(photos by leslie norgren)
one year ago we welcomed graham peregrine white into our family. what a joy it was to go from being a family of three to a family of four! we were thrilled to have two little boys - brothers and, hopefully, best friends!
here's the story of how graham came into the world...
because i had an emergency c-section with harrison i was given the option to schedule a c-section or have a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) with graham. after considerable thought i decided to leave it up to God. ha! if i made it to my due date (november 20th) i was going to go ahead with the c-section that was scheduled for that day. if i went into labor early i was going to try to go natural. and by "natural" i mean "vaginal" because, seriously, why would i ever want to deliver a baby the au natural way? give me epidural or give me death!
it was a thursday night when i reminded jeremy that we needed to get some pictures of my pregnant belly. as he was taking the pictures i got mad at him because i didn't think he was shooting from a good angle. oh, the vanity! it's funny how even a gynormous pregnant woman cares about looking as thin as possible. silly me! anyway, i got frustrated with him and he got frustrated with me. he said, "we'll just get some more tomorrow" and i thought to myself, "this is going to be the last opportunity". and i was right.
we had a twin bed set up in the "nursery" area of our bedroom in the event that i would have the c-section. (our bed is too high to climb). that twin bed became my best friend because i was able to kick jer out of our bed (toward the end of my pregnancy) and replace him with five pillows. frankly, he was tired of fighting the pillows all night, so i think he welcomed the twin bed! all that to say, it was a typical night; i was in the queen bed and jer was in the twin. this ended up working in jer's favor. i woke up around midnight with contractions. mind you, i had been having contractions for months and had been placed on restrictions because of them. but these contractions were different. much more pressure. much more back pain. this being my second pregnancy, however, i remained calm and did my best to sleep through them. finally, at 5 am i woke jer up and told him the news. he called meme & papa and got everything squared away.
papa came down to our house to stay with harrison. meme was going to go to the hospital. we left our house around 7:30 am. the contractions were around 5 minutes apart and were getting quite painful. it was the the "stop what you're doing, focus, and breathe through them" kind of pain. we arrived at labor & delivery and got all hooked up to the monitors. everything looked great. they asked me if i wanted a c-section and i told them i wanted to be checked to see how dilated i was. jer & i could make a decision after that.
around 8:30 am they finally got around to checking me. one centimeter. one little teeny tiny centimeter. i had been one centimeter for weeks! eight and a half hours of labor and no progress. was i impatient? maybe. was i willing to endure that terrible back labor any longer? no way! let's get this little munchkin out!!
it took another hour and a half of preparations before i was actually wheeled into the operating room. during this time we met our labor & delivery nurse, wendy, who was my angel. she was amazing at helping me breathe through the contractions and keep my body relaxed. jer was busy putting as much pressure on my back as was humanly possible.
T.M.I. ALERT!!! (if you'd like to avoid reading something that might just be "too much information", please skip the following paragraph).
one funny note about graham's delivery... (well, it's funny now)... as i approached the end of my pregnancy it was CONSTANT on my mind that i needed to get a bikini wax. unfortunately, running after a toddler and being placed on restrictions did not help in my quest to be well groomed "down there". i am dying just thinking about it. as i was being prepped for surgery the doctor examined my previous incision to make sure he could cut in the same spot. i heard him tell the nurse, "she needs a little shave". i'm sure my face must have turn beet red. and i did what all laboring women do. i turned to jer and blamed him for the fact that i hadn't gotten a wax! during the next contraction, while an intern was busily shaving me (i'm still dying!), sweet nurse wendy got down close to my face. she was rubbing my forehead and gently coaching me to relax. and then she said the perfect thing..."well, your eyebrows are sure beautifully waxed!" : ) oh, how i loved nurse wendy! she turned a really embarrassing moment into a really funny one!
finally, they took me to the operating room. i was having such terrible back labor that they wheeled me back. (i guess most elective c-sections walk to the o.r.). i got on the table and spent the next 25 minutes sitting in the most uncomfortable position i've ever been in while the anesthesiologists attempted to put in my spinal block. it was almost like being crunched into the fetal position...while having contractions. truly, it was really grueling. but, thanks to jer and nurse wendy, i remained happy, calm and positive. it really was a matter of remaining focused and relaxed despite all the pain.
thankfully, the spinal block took effect immediately. it was go time! while they were operating the anesthesiologist announced that jer & i had been in that same operating room, on the same day, almost at the same hour, just 19 months ago! harrison and graham were born 19 months apart to the day - harrison at 9:28 am and graham at 10:35 am. he thought that was pretty cool and so do we!
graham came into the world fairly quietly. (he was, indeed, in the posterior position, hence all the back pain. both my boys were sunny side up). he cried initially, of course, but, overall, he just seemed to be taking it all in. he was very peaceful. he was, and is, very beautiful! he nursed immediately, he enjoyed his bath in the recovery room, he even let the nurses do a LENGTHY exam because they were allowing interns to help (it's a teaching hospital). he slept well, ate well, and pooped well. our time in the hospital was uneventful and enjoyable. we took him home without any worry...just happiness to be together as a family at home. graham did not cry at all for two weeks. at one point i even asked the nurse, "he doesn't cry. is that okay?". little did i know he would cry for the next five months! : )
the name peregrine means "traveler". we chose that name for a couple reasons. first, jer is a direct descendant of peregrine white, who was the first baby born in the new world. he was born on the mayflower while the ship was anchored in provincetown harbor. coincidentally, peregrine white was born on november 20th (my due date) in the year 1620. we thought it would be cool to honor one of jer's ancestors, especially since they were to share a birthday. second, the meaning of the name, "traveler", conjured the idea of an adventurous spirit. and graham had been adventurous and mischievous since eight weeks in utero! the name could not be a better fit for this sweet boy of ours!
at one year of age graham smiles more than any child i've ever seen! he has an undeniably outgoing, joyful disposition! he has an unbelievable zest for life! he has no fear! we have found him 1) standing on top of the tray on his high chair, 2) climbing up and, yes, making it over the baby gate, 3) standing on a dining room chair, and 4) climbing over the tray to get into his stroller all by himself. he keeps us on our toes. he keeps us amazed. he keeps us smiling and laughing. he is an absolute delight...our bright sunshine!
mommy, daddy & harrison love you so much, graham! thank you for making our lives so fun! happy birthday, precious boy! i can't wait to see what the next year holds for you!