Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week Two

Update: Julia weighed in at 10 lbs at her appointment today (2-2-12). They want babies to be back up to their birth weight by two weeks. I think she's good!

I'm still in shock. I can hardly believe we have four little girls. A clothing catalog arrived in the mail and I started looking through the boys clothes and then remembered that I didn't need to g0 there. I thought for sure I'd have to start collecting little boys clothes. It is amazing to me that I'm wrapping Julia up in the same receiving blankets that I got as a gift from my neighbor when Amanda came home. I had no idea then what my life would look like now. It looks pretty pink and sweet, don't you think?

Here's Julia in her home-from-the-hospital outift. It was an outfit I picked up at a thrift shop before she was born. My newborn stuff was always borrowed because I was always surprised to have a girl. This is the last time I will try to squeeze her into it, though. She was a pretty big newborn. ;) It's so funny because all the doctors and nurses who see her say, "Oh, you're such a big girl!" And I say, "No, she's so little!" I guess she's big compared to a six or seven pound newborn but she's tiny compared to my 28 lb Tali. We go in on Thursday for her two week check. I wonder if she's up to 10 lbs by now.

Julia has been our easiest newborn. It seems like her periods of sleep at night have been shorter but maybe that's because I'm sleeping better and not waking up before she does. For the most part, she nurses or rocks to sleep very quickly and then sleeps well for about two hours. Even when she is having trouble going to sleep, she is calm and just looks around. She doesn't seem to have tummy complaints and barely spits up. The last couple of days, Julia seems to be much more social and looking in the direction of whoever it talking to her.

I'm feeling pretty good right now. My voice is back and cough is mostly gone. However, the uterine prolapse has returned and so I need to stay off my feet as much as possible until those muscles heal and things are back in their proper places. Nursing and snuggling the baby are good reasons to sit down. ;) I wish I could remember how long it took me to recover after having Tali. I had the same problem after she was born.

Amanda missed out on getting a picture with Julia because she started fussing before it was Amanda's turn. This was a picture I snapped in between taking photos of Julia. I had given her a bath and needed to detangle and condition her hair. It was two hours later by the time I got to it, so I skipped the detangling just conditioned and put it back into a bun. Detangling will have to be scheduled for another day.

The big girls are doing fine. They love their sister and let me know when she's crying and shout for joy when they see she's awake. They also swarm about her when I'm trying to nurse her. Amanda especially likes to hug and squeeze her and pet her head. I'm trying to figure out what to do with Amanda during nap time. She doesn't really need a nap, but I do. I've tried having her lay on the floor in my room and read quietly but she usually ends up "accidently" bumping and bed or floor which then keeps Ana awake too. This week, I've set her up with a special project like colors or paints and then I've laid down on the couch. That seems to be working pretty well. Soon, I will include doing a little bit of school with her before I lay down. I plan on just printing of coloring/writing sheets from Starfall.

The boys are doing fine for the most part too. They finished up their first semester in school. Tony did very well and Tyler has a fresh start with new classes. Last week, Tony was sick with a bad cold and stayed home for three days and then Tyler got mono. He went back to school today but I hope he takes it easy and rests. Resting is a foreign concept for that boy.

January always seems to be a rough month for us. Here's to better health in Feruary!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Should Be Sleeping...

But I just can't seem to put this little bit of sleepy sweetness down. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Aftermath

That first night at home went about the same as at the hospital. Julia wouldn't go sleep unless I was nursing her and she wouldn't stay asleep unless I was holding her. This meant I hardly slept. I've never gotten the sleeping part out of co-sleeping. It just doesn't work for me. Occasionally, I would awake and think, "Oh, I was dreaming! I must have actually fallen asleep." I could get up after she had been asleep for an hour or so if I left her propped up in my bed. Thankfully, she didn't party like a rock star until 4 am like the night before. It was more like three hours between feedings.

When the big girls started waking up, Julia was in one of those deeper sleep times, so I was able to get up with them to fix them breakfast and eat with them. They all asked about the new baby as soon as they saw me. After I got them set up with breakfast and had some of my own, I had Mike bring out the new baby for them to meet. I took some video but haven't been able to upload it to Blogger. Ana and Amanda were very excited but Tali was unsure and didn't want Mike to get the baby too close to her.

When I sat down to nurse Julia, Amanda and Ana decided they were done with breakfast and wanted to come see the baby. It was a bit challenging trying to get Julia latched with them rocking the chair and touching her head and talking in her face. They were all over her but Tali still kept her distance. After feeding her and changing her, I tried to get her to fall asleep but it became apparent rather quickly that I would need to go lay down with her to get her to sleep. There was some whining and protest from the girls but not nearly as much as I expected. Mike was able to keep them from bothering us so Julia could go to sleep.

I got up again at lunchtime with the girls and then laid down with Julia again when they laid down from their naps. I woke up after naps feeling feverish and achy all over. My throat had still been scratchy but now I felt really bad. I took my temperature and called the OB nurse. She said that they would be concerned if the fever was above 100.4 and mine was 99.5. I had also missed a dose of ibuprofen and she said that if alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen kept the fever down, it was probably just a virus. There was some concern because of how long my water may have been broken and she said if I start to feel a lot worse quickly, I should call back.

The medicine helped and I felt a little better but really surrendered to only taking care of myself and the Julia. I felt bad for Mike because all three little girls are a handful and the day I was in the hospital was the first long day he's taken care of all three of them alone. Plus, Tali was sick and extra crabby. And the weather was really cold so he couldn't taken them outside. This is one of those times when it's really nice that we have TV and videos to entertain them. We know it's not best all the time but sometimes it's REALLY helpful.

Mike has been great with the girls and they have accepted him as their leader. I'm amazed by how quickly he developed his own routines and strategies. At some point, I lost my voice and it's probably a good thing because it forced me to not interfere.

I did my best to rest and finally on Friday, Julia started sleeping by herself. I would still nurse her or hold her until she fell asleep, but she would stay asleep once I laid her down in the bassinet by our bed. A few times, she may have woken as fussed a little bit but then fallen asleep. The girls would all tell me when she was crying. "Mom, the baby's crying. Please, would you nurse her?" Who needs a baby monitor? I've got three.

I was still having trouble sleeping because of my sore throat though.

On Saturday, my mom, sister-in-law, niece and nephew came to visit and to celebrate my birthday. It was nice to see them but challenging to talk and exhausting. I'm glad the girls had a chance to go outside and play. It was the first day above zero since we brought Julia home. While the little girls were outside. We attempted some photos with Julia. We got a couple of super cute ones. I decided it was a much better way to spend my time than folding laundry. My laundry will look the same next week. Little Julia will not.

On Sunday, as I was looking over Julia's feeding chart where I had also been recording when I was taking medicine, I realized how many days I had been taking the meds around the clock and they were barely helping my sore throat. I began to worry that I had strep throat. Tali had been sick and crabby too and I could only imagine what another round of strep throat through the house would look like. I debated about waiting until Monday vs. running into the emergency room but I guess in the end, I thought that if it was strep and I could start feeling better sooner, that would be good. I was also worried about whether or not Julia could get sick.

Thankfully, the test came back negative. They offered me steroids or something to fix the sore throat and stronger medicine but I declined. If it wasn't strep, I would suffer on. The potential side effects weren't worth it.

Ironically, that night, for the first time, I woke up in less pain than when I went to bed for the first time in five days. If only I would have waited.

Thankfully, through all this Julia has been a very easy baby. She nurses well and then falls back to sleep quickly. She sleeps for a good two hours at a time. I usually wake up and get myself ready either before she wakes or before I go and wake her up to feed her. She spits up very little and doesn't seem to have any tummy troubles. She's had a little bit of a stuffy nose but it hasn't interfered with nursing too much. She fusses a little during diaper changes and then immediately quiets down and looks around after she's swaddled. So far, she's the easiest baby we've ever had. One of the name choices we had for her meant "easy going or agreeable." Funny!

For a while there, I didn't really see much of the older girls. Mike took care of them and kept them out of the way and occupied. Often downstairs or outside once it warmed up. He also got them down for naps and bedtime. I put Ana in her bed one night and realized that it had been a really long time since I had hugged her or snuggled with her.

Today should be different. Mike will be back to work for the first time since Julia was born so now we will get a little taste of real life. Only for a day though, because my mom is coming to tomorrow. Yeah!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Holding Baby Julia

Tali has finally warmed up to Baby Julia and tonight was the first time she asked to hold her. She hasn't been jealous of Julia because she has her Daddy, but she has just avoided Julia like she was a strange animal that might bite. Tomorrow is Mike's first day back at work. Back to real life for me. I'm beginning to wish I had been better about teaching the girls sign language since I still have no voice.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Julia's Birth Story-Part Two

I forgot a few details in part one of this story. I'll probably go back and add them later but included them here for now. I'm getting these posted because I don't want to forget and many people haven't heard the story yet because got sick on Thursday and haven't been able to talk since then.

One of the things I had forgotten about was how the nurse I really liked, Mel, was scheduled to go off at 7:30 pm. I found this out about 6 or maybe 6:30 pm. I was very doubtful that I would deliver before she had to leave. Another nurse came in and introduced herself and mentioned the same thing. She said something about hoping I would get this party started before she was scheduled to get off.

The other thing was how my doctor had her five year old son with her when she came to check on me the first time. I think she must have told him to stay out in the hall but he kept peeking in around the curtain and eventually just came and stood near his mom. It was a while before she noticed him. I wondered how often he'd seen women in labor. The nurse offered to stay with him out in the hall but it was fine.

Shortly after Julia was born, I reposititioned her so she could nurse. She latched on right away and spent a long time nursing. Mike was busy texting and calling people. He kept asking me who he should call but my throat hurt and he could hardly hear me talk so often I didn't bother answering him. I tried to talk to a couple of people on the phone but Julia needed help staying latched on and you just can't tuck cell-phones into your shoulder and keep talking. We should have brought Mike's blue-tooth with us.

They left the IV in just to make sure I wasn't bleeding too much. I don't think the Pitocin was still dripping but I was still having those painful after contractions which were very much like most of my labor. Mike kept giving my snacks from the food I had packed. I was so happy when I realized that I could eat finally eat dinner.

Around 7:45, I finally gave up the baby to let her be weighed and finished being examined and measured. Mike logged into my Facebook and posted about her arrival. Julia was back in my arms nursing again. The nurse who had been so attentive to my birth plan mentioned how I stated that I wanted to be the one clean Julia up after delivery. She was encouraging me to get up and use the bathroom and hop into the tub and that I could bring her in there with me. I thought that was a really great idea. She disconnected the IV line but left the port in until they were convinced I was fine.

After I got in the tub, the nurse brought Julia to me. She offered me soap too, but part of the reason I wanted to wash her up was because I didn't want her scrubbed down with soap. It's my understanding that the white vernix is a good skin conditioner and protectant and is only scrubbed off for aesthetic reasons. I just wiped her down gently and then the nurse took her to get her bagged and tagged. ;) I finished up in the tub and got settled back in bed. Shortly the nurse came back and that Julia seemed like she wanted to nurse some more. I just chuckled. Of course she did. She ended up nursing almost non-stop for two hours.

Mike had the computer open and was going through some names. He started with the "A's." I told him to skip the "A's" because I wanted them each to have a different first initial for the little ones for labeling purposes. I told him my three preferences. I had come across Julia one night on a site that said that it was a Biblical word that meant soft curls. I liked name and thought it would actually fit Tali since she has soft little curls. My theory was that if this baby was born bald she would have curls like Tali and Tyler who were both bald. If she had hair, it would be straight like Tony's. Looking back at the pictures, Tali actually had only slightly less hair than Julia but memory is a fickle thing. Anyways, the meaning Mike found for Julia was soft, downy hair so that worked too.

He continued through the whole list of Biblical names. We narrowed it down to two that we were considering and then checked the social security site to see how popular they were. We were going for not-so-common yet easy to recognize and spell. By this point, I was pretty tired and really just wanted to sleep. Julia had finally dozed off too. "So it's going to be Julia?" "Yep." "Should I Facebook it and make it official?" "Yep." And then I went to sleep. I might have said, 'Thank goodness we don't have to pick a middle name too." All the little girls share my middle name. Of course, we started the tradition before we knew we'd end up with four little girls.

I had initially wanted Mike to stay the night in order to help with the baby. With Tali, the nurses were reluctant to take her because they were short staffed. However, Julia made it clear very quickly that she only wanted me. I've done this enough times to know that I don't really sleep anyways so I might as well be holding her. It was very comforting to just have Mike snoring in the room with me. The little miss nursed on and off until about 4 am and then she finally got sleepy and snoozed until I woke her at 7 am. That was her pattern in utero, too. Very active until about 4 am and then she would let me sleep.

I was kind of amazed by how long we were left alone in our room. With Tali, I was woken several times to have my vitals checked. It was around 5 am, before they came in again to check on us. Around 7 or 8 am the nurse said, "Dr. [Last name of my doctor] will be in to see you shortly. Needless to say I was a little surprised when her husband walked in. I had never met him before. He was pleasant enough and took care of signing our discharge papers so we'd be ready to leave that evening.

Around 9 am, Mike ran to the grocery store to bring me some more food. Then he headed home to be with the girls for the day. We planned to wait until Julia was 24 hours old in order to do the PKU test and then we'd go home. Mike could be home for naptime and bedtime for the little girls. Going to bed without your mama is hard enough. I hated for them to have another night of going to bed without dad too.

I had a pretty quiet day of just holding Julia and trying to rest. Around 2 pm, my friend Darla came to visit. She was there when Tali was born. She lives over by the hospital and we haven't gotten much time to see each other. Then I just spent more time nursing Julia and hanging out all by myself. Mike had taken the laptop home and I just have a pay-as-go phone so I don't use it for internet or texting. It was very weird to have quiet free time and not be on the computer. Julia wouldn't sleep laying down in her bassinet but she would sleep if I left her propped up in my bed. Then I could eat and take just one more nice bath in the big tub. :)

Mike arrived around 8 pm and by 9 pm we were on our way home with our precious cargo on the first sub-zero night of the season. It had also snowed a bit in the afternoon. Needless to say I was very happy that we made it home safe and sound. It was also nice to come home after the girls were in bed. The boys came up to see the baby and give me a hug. They just said she was small. I realized that while I had remembered to have Mike grab the bassinet and the diapers out of the girls rooms before they went to bed, I forget to have him grab blankets or clothes for Julia. It was a good thing we had a stash of clean diapers in the living room. Those were her blankets for the first night.

It's funny because even though we've done this six times now, after walking in the door and unpacking, I still had this thought, "Now, what I am supposed to do with this little thing?"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Kind of Birthday Cake

Update: No strep. Just a virus. Thank God! I'm sorry is cost me a trip to the ER to find out but something about just having a baby makes one extra paranoid about stuff like that.

Here's some more photos and I'm heading the ER because I'm pretty sure I have strep throat. I wish I would have pulled myself together sooner to avoid the ER but I'm sure not up for waiting another night until the clinic opens. I'm sorry to the party guests who came yesterday to celebrate my birthday but I did say, "Come at your own risk."

The story behind the fruit and veggie cake in an email exchange with my mom:

How about if we come tomorrow with a birthday cake? Bonnie, Eliz, Tristen and Grammie and I?? Maybe not Grammie. Not sure yet. Could take kids skating tomorrow when it might be warmer. Sliding? Snow yet?
We are talking about coming today but day is already shot. Kids have day off from school and are happy at home.

Blessings to you on YOUR birthday!!

Tali and I are still sick and the baby's a little snuffly so there's likely a virus in the house. Come at your own risk. ;)

Birthday fruit and veggies would be preferable. I forgot to put tomatoes and eggs on the list when Mike went to the store yesterday. Especially with sickies needing good nutrition and not sugar.


Bonnie and kids would like to come. We will see how the day goes. Will bring as you requested.

I have tomatoes, eggs, broccoli, grapes but it is really hard to stick a candle in a grape. Considering that none of us need the sugar, but the occasional event is nice, can I bring an Island Cake with pineapple and oranges and cool whip frosting? I have not made it yet and will not if it really would be offensive to you.

Just asking if you think it would be ok since this is a big BIRTHDAY week!! I don’t need to bring it. Just asking…. I can bring fixins for spaghetti or just PBJ and fruit.

Spaghetti would be good! We have meat but no sauce or noodles. A candle in an orange would be much more my style. Please no cake. How lame is it if the birthday(s) girl can't eat cake? Hee, hee! I had two birthdays this week. :)


Very colorful photo!! May have to drill the hole first before trying to stick it in the orange.
See you about 10 am in the morning. Will bring snowboard and outdoor clothes. Can go outside for a hike while baby holding is going on inside.
Anxious to see how the girls are reacting to the new little sister. Grammie is coming, too, since we don’t have any huge plans for adventures.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Julia's Birth Story

Julia's birth story really begins back on the 7th when I first saw some spotting on that Saturday morning. Sunday brought more spotting in the morning and Monday I saw spotting all day which lead to the late night hospital run. I had a little more spotting throughout the week and occasions where I thought I might be leaking a little fluid but I also thought that could be bladder issues. Thursday was my due date and my doctor was leaving out of town. Since she wasn't concerned about me or the baby, I didn't get checked because I didn't want to disturb things and go into labor shortly after she left town.

Monday night and Tuesday morning, it seemed like every time I got up to go to the bathroom, I would have some kind of leakage. For weeks, I had been waking up with a contraction that made me feel like I had to go to the bathroom very badly but would have to wait until the contraction ended to get up and go. The connection between the contractions and the bladder is what made me unsure of whether I was leaking fluid or urine. I sent my doctor an email when I was up grabbing a snack around 4 am wondering when I should be concerned about leaking fluid.

After the girls got up in the morning, I called over to the hospital to ask an OB nurse about the fluid. Before I even said my name, the nurse asked if it was me and that she was going to call me. It turned out it was the same nurse, Mel, that was there when Tali delivered. She was very supportive of natural delivery and I really liked her. She had already talked to my doctor and talked to me about the fluid and said I should come in to get tested to see if I was leaking fluid. She also said that if I wasn't leaking fluid, my doctor had wanted to schedule me to get induced on Thursday. I told her I preferred Friday since it was my birthday but they already had an induction scheduled for that day. Oh well. I told her we'd be in shortly to get checked.

We called our babysitter and got ready to go. Amanda wondered why I was packing up my pillow. I told her because the pillows at the hospital weren't very comfortable. Some how she thought that meant we were taking my pillow to go get it fixed. It was hard to explain that we were going because I might have the baby today.

We got the hospital around 12:30 pm. They strapped me up to check on contractions and the baby's heartbeat and did a swab to check if I had leaked amniotic fluid. We waited for the results from the lab and it came back "positive." The nurse said the good news was that I was showing lots of irritability. That meant I was having little contractions here and there not that I looked crabby. ;) When she checked me I was still only about 2 cm. I was so bummed. It seemed like I had such a long way to go and I was already tired and not feeling well. On Monday, I had started to come down with the cold Tali had.

She told me that we would try and get labor going naturally before starting any pitocin and I opted to try the "natural" (avoiding a search word) stimulation in the tub. I'm going to explain the technique because if I would have known it I would have tried it at home first. Basically, I rolled, twisted and pinched my mammal parts until I felt a contraction start. Then I waited for it to stop before I started the stimulation again. The nurse said it works best once your water has broken. The goal is to get the contractions coming 2-3 minutes apart. I spent about 1 1/2 hr in the tub. Sometimes I would get up and stretch and rock to avoid getting too hot. The contractions started coming more regularly but not really much stronger than all the contractions I had been having for months. I was having more fluid leaking with each contraction though. Shortly, before getting out of the tub, I thought to myself, "Don't normal people just get an epidural, get hooked up to the Pitocin and then just wait for the baby to arrive?"

About 3pm, I got out and the nurse checked me and I was barely 3 cm. More discouragement. Shortly afterwards, my doctor arrived and we talked about starting Pitocin to help getting things contracting regularly and moving along a bit quicker. She was concerned about the length of time it had been since my water had possibly broken. She thought I had mentioned something about since Friday in my email to her. I couldn't remember. She wasn't being very pushy or anything and I really felt like it was being left up to me. I was nervous because of all the stories; pitocin leading to epidurals leading to stalled labor leading to c-sections etc. But they said they'd start very slowly and increase the drip incrementally depending on our toleration. One of the last things my doctor said was, "You just talked through that contraction so it will be good to get you in a stronger labor pattern." I thought, "Well, maybe I am in a strong labor pattern and I'm just THAT good!"

It was about 4 pm when they got the pitocin started and Mel would come in every twenty minutes to bump up the dosage. Mike worked on his homework and work on his laptop. I was pretty content to rest in bed at that point. The contractions still seemed pretty mild. Painful, but no more so than the ones I'd been having for weeks. It was nice to not having anybody climbing on me or elbowing my tummy while having one however. ;) After about an hour, I got up to use the bathroom and tried to sit on the birthing ball and lean on the bed. It didn't really work because my belly was in the way but I stayed on the ball for another 45 min or so. The contractions were getting more painful and every time I had one, fluid would gush. Mike came over an sat behind me rubbing my back gently. We watched the strips and the heart beat and he would tell me how high the number got that time, etc. The contractions still seemed very manageable. I was no longer talking though them, however.

Around 5:30 pm, I wanted to move back to the bed and find out how things were progressing. It had been almost two hours since my last check and the first check since starting the Pitocin. I was at 4 cm. More disappointment and distress. I thought I still had so far to go. I came in at 4 cm with Tali and had five more hours of labor. It was the same with Tony. I wondered how I would manage. How would I keep going? Would I cave and get an epidural? I was hungry and wanted to eat but also felt queasy. I worried that I wouldn't have enough energy to push the baby out. They said I could have clear liquids but sugary juice usually just leaves me more queasy and shaky. I talked the nurse into giving me a banana. I ate about 1/2.

I was still just breathing through each contraction and wiggling my toes. I was pretty quiet and calm. Mike was great too. He just kept himself busy and quiet too. He ordered himself some dinner. ( A BLT.) He left the TV off for me too. I know having it so quiet was hard for him. He is so used to having background music or TV going. Even when he's here talking care of the girls, he likes to have the radio on because otherwise it's just too "quiet."

At about 6:30 pm, I asked the nurse, what time I had last been checked. I was disappointed to learn it had only been an hour prior. She asked if I wanted to be checked again but I thought I still had so far to go. I didn't want to be discouraged by little progress again. Mike said something about not being too impressed with the happy juice (Pitocin). I'm not sure if he meant he wasn't or that I didn't seem too impressed with it. She said that she would check me at about 6:45 pm. I kept looking at the clock and made that a goal. The "nice" thing about the contractions I was having was that they were predictable. They would start, escalate and then go away. Tali's were crazy. They would start, lessen, then come back with a vengeance. I never felt like I could rest between contractions, plus the heavy nausea would come back once a contraction ended.

When the minute hand made it's way to the eight, I had a contraction that left me cold and shaky and feeling a little off. I snapped my fingers at Mike and pointed toward the door. I want her to come check me now. She lowered the bed and checked me. She said that I was at about a 7 cm and that she was going go call my doctor. With Tali, I freaked at 7 cm and told the nurse, "Tell her to HURRY!" and then I had another hour of labor. So this time, I didn't want the nurse to rush out, I wanted her to come back and lift my bed back up. It was 6:47 pm.

The next few contractions were brutal! I started using the moaning to manage and both Mike and the nurse were now at my side rubbing my legs trying to be encouraging. The nurse was giving me some breathing instructions. I'm not sure how helpful that it to me. It tends to throw me off. I think that if I'm not at risk of hyperventilating (like I was with Tali) just leave me alone to breath in what ever way seems best to me. They told me to let then know if I felt like pushing. My doctor arrived and put on scrubs. I didn't wait for them to give me permission to push. I said, "Push," because I was feeling the urge to push and was already gently pushing to respond to that sensation. My doctor checked me and said I was a 10 cm and that I could give a gentle push just to see how things were going. Mike said her eyes got ready wide and they all went into panic mode. (When he first told me the story he said that the look on her face said, "Some body get me a glove!" I was so confused. Why wouldn't she already have gloves on? Oh, a glove like baseball because a fastball was coming.) It was 6:59 pm.

At this point in Tali's delivery, I flaked out. When my doctor said that I could push I said that I didn't want to. This time I planned to bring it. And I did. No fooling around. Pushing through the whole contraction, barely waiting until the next one started again. I pushed through two contractions. During the first contraction, my doctor said, "I see lots of dark hair!" I was shocked, "Dark hair?!" Aren't all my begotten babies bald and blond? I had my eyes shut tight so I'm not sure what was going on but during the second contraction when the baby's head was just about out, they were pulling and repositioning my leg. I just kept pushing. At one point, I had opened my eyes and a new nurse had appeared. She had short hair and at first I was afraid she was a guy. Thankfully she was not and turned out to be a great nurse.

At 7:03 pm, Julia made her grand entrance. I was so shocked to hear that she was a girl! I was so thankful when she was out. Delivering a baby is such a crazy experience. It's such a relief when that baby it out! They told me to open my eyes when she was coming out but I just couldn't. I was so in the zone and tired or whatever. They lifted her up onto my chest but only so far because she had a short cord. The doctor was going to cut and clamp it but the new nurse reminded her that I wanted to wait until it was done pulsing. So, she waited. At that point, I didn't care about the pulsing cord. I couldn't even remember why that was important. But it was nice to know that the nurse had read my birth plan and remembered. She also reminded them that I wanted to cut the cord since I knew Mike didn't.

And then I just sat there, holding my new baby in a daze. They kept asking me if I was okay. I didn't know. Am I okay? Am I really done? Did I really just survive all that? I was a little anxious to deliver the placenta and be able to covered up and relax. It was just a few minutes before the placenta delivered and then she checked me out. Julia also had her hand up near her face which caused a small tear but my doctor didn't feel that one needing stitching. That was a relief. That meant it really was over. I was still just sitting there in a daze. My doctor said that she thought I was in shock because it happened so fast. I would have to agree. I began to process through all the anxieties that I had worried about that hadn't happened. No epidural, no stalled labor, no c-section. Julia was here and she was a girl. :)

More Pictures

Julia is actually sleeping without my having to hold her so I'm
going to bed now. More words later...maybe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Safe at Home!

We are happy to make it safely home on the coldest night of the season! I wonder what tonight will bring...

Hopefully more sleep than last night.

It's a girl!!!

Little Miss Julia Marie was born last night at 7:03 pm. She was 9 lbs. and 20 in. long. She has a little bit of dark fuzzy hair, our first dark-haired baby.

I went in yesterday because I thought I might be leaking fluid. I was and since I may have been leaking for a few days, they wanted me to do what I could to get labor going. "Natural" stimulation helped to get labor started but after a couple of hours of slow going we decided to go ahead and start pitocin. I was pretty anxious about that but over all it wasn't too bad. I think the pit. was started between 3 and 4 pm. It was uncomfortable but I was able to manage. I only had about three or four contractions where I was visibly in distress and they were between 6:45 and 7:00. I only pushed through two contractions and she was out.

I was pretty shocked that 1. It was over and 2. That she was a girl. At that ultrasound I had at 15 weeks, I had thought I had seen boy parts but didn't ask the tech to verify. Apparently not!

Julia started nursing shortly after birth and really didn't doze off until 9pm. She woke frequently for nursing until about 4 am and then slept time I woke her at 7 am. That was pretty much her routine on the inside too. ;)

We'll probably be heading home late this evening. Mike will be going home soon to be with the girls and will come back and get me after they go to bed tonight. Until then, I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Thanks for all your prayers and support and joining in celebrating this new little life!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Still waiting...

We made it to Monday. Yeah!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Due Date

Today was my due date. That really means little more than 40 weeks ago I had a period and haven't have one since. ;) I saw my doctor today. I'm fine. The baby's fine. So we wait.

Now we are actually hoping the baby will wait until Monday afternoon when my doctor gets back to town. We went through this with Tali too. I was already a week over due, my doctor was out of town for the weekend, our babysitter was out of town until Tuesday night and Wednesday morning is when I went into the hospital.

So we wait...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Still Pregnant

I bet you were hoping my lack of posts meant the baby had arrived. I wish that were the case. I thought for sure I was going to go into labor on Saturday. I woke up with spotting, a sign that labor could start soon, walked all around the winter festival with lots of pain and backache, was kept up during naptime with pain and a very active baby then nothing. Sunday I saw more spotting in the morning and Monday I had spotting all day. I also started having more pain and contractions in the afternoon and around midnight I had some pretty painful ones and started to feel nauseous and shaky. We called our babysitter and headed to the hospital. I only had a few contractions on the way over and hoped that once I could relax at the hospital they would pick up again.

Much to my disappointment, I found out I was only at 1 1/2 cm. Ugh! I was at 2 1/2 cm for a month before Tyler was born. The nurse told me she was going to call my doctor. I said, "Oh, please don't wake her up for 1 1/2 cm." She did anyway and they said I could stay for a while to see if things picked up. After about an hour, the baby settled down and the contractions stopped. I thought of all the things could try to get labor going but I certainly had a long way to go from 1 1/2 cm so we went home.

It was nice out the next day so the girls and I spent most of the day outside. It was a good way to survive the day after so little sleep. Things have been pretty quiet since then.

My next OB appointment is tomorrow and my doctor is going out of town for the weekend. Mike had asked me on Monday if I hadn't had the baby by Thursday, would I go ahead and have her induce me? I think the answer is "No." I don't even think I want her to check me for fear that would stir things up and I would go into labor shortly after she left. Yes, it would be nice to have this over with. Yes, it would potentially save us some money because if another doctor delivers, we have to pay her fees for the OBs and the other doctor's fees for the delivery. However, I would really like to just wait this one out and not do anything to force this baby along.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Mike has been working at the store close to home since Monday. He says he's just not comfortable being 1 1/2 hour away.

I bumped the Advent Babies post up from December. I am the last one to deliver. Caitlin and I are the only ones who actually made it to 40 weeks. Some of the due dates represented scheduled c-section or induction dates. Most of the babies were boys. I happy for all the moms who are holding their sweet babies tonight and can't wait to join them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Skating 2012

We took the girls out to a winter fest this morning and I went with my mom and the little girls to check out the hot air balloon and sled dogs while Mike took Amanda skating. She was determined to skate all by herself today. Look at Amanda go!

She was doing amazing! And then she got tired, hungry and thirsty and melted into a puddle of tears. I'm so proud of her improvement!

Friday, January 6, 2012

GFCF Cookies

My friend posted these on Facebook and I'm hoping to try out the recipe. I will skip the nuts and use light olive oil instead of the canola but other than that it's all food I can eat. It's also another way to use up those bananas that get too ripe.

‎1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1 cup dried fruit (I used craisins)

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Three little girls happy to finally have snow. One happy mama with a daddy at home to pull them in the sled and play in it on New Year's Eve.

Rabbit Hunting

I'm sure you've all been on pins and needles wondering what was happening with the bunny situation at our house...;)

Well, I ended up finding a rabbit for $20 with shipping and thought that was reasonable enough. However, I was disappointed to find out when it arrived that it was a rattle. I thought I'd give it a try anyway to see what Tali would think. She was sitting on the chair in the kitchen when I pulled out the new rabbit and held it up next to the old rabbit. Oh my sweetness!!! The look on her face was priceless. Her little mouth hung open in disbelief as she looked back and forth at the two bunnies. Then she reached out for the new bunny.

In the meantime, the two other little girls had inserted themselves between me and Tali and were now crying and clawing at me assuming that clearly Tali did not need two bunnies so the new bunny must be for one of them. Why did I not anticipate that reaction? Much crying and drama ensued after that. I don't care. It can't take away the memory of Tali's precious face. She happily carried around the new bunny the rest of the day. Amanda was appeased by the promise that I would order her another one and Ana carried around Tali's old bunny. I had found plenty of the bunny rattles for cheap enough so I knew we could get another one of those.

At bedtime, I hid the new bunny and gave Tali the old bunny because I wanted to wash the new one before she slept with it. That may have been my mistake because while she likes the new bunny, at bedtime, she still wants her old bunny.

So, now we have three bunnies floating around our house and bedtime always requires the search for the right bunny. Sigh. Not really what I had in mind but I'm going to blame my irrational bunny-losing-anxiety and seach on pregnancy hormones. I only have a couple more weeks (give or take) to use that excuse anyways. :)