Sunday, September 29, 2013

Annie's First Photo Shoot

Barely 18 hours old and I was already camera-stalking her!



I am loving her softness, her roundness, her sweet smell...all of her loveliness!

Annie's Birth Story & Hospital Stay

I had my final appointment on Tuesday morning. We packed everything into the car that we'd need just in case we ended up not coming back home (good thing!) We took the girls to Grandma's house, stopped for coffee (and a donut for me) and then headed to the doctor's office. We waited FORVER for the ultrasound. Baby looked great (we got a picture of her foot!) then we saw Dr K. The NST was good and it was time for my exam. I went in knowing that we would be stripping membranes and I was totally ok with it. I was a 3 by the time he was done, and I had "bulging membranes." He said that I needed to be as active as possible and to not go far from the hospital. Then he looked really thoughtful and said something I did NOT expect...he wanted to know if I'd like to be admitted that day, have my water broken, have the baby that day. WHAT THE WHAT?!?

I looked at Chris and I was pretty excited! Why not? We came prepared, we were only one day away from being induced, and there was no way in HELL I was going all the way back home just to have my water break and not make it back in time. Dr K was hoping he'd be around to deliver himself that evening. He called over to the hospital to make sure there was room. He called Dr. Smith who would be on call that evening to get him up to date. He wrote the orders and handed them to us. I asked if we could go eat lunch first, lol.

We left feeling really excited, we hugged in the parking lot :) We went to Firehouse Subs and ate...I tried to savor my last real meal but I was so anxious!! I thought about going to see the girls one last time, but Chris pointed out that they wouldn't really understand the whole situation- they'd be too excited playing at Grandma's (as usual.) Plus, I was REALLY worried my water would break, even though I felt completely fine (no cramping at all.) We went straight to the hospital but made a special trip to the Mother Baby unit- to see my sister and new nephew Jameson :) He was born the previous night at 9:00. My sister and BIL came with us to the pumpkin patch earlier that day. Her contractions were getting stronger and closer...they went straight to the hospital and I swear it was the quickest delivery! She got the epidural way too late but man she is a trooper! Jameson is absolutely adorable and beyond precious.



Welcome, baby Jameson!!

After our visit with them, we walked over to L&D at around 1:30. I said, "We're here to have a baby!" and we were walked straight to our room. Chris took one last belly picture and I changed into the glamourous hospital gown. Our nurse came in and got some information put into the computer, then hooked me up to the monitors. Here's where it got tricky...I wasn't having contractions, so they didn't consider me in active labor. I was only 38w 6 days, so that put me 1 day short of getting induced. The nurse was basically confused about why we were there, even though I explained it AND I had the doctor's orders. She was so super sweet and wonderful though and I felt pretty confident that she'd get it straightened out.

Then we just waited. Chris napped for a bit, we watched tv...nothing was happening! Dr K had told me that since I wanted an epidural that I would be getting that FIRST. Then they'd break my water and we could expect a baby within a couple of hours. I was so very cool with that plan. I even looked at Chris and said, "It cannot be this easy!" However, the nurse said they would break my water first, then when I started having pain they would order the epidural. Um, what?? All of a sudden my confidence was gone. I was so nervous that I'd progress too quickly once we broke the water.

Chris brought me pizza around 6:00. At about 6:15 I started having regular contractions. They didn't hurt at all. Our nurse had only been back a couple of times. She was waiting on my doctor to call her directly. UGH!! Thankfully, he walked in at about 6:30. I have NEVER been so happy to see him! He asked if my epidural was in. I told him the NEW plan was to break my water first and he was NOT happy! He explained that typically hospitals don't like to augument labor prior to 39 weeks. However, I was 5 hours away from being 39 weeks, lol, and I wasn't going anywhere.

He told my nurse exactly what to do. Epidural first, break water, then deliver. By the time all was said and done, I was having contractions pretty regularly but they weren't too bad. At 8:00 the anesthesiologist came in, real nice guy. I got the good stuff and it took with no problems. Dr. Smith came in at about 8:30 and broke my water. It didn't hurt at all and once I was all cleaned up I felt sooo relaxed. There was this peace that settled over me. I was able to sort of doze in and out. At about 11:00 I felt nauseous. My blood sugar was low. Luckily my brother had brought me a cookie from Panera, lol. I ate half of it and felt much better! Then around 11:15 I started feeling my contractions. They were pretty intense. The kind that had me moaning and groaning and saying bad words under my breath, lol. I got another dose of medicine but it was sort of late. I was checked and at a 10+1. I did a practice push and the nurse was like, "Whoa! Doctor needs to be here NOW." The room was set up and Dr. Smith, who delivered Audrey, came in and got ready. I pushed just a few times. It didn't hurt, I just felt a lot of tugging. Chris was the best coach, he told me how great I was doing, but hearing the amazement in his voice and seeing his face as he watched everything made it so easy. He said he could see hair and that's when I started to cry. I was SO emotional, so happy.

I cried and pushed and laughed and when she was out, I saw right away that we had our girl. I was not surprised, I felt a huge sense of relief- I wanted my last girl so badly. The rest is kind of a blur. They gave her to me right away and she was so gooey, lol. They took her and cleaned her up a bit before I started nursing. The girl can eat! She nursed on and off for the 2 hours we were in the room. She checked out perfectly and soon we were moving to Mother Baby.

We opted to send her to the nursery for her bath- we needed a couple hours of sleep. Around 5am they brought her back all fresh and clean. Oh she is so precious and small! I tried to nurse her for an hour but she was sooo sleepy. We just laid skin to skin and I just took her all in...so soft and sweet. I put her down and pumped- I got 30 mL of colostrum!!! I was so excited.

Chris brought back a huge breakfast from Bob Evans which I practically inhaled. Annie had a crying fit and it turned out she had filled her diaper! We had a ton of visitors that day, including Audrey and Abigail. I'd only had 2 hours of sleep, but all the visitors and comments on FB made me so happy I didn't even care. We sent Annie to the nursery for the entire night- we were just wiped. We got a great night's sleep and were ready to leave on Thursday. Both Annie and I had our blood sugars checked throughout our stay and our numbers were fantastic. Goodbye, Diabeetus!!

I can't say enough wonderful things about our experience. Despite the confusion in L&D, the care was incredible. The Mother Baby unit was phenomenal, just as it has been in the past. They took great care of us and I rarely waited long for pain meds, supplies,etc. Everyone from housekeeping to lactation to room service...they all constantly asked what they could do for us. I almost didn't want to leave!

We came home Thursday afternoon after picking up the girls. It was so surreal driving home as a family of 5. It was a weird drive home. In a minivan. We put on a new video I'd found so the girls would stay awake (and not mess up bedtime.) All of a sudden, Aaron Neville's voice comes on singing about Little People on the farm. Chris and I looked at each other like, "W.T.F?!" And we just cracked up laughing. I seriously cried I was laughing so hard. Welcome to our new life, lol.

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's a GIRL!



Our sweet Anne Elizabeth was born on Wednesday, September 25th at 12:16 am. She weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches long. Her resemblance to Audrey as an infant is uncanny! We are crazy in love with her!



"A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dropped!

Oh yeah, this baby has dropped! I'm feeling lots of pressure and occasionally a sharp pain waaaay down low. Hurts real bad! Every night I go to bed thinking, "This is it. I'm going to wake up soon and it'll be time to go!" My MIL said I've dropped- and she would know because she's seen me in a bikini all summer!

My appointment was great on Friday. NST was fantastic (VERY active babe!) The sonogram went well. Dr K examined me and said I'm still at 1 cm. Ugh! It's not like I'm in a rush to get this baby out, but some progress would be nice! He asked if I wanted my membranes stripped...I was thisclose to saying yes. But when he checked my due date and saw that it was based on the sonograms (and not my last period) he said he'd rather wait. I was both relieved and disappointed, how weird is that?! We're definitely stripping on Tuesday, and after a conversation with my L&D nurse friend, I'm feeling better and better about being induced. She even suggested stripping the membranes on Tuesday. So that is the plan!

My sister was there at the same time and he did strip her. He said she has a 50/50 shot of going into labor this weekend! Let's hope! I REALLY want her to go before me so I can enjoy baby J :)

Audrey is so ready and excited for this baby! Here's what she said at school on Friday:





This morning she found one of my pregnancy books and started looking through the pictures. She got to a page about healthy eating and proceeded to show me all the foods I needed to be eating to get the baby out. "Can you start eating that stuff now please?" :)

Abigail- oh Abigail. She has been testing me lately. She's not napping. She whiny. She will not listen. I'm at my limit. She clearly is needing more attention, so that is what I'm going to try and focus on for awhile. My sweet girl is going to shocked when we bring her little brother or sister home. I want to make the transition as easy as possible for her (for both of them!)

Last week was productive. I did the grocery shopping a few days early. Audrey helped me put up the baby swing, and I took the girls to see our Gator friends at CFA Spirit Night. We went and saw a performance at the children's theater. Today I am in full nesting mode! I got so much done in hopes of getting this baby to move along. Tomorrow we plan on going to the Children's Museum.

I have 3 more nights at home before induction day. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

38 weeks, the waiting game, and a crappy appointment

With Audrey, I couldn't WAIT to get her out. I was huge, miserable, and just SO ANXIOUS about becoming a mom already! We did everything we could to force her out. With Abigail, I wanted her in there as long as possible! I felt pretty good and I was SO SCARED about going from having one child to two. I prayed that each day wasn't "the day."

Now, with baby # 3, I'm in the middle!! This is our last- I want to enjoy every kick, roll, ache, and pain. I love being pregnant despite the 3rd trimester discomfort (and the carpal tunnel, and the finger pricks and shots...) I'm a bit nervous about life with 3 littles and I'm really loving these relaxing, care-free days with just Audrey and Abigail. I am REALLY enjoying my early bedtime and I don't mind too much when I'm awake for an hour or two in the middle of the night. On the other hand, I'm so excited to get this show on the road! I'm disappointed that I'm not showing any signs of readiness. I find myself hoping that when I stand up my water will break, lol. I'm ready to start shedding the many, many pounds I've put on (I'm up from 130 to 165!)

I had an appointment yesterday (the 2-a-week appointments are getting so old- but this was the last week for that!) Dr K was in surgery, which I knew about last week, so I agreed to see another doctor. I ended up waiting 40 minutes for my ultrasound. Then I was put in the back waiting room to wait for my NST. When I'd been there for a total of an hour and a half, I was DONE. Usually I'm in and out within an hour, but I hadn't even been seen to give my sample, take weight and blood pressure, then get hooked up to the NST machine (which I have to stay on for another 20 minutes.) I started walking out (there were no nurses at the station) and I walked over to my doctor's side of the office to find my usual (wonderful!) nurse. I told her what was going on and she said that she'd get me hooked up to the NST. I hesitated- the decision to walk out was not easy for me, I'm such a chicken, lol. But I knew this was important for the baby, so I agreed. She not only got the NST machine out (it was just sitting in an empty room!) She also got a nurse from that side to get me settled.

Luckily after that things went faster, but the doctor was so annoying. All she could talk about was how miserable she was with her cold. Needless to say I didn't mention that I was supposed to be checked for dilation...that can wait until my Friday appointment! I had Audrey with me, and my goodness that girl is wonderful! She was getting impatient, too, but what a trooper she was. I started bringing her with me to my Tuesday appointments because she's great company and I love the time with just her. She loves seeing the babies and small children in the waiting room. She talks to them and it's so cute to see how they react to her :)



Good news is that the baby is about 7 lbs and looks great. The ultrasound tech said she could be off by as much as 2 lbs, which only added to my frustration of the morning. What good is that? UGH!!!!! As upset as I was yesterday, I really had to put the situation in perspective. I have a healthy baby, for which I am so grateful. A long wait isn't the worst thing in the world. It took a while, but I eventually got over myself, lol.

I have an appointment on Friday, another (my last) on Tuesday, induction Wednesday afternoon, baby on Thursday! Hopefully, lol. I talked to a sweet woman in the waiting room yesterday. She just had her third baby 6 weeks ago. She had inductions with her second and third babies because she was 40+ weeks and not dilated at all. She said they were a breeze and assured me that because this was my third I'd have no problems. I guess we'll see! Last night was difficult. I had a few punches to the crotch that had me doubled over and saying a string of bad, bad words. I had a few contractions but they were so far apart and didn't last long at all. I went to bed around 9:00 but was wide awake by 12:15. I took a sleeping pill, prayed that I wouldn't go into labor, then fell back into a blissful sleep for the rest of the night :) So crazy- my carpal tunnel is actually improving! I wonder if the baby has shifted or dropped?

Some recent pics of the lovelies:



Crazy to think that in one week we'll be preparing to go to the hospital. Unless this baby has other plans, I'm going to enjoy the next 7 days as much as possible!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3D Ultrasound Comparison

I came across Audrey's ultrasound images and was amazed at the resemblance between her and baby #3!



These images were taken exactly 3 months before she was born, so this baby looks a lot chunkier, lol:



It's too bad we don't have any 3D pics of Abigail :( But this baby looks a lot like her, I think, especially when I see Abigail asleep. I can't wait to meet him or her!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

37 weeks...wait, WHAT?!?

I swear, SWEAR I'm going to have this baby at any moment! The baby hasn't dropped yet, so I actually feel pretty good. I'm not trying to rush this baby in any way, but I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb. I constantly wonder if and when my water will break. Like the toy where you put the water balloon inside and pass it around...then POP! You never know when it will burst. With Audrey it was one huge gush (thankfully I was already in my hospital bed!) With Abigail it was a slow and steady trickle. With both girls it happened late at night (between 10-11.) I wonder if it will break at all?! I put a trash bag and towel in the van, just in case it happens when I'm out and about. Doesn't hurt to be ready!

My Tuesday appointment went very well, very uneventful. The baby's mouth was moving like crazy during the ultrasound. I'm 1 cm dilated (still) and there's a possibility he could strip my membranes NEXT WEEK. I had it done twice with Audrey. The first time it didn't work. The second time, she was born within 24 hours. I'm not sure how I feel about stripping next week. I am being induced in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!! Depending on how far dilated I am, we'll see about stripping on Tuesday, then possibly again on Friday. Ugh. It was torture with Audrey and I swore I'd never do it again. So I'm completely on the fence :( I have no signs of labor at all, just the occasional contraction (Braxton Hicks?)

It's been really wonderful to enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy. I'm not sleeping too well (sore ribs, waking up around 3-4 am and staying awake.) But it's been a fantastic, non-stressful time because I don't have to rush off to work and be away from home 12 hours a day. We all made our guesses for the baby's arrival date: Chris is first with 9/13 (really!? Smart ass!) Abigail picked 9/19, I picked 9/22, and Audrey guessed 9/24. I love this part- we're in total anticipation mode over here!

The nursery is done- we just need to add newborn pics to some of the empty frames!



I'm getting so, so excited!! And I'm so loving these final days :) Look at these sweet girls helping out with the laundry:


Abigail doesn't quite get what's going on. She knows that there's a baby in my belly and I keep telling her that it will be coming out soon. She coos and does baby talk to my belly, it's so funny. Audrey is SUPER excited. She tells everyone that the baby is a "mystery." I can't wait to see how they both interact with their brother or sister. Any day now!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sweet Girls

A couple weeks ago we had a Princess Tea Party, just for fun. I'd been wanting to do a photo shoot with them before the baby came, and when Audrey asked to put on her Cinderella costume, I thought it would be cute to combine them!

While Abigail was napping, we got Audrey all dressed up. She was hilarious in front of the camera, loved every minute of being a little model!


I laugh EVERY time I see this one! Her face is so serious, and what's with the hand?! HAHAHA!!


FAVE!!

Abigail was so excited to dress up like Belle...but she's definitely not into sitting still and posing for the camera, lol!


Sweetness!



Yesterday was the first dance class of the season. I was so disappointed to see that the bench (where we've taken pictures each year) was gone, but these pictures came out great...


Audrey's facial expressions kill me! She thinks she's a supermodel, lol.



Ownership has changed this year, so things are a bit different. The girls have a new teacher, Mr. Phillip. I was surprised that Abby's class is way more structured and ballet-focused (no more obstacle courses! They're already learning across the floor!) Abigail was very shy at first- hiding behind me, clinging to Audrey. Once she got warmed up she followed along (with a LOT of direction from me!) But for part of the class she just ran back and forth in front of the mirror, lol. I swear, I'll see how she does the next couple months. If she doesn't improve her attention, we're dropping it. Formal dance lessons may not be her thing!

I decided to keep Audrey in the same class as last year (Dance and Play.) But I was surprised to see how much younger the other girls were. I think we'll be moving her up after we see how this month goes.

I love having girls, especially these 2 sweethearts!!