In the early days of teenage years, for a couple of summers, two of my cousins would come over and stay with us for a week. They would sleep in my room and during the day we would run around – that space between childhood and adulthood where you wanted to do more but never could quite get there.
One summer night, my parents took us to a community pool for some night swimming. I had never liked the pool. Or swimming. But my cousins seemed excited for it so I went along. For all the chattering we did, that night we were a bit more quiet than usual. It was because if you floated on your back and looked up at the night sky, you could feel the weight of the universe.
I remember that night so clearly. I can feel the water on my back holding me up, my hair floating around my head. I can hear my cousin’s soft oh as she looked at the stars. At one point my cousin and I held hands as we floated in the pool, knowing that if we let go, we would propel into the giant universe before us. I felt so small floating beneath the stars, so small but at the same time…significant. Like the water that held me, cradled me. It was like God whispering, I got you.
The other night, I was driving to the grocery store without my kids. As I turned into the road, I was hit with this memory. Something about the way the breeze drifted into my window reminded me of swimming at night when I was 14. I felt a fondness for that memory, close to a yearning. But instead of wanting to go back to being 14 (because, ugh, who wants to be that age again once you’ve gone through your 20s), I am looking forward to one day taking my boys to the pool at night and hoping they float aimlessly and look up.
I hope for this for my kids. That they too will spend a week with their cousins in the middle of a hot summer. In those awkward years where you feel insignificant and lost, I hope they realize the magnitude of the universe, of the God we serve, and feel comforted in the same instant they feel small. In those teenage years of feeling lost, I hope they feel found. That they may feel small but significant. That the might and vastness of the universe catapults them into stillness. I hope they too get memories of clarity so strong, they can’t forget. And instead of wishing of going back, they look forward. The universe is big and vast, but it’s punctured with infinite stars lighting the way.
disclosure: Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve touched this blog. And I KNOW this is long overdue — because hello! Oliver is already 4 months old — but this is better late than never 🙂
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
It’s Halloween! We take Ari to an outdoor mall during the afternoon to trick-or-treat at the different shops. He’s a cute little dinosaur and he loved getting candy put in his bucket. I waddle around following him.
Later that afternoon, we take him around a neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. I feel huge and uncomfortable, but the baby does not come.
Thursday, November 1
AM – More walking.
PM – Come evening, it looks like the baby is not coming again so Russ and I get Ari ready for bed then sit down for the night. I bring out my sewing machine and Russell turns on the TV and we start catching up on The Good Place episodes.
8 PM – I feel a bit of a gush of water. I go to the bathroom to check. Yup, looks like my water was leaking (the same thing happened with Ari – my water didn’t break all the way but would start leaking in short bursts). I come out and tell Russell that my water was leaking. I get a towel to sit on and begin to sew again. Russell looks worried.
8:30 PM – I text my mom because Russell says he’ll text her if I don’t. I tell my mom that she might end up having to watch Ari this weekend because my water was leaking and the baby might be coming sooner than we anticipated.
8:40 PM – Mom calls me and tells me to go to the hospital. I say nah.
9:00 PM – Mom texts and tells me her and dad are on their way to our home to pick up Ari. I tell her to take their time since the baby won’t be coming soon. I shower. I start cramping.
9:30 PM – Mom and dad arrive at our place. I help dad get wifi set up on his laptop. My mom tells me and Russell to leave and go to the hospital.
10:30 PM – Russ and I arrive at Hoag Hospital. I remember thinking that it was a nice, calm drive on the freeway. I enjoyed the drive and my last bit of quality time with Russell before the baby arrived. I also reminisced about the last few days of quality time I had with Ari.
11:00 PM – In triage. The nurse confirms that yup, my water did break. I start getting my IVs set up. My contractions begin to hurt. The nurse notices my contractions are coming more frequently and guesses that I’ll probably be having the baby within the next 4 hours.
Friday, November 2, 2018
12:00 AM – I get moved into a delivery room. Contractions were still manageable.
1:00 AM – I get the epidural. I was still only halfway dilated so Russ and I try to get some sleep.
10:00 AM – The nurse says I’m stuck at a 9 for dilation. They give me a little bit of pitocin to help with the final dilation.
10:30 AM – Nurse says I’ll be ready to push soon. A bunch of nurses/doctors come in to set up the room. Russ and I still have a fish tank show playing on the TV and I don’t know when is a good time to shut off the TV. It all happens fast. I remember vividly that the fishtank show was playing in the background while my feet were being propped up and I began to push.
Like with Ari’s delivery, I got scared that the baby’s head might be too big and I won’t be able to push the baby out. And like with Ari’s delivery, the baby is out sooner than I expected. I should talk about how amazing my doctor is. I really think that why I didn’t tear at all (or need any stitches) was because he helped pull the baby. He also would instruct me on when to stop pushing or when to just do a little push. At one point, Oliver was trying to turn sunny side up – knowing how much Ollie likes to move now and also how much he moved in my belly, this isn’t surprising – and the doctor was able to turn him facing back down so that I wouldn’t tear.
11:11 AM – Oliver Henry, born on November 2, 2018 weighing 10 lbs 3 oz and measuring 22 inches long.
When Oliver came out, the nurses kept talking about how big he was. Even my OB stayed a little bit longer just to see how much he weighed. Believe me, I was also impressed by the 10 pounder. Oliver took after his dad who was also a 10 lb baby at birth.
Oliver Samson Sanga Henry
Golden Hour Bonding
Also, Oliver didn’t cry when he came out. The nurses wanted him to cry and tried to get him to cry because he had inhaled some liquid coming out. They got him to cry for a short bit but he would stop and open his eyes. It was the sweetest thing when they put him on my chest and he would look up at me.
During the one hour bonding with the baby, Oliver was even able to latch and nurse a little bit. It was a great golden hour.
I think I’ll end the post here. Things took a little turn downwards after the bonding. Maybe I’ll write about it in another post but to sum it up, I was in the delivery room for a bit longer afterwards because I was losing a lot of blood and they didn’t want to put me on the general recovery rooms. Also, after we left the hospital, we found out Oliver had really bad jaundice and we had to go to a children’s hospital overnight when he was two days old. That hospital stay wasn’t nearly as bad as when Ari had to go to the children’s hospital, but going with Oliver gave me unwanted flashbacks of when Ari was there. It also didn’t help with the postpartum blues which I really wished wouldn’t come but came anyways. Throw in not having seen Ari for a couple days, yeah, it was a major downturn the following couple days. But to be honest, the first couple weeks following birth are the hardest and most anxiety-filled days for me.
So let’s wrap up this delivery story! Oliver is a healthy, smiley, very HAPPY baby. I will try to keep up with this blog now that I’ve kind of (ha!) adjusted to the two kid thing.
I’ve finally been brave enough to dive into sewing clothes. It started with basic “pillow case” dresses for my niece, Eliana, which then branched off into trying to make clothes for Ari and Baby #2. I finally found a boy toddler pattern for a romper (there are so many girl dress patterns but barely any boy patterns out there) and have been able to make some cute clothes for Baby #2 which I am hoping fits him. I also have another romper all cut out and ready to sew for Ari’s size but I have been so distracted with all the other things that I want to sew that I haven’t circled back to it yet.
I have also bought a couple vintage patterns for me because I want to try to make my own clothes. Eek! As you can see in the second picture above, I bought a pattern that can be for overalls or dresses. I am so excited to try this out. I cut out the pattern already. I plan on sewing the dress before giving birth and I hope to fit into the dress a couple months postpartum. If this dress works out, I want to try the overalls. Russell pointed out that it’s very Mamma Mia-esque which I am so happy about because yay! I love that movie (the first one, second one was okay). (more…)