Katelyn 1 Month

Baby Kate,

Where do I even begin my sweet baby girl? (queue your hormonal overly sensitive mama). Overall, this past month has been amazing and I am high on life right now and never want this fairytail to end. I am overwhelmed by how good God is and how grateful I am for this little family of ours. You are such a healthy, good, mellow and cute baby. You just go with the flow and have yet to let us know of something you don’t like. You sleep great, are eating well and your big brother and sis just want to eat you up. Additionally, having Daddy home is pretty much the best thing in the world. We all just get to hang out together as a family of 5 every day (minus the work daddy has to do). There is no rush for anyone to get up and get out of the house each morning or pressure to be in bed by a certain time. Both mommy and daddy have the freedom to run errands in the middle of the day and take one or two kids, but not be overwhelmed by all three. There are two sets of hands here almost all the time to either make meals, clean meals up, snuggle you or put someone to bed. We’re able to stay on top of keeping the house put together, laundry and making meals and it just feels so good to not have any of those ‘chores’ sitting on my shoulders.

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The weather has been gorgeous and I am totally soaking up all the vitamin D whether it is going for walks, watching the kids ride bikes, playing in the pool, working in my garden/house projects, having ice cream treats or pushing the big kids on the swings. I’ve spent a lot of time thanking God for this gift of time together and for blessing us with such an amazing family. I’m doing my best to just soak in this time and not stress about it coming to an end (which unfortunately, I know it will–the weather and this fairytail). IMG_8434

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Monthly stats

  • Weight: 8 lbs 5 oz (28%) (crazy that you are a month old and still smaller then your big brother was at birth!)
  • Height: 21.61 CM (82%)
  • Head circumference: 14.61 in (80%)
  • Clothes: newborns
  • Diapers: just moved up to size 1 (because sister can pee and fill up a diaper like Whoa!)

Sibling Love

As I mentioned above, your big brother and sister are enamored with you. Both love to ask where you are at all times and love to look at you and give you 50 kisses a day. William was lying next to you in your bedroom one afternoon and asked me if I could tickle your toes? He then turned to you and asked, ‘Do you have toes? Look at my toes!!!’ He also likes to tell you ‘not to throw a fit’ when you’re crying as we commonly use the phrase, ‘you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit’ IMG_8380 IMG_8381

Your newness hasn’t worn off on Lexi either. She loves to do tummy time with you and pick out your clothes and hair bows each day. She also gets right up in your face, like centimeters away to check you out. We’ve had to institute a new rule, you must be a hands distance away from your face unless you’re giving a quick kiss–no lingering. She also likes to use a ‘baby voice’ when she talks to you. She raises her voice two octaves and she says ‘Hiiii Beatle, Hiiii’ while stroking the top of your head. And then I die on the floor because it is too sweet. IMG_8426 IMG_8446 IMG_8507

Eating

I pretty much had to wake you for every feeding for the first two weeks. Around week 3, you started to become much more alert and would wake on your own and cry when you wanted to eat. But, as soon as I picked you up, you stopped crying (reason 483 why you are the best baby). You’re still nursing on one side for each feeding. It still takes awhile to latch on. You’re on and off and on and off and after about 3-5 times of this, you usually stay on. I think this is mostly because you have gas when you wake up and you’re trying to work through it and I feed you too quickly. You do spit up quite a bit, usually right after a burp, but then you’ll continue to spit up for about an hour after eating–especially when you’re on your back or doing tummy time. You have also taken a bottle a couple times and just chowed down.

Side note: The few times I have pumped I’ve gotten about half of what I used to get with your big siblings. Obviously, you need less milk than they did, but hoping this won’t be a problem for the future)

Sleeping

The first two weeks of your life were pretty darn sleepy girlfriend! If I had to guess, you would sleep around 20 hours a day. The only time you were really awake was to eat and even then, I had to wake you up almost every time. Noises didn’t  startle you and we could put you down and pick you up without a peep, so easy!

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Then, around week 3, you started to wake up on your own to eat or when you had a dirty diaper. At night, we would put you in a onesie and the fleece swaddle and you would sleep anywhere from 4-6 hours. Most of your naps were either in the rock’n play or in someone’s arms. Snuggling against a warm body is by far your favorite and when you sleep best and for the longest stretches. You usually wake pretty quickly if you are put down after snoozing in someone’s arms.

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You are by far my most cuddly baby. You love to curl up in a ball with your scrawny little legs in a frog position and snuggle on my (or anyone’s) chest. And my oh my, is it the best. I am trying to soak up that delicious smell of your sweet head, the short little breaths that trickle across my chest and the little grunts you make while cutting some zzzz. When we’re really lucky, and you fall into a deep sleep you pur like a little kitten.

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Like most babes, you really like the white noise and that also seems to help get you some longer sleep stretches

Nicknames

You have generated quite a list of nicknames. When we picked out your name, we thought we would call you Kate, which we are, but we do call you Katelyn a lot too. Right away, Lexi started calling you ‘The Little One’ and daddy started calling you ‘Baby Beatle’ or Baby B and Lexi and William have both gravitated to that and regularly call you that. William also calls you Baby Tate as he doesn’t pronounce his ‘K’s’ very well yet. I have a feeling Beatle is going to stick just as Bood did for William.

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Personality/Development

As I’ve mentioned several times before, you are world’s best baby and just are so mellow. You’ve started to cry a little more in the last week or so, but for the first 2-3 weeks of life, you would really only cry if you had some bad gas or were pooping. In the last week, you’ve started to cry when you’re hungry, when you need your diaper changed or when you are uncomfortable (too hot, too cold, funky position)

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Around the 2.5 week mark, some baby acne came in. It isn’t terrible, but I do miss that absolute perfect baby complexion. We’re trying to wash your face each day to keep it in check and that seems to make it less red. Around this same timeframe, Daddy and I both noticed you started to bulk up a little. You’re legs weren’t as scrawny as they had been and your cheeks were a little more full. You’re also fairly dry and your skin is peeling as well.

Sister, you have got some BIG feet! Almost everyone that sees them comments on the length of them and your ‘finger toes’. You have also developed a blister on the top of your lip from sucking. It comes and goes, but I remember Lexi having this too.

So far, you love sucking on your pacifier to help sooth yourself and for the most part do pretty well in the bouncer, car, swing and ergo. You also seem to really enjoy bath time. You just lie in your little bathtub and look around.

Also, right around week 3ish, your eyes got goopy, little green stuff coming out and little white. You also were having these incidents where you would start gagging of choking on your back. Goopy eyes turned about to be some clogged tear ducts and we never figured out the choking thing, but you spent a couple of nights sleeping on my chest in the rocking chair as I didn’t trust you anywhere else and we eventually transitioned you to sleeping in the rock’n play each night.

My recovery

As mentioned in your 1 week post, my milk coming in was the most painful with you, but everything else recovery wise has been the easiest. By week 2, I pretty much felt 100% back to normal and felt good enough to go work out (I didn’t but felt like I could). By the time I delivered you, I had gained 17 lbs. and by postpartum week 2, 12 of them were gone. However, the last 2 weeks, the number on the scale hasn’t budged and neither has anything with my body and I don’t think it will change moving forward. I’m going to need to exercise and eat right to make any changes, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it is also nice when you can eat anything you want and the lbs. just fall off, or your body continues to shrink back to its original size. Although, I’m only up, 5 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight, my belly is definitely bigger and flabbier than it was pre-preggos. Per my gush fest above, I’m fortunately not suffering from any kind of postpartum depression, just the opposite. The only other thing to note was I felt like I bled longer this time around. I’m still wearing thin pads and really hoping this ends soon because pads just suck.

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In summary life is amazing right now, you are an awesome baby that everyone is obsessed with. What a lucky little girl you are right now.

Love, Mama

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Kate Week 1

Dear Kate,

Grab a snack because this post is a doozy of a long one!

This past week was really amazing and also really challenging. Without question, the first week is much harder than birth and labor itself, for me. (also said by someone who had an epidural for each baby) This is mainly driven by my milk coming in and EXTREME engorgement, but you throw all the other stuff going on into the bag it isn’t a good combination.

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Hospital Stay

Following your birth story, the nurses continued to monitor your blood sugar. On your 3rd prick, you passed and had a 62 (goal is 45). I forgot how often they continued to check you (maybe ever 2 hours???) but you needed to pass 3 consecutive tests before they felt good about your blood sugar. So following the 62, you then got a 57 and a 52! Wahoo!! No more foot pokes for you, until discharged. That first night in the hospital was pretty uneventful. You were still very sleepy and we continued to do some skin-to-skin throughout the night. Around 5:30, I woke Daddy up and you guys cuddled and did some more skin-to-skin while I got some much needed sleep. The next day was fairly low key and full of visitors. We just relaxed in the room in the morning, I took a bath, the nurse gave you your bath and we napped.

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Around 2:30, Grandma Sampson came by to visit. Then around 3:30, Grandma B brought your big siblings back as they were going to go home with Daddy that night.

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Kate's 1st week-36 Around 4:00, you did you big 24 hour hearing tests (passed!) and the various other tests and immunizations they do at that point. Kate's 1st week-50

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Later that evening, Grandma Sampson stopped by again with Auntie Becca and Rael and Auntie Sheila and Uncle Dustin came by for a visit too.

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By the time all these visitors had come, it was time for Daddy to bring the biggies home. I knew I would see everyone the next day and should enjoy the quietness, but I missed having your Daddy there with us. You and I kind of watched LaLa Land to kill some time and then around 1:00am, you headed down to the NICU to do your carseat check. For little babes born early, you need to be able to sit in your carseat for two straight hours while maintaining a certain oxygen level (I think it is 90%, but don’t remember for sure). This also gave me some guaranteed sleep. You passed with flying colors (show off 🙂 and only got up once or twice after you returned.

On Thursday, I was super anxious to get out of the hospital and get home to start our new life as a family of five! I’ve decided that I really really dislike hospital beds. I don’t know what it is about them, but I think they are super uncomfortable–so much so, that I slept on the couch for part of the night because I was so uncomfortable. The day was fairly dreary and cold, so the outfit I had planned to wear and to take you home in were not the best picks (and I forgot to take a picture of us–to excited to get home!) Before we were discharged, they wanted to do another blood sugar test for you. Because you were a little older, they want this one to be at a 60, but you were at a 53. I was a little worried about this as there were several times over the last day or so where you would quiver and this is a sign of low sugars. However, the pediatrician felt good sending you home but wanted you to visit the office the next day.

Home Sweet Home

The rest of Thursday was very low-key. All 5 of us took naps (glorious!) and cuddled you like crazy. I was able to sleep on my stomach for the first time in forever and it was divine!! During my nap, I was OUT and slept so good, so much so that we almost overslept Lexi’s soccer that evening. So far, you have proven yourself to be the best baby in the world and by far my easiest little baby and transition. You are an amazing sleeper and almost never cry! Occasionally, you’ll cry a little when you have to poop, but it is pretty short lived. Overall, you love to sleep and cuddle up into a little ball on our chest and snooze.

Sleep

Kate, I just can’t get over what an amazing sleeper you are!! What newborn regularly sleeps for 4-6 hour stretches in their first week?!?! For the first 4-5 days, I needed to wake you up for nearly every feeding which was every 2-4 hours and it would often take you 45 min to an hour to wake up! Those first several nights at home, I attempted to put you in your crib to sleep at night, but we ended up doing skin-to-skin in the rocking chair or on the couch as you’re kind of a noisy sleeper and I kept thinking all the noises you were making were you waking up and ready to eat.

Once my engorgement tapered off, I started to let you wake on your own to eat and you would go 6 or 7 hours and then I would wake you because I needed some relief and because I was paranoid. Your dear old mom was a bit of a spaz this week. I was always worried about something. Were you gaining enough and getting enough to eat? You were sleeping for such long stretches, did you body know when it was hungry? Was I being a bad mom by letting you sleep for such long stretches? Did your poop look right, was it a little dark, were you doing it often enough, were you dehydrated? Daddy had to tell me several times, relax and quit worrying and waiting for ‘something bad’ to happen and to quit worrying about what everyone else was saying. Just enjoy this time and if her (your) temperament changes, deal with it then. Good advice Daddy!

Nursing

You do a great job nursing. It takes you a couple tries to latch on (especially on the left boob) but once you do latch, you do great. You usually burp one time and then spit up a little after each feeding. To help you wake up, I take you out of your swaddle, change your diaper and then nurse. Occasionally, you would nurse from both sides (especially if it had been 6+ hours since you ate last) but for the most part, you nurse off one side for each feeding. Side note: for sleeping, although it is the middle of the summer, I still put you in a fleece swaddle with just a onesie underneath as you wiggle your arms out of any other swaddle and then wake yourself up and similar to Lexi and William, we only swaddle you at night. In the day you either nap in our arms, your car seat if we’ve gone somewhere or in the rock n’ play) Back to nursing, because you are so sleepy, you will often fall asleep while eating, unless you are in the ‘perfect’ position and the only way to ensure you’re in that position is to hold your head with one hand and my boob with the other. Rarely do I use the boppy pillow, which is a little strange as I almost never nursed without it for Lexi and Will, but hey I’m building some strong wrist muscles holding your head.

Sibling Love

Oh Katelyn, you are such a lucky little girl. You have a big brother and a big sister who absolutely adore you. Lexi has totally surprised me on this one. I knew she would love you as she was so excited for you, but she has never shown a whole lot of interest in other babies we have been around, but holy smokes, does she love you. She wants to be near you at all times and is constantly asking us if your eyes are opened and to let us know when they are because she wants to see you. She gives you hugs and kisses multiple times each hour and loves to pick out your clothes. Her favorite is the Strawberry outfit and told everyone she saw that you had little strawberries on your feet and on your butt and begged me to get her the same outfit so you could match. We also had a little giraffe outfit for you and when she picked it out for you to wear, she went and put on her giraffe outfit so you could match. She is also a great helper. She’s always proactively making sure I have a spit rag or a blanket for you. And my favorites is that she has given you her own nickname: The Little One and only calls you that. ‘Mom, where is the little one? Is the Little One’s eye’s open? Mom, the little one is hungry and she wants some of your milk. Ahhh… be still my heart, I just love you two to pieces and am so excited to watch your relationship/friendship grow in the coming years. Kate's 1st week-39

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William is not quite as interested as Lexi but regularly asks ‘Where is the new baby?’ Is that the new baby’s? Mom, what a doing? Feeding new Baby from your belly? He has asked to hold you several times. Fortunately, he hasn’t shown any signs of jealousy and I feel that your transition for him has been much easier than Lexi’s transition to him. They have each other to keep one another entertained and play so well together, they seem to hardly notice that I have less time for them. Kate's 1st week-43

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My recovery

Everything about you this first week has been absolute bliss and am still riding the high of your arrival. The challenges of the week have been around my recovery and specifically the engorgement I experience from my milk coming in. On Thursday my milk started to come in and by Friday and Saturday I was fully engorged. This is really the worst for me and I just dread it. Unfortunately, it has gotten worse with each kiddo. I have so much milk that my boobs triple from their already large size and just throb. They are hot to touch, super vainy and I can’t hug the kids or have the jugs touch anything if I’m trying to reach for something. They are rock rock hard. Ugh, it is dreadful just writing about it.

To help relieve some of the pain, I was constantly icing them and taking warm baths to express it without initiating the production of more through your sucking or pumping. Although I was expressing a lot of milk out during the baths,(maybe TMI, but the water was so cloudy from all the milk, I could barely see the bottom of the tub) emotionally it was really challenging because I didn’t get a whole lot of relief from all the expression. They still really hurt a lot after these baths that I was doing twice a day. Overall, I was trying to pump as little as I could so I wouldn’t produce more milk (the more you pump or suck, the more your body produces–challenging cycle to break when you need to pump/express in order for you to even latch on), but I needed to at least once a day to allow you to latch on. When I did pump, I would only pump for 3 minutes and would get 3 oz.  With this engorgement, I was also forcing you to eat every 2 to 3 hours. I don’t think you were ever ready to eat as I had to wake you up every single time. Thankfully, I did write some notes about this in William’s 1 week update and it was reassuring to know that by Monday I would start to feel some relief. Sure enough on Sunday I could tell my body was starting to adjust to the amount of milk you actually needed as my boobs didn’t throb when I would bend over or when I would put a shirt on. They were still hard and enormous, but I could tell I was starting to turn the corner. Finally, by Thursday, I feel like they had regulated to what you needed.

Embarrassing to admit, but I also peed my pants several times this week. And not just like a little leaked out, but like I would drench one of those huge hospital pads. After this happened several times, I started going to the bathroom all the time, like every half hour to an hour to make sure I didn’t have a lot of pee in my bladder and help prevent the embarrassment the ensues (often from Lexi and William when they’re asking why mommy peed her pants!)

Otherwise, because I only had 1/2 stitch recovery was pretty easy. I never felt pain sitting or standing like I did with the other two and was pretty mobile around the house quickly. While in the hospital, I had very little bleeding, but as I became more active at home, I noticed I did start to bleed more.

Post-partum contractions were a intense for the first 2-3 days where I would almost have to breath through them while nursing, but by the 2nd or 3rd day at home, I could barely feel them. I also learned from both Lexi and William, to continue to take the stool softener even if I was pooping well as I didn’t want hemorrhoids and getting constipated after you have a baby is pretty terrible.

Other notes:

On Friday we went to the pediatrician for a follow up visit. You weighed 7 lbs 3 oz (7% weight loss) and they were very happy with that and weren’t concerned about your previous blood sugar level and didn’t even feel like we needed to test it again. Surprisingly, your over-anxious mom agreed as you hadn’t shown any of the quiver signs since we had gotten home that you were having in the hospital.

Daddy went into work for the last time on Friday and I had all three of you by myself for the first time and it went awesome! Lexi and Will just played together and you mostly napped. Auntie Sheila then came over to watch the big kids while we went to the doctor.

I am NOT a back sleeper, but the way you curl up into a little ball in what I imagine was the same position you were inside of me and absorb the heat from my body is the BEST! Your short little breaths trickling across my chest and the way you wiggle or nuzzle your tiny little head is such a peaceful and relaxing experience. It totally makes up for the lack of sleep I’m getting. I also gave Daddy and I a virtual high-five for selecting a recliner for the rocking chair verses a typical one. It is so much more comfortable to sleep and snuggle in as it reclines almost flat!

Visitors: Sheila came to watch the big kids on Friday, Sunday you went on an adventure and met Great Grandma S, on Monday you met your Auntie Teresa cousins Ashley and Courtney and then on Tuesday your Uncle Joe and Auntie Angie came over!

Well, that wraps up your first week my little one. You are one very loved little girl and we can’t wait to see what the future brings us.

Love, Mama

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Katelyn Ann’s Birth Story

Baby Kate,

As I mentioned in your last weekly update, we were scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, June 20th, but would go to the hospital on Monday evening to get some meds to soften my cervix for Tuesday.

I called the hospital at 5:30 to ensure there were beds available and all was a go and they asked us to arrive around 7:00 that night. We finished packing up our bags (I didn’t want to do all of it as I was scared it would jinx us on having a room available) and headed to Chipotle for dinner. We had stopped there before we went in for Lexi’s induction too, so it seemed fitting.

After getting all checked in, we took a few last belly pics and I put the ugly gown on and started to get settled in for the night. After all the internal debates I had with myself on whether or not to be induced, I felt this was the best option. If we didn’t go this route, I would continue to be a total mental basket case and continuing to worry and analyze every little thing that was occurring. I was a little worried about how everything would go down with labor and your health, but felt we were making the right decision for your safety.

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Also, a comparison pick of the last belly pick I have with each kiddo. Lexi @ 39 weeks 5 days, Will @ 37 weeks and Kate @ 36 weeks 5 days,–although they are at different weeks, I carried both of the girls fairly similar, more egg shape and Will was rounder and more basketball belly.

 

Around 8 pm the nurse checked me and I was dilated between a 1 and 1.5 cm and my cervix was ‘soft’– whatever that means. I got my blood drawn and IV put in, which I really hate! I hate I can’t move my hands very well since there is a needle stuck in it and it hurts when you try and move it certain ways. Anyways, they gave me Cervadil (looks kind of like a tampon) to soften me up which required me to stay laying for 2 hours, but also continues to work for another 10 hours. Daddy and I watched Daddy’s Home to help kill time. (Netflix and Amazon Prime were slim pickings for movies). The cervadil made me feel very crampy and initiated some contractions. There wasn’t any consistency to them and were like a 1-2 on the pain scale.

Around 11:45 I took some sleeping meds to help me fall asleep. First I took Vistaril, which I had been taking at home to help me sleep and control the itching and that didn’t do anything, so they gave me some Ambien. After a couple games of suduko, I finally started to fall asleep around 12:30 and slept until 6:30.

Dr. G arrived around 7:30, took out my Cervadil and was 50% effaced and dilated to about a 3. She broke my water, but this time I didn’t even realize it and even asked her, ‘Did you just break my water?’ About 5 minutes later, I felt the gush of water and the contractions started immediately. They were pretty painful (like a 5), but as soon as I started walking around, they went to about a 3 and were coming every 2 1/2 minutes.

By 8:30 they started the pitocin and I made a plan to get the epidural around 10, after the anesthesiologist was done with a C-section which was scheduled for 9:30. Around 9:00 the pain had increased to a 4-5 and I needed to breath through the contractions. I absolutely needed to stand and walk around to get through each contraction and was pacing back in forth in our room between each one. Thankfully, it was pretty large! As I felt a contraction coming, I would stop walking, close my eyes, sway my hips and breath through it.

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Around 9:15 they upped the pitocin and then again at 9:50–essentially every 30 minutes it increased. Based on the pain scale and frequency of the contractions, I thought for sure we would meet you by noon. I was so happy I had made the plan to get the epidural at 10:00 because I was clock watching for a good half hour waiting to reach that magical 10:00 timeframe. I even remember asking a nurse if we were still on track for the epi at 10, because mentally I needed to prepare myself if it wasn’t going to happen then.

Thankfully, the anesthesiologist arrived a few minutes early and I dreadfully sat on the bed hunched over. For me, these 10 minutes are the worst as contractions are much more painful sitting down. The anesthesiologist was fast (nothing like William’s) and I felt instant relief from the contractions but could still wiggle my toes and move my legs moderately. However, in order for the epidural to hit my body evenly I needed to lay down on my back. I warned them that it wasn’t a good idea as I can’t breath.

Within five minutes, my blood pressure dropped and Daddy said my face and lips turned white. They also couldn’t find your heartbeat and called in several other nurses to help. They rotated me from side-to-side trying to get my blood pressure back up and find your little ticker. By 10:20 everything was A-OK again. At the time, I didn’t think much of it as I was just really concentrating on breathing, but Daddy said it was little scary and felt like he might pass out watching me.

After I was stabilized they checked me and was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. By 11:15, they turned the pitocin back on (they shut it off when my BP fell) and more or less had to start over again. They continued to up the pitocin every 30 minutes and would rotate me to a different position every time they upped it to keep things progressing. Around 12:30 I was 4.5-5 cm and still 80% effaced. I remember feeling itchy, having cold hands and was very tired. In general, the epidural really slowed things down for me, which I didn’t think would happen as it didn’t do that when I had your brother and sister.

Around 2:30 I was checked again and was dilated to a 6 and complete. I didn’t feel the intense pressure I felt with William and that you were ready to come, but could tell things were changing. From about 12:30 to 2:30, I was so tired and kept taking 20 minute power naps, but every time I shut my eyes things slowed down, so I was doing my best to stay awake but was really struggling.

Around 3:00, I was continuing to feel contractions and pressure. It wasn’t painful but I could feel it, where the previous three hours I hadn’t felt anything. The nurse asked if I should be checked again and said, no as I was just checked 30 minutes ago and was only a 6. She rotated me around again and monitored me a little but didn’t like the pattern of the contractions and you were acting a little off so she decided to check me again and sure enough, I was fully dilated and you were ready to come meet us. I was shocked! I couldn’t believe I had went from a 6 to a 10 in 30 minutes!

They started prepping the room for your arrival, called NICU to have the nurses be ready and called Dr. G to head on over. She arrived between 3:20 and 3:30 and started getting ready.

I started pushing at 3:40 and remember asking what to do during the pushing process as I had kind of forgot–push for 3 counts of 10 during each contraction. During the first contraction, I don’t think my pushing did anything and Dr. G also noticed your face was sideways (opposed to down). After the 3rd contraction, I asked to be propped up a little more to help give me some leverage and push you out. The nurses put some pillows behind me and on the next contraction I was able to push you out at 3:48 pm with little to no pain or intense pressure! The nurses put you on my belly immediately and began wiping you off.

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You had great color and the cutest little cry. Daddy was enamored by you and so in love and I felt very calm and peaceful. After all the time I had spent worrying about your arrival and the challenges that often come with induction and an early baby, here you were in my arms, perfect as can be and I was so in love and grateful everything had turned out as it should.

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You received an 8 on your first APGAR score and a 9 on the second. I had very little bleeding, the placenta came out great and had 1/2 a stitch. You weighed an astounding 7 lbs and 11 oz, were 21 inches long–such a shocker for a little babe that was over 3 weeks early!!! (we were a little late on the clock picture)Kate's 1st week-5

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We spent the next hour bonding with skin-to-skin and nursing, you latched on like a champ and Daddy and I discussed what your name should be. Katelyn was always the top runner but we wanted to make sure that was ‘it’. Daddy had received an email from another Katelyn around the time of your birth and we decided that was a sign to make it official. FYI: other names in consideration were Elizabeth and Grace.

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About an hour after your arrival, the nurses took your blood sugar and it was pretty low (22) when they want it to be a 45. They gave you some sugar water and a little formula to help increase it and then would monitor it closely. Your body temp was also a little low, so they wrapped you in several blankets to keep you warm and encouraged more skin-to-skin and nursing to keep you warm and increase those numbers. About 30-45 minutes later, they did another blood sugar test and you had increased to a 37, but still weren’t at that 45 mark yet, so they did another round of sugar water and some formula to help stabilize you.

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About two hours after you arrived, my left leg was still very numb from the epidural (that is the side I was on after the blood pressure incident so it was more numb than the other side) so I needed some help getting to the bathroom before they could move us to the postpartum room. (side note: I didn’t get full feeling in it until about 9:00 that evening!) In addition to the numbness in my leg, I was extremely shaky for two to three hours. I would try and hold papers and they would rattle like a snake.

Later that evening, your big brother and sister, grandma and papa came to meet you. Lexi and William weren’t very interested in you and would barely give me a hug. I was still in the ugly hospital gown and my leg was still numb so I couldn’t get out of the bed and I think they were a little intimated by that. Things were a little crazy that evening and we didn’t even manage to get a picture, but got plenty the next day when they came to visit and were much more interested in you!

And that is the story of how you arrived into the world my sweet little Kate. We are so in love with you and you are the perfect completion to our little family. We can’t wait to experience all the happiness and laughter the next weeks, months and years will bring us with you in our lives.

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 36 Weeks 4 days

Baby B,

Last official post before I get to write your birth story!!!

Over the last several days, I’ve debated back and forth on whether or not to be induced. Throughout the day, I was in the ‘I’m totally fine and have no symptoms’ camp and this evening I’m in the ‘Holy crap I’m so itchy I can’t sleep camp’ and this internal debate has pretty much been going on inside my head nearly every moment for the last week and I’m kind of going insane.

Overall, I don’t feel the greatest. I’m having a really hard time sleeping, not only because I’m uncomfortable, and the itching but I also seem to have some insomnia and am WIDE-freaking awake until ungodly hours in the night. Two nights ago, I didn’t fall asleep until 4 or 5 in the morning.

I also have these hot spots (usually on my legs) about once a day. It only lasts for a second or two, and from what I can tell, it is just inside my leg (verses being hot to touch the skin) that makes me a little on edge. Auntie Sheila didn’t sound too alarmed by it and couldn’t recall that being a symptom of anything, which made me feel a little better, but I’m still anxious about having a blood clot given the shortness of breath of I have and the fact that I can’t lay on my back at all.

Additionally, I’m also very nauseous. Saturday evening we were out for dinner for your Daddy’s birthday and immediately after ordering our food, I started to feel pretty sick. I had to really focus to keep my mind off the scent of everyone else’s food and not get sick or run out of the restaurant. Finally, when our food came, I pushed it to the side as the thought of it (which it was delicious steak) was repulsive and I didn’t even touch one piece of it. It took me until 1:00 pm the following afternoon to not get nauseous at the thought of it. Last night, I tried to eat pasta salad–no good, jalapeno artichoke dip–no good, crackers–no good, raspberries–no good and essentially just gave up. I’ve also started to gag again when I brush my teeth. I’m full-on waddling and need to boost myself to get up off the couch or from any kind of sitting position. I’m also feeling a lot of pressure when I walk. Combine this with heartburn and difficulty breathing and I’m kind of a hot mess.

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Other thoughts roaming around my head include what is labor going to look like with you? Can I get the epidural right away and just have them crank the pitocin to meet you quickly? Will I need to walk around a bit to help jump kick labor before the epi? What happens if I don’t progress and the pitocin doesn’t work? At what point do they decide to do a C-section?

On a slightly my upbeat topic, I’ve received many questions about when you’re due, which is usually followed by, ‘is this your first’ (as long as I don’t have one of your big siblings with me). When I told one woman, it was my 3rd, she looked astounded and followed up with, ‘Wow, you just look so young.’ I’m not sure if the look was more ‘your crazy for having that many kids’ and she covered it up well or if I really look ‘that’ young.

We’ve also had a very relaxing couple of days prior to your arrival. The big kids were camping with Grammy and Papa so Daddy and I were able to get the house really clean, sleep in late, take naps and just relax.

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I’ve also spent a lot of time praying for you over the last several days. I’m praying that we are making the right decision to induce and you will be healthy. I’m praying that we need to spend as little time in the NICU as possible and hopefully we can all come home as a family on Thursday. I’m praying that I don’t need a c-section and that labor will go well and relatively quickly, but not so quickly that I can’t receive the epidural. But most of my prayers are dedicated towards you little girl. From what I’ve read, it seems like the biggest challenges for early ones like yourself are high bilirubin counts, which typically don’t show up until day 2 or so and then people end up back in the hospital. Lots of prayers that you are healthy and once we leave the hospital we don’t have to come back.

 

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 36 Weeks

Little nugs,

You sure like to keep things interesting! Like I mentioned in the 35 Week post, my liver enzyme levels had come down from the 170s to a normal level again, and my bile acid levels came down from a 12 to a 7, which is really strange and unusual. As Dr. G was looking everything over, she was going back and forth on do we induce next week or wait it out. When I mentioned that the itching was getting worse and you were very quiet on Monday (enough that I did 3-4 kick counts and called the office to check–even though you had passed them all) she decided that it was best to induce and not risk anything happening to you.

We did the Group B strep test (and am negative!) and also told me I was dilated to a 1, but my cervix was still pretty unfavorable. Which means, I’ll go to the hospital on Monday evening to get some meds to help prepare me for labor the following day.

Although I’m going to have you a whole month earlier than I thought, it gives me peace of mind knowing that you will probably make it and a couple days in the NICU is way better than the alternative. It also takes the unknown of everything away. We have a plan and can work around that.

Other updates for you, although we were scheduled for a growth ultrasound on Tuesday, they only did a BPP and wanted to wait until Thursday to do the growth, which kind of stinks as Daddy was here for the appointment. I don’t think I have any other major updates: appetite is small, heartburn is better but still there, sitting and standing are both uncomfortable, I get really out of breath doing daily chores– especially in the morning, movement (except for Monday) continues to be strong. I can regularly feel your feet or knees pushing around inside me. I continue to have lots of contractions both moving and just sitting. Yesterday, I took William on a walk and I was having regular contractions every 3 min or so, but fortunately they stopped as soon as I sat down. Also, your head seems to push on my bladder or some kind of nerve that is quite painful. I pee nearly every hour, with the exception of night time when I usually only have to get up and go once.

Today (Thursday), I went in for my final BPP and once again, you passed! You moved your hands away from your face for the first time and we got a glance at your big cheeks. They also did a growth ultrasound and you’re measuring at 7 lbs 1 oz. right now–which also makes me feel good about an early delivery.

IMG_8294  Grammy and Papa are taking the big kids camping for the weekend and then are going to keep them for an extra couple of days while we’re in the hospital. Hopefully Daddy and I can relax a bit and also get some minor projects wrapped up before you arrive.

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Please be easy on your mama during labor. We’ve already had enough crazy stuff happen, I’m praying for a quick and easy delivery.

Love,

Mama

Last Day of Daycare

Lexi And William,

You just finished your last day of daycare and your hormonal mom is a tid bit emotional, very similar to your first day, but for very different reasons.

Growing up, I always had a negative connotation of daycare. Most of my cousins and my friends grew up with stay at home moms and the kids that did go to daycare weren’t always the most well-behaved. I’m sure there were other reasons for this, but I had always made the connection that it was because they went to daycare (I know, not very logical!)

So when the time came for you to both go to daycare I really struggled. Lexi was 2.5 and very shy, timid and reserved and I was so worried about her feeling abandoned and lost and not being able to make friends. William was 4 months and was just sad he wasn’t going to get to bond with Daddy in the same way Lexi did.

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My fears about Lexi were spot on. She experienced all of those things and would scream and cry every morning before leaving. There was bribery and me trying to distract her on the ride there (airplanes in the sky, the tunnel, trains, and lots of listening to twinkle twinkle) to help make the situation better. I set up playdates outside of school so she could become more comfortable with friends in her class. After many talks with the teachers, we figured out she really struggled in the transition moments–going from group time to activity time or to lunch time and pinned it down to her not knowing what to do in those moments and probably feeling lost and confused. As a result, every night we reviewed our day from the beloved daily connect app to look at all the fun she had and review what her schedule looked like each day. We also talked about it every morning on the ride in to help her learn what to expect at each moment throughout the day. In general, I felt like it was a pretty tough transition and took several months.

However, after that transition, some amazing things started to happen. Lexi started to recognize her name and then she could spell it and then she could write it. She started to make friends on her own and discovered her love for art projects. Her confidence grew, she learned how to tell stories, participated in group time, talked to people she didn’t know and learned about complex things for a 4-year-old like symmetry, ecosystems and the world’s wonders. And William, your time spent there was different, but it will impact you in different ways. You know how to stand up for yourself and don’t let other kids push your around. You’re independent and insist on doing everything yourself as that is really what the teachers encourage. You can put your pants/shorts/shoes on and off by yourself, do really really well drinking from cups and using adult silverware and kicking and throwing balls.

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Not only did you both thrive, I loved having you be so close to me throughout the day. Being able to nurse William instead of pump was a Godsend. I loved the lunch dates I had with Lexi. As maddening as it was some days, majority of the time, I loved spending 2 extra hours with you in our car rides. You would tell me about your days, what made you happy and sad, what you learned about or the books you read and would often play games like ‘I spy’ and ‘Is this a truth or a lie?’

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The teachers you had were so amazing and dedicated. They did such a great job of pairing up personalities to have one teacher that is a little more firm and lays the law down with another who is a little more affectionate to play to the different things you need throughout the day.

Overall, I’ve realized that daycare can be an amazing thing and you have both learned and developed in ways that you never would have at home and am so grateful for the wonderful experience we all had.

Onto out next phase which I’m sure will bring equally amazing opportunities

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 35 Weeks

Little Nugs,

What a busy and eventful week this has been. It started of celebrating your Auntie Sheila’s wedding. It was perfect in every way. It was intimate and personal and relaxed/low key. The ceremony was in Grammy and Papa’s back yard and then we headed over to the new park pavilion to celebrate with friends and family. Lexi was the flower girl and she was so darn cute in her little white dress, head full of curls and walking out to Moana. I cried. It was around 90 degrees and my dress wasn’t the most breathable one out there and I was pretty darn hot and it exhausted me to no end. It took me until Wednesday to feel somewhat recouped.

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Then this Friday, Daddy had his last official day of work. He will contract throughout the summer before transitioning to staying home with your three nuggets full time. I also had my last day of work before leave and the big kids had their last day of day care. It was a little bit of an emotional day and I’ll have to write another post on my feelings for that.

Thursday morning, I went in for my weekly lab work and Friday I had my appointment. Ultrasound BPP went great and once again you passed your test. You also have flipped and are head down again. When meeting with the Dr. (Dr. G was on vaca) she game me the official diagnosis of cholestasis and a prescription to help manage the bile liver levels. Last week’s tests came back as a 12 and she said anything above a 10 is considered cholestasis. Fortunately, my liver enzyme levels had come back down from the 100’s to a normal level which she said was really really good. Although I have an official diagnosis, nothing will really change in my care as they said they have already been treating me as if I did have it. Next week, I go in on Tuesday for a growth ultrasound and BPP and my typical 36 week appointment. I’ll also go in on Thursday for another BPP and then the plan is to deliver on the following Tuesday (the 20th) So crazy that they expect you to be here in 10 days!

For the most part, I’m feeling OK. I know things could be worse, but still not feeling the greatest either. I ended up filling my prescription last week to help me sleep and control the itching.  It helped control the itching at night and sleep through the night–which really helped get me back on track after the excitement of Sheila’s wedding. However, this past night was awful. I’ve been up since 4 and itching and scratching every part of my body and it is pretty terrible and I’m very tired.

Other interesting notes: I’m only interested in eating healthy foods like fruits and salads. Anything greasy or fatty just isn’t appetizing. I think this has something to do with the fact my liver isn’t functioning properly, but maybe that is just in my head? Blood pressure continues to be nice and low, movement is active, and I’m still under the 20 lbs weight gain. Also, I’m so relieved to be done with work. It is just one less thing to think about and hopefully enjoy some good quality time with the big kids before you arrive. IMG_8236

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With Lexi, we were just finishing up the fireplace project, your nursery and prepping for my showers. I can’t believe how much more I was able to do at this point in her pregnancy than yours. There is no way I could do all that work–I can barely walk up the stairs with you. With William, I was feeling more similar to how I feel with you, just probably not as extensive. I was very worried about how life would change and all the hardships that come with a newborn. It’s interesting how the challenges just shift. There are many challenging things about these last few weeks of pregnancy and you’re so excited for them to all go away, but once the baby is born, they are replaced by other challenges like no sleep and the milk coming in and teaching the baby to nurse and still paying attention to the other two munchkins. Time will tell my munchkin. With you coming early I’m pretty nervous about your temperament and colic as I feel like every single baby that I know that has been early is much more difficult than a baby that ‘cooks’ a little longer. Please be good to your mama?!?!

Love,

Mama