Friday, July 25, 2008

Crazy fun times with Mom and Dad Gardner

Ok, so this is going to be more of a picture journal entry for my own benefit so I can remember all of the fun things we did while my parents were here. Feel free to take a peek into my journal if you're so interested :)
Ron and Wendy came on the 9th of July and stayed until the 22nd. There was no wasted time. We saw everything we hadn't seen in Virginia as well as revisiting some Virginia essentials with them. Besides having tons of fun 'doing' stuff, we had tons of fun having them get to know Cooper and see our Virginia life. We miss you already!!
One thing that was so great was to have them here for Cooper's blessing! It was the first grandchild in 4 years that my dad has been able to be in the circle for! (he missed 4 while he was gone!) Cooper's donning Rudy's old Christening outfit, thanks to Rudy's mom for keeping it and letting us use it.
Rudy and Dad 'man bonding' putting together a backyard toy for Tucker that Rudy's been wanting for a while.The essence of our sightseeing trip...all looking at maps, trying to decide what to hit next...yet all still a little lost. :)
This was our first excursion-to Jamestown.Here's the wild animal Tucker in his natural habitat...look at him as he sneaks up on his goose prey.
We are officially in the record books for our one-day tour of Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Yankee Candle Co, AND Pierce's BBQ and made it home to put Tucker down before it got dark! WHEW!! THAT was a full day!Papa walking with Tucker around our beautiful Maymont Park. We got to see the Maymont Mansion and take a tour of all the beautiful stuff owned by the Dooley family.
Such a fun connection! Sandi Poulson, my mom's best friend in high school, lives 5 minutes away from us. Wendy and Sandi got to reunite and we got a tour from the woman who's lived here for many years and knew all the 'backroads'.
Sandi took us on a Canal Boat Tour showing us the extensive canal system George Washington set up. Tucker loved it because it ran next to an old railroad and he got to see a real CHOO CHOO! What a handsome daddy waiting for a canal ride! :)

Sandi also showed us where she worked- a non-profit organization for religious freedom. There was a wall of religions that were persecuted through the ages, the far end picture is Dallin H. Oaks, representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We went to Charlottesville on our last full day, starting with an old style colonial meal at Michie's Tavern...YUM.
Then moving onto James Monroe's house...which we didn't get to see because they charged lots o money just to even see the outside of the house. So then we hit an old shopping area then off to Monticello to see Jefferson's house. He had a great view!
Look! It's the back of a nickel! Fun to be where Jefferson lived.
Cute Nana doing her favorite thing while in Richmond...holding cute Cooper.
Good times hanging out and playing games filled in the rest of the vacation.

Random picture of CUTE BABY FEET! I have a thing for baby feet.
Random picture of CUTE COOPER! I have a thing for Cooper. :)
Random picture of CUTE WOLF BOYS! I have a thing for my wolf boys! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cooper John Wolf

He's finally here!! :) We welcomed this little bundle of joy to earth on June 26th, 2008 at 7:01 PM. It was an incredible birthing experience and he's as healthy and wonderful as can be!
If you don't want the journal entry birthing story, skip on down to the pics. :)
On Wednesday, the 25th, I went in to get an ultrasound to see how he was doing and how big he was getting. I figured he was big like Tucker and, seeing the results of the size of the baby the OB would definitely want to induce me. I wanted so bad to go into labor naturally- my prayer was to be able to do that if it was possible. I was told in the ultrasound that I was measuring about 38 weeks and he was 7-8 lbs!! I didn't expect that at all and it took so much pressure off knowing I could wait until 42 weeks to do anything because size wasn't a factor. The doctor still wanted to induce me the following Monday but then he informed me that he'd be gone all that week so it didn't really matter to him if I waited a few more days. So not only now did I not have the size pressure, but my worries I've had with this doctor weren't going to be an issue because he wasn't even going to be around! I went home feeling pure peace for the first time in a long time. Rudy says that's what did it. He thinks I have a lot of control over my body when I'm stressed (like when I got Lasik a week before our wedding and it didn't work...or so I thought, until the day after the wedding on our honeymoon when the stresses were over, I woke up and could see perfectly). And truly that could have been it. I was finally able to relax about the whole thing and feel like I had 'time' and could just wait it out. So I woke up the next morning at 5 with some decent contractions. I didn't think anything of it since I'd been having decent contractions on and off for the past MONTH, until I went to the restroom and saw some blood. The contractions continued, but didn't intensify too much so I told Rudy to go to school and I went about my day, going to playgroup, errands, and work. After work, at about 3, they started coming more and more consistent and strong. I called Rudy around 4 to see when he was coming home and he said he had just finished up his patient and was leaving right then. So I started packing some stuff and by the time he got home I was perty dern sure I was in labor. I told him we should probably get things together. We took our time and by 5:30 were ready to go...and I was feeling ready to go. We dropped Tucker off at the Davidsons (THANK YOU GUYS!!) and got to the hospital around 6. I was definitely feeling the contractions at this point and having to concentrate and breathe through them. We got in to register and started filling out paperwork as I leaned onto the back of the chair and tried to find my 'happy place' :) About 10 minutes into it the woman helping us looked at me and said, "I can tell your a trooper, but you need to go upstairs now, we'll finish this later". So we shuffled on upstairs and walked in to Labor and Delivery where a few doctors were at the front desk, saw me and said, "what do you think guys? she in labor? guess you can come right in!" joking around with me as I could barely walk directly into one of the rooms to get changed. Getting dressed into that gown was an experience! I didn't think I'd make it. After some serious struggling and deep breathing I made it into that beautiful gown and onto the bed. So whoever says to 'relax' through contractions obviously never made it to transition labor! How are you supposed to relax when your whole body is writhing in the most intense pain it's ever felt?? Well, more power to those who can. As soon as I layed down the contractions I thought couldn't get worse. The wonderful nurse was trying to get paperwork and questions out of the way. I looked at her and asked if she'd check me before going into my second great aunt's medical history. She did and her eyes got wide. I was at a nine and going fast. All of a sudden the room kicked into hyperdrive as they got everything ready for a baby and tried paging the doctor. Rudy was just shaking his head feeling sorry for the whole staff thinking they were making a big fuss about nothing because I was at a 10 for over 4 hours last time! The nurse told me to tell her if i felt like I had to push and "don't worry, this wouldn't be my first baby I've had to deliver!" Right as she said that my water broke. A few ridiculously painful contractions later I felt like I had to push. Just as I was about to start the doctor walked in. He checked me, said we're good to go anytime you want to start pushing! I pushed once just to try it out and see how it felt...SOO much better than pushing for hours when you don't feel the urge! I asked after that contraction where his head was. He said a -1 station (still a ways back in the pelvis). At that point everything came together and I just knew how I needed to push to get this baby out. It was an incredible experience and really brought to life a blessing Rudy had given me a couple of weeks earlier that talked about listening to my body and knowing what to do. The very next push I went from a -1 station to crowning. I asked if I needed to slow it down and he said, 'lets just see what happens'...I took that as, 'go ahead, get the baby out'. So one more contraction, one more push and...VOILA! A baby! :) From the time I got into the room to the time I had a baby in my arms was about 45 minutes. It was such an incredible, amazing, inspiring experience! I got to hold him and nurse him and Rudy got to cut the cord (unlike the hecticness of Tucker's birth). Besides the mind-numbing pain, I'm a HUGE fan of going natural! :) I did tear some, so while I held Cooper, Rudy and Doc had a nice bonding experience while he stitched me up. As Rudy puts it, "although the word 'vagina' and 'gingiva' may SOUND similar, as far as suturing, they're quite different!" (Insert smiley face rolling his eyes here). Ahh Rudy, I love you! He really was very supportive and I couldn't have done it without his words of encouragement. After it was all over, he said, "That was great! and SO easy! Let's do that again with the next one! I'm ok with have a lots more kids now!" :) Although I don't know if I want to talk about having another JUST yet, it was a wonderful, beautiful experience and I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for answering our prayers in such a miraculous way and giving me a chance to be a part of something so amazing!!
We love our little boys so much and are so grateful for them! Welcome to the world Cooper!! We love you!

7 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long. He has similarities to Tucker, but also definitely his own look.
Cooper and his parents about 30 minutes after delivery.

What a great dad!!!

Our celebratory dinner with steak, cheesecake, and sparkling cider.

What a good big brother you're going to be Tuck!

He's already found his thumb!