Monday, June 30, 2014

Jack and Ella

Look who came for a visit :)
Thanks Nana and Grandpa for bringing my boy up to see me and love on me! 

And this girl has a wee bit of jaundice, so she's going to be lit up like a glow worm for a little while. 

Almost a Day Old

34 weeks gestation on Sunday. 
I should be posting about my weekly things. 
Instead, I'm introducing you to our Ella Hope. 

The nurse said she was born at 3:32am. 
I was told she's 5 pounds, 17 1/2 inches long and has dark, thick hair. 
I wouldn't know. 
I was completely under. 
I missed her first cry. 
I didn't get to hold her, touch her, see her.
No skin-to-skin or breast feeding. 
 None of my wishes for this birth came to pass. 

Ella's birth story
The last anyone knew, I was going to be sent home Sunday afternoon having been contraction-free all day Saturday. Sunday morning around midnight I woke in discomfort and needing to urinate. I asked The Husband to help me up and told him I thought I was having a contraction. We got settled back in our sleeping arrangements, but I continued to hurt. From midnight until 2:30 I laid in agonizing pain thinking she was trying to turn since no contractions were showing up on the monitor. 

The nurse came in to check on me. I explained how I was feeling while tears poured. The nurse offered the jetted tub, and I agreed thinking it might bring some relief. Before I could get in, she checked to make sure I wasn't starting to dilate. I wasn't, but being on my back brought on such intense pain that I couldn't stop shaking and crying. This concerned her, and they called my dr who happened to be on call this weekend. 

He said we were doing a csection. I said I did not agree. I just knew we had to give her a little longer to finish turning. To start causing me less pain. The dr came in and began talking to me about what could also be causing the pain. Internal, very-bad things. I consented. 

They prepped me, gave me the spinal tap, and we waited for it to kick in. It didn't. Ever. They had to put me completely under with gas, and The Husband wasn't allowed in until she was born. Then, the dr explained what had happened. 

First, my uterus is misshapen. Actually, it never formed fully during puberty we assume. That's why I haven't been able to carry my babies to term. There's simply not enough room for them to grow bigger.  Jack turned early enough so that I was able to deliver him naturally, albeit early. Ella didn't make the turn soon enough, so when she tried, things went from bad to worse. 

Second, the cord was wrapped around her neck. Not tightly, but enough that it was starting to cause distress, probably from all of the moving she was doing. 
I'm so glad God gave my dr wisdom, The Husband calmness in such uncertainty, and me incredible peace once I was wheeled into the operating room. I was so calm staring at the ceiling, getting the spinal tap, following instructions. The only time that broke was when I begged them to send in my husband before knocking me out, and they wouldn't. But, then I was out, and I remember nothing else until I started waking up after surgery. I woke up in so much pain, and the morphine didn't kick in for quite a while. The Husband told me about her, what she looked like, showed me pictures, held my hand. And I wept because it didn't feel real. I didn't feel like I had a baby. She wasn't with me, I didn't see or feel her being born. She came so early that I couldn't nurse her. At least not yet. 

But I can pump. And, that gives me something to keep my mind on. Doing something for my daughter.  Providing nourishment even if she can't get it now. And I'm praying that she will be able to nurse when she's finally ready to be held. 
I've pumped three times now, and we're hopeful she will get some in a feeding tube soon once he's taken off her breathing paraphernalia. 
She's not on oxygen, just something to force the air in a little bit more. 

So that's the news so far. Our families and friends have been up to see the three of us, and my parents continue to watch Jack at home. He's doing well. 

Now, looking at the clock, she's officially a day old.  I long to see her, but I will continue to wait. Not so patiently. :). And I'll try to sleep. And in an hour I will try to get up for the first time and walk. I'm nervous about that. 

Maybe I can doze until then. 

Thank you for praying for our girl, for our family, for strength, and for healing. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Update On Yesterday

I'm tired. 

I didn't sleep but maybe an hour last night what with the IV and fetal monitor cords and the cathadar tubes twisting every time I moved, the blood pressure cuff tightening every time I started to doze, and the mattress not allowing my hips any relief. 

Exhaustion, hunger for something more substantial than a cup of broth, the magnesium causing extreme dizziness, plus lots of anxiety caused a wee bit of a sobbing meltdown and contractions this morning. 

I've tried to rest today, but have not gotten much sleep. 

I finally saw my doctor this afternoon. He won't consider releasing me until tomorrow at the earliest. He wants me maintaining status quo.  And once I'm released, I'm on bed rest because of (TMI ALERT) my cervix being short and soft--two things that indicate labor isn't far off--and the strong contractions I was having all day yesterday. 

I'm disappointed. I had such HIGH hopes of getting our home ready. For us to live in. For us to bring the baby home to.  And now, instead of unpacking boxes and decorating and tidying, I will be in bed or on the couch at my parents' house. Instead of carrying and loving on and holding my boy, I will be watching him from arm's length. 

I know it's very important for me to follow my dr's orders, but it does stink. 

I'm counting my blessings though. I have to. 

**I am still pregnant. Tomorrow I will be 34 weeks. 
**The baby is doing well. Still breech, so I'm praying she will turn soon so that a csection is one less worry on my list. 
**My husband has been able to be with me due to the 16 hours of comp time he had saved up, and The Bestie is going to try to hang out with me tomorrow morning while The Husband works. 
**My parents have been taking great care of Jack. Who I miss. Terribly. 
**My contractions have stopped (well they did pop back up briefly when my stress level increased earlier).
**Igot to eat solid food. Grilled cheese, as requested. 
**I'm cathadar-free and have permission to use the bathroom. 
**I'm hopeful I'll sleep a bit better tonight. 

Thank you, thank you for praying and for continuing to pray. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Prayers please

Jumble of thoughts. So many emotions. 

I'm currently being monitored at the hospital for preterm labor. I'm 33 weeks 5 days. She currently only weighs a little over 4 lbs. I went in for my twice weekly non-stress test, and I had significant contractions the entire time. 
The baby is still breech. I'm 70% effaced. If she comes, I have to have surgery. I'm freaking out. Freaking out. I'm so sad. And scared. And worried about bills. The Husband hasn't been at his job long enough to have any paid vacation leave, so any work he misses we lose pay. I'm beyond stressed about the house not being anywhere ready to live in. I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to unpack most of the stuff we have. 

Please pray. 
Please pray that she will stay put. That she will turn. That she will gain weight. That my house will miraculously get unpacked and repaired in the meantime. That I will be able to live in my new house before my baby is born.  That Jack will be ok while I'm not there. I miss him. 
That's all. Thanks for praying. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Possibilities of the 23rd

Oh, Friends,

Some of you know that the 23rd has special meaning to The Husband and me.

We started officially dating on January 23rd.

We got married a year and a half later on July 23rd (our three-year anniversary is coming up next month!).

Hadley's due date was on August 23rd.

And, today, this 23rd day of June, has now been added to that list of memories.

We closed on a new-to-us house!  We are homeowners.

We fell in love with it and wanted to make it our home the moment we took a look inside a little over a month ago, and it's been an up and down journey since then.  God answered prayer after prayer (in His timing, of course), and we were forced to be patient and to not lose hope.  Neither of us were awesome at those things, but our God was faithful and surprised us last Wednesday when we got the call that we were going to be able to close this afternoon.

This house, our home, has so many things that the two of us always wanted in a house but never thought we'd actually get.

It has a huge front porch (perfect for a swing, a bench, some chairs, and some quality relaxing). 

It has a small second story.  The previous owner converted the attic.

It has lovely, original hardwood floors in many of the rooms.

It has a HUGE backyard (the kind where laundry hangs, children play, gardens grow.)

It's not a big house--just three bedrooms, one bathroom (we'll definitely be practicing patience, haha....or hopping in the car and driving the 4 minutes to my parents' house!), a playroom, an office, etc.  But, it's so delightful.  And, we can't wait to move in!

In a few weeks, my mom is going to be throwing us a housewarming party there once we're all unpacked.  She'll be sending out invitations (via email, so keep checking your inboxes), and it'll be a come-and-go type of event with drinks and snacks and time in lawn chairs and tours around the house.  We would love for ALL of our friends and family to see this precious space of ours, but we realize that's not possible for many of you (due to distance and/or scheduling).  If, however, you don't receive an invite (for the above reasons) and would be willing to make the drive and spend a little time loving on and enjoying our new home with us, please, please tell me, and I'll make sure you're invited!

Side note...
**Stacey (my flag friend from high school!), if you're reading this, it's just down the way from where you and Chris (used to?) live!  If you do still live there, we will have to schedule some serious play dates for our little ones :)**

And, I'm back.

So, there you have it.  That's our big news.  The news I've been sitting on for weeks now. Oooh, it was tough not to tell ;) You're prayers for a smooth transition are sooo appreciated!

Any advice you'd like to give to first-time homeowners?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

33 Weeks - Pregnancy #3

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancies with Hadley and with Jack, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  33 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Girl weighs as much as a honeydew melon (around 4 1/4 pounds)

Total weight gain/loss:  So far I've gained a whopping 23 pounds.  I hate being weighed now.

Maternity clothes:  I do try to put on clothes other than my pajamas, but some days that doesn't happen until well into the afternoon just so I can go for a walk and be somewhat presentable.

Gender: A stubborn, breech baby girl ;)

Movement:  She stays curled up on my right side, butt out, and periodically bounces on my bladder. That mostly happens at night.

Sleep:  Not a lot--two and three and sometimes four trips to the bathroom throughout the night leave me awake a lot of the time

What I miss:  full-on hugs, lying flat on my back

Cravings:  ice cream

Symptoms:  acid reflux every night before bed and sometimes during the day

Exercise: walking most afternoons and the occasional pilates workout

Belly Button in or out: It's still flat.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time:  Happy!

Looking forward to:  getting past 36 weeks!  32 weeks is when I went into preterm labor with Jack, so I was a bit nervous this past week.  36 weeks is when I delivered him.  I'd like to get as close to my due date as possible with this little lady :)

Best moment this week:  Oh, I can't tell you!!! Actually, I can.  Tomorrow.  Stay tuned.  It's BIG, People! :)

33 Weeks
I'm ginormous.
And, something else ginormous?  The three HUGE loads of baby girl laundry (that pile behind me is just ONE of the loads).  We have been sooooo blessed by friends and friends of friends with baby girl clothes. Let the sorting begin (continue)!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jack's 1st Birthday Party!

Thanks to my sister, I have a few awesome pictures to remember this day :)

Let me start out by saying that I really didn't have high expectations for how Jack would react given that he's been so clingy lately and wanting nothing to do with other people.  
Instead, however, he proved me wrong!  There were a few breakdowns, but overall, he was sweet and flirty and was only overwhelmed a little bit.  The party went so well, despite his shortened nap and the intense heat/humidity.  

With the help of my in-laws, who arrived in town early, the food was prepared and set out in the kitchen.  We fixed some of his favorite foods (fruit kebabs, turkey and cheese roll-ups, and carrots) for our guests to munch on, and I also baked up some angel food cupcakes with cream cheese icing and blueberries.  

The guests began to arrive, and we all visited out in the screen room and on the patio munching on the snacks.

When I figured he had had about enough of sitting in the highchair, we brought out the cupcakes and sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  Y'all, the look on his face as 15+ people sang in unison was priceless.  He looked around the room in awe as everyone sang.  I wish we had caught it on video :(

Then, he got to try his very first cupcake.  

He wasn't sure about what to do with it, at first.  

So, I helped him out a little.  

Then, he got the hang of it. And, he liked it!

It was time for a good wiping of his face and hands and the opening of presents :)

By the end of the event, he was wiped out!  We all had a great time!

A few notes from Jack...

Dear Gigi, 
You're the only one we didn't get a picture with! We'll have to snap one another day :)
Thank you for coming to my party.  Mommy will find a special place to hang my new dream catcher, and I know that when my new baby sister and I are older, we will really enjoy listening to and reading the stories you gave me!  Thank you!


Dear Angela,
Thank you for my new puzzles (I think I will REALLY like the one that makes car sounds!) and the book about numbers.  Mommy is always counting things (Cheerios, blueberries, fingers, toes), so I guess I need to know what she's talking about :).
I look forward to our walks in the neighborhood, especially when you bring that furry animal with you! Muah!


Dear Angela's mommy and daddy (Mr. and Mrs. M.),
I'm so glad you both were able to help me celebrate turning 1! Mr. M., I'll try to work on my handshake ;).
  Thank you for the fun card and the money that Mommy says will buy me some new jammies and maybe a few things for summertime!


Dear Aunt Kelli and Brynna,
You got the chunky safari puzzle for me, and I've already been enjoying it!  In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that I've officially lost the crocodile...Mommy says we'll keep looking for it.
I've also been looking through the Baby Einstein books! They're perfect for my tiny hands :).  Thank you for spending your afternoon with me!


Dear Aunt Beth, Ryan, and Emma,
Thank you for the Veggie Tales CD and the Kenny Loggins CD.  Mommy says we'll be listening to those in the car soon!  She also said to be sure and thank you for the Target gift card--it will be helpful when we go shopping for any extras I might need this summer!
Thank you for helping Mommy by taking so many great pictures of my party!


Dear Nonny, Pop-Pop, Aunt Sam, Uncle Nathan, and Aunt Faith,
Thank you so much for driving all this way to see me on my birthday!  I had so much fun with you, especially after the party was over :).  Thank you for all of the wonderful books you brought me and for the clothes that Mommy has already washed up!  The puzzles are neat, too!  
Mommy said to say a big thank you for your help in getting the food ready!  It was tasty!  Love y'all bunches!


Dear Nana and Grandpa,
Thank you so much for letting us have my party here (and for all of the other awesome stuff that you've done for us while we've been living here)!  Thank you for getting the backyard and the screen room so nice and tidy for our guests to enjoy and for working so hard to help the party go well.  
Thank you for my birthday bear, my wooden train set, and for the Bear board books.  Mommy already read me one, and I liked it!  Love you lots!


A note from Mommy....

Dear Jack,
Daddy and I love you to the moon and back, and we hope you had a wonderful first birthday!  We're so proud of the little guy you're becoming, and your personality cracks us up daily.  You are a sweet, loving boy who has so much potential.  
We know God has great plans for you!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

32 Weeks - Pregnancy #3

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancies with Hadley and with Jack, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  32 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Girl weighs as much as a head of lettuce

Total weight gain/loss:  So far, I'm up 22 pounds total this pregnancy.

Maternity clothes:  Anything that still fits

Gender:  a very breech baby girl

Movement:  Kicking/moving when I'm holding Jack or lying down

Sleep:  Sleep has become a fleeting thing.

What I miss:  Sleeping through the night and giving full-on hugs

Cravings:  chocolate chip ice cream

Symptoms: acid reflux and a full bladder all. of. the. time.

Exercise: I walked a few times.

Belly Button in or out: It's not in or out.  It's just flat.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time: Hmm.  I would say mostly happy. I got a haircut, so I was super happy that day :)

Looking forward to:  This little girl making that all-important 180 degree turn.

Best moment this week:  Celebrating Jack's actual birthday on Wednesday and again today with family and friends.  He did well considering he's in that very needy "I only want Momma" phase.  As soon as I get all of the pictures in, I'll post them.

He's a very loved little boy, and we feel very fortunate and thankful for our friends and family!

32 Weeks

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

To Jack--With Love on Your 1st Birthday

Sweet Jack, 

You are officially one year old today!
This first year with you has taken our breaths away. 
You are a delight and a joy and a wonder of a boy. 
You giggle and grin and blow kisses and melt our hearts. 

You speedily crawl from one adventure to the next and only stop to smile or lay your head on our legs or shoulders for a quick breather.

You are sweet and funny and charming and full of spunk. 

You love to be loved and to love on us in return.  
You are a great eater with your almost 6 teeth--almost because you have 4 teeth all the way in and two halfway there. Your toothy smiles are pretty contagious. 

You have turned our lives upside down in only the best ways, and we can't remember what life was like before we met you. 

Daddy and I love you to the moon and back, Monkey, and we thank God daily that He has allowed us to be your parents! 

Happy 1st Birthday, Love!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Two Things Tuesday (6/10)

1.  Tomorrow this boy is turning one!!!

This time last year, I was wishing and praying and hoping he'd hurry up, haha!  Whoo, that was a longggg labor.
After reliving that day through words, I am not looking forward to doing that again in a few months, but I am definitely looking forward to meeting our girl :)  This moment was sure worth the....well, worth it all!  And, I just re-read the comments at the bottom and got teary-eyed.  Bestie, you better be there for this little one's birth, too!

2.  We're having a little gathering to celebrate his birthday next weekend, and I'm hoping he doesn't freak out with all of the people there.  Since being sick a few weeks ago, my social boy has become a clingy mess around people other than me, The Husband, and my parents.  He will smile and blow kisses and wave "hi" all day long to others, but the minute they get close enough to touch him, or heaven forbid, pick him up?  The frantic looks directed at me start and the tears begin to pour.  It's so sad! And, I'm talking about people he formerly was happy to go to!  Crazy!  So, if you're one of the awesome people attending his get-together, please be patient with him and give him some time ;).

Sunday, June 8, 2014

31 Weeks - Pregnancy #3

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancies with Hadley and with Jack, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  31 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Girl weighs as much as a head of lettuce (about 3.1 pounds)-- I'm not sure about length

Total weight gain/loss:  I'm up 21 1/2 pounds.

Maternity clothes:  The last pair of non-maternity shorts I could fit into, now threaten to cut off circulation in my hips, so I have put them away :(  

Gender:  A sweet girl

Movement:  She's mostly active during the times I'm holding Jack (I guess she's irritated with him encroaching on her space.) and at night when I'm in bed.

Sleep:  The last few nights I've slept well, only getting up two or three times versus the three or four times.

What I miss:  Sleep; hugs

Cravings:  chocolate chip ice cream

Symptoms: acid reflux at night

Exercise:  I've walked almost every afternoon, but no pilates.

Belly Button in or out: It's not in or out.  It's just flat haha.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time: It's been a good week :)  

Looking forward to:  Jack's birthday!

Best moment this week:  Finding out that I passed my glucose screening :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

30 Weeks - Pregnancy #3

Each Sunday, I'd like to do a highlights post, including a picture, summarizing the differences in my pregnancy from week to week.  I totally "grabbed" this idea from Kelly.  I did this with my pregnancies with Hadley and with Jack, as well, and I still think it is a great way to jot down the things that I don't want to forget later on. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  30 weeks - Third Trimester

Size of baby:  Baby Girl is around 17 inches crown to feet and weighs as much as a butternut squash (about 3 pounds)

Total weight gain/loss:  So far, I'm up a lot.  A lot.  20 pounds at least.

Maternity clothes:  Anything that still fits over my belly and my behind.

Gender:  A sweet baby girl

Movement:  Not as much movement during the day, but during my NSTs I feel her a lot.  She has been "stuck" on my right side, head up for a longggggg time.  I'm REALLY hoping she turns soon.

Sleep:  It's ok.  I'll live :)

What I miss:  Sleeping on my back and sleeping through the night without waking up to make two or three trips to the bathroom

Cravings:  Sweets

Symptoms: Acid reflux, the nesting urge

Exercise: I just walked once.  With Jack running fever the first part of the week, and The Husband and I being sick the middle of the week through today, I have had no extra energy to exert.

Belly Button in or out: It's flat, but a little out.

Wedding ring on or off: On :)

Happy or moody most of the time:  It was a tough week with all of us feeling run down.

Looking forward to:  Um, Baby Girl changing positions.

Best moment this week: Another ultrasound of my girl, even if I am getting tired of being at the doctor's office so often. :)