Dec 14, 2018

My Newborns // Happy Friday

This is crazy that I am now putting three pictures together which means my all three of my beautiful kids are in the world. I have been doing monthly comparisons between Addison and Connor since he was born and I thought it would be fun to do the same with Emma starting with their first wide eye newborn picture in the hospital.


I have moments where I don't feel like Emma looks like either of them but at other times I think she does have a little of both. I can see Addison's face shape and both of them had a bottom jaw that came in way more than Connor's. I think they all three have the same nose. There are definitely some differences like Emma has the most hair of the three. Addison had basically none. Connor had very little hair and it was almost a reddish tint. Emma has quite a bit and it's dark.

Just in case you didn't put it together, the first picture is Addison, the second is Connor and the last is Emma.

Even if they don't look that much alike they are all pretty dang adorable and wonderful. It will be interesting to see Emma as she grows and who she ends up looking like and I'm even more excited to see how her personality develops. Will she be cautious and observant like Addison? Will she be fearless and adventurous like Connor? Will she be a combination of the two?

And for those who are wondering what their stat comparison is:


I'm just so excited that she is finally here and she is just as amazing as I knew she would be.

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

Dec 13, 2018

Bump to Baby: A Birth Story

To be perfectly honest before I start this story was sure Emma was going to wait until I was induced to join us. I was very ready to be done but I was starting to think she would never come and I was only 37 weeks when I started thinking that. But here we are. Exactly 38 weeks and she’s here, b autigul and healthy.

Emma was set to be induced on December 17 which would have been 39 weeks and one day. We were planning to induce because I had gestational diabetes again and personally I was glad to have a date set and it wasn’t on Christmas (her due date was December 23). But Emma had other plans.

On Saturday night (December 8) I was up late watching Iron Chef America and playing games on my iPad while Rob snoozed next to me (he told me he was recharging his batteries). I started to get this pain in my hip that spread across my pelvis. At first I didn think much of it thinking it was just the way I was laying. Then it went away and I just carried on. But about twenty minutes later it was back. It would happen about three times total before I thought I should start using my contraction counter.

I tracked awhile before I finally woke Rob up and told him that I had been having contractions. Although I think I told him that I thought that but I really didn’t know. How I couldn’t be sure at this point - my third time going through this - is beyond me! But I told him I wanted to get up and take a shower and see if they would stop. He followed me to thr bathroom to track any contractions while I showered but I got done without having another one. So I thought maybe they had stopped.

But I was wrong.

I laid back down and they started again. So I went back to timing and they were about 15-20 minutes apart and lasting about 50 seconds. And they kept getting more intense. At one point I decided to try to get some sleep and got maybe 20 minutes before another one woke me up. After that sleeping was just not going to happen. So I just timed them. But I started noticing that after each contraction I felt like I had to pee and it was always a lot. But I could barely move because the pain was in my pelvis and down my legs. I was hurting bad.

At about 2am, the contractions started coming at about 5-8 minutes apart still lasting about 50 seconds. So after a half hour of that we decided it was time to call the on call doctor and head to the hospital. So Rob finished getting us packed and I called taking each contraction as they rolled in quickly. We got the kids up and got going. Luckily they were both excited for the adventure and were in good moods despite the time.

We beat my parents to the hospital and checked in at the ER then waited for Labor and Delivery. I was grateful when they showed up and I got a ride in a wheelchair because before this point there was no way I was walking. The nurse went over my history having already read up on me before we got arrived. We got to triage and we got started monitoring then she was going to check me.

By this point my parents had arrived and they took them to the waiting area to find out where I was then make a decision about if they would stay or come back later. So the nurse checked me and I fully expected to be about 5-6 cm dilated but to my shock she said I was at 8 cm. Then things happened fast. We suddenly had every nurse on the floor getting us moved and adjusted in a delivery room.

I told them that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom again and that’s when I found out I probably wasn’t actually going pee but it was the fluid and they didn’t want me to go into labor on the toilet. At one point after my doctor arrived I heard them tell my doctor that there was just a little bit of fluid basically holding her in. The contractions were growing in intensity and moving around my back and they way were scrambling to get my blood work so I could get an epidural and get the medicine I needed in me since I was Group B positive. They called my doctor and she was there quickly which was good because by this point we were close.

I had another contraction and I told Rob that I felt like pushing. He looked panicked, probably because he knew I should be telling me the nurses not him. I had another one and did tell the nurse in the room. They got my doctor and at that moment the anesthesiologist came in and it was time to make a decision if I was going to actually get an epidural or not. The biggest thing was definitely that I would have hold still and it would take 15-20 minutes to kick in. And truthfully I was sure I could wait that long. I got through another contraction and everyone waited for my decision.

I decided to just go without. There was just no way it was going to happen. I was terrified of that decisions and not exactly pleased to be making it but I didn’t really think I had another option. And what did completely sway me towards making that choice was Rob. I knew after having a rushed epidural with Connor then passing out after that Rob was worried about that happening again and I didn’t want to put him through that again. So I was going to go without.

They got the room ready and we waited through a contraction before I would push on the next one. And I certainly felt everything. All I heard was the nurse counting and my doctor encouraging me. I had no idea what else was happening and didn’t even open my eyes between contractions. During the next one I was sure I couldn’t do it then I heard someone tell me to open my eyes and there she was. Six pushes and she was there.


Emma Lynn was born at 4:30 am, 6 pounds 14.4 ounces and 19.5 inches long. She had a good healthy cry and was beautiful. We got skin and to skin and I just held her, wondering how I just did what I did. And happy that it was behind me.





It was definitely not the experience I was expecting and I wouldn’t say it was any more beautiful or satisfying than the births of my other children which were medicated but it was definitely an experience I won’t be forgetting and glad to not have to repeat. It was quite a way to have my last baby. It still amazes me that she’s here finally. She beautiful and healthy and the wiggler that she was when I was pregnant with her and the perfect addition to our new family of five.

Dec 12, 2018

Kindergarten

Winter break is almost upon us which means we have almost made it through the first half of the year, so I thought now would be the perfect time to give a little kindergarten update.

I'm not going to lie, starting kindergarten was a little harder than I thought. She had been in preschool for the last two years but there was something about sending her to a new school all day that was hard for me. Granted I was definitely I was more emotional because I was pregnant but it was still hard. It was hard to basically hand over my oldest to someone else to guide her, teach her, and keep her safe throughout the day. I'm definitely a bit protective over her because of all she had gone through and all I wanted was for her to succeed.

But of course Addison was all about kindergarten. She was a bit nervous, but she has always faced things head on even if she's a bit shy. She was confident that she would like it and she would make new friends. I definitely admired her confidence. So I did my best to ignore my doubts and worry and just support her own confidence heading into kindergarten.

From day one she told me that she loved it. She had a great time although I think it did take her a couple days to get comfortable and start making friends. But she did and soon she was talking about some other girls in her classroom that she had befriended. It was a huge relief for sure.


It took a couple weeks but we slowly fell into a routine. Although sometimes we still struggle with getting up in the morning. Everyday when I picked her up from school she was chatty about her day and how things went. Everything seemed to be going good and she was happy at school. And my own anxieties settled.

I was a bit nervous though when we went for the Parent Teacher Conference. I don't really know why I was so nervous but I guess part of it was that I just wanted to hear that she was doing well and that that the worry I had put away was right to be gone. It turned out to be exactly what we thought; she was doing amazing. It took her some time to adjust and get past being so shy, but she is bright and excelling in school.

We knew she was a little ahead when it came to reading but we found out that she was way ahead of all her classmates. Her teacher was guessing she was at about a 1st or 2nd grade reading level already and made a note to have the librarian help her pick out chapter books in order to continue to push her. Her teacher told us that they would do what they could to continue to push her and keep her challenged.


We are so proud of her and all that she's achieved. You would never know that she was an IEP kid who was delayed in many different areas. When she was discharged from her IEP, we thanked all the therapists who helped her but they said it was us. We continued to push her and believe in her and work with her and that's what got her to where she was. But really I think it was just Addison. I think Addison is a fighter and brilliant.

So needlessly to say kindergarten has gone well. She is loving it and all things school. Although she does love the weekends when she gets to sleep in. But who doesn't love sleeping in?!

Dec 11, 2018

Every Day Conversations: Part XVII

It's been awhile since I have shared some conversations. Some of these are from last spring and some are more recent. I just haven't been on top of it lately! But here you go anyway.

"Oh that's the Angels now." A
"Yeah. They play different teams." B
"They changed the team that's playing the Royals. That's nice." A during the Royals bad losing streak last spring

"Mama, me hulking now!" C


"It's gone forever." B, repeated after dropping something on the floor throughout the pregnancy

"Logically I know that but pregnantly I don't." B

"Good job Stella. Keeping the streets safe." R after Stella ran randomly across the kitchen
"What's she doing?" B. We look at her. "Oh she's staring at a balloon."

"Oh pickles!" C repeated

"Do you think I keep hearing ice falling off the roof?" B over the phone to R about weird noises I keep hearing
"A sea monster!" C
"It's not a sea monster!"
"Hooray!"


"We should not have bought this house!" A pushing C up the driveway in the stroller
"Why?"
"This driveway is steep!"

"They are doing Tombstone." B talking about Buzzfeed Unsolved we were about to watch together
"I don't know what that is." R
"The OK Corral?"
"Nope."
"Wyatt Earp?"
"Nope."
"The place where dad got thrown up on."
"Oh! Okay now I know."

Part XVI -- Part XV -- Part XIV -- Part XIII -- Part XII -- Part XI -- Part X -- Part IX -- Part VIII -- Part VII -- Part VI -- Part V -- Part IV -- Part III -- Part II -- Part I

Dec 10, 2018

Bump to Baby: 37 Weeks

You are growing the way you have been for the last nine months but you are still growing a little bit now. You are putting on about an ounce a day which is about a half pound a week. But the big thing this week is that your lungs are mature, although all the more time you spend in the womb the more your lungs have to develop. At this age, babies are about an average six-and-and-half pounds and since you are measuring right on time that's about where you are at. Mostly all you are up to now is practicing for when you make your big appearance. You are practicing breathing, sucking your thumb, blinking and squirming. But you are definitely running out of room so your movements are changing some since you can't move like you could before.

You are now full-term, or at least I thought you were full term but learned it's technically early term if
you were born now. Either way you are welcome to come now and join us. I am more than ready. We made it to another OB appointment and I'm at 3 cm dilated and still 40% effaced (I was 2 cm last week). My body is continuing to progress but it's slow. I am definitely tired and so achy. I've hit the point of this pregnancy that I'm just uncomfortable all the time. I'm just not moving so well these days. I didn't think it was possible to have every part of me hurt so bad, but apparently it is. I'm fighting to get comfortable and it seems to be a losing battle for me. But I'm hanging in there because I also know that it's not that much longer. One way or another you are coming out - it's just a matter of if it will be on your own or on the date we have set to induce.

There are so many myths out there about how to induce labor. Most I wouldn't try like castor oil or spicy foods. And I don't think any have been actually proven as being effective to actually induce labor. I have read about pressure points. I have read about walking. I have read about squatting. All of which have been tried and debunked at least here. The pressure point thing was really more that a foot rub didn't put me in labor. I actually walk every day. It's not actually the fastest walk in the world but I'm walking to take Addison to and from school daily. So far that hasn't sent me into a labor. Nor has squatting which Connor often wants me to squat next to him in his stroller while we wait for Addison each day. So far no dice there either. The truth is with all the ways out there that it says to induce labor, I highly doubt any of them truly work. I think it's all about when your body actually wants to go into labor and is truly ready. Or when you force your body into using medicine which we will probably end up doing like it or not.

(Sunday, December 2 - Saturday, December 8)

** I just want to note in case you missed it that I did have Emma but I still wanted to post this final update from my final week. And I will be sharing so much more about her and her birth story and all things there very soon!

Dec 7, 2018

A Bump Comparison // Happy Friday

So I know I'm technically 37 weeks now, but I don't have a 37 week picture with Addison because she came at exactly 37 weeks. So I went back and decided to go with the last one I had of all three pregnancies at 36 weeks.

It's interesting looking at this comparison picture because I could have swore this is the biggest I have been during all three pregnancies but I think I actually look the smallest. It might just be my shirt through. I know I don't exactly put a lot of weight on during any of my pregnancies and this hasn't been any different since I have only put on about 10 pounds total which is about what I gained during the other two as well.

Addison decided to come at exactly 37 weeks at 6 pounds. Connor came at exactly 39 weeks at 7 pounds. And Emma has an eviction date but it's all up in the air when she'll actually come. Will we actually make it to an inducement date or will she come before then? She's got two weeks to make up her little mind then she doesn't have a choice.

It's still hard to believe that I'm finally at the end of this journey. I feel like I have been pregnant forever and I am definitely done. It's also hard to believe that this is the last time I will be pregnant and that part of my life is behind me - a bit more sweet than bitter these days. Right now I'm feeling anxious and excited and so very ready.

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

Dec 6, 2018

A Pain in the Knee: Two Years Later

In so many ways it's hard to believe that it's been two years since my knee surgery. There are times that I feel like there is no way two years have already passed and there are times that it's totally believable (like when I'm able to move around without pain). But no matter what it feels like, it has indeed been two years since I had my knee surgery.

Knee surgery was easily one of the most painful experiences I have ever gone through. There can be an argument made that child birth was more painful and in the short term that was totally more painful but the aftermath of knee surgery definitely takes the cake. I went through years of my knee randomly dislocating and yet that was nothing compared to what I went through trying to get my leg back.


I was excited about the idea of my knee staying where it was supposed to which is why we went forward with the surgery and the first couple days weren't bad. I was in a terrible leg brace that kept my knee from bending more than 30 degrees, which as it turned out I couldn't have done if I wanted to. I was on crutches and pretty immobile. But the first couple days I also had a nerve block from the surgery, but after it wore off it was a lot of pain. Showering was basically impossible. I had trouble sleeping thanks to the giant brace and I often would wake up in a full panic attack because I felt trapped in the brace. There were many nights that Rob would just help me get the brace off and bend my knee just a little bit so I could settle down from the major anxiety I was feeling.

Then there was PT. I started by doing some basic exercises at home. But I found that I couldn't lift my leg. My entire quad muscle on my left leg was gone. I had no strength to do anything. I had to start going to PT three times a week to work on my flexibility and strength. The strength part wasn't horrible although I couldn't do a lot at first. But the flexibility about had me in tears every time I had to go. Basically because they had cut my tendon and stitched it back together again, it had to be stretched back out so my knee could bend again properly. Slowly they would bend my knee and would tell me just to breathe through the pain. I did a lot of breathe and wanted to do a lot of crying. But if they didn't do it then my knee would bend about 30 degrees then automatically straighten again.  We had to retrain my knee to bend.

In fact we had to retrain my knee to do everything. I couldn't figure out to do basic things. It was almost a year later before I could run again. I had to figure out how to step up on a stair the right now. I had to learn how to wipe my feet on a mat. I had to learn how to do basically everything. I knew I knew how to do it and I could do it with my right leg but I just couldn't get my left to do the same thing. It was actually very frustrating.

And it was it a long process.

Two years later, I would say I'm back. My muscle is still a bit smaller than my right side but that will probably always be that way. But I can do everything. At times I still have the fear in the back of my mind that I will hit it on something and dislocate it again. Or more so now that I'm pregnant and everything is more flexible, I worry that it will happen now. But mostly everything is back to normal without the random dislocating.

It took me a long time to see that having knee surgery wasn't a mistake. The year following the surgery was such a struggle that I had a hard time seeing everything wrong with the decision I made. But two years out I feel better about it. I'm not doing all the exercises I was doing before the knee surgery - because I'm pregnant - and I know that I struggled some when I did a little after surgery and before getting pregnant but it's just about building that muscle up more.

So do I still regret that decision? Not so much but it did take me a long time to get there.

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