Monday, December 29, 2014

Tree Triming 2014

So this year we were able to get the tree up right after thanksgiving.  This was a good thing because I happened to still be pregnant at the time!  It was a good night for me with minimal contractions so decorate away we did!  Reid is definitely a four year old because he insisted on being in costume for the occasion, and by costume I mean a monkey towel on his head.  We were able to get him to take it off for some of the pictures, but not for others.  And speaking of pictures, all of these were taken with my iPhone so they aren't nearly the best quality!

This is our last year to use this little tree as we bought a brand new one at Hobby lobby's after christmas sale!  It has been good to us, but we needed something a little taller and with lights that all worked.  All in all a great tree trimming!

Putting the star on top

All our random ornaments in their place

This little ballerina ornament Reid picked out back in October for Halle Kate!

Putting the boys' tree up in the game room, full of shatter proof ornaments!

The hooded monkey towel and poor quality picture.

What I came in to find 10 minutes later.  Needless to say we anchored it with some heavy books.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Beginnings at Home and Halle Kate's First Bath

Before we left the hospital on Thursday afternoon we knew I would have to go back to the hospital on Friday  to get her bilirubin levels checked again for jaundice.  Luckily my mother-in-law was here to stay with the boys and Abby was nice enough to go with me to do this unfortunate task.  For those who don't know, they have to prick the baby's heel and fill up this tiny vial with blood to do this.  It is horrible to watch and this particular time took forever because they didn't have a heel warmer so they had to squeeze her foot for much longer.  They said we should know something that day, but when I didn't hear from them I figured no news was good news and settle in about our weekend.  I was thankful to have Mark's parents here one day and my cousin as well to help with the boys because emotionally and physically I was exhausted/recuperating.  

My mom came over on Sunday and the boys stayed home from church with us.  It was kind of a hard transition to come home to them still being here, even if I had help and I ended up crying to Mom about it that day (I'm telling you, hormones) saying "I just don't want Monday to come yet."  I felt like I hadn't had enough time just with her yet to get my bearings before having to be thrown into real life again.  Thank the Lord for moms, I hope I am as good of one to Halle as my mom is to me, because she called my grandmother and asked if she would keep the boys one more day so I could have some time alone with no one at the house.  So Monday morning my Ballou and Papaw came over and picked up the boys around 9:30 and I settled in for what I thought would be a relaxing morning with my girl.

I get a call around 10:15 from the lactation consultant at the hospital to see if I would be able to keep the appointment they set up for me at the hospital.  I went back when I had Reid, but I didn't with Owen, and I thought she seemed to be eating really well so I politely declined.  She asked about her bilirubin levels and was surprised when I said I had heard nothing.  Luckily she is incredibly helpful because she went and dug some and found they had put the wrong account number on her results and so they had been sent to no one, not me or the pediatrician.  Needless to say I was NOT  a very happy mama because her levels were still slightly elevated and I had had no idea!  I mean this is her health we were talking about, what if she had needed to be under lights all weekend and hadn't been?!  The lactation consultant called my doctor who said I HAD to go get her bilirubin checked AGAIN that day! So I load up my 6 day old baby and take her to a lab for the whole diagnostic clinic in longview where every sick old person and child is in there waiting, and there is no well-baby waiting area.  We wait 45 long minutes until they finally call her back to get her heel pricked AGAIN and have the results rushed stat to the doctor.  Come to find out the level went up a point so the pediatrician called and said that I HAD to go to the lactation appointment to check her weight.  By now I am not happy about any of it because I have to figure out how I am going to do this, take care of 3 children, and get somewhere else all on the day I was supposed to be hanging out with my girl taking it easy.  I get back just in time for the boys to be dropped back off for their nap and tell my grandparents thank you so very much for keeping them that morning.

Tuesday was a rough day, Reid was having a hard time adjusting and was needing a lot of corrections and redirection.  Trying to figure out how to keep the boys entertained, Halle fed, and everything else was just a lot.  Mark came home in enough time for me to scurry out the door to the mandatory lactation appointment where we had to sign in and they realized there that hey, she can have her pku done (another heal prick test!).  By that point I am emotionally done.  I am nervous about this appointment, that she hasn't gained enough weight, won't eat in front of this lady, and now I have to go have her heel pricked at the very place that had lost her other stuff, it just overwhelmed my overly hormonal self.  So when I walk into that poor lady's office she looks at me and said "You look like something is wrong, are you doing ok?"  Well that just started the water works and bless her if she didn't listen to my blubbering.  She reassured me I could do the pku later and had sympathy on the fact I was back at home alone with a 4 year old and a 2 year old and a premie just a week postpartum.    I was grateful for the conversation and ecstatic because Halle weighed 6lbs 4.5oz and ate 2 ounces while we were there, which was amazing considering how early she was.  She got an A+ and they weren't concerned about the jaundice anymore!  All in all a good appointment that was apparently needed and I didn't know it.

Here are a few pictures from the Sunday after I brought Halle home when we gave her her first bath.  I had two small helpers adding in their two cents and "helping" along the way.  All of the photos uploaded out of order but I am needed to feed a baby so that is just the way it is going to have to stay.

She isn't even that loud lol! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Halle Kate Going Home

After heading into the hospital at 5:45 Tuesday morning and having her at 12:41 we enjoyed a day of visitors that ended with the on call pediatrician coming in to see us and take a look at Halle Kate.  We had seen her before with Owen's birth when it was the weekend and our pediatrician wasn't on call and we needed to be discharged.  We weren't very impressed then (she almost didn't let us go because he was slightly jaundice, which at 37 weeks 4 days, was normal) and our opinion did not change with this meeting either.  She came in when we had my parents, Mark's parents, Abby, my grandmother, aunt and uncle, and both boys all in the room.  Needless to say it was not the quietest of places.  She speaks broken english and was having to talk loudly to be heard.  She began telling us that she wanted to get Halle's blood drawn because of bruising that was on the top of her head and on her face.  We thought this was very strange and asked what drawing blood would tell her and she just said "I need to see if her platelets are high or low" which essentially didn't answer our question at all.  She also said she since we didn't know the results of my group b strep test  and she was jaundice that we would need to stay two days for them to watch that.  All in all it didn't do a lot to reassure us that she was okay.  Perhaps it was her bedside manner or the fact she wasn't our usual doctor, but we were unimpressed.

I was glad to have the extra day in the hospital though to just rest and get a chance to know my girl a little better.  We also got to talk to our pediatrician who was far less concerned than the on call pedi which made us feel a lot better.  So on Thursday we were able to leave around 2 after she passed her hearing test.  It was so much fun to be able to use a dress I had picked out myself and take her home in it.  I made a bow for the occasion but it was too big according to daddy so we had to improvise.  She did not like getting dressed but she looked oh so cute when she finally was.

Daddy helping us get all buttoned up

The too big bow mama made

The substitute 

All ready to go

Not the best quality, but I thought the bonnet was too funny!

In the carseat ready to go.  I win worst mom award for not washing it before we brought it up there.  I had planned on doing it that weekend but whoops!

Halle Kate's Visitors

Here are just a few pictures of all the visitors and fun we had with Halle Kate her first few days of life.

Meeting Big brother for the first time  

Meeting other big brother for the first time

Reid was all about holding his new sister

Love this sweet picture

Nina, Pops, and the big boys 

Uncle Wade and Aunt "Lissa"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Halle Kate's Birth Story Part 3: The Time I Actually Have the Baby

So I know it looks like I have a favorite kid based solely on Halle Kate has a 3 part birth story compared to her brothers' one, but it's solely because I don't want to forget what happened.  By now I am sure not a lot of people read this thing, but it is kind of like my journal for the past 7 years so really it is for posterity.  Also the boy's were easy and fast labor and deliveries.  I totally felt like a first time mom this go around because I didn't know what was going on with me.  Was I in labor or wasn't I? With both boys contractions, water breaks, BAM, we have a baby.  Not so with her.

Anyway, we arrive at the hospital and finally get checked in.  I am relieved because we arrived around 5:45 or so, and there is a shift change, which means I will have the same nurse the whole day. I have been praying for a nice nurse pretty consistently for 9 months since I had a mean one with Owen and luckily God answered that prayer with Nicole.  She was funny and nice and totally made this go around a better experience.  She confirmed that indeed my water had broken, I was at a 3, and so they admitted me.  I had a lab technician come in and try to get an I.V. started but instead blew out a vein, which was AWFUL.  I have never had that happen, and Mark said she blew it big time.  It is actually still black and blue a week later.  I cried, a lot, and freaked out a little bit because it hurt.  Mark apologized for me telling them "sorry, we haven't slept in a few days."  Luckily a nurse got it to go in on the other hand and for that I was grateful.  

So we settle in to labor and have a baby.  I actually started feeling a little nauseated, which is how I get when I get hungry so my nurse was awesome enough to bring me a few saltines!  I ate one and then kept on going. Dr. Doerrfeld walked in at one point and said "You just couldn't wait could you?!" and we all had a good laugh.  I was grateful to be having her when he could be there. We had been there a couple of hours or so when the strangest thing happened, my contractions all the sudden started coming back to back.  They weren't very intense, but they weren't letting up.  I started shaking uncontrollably all over.  I was actually laying on my side away from the monitor when I asked Mark what was going on and he told me.  I remember us both looking at each other terrified because it looked like I was in transition before I was able to get the epidural.  All I kept thinking was how I did NOT want that to be the case.  We called in the nurse who told us the anesthesiologist  was doing a c-section at the time and couldn't come then.  Well that made me even more nervous!  She gave me something to help take the edge off while we waited.  Luckily a few minutes later they found one a couple of floors down who was free and he came up.  I remember after they said he was on his way looking at Mark and telling him "I'm not even scared."  I was just so relieved we might actually make it in time.  

So we get there and they get the epidural in with 0 problems thank the Lord.  I have technically never had one really work so I didn't know the time line of how long it would take or what it would feel like, but luckily it started working.  In fact it worked too well at one point because I felt like I was getting numb around my neck.  I remember my nurse saying you didn't want to be too numb that you couldn't feel anything and have to push for an hour and a half, so I asked them to come in a turn it down.  They took it from a 10 to 7 which ended up just right, although I did debate asking them to come back in and turn it up to like an 8 or so.  Before I could however our nurse pops in and said "I need to check you again (she had checked right after the epidural was given and I was surprisingly still a 3) because the monitor says I probably should, it looks to be about that time.  She checks me and says "You're at a 5 but I think I can make you an 8 pretty easily, yep I can, you're an 8 now!"  We had told them about how I labor and deliver quickly so she was aware that I can dilate and change within seconds.  She said "Don't have the baby, I am going to go call the doctor." It is here that I started the uncontrollable shaking again which we knew this time was a sign of pretty strong labor, but luckily the epidural was working.  The only bad part was I was having some awful heartburn but couldn't feed myself ice chips to keep it at bay because I was shaking so badly.  Mark had to feed them to me, to which he recalls me saying "thank you" and him thinking in his head "Wow, she was nice.  Thank God for epidurals."

Finally Dr. Doerrfeld makes it in there and finds I am still an 8, but progressing quickly.  In fact they were getting me all prepped to push and he said "Is this your last baby?" to which Mark and I just laugh.  I can't remember if I actually said "Um, lets just concentrate on getting this one here first!" He was asking because he figured he could make me a 10 and we could get the show on the road lol.  However he has me push just a little to get it through that last centimeter and we are ready to go.  This whole time they kept saying how low the baby's head was, for which I was grateful because you could start to see it after the first push.  It was so much better with an actual epidural that worked properly.  It was still hard work to get her out, in fact at one point I know I said "Get. Her. Out" and Dr. Doerrfeld said "No, you can do it." but within 4 contractions and about 8 pushes she was here at 12:41.  She had the cord wrapped around her neck and her shoulders got a little stuck but all in all she made it fine.  I was so relieved and thankful she was here and healthy.  I just cried when they handed her to me, so thankful.  When they took her to get cleaned up I remember looking at Mark and saying "epidurals are the bomb!" and totally meaning every word!  She ended up needing just about 5 minutes of oxygen but then she was weighed and brought back to me.  She was 6 lbs 6 oz and 19 inches long.  Not to shabby for a 36 week 2 day baby.  

We got to hold her and I was able to feed her and have some family come and see her before they took her away to the nursery to get cleaned up.  Then it was the long wait for them to bring her back to me!  They kept for like 2 hours, which seemed like an eternity!  We had people stop in all that night to meet the sweet girl and I tried my hardest to stay awake to chat.  She is so loved by so many already it is unreal.  We are just so thankful she is here and doing ok.

Meeting her for the first time

Super ugly crying it up

Loved our nurse and Mark's look on his face in this one.

Daddy getting his baby arm band

Possibly my favorite picture of the day

Hard to compete with this one though

Getting ready for a bath. . .

I was told she HATED it, screamed the whole time.

My sweet precious angel girl