Shark Bait | One Month

Aug 17, 2015

Someone went and turned one month old last week. I'm still in denial. If anyone asks, he's three weeks old. Eternally.

For as long as those final 11 days of pregnancy dragged on, the first month of his life has passed in the blink of an eye. It seems to go by faster and faster with each baby and it just isn't fair.

We sure do love our little Shark Bait. He is such a calm and peaceful baby. I can't help but feel as though I am holding a little piece of heaven as I snuggle him each day. I just wish I could freeze time for a little while so I could enjoy this precious stage just a bit longer.

The Fast and Furious Arrival of Shark Bait

Aug 14, 2015

Depending on how you look at it, the birth of Shark Bait was either extremely long and drawn out or beyond fast and furious.

His story begins unofficially on Wednesday June 8th which was day one of my 5 days of pre-labour contractions. From Wednesday until Sunday, I lived life in one block of seemingly pointless contractions after another. Sunday morning's bout of contractions was by far the worst- they started at 2:50am and continued to occur consistently, ranging from 7-10 minutes apart, until 9:30am when they stopped completely and without warning. My best friend KJ, who had flown in for the birth, laid with me and timed them from 3:50 until about 5:30 when we decided to call Bruce home from work as we were finally convinced that the contractions might actually lead to a baby. Obviously we were less than thrilled when they came to their sudden stop.

After some umming and ahhing about whether I really wanted to go to church after being up most of the night contracting, I decided that I could sit miserably at church just as easily as at home, so I got myself dressed and ready, complete with 5 inch stilettos and a face that just dared people to cross me. Bruce, half joking but mostly serious, warned everyone we came in contact with to “do not look at Claire in the eye”. By this point, I had gone 5 nights with little to no sleep and I was over it. But, I survived church without causing anyone harm, and even managed to enjoy the messages shared during the meeting. After Sacrament Meeting ended, KJ and I left to go home so I could relax.

Around 4:45, just before the rest of the family would be getting home, we got off the couch and started to make dinner. That's when the contractions started back up yet again. I worked through the contractions to finish up dinner and eat with the family, then we got out Disney Scene It for a little family game time. Throughout the game the contractions intensified just enough that I was now bouncing on the birthing ball to stay comfortable. KJ was timing them religiously and we got to a point where they were anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart. At this point, I decided that we should probably go ahead and get to the hospital. I was worried because with Man Cub, my contractions were never consistent or close together until just minutes before he was born. I arrived at the hospital to have Man Cub with contractions still ranging from 10-15 minutes apart and I was dilated to a six. I had him less than 2.5 hours later. I felt that with this baby, we should err on the side of caution and not wait too long to go in. I may have joked about giving birth in the car, but I really had no intention of that ever happening. We called my father in law to come pick up Man Cub, loaded the girls and all our hospital stuff into the car and headed out.

Despite nice, consistent contractions the entire time we were playing Scene It, I didn't have one contraction the entire drive to the hospital. I started to doubt myself. We got to triage around 8:15 and when they checked me at 8:45, I was dilated to a 3. Over the next 45 minutes I had maybe 2 contractions, neither of which was anything to get excited about and when they checked me again at 9:30, I hadn't progressed one bit. I asked to be sent home as I had no intention of hanging out in a hospital when I obviously wasn't in active labour. I figured I was in for yet another night like the 4 previous… contractions that would keep me from sleeping, but never become the real deal.

My birth photographer had met us at the hospital as she too remembered how quickly things had moved when Man Cub was born. She told me to follow her home and pick up a few essential oils that she had on hand that are suppose to encourage labour. I insisted that we pick Man Cub up from my father in law's house as Man Cub had recently gotten into the habit of coming into our room in the middle of the night, searching for me. I didn't want to miss out on a night of cuddling my baby before he was promoted to big brother, so we got him then headed home. It was about 11pm by the time we were back at our house and had all the kiddos tucked into their beds. Bruce, KJ and I settled in on the couch to watch a few episodes of Modern Family and wouldn't you know it, those pesky contractions started up again. And they were coming every 10 minutes. And they were stronger than ever before and accompanied by some seriously awesome back labour.

I texted my great friend Nicole, a baby nurse at the hospital I was going to deliver at, and asked her how I was ever going to be able to tell when to go back in. I felt like I'd made bad decision after bad decision trying to figure out if I was actually in labour or not, from calling Bruce home from work early Sunday morning to rushing to the hospital Sunday night and then insisting on picking up my little Man Cub from Grandpa's house when we headed home from triage. I told Bruce and KJ that I was no longer willing to make decisions and that if they thought I should go back to the hospital, I would go, but that I was not going to be the one to make that call.

Bruce immediately went into sergeant mode and took control. He and KJ timed my contractions and rubbed my back with a massager while I swayed back and forth while leaning on my birthing ball. At 12:30 my contractions had definitely changed in intensity and were coming every 7-10 minutes. Around 1, KJ started saying she felt like we should go to the hospital but Bruce said to wait through a few more contractions. I tried to remain as calm as possible while thinking that the rate this had been going for the past five days, I was never going to actually have a baby. At 1:30 I had a super contraction- 2 minutes long and extremely strong. Bruce decided we didn't have a moment to lose and before I knew it, we had made arrangements to drop Man Cub off at a friend's house rather than waiting for my father in law to get up to our neck of the woods, KJ had thrown all our stuff and my sleeping children into the car and by 1:43 we were on the road. Bruce ran two red lights and at 1:50 we arrived at Barb and Blas's house to deliver our sleepy and excited Man Cub to them. (He loves Blas and was so excited to go to Blas's house, even if it was the middle of the night)

We were in front of Barb and Blas's house less than 2 minutes before we were on our way to the hospital and my contractions were still coming strong and hard. I was starting to feel pressure and the thought of pushing had crossed my mind a time or two. I was panicking because I was so scared my birth photographer was going to miss the whole thing… somehow that, not the very real possibility of me giving birth in the car, was my main concern. When we were just a few minutes away from the hospital, KJ grabbed my phone and called Nicole who happened to have gotten called into work around midnight. She warned Nicole that we were about 3 minutes out and that I was feeling “pushy”.

We pulled into the hospital around 2:05. It took me about five minutes to get into the hospital as I had another huge contraction in the parking lot. I leaned up against a light post and did my best to not push while Sunshine ran to the ER entrance and grabbed a wheel chair. Bruce rushed me inside the ER where we looked around unsure of what to do. There was no one at the front desk and a room full of people waiting to be seen, but we really did not have time to spare. Bruce ran into a room where a hospital employee was taking someone's information and insisted that she had to get us up to the labour and delivery unit as I was contracting every minute and a half to two minutes. Bruce raced my wheelchair through the halls while the ER employee followed as quickly as she was able and got us upstairs.

We got to triage where I immediately asked to use the restroom. While I was peeing, Bruce told the triage nurse that if I was still at a 3 or 4, she might as well run down the hall before shouting that back at me because I might hurt her. He was obviously joking with her (there was no way I could still be at a 3 or 4!) but I think that gave the triage nurse the wrong idea. She seemed to be moving really slowly, taking my information and trying to get me hooked up to monitors when I had a nice, big contraction that got some attention. She quickly checked me and announced that I was at a nine. Bruce texted KJ the news at 2:21 and the nurse (Cheryl) ran my gurney to the delivery room that Nicole had prepped for me when KJ called her just before 2. At 2:23am, Beebs, Sunshine, KJ and my birth photographer Mary all ran into the delivery room while the nurses helped me move from the gurney to the delivery bed in between contractions. I felt an immense amount of pressure, which I made sure everyone knew about, and Cheryl called for a doctor, any doctor, to get in there stat. There wasn't time to get my doctor or midwife to the hospital. There wasn't even time to get an ER doc up there. Luckily, there happened to a random doctor a few rooms over delivering one of his patients and he ran in just as my water broke. Just in time to catch the head as I pushed for the first time. One more push and our baby had arrived. The baby was quickly laid on my tummy and I begged for Bruce to tell me if it was a boy or a girl. He excitedly announced that we had another son… our little Shark Bait had arrived..

Shark Bait was born at 2:29am, about 15 minutes after we got to labour and delivery and just 8 minutes after I was checked in triage. He took his sweet, precious time getting to the active labour portion of arriving, but once he decided it was time to come, things sped up in a big way!

My absolute favourite thing about Shark Bait's birth is that the delivery room was filled with love and support. Of course Bruce was there, and he was wonderful, as always. Both girls were also there to witness the baby's arrival with my very best friend KJ as their chaperone. My birth photographer Mary ran in just in time to snap 4 or 5 photos before he came out. She then documented his first hour or so of life. The stars and planets aligned and my best Arizona friend Nicole ended up being called in to work as a transition nurse that night, meaning she was Shark Bait's first nurse. She took great care of him and even involved my girls in measuring him, taking his foot prints and listening to his heartbeat, making the experience even more special for both of them. 

And the bonus of Shark Bait's super fast arrival- despite being a VBAC which means I am suppose to be hooked up to all kinds of monitors and have a heplock, I was able to have the most natural, non-invasive birth of all my children. I didn't even need oxygen this time around. No IV, no monitoring, nothing. It was absolutely perfect.  

If you'd like to view Shark Bait's complete birth video, send me an email to and I'd be happy to give you the password!

Shark Bait's Birth from Officerswife33 on Vimeo.

Ten Years

Aug 12, 2015

Ten years ago today, inside the walls of the Mesa Arizona Temple, I became Mrs. Bruce Wayne. I can't believe it has already been 10 years. I remember our wedding day so vividly. It was scorching hot and I had on a heavy dress with a huge petticoat underneath, but I didn't notice the heat at all. I was so thrilled to be marrying the man of my dreams that I didn't even realize how hot it was until someone else commented on the heat after all was said and done. I couldn't stop grinning as we celebrated the beginning of our life together, a life that has ended up being far more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. 

We've come a long way in 10 years. There have been ups and downs, trials and heartache mixed with the greatest of blessings. There are times we drive each other crazy, but through it all, we love each other deeply. There is no one else in the world I would rather spend eternity with and I am so grateful that Bruce chose me. 








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