Monday, May 18, 2015

Bragging

Some blogs are comprised 100% of bragging, some have a good mix, and others are more of a general life log with not much bragging at all. I think it is impossible to have an outlet where you talk about your life and yourself, and more than likely, POSITIVE things about your life and yourself where you will never come across as bragging, but I truly don't believe that bragging is the intention most of the time. In my case, my blog is A) a way for me to write in a casual manner which I enjoy doing and B) a backup for my poor memory. I use that search box over in the sidebar a LOT. Honestly. Especially lately trying to remember when Charley did what in comparison to what Laney is doing at the same ages. Super helpful, except when it isn't because they aren't the same child. Anyways, digression IS something I'm particularly good at.

So back to bragging. This post in particular - 100% bragging. Bragging on both Charley and John.

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So Laney. You would know how she was doing if I ever got around to posting the blog I promised you telling you how she was doing. But I haven't. So, to be quick - she's doing pretty good, with a side of newborn fussiness. Fussiness that I may think is attributed to something in my diet - maybe dairy - that I may try and eliminate to see if that makes a difference. But it may just be normal newborn fussiness because it really isn't daily or even all day - so I don't know. But overall she's doing awesome and we are adjusting to life as a family of four just swimmingly.

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But. Last night was our roughest night yet. Laney fell asleep after nursing at 9:15. Usually I don't like these early-to-bed times because sometimes I try to stay up and have some me time waiting on the next nursing session, and then she goes for a few hours and I end up kicking myself for not going to bed when she did. Last night however, I chose wisely and went to sleep right when she did at 9:15. She slept until midnight so both of us got a solid three hours of sleep and I was feeling good.

I nursed her for 16 minutes at midnight. She nursed herself back to sleep and I was just about to place her back in her bassinet when I thought - "well, her diaper IS wet and I really should have changed her prior to nursing her but usually she sleeps through diaper changes so I can totally change her and lay her back down without waking her." WRONG. She woke up bright-eyed during that diaper change. The easiest way to get her back to sleep is to nurse her again, so I did that for a few minutes hoping that would do the trick. NO. NO NO NO NO NO. It did no tricks.

She turned from bright-eyed to MAD in 2 seconds flat. She cried. I shushed. She cried. I bounced. She cried some more. I kept trying to nurse her more. She starting going crazy at the boob so I knew she wasn't hungry and that tummy troubles were paying us a visit again. I could get her to quiet down with some leg bicycling and colic holding and all, but as soon as I'd stop the crying would start back up.

At 1:00 John came into our bedroom (he's been sleeping on the couch while Laney is in our room for the time being) to help. Can I just say how awesome he's been already? On top of what I'm about to brag about him for, he's just been awesome in general and I am so thankful. Anyways, so he came in and tried to help for a while. I think he may have gotten a little gas moving over the NEXT hour or so and then went back to the couch. I think this may have happened a couple of times because this whole process kept going on for three and a half hours. Lots of pacing, bouncing, shushing, googling, analyzing of prior day's diet (way high in dairy), shushing, butt patting, the works. FINALLY we got some gas out of her and then some poop and I was able to nurse her again and lay her down. It was 3:40 a.m.

John got up to go to work around 6 something, and Laney woke to nurse again at 6:30 so I saw John while he was getting ready to leave. He kissed us both and asked if there was anything he could do to help since he knew I was tired and even offered to arrange my parents to keep Charley so I could sleep. I told him no thank you and he left for work, and Laney and I went back to sleep. I knew Charley would be up soon, but I wanted to squeeze in any extra sleep at all so back to sleep I went.

At EIGHT FORTY FIVE, I woke up to the sweetest little face placing a card on the pillow next to me. She was being so quiet but I think I just felt her presence in the room and woke up. Plus, it was 8:45 so, I was actually pretty rested anyways. Charley had been up for a while and had made me a card while she waited for Laney and I to get up. She drew the prettiest little rainbow on the envelope and "wrote" a long note on the inside of the card saying how much she loved me. I had tears in my eyes. She is just the sweetest little thing to let me sleep. I love that child.

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She then went on to tell me how it was John who woke her up before he left, and he told her the iPad was on the couch and she could watch Netflix on it until I woke up. He told her I was really tired and to let me sleep. So she did. And when she got tired of watching Netflix, she went to her desk and made me a card. MY GOODNESS HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY TO HAVE BOTH JOHN AND CHARLEY IN MY LIFE? So freaking lucky. He just wanted to make sure I got enough rest and she is just the best listener and sweetest thing in the world.

So yeah. I'm bragging. I think we all deserve to brag here and there. And John and Charley definitely earned my praises today. I was up for 3.5 hours in the middle of the night and didn't even need a nap today thanks to my thoughtful family.

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I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Laney's Birth: Part II: Laney's Birthday

We had to be at the hospital on the morning of April 29th at 7:30 a.m. Again, I wasn't given much instruction other than "be at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. for your induction" so I assumed I couldn't eat and therefore didn't eat. We all got up, got our stuff together for the hospital (way too much stuff) and Charley's stuff for my parent's house and headed out. Sure, it would have been easier to let Charley spend the prior night at my parent's house also, but I knew I'd want to see her this morning so I selfishly kept her home and woke her up early. She rode down to my parent's house in my lap (we just have to drive down the driveway) and apparently I was squeezing her too hard because she told me "Mama, you are squeezing me too much and choking me." Ha. Whoops! Sorry, love! We left her with my parents, had a good round of hugs, and we were on our way.

Turns out there was quite a bit of traffic at that hour so we took lots of shortcuts and back roads and finally got to the hospital at 7:35. Whoops. But made sense to be late to an induction for a late baby, no?

We met our nurses (one brand new nurse that was still learning the ropes along with another nurse with tons of experience) and got the show on the road. IV, blood taken, set me up with the monitors and all that. They also brought me graham crackers and peanut butter since I didn't eat. It was actually pretty relaxing and I played around on Facebook chatting with friends and all. John was doing much of the same - well, not the Facebook part. He was actually probably working knowing him.

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Around 8:50 we were finally ready to go and Pitocin was started. I was still just 3 centimeters which I had been for 4 weeks already.

In the meantime, I was still chatting with a group of friends and everyone was throwing out baby weight, height, and birth time guesses. Most of the guesses were in the 1:00 - 4:00 range and it was seriously boggling my mind that I was going to have a real live baby in such a short amount of time. You'd think after this long that I would have had time to get used to the idea, but apparently not. I felt like I was making my guess for someone else to deliver a baby - definitely not for myself. My official guess was 7 lbs 6 oz, 21" at 1:45pm and I thought for sure I'd have another bald baby.

An hour later they had turned up Pitocin for the second time (turned it up every half hour to make sure Laney was tolerating them well) and I was definitely having contractions but they were more uncomfortable than anything. I was not in pain yet.

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Another hour later at 11:00 I gave the go ahead to order the epidural. The contractions were still just uncomfortable, but I'd been down this road before and knew that it would be much easier to sit through "just uncomfortable" contractions while the epidural was placed versus sitting through "HOLY MOLY PAINFUL CONTRACTIONS" which I knew would be coming shortly. Again, ohhhhhhh what a leisurely labor I was leading. The only painful part so far was that they had me propped up on my side because Laney wasn't tolerating me on my back very well and that halfway on my side halfway on my back position - even with the pillow stuffed under me - was SO UNCOMFORTABLE. That was my biggest complaint thus far. My poor back was hurting - wahhhh!

Before they could place the epidural though they had to give me a fluid bolus (no idea if I'm using this grammatically correct or not) to prevent a drop in blood pressure once the epidural was placed. They needed to give me 1.5 bags, so we waited on that to take place. They weren't turning up the pitocin any longer until after the epidural was placed so they wouldn't get too painful pre-epidural. However, at 11:30 the contractions were getting pretty brutal. 2 minutes apart and definitely painful. HURRY UP PEOPLE! I want to continue my labor of luxury over here!

At some point in the next half hour (between 11;30 and 12) the anesthesiologist was in and was placing the epidural for me. I was sitting up on the side of the bed while I braced myself on John and the contractions were coming for real now. The doctor yelled at me once that every time I moved she lost her place and had to start all over. And I was trying to be such a good girl and sit still but I physically couldn't do it through a couple of those contractions. In fact, during the last one before the epidural was finally placed, I had one of my proudest moments in my lifetime. I screamed out "I THINK I'M GOING TO POOP" and then that contraction let up and I laid back down trying to joke around with everyone about it. Ohhh Lacey. Always one with words, you are. I am positive the nurses and anesthesiologist all thought I was being a huge baby because I was only 3 centimeters dilated and were thinking "Really lady? You are in that much pain already?" It was 12:02 p.m. when the epidural was officially placed.

But, to humor me and to see where we were at at this point just 3 hours into the induction, the nurse decided to check my dilation progress once I had laid back down. She felt around, and then continued to feel around and then in a very stern but very hurried tone she said to the other nurse "GO. Get a table and call the midwife. She's complete and this baby's head is coming down beneath my hand." I felt an instant sense of relief that I hadn't been imagining the intensity of those contractions I had to sit still(ish) through, and immediately following that I felt a sense of panic instead because oh my gosh now I need to push out a baby and this epidural for sure has not kicked in yet. AHHHHHHHH!

As the midwife and nurses then began to scramble to get the room ready for delivery my water broke and there was Meconium in the waters. So in came a couple more nurses as the midwife explained that Laney may not cry after birth and they may not be able to hand her to me immediately as they would need to check to be sure she didn't aspirate any of the Meconium. I had about .02 seconds to process that when a contraction came on and I immediately started pushing.

Three pushes later and Laney was here at 12:16 p.m., just 14 minutes after the anesthesiologist had left the room. And then she cleared her own lungs without the help of the extra nurses and the midwife determined her fine to hand straight to me instead.


Laney Beth ~ Born 4/29/15 at 12:16 p.m. 
7 pounds 9 ounces and 19" long

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It was quick, it was unexpected, and it was definitely felt. That epidural that was placed? Yeah, they never even got a chance to hook it up or even put the catheter in. The anesthesiologist gave an initial dose of pain medication when she placed it, but the nurses say that maybe just took the edge off because of how quickly Laney came afterwards. They said I probably got the most effect from it during the stitching up time. Too little, too late! That for sure was a waste of my money. Ha!

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So the stitches. Or I think just one stitch she said. The midwife told me afterwards that she doesn't think I would have needed stitches at all - except! Sweet little Laney made her entrance into the world with her hand up by her shoulder, thus increasing the width of her body which gave me a slight tear. And you want to know how exactly that hand came out? It came out with just one finger up and the other four down. The MIDDLE finger up, in fact. Yes, Laney came out flipping the bird. And at that point while the nurses laughed at the state in which she came out, I prayed that this wasn't some sign of what was to come. Laney, darling. Please be a sweetheart like Charley has been so far. I'm shaking in my boots over here on whether or not that was a sign!

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She looks an awful lot like Charley except for one major thing: she has hair! When a nurse mentioned she saw dark hair during one of those pushes I continued pushing until it let up, and as soon as I could breathe again I questioned her to be sure I heard her right. "SHE HAS HAIR? DARK HAIR!?" I was so shocked. My mom has said all along that she hoped Laney would have dark hair (granted - she said the same thing throughout Charley's whole pregnancy too) and I couldn't wait to tell her that her wish came true!

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One other cool thing that I forgot to mention - they said Laney was also born partially in the sac still. Obviously not fully since my water had broken, but I think that would have been really cool to see!

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My parents brought Charley to the hospital just a couple of hours later and I was so anxious to see my girls together and to see Charley's reaction to Laney. Charley was so excited that morning that she was finally going to get to meet Laney that day so I couldn't wait to see if her excitement changed to uneasiness or if she would still walk into that hospital room with as much excitement as she awoke with.

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Please note the shirt change between these two pictures. Courtesy of Laney's first spit-up which went all over Daddy!
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She ended up being pretty intimidated by the whole thing - the hospital room, me in a hospital bed, just all of it. John and I talked later how her initial reaction and uneasiness just about broke both of our hearts. We love that little girl so much! She was so good though even if a little apprehensive. & she's since come around of course. So far being a big sister is very exciting for her and she loves to help out. I know very well that can change at any moment though!

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For the rest of the day we just played pass the baby with our family and friends that visited. I just soaked it all up. So much love for the little Laney girl, and so much love from me to my friends and family that came to see her. This picture in particular is a favorite. Vince is my oldest nephew and the first grandchild and Laney is the youngest (obviously) and the last. 17 and a half years separate the two yet he still loves my two little ones much like I loved him and his brother when they were itty bitties and I was his age.

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I'll post a part 3 to overshare way too many more pictures and tell how Laney's first week has been, but I'm not going to promise tomorrow like I did a couple days ago - that only seems to doom me to failure! And I know I'm going to remember a million more details that I'll want to add to this so you should probably continue checking back daily to see any revisions. Ha. 

And that, my friends, is how we became a family of four. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Laney's Birth Story: Part I - Charley's Day

So normally a birth story starts with some impending sign of labor that has just occurred. In my case with Charley it was my water breaking and then the running around to get ourselves to the hospital and all from there. But, in Laney's case we knew we had to be at the hospital on a certain day at a certain time so the prepping began before any signs of labor had really begun so there is much more of a relaxed pace to the beginning of this story. While going two weeks early with Charley was definitely nice because  I didn't have to deal with 3 additional weeks of pregnancy, the induction was actually really nice too because it gave me a deadline to the end of Charley's only child-dom, and I definitely wanted to make that time special too. So this will actually be disappointing for those of you looking for the actual birth details - this post won't have any of that! But tomorrow's will!

So, part one of Laney's birth came the day before she actually was birthed. This was Tuesday April 28th.

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Here was my last bump picture, taken that morning at 9:30 or so one day shy of 41 weeks.

I had the day off of work and decided that it should be Charley day. Today was her last day of being an only child and it made me a little sad for her in the present. I KNOW that a sibling is a huge blessing in the long run, but for the next little bit it may be tough for her (or it may not be - we will see) and that did make me a little sad. So! First thing this morning when she wandered in my bedroom at 8:00 for the third day in a row (thank you Charley! You definitely earned this Charley Day by that action alone!) I told her we could do whatever she wanted to do today. My little homebody girl simply said "I want to stay home all day and play with you.". Even with some prodding ("that's it?" "are you sure there's nothing else you want to do or anywhere you want to go?") she insisted she just wanted to stay home and play.

So stay home and play is what we did.

Breakfast was promptly delivered by my dad not 15 minutes after we woke up. (We are spoiled - we know.) After that, Charley wanted to build something with Tinkertoys in her room, and then play a game of Elefun. It was a super exciting day so far. Ha! But I was determined to continue to just follow her lead.

John called not too long after this and suggested I get my car inspected today (NC has annual inspections and mine happens to expire April 30th. Whoops! The 29th and 30th of the month were probably going to be pretty busy for us so I'm glad he called to remind me.) I asked my dad if he could take me to drop my car off because I LOATHE waiting on car maintenance stuff and he said he would. Charley was not interested in getting dressed yet or even riding with us so she went over to hang out with my mom while we went to drop the car off. My mom was in her pajamas too so they just had some morning play time together in pajamas.

When we got back, we came back home and Charley got dressed - NOT IN A DRESS! This was definitely the first time in months that she hasn't worn a dress. And it was all because I decided to hang up her t-shirts much like I hang up her dresses, and now she thinks her shirts are dresses she can wear with leggings. Okkkkkkk. Whatever works, kiddo! She picked out a fox t-shirt and some leggings and wanted to go back outside to play so outside we went.

It was such a beautiful day to be outside. We laid in the grass together. I pushed Charley in her swing. She was so lovey squeezy that she nearly choked me. Charley balance-beamed. We watched lizards. We just had fun.

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After all that fun, Charley insisted I carry her up the sloped backyard to go back inside. I tried to explain to her how I just physically could not do this, but she wouldn't hear any of it. So if I couldn't carry her UP the hill to go inside, she decided instead that we'd walk back down to my parents house in the other direction.

We got back down there and played with my mom for a while. Went and picked up my car with my dad and came right back to play some more. It was definitely time for some lunch so we came back home again where Charley chose peanut butter and crackers and fruit for lunch. Whatever you want, kiddo! I actually had the same but with some cheese on some of my crackers instead.

From there, Charley wanted some rest time on the couch to watch My Little Pony which is usually how she forgoes a nap but still gets rest when she's home with us. She of course still naps wonderfully for my sister each day, but the best we get is some TV time and rest on the couch. When she was re-energized, she decided she would like to go to the library and pick out some new books to read. Again, I am so surprised that each thing she was choosing to do this day were so low key and FREE. Ha. So off to the library we went.

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At the library Charley picked out 14 books to bring home and then spent a little bit of time playing in their children's areas. She did some puzzles and played with some of the toys and I had to really fight the urge to just force her to leave because I was tired of sitting there myself. But I honestly don't think she ever would have chosen to go on her own so I had to deviate from the plan of letting Charley choose it all and instead started offering bribing items to get her to leave. It started with "come on Charley - want to go check out your books all by yourself?" to "Charley - want to go to the park?" which ultimately was what bribed her to leave. The poor thing didn't really even know what a park was - she's only been a few times and when we got in the car asked if we were just going home to play on her playset in the backyard. Ha!

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So of course she was thrilled when we got to the actual park. She had such a good time playing but she was definitely wearing herself out. I saw the end coming and it wasn't looking pretty no matter how I envisioned it. Mama may have to step in and alter the Charley day plans a little once again. Turns out a three year old still needs guidance - who knew!?

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As predicted Charley was getting more and more tired and it was getting awfully close to dinner time and to time for John to get home from work so our time was dwindling. Charley didn't want to hear anything of it though and I ultimately had to carry her out of the park crying. Womp womp. She was just so tired and was saying heartbreaking things like "I didn't even get a chance to make any friends yet" and "I just want to stay at the park forever". But, by the time we pulled out of the park her tears were dried up and she was looking through the library books we got. Whew!

Halfway home Charley tells me she's hungry and I say that we were almost home and we'd make dinner when we got there. She very sweetly says "well what about Chick Fil A?" and I make a u-turn and head right there. I mean, what harm could one more Grilled Chicken Club and fries and a milkshake do at this point? I thought it was perfect for my last pre-Laney meal**. And I was super glad she suggested it!

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We spent the rest of the evening with John and just packing up our stuff for the next day and playing and reading books. It was such a perfect day and I definitely went to bed with a smile on my face and I hope Charley did too. The next day she was going to all of a sudden be SO big. And everything would be different from now on. I knew it would be a good different myself, I just hoped Charley wouldn't take too long to see it the same way.

Tomorrow: Part II: Laney's Birthday



**My doctor's office didn't give me any details about the induction and whether I could eat or not that morning or what and I never called to check myself.  I assumed I couldn't have breakfast the next morning so considered the dinner the night before as my last meal pre-Laney. Turns out I could have eaten but oh well! The nurses insisted I have some graham crackers and peanut butter the next morning in the hospital before the induction got underway.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Introducing Laney

So I've been putting off this post for 3 days now because I was hoping to be able to whip up the birth story real quick and post this all as one post. But you know how time consuming newborns can be, so instead I'll just share a picture and some quick stats and hope that I can find time to type up the birth story at some point in the next few days before I forget it.

Laney was born after my induction on Wednesday April 29th. She was 7 pounds 9 ounces and 19" long. Her birth was really quick and our hospital stay was really quick too. She is such a doll and we've all been soaking up every minute with her. I can't wait to tell you more, but right now sleep is calling me. 

Here is my sweet Laney Beth.