The Kids Are There Alright

Sitcoms are funny.

What? That's what they're for? Sure, smart guy/gal, but I'm not talking about anything intentional. What I mean is the way they portray children.

Children in a lot of TV shows only exist to move the plot forward on occasion. Babies and toddlers in particular very very little screen time. Otherwise they're always mysteriously sleeping, in the crib, or just not mentioned at all. Meanwhile, the adult characters are free to have whatever adventures they would have even with no children in the picture.

This to me is the most unreal aspect of entertainment. It's not the giant monsters in movies or the impossibly good-looking people who abound. It's perfectly obedient children. We're all about gritty realism these days, so why doesn't anybody have to change a diaper blowout in the middle of a terrorist attack?

As in, "You had to Clara out her lungs"

Now that the dust has settled a bit, and before the memories are lost in a haze of sleepless nights, it’s time to walk you all through the birth of our latest child.

Blue Steel

On Wednesday, May 14, Katie went to pick up Sam from cub scouts, and stopped by a neighbor’s house for a minute. While on her porch talking, Katie noticed that her pants seemed to be getting wet. She came back home and reported that she had felt her first contraction. She didn’t want to have another false alarm, but I insisted we call my parents, send the kids to our friends’ house to wait for grandma and grandpa, and get to the hospital immediately.

We got in the car within ten minutes or so, and by the time we were on our way the contractions were about 2 ½ minutes apart. We got into the hospital and up to the delivery unit, and by the time they got an epidural going she was close to being completely dilated. Then we finally got her to the delivery room and waited a bit for the doctor. The epidural was more effective this time in that it duller her pain but she could still feel when the contractions were coming, making the pushing a little better (relatively speaking, of course). I think she only ended up pushing for about half an hour.

Clara Ann Hiller was born at 11:18 p.m. She was 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 19.5 inches. She had gotten a little mecomium in her lungs (which is a nice way of saying she pooped and inhaled a bit during the birth process), so they put her on a CPAP machine for a little while (it made her look like Bane), but then everything was fine.

When your lungs are cleared out, then you have my permission to breathe.

As the largest of our babies, Clara has seemed bigger and stronger than her siblings were. She seems pretty mobile, and eats pretty well. Being better fed, she has also turned out to be a vastly better sleeper than the other kids were. For several nights in a row now she has slept for about 8 hours in a row, and if that doesn’t start until 12 or 1 it’s still pretty darn amazing. Let’s hope I’m not jinxing anything by mentioning it here.

I could get used to this sleeping thing
New toy!
Just chillin with my mommy

Family Time

Unsurprisingly to anyone who has given birth, or had a spouse who has given birth, or has watched a show about people giving birth, or heard about someone giving birth, it’s pretty danged stressful for everyone involved. And one of the most stressful parts can be knowing when to go to the hospital. If you go too soon, they send you home. If you go too late, you end up with a baby named Backseat or Parking Lot.

Baby #1
Katie and I went to the hospital as soon as she started having contractions. It was a lovely, scenic drive from Provo to Payson, with me not at all being a wreck while trying not to cause one. Once there, they told us to turn around and go home because she wasn’t far enough along. Well, her body didn’t have a nice, gradual increase in frequency of contractions. She basically went from 0 to 60 very quickly, and by the time we got back to the hospital she was ready to go. They did manage to get an epidural going, but I guess they had to dose her more than normal for it to have any effect, and it was the better part of a day after Sam was born before she could move her legs.

Baby #2
This time we wanted to be a little smarter, so as soon as the contractions started we called my parents to come watch Sam while we went. In the end we had to have our friend/landlord there to cover the gap, because once again her body went into overdrive. Allison was born 15 minutes after we got to the hospital. No epidural.

Baby #3
Last Friday Katie felt a couple weak contractions, so rather than tempt fate again we woke the kids up and headed straight for the hospital. We figured my parents could come pick them up from there. But in the end nothing happened. It’s the first time she had gotten and false signals, so it was frustrating to be all ready for once and have it not happen. I guess fate likes to keep us on our toes.

To be continued…

And I Ran... Not So Far Away

All of a sudden last week I decided to run the Provo City Half Marathon. I had been a little tired lately of running the same places every week and wanted a little variety. I also felt like I had improved my time a lot since 2011 when I ran that distance for the first time, and I wanted to see if a race would improve it more.

It started when I awoke at 4 a.m. and headed down to Provo, where the organizers shuttled us up Provo Canyon to the starting line. We got there by about 5:30, which means we had 90 minutes to hang around in the freezing cold before we started. They had some raffles and such, and there were some bonfires for warmth, but that wait was definitely my least favorite part.

And then at 7:00 we were off. I could immediately tell this was going to be interesting, because I was just flying down the canyon. My GPS later told me that I ran one of the miles at a 5:59 pace, which is insane for me.

Eventually we got out of the canyon and things more or less leveled out. I was still doing okay, and I had gotten ahead of the main crowd. But I could tell that the speedy start was beginning to catch up with me. I noticed that my GPS claimed I was about a quarter mile ahead of where the race markers were, so I was having to run extra distance. The last mile was pretty tough, but I did make it.

In the end my chip time was 1:26:28, which was by far my best time ever (by my measure I ran that extra quarter mile and could probably knock a minute or two off the half marathon time). I also set new personal 5k and 10k records, which was very cool too. Overall I placed 44 out of 921 runners, and 9 out of 69 in my age bracket.

Of course, when I woke up Sunday I could hardly walk. It’s been a long time since I’ve been genuinely sore after a run, but the pace combined with all the downhill took its toll. Still, it was a good experience, and now I’m trying to decide whether to attempt a full marathon later in the summer. We’ll see.