Well, I dropped off the face of the planet after Maiya's birth, mainly because of the holidays, traveling, etc. I feel like I haven't been home in forever...and perhaps it's because we have been in and out so much! Today was only the 2nd time I've been able to make it to my own church ward (besides the Sunday immediately after Maiya's birth...in which everyone at church was astonished I was out of the house, already)!
But first, let me start with some photos of Ella from BEFORE Christmas! First off, I discovered Ella really loves to Exercise ("Excise") and do Yoga ("Ogga"). It is just so funny! So, here's a picture of Ella doing some of my pregnancy yoga videos...what a goof! Notice her creative Yoga mat...a kitchen towel! She would get SO upset if I tried to do Yoga without one of these beautiful towels under me!
And just for kicks...here's another picture of Ella opening something...I guess there's a reason they put warnings on many packages, stating that the package is "not a toy" and should be kept out of reach of children! Forget worrying about seagulls and dolphins...what about the children who could get their heads caught in some of this trash? :)
This November and December, Ella took swimming lessons at the local fitness club. She had SOOO much fun learning to hold her breath, swim under water, back float, etc. Both Jared and I got to take her twice a week, and she especially liked the small hot tub that we would go in for the last 10 minutes of the lesson. Each day, we would stay about 15 minutes after class, and she would go nuts swimming from side to side in the hot tub.
THE LABOR STORY...not for the faint-hearted...
Alright...well...shortly after these photos were taken, I was beginning to think that the new baby would NEVER come out of my "tummy" (did you ever notice that if you don't have children, you call it a "stomach"...but as soon as you have kids...suddenly, everyone has a "tummy"?). I was feeling SO pregnant, and SO uncomfortable. Truthfully, I felt healthy, so I shouldn't complain...but climbing the steps to our 3rd floor apartment was proving to be increasingly difficult. In addition, my hips had stopped working together (I suppose it was a result of my pelvic bones adjusting to make room for a baby), and when sleeping, rolling from one side to the other was nearly impossible, and if achieved, was accompanied by some painful exclamations!
Anyhow, my water broke at 3:30am on December 11th (after 2 lovely hours of sleep...I promised myself I would get to sleep earlier this pregnancy, since I pulled the same stunt with Ella...but we're night owls...and I just didn't discipline myself enough!).
With Ella, my water broke in the wee hours of the morning, and contractions began, but were never strong enough to help me progress to labor. By evening, I finally had to go to the hospital to be induced with Pitocin (when your water breaks, you have a maximum of 24 hours to have your baby, before risking infection), and I requested an epidural (I had intended on going all-natural at my midwife's "birth center). I have heard that contractions induced by Pitocin can be brutally strong, so it seemed like the reasonable choice...after all, the contractions I had felt so far had been quite painful, and I wasn't sure how much pain I could handle. By the end of the delivery, I was hooked up to every known intervention (oxygen between contractions, a glucose IV to give me the energy I was drained of, and others I won't explain, to make it less graphic).
So, the reason I tell you this, is because when my water broke with Maiya at around the same a.m. time, I assumed we were going to have a repeat of the 1st delivery experience with Ella. I called my midwife (a different one this time, because my previous midwife moved), and instead of telling me to labor at home, as I expected, she told me to meet her at the hospital to get checked in. Our wonderful friend from church, Kim Stewart, kindly let me wake her up early in the morning, and she came over to watch Ella (who was still in bed) for the morning. Kim took off work to do this, and she was SUCH a blessing! She watched Ella until Jared's mom, Marilyn, was able to make it down from Quincy (2 hours north) after her morning bus shift. What a life saver!
So, we took our time, and checked into the hospital around 5:30 or so. They took forever asking me a billion questions (pregnancy and family history, etc), but eventually they were done, and my midwife, Kathy West, showed up. She is also LDS, wonderfully sweet, and was an absolute joy to have as a midwife! She told me to go walk the halls for an hour. So, Jared and I walked up and down the short halls of the Kennewick General Hospital for quite some time. About halfway through I called my parents to let them know I was having contractions...at the end of the phone call, I had to cut my goodbye short, and run to a trash can to throw up. It seems I am a puker when laboring. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart, and about every other contraction from then on threw me into the face of a trash can. Lovely, but surely those strong dry-heaves helped me progress through labor quickly! :)
So, we went back to the room, and had to be hooked up to equipment to monitor my labor for 15 mintues every hour. I'm not quite sure how the time passed from then on, but I do remember spending some time bouncing on a yoga ball (WONDERFUL for handling my contractions, which throw all my pain into my tail bone). Anyways, I decided I would take advantage of the jacuzzi tub in my private bathroom after I was off the monitors around 9:45. Contractions were getting pretty strong, and I wasn't getting as much relief from Jared pushing on my tail bone during my 90 second contractions consistently every 5 minutes (he's so great...and sacrificed his hands to the cause). The nurse (who was also conveniently LDS) and my midwife agreed that I could go in the tub, but that they should check my progression first, to make sure they didn't have an unexpected water delivery (which they don't want in the hospital).
My midwife checked me, and informed me that I was at a 4.5 (of 10), and that if I wanted an epidural, I should order it now, because I'd probably have the baby in about 2-3 hours, and it takes at least 30 minutes to get an epidural set up, and even longer to have it kick in. My midwife, Kathy, said "Are you sure you don't want to go natural?...You're doing so well!" I looked at Jared and laughed, suggesting "NO WAY." So...no laboring in the jacuzzi tub :( I ordered the epidural (I couldn't imagine going natural after my birth experience with Ella!), and they began hooking me up to an IV. Contractions were really strong by now, and it proved to be rather inconvenient to be hooked up to the IV. I tried to stay out of the bed, however, because contractions are MUCH more painful in a reclined or laying down position. Instead, I rocked in a rocking chair or stood on the side of the bed. These contractions were interspersed with dramatic dry-heaving into plastic baggies!
After 35 minutes, I informed my nurse and midwife that I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, and they looked at me with raised eyebrows. My midwife had me get in the bed so she could check me again, and to everyone's surprise, in just 35 minutes I had gone from a 4.5 to a full 10! She said "we're going to have this baby!"...and suddenly I recognized the urge to PUSH! The nurses began clamoring around, and wheeling in the appropriate baby bed, and medical equipment, etc! If I remember correctly, only 1 or 2 contractions later resulted in my quickly pushing out a tiny baby! My midwife barely had time to catch the baby, and the epidural I ordered had never arrived. Yes, it was painful, but how painful is painful, if it only lasts 60-90 seconds? As soon as Maiya was out, the pain seemed to be gone! Completely fleeting! I laughed under my breath for a few minutes, as Jared tried to recover from the sudden excitement of what just happened. Here he was expecting me to have to push for quite awhile, but within 1 or 2 pushes, out came Maiya! Here's a picture of me just moments after, thinking, "WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?" So, Maiya was born before Jared's mom even made it down to Kennewick from Quincy! In the afternoon, Marilyn brought Ella to the hospital to see Maiya.
Ella was SOOO excited! In fact, she still is SOOO excited to be a big sister! She smothers her with kisses nonstop (she has to kiss her finger, her forehead, her foot, her lips, her nose, etc), and we spend a lot of our day just shielding Maiya from being overly-loved! When we ask Ella to stop kissing her, she sweetly says "But I LOVE her!" :) I decided that having a newborn is a BREEZE, it's the 2 1/2 year old that can drive you CRAZY! In fact, I think Maiya sleeps better than Ella! Here is a pic of Ella being a proud big sis!
Recovery from delivery has been exceptionally easy! I was out shopping and going places just a day or two after coming home from the hospital! With Ella, I couldn't get out of bed for weeks, not to mention walk comfortably. But because I didn't tear with Maiya, I was able to get up and about much more quickly!
SAVILLE FAMILY CHRISTMAS IN LEAVENWORTH, WASHINGTON
Just 1.5 weeks after Maiya was born, my family (Saville Family) flew in from across the US, to spend Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington! Ben & Jenny & their new baby boy Tyler came from North Carolina. Lara and Greg came from Atlanta. Lea and Shayne, and their boys Cole and Hunter, drove up from Utah, my parents flew in from Kansas, and Brian flew in from Las Vegas (because he was playing in the marching band for the BYU bowl game). It was quite an ordeal for everyone to get in safely (canceled and delayed flights, terrible weather on the mountain passes they had to cross from Seattle to Leavenworth, etc). Eventually, everyone arrived safely, and we had a great time together! We made Gingerbread houses, decorated massive stockings, cooked dinners, played games, etc!
Here's a picture of the Saville gang this year. It is the first family photo with Brian in 4 years, as well as the first photo of Lara with her hubby, Greg, who we all like so much!
For Christmas, Ella got some cute PJ's, a few toys, and 2 boxes of band-aids (Sounds like an odd gift, but she is seriously obsessed with band-aids....she used them all up within a week). Marilyn and Robert (her Grandma and Grandpa) gave her a lifelike baby doll for Christmas (at my request...hoping she could focus some of her baby-craze on the doll, instead of Maiya)! The baby doll, "Emma," was actually bigger than Maiya, but Maiya is quickly catching up in size!
Overall, Maiya has just been an exceptional baby. She hardly EVER cries, and she sleeps and eats wonderfully. It also helps that she is so tolerant of her older sister :) She gets a nervous face when Ella is attacking her with kisses, but she rarely fusses at Ella's attention. She makes it so enjoyable to have a newborn, again! As for Ella...well...that's another story...
We love you all, and hope that you had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior. We are so thankful for the influence of his Spirit in our daily lives, and we pray that we may be guided over the following year. We are SOOO very blessed with health, happiness, and prosperity!