Monday, May 21, 2012

Issue 13: Baby Strom #2!!!!

Welcome Layla Rose!
While looking back at past Farm Notes, I realized I devoted the entire Issue 10 to announce my precious Gavin’s arrival into this world and how he made his debut, farm-style. Gavin’s arrival, his birth story, and the events along the way are nothing short of exciting, also complete with some funny farm details. However, Layla is already 8 months old, and I have yet to announce her arrival to my Farm Notes readers. (Sorry Little Miss, that’s just what happens when you are #2 in line.)

Baby Strom #2 was due to arrive on Sunday, September 4th, 2011 of Labor Day weekend. I was excited to maybe have a Labor Day Baby, but my plans changed when my doctor highly advised me to have another c-section since my previous one was so recent. That meant that I got to choose when my baby’s birthday would be. The pressure was on, and boy, was it!

Our new family of 4!
Sitting in my doctor’s secretary’s office with my calendar open, I had the option of scheduling Baby #2’s birthday anywhere from Thursday, August 25th through Thursday, September 1st. If you are a teacher, or already have a child born around that time, you know that it’s a huge dilemma…do you want your child to be born before or after the September 1st cut-off date for school? If Baby was born before September 1st, we’d have the choice to send him or her (I was sure it was a her!) to school as a very young child in his/her class, or we’d have the option to hold him/her back so that he/she would be the very oldest in his/her class in school. And when you factor in whether or not our unborn baby would be an all-star athlete or not, that could make the world of difference—did we definitely want him/her to have an advantage over his/her team members when it came to being a year more developed skill and ability wise (Sept 1 birthday), or just leave that option open for whoever our baby becomes when he/she gets older (an August birthday)? Leave it to us to think of all that!

Layla's newborn photo shoot...
Thank you to Nina for taking awesome pics!
Plus, we were also working around the August birthdays of other family members. August 28th would be his/her grandma’s birthday and great-grandma’s birthday and August 29th would be his/her dad’s birthday. WOW! And, when you factored in that I’d only be back to school for two full weeks before those dates, then you’re looking at a whole new set of circumstances. Phew, that was a lot to consider sitting in that secretary’s office all by myself. So, I took my calendar home and a month later, we finally set the date for Tuesday, August 30th for his/her birthday in order to “let Baby bake a little bit longer” (Grant’s choice of words). This date would allow me to teach two full weeks before taking three months off on maternity leave, it would give us the weekend to celebrate Grant’s 30th birthday with family and friends, and it would allow us to choose whether or not our baby would be ready to go to school where he/she fell in the school calendar as one of the youngest kids or be “held back” a year and attend as the oldest kid in his/her class. Everyone was happy…as long as he/she decided not to arrive early (but knowing my side of the family, we are never early)! Oh, and a few months later, we learned that I’d also be able to celebrate Grant’s cousin’s wedding three nights before Baby’s birthday was scheduled. I had a lot of fun planned for being incredibly large!

Layla's 4 month photos
And that’s it, that’s the most exciting part of Baby #2’s arrival. I’m serious. I prepared all summer in case Baby would come early, so even before the first day of school I had my permanent substitute prepped and ready to take over my classes, I had all my copies made for the first few weeks, and I had Gavin’s new room all ready for him to move into before Baby arrived. Despite the awful July and August heat, teaching for 2 full weeks, partying it up for Grant’s 30th birthday out to dinner and at the river boat casino, and dancing at Grant’s cousin’s wedding, Baby was still nice and cozy by the morning of Tuesday, August 30th. My mom came down the day before to watch Gavin while I went to appointments at the hospital. At 4am the next morning, our alarms went off, we took showers, grabbed our bags, got in the car, and drove the 45 minutes to the hospital in complete comfort. (This was a huge change from breathing through contractions for 45 minutes in the car the previous summer!) After we checked in at the front desk, I leisurely sat in the examination room watching the news with doctors and nurses coming in to ask me questions and have me sign papers. We just waited until it was the official 8am mark to have Baby #2. Grant tried to keep from falling asleep because it was just so “boring” compared to Gavin’s birth…and it really was. There was a lot of waiting, but I enjoyed the anticipation as we counted down the minutes until we would get to see who he or she would be! At 7:45am, the nurses came to get me, I walked myself into the examination room and got myself up on the surgery table, and was fully aware (and not on drugs like last time) of everything that was going on. It was so wild to be complete conscious of what was taking place, who was around me, and where I was.

8 month photo shoot at the park
By 8:22am, Layla Rose Strom was born into this beautiful world and our lives have been forever changed! She is the most smiley, lovable, joyful baby you’ll ever meet. She never cries, unless she’s hungry at night (which is often), and loves to laugh at us and her big brother. Gavin likes to give his little sister hugs, dance for her, and, most recently, ride her like a horse (which follows by me pulling him off of her and him laughing in response). I look at both of them and feel so blessed for all God has given us. I am learning patience (lots of it, especially late at night), how to be forgiving (when one of us, usually me, makes a mistake or is forgetful), how to not be perfect (if I can’t make all of Layla’s baby food like I did with Gavin’s, or if the house is dusty or the laundry isn’t done), and how to enjoy every moment in this awesome life.

Wherever you are, in the city or on a farm (or somewhere in between), I hope you too have been blessed with happiness.

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