Friday, March 20, 2015

Ryan's Birth Story

I really need to try and write Ryan's birth story before I forget all the details.

Isn't it weird how you forget everything about labor and delivery?  You forget all the details .. all the pain, all the crying and .. the pain.

I was due with Ryan on January 16th.  Whenever anyone asked when I was due, I would tell them that I would be happy if this baby came before the 21st.  I wasn't thinking it would come before then.  Zachary was my only baby that came before his due date.

My mother-in-law came into town on the 15th, thinking that if this was a boy, he would come a day early just like Zach. I hadn't had any contractions or anything and I had had an appointment with my midwife the day before and she had said that NOTHING was going on and that she would see me on the 21st for another appointment.  Sometimes my babies just love to be inside me for 41 weeks instead of 40.

We spent the week cleaning, organizing, shopping and just hanging out.  I wasn't feeling too uncomfortable or anything, didn't have any contractions, so I wasn't in any hurry for this baby to come.

On the 20th, I started to feel a lot more tightening and some small contractions.  They were very spaced apart and never anything that stopped me from doing anything.

A little after midnight, on the 21st, I woke up having more contractions.  I kept looking at my phone, checking what time it was and then counting out how long the contractions were.  They were about 10 minutes apart and lasted about 30 seconds.  Nothing to write home about.

Around 3 am I couldn't lay in bed anymore.  I got up and started walking around the living room.  Since the contractions were still about 7-10 minutes apart, I would sit down on the couch while waiting for another one to come.  Around 5am they got more intense and a bit closer together.  Wesley got out of bed around then and came into his office to work a little bit.  He knew I had been up and figured that he wouldn't be able to get any other work done for the rest of the day .. since we would most likely be having a baby.

Around 6am I just couldn't take it anymore.  I felt like it was time to head to the hospital.  Now that I look back, I wish I had stuck out another hour or so at home.  My biggest fear is not making it to the hospital though.  I never want to have a baby at home or in the car .. I really don't know anyone that wants to do that actually.

We got checked in around 6:30am.  The nurses in triage were wonderful.  There is something great about being 41 weeks with your 4th baby.  The nurses take you very seriously.  They know that you know you are in labor .. unlike your first when you have no idea what is going on.

They put my right into a gown and into a room, got me hooked up to monitors and checked me all within 10  minutes.  I was at a 6, almost a 7 at that point.

Once I found out how much I was dilated, I knew I could do this delivery without drugs.  When I had Avery, I went from a 4 to a 10 in an hour.  Since I was already at a 6, I could have this baby in a half an hour!  ... well, at least that's what I thought.

I labored two more hours before this baby of mine decided it was time to come out.

I am glad Wesley took these pictures of me standing next to the bed in my labor/delivery/recovery room.  That's exactly how I labored for the entire two hours.  The nurse had brought me the pillows to lean on and she told me to rock back and forth during the contractions.  Wesley was right by my side the entire time.  He rubbed my back and literally held me up while I contracted.  He was amazing.  He brought me ice chips and just kept talking into my ear the whole time - telling me what a great job I was doing.  It was the most involved he has ever had to be during labor and delivery.  He was the best.

Around 8 am my nurse came in to tell me that she was going on her break and that another nurse was going to take over for a half hour or so.  The midwife came in to check me, I was only at a 7 almost an 8 at that point.  I was laying in the bed, gripping the side rail, and started weeping with each contraction. I couldn't take it anymore.  I couldn't believe I wasn't at a 10 yet.  With each contraction I remember shaking my head no .. telling myself that I was going to need drugs and that I couldn't handle it anymore.

Then it seemed like everything happened at once.  The midwife had just left, I felt SO much pressure and felt like I needed to push in the worst way.  I tried to relax, but all my body really wanted to do was push.  Then my water bag literally exploded .. you could hear an audible "pop" sound and a rush of water out of me.  I told the nurse I needed to push and she checked me and immediately called the midwife back in.

The midwife looked a little annoyed .. having JUST left my room and thinking that I was not at all ready to push.  I just remember her checking me and then she immediately put her gloves on and got everything ready.  They didn't have time to put the stirrups up or drop the end of the table down.  I just started pushing and this perfect bundle of squishy chub was born within 10 minutes.  He came at 8:21 am.  

When they said it was a boy I wasn't really surprised.  I had thought that it was a boy the whole time.  I would have been shocked if it was a girl.

My first thought was that he looked exactly like Mallory - dark hair, dark eyes, hair all over his back and even on his ears.  (I birth monkeys)  My next thought was, "Why is he still screaming?" My kids usually come out and lay on my chest and just look around.  This kid just kept on screaming!  He wouldn't stop.  I couldn't do anything about it - since they waited to cut the umbilical cord after it stopped pumping, then I still had to push out the afterbirth .. and get stitched up.  All the while, he just kept on screaming.   

He finally stopped when I could nurse him, but even then, the first 24 hours were screaming or eating, sleeping and screaming and eating.  I began to wonder what was wrong with him.

After 24 hours, he totally calmed down and even now only screams when he is super tired or hungry, but when he does scream .. he is LOUD.

When they weighed him and told me he was 8 pounds, I couldn't believe it.  I thought he looked big, but didn't think he was THAT big.

I'm glad Wesley took a picture of me eating .. for documentation purposes.  I was STARVING when they brought me breakfast after delivery.  I remember thinking that that was the best hospital food I had ever had in my life.  I wanted another tray of it.

My mom came up from Fremont around 11am.  She stayed with me all day at the hospital.  Wesley had to go home to work and he came back and forth with the kids so they could meet their little brother.

I had wanted to name this little guy Bradley David Cullumber.  That was the only name that ended in a Y that I liked.  Once he came out though, he didn't look like a Bradley to me.  I didn't know what we were going to name him.

My mom looked up baby names on her phone and started reading a few off to me.  The only ones that I liked seemed to all end in a N.  I liked Ethan, Owen, Mason and Ryan.  I thought Mason David sounded great.  I talked to Wesley about it and he agreed that Mason was a good name.  

The next morning, before we were discharged from the hospital, the birth certificate lady came in and asked me what his name was.  I told her I wasn't sure yet and that I had to call my husband to double check.  I had texted Wes and asked him if it was going to be Mason.  He said that he would need to look at him again before we decided on a name.  

Once Wesley got back to the hospital he asked, "Is Ryan off the table?"  I didn't even think Ryan was a name that was in the running.  I thought it was going to be Mason or Ethan.  Ryan?  

Wesley said that he really liked the name Ryan and just felt like it fit him more than Mason.  I thought it was weird.  Ryan?  Really?  I had already started calling him Mason while I was up with him in the middle of the night.  I just thought we had decided on Mason.  As Wesley left to go back home I said, "You can't leave!  We haven't decided on a name!" and he said, "I trust you'll make the right decision."  Which is code for, "Name him Ryan."

I called the Birth Certificate lady and told her his name was Ryan David Cullumber.

If fits him perfectly.  It took me a few weeks to get used to it .. but it fits him perfectly.

I'm so grateful my mother in law was able to be here the week before and the week after Ryan was born.  She helped out so much - getting the kids ready in the morning, making their breakfast, packing their lunches for school.  She does all my laundry and cleans my kitchen and she played games with Avery.  It was wonderful.  I felt like it was nothing but chaos after she left.  Come to think of it, it is STILL nothing but chaos around here.

And now, this sweet boy of mine will be 2 months old tomorrow.  

I can't believe how fast these last two months have gone by.

The day I brought Ryan home from the hospital, we met with our Realtor and he told us things that we needed to fix up on our house to get it ready to sell.

Two days later, Wesley was tearing out our hall bathroom.  The next two weeks were filled with landscaping in the front and back yards, scraping popcorn ceiling off the hallway and kids room, mudding and texturing those areas and then painting as well.  While we had guys in and out of our house working on it, I was laying on my bed or on the couch with my baby.  There really wasn't anything that I could help with and I just soaked in as much time as I could with Ryan.

Then I staged the house for pictures - I cleared out closets and cleaned out rooms.  I packed up boxes and took stuff to our storage locker.

The day before Ryan turned 3 weeks old, we had the photographer come to take pictures of the house.  We put it on the market the next day.  

It was a Wednesday that it went on the market.  Thursday we had 4 showings and that same evening we had two offers.

Friday we had two more showings, but no other offers.  We countered one of the offers and they accepted.  We cancelled our Open House that we were supposed to have that Saturday and we were done.  I was so incredibly grateful that it sold so quickly.  There is absolutely no way I could have kept the house looking staged, neat and clean at all times with a two year old and newborn at home.  I thank Heavenly Father every day that it sold so quickly and everything worked out so well.   

We just closed escrow a few days ago and we are renting back for the next month or so before we can move into our new house.

But all that is for another post.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ryan David

Meet Ryan David Cullumber.

I am pretty lame at updating my blog, but I thought I at least needed to write Ryan's birth story at some point.

He was born on January 21st at 8:21 in the morning.  He was 8 lbs, 1 oz, 20 inches long.
I still can't believe he was 8 lbs.  I didn't think I would ever have an 8 lb baby. (all my other babies were 6 and 7 lbs)

All of these pictures are from his one week old photo shoot.

I can't get over how much he has changed in the last 6 weeks.

He came out so quickly that he had broken blood vessels in his left eye for a few weeks.  You can kind of see the redness in one of the colored pictures.

He is such a good baby and we are so grateful that he is here and part of our family.

I have a thing about crying pictures.  I have them of all my kids.  They spend so much of their little lives crying .. gotta capture it.

I guess his birth story is for another day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Miss Mallory my Second Grader

Second grade?  What the what?!  

This girls of mine has grown up too fast for words.  She is going to be 8 in November and I just can't believe how quickly time passes by.

She is SO very excited for school to start today.  She couldn't really sleep last night .. and she woke up at 6:30 this morning, wide awake and ready for school.

I hope she has a great year.

I got some pictures of Mallory and Zach right before heading out the door.

They definitely have their moments when they seem to do everything in their power to bother each other, but most of the time they are sweet to one another.  I love that Mallory is protective of Zach and wanted to walk him to his class today.  She is a sweet big sister.

Here's to another school year!  

Now, Avery and I have shopping and napping to do.  Life is SO good.

Monday, August 18, 2014


This guy is SO excited for school to start tomorrow ... and I am so excited for him to start school.  He is beyond ready.

He was such a trooper, letting me take all these pictures of him this evening.  The first day of school is always so hectic and I rarely remember to take pictures of my kids while we are rushing out the door.

This boy of mine just melts my heart.  He is so sweet and kind and loving.

He is going to have a great year.

Avery has a little announcement to make ...

This is sort of "old" news .. now that I'm just about 20 weeks along, but I thought I should put it on my blog instead of just Facebook and Instagram.

Baby Cullumber #4 due January 16th 2015.  We are so very excited and we are going to hold out and find out the gender in January.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Happy Happy Easter from the Cullumber Family!

I know it has been so very, VERY long since I have posted anything on my blog.  I'm not on here much anymore.  I post a lot of pictures on Instagram these days .. so go on there to see what we're up to!

We had a beautiful Easter Sunday today and we are so very grateful for our Savior who atoned for our sins so that we might live with him again.

Avery was done at this point.  Love these kids.  They are getting too big.  Avery will be 18 months on May 1st.  I can NOT believe how fast she has grown up.  She is definitely not a baby anymore.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas 2013

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is now 2014.

I still can't believe Christmas is over, let alone it is a new year.

How does this happen!?

I tried to keep things pretty low key around here this holiday season.  I didn't want to lose myself in the insanity that Christmas sometimes can be. 

We had some friends over for our Annual Gingerbread House Decorating towards the middle of December.  We are going to try and invite different families every year so we can get to know more people in our ward.

I remembered to take a picture before we started decorating, but didn't get any picture of our friends or their finished houses.  What can you do?
I really love this tradition.  It's a Cullumber Family tradition that I hope we continue to do every single year.
Here's a few camera phone pictures of our completed houses.  Wesley and Mallory did this one.
And Zachary and I decorated this one.

We ended up giving away ours to a family in our ward.

We had to give it away before little fingers ate all the candy off of it.  This girl gets up on the dining room table all by herself.  Her shenanigans are for an entirely different post all on it's own. 

We ended up eating Mallory and Wesley's house.  It. Was. Delicious.
Instead of making TONS of goodies for friends and neighbors, like I tend to do every year, I went simple this year with some hand soap I had bought at JoAnn Fabrics months ago. They were $1 each.  I found these cute tags off Pinterest that say "We WASH you a merry Christmas" and called it good.  Best dollar ever spent! 
Christmas Eve - we sprinkled some special reindeer food (oats with glitter) out on the "lawn" (we don't have lawn at the moment .. it's just dead weeds).   We wanted to make sure the reindeers could find our house.

Then we decorated our Christmas Plates - a Danish tradition we have done on my side of the family since my Dad was little.

You decorate a plate and leave it out on the dining room table and Santa fills it with candy, nuts, fruit (but he forgot about the fruit this year .. whoops) and some gum, little toys, etc.  

 I was really impressed by Zachary - he wrote his name on his plate all by himself.  He has learned a lot at pre-school this year and it's fun to watch him learn and grow.  Mallory made a cute snowman and Daddy helped Avery draw on her plate as well.

(Pictures from my phone)

After plates, we opened up our Christmas Pajamas. 

I love Avery's face in this picture.

And Zach's goofy face in this one.

Mallory was thrilled to get "feet pajamas" this year.  She hasn't had them since she was really little.  Zach was super excited about his Avengers PJ's .. as you can tell.
Santa came!!

All the hard work we go through to make Christmas memorable is totally worth it .. just look at those happy faces.

This is the only picture I got of Avery on Christmas.  She was SUPER excited about her new battery-operated toothbrush.  She kind of has an obsession with toothbrushes.  I guess there are worse things.

Here's a little bit of the chaos that ensued after presents started getting unwrapped.  My living room looked like this for a few days after Christmas. 

Merry Christmas!! 
Love, The Cullumber's