Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012

Overall, this was a great year for us. We welcomed our beautiful son who quickly terrified us with a case of meningitis and watched our gorgeous daughter become a funny, independent 2-year-old with a love of all animals and a hatred for mornings.

I gained 35 pounds with my giant fetus. Then I lost 33 pounds. I think the remaining 2 is in the milk makers.

I have spent about 1000 hours nursing over the past 5 months. Luckily I haven't had to pump much this time because he eats ALOT.

We changed about 15 diapers a day between 2 kids, so my math says that in 2012 we changed 1.3 million. Give or take a few. :). You're welcome, Pampers.

We just conquered our 2nd year as owners of the vet clinic. It was another successful year!

We went to Vegas for Aaron's vet conference, on a cruise to the Caribbean, and to the Dominican Republic for vacation. Learned that Paisley is a great traveler, Also figured out that traveling for 12 hrs while 7 months pregnant is exhausting!!!

I discovered a love for pineapple in my stir fry, chocolate covered pretzels and fudge. I mistakenly decided it wasn't my "thing" until I tried a sample somewhere and realized the error of my ways!

We pretty much haven't seen a movie since early 2010. I also haven't slept since then.

Paisley loves the letter "O" and counting from 7-11. She asks for "more some" when requesting something. Her language has increased a ton!!! She can also successfully jump with both feet leaving the floor. Her favorite things are robots, bubble guppies and trains.

Graham is way into booby juice and snuggling with mama. He loves watching his sister and smiling at anyone who makes eye contact with him.

If I am able to stay awake until midnight this year, it will be the first time to do so since 2010. We crashed out about 11 the last two years!!!

Hope everyone has a safe & Happy New Years!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Giving it 100% but still never enough

Having two kids is drastically different than one. My time is now split into trying to keep two little people happy and fed and bathed. I have two people fighting for my attention and needing their mama.

Most of the time it goes fine. Paisley adores Graham as if he belongs to her and loves to help me change him, dress him and love on him. Her jealousy is really nonexistent. In fact, I feel like we have a best case scenario as far as adding a sibling goes.

When it gets tricky is when they both have a need for mommy and I have to choose. You know the moments. One has a poop explosion all over the living room while the other decides to fall and hurt themselves. Or when one is super tired and needs to be rocked while the other is hungry. Or even which one to load into the car first when it's freaky butt cold outside.

Whose needs are more important? How do you decide? Every day I lay down at night and think about what I could have done different and hope that my two babies know how loved they are.

But it is tough with two at such different ages. He is still such a baby. He needs more naps during the day and eats frequently and can't just run around and keep us with Paisley. So I have to hold him and feed him which takes me away from her a lot.

Here enters guilt. She is a busy fun toddler. She wants to play and stay on the go. And she still wants to snuggle her mom and be carried places. But with a 16 pound baby, 5 pound carrier, 5 pound diaper bag and 26 pound toddler, I feel like a overwhelmed donkey.

So, I struggle to find the balance. Which is really what life has become since adding kids to it. How much to devote to work and kids and myself and my spouse. Not to mention friends, family, etc. Ugh.

I know how lucky I am to have two perfectly healthy babies. And they are such great kids 90% of the time. But when the train details around here, it can get ugly quickly!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Yay!!! I guess blogger let me post pictures again for my Christmas present!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Aaaahhhh!!! The holiday season is making me crazy!!!

Every year this happens and every year I forget that it does. The holidays start getting closer and I literally lose my mind.

As a child, I loved Christmas. And since I got married, that all changed. I feel like the whole event is crammed pack with obligations to be so many places that we are exhausted and overstuffed and cranky by the end. I am so jealous of the one house families who can relax in one place and even nap after eating.

We put on our track shoes Christmas Eve and race through the holiday like Jackie Joyner Kersey. Not sure on spelling, but you get the point... We eat all we can muster to avoid hurt feelings and conjure up as much bonding time as possible in a short period.

I know what you're thinking. Cut back. Don't do as much. But it just isn't possible to leave these houses out. We've already left everything out that we possibly can.

And don't even get me started on how much I want the decorations down, the presents opened and put away and the tree drug to the curb. It's totally driving my OCD crazy!!!

Then you add in kids who I feel we are always trying to make this magical for. Between Santa visits, Elf on a Shelf, crafts, baking and other such cutesy activities, I feel like I'm pretending to be Martha Stewart around here. Which anyone who knows me would say couldn't be further from who I really am.

So, I'm trying to regain my focus and calm. Remember how sweet her face will be opening her presents. Enjoy our Christmas Eve services at our church. Thank God for my precious miracle babies. And then enjoy the 26th when life can go back to normal!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Who smells like pee?

Oh, that would be me. Graham chose to kick off our day by showering me with urine this morning while I was trying to figure out which diaper was his and which was his sisters. (Size 3 looks just like size 5 in the morning).

At first it just hit my jeans but my reaction time is ridiculously slow when I first wake up so he also got my shirt and the couch. This kid's bladder seems to have an amazingly large capacity considering how wet everything was.

You know you've really hit a low point in your life when you don't even consider changing clothes and just pat yourself off with a wipe. At least the kid wasn't in his clean clothes yet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogger Comeback

Once upon a time, there was this infertile girl who started this blog in order to reach out to others who were in the same position as her. She hoped to find girls that would understand what she was going through.

What she learned was that this community would oftentimes be her saving grace. They would encourage her when she was worried, celebrate with her when she was happy and mourn with her when times went bad. These girls she'd never meet in real life were going to become some of her best friends.

The number of followers grew and grew and she loved reading the comments that people left. Every now and then she would even meet someone in person who was a follower. It was such a huge compliment to realize that people actually liked the crap she was writing.

But then the infertile girl did the unthinkable. She got pregnant. And the blog entered new territory. Happiness. Success. But she felt sad because she couldn't bring all of her blog friends along for the ride.

Once the non-sleeping demanding baby arrived, her blogging fell victim to the sleep deprivation and dirty diapers.

And then she really went crazy and was lucky enough to get pregnant again. But two babies in a house meant no time for anything other than an occasional bathroom trip and toothbrushing, on a good day.

So the followers dwindled and the comments became few and far between and she lost interest in trying.

But now she's back. She's reinventing this blog and following others again. She may only have one person who reads now and that's fine. But she needs to document this period of time. It's all such a blur with all of the craziness two kids brings. And she needs her blog friends still. She wants to encourage those still trying and celebrate when they get their BFP's. She wants to follow other moms and get tips on parenting these strange little creatures. Heaven knows she needs all the help she can get.

So, hope to get to know some of you better! :). And I hope to create an interesting post at least every now and then!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who needs sleep anyways?!?

It's official. Graham has been coerced by his big sister to stop being a good sleeper. I don't know how she convinced him or why she even thinks no sleep is a good idea. But I know she's to blame here.

Let's recap sleep on our house.

Pre-Paisley: lots of sleep whenever we felt like it. The only thing that would risk waking me in the middle of the night was a full bladder. I could sleep 10 hours at night and then nap for 3 the next day.

The Paisley Era: from night one of her life, she decided that you can sleep when you die and she didn't plan on missing out on things. She kept me up ALL night every night. Even now, she never sleeps more than 9-10 hours at night and still doesn't want to go down. She is just now napping consistently because I insisted out if necessity for my well-being.

The Graham Era: he was the sleeper I'd always dreamt about. Sleeping 4-5 hour stretches even in the hospital. He'd only wake to eat and then happily fall back to sleep. I was the mom who bragged that I finally had a good sleeper. Until right before 4 months, when he joined Paisley's forces of evil and chanted "hell no, we won't go... To sleep, that is".

He squirms and wallors and kicks and moans. He won't cry unless I fail to respond to his restless body syndrome within an allowable period of time (for a newborn this is about 20 seconds max). So I wake up a lot overnight. He never sleeps more than 3 hours, but I think lately he hasn't made it more than 2. Ouch.

Tried to wear him out by keeping him awake all day. He likes to nap in 15 minute increments several times a day and never sleep for a long stretch. Seems like he'd be tired at night, but guess not...

At least he's sweet and happy overnight though, right?!? Looking forward to a future chapter in our sleeping that includes a lot more of it!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Potty Training: part 2

Several things I forgot to mention in my previous post. The little potty chair that we originally got disgusted me. The thing looks cute and innocent until the first exposure to bodily fluids. Then I feel it should be thrown into a red biohazard bag, airtight sealed, and picked up by men wearing hazmat suits.

Because your options in cleaning that sucker are pretty limited. 1.) rinse in sink. Gross. 2.) rinse in bath tub. Gross and inconvenient. 3.) dishwasher. Not possible and super gross.

So, we said out with that idea and bought an Elmo potty ring that fits on the "big potty". She also has a stool that she uses to mount the big potty.

Here's where a stubborn child comes into play: she has to do everything h herself. So potty time takes us 45 minutes. No kidding. Her dad and I take snacks in there and I'm thinking of mounting a TV above the toilet.

She must move the stool over to the potty from the sink. Then she removes her pants and shoes completely. Can't pee with those on for some reason. Lowers or removes her pull up. Climbs onto potty where she will sit until she manages to pee. This may be 10 seconds or 4 hours. We celebrate, she wipes, climbs down and flushes. She then starts the painstaking process of hand washing.

You would think she had terrible OCD. The child will wash her hands forever. And then she likes to brush her teeth. Extensively. Keep in mind she is still naked from the waist down at this point. You cannot redress her until the other tasks are complete.

Finally, she'll put her clothes back on just in time for her pea-sized bladder to fill up again...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Potty Training

I hope no one clicks on this post expecting to find great advice on the topic of potty training because I can promise you, it won't be here.  In fact, I would recommend avoiding my blog for all helpful tips on pregnancy and child-rearing, and certainly on conception, since let's face it.  I suck at all 3. 

Yeah, my kids are healthy and happy and very loved.  But am I doing things that follow any book ever written even loosely?  Not a chance.  We're paving our own way and enjoying it for the most part.  So potty training is the same thing.  I haven't read a book or asked much in the way of advice or even brainstormed on it much.  No clue what Pinterest says on this topic.  Shocking, right?!?

But anyways, here's our story in a nutshell.  Paisley got a potty chair right before her 2nd birthday.  I sat it out to let her get "curious".  She got interested and wanted to sit on it and play with it which I found disgusting.  One day, she wanted to pee on it.  And she did.  Which I thought was pretty darn impressive considering she wasn't even 2 yet. 

Then she'd ignore it, then she'd love it again and want to pee on it, and then hate it with passion.  Now, she still goes through phases where she'll only pee on the potty for 24-48 hours straight and then refuse to use it for the next 4 days.  And she's only pooped on it once and it was an accident.  Trust me.  She was freaked out by the experience and obviously thought it was "only a fart". 

With that said, she loves to poot on the potty.  Thinks it's hilarious.  And sadly, so do I.  We giggle together and celebrate like that's a good thing.  Back to not taking my parenting advice.  See what I mean.  My child also sings, "Hey, sexy lady...ooh..oooh..ooh.ooh.ooh" while waving her arm like a cowgirl.  Gotta love Gangnam Style.

So, we're about 5 months in to this very unofficial potty training that we're doing.  And honestly, I don't really care if we continue this for another 5 months.  It's easy-going and non-stressful.  I love the security and convenience of diapers.  And we're traveling to Vegas in February so I'd kinda prefer her in diapers on the plane.  Last thing I need is her deciding it's absolutely positively time to drop a deuce during take-off when we're 30 minutes from being able to "move about the cabin". 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Santa Claus

We took the kids to Bass Pro last night to meet Santa. They have such a great setup for kids during the holidays. Their Santa looks authentic and he's super nice, they have fun games to play and the decorations are adorable.

I was pretty certain that Paisley would like him again this year since she has this strange love of all grown ups in costumes. The Chick-fil-a cow, a giant mouse at a local game place, etc.

And as expected, she happily jumped on his lap for pictures after talking to him briefly. Graham was asleep when I handed him over but woke up as soon as I made the transfer. He just drowsily glanced up at the giant white beard. Looks like that might have scared him, but apparently mom and Santa look just alike. ;)

You might recall that I am a humongous holiday Scrooge, but I have to admit that these kids are bringing back the spirit for me!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Way we Spend Our Week

It occurred to me today that all parents have a very different routine with their kids.  For us, we stay busy.  Busy kids are happy kids and then sleepy kids.  Which is good.  Paisley and Graham are both more content if we're running around and doing things rather than staying at home.  She gets bored with her own toys and would much rather be exploring the world she lives in.  And I'm glad because I feel the same way!  Aaron and I were never home-bodies before children and it makes me panic a bit to think about ever being snowed in the house with these 2 kids.

SO, I thought I'd post about what we do to pass the time during the typical week.

Monday:  Kids wake up about 8:30 am (they don't go to sleep until about 10ish) and we typically go to the vet clinic in the mornings.  Getting ready takes us about an hour though because Paisley is NOT a morning person and it takes a bit of warming up before she's ready for the general public. Typically we all snuggle on the couch while she drinks her "mo" (milk) and I nurse Graham.  At lunch, we head home and eat lunch and then they take an early afternoon lunch for a few hours.  We play in the afternoon until Dad gets home. 

Tuesday:  Story time at the mall by us from 10-11 am and then Gymboree in the evening from 5:45 to 7:30. She does both Play and Learn class and then Art class while we're there.  I LOVE this day because Paisley has so much fun.  I don't usually make it into the clinic on Tuesdays.

Wednesday:  Aaron's day off.  Paisley goes to Mother's day out and we spend time with Graham.  This is a good day for us to spend time as a couple since he still sleeps some (unlike his sister) and get errands done. 

Thursday: Mother's day out for Paisley again and Graham and I go to the clinic to catch up on all of my bills and work there.  Much easier to work with just one child!  We got to Gymboree from 5:45 to 7:30 in the evening.

Friday:  Day 3 of Mother's day out for Paisley.  Graham and I go to a baby class at Gymboree from 12:30 to 1:15 which I adore because we get lots of great bonding time.  I like to hang out at home on Friday nights when possible because P is usually exhausted from 3 days of school. 

Saturday:  Graham and I work at the clinic from 8-noon while my mom keeps Paisley.  They go to Gymboree (notice a pattern here?) for music class and play time.  Then they meet us for lunch and whatever fun we have planned.

Sunday:  Used to be church until I had two kids who are less than quiet.  I don't love our church nursery until they go to sunday school at 3 so I keep them with me when we do muster up the courage to go.  Then we love to plan fun kid activities on Sundays like the zoo, park, science museum, etc.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Funny Paisley

It's official. Paisley has inherited our sarcasm and sense of humor. She knows when to use it and how to use it. And she thoroughly enjoys herself.

This little girl makes me laugh all the time. She's feisty and silly and independent. I know she enjoys her life and that makes me feel so fulfilled as her mom.

Her language has been exploding lately and she now strings together as many words as she can come up with. She still favors "Paisley do it", "Paisley fix it" and "Paisley get it". Miss Independent.

She now calls us cuckoo and waves her finger in a large circle. She'll say "dada cuckoo". :)

She asks for her "blue mo" which is milk in her blue sippy. Or whichever color she decides it will taste best on that day.

And she loves to recap the day with me before we fall asleep at night. He'll remind me of all the things we did.

She knows all of her colors, with ridiculous ones like fuchsia and seafoam falling under their larger, better known categories. She can pretty much count to 12 with some variation in the order of 1-5 at times.

And we're starting to sing songs! Her favorite is five little monkeys and she loves the line "no more monkeys (mumble, mumble) bed." It's adorable because she shakes her little finger and gets this sassy face. Too cute.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nip Tuck

This body of mine has beared two babies in a 2 year period of time. It has shot one out of the lower region and had another cut out of the belly. These breasts are now open to their 2nd booby buffet patron.

My hair is constantly being ratted by my well meaning daughter who asks for "hair, please" when she is relaxing on my lap and wants to hold my hair. My clothes usually smell of some type of bodily fluid. And my make-up is frequently slobbered off my face due to sweet open mouth kisses on my cheeks or forehead.

So it's all lead me to the place where we are now. P90X. Otherwise known as the cause of my impending death. I started two days ago and knew how difficult people said it was. But I thought, "I have worked out my whole life. Surely I can do this."

Except it is on a different level of difficult. It is like a circus act meets strongman competition meets marathon runner kind of workout. And it kicked my butt.

The fitness test they have you take before starting was not at all a sign of things to come. Of course I can do 10 push-ups. You should have mentioned that we'd do 150 in the video. And yeah I can do 30 sit-ups, but when did you say we'd be doing them in terribly difficult variations??? You should have said I needed to be able to complete a triathlon to be eligible.

Today, I can't stand up straight, have to assist my legs into the car and couldn't reach my middle back if it had a $100 bill attached to it. But I see this as good news.

It means I still have muscles!!! And a dwindling supply of icy hot and ibuprofen...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Birth control please

We are officially and most certainly shutting down the baby making warehouse. I have absolutely no doubt that this is it for me and I feel great about ending that chapter.

We have our son and daughter and feel very complete now. Sometimes it feels overly complete in fact. :)

So it's strange to change gears back to prevention of pregnancy. I tried the mini pill (aka: Amber's psychotic medication). Progesterone pills made me flippin crazy when I was using them for infertility but I was assured that the lower dose in the mini pill would cause no problems.

Except it did. It just took longer to kick in, but then the anger and the self pity took over my normal personality.

So much so that I was texting my OB on a Saturday begging her to order my IUD. Stat.

She unfortunately likes to do them with ultrasound guidance so I'm scheduled for the 23rd. And it sucks because I'll likely only have the IUD for less than a year because once I wean Graham I need the combination pill to control my PCOS best.

But this girl doesn't want any more babies (maybe adopted, not biological). And I can't trust nursing to be sufficient by itself again this time around!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Booby Milk

Everyone and their dog has an opinion about breast feeding and who should do it and for how long and where and how. We've all gotten our fair share of advice and unsolicited thoughts on the matter.

For me, breast feeding has been the only thing I've excelled at when it comes to child bearing/raising. I failed miserably at getting pregnant and only carried 66.6% of my pregnancies to term. Labor and delivery gurus would probably give me a failing grade since I almost died waiting for my first epidural and then had a c-section on
the 2nd.

But the babies have been well fed. And I'm thankful for the money saved and the ease of the nursing. However, I know how freakin tough this is for many women and lactation consultants just don't seem to get that.

When Graham was in the hospital for meningitis, I got a well-meaning phone call from the lactation nazi on staff. She was asking how nursing was going and reiterating how important it was that I continued. I hadn't considered quitting so that wasn't needed. But then she went on to push how much he needs my antibodies to fight this illness and how crucial it was for his well-being.

At this point, I've spent almost a wek in the hospital and I'm starting to get crazy. (Also the day they had to send in the counselor to encourage me). So now I start to panic. What if my milk runs out? What if he gets to sick to nurse? What if it's all my fault?!?

Point is, babies do great on formula. It's been perfected over the years and honestly babies turn out just as well either way. So back off women!!! We all give ourselves enough pressure and guilt about nursing without help from others!!!

Lastly, when we were at the park last week, I was sitting next to a lady with a newborn who asked me if it would bother me if she nursed her there. I was taken aback that she felt the need to ask me being that I'm a female too and that she had a cover she used.

I nurse Graham wherever and whenever he needs it. I've nursed him walking around the fair, during Gymboree class and in the grocery store. My cover keeps everything private and with a 2 year old to chase, I can't go hide in some closet to feed the poor little guy. But I've also never felt obligated to ask for permission!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vaginal vs Caesarean

I didn't know anyone who had both types of deliveries so no one could tell me what they preferred other than what they'd already had. People with vaginal births think that's the only way while caesarean mamas mostly praise that route of delivery.

Sooo, I went into my surgery considering it almost a type of science experiment. It would be a strange one to enter into a show and I wouldn't recommend pictures to demonstrate...

But, here's my comparison:

1.) C-sections are much quicker. My first labor experience lasted 9 hours which is actually short for a 1st time mom. The second was over in 2 hours from check in to baby in arms. And most of that was sewing me up.

2.) Vaginal deliveries take a LOT more work! The pain, the waiting, the pushing. Even with my amazing epidural, I was tired. Every muscle in my body was pooped out.

3.) I don't have any urinary problems this time. After my vaginal birth, I peed a little every time I sneezed or coughed. And jumping jacks were an absolute no-go! This time, those parts got spared from stretching, tearing and cutting. And my bladder is SO glad.

4.) My incisions are just in different places. After Paisley, I couldn't sit well and my legs couldn't part for fear of destroying my nether regions. With Graham, I had a sore stomach. This made getting up from bed difficult but not really much more than with her.

5.) It was more of a personal event for Aaron and me since no one else could be in the room. With Paisley, it was a 3 ring circus with my hoo-ha in the center ring.

6.) The epidural with her and the spinal with him felt the exact same. Neither was painful and both were very successful. Thank goodness.

7.) Women make it seem like a section birth isn't as magical an event. I disagree entirely. His almost seemed more incredible because I felt fine and then he was just lifted out. Of course it was nice holding her immediately but I wasn't feeling well enough by then to enjoy it fully.

8.) I worried much less about Graham during the process because he wasn't being stressed out with labor. Paisley made labor a bit overwhelming with frequent heart decelerations and a wrapped cord forcing a rapid delivery.

So, I'm glad I had one of each to know what they're both like. And truthfully, both are amazing. But when it comes right down to it, I'm Team Caesarean!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful

Today, I read the blog (snips-snails-puppydogtails.blogspot.com) of a girl I consider a good friend even if we've never met. She has a precious little boy named Grayson who is very close in age to Paisley. Long and heartbreaking story short, they found out yesterday that he has a disease that is terminal. And it breaks my heart to the point that I've actually cried several times today thinking of him.

This is such a wonderful mother who gives her all to taking care of him and making his life as enriching and happy as she can. I can't stand that she has to deal with this now.

All day since reading the bad news on her blog, I've held my kids a little tighter. I've kissed them more and done fewer chores and soaked in each little second with them. And I'm going to remind myself every single morning from here on out to appreciate it all.

Send her some encouragement when you get a chance. I have no words for this situation and I can't even imagine what it must feel like. But I know she can use some love right now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Graham's Birth Story: the Exciting Conclusion :)

I was shocked and at the same time, prepared, when they sent me to the hospital.  I called Aaron to head that way since he needed our relief vet to cover the last few hours of the work day, I called our friend Todd who was doing my anesthesia.  Much to my relief, he was just finishing an amputation so he was available immediately.  And of course, I called my mom who was watching Paisley.  They had just left her doctor's appointment where they were told she just had a virus.  THE virus that would turn into Graham's viral mengitis.

I drove myself to the hospital and on the way, called one of the girls that works at our clinic so she could come watch Paisley this evening so my mom could come to the hospital.  I texted everyone too so they would know that we were getting a head-start on this baby's arrival. 

Got in to L&D and changed into my flattering hospital gown.  They really need to do something about those because when you're pregnant, it makes you look like a HOUSE.  A new nurse spent about 20 minutes getting my IV going which is a bit ridiculous considering my enormous veins while another asked me a ton of questions. 

By now, my contractions were starting to hurt.  Enough that I was having more trouble talking through them.  And the nurses were surprised at how large they were on the monitor.  So, I guess we made the right decision to go on in.  Looks like I would have ended up there anyways!  Soon, Aaron showed up which was a huge relief.  And then Todd got there to talk about my anesthesia.

In pre-op, preparing for our baby's arrival- look at my sexy "leg squeezers".
Everything was such a blur at this point because it was happening SO fast.  I arrived at the hospital about 3:30 and my surgery was scheduled for 4:30.  And sure enough, 4:30 on the dot I walked back into the surgery suite.

Now this is a weird experience.  Walking into a surgery room feeling pretty good minus some contractions, knowing that you will be cut open soon.  My friend, Todd, did my spinal while my OB and my NP stood in front of me talking.  This was a great distraction, although I would have acted tough regardless since I wouldn't have wanted Todd to think I'm a sissy.  Good news is that the spinal didn't hurt AT ALL.  I didn't think my epidural hurt with Paisley, but I wondered if that was because I was in such terrible pain at that point with her.  But sure enough, I didn't feel a thing.

They laid me down and at this point, I considered asking them to just put me under general anesthesia.  The realization that I would be awake for a major abdominal surgery became terrifying and I just wasn't sure that this was a good idea anymore.  I felt certain that I would feel everything!  Within minutes, I was prepped and ready to go.  Aaron was able to come in the room and instantly I could smell burning flesh which meant they had started!

And I thankfully couldn't feel a thing!  Still amazes me that you can be awake for such a thing.  And after making it through the layers, they lowered the drape so that I could watch our baby being born.  "It's a BOY"!"  The words made my heart so happy even though I'd felt like this was a boy all along.  He immediately screamed which was a relief, even before they'd completely pulled his body out. 

Pulling him out of my uterus- LOVE surgery pics.  Glad my NP was there to get the good shots!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD!!!
The nurse and Aaron went over and tended to him while they continued with my surgery.  I was able to watch them at the bed because it was close to my head while they did his initial injections and checked him out.  I was able to see them weigh him and clean him up.  He was then handed to daddy and brought over to see me.  It was amazing kissing his sweet face for the first time.

Our first family picture
The moment was just as amazing as being able to hold Paisley immediately.  In fact, it built up a little more eagerness on my part having to wait a minute.  Luckily, our doctor let Aaron and Graham stay in the OR with me until I was completely done.  And as soon as they moved me to my regular bed to wheel me out of the OR, Graham was laid on my chest and I got to actually hold him for the first time. 

The 1st time I got to hold my little man- it isn't a great picture, but it was an incredible moment!
It was breathtaking when they put him on me because I hadn't expected it yet!  It's a moment I can't even explain.  And we were taken to my post-op room to recover for a couple of hours.  I was able to nurse him within an hour of his birth and get good skin-to-skin time before we let the family come in. 

Next post:  why I felt that a c-section was WAY better than a vaginal delivery...  :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Graham's Birth Story: finally...

July 30th, I woke up with the worst head cold ever.  I couldn't breathe out of my nose, my sinuses felt like they would burst open at any minute, and I was groggy feeling like I'd taken WAY too much benadryl.  And I never handle being sick well, but this day it made me even angrier than usual for 2 reasons.  1.) I was scheduled to deliver my baby in 2 short days.  2.) It was my birthday.

So, I pretty much pouted myself through the day while trying my hardest to get some important things done off my list of crap-that-needs-accomplished-before-baby-2-arrives.  But I went to bed that night feeling pretty rotten and didn't even go anywhere for dinner. 

The next morning I woke up feeling about 80% better thankfully and headed to the clinic to get some things done since it was supposed to be my last day before delivery.  I'd been having contractions all day on the 30th and they were picking up steam this day.  They were every 3-4 minutes but I could still function through them. And since I had a doctor's appointment that morning, I'd pretty much ignored them. 

However, looking back, I'm pretty sure I knew that today was the day.  I chose to not eat breakfast nor lunch that day, even though I never skip a meal.  Part of it was that I wasn't feeling great still, but mostly I think I was preparing for surgery.  Aaron is certain that I knew what was happening.

So, I went to see my OB with Aaron that morning at 11 am and they hooked me up to the non-stress test which showed regular contractions.  Due to that, my NP checked my cervix for the 1st time this pregnancy and I was 2 cm and 40% effaced.  We didn't have a starting point to go from so they wanted me to come back at 2 pm to re-check. 

Aaron and I went over to the hospital and did our pre-op check in as we were supposed to do.  They did my blood work and I was out the door.  The nurse did mention that my OB wasn't sure that I wouldn't be back in a bit, which made my heart flutter like crazy!

We then went back to the clinic.  My mom took Paisley to the doctor in the meantime because she'd been super sick with a fever and diarrhea.  They felt like it was a virus that would pass.  She even seemed to be feeling better already which I was thankful for.  We'd decided that she would just not be able to visit the baby until her fever was gone for 24 hours.

When I went back to the OB, I decided that Aaron didn't need to go.  Nothing was going to happen and he needed to work his last afternoon before taking 10 days off.  So off I went to my re-check.  My cervix was still 2-3 cm but my bag of water was much lower so my OB decided to move my c-section up to NOW!!!  He called the hospital and had me head over to get prepared.

Part 2 coming soon...  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy birthday Paisley!!!

We had a party for Paisley tonight with her grandparents and a friend her age. We had to postpone her actual party since Graham can't be around lots of kids or people. It was great though and she loved it! I can't believe my girl is 2!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Baby Pictures

Jazz Hands!!!

He looks just like Paisley here


How loveable!!!



The only picture our very stubborn little girl chose to be in

No idea how he got this shot, but I love it!!!!

My beautiful baby boy!!!
Someone commented on my last post about Graham looking chunkier and he is!  He is up to 9 pounds, 3 ounces after a 13 ounce weight gain in a week following hospitalization!!!!  I'm so proud of my great nurser.  :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"That mom"

Yep, today I discovered that I am indeed "that mom". You know the one you never want to be. The one other moms judge because you just aren't like them.

I knew I'd never be a PTA-leading, cookie-baking, apron-wearing kinda mom. Just not my style. It shocks people that I feel overwhelmed by and uninterested in Pinterest. Crazy, I know!

But as I picked Paisley up from her 1st day of mother's day out for the fall, I realized that all of the other kids carry really adorable backpacks with their names embroidered on them.

My child carried this "fancy" black bag with her name taped to the strap. How sad. I am on a hunt to buy her a cute bag tonight. Or else she will be the kid they feel sorry for. And I also sent her a Lunchable to eat. I bet the other moms sent homemade delicacies with extra love mixed in...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Two Kids... Not so bad

Let me start by retracting an earlier made statement about not liking the "newborn phase".  Turns out, I actually love it this time around.  Not only because I have experience, but because I got an awesomely good baby.  Like the majorly Type B, calm, sweet, easily soothed baby that makes everyone jealous.  Yep, lucky me. 

He seriously has made life so much better.  He sleeps at least 4 hours at night and even went 6 hours last night before eating and then returning to sleep.  In his bassinett.  Did you hear that, people?!?  He isn't even co-sleeping.  Well, most of the time.  But he's doing it then because I need to snuggle him, not because he cares!   Just goes to show that you can't control what type of baby you have!!!

Breastfeeding is going well and I'm already having to pump to get the excess milk off in the mornings which I'm hoping I can donate again to the NICU.  He's a good little eater which I'm thankful for and I have my awesome breasts back for a short-time.  It's a nice difference from Paisley who was attached at the breast 24 hours a day if not spitting up and/or crying.  :)

Paisley really does love him.  She is actually even good at diaper-changing which I thought was surprising.  She gets his "bipey" (diaper) and then wipes.  Luckily he hasn't peed on her yet.  Aaron and I are not so lucky.  She holds him for long periods of time on the couch while watching her cartoons.  The funniest thing is that she now loves her dolls that she's never acknowledged!  And she calls him her Baby Boo, which I find adorable because "Bubba" and "Sissy" make me crazy.  No idea why...

I went into this with such a dreadful expectation of how hard things would be with 2 kids and I'm happy to say that it has been much better than anticipated.  My babies have definitely been polar opposites and I'm so thankful that the "difficult" one was born first to pave the way and set the bar really low for an easier baby!   She is such a great big sister and a hilarious child to have around.  Just not the easiest kid I've ever met.

With that said though, I'm so thankful that she is so independent and self-assured making this transition so smoothly.  I haven't noticed a trace of jealousy yet and her pure love for him makes me love her even more than I already did.  Pretty sure my heart could just explode at this point from how much love it has.

Okay, enough bragging about my cute kids.  Just glad to report that things are going well and no postpartum this time around!!!  Plus, I still love my husband and haven't threatened to move his stuff to the front yard for no reason.  :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Bound

I know I still have lots to talk about and I've honestly had the time to do so while sitting around in hospital rooms waiting for something to happen.  But I just haven't done it.  Instead, I've spent a lot of time loving on my sweet baby boy and praying that he'd be okay.  Which now, he is.

We got to come home after a 2 day stay for stupid meningitis which is incredibly unlikely to happen.  The pediatrician at the hospital described our situation as "the perfect storm" meaning that a series of unlikely events all had to happen to lead to such a crapfest.  I happened to get enterovirus days before delivery, he happened to catch it, and it happened to turn into meningitis.  Awesome.

But as for all of the good news, he is obviously doing well!  And he is an incredibly peaceful, calm baby.  Which I'm totally not used to so I'm not sure what to do with myself.  I just want to hold him all the time, but also need him to be okay with being put down so I struggle with that balance.  He's okay pretty much anywhere we put him, which is SOOOO different from his diva sister.

We're on home "quarantine" for the next 4 weeks which means no restaurants, mall, baby gym for me (mom is taking Paisley), etc.  This could kill me.  But I know it's for Graham's best interest.  I even moved Paisley's big birthday party back a month since there will be so many kids there.  And I'm trying to remind myself that I can be a good mom to her even if we are here more than usual.  Unfortunately, it's way too hot outside to do much outdoors where we'd be free of germs for the most part.

My milk came in after only 48 hours this time which was SO much better and he immediately nursed in the recovery room after my surgery.  I barely have a scar and would repeat a c-section any day over a vaginal delivery.  The recovery hasn't been bad at all!  And the bleeding is almost non-existent since they cleaned out my uterus in the OR.  :)

I'm losing weight much quicker this time which I'm obviously thankful for and I can't say I've had anything to do with it, so I'm blaming it on the stress and the larger baby.  And as much as I dreaded the baby phase, I've thoroughly enjoyed it this time.  Seriously.  He sleeps through the night with the exception of eating a couple of times.  Then he drifts right back to sleep.  And if he doesn't, he's content to lie next to me awake and quiet.  So weird. 

And best yet, Paisley adores him.  She wants to snuggle with him and hold him.  She constantly asks where he is until she finds him in the room and I catch her nonchalantly rubbing his hand or foot when she sits next to us on the couch.  Too cute!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Viral meningitis

Well, poor Graham has been in the hospital since early Tuesday morning due to a fever. We woke up that morning and he was running a fever so we went to the ER where he was admitted.

We've had two lumbar punctures, bloodwork, IV fluids, a chest x ray, IV antibiotics, etc. Today he was diagnosed with viral meningitis. Paisley and I were sick the day before he was born which is likely where he got it. Unfortunately, his turned into meningitis.

This will pass like any virus and he'll be fine. We just pray to go home soon because I miss Paisley!!!! My emotions have been out of control with this.

Having major surgery, meeting your newborn, leaving your older child, etc takes a major toll quickly! I had a complete breakdown today when I learned that we could be here at least 48 more hours if not more! We are just so glad he'll be okay. What a terrifying experience.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sweet baby Graham!!!

We are recovering well and should go home today to start living under one roof as a family of 4! Paisley seems to love him so far which has been great. She wants to love on him and talks to him a lot. She says "it's okay" if he cries and gently caresses his leg.

She hasn't been jealous of me with him at all which I'm thrilled about! Little man is a champion nurser so now I just need milk to come in. He sleeps a ton which is bizarre since P never slept at all.

In fact, I had trouble getting him to wake up after 5 hours to nurse last night. He hardly ever cries at all and seems to love his mama!

We are already co-sleeping (que the controversy). Love it!!! He is an excellent snuggler.

I'm feeling really good which is such a great surprise! I have been up an around. And I've only had one Percocet and my pain is controlled with ibuprofen.

So, life with two may be quite simple if this baby will keep being easy!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's a BOY!!!

Well, Graham Thomas decided to cause enough stir today to send me into labor! So I delivered a healthy 8 pound, 12 ounce baby boy by caesarean at 5:06 pm. It was a much easier delivery and we're both doing well!!!

Still here and pregnant!

I cannot believe we'll be meeting our baby tomorrow!!! I actually would have bet money that it would have already happened considering the contractions I've been having for about 3 days! But apparently they are just for fun. I keep trying to tell my body that we don't need practice contractions since it isn't going down like that...

Today I see my OB for a last check up and then go to the hospital for bloodwork and to pre- admit!!! Crazy to think that in a little over 24 hours, we'll have a newborn and Paisley will be a big sister!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maybe Freaking Out a Little

As the day has drawn nearer to my c-section and the birth of my 2nd child, I've started to worry panic a bit.   I'm not so much worried about my surgery.  I've assisted on plenty of caesareans and honestly, I'm kinda eager to experience a delivery in which I don't have to labor or push.  That episiotomy was nasty business to heal from and working my tail-end off for 9 hours (I know it could have been a lot longer) to deliver something big out of your hoo-ha is just not all that enjoyable to me.

But I am seriously panicked about having 2 kids.  I feel like life is finally manageable with Paisley.  She's in mother's day out now which gives me some free time.  She plays on her own some.  We all sleep through the night every single night.  This girl of mine is super funny and awesome to be around.

Yet I'm about to re-enter the "all-I-do-is-breastfeed-and-listen-to-a-baby-cry" phase of my life.  And I didn't exactly love it the 1st time when I didn't have another child to take care of.  I'm particularly dreading it now.  Even though I know it will pass and I'll have another child that's going to be fun to hang out with.  And it will be interesting for me as an only child to watch a relationship between siblings.

My scan today estimated the baby to be at 9 pounds but my doctor thinks he/she is bigger than that by feeling around on my belly.  Plus, the abdomen of this child is already over 40.5 weeks which he's worried increases our chances of shoulder dystocia.   Just not worth the risks of attempting a vaginal delivery.  And I mostly don't want to be induced only to end up with an emergency surgery.  So, it's a done deal.  Even if I go into labor tonight (cue the freaking out), he's still doing a c-section.   Good that it's not a question mark anymore.

We know we're lucky to be parents again.  This has been such a hard road and the ending is wonderful.  We're just feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with the thought of caring for 2.  Such a huge shift in the household again.  And I don't know if the washing machine can handle another newborn puking all over every item of clothing we own!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crossing the Finish Line

Since my caesarean has been scheduled for August 1st, somehow I've made up my mind that it will for sure, 100%, definitely be that day that our baby is born.  No chance in this world that I can go into labor early or need to be taken in before that date.  Like our doctor has notified God, nature, my cervix and this baby who is no doubt as stubborn as his/her big sister that nothing shall happen until our scheduled date.

And maybe part of it is that I made it to 39.5 weeks with Paisley, so I assume that the same would happen again.  Part may be that, mentally, I really need to know that I have 9 more days with just Paisley.  Yep, seems short but it's still 9 days.  And each and every day lately has been super precious to me.

We've been going to the Science Museum, play gym, the park, story time, movies, swimming, etc pretty much every day.  And I've LOVED every second of it.  I just want to soak up the time with us before this new one joins the party.   It's going to be hilarious when the nurses see my bikini tan lines during my surgery!

We just can't get the feeling that we're ready this time around.  I don't know if it's because I've been there, done that and I know how flippin' hard it was.  Maybe it's because we already have our plate pretty full so the thought of adding more is just too overwhelming.  Remember, I'm not the mom who loves having a newborn.  Yes, they're cute and sweet.  But they're also an incredible amount of work and postpartum recovery for me wasn't necessarily pretty. 
At a wedding last night.  She danced until midnight!!!

The infant seat is still in the closet.  My bags are still sitting there with it.  And I keep pretending that this pregnancy will never actually end.  And I kinda wish it didn't have to.  Knowing that I will never feel that sweet movement again makes me feel super sad.  But I have to remember that I'm incredibly fortunate to have had this experience twice.  And that I'll soon be able to see my ankles again.



Soon, we'll be a family of 4.  And we're all going to survive having an infant in the house again.  Just not until August 1st!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

37 weeks= FULL TERM!!!

We've made it to the biggest goal of pregnancy.  Full term today.  Even if the baby has been measuring full-term for about 3 weeks now... :)

I still feel really good.  Only been sleeping about 7 hours at night with 1-2 bathroom breaks, but feeling rested and ready to play with Paisley.  I haven't even been getting any naps in!   Weight gain is at 29 pounds and I'm feeling pretty proud of it since this baby is bigger and my goal was to limit it to 30 pounds total.  With baby coming in no more than 2 weeks, it looks like it may happen!

My mom and I took Paisley to a public pool to swim this week and I was surprised about how much children are fascinated by a big pregnant belly.  Within minutes of arriving, I was surrounded by a group of young kids asking questions.  We started with normal ones like "Can I touch it?"  My answer is always yes.  I've never been one to mind being fondled by strangers while pregnant.  I love my pregnant belly and can understand why they would want to touch it!  "Is it a boy or a girl?"  Kids cannot understand why I wouldn't know.  They felt like something was wrong that the doctor couldn't tell...

Then we got into interesting ones.  "Who's the baby's daddy?"  Umm, kid may watch a bit too much Jerry Springer if you ask me.  My answer of "my husband" seemed to really confuse him which makes me think he may have an interesting family.    Then my favorite question, "do you eat food?"  Not sure why this little girl decided that pregnant women are aliens who no longer require human food.  Pretty sure this entire group could use a book about pregnancy. 

Also sure I didn't want to be the one to teach them any more about it.  In fact, I avoided the question about "how is the baby going to come out?" even though I can answer better about the c-section than my first delivery.  


Yep, still torturing others by wearing a bikini.  Again, it's my payback for the 70-year-old fat men in speedos.

Loving this dress right now.  Just removed the belt that looks uber cute when you actually have a waist.

Didn't know that my belly could ever grow to such a size.  Think it may rebel very soon!!!