2 years

On this day 2 years ago I married my best friend, the love of my life, and the father of my child.

Dear Paul,
Every day my love grows for you.

Seeing you as a father to Seth makes me smile!

I love seeing you grow in your walk with God and I am so thankful for such a great leader for our family. 

You are such a hardworking, loving, caring, funny, intelligent, and dedicated man's man which is the best role model Seth can have. 

I can't wait to see what this next year and all the following years hold for our little family!

1 month

1 month - 10/25/13

I can't believe we have a one month old. Pretty soon he will have a 6 month old on our hands... Time flies. I can't believe just a month ago we were in the hospital welcoming our little boy. He has changed our life for the better. We have grown so close as a family and we love our little boy so much!

Weight and height: As of Wednesday he was 7 lb. 12 oz. but we won't know his height until Tuesday at his actual month appointment.

Nicknames: little guy, buddy, monkey, little bit, billy goat, squirmy, booger nugget (his dad calls him that!)

Growth: He is one long little baby! I can definitely see he is growing length wise and with his hands and feet, they seem to already have grown so much. He is started to get little fat rolls on his arms and I love it!

Development: He is cooing and ahhing when relaxed and happy. He has started to find his hands as well. We read at least one book a day and spend a little time on our tummy (well at least he does) and his activity mat. I think he will be smiling and giggling as well.

Eating: Normally he keeps to two and a half to three hours between feedings during the day. We are still concentrating on full feedings and if he stays awake and eating the feedings last about 30 minutes. I strive for 15 to 20 minutes on each side. Then at least two to three times a day I pump after to make sure I'm drained. 

At the beginning of this week he was really fussy throughout the day but was great at night. We think he wasn't getting enough food. On Wednesday he was much better throughout the days but we decided to try and pump and feed him a bottle throughout the day to make sure he was getting enough food. I started pumping but I wasn't getting a lot of results. I don't think I am producing enough for him to get full feedings so we might have to begin supplementing with formula again. I hate to have to do that but I am not giving up on breast milk yet. I am going to work on giving him as much breast milk as possible until I go back to work.

Sleep: So much better!! He is transitioning to longer times between nighttime feedings and starting to go right to sleep once he is fed and swaddled. During the day we like to make sure he has one good long nap but with the rest of the day we do the feed, wake, sleep pattern. Sometimes he is up the entire time between feedings but he still does pretty good.
took this while it was dark but he was just so cute!

He has a hard time going to sleep on his own but he is learning. He sometimes has to be held to get to sleep if he goes past his little sleepy window and gets overstimulated. But I am perfectly fine with some cuddle time!

Diapers/clothing: He is still in newborn diapers but he is getting too long for the newborn sleepers. I put him in some 0-3 sized sleeper and he fit much better in the legs but poor thing has shorter arms, I had to roll up the sleeves.

Mommy: My incision is healing great and I feel much better and not in much pain at all. I am exhausted a lot still but I am getting better at the sleepy nights and not much sleeping through the day. I love spending time with my little boy and I  hate being away from him too long. I had a doctors appointment and my mom and Paul were with him but I missed the little guy.

I have lost a total of 30.5 pounds! To get to my goal weight (not my pre-pregnancy weight) I have about another 40 to go... seems like a real long way off.

Daddy: Paul is the best daddy and he is so good with Seth. I love seeing him interact with Seth and fall more and more in love with him each day. Seth looks more like him each day.

Loves: car rides, his swing, the space heater

Hates: right after a bath when he has no clothes on, diaper changes

Memories: first visit to church
we took a family picture but he was crying :(

Pumpkin patch!

Our hospital stay

I recently told Seth's birth story but I didn't want to leave out how our hospital stay was. I figured I would do an entirely separate post about our stay over the next three nights. 

After Seth was born and we spent some time with him alone, a lactation consultant came in and we have breastfeeding a try. Breastfeeding was hard for me. I threw up during the first few feedings. My guess is because of the drugs from the surgery. Anyone else experience this? After those first three feedings things got a lot better. 

The first day was rough. Coming off the medicine, worrying about Seth, all the commotion... It was a long day. That day Seth had tons of family come by a visit. He also got to spend lots of time with his mommy and daddy. Paul really took on the fatherly role immediately and he was great at being a father. Since I couldn't get out of bed, he changed the diapers and rocked him to sleep when he was fussy.
my mom and her first grandbaby!

some of my family

me with my parents

We loved our nurses, they were very informative, patient, and kind. Paul kept joking that he wanted them to come home with us!

At night we would let Seth go to the nursery so we could try and get some rest. The first night Paul didn't sleep much even with Seth not being in the room. He was worried about me especially right after having major surgery. 

The second day was better... I got my catheter out and was able to walk to the bathroom for the first time. I had my IV in until noon that day but I still was able to get up if I need. We took turns trying to sleep since sleep was rare the first night. We had a lot of visitors and hospital staff coming in and out so it was a busy day. At around one I was able to take a shower and get in my own clothes (I wore the hospital gown for the birth). Also around this time, they took Seth for his circumsion. We worried about him the entire time but It was over quickly. 

We had many visitors again the second day. He also had his hearing test done and passed! 
Emily and Seth

Paul's mom and Seth

We let him go to the nursery again that night and I think both got a much better rest because we were less worried.

The third day was about the same. My doctor came in and gave us the green light to go home. So we thought we would be discharged that afternoon. We had the nurse help us bath him and get him ready to go home. We had all our bags packed and ready... Then the pediatrician came in (our hospitals has what they call hospitalists, pediatricians who only work for the hospital) and said she was worried about his weight loss. She wanted him to stay one more night to see how his weight loss went. That was definitely heartbreaking. We had thought we were going home but then we weren't and our baby was losing too much weight :(

This night we decided to send him to the nursery for one stretch between feedings (they would bring him back when it was time to feed) then have him stay in our room the remainder of the night. We wanted to get used to sleeping with him, to see if we would stare at him all night to make sure he was okay.

The next day we started getting packed up and waited around for the pediatrician to come in and discharge us. We finally got to go home! We were so happy except it was raining :(
our little family of three all ready to head home!

on the ride home!

3 weeks old

3 weeks - 10/9/13 - 10/16/13
sorry didn't have a chance to snap his three week picture

Weight and height: no change, next appointment in two weeks, but we think he is getting closer to 8 pounds!

Nicknames: little guy, buddy, monkey, little bit, billy goat

Growth: This boy seems to be growing everyday. I'm pretty sure he has completed his first growth spurt. He is getting a little pot belly and he is definitely growing in length. We think he is going to be a long baby instead of a chubby one. He is definitely filling out!

Eating: Towards the end of this past week we took out the formula in the routine to see if that was what was making him fussy at nights. He seems to be much better. Paul will sometimes feed him some of the pumped milk while I pump during that feeding. I like giving him breastmilk much better than doing formula supplements. 

He had about 3 or 4 really fussy nights in a row and it was really getting to us. After some research we concluded he wasn't getting full feedings during the day. Also, he needed to have more wake time during the day. We tried this and he had an a great night! It is definitely hard work to keep him awake but so worth it to get that full feeding. 

Sleep: We are still learning how to get him to go to sleep at night. We have a few good nights then we will have a few nights where we can't get to bed until after midnight. We try to go to bed/nap around 8 pm every night. Once Seth goes to sleep he is a really good sleeper though. We have been working on different swaddles or sleepers to see what worked best.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights have been the worse. Sometimes Seth will be awake the entire time between feedings. He must be so tired just like his mommy and daddy. Monday night we went to bed around 9:30ish and once I put him down he was awake and would cry off and on. By the time it was time for the next feeding, he'd be crying the worst cry I ever heard. It makes me so sad to hear that cry. Then after that feeding he still wouldn't sleep and would cry off and on. We don't know what to do. He did pretty much the same thing Tuesday. Any tips?

Soon I'm going to start working on putting him on a schedule and making sure he is going at least three hours between feedings. He has gotten in the habit of going only two hours and then he will get fussy. It's rough when sometimes his feedings last close to an hour :(

Visitors: Haven't had as many this past week but still got to meet some people. We also have had a few outings to get out and to see some family. We have still had people bring over food and that helps out greatly! 

Diapers/clothing: Still in newborn sizes but because of his length we are probably going to transition to 0-3 month clothing soon. Pampers are still our preferred diaper and we picked up some pampers sensitive wipes which seem to work better with him. 

Mommy: I had my follow up post partum appointment Monday and everything is going well and healing nicely. I'm still experiencing some pain but nothing too bad. She released me to drive but she stills wants me to stay away from lifting really heavy things. I am also down almost 30 pounds now!

Clothes are still a chore to put on, but I'm okay with wearing the same clothes over and over. There just aren't many nursing friendly options that don't hit at my incision. I did get this things from diapers.com called C-Panty which should make things more comfortable. (Oh they did!)

Daddy: Paul is being a great daddy! Sleep deprivation is definitely getting to him. Paul is back at work so it's hard for him to get any naps in, like I can, throughout the day. Hopefully soon Seth will have a night where he sleeps between feedings so we can both get a little rest. Paul is still being so helpful throughout the night and he is really good with Seth when Seth is alert.

Loves: his playmat, cuddles on the couch, car rides

Hates: diaper changes, clothing changes, being cold in general, being in the car seat

Memories: Seth got his first real bath! No more sponge baths for this little guy. But sorry no pics, too busy trying to not get peed on. 

Our first family trip to Target!

Paul and I had dinner just the two of us while my parents watched Seth. It was a quick dinner but it was good to get out of the house... We were going a little stir crazy. 

the birth story

So here it goes, our little one's birth story. It's crazy to think this happened already two weeks ago. It seems like a distant memory but also like we just left the hospital.

While everything was going on, I took notes in my phone because I didn't want to forget anything. And it happens because I already started to forget the small details. 

On September 25th, my husband and I made our way to the hospital to make it to our scheduled induction (is that the correct word to use? It sounds so weird!). The induction was scheduled because of my high blood pressure.

We got admitted into our room a little after 8 a.m. Our awesome labor and delivery nurse came and took us to our room and began getting things set up. She got the IV started and drew some blood. She then got the monitors for the contractions and the baby around my stomach ready as well. 

While all this was going on my doctor came in. She is such a happy and upbeat person it's hard to get nervous or anxious! She checked my cervix and then broke my water. I was very happy about this decision because I wanted to try breaking my water before they put me on Pitocin to get my labor started. It's such a strange feeling when you water breaks... It did not enjoy that feeling. 

With all that stuff going on around me so fast and the weird sensation of my water breaking, I started getting really nauseated and felt like I was going to pass out. They sat me up and stopped doing anything and that calmed me down. I think I was just overwhelmed from all the nervousness.

After all that we were left alone for a bit. We had forgotten to remind the nurse about our cord blood banking kit so ended up having to draw blood again for that. Then we were left alone again.

Around 10 a.m., our nurse came back in and hooked me up to the Pitocin because breaking my water just didn't do the trick. Immediately I began feeling the contractions come on much stronger, before that I just felt a little tightening but not much pain. 

Around this time my parents arrived. I was glad to see them! During the contractions, my husband would hold my hand and remind me to breath. After each contractions he would always tell me how great I was doing and how proud of me he was. I really needed that encouragement. 

I was trying to last as long as I could through the contractions but they were so close together and so strong I couldn't take it much longer. They called in the anesthesiologist. In the mean time my cervix was checked again and I was between a 4 and 5. A lot of improvement in such a quick time period. 

Next, the anesthesiologist came in and the room was cleared. It wouldn't have been too bad besides the fact that I was having contractions through it all and you can't move... and I didn't have my husband in there to comfort me. But it was over quickly, by 11:15 a.m. I had the line in. By 11:30 a.m. the medicine was kicking in and I couldn't really feel my contractions. 

Around this same time, the nurse stopped my Pitocin and gave me an oxygen mask. Our little boy wasn't responding the way they would've liked to the Pitocin so they wanted to give him a break and see if the oxygen would help him. His heart rate was dropping after each contraction.

A little while later they put me back on Pitocin and put in my catheter. I was dilated to a 6 at this point. Then the began moving me around in the bed. I would start on one side and then a little later I would switch to the other. This was to help his heart rate during and after the contractions. They wanted to see how he would handle the Pitocin again but it didn't look promising. He still wasn't liking labor, so they took me off Pitocin again.

Around 1 p.m. my doctor came in to discuss doing a cesarean delivery. I was only dilated to a 6 and that was only because of the Pitocin. But putting me back on it could be bad for the baby. She said if we waited we might get into a difficult situation and then would end up having a cesarean anyways. He was fine at the moment but she just wanted to be sure. 

We decided that was best for our little guy! So from 1:15 to 1:30ish they began prepping me in the room. After that, they began wheeling me to the OR and I was able to see my mom before I went in. My mom and dad had gone to eat lunch but my husband had to call them and tell them to come back to see me before the surgery. They were pushing it on time so my dad dropped my mom off so she was able to see me but my dad wasn't :(

By 1:35 they wheeled me to the OR and then my husband had to get his scrubs on while they finished prepping me. It seemed like forever that I had to wait for him to get in the room with me. During that time I started feeling sick again, like I might pass out. I told the anesthesiologist this and he turned my on my side. Then they were also able to bring in my husband. That combination made me feel much better. Again I think I was just overwhelmed. 

Once my husband came in and got settled in a chair by my head, they got started. I was very drowsy and he kept telling me to keep my eyes open. He told me later he was just worried about me and how the medicine was affecting me and wanted to keep me awake. 

During the very quick (no more than 10 minutes, probably less) surgery, I could feel movement of them pulling and pushing and such but I could feel no pain. 

I could feel our baby being lifted out, like all of a sudden a weight was gone. I was so excited to finally meet him! But he didn't cry right away. They took him to the baby bed and put an oxygen mask on him. My husband and I were so nervous, I started crying so hard that when the anesthesiologist tried to get my mind off it by asking what his name was, I could barely get it out. My husband stood by the baby bed and just watched. (He told me just recently that he was blue and they kept rubbing him on the chest. I am glad he waited to tell me this because I wouldn't have handled it well then.) After what felt like an eternity but was more like 5 seconds, he finally cried! And then I cried even more because he was okay! My doctor said it happens sometimes, babies just get stunned but it's nothing to worry about because they have a "reserve" of oxygen. I was still worried all week about him not breathing for that short amount time. It is not something you would expect when you first deliver your child.

I was so happy our baby was finally here! They weighed and measured him, then handed him off to his daddy! My husband then brought him over to me so I could see him. He was perfect! He was born at 1:51 p.m., 7 lb. 3 oz. and 20 inches. He had already started to make his way into the birth canal so he had a bit of a cone head. Apparently he was ready to go but my pelvic bones weren't spreading fast enough. That could have been one of the reasons he wasn't handling the labor very well.

The anesthesiologist took a few pictures for us as a family and then my husband and our baby headed back to our room with the nurses while my doctor finished up with me. While back in the room, my parents and brother and sister-in-law were able to see him! And they got some footprints documented for us. 

My husband said it was very nerve racking waiting on me to come back. He couldn't stop worrying about me. But after about 10 minutes they finally wheeled me back. All this only took a small amount of time but to us it seemed like an eternity. It was a stressful and scary time for us. 

Once I arrived back, they cleared the room and I was finally able to hold our baby! We were able to have over an hour of skin to skin time with him and also started the breastfeeding adventure.

I was so happy to finally have my baby in my arms nothing else mattered. Our little family of three was finally complete!!! 

So there you have it, the birth story! It was a rough day but I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

I am going to do a small post about the rest of our hospital stay because I still feel like I'm leaving so much out. Look for that soon!!

maternity pictures part 2

Sorry this has taken me so long to post, but I finally did it!

We did a second session of our maternity pictures so we could get a different place and different outfits. Emily again did a great job and I love them all! She also took a few of me by the crib and she is going to take one now with Seth here! 

First part here.

2 weeks old!

Can't believe we have already made it to two weeks! Time flies with a newborn! I still feel like I should be in the hospital. 

2 weeks - 10/2/13 to 10/9/13

Weight: 6 lb. 15 oz. 

Height: 20.25 inches

Nicknames: little guy, buddy, monkey, little bit

Growth: His cord finally fell off on Monday night! But he has a granuloma that needs to heal. Also, his circumsion is completely healed and looking great. 

I'm not worried about low milk supply because he gained 8 ounces since his last appointment and grew an inch! I would say he is really growing!!

Eating: Breastfeeding started off with a new plan this week. I always envisioned myself exclusively breastfeeding for the first few months but when you are a new mom worrying about their baby's weight it just sometimes isn't the best. I am not sure if I'm producing enough for him so Paul and I decided we are going to supplement at least one feeding a day with formula and during that feeding I'll pump instead. The main reason is to make sure he is getting the amount he needs and to measure how much I'm producing. I am also going to start try pumping at least 4 times a day after feedings to up my supply if I can.

This plan seems to be working! See above statement about his growth!

Sleep: Starting Friday of this week, Seth slept really well at night. I had to start setting alarms to make sure he got his feedings at 3 hours. Sometimes I would fall back asleep but he was still fine with a four stretch at night. He also has been having longer periods of alertness during the day which we love... Love his eyes!

But then during the week, we have been having problems getting him to go to sleep. People say all babies have a fussy time... Seth's must be whenever momma and daddy need sleep :(

Visitors: Still meeting lots of people! Everyone is so sweet to come visit. We are trying to limit his visitors per day as much as we can because sometimes too many visitors overlap and he gets overstimulated and momma and daddy can't get a nap in. That has been going much better! We are so grateful for all who stop by and also to those who bring food... I couldn't imagine cooking right now!

Diapers/clothing: Seth is getting over some diaper rash from using some diapers that stuck to his rear :( Now we just use Pampers. We started with Bourdroux's Butt Paste but then switched to A&D. We also started using a warm wet wash cloth instead of wipes and that seems to be helping and causing him not to scream during changes. 

Still in newborn size clothing and wearing lots of Carter's. He usually wears a sleeper during the day then a onesie and a swaddle at night. We have yet to dress him in an outfit but hopefully we will try soon.

Mommy: Feeling much better and moving around a lot better. Still a little emotional from all the hormones but I'm able to control the tears. No one tells you how difficult the adjustment can be, but Kaitlynn took the words out of my mouth when she wrote this

Paul and I took a quick break to grab some things at Target while my mom watched Seth. It was a fun outing but we missed our little guy. That was the first time I was away from him since we got back from the hospital. 

Jumped on the scale and now I am down 28 pounds. Not a huge jump from last week but I'm still dropping which makes me happy!

Daddy: Paul is the best daddy ever! He has been back at work since Wednesday the 2nd. But even with being at work, when I have to get up for middle of the night feedings, he comes to the nursery with us. While I'm feeding he sleeps on the floor and then when it's time for diaper changes, he is all hands on deck. He said he wants to be with us... He is protective of his little family. I am so grateful for such a loving and helpful husband.

Paul also had to have a tooth pulled and even after all the pain and medication, he was still so helpful. I was so nervous about all the medication he was on because he was basically put under and that worried me. 

We also started making sure we are praying before every meal as a family. We hold hands and one of us holds Seth and we pray. I'm glad we are starting Seth off from the beginning with a Godly foundation. 

Loves: his swing, having his hands by his face, when daddy plays guitar

Hates: diaper changes

Memories: We went on our first family walk... To the end of the block and back. Next we will go little further, just want to take it slow.

Seth watched his first Baylor game! Sic 'em!

We had newborn pictures taken. I tried to take my own but they just weren't working out so we hired someone. Can't wait to show them off!!