Thursday, September 7, 2017

Oscar Quincy's Birth Story

Just like with Xander, I spent a month in prodromal labor with pretty severe HG symptoms controlling my life. On two different occasions we shipped the older two kids off with friends so we could head to the hospital, only to have contractions disappear as soon as the kids were gone. On Tuesday Aug 1st, Chou called my doctor and begged them to put me out of my misery, as I was contracting but getting nowhere and no longer able to eat or drink. They sent us to the hospital (so, again, we dropped off Xander. E was on vacation with my parents) who was not so compliant, but eventually gave me 2 bags of fluid, some Zofran, and sent me on my way. On Thursday, the midwife sent me back to labor and delivery due to a high fetal heart rate. While on the monitors for hours, baby's heart rate stayed around 170 with very occasional dips down to the 130s. After this pattern continued, the OB was fairly certain that the high readings were simply accelerations caused by excessive movement, and that 130 was the actual baseline heart rate, and she once again sent us on our way with instructions to come into the office again by Monday. Friday night around midnight I felt a few contractions, but nothing more than I had been feeling for a month. Around 2am I decided that we should probably make sure we could get ahold of friends to take Xander just in case things progressed. At 2:30 we packed the car, dropped Xander off, and headed to the hospital. We think we arrived around 3:15am. We parked and took a good 10 minutes to walk 3 steps, contract, walk 3 more steps, etc. etc. and eventually make it to the door. Chou checked us in and I headed to the restroom to sit and work through some more contractions for another 10 minutes. By the time I came out, they asked me if I wanted a wheel chair, and I gladly accepted their offer. They wheeled me back to a room (no triage this time, praise Jesus!) and gave me a gown and motioned to the attached bathroom for me to change. I decided that right where I was, still sitting in the wheel chair was good enough, and Chou and the nurse helped me put on the hospital gown and then hop over to the bed where they hooked up the monitor.  I was getting uncomfortable and mentioned I that an epidural sounded like a great idea, and the nurse said, "well, let's make sure they're going to keep you first" before she left the room. Chou applied pressure for the next contraction or two, and I told him I felt like we needed people in the room, like we shouldn't be alone. He asked if I needed to push, and I said not yet. The doctor came back with the nurse and checked me. I was 9cm, he felt it was too late for an epidural, and the baby was still too high to break my water. I was fine without the epidural knowing I was at 9cm already and clearly not still in prodromal labor, but bummed he couldn't break my water. I generally get stuck at 9.5cm until they break my water. With E I stayed there for 6 hours before they broke it! Regardless, Chou applied pressure with the next contraction, and the OB took a few large steps back, informing Chou he was about to be showered with the water breaking. Sure enough, the next contraction broke my water at 3:42am, mere minutes after we made it back to the room. The nurse declared she was giving up trying to get an IV in my arm. I pushed with the next contraction and everyone in the room yelled at me to "STOP PUSHING!!!" The baby's head was out revealing the cord tightly wrapped around his little neck. The doctor clamped the cord, cut it, and then I pushed his body the rest of the way out at 3:44am. I asked if it was a boy or girl, and the oh-so-helpful doctor replied that he had no idea. Chou checked and announced it was a boy! Baby was incredibly blue and bruised from his quick entrance and unfortunate cord placement, so I kept picking him up off my chest to make him cry just to make sure he was breathing.

He was born so fast he didn't expel any amniotic fluid, so he spent the first 12-13 hours refusing to suck or eat until he eventually spit up enough to make room in his small tummy. The nurses and pediatrician reassured us it was no big deal, so we just held him while he slept his first day of life away. He was born nameless (seems to be a trend) but we eventually settled on Oscar (meaning God's spear) Quincy (just cuz we like it, nod to John Quincy Adams). He goes by Oscar, Oscar Quinn, or just Quinn.

Oscar weighed 8 pounds even at birth and was 21 inches with a head circumference of 14cm. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Xander Turns Two!

Xander Zekiah is two. Well, he turned two two months ago, but... life happens. Middle child problems, or something like that.

He's all boy. He loves to be outside playing with sticks or in mud and testing his strength and balance by climbing and jumping and running endlessly. He is LOUD. He barely talks, although he communicates quite well, but he is loud! He's sweet, a total mama's boy, and a hot mess since Oscar arrived. I'm a little over the kicking, hitting, spitting, and full body meltdowns. Transitions are hard when you're two!

He loves to snuggle and often still falls asleep in my arms at naptime. He sleeps with E in her bed at night, and is still a great sleeper! 

Xander is currently into dinosaurs, cars, trains, puzzles, and books! He has always loved to read, and would be happy to have me read to him all day every day. He particularly loves the How Do Dinosaurs books. A few tickles can completely change his mood, and he loves to chase and be chased. He can be bribed to do just about anything for a pack of fruit snacks (not that I would...) He loves riding rides at Dutch Wonderland, although he often looks unimpressed, bored, or even terrified. Without fail, he'll ask to do it again and again!

He has a spectacular sense of humor. The boy has been cracking jokes since he was 15 months old, and he still thinks he's absolutely hysterical. Normally I agree.

He was off the bottom of the growth charts for close to two years, and then all the sudden in January he started to grow! He's gained almost a pound a month since then, and all his jeans are suddenly too short. He's 25 pounds and 33 inches tall. He insisted he weigh and measure himself at every single OB visit I had this year.

We decided to take his 2 year pictures and he was NOT having it.

He asked to sit in the car, so we went with it.

He spotted animal crackers, and suddenly all was right with the world.

I am so very thankful for this sweet little boy! I love watching him grow, learn, and smile!

Oscar Quincy's First Month

Oscar is somehow already a month old. I have no idea how that happened! 

He came home after 24 hours in the hospital and enjoyed a few days with his siblings. We were just starting to get into a rhythm at home when he was sent straight back to the hospital on day 4 for phototherapy to treat jaundice. Once again poor Xander was shipped off to friends and once again E snuck her way into the hospital to stay with Oscar. Having a baby who hates to be put down and only sleeps swaddled forced to lay naked under lights and unable to be held proved challenging for all involved. Fortunately we had our own room and our nurses were fantastic. We were able to syringe feed pumped milk after each nursing session to avoid formula and help keep him from dehydrating under the lights. We had the added benefit of working with a lactation consultant while we were there to help him learn how to latch. He's still learning a month later, but doing so much better! After two long days of 3 overhead lights and a biliblanket underneath, we got to go home. He spent another 4 days on the biliblanket at home before bidding jaundice "goodbye!"

Since all of that drama, we've spent a week with Mommom, been all over Lancaster County enjoying market and Dutch Wonderland. We got to meet E's kindergarten teacher, see her classroom, and enjoy a back-to-school night. We've been to church and on hikes, had lazy days at home and just a handful of sleepless nights.

Oscar is my first baby to take a bottle, and he gets one regularly at night from Dad so that I can sleep! He's a pretty grumpy baby, but sleeps well enough that I forgive him. He has only smiled in his sleep and has Xander's adorable dimple on his right cheek.

E adores him and has been a huge help since his arrival! Xander adores him, too, but he still hasn't forgiven me for having a baby.

Oscar is now up to 9 pounds 5oz from his lowest weight of 7 pounds on the day he was admitted to the hospital. He's 21.5 inches with a head circumference of 15cm. He's gone from 90th percentile for height to 50th for both height and weight. If he follows his siblings' lead, he'll soon fall off the bottom of the charts. He's about to outgrow 3 month clothes due to his length, but he's still way too skinny to size up.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ode to Target

I hate the way your dollar isle
Draws me in, fills my car
I hate the way your darn Wi-Fi
gives no signal, not a bar

I hate the way your app won't launch
On the network all your own
I hate the way I need to scan
Every item with my phone

My kids run wild and fill the cart
While I will the app to scan
Just to find I saved five cents
This was such a lousy plan

Your app thinks saving is a game
with levels to unlock
I'm no gamer this is not fun
my time it seems to mock

I hate the way I cannot find
the deals that I most need
Cartwheel takes so long to load
with nigh an endless feed

I come for diapers and shampoo
but always leave with more.
Who can resist your clearance racks
I hate the way I score

I hate the way your buyers know
Exactly what I'm lacking
Some wall decor, pillows and food
Perhaps a bit of string

I hate the way that one quick trip
Never fails to cost a lot
I try and try to turn blind eye
But really I cannot

I hate the way your Circo brand
has vanished without trace
I loved those socks for baby boy
No others can replace

I hate the way I always come
I'm sure it's accidental
I hate the way I don't hate you
well maybe just a little

Monday, June 27, 2016

Xander Turns One

Hair: light brown

Eyes: dark brown

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 17 pounds (best guess) 

Teeth: 6

Words: mama, dada, Elli, poppop, dog, bye

Foods: whatever anyone else is eating

Favorites: wrap naps, animals, Elli, splashing in baths, showers, pools

It's time to: cruise, climb, clap, wave, splash

Personality: sweet, laid back, joyful, silly

Monday, February 15, 2016

Toddler Valentine's Day Crafting

Hey, E? Want to scroll through Pinterest with me and find something fun to do together? You want to make these adorable heart shaped animals? One for all your friends? How sweet. Let's print the patterns!  

Oh, choose a different one to start with, Mommy doesn't do mice. 

Good choice! The hippo is adorable!

We can cut the pattern out together, trace it onto construction paper for you to cut out each and every piece, and then you can glue and tape it together. How lovely!

{Twenty loooong minutes later}

Great job, E! He's adorable! I'm so happy we could make him together. 

Wait, what do you mean you want to do more?! I think this adorable little hippo is perfect! 

Let's do something else. Anything else! 

...Oh, okay, fine. But this time I'm cutting. You can do all the gluing/taping. Okay?


You've got to be kidding me. Okay, okay, we'll wing it. 

Oops he's upside down. He'll live. 

What do you mean he needs eyes? He looks perfect with no eyes! Well, if you can find googly eyes I certainly won't stop you from gluing them on his face.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An honest mom's guide to new baby essentials

I've read countless Pinterest lists of Essential Newborn Items. They range from basic to excessive, crunchy to mainstream, and more often than not, flat out ridiculous. How did I survive without 25 pairs of newborn socks or the $1500 stroller?! I'll never know. Zulily had a New Baby Essentials shopping category recently that included items such as facial masks for guests to wear to contain their germs. Friends don't let friends share air with their baby.

The simple truth is that what is essential to me probably isn't essential to you. What was essential for my daughter was very different than what was essential for my son. At five months old, my dear boy has spent zero minutes in a stroller, sleeping in a crib, or bathing in a baby tub.

So what do you really need for that new bundle of joy? Here's my honest list.

5. Stain fighting super powers
Even if you embrace stains as works of art, kids have a knack for staining the one shirt that is actually semi-flattering that allows you to easily breastfeed in public. Or vomiting on those pants you tried on for thirty seconds just to make sure they'll work for the Christmas party. Or pooping all over the sofa during a midnight diaper change. OxiClean, Shout, or your all homemade mixture of peroxide, Dawn, and unicorn tears is your friend even when your baby isn't.

4. Strong Coffee
It still amazes me that anyone can function, let along parent, without this nectar from God himself. There's no shame in copious coffee consumption when you haven't slept in weeks, months, or years.

3. Fresh Air
Even if it's walking in circles around your back yard, fresh air can help you and baby recharge. It's my first line of defense against a grumpy baby or grumpy self. You might even get a few minutes of exercise while you're at it.

2. Sense of Humor
When the baby poos mid diaper change, causing both you and baby to need to bathe and change your clothes for the third time today, and it's not even 10am. And it's the only day this week you've actually showered or been dressed by 10am. Or when you wake your husband in the middle of the night and tell him to stop crying, not realizing that three week old infant is the one crying. Or when your toddler is out back butt naked while you obliviously snuggle your sleeping baby on the sofa. Or when the toddler wants you to sing "Let it Go" after an hour long tantrum. Or when you're so tired you walk the dog and don't realize you come back home without the dog. Or when you're at the grocery store to fulfill your donut craving and the stranger in front of you, upon hearing you still have 3 months of pregnancy to go, loudly exclaims, "Well, I guess when you're that short, baby has nowhere to go but straight out!" Or when your toddler completely photobombs your pictures of the baby even though she refused to join when you wanted her to. Or when you spend your Saturday night in the store checking out baby equimpent after the swing breaks. Or when your toddler, who is the most outgoing kid you know and an expert at cheesing it up for the camera, hasn't smiled for a professional photographer in the last two years. Or when the toddler, who is the reason you cosleep because she's never slept a wink in a crib, insists on sleeping in the crib when you set it up for the next baby. Or that week she spent every night on the new dog bed rather than her brand new pink ruffly big girl bed. Or when you're 37 weeks pregnant and your husband decides we need to scrap our list of baby names and start over. Or when you go into labor at 39 weeks and baby is born before you've come up with another name. Or when the baby empties an entire bottle of oregano on the dog. Or that day that was so long that you didn't realize you put the baby to bed without a diaper. Or when your husband graciously agrees to clean the bathtub when your baby is a few days old, and he ends up with a chemical burn from your organic all natural cleaner requiring two different steroids, an antibiotic, and an anti-inflammatory drug.  Need I go on? You're going to need to be able to laugh at yourself. You may very well cry first, but being able to laugh will help.

1. Mom Friends
Everyone needs a friend who will come over immediately the first time the baby falls off the sofa, who will come pick up your naked screaming baby so that you can take a nap, or heaven forbid, shower in peace for just a few minutes, who will laugh at you when necessary. Friends who show up with coffee and ignore your mountain of laundry, who treat your kids as their own, and who support your family even when they parent completely opposite of you. Friends who will laugh at you, cry with you, and help you survive your tiny tyrants.