31 March 2014

Happenings Lately

So much going on, people.  So much.  Obviously I haven't blogged in awhile.  The truth is... I can barely go to the bathroom, shower and/or eat with 2 hands {oh, the luxuries!}, so clearly blogging is going to take a back seat. But I'm now trying my best to get back into the swing of things. So here's what's been happening lately...
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I go back to work next week!  Ahhhh.  How did this happen!?!  Baby girl is 9 weeks old {today!} so I do feel lucky that I will have had 10 weeks at home with her before I go back.  I also have a nice transition back into the office over the next month, which I'm very grateful for as well!

But, I have to admit... I'm having serious mixed feelings about it. 

On one hand, I am super excited to get back to work. {Call me crazy!}  I just miss being in my work environment, having daily adult interaction and actually getting a designated lunch break where I'll be able to eat.  With 2 hands!  {It's the little things.}

On the other hand, I know I will miss my baby girl like whoa.  And my 3 other babies too, obviously.  But especially Emerson.  We've been attached at the hip {or she's been attached to my boob, rather} for 10 weeks straight... it will be a difficult adjustment to leave her for 8 hours a day while I'm at work.  But we'll get through it... I have 3 times before this, right?
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Speaking of going back to work... I've been having serious anxiety, to the point of having nightmares about it.  And not for any of the reasons mentioned above.  Here's the thing...

My very first day back in the office after my maternity leave with Reid?  My dad died.

The. very. first. day.

Imagine being overwhelmed with the thought of leaving your new baby for the first time as you head back to work. Running a little late, as you transition to your new morning routine.  Sitting down at the computer to hundreds of new emails.  Your desk flooded with all the changes made in the short time that you've been gone. You haven't yet said hello to all of your fellow coworkers, because you've been inundated with work. And just as you get a moment to breathe after a few overwhelming hours trying to get re-accustomed to your work environment, you get that fateful call that will change your life forever.

I never realized, until recently as I prepare to head back to work again, just how much it has impacted me.  The timing of it all.  Being with Reid for 12 weeks straight and then, leaving for work that day, and not seeing him for more than an hour in the week that followed.  Makes me cry just thinking about how difficult that time was for everyone.  It's hard enough losing a parent, but to have it happen just 2 hours into your very first day back from maternity leave when you're already an emotional mess, made it all that more difficult. {And let's not add to it, the fact that I came home late that night to a dog that could no longer walk and that we were told to put to sleep THAT SAME DAY.}

It was obviously the hardest day of my life.

So, as I prepare to go back to work next week, I can't help but have severe anxiety about it. Almost like... "what terrible thing is going to happen when I return to work this time?"
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Let's shift gears, shall we?

Carter is playing baseball!  Well, tee-ball, but still.  He's so excited about it {and so am I!}  Opening Day is this Saturday and I'm praying for nice weather.  The poor kid has only had 1 practice so far because the other 4 have been cancelled due to rain and SNOW. {Ugh!}  Would it be too much to ask to have spring-like weather in spring??  Anyway, here's my little cutie just before his first {and only, grrr} practice:

Love him!  I must also add that he is doing amazing in school.  I was so worried about how he was going to do with being so young {he has a July birthday!} and I was even more worried about how he would act in school, but I'm happy to report that he is doing SO WELL!!  We are so proud of him!  Go Carter Man!
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With April approaching, I am in the midst of planning Brynn's 4th {WTH!?!?!} birthday party.  Her birthday is on a Saturday this year {May 24th}, so that makes things easier.  Of course, that's Memorial Day weekend too, but whatever.  It is what it is.  Anyway, baby girl wants to have it at Build-A-Bear again, so that's what we'll do.  And, like every other child on the planet, it MUST be Frozen themed.  Because, what else is there right now!?!  Exactly. {And a Frozen/snowflake theme on Memorial Day weekend makes so much sense.  Obviously.}

I did design her Frozen birthday invitation a few days ago, and I'm still tweaking it to perfection, so I'll be sure to post it as soon as it's ready!  I will say that it's one of my favorite invitations that I've designed so far though... EEEKKK!

Here's a recent pic of Brynn and I on our little girls day out...

We only went to Target and Chicl-Fil-A, but hey! It was fun! It was so nice to just have some time with my first baby girl. :)
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Reid Joesph turned 18 months on March 10th. He is doing amazing... he's smart as a whip but equally as evil.  He is into everything, let me tell ya.  There's a reason he's so cute, ha! We have his 18 month well visit on the same day as Emerson's 2 month visit, so I'll include his stats in that post as well. Here's a pic of my sweet boy along with his cousin, BFF and birthday twin, Aubrey, last weekend at their cousin Ben's 7th {ahh!!} birthday party...

OMG, they're the best, aren't they!?!
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Emerson just turned 2 months old on March 27th.  Can you believe it!?!  I have a whole post planned for later this week, but here's my little sweet pea on her second monthaversary...

Still with the hair.  I LOVE IT.  She's the sweetest!

She has her 2 month well visit on Thursday with Reid, so I'll have stats and everything for you then!  But let me just say that she is a great baby.  She's been sleeping through the night for several weeks now, has been an awesome nurser {with no signs of reflux, woo hoo!} and is very go-with-the-flow {poor thing doesn't have a choice, but still.} She just adores her brothers and sister too.  She's all smiles when they're around! :)  I'll have more on Emmie Mae later this week...
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In other news, Bob and I are still alive after two months with 4 kids, so that's saying something, right??

More later.  Promise.

24 February 2014

Survival Mode

Oh, hey.  I'm still here.  You have no idea how many times I've tried to post in the last FOUR WEEKS since I had Emmie.  {Yep, she's 4 weeks old today, ahhhh!}  The problem is, when you're nursing almost constantly, it's quite difficult to get on your computer.  And when you hate doing anything but scrolling Instagram and Facebook from your phone, it'll take you 4 weeks to write any kind of post.

Unfortunately, this is not the post I wanted to write and I so wish I had more time.  I want to tell you all about the last 4 weeks.  {What a whirlwind!} How life with 4 is going. {It's easier than I thought it would be!}  How Carter, Brynn & Reid just ADORE their new little sister. {It's amazing.}  How the other kids, especially Reid, are adjusting to this big change. {Reid is a little monster now and in to everything. But so damn cute.} How breastfeeding is going this time. {Better now!}  How I'm really not getting any sleep. {Typical.}

But for now? This little check-in will have to do.

In the meantime, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram {especially IG} as I have been trying to post daily updates there!

Oh, and one last thing... I had Emerson's newborn pictures taken {by the wonderful Stephanie Glover Photography} when she was 6 days old and I plan to post them all soon.  But for now...

emerson newborn-5
emerson newborn-18 edit 4

LOVE. I'm one lucky mama.

Be back soon.  Promise.

29 January 2014

Emerson Mae: A Birth Story

First, I want to say thank you for all of your love and support on Monday.  I know a lot of you were following my sister's Instagram updates and I truely appreciate all the healthy vibes you sent.  They worked!

I wanted to try to type this up as soon as I could before I completely block out labor and delivery from my mind forever. Ha!  I knew this baby girl was on her own schedule, and she definitely showed me and everyone else who is boss.  I'm expecting her to give us a run for our money for many years to come ;)

So here it is... the birth story of our sweet Emerson Mae:

Things progressed beautifully at first.  I was at the hospital by 6am, started the antibiotics by 7am and was checked for the first time at 8:45am.  I had already progressed to 7cm on my own, so my OB decided to wait until 10am to start the pitocin and 11am to break my water so that I could get a full 4 hours of antibiotics to treat the GBS. She advised me to get the epidural soon after starting the pitocin as well, just in case things progressed faster that what we expected.

Around 11:30am my BP started going crazy.  It kept dropping significantly (I had gestational hypertension going in too, so it started really high) and it stayed in the double digits on the top and bottom the entire time. It made me feel TERRIBLE. I was light-headed, dizzy, my arms and hands were tingling.  And every time I tried sitting up it would drop again. I spent a lot of time getting fluids and slowly trying to raise my bed so that I could sit up.

It finally worked and by 1:15pm, I had progressed to 10cm and was 100% effaced and was ready to start pushing.  I remember thinking "whoa, this is going so fast!" 

Famous last words, right?

After I started pushing for a bit, baby girl would not come down.  She was transverse and her shoulder was stuck.  My OB decided to wait and let her labor down a bit on her own so that I didn't spend hours pushing.  I completely agreed.  At 2pm we tried pushing again.  No dice.  Homegirl was not having it. By 2:30, we decided to wait a little longer while I laid on my side trying to get her to turn.  At that point my epi stopped working and I was feeling EVERYTHING.  They were able to give me a bolus at 4pm, but from 2:30-4pm I basically thought I might die from the pain.  I just wanted to push and I couldn't because she was stuck so all I could do was lay on my side and breath/scream/cry through the contractions.  It was awful.

Once I got the bolus, it took about 10 minutes for it to take affect.  When I finally got a chance to look at the clock, I knew that my OB would not be delivering my baby (she was off the clock at 5pm and I knew she had somewhere to go. We just didn't think there was even a chance that I'd still be laboring at that point.)   She came in to see me and I started to cry. I was just so frustrated and we both thought that it would have gone much smoother/faster than this.  I mean, this was baby #4.  Everyone did.

But there was just no rushing my baby girl.

My OB and I talked about her size and she was confident that I could deliver vaginally, but I asked her at what point we'd decide that was no longer an option.  Honestly, I was absolutely exhausted at that point and I was doubting if (1) she would ever turn and drop and (2) if I had the energy to push any longer.  Together, we came up with a plan.

They let me rest from 4-5pm, which I appreciated so much.  I had a real moment here because I finally accepted the fact that I was no longer running the show. Baby girl was the boss from here on out and I was okay with whatever we had to do to get her here safely. From 5-6pm we did some practice side pushes to try to get her to turn/drop and get her shoulder unstuck then I rested again and labored down until 6:45pm. 

Around that time, I finally started feeling differently. Like MAYBE there was a chance to deliver this baby girl.  And soon.  The OB on call came in (she delivered my niece Aubrey so we knew she was awesome) and she was.  She was simply amazing.  She made me feel like I could deliver this baby girl without having a c-section.

I started pushing again at 7pm and I FINALLY felt like we were making progress.  All day I felt like I was pushing for no reason, but this time was the real deal.  Baby girl was finally ready.

After just 17 minutes of pushing, Emerson Mae came into the world kicking and screaming.  She was born on January 27, 2014 at 7:17pm weighing 9lbs 15.22oz and 21in.  (No wonder she was stuck!) She has a full head of DARK (what??) hair and is absolutely beautiful!  She looks like a mix between her 2 brothers right now and it is so sweet.  And, let me tell ya, watching my FOUR babies meet for the first time is a moment that I will never, ever forget.  My heart bursts with joy.

I'll be posting L&D pictures as soon as I can, but wanted to quickly share her hospital picture that was taken yesterday at not even 24 hours old.

We are so in love!  Our hearts are so full and our family is finally complete.  Welcome to the world, sweet Emerson Mae, we've been waiting for you.

27 January 2014

It's my baby's birthday!

I'M HAVING A BABY TODAY!  AHHHHH!! 

This is so surreal.  It's my forth time and yet it's still so surreal.

I'm feeling great.  I'm not nervous or scared or anxious.  I'm ready.  Let's get this show on the road, huh?

Don't forget to follow along on Facebook and Instagram, as I'll likely be posting baby announcements there first. {Let's face it... it's easier.}  You can also follow my sister, Kacy, here... as I'm sure she'll be sharing some L&D antics as well. That's how she rolls.

So, yeah.  It's baby day.  EEEKKK!!!  Catch ya on the flip side.

26 January 2014

In just a few short hours...

In just a few short hours, I will have this baby girl.  We will be a family of 6.  I will deliver my 4th baby and we will finally be complete.

In just a few short hours, we will begin this next phase of our lives, and as ready as I am, I also know that I will miss being pregnant.  {Not enough to ever want to do it again, mind you.  Ahem.}  But I'm certainly having mixed feelings about these final hours of pregnancy.  I just can't believe that I'm almost done.  I've spent over 36 months of my life being pregnant, yet the end is almost near.  I will never again feel my baby move inside me.  Never again feel the excitement of hearing "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!" Never again have my baby all to myself for an entire 9 months. Never again meet my baby for the very first time or hear that first cry.

But, being done with pregnancy, also means that I will enter a new chapter in my life.  One that I am able to enjoy with my family.

My whole family.

Watching my babies as they grow.  Being there with them as they learn new things, play new sports and make new friends.  Celebrating birthdays, going to school plays and soccer games and dance recitals. Helping them with their homework and talking to them about their day.  As much as I love the baby stage that Reid is in now, I can't help but get excited about having the types of conversations with him {and Emerson!} as I do now with Carter and Brynn.  Each year gets better and better as I watch my kids grow in to people.  Real people that have ideas and thoughts and imaginations and conversations. And it happens right before our eyes.

So, while I know I will certainly miss being pregnant, I'm ready to be done.  To move on and enjoy our life as a family of 6.

To feel whole.

In just a few short hours, I will have met my very last baby.  And I can't wait for that moment.

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