first outing

A friend of mine snapped this shot of my boys and a few of the Ordaz boys sitting together at the baptism we went to on Saturday. My favorite part? Alejandro has his arm around Noah’s shoulders. These boys just love each other and it’s so sweet.

We went on our first outing as a family of FIVE on Saturday. It was a baptism for a little girl in our ward. She asked Daniel to baptize and confirm her and for me to lead the music.

Randomly, Ray fell asleep about 15 minutes before we left and stayed asleep for the entire baptism, so he just sat asleep in his carseat in the stroller. It was awesome! But that was pure luck. We’ll see how it goes in the future. The fourth of July is coming up and we’re going to some fireworks …. we’ll see what happens.

It is continually a learning experience to be a mommy of three kids. It reveals all sorts of things. I have been watching lots of home inprovement shows and we’ve hosted a few grandmas over the past month and this is what I’ve learned – I live in a sub-par home. It is small, the one bathroom is glaringly not enough, all of our floors need to be replaced, carpet is unacceptably dirty, the central air conditioning doesn’t work well, our fridge is too small, and the kitchen just flat out needs to be replaced – completely … down to the studs kind of replacement.

Maybe we’ve just gotten used to a few inconveniences, like not running the dishwasher or washing machine or using hot water in the bathroom while someone is showering … or how I just adjust all cooking times to make up for the fact that my oven is from the 50’s and doesn’t cook like it should … but when you have people in your home, living with you, those things come to light :) And the home improvement shows are definitely not helping. It makes me feel like I just need to grab a sledge hammer and start knocking things down and out. But that would be bad because I could not replace or fix the things I sledged.

Anyway, I should be posting more pictures of Ray, but I haven’t taken any. I will next time. But here’s the update …

Ray has been pretty uncomfortable – lots of gas, and grunting and whining, with a little crying mixed in. He’s not sleeping or eating very well over the last 24 hours, so Daniel is sick and I am tired. That’s what happens when Ray is uncomfortable. We pay for it. Other than that – there’s nothing else going on. seriously. nothing. All we do is hold Ray, burp Ray, feed Ray, try to put him to sleep and fail, so not much else is happening. Not much cleaning or laundry is getting done, but we are all fed and the boys don’t seem to care about the fact that we’re not leaving the house. OK, Ray is crying, gotta go.


Mom and Ray

My mom came. She was trying to make it in time for the labor and delivery, but CA is just too far away from MI. Mom arrived about 3 hours after Ray was born. She was the very first visitor :)

Mom has been with me for a week now and she left today. I don’t know how I’m going to survive without her. She just took care of everything. She was the mommy of the house, doing everything but nurser Baby Ray. She cooked, drove Noah to school, played with the boys, did laundry, dishes, vacuumed, made sure that I was eating and sleeping. sigh. Now she’s gone. There’s nothing like having your mom around. Now I miss her dearly and I’m starting to feel the new weight of motherhood on my shoulders. I’m a mommy of three … how did that happen?

I took a few shots of my mom and little Ray before she flew out on a plane this morning. Check it out:

Baby Ray’s Birth Story

Raymond Mark Forsyth, born at 1:03 pm on Monday, June 4th. 7 lbs. 11.5 oz. and 20.5 inches long.

I always like to write out the full length birth story, for me (it’s therapeutic) and for Ray. So, let’s start on Sunday morning, June 3rd. I already explained in my last post about how I passed some blood early Sunday morning (3 am). I went in to the ER and determined I wasn’t in labor and Ray wasn’t under any stress, so they sent me home. My amazing friends, Erin, came and stayed with the boys at 3:30 in the morning. She said it was amazing that we even got a hold of her because she had left her cell phone in her living room the night before and the only reason anyone heard it going off was because her husband, Ben, had gotten hot in the middle of the night and went out to sleep on the couch and heard the phone. I get the feeling the Lord is watching over and taking care of me every step of the way. I had called someone else that morning too, but couldn’t wake them with calls, so Erin was a Godsend.

Daniel and I came home around 7 am, before Noah and Liam even woke up. So, when the boys woke up and saw Daniel and I up they seemed pleased and said, “what’s for breakfast?!”

Daniel and I went back to sleep for a few hours, but I was having a lot of contractions and found it hard to sleep well. It was stake conference that day, and we were both tired, so we laid low with Noah and Liam at home all day. I also had contractions all day. I just thought this was annoying, not early labor, but that’s what it really ended up being.

The contractions on Sunday were very irregular, some were 15 minutes apart, some 20-30 minutes apart. And they weren’t getting stringer or weaker either, it all varied. The one thing that stayed constant was that I couldn’t relax and sleep. I talked to my mom a lot that day and we decided to not have her fly out just yet because I could go on like this forever and afterall, I was ONLY 2 days past my due date. I went to bed Sunday night around 10 pm.

At 1 am on Monday morning, I started having enough strong contractions to wake me up every 15 minutes and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Daniel became aware of me and the contractions around 2 am. They started picking up by 3:30 am and by 4 am I told Daniel to call my mom and tell her to get on the 6 am flight out of CA to get here. At 4:30 am Daniel called the midwife on call. The contractions still weren’t super consistent and that was throwing us off. Some contractions were very strong and painful and lasted a full minute or more, but then they’d space out to 10 minutes apart. We didn’t really know why that was happening. That was different that both of my other labors. Daniel and I were hesistant about going in to the hospital too early since we like to labor as much as possible at home, but the midwife we talked to said not to wait too long since this was my third baby.

By 5 am Daniel had texted our friend, Leslie, and was packing a bag of clothes for the boys. Daniel got everything in the car and I was having serious contractions now. They were coming about every 3-5 minutes. I remember being in the front room to make sure everything was getting in the car that we needed and Daniel was rushing in and out of the front door and a few contractions hit me right there and I got down on all fours and leaned my face into the leather recliner to deal with the contractions while Daniel was packing up the car and putting sleepy boys in the car. I was pretty sure at this point that we should go to the hospital :)

We dropped the boys off at Leslie’s house. Les came out and was so cute. She was super excited and came and hugged me and told me it would all be OK. I was crying. I had definitely hit the “emotional sign post” they talk about in the Bradley book.

It was a 25 minute drive to the hospital and I had about 6 or 7 strong contractions during the drive. It was aweful to be in an upright sitting position while contracting. I remember I kept my eyes closed so I could concentrate and everytime a contraction came, I grabbed on to the seatbelt and pulled as hard as I could. When we got to the Alternative Birthing Center at the hospital the nurse checked me and said I was dilated to  …. 2.5 centimeters. I was crestfallen. I had been contracting for basically a day and a 1/2 and having some pretty serious contractions for a few hours now and I was only a 2.5?? My contractions starting spacing out right after that. They slowed to about 10-15 minutes apart, then the midwife came in. Her name was Rondi.

Rondi sat down with Daniel and me and asked us to tell her what was going on and what led us to the hospital. It was about 8 am now. I told her I was very tired. I hadn’t slept more than 5 hours in the past 24 hours and I was exhausted. I told her I didn’t know why the contractions had slowed down and that the entire labor had been super irregular and that was making me anxious. I told her that they had checked me and I was only a 2.5. She said maybe they would send me home. She checked me and said I was at 4 centimeters! Woo hoo! Then she said I needed to get up and move. She said I needed to stop worrying about counting contractions and to get out of my head. She told me to get in a hot shower and squat with every contraction and then to just move!! So I did. And contractions sped up and became more intense. It was working.

I continued laboring this way for a few hours. I would move and squat and get in the shower, then get out and start over. Daniel ordered some breakfast and I tried to eat something, but I was still very tired. After having all this active labor, I had a period of time where the contractions slowed down again to 10-15 minutes apart and I fell asleep in between contractions. I knew I was sleeping because I would start having weird thoughts and realized I was dreaming. I can’t believe your body is adept enough to let your contracting body sleep in the middle of labor when you’re tired. It’s just amazing.

After this period of sleepiness I remember suddenly being wide awake and feeling strong contractions come on. I squatted down and felt pressure on my tail bone and bum. I felt like I needed to poop basically and in previous labors, that meant it was time to push. It was about noon now.

My midwife came in and was with me for the rest of the labor. She was there for a lot of it before then too. I was happy to have her. She was right on about what I needed to be doing and when it came to delivery, she really helped out.

This is when it got crazy. I felt like pushing, but it wasn’t time yet. My contractions were sheer, blinding pain at this point. I labored for a while like this, then had another period of time when I fell asleep in between contractions. I was amazed my body was able to do this. I was so exhausted. I don’t know how graphic I should get … hmmmmm … well, somewhere in this stage my water broke. It was a crazy hour. I was squatting and contracting and feeling lots of pressure and water was draining from me and other stuff as well. Let’s leave it at that. One thing that was different was my cervix.

I had been very consistent with taking homeopathic medicines and drinking my raspberry leaf tea and taking my evening primrose oil pills too. These are all things that are supposed to help soften and prepare your cervix. Evidently, it had worked because my midwife said my cervix was super stretchy. So much so, that it was really contracting back over the baby’s head, but swelling a little and almost folding over on itself. This is crazy, but my midwife actually held my cervix open until it was completely dilated and out of the way of the baby’s head and then she just said, “OK, cervix is gone – now push that baby out. Just push him out. Go ahead”. I pushed for about 20 minutes I guess?? I don’t know exactly. Time and space and propriety were long gone for me and I was standing on the hospital bed, leaning on an exercise ball, grunting and moaning and pushing a baby out. It was crazy. I felt his head descend and with one solid push, he came out all at once.

Ray was born posterior (which explains the irregular labor pattern and the pressure on my tail bone and bum). So when he came out, I was standing above him on the bed and he slid out underneath me, face up, looking right at me. I picked him up and the midwife told me to sit down with the baby. They must’ve been worried I would tumble down from the bed, since I was standing on it. I can’t really explain the relief I felt. Relief, happiness, amazement … words fail me. You truly just had to be there. He was perfect … and hairy. He had a full head of hair and hairy arms, legs and back. My mom and dad both mentioned how little Ray’s hairiness resembled me as a baby. My dad said, “it was like raising a chimp” (referring to raising me … he’s so mean). Anyway, Ray is perfect. He’s beautiful and it’s over, the labor and delivery I mean. It’s done. It was harder than I remember it. I guess that’s why I decided I could do this again … I forgot how hard it was. But it’s done. He’s here. And we’re so happy.

Can you see his little hairy legs??

Leslie, me and Ray, and Mandee


Ray and Liam.

the state of things

Well, I woke up at 3 am this morning with a contraction. I stumbled into the bathroom to go potty and realized my underwear was soaked in blood. I called for Daniel and he jumped into action. We called my midwife and ended up in the emergency room 45 minutes later.

Nothing is wrong, everything is fine. I feel like I should make that clear now. But I was worried. I was due two days ago (on Friday) and blood is not what you want to see. You might want to see amniotic fluid or a mucous plug (pretty ugly word huh, “mucous plug”) but blood … not so good. They were originally concerned that my placenta had detached from the uterine lining, but after a non-stress-test, an ultrasound, checking my amniotic fluid levels and a painful exam – they determined that I was dilated to a 1 or 2, I am not really effaced and that the baby is at a -3 (that all means something to pregnant people). But really, it doesn’t mean a whole lot either. I could be in this state for a few weeks. They think I gushed blood because of my dilated cervix. They said it’s normal to have that sort of thing happen. But Baby Ray looks good, and I am well. I’m tired and constantly hungry, but doing just fine.

I have been contracting pretty much every hour all day long, sometimes even up to 4 times an hour, but that means nothing and it’s not regular, so I could go on like this for a while. The bummer about all of this is that the contractions hurt now, every one of them. So it’s like being on your period and cramping for days. And sadly, it’s back to just waiting … sigh.

Here are my predictions for when this little man finally decides to show his squishy little face:

– I bet I will go into labor during the night (because that’s when he’s most active)

– I bet this labor will go faster than the past two (because he’s measuring small – so that’s easier to push out, and I’m having all these early contractions and my body is prepping so much that when it finally happens, I’ll bet it’s fast and furious)

I really want my mom to be here for the labor and delivery. But I am hesitating to fly her in early (she’s supposed to come on Friday, June 8th) because if she comes and I sit around waiting to go into labor for a week, it will be wasted time. grrrrr. This is why I should live in CA.

I was talking to my friend, Mandee, and she said I should write down why I love having my mom there for my labor. It’s a good idea. I’ve been thinking about it all day – why is it so important that she’s there? Why do I care so much? What does she do for me that my husband and midwife don’t? Well, here’s what I’ve come up with:

– Mom talks to me all through labor. Sometimes she says encouraging things and sometimes she gets excited, and sometimes she just voices what is going on and I LOVE that. Daniel doesn’t really do that. Daniel is great at listening and responding, but mom is good at talking, so I listen to her.

– Mom is assertive but not overbearing. She has an opinion about everything that is happening during labor and she tells me. She gives me suggestions confidently and it makes me trust her. When I am in labor, I want direct advice because I am so consumed with what is going on with my body at that moment, I cannot reason and weigh my options, I want someone to tell me what they think, confidently. Mom does that.

– Mom is what Daniel and I deemed this morning as a “woman of action” :) When I was in labor with Liam, I was laboring for an entire day. By 10 pm, I decided to go to bed. I was only in bed for about ten minutes when a rip roaring contraction woke me up and I made a crazy loud sound of pain. Daniel was lying next to me and sat straight up in bed and just stared at me, obviously shocked. Mom flew into our bedroom, leaped onto my bed, got her fist in my lower back, turned to Daniel and said, “Daniel, it’s time to go to the hospital”. That’s a woman of action, eh?

I think that sums it up – she talks, is assertive and acts. And those are things that I want.

I have to say, during labor, Daniel is amazing as well. I feel like I haven’t voiced that, only the stuff he doesn’t do in comparison to my mom. But Daniel is my rock. He is the person I rely on physically. I actually lean on him for almost every contraction during labor. He is loving. He is always within my arms’ reach and I need that. I need him near me, it gives me strength to know he’s there. He tells me he loves me, that he’s proud of me and that I’m doing well. I need that too.

I guess I want it all – but in your moment of dire pain and agony, who wouldn’t?

So, that’s the state of things.


40 weeks

Here we are – happy fake due date to me. I say “fake” because it is not really my 40 week due date … but my midwife counts it as my 40 weeks. When in all reality, I went in yesterday and she measured me at 38 weeks and I am not going to have this baby today. I counted 40 weeks from conception and my real 40 weeks is June 15th – which is exactly how I am measuring.

Anyway, I still have to go in every 3 days now and they call me “overdue” and do a bunch of non-stress-tests … which are a huge pain. You have sit in a room with stuff strapped to your tummy and they measure the baby’s movement for 20-30 minutes. It’s lame.

But here’s what we’ve done so far today on my “fake due date”:

– made crepes for breakfast (super yummy)

– gave both boys a bath

– cleaned the bathroom

– finished the 3rd mobile (the 2nd one didn’t turn out right … had to redo it). This mobile is not for the nursery, but for the pack-n-play, where little Ray will be for the first 3 months. Common, he has to have something to stare at, right?? Wonna see pictures? Check it out … is 6 pictures overkill for a tiny mobile? I dunno …


I made the mobile out of paper, fishing line, beads and glue. Definitely not for tiny hands to touch – just to look at.

So, that’s it. I will take Noah to school in about an hour and then Liam has a play date with Cole, so I will have 2-3 hours to myself. Thta’s dangerous. I would like to think I’d take a nap or do something good for me like that, but I had a crazy idea this morning – what if I take measurements of my kitchen cabinets and figure out how much it would cost to reface all of my cabinets with IKEA doors?? Maybe I’ll head out to IKEA, hmmmmm. I might get myself some donuts, to celebrate this day coming and going.

Here’s what’s going on  in my pregnancy so far:

– I am still ringing in at 199lbs, which is a total gain of 54 lbs.

– I pee at least 2-3 times a night now. It used to be once a night … it has tripled since this little guy has taken up more bladder space.

– I don’t sleep very well. I dream about contractions, which must mean I am having them in my sleep. I have also finally started showing up pregnant in my dreams. I was normal looking in my dreams until the last few weeks … I guess I’ve finally accepted this. I also have a hard time getting comfortable for very long in any one position while I sleep. If I lay on my right or left side, my right or left leg ends up falling asleep and I have to turn over. If I lay on my back, the baby crushes my organs and spine and sleeping on my tummy has been a pastime for many months now. So, I wake up a lot during the night. It’s OK. Everytime I can’t sleep, I just stare at Daniel cakes’ side view. He looks so beautiful when he sleeps. So serene.

– I have started getting braxton hicks contractions everytime I wipe. Not cool.

– I found out that everything I am feeling as “contractions” are considered Braxton Hicks unless they induce labor. So basically, unless my contractions turn into labor and delivery and a baby comes out, it is Braxton Hicks. That’s disappointing. It makes me feel like these hurt and happen for nothing. But that’s not true. It’s always good practice for labor. It’s like weight lifting, the more reps you do, the stronger your muscles get.

– I am really hungry all the time.

– I’m all over the board emotionally. I have really good days and really bad days – very little in betweens.

And there you have it. Mom comes in a week and I’m pumped about that. I love it when my mom comes. It doesn’t happen often … wait, she actually never comes to Michigan unless I have a baby. I get it though. I wouldn’t come to MI either, if I didn’t live here. But she’s coming and when she does, we’ll go to Ann Arbor and hit the farmer’s market and whole foods …. and …. wait for it … Zingerman’s, mmmmmm.