Friday, November 21, 2008

Elder Plautz (the IV)

On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, my fourth son, my sixth child departed for two years to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now, you'd think that I would be an old pro at this, considering that he is the fourth Elder Plautz to serve a mission from our family. But...not so much!

I cried like a baby. Well, more like a mom.

Actually, I started crying a few days before he left. I cried when he gave his talk on Sunday (which was excellent). I cried when he came down the stairs on his way to be set apart, he, looking so grown up and ready to go. And I cried when I said good-bye at the airport. I cried again, when he was standing in the security check in line, as he turned back for one more look. He looked like a little boy in 'grown up man clothes'. I cried two more times that same day, when I was saying prayers, each time I went to ask for blessings for him.

I think I am done crying now. This is what we raised him for. I am so pleased with his choice and I can't wait to see who he becomes after the Lord has had the opportunity to work miracles on him and through him.

Today, in the mail, came this photo and slip of paper:

This slip of paper accompanied Elder Plautz’s photograph:

And this is what was written on the back of the slip of paper:

It helps to make it even more real for me, to see him standing outside of the MTC. It's the beginning of a new adventure for him. I just know that he is going to have a wonderful experience in the MTC.

To see photos from his departure at RDU Airport, click on this link to Catherine's Blog SLIDE SHOW

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Charlotte Eleanore Lewis

We are so excited to welcome a new grand-daughter to the ever growing Plautz Family. Charlotte was born at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2008. She weighed in at exactly 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.

The Story (strictly from my perspective)


I had spoken to Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday and she had told me that she had been having contractions, but they were not terribly intense or long lasting. She'd have them for a while and then they would stop. My gut feeling was that things were getting started for her.

On Sunday morning, right around 5:00 a.m. Erik called us and said that Elizabeth had been having strong contractions since about 1:00 a.m. or so and that they were about an average 8 minutes apart; and sometimes closer. He suggested that I might want to pack a bag and get on the road.

So, I climbed out of bed and got in the shower to wake myself up. I got ready and packed and out the door in 40 minutes and was on my way. I thought that I would be really sleepy, but the anticipaton kept me alert. When I called at 6:30 a.m. they had already arrived at the hospital. Elizabeth was 4 cm dialted and 80% effaced. This was really happening today. Yeah! Elizabeth was going to have her baby on her actual due date.

Waiting and Waiting

I arrived at the Labor and Delivery floor to find Elizabeth in the middle of a tough contraction. She was in great spirits. It didn't seem to take too long before the ansthesiologist came to administer her epidural. It didn't seem very long before she was between 7-8 cm dialated. I thought, "Dang, she is going to have this baby by 1:00 p.m."

Sadly, I was SO wrong.

The contrations just stalled out. They didn't stop completely, but almost. Elizabeth is a very goal oriented person. She decided that if she wasn't any further by 4:00 p.m. she would call for Pitosin to help increase and strengthen her contractions. So, she did. At first, she could really tell the difference, and then the contractions slowed down again. They added another dose. Still not a lot of difference, but the nurse indicated that there were measurable changes, just not in dilation. A few harder contractions later Elizabeth knew that the baby was on her way. She started to push with the contractions.

Then, the contractions started coming further and further a part. Because of this, it took a while to deliver the baby.

As an aside, at about 4:30 p.m. when we learned that she was fully dilated, I asked Catherine and Erik for their predications on the time of birth. Catherine was the most optimistic, suggesting the baby would arrive between 5:05 and 5:10 p.m. I said 5:15 to 5:20 p.m. We then looked at Erik and he calmly stated "6:15" Elizabeth gave him a glarring look as if to say, "Why in the world would you guess so long from now".

We looked at the clock on the wall when it said 6:15 and made mention that Erik's suggested time had passed away as well. But, the nurse jumped in and stated that they always go by the time on the computer, and it said 6:12 p.m. Two contractions later, the baby was born. The time of birth exactly 6:15 p.m. Well done Erik. Give the man a fish!

The Good Part

Elizabeth was amazing. It was such a better birthing experience for her compared to the first time, even though the total hours of labor were very similar.

It's quite amazing watching your own child go through this experience. I remember the pain and the stress; the whole ordeal. She was strong and confident. She was amazing.

"Little girl Lewis" was born. Elizabeth and Erik needed a couple days to figure out which name in their cue belonged to this beautiful baby. We learned on Monday afternoon that they had decided on Charlotte Eleanore Lewis. I know that Elizabeth had a roommate at Ricks College named Charlotte. She has loved that name for quite a while. Eleanore is the name my mother has always gone by, although it is her middle name.

Short Video of Charlotte 5 minutes old

She is just so small!

First Family Photo with Charlotte

Amelia Holds Charlotte for the first time

Grampa Plautz (Pop-pa) holds Charlotte