Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lyla Mae... Welcome Sweet Girl

I am going to try and get this blog post down as I sit in the quiet hospital room, early in the morning  before going home.  I finally have a sweet little lady lying next to me, 'singing' to me as I type.  She's an 8 lb 8 oz, 21 inch bundle of 'perfect'.

A little story on how she arrived...
I feel like with every pregnancy I have gone into the end of it with a different mindset.  With Lyla, I obviously wanted a healthy little babe.  I had measured small (2 weeks or so) for the last several weeks of my pregnancy.  Many people had said I didn't look 'full term' and I had questioned my midwives several times of my due date and if I should be worried.  They continued to tell me that everything was fine.  The only other thing I wanted was to head in to labor on my own... no induction.  This hope of mine was crushed a bit when I went to see my midwife on a Tuesday at 40 1/2 weeks.  I was a measly one cm and didn't have any signs of labor.  I had many people who had said they were praying for me, but to be honest my hope went from laboring on my own to hopefully being a bit dilated by my induction date.  I tried a few things to help my body dilate a bit that my midwives had recommended.  Wednesday night, throughout the night, I had several contractions.  I told Mat the next morning that I wasn't sure how close together they were.  They seemed close, but I thought that I was probably just falling asleep between them and not really realizing it.  I was having more in the morning on Thursday, but told Matt to head to work and keep his phone near.  When he left for work, they calmed down a bit.  They were probably about 15 minutes apart.  They weren't weak, but they were pretty far apart.  My three kiddos were so great that day and we tried to continue on with our day.  Every now and then I had to stop and just tell them to 'give Mommy a minute because her tummy is hurting'.  Madison studied me a bit, but I don't think it really phased the other two.  We did a little school in the morning and I was feeling pretty good by lunch time.  We decided to head to Waverly and celebrate our last day before baby (as my induction was scheduled for the next morning).  We ended up at the Bremer Diner and ordered up mac and cheese dinners, fries and chocolate milks.  My kids were so fun and easy the whole time.  I was so thankful for a fun little lunch with them.  We headed home and put Tay down and spent her nap getting their bags packed Papa and Gramma's house.  Matt surprised us a short time after as he came home early from work.  As soon as he got home, my contractions picked up a bit and got a bit more frequent.  I wasn't timing them or anything since they still seemed a bit random.  I think I had convinced myself that I was going to head in for an induction in the morning and didn't want to get myself excited into thinking that I was going to have a baby any earlier than that.  I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled for 4:00 and Madison had gymnastics at 5:00 so I decided to take her and Eliott and leave Taylor home with Matt.  At Jen's office, I was waiting to be seen and had a few tougher contractions in the waiting room.  T had to go to the bathroom so I was standing by the door waiting for him and worked myself through another one.  When I turned around, everyone in the office was staring at me wondering why the heck I looked like that.  They seriously had the most hilarious faces staring back at me.  Looking back at it, I think I'm the only one who didn't realize that I was about to meet my baby.  I then had several offers of places to hang out while I waited for my husband to come and get me and take me to the hospital.  I was now just starting to wonder if this labor thing wasn't going away.  I decided I had better not take Madison to gymnastics.  I connected with my wonderful Dad and he came and got Madi and T.  I headed home.  On the way home I had a few contractions and decided I had better figure out how to get myself to the hospital.  I called my Mom and she left work as soon as she could to come get Taylor.  As Matt did his best to pack my hospital bag for me, I found the number for my midwives.  I found myself face down on my wood steps talking to my midwife through a contraction.  As I was on hold, Taylor walked over to me, put one arm around me and squeezed.  It was awesome.  She walked away and then a few seconds later she returned, turned herself around, shimmied her way backwards down the steps and got on her knees and elbows just like her Mama, then just looked at me.  My crazy little sweetheart.  Love her... a vision I'll always have in my mind.  By the time my mom made it to my house, our bags were close to packed and I told Matt that I was ready when he was (aka... please get me to the hospital asap).  The walk to the car felt like a mile.  He buckled my belt for me and we were off.  I was thankful.  All I told him was, make sure you take some pictures.  We got to the hospital at 6:00 PM.  They wheeled me up to my room, got a robe on me and checked me.  The next part of the story goes fast.  I was dilated to a nine.  My water was still intact, so they got the room set up as I worked through a few more contractions.  I remember thinking, I'm going to take my time through these since I know there is no turning back once that water is gone.  Once they were ready, my midwife broke my water, and I met my little lady a few crazy moments later.  She was once again (like all four of my kids) delivered into my amazing husbands hands.  They did a few things with her (I have no idea what) and then handed her to me.  I was able to hold her, feed her, and give her a bath before handing her over.  She is certainly the tiniest little Hoffert weighing in at 8 1/2 lbs and only 21 in long.  Her dark hair is precious and Matt and I both see a lot of her big brother in her.  She is perfectly, perfect and we are so thankful.  God has been undeservedly good to us and we humbly thank Him for giving us the privilege to raise this crew.

Side note... I feel like to have gone into four labors totally differently.  You'd think after four, you would feel like you knew what you were doing, but I've had such different experiences each time.  I was so thankful to be able to labor at home, distracted by my beautiful daily life of being a mom.  Matt kept saying that things went so fast.  They did go fast at the hospital, but as I look back at it, I certainly started 'labor' a full 24 hours earlier... I just didn't believe it until about 4:30 the next day.  I was asked on Wednesday if I had any 'projects' I was trying to get finished before I went into labor.  At first I just thought it was a conversation starter, but then I realized that she was trying to figure out if I was 'mentally' holding myself back from having this baby.  After looking back, it is truly incredible how your mind can physically control your body.  I started thinking about my last labor.  I remember being at the hospital worrying that I wouldn't know 'what to do'.  My labor was actually taking longer than my previous one had.  It wasn't until my midwife came into the room and sat down that I went from 'easy' labor to intense in about two contractions and then delivered a baby about 10 minutes later.  This time around, I remembered having some pretty good, close contractions in the morning before Matt left for work.  Once he left, I decided I wasn't going to call him home unless I was certain I needed to go to the hospital.  I wanted him to be able to get as much done as he could before having this babe.  As soon as he walked in the door, it was like I let this unknown guard down and my contractions started picking up... and there was no turning back.  Once again, I'm amazed at how this little mind of mine has such impact over my life.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

Little Miss Lyla Mae was born at 6:19 on Thursday evening, October 2nd, about 20 minutes after we walked through the front doors of the hospital.  I would not change a single thing about it... or her... she is precious.  The next day, as we anticipated our crew coming up to meet our newest little lady, I read a perfect blog post.  She talked about how she had heard a woman speak at a conference.  This woman seemed to have it all together.  She went home feeling like a hopeless Mom who wasn't doing much right.  Later she reflected on a Mom from the Bible... Jesus' teenage mom, Mary.  She said something new stuck out to her.  Mary didn't have much going for her.  She was a young, first time Mom.  She certainly wasn't the best at crafts or baking and probably wasn't the leader of some 'mom group'.  The only think that Mary had going for her was her 'willingness to be Jesus' mom'.  How perfect.  After having Lyla, I told Matt that I feel like I could give some great advice about laboring a child.  On the other hand, I wanted to open my hospital door and yell down the hall, 'Now what!?'.   This certainly doesn't come with an instruction manual.  I may not have a clean house or a hot meal for a year or so, but I am willing to give these four kids and my husband my best shot at being their mom and wife.  I am willing.  So here goes life... as a family of six.

You are precious, sweet Lyla.  I thank God for you.  You are loved.

My incredible man... video capturer, baby deliverer, wife encourager... he pretty much did it all in the twenty minutes he had.  Wouldn't want to do life with anyone else.  You are an amazing man.  I thank God for you. 

Chord cutting.

First look for Mama.

Precious little Lyla Mae.

You have a good Daddy.

Needless to say, she is well loved.

Not sure how we made it to this point, but we are willing to give it our best shot.  

I actually thought that Taylor would be jealous of Lyla, so I made sure to have her in her bed (not holding her) when she came in, etc.  The opposite happened.  Taylor was jealous of anyone who was holding Lyla.  She couldn't keep her hands off her baby sis and gave her many kisses and hugs.  She said 'Baby' several times, unprompted.  I've never heard her say 'baby' before :).

Your biggest sis and brother are so great and will love you and teach you so much.

Taylor begging Gramma to hold Lyla.  Ps... once again I have the best parents.  They willingly take on my growing crew while we adjust to life.  Love you lots Mom and Dad.

Sort of funny... little Tay with a 'Big Sis' shirt on.  They made their shirts with my Mom and Dad.  Madison's said "Biggest Sister".  So sweet. 

Proud Papa