Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Boys, My Girl

p.s. I'm thankful for my neighbor who came up and took some photographs for us. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy do we really get to keep her?

p.s. I'm thankful for my husband and how helpful he's been the last 13 days. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Jackson Visits the Zoo

p.s. I am so thankful for the help we are receiving--meals, fun field trips for Jackson, etc. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ella Kate is Here!

Our baby girl made her entrance into the world Friday morning at 9:31. Ella Kate weighed 6 lbs and 14 ounces and is 19 and 1/2 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair, sweet full red lips, and her eyes appear blue for now. She seems so tiny. Thankfully she's perfectly healthy, which has made the last few days so much easier than they were with her brother (he had some breathing issues, significant trouble breastfeeding, jaundice, and kidney dilation).

Birth story: Our room was right outside the nurses' station which was really loud, so we didn't sleep much. I got up at 3:00 to shower and then rested until our nurse came back around 4:00 to start the required fluids for the administration of the epidural and to give me a dose of Clindamycin. The fluids left me cold and shaking for hours. Around 4:30 the epidural was placed, and at 5:00 my water was broken.  Before they checked my water I was 4 1/2 cm, and after Pitocin was given I progressed to 5 cm.  I started to feel a little nauseous, so my nurse gave me Phinergen.  Wow IV Phenergan is no joke and left me barely able to talk and exhausted for over an hour.  My mom and sister arrived around 6:00, but I was pretty out of it and feeling grouchy from the Phenergan (and because my husband and mother would only give me one red hot each time I requested it as if giving me several would somehow be a big deal).  I think the IV gave me the worse taste in my mouth. 

The nurse had me lay on my side with one leg in a stirrup so that Ella's head would put pressure on my cervix; but when she checked me at 8:38 I was still 5 cm.  She called my OB after that and let him know it would probably be a few hours.  Over the next 10 minutes I felt incredible pressure to the point it was painful and assumed my epidural was wearing off already, which surprised me; it wore off during my labor with Jackson as well but after a much longer time.  I called my nurse, and she requested that my epidural be re-upped.  She also did another cervical check.  And somehow in 14 minutes I had progressed from 5 cm to complete! My nurse could see the head and immediately called my doctor.  His office is on the other side of town, but he somehow still managed to arrive in 15 minutes.  I pushed off and on for 10 minutes, and at 9:31 a.m. our daughter arrived.  We thought my delivery with Jackson was really easy, but this one was incredible! I am so grateful it was quick, uneventful, and that a C-section wasn't necessary.

Thankfully our hospital's policy had changed, and I was able to have skin to skin with Ella Kate for an hour before any testing, bathing, etc. was done.  And a major prayer was answered, and Ella Kate successfully breastfed almost right away.  Such a relief since it took major efforts to get Jackson to nurse the first week or so because he was so drowsy. 

This go-round I also talked to the nurses about interruptions during the night and how we really needed to rest (should be a no-brainer), and they were able to consolidate the checks so that we were only bothered 2 times during the night the first night (and at nursing times instead of random times) and 1 time during the second night (when I called to let them know we were up nursing).  This made a huge difference and allowed us to at least get some sleep before heading home.  We were able to leave Sunday morning and were definitely ready to get home to Jackson and be in a more relaxed environment with Ella.

p.s. I'm so grateful that Ella Kate is healthy and eating so well.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Last Day as a Family of Three

We are at the hospital! Thankfully our doctor wanted to go ahead and induce to ensure I received my eight hours of antibiotics, so we just checked in. I'll get my first dose soon with the second dose to follow at 4 am, then my water will be broken. If I don't contract on my own, I'll get Pitocin at 5 am. My doctor seemed to think she might be here before his office hours begin. We will see! 

It's been a really busy day and a little bittersweet as I've spent my last day just Jackson and me. He's such a joy, and I pray this transition will go well for him. Thankfully he's asleep at his grandparents and in good hands. 

Can't wait to meet my sweet Ella Kate

p.s. I'm thankful for modern medicine. 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

38 Weeks

My belly is huge! People are starting to ask me when I'm due and look a little nervous around me :)  I look a bit like I swallowed a watermelon whole, and I'm feeling a bit over being pregnant.  I had my weekly appointment last Wednesday, and I'm between 3 & 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  We went ahead and scheduled an induction for July 15, but Blake and I both suspect (and hope) I'll have progressed enough by my next appointment that we'll move the date up a few days.  Neither of us are crazy about the idea of my water breaking and rushing to the hospital and just hoping I'll receive the recommended 8 hours between doses of antibiotics before delivery to prevent Ella from contracting group B strep.  I know transmission is unlikely, but a friend's friend's baby contracted it this spring during labor and almost died so I'd rather not take chances.

I packed Jackson's suitcase yesterday and wrote out his schedule for Blake's dad and step-mom along with a list of last minute items to be added to his bag.  Thankfully Jackson enjoys being with all of his grandparents including overnight stays.  In fact, he's spent the night with Blake's mom once a week for the last 3 weeks! It's been one of the big reasons we've been able to get so much done in these weeks leading up to Ella's birth and has been a huge blessing to me as I've been able to rest a lot more.  Other preparations have included a pedicure and haircut/color :)

I'm continuing to feel pretty tired, but thankfully most days I'm able to nap and rest during Jackson's nap. I definitely feel more swollen and uncomfortable on the days I don't rest during his nap, especially since he's been waking at 5:30 some days.  Ella is continuing to be really active, and her heartbeat sounds good.  I've gained another pound for a total of about 30 pounds, and while I can still wear all of my maternity clothes I've been sporting Blake's boxers and tee shirts more the last few days.  The last 24 hours I've had a lot of back pain.  Have I mentioned that I feel really pregnant?

Jackson has been much more clingy this last week and wanting me to hold him more.  I left him with sitters twice on Monday, and he cried both times.  He usually loves being left with cute, young women, but he was just wanting his mommy to hold him. I'm wondering if he's sensing something is up.  We've been praying a lot for his transition to being a big brother and our transition to a family of 4, but I haven't thought about it all that much.  I figure we'll just take it one day at a time.

p.s. I'm thankful for our friends. We had 16 friends & their children over for a sort of last minute dinner Wednesday night, and it was so much fun.  Blake smoked two Boston butts, and it was delicious!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Jackson's Big Boy Room

We moved Jackson upstairs to his "big boy room" two weeks ago, and he hasn't skipped a beat.  I think he enjoys the new play space since we rarely spent time upstairs before this transition, so he's having fun exploring (and pulling out his bath toys every time we leave the door open).  It's definitely been a lot of work to get it ready since Blake wanted to build the furniture for this room, which means we had to find plans, stain, etc. that we both liked.  Thankfully I had chosen to have this room painted gray before Jackson was born because it's such a great gender neutral color, and we both still love gray so no wall painting was necessary.


Unfortunately the closet door and door frame had to be replaced, so that was Blake's first project.  He decided to put wood on the back of the closet and stain it to match Jackson's bed frame and installed shelves and a rod.  It's a really nice touch. Then Blake built the headboard and footboard and stained them.  I found some cubbies on Pinterest, and he built those too.  They're perfect for toy storage and sound machine placement.  We borrowed a crib from our neighbor, and until Jackson high jumps/crawls or otherwise escapes from it he's sleeping there.  We just wanted to have a bed ready for when we need it.  Once we move the crib out we'll add a dresser and nightstand to match.

Blake's mom added blackout fabric to our existing white curtains, and we moved the rug from our office into the room.  Now all we lack are some decorative accents.  We plan to add some artwork or photographs to the walls and some sort of hooks for his bags, hats, etc.  I also hope to find another light fixture.  The room has  shaped up nicely, and I hope Jackson likes it as much as we do one day.

p.s. I'm thankful for our freedom and a day to be with friends and family.