Dragonfly in Amber

Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch.  But when you live with them, and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands.  Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone.  Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body.

But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child.  That things that says, "I am," and forms the core of personality.

In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within.  And "I am" grows, too.  Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, flowing through the translucent flesh.

The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven.  The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence.  When all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves.

In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until "I am" is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.

-Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

Breaker Blue -- Newborn
Major William -- 2 years old
Shepherd Nash -- almost 4 years old
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Everyday 2016 :: 5

Our last week before becoming a family of 5!

March 4:
Playing at the park. This is the very quick transition of Major's mood when he saw a scooter at the park then I told him he couldn't ride it because it wasn't his. 
Joy. A scooter!
You're the worst, Mom!

Later that night, saying prayers before dinner. 

March 5:
Waiting on his meal at McDonald's. 

March 6:
Nana is here! This was such a relief knowing that if I had gone into labor, she was here! First things first, we headed straight to Olive Garden straight from the airport. 

After dinner, we celebrated Nana's birthday with cake!

March 7:
Running errands and Nana bought Major a huge ball that he insisted on holding himself in his car seat. 

March 8:
Last date night before we become parents of three!

March 9:
Rocking Major to sleep for the last time as my baby. 

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meeting your brother

The boys were SO excited to meet their new little brother. They both are so different. Shepherd was reserved with his excitement, being so careful with the baby and me. Major comes in like a tornado, ready to pick the baby up and carry him away to have to himself if we'd let him. 

This was for real Major's face right after he got to hold Breaker for the very first time. I took a screenshot from a video. Have you ever seen a sweeter face?

And this sums up Shepherd. So aware and gentle. 

I can't wait to see what personality Breaker will have. I read an article the other day about having 3 kids. It said you kind of get a taste of it with #2...how different they are despite being raised in the same way. But if you have any doubts, #3 will confirm that nature overrides nurture in this department. So much of who kids are is just WHO THEY ARE. 

A few more pictures of my 3 brothers:

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Breaker Blue's Birth Story

I've struggled with how to tell the story of Breaker's birth. Unlike my other two, which I've said before are days I would relive over and over again, despite the pain and everything else...I just can't say the same for Breaker's birth. And that makes me so sad. It just makes me sad that the birth experience, which happens only a few times in your life, was not great. And it wasn't anyone's fault, that's just the way it was. 

His C-section was scheduled for Thursday morning. I of course couldn't sleep the night before. I woke up early to shower and get ready. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30. 

The sunrise over the mountains was so pretty. 

When we got there, we were led to our room where I immediately got into my hospital gown. A nurse came in and had me fill out a ton of paperwork and answer a million questions. After that came the IV in my hand, which I was dreading. I remember that being the entire worst part of Shepherd's birth. Maybe by my 3rd baby I'm more accustomed to being poked and prodded, because while it was still awful, it was not the worst. 

Next, the anesthesiologist came in. This is when my day started a downward spiral. The thing I was most worried about throughout everything was the epidural. Actually it was a "spinal" but I'm still unsure of the difference. When he came in to talk to me, I started shaking and sweating. Literally my teeth were chattering. I told him I was so nervous about it. I'm pretty sure he wasn't sure what to make of me. But he said that if I would like, my husband could go ahead and come back to the operating room with me, to be with me when he put it in. Later my midwife told me that never, ever happens. Which just confirms that I am the biggest weirdo they've all ever encountered. 

We had to wait awhile longer than we thought because of some emergency my doctor had to attend to. I was anxious to get started and also terrified. 
We walked back to the OR where they had me sit up on the table. It was cold and clinical and I really wanted to bawl my eyes out. Nurses were scurrying around getting everything set up. The anesthesiologist was ready to go. They had me lean over this little table on a pillow and Joey was in front of me holding my hands. I was praying in my head, repeating my verse, asking for calm and peace that transcends all understanding. That did not happen. I could feel the needle go in, then he said it would go in a little further. It was the worst feeling. It hurt and I remember wincing. Not the worst pain, but still terrible and scary. This is when I started having a legit panic attack. My midwife came over and held my hand and I was just freaking out. I was scared it wouldn't work and I'd be able to feel everything. I was scared it would work too well and I'd be paralyzed or something. I was afraid of long lasting pain in my back... you know you hear about people who can still feel where the needle was placed. I knew I was panicking and tried to talk myself down but I just couldn't. I had zero control. The nurses were poking me and asking if I could feel it. This made me panic more because YES I CAN PLEASE DONT START YET. Then, to make it worse, I start vomiting uncontrollably. So my new concern is choking on my own vomit and aspirating or something. The anesthesiologist is pumping zofran or something in me to try and help with the nausea. It was awful. Everything was awful. I'm still in panic attack mode and starting to cry. The anesthesiologist offers to give me something to help me calm down. I said I didn't want anything that would affect my memory of anything, then I thought, I don't really care , anything would be better than this, so I said to go ahead. Whatever he gave me worked because I was immediately pretty much asleep. They started the C-section...or maybe they already had. I could feel tugging, which they had told me about, and I will say, for anyone who might be scared of the same thing, it was not bad or painful.  Joey said they were REALLY going at it, but I couldn't tell. 
So at this point, my face starts itching. Like uncontrollably itching, I'm scratching my face off. Which the anesthesiologist tells me is a normal reaction to something he gave me. Really?!  So I'm now alternating back and forth between vomiting into a bag and scratching my face off. I literally wiped off every stitch of makeup. The things women go through. It's insane! You really have to just drop all sense of inhibitions. I'm vomiting into a bag while laying on my back and someone keeps wiping my face. It's humiliating. Oh and also, the spinal has affected my arms, so despite my requests that all IVs be in my non dominant arm so I could hold my baby, I now can't move my arms. 
All of this has happened in a matter of a few minutes. So it didn't take long for them to get the baby out and my little Breaker Blue was here. 9:24 AM. 7 lbs 6 oz, a surprise to us both...our biggest baby. 

Our song for him had been playing on repeat. The best moment was my midwife holding him up. I had gotten to have a clear drape so that I could see him immediately. She lifted him up and held him right up to the drape in front of my face. The first thing I noticed was his tan skin and dark head full of hair. One of the nurses pointed out his sweet dimple in his left cheek. They took him and suctioned him and made sure he was good, then handed him to Joey. Everyone was so on board and supportive of my request to hold him skin to skin immediately. Unfortunately, between the constant vomiting and not being able to move my arms, that didn't happen. It still is so disappointing to me. Joey held him right next to me while I think I slipped in and out of consciousness. After they were finished with everything, they took us back to our room. 

 I have very little memory of the rest of the day. I remember trying to hold him back in the room but I was still vomiting over and over again and completely out of it. I remember crying and feeling like I was failing him. I tried to nurse him and just physically couldn't do it. I think it took nearly 2 hours for everything to start to wear off. I'm thankful for a healthy baby, I'm just disappointed that I couldn't fully be present that first day. The rest of the hospital stay was emotional and hard. I think I cried everyday. Having a baby and no friends and not all of our family to meet him. Breaker had trouble with his weight and breastfeeding was stressful. My stomach was so tender from the surgery. It was just a lot of emotions!
But he is the most precious gift! 

Later that afternoon, Joey went home to get Rhonda and the boys. I started feeling better as the day went on and the anesthesia wore off. The boys meeting Breaker was one of the sweetest memories I'll ever have. Luckily it was caught on video, or I probably wouldn't remember it! I'm going to do another post all about the boys meeting. For now, some more pictures of Breaker on his birth day!

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be right back

I've dropped off the map since having Breaker, but I'm working on a ton of posts to get caught back up! Spoiler alert: Having 3 kids ages 3 and under is HARD and TIME CONSUMING and when I'm not waiting on someone hand and foot all I want to do is sit in my chair and rock my baby. 

I got some motivation actually from The Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond. Joey was watching an episode while he ate lunch (must be nice) and asked me if she was Mormon. So I looked it up and while I couldn't find a definitive answer, my guess is yes. Living here in Utah we are surrounded by LDS everywhere. Anyway, Ree spoke at an LDS conference about blogging to keep a record of your family history and the everyday, mundane things. That is exactly why I blog, so I figured I needed to get back at it!
All of that to say...sorry for the long hiatus, and check back tomorrow for more posts. 

If anyones interested, the article I read about Ree Drummond here. 

Also! I've joined Snapchat! Instagram is still my favorite form of social media, but Snapchat is a fun way for family and friends to see what our day to day looks like. And also a million selfies Shepherd sends out daily ;) 
Follow along if you'd like!

Instagram: jessicalawhorn
Snapchat username: jessicalawhorn1
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