Sunday, September 2, 2012


The days are getting colder and we're trying to make the most of the last weeks of summer. Jake's day-off means it is time for an adventure!
We loaded up the 4-wheeler and drove up to the Mesa-Falls area where we knew there was a good trail. It was the old train track that goes all the way to Yellowstone, though we didn't go near that far. I strapped Denym to me in a front carrier and let him enjoy the ride as well! Dad was careful not to go too fast and Mom made sure he was secure.
After a few hours of exploring trails, I told Jake we should find a place by a river to eat lunch. Not long after I made the request, he pulled into this perfect little nook that even had a picnic table! My man delivers!
A few sandwiches and snacks, then I decided to wade in the water a bit. Super cold, but I was feeling spunky.
Dad kept himself busy by catching grasshoppers and then throwing them to the fishes.

For some reason the ride back was REAL dusty, and those of us in the back (Denym and myself) came out of there covered in DIRT! I had him almost entirely bundled, so I got the worst of it. It took many a baby wipe to get me looking human again before the drive home.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Married off the siblings

Jake's lil' sis was married in the Logan Temple on August 10th. They were beaming with happiness all day and their outdoor reception was magical; White lights, burlap flowers, candles in mason jars, yummy grub, fun music, the whole she-bang! Jake and I even got to dance in the rain. Awww..

Jake's older brother was married the following weekend on the 17th. We met up with them afterwards for dinner at the "Himilayan Kitchen." The reception was held the next day up at the cabin. Between the seriously scrumptious food prepared by the bride herself, and the photo booth out back we had a really good time.

Best wishes to both couples! We love you guys!

The Lake of Bears - Bear Lake

Each year, we try to get our high-school groupies back together to go on some kind of outing or spend some time catching up. As time goes on, and we keep spreading further apart from each other (ahem.... Justin moving to Alaska. Sheesh!)  it gets a little trickier to coordinate. This year several of us managed to meet up at Bear Lake the first weekend in August.Plus a couple of non-highschool friends!
 Here is Arianna Hostetter playing with the kiddos in the sand. Her bubba Skylar chose to swim in the sand rather than the water - covered from head to toe and completely adorable.
 Here's our little beach bum chillin' in the shade. He did experience his first swim by insistence of his Mother - details on his blog.
 Karrianne and I feel that it is an absolute necessity to build a sand castle when the opportunity presents itself. Due to shortage of time this is not our finest work, but we still like it.
 Ben Hostetter and Jake took our little inflatable boat out into the waves and tried to get Jake's kite to pull them. For the sake of their pride we will say it kinda worked.
 The Warrens were present, and our little man got to meet Karri for the first time. Love at first snuggle.
And then there is this. Jake was trying to get me to laugh, and thus put on my beach-wrap-skirt- thingy. (Yes, that is it's official name.) Karrianne tried to snap a picture while he was still hula dancing and frolicking about in it - close enough for me! What a hunk.

We of course stopped at "The Bear Cave" for raspberry shakes on the way home. A day well spent. Man, sometimes I just can't get enough of the water - hope we make it back before the summer ends!

Also in July...

July 7th
While Jake enjoyed a night out with the boys, me and my palsy Karrianne had a little R and R session at my place. (That's Rest and Relaxation, but it sounds cooler and much more like an event when abbreviated in such a manner.) Sadly, we took no pictures because we were obviously REAL busy. She mostly came up to snuggle my chubsy baby I am pretty sure, so we'll add a picture of him.... I might could dig one up. I don't know though... I hardly ever take any of him. ("Are you pickin' up my sarcasm? Cuz I'm layin' it on pretty thick.")

 July 13th
We went to visit Grandma Susan at the cabin. Jake had meetings on Friday so we high-tailed it up there on Thursday night and planned a glorious weekend getaway around his mandatory work shenanigans. It didn't quite start out glorious, as both of us fell ill with a nasty 24 hour bug on the way up. I thought I was just over-the-top carsick at first, and we made several several emergency stops along the drive, but it soon became apparent that it was more than motion sickness. We finally made it to the comfort of the cabin - although I was sure I would die before we reached the safe haven :)  Jake didn't get it too bad until the next morning, and we were both pretty much over it by the following afternoon. Strange little devil bug. So Jake made it to and through his meetings, then we commenced our enjoyment of the canyon trails.
Susan picked us out the perfect little hike that led to... I believe it was called "Lake Solitude" up by the ski resort. It was just right so I could carry baby boy, get a small workout, and still enjoy the surroundings. The weather turned a little drizzly, but the coolness was refreshing and who doesn't love the smell of rain?
 I am pretty sure Mr. Denym was born to be an outdoorsman. He was so happy the entire time - even in the rain; Looked at the trees in wonder, took a little snooze, ate a snack up at the lake, and watched the ducks with Dad.

 July 24th
Pioneer Day, and Hyde Reunion of sorts. Landry's family couldn't make it up this year because of their new baby, and Jake had to work - but everyone else made it. 
Our float wasn't very fancy this year, but hey, we got one put together! We are pretty much the only family who does one anymore so I guess you could say that we are the entire parade in and of ourselves. Yes, there are some four-wheelers, horses, an occasional buggy or truck, and then us. Ta Da! Don't worry, we go around the circle twice to make it longer. And stay tuned for next year, cuz we have a cute idea already cookin'.
All the other traditional activities commenced shortly after the parade; Chicken chases, tug-o-war, barrel races, dunk tank - although we did miss the egg toss this year. Someone forgot to bring eggs! Oh the horror! However, a new thrilling challenge emerged - The 5 person 6 legged race! Wowza. We were told it was hard to complete, let alone do it quickly... of course we couldn't resist such a dare. Many tried, most failed, and the Hyde sisters rose victorious! Go us!

July 28th
Time for the famous Preston night rodeo! We saw some mutton bustin' hilarity, some barrel-racing skills, some crazy bull-riding cowboys, all while enjoying the smells of caramel apples and cotton candy. We took some friends with us to share the experience of said ruckus - as well as the joys of the farm. When we all went out shooting I let Denym come along... He pretty much had HUGE eyes the whole time.
In other news
We have really enjoyed going to the Drive-In movies just outside of town. Summer nights under the stars while baby is sleeping make for awesome date nights. I just feed the little guy in the privacy of our very own pick-up, then bundle him in a snug bed of sleeping bags, and adjust the volume to promote uninterrupted snoozing --- (which I imagine are all very difficult things to do in a movie theater)  The first time we saw Ice Age 4 and Brave. Next the double feature was Bourne Legacy and Spiderman. We were hoping to see Batman in this setting, but it was playing with Borne Legacy... which we didn't care to see again. BUT, I still say Drive-In Movies for the WIN!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Nephew Onyx

My brother Landry and his wife Kaela 
just welcomed a new baby boy:
Born July 5th 
8lbs 8oz 20 inches

God shed His grace on thee...

For Independence Day this year we were actually in Rexburg! Since it fell on a Wednesday, and Jake's place of business stayed open, our options were a bit limited.

But that night we ventured to Idaho Falls to watch the epic firework show! Wahoo!

We had some good friends save us a spot right by the river, and we all hung out for a few hours before it got dark. Jake got us some oober yummy snacks to pass the time; swedish fish, fruit, and rootbeer!
It was fun to show off my babe in his patrotic digs, and just enjoy the summer vibe.

 The whole outing was a much different experience than it years past, full of diaper changes, feedings, and worrying about the noise --- but Denym did so well!  And I am glad that I got to look up at the sky in wonder with my hubs, and feel grateful for the freedoms we enjoy.

Oh Blessed Day

Our baby boy was blessed on Sunday, July 1st at the Mink Creek Church house.
We stayed up at the farm there for the weekend and had a few adventures prior to the occasion. For instance, rappelling out of the neighbors barn:
 This is Jake showing off his mad skills. You can see him mid-flip and diggin' it! We took turns watching Denym so I even got to go a few times - It felt so good to get out and do something active. It was really the first physically challenging thing I had done since being pregnant. I felt like me again!
 As you can see, Denym loved it too. And although we seriously considered strapping him to us as we jumped out of the barn, he spared himself by taking a little snooze in the shade.

That night we went up to the Costley household where a group got together to play wallyball - Also  right up my alley. What an awesome day full of some of my favorite things!  But somewhere in the course of the evening my good mood vanished  for no good reason and I was left with a grumpy face. I could very well blame it on the lack of sleep I had experience the last few months, but it was a mixture of things really. That morning I did not have "play" clothes to get dirty in because none of them fit my post pregnant body; I forgot some of the ingredients for treats I had wanted to prepare for the luncheon; I was upset that some of my friends weren't going to be able to make it to the blessing; And then I just couldn't play wallyball at 100 percent, which rather frustrated me [See? totally irrational freak outs...and they were constant. Which is why my sweet husband earns sainthood every. single. day.]  I also had a bit of the "worry wart" syndrome that I get the day before any big event. Anyway, whatever it was that caused it, my attitude was a bit on the negative side - Okay, it was more than a little negative -like WAY past the end of my rope and was going to start sobbing if I tried to explain how I felt to my dear husband. And.... then I DID try to explain. What was I thinking!?  So he tried to reason with me as we drove back and got ready for bed. (Which of course did not work.) It was late, very very late, and I just needed to go to sleep. After all, Denym would be waking up in about two hours.... or so I thought. What a good baby - he slept for a total of 6 hours that night, which was a new record! What a blessing. God SOOOO loves me :)  I actually awoke refreshed and Sunday was a "new day with no mistakes in it yet."  ----Anne of Green Gables

 We arrived at church on time (not early, mind you, but on time) and the atmosphere was calm and peaceful in spite of the morning rush. I had a few quiet moments to reflect and just gaze and our perfect little babe. He was nice and sleepy, but due to some extra long introductory announcements in Sacrament Meeting he woke up before his moment. I was worried he would be fussy, but he did great. The men in the circle said he stuck his tongue out during the naming, but I guess that's just the "free" in him.

Daddy gave him a wonderful blessing:

“Our dear Heavenly Father, by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, and in the name of Jesus Christ, we present this child before You today to give it a name and a blessing. The name which has been chosen to be given on the records of the Church is Denym General Free. At this time we also wish to give him a blessing. Bless him that he will be strong, in mind, and in spirit, and in faith. Bless him that he will seek opportunities to love others and to serve thee. Bless him that he will be an example to those around him, that he will seek to enrich others’ lives as well as his own. Bless him that when choices are placed before him, he will counsel with thee and choose things that will lead to happiness in his life, and joy. We are so grateful to have him in our lives. We pray that Thou will guide him and look over him as he grows, that he will grow to be the man that he can become. We pray for these things and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Later in the meeting I handed Denym over to Grandma Hyde and Jake and I headed up to the stand to express a few of our thoughts. 

Testimony Jake Free: “I lost the race up here with Camille! I would be very ungrateful today if I didn’t stand before you today and bear my testimony. I look out in the audience and see a lot of family and friends here to support me and my family, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m very grateful for our son. I was asked by a co-worker the other day how he was and I said, “Oh, he’s a little turd.” And she said, “The apple didn’t fall far from the tree!” and I didn’t think that was very nice, but if you know me, you know that’s probably true! I am grateful. He is a blessing in my life, most of the time. I do know that the Church is true. I am very grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself. My ambition, or goals that I set for myself, sometimes He resets them. I am very grateful for His willingness to smack me up the side of my head and let me know what I ought to be doing. I know that He lives, and very much loves me and looks out for me. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Testimony of RaNette Hyde Free: “ I’ll keep it short because he kind of said it all for us, but I just want to say that I am so grateful to have experienced welcoming this new little life into our family. I am grateful for Heavenly Father who gave us the strength to get him here healthy and safely with no real complications. We are so blessed. He blesses our lives everyday.  It’s really been “awesome” – and when I say that, I mean that I am in awe of some of the things we’ve had to do in the last few weeks. “awe-some." I’m grateful for the things he’s taught me already, and for the things I know he will teach me. I truly believe that families are in God’s Grand Design, and I know that they’re for our benefit in helping us progress. I’m grateful for my family and for all of our friends that are here, as well. I know that this Church is true, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 Back at the house we had a yummy lunch. Sandwiches, watermelon, several different types of salad, chips, and I made mini cheesecakes. Some ate outside, while others came inside where it was cooler. It was really fun to celebrate and share the day with such a wonderful group of people.

 All "the boys" got together for a picture (see above) and Denym is now the newest member of the "Panda" club... Power of the Panda. (no one really knows why, but we'll just assume it's cool.) Soon after that, Denym fell asleep and snored adorably through the rest of the chaos.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Paso-Fino Open House

June 23rd and time for the annual horse open house in Mink Creek. We managed once again to make it to the in-laws ranch for some Horsin 'around!
Heidi and her fiance` had the honor of doing the flag ceremony this year, and did a really great job with it.
The old man obviously knows what he's doing with his 200+ animals. It's always fun to hear him spout off his knowledge and show off his skills.

Jake didn't actually break a horse this year, as he usually does, but he did look quite impressive during the gate demonstration.

We considered letting Denym get a feel for the saddle during the "open ride" time, but then thought perhaps we should wait until next year. He was, after all, only 6 weeks old.

Lots of sun, some visiting with good folks, and a few sodas later we called this years show a success! 

Island Park

Jake spent the 3rd week of June in Texas for a business meeting - but when he arrived home on the 14th our weekend began! We would be celebrating my 27th birthday, and Jake's first Father's Day!

He arranged for us to stay 2 nights in a cabin in Island Park. We were pleasantly surprised by the size and coziness of the place!

We had made this same trip for my 25th birthday, but had stayed in a smaller hotel-type cabin. And this time we brought a baby along! But it was the same great outdoors ---
I took this picture during our stroll down by the river - I put Denym in a little front carrier so we could hike for a bit. We had fun looking at all the cabins, and saw a bald eagle.

Both nights we went to a dinner theater. We thoroughly enjoyed the prime rib as well as the shows! (The first was The Three Amigos and the second was Homeschool Musical.) We were again impressed by the couple who own the place and what a good job they do.

While we were there we decided to go on a Paddle boat ride - Fail!  The current was just too strong. We ended up trading our paddle boat for a canoe - which also kind of failed because Jake was trying to oar on both sides while I held Denym up front and could offer no muscle power. He did a pretty good job of it, and was awfully nice to put such an effort into it for me, but ultimately that only lasted a few minutes as well. So much for our high adventures on the river! 

We took a jaunt over to Big Springs where you can view an old cabin and lots of fish from a little bridge.

 This is a place we visited while we were dating - Check out this old photo I found of us there:

 Has it really been 8 years?

There were tons of seagulls there just lining up to steal the fish pellets that people were buying to feed the fish. It was funny to see some of the kids trying to think of good ways to get the pellets past the birds and down into the water.

 We saw a guy across the way who was going to great lengths to get good pictures of the seagulls, and figured he was probably pretty good with a camera. So Jake asked him to take a picture for us. Awww, our family of three on a mini-vacation.

It was a beautiful couple of days and a trip that has probably earned its place as a family tradition.

New Niece Nora

My brother Braeden and his wife Jackie have a new baby girl:
Born June 7 
6lbs. 7oz. 
19 3/4 in.

Monday, July 30, 2012

DENYM: A Birth Story

(Fair Warning: This post includes all details that came to my remembrance about giving birth, including those that are in the "too-much-information" category. For those of you who would rather avoid hearing about these specifics, or don't want to read a novel, there will be a summarized version on Denym's blog.)

 It was Thursday, May 3rd when I first thought our little boy might be on his way. I had just been to a routine visit at the Rosemark Women's Clinic in Idaho Falls, and everything had transpired normally. I was still about a week away from my due date so I did not have them check for dilation or effacement. But my midwife did say that everything was looking good, and she would be surprised if she didn't see me in a few days for delivery. Hooray! After my appointment I was ravenous, so I took myself right on over to the Sizzler for a yummy salad buffet. As I sat there in my window booth, I felt some pretty strong contractions. Perhaps these are the beginning stages? So I timed a few and figured they were about 10 minutes apart. I called my little sister and told her to look up some info online. (She often does this for me, and is kind of my own personal Google accessory.) We had some fun speculating that "this was it", but made no definite conclusions about the signs I was experiencing. I told her I would let her know if anything changed. I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled right after that, so I decided to go and see what they thought. By the time I arrived, the contractions seemed to have subsided a bit, and he told me I was definitely not in labor. Hmmmm, okay then. I drove home, took a little nap, and any hint of the consistent contractions went away. Late that evening my little sister shows up at my house!  I had told her not to come unless I called again, but I guess she got herself all worked up thinking I was going to go into labor and there she was! Ooops! I felt really bad for jumping the gun - She had arranged to leave work and everything. What if the baby didn't come until next week and she had already used up her time off? Oh well. I figured it was good she was there to help me get some freezer meals finished and other things ready.

The next morning, May 4th,  I woke up around 6:00 a.m. to some beastly strong contractions. "THIS has GOT to be it", I thought --- I was excited. But I did not want to wake anyone up just yet, in case I was mistaken. My mind ran away with me a bit as I made sure my hospital bag was ready, and threw in a load of laundry. My being upstairs woke ShaNae, so I told her what was happening. I directly returned downstairs and woke Jake up to let him know that I was pretty sure this was labor. He gave me his funny groggy morning face, but it wasn't long before he was alert. I told him I was bleeding some, so he suggested I make a phone call to the birthing center. They said the amount and consistency was normal and confirmed that today was the day!

At this point I was determined to get a shower, and make sure my hair was dry and straightened. I wanted to look somewhat presentable in the pictures of this momentous occasion - I know, so vain! But while I was shampooing, I suddenly realized how painful the waves were. Owza! I had to sit on the edge of the tub multiple times just to make it through the shower. In the next hour, I could only hold the dryer between contractions, and was not making much progress in the beauty department. It was just so intense that every time I felt one coming I had to keep retreating to the toilet for a place to sit!  At one point ShaNae came down to check on me and I am sure I scared her out of her wits; As I was on the toilet, mid-contraction, gripping the walls on either side of me. I was basically non-responsive as she asked me questions, but eventually gave her a few basic instructions. One of which was to get my Hypnobabies CD going while I got ready. (Hypnobabies is a 5 week program I followed to prepare me for childbirth. It basically teaches you how to think about the experience positively and gives you some ways to manage the pain. At first I thought it was a bit cheesy, but having given it a fair chance, I would now highly recommend it.) I entered the zone and just did my best to cope for a while.

Jake came into the bathroom and we decided he should go into work for a little bit and that I would call him when I needed to go to the hospital. We had heard from several different sources that it would seem like it was time to go in, but that we should wait at home for a good long while. The advice my older sister gave me was to wait until I couldn't take it any longer, then add 4 more hours and it might be time. So, I was under the impression that this was going to take all day... I even had plans to make cookies to take to the nurses. But I finally came to grips with the fact that there was no way I was doing any of that. I called Jake and said "TIME TO GO!"  I crawled back into the shower, then braided my hair wet, and it was all I could do to get dressed in some scrub pants and a T-shirt. I am afraid I was kind of abrupt and bossy as I made my way to the car. Jake and I walked out the front door at a quarter to nine.
I was so glad ShaNae had trusted her gut and came the night before. She was able to do all the odds and ends that I was worrying about and get me out the door.

I remember asking Jake to put on the Hypnobabies CD in the car, and focusing intently on the words. I did pretty well at just listening and staying calm as each contraction came and went. I don't think Jake or I said much the whole way. I do recall taking the exit off the freeway, but that's the only time I opened my eyes until we arrived at the hospital. Once we pulled up to the entrance, Jake opened my door.  I was having a hard time getting very far, so the nurse brought a wheelchair out to meet me. My wonderful husband wheeled me in, and at one point in the lobby I told him to stop because I was having a hard contraction and was a bit motion sick. The nurse was hurrying us along, but Jake listened to what I was saying and didn't go again until I told him it was okay. Blessed man!
It was just before 9:30 when I got to the labor and delivery room. ShaNae arrived shortly after us and tended to some of the details I had requested, but had long since forgot about. It turns out my midwife had the day off, but another great lady (Natalie Taylor) stepped in for her. She immediately had me change into the hospital gown. I didn't even worry about going to the restroom for privacy - stripped right then and there without a thought of tastefulness. I lay down on the bed so she could check things out--- I was already dilated to an 8! Apparently I had waited a little too long to come in.
One of the nurses made a comment that they should start taking a video of me because I was so calm. They were a bit perplexed that I was not showing the "appropriate level" of anguish. (I attribute my tranquility to the hypnobabies relaxation techniques I was still trying to implement. They were well worth the investment for me.) Another nurse handed me a clipboard and started asking me a bunch of questions. It was all a blur, and I am thinking..."You'll have to excuse me for a minute while I delay answering that, because I am in the final stages of giving birth!" It's a good thing Jake was there to fill in the necessary blanks. All I really did was make sure they knew I did not want any medication and then signed a paper. (Looking back I would like to see what that signature looks like.)

 After having several contractions laying on the bed, I really wanted to try getting in the tub. My tentative birth plan involved a lot of tub time because I knew I would love the water. Well... I was wrong. I hated it. Spent about 2 minutes in the tub and that was that. Done and done. I moved to the toilet, as I had discovered it was a good place to cope while I was at home earlier - weird I know, but it really was the most comfortable place! Everyone was so good to let me try whatever I wanted. But as I did not want to be having a baby in the loo, I opted to try something else.  
Enter the birthing ball. Yes, it's exactly like an exercise ball, and it feels awesome to sit on during contractions for some reason.That's the ticket! Ok, it was still unpleasant (especially due to the big pad they had to put under me to catch the blood and poo!) but an improvement anyway. I spent the large majority of the next few hours there. And luckily, Jake is extremely accommodating and gave me back support the whole time. When he pushed with his arms from behind me and put counter pressure on my hips it made all the difference. He admits his arms were about to fall off, but I don't know how I would have done it without him!
Jake also picked up on some of the key words from my Hypnobabies soundtrack on the way to the hospital. He used them at just the right times to help me relax. Props to you my love. He kept throwing in some funny little comments here and there to try to make me smile. Mostly movie quotes and quips that only I would understand - and I did appreciate them. It made me feel like it was just him and me in the room.
When we really got into the nitty gritty of things, there are only a few key moments I can even recall.I specifically remember each and every time they put the monitoring bands on my stomach. I don't know what it was about them that drove me so nuts! They left them off the majority of the time, but ooooh they were annoying and made me want to throw something. Several times I desperately asked/demanded that they take it off!
 Another vivid memory: I was hugging the pillow in front of me through a long hard contraction and when it finally let up I mumbled "I am so tired. I need some help." At that moment I thought I might ask for drugs. But the nurses assured me that I was getting close, and I knew I didn't really want them. They kept suggesting that I start pushing - I am not sure if I just didn't know how to push or if I was avoiding it, but I kept breathing through the contractions. I felt like my body would do what it was supposed to do all by itself, and my job was to simply let it happen.
Oh the exhaustion - like I have never experienced before. It seemed I could handle the pain, but it was the overall lack of energy that really got to me. I weakly requested that Jake re-wet the damp cloth for my forehead and that he put ice directly on my face. The water was just dripping down my face and really helped. The cold felt so good and I was overwhelmingly grateful for all the ways he had supported me - in our marriage, all the way through my pregnancy, and up to this very moment. His hand was on my shoulder and I just tried to somehow hug it with my face -- it was my way of securing the comfort I needed but also showing my love and gratitude.
And then my oxygen levels became dangerously low. Baby was a little bit stuck on my pelvis. I barely recognized that there was a problem because my midwife and nurses were so calm and collected about it. I saw Jake's nervous face as they put an oxygen mask on me, but I just continued to breathe through my contractions. They told me I could no longer do that, and that I needed to really push. They changed the angle at which I was laying, and called in a doctor because the numbers were all over the place.

The short time the Dr. was there was absolutely the most painful few minutes. In my lifetime of bumped shins, stitches, and surgeries, I have come to find that my pain tolerance is pretty high - but he just came in and pushed me beyond my bubble of peace to a place that I will just call MEAN. I remember being angry that he was even there. I know I chose this place because it was adjacent to the hospital and it was good that doctors were on call for things such as this, but his nonchalant and insensitive manner of "checking things" during my contraction seemed totally unecessary. I dug deep for the amiable person inside of me and dealt with it until he left.

I had been pushing about 45 minutes, and I tried to maximize every contraction, but there was only so much I could do. I couldn't push any harder and I thought baby would never come. Time became unreal. But then there came an instant when I recognized that I was still very strong, and I know Heavenly Father helped me to see myself this way. The head finally came through, and all was right with the world. From there, his body found its own way out and...our little boy was born.
A sense of elated energy filled the room, along with exclamations and a bustle of activity. I was sort of removed from everything though as the physical reprieve came - Such luxuriant relief. It was a content and quiet joy that was well earned and all mine.

I know they put him up on my chest for a moment, and it felt like he belonged there. He wasn't as goopy as I expected - just tiny and holdable with lots of black messy hair. They handed Jake the scissors and had him cut the cord (the unusually short cord) very quickly. We couldn't wait for it to stop pulsing because they were concerned about the little guy, and wanted to check him over right away. He made just a few cute squeaky noises, so I experienced a flutter of concern about him not crying. But I received a reassuring word from one of the nurses that all was well, and he was soon placed back on my chest. Sometime in there I delivered the placenta, but I barely noticed. I got to look at it and briefly marveled that our miniature human had been inside it just an hour before.
We lay there skin to skin for a bit while Jake spread the word via text message. I cuddled this little person close and just absorbed his warmth. I whispered "His name is Denym." Then immediately looked up at Daddy and corrected myself - "Can his name be Denym?" I got an agreeable nod from him... like he was going to tell me no after what he had just witnessed? ha! 

 This is our little warrior:
Denym General Free. 
Born at 1:12 p.m.
 6 lbs 15 oz. 20 inches.

I felt AMAZING. Whether it be due to the gratitude in my heart or the adrenaline, it was like I was good as new. Better than new. I remember telling everyone something like, "Yeah, I just did that. And I think I could do just about anything right now." Something about the whole whirlwind of events had left me feeling empowered. I had done a hard thing.
I nursed him within the first half hour. He opened those swollen lips up wide, and latched right on. Kind of awesome how they are just born with the know how, as natural as can be. I caught a glimpse of  his eyes opening and it made me smile.
Daddy didn't get to hold the little tike for quite some time, but was awfully proud when he did. It made my heart sing to see the two of them snuggling.Such a tiny bundle in those long manly arms.

I was promptly given a tray full of food.YUM! My hands were still occupied so Jake fed me pizza. mmmm, pizza. The renewal of energy that came with each bite was all kinds of wonderful - To be fed by such a handsome and marvelous fellow, whom I had just gained a whole new level of  love for, didn't hurt my feelings either. I had no trouble walking to the recovery room. In fact, I welcomed the change of venue and the chance to stretch my legs. I practically skipped there.

In the new room, I got comfy, continued snacking, but mostly kept loving on our new little man. Meanwhile Jake made some phonecalls, and posted a picture on facebook. I chimed in here and there with some things I wanted people to know, but mostly listened in happy observance. I loved when Jake would tell people that "She handled it like a champ." 
 Denym got his first bath and a series of tests throughout the course of the day. I was glad I had not had an epidural so I was able to move about freely and witness all the happenings.

Jake was particularly excited about the little security footband they gave Denym to wear. 

Grandma and Grandpa Hyde were there to share in the aftermath, and ShaNae had been there all along. After the initial craziness wore off, we all got some dinner: Grandpa and ShaNae went out to get Five Guys burgers and Jake got Cafe Rio. And albeit an odd request, I had him bring me a plain tortilla to munch on. The hospital had provided plenty of food for me, but I guess I was just feeling particularly spoiled. Evening settled in and all the pleasant chatter subsided as our company left. Then it was just Mommy, Daddy, and baby. 
That night was so very peaceful. I was filled with gratitude and asked Jake to say a prayer with me. He thanked Heavenly Father for our beautiful new little family, for my strength, and baby's safe arrival.

In the days that followed, I learned so much. --- About babies, about my baby, and about myself. I truly cherished most of it, and was in a continuous state of awe. I loved to just stare at that cute little face and literally couldn't take my eyes off of him.

Even when I should have been sleeping, I just lay him on the pillow next to me and studied his features, listened to him breathe, or stroked his fuzzy head. His cry was so adorable that I didn't even mind waking up to it - It sounded like a little jungle monkey cheep, and I looked forward to hearing it.

Dad was nothing short of tremendous those couple of nights - (as he always is, but you know what I mean.) He changed ALL the diapers in the hospital except for the very first tar one that I sweet-talked the nurse into doing for me. Each time Denym needed to eat, Jake would get up and hand him to me so I didn't have to move much. And after feedings, Jake would burp him, swaddle him, and put him back to bed. Awww, could I be more lucky.
I often wondered, as I saw our son laying there, what he was thinking or feeling. He was part of our family, but a stranger that we hardly knew anything about.
It was Sunday morning when we left the hospital. It took Daddy several trips to the car to get all our stuff loaded, while I made sure Denym was fed and dressed. He looked so itty-bitty in the carseat and we had to cinch up the straps quite a bit. One of the girls at the front desk walked us out and showed us how to effectively drape a blanket over the car-seat handle. We took the stairs down in order to avoid the elevator, and I made a comment about almost feeling good enough to race Jake to the bottom... almost. We thanked all the nurses, and they commented on the yummy cookies ShaNae had brought for them. (She picked up on the fact that I wanted to make them cookies while I was in labor, and carried out my plans for me.) As we started driving, Jake spotted a line of baby birds at the edge of the parking lot, and we thought it was kind of cute.

On the way home, we had to stop at a pharmacy and pick up an iron-supplement prescription for me to take. But when we got there, it was going to be a 20 minute wait, and I just wanted to get home. So Jake, being the incredible guy he is, drove me home and made sure I was comfortable - then drove all the way back to Idaho Falls to get the prescription. 
And finally we were all home. I was so happy to know that all had gone well, and our baby boy was safely there with us. ShaNae had cleaned our whole house, hung up the baby shower sign in the window, as well as made us an awesome quilt - so the atmosphere was wonderfully welcoming.  

Denym made himself right at home.