Monday, June 13, 2016

Evie: 1 Month

It's already been a month with our sweet girl! And at the same time, it's only been a month?

She is such a joy! We are all enamored with her! Holt especially has started becoming more interested in her--he loves to give her hugs and kisses and when she cries he says "ok Evie!" Goodness I just love it. If you missed her birth story, read all the details HERE

She is still in NB clothes and diapers--which is really weird for me because Holt was out of those within the first 10 days! She is also still sleeping in our room for now. My plan is to see how the next month goes and then maybe start transitioning her in to Holt's room after that.

I was really hoping she wouldn't have the dairy allergy, but she started showing signs of it around 2 weeks of age. All of a sudden one day, she had two really slimy diapers and kept drawing her legs up in pain. So, I started the process of eliminating dairy. At first, I thought I could just take out the big ones--milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, sour cream and cream cheese. I could tell a pretty big difference even within 24 hours because she wasn't having near as much gas pain and her diapers got much better. But about a week later, she started having a little slime and more gas again. So I have now started weeding out ingredients and beef. I may start slowly adding them back in a couple months from now and just see what happens.

We are slowly working into a semblance of a routine. When I was pregnant with Holt, one of my friends introduced me to "Moms on Call" and it has been a lifesaver! It's a series of baby care books written by two pediatric nurses and it is such an amazing resource. They are advocates of putting baby on a schedule, which we are too, and they have sample schedules to help you figure out what works best for your family. Right now, this is what our routine is working out to be:

7-7:30AM   Evie eats//Holt wakes up, breakfast
8:00AM      Evie back down for short catnap
9:00AM      Evie eats
9:30-10AM  Evie naps in her crib//Holt plays, we watch tv, etc
12 noon      Holt eats lunch in highchair//Evie eats
12:30PM    Holt down for nap
1:00PM     Evie down for nap (and hopefully mama naps!)
3:00 PM    Both up from nap//Evie eats
4:00PM     Evie naps//Holt plays
6:00 PM    Dinner//Evie eats
7:30PM     Holt to bed
9:00PM     Evie eats
10:00PM   Evie to bed//mom and dad to bed
3-4AM     Evie wakes to eat

Sometimes our schedule is off by 30 minutes, but this is the idea we try to stick with.

Evie is starting her first "leap." (PS, if you don't have the Wonder Weeks app, get it ASAP! It is so helpful!) She is exhibiting all the signs: crying more, wants to be held more, and nursing more. She is starting to become more alert and is actually "seeing" me which is so neat! She has also started her fussy time which lasts from about 6:30/7:00PM-9:00PM or so.

Holt started swimming lessons last week, so Evie and I have been trucking along to watch and be supportive. Daniel is doing lessons with him so I can take care of Evie and they have been doing so good! Daniel is such a great teacher and he has been so calm and patient with him. There have been a few rough ones, mostly from him just being tired, but Holt has made some progress.

Weight: I have no idea. We don't have a scale at home. But, I'm guessing 8 ½ pounds or so?
Length: 20.5 inches

Milestones: *she can hold her head up for a long time! I haven't timed it, but I bet she could hold it up (when on your shoulder) for at least a minute *she can pick her head up and turn it side to side when on her tummy *she can put some weight on her legs and "stand" for a couple of seconds

Sleep: She is a great sleeper! She goes to sleep between 9:30-10PM and usually wakes up between 3:30-4AM to eat before going back down. Most of the time we are up between 7:30-8 for the day. For naps, we have been putting her down either in her crib or pack and play and we are trying to put her down slightly awake so that she starts learning how to put herself to sleep.

Feeding: I am so thankful to have another great nurser! This girl loves to eat. I think this time around, I was more relaxed and confident that we would have a great nursing relationship. Also, I knew what to expect which helps a lot. Even though she has the dairy sensitivity, I was able to catch it early so I am confident that won't impact my supply this time. My goal is to nurse her for a whole year, but no matter what happens, I am proud of what we have already accomplished!

Month 1 photo dump:

First day solo with these two= lots of TV

soaking up newborn snuggles

3 weeks old

first family walk


Deep down, Sophie really does love the babes

Happy one month!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Evie's Birth Story

Last bump pic--39 weeks 5 days

*BEWARE: lengthy post ahead!*

In case you missed the complete barrage of social media posts over the last several days, our beautiful baby girl was born Thursday, May 12th!

But, let's back up a bit:

I turned 38 weeks on April 30th, which was our goal after putting me on bed rest at 32 weeks. Once we got there, I went off of bed rest because baby girl was welcome to make her appearance anytime! However, she proved to be QUITE comfy in there and was absolutely not interested in coming out. After praying for weeks that she would stay put, we turned around and started praying she would come on out!

My mom and grandma came up the week of May 2nd and stayed for about 4 days, going to doctor's visits and helping with Holt because we were all convinced that now she could come, she would! Well, obviously she didn't. I didn't make any progress that week, but my doctor felt pretty confident we would have a baby by the end of the next week. So they went back home for the weekend to get a few things done before coming back.

Saturday, May 7th: we took advantage of our last weekend as a family of three (and the GORGEOUS weather) and headed over to the Wild Things Farm in Pocola, OK for their Strawberry Festival. Of course we stopped to get donuts first (or as Holt says, "no-nut") and then met our best friends for a couple hours of fun! We rode a hayride, went to a petting zoo where we got to pet and feed baby goats, and picked a couple pounds of fresh strawberries. We all had a blast!

My mom and grandma came back on Mother's Day and we geared up to go back to the doctor first thing Monday morning. He told me to bring my packed bags because if I had made progress then we would go ahead and have a baby! ANNNDDD…..I still hadn't made progress. He hooked me up to a non-stress test to monitor Evie's heart rate and make sure my placenta wasn't showing signs of wearing down and then we had an ultrasound to measure how big she is and how much amniotic fluid was in there. She measured 7 lbs 14 oz (which could be off by half a pound either way) and fluid levels looked good, so he suggested we continue to wait and see if I would go into labor on my own.

Over the next couple days, I walked and walked and walked some more and I bounced on our exercise ball at home to try to induce labor. NADA. I was going to eat spicy food, but my heartburn was so bad it wasn't worth it. Wednesday night (the 11th) was the worst night of sleep I had had my entire pregnancy--I was up until 2AM with refluxing heartburn--even propped up. It was awful!

Thursday, May 12th: we headed back to the doctor first thing. I was convinced that I still hadn't made progress and almost didn't throw in my hospital bag because I thought I was going to just be pregnant for forever. Daniel didn't even come to this appointment because I didn't think anything would happen. Well, wouldn't you know I had made progress! I jumped to 3 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced. Plus I was having somewhat regular contractions, but nothing super consistent. So, my doctor told me that he was comfortable with inducing if that was what I wanted to do. Um, YES PLEASE! I'm ready to meet my daughter! So, he calls down to L&D and they have a room for me. I call Daniel as we head downstairs---he didn't believe me when I told him "hey, we are having a daughter today!" Haha! But seriously, I told him to hurry up and get his rear to the hospital!

Ready to meet our daughter!

I also called my BFF, Kaley, to let her know because she and her family had agreed to keep Holt for us while we were in the hospital. It worked out so perfectly because Holt is already so comfortable with them--we have playdates at least once a week and he is best friends with their daughters. I don't think I can ever adequately thank them enough. Let me tell you something, when you find friends that are more like family than anything (we call them our TRIBE) you hold onto them for dear life. It is such a sweet time to have friends going through the same life stage and struggles as you----it's a great support system, especially when you don't have a lot family living in town.

9:45AM---Daniel has made it to the hospital and we are admitted to a room, we signed all the necessary paperwork, etc.

10:25AM---they start my Pitocin to get my contractions going into a consistent pattern. I handle the contractions so much better than last go round. That's the nice part about knowing what to expect with labor and delivery after your first kid. I was able to relax a lot more and was actually talking and smiling for a good bit.

11:55AM---Dr. Riche came in and broke my water. I was still 3 cm dilated.

12:35PM---The nurse rechecked me (my contractions were getting quite a bit more intense since my water broke) and I was dilated to a 4---hooray! I immediately requested an epidural.

1:35PM---Yes, an HOUR later, I finally got the epidural! It worked pretty well, although not as good as last time. I still felt contractions pretty good and I ended up getting a hot spot (a spot where the epidural doesn't numb and there's nothing you can do about it). However, it was much better than not having an epidural at all I'm sure! They bump up my pitocin at this point to try to get my contractions about 2-3 minutes apart. I continue breathing through contractions, talking, etc…and even used what's called a peanut ball to relieve some of the pressure and try to help move the baby further down into the birth canal.

3:50PM---The nurse rechecks me because I'm starting to feel pressure and pain in my back and I'm now a 7.5-8cm dilated! Daniel had to do some serious counter-pressure on my back, even with the epidural. This was new because I didn't have any back labor with Holt. Things start moving pretty fast at this point!

4:05PM---Dr. Riche comes in to check me and it's time to push!

4:15PM---I start pushing! I'm not sure why, but I got tired so much faster by pushing this go round. Maybe because I didn't sleep well the night before, but man I got worn out. However, I still only had to push for 23 minutes!

4:35PM---Dr. Riche gets prepped to deliver and tells us she is face up. On my next push, mom tells me they see a head full of dark hair….and that her head turned all the way around so she ended up face down. Apparently that's a pretty rare thing to witness!

4:38PM---She is here! Evie Elizabeth Lowery came out screaming and perfectly healthy with a head FULL of her daddy's dark hair! Of course I immediately started crying and talking to her and they immediately laid her on my chest for some skin to skin.

After a few minutes of skin to skin, they took her to weigh her and do her Apgar (she got an 8 and 9) while I started getting sewed up (Again, I got a 2nd degree tear). I was shocked when they told me she weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz and 19 inches! I thought for sure she would be at least 8 lbs or more. She seemed so tiny! Just like her brother, she immediately latched and started nursing like a champ. I am so blessed and thankful for another good nurser!

Just like last time, I had a wonderful labor and delivery experience. Start to finish, it took 6 hours---once we get going, my babies like to get it done!

So how did Holt do with meeting her? Since it was so late in the day that she was born, we waited until the next day for him to come visit. He wasn't really that interested in her, oddly enough. But there were lots of distractions with all our family in the room. It was really a sweet time though---my heart was overflowing with love and gratitude as I held both my babies in my arms!

My aunt was able to capture the birth story again and once she gets the pictures edited I'll share them! Overall, we are so thankful for the Lord's protection and for a chance to welcome another little life into this world. Excited to see what Evie's life has in store!