Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday to our sweet Mairead!

Four years ago today, almost exactly to the minute (2:42pm), I gave birth to our sweet Mairead Elisabeth....our honeymoon token. It is truly mind boggling that four years could have passed already! It feels as though it was just yesterday Mairead came into our lives and changed our world forever! Mairead has taught us how to be parents, and has given us more lessons about life than we could have ever imagined possible by something so small and innocent.

Mairead was born at 37 weeks. I had learned the day before her birth that I would need to be induced because of oligohydramnios (low fluid). I was disappointed about having to be induced, but since I was already 4cm, I was praying I would get through labor without drugs or intervention. Having been a labor nurse, I knew what to expect, and I wasn't so sure that was a good or bad thing. I knew everything that could happen! Fortunately, with the help and support of my amazing husband, mother and nurse, I succeeded in giving birth 100% naturally to our sweet Mairead in just 4 hours - not bad for a first time mom! Kevin was able to help deliver Mairead and place her on my chest. From the second Mairead's face hit air, she screamed. She had to let everyone know she was here! Boy! Things haven't changed! This was the moment our life changed forever, and we will be forever in love with our little girl.

Here is an excerpt from what I wrote about Mairead's birth:
 At about 1015, my OB came in and broke my water, at that time, I was about 4cm, but no pain. About an hour and a half later, I was more uncomfortable, having to breath through contractions, I stayed OUT of bed, and stood next to the bedside, and eventually got on the birthing ball, which I have to say is the BEST THING EVER. My contractions never got horrendous, but the pressure did...the pressure was the most painful. I progressed quite rapidly, and never once thought about the need for pain medications. Being an LD nurse, everyone gets an epidural, but I had no thoughts of it. My nurse and my DH were amazing. This being our first child, Kevin really didn't know what to expect, I'd catch him crying, he said he felt so helpless to see me in pain, but through it all, I kept my sense of humor, and would enter my "trance" during the contraction, and would step right out once it was over.

At about 8cm, the pressure was INTENSE, I got into bed for Jane to check my cervix, and at that point, she wouldn't let me get up again because she was afraid I'd go from 8-10cm too quickly, and then would be difficult to get me into bed.

When I got into bed, I felt as though I was crawling out of my skin, trying not to push. My pain was just the intense pressure. Finally at 2pm, I was just a rim, but was able to push right past it. Pushing was the craziest experience of all time, I felt as though my head was going to explode...I even broke blood vessels in my eye...but after 42 minutes of pushing, I delivered a beautiful baby girl. I had to have a 3rd degree episiotomy, so I am quite sore, but other than that, I had the most amazing experience. My dh was able to deliver Mairead, and that just made our experience even more memorable. We have the most amazing photographs and have a great video of the birth. I just can't believe she's here, and I did it the way I had always dreamed of. 

First birthday:

Second birthday:

Third birthday:

Now, at 4 years old, Mairead is still our independent little girl - most likely a textbook firstborn child! She is the second "mother" in the family. Poor Lilah & Clara are always being told what to do and how to do it, but on the up scale to this, she is very mature and just loves to help out around the house - she is a dream! She loves her little sisters so much! It is such a dream to watch our three girls interact with each other - it is true love! Mairead is going to preschool once a week, and she is loving it. I had a conference with her teachers this morning, and they couldn't say anything negative about her. She said she is such a well adapted child who has had not even a problem adjusting to school - they thought she had been in school before! They also said she uses her manners, listens well (our Mairead???) and plays very, very well with all of the children! Hearing these words is like music to our ears! When the teachers said "whatever you're doing - keep doing it because it works!" It definitely makes all the hard times of parenting all worth it when people commend you on your children!

I look at the difference between her 3rd birthday photo and her 4th birthday photo - it's amazing! She may not have grown that much, but she has certainly matured! She has lost the babyish look, and is now looking like a big girl! The change is baffling, this is when I wish I could just slow down time...

Tonight, we told Mairead we would take her out to "cook cook" (out to dinner) for her birthday! She is all excited, but when you ask her where she wants to go, she tells you a different place each time! I love her! We ended up taking a trip to Toys R Us so the girls could pick out a special joint birthday present. The girls picked out a inflatable water slide - you know one of those "Mack Daddy" ones you always wished you had when you were a kid??? Yeah. One of those. Do you think Kevin and I are trying to live vicariously through our children? After that splurge, we ended up at Olive Garden and back home to sing Happy Birthday one last time to our princess! We had cupcakes, and the girls ran around the house wild & crazy!

Happy Birthday my sweet Mairead! You were one of the best things to happen in mommy and daddy's life!

We love you!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxxo

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