn’t sure I could do this much longer. His reassurances of “Only two more weeks” were not helping. But I knew I wasn’t in labor because I wasn’t feeling contractions at all. When I woke up at 2:30 to use the bathroom though, I felt even worse. I thought I might be having an infection, and so I was frustrated. But as soon as I got back to bed, my water broke. That was a new feeling, because I’d already had an epidural when they broke my water with Lindsay. I actually didn’t realize that’s what had happened until I got back to the bathroom and more of it came out. As I was telling Chris I thought that’s what was happening and we needed to start getting ready to go, a contraction hit me. But this wasn’t an active labor contraction. I felt like I needed to PUSH. That was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had, because I was not ok with having my baby in the bathtub, which is what I was afraid was going to happen at that point. The next half hour is a little hazy, because I spent a lot of it screaming and trying not to push. Poor Chris had to deal with my hysterics (those pushing contractions were 2-3 minutes apart as soon as they started), getting me dressed, calling his mom to come stay with Lindsay, and driving down to Orem. We called my parents to meet us there, and then the hospital to let them know we were on our way.

The nurses (who were all so wonderful) met us at the door with a wheelchair, and at that moment I was able to relax a little, because I knew I wasn’t going to have my baby on the side of the road somewhere. I think they had called my doctor after we called, so he was on his way. The nurses got me set up in the delivery room and checked to see where the baby was.

“Yeah, this baby is right there. You’re not having another C-section.”

“Ok. Can I get any painkillers?”

“Sorry, there’s no time.”

They didn’t even give me an IV, because things were moving so fast. I’m pretty sure I was screaming “I can’t!” most of the time, and had a death grip on Chris’s hand. They had me start pushing, and I felt like there was a ton going on in the room. At one point, they told me that they had an ER doctor in there, because if the baby was born, they didn’t have to write up an incident report because a doctor was present. At the moment I took their word for it, but looking back I wonder if they said that just so I’d feel better. My doctor arrived maybe five minutes before the baby was born; we’d only been at the hospital for 20 minutes or so. So before we even really knew what hit us, my screaming was over and I was listening to my new baby’s cry instead. There’s really nothing like that moment.

Sammy was born at 3:41 in the morning, so all told my labor was less than two hours. She beat my parents to the hospital, which was shocking to them. The desk attendant they spoke to told them she thought the baby had already come, and my mom was sure she was wrong and it was going to be a couple of hours. Surprise! There must have been something in the water, because the nurses told me all night had been like that, and there were like six other women that all delivered super fast.

I was talking to my sister-in-law a couple weeks later and she asked me if labor was really like it shows in the movies. My response was that I’m not the person to ask, because mine kinda was. And since they’ve told me that labor tends to go faster with subsequent kids, I’ve also decided I should probably start hypno-babies or something so I’m mentally prepared for natural childbirth next time, just in case we can’t get there in time for an epidural (again).

Having said that, my recovery was AMAZING, especially compared to last time. I felt good enough that they almost had me walk from the delivery room to my hospital room, if I hadn’t gotten a touch queasy when I stood up.

It was so nice to be able to sit up, stand up, and walk on my own that day, and it was so great to have family close by to visit us. Other than that, pretty uneventful hospital stay and journey home. So I’ll leave you there for today dear readers.


The Rawlins


Unexpected potty training

Hello dear readers,

I’m sorry that I haven’t kept up my promise to get better at this. I keep hoping one day it will stick. But until then, I guess sporadic posting is all I can do. But it’s looking like I may be trapped in my kitchen for the next couple of days and so maybe I can manage to knock out some highlights at the very least. 🙂

I’ll try not to get into TMI, but I think being a mom of littles may have skewed my judgement on that. Sorry…

The reason we’re trapped in the kitchen is that due to some unfortunate circumstances (details are gross so they’re being skipped), I’m opting for a no-pants, cold-turkey potty training exercise with Lindsay. As of this writing, we’ve had two successful tinkles and no accidents yet! Wahoo! And I know I probably just jinxed it, but I’m embracing it as inevitable at this point. Wish me luck!

Anyway, quick highlight posts coming soon! (I hope!)


The Rawlins

PS–I did jinx it, and had to clean up an accident before I even hit “publish” on this post…

So we bought a house…

Hello dear readers,

I was going to write this post a few months ago, but life happens… And with another new start happening as we speak, now seemed like as good a time as any to revive my blogging attempts. Hopefully it will stick a little better this time.

There has been a fantastic year and a half of life that happened since my last post. The thought of trying to catch all of that up is daunting, to say the least. So my plan is to start where we are, and then every other (or maybe every third) post go back and write up some of my notes from that time. Those memories are too precious to just give up on altogether. So bear with me please as I try and figure this out.

So, to start off on our current whirlwind adventure. We have picked up and moved from Alexandria, VA, to Lehi, UT. Chris got a phenomenal job offer with an MLM software company in Orem, and as much as we loved the area we were in, it was right for us to move. I know we were being directed by Heavenly Father, and it will be fantastic to be so close to our families. More on just how much Lindsay loves it in a minute.

Right now it all seems a little surreal to me; like we’ll be heading back to Virginia after a long spring vacation in the next few days. That’s part of the problem with being as spoiled as we were with how often and how long we were able to come visit family when we lived back East. I’m still missing it lots, and all our awesome friends back there. However, my excitement for Utah has finally started to get some traction. It took a few weeks longer than I expected (why I expected to be excited about packing, looking back now, I don’t know…), but things are starting to really move now and that’s helped a lot.

The biggest thing, I think, was that Chris and I went and signed closing papers for our first home today! I still get a little headrush when I think about it, but I think it’s a good thing. A word of advice: sign your name exactly the way it’s printed on the documents. Adding your middle initial apparently makes lenders, banks, or other organizations that are processing the paperwork unhappy. And requires you to resign a lot of documents. (Fortunately, we caught that about a third of the way in, instead of at the very end.)

Maybe I’ll update this post tomorrow when everything’s been officially processed and we’ve got the keys. Because that will truly be an exciting moment. We did get to walk through the house one final time this morning before signing, and it was kind of fun to look at it this time and know that the ideas for how to make it ours could actually come to something. Speaking of which, I’m taking suggestions on color schemes and carpet for a master bedroom, two kids bedrooms (one girl and one hypothetical child) and a living room, but only for the next 48 hours. Call, text, email, Facebook, or comment, by Wednesday if you’d like to share your thoughts. 🙂 And a miracle happened, and I figured out how to add pictures! They’re not fantastic, but it’ll give you an idea.

As a starting point, here’s what we’ve kicked around as ideas so far:


Master bedroom/bath: a dark blue and a seafoam green, still looking for a way to tie them together.


Child bedroom 1: Lavendar/lilac purple and sage green, still looking for carpet ideas. (I like the pink and brown currently, but it’s just not quite the right shade for me to want to keep it.)


Child bedroom 2: help?


Shared bath: yellow and navy (Oh! I just thought of yellow duckies in sailor hats! This could be fun!)


Living area (this is our entryway, living room, and opens to the kitchen, which is where I took this picture): deep, earth-toned red and a warm neutral, tan- or beige-ish.

Anyway, I’m definitely open to some ideas if anyone has them, because the only color scheme I’m decided on is the purple-green one. And we’ll discuss the basement and yard in another post, as they’re both going to be rather large projects unto themselves… In the meantime, I think I’ll leave you hear dear readers, and write about the move and what we’ve been up to while the house went through next time. Including full detail of how Lindsay has become the boss, regardless of which grandma’s house we’re at, and how much she loves being the center of attention.


the Rawlins

Can we go home yet?

Hello dear readers,

I’ve let this slip much more than anticipated. I’ll do my best to catch us up as quickly as possible.

That first night they took me down to look for blood clots in my legs, just as a precaution. I was still fighting off anesthetic, not to mention no sleep, six or so hours of labor, and some major abdominal surgery. I was out as soon as they wheeled me down there. I also think that was the last restful sleep I got for the next four days.

Coming back to the room, my poor baby girl was hungry and screaming for me. The timing for taking me was not in her schedule and she let us know. Poor Chris was doing his best, but there’s only so much he could do. It was kind of an awesome feeling to be able to comfort her though.

From that point on, it was waking every three hours to feed her (she got hungry like clockwork) and writing down feeding times and wet diapers on the log the nurses gave us. And then in between they would come in and give me painkillers. And in between that someone else would come in and take my vitals to make sure I didn’t have an infection. Apparently my heart rate did some funky things the first 36 hours or so after surgery.

Basically, we never slept, even when the night nurses had her in the nursery for the three hours stretches. And often when I’d finally feel like I was drifting off, the pediatrician would come in to check on baby, and we’d be awake again.

Also, there’s this phenomenon that no one told me about called cluster feeding. What happens is that the second night of your baby’s life, they decide that they need to nurse constantly for about eight hours. I would feed her, and after a few minutes she’d start to cry. So we’d switch sides, and repeat. All. Night. Long. I thought I was broken and that my baby was starving. Fortunately, a lactation consultant came and saw me in the morning, and told me that was perfectly normal, not to worry about it, and that she was surprised that the nurses hasn’t explained cluster feeding to me. I was just relieved that this wasn’t going to be a regular thing and that my baby was fine.

Most of the nurses were great while we were there, and took good care of us. And Monday Dr. Wolf came to see me, and that was nice. The doctor that delivered me had said I probably would not want to try for a natural birth because of my C-section and had said something about how I’d torn during surgery, and that was kind of scary. She was able to reassure me that it was too soon to be able to tell something like that and there were too many factors that could play into it to even worry about it. And honestly, I wanted to cry just thinking about going through all of this again. If you had to decide of you were going to have a second child while still in the hospital, I think most of us would be an only child.

When I was talking to Josie, I think, she told me that it was way too soon and too close to even think about that.

There were too many sweet things to focus on anyway, like seeing who she looked like most and discovering the dimple in her cheek while she ate.

They encouraged me to walk, and so we’d take some very slow laps around the ward, pushing the bassinet and my IV pole, talking about names and singing her her first lullaby. It was in French, so you’ll have to ask Chris what it was.

It took us nearly two days to finally decide what her name was. We’d had a short list, and has almost decided on Evelyn, or maybe Elizabeth. But the more I looked at her and held her and talked to her, the less she looked like either of those names.

We had tossed out Lindsay Dawn as an idea, but neither of us were sure we wanted to make the jump on Lindsay. Chris was really hoping to give it to a son as a middle name, and I loved that idea too. But baby girl had other plans, and so Lindsay she became.

Kerri was able to come out the day before we were able to go home, and that was wonderful, knowing that someone would be able to be there and help me while Chris was in class. I think there aren’t many things more awesome than watching a grandparent meet a grandbaby for the first time. I loved getting to experience that four times, and then some if you count meeting her great-grandparents.

I should also mention that while we were still in the hospital, Chris was working like mad on a mock trial brief. That was due in a few days. That he should have gotten three weeks earlier. Great timing, no? Yeah, we weren’t thrilled with the people running the show either.

Getting out of the hospital was also an adventure. Dr. Wolf had come to see me in the afternoon, and had given us a soft release. That meant we could have gone home that night, or we could wait till the next day.

Because it was already late afternoon, we opted for the next day. That was a big mistake. Even considering the insane cluster feeding night, I remember that being the worst night we’d had yet. It may have just been the exhaustion settling in, coupled with a nurse who had no concept of speaking quietly or leaving lights off in the middle of the night, but home would have been so much better.

And then in the morning we had everything about ready to go and asked the nurse what we needed to do to be discharged. She said she needed 10 minutes to get paperwork together, and we said great, here’s the 10 minute warning. Lindsay had just finished nursing and was asleep, and we were ready to go. We signed the paperwork, and waited for the required wheelchair to take me down. And we waited. And waited. And waited.

Chris took everything down to the car, so all we would have to load would be me and Lindsay. We didn’t even have an extra blanket or pacifier with us. And finally the wheelchair came, but it had been long enough that Lindsay was starting to get hungry again.

For reasons that I can’t quite fathom, they wouldn’t let us go to the garage; Chris had to leave us with the nurse at the hospital entrance and go pull the car around. Lindsay was getting madder by the second, and there was nothing I could do. I felt horrible, and like the nurse was glaring at me because I wasn’t taking care of my baby. I was so frustrated, and sad that we weren’t going to get a cute “coming home from the hospital” picture, and annoyed that we had to wait so long to leave. It broke my heart listening to those newborn cries, just waiting for people to move so we could go home. As soon as we were loaded in the car, we were on the hunt for a parking lot to pull over and take care of her. For the record, those are ridiculously hard to come by around here. Fortunately, Dr. Wolf’s office is close and was a good spot to stop.

And then, at last, we were home. And I’ll leave you there for now.

The Rawlins

And life will never be the same again, part II

Hello again,

See, I’m doing better! We’ll see how long it lasts.

So, to pick up our story, the doctor had just dropped the C-bomb on us. Not something I wanted to hear, but I was pretty worn out and didn’t have the energy to freak out.

He’d laid out a pretty convincing case, but I still wanted a minute to think about it. We asked for some privacy to talk about it, and said a prayer. Chris was so sweet and supportive. I was so glad that he was right there for me. After praying and talking for a minute, we felt good about going forward with it.

So, surgery prep began. Chris packed up all our stuff and we were off down the hallway. They took me right into the OR, but Chris had to scrub and dress, so I was by myself for a bit. There was a lot of bustling that went on that I couldn’t see from the table, and losing feeling in my legs when they amped up my epidural was weird. I felt like the anesthesiologist was the only one who remembered I was there and awake, because she would talk to me. I think the labor nurse was helping Chris get ready.

They did a prick test to make sure I was numb, and that was the scariest thing. I felt the prick on my left side. When I said something, they told me I’d feel pressure and not to worry; it wasn’t just pressure I felt though. I said, “no, it’s sharp right there.” So they pricked my shoulder to give me a point of reference. They were pretty surprised when I told them it was actually sharp. So even more anesthetic went in.

And I know I said I’d never been happier to see Chris as when he got back from parking the car to triage, but I was wrong. It really was when they let him come hold my hand in that OR. I was starting to get more nervous about being cut open. Especially because my baby had crowned a little bit, so it was going to be a challenge to pull her up and out of me.

I started to feel really queasy then. They had given me a tray just in case I needed to throw up, but I thought to myself, “I haven’t thrown up once this entire pregnancy. I’m not going to ruin that and do it now!” I should note that I was kind of surprised that my determination won out on that battle, because there was a lot happening to my body right then.

Once the operation started, that’s when the freaking out began in earnest. Chris was so amazing. I had him distract me with one of the relaxation techniques we’d learned. It helped, but I don’t think anything can completely remove you from having someone reach into you and pull out a squirming 8 pound baby. Even though I was numbed and it wasn’t painful, it was still incredibly unpleasant and just weird.

But that all was nothing to when they said she was out, and I waited to hear that first cry. I doubt it was even a second, but I was still so anxious. And then there she was, screaming at the top of her lungs in that adorable newborn way. There really are no words to describe how incredible that moment was. My heart just wanted to comfort her and hold her close. I was sad that all I could do was look over when Chris left my side to go be by hers. Another reason to not want surgery…

Chris later told me that the nurses had to tell him to get out the camera and start taking pictures. I’d bet most first-time dads are the same way though.

After they weighed and measured and cleaned her up a bit (amazing that it all only takes about 5 minutes, APGAR included) Chris was able to bring her over to me, still on the surgery table. I imagine that they were working on putting me back together, but all I can remember is seeing my beautiful baby girl and wishing so badly I could hold her. She was born at 1:51 p.m. on September 1, 8lbs 1 oz. and 21 inches long. She also got a 9 and 10 on the APGAR, which is pretty darn amazing. That’s a test they do to rate how healthy-looking babies are, I think is the best way to describe it, and tens are rare according to the doctor that delivered me.

After only a few minutes, they told us that Chris and baby girl had to go wait for me in recovery. It was hard watching them go, and being in there by myself. I was so exhausted and had so much anesthetic going on, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep, even though I was trying not to. I’m not sure why, but it seemed that it took a lot longer for me to be put back together than it should have. In our birthing class, we were told that it typically takes about 45 minutes after a C-section for mom and baby to be reunited. Chris tells me we were closer to an hour and twenty minutes.

I was so happy to get to recovery and see my little family (there are three of us now! That’s so crazy awesome!) and finally get to hold my angel. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier. Feeling that little life pressed against me was incredible. And apparently she had missed me. Chris said that while they were waiting for me, he would walk back and forth up the hallway with her. She would start to fuss and cry a little, but then he’d calm her down. He said it was like she was looking for me.

There’s also another funny story that happened here. Well, funny now. I’m told it wasn’t at the time. When we packed up to leave the labor room for the OR, they had Chris put everything on a gurney that went in there with us. That includes our phones. And naturally, we had let the parents know that we were going in for a c-section. But when Chris left the OR, he didn’t have a way of getting back in and didn’t think about taking the phone with him. While they were waiting for me in recovery, one of the nurses called out, “Is there a Mr. Rawlins here? Your mother-in-law is on the phone.” My poor parents were at a family reunion and waiting for news. After a while, one of my awesome cousins started calling around to northern Virginia hospitals looking for us because they hasn’t heard from us for so long. Chris felt so bad, but now it makes for a good laugh.

While it was wonderful to be together, we were all exhausted. It seemed like we had to wait in recovery for a ridiculously long time. They were waiting to make sure I got feeling back in my legs and to be sure they hadn’t nicked something inside of me. When we finally got the ok to head up to a room, it took another forever for someone to come and get us. But then, finally, we were in the room. It was so nice knowing we wouldn’t have to move again.

And I think I’ll pick up with the rest of the hospital stay for next time.

Love, the Rawlins

And life will never be the same again

Hello Everyone,

I know this is long overdue, but we’ve been very busy here. I’m going to try and catch up in smaller bites, rather than my usual mega-posts. Not sure if I can do it, but I’m going to try. 🙂 So, here goes the story I’ve told more times in the last few months than I thought possible (for those of you who haven’t heard it, or who want to hear it again, or posterity, or whatever).

The week before Lindsay was born was possibly the longest week of my life. I was so ready to meet my little girl, and so so ready to be done being pregnant. Chris was finished with his summer internship and hadn’t started classes yet, so I was also hoping that she’d come early so we’d have some time before he had to go back. Each morning I would wake up and just be bitterly disappointed that I hadn’t gone into labor during the night, knowing it wasn’t going to be that day. Not sure why I didn’t think I’d go into labor in the middle of the day, but I just didn’t. Something about the movies and how I remember my younger siblings coming into the world. You’ll have to ask my Mom if I imagined that part though.

People kept telling me that it would happen when I wasn’t waiting for it and giving me suggestions to help induce labor, from eggplant parmesan to taking the stairs up 5 flights. There’s a really bumpy road by our apartment that I was starting to eye as well.

It was Friday night and Chris and I were watching Firefly before going to bed. I’d already resigned myself again that it wasn’t going to be that day, so staying up till 1 a.m. didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Well, when I woke up at around 3 a.m. in the worst pain I’d ever experienced in my life, that didn’t seem so smart anymore.

Just an aside here: There’s this whole period of labor that I’d never heard of till our birthing class. Pre-labor I believe is the term. This is where you’re having noticeable contractions but they’re irregular and usually not painful. This is supposed to last for several hours before active labor (the painful contractions) begins. I never knew this existed till a few weeks before Lindsay was born.

As you may have gathered, my body skipped that part. I’d noticed the occasional Braxton Hicks contraction for the last few weeks, but nothing to indicate I was in labor before waking up feeling like my insides were trying to kill me.

I woke Chris up and told him I felt like I was dying, but when it started to pass we tried to go back to sleep. We weren’t sure it was labor. Until about 20 minutes later when the second one hit.

At that point we figured we should start timing contractions. 15 minutes, then seven, then five. That was a fun hour… Chris was great. He finished up the last minute packing stuff, and even found a free iPad app to help time and rate the intensity of my contractions.

So after a half hour or so of intense contractions coming about five minutes apart we were ready to go to the hospital.

I’d tried calling my doctor, but she wasn’t on call that weekend. Sad 😦 And it was impossible to figure out the phone tree menu for the doctor that was on call. In the birthing class they made a point of calling your doctor before going to the hospital. So we called my mom instead.

When we’d explained what had been going on for the last two hours and that the contractions were coming as fast as they were, she told us we needed to get on the road right then.

Fortunately we were standing by the door with packed bags, so we went. I was having contractions so fast that I wasn’t paying much attention to anything else. Chris had given me the iPad to time them, and as we were getting on the freeway a box popped up that wouldn’t let me time anymore. Once I was able to read it, I would have laughed had I not been having another contraction. “The lite version of this app can only count 20 contractions. Would you like to upgrade to the full version now?” That’s about what it said.

Seeing as we were already on our way to the hospital, we decided not to spend any more time on the worst bait-and-switch I’ve ever seen.

One of the things our hospital touted was valet parking for patients in labor. Except for not that early in the morning or on weekends. Go figure. They let Chris leave the car there while he was checking me in though, thank heaven. I had to stop and have a contraction outside the door and another at the check in desk; good thing they were used to that.

Then it was up the elevator. While I was having another contraction against the wall, Chris talked to the desk that checked me in to triage. Fortunately, by the time I caught up we were moving into triage. I was so beyond miserable at this point. I would have cried but I was too tired and in too much pain. The nurses were nice, I’m sure, but I just wanted to be done. They got me on a bed and examined me to decided if we were staying, and at that point Chris had to go park the car. I was dilated to a six, and they asked if I wanted an epidural. When I said yes, they said they’d call my doctor to clear it. I just thought, “how come you can get ahold of her if I can’t?”

And then I was lying there alone in pain. Probably not for very long, but I was not happy about it at all. I don’t know if I’d ever been happier to see Chris as when he got back then.

By that time, they had assigned me a room and I was pretty happy about being wheeled out of triage. It’s comforting having a place you know you’ll be for a while. Plus the rooms are a very nice purple and green decor, which I was attracted too. I am not a big hospital fan, so something other than white walls was appealing.

Every time someone came in to check on me or set something up, I asked about the epidural. I think I started getting on their nerves… But it hurt, and I’d heard horror stories of the anesthesiologist never showing up, so I kept asking. Fortunately for me, she did come and I did get the painkillers. Side note, the release they make you sign for those is terrifying, which is why I think they only have you read it when you’re already in so much pain you don’t care.

The next bit is a little bit foggy, because I could relax. I still felt the contractions, but there was no more pain. I met the doctor and my labor nurse, and almost fell asleep to the sound of my little girl’s heartbeat. They had to break my water and saw a little bit of meconium, but the doctor said he wasn’t worried. It was a calm, peaceful two or three hours.

And then I finished dilating.

Pushing was not exactly what I expected it to be… Plus it seemed like it would never end. I guess I expected to be moved a little more and it to go pretty quickly because the rest of labor had so far. However, after two and a half exhausting hours, baby girl had decided not to move any farther.

Another thing I learned during this is that you hardly see the doctor while in labor. After checking on me at that point, I think I remember some “discussion” going on in the hallway. Baby girl’s heartbeat had started dropping during contractions. She was also sunny-side up, which was probably a big contributor to the not descending situation. Combine that with the fact that her heart rate was spiking when I wasn’t having a contraction and now that meconium was a reason to worry, it was kind of scary when the doctor came in to discuss all of this with us.

Based on all of that, he felt that we needed to get her out fast, and that it was time to consider an emergency C-section.

And here, dear readers we will pause. I’m sorry for the cliffhanger but a break must be taken. I’ll finish the story soon, I promise.

Love, the Rawlins

Why would a Jammie have a hat?!

Hello everyone!

I’m going to try and get caught up here, but we’ll see how that goes…

So, to pick up from the “notes” I left myself last time, let’s get started with Wolftrap. As a refresher, this is a National Park for the Performing Arts, and is a pretty sweet outdoor venue. They host the National Symphony Orchestra out here, as well as other awesome performances over the summer. I think I mentioned our Father’s Day attendance of Riverdance there before. Anyway, if you buy tickets to three NSO shows, you can get a good discount. We figured this would be our last summer to be able to just pick up and go to things like this, and there were a bunch of awesome shows to pick from, so we decided to take advantage of that. It was probably a good thing we didn’t know what the weather would be like.

The first show was call “Broadway Rocks” and the program was classic rock songs that have been either written for or put into Broadway shows. It was fabulous, even though it was like 100° and humid. (I will note that I started doubting it would be enjoyable for someone as pregnant as me to enjoy the other two shows if it stayed this hot. Which it did. 😦 not so fun for me.) So they had four Broadway singers, and the NSO and some spiffy choir from DC (I wish I could remember, but the name escapes me at the moment). One of the singers is the lead from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and that was neat. And one other random factoid before I move on, we also learned that night that Total Eclipse of the Heart (the Bonnie Tyler, “Bright Eyes” song) was totally written about vampires. Wikipedia says so, so it must be true. (The journalist in me just cried a little at that, but for a personal blog I’m ok using that as a source.) Also, I would like to point out that the song makes a whole lot more sense when you think about it from that perspective.¹ That concert was sometime around the end of June.

After that, continuing with the Wolftrap motif, we saw the NSO perform Holst’s The Planets the first weekend in August. This was serendipitous timing (or more likely it was planned carefully between NASA and the NSO, but I like to use serendipity as much as possible) because Chris had heard about the new Mars rover Curiosity’s upcoming landing. This concert was cool because they showed high-def pictures from NASA of each of the planets as their movement was played. Chris had just heard about the “Seven Minutes of Terror” video²  and was trying to get me excited by telling me about how cool and precise and exciting that was going to be, and how perfect it was that we were coming to see this show. I was really hot, kind of uncomfortable (pregnancy does that to you) and annoyed because of work and other circumstances getting to the show. So I wasn’t catching the enthusiasm. But the NSO is very good, and the first act was actually another suite about the desert or the Grand Canyon or something, and I quite enjoyed it. Then, here’s where the serendipity comes in, the director of NASA comes out onto the stage and presents the NSO director with a really cool award and a medal for their collaboration on things like this concert. And then they played a short piece that accompanied the aforementioned Seven Minutes of Terror, depicting how Curiosity was supposed to land (spoiler, apparently it made it and was super awesome) and that was pretty neat. And then watching the pictures of the planets was cool too. But I was so ready to go home when it was over. My feet had started swelling, and I was exhausted.

The third show, about a week later, was a screening of West Side Story, where they dropped out the music track and replaced it with the live symphony. I was still hot and not entirely sure I wanted to be there, but was trying to be a good sport. And it was cool to hear the Orchestra, and very impressive with how well they stayed on with the movie. And I can tell I’m hormonal, because I cried at the end when Tony dies.³ I never do that.

So, that wraps up our culture for the summer, and the conclusion I made is: don’t plan on going to outdoor summer shows when you’re pregnant, because they’re much harder to enjoy when it’s super hot. Also, during record-breaking hot summers, this is especially bad. But good music is worthwhile, even under those circumstances.

Now to our next subject! There were some crazy storms earlier this summer. They were more damaging than the hurricane last year, I think, because so many trees got taken out. Chris and I went to the top floor and watched the first one for a while, and the lightning was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it. It actually blew out the windows of one of the apartments in our complex, and I’m pretty sure we saw a transistor or something explode and throw sparks as well. The power grid was pretty devastated, and most people in the DC metropolitan area and even beyond lost power for several days. There were a few very lucky areas (our apartment fell into that group) that only lost power for a little while. I think we were down for a minute or so. We didn’t realize how bad it was until the next day though. We decided to try and get one last temple trip in before it closed for summer maintenance, and while we were driving we saw tons of tree limbs all over. When we got into Maryland, though, it really hit us. Streetlights weren’t working, and tons of the restaurants in the area had signs in the door, “Closed, no power.” We were starting to think that we wouldn’t be going to the temple today, but tried anyway. When we got there though, the gates were closed. We weren’t surprised, but a little disappointed. Fortunately, we had planned to do some other things that day, so we got more out of our Saturday than just a nice drive. And by that, I mean we went to lunch (there were still some restaurants that were open) and Buy Buy Baby. That store is almost overwhelming, but fortunately their staff is really great. So we got some ideas to finish our registry, and picked out a car seat.

Church was cut short the next day (which kind of surprised me, because the building still had AC and that would have been welcome to most people) and those of us that had power volunteered our homes to those who didn’t and wanted a cool place to be for a while.

That note is also a good segue into my next topic. We ended up staying at church later that day because Chris got a new calling as the assistant ward clerk for finance. They did release him from Nursery, but not me. Which we were kind of confused by, but they’re still trying to find someone to replace us, so they needed me to stay as long as possible. Which I tried to do, but honestly, with our kids and our numbers, two weeks ago I feel like I hit my limit. I think the bishopric may have forgotten that I hadn’t been released yet, so when I asked Bishop what the plan was for me, he took care of that last Sunday. When I get sustained tomorrow (assuming I pass), I’ll update you all on my new, very low-key calling.

In the meantime, back to everybody’s favorite subject right now: All things Baby! I know this post is already waxing long, so I’ll try and keep a rein on my excitement. I’ve had two more showers since the last post, one from the awesome women in my ward and then one from work. And holy taledo† do I feel spoiled. I wish I could describe all of the adorable clothes and bows and hats we got from the showers, but words just won’t do them justice. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to post pictures where everyone can see and enjoy the cuteness of her actually wearing them. And we got a ton of other fun stuff too. Toys and blankets, and brushes and nail clippers, and things I never would have though of (like 1 ounce containers for baby food and a Boppy pillow). I’m surrounded by wonderful people. And on top of that, we got a coupon from Buy Buy Baby to get 10% off finishing our baby registry, so were able to go and get things that way as well. I actually kind of feel prepared as far as “home” goes for her arrival. If only we can decide on a “coming home” outfit‡ for both of us now, we’ll be in grand shape. Though I still need a few more days at work, at least, before I can really say I feel ready. Well, as ready as you can ever feel in a case like this, I guess.

Also, with August came the transition to weekly doctor visits. Woot. At 37 weeks, I’ve started to dilate a tiny bit, so I’m hoping this week will have news that I’ve dilated a bit more. Physically, I’m ready to be done being pregnant. But it’s really up to Baby at this point. My doctor has said it could be any time now, but that could also mean like three weeks from now as well. So any good vibes to help encourage her to come a little early would be fine by me! Especially because Chris has finished his internship and has the next two weeks off before school starts. And by off, we mean getting ready for baby and school, cleaning a lot, and generally being the best husband ever and doing all the “nesting” things I would like to do if I wasn’t at work. He’s amazing, and can think more clearly and remember things I can’t, so we’re probably getting more done this way than we would if I were home and doing that. You should see the spreadsheet he’s created of clothing we have, and the correlated sections on the shelves we have for her. (Also, he’s managed to create a definition that separates jammies from onesies from footed onesies.)º

Oh, and I also got more blood drawn and had a follow up with the hematologist this week. I’m responding really well to the iron treatment (apparently what happens is your body slowly uses the iron they pump into you to build new red blood cells over time, which I didn’t know) and things are looking good. I’m still anemic, but only by like one point, and that’s pretty normal for women during pregnancy. So I might even be at a normal level by the time baby comes. They do still want to see me in about a month, after the delivery though. Just in case, I guess.

Well folks, that’s all the news I can think of for now. I’ll try and keep you all as updated as possible on any exciting developments, though at this point I feel like there’s only one big development left!

Love you all,

The Rawlins


1 – And this also casts a really interesting perspective on my childhood, since Bonnie Tyler is one of my parents’ favorite artists and I grew up listening to this song.

2 – You should watch this video, whether you’ve already seen it or not. I provided the hyperlink for you.

3 – SPOILER ALERT…oh too late.

† – I feel that the appropriate way to spell this is “toledo,” but we weren’t sure what reference could provide a definitive answer. Seriously though, we are very grateful for all of the wonderful people who have been so supportive and gracious. We feel very blessed being surrounded by so many great individuals.

‡ – Baby clothes can be kind of ridiculous, but more on this later.

º – The spreadsheet shows how many of each item we have per age group. The visual representation is provided by a segmented bar graph. The difficulty comes in trying to account for functional overlap. For example, a light blue garment with long sleeves, footed legs, and little bows on the collar strikes me as a jammie, but it comes with a matching hat! Why would a jammie have a hat?! It’s hard to tell. And don’t even get me started on sizes.