E is now 22 months old. A lot has happened in the past month. He's now a big brother and seems to be embracing his new role. He's loving his time with daddy who's been staying home most days to help me out. The two of them spend countless hours in the backyard and at the park. E loves throwing the tennis ball for the dogs, playing in the mud (such a boy) and is even getting scrapes and bruises on his little knees. His feet are even starting to stink (wonder where he gets that?). He's still obsessed with watching Super WHY! and now thinks that Calliou is also fantastic. He loves coloring with his crayons and putting coins in his piggy bank. He sings the "abc" song, but leaves out a few letters at times, and counts to 10 on his own. He loves learning new things and embraces new activities. I sure hope he's as enthusiastic about moving which is just a couple weeks away. A new sister and a new house all in just a month, such a big boy!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Baby Harper is now 2 weeks old. It's crazy how much you forget in just two years. Having a newborn back in the house has been challenging. Sleepless nights, feeding on demand, fussing and the many, many diaper changes. Overall, she's a great baby, but we've been struggling with her fussy mood in the evenings. After eating in the evenings, she fusses and fusses like something is hurting her. We've tried everything, but still can't seem to soothe her. At night and during the day, she seems fine, however, which makes me think that it's just her "bad" time of day...but who knows? I'm sure we'll get past this, as we learned with E that nothing is permanent with babies. They outgrow everything. Eventually. It's amazing to watch her grow. Some days it seems like in the morning she's bigger than she was when we went to bed. She's becoming more and more alert everyday, which is so cute. She has beautiful blue eyes and short, light blonde hair (aside from the patch of long, dark hair on the crown of her head!). Though we could all use a few more hours of sleep, it's a joy to have our little lady in our life.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
In her short 11 days of life our poor little girl has been through a lot. She came into the world and was whisked away from me onto a warming table to be examined by doctors (because of the meconium and risk of infection). Day two she was sent to the NICU for a round of blood tests, x-rays and IV antibiotics. She stayed in the NICU for day two, three and four, connected to wires and laying in a plastic tub. On day five she was finally home with us, but scheduled to see her pediatrician who ordered yet another blood test to check her jaundice levels. So, we were sent back to the hospital outpatient lab for blood-work. Thank goodness she was home with us all week and was able to be snuggled and loved before returning to another doctors office. On day eleven, however, we returned to her pediatrician who said she was gaining weight well (an ounce a day, back to her birth weight!) and her jaundice looked great. He also said that her newborn metabolic screening ("heal-prick" test) was normal, which was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders because of the possibility of galactosemia and her brother being a carrier for the disease. Things seemed to be going well, until the doc noticed a heart murmur that concerned him. He ordered her to see a pediatric cardiologist for a heart ECHO (ultrasound) that same day. The 30 minute procedure of her little heart revealed that she has a mild pulmonary valve stenosis or narrowing of the valve due to the tissue being thicker than normal. He said it's fairly common and will usually heal on it's own, but she will need to be closely monitored for the first year of her life. We see the pediatrician again in a few weeks for her one month appointment (and shots). I'm already dreading it. I'm anxious to see how she's growing, but not looking forward to seeing her receive more shots. Poor little thing. In the past eleven days she's seen more specialists than I have in years. The good news is that everything sounds mild and probably won't affect her life, but it frustrates me that the doctors thought that these issues were so urgent that a newborn be seen right away. As a mother you worry about the health of your babies and want to do what's right for them, but in hindsight, I wish we would have waited on some of these tests. Lets just hope insurance covers all of them...
Monday, June 20, 2011
Baby Harper is one week old today. I can't believe it's been that long already. She's only been home three nights, however. So far, she's an amazing little girl. She sleeps well at night and only fusses to eat or be changed. We also have the NICU to thank for her ability to sleep well through any sort of commotion. She's eating well and becoming more and more alert each day. We saw her pediatrician on Saturday, who said she's looks great. She's already gaining weight, but we're keeping an eye on her jaundice levels. We see him again at the end of this week to double check everything (which I guess is standard considering her stay in the NICU). Overall, she's beautiful and perfect. My mother, Harper and I went on a girls shopping trip yesterday, which she slept through and this morning our new family of 4 took a nice walk to a local park together. I feel like my recovery has gone so much better and faster than it did last time and nursing is going really well. Though I'm still sore in places, I feel great and have been able to get back to a fairly regular routine. Our families took turns staying with us for the past week, but now we're on our own. Thank goodness we have amazing friends who are scheduled to bring us meals for the next few weeks. In fact, Dr. M ran up to work for a few hours and I'm here with both babies. Thank goodness they are both soundly sleeping...which means it's my turn too!
Sunday was the first Father's Day for Dr. M as a father of two. Unfortunately, it's been a crazy week and I totally forgot about it. So to celebrate we planned a favorite dinner of Dr. M's and stayed home with our new family to enjoy. I didn't even buy a card for my own father. I know they both understand, however, but I can't help but feel bad. They are both such amazing people and father's and I really want to let them know how much they both mean to me. I'm lucky to have such a great father, who loves and supports me so much. I love seeing Dr. M embrace his roll as a father. He's so amazing with each child. He does so much to help me and has such a special relationship with E. I'm a lucky woman to have men like this in my life!
After almost 3 days in the NICU, we finally brought baby Harper home on Friday. She was 5 days old. It was a rainy warm afternoon, just like the day we brought her brother home from the hospital. We were concerned about how E would react to a baby being in his house, but he did so well! He was so sweet with her. He was excited to see her in the car seat and was really interested in what she was doing. He even got his favorite toy (his Super WHY doll) and placed it in her carseat - it was the cutest thing. Looks like he's going to be an awesome big brother, just like we thought!
We finally did it. We took E in for his very first haircut. It took us 21.5 months, but it was time. Don't worry, it's still a little long and he still has some curls in back and around his ears, but he looks like such a big boy. Grandma K and Dr. M took him to a local children's hair salon called the Hairy Elephant. It's a fun, playful place just for kids. They even have a "first haircut" certificate that comes with a photo and a little bag of hair clippings. E did well, though he did not like the cape around his neck, he loved the sucker afterward. The stylist did a great job and it's just short enough that he looks like a little boy, but it still has the curls that his mama loves. He's a big boy and a big brother now!
Friday, June 17, 2011
What a crazy story it is.... You always hear that every pregnancy, birth and child are different, which seems counterintuitive because what can be so different about something so common and something you've already done? Well, E and H's birth stories are completely different. I was 3 days past my due date when our little lady decided to make her entrance. It was 3:00 am when I felt a "goosh" while lying in bed. My water had broke (which I hear only happens in 10% of women). Dr. M and I headed to the hospital after calling the doc and wishing my mother-in-law luck with little E while we were gone. We met our Doula in the labor and delivery room and the fun began. I soon noticed that our little girl had a bowel movement in uterine (meconium) and we were told that she was at an elevated risk of infection. We walked the hospital halls, bounced on the birthing ball and labored for hours. At about 11 am (and 7 cm) I decided it was time for some pain management and opted for the epidural. We all took naps while things progressed, and around 3:30pm we started to push. By this time the epidural had begun to wear off and things were starting to really hurt...but it was too late for more meds. As I pushed my OB realized that baby girl was coming out "sunny side up" facing the doctor as opposed to the more natural/common (and less painful) face down. Doc said that delivering a baby face up was like adding another pound to it's birth weight. And that's exactly what it felt like. Because of the meconium and risk of infection a NICU nurse and special pediatrician were in the room and whisked her off to be examined immediately after she was born. They cleaned her lungs, cut the cord, weighed her and then placed her on my chest. She was perfect.
Our second night in the hospital we were awaken by the house pediatrician telling us that H had developed an infection in her lungs and would need to be on antibiotics via IV for the next 48 hours. We were devastated because that meant we wouldn't be able to go home with our little girl. It was horrible seeing her hooked up to all the wires and tubes in there. We knew she was in good hands, however and that it was best for her. I pumped and we visited often. The 48 hours following were the hardest days of my life. Leaving her was so emotional. But she quickly got better and was able to come home today! So far she's been sleeping and eating, like a perfect angel. She's beautiful. Though it's hectic with E and H at home together the grandmas are a great help and I feel a sense of balance here. It's been a loooong week to say the least. Tonight is our first night with our baby girl which warms my heart.
Headed to the hospital (beach towel for the car ride not pictured)!
Our big girl is finally here!
Just minutes old with mom and dad
Happy to finally go home (in the blanket that mom made)!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
So, today is our little girl's due date. There's less than 20 minutes left in the day, so pretty sure her birthday isn't going to be the 11th, like we've been thinking for the past 40 weeks. Today has actually been a great day. My dad and stepmom are in town and took E to the zoo all morning so Dr. M and I could work on packing - I feel like I got a ton accomplished, which is a great feeling. We all relaxed while E slept and when he woke up from his nap we all walked to the nearby brewery for a snack, as an attempt to get labor started. When we got home Dr. M started dinner and my dad put E to sleep, while I sipped a glass of raspberry leaf tea (another attempt to get labor going). Dr. M made an amazing summer dinner for all of us and we even got to enjoy it on the back patio in the beautiful cool weather. With all the activity today, my ankles were a little swollen, so I decided to come in and relax in a nice peaceful bath. As I type this, everyone is still on the back patio (on their 3rd bottle of wine) and I'm relaxing with my feet up in bed. I'm exhausted. Dad and Chris leave tomorrow, but Dr. M's mom will be arriving in the afternoon. I feel so much relief knowing family will be here to watch E during this unpredictable time. It has been a wonderful day....we'll see what the night has in store for us.
Did I mention that yesterday was our 5 year wedding anniversary? It's amazing to think of what we've accomplished in just 5 years. I feel like we've grown so much, as individuals and as a couple. I'm so proud of us and the family we've created together. I know we'll go through a lot in our life together, but glad we'll have each other. Thanks to my Dad and Chris being here we were able to go out for an early dinner and even a movie to celebrate last night.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I have 5 days left until my due date. I can't believe it....5 days! At this point I feel like every day could be the day. I've ben having cramps and not feeling 100% for the past week. My whole body aches. I have no idea when she'll be here, but feel like it could be any day now. I know she's getting squished in there because I don't feel her move as often and the movements are long and slow stretches when she does. I'm tired of being pregnant and feel like I'm ready for her to be here, but at the same time, I don't want to rush things. I know our life will change forever when she gets here and I want to cherish our family of 3 and give E all the one-on-one attention I can right now. But, at the same time, I feel an urgency to have her here with our big move coming up so soon. I can't help but feel anxious about delivery and how it will go this time (though I hear second babies are easier). I have a handful of close friends "on call" for the next several days until my mom can get up here to watch E. It's funny, but he seems to be my main concern right now - how he'll take us being gone, seeing me in the hospital and having a new sister. Lots going on in our lives right now and I need to keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and relax....easier said than done.
Just 5 more days to go!!
Our little boy is now 21 months old. He continues to change every day. He's becoming so independent and like a typical toddler is very assertive about it. He communicates much better now and though he still throws a "fit" from time to time, he's very good about telling us what he wants. He loves being outside, playing at the park, the back yard or just walking around the block. He's very surefooted, climbs on everything and loves to run. He's also learned to count to 10 by himself and is eagerly learning the "abc" song. He still loves letters, colors, counting and learning everything. He's so smart and funny. It's so cute to see his own sense of humor come out on it's own. We still haven't cut his hair and it's getting really long, but we love the little curls on the back of his neck. I'm not sure if he's excited about having a baby come live with us soon, but we keep telling him it's coming. He likes to watch tv and lay his head on my big belly. He loves to snuggle. I can't express how much we love that little boy. He's truly a blessing and such an amazing little person.
In a canoe for the first time at Grandpa's house
Splash area at a park near our house. He had so much fun. He ran around saying "water cold, burr" over and over. We laughed so hard. He was the most vocal kid there!