Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maximillian Kamahele Zickgraf

(Max, one week before he was born)

Maximillian Kamahele Zickgraf,
due to arrive September 3rd, entered the world at 6:17pm on August 15th, at 37 weeks and 2 days, just about the same time schedule as his brother and sister before him.

The Stats: 
This little peanut weighed 6 lbs 6.6 oz (sense of foreboding anyone?) and measured 18 in in length. 

The Name:
Maximillian: We like Max. For some reason, it just seemed right. Maximillian turned out to be our favorite extended version. 

Kama hele: Hawaiian for "the traveler"- from "kama" meaning "child" and "hele" meaning to "come, go, move or walk". We wanted to give him a Hawaiian name, something special from this island we love so much. It seemed to suit him and us- having traveled here to Hawai'i and with many travels still to come. I hope that he will have a love of traveling- and if he's anything like his brother, it will definitely fit him!  

The Birth Story:
Friday, Aug 12th: low grade contractions begin to come at regular intervals and continue through the afternoon and evening, slowing and stopping when I go to bed.

Saturday, Aug 13th: more of the same. Beginning in the afternoon, around the time I was shooting engagement pics for some friends, the contractions continue as on Friday, easing at bedtime.

Sunday, Aug 14th: I awake without contractions, annoyed that things aren't progressing. Go to church and endure periodic, irregular contractions. The low grade ones become more regular in the evening, culminating in some serious contractions (like 5) that lead me to think he might show up tonight. I opt to begin laboring in the tub- the warm water helps so much that- much to my dismay- the contractions stop altogether.

Monday, Aug 15th: Still nothing. Walk to my appointment at 9am. Strip my membranes. Walk home. Minimal contractions. Nipple stimulation at 12:30-- contractions start right up. Five minutes apart and decently hard. 1pm- still going strong. I wash and hang the car seat cover to dry. 
2pm- not letting up. Pick up the girls from school and midway through the 3 minute drive home I'm worried about whether or not I should still be driving.
3pm- I was gonna wait till my water broke, but I'm not sure I can take care of ALL my kids needs- some want their after school snack, and some are trying to enter the world. If these contractions hold steady or increase over the next hour, I'm going to the hospital. I call my sitter Amanda to check if she's available. She makes herself so. I finish packing my bag and reassemble the clean, dry car seat.

4pm- It's time. They're only getting harder and closer. I call Amanda and she comes right over. I text Shane (doc) and Derek to let them know, and page Derek as well. We load the kids into the car and she drives me to the hospital. I'm hoping Derek will be there to meet me at the door, but he's not and I worry the text didn't get through, but I'm pretty sure the page did. 

4:30pm- I'm sitting in the waiting room of Labor & Delivery. The nurse calls me back and as I follow her I see one of the new Family Practice interns, Erica- she offers to page Derek and Shane for me. The nurse hooks me up to the monitors. Baby's heartbeat is a steady reassurance that all is well, a reminder of what these pains are for.
She asks if I'm dilated at all, I tell her I was dilated to 5cm at my appointment that morning.

5pm- I've never been happier to see any two men than I am when these two finally walk through the door. Shane checks me- I'm dilated to 7cm and about 75% effaced. The contractions are about 3 minutes apart, maybe less. It seems like less. We chat. Well, they chat. Derek comments on the strangeness of seeing me in this room where he has now seen so many patients as a doctor. 

5:35pm- Shane officially admits me and we move into the actual delivery room. It seems like an hour later that Shane finally breaks my water, but in reality is probably only 15 minutes. 

6pm- The contractions are really truly intense now, I struggle to remain relaxed through the pains. I'm focused on breathing, listening to that fast little froggy heartbeat. Derek holds my hands, massages my back and my hips. He's exactly where I need him to be. 

6:12pm- It's time to start pushing. I push through a contraction. It lets up- so do I. Another pain builds and I push again, coaxed on by the nurse, Shane and Derek. They tell me to slow down, so I stop, then push again through their counting. 

6:17pm- The sensation of the baby's head crowning and emerging, followed by his slippery little body is a strange one. The physical sensations and exhaustion mix with emotions of relief and joy- and an immediate and insistent yearning to take this child I've held within my body for nine months into my arms. They place him on my chest while still wiping the waxy, cheesy vernix from his red skin. His newborn squalls are already precious to me. There is nothing that quite compares to the feeling I have right at this moment.

I couldn't ask for a better father for my children.

Avril meets Max and falls in love immediately. She constantly wants to hold him and thinks he's the cutest thing in the world.

The girls brought gifts for me (and Max):

Max in his going home outfit (I'm glad this fit him- everything else was too big!) and new "bankie" from Grandma Zan. Slight tangent here... Roman is a "bankie" biter. For some reason he finds it incredibly fulfilling to bite the edges of all of his blankets. Maybe the ribbon binding appeals to him. Who knows. In any case, hardly a night passes that I don't have to go in to kiss an "owie" on his finger- from accidentally biting it through his "bankie". So what happens when a box full of bankies for baby Max arrives from Grandma Zan? They must be sampled, of course! He found them irresistible. I'm a little worried someone else's fingers are going to bear the brunt of the bankie biting habit. 

I LOVE this owl hat that Maggie (Shane's wife) got for Max! I can't wait to do newborn shots of it!

Xandri likes Max, but I don't think she's quite as taken with him as Avril is. 

It took Roman a while to warm up to Max. When he first came to the hospital with Dad, he gave Max a wide berth, not quite sure WHAT would happen if he got too close to That Baby Dad was holding. When he came back later with his sisters, though, and Xandri held That Baby, well. He wasn't to be outdone. 

But seriously. What did you expect?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things My Kids Say

M: "Hey Avril, hand me that jar over there. What is that?"

A: "I don't know."

X: "Oy it could be poison. Sometimes bad people do that."

M: (laughing) "I don't think so, Xandri."

X: (with really big eyes) "No, Mom, seriously, don't laugh. It really could be poison. I think it's poison."

X (to A while driving somewhere): "Tattoos are gross. They taste like mud!"

A (said in all seriousness relieved that X's hurt isn't too bad): "At least she's not dead!"

X to D: "Daddy, do butterflies make butter?"

D: "No they don't, Xandri, cows make butter."

A few minutes later...

X: "Do butterflies make cheese?"

D: "No, cheese comes from cows, too."

X: "Do cows make everything?"

D: "No they don't Xandri."

X: "Then what do butterflies make?"

D: "Pie."

I went to quiet down a frantically whispering Avril at bedtime tonight. Apparently, Avril, who, since starting first grade, seems to have all the answers to her little sister's questions, was stumped and frustrated by several posed by Xandri tonight while in bed trying to go to sleep. The ones she asked my help with:

How do you make blood?

What's Abraham Lincoln + 100?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Roman has buddied up with the little boy I've been babysitting. They love getting into all kinds of mischief together. 

And when their sisters get their nails painted, well, that's just too tempting not to join in.

So when Mom doesn't let you do it, you have no choice but to take matters into your own hands with the manliest black nail polish available and help your friend get decked out.

Sometimes more than just toes need to be painted.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Xandri's First Day of Kindergarten!

My little girl is all geared up for school! She's been chomping at the bit to go to kindergarten, so even though it freaks me out a bit that she won't turn 5 till November and she's still in kindergarten, I think she's ready.

And quite frankly, I'm ready, too. So far I'm not the mom who cries about my babies growing up. I don't know why that is. But part of it is I'm so excited for them to learn and grow and move to the next step that I don't really think about them not BEING my babies anymore. I'm not saying that the mom's who cry aren't excited for those things, too. But maybe the excitement overcomes the nostalgia in my case. 

In any case, look at this adorable kid all dressed up in her new school clothes, ready to go knock 'em dead! She's such a sweetheart and such a firecracker all in one. I'd feel like a monster if I held her back another year from school!

And here she is posing with her new teacher, Mrs. Ma. I hope she really is ready. I'm so excited for her!