Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3 Week Post- Appt

That's right, it's been 3 weeks since Samantha was born, which means it's been 3 weeks since I was nearly cut in half to deliver her ;)

Isn't it crazy how the weeks creep by when you're pregnant, but once the little one is here, it seems to be on triple fast forward?  Part of me feels like I was pregnant just yesterday and at the same time it feels like she has always been here with us.

The appointment started with the weight check-in.  My official weight at my last appointment was 164.6, which was a gain of 42.6 pounds from when I was 4 weeks pregnant.  My weight as of today was 138.4.  Not too shabby for only 3 weeks into it.  I wouldn't mind maintaining some of the weight and keeping it at 125-128, so really, only 10 more pounds to go lol. 

Next came in my awesome doctor who is still in awe that we went to full term and even then she had to be taken out!  He was so happy with our success!  And impressed with how big Samantha already is.  My incision is healing wonderfully and it looks like it has been longer than 3 weeks, he said he couldn't ask for better results.  He wasn't thrilled however, to learn that I have been really bad about following orders and already back driving, doing laundry, cleaning and all that jazz, so he told me to at least attempt to take it easy for the next 3 weeks.

I go back for my post-partum appointment on December 20 :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Christmas Card Season

I love the holidays.  I think there is something magical about Christmas time, it's almost like the air changes just because you know Christmas is on it's way.  Everything means so much more, you're more emotional, you get teary-eyed much easier, you are surrounded by family and friends and have the opportunity to reconnect with those you may not have had in your life as much as you'd like the past year.  And going to the mailbox enjoys so much more than just going to get bills.  You're going to go to the mailbox and start seeing pretty envelopes filled with beautiful Christmas cards, and many will have photos of gorgeous families and friends that you love, many others will have newsletters to tell us how everyone has been over the past year.

I love Christmas cards and Christmas.  Christmas cards are so magical, they bring out so much joy, so much happiness and somehow manage to capture a years worth of feelings and experiences in just one piece of printed paper.

Shutterfly has some amazing card designs this year.  I really like their photo card designs.  I love the countless options you are given with photos, colors, text and design.  The options are endless and so beautiful.  I've received shutterfly cards before, both for my birthday, invitations and Christmas Cards and they are of really good quality, really thick with beautiful colors.

While I was on their site, I also fell in love with their calendar designs!  I'm really torn on doing those or photobooks this year...

Shutterfly is offering a promotion to bloggers right now, if you blog about shutterfly, you will be given the opportunity to get 50 FREE photo cards!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November is our busiest month

I feel like November is almost like our "practice" month before Christmas.  We have the following birthdays: my brother Scott, his girlfriend Jamie, our niece Lisa, Kaitlyn, brother-in-law Dennis, Dusty, my dad (same day as Dusty), plus this month we had Samantha, Thanksgiving and more birthdays outside of our immediate family.  It's insane.  And could be part of the reason why I feel so healed.

It's hard to believe that it's been less than 3 weeks since Samantha was born.  For the most part, I feel pretty awesome.  I would completely forget I just had a cesarean if it wasn't for that dull, achy, bruising feeling under my skin.  But, I haven't taken any medication at all since last Saturday and pretty much back to my full routine.  I have to remember tell myself to sit and rest, but it always feels like there is something else to be done.  Samantha is an awesome sleeper, so I've learned to do things in increments.  For example, we get out of bed, I change and feed her and she has some time in her swing.  I have about an hour and a half which is normally enough time to pick up the play room, kitchen, dining room and living room, do the dishes, at least start the laundry, take a shower and get dressed.  Then, I change and feed her again, we cuddle for a while and then I finish up whatever didn't get done.  Tomorrow we have to start an official routine and schedule because Kaitlyn goes back to school!

Kaitlyn's birthday party was ok.  I had bought and planned SOO much for a Scooby-Doo party at our house.  We were going to have a mystery game, another couple of games, lots of snacks and goodies and be spread out.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other intentions and we had to move it to the Pizza Place down the street.  While it wasn't ideal for me, or the type of party I like to give Kaitlyn, we were surrounded by family and good friends and that's all that really matters.  She did have fun and I can only hope everyone else did too.  I was incredibly sore that day and it was so hard to get up and move around, which was unfortunate because after being cooped up at home for a week, I was really looking forward to visiting.

Kaitlyn decided she had to have a cookie cake because she doesn't like cake.  She loved what Grandma did for her, got absolutely spoiled with presents and was so excited to go home and play with everything.  This year, she is writing her own thank you cards, so please be patient in getting those :)  We work on them in batches ;)

Thanksgiving this year was delicious.  But different.  Samantha had her first cold :(  Which wasn't fun.  And it was/is scary for us.  The first time I ever heard Matthew with a cough or sound like he had a cold was around 9:30 PM on October 14, 2007.  I remember it so well because 5 hours later he wasn't breathing and we lost him.  Considering that between Dusty and I we check her breathing several times every hour, it is stressful.  And I have no doubt we will continue to be "paranoid" for the next couple of years. 

We started Thanksgiving out just the three of us, Dusty, Samantha and I.  Kaitlyn had opted to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's the night before.  Samantha was congested, and Dusty wasn't feeling well.  So, I let him sleep while I held her upright and started making the macaroni and cheese and getting ready.  We headed to Samantha and David's house and stopped on the way to pick up a paper to look at the Black Friday ads.  We got there and had dinner with my whole family and Christina's soon to be In Laws.  It was all really good.  Samantha was pretty congested and snotty the entire time.

After, we headed to the hospital to visit with Dusty's mom, Judy who was admitted last Saturday for bursitiss in her hip that developed into a staph infection.  We visited for a few hours before we headed home.  My plan when we got home was to pump just one more bottle and then to head out for black Friday shopping.  With Samantha really stuffed up and snotty, and the news showing the madness at the two stores I wanted to go to, I went online and found nearly everything I wanted available that way.  So, online shopping it was :)  I was able to get more than half of my shopping done!  All the nieces, nephews and Kaitlyn's cousins are finished!  Woo-Hoo!  Now, they just need to get here and magically get wrapped!

Friday, Kaitlyn, Samantha and I spent all day at home.  Dusty went to my parents to work on their new floor, and we worked on cleaning, resting and getting better.  It was a pretty lazy day.

Saturday was Dusty and my dad's birthday.  In the entire time I've known Dusty (nearly 12 years) he has never had a birthday party.  He just isn't really into being the center of attention and with his birthday so close to Thanksgiving it's just hard to do.  But, this year, Dusty was turning 30 and had just had his third child, celebrating needed to happen!  My dad was a good sport about having Dusty's surprise party on his birthday, and Dusty had NO idea what was going on!  I was so glad.  He said the only time he even came close to suspecting anything was because I was driving slow, when we first left the house, I text my sister to tell her we were on our way, and she said most people hadn't arrived yet.  So, I was able to stretch a 15-20 minute drive into about 35 minutes.  I blamed the wet roads when Dusty asked lol.  But, he was surprised and had a great time. 

After, we visited his parents on the way home since his mom was discharged yesterday evening, and then I eagerly went to bed :) 

Tomorrow starts our new normal!  Kaitlyn is back to school, which means I have to be out of bed by 6, which means I HAVE to go to bed earlier.  On Tuesday I have my post-op appointment and am really hoping that I get good news :)  And no lectures lol!

I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful holiday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Congrats to our Giveaway Winner!!

Using Random.org (which I LOVE), #31 was selected!

When going through the comments, I found comment #31 and we have a winner!!

Congrats!! Be sure to email me your preferred email and I will get it to CSN and you should receive your gift card code directly from them!  Be sure to share what fabulous find you end up getting!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the time of year where we traditionally show thanks for those things in life that we are grateful for.  We truly have so much to be thankful for.

For starters, I am thankful that I not only found, but also married such an amazing man.  Dusty has been amazing, he not only gets my sense of humor but shares it with me, I don't ever feel like I have to "try" with him, he is a helpful and understanding husband, he is a loving and devoted daddy and he truly is just perfect for me. 

I am thankful that we have 3 beautiful children.  Kaitlyn who is smart, sweet, generous, loving, helpful and an absolute joy to be around, Matthew who is forever in our hearts, who taught us patience, who taught us that life doesn't always go as planned, who we were told we would never meet alive, who gave us 10 wonderful weeks on this Earth and who forever changed me, and Samantha our long awaited princess that has shown us that miracles do happen, who is perfect in every way and is a great sleeper and eater.

I am thankful that we are surrounded by amazing family and friends.  Family and friends who make life easier, who put forth effort and who make us feel as though we are an important part of their lives.  We are truly spoiled and I know Kaitlyn and Samantha are building such amazing bonds and relationships with those people that they will carry with them forever.

I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads that is plenty big enough for us, a park in the backyard, healthy doggies that add to our lives, heat, warmth, food in our bellies and laughter in our hearts.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by those that they love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Give Away!

I was recently contacted by Caitlin at CSN Stores about doing a giveaway on my blog!  I am so excited to announce that we will be able to give a $55 gift card to one lucky, randomly selected winner!

For those unfamiliar with CSN stores, it is a website that houses shopping for 200+ stores in one convenient place.  You can find everything from children's backpacks to household items to toys, to shoes to pet stuff and everything inbetween!

Since one of my favorite days of the year, a day that I look forward to and plan on every year is Black Friday, and that special day falls this week, I think it is only fitting to give away this awesome gift card this Friday.  Let's say 8 PM (PST) on Friday, November 26.

The gift card will be emailed to you and can be used on ANYTHING at their store.  It could make for a Christmas gift for someone you love OR for something to spoil yourself with during this holiday season.  Here are some great things I came across.

DwellStudio Sparrow Backpack in Lilac  Totally matches the nursery!  and only $36.80.

Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike - 320 $79.99

Educational Insights 48 - piece Microscope Set $33.95

Global Amici Sonoma Spigot Jar and Stand $49.99

Schoenhut My First Piano in White - 1822W $49.99

Right now, we're averaging about 120-180 unique visitors a day (depending on whether there is a new blog posted that day ;P), so it would be awesome to get the followers count up.  Here is how you can win:

Leave a comment for each of the following, since the winner will be drawn at random using random.org, the more "tasks" you do, the better chance you have of winning!  You have the opportunity to have up to 5 chances to win.

1. Leave a comment that says you are following the blog :)
2. Leave a comment with what YOU are most thankful for this holiday season
3. Leave a comment to indicate that you shared the blog with someone who isn't already a reader
4. Leave a comment with what you would like to purchase if you won
5. Leave a comment with what other kind of giveaways you think would be fun in the future!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our First Week at home

And it has been pretty good.  Samantha is a really good baby.  We are working really hard to avoid co-sleeping and keeping her in the co-sleeper connected to the bed.  It is so hard to not bring her into bed with us, especially when you are nursing at 3 AM and finding it impossible to keep your heavy eyes from drooping.  But, even though it's hard, we know in the long run, it's for the best.

Let's see, our week has been pretty uneventful.  We came home on Friday morning.  We had visits that day from my mom (who also brought Kaitlyn home since it was a no school day), sister Christina who, along with my sister Samantha bought baby Samantha the perfect bassinet.  Let me tell you, she loves the thing and if the vibrating part is on, she'll sleep so good in it, swaddled or not.  Her fiance Brian was with her and we were also joined by Dusty's cousin Stephanie (who Kaitlyn lovingly refers to as Aunt) and her two little ones Hope and Beau and Dusty's cousins wife Alicia (who Kaitlyn also lovingly refers to as Aunt) and her little girl Lisa.  The kids were awesome about not touching Samantha, and Kaitlyn was really glad to have her cousins there to play with.

Saturday was another lazy day.  It's funny, when you are in the hospital and they are telling you to walk, walk, walk, all you want to do is scream "I just had major surgery" and want to rest, rest, rest.  But, then when you get home, you take all the precautions they told you about, you know, not lifting anything, stay off your feet, no cleaning, only take care of baby, and you throw it all out the window.  My idea of lazy is staying home and only doing what I feel are the necessities.  Which happened to be laundry, dishes and some light dusting lol.  Saturday my mom was by again, this time with lunch and my Aunt Beth to meet Samantha.  We were visited again by my sister Christina (who also took Kaitlyn for a while to play with her nearly teenage, almost cousin Reid) and friend Leila with her two kids, who were also great about not touching Samantha, and later by friends Dorin and Nicole and their little ones Dominick and Isaiah, who were also fantastic about not touching baby.

By Saturday you should be able to kinda get my pattern.  I'm thrilled to have kids over, not so thrilled about the possibility of spreading germs.  I know it's terrible, but I am overly paranoid right now about her getting sick.  Dusty is the same, so we've decided to avoid most public places (like malls, busy grocery stores and the like) and not let her have contact with kids like our pediatrician suggested until she is closer to 2 months.

Sunday we relaxed.  Kaitlyn slept in, I was still going to bed around 9, getting up every 2 hours to feed, change, swaddle and get Samantha to sleep (which was taking about an hour) and doing that routine until about 7.  We were visited by a friend Marilyn and soon after Auntie Christina came by to take Kaitlyn to Sunday dinner at my parents house.  Kaitlyn was worried she would be left out if she didn't go, and I was too sore to think about wanting to get into the car.

Monday, it was our first time taking Kaitlyn to school with Samantha.  Dusty hasn't ever experienced the drop off line, so I went too, in hopes of showing him the ropes.  I got up at 6:30 so I could shower, get Kaitlyn showered and ready, get Samantha dressed and ready and then Archie surprised me by throwing up in our room and down the hall, and I got that cleaned up, dressed, make-up on and dishes done to be ready to leave by 8:15.  I was pretty happy with myself.  Dusty and I came home for about half an hour before it was time to take Miss Samantha to her doctor's appointment.

On the way home, Dusty waited in the car and I went into Super Walmart to pick up a few things and to get Kaitlyn's birthday presents.  We ended up getting her the Barbie Video Girl, some new water colors (her favorite), 2 new painting booklets, a spiral picture maker and some money (her other favorite lol) all in a Tinkerbell bag with an iCarly card.  On the way home we picked up some lunch and then I hurried and wrapped it so we could hide it.

Later that afternoon, Dusty picked up Kaitlyn and we waited for the cable guy to come fix our cable.  I thought he was a jerk, but he and Dusty hit it off lol.  In the end, our HD channels are working again and so is our DVR, so I can't really complain too much.

Tuesday was another relaxing day.  Kaitlyn had school, Dusty took her himself, and we were able to just relax at home with the baby.  I even got a nap in, which makes the 6 hours of interrupted sleep at night much easier to get through :)  On Tuesday we also had to make the decision that Kaitlyn's outdoor Scooby-Doo party we had planned just wasn't going to happen because of all the nasty rain coming in.  First time it has ever rained on her birthday party day!  So, we decided to book the pizza place down the street and move it there!

Wednesday was Kaitlyn's birthday!  Grandma was awesome and helped Kaitlyn make goody bags to pass out (Kaitlyn doesn't really care for cake, at all) and Kaitlyn was so excited.  She said all the kids loved them and were so happy.  Kaitlyn's teacher told us the next day that a few of the kids were so excited and kept saying "It's Kaitlyn's birthday but SHE gave US presents" in amazement!  On our way  to pick up Kaitlyn from school we stopped, paid the deposit on the pizza place and picked up everything we needed for her birthday dinner.  She had decided to invite the family over and insisted we have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  This was a fine dinner option for me because it is so easy to do.  After school, she told us all about her birthday march, singing happy birthday to her and how she got to do whatever she wanted all day because it was her birthday.  My brother Scotty, his girlfriend (almost fiance since they've been together for nearly a decade...) Jamie, parents, Dusty's parents, Christina and her fiance Brian, Dusty's sister Christy and husband Dennis (who was also celebrating his birthday!) and their little girl Camaryn, all came over for dinner.  Kaitlyn was THRILLED.  She loved having happy birthday sang to her lol.

Thursday was a busy day!  It was a day I waited all week for.  We had scheduled newborn and sister pictures with Cari Lyn Photography.  I woke up early, so did Samantha.  I gave her a sponge bath, washed her pretty hair (which is already looking lighter in color) ironed some clothes, got a bag together with beanies, blankets, shirts and what not and then got Kaitlyn showered, hair blow dried, and tried to wake Dusty up to drive us to El Dorado Hills.  He had been having cold symptoms and took some nyquil and even though he tried, he just couldn't get up. 

So, I drove for the first time since I had surgery.  It really wasn't that bad.  I got everyone and everything loaded up and we hit the road.  We got there like 2 minutes late, but I wasn't expected construction and traffic, so I was impressed with myself.

Cari was amazing, Samantha did so good at staying asleep (with the help of lots of nursing!) and Kaitlyn was wonderful too.  That night I got a couple of sneak peeks and I cannot tell you how excited I am to see and order these pictures.  I'm going to hold off on finishing my announcements until I do.  If you ever have the opportunity, I highly suggest booking a session with her.

Check out Miss Samantha and Miss Kaitlyn.  Let me tell you, after seeing those two pictures, it has me constantly checking my email in anticipation of the rest.  I am just so in love with them!

Once we got home, we had enough time to sit for a little bit and eat lunch before it was time for Kaitlyn's parent/teacher conference.  I always look forward to Kaitlyn's parent teacher conferences, I know that I think she is incredibly smart, but I like to hear it from a third party.  I also love that Dusty goes because I think it helps keep him involved if he's hearing it from the horse's mouth.

Kaitlyn is really advanced in reading, I'm not surprised since I hear her read and I also hear her tell me how bored she is during reading time.  Her teacher this year was her reading teacher last year.  She said that to be where she needs to be right now, she needs to read at a level 9.  So, since she knew how smart Kaitlyn is, she started testing her at a level 17.  She passed, with flying colors and a perfect score.  Then, she did a level 18, again she passed and even got a comprehension question right that most adults don't get right.  Then she ran out of time before she could see how far Kaitlyn could really go.  Based on those tests, she is reading at a 2nd grade level, but we all suspect she is reading above that.

Her teacher kept commenting on how easy it is to forget that Kaitlyn is by far the youngest in the class.  Not just by her reading skills or math skills, but also by her maturity, ability to sit and by attention, and how well she self motivates and keeps herself on task.  Being that it is a large class and there is only one teacher and many of the kids are incredibly disruptive and just need so much more attention, it's an important skill to have.

She also commented that Kaitlyn is one of the most popular kids in the class.  Kids argue over who is going to be her partner, sit next to her at lunch, stand in line next to her, be in her birthday march, play with her at recess, sit next to her on the rug and basically who is going to be the closest to her during the day.  Another great skill to have ;)

Then we discussed math.  Kaitlyn's official grade is "proficient" she thinks Kaitlyn is advanced but on their timed tests, she made 2 careless mistakes and to get advanced you have to get 100%.  It was obvious that Kaitlyn knew the right answer because she wrote the right answer down next to the math problems, but she circled the wrong answer.  When I asked her the same math problem, she told me the right answer.  So, one of Kaitlyn's mini goals is to not rush to the finish and to double check her work.  Which she promised me she would do.

Overall she said Kaitlyn is an absolute delight to have in class, she's cheerful, generous, eager to help and just all around great.  She said she wishes Kaitlyn would raise her hand more, so we asked Kaitlyn why she doesn't raise her hand to answer the questions and she said "because if I already had a turn to answer it wouldn't be fair to the other kids to raise it again."  She is pretty thoughtful lol.  She also said that when she saw Kaitlyn's name on the roster for her class she was so excited to have her come in from surgery, she counted down the days waiting.  And the class really feels it when Kaitlyn is out sick.

What a great Thursday!  To celebrate we let Kaitlyn have spaghetti O's for dinner :)

Friday marked one week at home.  Kaitlyn was off school last Thursday and Friday for Veteran's day and a furlough day.  This Thursday and Friday they were off for parent teacher conferences.  So, we were able to have a really lazy morning.  And after how Thursday was, I needed it!  Dusty needed to go and help his dad put the racks on his new truck, so Kaitlyn, Samantha and I decided we would go to.  We visited with Dusty's mom while Dusty worked on the truck, in the pouring rain, poor guy. 

Kaitlyn went to bed around 9:30, after watching the new episode of iCarly, and Samantha and I went to bed shortly after.  It was Samantha's best night of sleeping ever!!  She only got up at 1:30 am, and went back to sleep easily after being changed and nursed (so 3 1/2 hours!) and then didn't get up until 4:30 (another 3 hours) and slept until 7:30 (which makes for 3, 3 hour stretches!)  Yay!

Today is Kaitlyn's birthday party day, which she is so excited for and every few minutes she asks me how many hours until we get to go.  Dusty and I are planning on keeping Samantha in her car seat/stroller the entire time to prevent her from being held.  While we want to share her with the world, we also want to be responsible and not allow her to get sick if we can prevent it at all.  So, if anyone would like to hold her, please feel free to head to our house after.  And be sure to be on the look out for pictures, I'm sure there will be plenty!

As far as my healing goes, it's been good.  11 days later and I take 1 motrin a day, can fit into all pre-maternity clothes (but can't wear them because of the incision, boo!) and I'm getting my energy back :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kaitlyn Turns 6

6 years ago today, right at this time I was on all fours in on our bedroom floor, having Archie sniff at me because I was rocking in pain.  I know labor was supposed to hurt, but this seemed a little cruel and unnecessary.  We waited until nearly 1 to go into the hospital.  After being sent home earlier in the day, I was sure that I was going to be sent home again, I just wanted to be sure that I had something to help with the pain.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was dilated to a 5, I was staying AND I was getting an epidural.  Yay!!

By 9:30 that night, our little princess was born.

Kaitlyn was 7 lbs, 3 ounces and 20 inches in length, born November 17, 2004 on her Uncle Dennis' birthday.

In the past 6 years, Kaitlyn has grown so much. She's over 48" tall and 45 lbs(official measurements at her physical next month!), wearing a size 6 on top and a slim 6 on bottom, sometimes a slim 7 for length.  She wears a size 13 shoe and loves sketchers twinkle toes.

Kaitlyn is doing amazing in school.  There is very little she can't read and understand.  Which means everything from board games to DS games to picking her favorite show on demand is easy for her.  Officially she is reading and comprehending at a third grade level, which is even more impressive since she is the youngest in her first grade class.  She is doing wonderful in math, working on addition, subtraction and algebra.  She loves singing songs and we cannot wait for her parent/teacher conference tomorrow.

She loves iCarly, monster high, Scooby Doo, and most of all, Zombies lol.  She is full of energy, a great eater and has a habit of pointing out what she finds appropriate ;)

Above all else, she is just absolutely amazing and makes us proud each and every single day. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Samantha's Newborn Appointment

When we left the hospital, Samantha had lost 6% of her birth weight.  She was weighing in at 7 lbs and 5 oz the night before we were discharged.

The average loss is about 5%, since she lost slightly more, it earned her a bilirubin test to look at whether or not she had become jaundiced.  She passed and we went home.  We were scheduled for her newborn appointment for this morning, at 6 days old.

I absolutely LOVE our pediatrician.  Him and I are alike on so many schools of thought.  He is great with Kaitlyn, she wants to marry him, and I like his stand offish, wait and see approach to things.  I also love that we have never waited in the waiting room for more than 2 minutes.  He doesn't like his patients in the waiting room exposed to everything.  And really, we've never waited more than 5 minutes in his office.  I just love that.

So, Dusty obviously went with us since I can't drive yet and I can't carry Samantha's car seat on my own.  Dusty refused to take her in the elevator, he figured there were too many germs, so they took the stairs and I took the elevator.  We were in there barely long enough for me to sit.  Her head circumference was 14 inches, which puts her in the 40%, which I'm 99% sure was pretty much the same as Kaitlyn's.  Her length was 20 1/4 inch.  Her doctor does believe that this is probably her true birth length since they aren't always very exact after birth.  This was in the 60% tile, Kaitlyn was 20 1/2", so it's pretty darn close!  And lastly, her weight, she is now at her birth weight again!  Since Friday she has gained 8 ounces!  Not too shabby at all!  Her weight was in the 50%.  Kaitlyn was 7 lbs 12 ounces at her newborn check-up.  It's so funny how similar their sizes are.

Everything else went great.  She has some very slight yellowing, which he thinks will clear up in the next day or two on it's own.  He thought her weight gain was absolutely amazing, and she is looking so healthy he sees no reason for her to come in for her 2 week check-up.  Instead, we will not go back until she is 2 months old, which will be in January.  She is doing just great!

While we were there, we also booked Kaitlyn's 6 year physical.  She gets to see Dr. Kono on December 15 :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Due Date

Today is my due date, and in my arms I hold a precious 5 day old little girl.

And, on this day, 6 years ago, I was anxiously awaiting our first princess to arrive, which she did, 3 days from now.  That's right, Kaitlyn, a very proud big sister, turns 6 in only 3 days.  Where in the world has the time gone??

Samantha is doing great.  She is a pretty laid back baby.  For the most part, she eats, sleeps and poops lol.  She has started to have some longer awake periods.  As long as 20 minutes about 3 times a day.  She is incredibly strong.  Dusty has held her and had her doing nearly a complete sit-up, and she tries so hard to push herself up and hold her head up.  She can do pretty good for a second or so.  And when she's awake, she's so incredibly alert, she loves when we sing to her (especially Kaitlyn) and is just pretty content.

Since I'm still healing, it is way easier for me to rest on the couch with the recliner option in full force.  She loves her bassinet from Auntie Christina and Auntie Sammie.  If she's swaddled and the vibrator part is on, she'll sleep in it for over an hour.  At night, she sleeps in her co-sleeper next to me and wakes up every 1-3 hours to be changed and fed and usually goes back to sleep so easy after.  During the day, when she's not in the bassinet, she gets held a lot.  Dusty teases me that I'll regret it when she doesn't want to be put down, and I told him she won't be this small for long, and I'd rather regret holding her too much than not enough.

Tomorrow she has her well baby visit.  She left the hospital weighing 7 lbs 5 oz, down from her 7 lb 13 ounce birth weight, and I'm really curious to see what her weight is now.  :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our hospital bags....

Well, the benefit of a scheduled cesarean was that I could have my hospital bags set with everything I could or would want or need.  Which meant my wardrobe was set, as was Kaitlyn's and Dusty's.

For the day of the birth, I wore a lovely blue hospital gown provided by the hospital.  Dusty however had a new shirt I had found for him at Goore's.  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and was able to get the last one in his size the day before Samantha was born.  It is dark brown and reads "Proud Dad" and Dusty said it was really comfortable, which I'm sure was great for him!

For Kaitlyn, I had ordered some customs scrubs from KidzScrubz on etsy.  I LOVE them, and so did she.  She said they were cool and they did look super cute.  It was embroderied with "Big Sister Kaitlyn" and she even sent a matching hospital style hat.  She loves her doctor's outfit and wants to wear it every day.

For me, I actually got a couple of things.  The first, was my favorite.  I wore it the day after surgery and was so glad I did.  I wasn't able to shower yet, I was sore, I was still being examined a lot at my incision site, and nursing every hour or so.  Plus, I also had the IV in at that time, as well as the catheter.  But, I had to start walking the halls.  So, this gown from Annie & Isabel was absolutely perfect!  I got to feel clean and pretty, but it was still incredibly practical.  It was so much better than the hospital gown because it covered everything.  I didn't have to worry about wearing the two gowns to cover everything or constantly pull it up on my shoulders, and to know that I was completely covered without worrying if I was exposed.  I got so many compliments on it from the nurses and other patients when we walked the halls.  It's a good thing I still had the tag on it when we got to the hospital because I had so many people ask where we got it.  Don't be surprised if you come by to visit and I'm wearing it :P

And the second outfit we wore on Thursday.  By we, I mean me and Samantha.  Old Navy carries matching maternity pajamas with baby gowns.  For the second day in a row we were the talk of the third floor lol.  The pajamas were perfect thing to wear that day.  It was comfortable, felt great, and felt like I was dressed.  And as my milk came in, it was so easy to nurse with, comfortable on my incision and it was cute lol.

And those were my favorite outfits that we enjoyed.  In case anyone is wondering :P

Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to the world Samantha

Less than 72 hours ago, our second princess was born.  She made her way into the world at 3:24 PM weighing 7 lbs, 13 ounces and 20 inches long.

Our cesarean was scheduled for 2:00 PM on Tuesday, November 9.  We had to be there at noon to get everything all set up.

We picked Kaitlyn up from school at 11:10, she was already in the office waiting for us, excited that we were having the baby.  She had already told everyone in the office that we were having a baby today and they were all there to give us their best wishes.

On the way to the hospital, we stopped at McDonald's for Kaitlyn and Dusty to get some food.  I wasn't allowed anything beginning midnight the night prior and I was starving!

We parked and got to labor and delivery at 11:57 AM.  Only to be told there were no available beds.  At this point I should have tried to reschedule lol.  We were put in triage at about 12:30.  I was put on the monitors, did all of my health and pregnancy history, got my IV put in (by a student, who did get it in, but it was really painful!), blood taken, gown and all set up for surgery. 

My Doctor came in around 1:15 and we found out that the OR was really behind.  They had just started the noon section.  I was not thrilled to hear this.  At all.  My nurse was fantastic and soon I met Dr. Carouso who would do my spinal.  My doctor wasn't thrilled about the delay and went to throw a fit about it.  We ended up getting back to the OR around 2:45.  The nurse teased me since I had a steady contraction pattern the entire time we were there.  My contractions were never less than 3 minutes apart, I told her they had been that way for over a week and it was so frustrating to have them so close, so regular and know they aren't doing anything.

Dusty had to wait in the hall in his white jumpsuit, shoe covers, hair net and mask while we got set up.  The anesthesiologist was amazing.  My spinal barely hurt going in and provided an amazing level of pain relief.  It was so different than my cesarean with Matthew.  Once it was in, I was laid on the table, hooked up to a pulse ox machine, blood pressure cuff and given oxygen to help make sure the baby had enough air.  My cathader was placed and I was prepped for surgery.  I had the drapes put up all around me and then Dusty was allowed in. 

Dusty was great!  He was by my head the entire time and kept making sure I was feeling ok and not in pain or discomfort.  Samantha was wedged in there and wedged in high.  She was head down, but Dr. Zielinsky had to push down on my chest to get her to finally get out.  He kept going on and on about what a big baby she was and how happy he was that we were getting this outcome.  The doctor that assisted him had also assisted with Matthew's birth.  They went over my history since then and they were both really happy for us. 

Samantha was finally out!  Dusty got some great pictures, which I appreciate and cherish already.  She wasn't crying when she was first born, they took her to the warmer, rubbed her back and she started to scream.

The pediatric nurse then weighed her, cleaned her up a little bit and got her footprints done.

Dusty was then given the baby to hold, bring to me and cuddle while they finished closing me up.  Dr. Zielinksy decided that my muscles were too stretched from this pregnancy and the last.  He decided to give me a mini tummy-tuck and fix up my scar from the last cesarean.  He was incredibly thorough.

When it came time to get me on a regular bed and in recovery, Dusty took Samantha to meet her family.  She met Kaitlyn, grandparents, aunts and uncles and got to be held by everyone while I was set up in recovery. 

Once I was good to go, Dusty brought her to me and I got to hold her!  We did skin to skin therapy for a little bit before it was time for her to try and nurse.  She took to nursing like a champ.  She did fantastic.

It took a few hours before we went to our room.  The hospital was incredibly full and we didn't get a private room.  While we were transitioning, Samantha went to the nursery where she was given her hearing test, bathed and weighed.  We finally got her back after a couple of hours and then started trying to rest.

My nurse was confused and thought we delivered Monday.  So, she got me up walking within 12 hours of surgery time.  The catheder was out in less than 24 hours.  I was walking the halls 

Unfortunately, we had the roommates from hell.  They were young (which I don't have a problem with), their baby cried ALL the time, she was whiny and expected the nurses to do everything for her, their guests were ghetto and loud and we weren't able to sleep day or night, which had nothing to do with our own baby.  It was really frustrating.

By yesterday, we had enough.  One of their guests was coughing like crazy.  Not sure if she was a smoker or sick, but we weren't risking it any longer and decided we had to go.  By 11, we were walking the halls to try and get some peace and quiet.  Really, it was that bad.  I told the nurse we were just miserable.  By 12, they had decided to move us.  They were opening up the old cardiac care department and moving some patients down there to ease up some space since they were really over packed. 

At midnight, she was weighed and 7 lbs and 6 ounces, she had lost 7% of her body weight.  Which meant that she had to have a bilirubin test in the morning to check her jaundice levels.  Everything came back fine, so I got to have all 18 staples removed and us ready to get going home.

And here we are!  About 72 hours after delivery, we're all home together, resting and relaxing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My last update pregnant with Samantha

Well, here we are.  The past 4 pregnancies set us up for a list of obstacles to pass.  The chemical pregnancy had us set up to need to get past 5 weeks, the blighted ovum had us wishing to get passed 6 weeks with a heartbeat, the spontaneous miscarriage set us up for wanting to get passed 8 weeks without bleeding and Matthew's pregnancy gave us the goal of getting past 23 weeks with amniotic sac in tact and past 33 weeks without delivering.

Thanks to the amazing medical team that hovered over us this pregnancy and the gracious support of family and friends, here we are.  39 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  Amniotic fluid all still there and a body that has done such a good job of protecting this little one that it refuses to deliver on it's own.  What an amazing feeling that is.

So, here we are, delivery time is in about 7 hours.  Of our full term baby girl who we get to take home with us.  Who would have thought?

While I'm not thrilled about the recovery of a cesarean, there have been some definite upsides.  All of our "labor and delivery" clothes are nice and ironed instead of sitting in my suitcase waiting to be taken to the hospital.  In a few hours I will no longer question every single twitch, feeling or contraction and wonder "is this it?"  And I went to bed last night being able to fully appreciate every bit of pregnancy, knowing it is your last night of pregnancy makes everything seem that more amazing.  Just knowing that tonight if I get to take my nightly shower, I will be able to see my knee caps when I glance down is a good feeling.  Knowing that soon I will be able to get out of bed without it being a circus act makes those middle of the night trips to the bathroom almost enjoyable.  And of course, it forces you to feel out for those little kicks, jabs, turns, somersaults and everything else knowing that you will no longer feel the most amazing feeling in the world in just a few hours. 

And of course, the planning aspect is awesome!  We know when and where so we can give our family and friends plenty of time to plan to be at the hospital :)  We can tell Kaitlyn's teacher what time we are going to pick her up, we can plan on having time for her and Dusty to get lunch on the way.  I know to make sure I pamper myself in the morning to prepare for dry hospital air.  I get to DVR my favorite shows that I will more than likely miss :)  I get to make sure that the dogs are fed and watered and that Kaitlyn has her own packed bag of stuff to play with in the waiting room.

Of course, that also means there is the intense feeling of waiting.  I went to bed at about 9:30 and was up at 3:15 unable to go back to sleep.  I watched Law and Order SVU until 4.  Then Discovery Health had a Special Delivery show on which featured 4 women going through cesarean's for different reasons.  I watched about 15 minutes of a "lost" episode of Married with Children before I fell asleep until 6.  Even though I didn't have my alarm set for another 45 minutes I decided to go ahead and get into the shower. 

The downside is that I'm STARVING.  And I'm thirsty.  And I have heartburn, but I can't take anything because it would go against doctor's orders.  But, in a few hours, it'll all be over :)

So, wish us luck!  And if you want to participate in the baby pool: http://bebepool.com/BabySamantha/

Sunday, November 7, 2010

39 weeks- My last weekly update!

How far along? 39 weeks.  And I'm really trying to figure out how in the world we got this far!  Of course, I know how we did it.  We had an amazing medical staff who really listened and valued what I said, who treated my baby as a baby from day 1 and did everything they could think of to give her a chance to be born alive and healthy.  And we couldn't have done it without the support, thoughtfulness and kindness of family and friends who have not only shown an interest in the boring doctor's appointments, but kept me entertained with texts, emails, messages and phone calls.  We are really fortunate to know such amazing people.
Weight gain/loss: 40 lbs.  I'm starting to lose weight now, but I seriously have no appetite and feel like even when I eat there is no where for it to go.
Maternity Clothes?  Yup, I have a couple things left that still fit, and when we're just staying home, I go through Dusty's closet :)
Stretch Marks?  Nope.
Sleep? I have been SOOO exhausted.  I'm going to bed before 9 and sleeping until 6:30 - 7 only getting up once.  My body must be gearing up for sleepless nights!
Best moment this week?  We have a date!!  We know that on Tuesday Samantha is going to be here.  If she decides to come any earlier, that's great, if not Tuesday it is!
Food Cravings?  Milk.  Still.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out.
What I miss?  Actually having the energy I think I have.
Weekly Wisdom? There is a light at the end of every tunnel!
Upcoming Appointments?  Well, we don't have any upcoming appointments!!  We do have a surgery scheduled for Tuesday at 2:00 PM!!  

This is the email I've sent to family and friends in the area, if for some reason you didn't get it, now you have the information too :)

It is looking like I will be having a repeat cesarean to deliver baby Samantha.

The cesarean is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9 at 2:00 PM at Mercy San Juan hospital.  We should be out of surgery and recovery by 3:30 PM (unless emergency deliveries of other patients push us back) and in our room.  There is still a possibility I could go into labor and she could decide to engage her little head before then, and if so, we will obviously contact everyone and let them know :) 

Because it is cold and flu season, the hospital is really enforcing their no children under 12 (with siblings being the exception) policy for the labor and delivery floor.  So, while I would love to see everyone, I just want you to be prepared that security may not be as friendly with little ones visiting as I would like.  If we do not end up with a private room after delivery, they are also enforcing their 4 visitors at a time rule.  If we're lucky (and my fingers are crossed) we should have a private room during our recovery period and some control over how many visitors we get to have :)  And obviously, if you are sick or have recently been exposed to someone who is sick, please wait to see us when you're germ free :)

We are really excited to be able to share Samantha with everyone right when she is born, I just want to be sure there aren't any surprises for our family and friends if they chose to visit us in the hospital :)

As long as everything goes well we should be home between Friday and Saturday.

The hospital is being a real stickler on children, which I don't blame them for, but it kinda sucks.  And Dusty and I are both going to be real sticklers on people being sick or smoking around our baby.  When it comes down to it, she does have an elevated risk of SIDS because she has an older sibling who fell victim.  There is NOTHING we can do to PREVENT SIDS, but we do plan on doing everything humanly possible to reduce the risk of SIDS.  We have set up everything for her with SIDS reduction in mind.

So, if you have been sick, if you have been exposed to someone who has been sick, if you have what could be allergies or a cold, if you have been feeling a little off lately, PLEASE wait until you are feeling better to visit.  We would rather play safe than sorry.  If you're going to be around us a lot, it isn't a bad idea to get your flu shot, it can mean many, many more visits with you and of course, a healthy cold and flu season for you as well.  If you are a smoker and you plan on holding her, please be aware that you will need a clean shirt to put on that has not been smoked in to hold her.  Third hand smoke is just as dangerous as first and second hand smoke and is a real danger.  We will be asking everyone to both wash and sanitize their hands before handling our little one.

I know it sounds like we're being overprotective, but unless you've walked in our shoes, there is no telling how you would react as well.  A simple cold to you can be earth shattering to a newborn.  While we have been really blessed to be able to remove prematurity or underdevelopment of lungs from the risk factors, we have no desire to trade those out for colds or exposure to first, second or third hand smoke.

Now that that's out of the way :)  There is a part of me that still hopes we magically go into labor and progress well and have a VBAC before Tuesday.  I know labor hurts, but I would rather trade in 10, 12, 24+ hours of pain in labor and delivery for the weeks of pain in recovery for a cesarean.  And a shorter hospital stay.  But, I know that's pretty unlikely no matter how much walking I do, or how much time I spend on the labor ball, or how many stairs I climb.  She seems to want to do things her way :)  

But, while the recovery time is worse for a cesarean and it's a lot less intimate of a way to bring a baby into the world, at the end of the day, that's what matters, we're bringing her into the world.  And there are benefits of it.  We know that by Tuesday afternoon we will deliver.  End of story, no more waiting around, hoping, wondering, evaluating every little twinge and wondering if every contraction could be the start of something.  And it makes it so much easier to get Kaitlyn's arrangements made.  Auntie Christina is getting the honors of keeping her Tuesday night and taking her to school on Wednesday!  Grandma gets to pick her up Wednesday and keep her until we come home.  And of course, this way we get to plan on picking up Kaitlyn from school at lunchtime to take her with us to the hospital.  And believe me, it's nice that this is the last Sunday I will have to force myself out of bed before the sun rises because I can't handle the heartburn anymore ;)

Just think, the day after tomorrow, there she'll be :)  In the meantime, we do have a baby pool going, and I'm working on coming up with a prize...   Samantha's baby pool

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

38 week appointment

Today was my 38 week appointment.  After all the fun we had at L&D on Monday night, all the cramping, contractions and "gunk" we had yesterday and this morning, I was looking forward to seeing some progress today!  I was so ready to hear some good news I even parked at the top of the parking garage and took the stairs down, and then took the steps up 2 at a time to my appointment.

I have lost 2 pounds since my last appointment, which is fine and dandy and totally normal at this stage in pregnancy.  My fundal height was great and right on, my blood pressure was at 100/70, and her heartbeat was in the 150s and easy to find. 

Then came the lovely cervical exam.  We discussed my trip to l&d, the cramps, the contractions and what they should be doing.  We discussed how just Monday night I was dilated to 1.5 cm.  Well, my cervix must night like that at all because now it has reformed itself completely.  I'm not dilated AT ALL, not effaced AT ALL, and her head is not engaged.  The thought is it might be too big to actually engage.  And we knew that one of the possible side effects of the p17 shots is a larger baby, and really, I'd rather a larger baby born by cesarean than a premature baby born vaginally any day, so it's all worth it :)

So, our cesarean is officially scheduled for Tuesday, November 9 at 2:00 PM (PST)!  If I go into labor before then, great, we'll do a trial of labor and try for a VBAC, if not, she'll be here by dinner time next Tuesday :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our trip to Labor and Delivery

The contractions started around the time the world series started.  They weren't really like the other ones, they were obviously not just braxton hicks.  They radiated through my back, hips, and through my thighs.  I started timing them a little after 5:30.  After an hour of seeing them at 4 1/2 minutes apart, I told Dusty that if they didn't change, we would be headed to the hospital after the game.

During the game, I decided to take a hot shower.  During this time I missed Renteria's home runs, but at the time I didn't care because it dulled the pain and felt so good.  I figured I might as well shave my legs, just in case.

At about 8:15, I told Dusty I wanted to go in.  The pain was bad, they were getting closer and I was worried about being too far from the hospital (only 30 min) and risking anything since I want a vbac.  He packed his bag of some extra clothes and toiletries and DVDs, Kaitlyn grabbed some jammies and we were off.  We dropped Kaitlyn off with Dusty's parents until we knew if we were being admitted or not.

We got to the hospital, got signed in (yay for pre-admission) and since all the rooms were filled or dirty, we went to the triage room.  I got changed into the lovely gown and they strapped on the straps.  Baby was looking good, heart rate was great and the contraction monitor was picking up the contractions.  They were every 3 to 3 1/2 minutes apart, lasting 50 - 60 seconds and off the chart.  The nurse decided to check my cervix and see what it was doing.  I was dilated to 1.5 cm.  I have never dilated before being in labor.  Even the morning of the day Kaitlyn was born, there was no dilation, less than 12 hours before Matthew was born, there was no dilation.  I thought this was it.

We stayed on the monitors for 2 hours, contractions stayed in a steady pattern and then the on call doctor came in.  She wanted to check my cervix.  Since I wanted a "trial of labor" they wanted to monitor me really close.  She said I was 1.5 cm, STILL, and my cervix was really high up, she almost couldn't reach it.  My assignment was to walk and see what happened.

We walked.  And walked.  And walked.  We walked the hallways, we took the stairs to the roof and back, we took the stairs to the basement and back.  We walked until I was exhausted and super thirsty (wasn't allowed water because of previous cesarean) and couldn't walk anymore.  I got back on the gurney, strapped to the monitors and contractions remained consistent.  At 12:30, she checked me again.  She felt as though my cervix actually got a little harder to reach, but was still at 1.5 cm.  She asked if I wanted to give it a couple more hours or go home.  I voted to go home.  She went to talk to the doctor and I got voted down.

The problem with having a VBAC is they treat your labor as high risk.  My contractions were still consistent.  They were painful.  They just weren't doing their job.  The nurse and the doctor didn't feel comfortable sending me home.  They decided that if I wanted to go home, I needed to take vistrail to see if it would calm the contractions, slow them down and let my uterus rest to prevent rupture.  They would monitor me and see if they could feel comfortable in a few more hours sending me home.  Or, I could stay, without the meds and see what my body did.

I opted for the medicine.  My thought process was, if the contractions aren't doing anything, I don't want to spend hours upon hours longer in pain just to have a cesarean due to lack of progress.  We could go home, wait for it to start again and try then. 

At 3:45 AM, the nurse returned.  I had fallen asleep a bit prior and knew the contractions were slowing and were now closer to 10 minutes apart.  Which, for the purpose of going home, was a good thing.  She checked me again, we were both hopeful that maybe, just maybe there was a change.  There wasn't.  She said she could feel her head bouncing off of her finger, but my cervix had not dilated any further.

We picked up Kaitlyn and went home.  I was so groggy I couldn't keep my eyes open.

It's starting to look more and more like we're going to end up with a cesarean this time around.  I am still having contractions, but not nearly anything like last night, but she hasn't moved down any further so I'm not too hopeful.  All that matters is she's here and she's healthy.