Friday, November 20, 2015

Jack's Birth Day

I thought that November 4th was going to be my last day of pregnancy. I thought I would go to bed that night, knowing that the next day I would be holding my son after my much planned scheduled c-section. But, of course, God had some other plans for us...

In the final weeks of my pregnancy, we had made a few trips to Labor & Delivery for monitoring. Jack would sometimes go almost a full day without moving much. Decreased fetal movement is the most telling sign of low fluid levels - a problem I had with Ellie which led to an induction at 38 weeks. Since I knew that low fluid levels can be dangerous, I was probably a little hyper-sensitive to this and every time we went in to L&D to be checked out, they always told me that Jack looked great, he was just chilling out and not causing much of a stir. I reaaallly hate being "that girl" - the one who cries wolf and goes into the hospital and causes everyone to get all hyped up for no reason and is sent home having wasted everyone's time. The last time we went in for monitoring was right at 37 weeks - and I promised myself I was going to stop being so sensitive and that I was going to stop psyching myself out. This baby was going to come on November 5th and unless I sensed something was really, really wrong, I was going to stop making a scene.

Fast forward to November 2nd. Monday night. I had crazy painful contractions all night. They weren't consistent, they weren't all that close together. They followed no pattern. But they were there. And they hurt. As it got later and the contractions didn't subside, we called my mom. She came out to the house to spend the night. I had a fear that things would get crazy in the middle of the night and we would be calling people at 2am trying to find someone to watch Ellie so we could go to the hospital. Mom spent the night. The contractions stopped around 1am, and everything went back to normal.

Tuesday I took Ellie to school and got some stuff done around the house. Contractions were happening all day. Again, no pattern, but they hurt. I suddenly realized that since I was a scheduled c-section, I hadn't really thought through the whole "going into labor" scenario. How many minutes apart is it supposed to be? At what point do I go in to the hospital?

I was walking around my house, having contractions, playing out scenarios in my mind of waiting too long and having a vaginal birth in my bathroom or something. I'm not dramatic at all.

I called my OB's office just before they closed on Tuesday. I spoke to a nurse, and I explained that I was having contractions, but was not in labor. I said something along the lines of, "I know y'all are about to go home for the day, but for the last 24 hours or so I've had contractions off and on.... I don't think I'm in labor or anything... but I know y'all don't really want me to go into labor or progress much since I'm a scheduled c-section... so at what point would y'all want me to go to the hospital? Just in case they get bad again tonight... how many minutes apart should the contractions be where you would want me to go in?"

The nurse got all "Uh.... you're making me nervous. How do you know you're not in labor?"

She told me to go in.

I told her I didn't want to.

She talked to the doctor and then told me it would make them all feel better if I went in to get monitored.

I said "Okay, but if I go in and I'm not in labor, y'all are just going to send me home, right?"



I didn't want to go through all this hoopla for nothing.

But again - I didn't wanna have a vaginal delivery in my house. Or in a car. Again, with the dramatics. (Yes, I know things don't usually progress that fast but I start to wig out when a major life change is upon me.)

We went in. Brought our bags- just in case. Mom met us up there to hang out with Ellie. I said to Mom and Grant "I'm pretty sure this is about to be a colossal waste of everyone's time, and I'm sorry."

We were monitored. And we waited. And we waited.

And the contractions kept coming.

And we waited.

Eventually, Mom took Ellie back to our house since it got so late. We told her we'd probably be home later.

But then the nurse came in and said they talked to my doctor. They'd been monitoring me and the frequency of the contractions.They wanted to keep me overnight and then do the surgery the next day.



Yup. That was my first thought. I shoveled a giant meal down my throat at 11:45pm since they were cutting me off at midnight.

We got settled in our room and tried to get some sleep.

Around 1:00am, the woman in the hospital room next door to me had a baby.

I listened to the whole thing.


The screaming. I prayed for her. Hard. And then I heard a baby crying.

And then I started sobbing. SOBBING.

Grant slept through the whole thing.

But the weight of what I was going to experience in about 12 hours was just too much and I just sobbed. Hormones are super fun. Contractions are super fun too. I was doing really well in this moment.

The next morning - after very little sleep - we got word that the surgery would probably happen around lunch time and that Grant's parents were on the road from New Orleans. This was happening. My family started to arrive. I put on a little bit of makeup. We watched The Today Show. Ellie came up with my mom - she was pretty cracked out as my dad had come to the house that morning and gifted her with a giant Disney World castle with all the princesses and princes. She was a smidge hyper - but also pretty concerned with why I was in that hospital bed.

Around noon, my nurse walked in and asked me if I was ready.

"Ready for what?"

"To go."


And then, I literally stood up and walked down the hallway to the operating room. I hopped up on the table all on my own. This was incredibly bizarre and weird. A sweet, sweet nurse held my hands and talked to me about her life in France to distract me as they administered the spinal. This worked instantly and I love it. They laid me down and started getting ready. I chit chatted with my doctor and the nurses as they prepped - they all were remarking about how cute Ellie was, and then my doctor even admitted that my husband was pretty cute too. I agree.

And then he walked into the OR and everyone started saying "Oh hiiiiiiii, handsome husband!" He is pretty darn handsome.

And then the procedure began. It was so different this time. I was fully awake and aware and happy the whole time. I wasn't scared. I was just ready.

Jackson Charles was born at 12:27pm. He came out screaming. And peeing. Welcome to boy world, I guess?

I wept.

Sobbed so much that the doctor and nurses peaked over my little curtain to check on me. Grant brought Jack to me and I just wept as I touched his face and kissed him. As soon as I started talking to him he stopped crying. It was a really, really, beautiful moment and I will thank God for that moment I met my son until the day I die. It was one of the most spiritual moments I've ever had. Grant was crying too. We're just a couple of saps.

I recovered quickly from the anesthesia, I threw up a little bit but nothing major. When I got into the recovery room, Jack was waiting for me. I held him and fed him and we snuggled and I cried a bit more. All our family got to come in and love him and hold him. Ellie held him and kissed him and sang "You are my sunshine" to him which was just enough to make me bawl.

It was such a happy, happy day. The first few days postpartum after a c-section are a little difficult but with all the awesome nurses and my family and Grant supporting me, I really had an awesome recovery team. So awesome, in fact, that we got to go home on Friday - just about 48 hours after he was born.

 I am a very puffy postpartum woman.

And then we got home from the hospital and we let Ellie hold Jack on the couch and he yawned and SHE SNEEZED INTO HIS OPEN MOUTH.

And then we took her temperature and IT WAS OVER 100.


The End.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

And Suddenly I Have Two Kids

Hello, my blog friends.

A week ago today a new little mister joined our family.

This is Jackson Charles!

Born November 4, 2015
7lbs, 13 ounces. 19 3/4 inches long

He was born a day ahead of schedule but that is another story for another blog. I'll write out his whole wonderful birth story in the next few days. But just know that it was wonderful and he is wonderful. God is gracious. We got home late Friday and Jack is now one week old. 

Things are going pretty well. We are very tired but he is a good baby and is making it relatively easy on us. Ellie loves him but is frustrated since we are keeping her away from him for a few days since she has a little cold. We were not expecting her to be sick when we brought him home so all these big promises we've been making her about holding him and helping with bottles and such aren't really coming true for her. But we are trucking along.

Last night, at 3:30am, Jack woke up for a feeding. I pulled him into bed with me, fed him an ounce, pulled him up to my chest to burp him, and then I woke up at 6:30 with him still on my chest. Both of us slept there for 3 hours. He got an ounce and a burp and that was the end of that. Sorry buddy.

Today is kind of a big day as today is my first day without help. We have been SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED with help from Grant's parents and my parents and I felt like I could brave today on my own. Grant has a meeting right now and will be gone for 4 hours. For the first time, I am here alone with my babies - both of them - and we are making it! 

Here we are this morning. Can we have a moment about how beautiful I look? Just like Princess Kate when she left the hospital. Puffy face and all.

Clearly this is not my best moment, but I wanted to document my first day home with my 2 kids.

A few more:

She really is such a good helper.

Today we are staying in our pj's and watching movies. I'm not getting overly ambitious with my first day. I'm medicated and exhausted - we aren't going to be doing any Pinterest crafts, I can tell you that!

It's been a bit of a transition for Ellie. It really hasn't been terrible at all, but we are seeing some behavior changes as we've had a week of no structure, major life change, she's under the weather, and mommy's attention has been elsewhere. We're trying to get back on track - I know it will take some time. I can't drive yet because of the pain meds I am on so we are kinda stuck here. I wouldn't change it though, I know this time will fly by!

More blogs to come on Jack's birth - make sure you're following me on Instagram and the blog Facebook page for more pictures and updates. 

I'm so beyond grateful and blessed - God is so good!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015: The Year of the Monster

Let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

Here's a very poorly done photo collage (I was in a rush) of Ellie's first 3 Halloweens:

2012: The Year of the Elephant
2013: The Year of the Bumble Bee
2014: The Year of Minnie Mouse

Oh, the yumminess. I could just eat that little elephant with a spoon.

This year was the first year that she really got to pick her costume. Originally, she wanted to be Tinkerbell but about a month ago she changed her mind.

She told me she wanted to be Sully from Monsters, Inc.

Yes, James P. Sullivan. The monster.

I decided to just go for it and I found the cutest costume. Thankfully it wasn't too hot here Halloween night and although she was hot and sweaty, I wasn't concerned for her health.

On Friday morning, Ellie got to wear her costume to dance class.

Every other little girl was some kind of princess or fairy or ballerina. But not my Ellie. She was Sully the Monster. And she OWNED it. I would show the pic, but again, not sure how those mamas feel about their girls being on a blog.  Just know that she was standing and beaming amongst all the Elsas and the Cinderellas.

Believe it or not, this is the first year we've Trick or Treated. Last year was the first year she could really have done it anyway and we were out of town. So this year, we really went for it and went door to door. She LOVED it, loved seeing all the other kids in costume, and was just as happy and cheerful as ever.

Here's our girl headed out for her first Trick or Treat experience!

Giving her best roar!

The tail and the curls.

She was quite pleased with herself and I'm so glad.

This was our first Halloween in this neighborhood and they really do a great job. Some houses were a little too spooky so we skipped those. She said thank you to everyone and got a pretty good stash of candy.

Her gloves made it hard for her to grab candy from people's bowls but she refused to take them off. It just wasn't an option. It was so fun to watch her and she asked if we could go again "next mornin'"

Um, no.

It was such a fun night and I'm so glad my little monster is unique and different!

Next year we'll have an almost one year old taggin' along with us!