Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A brief moment...












I have a rare moment of quiet in the house with all three kids napping. I will hurry with this entry, as I don't think this will last long!

So, here is Ali's birth story. Ali was due Oct. 24th, but decided not to arrive. I just kept pleading that my little girl would not come on Halloween... just seemed so unromantic. So, inevitably, my water broke on Halloween. It was mellow, so I wasn't even sure to believe that it had happened. Glenn was in the middle of some fun Halloween projects he'd been dreaming about for the past month (faux-arm-coffin costume, and maze for the front yard) and the kids still needed to go trick or treating, so I decided to post-pone going to the hospital until the festivities of the day were over (I would have done otherwise if I were having contractions, but I wasn't).

Word spread FAST around my ward and neighborhood of my potentially impending labor, so we were surrounded by support, babysitting offers, congratulations, and pampering (the neighborhood women wouldn't let me carry Jonas around as I took the boys trick-or-treating; they were so sweet!).

After the boys were in bed, we headed off to the hospital and confirmed my water had broken, earning me the ticket to stay the night. Labor didn't progress much through the night, so they put me on pitocin by 6 am- a little too vigorously, I might add. Increasing the pitocin levels the maximum possible every 15 minutes, they had me doubled over with contractions in no time and by 9:30 am, I asked for the epidural. A little over an hour later, Ali was ready to make her entrance into the world. Unfortunately, my OB was not ready to catch her. With three other eminent deliveries/c-sections, we were put on the back burner for over an hour. When the Dr. did arrive, Alison Kim Harmon was born in two pushes at 12:16 pm on November 1st (All Saint's Day). 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 1/2 in. Perfect.

Our first reaction was to her hair! Long brown hair?! This didn't fit our typical baby mold! And her mouth was so petite for our genes... If I hadn't seen her born, I would have some doubts this gorgeous baby was really mine to keep. But, to my great joy- she is ours through and through! They placed her on me immediately following her birth and I loved that she laid there quietly listening to my voice and seeming quite content. I kept asking them if that was okay or if she should be crying. Apparently, it was no problem... and the crying ensued shortly after they took her away. I was so pleased with how perfect she was, touched by how sweet she was, and overcome by how new from heaven she was. Ali is an angel.

Since her arrival, we have fallen very in love with this baby. The boys kiss and love her. Glenn and I ooh and ahh over her beauty and features (and those smiles they claim are from gas bubbles). And we do lots of walking as she goes through the discomfort of having this little body adjust to being on its own in this world.

For me, this recovery has been the hardest. I also am still a bit overwhelmed by how to take care of three and me (and Glenn! You're importannt too Baby!). I have been immensely grateful as neighbors, friends, and ward members have brought dinner. We have been so loved and cared for here, we really feel we have had the blessing of family away from family. From meals to phone calls and drop-ins to check up on us, we have been anything but alone. For five days we also had a post-partum doula (compliments of the brilliant and generous Camille- who also supplied weeks worth of groceries to our door!) who was worth her weight in gold. Doula Elaine was phenomenal! Thanks to her, I am caught up on laundry, dishes, and my boys did not feel neglected. Glenn and I even got to go for walks on those days- an hour at the beach can be so rejuvenating! Thank you to everyone who have been angels in our lives during this great blessing that also happens to be a HUGE transition, lots of work, and plenty of physical pain :). You have been Heaven-sent and we have been thanking Him for you in our prayers by name.

I cannot finish this entry without talking about Glenn. Boy, am I a lucky (blessed!) woman to have him. When the first signs of labor were coming, he was excited to just drop everything he'd been working so hard on and take me to the hospital! For a man who loves projects, he made it clear that I came first. He was a perfect support at the hospital and fell instantly in love with Ali. I love to see my Glenn with his daughter in his arms. He kind of gets this "lost in adoration" look as he walks her and she falls to sleep. He patiently and lovingly endures my moaning about the pain I am going through. He wonderfully comes home from a long day at work and immediately picks up playing with the boys then doing the bedtime routine. He gives and gives and gives. I know I am blessed to have him and look forward to the time I can give more to him.

Well, I pushed my luck to get this long of an entry here in writing in the quiet of the house. I am even more fortunate if you have stuck it through to read all of this! Thanks all for making our life sweet and caring for those crazy Harmons in Califrnia.

13 comments:

The Alger Family said...

For all the hard times of mommy-hood there are heavenly moments. Thank you for sharing. I was brought to tears (yes, I am pregnant). Was having a hard time adjusting to the fact that we are having a baby girl, but then I see your little Ali and I have changed my mind. I am excited for another sweet angel baby girl.
Love all of you!

Glennard said...

GREAT post, Honey. I love reading your version of it all. It's easy to look at these pictures and think that everything is amazing and fairytale like but it's rough raising kids. You've got a nice balance of both. You tell it like it is. Especially the part about me. :)

Also, one of my favorite pictures here is the one where Max is looking over my shoulder as I am drawing what is pumpkin is going to look like. So cool.

Mindy said...

What a great post! I'm so glad to hear the labor story and so glad all went well. I miss you guys and wish we could be with you over the holidays. E was just looking at pictures of him and Max together and talking about how much he likes Max. So cute! We love you and miss you!

Brooke said...

I am so glad you posted about how Ali came into this world- it makes me not as scared for my little girl to come! I'm also glad everyone is taking care of you so well, and you give me hope that I can recover with a beautiful toddler to chase after as well- because you have TWO to run after! I'm loving this post- and also as a side note, your pumpkins were fabulous- as always such a work of art! I'm glad you're recovering and I hope you're back to 100% soon.

Andrea said...

What a pleasant birth story. Thanks for sharing....I love hearing birth stories! It is such a unique miracle every time. I am so happy that you have a little girl, they are just born sweet, aren't they?
I hope that your recovery improves. How nice to have such helpful neighbors and friends!
Your little Ali, is gorgeous! Congrats again and again!
ps. could you send me your address when you have a chance? Thanks!

Lauren said...

Oh Kristen! Thank you for writing this. I know it's hard to steal a quick minute to write it all down, but I'm so glad you did (I'm sure you are too). Ali is beautiful! Three is an adjustment, but I know you're doing a good job! Just know that it's okay to let the unimportant things slide a little! You're a wonderful mom and I'm just so happy for you and your equally wonderful husband, Glenn. Y'all are awesome! I sure love all of you! Remember: just take one day at a time, right?

TysonandMarthaGerber said...

You are truly surrounded by angels! What an amazing community. I hope for the same blessings. We sure love you!

melaniegrover said...

Kristen, you are a beautiful writer. Congratulations on your little lady, what a memorable Halloween. I hope your package made it there okay? Also, we may be out your way the week after Christmas. Still pending, keeping our fingers crossed. Take Care Love Mel

zaharacafe said...

This is a beautiful birth story fabulously (and down-to-earthly) told! My favorite pictures are two: the one where the two beautiful people brushing their teeth, and the one with Max holding his baby sister sittng next to Kristen. And Kristen just looks so good in every condition! Thank you for posting, Kristen. Recover soon!

Brianne & Jarod said...

This is such a sweet post Kristen. What a beautiful little girl Ali is, and is super de duper lucky to have you and Glen as her parents. (not to mention two handsome older brothers!!) I am so happy to hear that you are surrounded by lots of love and help, because I can only imagine that three is difficult! Thanks for taking time to write such an uplifting post!

The Jager Family said...

Kristen, just found your blog from the Ortons blog, your lil' Ali is gorgeous! The recovery from delivery is rough but arent you glad you are NO LONGER PREGNANT...YEA!!! I've been meaning to stop by and visit but I had a cold (didnt want to spread germs) and I've been very busy tending to my own three lil' monkeys. Hope to see you soon and Good Work!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story. thanks for sharing! (ps this is Heather moore) good luck! :)

kam said...

I couldn't resist popping over from Shawna's blog to see if you had your darling daughter yet. Kristen, she is BEAUTIFUL! What a blessed little baby to come to such a warm and loving family! She was born on my oldest daughter's birthday, so naturally she must be pretty special ;). I can relate to NOT wanting a Halloween birthday :) I also went into labor on Halloween and went through alot of pain at home simply because I was waiting til the stroke of midnight before I would even THINK about going to the hospital :). Congratulations you guys! Love to you and your darling family!
-Kambree