Saturday, May 18, 2013
...I'm actually going to get around to get around to changing not only our domain name, but the cover picture as well! I just can't seem to catch up on all of the to-do's around here lately, and I'm getting the feeling that isn't going to change anytime soon. ;)
All in all, things are going great, and thanks to the wonderful Rock n'Play sleeper, miss Eloise did a 5 hr stretch last night! I feel like a new woman, even though I only got about 4 of that. Andrew's mom was in town again this past week and I'm not sure I would have survived Andrew's finals without her. I also got the chance to get a haircut and go on a date with Andrew. woohoo!!
These girls are oh so wonderful, but quite exhausting!!
On top of the normal crazy that is two under two, I've been working here and there and still haven't figured out how I'm going to balance that in. I know I am going to take far less sessions than last year, but it's becoming apparent that I need to figure out our child care situation quickly....but that's a whole 'nother post.
Eloise is going to be 6 weeks on Monday!! I honestly can't believe it and I'm pretty sure this has been the fastest month of my life. She is just now starting to social smile and I just love, love, love it. She continues to be a very easy baby, and I'm not kidding, only cries when she is hungry. Even gas doesn't bother her. She just grunts and makes sad little faces. :( We haven't had a Dr's appt in a while, but she is just over 8lbs according to our at-home scale. I hate weighing her because that means that I have to step on the scale too, but I want to make sure she is gaining enough. It worries me that she is still in newborn clothes.
tummy time :)
Oh and she definitely has Addy and Daddy's baby blues.
Speaking of weighing myself, I've got 15lbs to go to my pre-pregancy weight. ugh. I know it all came off within 4 months of having Adalyn, but I'm still kind of bummed I let myself gain 40lbs again. I haven't been doing anything but walking, stuffing my face with all kinds of food, and nursing, but it's about time I at least start making healthy food choices. I did go on my first run (ok, more of a jog with some walking), and it felt good to log some miles. My awesome parents bought us a brand new double jogger, so I'll be taking that out for walks with the girls and jogging with it once I'm confident in E's head control.
Andrew finally finished year one of his grad program and while we are waiting to see what his schedule will be like this summer, we are all excited to have more time with him...especially Adalyn. She is obsessed.
Miss Adalyn is also speaking full-on sentences now. They kind of came out of nowhere and it's really weird to have real conversations with her. I can't believe how fast she is growing up. She knows all of her colors and about 14 of the 26 (right?) letters. Crazy!! She has regressed a bit on her counting....one, two, terteen?? lol, but I'm just in awe of her, crazy tantrums over chicken nuggets and all.
And she LOVES her baby.
Grandma might be really excited to get home this time. Adalyn kept her on her toes!!
All in all, life is good and I just feel so blessed. Here's to making it to church for our 3rd time tomorrow! <3
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Seriously, I was completely floored when the news said 'May 1st' this morning. I had no idea. I also had no idea it was Wednesday. It just didn't feel like a Wednesday. Maybe a Friday? Again, so much I want to say to recap this past week (which also didn't feel like a whole week already), but I must go to bed. This is Ellie's long stretch and I've already missed a half hour catching up with my 365 project. So, that's what you get! ;)
Oh and sweet Eloise is 3 weeks already! ahhhh!!!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
It's so hard to believe that our littlest princess has been in this world over 2 weeks already. I have so much to say and so little time! In short, our little family of 4 is doing well. Welllll, not totally well as Adalyn was diagnosed with fifth disease yesterday, and this virus, combined with the early terrible two's, has made this last week a bit difficult. There is NO WAY I could have gotten through this week without my mom's help. There hasn't been a single day that I've missed a shower, and my parents even babysat for us last Saturday so Andrew and I could go on a date. Life is hectic with the end of Andrew's semester in full force, but it's oh so wonderful.
And precious, precious Eloise is just that. Thankfully, she is a super easy baby and really only cries when she is hungry. She is a frequent smiler...and pooper, and I am really enjoying getting to know her.
An angel baby princess:
Before we knew A was sick:
My friend Ute came by to visit on Saturday and of course brought her camera. I'm so grateful for her friendship....and her pictures!
Just love my little monkeys.
Oh, and the cherry blossoms are out!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Our sweet Monkey Jr., now named Eloise Joyce, made her appearance at 8:22 am on Monday, April 8, 2013 weighing in at 6lbs, 5oz. and 19.5 inches.
I got my all natural birth and have written her birth story below. In short, it was MAGICAL, and waaaaay different from Adalyn's birth. Eloise looks a lot like her big sister, but has my olive skin, a different nose, way less hair, and darker eyes. She is perfection, just like her big sis.
It happened one night:
Eloise Joyce Ralph – Birth Story
4/8/13 – 8:22 a.m. 6lbs, 5 oz. 19.5”
I was feeling consistent yet painless contractions Saturday morning (the 6th) and wasn’t feeling baby move at all. I decided to call my OB, Dr. H, because I knew she was on call at the hospital and would quickly hook me up to the monitors and ease my mind that all was ok with Monkey Jr. I got to L&D around 10am and a 20 min. NST confirmed that Monkey Jr. was doing awesome and that I was having contractions every 3-7 minutes. Just to make sure I wasn’t in labor, Dr. H checked me and confirmed that I was still 1-2cm dilated, and about 70-80% effaced. She seemed pretty confident that she would be seeing me at my appointment on the 11th.
I was up almost all of Saturday night with consistent/timable, but mild contractions and really thought I was in labor. I called my doula, Kadi, and she urged me to try and get some rest since it was likely the beginning. I took her advice and was able to fall sleep for a few hours, but was disappointed to have the contractions gone by morning. We headed off to church Sunday morning and I braced myself for the “Oh you’re still pregnant” comments, despite being 8 days away from my actual due date (the 15th). God blessed with me a lot of peace about her arrival and I started to feel better about waiting for His perfect timing. We went for a nice long family walk after Adalyn’s nap and then headed over to my parent’s house for dinner. I was feeling mild contractions throughout the day, but nothing consistent or timable, so I just decided to try and ignore them. Toward the beginning of dinner, I noticed that I didn’t have much of an appetite and perhaps the fact that I had zero desire to finish my icecream for dessert should have given me a clue that something was up.
Andrew and I were in bed by 10pm and I had planned to have our nanny come in the morning so that I could go get a manicure and pedicure. Hey, I had to make the best of it!
But….I was almost jolted out of bed right at 12:15am with a very strong contraction. I layed there for a few minutes until another, a relatively painful one, followed a few minutes later. I decided that there was no way I was going to sleep through these so I went downstairs to watch TV and rock on my hands and knees. I got my contraction app open on my phone and started to time their length and duration. They were about 5-7 min. apart and lasting about 45 seconds each. As the hours passed, like real labor is supposed to, they grew closer together and longer and were getting increasingly more uncomfortable. I went upstairs to take a bath and despite the fact that we have been in our townhome since June, I realized I had never taken a bath in our home before. I could not get comfortable in it, so decided to take a shower instead. I think this was around 2:45am and I accidentally woke Andrew while trying to get dressed. I wanted to let him sleep and urged him to go back to bed. “I bet these are the false ones again”, he said. I wondered too, but something was definitely different this time because the contractions were starting to wrap around my sides and back. At around 3:50am, my app was telling me that the contractions were 3 min. apart and lasting for just about 1 min. each. Having to use my breathing to get through each one, I knew that this was it and woke Andrew again with, “Hey, I think we are going to have a baby today. Can you call my mom?”
Andrew told my mom to come over in about a half hour and I finished packing my hospital bag and camera bag, which really helped to distract me from the pain. My mom arrived at 4:30am to stay with Adalyn and Andrew and I headed toward the hospital. The car ride was difficult as I have a really hard time sitting through contractions. Andrew grabbed my hand and the sweetest prayer over the labor and for Monkey Jr. and I. We arrived at the hospital around 4:45 am,
and by 5a.m. I was admitted at 4cm and 100% effaced. I was elated to be told that this was it.
Our doula, Kadi, arrived at hospital a few minutes later and I started to walk around the floor. Going into the post partum wing was great, as I was able to hear babies crying and focus my thoughts on the outcome of all of this hard work. Just like with Adalyn, I did not want to be touched during a contraction and had to be completely still, standing and leaning on something, to be able to work through one. Dr. H came in the room around 7:15am and told me that her shift for the weekend was over and would be passing me off to Dr. U from the practice. I really wanted her to be able to deliver me, but I understood and still assumed that I had a lot time left before delivery. She checked me and I was 6cm. Yes!....though I knew the pain to come and did feel a bit nervous. I continued to labor in my room, on the bed, leaning in the bathroom, you name it, I tried it.
I had agreed to intermittent monitoring of Monkey Jr.’s heartrate, which meant that I didn’t have to be stuck in bed, but one of the monitoring sessions around 7:40am showed decels in her heartrate and the nurse made me get into bed. At this point the contractions were coming every minute or so and I can’t even describe the agony of having to be lying in the bed through each one. The nurse grew increasingly nervous and I tried to explain to her that she didn’t have the machine low enough…at this point I could feel pressure in my butt and knew that Monkey Jr. was REALLY low. I asked her to call Dr. U in and Andrew told her to turn the volume off on the monitor. Hearing all of the beeps made it impossible for me to relax and I was so thankful that he jumped in. Kadi helped me to remember my hypnobirthing breathing techniques and I tried to relax and breath through each one. I then suddenly had the urge to vomit, and must have through up about 6 times. I didn't feel bad that a lot if it ended up on the nurses shoes - she was making me mad! I told her to "get this $hit (the wires) off of me!"
Dr. U came in the room and with a very calming presence assured the nurse that all looks good and that I was probably near the end and that’s why her heartrate was doing that. He asked if he could check me to confirm and I said yes. He was so incredibly respectful of my birth plan and knew that I had requested no cervical checks. But, before he could check me, I told him that I was feeling a ton of pressure and had to push. My body naturally pushed on the next contraction and I felt Monkey Jr. move down the birth canal. Dr. U ran out of the room to get his gear on and before he could run back in, I screamed that I had to push again. I must have said “help me, help me” about a thousand times because I was feeling things that I didn’t get to feel with Adalyn. Kadi helped me breath and right as Dr. U check me he said, “woah, she’s at a +2, +3, +4, and he removed his hand and told me her head was about to come through. He said “try not to push” as a rush of nurses came into the room and he scrambled to get his booties on. With the next contraction, lying on my side, my water broke, and then I passed Monkey Jr.’s head. Then there was a bit of a panic when I heard, “get peds in here stat”. Dr. U looked at me and calmly said, “I need you to hold off on one more push”. He explained to me that there was meconium in the fluid and that he needed to suction her mouth. Within seconds, a team from peds rushed into the room and I said, “sorry, I can’t stop!” and with one push passed her body. Eloise Joyce made her entrance into this world at 8:22am, just a little over 3 hours after arriving at the hospital!
Dr. U lifted her right onto my chest and assured me that all was well. I couldn’t believe it! I was in utter shock that she came out so fast.
The pediatrician in the room told me that he could let her stay on my chest for 5 minutes but that he would need to evaluate her for 5 minutes, but would do it in arms length from me. Dr. U brought Andrew over to the cord and showed him that it had stopped pulsating (we requested delayed cord cutting) and asked him to cut it. A few minutes later, I handed Eloise to the pediatrician and birthed my placenta in one push. Dr. U was super excited to tell me that there was absolutely no tearing. He complimented me on birth plan and how reasonable and perfect it was. I thanked him for being so respectful of our wishes, and then, sweet Eloise was all mine again. She was placed back on my chest and naturally rooted and breastfed for the first time.
It was magical – the whole experience – and I feel incredibly blessed to have had it go so well. Once again, I relied on Andrew and Kadi to pull me through it all, and I can’t thank them enough for helping me to get my ideal birth experience. Andrew was quick to say that we could do this again, and I told him I needed just a bit more time ;) …..but don’t worry, we are planning on more.
I really did wonder how I could love another human being like I love Adalyn, but boy, all that they say is right…your heart just grows, and I am so incredibly in awe and in love with her. Adalyn amazed me when she came to visit at the hospital. She actually asked to hug and kiss baby....my heart <3
More images from our hospital stay:
And yes, I'm aware that we need to change the name of our blog. Coming soon - acubedplus1 !!