Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pregnancy Pics in Succession

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks
15 weeks
16 weeks
17 weeks
18 weeks
19 weeks 
20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks
24 weeks
25 weeks
26 weeks
27 weeks

28 weeks
29 weeks
30 weeks

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

37 weeks

40 weeks

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kristi the new OT

Sadie finally has a new occupational therapist (OT).  We spent a long time looking for someone to replace Miss Tami, who we really liked.  And finally we found Miss Kristi, who is amazing... but it wasn't easy!!

Kristi is friends with Kim, Sadie's speech and feeding therapist.  And Kim kept talking and talking about Kristi until finally we got in touch.  At first scheduling was tough.  The only time Kristi could come was when I had to teach my online class.  But, Chelsea would be here during that time, so it wasn't a huge deal.  It was more important that we get Kristi in and get Sadie started!

We waited almost a full month for Kristi's schedule to open up during that time.  The first week, I was able to join them for therapy, I know that the first time requires a lot of asking questions from the therapist and lots of getting to know each other, so I wanted to make sure I was there for that.

But the next day, I got a text saying that she had had a severe allergic reaction to our cat!!!  I was devastated!  We had waited so long to finally get time with Kristi and we really liked her when we met her and I didn't want to lose her (or have to find someone new)!!  So, we worked it out that we'd meet her at the clinic at about that same time.  Luckily, the clinic is less than 15 minutes away.

Since then, I have been nothing but impressed.  She works a lot on Sadie's hands.  The last 3 weeks they've done some kind of art project.  I never have thought to do art with Sadie, but watching what Kristi does has made me think we could do more of that kind of stuff at home.

She uses a Bingo dauber with her.  If you don't know what that is, it's like a fat paint marker that just makes circles.  You just stamp it down on your Bingo card when the number is called.  It's easy for Sadie to hold (it's amazing how much better she's gotten at holding it in just a few weeks!) and they color together (Kristi's hand over Sadie's) by making dots, lots and lots of dots.

Like this.

They also practiced writing Sadie's name with a vibrating pen!

Today, they did something really fun!  Together they made a Jack O Lantern by ripping up orange construction paper and glueing it on a circle.  Then Kristi glued down the eyes, nose, mouth, and stem and Sadie colored them with the dauber (with Kristi's help, of course).

Check it out.

Doing art projects in OT inspires me to maybe do more of this kind of stuff with Sadie at home.  I might have to see if I can get a Bingo dauber and print out some coloring pages.  Anybody have any fun ideas?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sadie loves Ezra

Sadie loves her little brother... check it out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ezra's newborn check up and Sadie's weigh-in

We took both kids to the doctor today.  It just worked out that Sadie's weigh-in appointment fell at about the time Ezra was due to be it worked out to just come in once.

I'll start with Sadie...

Sadie weighed in at a whopping 36.4 pounds!!!  Back in July when we saw the GI and it was determined that she was losing weight and we needed to change her diet, she weighed 27 pounds.  This means she has gained almost 10 pounds in 4 months.  I sure hope that Dr. Pasternak is happy.  I sure am!  She is back up above the 50th percentile curve and harder than ever to lift!

Speaking of that, both my mom and Brian were able to come with me today, thankfully.  I still can't lift Sadie, and in fact, I visited the midwife this morning because I don't feel like my body is recovering as quickly as it should.  She agreed and told me to do nothing but sit on the couch, eat, and nurse my baby.  It's really hard not to do more than that...especially when both kids need to be taken to the pediatrician.

Then she saw Ezra...

Ezra weighed 9 pounds 13 ounces.  So, in a week he's reached and exceeded his birth weight.  I was actually surprised by this since I was told it would take 2 weeks to get back to his birth weight.  But, we left the hospital at 8 pounds 13 ounces, so he's gained a whole pound in just a week!!  This kid is a good nurser.  We'll go back in about 3 weeks for his 1 month well baby check up and see how much he's gained at that point!

Both kids are healthy and gaining weight appropriately!  Hooray for fat kids!!

Daddy and his babies

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's not fair

It's amazing what Ezra's brain allows him to do at 1 week old that Sadie's brain still has trouble with after 2.5 years.  It makes me sad all over again.  Emotions that I thought I dealt with and pieces of the past I thought I had let go are all of the sudden coming back.  I don't know whether to be sad or angry or defeated.

Every once in a while, someone who reads this blog writes me a big, long email and tells me their story...about their kids and their experience, and often about the emotions they've also experienced or are currently experiencing.  I got one of these recently and she mentioned in her email that having another kid, who didn't experience brain damage, made her angry at the brain damage.  I think that's a good way to describe it.

There is nobody to blame for what happened to Sadie, therefore there has never been a target for my frustration and anger and sadness over what happened to her.  And since she was my first baby, I had no idea what I actually missed out on.  But, now I'm realizing what it is supposed to be like when you have a baby.

And I'm angry at the brain damage.

Ezra sleeps in his own bed.  He can hold his head up and use his hands to put in his mouth, and soon to hold on to things and grab things.  He's a fierce nurser.  And even though he gets mad in the car, he can settle himself down.

It's not fair.

It'll never be fair.

Things that are so hard for Sadie, or that Sadie will never do come so easily, so naturally, to other babies/children.  And she doesn't realize it now, but there will come a day when she realizes that she's different.  And I'm sure my other children will ask, even if she can't.  And I have no idea what I will say, except that life just isn't fair.

Bump Watch - 41 weeks (post partum)

Ezra was born Saturday night October 13 around 8:30pm.  He looks just like his sister, only his hair is darker and there is less of it.  It's not bright red like Sadie's, but it definitely has a reddish tint, and I think it's going to be curly!

He is a sweet baby, and so different than Sadie (just because his brain isn't damaged).  At 5 days old, he can already do more than his sister.  His neck is strong and he can hold his head up pretty well already. He is constantly moving his arms, trying to suck on his fingers/hands, and stretching them up over his head.  He HATES having his diaper changed and screams like it's the end of the world, but other than that he doesn't cry much unless he's hungry.

He weighed over 9lbs at birth, but left the hospital at 8lbs 13oz.  We see Dr. Wendy on Monday and I wouldn't be surprised if he's already back up to his birth weight the way he nurses!!  It's literally all.the.time!!

How old is baby?  Ezra is now 5 days old

Weight Gain? I haven't weighed myself since giving birth.  I still look 4 months pregnant, but it's shrinking daily!

What's up with my Body? My tummy still looks pregnant, which is the worst!!  But I can lean forward without losing my breath!  And I can bend down and pick something up off the floor pretty easily!

My body was pretty wrecked after giving birth and I was in quite a lot of pain for about 24 hours, but it's mostly gone away.  My pelvic bones still hurt in certain positions, and sitting in a hard chair is uncomfortable after a few minutes, but overall, I feel really great!

My swelling is going down.  My mom and I ventured out to Old Navy yesterday (because anything she bought with her Old Navy card was 40% off!) and I wore my maternity jeans and they were actually baggy on me instead of tight!  Hopefully soon I'll be able to put my wedding ring back on!

My milk came in, so my boobs are huge.  We're still getting used to nursing, so my nipples are sore, but this is getting better each day.  

I can't walk very far comfortably, and I can't really lift anything heavy (including Sadie), so I feel pretty helpless.  But I'll get stronger!

I also take like 2 or 3 naps a day.  I am exhausted from being awake all night and my body healing.  It's nice to have help, and to know someone is taking care of Sadie so I can rest.

Emotions: I don't feel like I have post partum depression or anything, but every once in a while I look at Ezra and get choked up, or I remember part of his birth or read comments from people on Facebook and I want to cry...but it's happy tears.

Baby name: Ezra Walter Beck.  Ezra means "great helper" or "God is my help" which is the role he's being born into, he is going to need to be my great helper.  It took us a long time to find the perfect name, but I think we did it!

Best moment of the week: Holding my baby in my arms...finally!!

What I'm looking forward to: Everything!

Sadie meeting her brother for the first time 
Our family of 4 leaving the hospital!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ezra's birth story

Meeting Ezra for the first time.
Our newest blessing, Ezra Walter Beck was born last Saturday night around 8:30pm.  He was 9lbs 1oz and 21 inches long, and he looks a lot like his big sister.

Sadie's and Ezra's birth stories are actually very similar in many ways... yet, as you already probably guessed, so different in the most important ones.

Friday, the day after my due date, I had an appointment to see the midwife, and, just like with Sadie's appointment the day after my due date, I asked her to strip my membranes.  This is a procedure that can help start labor, and worked well with Sadie.  That afternoon, at about 4:00, my water broke.  About 10:00 we headed to the hospital.

What I didn't realize at that point was that I was still in early labor.  As the night wore on and nothing exciting happened, I grew frustrated and very tired.  After being in the labor tub for a while, things slowed down, and I actually ended up going to bed and sleeping for a few hours.  We expected to have a baby in the wee hours of the morning, so it was discouraging when 8:00 rolled around and still nothing had happened.  I ate some breakfast and we decided to try some prostaglandin gel on my cervix.  My midwife said that sometimes this can push someone over the edge into active labor who is just right on the verge.

It worked.

I had to lay in bed and be monitored for about an hour, then I had to get up and walk the halls.  By the time we had gone around the floor once, I was having such strong contractions that I had to stop and lean against something.  But I could still talk in between.  We took two laps and then I got back into bed.

For the next 7 or 8 hours, I moaned and squeezed Brian's and my mom's hands.  I changed positions, drank lots of water, and eventually got back in the laboring tub.  Being in the water helped me to not be still and allowed me to relax a little, but by this time, I was so tired, I was just ready to have this baby!  At one point I said I felt like pushing, so they had me get out to check and see if I was fully dilated.  I tried pushing then on my hands and knees, and they hooked up the squat bar for me, but the pain was SO INTENSE in my public bone that I just couldn't do it.  They let me get back in the tub and try to start pushing there.  Although, I wasn't allowed to push too much there, because they don't want me to give birth in the water (liability), it helped me get past some of the pain and be able to do more pushing back in the bed.

Again, I tried hands and knees (this made my knees hurt after a while) and the squat bar.  But finally just being in a semi-reclined sitting position seemed to be the best for me.  And after a while of this kind of pushing and not seeing a lot of progress, the doctor was called in to have a look.  I was so tired and I wanted help, but was told that I hadn't made enough progress for any kind of help unless it was a C-section.  So, I kept pushing.

I was told that since I pushed for 3.5 hours with Sadie, they'd let me push for that long again as long as I was making progress.  So, I kept pushing.

And then they started an IV on me to hydrate me because Ezra's heartbeat was getting high and they knew he was distressed.  And they gave me oxygen between pushes to help keep me from hyper-ventilating because I was also distressed.  And I kept pushing.

They started to see meconium in the fluid that was coming out and Brian gave me a look of terror.  I told him it's okay, he's okay, but I knew at that point I had to get him out... for Brian, for Sadie, for me. So, I pushed harder.

And after a while I started feeling him move down as I pushed and that motivated me to push more.  The problem was getting him under my pubic bone because he was so big, because he was a little diagonal (we later discovered), and probably because of the shape of my pelvis (because I had a similar problem with Sadie).  But once I got him down under my pubic bone, then it went pretty quickly.

Heard of the "ring of fire"?  That's when the baby's head crowns and is stuck stretching out your vagina until you can push it the rest of the way out.  I definitely felt that this time.  And it made me hysterical.  It hurt SO BAD and I was SO READY to just be done with pain.  But it took me still another 2 contractions of pushing to get his head the rest of the way out.

You can see in this picture how lopsided his head was...I pushed it out diagonally!

And while I was screaming for them to just suck him out, I noticed that people were coming in the room and setting up the warmer and getting all scrubbed up like they were going to take him once he was born.  So, I asked, "are you gonna put him on my chest when he comes out?"  The midwife told me she was.  I said, "then why are these people all dressed up and stuff?"  She said it was just a precaution just in case something is wrong.  But I knew nothing was wrong.

Finally, I got him out.  After 3 hours of pushing, he was out, and in my arms.  We heard him cry and his eyes were open.  He seemed to be having some trouble breathing and so I handed him to the man dressed in scrubs (I later found out he was a neonatologist nurse practitioner) and he suctioned him a little and gave him back to me, he told me he's perfect.  And then I started crying and telling Ezra how beautiful he is and how strong he is and how we don't have to go to the NICU and nobody's riding in an ambulance.  And that same guy he goes, "nope, nobody's going to the NICU."  I'm not sure if he knew our background, or if he just thought I'm crazy, but he was really nice.

9lbs 1.5oz and 21 inches long!

But we weren't quite done, and like everything else with this pregnancy, it wasn't easy to get my placenta out either.  The midwife tried for a half hour.  I pushed some more, she pulled a little, then oops!  The cord ripped off!!  So, she called the doctor back in, who had to completely stick her hands up inside me and pry my placenta out with her fingers!!!  Yes, it hurt.  But by then, I had been in pain for so long, and I had had a 30 minute break, that I was just happy to get it over with.  And she was really nice.  And while we were doing all this, Brian got to do some bonding with Ezra!

We are so happy to have the whole thing over and a healthy baby boy at home in our arms!  Thank you for all your prayers and well-wishes, we couldn't have done it without you!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bump Watch - 40 weeks!

I know you're all waiting for pictures of a little red-headed newborn and a story of a happy healthy birth...but I'm still preggy.

I was SURE we were having a baby last Sunday night.  All day I thought I was in early labor, then I had a GREAT night of sleep and woke up feeling normal on Monday.  But it was okay, because my mom didn't arrive until Tuesday evening.  But now it's Friday and I'M STILL PREGNANT!!

It's okay that we didn't have our 10-11-12 baby.  I didn't really want him to have that birthday.  And I've said from the beginning that the 13th is when I want to have him/think he's coming.  However, at this rate, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to sign in and work on Monday...and answer all the questions about why I haven't had this baby yet!!!

I'm also having to deal with this "how long will they let you go over your due date?" question.  I don't like that question because it implies that I'm not in charge of this birth or my body.  He can't stay in there forever, right?  He'll come when he's ready.  And at any point if it's determined that he or I are unsafe, we will discuss my options.

How far along?  40 weeks +1 day...ugh

Weight Gain? I am hovering right about +50lbs.  I am ALL baby at this point, so I am taking advantage and eating high calorie foods...maybe that's why he won't come out!!  He's so well-fed!

What's up with my Body? I am happy to report that the high for today will be under 80 degrees!  It's beautiful outside.  We have the back doors open and the fans on and we're enjoying some fresh air in this house.

My body is doing okay.  My skin is itchy...really itchy.  I have a hard time walking, squatting, standing, turning over in bed, carrying Sadie, etc.  And I am exhausted ALL.THE.TIME.  But really, in the scheme of things, I'm doing just fine.

I keep thinking I'm having contractions.  I think I'm WILLING myself to have them!!  But I don't feel like anything is happening yet.

Gender? It's a boy!  You can read about our ultrasound appointment and see pictures if you go to this post here.  

Emotions: The anticipation is KILLING me!!  I go to bed each night wondering if I'll be woken up by contractions and if tomorrow will be the day.  I'm a roller coaster of happy, grumpy, energetic, tired.  Brian told me he wants me to hurry up and have this baby because I'm not that fun to be around.  Well, no kidding!!  I don't even like being around me that much right now!!

Baby name: It's official, he has a name.  It's been stitched onto his quilt from Grammy.  And it's a KICK-ASS name!!

Best moment of the week: We went swimming yesterday.  It felt so good to get in the water, and Sadie LOVED it (of course, my little water baby).  It was still 90 degrees yesterday too, so it was really nice!

What I'm looking forward to: I just  want to hold my little baby.  I want to know if his hair is red.  I want to see his wrinkly little newborn face.  I want to nurse him and feel that Mommy-baby bond.  And I REALLY want my body back!!

40 weeks!!!  Is that a baby or a basketball in my tummy??!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bump Watch - 39 weeks

I am so eager to have this baby.  I get to see him every week on the ultrasound and it is KILLING me to see his little heart beating and his little belly rising with each breath and today I saw him stick out his tongue!!!  I just want to hold him and cuddle him and nurse him.  Of course I do want to be unpregnant, but I am now so eager to just meet him that being unpregnant sounds like a secondary benefit!!

How far along?  39 weeks.  Can you believe I've made it this far?

Weight Gain? I didn't weigh myself at home today, but at the midwife I had gone down 2 pounds since my weigh in on Monday.

What's up with my Body? I had some contractions this morning.  Between my ultrasound and my actual appointment I had like 45 minutes of waiting and I was feeling contractions, so I'd look at the clock each time...they were coming regularly every 10 minutes.  And they continued to come every 10 minutes (not very strongly) for about 2 hours.  But then they stopped.

Because this was going on, I asked the midwife to check me and see if I'm dilating.  (In case you aren't aware, midwives don't do this automatically at your appointments, only on request)  I had debated whether I wanted her to check me or not because it can be so discouraging...or it can bring on false hope.  She was like, "your about 1 cm dilated and your cervix is about this thick" and she held her finger and thumb apart about 2 inches.  Oye.

However, she DID touch his head, so he's WAAAAYYYYY down there and as soon as that dilates enough for him, he's gonna like, fall out!!

In the meantime.  I am miserable.  My skin is so stretched out at the bottom of my belly that I have a rash and it itches constantly... the kind of itching like if you have a rubberband around your wrist for too long and when you take it off it hurt-itches.

We're still having 100 degree weather.

The silver lining in all this is that Sadie has been so happy and so cute lately and I have really loved being around her.

Gender? It's a boy!  You can read about our ultrasound appointment and see pictures if you go to this post here.  Today the ultrasound tech said, "whoa!!  That really is a boy isn't it!!"  haha...then she printed out an AWESOME picture of his little tender bits.

Emotions: Oh my gosh I am so grumpy!  I am sick of people telling me about their pregnancies.  I don't want to talk about it anymore.  My poor students (luckily, they get emails from me, so I have time to think through my words and be tactful), because they are so irritating to me right now.  Today I told Chelsea that all I wanted to do was go back in my bedroom and cry because I just felt like I was overwhelmed with emotions.  

Really, I'm awesome to be around right now.

Baby name: I think we've FINALLY chosen our name.  But I think you're gonna have to wait until he's born to find out what it is!!

Best moment of the week: I got my burst of energy that comes at the end, in about an hour I did dishes, scrubbed toilets, cleaned the kitchen, mopped the kitchen and dining room floors, vacuumed the living room rugs, and took a shower.  I was convinced we were going to the hospital that night... but nope, I'm still pregnant.

What I'm looking forward to: My bags are packed, the car seat is installed, my mom comes on Tuesday... let's get on with this!!

If you're lucky, I'll post a picture tomorrow. :)