Friday, September 28, 2012

First Meeting

Just a couple hours after Mr. Grey was born, he was able to meet his big brothers. I expected them to walk in a hurry over to me, like they usually do when they've been away. But this time, they were fixated on the new human in the room.

They started out with a cute little wave.

And Grey waved back!

Then Dash got to hold his little brother. We'd practiced with some stuffed animals earlier in the week.

Then Liam had his turn. Both big brothers finished with a sweet kiss on the head.

Then they helped me eat my dinner.

And they quite enjoyed the gift Grey bestowed upon them: Nemos! How very thoughtful of that baby.

And really, everything's been fantastic between the older boys and Grey. There was one teeny tiny show of jealousy when Grey had to get a test done and Dash didn't like Sean focusing on Grey. But it was very brief and nothing like that has happened since. I think Liam and Dash really enjoy Grey: they like to point him out while they're playing, they run over to give him kisses, they share toys with him, it's been beautiful. I'm so proud of my kiddos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grey's Big Day

For about 48 hours leading up to the real thing, Sean claimed I was in early labor. We would go for long walks and I'd get regular contractions that wouldn't go away when changing positions. But they only made me feel uncomfortable- not paining me much. My mom would keep looking at me skeptically, saying, "if it doesn't hurt, it's not real." Sure enough, I'd go to sleep and all was quiet.

So I was still in that state of mind when counting contractions Wednesday night. At about 11pm, one of them actually started to hurt. And so did the next one. After a few more, I became pretty confident that this was the real thing. We went to bed and I had some very interrupted sleep for a few hours. At about three, it hurt enough that I could only manage a twilight, limbo sleep. In that groggy state, I thought my contractions were about 7 minutes apart, though my ability to tell time was entirely unreliable. I woke Sean up and told him it was time to go!

I thought I could get ready pretty fast but I did not factor contractions into the mix. And then with all the activity, my contractions sped up. By the time we left, they were two minutes apart! Sean was freaking out a bit.

One thing I learned about my mom was that she cannot french braid under pressure. After Sean went to tell her that we were hospital bound, she came out to see me. I then asked if she could french-braid my bangs like she had practiced the day before, which only took 5 minutes. But in the middle of the night, it wasn't happening. Hair falling out all over the place. I can't really complain, I can't french-braid at all! And let me just say how fantastic it was to not have to disrupt Liam and Dash and leave them in the hands of someone I trust and who's so capable. Thank you Mom!

So, it took me forever to get ready and we didn't leave until after 5am. The contractions slowed down in the car to about 5 minutes apart (phew) and MAN it is hard to deal with a contraction in the car. Ow ow ow.

We make it to the hospital and they put me in a sort of triage room where they measure my contractions and Grey's heartbeat for a while. During this, my contractions were getting really painful, especially in my back. Plus I was becoming pretty nauseous.

Now, you probably didn't know I was planning a natural delivery. Meaning, no epidural. Why would I ever do such a thing, you ask? Well, I, like many of you, used to think that giving birth without medicine was idiotic. It's available, so use it! I started rethinking things when several women I respect gave natural births. So the reasons that made me eventually decide to try the natural side was (1) women who do it, with preparation, say they learned so much about their body in the process, (2) it felt utterly rewarding to have a baby at the end of all that work, (3) it seems to be a very spiritual experience to have to deal with so much pain, and (4) it would be a beautiful bonding experience between Sean and I as I'd depend on his support for hours. Plus, last time I really didn't like being stuck on my back for so long and the epidural gave me a wicked headache afterward.

Back to the triage room, I was having way painful back labor and felt like I was going to lose my breakfast. The nurse checked my progress and I was only at 4 cm dilated. Four! And it already hurt this bad? My natural birth motivation began to waver. The kicker came when I had a huge contraction, spent the next few minutes dry heaving hard, then immediately went into another major contraction. I just couldn't do that for hours, I was already miserable. I decided I'd get an epidural after all. That's the reason I didn't spread the word that I was going to try natural because I didn't want to look like an idiot if I flaked. And flake I did.

I eventually was taken down to my labor and delivery room around 7am where they immediately called for the anesthesiologist (I spelled that right on my first go, sweet!). They also hooked me up to the contraction and heartbeat monitors while on my back. Which made my back labor even awfully. So the epidural doctor was a pleasant sight and he got me all hooked up. That slow relief was splendid.


There wasn't much going on after that for a while. My nurse got a kick out of my low round belly but it kept making my contraction monitor slip, so a lot of time was spent re-placing it. She also commented on how I have "dysfunctional" contractions, meaning I'd have big contractions every few minutes with smaller ones tucked in between. Around 10 am, I was 6 cm dilated. Moving slower than I expected.

The view was really nice, not something you really think about when delivering a child:

Though this was my favorite view of all:
He's secretly really happy that I got an epidural so he didn't have to see me in such pain.

My nurse had settled me into laying on my left side because she could get the best contraction readings that way. Problem was, I was beginning to feel my contractions on the right side again. It was getting pretty bad by the time the OB resident checked on me so she had me lay on my right, just to let gravity help the epidural spread. That meant my contraction monitor didn't read very well but I was happy when I stopped feeling those silly contractions. Around noon, I was about 7 cm dilated.

My OB came to check on me in the afternoon and commented about the poor contraction readings. That made my nurse determined to get them back, so over on my left I went. Somewhere around 3pm, I started to feel the contractions on the right really really strong. But my nurse just wouldn't do anything about it. Finally the OB resident came again and I told her my complaint. She wanted to check my dilation first to see if the pain was any hint at being complete. I was quite skeptical as last pregnancy I felt the distinct urge to push and I hadn't yet this time. But guess who was right. Not me. Baby was ready to go!

During all this, it was discovered that my pitocin line, which they were using just to speed up labor (the epidural slowed it down), was not connected to me but dripping on the floor. We're not sure if it was ever connected or somehow became detached along the way. Hmm.

Since this time I got to stay in my room to deliver (twins have to go to the OR as a precaution), it was very calm and simple as everyone got ready to welcome the babe. My doctor came and I was ready to push. I think I pushed through about five contractions. It seemed so funny how during the contractions, there was such a flurry of voices and activity and then after the pushing ended, everyone looked sort of bored, waiting for the next burst. Grey finally emerged and I fell in love with another sweet little babe. The best part: Sean was able to deliver him! Grey's daddy was the first to hold him, something that makes me really happy. Then I actually cut the cord, something I probably would have declined had I not been in such a happy happy state.


Grey was then placed on my chest and I admired his wonderfulness. But then the nurse said he wasn't "pinking up" they way she wanted to took him over to the little baby station, where Sean stood guard. She did some tests and gave him some oxygen.


We were all shocked when a nurse announced that Grey was 9 lbs 8 oz. Where did that come from? I thought I'd always have little babies with Sean as the daddy- the Bradleys come small. But not this guy! That would have been quite the delivery had it been sans epidural!

After what seemed like forever, I got my baby back and we cuddled and he nursed some. It was so splendid! All very calm and sweet.

And thus began my new life as Grey's mommy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Here's how the family tried to convince Baby Grey to come meet us last Wednesday, mere hours before labor began. I wonder which one did the trick.
"We have sticks out here! You can play with STICKS!"

"Mom would like to see her feet again. Can you help me out?"

"Grandma's here all for you. Come see me!"

"... I promise not to give you my cold? Or at least try?"

"Two words: Eating Sand. Come try."

That last one must have been it. I mean, who can resist sand?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Newest Bradley Boy

Grey Michael Bradley
Born 9/20/2012 4:09pm
9 lb 8 oz, 22 in long

Where did this big boy come from?! We're so in love!

(by the way, my daily blogging may not be so daily for a bit- I'll update when I can!)


My mama brought me a Moby Wrap and since we still don't have a baby (Sean's been claiming I'm in early labor for two days now but still no baby!) to try it out on, we used our only other option: the twins.
Uh, they loved it.

They got to be snuggled up to daddy, who had such easy tickling access.

I think I'd like an extended cuddle with that man, too.

Liam was so excited for his turn while waiting for Dash, he just squished right up against him when he got inside the wrap.

Sean makes me smile like that, too.

We're all excited, though, to try it out on the third brother. I bet he'll love it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Did you know Dash and Liam have become rather competitive lately? Specifically, they want to be first. First getting their diaper off in the morning, first to get cleaned off after a meal, first to be assisted on a public potty, first to go through the door to the garage, etc.

So we've had a lot of turn-taking practice. And not a lot of happiness about it.
So when I set up the baby swing again, that became the new competitive goal: who gets to the baby swing first after eating. They're always claiming to be done with a meal before they really are just so they can get to the swing first.

I'm pretty sure the competitive spirit will never leave these brothers. How much worse will it get once they add a third spoke to their turn-taking wheel?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Seeing as how they're about to become big brothers, Sean and I figured it was time to graduate Liam and Dash from their high chairs to booster seats.

I tell ya, it's weird not to be cleaning two trays three times a day. Wonderfully weird. More table wiping though.

Their new boosters are shaped liked turtles, so when I tell them it's time to eat, "hah chayo" has been replaced with "tuh-tow!"

As Sean said, the boys are finally part of the family. At long last.

(did you notice the Nemo/Dory/Marlin stickers? Those kids are a bit Nemo obsessed right now, despite the fact that they've seen it only three times in their whole lives. Maybe that's why they like the pool so much.)

Monday, September 17, 2012


My mom's here. The primary program is complete. My due date has come and gone. Baby, you are quite welcome to make your entrance. Sooner rather than later, preferably.
Meanwhile, I'll just be the overdue pregnant lady and own it. What a body shape, eh? Eh?

I'm ready to hold my munchkin in my arms instead of my belly.

Please pity my swollen hands and imagine how much more elephantine my feet look. Anything for you, babe. Now come say hi.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baby's Crib

Hey Baby Brother? Where are you?

They said you'd be out by tomorrow. Are you going to keep us waiting?

We'll keep your bed warm until you're here. We're so excited to meet you!

Your Big Brothers

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cool Enough

It's finally cool enough to play outside! At times. When in the shade. Not in the middle of the day.

It's so nice to have that option available to us again. We've missed the outdoors!

Pogo, I think, is particularly appreciative. It's nice to go to the bathroom without having to break into a pant.

Look, they got to play with sticks! STICKS!

Or maybe they absorbed all my Harry Potter knowledge while in utero and are now preparing for a wizards duel. Yeah, that's more likely.

Yes, the outdoors can keep them busy for ages. Now if only I had a good chair out there...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keeping Busy

We're all kind of floating around here, the taste of anticipation on everyone's lips. When's the baby going to come? As of my doctor's appointment on Monday, not any time soon. No change in my progress, just as it has been the last three weeks. Things can happen quickly though, so I'm always on my toes. Not literally, this bloated body could not be supported by toes alone. While I'd like to wait until my mom comes on Friday, I don't want to go TOO long, since Sean has tests next week Wednesday and Friday that he can't miss. So we have a narrow window into which I'm going to funnel all my positive vibes.

In the mean time, we're keeping busy. Sean has his frustrating long schedule days that aren't terribly interesting for him. The boys are constantly busy and giggling and pinching each other. We go to the grocery store, the library, we eat and we play and we make messes. Same ol' same ol', just a little (a lottle) slower on my part.

Liam and Dash aren't slowing down to compensate though. They're doing their part to try to get labor going, like emptying the entirety of their toy shelf onto the couch while I showered. They're such thoughtful boys. Can't wait to add another!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Liam's grumpy face

Liam's happy face

Liam's silly face.

Dash's Turn!
.... he wasn't feelin' it.