Scarlett: One Month

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ahhh...one month. One month of newborn snuggles, one month of unpredictable schedules, and one month of loving the newest little light of our lives. It seems that every time I type up one of these updates, I think to myself...'Wow! Where did the time go?' That has never been more true than it has been this first month home with our little angel S. Within 12 hours of bringing her home, big brother G was sick and puking all over with temps that consistently hovered in the 101-104 degree range for the next week; we endured not one, but two snow storms; and big brother C kept us busy with his school schedule and demands to play outside each and every time we pulled into our garage from running errands. As with any time you disrupt a set routine with little ones, there have been lots of tears and struggles around here as we adjust to our new reality as a family of five, but at the end of the day, the boys have been doing as well as can be expected, and they seem to love their little sister. So if you happen to stop by and wonder to yourself why her hair is a bit crunchy, know that it is from all of the sloppy wet kisses her brothers are constantly showering her with every chance they get!


THE STATS:
Age: 1 month
Diaper size: Newborn
Clothing: Newborn & 0-3 months

DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITY:
Baby S has surprisingly good head control for being just four weeks old! She has been 'working out' a bit on her tummy...a.k.a. 'tummy time', and can pick up her head and look forward or turn it to face the opposite direction. If I'm being completely honest, most of her neck muscle 'workouts' take place right on either T or I's chest as she likes to have her head popped up and looking around to see what is going on in the world. In other developmental updates, S has a pretty good grasp of focus for a newborn, and has been able to follow as we walk across the room, or move a toy in front of her eyes. 

SCHEDULE:
I hesitate to put this in writing in case I jinx our good fortune, but Little Miss has been a rockstar when it comes to sleeping. She started sleeping through the night right at four weeks (gasp!), and has surprised me each and every night since that she continues the trend. So, the schedule lately looks a little something like this:

7:30am || Wake Up
S is usually pretty alert and awake during the morning when we are at home. She likes to lay on her play mat and watch her hanging toys, or look at the light coming in the windows, or have her brothers sing to her and lay close by. If we are out running errands and she is snuggled in her carseat, she can usually be found napping!

Throughout the day, S will eat every 2-3 hours after waking up in the morning, and takes about 25-30 minutes to nurse. She does not yet have any consistent nap schedule during the day, but instead likes to nap while being all snuggled up on our chests, or in the carseat while we are running around town.

She is consistently hungry exactly when the rest of us are...meaning many times I am stuck in the other room feeding her instead of getting dinner ready, or while everyone else is eating. Her second favorite time of the day to eat or beg attention is right at bedtime, often making the boys' routine a bit of a stress at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong, I love to hold and snuggle her, but when the boys are trying to get ready for bed at night and she is screaming for attention in the other room, it does not make for the calmest part of our day!

FAVORITE TOY:
S has been enjoying her Lovevery play gym this month. Specifically, she likes to look at the high contrast Montessori style ball, and has been working on her coordination by kicking the hanging musical bell toy.

STORYTIME:
We haven't had a whole lot of story time yet with little Miss, but she does often get in on nap time or bed time stories with her brothers as she is usually tagging along with Mom instead of being content to be laying down by herself.

CUISINE:
After successfully nursing both of our boys, it was a no-brainer for me that I would also nurse S rather than formula feed for her main source of nutrition. After a week of riding the struggle bus...my milk didn't truly 'come in' until four days after S was born, AND she had some problems getting a good latch (que super painful nursing experience for this mama!),...S has since gotten it all figured out, and is doing great. Thank you Lord for the inventor of Motherlove nipple cream...the only saving grace the first couple of weeks until S got everything figured out!

Now that we are in a bit more of a routine, S generally nurses every 2-3 hours during the day, and requires about 25-30 minutes to eat. This being said, evenings can get a bit shaky as to when and how often she wants to nurse before bed. The last week or so, she has been cluster feeding after we get the boys to bed (wanting to eat every 1-1.5hrs) before cashing out for the night around 11pm.

We have not introduced a bottle yet (I'm scared to even try my pump as I've had ZERO luck with it in the past, and I just don't know if it's worth the disappointment or if I'll just try formula right away when we do introduce a bottle), but as she rounds the one month mark, I'm almost more nervous about her NOT taking a bottle like another little person I know...ahem...big brother C, than I am about how much it matters to me if it's breast milk or formula in said bottle.

ONE MONTH FAVORITES
Snuggling
Wearing pink
Staring at Dad
Bath time
Napping

ONE MONTH LEAST FAVORITES
Being flat on her back
Not being held

OH THE MEMORIES:



Little S at just 2 days new. I took this picture the day we brought her home from the hospital. Such a little sweetheart!

At just two weeks old, S had a spell where she choked on some spit up/mucus build up. It was incredibly scary as she struggled to catch her breath for a good ten minutes. I tried just about every trick in the book to get her breathing...blowing in her face, pinching her toes, sucking out her nose/mouth, etc, but when she still couldn't catch a breath and started turning blue, I called Papa T right away and he came home to see what was going on. Thankfully, the episode ended on its own without any serious complications, and she has been fine ever since. At her 2week checkup, we decided that she likely just had some mucus buildup that she had a hard time getting out, and hopefully we can put it all behind us moving forward.

On a brighter note, S enjoyed her first overnight trip to grandparents right at four weeks old. She slept the entire 1.5 hr car ride, and slept through the night while on our visit, so I'd say it was a success! She got to spend some time outside on a stroller ride, playing with cousins, and enjoyed watching the ceiling fan. Exciting stuff!

As I am now trying to find time to blog with THREE very demanding littles at home, I didn't have a chance to sit down to look through ALL of the photos from this month, but will update this post as time allows with more pictures. :)

Introducing Scarlett Alexandra

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It is with great joy that T & I announce our newest little love has arrived!



INTRODUCING:
Scarlett Alexandra | Tuesday, March 27, 2018 | 9:40pm | 7 lbs. 11 oz. | 21.5 inches long













Looking over these photos, it's hard to believe it was just over three weeks ago now that we welcomed sweet little S into our lives! She is her own perfect little individual and doesn't look much like either one of her siblings as a newborn. She has the cutest little round face, lots of dark brown hair (especially in the back), and opened her eyes and looked right up at T pretty much the moment she was put in his arms and he started talking to her. It's safe to say she has completely stolen our hearts, and we are so in love.






We've been home for just over three weeks now, and have been doing our very best to soak up all the newborn snuggles. The boys are loving being big brothers so far, and are always on the lookout for 'baby Sca' (G's nickname for her), first thing in the morning when they get up for the day. C loves to sing her songs and hold her, while G is immediately on a hunt to find her first thing in the morning after waking up. He has the cutest little grin when he does, and will point and exclaim 'BAY-BEE' to anyone who is listening. Such a proud big brother! We are definitely still in an adjustment period over here, but we have been blessed with lots of family to help out with the boys as they find their way in their new roles as big brothers, and we are super thankful for everyone who has helped to keep us stocked up with plenty of food for all of the grumbling tummies around here! 


Speaking of grumbling tummies...here is T excited to enjoy our 'celebration dinner' compliments of the hospital cafeteria the evening after S was born. And no, in case you are wondering, that is not real wine...just a little sparkling grape juice :)

 



THE BIRTH STORY:

Tuesday, March 27, began much the same as every other Tuesday morning late in my pregnancy.
After dropping C off at preschool, G & I made our way to my weekly Tuesday morning OB appointment at the clinic. At 39 weeks, there is no medical evidence that keeping baby inside any longer has any benefit, so my Doctor decided to strip membranes while performing my checkup to hopefully get things moving along. My little sidekick G was along for the appointment, and happy to keep me company all morning running a few errands before picking big brother C up from school a couple of hours later. After getting back home, we went for a walk around the block (Doctor's orders!), and after sharing lunch, reading stories, and getting everyone down for naps, I still didn't notice any changes, so I decided on a quick catnap while the boys were sleeping to keep my energy up for the evening ahead.

Around 4pm (approximately when the boys get up from naps), I noticed contractions with a pattern of about 15 minutes apart. As they weren't yet too uncomfortable, I didn't think too much of them, and went to work getting dinner ready. Around 5pm, I checked in with T (who had picked up an extra hospitalist shift) to let him know dinner would be ready at 5:30pm. I didn't mention anything about contractions yet as they weren't painful, and they really hadn't picked up much since I first noticed them an hour earlier.

Fast forward to dinner time around 5:30pm, and I started noticing contractions more frequently...somewhere in the every 5-7 minute range. When everyone was finished eating and the boys were begging to go downstairs to play around 6:15pm, I mentioned to T that maybe we should consider heading to the hospital instead so that I could get checked to see if baby was going to be joining us. I think he was caught a bit off guard as I really hadn't mentioned anything to him about having any contractions up until this point (and let's be honest...he's not exactly the most observant about these things). Wasting no time, he got the boys all bundled up and ready to go while I picked up dinner, and we were out the door within ten minutes and on the way to the hospital. 

Because my delivery with G went so quickly, and it was still before the boys' bedtime, T & I opted to just bring them along for the ride since a check in the OB department would likely take no longer than 10 minutes, and we weren't 100% sure if this was going to be the real deal or not. Also on our minds was that if this was going to be it, we didn't know if we would have time to wait for someone to get to our house before things got too far along to be able to safely leave our home for a drive to the hospital.

We arrived around 6:45pm, and I was quickly whisked into a room while T took the boys on a tour of the OB unit to familiarize them with where dad goes when he is helping new babies be born. After a quick check, my assumptions were confirmed when we found out I was around 5cm dilated (a change from the 2-3cm earlier that morning). We put in a quick call to Grandma S who was on hand to take the boys back home and get them all settled for bed, smothered the boys in kisses and hugs and said our good nights explaining that Mommy and Daddy were going to stay at the hospital (they were surprisingly perfectly OK with this unexpected interruption to their routine), and then T & I settled in for the impending arrival of our newest little love.

One of the most wonderful things about making it to the hospital when we did is that I unexpectedly had time to get an epidural. WooHoo! Having previously experienced childbirth both ways (I had an epidural with C, but not with G), I only had the very slightest of hesitations about having an epidural this time around after learning it would be an available option. Childbirth is no joke, and while we were expecting this babe to come quickly, I was not exactly looking forward to being in excruciating pain for the next hour or so when it was avoidable. So, after dilating to around 8cm, and entering into the 'active labor' phase with contractions every 2-3 minutes, I got an epidural at 8:30pm, and my doctor broke my water to speed things up even more. Fast forward an hour, and after a couple of pushes, baby Scarlett Alexandra was born into this world at 9:40pm, a healthy 7 lbs. 11 oz., 21.5 inches long. So in love!


VISITORS ARRIVE:


Grandma J & Grandpa T meeting Baby S.


Grandpa D & Grandma S meeting Baby S.



First photo as a family of five! Such proud big brothers little S has!

THE BOYS:


Here is the final photo of the boys & I just before they took off for home before baby arrived. I had just been officially checked in to the OB unit, and was having contractions every five minutes or so. C & G were surprisingly calm about the entire situation, and after getting a tour of the unit from Dad, were content to leave with Gma S to get ready for bed while T & I stayed at the hospital awaiting baby's arrival.


The following afternoon after nap time, the boys came back to the hospital to meet their new baby sister. C was a bit hesitant at first, but G came barreling in with his usual energy and walked right over and pointed at the baby, crinkled up his little face, and exclaimed 'BAY-BEE'!! He has been absolutely the most proud big brother since day one, and is super adorable to watch interact with 'Baby-Sca' as he has taken to calling her. C has taken a more gentle approach, and immediately started singing the ABCs to his new sister ending with 'Next time I will sing with Miss Scarlett'. He loves to hold her and sit close and keep her company while she is nursing.













HOME:

After spending Tuesday & Wednesday nights in the hospital, we packed up and made our way home Thursday afternoon after T finished up his morning clinic hours. S is the perfect little addition to our family, and we can't wait to see what the future has in store for her!





'She is more precious than rubies.' Proverbs 3:15

39 Weeks

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Week 39


How far along:
39 weeks! We are officially into uncharted territory! 

Best moments so far:
At this morning's appointment, G for once didn't have a complete conniption while I was getting all checked over. Baby's heart rate was steady at 135bpm, and I am dilated somewhere in the 2-3cm range. My doc stripped membranes (a very unpleasant...yet quick ordeal), and stretched my cervix to hopefully get things moving along. Typically, if this is going to work, I should see some sort of action within 24-48 hours, so we'll see. If not, in light of the fact that I am 39 weeks, and there is no real medical benefit to keeping baby inside any longer, plus my history of precipitous deliveries, I did get scheduled to be induced this coming Friday morning if we haven't had the pleasure of meeting our newest little peanut by then. The end is near! If we do make it to Friday, this babe will be a birthday twin with my sister-in-law, and born on Good Friday, so that would be pretty fun too! In other news, my doc is thinking this is going to be a bigger baby than C or G was (which would make sense as I am further along at this point than I was with either of them when they were born), but when I told her my newest niece was over 9 lbs, she said she's pretty sure we aren't looking at that big of a baby. Whew! Sigh of relief!

Maternity clothes:
Yes. This top from Gap Maternity continues to be one of my favorite, and most-worn winter pieces.

Sleep: 
Not terrible. It gets harder and harder to roll over without 'helping' my watermelon along. Ha. Still getting up just once a night to use the restroom, but other than that, sleep hasn't been too bad.

Miss Anything:
Energy and being comfortable. Being 39 weeks pregnant is no joke. Particularly when you have busy active little boys in your life that drain any sort of energy you might have left over just as quickly as they can. At this point, I'm pretty much only comfortable when I am sitting down with my feet up. T can probably kiss goodbye any high hopes he has for any gourmet meals from here on out. Cold cereal and frozen pizza or sandwiches is about all I have any interest in preparing. I'm sincerely looking forward to warm enough weather to sit outside on the deck again and have cold-meat...read salami...sandwiches and easy grilled meals. Summer can't come soon enough!

Baby Movement:
Yes. Baby is still active, although has slowed down quite a bit as space continues to grow tight. It's amazing that this little one is still packing on 1/2 lb a week! My personal weight didn't hardly change at all between last weeks appointment and this morning (I've gained somewhere in the range of 25-30lbs, which is pretty much spot on with my weight gain with C & G at the end of my previous pregnancies). I'd like to think that this babe is taking the extra calories I've had from my M&Ms and popcorn or ice cream late night snacks this week!

Cravings and Aversions:
Peppermint & chocolate. Last week, I made a mint cake for St. Paddy's Day, and just last night, T & I shared mint chocolate ice cream with a peppermint chocolate cookie...Yum...yum...yum. 

Queasy or sick:
Nope.

Symptoms: 
I've been super tired this week, and have needed a mid-afternoon nap pretty much every day. Thankfully, both boys have been good about taking naps this week, and I've been able to sneak in an hour or two most days. 

Looking forward to:
Meeting this little person! It's pretty exciting knowing that sometime in the next several days we will be welcoming our newest little bundle of joy! It's finally starting to show some signs of warming up around here, and it would be great to be able to get outside more regularly and not be so uncomfortable. It's near impossible at this point for me to chase our little people around or make them cooperate when it is time to come inside (or to do anything for that matter), so being able to move around more easily is definitely high up on my list of things I'm looking forward to!

38 Weeks

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Week 38


How far along:
38 weeks! Any day now! Also - I made mint cake over the weekend, so the fact that baby is the size of a cake is quite fitting! 

Best moments so far:
At my checkup this morning, we got to hear baby's heartbeat...strong and steady at 140bpm. I didn't have much change from last week's checkup, and am dilated 2cm internally, 3cm externally, and still just 75% thinned. I reminded my Doc that I was guessing baby would arrive around the 22nd, and she reminded me that she will be gone most of that day, so would prefer Saturday to get her out of working the Urgent Care Clinic...LOL. Who knows...T suggested last night that maybe we'll make it to April 1st and have an April Fool's Day baby. Seeing as how the birthstone for April is a diamond, this may backfire on him if I ever decide to invest in some birthstone jewelry for my little loves! :)

Maternity clothes:
Pretty much unavoidable at this point! Above striped top is Old Navy, jeans are Motherhood Maternity, and fur vest is non-maternity. Did I mention the weather is terrible today - icy/slushy/snowy mix since we woke up this morning. Ugh. Seems that every time I have an appointment, we get some kind of wintery mix I have to drive in!

Sleep: 
Not too bad. I do quite a bit of turning throughout the night though as my legs or arms loose feeling.

Miss Anything:
Consistently warm weather! We had a few nice days last week that we could get out for some short walks around the block, but the week ahead is looking like quite a bit of precipitation in the forecast, so chances are we will be spending most of the week inside. Seems like a good week to have a new baby if you ask me!

Baby Movement:
Yes. Baby is still quite active, usually most noticeable during mid-afternoon and then before bed. I have not noticed as much action when I actually lay down at night, or in the early mornings, so maybe this babe is taking note of good times to be asleep or awake! Hahahaha.....we can dream right!?

Cravings and Aversions:
I bought ingredients to make lasagna this week sometime, so I guess you might say Italian food. When G was born, I had to cut out all tomato based sauces as they caused him quite a bit of discomfort with nursing, so I'm hoping to get at least one last meal with red sauce in before baby arrives in case we have the same issue this go around.

Queasy or sick:
No. 

Symptoms: 
Nothing too crazy. Just a general slow-down of getting around, and some fatigue. I haven't had any sort of consistent contractions this week, but hope to have some more in the coming week! With G, at this point in my pregnancy, I was experiencing some regular round ligament pain, but so far, I have not had any this time around. T says that maybe my ligaments are just so stretched out that I won't have any. I'm sure that will make getting into any sort of shape after baby pretty difficult!

Looking forward to:
Meeting this new little one! I would greatly appreciate not having a nine pound baby as I will likely be without an epidural, so the sooner the better! The boys got to meet their newest baby GIRL cousin over the weekend (sadly, I did not as it was too far for me to travel by myself this late in my pregnancy, and T was on call), and have now decided that maybe they would like a sister instead of a brother. While T & I know baby's gender, we have not shared with anyone if we'll be welcoming a boy or girl, so I'm looking forward to seeing the boys' reactions when they finally get to meet their new sibling sometime in the next couple of weeks!

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