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December 31, 2008

Introducing Tessa Patience Knutson

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Tessa Patience Knutson was born on December 29th at 10:25pm. She's 9lbs even and 21 in long. She doesn't have red hair! Wow! We're in love with her. Grandma has been taking care of the older kids and we're looking forward to uniting our family (with the help of helping hands) and getting used to the new normal.

And now for the details that you may or may not want to read.....


Tessa was tougher than Eden. And I don't think I'm just saying that because Eden's birth was 3.5 years ago, I really do think it was a bit easier. She was smaller, and Tessa started coming out with her fist under her chin. Youch! I had another unmedicated labor, which was an extra challenge this time, since I was for sure Group B positive, which meant that without antibiotics Tessa could have an infection after birth. Eden dealt with a smidge of an infection after her birth but it was handled and turned out fine. So with my water in tact they wanted to get 2 doses of antibiotics in me.

I had an appointment with my midwife at 11:30am on Monday where she stripped my membranes (fun). After, Mom, the kids and I went to Chik-fil-A (where we saw the Greens--hooray! Juden!) and my legs felt like jello all the way home. At 2:30 I started having measured contractions and called Joel to go ahead and come home. Mom stayed and began her grandma marathon. We stayed at home and labored until about 4:45 and then drove through rush hour to Women's East. When they checked me they said I could be 6cm. Wow! I labored pretty manageably at 8cm until about 8pm and then I decided to get into the shower which was quickly ended when Tessa's monitored heart rate was decided to be "tacky". Oh well. I had the joy of going through and enduring transition in BED while pleading for the antibiotics to get into me faster. Lots of praying going on. I felt her decending, and my water had not broken, the doc waited until I about went crazy to break it. I still had a bit to dialate, 2 contractions worth. When we were set to push, I knew instantly that she was not a 7lb baby. Also, I heard the doc comment that her fist was resting on her chin. She told me to wait a second and then she wiggled Tessa's arm into a better place. Oh my word, it hurt to get her out. But she came out in 4 pushes. I avoided tearing, pretty much. It is pure bliss to feel that baby leave your body. I don't really know what it feels like when you have an epidural, naturally it's a little piece of heaven to feel that release. They put her on my chest and I saw she was not a little one!

But then, there's a reason I deliver in hospitals. I was bleeding and it wouldn't stop. Scary!! The doc and the staff around me was super cool. The doc told me as she started cleaning me up that she was going to work on me so that I didn't need a blood transfusion, eep! Still, I did not feel afraid, I just tried to reel off of my mommy-bliss-adrenaline and be a trooper. There were some not so fun things that they had to do. Mostly just ultra tough palpitation of my belly. They worked on me from 10:30 to 2am. They put lots of pitocin in me and two injections of different things and something else. They kneaded me like bread dough. Ugh, Ouch. But It didn't feel like those contractions, so I was thankful and did what I could to move past what was happening and hold my daughter and talk to my husband. Thinking about it now, makes me afraid a little.

Then, there's the reason I trust God and am utterly and continually thankful for how much He has blessed me and has given me strength. I had a higher hemaglobin count than normal folks going into this experience. I did not need a transfusion. I never felt dizzy, or high headed. My bleeding tapered quickly while at the hospital and now I'm feeling like I'm even further out of the woods than I was with Josiah. I could say with confidence that I wasn't afraid, that is God's hand and His grace in my life above all else. Fear, is the reason many things don't happen. I am so greatful that God brought his angels to surround my mind and heart and keep me at peace. I had a peaceful and joyful nurse who prayed for me during transition and requested to stay on with us the next night. I have moderate pain, but not nearly the pain I had with Josiah. Recovery seems hopeful. I have a husband who is calm and thoughtful and seeks God through every moment, praying over me and seeking knowledge even when deciding on Tessa's full name. Tessa is a healthy, beautiful girl. She is doing everything she's supposed to, and in typical Knutson style is staying on the lean side of baby-hood. I again fight the fear of an underweight babe. I'm praying that I can keep her hydrated and full enough to see her weight maintain well and keep her from getting too orange.

What an amazing gift motherhood is. I feel like I've been beat up, but the joy is overwhelming. God has truly touched me beyond just the joy of a new child. I am eager to be myself again, but these first days are so tender. Having my whole family around me is a gift. I can't believe how much I missed my big kids this morning! I know that the craziness has only just begun, But I'll say it again, God is so good to me, and His love is so deep.

family | By katiek | 1:05 PM | Comments (7)

December 27, 2008

Thanks Grandma!


outer castle, originally uploaded by katiek2.

Big cardboard castle ready to color and play pretend. Now, my dilemna, where am I going to keep this thing?
Merry Christmas to all y'all. Oh yeah, I'm still pregnant. I got one more present to unwrap....

| By katiek | 10:17 PM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2008

Keep Truckin'

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Yeah, I'm still pregnant. I think any other time of year it wouldn't be such a cliff hanger, but with Christmas time, sheesh.

I've been doing a lot of nothing. I have made some goodies here and there, Russian tea cakes, rollo-pretzel candies, peppermint bark. Yum. I'm living off of Earl Grey and the occasional egg nog. It's so nice to have my brother and his family in town. I need to shut my yapper and let them tell me about their new house and all the in's and out's of the process. We'll have dinner tonight and then tomorrow is a regimented schedule of every hour to half hour from 8am to 7:30pm. That's if Tessa decides to give me one more day. I went to the doctor yesterday and I'm progressing but everything is fine and dandy and I can wait another week possibly to see my newest daughter. But that won't happen, she'll come before then. Because we really do want to meet her.

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have some lazy times and some laughs. Lord knows my fam is loud enough for a few families put together (that has a lot to do with me, and Josiah, and a bit of Grandpa)

family | By katiek | 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2008

The Nest

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Some of you, my dear readers, are having snow that makes the Christmas season just a little more magical, or annoying, take your pick. But here in the South east we just get grey. Grey, and more grey. Sometimes it's grey with 40 degree temps, and sometimes it's grey with 70 degree temps. Either way, it's grim and we run to take solace in the nearest hot beverage, Christmas treat, or adult beverage. But I remember the cold winter I spent in Norway that was full of magical snow and not just greyness but darkness. We lit candles, we turned on every light in the whole house and yes, we ate lots of Christmas cookies.

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I of course, have been spending much time in my little nest tidying, wrapping, snuggling, sleeping and watching my belly grow. I apologize to many of you for not having you over, ever, I'm full of excuses and insecurity about my home, sometimes. I do want to share pieces of my little nest with you. The pieces that have captured my attention in the grey afternoons and dark evenings after the kids are in bed and my tidying begins.

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The grey doesn't bother me so much this year. I'm not expecting sun. I want the evening to come so I can plug in my bright blue lights and I am sad when I have to leave home and I have to get Josiah to unplug the lights on the tree (I can't fit back to the outlet). I love gathering up the newly washed and dried warm baby blankets and folding them. Deciding which ones will go in the hospital bag. I love spending time in my kids room with them. Josiah takes pride in keeping his Lego creations collected. I make room for things like the changing pad, the container full of Tessa blankets and sheets, and a little make-shift dresser full of 0-3 clothes: pink, green and white.

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Nutcracker Soldiers by Josiah displayed on the fridge.

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Paper Source to the rescue! Little Village Project I got to work on with the kids. A little smidge of domestic bliss. Hasn't always been so calm, these are the first few days of winding down. I'm ticking off the days to Christmas, because I feel we might see Tessa after the 25th. And most of me is OK with that, except the part of me that wants to hold her. It's a present I have to wait and wait to open.

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family | By katiek | 2:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2008

The next chapter


one of the friendly beasts, originally uploaded by anniebee.

I'm sorta done with teaching for the semester. I've done all my Christmas shopping. I've pretty much got everything wrapped. I've pre-registered at the hospital and purchased last minute baby stuff. Yesterday I was throwing stuff together for some chili and my body just said NO! This pregnancy has reminded me why I don't have more kids. I LOVE my kids, but I do not like pregnancy. I have some affection for the humor of it all, and I like eating without being stared at (tee hee). But the pains, they stop me and I hate that. The ligaments that God designed to hold my pelvis to the rest of my body are stretched for the third time and they are not enjoying Tessa's acrobatics. With a twist of her head she sends shooting tingling pain all down my leg, so much so I have to bend over 90 degrees. They tell you your contractions are important when they stop you in your tracks, well, these stop me and it's not the good pain that gets the baby out! I feel like my legs are going to fall off! One time last night it was so sharp I yelped to myself and instantly started crying.

After lying down for awhile feeling guilty that Joel was dealing with dinner time bickering, I noticed I was having contractions pretty regularly. Not hard ones, but not just Braxton Hicks. I had them all evening. Sometimes 5 min apart. Joel went on a mission for rum and egg nog and I watched Law and Order on the laptop while soaking in the tub. I went to bed thinking that I would have a restless night and I did. But this morning, nothing to show for it. I'm realizing I'm one of the only people that waits it out this time of year, lots of other folks get induced. Save the pitocin for someone in great need, I'll wait for the next chapter even if my legs pop out.

I was listening to the friendly beasts song, and I thought how nice it would be to have little farm animals to help me and surround Tessa with cooing, wooliness, and warm snuffling breath. I wish I could get some great relivance from being 'with child' so close to Christmas, but I'm just ready to end one tough stage and take on the next. I guess I could take a cue from Mary and "treasure all these things in my heart", that seems like a sweeter end.

| By katiek | 9:40 AM | Comments (2)

December 16, 2008

These make my back not hurt so much...

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Because my belly is jiggling like a bowl full of jelly looking at these pictures!

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I mean, there's always something you won't agree on, even with people in your church community. But who out there can't appreciate the joys of being ridiculous at an Ugly Sweater Party!!

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And for those of you that know and love my husband, can you not give a good chuckle to his "smile of choice" for these pics. I had no idea he was making this face....

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I feel like I'm showing all my cards. Oh yeah, I am having a baby soon, you guys are going to hafta come visit again when I post pictures of my sweet Tessa.

family | By katiek | 2:02 PM | Comments (1)

December 14, 2008

Relive

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Life continues to be full of fun moments that my pregnant bod pays for later. This was a good one! I mean, they're all something to be thankful for. I'm so glad that I can participate in so many fun things even though I'm 9 months pregnant. The Ugly Sweater Party for our church was a perfect event. Bring the kids, get a good meal, be goofy with friends, play pictionary with Christmas Carols, get a "prom shot" of your fam. We are well documented this season gotta say! This shot is of Justin and Laura, the couple that borrowed our kids for a weekend while Joel and I escaped to Helen GA. They look like they can handle my two monkeys don't they! I LOVED Laura's get-up, I think I would have worn that to school when I was 17. Maybe I did. Seriously, can anyone else testify to that!

I've been waking up each morning pushing back the thought that I may go into labor soon. I feel big, Tessa feels big, the weeks go by and I just keep truckin'. Today I wore myself out with a great night out, followed by a 3am wet-the-bed announcement, and I couldn't get back to sleep. Joel let me rest for a while this morning, which is so nice, but I filled it with reading that book, reminding myself of all the steps. Wise? I dunno. I promised my kids, and my art students that cookies would be in order for them. So with Josiah and Eden chomping at the bit to make just one more triceritops spice cookie, (what about the tree guys? or the star? or the candy canes? nope, dinosaurs)I kicked it into high gear and made cookies until lunch time. I then was able to indulge in my heat therapy/shower. I felt like a wrung out rag.

My boy is such a boy, and I love it when he strikes ninja poses for photos, wrestles with his Papa and his sister (and me when I'm not so maternal), and draws super heroes blasting aliens with their pink warbling laser beams. What I don't like and need to ask God for super natural intervention every day is all the messes he makes. He has very little understanding of order. I'm sure my housekeeping style is not a great example, but Josiah is all about flinging his after school trappings everywhere despite my pleas for cooperation. I've threatened, rewarded, shouted and cooed and nothing works consistantly. It's probably hopeless only in my head. But now that the holidays have struck us, along with all the dietary no-no's, my boy has been the cause of great neurotic frustration for me. His dashes to the potty leave me cringing and barking orders. "Shut the door! Make sure you get it all out! Are you clean? Flush and Wash hands!" And my boy's odor seems to be especially toxic. I can get rather embarassed about it. I believe that God keeps our family healthy through many supernatural exchanges, but for some reason I am a CRAZY person when it comes to Josiah's BM's. There can be a nightmare waiting in the bathroom for me some days. Joel wonders if his diet needs to change. It occurs to me that the sweets are a big culprit. It began at our church camping trip over Halloween (the last wonderful holiday full of crap food), where Josiah was playing and not thinking of his inner workings that well. At 9:30 pm I was cleaning off my big boys bottom in a camp house shower! My poor boy! How embarassing and freezing! I was spent. For-get it! I grumbled and scolded Josiah about how he needed to stop playing and just GO! Then, I realized how hard it was for him to have this happen to him, how my resilient boy was shivering from his late night, open air shower and how his little ego was very fragile. I told him what he needed to do next time, that I loved him, we laughed about how awkward the shower was, and when he was all clean I bundled him up in all the things that were clean and hugged him and snuggled him back to a normal temperature. I scooted him into his sleeping bag and he was out like a light.

Today I had a super late-pregnancy moment where Josiah made a huge mess and I LOST it. I just started sobbing. Uncontrollably. I am ashamed of myself. Joel came to my rescue and talked calmly to Josiah, cleaned him up, and did everything that I would do and more had I been sane and not hormonal. I sat in a heap on the stairs sobbing. How can keep this from my kids? My emotions, my frustrations? God give me patience! There are places in my spirit that God reminds me of and I must remember that He is in control. I treat my son as I would anyone else I have wronged. I tell him what I did that was wrong, I ask his forgiveness, and we pray that Jesus would forgive me too. And in his childhood love for me, Josiah accepts me with loving hugs and affectionate words. I must remember that God accepts me even more so, and I imagine God arms are much bigger yet just as warmly desireable. This is also a preparation, better than that book. When Tessa arrives and my emotions are peaked, I pray that God will slather us with grace. That my tears would be happy ones, and my heart would be full of joy for all of my children. That the frustrations would be swallowed up because our Father is so good.

community , the spirit within | By katiek | 3:20 PM | Comments (1)

December 12, 2008

Good Doggie







Good Doggie


Originally uploaded by katiek2


On these winter evenings when there is not much time between homework, dinner, bath and bed we get creative with our playtime. Eden LOVES to pretend to be different animals. And we like to humor her. Joel especially. This was definately worth recording since Eden is wearing 12 month pants that she insisted on wearing and had a plumbers crack all day. Her "treats" are clementine wedges by the way.

| By katiek | 9:00 AM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2008

Limbo

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I wanted to share our cheese-ball picture from INHABIT this past Saturday. At 1am, I think we're still holding on to a shred of creative goofball qualities. I hate showing all my teeth, but for this a gave it a good fat grin. Fake books, love it. I can't understand why they put the faux chair in front of me though, isn't a shiny, teal, 9 month pregnant belly worth a good shot?
Anyway, I'm sure you know that I'm feeling in limbo these days. I am one of the last ones standing in the pregnancy department. Both my friends Mandi and Michelle had their babies today. I have to say I don't feel ready! I have heartburn every night, and I spontaneously fall asleep everyday, but I just don't feel prepared. Our infant seat is still up in the attic. Our cradle is still full of stuffed animals at Mom's house. I have onesies and socks to buy. Winter babies, geez. I did this before why am I so nervous now? I feel guilty that I don't have time to think about Tessa, I just go from day to day taking care of everything I can. She reminds me she's there though! And I have a feeling she will everyday of her life.
I officially get maternity leave after Monday the 15th. I'm prepping Kelly Wilkes to take on teaching at HHL for me. I am so glad to have her doing this!
Today I dropped off Eden at pre-K and went to the midwife appt. Same old thang. Except two lbs heavier. Weight gain has not made me depressed at all this time. I sat a little longer than usual waiting for Laure, she had another mom in labor. Labor, ugh, I'm not ready! I look at all the posters on the wall of the exam room: The "joys" of late pregnancy, the true stories of breast-feeding, Life with baby, oh and of course the HPV poster-YUM. I just wanted to get it over with. Two and a half dialated, 50% effaced and Tessa likes to wriggle onto her back for Laure, making me nervous that I will experience back labor this go around.
I want to drown my limbo-ness in a visit to the thrift store and my favorite foods, but alas the heartburn. Better not have 4 clementines! I did find a cute pair of Rocket Dog skimmers at America's Thrift, but not much else. There was another mom looking through the infant girl clothes and she told me she was getting induced on Monday. She had two young boys with her, and another woman. It made me snap out of it for a minute. I have two Rubbermaids full of girl clothes. Wrong season, but they're available. I took the three little things I found and then left the section thinking that if there was anything actually worth buying she needed it more than me. Warped sense of charity maybe, but it felt better. And I picked Eden up on time.
It's time for me to get my ducks in a row. Talk to Mom, get Joel to transport necessary baby objects from hidey holes to places they can be used. Figure out how we will arrange the three kids seats in the Prev. Start making a list for what I want to bring to the hospital. Hospital, Ugh.
God is so good to me. It's been another easy, healthy, pregnancy. Why don't I have 7 kids by now? Nevermind, I know why. But I am so grateful, and I am so happy I'm having this baby girl. I can't wait to meet her and be done with the huge-ness, the waiting, the busy-ness of life and just get to know Tessa. All of us together. To sit, rest, stare at her face, nurse, sleep on my stomach, sleep with her. Have every reason in the world to not do a thing. Thank you Tessa, for helping me slow down.

family | By katiek | 8:53 PM | Comments (2)

December 9, 2008

Doing doing

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Holiday in St Elmo. This is our cool ass tent that was a monster to take down. We had fun, sold almost nothing, but drank lots of hot chocolate and ate overpriced Mojo Burrito.

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One of my favorite things about Christmas decorations. My big blue Charlie Brown lights! I put these up with the kids "help". No ladders involved. Just a dusty box in the waterheater closet, a staple gun, 2 cranky kids that needed to be fed, and one jaunt up and down the stairs. I love having 2 porches!

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INHABIT! Totally puts paying $20 just for two movie tickets and a popcorn in perspective. Major entertainment involving a band that did a mean Prince medley, yummy appetizers and anything you could possibly want to drink. Until about midnight when they started to run out. It helped to be pregnant, I got my coat checked immediately, and got shoved to the front of the ladies' room line. I stayed until 1am, I made sure to get a cheezy Olan Mills photo with my man first.

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But the most important place to be is hanging out on the couch with my kids, talking about the baby, and watching them bear hug until someone (Eden) gets hurt. The reason I'm doing this all over again, for sweet moments like this one.

community , family | By katiek | 9:17 AM | Comments (1)

December 8, 2008

No, I have not had a baby

Hello everyone, just dropping in quickly to say that our internet/computer has been on the fritz and I am not in the hospital birthing a baby. I just realized that, that some of you may be wondering. Nope, I'm still pregnant, and my next goal is to de-bug my computer so I can finish up Christmas shopping and load pictures to this blog of recent events. Take care blog land. Maybe I'll be visiting you tomorrow morning? Who knows? The ghost in the machine is pretty mean.

community | By katiek | 11:43 PM | Comments (0)