Monday, February 5, 2018

2 weeks old

 Our sweet baby C is two weeks old, as of yesterday! It's hard to believe we waited for her for so long, and those last few weeks felt like an eternity, and now the time is flying by!

She is seriously the sweetest baby. She is incredibly mellow and really doesn't fuss too much, unless she is hungry. We gotten on a pretty good schedule of nursing every two to three hours and just in the last couple of days got over that hump where nursing hurt like a you-know-what, and now it is the easiest and most natural thing in the world. I've started pumping a little here and there to start building up a stash so S can give her the occasional bottle, and it always makes me feel good to see that I am definitely producing more than enough. 

Because S is home on paternity leave it is easy to stay up till 10-11 for her last feed, just hanging out and watching TV. Then she sleep usually until around 2, wakes up to nurse and S changes her diaper, and then sleep well again until 4:30 or 5. In the last few days we've mastered the side nurse so at this wake up I usually side nurse her on one side, we both doze off, and then about an hour later she wakes up and we side nurse/doze on the other side. S has been absolutely wonderful about getting up with the boys and doing all the morning routine and school drop offs, so C and I get to sleep usually until 7:30 or 8 and then we get up and she does a full nurse and I eat some breakfast. (And have some coffee!)

We are co-sleeping again, and right now she has a snuggle nest that is in the middle of our bed. I love it because she is right next to me, but still in her own space. We also had a friend give us a snuza alarm, which we've never used before but definitely helps put my mind at ease at night. (Except when it slips off at night and the alarm goes off.... then I have a heart attack! But that only happened once!)

Let's see, what else? Like I said, she is super easy. Because of this awful cold and flu season we are being pretty cautious when we take her out places, but I've been wearing her in a ring sling so no one can try to touch her or get to close and she seems to love it. She usually just sleeps the whole time we are out, and we've been able to have some nice lunches out and really make the most of S being home without being locked up in the house the whole time.

The boys have taken to her amazingly. L2 always says how cute she is, R always wants to touch her and kiss her and L is just always very curious as to what she is doing. I"m not sensing any resentment or jealousy from any of them, although surprisingly I think L is actually having the hardest time adjusting. I've come to the conclusion that this is because we had just come of Christmas break where S was also home a lot, but at that time it was all video games and park time and lots of fun stuff with Daddy, and I think he was expecting S being home on paternity leave to be the same, which is just isn't, First of all, they are obviously in school and sports have started up again, so video games and daily trips to the park just aren't a reality. And second we are all adjusting to a new baby. I feel bad though because L is usually my easiest kiddo and so I don't feel like I really prepared him for what it would be like what the baby came home, because I just didn't think he would be affected by it. But, he's a great big brother and I"m sure he will adjust soon.

 (Can you believe those big eyes? And they are looking very blue right now!)

My parents left last Wednesday and then S's parents came in to town on Friday to meet C. The boys were super excited to see them, and you could tell they were pretty in love with their first Granddaughter! I"m so grateful for all the family support and help we've had over the last few weeks, but I'm also looking forward to settling in to a routine as a new family of six!

And, just because I never had a chance to post it, and in some weird way I am finding myself missing being pregnant, here is my last bump picture at 38 weeks pregnant. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Baby C is here!

So..... guess what? I had a baby!

And it's a beautiful, baby.............


Aaah, I love being a mom to boys, butting able to finally type that I have a daughter is so amazing! Our sweet little Baby C came into the world on January 21st, 2018 at 5.27 pm. She was 7 lbs 9 Oz's and 20.5 inches long. She is beautiful and amazing and words cannot describe the feeling when she was placed on my chest and S told me, "she's a girl."

It's been a week now, and I'm ready to get her birth story down before all those amazing little details start to fade away. Because they do fade. All of the discomfort and the impatience and pain and emotion that you go through in the weeks leading up to labor, and then birth itself, slowly gets a little fuzzy in the background of your mind as you settle into your new life with this new little person. And I don't want to forget a minute of. (OK, maybe the ring of fire I could forget, but you know what I mean!)

Last Sunday I woke up at 38 weeks 5 days pregnant feeling frustrated because I kept having contractions that would eventually fade away, and I was starting to feel like I might be pregnant forever. Thankfully I have the most amazing husband in the world and he rolled with all my crazy emotions those last few weeks with the patience of a saint. On Sunday he got up early and made me my requested (and not super easy to make!) breakfast of eggs Benedict. Over breakfast we chatted about whether or not we should go over the the festival in the park for the day and get some walking in to see if something would get started. Well, while he cleaned up I decided to bust out the breast pump for a little bit because nipple stimulation definitely helped get R's labor going. After awhile nothing was happening so I decided to just go get ready for the day and gave myself a pep talk about the fact that I would most likely be pregnant for awhile longer.

Then I stood up and my water broke! I yelled out for S that I needed a towel and suddenly things got very real! (On a funny note, every since I was pregnant with R, S and I have had an inside joke about "squirrel" being our code word if I went into labor. I have no idea where it came from, but it stuck, so I actually called out "squirrel!" when my water broke!) Anyway, there was no mistaking that my water had definitely broke, it was a fair amount. But I quickly realized that even though it had broke, labor hadn't seemed to really start. I had a few mild contraction but nothing super intense so I decided to take a shower and get ready. After I got completely ready I made some phone calls to arrange for the kids carpool the next day, and then called my parents to let them know they should start heading down, and then finished packing all the hospital bags and put them out so we could be ready to go when it was time. I also called my doctor to let her know and she said I could take my time coming in since contractions hadn't started, but to remember that R had come quick once labor started, so not to wait too long. After my parents got there I still wasn't having contractions so S and I decided to take a long walk around the neighborhood to see if that did anything. It didn't do anything in terms of starting my contractions, but it was actually so nice to have some time just the two of us to walk around and talk and prepare ourselves for everything that was coming. (Of course, at the time I didn't realize I would be walking for the next 5 hours!) When we got home S made the boys lunch and himself a sandwich and I signed the boys up for the upcoming t-ball and baseball season, but my parents were starting to get antsy and were urging us to go to the hospital, so we packed up the car and headed up.

We got checked in and they hooked up the monitors to check the baby and ran the test to make sure my water had in fact broken. As we were in the intake earlier I started losing a lot more water and had some mild contractions kicking in. We got admitted and put in a room pretty quickly and I changed into my birthing gown and the nurse put in my IV port and checked me. I was still only a 2-3 and the baby was high, so after talking to my midwife they decided to have me walk the hallways for a few hours and if I still hadn't progressed we would have to talk about starting some pitocon, which I was hoping to avoid. I was still keeping a pretty open mind about an epidural at this point, which was easy because nothing was actually hurting yet! So we walked, and walked, and walked. There was only a few other patients on the floor so the hallways were empty and we literally just walked this 100 yard loop over and over and over again. Around 2 the contractions finally started picking up and were starting to hurt, so they checked me again and I was at a 4-5. They gave me the option to call for the epidural, or to keep walking and keep things progressing, and I opted to keep walking. ( I don't know guys. I don't know. This is where I could have had the epidural!!!) Anyway, we kept walking and I stopped by the nurses desk to do a squat challenge with them. It was nice being able to talk to everyone that was working. We were joking around with them and they were all taking guesses on if baby was a boy or a girl. About an hour and a half later things were really picking up and I was having to stop and hold on to S during the contractions. My nurse checked me again and I was a 6 so they called my midwife to start coming in and gave me one last chance for the epidural. I said no, at that point the pain was very manageable. Instead we kept walking and things started to get really intense. At one point a tour group was going through right as a big contraction hit and the looks on their faces were so terrified! The nurses started to half joke that they were getting worried I was going to give birth in the hallway, but it felt so much better to keep moving so we did until my midwife showed up.

Once she got there I was not able to anything but moan through the contractions and was starting to feel some pressure, so we got settled up into the room and she checked me. I was about a 9 so she wanted m to keep laboring down through the contractions but told me once I felt like I needed to push we could start. Well, of course, at this point I decided I really wanted to the epidural! Spoiler alert..... it was way to late. The pain was incredible. I finally told them I was starting to feel like I needed to push and my incredible nurse and S helped me pull my legs back. It was.... awful. At this point it felt like the contraction were coming on top of each other and I was getting no relief. I was yelling and crying and telling them I needed the epidural and that I couldn't do this. I think I actually only pushed three times, but it felt like an eternity. On the last push I think on some level, subconsciously, I decided I just wasn't doing this anymore because I distinctly remember the doctor and the nurse telling me to open my legs and to stop trying to close them! I felt the worst pain I ever felt in my life, screamed like I was dying, and then felt this release and they were passing her up to me.  I couldn't even focus, but S leaned down and said, "It's a girl" and I lost it. I was completely shocked and happy beyond belief. In the background I could here all the nurses at the nurses station cheering and someone later told me that a few of them actually teared up after having spent the whole day with us.

And so, suddenly, I had a daughter. She was so beautiful and we waited for the cord to stop pulsing before S cut it. I asked the nurse to check and make sure she was really a girl, which she did and which she was! I had a small tear so my midwife had to take care of that, and unfortunately the lidocaine didn't take so I felt everything, and my swearing and crying continued for a little longer. Finally I was able to get the baby latched on and nursing and the nurse finally gave me some pain meds and S and I got to take some time and marvel in the fact that the baby was here and the she was... well... a she!

She was born at 5:27pm and we finally got moved up to a post partum room around 7:30pm. I immediately ordered a grilled cheese because I was starving and the adrenaline was pumping big time. That first night is kind of a blur, but I know I only slept about an hour because all I could do was hold her and stare at her and be amazed that she was here.

The next morning my parents came to meet there new granddaughter as soon as they dropped the boys off. Oh, have I mentioned at this point she still didn't have a name? We went into the hospital with a boys list and a girls list, but we still hadn't decided on anything! We had a few visitors throughout the day, and finally it was time for the boys to come and meet their sister. Seriously, one of the best moments. L2 and R had been insistent that the baby was a girl and it was so cool to see their reactions. Actually, R, who had been so excited was a little unsure. He didn't want to sit near her or touch her... I think he was nervous. But L and L2 both held her and loved on her and we got a sweet picture of the four of them.

We stayed in the hospital for two nights and then got discharged on Tuesday. As much as I love the hospital stays (It's like a little vacation!) we were all ready to go home and started getting settled as a family of six.

And so there you have it.... Baby C's birth story! I can't believe she is finally here and I can't believe we have added a sweet little girl to our crazy brood of boys!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

38 weeks

Well, here I am.... 38 weeks pregnant! It's actually pretty hard to believe. On one hand, this pregnancy has flown by. We just had so much going on from the very beginning, with the house and moving and the kids and the holidays, it has made the time go by fast! On the other hand, I kind of feel like I've been pregnant forever, and now that i"m in the last weeks everyday feels like a month!

I'm definitely at the point where I am just done. I'm having lots of contractions, some that are pretty painful, but none that are sticking or progressing. I'm having horrible heartburn overnight, and also pretty bad pregnancy insomnia. My pubic bone feels like it's splitting in two, and I miss being able to pick things up of the ground without having to stop and catch my breath. Lol, those are all my complaints! But I'm trying to remember that there is a very good possibility that this is my last pregnancy, and I'm trying to embrace the last few days of feeling a little life moving and kicking and rolling inside of me. 

I have a doctor appointment on Thursday and I'm going to have my midwife strip my membranes (ouch!!!) and hopefully get things going this weekend. R came at 39 weeks so I"m holding out hope that I only have a week left at most! S and I are both getting so excited to meet this baby, not to mention to find out if it is a boy or a girl! I"m excited, but I also feel weirdly unprepared and nervous. I think it's a combination of not having had a newborn in four years, and also not knowing the gender. Like one hand I just feel like I don't totally remember how to do all this and juggle everything, and it also feels strange to have not bought a lot of stuff and especially to not have a name picked out! We have a list of boy and girls names that we will take to the hospital and we will choose from that after he/she is born, but with every other baby everything has been so prepared before their arrival! But I'm also trying to remind myself that it will all come back pretty quickly, I can amazon prime anything that I need, and I also have S home with me for 6 weeks to help us all get adjusted!

Anyway, here is my (maybe?) last bump picture at 36/37 weeks. If I"m still pregnant this weekend I'll try to take one more!

A recap of 2017

So, I usually try to do a quick recap of my year around Christmas, or right after the New Year, but between life being hectic and being about a million months pregnant, I didn't get around to it yet. So I wanted to just quickly reflect back on 2017. It was..... quite the year. I started the year feeling pretty hopeless about an election that really rocked my world and opened my eyes to a lot of the ugliness in our country. It was a weird awakening, considering I've never been particularly political, and I felt called to completely step out of my comfort zone and fly across the country to protest and march in solidarity with millions of others who were feeling the same outrage, disgust, and sorrow that I was. The Woman's March in Washington D.C. is an experience that was truly life changing. I am so happy and grateful and proud that I was able to be apart of it. 

Early in the year we found a house we really liked and decided to put our house on the market again and make an offer. Unfortunately the sellers accepted another offer, and even though I was heartbroken we decided to move forward with selling out house and keep looking.

Fast forward a few months and I traveled out to Minnesota for my Grandmothers 96th birthday, and had chance to reconnect with a lot of my cousins, which was awesome. We definitely have some issues and dysfunction in this crazy extended family of mine, but it was nice to be reminded that at the end of the day we have each others backs and we love each other. Almost immediately after returning home I got the sad news that my other Grandmother had passed away so I hopped back on a plane to Wyoming to attended the funeral and help my dad pack up and organize the house my grandparents had lived in for almost 50 years. It was a sad trip, but I'm happy I could be there for my dad.

Next (like, literally as I was in the airport on the way home from Wyoming) I got a call that the offer on the house we loved had fallen through and we immediately re-submitted our offer and it was accepted! We still had our house to sell, but we were so excited. Well, as we moved into summer our house still hadn't sold and we were worried we were going to lose the other house, so we made some pretty grownup moves and decided to go ahead and buy the house while we waited for ours to sell. Talk about anxiety, carrying two mortgages!! Thankfully our house did end up selling within the month so it all worked out!

Well, with all this craziness going on, I realized I was late... and so I took a pregnancy test not thinking for a moment it would be positive..... but Surprise! Surprise! After nearly dying from shock, we were so excited that we would be welcoming baby #4 into our family. But we had a lot going on! We did quite a bit of renovations on our house before we moved in, all new flooring, paint, appliances, baseboards.... and now I had to do all of it while keeping a pregnancy under wraps and suffering from the worst morning sickness! But we were finally able to move in about mid August, and while we still have some projects on deck (the pool, a new kitchen) I am absolutely in love with our forever home!

And then the rest of the year was whirlwind of sports and school and holidays and pregnancy, and now here we are mid-January, two weeks from my due date and just impatiently waiting on this new babe to join the family!

So here's to you, 2017! You were crazy and unexpected and now I'm must excited to see what 2018 has in store!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Can you guys believe Christmas is over? It always seems so crazy to me that you have this entire month (or more) or decorating and shopping and planning and celebrating and all of the sudden, in one quick day, it's just over. Most years the weeks following Christmas leave me in a bit of a funk, a Christmas hangover, but this year is a little different. Now that Christmas is over we are officially in baby countdown mode, so while I am still a little sad about my favorite time of year being over, we defiantly have something big to look forward too!

Anyway, our Christmas was wonderful. S got a full week off surrounding the holiday so not only did we get a chance to get things done beforehand, we also had a few days to spend together and recover after. On Christmas Eve we had our friends A and J, and their kiddos as well as her parents over for brunch. It was nice to let the kids play and burn some energy while the adults hung out and ate all the yummy food. (the other, not pregnant, adults also got to drink all the yummy drinks. I missed my eggnog and rum this year!) After a day of playing the kids were worn out enough to go to bed without too much of a fuss, so we did our usual traditions. First the obligatory posed pictures of the boys in front of the Christmas tree.

Don't be fooled by the few cute pictures we managed to get.... most of them looked like this!

Then we put out our milk, cookies, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and read our Christmas stories in front of the tree. 

(This is a really good angle and the book is helping to hide my enormous baby bump!)

And one of my favorite parts was taking a moment to take in our beautiful tree in our beautiful new house. I"m just so happy here and so happy that we get to call this place ours.

After we got the boys settled S and I (mostly me!) finished wrapping some last gifts and put out our stockings and headed to bed too. We told the boys they were not allowed to go downstairs in the morning until we were all up and could go down as a family, and amazingly they listened and even let us sleep in all the way until 6:30!

The boys opened stocking while S and I got settled and got some coffee going for ourselves, and then came all the gifts. I've gotten much better over the years about being mindful of my spending and not just buying stuff to have stuff, but to buy meaningful things, but I admit love watching them open presents that I have put so much time and thought into. They were all grateful, and S was very grateful over the box full of beer and the new beer fridge that Santa brought him!

And can you see the them we had going with some of our gifts? These were only two of the four coffee making apparatuses we received! They are much appreciated and I am grateful that we are going to be adequately caffeinated when we have a newborn in the house!

Our house looked like a bomb went off in it when all was said and done, but a happy and festive bomb! And if there is one good things about being a million months pregnant at Christmas, it's that nesting is kicking in pretty hard and every trace of Christmas was cleaned up and packed away on the 26th!

Oh, and one last thing before I close out this post..... would you believe we managed to catch Santa on my phone camera again this year!!