Thursday, December 31, 2009

April's Birthday and more Baby Santa pics

Because April deserves everything and more we celebrated her birthday over a period of several days. We took the dogs cross-country skiing twice.

We ate breakfast at Eggs in The City and dinner at the Olive Garden

After dinner we played a rousing game of Quelf. Kevin was the fasion photographer and the rest of us posed.
And now by popular demand, more Baby Santa pics.
Santa with his elves

We had fun showing him off to all of the relatives on Christmas Eve

Uncle Bob and Aunt Laura (Uncle Bob is a notorious "baby-hog")

Gangsta Santa

And more

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas present to all of you: Pictures of the cutest baby Santa ever!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Portraits

We took advantage of the fact that both Steven and I got to shower today and dressed up for a family picture in front of our apartment. We even got the dogs to sit still for one picture.

Friday, December 11, 2009

These Little Limbs

These little limbs,
These eyes and hands which here I find,
These rosy cheeks wherewith my life begins,
Where have ye been? behind
What curtain were ye from me hid so long?
Where was, in what abyss, my speaking tongue?
Long time before
I in my mother’s womb was born,
A God, preparing, did this glorious store,
The world, for me adorn.
Into this Eden so divine and fair,
So wide and bright, I come His son and heir.

A stranger here
Strange things doth meet, strange glories see;
Strange treasures lodged in this fair world appear,
Strange all and new to me;
But that they mine should be, who nothing was,
That strangest is of all, yet brought to pass.

From "The Salutation" by Thomas Traherne

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Perfect Timing

William entered this world with perfect timing. I had just completed all 98 items on the "pre-baby to-do list Thursday night, went to the UCLA Ward cookie exchange, and went to bed fairly certain we would have a baby before the weekend was through. Friday morning, I woke up and ran the dogs about a mile, and came home to take a relaxing bath before starting the day's tasks. As I was getting dressed about 8 am, my water broke, with contractions starting soon afterward. Steve was incredibly nervous as he realized this means we would be having a baby very soon and frantically set to work scrubbing the kitchen and cleaning the bathroom. We timed the contractions at every 3 minutes for over an hour, attempting to finish last minute errands like returning a movie to Blockbuster and picking up some new shoes (we had a $25 cash card that had to be used by the next day) for Steve (coincidently, he picked out the men's version of my marathon shoe, the Nike Air Pegasus) before heading to the hospital ready to have a baby. Steve gave me a blessing before we left that all would go well with the delivery and our baby. I felt such peace and reassurance that all would work out well and did not fear the road ahead and felt very calm and at ease despite the contractions.

We felt pretty lucky that the contractions weren't really feeling that bad by the time we got to the hospital a few hours after contractions starting. Since they were 3 minutes apart, we were certain we would be parents by the end of the day. Unfortunately, Baby Garff had other plans. When they checked me at about 9 pm, I was only dilated to 3 cm; exhausted and in excrutiating pain. I wasn't originally planning to get pain medication, but after a conversation with a member of the bishopric on Sunday about his wife's labor, I decided to get an epidural to allow me to sleep. That was the best decision I could have made because our son was not ready to come until late the next afternoon, after several rounds of pitocin and a disappointing discussion about a possible cesarian due to labor failing to progress.

Steven's parents had just left Utah to come into town for the CA Bar ceremony the next day My OB was completely supportive of our desire to attend the swearing-in as a family. If all went well with babe and mom, we would be allowed an early discharge if I promised to push hard to get him out fast. When my OB came back to check on us, we were ready to go. One and a half hours later, at 4:00 pm exactly, William Gary Garff arrived, shortly after his grandparents arrived at the hospital.

The birth was an amazing experience. After receiving the epidural, I hardly felt any pain, and had been able to get enough sleep to feel well rested for the next stage in our lives. I didn't even realize he had come out until I looked down and saw his sweet little face and the doctors placed him on my chest to cut his cord. I couldn't believe the miracle with which Steven and I had been entrusted to assist. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing it felt to become a mom. He was perfect.

Since Grandma and Grandpa Garff had just come into town, they were able to see their first grandson shortly after he had come into the world. It seemed that despite the long labor, William still has an impeccable sense of timing. Both of us were feeling well enough by the next morning, that both the pediatrician and the OB arranged for an early discharge just in time to get wheeled out of the hospital and hurry across campus for the bar ceremony at Ackerman 10 minutes later.

Mac Reyolds later asked how I would compare labor to a marathon. The work of labor (sans pain medication) was tremendously worse than running a marathon, but the recovery was much easier (not considering the obvious lack of sleep due to demands of an infant). The doctor cleared me to start running 1 week postpartum (that means possibly this Saturday!). I couldn't ask for a better doctor or one who understands my needs more perfectly. She was a great push coach, awesome motivator, and a woman who really understands and respects her patients, coming through when we needed her most.

We couldn't believe our good luck in the timing of the weekend. After our miscarriages over the past year, we were thrilled that little William did so well, despite the patience it took to get him here. It was a long, hard road, wrought with much sorrow waiting for the child we so desperately wanted. While I didn't understand it at the time, it seems our Father in Heaven understood what we needed and what would work out best for our family was a timing different than what we were originally hoping for. And even though it made for a busy and complicated weekend, it couldn't have been any better than the way it worked out. It seemed a perfect completion to our path to parenthood. Steve remarked that he felt that his swearing in felt so much more significant with his son present. It seemed that the weekend could not have been more ideal. What a perfect way to start a family. Thank you, William. We love you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Born In West L.A.

Friday morning at about 8 AM April went into labor. She was just getting home from her morning run. Her doctor predicted that April was going to run herself right into labor. April's water broke right afterwards and we headed to the hospital. But not straight to the hospital. April couldn't help making a detour to take advantage of a killer Sports Chalet sale on the way. We cheaped out and parked at the Institute (it just feels so wrong to pass up free parking in Westwood). As we were walking to the hospital we were both thinking to each other; "gee, this isn't so bad, a few more hours of this and we'll be done."

Thirty-two hours later William Gary Garff came into the world at 4:00 this afternoon (that's right, I just yada yada yada-ed 32 hours of contractions, pain, endurance, etc... April likely has more to say about that).

And now the moment you've all been waiting for, William's first photo-op

This next picture was taken right afterwards too. April looks pretty good for someone who just endured over 30 hours of labor.

William measured 2o inches long and weighed in at, drumroll...

exactly 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Congratulations to to the brand new Grandma Garff who's guess was right on the money. She will be getting the secret prize, April's award winning cheesecake. That's right, I never told you that there was a secret prize. Congratulations also to Dagny and Meredith who tied for second place (sorry no cheesecake).

My parents flew in with perfect timing to see their new grandson.

The doctors, staff, and facilities here at UCLA have all been exceptional. My mom remarked that it's more like a hotel her than a hospital. Here's the view from our room.
April did an excellent job enduring the entire drawn out process.

His little face shows that it was all worth it.

Holding my son right after he was born was the most amazing experince of my entire life. My entire body was buzzing with emotion.

Welcome to the world William.