Paul turned 5 years old today. I can't help but be a little sad and happy at the same time. I mean, holy crap I have a 5 year old!!! How did he get so big so fast?
When I was pregnant with Paul my husband and I were still in college. I was miserable. I had to work two part time jobs and take 18 hours while I was in my first trimester. I thought I was going to die. I had an 8am life time fitness class followed by working the lunch rush at a local coffee shop. YUCK. On top of that I had stupid recrutment stuff to do with my sorority. I was pretty misrable and I swear I puked in every toilet on that campus. I think I even puked in the grass once on my way to the library.
As my belly got bigger I found it hard to waddle to class with a backpack on and squeeze into the tiny seats. One day in my English class I fell asleep. The professor kicked me. I started to cry and said "i can't believe you kicked me." He was and still is a jerk.
However, there were awesome professors that understood the situation and gave me a little more time to complete stuff. Dr. Redditt, after he had to wake me up because the class had left and I was asleep in the chair, told me he wouldn't count me absent if I couldn't make it to class. Another professor let be sit with a trash can beside my desk!! YAY
Since we lived on campus we stayed there during the summer. I loved those summers! The WHOLE campus was ours!!!
On July 24th 2005 around 7pm in the evening I decided to take a walk around the college campus. I walked until I couldn't stand the heat anymore and then I went into the chapel and walked around until I was too tired to stand. I wanted the baby OUT. It was hot. I was big. Class was going to be starting back soon. He needed to come out...NOW
On the way back to the house we stopped by the PHA house where Rob Clifton was living during the summer. He let us borrow a movie...Big Fish.
All through the movie I was feeling contractions. By the end of the movie I said "yep, that was a BIG one." So, we packed our bags, took showers and headed to central baptist hospital.
They didn't want me to push too long because of my heart condition. They put a oxygen mask on me and said "ok, you have 30 min. If the baby isn't out in 30min then I would advice you to go in for a csection. you could put your life and the babies life in danger if you don't"
I pushed and prayed and pushed and prayed and PUSHED AND PRAYED!!!
He came out in about 25 min!!! He was born July 25th at 11:59pm weighing 6ib 12oz. I couldn't stop talking to him. I just talked to him and kissed him and talked to him some more. He was beautiful!!! I couldn't believe that I had been given a baby. My own little baby boy! It was such a holy moment. All I could think was "I get to take him home and play with him and cuddle with him as much as I want! he is my baby. I have a baby! I'm a mommy!!"
While I talked he kept this funny little look on his face. It was almost like "hey, I've heard that voice before! But you look kinda funny. are you my mommy? I can't see ya too well"
We were worried for a while because he hadn't had a bowl movement. But then in the middle of the night he had a BIG one. The first bowl movement is just so nasty. poor little guy. welcome to the world!
Having a baby in college had it's share of challenges. First of all, class started back 3 weeks after I had given birth. Waddling to class after a vaginal delivery is a bit painful. Sitting in those hard seats was almost unbearable. Trying to study was horrible. It was a constant battle to get anything done. But I wouldn't have had it any other way. We really had a lot of fun...most of the time. You just adapt to the blessings that are before you! This is a picture of me studying Latin while I fed Paul dinner.
Roger typing a paper with Paul "helping."
In the library while I did some research for class.Roger was trying to write a research paper but Paul kept wanting to rip the pages out of the books.
When he started getting into things and the studying became even more challenging. we had to take turns going to the library. But there were times when we both had to do research and had to lug Paul along with us. We didn't have the internet and we only had one computer. I feel strongly that I was a better student after I had Paul. He really put me on a schedule! I took advantage of all the "free time" I had to study.
When we needed to do some things around campus or meet with professors, Paul went with us! He was our little mascot! He loved all the attention. He still talks about how much he loves the college and that one day when he is big he is going to go there and be a PHA. I sure hope he does!
I was a psychology major so one of my professors asked me to bring Paul to the child development class to teach us all about how to test the development of babies. It was so much fun!!Once he learned to walk we were in a whole new ball game. He was so proud and wanted to explore EVERYTHING. Those were very interesting months trying to baby proof all over again. "oh no he can reach that. move it move it move it. quick."
We took a family trip to the mall to get him his first shoes!! Little Buster Browns. He was so excited. I was excited and a bit nervous. "Oh boy, Now how am I going to study?"
After class Roger worked at a local coffee shop. We only had one car so I had to drive over to pick him up at midnight....with Paul. Paul would always insist that he help his daddy sweep up.
Even at a young age he was a super hero!
I tried my best to enjoy college life. That meant taking Paul (everyone called him baby paul) to parties. WE just had fun with it! This is a picture of my sorority's welcome back party. It was an 80's party. We dressed paul in a shirtless vest and spiked his hair. I thought he looked so rocking! He danced with all the lovely ladies! Such a flirt! Look how adorable with the little babies
When I graduated I felt like Paul was graduating college with me! Here is his graduation picture. It was such a happy time! There were several nights were I screamed and cried "I quit!" But we did it. We got a BA in psychology in only 5 super long years!Not long after I graduated I started itching for another baby. I know. I am a nut. Once again that first trimester was misrable. Paul had just turned 2 and had a massive amount of energy. As you can tell from this picture, he had way more energy than I did. Throwing up and taking care of a hyper 2 year old is not something I plan on ever doing again. However, Paul was really excited that I had a baby in my belly and would talk to little Anna all the time. He was amazed when I told him that he lived in my belly once. He was even more amazed when he felt Anna kick his hand for the first time!! It was so neat being able to experience a pregnancy with my curious little 2 year old paul.
When I was 6 months pregnant I woke up with blood all over the place. After rushing to the hospital, being informed my placenta had abrupted and that there was a good chance I could lose the baby, I was put on bed rest. I wasn't even allowed to stand up. Most of the time I had to stay in the bed with my feet up. I was able to go out of the hospital a couple of times but only in a wheel chair. It was really rounf being away from paul for 3 months. He would come visit me! While he was there he was ready to show his super hero powers and take care of me and the baby. He was so sweet!
In May of 2008 Anna was taken by emergency c-section after her heart beat was lost on the monitor. Everyone was scared. WE found out later that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and was choking her. If I hadn't been in the hospital being monitored, because of the placenta abruption, I would have lost little Anna. God works in mysterious ways.
Paul fell in love with Anna at first sight. He is a great big brother. Anna bugs the crap out of him sometimes but he really is pretty patient with her. They both ask for each other first thing in the morning. They are little buddies.
A couple of months after Anna was born, Paul turned 3! At that time he was all about being a skate board dude. This was his birthday present from us. We even took him to the local skate park where he sat on his little skate board and pretended he was a skate board dude.
The age of 4 was an interesting age. He was still hyper but even smarter. He kept me on my toes the whole 4th year.
He is such a lovable, kind hearted, imaginative little boy.
When Paul was in my belly I started a little journal for him. I wrote him letters "dear Paul, I can feel you kicking. love mom." I still to this day write him letters in that journal. Anytime he does something funny, says something that melts my heart, I write him a letter. I do the same for Anna. It is always a great way to spend mother's day...just reading through the old memories. Paul knows I have a journal for him but he knows he wont be able to read it until he is fully grown. Maybe I'll give it to him for his high school graduation or maybe college. I haven't decided.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL!!!