Four years ago today, our family became three.  Well, four if you count Sally.

There was some serious sleeping.

There was lots of crying…

We called you “el borracho”, the drunkard….

And then somehow we quickly found ourselves here…at one month…

three months…

five months…

six months…

nine months…

ten months (I SO know that face, bud….GUILTY!)

WHOA….11 months!

and then….one year!


And then came year two…(clearly this was BEFORE corrective eye surgery)…

Always the ham, even at 2.

And then year 3, the party and birthday you planned and thought about for MONTHS.

And then when **THE MOMENT** came…where everyone would have hats and sing to you and eat cupcakes, and ice cream, and cookies, and cake and cheese…


But here we are today.

Lots of transitions and changes this year and yet you’ve been so resilient,

reaching out and embracing all the newness.

And somehow, we’re here today, and you’re FOUR.  Holy Moses.  You continue to be a joy to us, Alex.  You are hilarious, always telling creative, far-fetched stories about pirates and viking ships, parking garages and container ships.  You are writing your name these days, counting, enjoy Richard Scarry books and Busytown Mysteries, being a big brother/entertainer, learning boundaries and taking times outs with a LITTLE more grace than previously, becoming a great friend to others, asking us tough questions and exploring the world around you with vim & vigor.  Four is sure to be a year of growth, fun, maturity (ha!), adventures and memories.  So excited to walk {or run} alongside  you and take it all in.

Love you,

Mom (and Dad)


And for those of you bored enough to read this {mostly for Alex to **enjoy** years down the road….}, here’s the birth story, according to me, written back in 2007.

Christine’s Birth Recollections

Well, around 1am I woke up and went to the bathroom.   Water started gooshing EVERYWHERE. I thought that I was peeing all over myself. Suddenly I realized that that wasn’t the case. Instead, my water had broken. I tip toed to find Matt in bed, shaking him awake. I started crying trying to tell him what happened. We had been laughing the night before about how lucky we were….lucky that we’d made it to May 20th and the St. Luke Sanctuary Rededication Day and that Baby Boy Gough hadn’t yet arrived. Good job us! Well, he had other plans. No sharing the attention for Alex! Finally, we got our heads wrapped around the fact that my water had indeed broken and Matt called Kaiser. We couldn’t remember what to do because only 10% of women actually have their water break, so we didn’t listen too carefully during the class to that part….oppsie!!

The nurse at Kaiser told me to take a shower, eat a small meal and come in. “COME IN?!?!?” Matt and I said in unison. “Come In?” no, no, no. This was NOT supposed to be happening. We’re having a BABY??!?!? NOW!?!?!? Well, good thing I’d finally packed my bag the night before. Luckily, we were pretty much ready.

After taking a shower, I tried to push down a few teaspoons of yogurt. Matt was in the den, frantically printing things out. I was so annoyed. I kept thinking that he was trying to print out his sermon and then he would leave me at Kaiser, go to St. Luke , preach, and then come back. I was starting to get contractions, which forced me to sit down and wait them out. Since Matt was so BUSY, I started carrying things out to the car and had to stop and sit on the sidewalk through two contractions in the dark. Finally, I went in and said, “MATT!!!! We need to leave NOW!” We called Matt’s mom, Judy, and she agreed to come down and watch Sally and we woke my parents up too. We were off and on our way. And NO traffic on Highway 24! YES!

Once we got there, we pulled into “Stork Parking” and waited on the ground while I contracted. We got into triage and there were FOUR of us being admitted and 3 of us had had our water break. Breaks that 10% trend, eh?? After doing all the check in stuff, we got assigned to our Room, #10, and our nurse, Nicole Boyd. Can I say how much I LOVE Nicole?!?!?! She was the best and made my experience more than I could have expected. She was truly a gift from God to me.

Once I was settled in, the midwife checked my contractions and asked me to walk around to get things going a little stronger. Patti, my doula, came and did the walking with me, and Matt went down to the car to get our stuff. Within 45 minutes, the contractions were going MUCH stronger and faster and so we went back to the room. Sure enough, things were progressing quickly and so they were able to offer me the epidural. WOO HOO!!! Drugs. Our little drug lady, Isabelle, was the best. She did a seamless epidural and I felt much better afterwards, although I was shaking uncontrollably. The last two contractions before the meds were horrendous. Don’t know how women do it all naturally.

Around this time, we wanted some music and sadly realized that Matt had forgotten the ipod with all of the huge playlists he’d been compiling. So, LUCKILY it was a Sunday and Acoustic Sunrise was on KFOG. It was wonderful!!! A blessing in disguise. I printed out the songlist so that I could later look back on the awesome lineup of songs. I even emailed Rosalie about how great it was. Here’s the email exchange we had the following week:


A week ago today I went into labor with my first bumpkin with a “gush” as my water broke at 1:15am. After a bit of disbelief that Kaiser Walnut Creek was telling us to come in and that the baby was coming “today”, we got our rears in gear, packed the car up and went out to the hospital. We managed to get everything, BUT…..realized once we got to Kaiser that we had the dock for the ipod, but not the ipod with all of the playlists my husband Matt had made. LUCKILY, it was a Sunday and so when we put it on KFOG we all got so excited that it was Acoustic Sunrise!!! It was so perfect. I birthed Alexander Zachary at 1:13pm and was blessed to get to have the PERFECT soundtrack to accompany the whole thing. Then, once we finally got moved to our own room after the birth, acoustic sunset was starting. We couldn’t have asked for a bigger gift. Well, I guess Alexander Zachary was the BEST gift, but….

You were talking about the Lyle Lovett concert while I was pushing and I kept asking my doula to go call the 800 number and see if we could score tickets, but she said that pushing was more important at that exact moment. : )

Thanks again for providing the perfect labor soundtrack for me. It will truly standout as a very special part of our day.

Take Care and Thanks!!

Christine Gough (and Matt and Alex, too!)

Chrisitne – your wonderful email brought tears to my eyes! I aqm so grateful

to be part of such a blessed event!

I’m saving this email forever.

Congrats and here’s to many more Sundays together!

Rosalie Howarth


My laboring went on until they decided to use some drugs to get things going faster. Unfortunately, Alex and I didn’t react so well to the meds, so they took us off it them and then checked and lo and behold, I was already at 8 cm! Matt then went to our bag and started pulling out the stories that people had been sending him. See……Matt wasn’t printing out his sermon; he was printing out writings that he’d requested of our friends and family. Encouraging words, funny stories, memories, etc. to get me through labor. My husband, my sweetie!!! When Nicole came back in, she could already see Alex’s head when she checked and said that it was time to get pushing. I was really scared for this “Olympic Event”, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it or that I would tear open or die. Too many bad movies!!

Well, it was amazing. All my friends had told me that it would be amazing, and it was. Truly the best experience of my life. Due to the meds, I could totally be present and it was so cool. I kept saying, “I’m IN LABOR!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!! We’re having a BABY!” It was great to have Matt counting to keep me on track with the pushing, to have Patti with her lavender scented wet cloths, and just feeling Alex finally come out. I’ll never forget Matt saying, “Oh my gosh! There’s his eyes, his nose, his ears!!!” and then Alex was suddenly on my belly, squirming around! So surreal and wonderful. And yes, I cried. Going through labor was truly a miracle of God and what a joy to have this part of bringing Alex into the world.

5 thoughts on “FOUR!

  1. You recollection of being annoyed at Matt is similar to mine. When I went into labor my husband decided he needed to shave (so he didn’t look like a raggamuffin when he met our son for the first time). My labor was progressing so quickly that I literally had to yell in order for him to hurry up. Thanks for sharing…my son is now 16 months. Time flies.

  2. Pingback: Six | These Stones

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