Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Willis Christmas

Our Christmas vacation started on the Friday before Christmas.  Steve wasn't able to get off early as we hoped.  I wanted to be on the road as soon as possible, so I had everything packed and in the car when he pulled in the driveway.  I fed Bean, loaded her up and off we were!

All of my siblings came over on Saturday for our family Christmas.  My brother-in-law had injured his back the day before and couldn't move around much; and my sister-in-law was 9 months pregnant and not feeling the greatest (She wasn't even sure if they would come. Then when they came, how long they would stay. She ended up having little Oliver on Christmas Eve!).  So we tried to keep things low-key and simple -  haha, yeah right!  We had just snacky sort of foods and just munched all day and enjoyed laughter all day.  We all opened our Christmas gifts, and it was sheer mayhem as usual.  

We had a great time and it went by way too quickly as usual.  I failed at taking pictures, but have a few to share:

(Everyone fought over who needed to hold Bean, especially little Gabbie.  I think she held her the most!  While my sister Amber and mom were talking on the couch, little Gabbie snuck in between them to hold onto Bean's hand.  Too cute!)

(Bean got all dolled up for Ahm to show her off at church.  I had on a green Christmas dress, too, but forgot to get a picture before I changed.  This will just have to suffice!)

(It's very rare for all of us to be able to get together, let alone coordinate a picture together.  This could work as our current family photo, except now we have Oliver!  So many new babies in the family!)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2 Months ?!

(How in the world is this sweet little girl already 2 months old?  Okay, as I sit and write this blog, she is actually 2.5 months.  I had every intention of writing this post before Christmas break, but it didn't happen.  However, the above picture was taken when she was 2 months old!  That should count for something, right?)

This past month has sure flown by!  Days seem to go pretty quick when you are living in the "3 hour cycle". Bean now takes about 30 minutes to eat.  On a good day, she burps quickly and then "plays" for about 30 minutes before falling asleep.  Play usually consists of being propped up on the Boppy staring at Momma.  I usually make lots of faces (which makes her laugh) or shake toys in front of her.  Sometimes she just observes the room happily.  On more high maintenance days, she refuses to burp which results in her tummy hurting and she just wants held.  I generally give into her and just hold her, but sometimes her high maintenance days fall on the days I'm trying to get a bunch of stuff done.  Then she just "hangs out" with me in the carrier while I work.  

I don't have Bean on any schedule.  I let her decide what she wants and feed her on demand.  There is a sort of routine from day to day in that she sleeps a lot in the morning/afternoon and has a chunk of awake time in the evening.  But as far as when those naps actually happen are up to her.  About an hour after she eats, she is usually pretty sleepy and ready to nap.  I can always tell when she's tired by her eyes.  Once I put her pacifier in her mouth, her eyelids begin to close and her eyes shift back and forth.  She falls asleep in my arms (usually I can just sit and sort of rock her, sometimes I have to stand and bounce her) and then I either put her in her crib or in her swing.  She sleeps better with movement (and even better when someone holds her) so usually her swing wins out. When she wakes up from a nap, she is usually hungry and ready to eat.  She nurses anywhere between 2hr15min - 4 hours during the day.  

Bean is almost sleeping through the night.  She usually just gets up once at night, somewhere between 3-5am, but then goes back to sleep until 8-9am.  Randomly, she will have a night in which she sleeps through the night.  I'm so used to sleeping in chunks at a time, that I usually wake up before her, and just lay in bed having to convince myself to not go in her room to check on her and wake her up to eat for my convenience.  Most times I end up falling back asleep until I hear her stir or cry on the monitor.  Steve, of course, is still sleeping through the night ;-).

(Sucking her thumb during "play" time while leaning against the Boppy. When she starts sucking her thumb, I know she is either hungry or getting tired.  In this case it was getting tired.)

A big accomplishment for Bean this month is that she has mastered sucking her thumb!  She is able to find her thumb, put it in her mouth, and appease herself for a short while.  Her thumb hasn't replaced her love of her pacifier, but it helps that she can try to soothe herself when no one is able to get a pacifier to her.  Sometimes, she just sucks on all her fingers/fist instead of just her thumb.  Whatever makes you happy baby girl!

Right before Bean's 2 month appointment, she woke up from a nap with a goopy green stuff coming out of one of her eyes.  I decided that this was a legit reason to call the doctor (even though she had an appointment set for 5 days later).  I ended up bringing her in and discovered that she was having some sinus issues.  She showed signs of lots of drainage down her throat and the consensus was that her sinuses were backing up and coming out her eye.  All I could do was help flush out her sinuses with a nasal spray and try to keep her nose clear (even though she really didn't have drainage out her nose).  

(Eye goopiness)

Bean was an absolute trooper at her appointment!  Her 2 month appointment marked the first of many shots to come.  She got 3 shots, 2 in one thigh & 1 in the other.  2 doctor's assistance did 2 of the shots at the same time to get it over as soon as possible.  Bean cried when she was pricked with the shots, but as soon as I lifted her up when they were done, she was smiling at the assistants.  She weighed in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 22.75" long.

Bean still is a very happy baby.  She smiles a ton and has the hints of a laughter.  Her favorite things to smile at are, of course, Momma & Daddy!  We make the silliest faces and noises to bring happiness to this little girl's face.  She now turns her head and looks in the direction of our voices and is tracking our movements.  She is growing very strong in her legs, arms, and neck!  She supports her own head now and only needs help when she is tired.  She loves to push off of things with our legs and we fear she will skip crawling and go straight to walking.  Slow down baby girl!  We aren't ready!

Bean is wearing 3 month clothing, but quickly going into 6 months (especially in sleepers!).  It was hard enough for me to pack away her newborn clothes, and am definitely not ready to do this with her 3 month clothing.  It seems like time is going way too quick.  I love seeing her growth in personality and look forward to getting to know her more, just not ready for her to loose all the babiness, yet.

(Such a happy baby!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Quiet House

Our house has sadly become much quieter than it once was.  Our little Ramses died on Tuesday (okay, I must confess, he could have died on Monday but I found him Tuesday night.  Although, I'm pretty sure I remember hearing him running Monday night).  I am so used to hearing the purr of his wheel, that I was caught off guard by the silence downstairs while I was putting Bean to bed.  I noticed that his food dish was empty and refilled it.  But while I was refilling it, I thought man, usually Ramses is up by now.  I rustled my hand around the food dish to see if that would stir anything.  Upon looking in his little blue house, I found him curled up and not moving.  I knew right away that there wouldn't be anymore movement form that furry cutie.  There had been so many signs lately that suddenly clicked in my head.

Just over the weekend when all of Steve's family was visiting, I had said that he was getting old.  His life expectancy was around 2 years and he had passed the 2 year mark a few months ago.  We knew he wouldn't be around for much longer.  His little personality had changed, and you could tell he wasn't as spry as he once was.

Ramses had always been this tiny ball of energy.  He would scale his cage, run around it like crazy, cower in fear when you're hand was in the cage, and would never, ever let you touch him.  And if you did get to sneak in a touch, he usually squeaked at you.  However, during his cage cleaning prior to Thanksgiving, he actually let me pick him up, hold him, and put him in his ball.  This was not a good sign for me; although, when I put his ball down, he ran all around the house as usual.  I just chalked it up to a fluke.

Then all the family came for Thanksgiving and we all noticed his schedule was messed up.  Again, I didn't think much of it, after all, there were many random days where he chose to run on his wheel during the day and not at night.  But he ran in his wheel during the day several times over the weekend.  Weird.

And the last bit of evidence that he wasn't acting right was that for the past week the wheel was being really quiet when he ran!  Usually, you can hear it thudding, but it hadn't been.  In fact, I didn't even realize he was running in it until I stopped and watched him.  Hindsight, I'm guessing he wasn't running with his normal energy, but was running slower and lighter than he used to.

Who would have thought that it would be hard to say goodbye to a little hamster?!  Even though he was just a little hamster, he was our little hamster.  And boy will we miss his crazy shenanigans.  The stories of his many escapes will always bring smiles and laughter to our faces.

(This was our first picture of Ramses when we got him in the fall of 2010! Oh how your craziness will be missed in this household.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Catch-up

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we are getting super excited for Christmas. We are so excited about Christmas that I had all our Christmas decorations up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving!  I knew that if I didn't get the decorations up before Thanksgiving, they probably wouldn't make it up.

Even though technically, Halloween was Bean's first holiday, I'd have to say that Thanksgiving was more of her first holiday experience.  She got to celebrate 2 different Thanksgivings - one with my family in Indiana and the other with Steve's family at our own house in Ohio!  We are those crazy people who say, "Let's host our first Thanksgiving EVER all while having a 6 week old!"  As horrible as that idea sounds, everyone chipped in and helped the whole weekend, and it ended up being a great holiday!

We had Thanksgiving with my family the weekend before actual Thanksgiving.  This was Bean's first big car trip!  She was a champ.  She slept the whole time (except for a little 5 minute freakout - good thing I could reach back to her and pop that paci in her mouth!).  We had plans to stop halfway so that she could be fed and we would eat as well.  However, she chose to just keep sleeping, so mom & dad just stopped to grab food and keep heading down the highway.  With Bean's first trip to Indiana, there was of course, lots of people who stopped in to see her -- all her cousins, her great grandma, great uncle, great aunt, and of course all her aunts and uncles.  We had a packed weekend with lots of family!

The meal itself was sort of last minute planning, but we all pulled together and had a great dinner!  Not everyone can say they've eaten a turkey that was thawed in a swimming pool. . . but we can!  Don't worry, it was in a trash bag and not just swimming out in the pool all raw.  Although, we did have mom convinced that we skipped the brining process by just letting the pool's salt brine the turkey - tee hee :).

(Somehow changing a baby is quite the entertainment!)

(Mammie and her great grandbabies!)

(I had to throw this picture in.  Pretty soon Charlotte will be holding her baby brother!  She is going to be an awesome big sis.  She helped calm Lucie with very cute "shhh!  shhh! shhhh!")

Steve's family trickled in on Wednesday & Thursday for Thanksgiving.  We had quite the house full! Steve's parents, brother, grandparents, sister, brother-in-law & their dog came for the long weekend!  Only his parents, brother, and the dog actually stayed in the house (others went to a hotel).  In prepping for Thanksgiving, we took inventory of items around our house and soon realized we weren't prepared at all to host a holiday with so many people.  Our little glass kitchen table was in no way going to allow 9 people to dine around it and there wasn't enough seating in the living room, either.  Plus, one of our couches was in serious need of some TLC (the back support cracked and was being held together with duct tape, ad the cushions were not as springy as they once were).  After schlepping Bean around several different furniture stores, we settled on a couch and dining room set we found online.  Both purchases were big hits with the family and really provided the seating we needed!

(The new grey couch.  It is much firmer than our old white couch and is even a little taller than our brown couch.  You can see a version of the white couch this new one replaced here. Oh and check out that Christmas tree.  Man Christmas makes me happy!)

(New dining room set!  You can see our old little glass table here.  Now that little glass table is in our "sunroom".  With a new fancy table, we had to get new placemats, dishes, and pulled the trigger on some cloth napkins.  I am not one for cloth napkins, but they did the job with so many people here - that is until someone threw off the system by sitting in a different seat - ASHLEY!)

It was great having all the help while Steve's family was here.  His parents and brother really helped out a lot in raking all the rest of our leaves!  This year, Steve has had the sole responsibility of leaf raking.  He spent a couple Saturdays/Sundays keeping the front yard tidy, but the back yard was totally neglected.  All those leaves provided a nice activity for everyone, right?  I think they raked almost 40 bags of leaves - whoa baby!

(Steve working on piling up leaves in the front a few weeks ago.)

(I stole this picture from Trisha.  Thanks for all the work on the leaves!)

And here I'll leave you with some cuteness from our little Turkey:
(Happy Thanksgiving!)

(I posted this photo on Facebook, but I'll give a better explanation of it.  That is a homemade onesie and Bean's first craft - ha ha.  That turkey (on the onesie, not the baby) is made out of her feet prints!  Steve held her while I painted her feet and placed them on the onesie.  She was a champ and did great, resulting in one cute little outfit!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

1 Month

It has been way too long since I've had time to sit and put thoughts together for the blog (and I'm 2 weeks late on the one month update, but late is better than never, right?).  Since my last post, she has grown a ton!  I don't know how much she weighs.  I need to get a better scale to figure that out.  However, I know she's grown because she can longer wear her newborn clothes.  That was hard on this momma to pack up all those cute little tiny outfits!  A lot more has happened this past month, like Bean's first holiday:

(Happy Halloween!  This was as dressed up as we got.  Halloween was different this year, as trick or treating was postponed due to weather.  So on actual Halloween, we headed to a friend's house for chili - yum!)

It seems like that "newborn" stage right at first is way easier than the stage we are in now.  In the beginning, Bean would sleep almost the entire day, but now, she is having more awake times, eating more often, and starting to show her personality.  She is still a very easy baby.  Only cries when she is hungry or when her tummy bothers her (nothing a little gas drops can't fix!).  She does get clingy and high maintenance (wants to be held, but then doesn't want to be held, but then does. . . ) at times.  Usually it's not a big deal, unless I have other things I want to get done.

Life with a baby isn't what I expected.  I don't really know what I expected, but I didn't think about how long it would take me to accomplish things.  It seems like tasks that I could accomplish in 10 min now take 30.  Not sure why, other than I feel like I'm constantly checking on her, or trying to do things while holding her.  I think somehow babies know when you are busy and need to get stuff done.  Days that I have not much to do, she seems to sleep in big chunks (like 2+ hours), while days that I have a list a mile long, she will barely take a 30 min nap.  She has also decided that napping in momma's arms or on momma is much better than napping elsewhere.

The past few days I've been busy prepping our house for Thanksgiving.  We are those crazy people that decided to host our first Thanksgiving while having a 6 week old - ha.  But more on Thanksgiving in another post (if I find time to write it!).  I have been able to survive with one of the best inventions ever -- a baby harness!  I wasn't sold on it prior to baby.  I wasn't even going to register for one, but did when I found a cheaper one.  I have now used that thing 5 times in this past week alone and will be upgrading to a better one!  Bean loves that thing.  She'll be fussy and less than 2 min of being put in it, she's asleep.  However, about 30 min in and she just starts crying.  I'm guessing her little legs go numb or she's just tired of that position.  I however will take those 30 min to get stuff done! I am now a pro at baking, doing laundry, and even vacuuming while wearing her.

(Sleeping in her carrier while I get stuff done)

It is so crazy how much she has changed since birth!  Her personality would show through her crazy faces that she would make from the get-go.  In the beginning, those faces were probably just reflexes and not really intentional, but now she's being more intentional about her faces - especially smiles!  We have graduated form just smiling due to gas to also smiling from us making silly faces at her.  She's starting to have the hint of a laugh, and can't wait for that to come out in full force! 

(Smiling at me being silly while changing her.  I would steal her paci from her mouth and tickle her gums with it.  I can't wait to hear her laugh.  I wonder if it will be as loud and characteristic as mine. . . )

Bean has been changing not only in personality, but also in her appearance!  She is starting to fill out a little more and has been fighting some baby acne.  There isn't anything you can do about it, other than using moisturizer if her face gets dry.  Baby acne is completely normal and usually goes away on its own.  It's caused by her still flushing out my hormones (there are other weird things that happen from those hormones but I'll save her the embarassment of writing about it, haha).  

(Poor little Bean's acne.  She had it all over her face for a couple of weeks, but it is a lot better now.  Her cheeks are still a little rosy, but aren't full of bumps and scabs like they were.  Whew!)

 We really can't complain about life with our sweet little babe.  We are absolutely enamored with her.  She already has Steve wrapped around her finger.  When he comes home from work, he has daddy-daughter time with her (which is beyond cute).  He is one great dad giving her all sorts of attention and love.

At night, she will go anywhere between 3.5-8 hours between feedings.  She's pretty random on how her stretches go.  I'm hoping for them to become a little more consistent (especially longer!).  She sleeps in her room at night which has helped me actually sleep better.  I no longer wake up to her little stirs, but wake up when she's ready to eat! My only complaint is that it sometimes gets exhausting being the only one to take care of her at night (especially when she's only going every 3.5 hours to eat and I get up a couple times in the night).  I don't wake Steve up when I go feed her.  It's good that one of us is getting good sleep.  We both wouldn't survive (each other) if we both were sleep deprived.  I sometimes will take naps, but it doesn't help.  There is something about having uninterrupted sleep that trumps sleeping in chunks.  That is one thing I'm definitely looking forward to with her growing up.  I'm definitely not ready for this little one to grow up.  Time is flying way too quick!
(Look at how big she is!  Don't grow up too fast little girl.)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mommom & Poppop Visit

This past weekend, Bean was blessed with getting to meet her Mommom & Poppop!  Steve's parents were able to visit Saturday - Monday and soak up as much time with Bean as possible before their return at Thanksgiving!

Usually when Steve's parents visit, we have a list of activities planned and are in constant motion.  This trip was quite the opposite.  It was very low-key and we spent a lot of time just being together and them getting to interact with Bean.  Steve's sister was even able to come up for the day on Sunday (I think she just used her parents' visit as an excuse to come see Bean!).  It was great to have more help around the house and with baby.

(Mommom & Poppop!  Bean was not cooperating with the photo shoot!  We tried to get pictures with her eyes open and the minute the camera was up, she'd start fussing or close her eyes.  Crazy kid!)

(Poppop got Bean her first - and sadly not the last - Ohio State paraphernalia.  I wasn't sure she'd take that pacifier - not because of the obvious Ohio State written on it -- but because it has a different shape than she's used to.  She lasted long enough for the picture. Maybe in a few months she'll grow into it!)

(The Ackerman clan!  We'll have to take another photo at Thanksgiving to get Scott and Ian in the picture.)

(Before Mommom & Poppop left, we were able to take Bean for a stroll around the block in the stroller that they got for us!  The weather was perfect for test driving her sweet set of wheels.)

We look forward to having a houseful yet again for Thanksgiving!  We'll make sure to have a list of activities planned for next visit - like food preparation and leaf raking!  Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and we can't wait :)!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bean's First Days at Home

I realize Bean is already 2 weeks old and has only 1 blog post to her name.  Yikes!  I need to step up my game.

From the get-go, Bean has been a super baby!  She nurses like a champ and required no assistance in the learning process.  The girl is definitely her daddy's daughter and LOVES sleep!  When we first brought her home, I had to force her awake to eat every 2-4 hours.  I've always heard "never wake a sleeping baby" and wasn't going to do it, but Bean had jaundice and required extra feedings to help get the bilirubin out of her system.  The child just wanted to sleep and wasn't interested in eating.  I'd have to strip her down naked, and constantly tickle her feet to keep her awake.

She was born on a Wednesday and we brought her home on Friday afternoon.  Because of her jaundice, she required daily blood work checks at the hospital starting on Saturday morning.  I wasn't sure what to expect with the check, but wasn't prepared for what was in store.  In order to test her bilirubin level, they pricked her heel to make it bleed, then rubbed her foot to collect the blood drop by drop.  She cried through the beginning, but soon fell asleep. The phlebotomist was having issues with her bleeding slow and then clotting, so he had to prick her other heel!  Ugh, this momma was more upset than Bean was.  We had to go back for the checks a total of 4 times! Boy was I happy when the number was on the decline and we didn't have to put her through that anymore!

Bean had a pretty steady trickle of visitors since she's been home.  My sister and nieces came along with 2 other close friends which made for a busy Saturday.  Steve's sister and brother-in-law came to meet Bean on Sunday for the afternoon.  We had several friends provide meals which was a huge blessing!  At first, I didn't see the need for meals, but after receiving those first few blessings, I realize how nice it was to not have to worry about figuring out what to eat!

My mom came back the day before Steve went to work to "help out" with Bean (okay, really she just needed some Ahm time!).  She and I were able to tag team snuggles with Bean and clean the house (okay, it was already cleaned, but needed some freshen up - thanks mom! - as well as just day to day things like dishes and laundry) in preparation for Steve's parents to visit.  While mom was here, I was even able to get out of the house a couple times to run to the store.  She even "sacrificed" an evening to watch Bean while Steve and I went to dinner.

Bean still sleeps in our room in a bassinet, but when she gets up in the night, she and I head to the nursery so we don't disturb Steve sleeping.  It's giving me good practice of getting out of bed and going to her room in preparation for when she'll be sleeping in there all by herself.  I keep saying she'll transition into her room this week, but I'm not sure when that will officially happen.  She'll do great in sleeping in there, the issue is more with me not being ready (after all, I've been in constant contact with her for almost 10 months!). I have a couple concerns about her being in her room #1 - I worry about the temperature in her room; however, after spending some time in the nursery in the middle of the night, her room has been a pretty good temperature so that excuse can't be used anymore.  #2 - She doesn't really wake up crying when she's hungry.  She sort of stirs and whimpers and I worry that I won't hear her through the monitor until she's in full meltdown mode.  I'll keep using this excuse for a few more days!

And now for some cuteness:
(Headed home from the hospital!  Bean was not amused by her parents shenanigans in trying to get her secured in her seat.  You would think that an easier - and more comfortable - safety system would have been invented by now.  You try getting a wiggly newborn set just right into a carseat and get the appropriate limbs secured by the right straps.  Sheesh.)

(Home Sweet Home!)

(Cousins!  Just missing Charlotte, she was with us in spirit - ha!)

(BFF Meg meeting her little nugget.  She even supplied Bean with her very first Birthday cake, which mommy and daddy enjoyed!)

(Looking all cute and rooting on Peyton Manning for her first Broncos game.  Unfortunately, her cuteness was just too much for the Broncos and they lost their first game for the season.  Wahhhhhhh!)

(Sun bathing!  Laying in the sun helps get over jaundice.  Technically they are to lay naked in the sun, but it was too cold to strip her down.)

(One of daddy's favorite pictures!  Bean has some of the BEST faces.  Most of them appear a little on the hateful side as this one shows.  She just seems really unsure with her surroundings and the clowns taking care of her.)

(Some very much needed Ahm time.  When are you coming back?!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bean's Birth Day

Baby Bean is finally here!!  For privacy reasons, we've decided to keep her name off the blog for now.  So from here on out, she'll be known as Bean :)

From the very beginning of the pregnancy, I was set against induction.  I had heard too many horror stories about inductions being very painful, lasting all day, and oftentimes ending up in a c-section.  I had the option to be induced up to a week before my due date.  I chose to stick it out and hope that labor would start naturally.  As a formality, my doctor had me set up an induction for 10 days post due date, even though he didn't think I would go that long since I had been showing progression at the weekly checks.  By the time my set up induction rolled around, I was more than happy to be induced and finally meet baby!

I was to be at the hospital at 6am Wednesday October 16th.  After receiving much advice from a friend who is a labor and delivery nurse, I showed up to the induction around 6:30 (no one said anything about being late)!  Why be there earlier than what was really necessary?!  My parents had come in the night before and went with us to the hospital.  They waited in the waiting room while I changed into my beautiful gown (ha!) and Steve and I settled into our delivery room.

(Last Pregnant Belly Shot!)

(Awaiting the mayhem to begin. . . )

The nurses started to ready everything, starting with an iv.  I am not one for needles, and especially don't like to think about ivs being stuck in your hand.  While they were putting it in, I got light headed and began to get sick.  After some smelling salts, cool air and some ice, I was okay to continue.  I was concerned about being hooked up to pitocin from the very get-go and had a discussion with the nurse to make sure she agreed I was ready for it (there are other medications and things that can be done before pitocin if the cervix isn't ready).  I was already at 4cm and almost completely effaced.  She assured me I was a prime candidate, and she hooked it up around 7:30.

At that point, we had my parents come back to our room to wait with us.  I wasn't really feeling much, so we just watched tv and hung out.  Around 8:30 they stepped out while the doctor came in and broke my water (no turning back now!).  About 20 minutes after the water was broken, I began to start to feel the contractions and feeling sick.  I fought the nausea as long as I could, but ended up throwing up - sorry Steve! My mom was there to help manage that portion of things.  After a few more bouts of contractions, I called it quits and ordered the epidural!  My parents headed back out to the waiting room while the anesthesiologist hooked me up (literally).  After the epidural and a catheter was in place, I was told I was up to 6cm.

By 10, I was feeling absolutely nothing and my parents returned yet again to wait it out with us.  Steve and dad were both working on the their laptops, mom worked on crocheting, and I just chatted away, watched tv, and texted on my phone.  I was feeling great and couldn't even tell when I was having contractions.  It was getting close to lunch time, so dad and Steve headed out to find some food while mom and I continued the wait.  When they got back, the nurse checked my progress and said, "It's time to have a baby!"  I responded with, "That's why I'm here!", and she then explained I was at 10 cm and it was time to push!  WHAT?!  Mom and dad said their goodbyes and left the room for the last time pre-baby.

(Post Epidural -- not what I thought labor would be like at all! Is it really time to push?!)

The nurse began to ready the room for the baby's arrival and then had me do some pushing.  At first, I wasn't sure when I was having contractions and when to push, but with her help, I was finally able to figure it out.  I would push in sets of 3 (do 1 push for 10 secs, and I would do 3 of those with 1 contraction).  The 2nd push was always the best, and the 3rd I'd tire out.  But I slowly made progress.  After 30 min, she called for the doctor to arrive.  Steve and I could barely wrap our heads around what was going on.  He wasn't prepared to be as close to the action as he was.  My legs were absolute dead weight from the epidural and Steve had to help hold one of my legs giving placing him close to the action - haha!

The doctor came in and I began pushing with him.  I only pushed for about 10 min when he said that she seemed to be slightly stuck and that he wanted to use the vacuum.  Her heartbeat would fall at a contraction (which is normal) and would then come back up, but it wasn't coming back up high enough for him to feel comfortable for me to just keep pushing to get her through.  It took longer to hook the vacuum up than to actually use it.  He attached it, turned it on and she came out with one push.

He suctioned her out and we waited to hear her cry, but she remained pretty silent.  I was almost beginning to worry when she let out a grunt.  Then it was time to push out the rest of her body.  Before I knew it, Bean was laying on my chest!  My first thought was look at that hair!  From that moment on, there was a flurry of activity with her.  The nurses took her over to the corner to clean and weigh her.  Steve went to be with her while the doctor finished me up.  I had a 2nd degree midline tear that required stitches.  I didn't feel it when it happened, but well aware of it now :-/.  After being stitched up, it was time for the placenta.  I got a little science lesson about it from the doctor while I waited for Bean to be returned to me.

(Baby Bean was born at 1:20 pm 10/16/2013 weight 7 lbs, 7 ozs and measuring 20" in length.  Check out all that hair!  No wonder I had such severe heartburn.  I guess it was worth it!)

Once I was all fixed up and she was cleaned up, the room cleared out and it was just Steve, Bean, and I.  We cuddled and fed her for the first time.  After an hour, Steve went out and got my parents.  They got to meet her and hear her name for the first time.  They were pretty excited to finally meet her!

(Cuddling with mommy after the nurses were done with her.  She wasn't really crying, just making crazy faces.  Her eyes were all wet from drops they put in to protect her.)

(Meeting Ahm & Abo!  We failed at the picture taking and don't have one of the three of us together.  I was preoccupied at the time.)

I got to stay in the delivery room another hour (I also got lunch while I was in there!), then I was transferred to our postpartum room.  They were concerned about Bean's temperature and needed to put her in a warmer as well as give her a full bath, so she headed off to the nursery during the transfer.  Dad left to go get Sara (who was at our house during the birth) and brought her back once I was settled in our room.  They needed to head back to IN, but had to wait a little extra time for Bean to warm up and be released to our room.  Sara was finally able to meet and hold her and then the two of them headed off, leaving mom to stay an extra day.

(I thought I felt great after delivery, but looking at myself in this picture, I realize I was pretty dazed.)

(Meeting Aunt Sara :-)  Sara was all concerned about what her name was going to be and whether or not it would be pretty.  Once she heard the name, she approved!)

We hung out the rest of the evening.  Steve headed out to pick up some dinner and when he returned, mom headed to our house for the evening.  It seemed surreal to have Bean just hanging out in her little crib next to my bed.  Nurses came in and out all evening to check on my vitals as well as Bean's.  She had to go back to the warmer before bedtime, but was then brought back to our room where she stayed the rest of the time!

(Daddy & Bean)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Still Waiting . . .

The post I definitely did NOT want to write:

(41 Weeks)

Baby is a week overdue!  I've transitioned from feeling like a ticking time bomb to feeling more like an overripe fruit.  I'm teetering between being just perfect and rotten, haha, and you can't tell when that line has been crossed.  

Every day I wake up thinking, is today the day?!  And every night I go to bed thinking, will it happen in the middle of the night?! I've been having contractions pretty steadily for the past 3 weeks, with them really increasing this week in intensity.  I still haven't had any that have taken my breath away, but I definitely see where this is headed.  Emotions and anticipation are running pretty high in the household.  When that is mixed with me being tired (sleeping has become more of a chore than a relief) I pretty much fall apart.  We've been blessed with friends and family who have offered all sorts of distractions, from outtings & phone calls to my parents and sister just showing up for the day.  

We know for sure that Baby Girl is coming this week as my induction date is set for Wednesday.  Last week, I was all stressed and a complete nutcase over the thought of an induction, and now, I'm killing myself that it's not set for tomorrow!  I would definitely prefer her to come on her own timing, but I'm not as fearful of an induction as I once was.  I'm over the stress of the anticipation, the fear of the process, and sick of being downright uncomfortable all the time.  Like I said, sleeping has become almost void.  I get up way too often to potty and it takes me too long to get back comfortable. 

I know once baby is here, there's no going back.  I'm trying to focus on this last bit of time that Steve and I have together, but we're both pretty over the "it could happen at any moment" mentality.  Everything is completely ready for her.  I've run all the errands I can come up with, stocked up on groceries and freezer meals, go to bed every night to a clean house (you know, just in case it's a middle of the night rush out), and have even tackled some old projects I had given up on.  We're just ready to get the show on the road and hold our baby girl (even though we both can't even comprehend what life is going to be like with her, let a lone the fact that she's 100% ours).  

So for now, we continue on our wait for Baby Bean.  I have an appointment tomorrow (not that I think anything will develop since the induction is already set up).  Everyday is one step closer to meeting our babe.  So for now I will just focus on one thing at a time.  What am I going to do tomorrow?!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ticking Time Bomb

(I was really hoping to not have to take this picture, but Baby Girl had other plans.  Here's hoping to it being the last one!)

Lately, I've started to feel more like a ticking time bomb than a pregnant woman.  The closer and closer I got to my due date, I was all excited about how baby could be born at any moment, just like a bomb going off.  I'm absolutely terrified of the whole labor/delivery process and everyone always says that the closer you get, you just reach this point of being ready to get it over with.  Well I'm way past that point.  I'm so ready to have baby just so I don't have to worry about labor/delivery anymore!

Well here I am 2 days passed my due date (which is really just an estimate based off a date that I honestly guessed to begin with - Haha) and I not only feel like this bomb about to go off.  But it's the kind of bomb that counted down all the way to zero and never went off!  So now I have nothing to go by or hold on to. .. other than the induction date that has been set. . . 

I really really really don't want to be induced.  My doctor had been throwing that term out and even wanted to set up an appointment for yesterday.  I am non-confrontational and never rebutted, just kept telling him, let's wait, let's wait.  Well finally, yesterday we had to have the "induction discussion".  I was so nervous about the appointment just because of this conversation.  I felt he was going to force me into something I didn't want (I'm easily steam rolled).  I talked to several friends, got all sorts of advice, and went in with the support of Steve.  When the doctor came in he asked if I was ready to be induced.  I said no I don't want to be induced -- and that was that!  I didn't have to use any of my prepared speech.  Haha!  He was just under the assumption that I wanted one since I had never spoken against it.  

As a formality, I had to set up an induction date for 10 days past my due date.  It's his policy not to let pregnancies go passed that because you get into some grey area with potential placenta deterioration.  I was fine setting that date, I just didn't want it to be "oh you're a couple days post due - let's get baby out!".  

The rest of the appointment was positive as well!  I've now graduated from a 2 to a "strong" 3 (I'm guessing I'm fully effaced as well since he didn't comment on that) and baby is descending down.  I had the doctor do something called "stripping the membrane" thanks to advice of a close friend.  It sounds way worse than what it actually is.  The process just involves separating the amniotic sac from the cervix which kind of agitates the cervix and kicks it into gear.  With this process, there's a 50/50 chance you'll go into labor in the next few days.  It's not painful (or at least wasn't for me) and a quick process that it's worth a shot to get baby coming! 

I felt sort of crampy and had some stronger contractions after the appointment.  After dinner, I had extremely high hopes that something was happening, but here I am 12 hours later and baby is still inside with no signs of progress.  

So now I'm driving myself crazy with nothing to do, and no "counter" to watch click down.  I'm not sure who's more ready for baby to come - me or my parents.  I think they're going just as crazy as I'll call/text to give heads up on contractions and my guesses of if something is happening.  They are being troopers but I'm not sure who's ready to crack first - me or them.  This on again/ off again contractions is really getting old.  Baby Girl let's get this show on the road!

Steve tried to give her a a pep talk to come yesterday to get him out of work today (busy/long day for him) but she didn't listen.  This better not be a pattern she's beginning with disobeying her parents.  We'll have none of that!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

BabyWatch Continued

. . . Highly Doubtful indeed.  Those high hopes of the last post being published after her arrival have been dashed.

I had high hopes of my next blog post presenting Bean, but she has other plans.  Everything is ready for arrival.  I just finished up cleaning the house and have no resorted to entertaining myself with random projects I've put on the way back burner.

Most recent accomplishment. . . A Broncos "Jersey" for Bean!

(Front of her Broncos onesie!  Luckily, our craft stores in town are right next door to each other.  I went back and forth between the two stores - with coupons in hand - to get the best deals on all the items I needed.  In the end, her new onesie cost a little over $6!)

(She will have no choice but to love Peyton Manning as much as her mother does.  I can't wait to wear our "matching" game day gear together!)

Now the big question is. . . will she be here before the Broncos play the Cowboys on Sunday?!

Friday, October 4, 2013


**Note: I wrote this post on Wednesday & secretly hoping that she's already here by the time this post is released.  Highly doubtful though. . . 

(36 weeks!)

(37 Weeks!  Finally considered full term.  All baby does now is fatten up!  Also, you can't tell from the picture, but Steve chose to write a message on my little wipe board.  Something about freaking out about meeting her so soon.)

(38 weeks and definitely feeling it!)

(39 Weeks!  Will this be the last picture of Bean in the tummy?!)

I sort of had myself convinced that Bean would be early.  By the end of September, I stopped making plans and just lived in the moment, expecting her to come at any moment.  September has come to a close and now I know she will definitely be an October baby!  I decided to go back to making plans (even though now it's realistic I'm going to have to break them at some point!) because I'm going crazy just waiting for a sign she's coming.

There have been plenty of signs.  For the past 2 weeks I've been having contractions.  Sometimes they're in regular intervals, but most times they are random.  I've got an app on my phone I use to count the contractions, but most of the time, it just drives me crazy.  I'll forget to record one, or they just stop and I think, "I just wasted my time with those fake contractions!"  I have to keep reminding myself that they aren't really fake.  Every contraction I'm having now has a purpose, whether it's just Bean practicing for her debut, or my body actually progressing.  And yes, I am progressing!

I go to the doctor weekly and am now being check for progress each time.  3 appointments ago, I was told something was beginning and I was at 1cm.  2 appointments ago, nothing had changed and I was pretty bummed, especially when he threw out the induction word - don't get me started!  This past appointment brought back excitement - I'm at a 2!  Woooo!  He again discussed induction with me.  He wanted to induce on Monday, and I at least convinced him to just make it a regular appointment with possible induction on Wednesday.  I am in full out "Baby Come Out!" mode.  I know induction can be a great thing, but I also know it can be a horrible thing.  I"m hoping that Bean will just decide to stop stressing momma and come out on her own before Monday (although, this still stresses me out because I'm constantly analyzing every feeling I'm having and convincing myself labor is starting).

I've started taking walks, trying to stay up on my feet more, and even doing some little exercises on a stability ball in hopes of speeding up this process.  I also made these "labor inducing cupcakes" that ended up being a bust (seeing as how I ate them Monday night and baby is still on the inside).  All they did for me was give me some of the worst heartburn I've ever had (and I've had bad heartburn these past few months!).  They tasted good (that is if you like lemon), but they are sooo lemony you can just taste the acid.  Haha

(These cupcakes were pretty intense to make.  Probably the most involved cupcakes I've ever done.  It was a lemon based cake, infused with lemon syrup, topped with a lemon glaze - the white stuff- and then topped with a lemon buttercream icing.  They tasted like eating a lemon drop!  I made Steve try one.  His face immediately puckered followed by head shaking and "I don't like it!" So far, I've consumed 3 and no baby has showed up, so I'd say myth busted.  However, I got the recipe via my sister-in-law's pinterest and she swears by them! She's made them for several full term preggos and their babies popped out soon after.)

So for now, we wait.  At times, I'm scheming up new ways to help move her along, but then I stop and think. . . maybe I'll just continue to lay here and enjoy the peace and quiet while it's here.  But then I remember my last Tums is about to wear off and the heartburn will kick back up and I think "GET HER OUT!"  So I will just continue with the struggle of 'I'm ready for her to come and yet not ready for her to come'.  Not excited at all about the process it's going to take to meet her, and pretty fearful of the whole responsibility of a newborn.  But I think both Steve and I can now admit we're ready to meet our little girl and be a family of 3!