October 19, 2015

thea lorraine - a birth story

I wrote up her birth story quite a while ago, but didn't yet have the photos.  Then I got the photos and didn't have time to sit down and add them to the story.  I finally got a chance!

Miss Thea Lorraine joined our family July 28th at 12:28pm.  She was 6lbs14oz and 18.5in long.  For my memory, and for all those who enjoy reading birth stories, here you go!


I wrote in my 37 week post that my appointment for that week had gone great.  My blood pressure was magically in a normal range.  That I wanted to get through the weekend and then it was game on.

Apparently Thea took me quite seriously.

Saturday Chris and I had planned to spend the night in Kansas City and have dinner with friends as an early 30th birthday celebration for him (his birthday is August 3rd and I didn't know what I'd be up for at that point).  Yes I was supposed to be 'resting', but one simply cannot pass up a night without children, right?  Yeah... I really wanted to go to ikea as well, so Chris enlightened me.  That is more or less when things started to go south.  Halfway walking through ikea I started to feel terrible.  We had to stop so I could rest for a while.  After that we just grabbed the thing I knew I wanted and got out of there.  We went to our hotel and checked in, and I laid down for a bit.  It helped me feel much better.


That night we went out to dinner as planned, and had brunch the following morning with some other friends.  I was incredibly thankful to have made it through the (majority of the) weekend and happy to have some quality time with Christopher.  But by the time we made it home Sunday afternoon I was feeling terrible again.  Chris took my blood pressure and it was in the 140/90+ range.  I can't remember exactly.  Damn.  I took it easy, we went about our night.  Our family had dinner at my parents and we all went swimming.  I wasn't feeling awful, but not good either.  Chris took my blood pressure when we got back home.  It was in the 150/100+ range.  At that point we decided I'd likely call my doctor's office in the morning.  My hope was that they would just take my word for it and after talking to my doctor would suggest we come Tuesday for an induction.

Monday morning rolled around and I had Chris check my blood pressure one more time.  Still in the 145/95 ish range.  I laid down and had him check it again.  No change.  So I called the office.  After some back and forth and my doctor not being in, the on call doctor asked that I come to the office for a blood pressure and urine check.  I was so ticked at the time.  I had zero interest in driving back to Kansas City.  But I'm also not one to make a big fuss so I did what I was told.  My appointment with the nurse was at 12:30pm.  I refused to finish packing my bag and take it with me because I was coming home for the night.  I was determined (why I have no idea).  Dumb move number one, obviously.  Actually I suppose some might say dumb move number one might have been not calling the on call doctor Sunday afternoon, but hey.

I got the girls all set up with my mom (without any clothes packed or anything of that nature, because again, I was coming home) and then set off for my appointment.  I grabbed a cheese stick to eat on my way out the door since I knew I'd be having lunch late.  When I got to the office it was so quiet, most everyone was out to lunch.  It was kind of strange.  But the nurse saw me right at 12:30.  As she took my blood pressure I could see her make a somewhat surprised and uncertain face.  She asked if she could take my pressure again.  165/98.  Yikes.  She had me lay down for five minutes and came back.  152/88.  No bueno my friends.  She went to consult with the doctors.  But again, out to lunch.  So she had to wait for the on call doctor to talk to her.  They opted to send me to labor and delivery for monitoring.  I asked her if it was likely I'd have to stay or if I had the opportunity to go home.  She said that if I for sure wasn't in labor, and everything looked 'stable enough', I'd probably be allowed to leave.  I certainly wasn't in labor, so I knew I had that going for me.  Right?  Right...


Thankfully the hospital is attached to where my doctor's office is located, so I was able to just walk over.  I got checked in and settled into triage.  I was in triage room three, but apparently they wrote my name on the sign for triage two, so it was mildly entertaining to listen to everyone go there first, and then come looking for me.  The first nurse that came in told me she thought maybe I had bolted.  Haha.  I got all hooked up to the monitors and hung out while she filled out a bunch of crap on the computers.  My first couple of pressures weren't great, but not as bad.  In the 140/90+ range.  But she said the baby was looking a little flat on the monitors.  My next few pressures were in the 135/85 range.  Progress!  But as luck would have it, I started contracting every four minutes in triage.  What the hell are the damn odds?

After answering the million questions they ask you, the nurse went to consult with the doctor.  As she was walking out the door I asked her what the odds are that I get a chance to go home overnight.  She responded with "If it was my decision, you'd be staying.  Medically and financially it makes no sense to send you home right now.  But I don't make the decisions, the doctor does."  I could have cried.  I knew it wasn't looking good for me getting to leave, and her brutal honesty left a lump in my throat.  Of course I was ready to meet my baby girl.  I wanted us to both come out of the hospital healthy.  But I wanted to put Elsie to bed.  I wanted to kiss them goodnight one more time.  I didn't have the big sister bags ready because I had accidentally shipped some stuff to our old address and I was waiting on it.  I just wasn't ready.

But like or not, it was baby time.  The nurse came back.  The doctor was ready to induce me, but wanted the nurse to check my cervix to decide whether or not they would start with pitocin or if I'd need cervadil over night.  With all the contractions I'd been having, plus the fact that I started at 3cm with Elsie, I was hopeful that I'd be at least a couple centimeters.  Yeah no.  I was 'almost a 1, maybe'.  Well great.  I definitely wasn't going home, and I figured I was in for a long labor.  By this point I'd been in triage for over three hours.  It was after 4pm.  The doctor finally came in to see me and explained her plans, but promised that we could hold off on the cervadil until 8pm so I could eat.  Thank goodness.  I was STARVING.  They asked how I was feeling and honestly I couldn't tell the difference from feeling sick because of my blood pressure and feeling like crap because I had eaten half an apple and cheese stick as of 4pm.


When the doctor had left, the nurse got to work getting me admitted.  She had to start an IV, which took two tries.  Not near as bad as when I got my IV with Elsie, but seriously.  I think getting the IV is one of the worst parts.  They weren't planning to access it until they started pitocin, but I had to have it in anyway.  Immediately after she was done I felt like I had lost use of my right hand, it was extremely tender.  Then we gathered up my things and walked down the hall to my labor and delivery room.  She offered me a gown, but I opted to stay in my clothes for as long as possible.  Then I finally got a room service menu.  At this point it was after 5pm.  Honestly nothing on the menu sounded good, but I knew I needed something, anything.  So I went with the chicken strips, fries and a fruit cup.  When it arrived the fries were soggy, and my fruit cup was mostly honeydew, the only fruit I dislike.  But whatever, the chicken strips were good and I no longer wanted to kill someone thanks to hanger.

Shortly after 6:30pm Christopher arrived.  Woohoo!  It was a relief to see him walk in the door.  He had gotten to play scavenger hunt at our house for all the crap that I didn't have in my bags.  Thankfully he is good at it and I wound up with everything I needed.  We hung out for a bit until my nurse came in to hook me up to the monitors.  They needed 30 minutes of monitoring before starting in on the cervadil.  Once I was all hooked up and hanging out Chris ran out to grab himself some food.  Meanwhile I watched So You Think You Can Dance.  If I'm going to get stuck in a hospital thank goodness it was a Monday night.  I don't think I could have handled any more HGTV.


At 8:15pm the nurse came back to insert the cervadil.  It wasn't long after that, that I got really nauseous.  I was still contracting and started having cramps, but I think the sick feeling was because baby girl was moving like crazy.  I swear she must have been kick boxing my stomach because I kept having waves of feeling like I was going to puke.  I had to stay in bed and not eat for two hours, I guess just to make sure I'd tolerate the medication.  At 10pm she came back and offered me a snack because I was officially cut off after midnight.  I really wasn't hungry, but I was worried that I'd be in labor all day and wind up starving, so I choked down some apple sauce, a cheese stick and some crackers.  After that I took Seabrin (my nurse's name, who for the record, was a WONDERFUL nurse) up on some ambien so I could hopefully get some sleep.  I think I passed out around 10:30pm.

Unfortunately it was short lived.  Around 1am the machines in our room started beeping.  Apparently the thing was out of paper.  Chris tried to shut off the alarm and snag a nurse quickly, but I was awake.  And having some serious cramps.  I could tell the contractions had tapered off a fair amount, but man.  The cramping.  I think I managed to drift off again around 2am.  But by 4am I was wide awake again.  The cramping was so uncomfortable, and I really needed to pee.  But I didn't want to bug anyone to unplug all my crap and I didn't want to wake Christopher.  So I played on my phone and hoped the next two hours would go by quickly.

Around 5am I noticed that my contractions were stronger.  Not any closer together, but definitely more painful.  I crossed my fingers that the cervadil had done it's job and I'd be a little more dilated this morning.  Finally 6am rolled around and Seabrin came back to free me from the monitors for a little bit.  I went to the bathroom and took out the cervadil, and attempted to enjoy a shower.  Easier said than done with an IV and a hospital shower, but I rinsed off and stood in the hot water for a bit.  Then I put on a little make-up and attempted to fix my hair.  What can I say, I'm vain, I don't care.  Plus, what else was I supposed to do?  I exhausted most of the exciting things on my phone in the wee hours of the morning.


My half hour of freedom flew by and at 6:30am I was hooked back up to all the monitors so they could have a strip before starting pitocin.  Right around 7am the nurses changed shifts.  I got introduced to my day nurses, one who was supposedly 'an experienced nurse new to the hospital' and one who was supervising her.  Let's just say it didn't take long to establish that this new nurse was not an experienced labor and delivery nurse.  I understand having issues with the computer or what not in a new facility, but she didn't know what she was doing.  And she was SLOOOOOW.  You could tell the other nurse was annoyed with her too.  I was disappointed, having a good nurse definitely helps dictate your birth experience.  Thankfully she was flaky enough that the supervising nurse ended up providing more of my care that day.

Also, I want to interject this in here.  Chris always jokes that I tend to like the 'sorority girl' type nurses.  A rather broad statement, seeing as there is no true sorority girl example in my opinion.  I lived with 80+ girls and I can guarantee you we didn't all fit the same mold.  But hey, I'll give him credit in the sense that I appreciate a nurse or doctor who is intelligent, kind, but no nonsense.  They need a little bit of pep, but I don't want someone to be fake happy or coddle me.  Just get the job done.  And don't be stupid about it.  Whew, sorry, we had quite the experience with nurses this time around.  I don't recall being quite as annoyed with all of the nurses during my other two hospital stays.  Naturally my favorite nurses were either on at night, or whose shift changed within hours of me having them.  Sad story.

Moving on!  Oh yeah, so the shift changed.  New nurse checks me before starting the pitocin.  "Still about a 1."  WHAT?!?!?!  No cervical change.  I felt defeated.  And like I was going to be in labor all freaking day.  Come on body, third child, get with the program!  Right?  Right... anyway they got the pitocin started and with that came more frequent contractions.  Nothing I couldn't handle, but something was definitely happening.  'New nurse' was in and out of my room for a bit doing who knows what on the computer.  And then at 8:15am my doctor strolled in.  I was happy to see her until she told me she came to break my water.  Shoot they weren't wasting any time, I didn't expect that for another couple of hours.  But, again, not one to argue.  She broke my water and checked me.  3cm.  BAM.  That is what I'm talking about.  My doctor said she'd be back to check on me over lunch, unless I was ready to push before then.  But not to get my hopes up.

With my water broken it didn't take long for the contractions to really pick up and start to hurt.  And with every damn contraction more fluid came gushing out.  I swear my least favorite parts of labor are some of the most ridiculous.  One particularly intense contraction managed to push out enough fluid to soak like half the stupid bed.  I decided to take that opportunity to get up and go pee and convince someone to give me some new towels and sheets.


It was around 9am that the lovely Adrienne Maples arrived.  She photographed Elsie's birth and I adore those photos so much.  Birth is such a crazy whirlwind, it is priceless to be able to look back on that day, to have those photos spark my memory, to help little moments come flooding back.  Needless to say I was thrilled that she was able to make it to this birth as well (another reason I was dead set on delivering in KC even though we had already moved).  She is a great addition to the day for more than just the photos though, she kept me entertained and distracted with random stories.  I couldn't talk long though.  The contractions started getting pretty intense, and by 10:15am I decided I wanted the epidural.

Why I always wait until I'm miserable to get the epidural I don't know.  I guess just to see how tough I am?  Not that tough.  Haha.  I feel like I'd be cheating if I didn't endure some of the pain.  Truthfully I felt like I had asked earlier than with the other girls, but it was ten to 11am before the anistesiologist came in.  That half hour made quite the difference in the amount of pain I was in, and sitting through this epidural might have been on of the hardest yet.  Maybe not, since it took two tries to get a catheter in my back with Elsie, but man.  Painful.  We got it done though.  And for the first time my blood pressure didn't bottom out.  Winning!  Or my pressure was just awful.  However you want to look at it.  Once it was in they laid me on my back and I waited for the meds to take affect.  For some reason I was still having a lot of pain in my lower back on my left side.  It didn't really feel like contractions, but I didn't know what it was.  They rolled me to my side to let gravity take over.


Unfortunately baby girl didn't seem to appreciate me being on my left side, so I couldn't stay like that.  By 11:15am the epidural had taken affect as much as it was going to.  I never truly felt a ton of relief, but the sharp pains from the contractions were gone and I didn't want to die anymore.  So it had to be doing something.  My nurse checked me again and I held my breath.  I was sure I was only going to be a 4, maybe MAYBE a 5.  But I was 6cm!  Yes!  Things were definitely moving in the right direction and I was feeling more like I would have the baby by 2pm ish.  I tried to relax and close my eyes for a bit, but the blood pressure cuff was going off every three or four minutes at this point, and the contractions just kept getting stronger and stronger again.

Just after noon Adrienne (who had stepped out for a few to let me rest) called and asked if we thought she had time to run over to Chick Fil A for some food.  I said of course.  I really had it in my head that I'd be pushing sometime between 1 and 2pm.  It couldn't have been more than two minutes after Chris got off the phone with her that I started feeling TONS of pressure.  I didn't think I could possibly be ready to push yet.  He told me to call the nurse.  I refused.  But with the next contraction I felt like my body was starting to take over.  I conceded and told him to get someone.  For the first time I couldn't help but audibly moan and breath through the contractions.  I seriously felt like I had no control.  And sure enough, the nurse said I was complete.


Christopher quickly called Adrienne back and told her lunch might have to wait.  People came filing in prepping the room for delivery.  I don't know what time it was when my doctor walked in (but it looks like it was 12:24 when she was tying her mask on based on that picture!).  Everything was happening fast.  Adrienne made it to the room in time.  Really I don't remember much from this short period of time.  SO MUCH PRESSURE.  Everyone was ready, a contraction rolled in, and I started to push.  And a few pushes and a minute later, at 12:28pm, Thea made her grand entrance into the world.


When Ryann was born my epidural was so good that I didn't even feel her come out.  With Elsie I knew what was going on, and had a serious sense of relief once she was fully out.  But nothing compares to the way my body felt this time.  While I still only had to push for a minute or two, I had to work for it.  And the wave of relief and joy that washed over me once she was delivered was amazing.  I truly can't describe it.  I was so happy.


Thea looked great, her color was amazing, but that kid didn't want to cry.  She let out a few squeaks, but certainly didn't start screaming.  The nurse asked if I wanted her on my chest or cleaned up first, and I opted to take her.  And I swear she was the stickiest newborn I've ever seen.  She was still very much covered in vernix.  I was slightly grossed out :) but so happy to have her in my arms.


Apparently that is where I stopped writing, but not where the pictures stop.  So I'll just leave it to those to do the talking.  Ryann was in love with her new baby sister at first sight.  Elsie?  She was curious.  But really she just wanted to jump on the bed and eat my snacks and be a typical two year old.  No surprise there.  :o)


Thank you, Adrienne, for capturing these wonderful images.  I'm so incredibly grateful that you were able to be there for me!  All photos are hers, expect the obvious three iphone pics snapped by me.

October 13, 2015

a day in {my} life

Figured I better capture the chaos of life with three while Thea was still a little baby.  No two days are the same, and Thursdays are slightly easier because Christopher only works a half day, but naturally this day in particular looked nothing like our 'usual' days!  Ryann is 5 years 6 months, Elsie is 2 years 8 months and Thea is 10 weeks old.


3:20am:  I wake up a bit and Thea is still asleep so I check my phone.  I do a little happy dance and lay back down.  She went to bed at 9:15pm the night before, and I'll definitely take 6+ hour stretches.

4:24am:  Thea starts fussing, and though she isn't fully awake, my boobs are like rocks and I figure it is only a matter of time before they start leaking, so I decide to feed her.  I try leaning back so my letdown doesn't drown her, but she is acting weird and fidgety.  Eventually I pop her off to burp her, and she poops.  That would be why she was fidgety.  I change her diaper, reswaddle her and try to feed her some more.  She is thrashing around at my chest and still acting weird, so I figure maybe she is full.  I stand up and try to bounce and sway her back to sleep.  She spits up a ton.  And again.  And again.  At this point Christopher wakes up.  He holds her while I search out some dish towels because we're out of burp cloths.  After she is all wiped down I try to bounce and sway again.  And she poops again.  Now I know I'm in for it.

I lay her down on the bed and unswaddle her.  While she finishes doing her business I go to the bathroom and then I get out some running clothes.  If I can manage to get her back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time I'll just get my run out of the way.  I think going back to sleep would only make me more tired.  I get her diaper changed and swaddle her up again.  As soon as I pick her up she spits up every where.  And then she spits up some more.  And some more.  And some more.  For the love child can you keep anything down?

5:25am:  Since I feel like I'm in for the long haul I move to her room so that Chris can get a little more sleep.  I try laying her across my lap and bouncing her, but she isn't having it.  When I stand back up with her she spits up yet again.  I grab a receiving blanket to use as a burp cloth, and pace around the room with her a bit.  She is still squirmy, and five minutes later she spits up everywhere again.  I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere with her, so I unswaddle her and lay her in her crib for a bit.  After maybe 15 minutes I can tell she has had enough so I swaddle her back up and try to coax her to sleep.  She spits up again.  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.  I don't know how many burp cloths, dish towels and blankets I've gone through.  Thankfully that is the last of it, and she falls asleep on my shoulder just after 6am.  I head back to my room with her.  Two minutes later Ryann opens the door and says she isn't tired.  I kick Christopher and he gets up with her.

6:14am:  I lay Thea down in the Rock 'n Play.  She squirms quite a bit and I worry she will wake up.  While waiting for her to settle the power flickers.  That's weird.  But Thea seems to be more soundly asleep so I leave the room.  I gather clothes for Ryann and fix her bed.  I seem to have time on my hands, but probably not enough to squeeze in my run (and I'm still worried that Thea will wake back up), so I opt to make some muffins.  Why not?  While they're baking I get some dishes put away.


7:15am:  Christopher heads out the door for work and I sit on the couch with Ryann.  She reads her Accelerated Reader selection for the day (a book about sheep, she picks the funniest books in my opinion, but she is learning a lot!), and after that I start reading her library book to her, a Clifford book.  A few pages in I hear Elsie come out of her room, so I run up the stairs to grab her before she yells down the stairs to me.  After finishing the rest of the book I get some breakfast for Elsie.  Then I turn on a show for Ryann (The Cat in the Hat) and fix her hair.  Elsie asks me for some blueberries.  Once those are on her plate I run upstairs to get her clothes.  When I come back down Ryann says she'd like some cantaloupe, which of course means Elsie needs some too.  Once they are finished with their fruit I get Elsie dressed and fix her hair.


7:57am:  My saint of a mother walks through the door.  She has come over nearly every morning since school started to make sure Ryann gets on the bus without me completely losing my mind.  The show ends and the girls ask my mom to read some books to them.  Ryann reads her AR book again.  Then it is time to get shoes on to wait for the bus.  I want both girls to come outside with me so I can take a picture of them in their matching shirts.  While I'm locating all our stuff, Ryann decides it is funny to lick a muffin on the counter.  Stupid stuff like that makes me so mad.  I ask her if she intends to eat the muffin and she tells me no.  Too bad, that'll be her breakfast for tomorrow!  Eventually we make it outside, take the picture and Ryann gets on the bus.


8:22am:  Elsie and I head back inside.  We head upstairs along with my mom to hang out in the playroom for a little bit.  The fact that Thea is still asleep is really really throwing me off.  I don't know what to do!  Usually she is awake in the morning, and ready for a nap when it is time to take Elsie to school so we go for a walk.  But at this point she won't be ready to sleep so that won't work.  I go through a few scenarios in my head, and ultimately settle on my mom taking Elsie to school.  That way I can let Thea sleep, but if she wakes up I can feed her.

8:52am:  Grammy and Elsie head out the door.  I take a minute to locate all the dirty burp cloths and dish towels around the house.  Thea begins to stir so I head in to get her.  It has been 4.5 hours since I fed her and I'd rather grab her while she is just stirring then wait until she is full on pissed.  Shortly after I sit down to feed her my mom comes back.  Once I am done feeding Thea (and changing a nasty poopy diaper!) I get myself changed to go running.


9:35am:  I give Thea a kiss, tell my mom thanks, and high tail it out of there.  The first minute or so I'm all woohoo running!  I love running!  This is gonna be great!  And then I'm quickly reminded that I am no where near the shape I used to be in.  My legs feel so heavy.  Extra pounds + poor diet + lack of sleep doesn't make for the easiest run.  But I push through and keep going.  At the first mile my phone app goes off "1 mile.  Split pace: 9:22."  Well that certainly doesn't seem right.  Lately my first mile has been in the 10-11 minute range.  Sometimes it gets off at the very beginning but usually the second mile is accurate.  So when she spouts off and 8:33 at mile two, I'm pretty sure app chick is drunk.  I feel like I'm running faster than usually, but not THAT fast.  Plus I'm ahead of where I usually hit two miles.  I estimate my app is off by .2 miles and plan to tack that on at the end.  The third mile is hard, I'm so tired, but so stubborn, so I finish it.  It says I covered 3.31 miles in 31:51.  So I guess a 5k in that time.  Certainly not my best, but I did it when I didn't really want to.  I didn't give up.  That is what counts.

10:11am:  As soon as I open the door to the house I can hear Thea screaming.  Ruh roh.  My mom says she has been fine the whole time, and just started crying seconds before I got back.  Silly girl.  She seems very tired.  And then we spot another damn wasp!!  The day before there had been two wasps in my house.  No clue where they are coming in from but what the hell?  It is stressing me out.  I definitely don't do bugs of any kind.  Neither does my mom.  But she handles the situation and manages to kill it (as she did with the other two the day before) while I get myself and Thea dressed to leave the house.  Thea pretty much cries the entire time we are getting ready.  I get her in her car seat and head outside to bounce her a bit, while also looking for wasp nests.  I spot a stitch fix box on my porch and get excited.  My mom comes out, we load up in the car.

10:37am:  We're on our way to Party City to see if they have anything that will work for our costumes.  Our family is taking on a circus theme this year.  I'm the ring master/lion tamer, Ryann is going to be an acrobat/circus performer, Elsie a clown and Thea a lion.  I've pretty much got Elsie and Thea's costumes figured out, it is Ryann's that is giving me the most trouble.  Thea still isn't sleeping when we get there, and I discover she has spit up when we get to the store.  No surprise there.  I get her wiped off, and she falls asleep while we walk around.  We don't find any costume pieces, but do get some ideas of stuff to make and order.  Before we head out we buy some window clings to entertain the girls with.  My mom wants a salad from McDonalds (or Old McDonalds as Elsie would call it :o), so we drive thru there, and get Elsie some chicken nuggets as well.

11:30am:  We pick up Elsie from MMO and head home for lunch.  While Elsie and Grammy dig in to their Old McDonald's, I warm myself up some leftover chicken pesto pizza.  For dessert it is a slice of dark chocolate raspberry banana bread that my mom brought over.  She is too good to us.  Thea is still snoozin' in her car seat so I open up my stitch fix box.  I have to say I am rather disappointed.  I like one of the sweaters, but the fit is just awful on me.  And everything is very grey.  Don't get me wrong, I love grey.  But I always ask for color.  And I don't care how in wide leg pants are, I just can't do it.  I wind up deciding to keep a grey and white striped shirt, because it does fit and I don't want to lose my $20 styling fee.  I had high hopes for this fix because I loved everything in my last one.  You can't win 'em all I guess.


12:24pm:  Thea is STILL asleep in her car seat, so my mom lets me sneak in a shower.  Do we see a trend here?  My mom pretty much wins.  I would survive without her, but I wouldn't be near as happy, and I'd be a lot more smelly :o).

12:45pm:  At this point it has been almost another four hours since I've fed Thea.  I decide to go ahead and wake her.  A decision I usually regret, but the darn pediatrician has scared me to believe that if I don't wake her up she'll never learn to sleep at night.  I'm pretty sure she is full of it, but I cave anyway.  My mom takes Elsie outside to play playdoh and swing while I feed Miss T.  She keeps nodding off while she is nursing, and promptly passes out once she is finished.  My mom brings in a stinky Elsie, so I pass Thea off to her.  She falls back asleep on her shoulder for a bit, but wakes up pissed a few moments later.  I guess she needs more sleep.  I quickly run through Elsie's quiet time routine, two books, a couple songs and a back rub, and leave her in her room for a nap.  That she never takes.  But one can hope.  Once she is settled I grab Thea for my mom (who heads home), and take her up to my room.  When I lay her on our bed to change her diaper it is like a switch flips and she starts smiling and cooing at me.  This child is so confusing.  I start debating if I try to keep her up for a bit or get her to take a nap, when Adrienne calls to discuss our upcoming photo session.


1:50pm:  I've got everything squared away with Adrienne and Thea is acting tired again, so I swaddle her and try and sway her to sleep.  Despite showing all of her tired cues, she refuses to cuddle in, so I set her down in the rock 'n play and try rocking her in there.  It has only worked maybe twice before, but my back is sore from holding her all the time so I'm desperate.  Thankfully it works.

2:10pm:  Thea is asleep.  Elsie is not, but she is still in her room.  I'm so thankful that she is great about staying in there for quiet time.  I snag a couple of packages off our porch (ironically one is from Adrienne, my birth images and a copy of Elsie's first year book for my mom.  fun mail!!) and do some picking up around the house.  I gather Ryann's dance clothes from her room to have out and ready when she gets home, and start a load of laundry.

2:53pm:  And that is as far as I get before Thea is awake again.  Gah, the curse of the 45 minute nap.  So incredibly annoying.  I try to rock the rock 'n play to see if she'll go back to sleep.  She sort of does, but I can tell she isn't sleeping soundly.  And at 3:05pm sleep buddy goes off and Elsie quickly finds me.  She tries to be quiet, but lets face it.  A 2.5 year old's concept of quiet doesn't generally equal a calm sleeping environment.  Sure enough Thea's eyes pop open.  No more nap time for anyone.  Elsie has become more and more enamroued with Thea and really wants to hold her, so I oblige.  Eventually we head downstairs and I get snack set out for when Ryann gets home.


3:34pm:  Elsie seems content playing with things in the living room so I sit down to nurse Thea.  It doesn't take long to realize this was a poor decision.  Elsie gets antsy and starts messing with my decorations and things of that nature.  But everything survives.

3:54pm:  Chris is home with Ryann.  She can't ride the bus home on Thursdays because she doesn't get off until after we need to leave for dance.  I didn't really think that one through when I signed her up for a 4:30pm class.  The girls eat their snack and Ryann gets changed.  She disappears into the laundry room for a bit, and comes back with a paper swimsuit top she made me.  Because it looked like boobs?  Haha I have no idea.  The things she comes up with...

4:18pm:  Chris leaves to take Ryann to dance, and Elsie goes along for the ride.  Thea and I hang out, 'talking' for a little bit before I realize we better get our bums in gear if I'm going to run an errand and make it to dance on time for parent observation week.  As we're walking towards the door she spits up all over for the millionth time today.  A successful shot right on my foot.  Thanks sweet girl, I love you too.  Gross.


4:30pm:  We're on our way to Target.  Thea screams the entire way there, but falls asleep once I walk her around the store a bit.  And I'm lucky enough that this time she stays asleep when I put the seat in the stroller.  We (or me I suppose) pick out a birthday present for Avery, along with a few other things.  Thea wakes up while we're checking out and proceeds to scream the entire drive to dance.  I'm worried that she won't go back to sleep but she does me a solid and conks back out once I start carrying her around again.  We get to watch the last ten minutes of Ryann's first dance class.  They are working on a jazz dance for the winter showcase.  Yay for Christmas music!  Haha.  Ryann seems a little short on energy and a little lost.  She has another class so I carry Thea around to a few other stores.  I spot a chair that is almost spot on for the style I'd like as end chairs in my dining room.  But it is $1000.  Yeah no.  Not spending over $2000 on two chairs that have the potential to get ruined.  After 35 minutes it is time to go back and watch Ryann's second class.  She looks even more asleep than during the first.  I think this whole all day kindergarten thing is wearing her out.

6:17pm:  In the car and heading home.  When we get there it is time for dinner.  Chris picked up Chinese take-out.  Probably wouldn't have been my first choice, but honestly these days as long as I don't have to figure out a meal on my own I'll eat it.  I'm just happy to have food.  I eat quickly assuming that Thea is going to wake up any minute.  But she doesn't.  For as much as that girl hates being put in her carseat she sleeps rather well in there.  Just before 7:00 I try to rouse her.  She isn't having it.  She lazily nurses.  Chris turns on the Royals game and then takes Ryann and Elsie upstairs for a bath.  They make it a quick one and come back down to watch a little bit of a movie before bed.


7:30pm:  Bed time!  The big girls brush their teeth and pass out bed time hugs and kisses.  Chris hangs out with Thea while I put Elsie to bed (Ry is in her bed watching a 'How It's Made' video).  I read E two books, do her medicine (two puffs of qvar) and a couple songs before tucking her in.  Once her door is closed I take Thea so Chris can finish getting Ryann to sleep.  She still 'needs' someone to lay with her to fall asleep.  We've tried playing hardball, but it never ends well.  One night she said to me, "I wish I was married.  You and Daddy are married and you get to fall asleep with each other every night.  Why do I have to be all alone?"  Touche sweet girl, touche.  Anyway, I thought Thea and I would hang out for a little bit, but she is incredibly fussy.  I lay her on our bed while I find my boppy and some burp cloths and she just screams.  I always nurse her a little bit before bed, but this time I'm paranoid she'll just spit up, since it hasn't been all that long since I fed her.  She falls asleep nursing, but wakes up before I even put her down.  I stand up and sway with her until she is out.

8:31pm:  She's sleeping, but I hold her for another five minutes just to make sure.  During which time I text back and forth with my friend, Michelle.  Text conversations (and in person conversations too) with her are some of my favorites.  She never fails to make me smile.  After Thea is safely in the rock 'n play I head downstairs.  Chris is watching the Royals game, so I get myself a bowl of ice cream (guilty pleasure, I can't stop) and sit on the couch with him.

8:58pm:  I'm so tired, I know I should go to bed, but I want to watch the game.  I'm chilly so Chris hands me the 'white blanket' (It's from Pottery Barn.  I'd link it but I can't figure out which one it is on the website.  But it is AMAZING).  We call this thing the sleeper, I should have known better to crawl under it...

11:17pm:  I wake up on the couch.  So much for watching the game, I should have just gone to bed.  I drag myself upstairs and crawl in.  Goodnight!  Until the next feeding that is.

October 9, 2015

from the mouths of babes

Coming up with a title for this post was too hard for my tired brain.  Because how do you title a post in which you talk about your kids talking about poop without it being really awkward or really dumb?  That and I felt like several of the titles would encourage hits from people searching weird things and I just don't wanna go there.

SO!  Yes.  This is a post about things my kids said about poop.

A couple of weeks ago I was e-mailing back and forth with Ryann's teacher, because apparently my child talks a lot in class.  Is anyone surprised?  No?  Didn't think so.  But yes, we're hopefully working on talking when it is appropriate.  One of her e-mails came before Ryann had gotten off the bus, and she let me know that she didn't think Ryann was feeling well because she said her tummy hurt and just wasn't acting like herself.  Over the last week Elsie had a cold, and I knew Ryann's nose was getting runny so I assumed she had picked that up.  But the second she stepped of the bus I could tell it was more than just a cold.  Girlfriend looked completely wiped.

She came inside and sat on the couch and I cuddled up next to her.  She felt pretty warm, but asked me for a blanket because she was so cold.  I knew immediately she had a fever.  I started texting back and forth with Christopher letting him know our girlie was sick, and then I found a thermometer to take her temperature.  After confirming she did in fact have a fever (101.3), I got her all settled in on the couch.  We talked about her day a little bit, and then she said to me (and she is going to hate me forever for sharing this, but it is too good not to record), "This afternoon when I went poop it was like brown water.  It was gross when I tooted.  I think the fever melted my poop."

I laughed so freaking hard.  I love how little minds work.


Now with Elsie, we talk about poop a lot.  Her pooping, or lack there of, continues to be a constant issue.  We've resorted to giving her miralax every day to keep her regular.  It is the whole reason I've yet to brave actual potty training with her.  One afternoon before quiet time I sat down on the floor of her room...

Me:  "Elsie, come over here and lay down so I can change your diaper."
Elsie:  "NO!  I still poopin'!"
Me:  "No you're not, you're playing with your kitty house.  Come over here."
Elsie:  "No!  I not done poopin' yet!"
Me:  "Elsie Joann, come over here now so I can change your diaper."
Elsie:  "Hold on!  I not done!  I just gotta poop fer wike, free (three) hours!"

Again, I laughed so hard.


My sweet girls, I'm sorry (I'm not sorry) that I've posted this on the world wide web.  Just know you made at least a few people smile!  Love you!  :o)

October 1, 2015

thea - two months

Thea my darling, we are two months in to you sweet little life and there is only one way to describe you.


but mom! look at my cute smile!

I suppose I should take that back, you are also insanely adorable.  But girlfriend, I believe you are trying to slowly drive me mad.  More on that in a bit.

Thea is still growing like crazy, but thank goodness she didn't pack on an additional four pounds this month!  She weighed in at 12lb 13oz (91st%) and measured 23.3 inches long (89th%).  Her head measured 38cm, which puts her in the 28th percentile.  Both Ryann and Elsie quickly climbed the growth charts, but not THIS quickly.  I'm impressed.  Also, Miss High Maintenance gets fed a lot to quiet the screaming, so yeah.  Not all that surprised.  She is wearing a size one diaper and 0-3 month clothing.


Sleep and fussiness continue to be our biggest issues.  Miss Thea is rather difficult to get to fall asleep.  Holding her doesn't do it, rocking? Nope.  Car seat?  Not always.  She screams if I try to just lay her down and walk away, she doesn't fall asleep in the swing.  Generally she has to be swaddled and walked around and bounced a ridiculous amount before she'll cave.  Nursing her is the fastest way to get her down, but truthfully that doesn't work all the time either.  And currently I seem to be the only one who can make her fall asleep.  It is exhausting.  Not to mention there is not guarantee she'll actually stay asleep if you try to put her down.  And I can never guess whether I'm going to get 30 minutes or 3 hours when she naps.


As far as the night time sleep is concerned, I can't say it is all bad, but again, ZERO consistency.  One night she'll sleep for a glorious 6.5 hours, eat, and sleep for another 3.5-4 hours.  Heck yes.  The next night she'll wake up every 3.5 hours.  The night after that she'll sleep for 5 hours and then won't go back to sleep for two hours.  And sometimes in the wee hours of the morning she can't stay asleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.  It can be maddening for all of us!  I can't blame Thea for all of this, I say she gives me zero consistency, but honestly it isn't like she has a lot of consistency either.  Every day looks a little bit different, and because she needs to nap so often still, it is hard to coordinate everything.  Then she winds up overtired and screaming.  And eventually all of us are crying because Ryann and Elsie are fighting and Thea isn't sleeping and I don't have a damn clue how to fix it all.

I could go on and on, about it, but I won't.  This too shall pass.  She goes to bed between 8:30-9:30pm.  And she is up for the day between 7-8:30am.  It all just depends!  She is still sleeping swaddled in the rock 'n play in our room.  I can't fathom switching her to the crib because she spits up so much, but I think Chris is 100% ready to reclaim our room, and I can't say that I wouldn't mind her being in her own space.  I just don't want to walk to her room every 45 minutes between 3-7am.


Thea is still rather particular about the car seat.  Slowly but surely she is able to tolerate just being in there a little bit more.  But if she is tired, my word.  I wind up carrying the car seat through stores because she won't fall asleep or stay asleep if it is clicked in to the stroller.  If we're going to take her on a walk I have to put her in the car seat 5-10 minutes before we want to leave and carry it around or rock it so that she is at least drowsy, if not asleep, before we head out, or no dice.  Also no luck with a pacifier.  We've tried at least seven different brands I think.  She still acts like we're shoving poison down her throat.  Crazy baby.

Thankfully for little Miss Thea, she has the cutest damn smile and the sweetest baby coos to keep me from completely losing my mind.  When she smiles at me I can't help but smile back.  And I just love when she 'talks' to me.  I feel like she has so much to say!  Probably repremanding me on my crappy parenting skills, but whatevs.  She gives lots of smiles to her Grammy, and seems to like it when we sing to her.


Thea is incredibly strong.  Sometimes annoyingly so.  At my six week check-up the OB (not my OB because naturally she got called in to a delivery while I was waiting in the room with no pants on, yay) came in and asked if he could hold Thea.  I said sure, but she isn't much fun to hold.  He sort of laughed and picked her up.  10 seconds later, "You're right, she isn't much fun to hold."  She is constantly stiff and arching her back trying to look around.  Or squirming so much you think you're going to drop her.  She never just slumps over and cuddles in.  Today at her two month appointment the doctor held her up to see if she'd bear weight on her legs.  She was able to support her only around her trunk, Thea was able to hold her head upright and support most of her own weight on her legs.  And the nurse (who looked like she was 16, kinda stressed me out) commented that she was very difficult to hold down while she tried to give her FIVE shots.  Poor girl.  I've never heard her cry that hard ever.  For the rest of the day she simply could not be awake.  If she was she was wailing.


Overall this month has been rough.  The smiles are getting us through.  But I can see tidbits of her progressing towards being more of a baby, more interactive, and I know it is going to be so fun.  Thea loves to do tummy time on the boppy while watching Ryann and Elsie play and dance in front of her, I can just tell she is going to really enjoy sitting and watching them often.


I may be doing a lot of complaining right now, but Thea girl I love you so much.  Don't you ever forget it!