Isla Lydia Smith - August, 17th 2014 - born at 4:11pm - 8 pounds - 20.5 inches long
She's here! Our sweet Isla girl, and we couldn't love her more. She is beautiful and oh so sweet. Beck and Paisley love her more than anything in the world (like I worry about her surviving her first year due to being clobbered with affection all day) and they light up every morning when they get to reunite once "the sun is awake". We are lucky. We are blessed.
We moved to Arizona beginning of July. Eight months pregnant and the hottest time of year. Justin got a new job working for Winn-Marrion so we packed up (again), enjoyed a John Clark family reunion, kissed friends and family goodbye, and headed to the cactus covered dessert. Justin found and signed on the house while out here for work so I moved with little knowledge of where I was going and where we'd be living. Talk about trust. I packed up most of the house while pregnant and with toddlers at my feet. I felt excited or depressed depending on the hour but will feel eternally grateful for the friends and especially sisters that helped with cleaning, packing and babysitting. Man, we're loved. Justin worked and trained for the new job pretty much the whole month of June. He came home to help finish up packing (there was still so much to do in one weekend) and drive our belongings to our new home in Arizona. He then flew back to Utah to join us for the Fourth of July/Clark Reunion and then drive the kids and I back with him. Remembering that last goodbye with my sisters still makes me tear up. I will never forget those years we all lived close and loved on each others babies weekly, sometimes daily. Special times and wonderful memories.
This pregnancy was rough. During this pregnancy Justin had surgery, changed jobs, traveled much because of the new job, and moved us here to Gilbert. I cried a lot this pregnancy and I couldn't wait to hold this baby in my arms. The first month here in Gilbert I spent trying to get unpacked and somewhat settled hoping it would be done before the baby's arrival. For the most part it was. Our third bedroom is still full of boxes. Beck and Paisley handled the move and change and chaos like champs for the most part. Beck went through a phase where he would burst into tears over the littlest thing and come to me crying "I just want to hold my Jesus". I think he knew I couldn't loose it if Jesus was involved. Smart boy. I've felt especially grateful that Beck and Paisley have each other these days. They get along really well for the most part and keep each other busy. I love to hear them play. Some of their favorite games the past months are "picnic" with the play food and "Doctor" with the doctor kit they got for Christmas. They also love to cut paper into a million tiny pieces and glue them to another piece of paper. It's cute and keeps them busy so I'm cool with the constant craft mess. And even though I spend way too much time cleaning up, I kind of love it. Them being creative that is... not constantly cleaning.
We had one false alarm a few days before the baby actually came. I was having contractions close and somewhat painful so I called Justin home a little early from work, called Neela (Maddy's friend from LDS BC who lives here) to come babysit, called my visiting teacher who offered to be the emergency contact for the kids or whatever, and headed to the hospital. They monitored me four a few hours and sent me home. Bummer! I was induced a few days later. The morning we went in was perfect. A beautiful Sunday morning (the name Sunny re-entered my mind). I was more than ready and thought I'd get a good nap once I had my epidural. They gave me the pitosen first to get labor started. I had the cutest little ethiopian nurse named Fitza. She was beautiful and tiny with freckles all over her hands. She grew up in Adis Ababa so I told her about Oakley and Summer and their mission there and she seemed to like that I knew a little about where she grew up. We talked about how hot Arizona was and about the snow in Utah. She told me she used to walk to the bus every day in miserable heat as a child and didn't have AC until she moved to the states with her husband so she feels guilty complaining. After a little while my contractions started coming fast and hard. They told me that the baby was turned to the side a little and that I would have to hold a giant peanut shaped ball between my legs to hopefully help the baby move to a better position for delivery. I was ready for the epidural. The CRNA came in and my first thought was about how young he looked. Well I don't know if it was his inexperience as I'd feared or the fact that my contractions were getting more and more painful and I maybe moved as the epidural was being placed, but something went wrong and the epidural did NOT work. I wasn't mentally prepared for a non medicated birth but I did it. My left leg tingled a little but I felt the whole darn thing. Terrible contractions and everything else after. And because the baby wasn't face down, Dr. Beck (my Beck loved that they had the same name) had to work to twist and pull the baby out...ouch. But after seeing this beautiful baby, I would have done that a thousand more times. So worth it.
Shortly after delivery with Doctor Beck.
Isla Lydia Smith - August, 17th 2014 - born at 4:11pm - 8 pounds - 20.5 inches long
Since the delivery was so traumatic, I was pretty shaken up after as the nurses cleaned up baby and I. Everything seemed blurry as I held Isla on my chest and kissed her head over and over. Justin cut the umbilical cord and watched as the nurse weighed and measured her and got her dressed. I was still teary and shaky but watched and smiled as best I could while feeling so weak and tired. Shortly after they got me up and changed, Justin gathered our things and they moved us to the triage room where we would stay the next two days. A storm came in at some point and it was pouring outside. Arizona has crazy storms during monsoon season. My mom was flying in and I felt worried about her plane landing safely because the rain and wind was so bad. But she finally touched down after circling in the air for an extra 45 minutes waiting for a break to land. Neela packed up the kids and went to pick mom up and meet us at the hospital. Justin had to run out to our car to get a few things leaving me alone with the baby for a little while. It was so quiet. the most quiet it had been the whole day. I held her in front of me staring for what felt like a long time, enjoying the peace with my new daughter. I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow when she started to stir and she seemed to like it. I'll always remember sitting in that room singing and kissing those soft cheeks. To me, that was our fist bonding moment. Quiet and still, while listening to the rain and singing softly. Perfection.
Nona had given Beck and Paisley a sucker on the way which seemed almost as exciting as the new baby sister. But their meeting with her was sweet and tender. Nonna spoiled them rotten during her visit. I was grateful that they were so happy and didn't seem to miss Justin or I or feel a loss of attention. Neela was also great. My dad and sisters also visited shortly after Isla's birth. It was amazing. They were all so helpful. Beck and Paisley were in heaven. I'll write more about their stay later.
Isla, I feel so blessed to have this life to love and raise you. I feel so blessed to be sealed to you forever. You are so loved. Beck can't keep off you to the point you must think he's a part of you. Every time you make a peep Paisley runs to you yelling "it's okay baby! don't be sad!" followed by rough pats and cheek to cheek snuggles. I melt watching your dad hold you. The way he looks at you and talks to you confirms to me that you will always be protected and valued by your father. I hope you someday realize how special that is. I remember putting Beck and Paisley down for naps one day, the week before you were born. I sat on the floor singing songs softly per Paisley's request and in that rare quiet moment I started thinking about our days as a family of four being limited. I thought about how much I loved Beck and Paisley and worried that I had no more room to love another. I grew another heart the day you were born and love you as if I've never lived without you. Even now you are only two months old and I can hardly remember what life was like before you came. You were meant to be a part of our family and fit in perfectly. You are mine and ours and I can't wait to watch you grow. I hope and pray that you always feel loved and safe in our home and that you grow feeling valued and special. Because you are. I'm grateful you were sent to us. I love you to the sun, moon and stars sweet girl. Love, mom