Hazel's Story

Perhaps it was her poppa's teasing that I was really hiding a basketball.. Perhaps it's because we had such a perfect Father's Day.. or Perhaps it's because Hazel is our daughter and like her sisters before her she wanted to leave her birth story as one we wouldn't forget.

Last pregnant picture of Me, Hazel, Jake, and a basketball.
In the days leading up to her birth there was a lot of effort to bring Hazel into the world on our part. What seemed like massive amounts of walking, basketball shooting, the pressure was on. We had a scheduled induction of labor to take place on Thursday, June 23rd barring any trouble in the womb. Sunday was a busy day celebrating daddy, but it was oh so sweet! 

In the wee hours of Monday morning I had some contractions between 1 and 2 am. They weren't painful and it didn't seem like labor so I fell asleep. Somewhere in the early 3 o'clock hour Samuel woke me up. He opened the door from his room and yelled out. I went to go check on him and thought to myself, "Is this a sign from the Lord that I'm not supposed to be sleeping?" After all, when the baby would be born, was all I could think about for days. I went to check on Samuel and he was fine; already back in bed. I went back to our room and had a contraction. I also needed to empty my bladder. While I was doing so, the contraction intensified and it occurred to me that contractions should go away with an empty bladder, not intensify. I hesitated for a moment and decided that I should get Jake up that maybe I was in labor. He had told me, that he would rather go and have a false labor experience than an emergency. So, I woke him up and said, "Maybe I'm in labor, but I'm not sure." I put a sweater on and some flip flops, filled up my water bottle and went and sat in the suburban, that was the car of choice and it had my hospital bag in it. Jake came out a few minutes later and we started to the hospital. 

In the car the contractions began to intensify and I was comforted that this is probably the real thing, we're going to have a spontaneous labor, I won't need to be induced! After thinking that; hard labor hit me. I was really breathing through contractions, They were 5 minutes, suddenly 4 minutes, quickly 3 minutes apart. Our total drive time was 25 minutes with a bit of traffic, without traffic probably shorter. As Jake drove, it was dark, the skies were open and rain was falling. I looked through the windshield and any traffic light that was red quickly turned green. I could feel God's hand over us. Jake had recently put on super tough, wide tires, a new intake, and exhaust on the suburban and all systems were a go. I could feel the rumble of the engine under me and with the calm music coming from the local christian radio station I was at ease as possible for being in hard labor. Within about 5 minutes of the hospital the baby's head plunged into the birth canal. With fear and excitement ruling my body I knew the baby would be born soon. I tried to have thoughts of keeping the baby in me. By the time we pulled up to the Emergency Room entrance which is where Labor and Delivery patients enter during off hours I knew the baby would be born in the car. I don't remember if I vocalized this to Jake, I was very focused. He parked under the ER awning and ran in telling the staff his wife was in labor and we needed help. However at 4 am and with a new shift getting ready to come on duty the staff was slow to respond. Jake ran back out to me and I heard him yell, "Get out here STAT!" Too late, it was time to push and a little head was crowning. As the baby came through there was a moment of excitement as I thought to myself, "I'm about to find out if it's a boy or a girl." The following moments of the, "It's a girl!" declaration and the staff showing up are all part of the adrenalin rush. Jake was ushered out of the way and he grabbed the camera and took some pictures.

Girls seeing their sister.
Louisa and Hazel
Libby and Hazel
Classic baby sleeping on poppa picture.

With hair as black as the night and the car she was born in and with eyes as blue as deep ocean waters, our little Hazel is home with us now.

Our hospital stay was difficult. I hemorrhaged and Hazel ended up in the NICU. We are home now and are slowly recovering. We are so thankful and are extremely humbled by God's endless mercies to us. Indeed, His mercies are new every morning.


Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Okay, if you got the sex wrong it's an automatic DQ.  Team Brownlee guessed the weight closest and C Steel guessed the date closest. It might take some time for your gifts to arrive, but you ladies won! Woot!

Pops, your guess doesn't count since you guessed after the fact.. :~)


It's a Girl!

She is a beauty.
Hazel Cruz Virginia Reynolds
June 20, 2011
4:00 am
8 lbs 13 ozs
19.5 inches


Compliment and a Contest!

Today I was at the Commissary... A lot of my fun life stories have started at the commissary, some good and some not so good. Today was a good experience for the most part. After Samuel was nearly thrown from the shopping cart by a vendor dragging a huge display of Hidden Valley Ranch bottles who didn't see him; I received a sweet compliment from an older man. Older as in 70's.. if I had to nail down a decade of age. He approached me and said how he couldn't help but notice, "How well-behaved your children are.." he then proceeded to say, "And I see your calling in reinforcements." Referring to the bump in my belly.  Such a sweet thing to say and so meaningful after receiving the usual startled glares and people counting as we walked by with their jaws dropped open.

Onto the contest. It's a you guess, the weight, sex, and birthday of baby.  I am due the 9th of June, that's this Thursday. Below I'll lay out the weights and how late each of the kids were for your reference.

Colby - 3 days late 7 lbs 3 oz.
Jackie - 2 days late 8 lbs 10 oz.
Benjamin - 12 days late 8 lbs 14 oz.
Louisa - 9 days late 9 lbs 4 oz.
Libby - 1 day late 7 lbs 8 oz.
Silas - 10 days late 8 lbs 8 oz.
Samuel - 15 days late 9 lbs 12 oz.

I'll leave a guess as well because I want to play. The reward will be something fun, like chocolate, or homemade cloth napkins, or strawberry jam, or some fun unmentionables... it depends on who wins!


Lots of Pictures because... Samuel is 2!

We celebrated Samuel a day early because 1.) he doesn't know the difference and 2.) we have a Pastor visiting us tonight ;)!
 Libby is helping get ready for the party. The nightly routine is to shake out Sammy T's chair and Salt cleans up the mess.
 Samuel, time to take the bucket off of your head and get ready for a party!
 That's right buddy, these are for you!
 Yes, shake it, tear it, enjoy it.. you are the birthday boy.
 Such a joyful, excited little boy we had on our hands. He opened a Toy Story Rex flashlight and played with it for a good 10 minutes before moving on to:
 Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No... it's a riding lawn mower like my daddy's!
 Actually Samuel, you can't ride it, but you can conquer it by laying across it.
 My favorite family picture to date. (Back to camera school.)
 Oh yes Samuel, somebody said CAKE!
 Two candles, how sweet and silly it is to celebrate such a little man.
 Check out the expression on that dear ones face. Classic.
 What will he do? Blow them out or burn a finger?
 He knew what to do and blew out the first one. I helped with the second.
You may be thinking a pink cake? We all know the secret around here. Samuel struggles greatly with the temptation of strawberries.. NO really, We call him Sinful Strawberry Samuel at his little moments of strawberry thievery. But, today it was all about him and Jackie and I whipped him up the most luscious Strawberry Buttercream Frosting in the history of our lives and he was pleased.

Happy Birthday little man. May you continue to grow in strength and fierceness. You are a strong boy, a fearless fighter at heart and we pray that the Loving, Personal Lord of our Universe will wield that to the glory of His name!