August 28, 2015

this and that

I was on such a roll there, actually posting on the blog.  And then Thea decided to stop being the easiest baby ever and her naps haven't been completely overlapping Elsie's.  And occasionally I have to shower.  Damn personal hygiene.

So bullet points for today.  Yay!

::  I'm pretending Thea is not a month old today.  How the hell did that happen already?  I'm planning to take her monthly photos on the awesome quilt my mom made (TamTam for the win again!) when she wakes up.  Until then, here are a couple from two weeks ago.

headband by Pretty Little Elm

::  Nursing hunger is like 1000x worse for me than pregnancy hunger.  I'm assuming it is the lack of a little human smashing my stomach and making me nauseous all the time.  But I am currently ALWAYS HUNGRY.  Everything sounds good.  I would eat almost anything.  I'm constantly hiding in our pantry snacking.  It's terrible.  I quickly made it down to only six pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, like 10 days after Thea was born.  Considering the fact that I gained 10 pounds more than I did with the other two, and lost all the weight just as quickly as I did with the first two, I can only conclude I was carrying around 10 pounds of water weight in my legs.  Haha.  But seriously, I probably was.  But nothing has happened since then, and I can only blame my current snacking habits.  I want to make myself eat healthier snacks, but then I'm walking through Target and I'm all brownie batter Oreos, yes please!  For the record, they totally aren't worth it.  Get the Golden Oreo thins.  Way better.  Do indulge in some dark chocolate peanut M&Ms.  Those are way worth it.  ;o)

::  The upside of moving from 1600 square feet to 4600 square feet?  SO MUCH SPACE.  The downside?  SO MUCH SPACE to decorate!  I'm anxious for my house to feel more finished, but we can only buy so much at one time.  And I'm so indecisive that it is taking me forever to pick stuff out.  We still don't have mirrors in our master bathroom.  We've lived here almost two months and have owned the house since November.  Oy.  It'll happen.  In the meantime I'm trying my hardest to get the girls' rooms finished so I can post them on the blog.  I'm getting there!  But oh my gosh I simply cannot decide what color curtains to put in Thea's room.  Suggestions?  Would light pink be bad?

banner by Sharp Tooth Studio

::  We'd probably have more money for furniture if I didn't buy so many hair clips and headbands.  The etsy app is so enticing at 2am...  If there was a support group for headband hoarders I might have to go.

:: We were rather ambitious this weekend (for us) and took on a trip to KC for a few different things.  First up was a birthday party, followed by a trip to Rainbow Play Systems to pick out a new swing set (it's coming next Friday and I'm so damn excited!), and rounded out by a stop at a friend's house to meet their new baby.  Oh throw in there buying Christopher a new truck as well.  We hadn't slept much the night before, and the morning was a little stressful, but once we got to KC things were going alright.  But we were definitely wiped by the end of it.  At one point during the drive home Thea was screaming (I thought babies were supposed to pass out in cars?!?), Elsie's iPad was blaring, and Ryann was way in the back wearing a mini sombrero shaking mini maracas and I couldn't do anything but laugh.  Life with three isn't as terrifying or miserable as I expected it to be, but it sure as hell is crazy.


::  September 1st is next week.  Are you kidding me?  I seriously can't believe how fast time is flying.  But I can't flipping wait to have soup in the crock pot and wear comfy sweat shirts and bake some pumpkin goodies.  Plus that gets us closer to Halloween and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to have three girls to dress and coordinate for the holidays.  We already snagged a couple of Halloween shirts from Target and I'm on the hunt for matching pajamas.  It is so hard to find pajamas in all three sizes though, come on stores.  You're killing my dreams.

That's all my brain can muster on a few hours of sleep.  Adios!

August 22, 2015

ry goes to kindergarten

When you bring home your baby, your little newborn, kindergarten seems so far away.  Heck, them turning in to a toddler seems far away.  And yet, here we are, five years gone in a flash.  On August 13th I gave Ryann a hug and a kiss, watched her climbed the steps of a school bus, and waved as they drove away.

Annnnd then I hopped in my car and followed the bus to school so I could make sure she made it to her classroom on the first day, and take a couple of pictures of course.  But just like that my baby, my first born, she is a school aged child.  I can't believe I'm old enough to have a kindergartner!  Of course when I posted photos on instagram I got a lot of 'cue the tears!' and 'did you cry?!?'

My dearest daughter, Ryann, I'm sorry.  I didn't cry.  Not because I won't miss you during the day.  Of course I'll miss you... most of the time... ;o) But we were both so incredibly ready for this change.

Ryann is learning things at lightening speed.  Constantly seeking new information, asking millions of questions, needing mental stimulation all day long.  She's reading books and writing words and inventing projects.  She is always doing something.    Her enthusiasm for it all is exciting no doubt.  But I just haven't been able to muster the energy to fulfill all her needs.  She stopped napping two years ago.  We briefly attempted a quiet time in her room but it just didn't stick.  So for two years I've been on the clock from sun up to sun down.  Literally.  She wakes up at 6am and isn't asleep until after 8pm.  Kindergarten is just what she needs.

Of course I worry about her.  Will the other kids be nice to her?  Will she make friends?  (Duh, she can make a friend in a five minute trip to the store)  Will she make it on the bus home every day?  Will she listen to her teacher?  Will the school work challenge her enough?  So many little worries.  I can't be there to protect her all day anymore.  I can't micromanage everything.  That is both good and bad.  It is just terrifying to not be there all day for her.  But I know she will thrive.  I just know it.

To kick off the first day of school, we set up a special breakfast.  We had muffins, bacon and strawberries.  Ryann's favorites.  And then we took a bunch of pictures of course.  Oh and Elsie is screaming in the second photo because she wanted a 'cupcake' right then.  My little foodie.  Never any patience when it comes to food.


Oh man I can't get over how grown up she looks.  So far so good as much as I can tell anyway.  She says she likes school, that she is making friends and that she is having fun.  So far she hasn't really wanted to talk much about what has gone on at school each day.  I'm hoping she'll open up a little more about it.  But when she gets home she is excited to see Elsie and usually brings us some snack she saved and whips out her library book.

It is just crazy to me that basically for a week she has been gone from me during the day.  It is so strange.  Good for us both, but strange.  Big things are in store for you baby girl, this is just the beginning.  I know it.  You're going to go far.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  
-Dr. Seuss

August 21, 2015

elsie - two and a half

Miss Elsie is halfway through her third year!  Such a big girl.  And while not much has changed since the last update post I wrote about her, tons has changed as well.


Elsie is still on the upper end of the growth charts, weighing in at 30lbs 5oz (67th%) and standing a whopping 37.75 inches tall (90th%)!  Ryann is 42 inches tall.  I know four inches is a big difference, but at the same time, I feel like E is gonna catch her!  While she is still wearing a lot of 2T items, she can easily pull off a 3T as well.  And some of her 2T stuff is too small, but she is particular and won't give up a few pairs of pajamas and shirts that she likes to wear.  The 2T dresses work just fine though.  I believe we are nearing the end of the life of some of her size 7 shoes as well.  She is obsessed with her yellow shoes (seen in the photo above) and for the most part ONLY wants to wear those shoes.  But her poor little toes are crammed in to them.  I would buy them in a bigger size but I bought those for Ry.  And I'm not sure if it is the color or the style or what that makes Elsie so happy, but for the most part it is yellow shoes or no shoes.

E is also still in a size 5 diaper.  Yes diapers.  Ugh.  I would have loved to have her potty trained by now, but I also have zero interest in fighting with her about it.  She is no longer scared of the potty, asks to sit on it at least every other day, and has successfully pottied in it several times.  But she has never willingly pooped on the potty.  And with a newborn, my desire to clean toddler crap out of underwear is pretty dang limited.  However, I think in the next couple of weeks we are going to suck it up, put her in underwear, and see how it goes.  Mentally she is there, I just don't know if we can convince to poop on the toilet.  She still has terrible constipation issues, and we've resorted to miralax on an every other day minimum in order to keep her from getting too backed up.  It is sad when your two-year-old says she needs some miralax.  So sad.  But hopefully by my next update the diapers will be gone!  For her at least.

We made the move to a twin bed at the beginning of July, when we moved to our new house.  I'm happy to report that is still going well.  We've only had a couple of instances that she has gotten out of bed when sleep buddy is on, but she hasn't actually left her room at all.  Nor does she call out to us when she does it, she just peeks out the window or goes in her closet.  I dunno.  She is in bed by 8pm, usually up between 6:30-7am, and I put her down for a nap around 1pm.  Lately though, she hasn't been falling asleep until almost 3pm.  I feel bad, leaving her in there for so long, but she never cries or complains.  She plays with the million stuffed animals she has stuck in her bed and just hangs out.  Same with in the morning when sleep buddy goes off, she doesn't get out of bed.  She just plays with her buddies.  I've considered telling her she can just play in her room instead of napping, but I'm worried that would back fire.  And she is still a huge grump and an emotional mess by 7pm if she doesn't nap.  If she isn't asleep by 3pm I get her out of her room, and if she falls asleep I make sure she is awake by 4pm.

This girl is still my foodie.  You can get her to do almost anything by offering her a snack, and she is much more willing and interested in trying new foods than her sister.  Elsie loves fruit, especially watermelon, corn on the cob, bread, rice, BBQ chicken, avocado, deli ham, pancakes, muffins... really the list is pretty extensive.  She loves a LOT of things.  Oh she likes mushrooms, and fried mushrooms, which makes me pretty dang happy.  Actually her and I like a LOT of the same foods, which can be good and bad.  Good because if I actually make something, I can count on her to help me eat it.  Bad, because she always wants to share what I've got.  :o)  For some reason she doesn't seem to like hamburgers or shrimp.  But I have a feeling she'll come around on those eventually.


Elsie loves to 'read' books these days.  She likes when we read to her, and makes us read the same book over and over and over again until she pretty much has it memorized.  That way she can 'read' it on her own.  Also, she is constantly hearing Ryann ask us how to spell various words, so she'll ask me how to 'pell' different words such as kitty cat and sun and whatever other random thing she is trying to draw.  It is pretty cute.  She can now recognize the numbers 1-8, except 6.  6 and 9 are too confusing to her and so she just ignores them.  And counting is about the same.  She is great from 1-14, but after that it is kind of a crap shoot.

What has truly exploded in the last few months, is Elsie's social skills and ability to string together words.  Her enunciation can still be rough, but that doesn't stop her from putting together pretty complex sentences.  I can have a regular conversation with her without changing my vocabulary to something more toddler friendly.  You know, minus expletives of course.  And she is constantly cracking me up with the things she says.  Just this morning she was trying to get something out of a box and having a little trouble.  "Ugh, I can hardly do it!  Come here wittle fella.  Come here!"  And as far as social skills go, I feel like she has a pretty good awareness of others and their feelings.  If I'm upset she is quick to notice and generally tries to fix the problem.  She tries to play with other kiddos as opposed to along side them.  She asks them relevant questions and waits for a response.  I don't know, it is hard to describe.  But I think playing with Ryann has made her play a little more advanced.


E is also great at pretend play, both with other kids and on her own.  I absolutely love sitting and watching her play on her own.  The little scenarios she creates for her buddies and such are hilarious.  A lot of times they are headed to the doctor (I think all my doctor's appointments, and Thea's, plus Daddy being a doctor, have spurred quite the interest), sometimes they are going shopping, whatever the case it is fun to watch.  She LOVES doll houses and small figurines that she can manipulate.  My mom got the girls a Calico Critters house and a couple of cat families and Elsie loves them.

As sweet as she can be, Elsie has quite the temper.  It can be scary.  All of the sudden she is swinging at you or pulling Ryann's hair.  Lately her weapon of choice has been her finger nails.  We have to talk about using our words A LOT.  She'll throw toys when she gets mad too.  Unfortunately she is so freaking cute I can't stay mad at her for long.  Seriously.  Between the curls and her ability to say the most ridiculous things at just the right time, she gets away with a lot.  We were trying to take a picture of the girls with my sister, and of course Ryann and Elsie were not cooperating.  They were finally all on the couch, but still refusing to look at me or make their faces visible to the camera.  All of a sudden Elsie grabbed Thea's waved it towards me, and in a super creepy voice said "Hi! I'm a baby!"  My mom, my sister and I?  We lost it. It was hilarious.  I was so annoyed with them but how do you not laugh at that?  Yes, I'm aware, it was probably much funnier in person.

Things that Elsie loves:  cats (unfortunate since she is allergic), coloring, playing with Ryann, helping me around the house, dumping every item from the play kitchen into a large bin and in general making a giant mess with the kitchen toys, wearing sunglasses, her papa, jumping off of things and climbing things and generally trying to give me a heart attack.


Oh Elsie girl, I love you to pieces.  

August 19, 2015

sweet sisters

As I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, the most frequent question I received was 'how are you feeling' (miserable, whether I told you or not, I was miserable).  It was generally followed by, 'are the girls excited?'  Now they both claimed to be excited.  Ryann was often asking when baby sister was going to come out, she was looking forward to helping me by being Elsie's playmate.  Elsie was constantly grabbing my belly and always had to kiss and hug baby sister goodnight.  But there is no way Elsie was really prepared for what was going to happen.  And while Ryann had an idea, I don't think she had a true concept of what it would be like for me to bring home another baby.

I'm happy to report that both girls are doing GREAT with Thea.  Ryann was smitten with her from day one.  The first week she asked to hold her a lot.  She has been super helpful grabbing me things I need for Thea.  I can't say she has been perfect with Elsie, but she has certainly kept her entertained most of the time.  My heart swells when Ry holds Thea, the look on her face, I just can't get over it.  I feel like they are going to have a special bond.


Honestly I was the most worried about how Elsie would react.  Elsie is a mama's girl through and through.  She always wants me to do everything for her, and wants to be with me all the time.  I thought she'd be majorly upset with me needing to take care of Thea all of the time.  And to some extent that was true.  But thankfully she has never been mad that I'm generally occupied with Thea, more just ticked if someone tries to help her with stuff that I usually do.  Changing her diaper, getting her dressed, fixing her hair, putting her down for nap and bed, those are all things that I took charge of.  For the most part she has conceded to other people helping, but not nap and bed time.  She freaks out if anyone else tries to take over those tasks.  We've been able to finagle it that I can generally be available for those, but I've also been reading her stories while nursing, or holding a screaming Thea.

I was surprised how uninterested Elsie was in Thea when we first brought her home.  She had no desire to hold her, and generally wanted her nowhere near her.  E was curious, and would look at her while she was in the rock n play, but didn't want to help me with things.  She really didn't want to touch her.  However we made big strides this past weekend.  Elsie actually WANTED to hold Thea.  I quickly exploited her interest and took a couple of photos.  She lasted about 20 seconds before telling me she was all done and to take her back, but since then Elsie has been a lot more receptive to Thea.  My favorite though, was one evening Thea was fussing on the couch while I was grabbing something.  I looked over to see Elsie literally toss a pacifier at her.  No attempt to put it in her mouth or anything, just dropped it by her face.  I see where she was going, I applaud her semi effort to comfort her sister, but it was too funny.


The girls are by no means obsessed with Thea.  I wouldn't say they ignore her, but they just don't direct a lot of their attention her way.  They are too busy playing with each other.  I'm fine with that.  It means I can worry a little less about them smothering her, falling one her, etc.  And I am excited for the day that Thea can join in on their fun. 

August 18, 2015

thoughts on three

So lets talk about having three children.  In my last post I mentioned it was much less traumatizing than I expected it to be.  There are a few key reasons why.  First off, parental help.  Without my parents, or Christopher's mom, this would be SO MUCH HARDER.  We live roughly five minutes from each of them, they can be here quickly if we need them.  And we are certainly using that to our advantage.  One night during our first week home I frantically texted my mom, letting her know I was foreseeing bedtime being a huge issue and please help!  Ten minutes later my parents were at my house holding the baby and cleaning up dinner dishes so Chris and I could wrangle the older two.  Since that night they have come over several more times to help with bath and bedtime, just to help keep the routine as stress free as possible.

Also?  My mom is doing most of our cooking.  She has come to our house and cooked.  We've gone there for dinner.  Chris's mom has brought over dinner.  Not having to meal plan or go to the grocery store or actually cook anything is a major weight lifted off my shoulders.  And when my mom cooks at our place my dad usually comes and entertains the big kids, and my parents take over dish duty while we give the girls a bath.  They are seriously the best and I have no idea what I would do without them.  Chris and I would be so much more stressed out if it weren't for their help.

Something else that is huge is that Ryann and Elsie play relatively well together, and can keep each other entertained.  When Elsie was born, sitting down to nurse her meant Ryann immediately needed everything right then and there and if she didn't get it she would destroy whatever she could get her hands on.  This time around when I'm nursing Thea, for the most part Ryann and Elsie are happy to be on their own, and if Elsie needs something Ryann can usually help her out.  I can see how having younger kids would make this much more complicated.

One more big help...  Um, Ryann started kindergarten.  Really during the weekday I'll only have two kiddos at home.  Which means?  THE RETURN OF NAP TIME.  Oh my gosh I've only had three days and I just can't tell you how absolutely glorious it is to have nap time back in my life.  Elsie and Thea are both snoozing, so I've got HGTV on while I blog and eat popcorn.  #winning  Of course for a while I'm sure their naps won't always overlap.  And I'm sure soon enough Elsie will quit sleeping.  But if I'm lucky I can keep this gig up for at least a little while.  I pink puffy heart nap time.

This isn't to say being out numbered isn't difficult.  Adding another child always adds a bit more crazy.  Lets look at last night for example.  Thea woke up around 12:30am wanting to nurse, so I was occupied doing that.  Around 12:45am Elsie started crying.  She had a traumatizing run in with a spider during quiet time and apparently it was still bothering her.  Chris went and comforted her and then came back to bed.  Not more than five minutes later Ryann was in our room upset.  I nudged Chris and told him she was there and the look on his face was priceless.  I mean on the bright side they were all awake at the same time instead of somebody each hour (ignoring the fact that I of course was up with Thea half the night anyway), but really?  Everybody needs something?

Leaving the house with all three kids is still quite the circus as well.  I have not taken them in public by myself yet.  Actually I don't think we've had all three kids in public at all yet.  But I'm certainly terrified to do it by myself.  I've had all three girls at home by myself, and thanks to Thea sleeping a majority of the time and the older two playing together, it hasn't been too stressful.  But sometimes shit hits the fan and I feel like a crazy person.

When all is said and done though, I've got three adorable little girls in my life and I am so incredibly thankful for that.


August 14, 2015

happy due date

The fact that I could still be pregnant is absolutely ridiculous to me.  Of course we had already planned an induction for August 6th had Thea not needed to be born sooner, but still.  What if I had gone to 41 weeks???  What if I still had a week of pregnancy left?  Hell no.  As crazy as the last two and a half weeks have been, I'd very much prefer those over being pregnant, thank you very much.

I have so much I feel like I need to get written down.  Elsie turned 2.5, Ryann started kindergarten, we're a family of five... So much I want to say.  But after teasing us for about 10 days, being a super sleepy newborn and what not, Thea is starting to prove she is definitely part of the family.  Why oh why do my kids hate going to sleep so much?  For two glorious days I laid Thea in the rock 'n play while drowsy but awake, and she put herself to sleep.  Since then?  Yeah no.  She fights the swaddle but can't sleep unswaddled.  She won't sleep flat, but wiggles the swaddles around in the rock 'n play.

Now I can't say sleep has been horrible.  If you get her swaddled super tight, like SUPER tight, she'll go for a four hour stretch or so at night.  We've been getting her asleep by 11, then she is up around 3 ish, and up again for the day between 6&7.  So it is kind of like I'm only having to get up once.  And she isn't terribly slow at nursing, so we are usually only up for an hour tops.  Usually.  Because obviously there is a usually when you've only been doing it for less than three weeks.  Haha.

ANYWAY.  Hopefully I'll find some more time to blog now that Ryann is in school (EVERY DAY! ALL DAY!), and even more so when Elsie starts Mother's Morning Out.  But I'm not going to hold my breath.  So for now, here is more or less a photo dump of Thea's life thus far.  As far as my phone is concerned anyway.  I'll edit from my big camera another day.

From the hospital stay...


Mommy and Thea.  Sweet sleeping girl.  Daddy and Thea.  Passing her hearing screen.  Meeting Nora and family!  Hello bright eyes.  Cutest little toes.  Send off selfie.  Headed home.

Our hospital stay was rather uneventful.  We were in the hospital two nights after Thea was born.  We maybe could have gotten out a day earlier, but my blood pressure readings were still rather questionable.  Actually I'm impressed they sent me home, I got readings near 160/100 (or 110? I can't remember.) which were the upper end of my parameters, but I never was actually above what my doctor wanted me under.  So there's that.  We had a few visitors, but for the most part Chris and I hung out with Thea, I nursed her a lot, and ate a few chocolate ice cream cups from the 'nourishment room'.

I did have a bit of a break down the last night we were there.  I hadn't really slept well since I'd been in the hospital, as in, maybe a few hours each night, and I think lack of sleep combined with changing hormones really got to me.  We have always had our girls sleep in the nursery for a couple stretches at night, simply to try and get some sleep before heading home on our own.  The nurse picked Thea up after a feeding and I tried to get to sleep, and I just could not make my eyes close for anything.  Then I started thinking about what if she is our last baby and I'm never pregnant again and holy cow, I could not stop crying.  It was ridiculous.  And then I missed her but I wanted to sleep and I was just a hot freaking mess.  I ended up getting Chris to come cuddle with me (they should make hospital beds wider!) and eventually fell asleep.  Needless to say I was very happy to get home, it really helped my anxiety levels.

Now for some other random pictures from the last two-ish weeks...


my view.  baby legs.  snug as a bug.  national sister day.  snuggle buddy.  first time leaving with all three girls by myself.  first bath at home.  daddy's birthday.  one week old.  #elsiewashere.  t is for thea.  more sleeping.  wide awake!  mama and thea all dressed up.  rocking tummy time.  baby shower.  doll baby.  first boat ride.  by the lake.  boating style.  thea meets kit.  sisters in swim suits.  kissable cheeks.  two weeks old.  happy snuggles.  first time in public with all the girls.  waiting for the school bus.

We've thrown quite a bit in to these first two weeks!  As much as I'd want to hibernate in my bed with all the baby snuggles I could handle, that just isn't me, or my family.  I've taken it pretty easy, but we've still had our fun.  Nursing is going great, aside from the initial latch I haven't had any pain, and the amount of diapers we go through tells me that Thea is most certainly getting plenty.  Her knee wrinkles are already almost gone!  No doubt that girl is growing.  She pretty much hates being in the carseat.  Hopefully we can get over that soon, because I'm ready to feel more confident leaving the house.  With Ryann in school it will mostly only be with two, so it shouldn't be that hard.

We are so impressed with how strong Thea is.  During tummy time she is great at getting her head lifted way up, and she pulls her legs way up underneath her.  Actually, I put her on her tummy when she was six days old, and no joke, she rolled over.  My mom saw it.  Obviously it wasn't intentional, but she had the strength to get herself up high enough to flip.  My initial reaction?  HELL NO.  I want to be able to leave her places without worrying about her rolling over for at least a bit!  Of course I wouldn't leave her anywhere dangerous, but you know what I mean.  Newborns and young infants are supposed to be lumps that can't go anywhere.

Guys?  I have three kids.  THREE.  Three little girls.  Thea has slid right in pretty well, thanks to help from our parents.  Adding the third child has been far less traumatizing than I expected it to be.  Still tough no doubt.  Bed time can turn in to quite the circus, because Elsie refuses to let anyone besides me put her to bed.  And no one else can nurse Thea so... But still.  It isn't as insane as I thought it would be.  And yet, three.  It is hard to believe.

August 11, 2015

doctor's visits + an MRI

Shortly after Thea was born, we noticed she had a scratch on her head.  More than a scratch, it was like a chunk of skin was missing.  Initially the nurses wrote it off as trauma from birth.  They were saying it was from internal monitors, however, I didn't have any internal monitors.  We thought maybe my OB had somehow scratched her with a fingernail or something.
Later though, when she was all cleaned up, we realized there was longer dark hair surrounding the area.  Clue number one that this mark hadn't happened during the birthing process, it had been there a while.  Also, it looked like it had already started to heal, more so than if it had just been scratched earlier in the day.  Whatever it was we weren't all that concerned.  Everything else seemed normal, she just had a scratch on her head.

The next morning we pointed it out to the rounding pediatrician.  He asked about internal monitors and if I had an assisted delivery.  No sir.  Plus again, the dark hair.  He briefly mentioned that it resembled aplasia cutis, but brushed it off because those are 'usually circular and found on the back of the head, where the hair swirl generally is'.  His theory was that her head had been rubbing on a part of my pelvis, and it was a sort of friction injury.  We noticed there was another much smaller mark further towards her forehead, so it seemed to make some sense.  That area had been rubbing up against something.  Later though, the more I thought about it, the more it just didn't sit right with me.  I mean, if her head had been rubbing up against something hard enough and long enough to cause that much damage, wouldn't there have been an issue with the amniotic sac or something?  I don't know.  But I just wasn't buying it.

Thursday morning a different pediatrician from the practice was rounding, and suggested maybe it was a hairy mole.  Lady, it doesn't look like a mole, at all.  I played nice though and pretended to consider that option.  Christopher and I mentioned the possibility of aplasia cutis, and she also quickly said it just didn't resemble that.  But didn't have any other theories.

And this is where the fact that my husband is a doctor and has lots of connections is super helpful.  He texted a photo to his previous boss (attending?  I have no idea), and told her to ask her husband, who is a pediatric surgeon, if he knew what it was, because apparently he has some super awesome photographic memory.  She came back with 'he didn't know, and if he doesn't know it must be pretty rare.' But they were able to pass the photo on to a pediatric dermatologist at Children's Mercy.  Who immediately recognized it as aplasia cutis.

Naturally my next step was to google image aplasia cutis.  Bad move.  It can range greatly in severity.  Thea's spot looked much better than what I was seeing on the internet.  But it was still scary to see those images.  The dermatologist said she'd like to see Thea in her clinic and took down my contact information.  Again, so thankful my husband is a doctor and has these connections.  We kind of assumed that the appointment was more of a formality, and that she wouldn't tell us something we didn't know.  For the most part we understood the spot would heal, and turn in to a little bald patch.  A cosmetic issue, but as far as birth defects go it really wasn't a big deal at all.

The hospital called me the Monday after we had been discharged, and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday at noon.  I was slightly annoyed that I had to drive back to KC, and that Chris was unable to go with me, but I survived.  Thea did great on the drive up, and locating the clinic wasn't as hard as I imagined it would be.  We'd been there before for Elsie's asthma allergist appointment, but I am NEVER the driver if we have to go downtown.  I hate driving, especially somewhere that I am not familiar with.  So my anxiety was a bit on overdrive.  Even so, we made it, got upstairs and got checked in.  I snapped a picture of sleeping Thea while signing papers.


A nurse came to take us back and we measured Thea.  She was up to 7 pounds even and measured 20 inches long.  Winning!  We were supposed to have a weight check on Friday, but seeing as she was already over birth weight (on day 8, go boobs), I was hopeful we could get out of it.  Then the nurse escorted us to an exam room.  When the door opened again I was greeted by a resident and a medical student, not the doctor like I was expecting.  But hey.  My husband has been on that side.  I try not to get too annoyed by the educational side of it.  The resident was great actually.  She knew what she was talking about and didn't seem to stumble during any part of the exam.  Props to her.  She agreed that it was aplasia cutis, and mentioned that because of the dark hair around the area, they would most likely want some other sort of imaging to rule out any other defects in the under lying tissues.  I knew this would probably be the course of action, but I didn't realize the dark hair was even more uncommon to the defect.  So that was a bit startling.


They left, and then returned with the doctor, as well as a nurse.  Party up in our exam room for sure.  The doctor took a couple of pictures for her record, and then examined the spot on Thea's head.  While feeling it, she asked me if I had pressed on it at all.  I hadn't.  I was scared to touch it in fear of hurting her.  I know Chris had felt it, but I hadn't at all.  She noted that she thought she could feel a slight depression underneath the scabbed area, as if possibly a piece of bone was missing.  I was shocked.  I didn't want to think of anything being really wrong with my precious little baby.  She went on to explain a reason why they couldn't do an ultrasound, I can't remember what it was though.  Instead she wanted to order an MRI.

An MRI?  For my eight day old little girl?  She said on the bright side, because she was so young, and so little, they shouldn't need to sedate her.  That I could just bring her hungry and tired, and then just nurse her and she'd probably pass out.  That scenario sounded a little less scary.  She explained that if there was a piece of bone missing, it was possible we'd need to be referred to a plastic surgeon and a neurosurgeon, because she would be at great risk for infections.  I was stunned.  I didn't see that one coming at all.  She asked if I had any questions, and I think I had a million, but I didn't know where to start.  So I just said nothing.  I decided until we truly knew what was going on, it wasn't worth worrying about.  The MRI was scheduled for 7am Friday morning.

I then spent the next thirty-six hours worrying.  Neurologically Thea didn't show any signs of any further defects.  She was more or less a dream baby thus far.  Sleeping great (in 2.5-3.5 hour stretches of course), nursing wonderfully, basically acting like your everyday average newborn.  Nothing made me think there was anything wrong besides the skin issue.  But once that seed was planted in the back of my head, it couldn't get rid of it.  So I just stared at her perfect little face as much as possible.


Thursday night I didn't get a whole lot of sleep.  I didn't have a problem when I went to bed, but once I got up to feed Thea, I had a terrible time getting back to sleep.  I started googling aplasia cutis and reading anything I could.  I did read a couple of pages that mentioned even when bone fragments are missing, surgery is not often recommended.  That in a newborn with a small defect, the issue usually corrects itself by one year of age.  It was reassuring.  I drifted off around 3am, and was jolted awake at 4:40am by my alarm.

I got myself ready, then woke Thea up to feed and change her.  We were out the door by 5:45am.  I've had enough of I-70, I don't know how commuters do it all the time, but at least the sunrise was pretty.


We made it to Children's Mercy at five till 7am, got all checked in, and were shortly called back to get set up.  Our doctor had ordered an MRI with contrast, so Thea had to have an IV put in.  Truthfully it was the part of the whole morning I was most worried about, but we lucked out with a great nurse and she got it in quickly.  I was impressed, newborn veins have got to be tough!  Then they left us for 20 minutes so I could nurse her.  Just as I was done feeding Thea a nurse came back, wrapped her up in a blanket and off they went.  Chris and I made our way back to the waiting room.


As the minutes ticked by I got more and more anxious.  I knew everything should be fine.  She just needed to sleep.  I had a slight paranoia that she would have some reaction to the contrast, but I had no reason to really believe that would happen.  Chris was reading a book, so I spent some time reading over his shoulder.  About an hour later I saw the nurse come around the corner holding a sleeping Thea.  Sweet relief.  She said Thea had done great, had slept basically the entire time, and only really got pissed when they took the IV out.  Way to go baby girl!  The told us to expect to hear from our doctor on Monday or Tuesday.

It was only 8:45am when we left Mercy, and Chris had taken the whole morning off, so we opted to go out to breakfast.  Thea continued to be a good girl and slept the whole time.  As we were finishing our food, my phone began buzzing with the caller id reading 'unknown'.  I was surprised when I answered it, and it was the nurse from the dermatologist office.  At first I worried that meant there was something bad, but she quickly assured me that though the doctor had not reviewed the scans, the radiologist said everything looked normal.  Yay yay yay!  I was thrilled.

Yesterday the office called back and said our doctor had reviewed the scans and agreed everything looked normal.  I'm so incredibly thankful to hear that!  They want to see Thea back in the office in six months, I'm assuming just to make sure the spot is healing correctly and that more issues haven't developed.  But now, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

So what is aplasia cutis congenita?  Basically a portion of the epidermis failed to develop.  In Thea's case it is a very small spot on her head.  The lesion will eventually heal leaving a hairless patch of skin.  I'm not sure what will happen with the hair growth around the area.  Christopher trimmed the long dark hairs up for me the other day, so really the spot is much less noticeable, and hopefully will be covered by her other hair.  The first image shows what it looked like a couple days after we got home.  The second image was after the scab had fallen off.


It is estimated that the defect occurs in approximately 1 in every 10,000 births, however because it is generally benign and unknown it is often unreported.  It also isn't clear what causes the defect.  And it doesn't really matter.  Despite her funny looking spot, our baby girl is still perfect.  And I love her so much.  I'm so incredibly thankful that she is healthy.  In the grand scheme of birth defects and things that could go wrong in utero, this is nothing.  Well, it is a bunch more medical bills, tacked on top of a year of more medical bills (switching insurance a month before you have a baby + a two year old with asthma + a newborn with abnormalities... oy!), but that's it.  We can handle it.  :o)

August 2, 2015

miss thea lorraine


Miss Thea Lorraine
6 pounds 14 ounces | 18.5 inches
July 28th, 2015 | 12:28pm

My youngest in regards to gestational age, we only made it to 37 weeks 4 days before little Thea was forced to make her appearance.  And yet, she is still my heaviest baby by 10 ounces!  Even better yet, she was my fastest labor when you consider active labor.

Both Thea and I are doing great.  My blood pressure is still questionable, but I made it out of delivery without any battle scars and my body has been feeling almost normal since we've been home.  Thea is proving to be a pretty chill baby (I mean it's day five, I'm sure a lot can change) and has been a great nurser so far.  Ryann is smitten with her new sister, and Elsie tells me she is cute from a distance.  I was worried that Elsie would have a REALLY hard time with this new transition, but for the most part she is taking it exceptionally well.  Having Ryann to play with has been a huge help.

The name Thea (Thee-uh) is just one that I came across on instagram and began to like more and more.  It fit the bill of simple, not too popular and not too weird.  She shares her middle name as well as her birthday with my Grandma.  I know my grandma is smiling down on her from heaven.

Adjusting to life with three has been easier than I anticipated, but mostly because my mom and Christopher have been absolutely wonderful helping out with the bigger girls.  I don't know what I would do without them.

Hopefully I'll be blogging more now that I can sit more than five seconds without needing to move (goodbye restless legs!!!), but let's face it.  I've got three kids and a limited amount of motivation.  But I'll do my best!