Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lyla's Birth Story

I am trying to decide where to begin on this!  I don't want to start when we got to the hospital because so much more happened before that which led to her amazing birth.  I suppose I should start when I first found out I was pregnant with her.  March 11th I took a test at 3:30 in the morning because I was 10dpo that day and usually that's when you can get a positive!  Sure enough, I got a super faint line at 3:30 and then I took a digital at 5am and it said pregnant!  I, of course, woke Martin up at 3:30 to show him the line and he said he couldn't see it and went back to sleep.  I can't say that I blame him, here's the pic of the first test:
You can hardly see the 2nd line right?  I studied that test until I was convinced that it was a positive!  Martin then accepted that we were pregnant with our 3rd baby when I showed him the pregnant digital test.
Yay!  We went to iHop to celebrate!  
I told him right then and there that first day that I got my positive that we were NOT going to find out the gender of this baby.  I wanted to be surprised and we already had all of the baby gear and clothes for each gender so why not wait?  He reluctantly agreed and I got my way :)

My pregnancy progressed and I started bleeding.  I went in at around 5 weeks and we saw the little bean with a flickering heartbeat:

I started bleeding again around 9 weeks along and went in to see what was going on.  My ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy little teddybear baby but I had an SCH which is a hemorrhage outside of the baby's sac that was causing the bleeding.  It resolved on it's own after a few weeks but it caused me some major anxiety!

I was sick a lot more with this pregnancy than I was with the last 2.  Morning sickness while taking care of 2 other kids is not fun.  The kids watched more tv than I care to admit because I was sick and exhausted all the time.  The first trimester was not a happy time for me!

The 2nd trimester was smoother.  I started showing and got my energy back again.  We bought our house and moved while I was 6 months pregnant and got settled in just in time for her arrival.  Bringing a baby home to our home was something I wanted so badly!   

I had felt that this baby was a boy from the beginning.  I would have days where I thought it might be a girl but in my gut I always thought boy.  Martin and I had the hardest time agreeing on a boy name.  I should have known right then and there that she was a girl because we both liked the name Lyla early in the pregnancy.  We never agreed on a middle name but at least we had a girl name picked out! The Chinese gender chart said boy, the Ramzi theory said boy, the way I was carrying said boy, even random strangers always said I looked like I was having a boy.  Hardly anyone thought girl.  Well, my mom and sisters and super close friends thought girl- I should have known they were right!  I had always thought it would be nice for Ella to have a sister.  I hoped for a girl but I would have bet that I was having a boy.  I was obviously very wrong!

In my 3rd trimester I was in the hospital twice for pre-term labor.  This was definitely a more chaotic pregnancy than my last 2 were.  Both times I was given a shot of terb (that stuff is awful) and the 2nd time I was given procardia after the terb did nothing and that actually stopped the contractions for a long time.   I remember thinking that I never want to come back to this hospital again....until it's time to have the baby :)  I was worn out and ready to be done.

During my 2nd and 3rd trimesters I was researching birth in all of my spare time.  I had been induced with Ella and Kaleb and had got the epidural before I even felt a contraction.  I had amazing birth experiences with them because they were calm, peaceful, planned out, and pain free but I wondered what it would be like to go into labor on my own.  I started researching natural births, home births, water births, looking into getting a doula, placenta encapsulation, name it, I wanted to do it.   I read birth stories until late at night, birthwithoutfear was my favorite blog and I was super into all of Ina May's books.  I watched all of the Business of Being Borns, Pregnant in America, and every other birth documentary I could get my hands on.  I was pumped to give it a go!  I have a lot of mommy friends who gave birth naturally and I thought that if they could do it then so could I!  Martin thought I had lost my mind when I told him that I wanted to give birth naturally but I am quite stubborn and basically wanted to prove it to him that I could do it.  My family also thought I was out of my mind.  I kept an open mind during the pregnancy because I know that births rarely go perfectly as planned but I had my mind made up about how I wanted to give birth.  I was a little obsessed with natural birthing and I remember Marin coming home one night while I was watching one of the BBBs on Netflix and he was said so you are really going to do this without drugs?!  He did not want me to go through pain and said that he would support me with whatever I wanted to do but he could not understand why I would want to feel that pain.  It was hard for me to explain but I just wanted to know what it felt like.  I wanted to feel labor pain as weird as that sounds!

But life happened and things didn't go according to my plan.  Around 36 weeks Martin told me that he would be going overseas and that his company was shutting down the week of Thanksgiving.  I was due on Thanksgiving Day.  I also got a letter from my doctor saying that he had accepted an administrative position at the hospital and his last day would be November 30th. Martin and I discussed it and we wanted him to be there for the birth.  It wasn't worth me waiting it out if he was going to miss it.  I had nightmares of Martin missing it and it was causing me major anxiety.  At my 37 week appointment I asked my dr about induction.  He agreed and said that it would be in my 39th week and that was what I wanted so we went ahead and scheduled it.  I was a little sad that I would not be going into labor on my own but I was pleased that my husband would be there for the birth.  It was also nice knowing the day so that I could prepare and get the kids to my parent's and have a plan for the day.  

The day before my induction I took the kids to my parent's house and Martin and I went out to eat and to a movie.  It was so nice and it had been so long since we had a date night!  The movie distracted me from the constant OMG I'm having this baby tomorrow!!!! thoughts and the food was soooo good!  We got home around 11 and I of course tossed and turned until our alarm went off 6.   I think I may have had my billionth baby dream and that night I dreamt it was a boy (I had been having girl dreams for the last few weeks of my pregnancy).  We got up and ready, I took my last shower as a pregnant woman and I tried to enjoy my big baby belly for the last time.  She gave me a few good kicks in the car when we were headed to the hospital just to make sure I knew she was in there and ready to go :)  I was getting a little bit nervous on our trip there.  It wasn't like I hadn't done this twice already but the anticipation of the day that was ahead of us rattled me up.  It felt like a whole new experience because we didn't know the gender of the baby and I was dying to know.    

Once we got to the hospital and got checked in things had a slow start.  I had an amazing nurse who was fully supportive of me going natural.  She brought in a birth ball for me to bounce on and even let me eat an apple which is a no-no in the hospital.  She also brought me all the jello I could stomach and lots of juice :)  Pitocin was started and I was determined to go for as long as I could without an epidural.  I was thinking (dreaming?) that I could have been one of those women who don't feel contractions and who dilate super fast.  I was holding out hope that when the nurse checked me I would be complete and ready to push.  That was not the case.  
Our sweet nurse took this pic of us right after we got into our room

Last belly shot

Laboring on the birth ball.  I ended up hating it and preferred to stand and sway during the contractions. 
When I was admitted I was a "stretchy" 2 and 50% effaced.  After an hour or so I was a 3 and 70% effaced.  I continued to dilate 1cm every 2 hours until I was at a 5 and 100% effaced.   My sweet nurse kept reassuring me that I was progressing and things were going well although they were going way too slow for me and I was in major pain.  After about 6 hours and me being only dilated to a 5 I "caved" and asked for the epidural.  The contractions were getting so intense that I was tensing up and starting to dread the start of each one.  I know they say that pit contractions are way worse than regular labor contractions so I was happy that I made 6 hours before I asked for the epi.   I tried focusing on things, relaxing my face, visualizing the baby moving down and my cervix opening, I tried everything I read in my natural birth preparation but it just got to be too much.  My sweet husband was really supportive of me going natural when we were at the hospital.  He was rubbing my back and providing counter pressure when the contractions got to be really bad.  He was encouraging and told me I didn't need to get the epi if I didn't want to.  I think in hindsight that he was using reverse psychology on my because he knew that if he pressured me into an epi I would not get one just to prove that I could do it.  He's a smart one that man!!  He desperately wanted me to get the epi because he hated seeing me in pain bless his heart but he was so awesome during my defiant stage. My sister Brianna was there with me during the labor and she kept to her corner and didn't say much when the contractions got bad but I knew she wanted to shake me and scream Get the epidural!!!   I was at the point where I was shaking and moaning and cussing through them and that is not like me.  I was ready to be free of the pain and I can now say that I definitely experienced labor and it hurts!  I have a newfound respect for those who gave birth naturally because it is not a fun experience!  

After my epi- I could smile again!
I must have got the best epidural imaginable because I could still feel the contractions- they just felt like braxton hicks that I had been having for most of my pregnancy.  I felt the pressure but not the pain.  It was awesome.  I could move my legs easily and did not have that dead feeling like I did with Ella and Kaleb.  I was able to sleep and when I was checked again an hour after I got the epi I was at a 7.  That was progress!  I told Brianna to call my mom and have her get up to the hospital asap because I didn't know how fast I was going to go.  My mom arrived and maybe 30 minutes later I was complete and ready to push.  Around this time I had my usual "I can't do this" freak out.  Apparently I have done this with every baby but I just don't remember it.  I was crying and doubting myself that I could actually push a baby out.  Martin was wonderful and encouraged me and calmed me and even shed a few tears with me- I love that man.  My mom and sister were in the corner of the room probably wondering what in the world I was crying and freaking out about! After I calmed down and got my mind back to the right place I was ready to go.  We had my sister who lives in Germany on Facetime in the corner of the room so she could see the birth.  She said she didn't see much at all but she heard it all and that's all that she wanted to do!  

I was ready to meet my baby and I could feel her coming down.  My nurse said to give a practice push to see where it would get us while we waited for the dr (I always have to wait for the dr when I have my babies- SO annoying) so I did and her head was right there.  She was like ok hold on!  I asked if she could just deliver the baby and she said yeah but your dr won't be too happy with me!  In my mind I was thinking screw this, I am not going to hold this baby in because my dr isn't here so I pushed when I felt like it without letting the nurse know :)  I could feel every contraction and it felt good to push although I wasn't pushing very hard, I was just doing what I felt like my body needed to do.  By the time my dr got there she was pretty much crowning.  I heard him say I see the ears!  I pushed through one more contraction when he was finally there and she was out!   Feeling a baby leave your body is the strangest most amazing feeling in the world.   I wish there were words to describe it but there is not, I guess it's just one of those life experiences that one has to live through to understand.  It definitely makes you put your faith in your body and know that it was designed to do this!

Waiting for Martin to announce the gender was probably the most surreal moment of my life.  She was out, and I felt like the world stood still.  I completely zoned everything else out except for Martin's voice.  In the video we have of her birth you can hear my mom saying It's a, It's a.... but she never said girl and I totally didn't hear her say anything at all!  It was like I blocked everything else out until I heard Martin say it.  He said it's a............(long pause because he said that the cord was in between her legs and he wanted to make sure he was right haha!) GIRL!  I started laughing and crying at the same time.  I was SO happy I had another girl!  They immediately put her on my chest for skin to skin and it was amazing.  She looked just like Ella.
My favorite pic of the whole birth.  Thank you Brianna for taking all of the pics and videos!
I had an amazing birth.  All of my births have been amazing but this one was special.  I felt the rush of hormones after she was out and instantly fell in love with her.   I was on a "birth high" for days afterwards.  I felt like I was dreaming.  She latched immediately and has been a perfect baby since.   I didn't tear, had a very easy recovery and now 2 weeks later I feel awesome.  She is the perfect addition to our family and we all love her to pieces.  Ella was very excited to get a sister- she was wanting one badly.  Kaleb thinks she is cute but pretty much ignores her.  She has her daddy wrapped around her little finger.  I think he was wanting a girl the whole time :)  We are now a very happy little family of 5 and I am feeling very very blessed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ella started school!

And I feel SO old!  I can't believe that I have a child old enough to be in school!   She started Pre-K last Monday and has LOVED it!  She goes from 7:45 to 10:40 Monday-Friday so it is the perfect amount of time for me to run errands and have some one-on-one time with Kaleb!  The first day was kind of a meet and greet with the teacher and we only were there for about 45 minutes so it was a little anti-climatic.  The teacher had assessments to do the rest of Monday and Tuesday so Wednesday was her first real day of school.  I actually left her there for the first time alone!  I have never done that before with strangers.  I mean, sure she goes to Lifekids at church but Martin and I are always there in the building and my family has watched her a lot when I am gone but never strangers!  It was tough for me to let go and trust that she would be ok.  The what-ifs kept running through my mind- What if she falls and really hurts herself and I'm not there?  What if other kids are mean to her?  What if the teacher doesn't like her?  What if she can't find the bathroom?
It was just a cluster of worry but I tired to remind myself that kids do this everyday and this is totally normal.  It was just weird and hard to be away from her.  When I left her I could see the worry in her eyes- she didn't want to be there alone but when I picked her up she said that she had an awesome time!    I had to hold back the tears when I dropped her off but I knew that if I lost it she would have lost it too and that would not have been a good situation.  Wednesday went great, she made a new friend named Lily (how cute is that?!) and she said that they already promised to be best friends everyday.  I so wish I could just be a fly on the wall and watch her in school.  I bet she is so funny.   Thursday went well too- she was the class leader!  (That is a BIG deal to a 4 year old!) She got to lead the class when they went outside to play, came back inside, and went outside when school was over.  I'm not really surprised that the teacher had her be the leader, she has quite the assertive personality and is very responsible (and *ahem* bossy!) but I couldn't help but feel a twinge of pride when she told me.  When we were walking to the car after class on Thursday, all of these little kids kept calling out Bye Ella! Bye Ella!  It was so adorable and Ella was just as sweet as ever saying goodbye to every one of them.  We even had a little girl jump into our car to say goodbye to her!  This helped ease my worries about her as she must be well-liked by all.  She was the class leader again (!) on Friday and said that she enjoyed it but felt like it should be Lily's turn to be the leader as that was only fair to take turns.  She amazes me.   We go back to class again tomorrow so I hope this week goes as well as last week did!

happy to be in school!

here's where she was starting to get a little but worried about me leaving bless her heart!

We've had some BIG changes this summer!

Finally getting around to posting again!  We have been busy to say the least!  Ella stated Pre-K, we moved, and just being pregnant and having a 4 year old and a 2 year old keeps me busy enough!

First I will talk about the house :)
We closed on our first house 3 weeks ago (yay!) and have been in crazy busy unpacking/painting/organizing/trying-to-get-our-life-on-order mode since then!   We have painted the laundry room, the playroom, Kaleb's room, and the guest bedroom!  The only rooms left to paint are Ella's room and the master bedroom!  The colors on the walls in our house were outrageous to say the least so we had to paint before we did anything else.  I will be posting before and after pics as we get the projects finished and the rooms all set up!  Kaleb's room is my favorite so far but I am really pleased with how much better the rooms look after the paint!  (You couldn't really get must worse than what they were!)  I feel like my life has revolved around paint color, roller, drop cloths, and tray liners for weeks.  I'm always making sure we have enough of everything.  Martin has some of his awesome friends helping with the painting which is a HUGE help to me and Brianna has also helped me out a lot with the painting!  (We were even considering opening a painting business after this is done because we are going to be PROS at this haha!)  Just kidding, we won't really do that, I pretty much hate painting actually....

We went back and forth on whether or not we should buy this house because of all of the painting that needed to be done (and the kitchen needs some updating) but we decided to sacrifice granite counters and perfect paint for LOTS of space (4 bedrooms AND a nursery off of the master? Yes please!) and a home that we can see ourselves in for a long time.  It is perfect for our family and it really has been fun to "make it our own".  I see know that it will always be a work in progress and I will never feel like it is complete but that is the joy of home ownership, right?  So far, we love love love living here and actually having our own home.  I still have to pinch myself when I drive up to it and press the garage door opener (MY garage door opener!) and drive into my garage!  Obviously I have wanted to buy a home for a long time and I feel quite proud that we were able to do so when our kids are so young and won't ever remember living in an apartment!  Martin had zero credit 5 years ago when he first came to America and he has worked his tail off building it so that we can have this amazing home, it is a huge accomplishment for us! The kids have a backyard to play in now and run around in- it feels like Heaven!  Life is great! Here are some pics of some of the rooms!

Play room before

Playroom after!

Kaleb's room before 
Not good at all!

Kaleb's room after!

I'm pretty much obsessed with the stripes- they came out SO good!  More furniture and decorations will be added of course but I was thrilled with the paint job- it was so hard to cover that awful black paint!

Guest room before- walking in there gave me a headache.  I avoided that room! 

Guest room after- much more welcoming!  I can't wait to get it all set up!
We have much more to do of course but so far I am really happy with the progress we've made!    The next post will be about Ella's school!  I will try to get to that tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here we go again!

Baby B #3 is on the way!  I am 9 weeks right now and am finally getting over my nausea.  This pregnancy has been completely different from the last two!  I had no morning sickness at all with Ella and Kaleb and have had it really bad with this little one!  Everything seems more extreme this time- extremely nauseous, extremely tired, extremely moody, and extremely anxious!  It may be because we found out so early that I was pregnant- 3 weeks 3 days! but I feel like this pregnancy is going to last forever!  I'm glad with each new Thursday (that's when I change weeks!) that I am progressing and getting closer to meeting this little one!

We have decided to not find out the gender of this baby until it's born and I am SO excited about it!  I just feel like we have one of each already so there is nothing we aren't prepared for!  We will need diapers and that's about it!  Oh, and about diapers, I have decided to give Cloth Diapering a chance!  I am so excited to try it out!  They are SO cute and will save us tons of money so what's not to like, right?  A lot of my friends do it and are giving me a lot of hints and suggestions about it so I am ready to give it a shot!

But back to waiting to find out the gender- I am just so excited to be in the delivery room and have the dr say it's a ______!  Ella SWEARS it's a girl and will not accept the fact that it could be another baby brother for her!  She calls it her baby sister all the time and already has some dolls picked out that she is going to give  her.  I hope for her sake that she's right haha!  But of course either way we will be happy.  I would love a boy so that Kaleb can have a brother and I would love a girl so that Ella can have a sister!   It's so nice to not really care.  I will update this as my pregnancy progresses and put up lots of cute belly pics.  There's nothing cute about my belly right now so I'm not posing any until I am further along and actually showing a baby bump, not just bloat!

Here are some pics of our newest little bean:
woohoo!  2 pink lines!
5 weeks 5 days- saw the little heart beating!

9 weeks!

9 weeks!

9 weeks! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Favorite Pic!

I've finally gotten time to add a few posts!  This is my favorite pic of the kids that I took this past summer.  I am getting more and more involved with photography and hope to open my own business this year!  SO excited about the things we have in store for our future!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

~Ella Joy~

I have been wanting to do this entry for a long time, I have finally decided to do it after the kids are asleep so I can focus on it!  I wanted to have it done by her 3rd birthday but, like my previous entry stated, we were so busy during May so I am just now getting to it!  This is basically my little girl's life so far in pictures!  I am kind of just doing it for me, to see how fast she has grown and to appreciate every single day with her because before I know it, she will be off to college and I will wonder where my baby went!  I thought all of our family would appreciate it too, especially those who live far away....

My first picture of her!
7 weeks long
Loved that little round head!
20 weeks- the day she found out we were having a GIRL!
My favorite ultrasound pic of her!
34 weeks
My first time seeing her
Our second day home from the hospital
Her first smile!
7 weeks old
2nd smile I got on camera!
 8 weeks old
3 months old!
Happy little thing!!
4 months old
First time sitting up!
5 months old
Our baby was an angel for her first Halloween!
First Thanksgiving!
6 months old
First Christmas!
7 months old
All bundled up ready for the cold!
 7 months old
Loving time with my baby girl!
7 months old
Ready to go on a walk!
8 months old
The day she took her 1st step!
 9 months old
Her first apple!
10 months old
First Easter!
11 months old!
1st Birthday!!!

First time in an airplane- headed to South Africa!
14 months old
First time seeing the ocean!
First time going to the ocean!
Beautiful baby girl playing in the sand!!
 15 months old
15 months!
First lamb costume!
1 1/2 years old!
Hanging out with Uncle Tom on the beach chair!
Loving every second with Nathan!
Our little ladybug......
First night sleeping in her "big girl bed" with Wrinkles!
21 months old
Loving her bubble bath before bed!
Our baby girl turns 2!!!
Opening her presents with Daddy
SO excited!
Getting ready for her baby brother to arrive!
So sweet....
The night before Kaleb came!  
First time seeing her baby brother!
First time holding her baby brother!
Her own real- life baby doll!
Lovin' summer time!
Helping Daddy work on his car!
She's the Big Sister!
Kisses for Baby Brother...
Love her so much!
Halloween- Little Ladybug!
She loves her brother so much!
Cuddles in bed with Kaleb!
First major snowstorm of her life! Feb '11
First Haircut!
2 1/2 years old
All trimmed up!
Christmas Angel
SO excited to see Santa!
Strawberry ice cream- her favorite!!
Loving her trike!
She loves him so much!
Beautiful girl in her Easter dress!
Such a little princess!
Right after her 3rd birthday!
First time she went across the monkey bars by herself!  (With Dad's help  of course!)

I just can't believe how fast these years have flown by.  It is so hard to believe that she is 3 now and is no longer my little baby, she is my little girl- ready to take on the world!  She is definitely the "joy" of our lives, she lives up to her name perfectly!  

It is so amazing how this little black and white picture captured my heart over 3 years ago- I loved her the second I knew she was coming!

And now she has turned into the Joy of my life, my whole world, (besides her Dad and brother!) and has really become such a little person who loves life and is always wanting to learn new things.  

I am beyond excited to see who she turns into next, to watch her develop more into a person and to see where she goes in life!  I (of course!) think she is the smartest, most beautiful little girl alive and I can't wait to see what God has planned for her future!