Monday, November 21, 2011

today Hazel is 2 weeks old. i think we'll keep her. =)  she is a sweet little thing. she's awake now more than she was the first week, and when she is, she always has someone in her face talking to her. last night i bought her a swing. she doesn't really like it yet, but hopefully it'll grow on her. she has her two week pedi appointment this morning. i can't wait to see what she weighs. i know she's gained since her last visit, where she weighed 6 lbs. 2 ounces. her face is round now and she has little dimples in her arms.

we took Hazel to church yesterday. she was pretty good, and i only had to go in to the nursery twice to feed her. it is really amazing how much milk that little thing can put away! it seems like she's developing a pattern of only needing to eat three times in the night. that's survivable and i've been getting some deep sleep in between those feedings.

Margaret and Samuel ran the Vern's No Frills 5K for this month (they have them every month) on Saturday, and did well. they've been training for a few months now. they both ran it in 26:04. they weren't really pushing themselves, so i think they could do even better with a little more effort. i'm really proud of them. they get out a few mornings a week and run a three mile loop with Brian. i'll post some pictures of the race when i get them off Brian's phone.

i've been trying to keep up my daily exercise routine - walking 4 +/- miles every day, plus working out with weights. i'm also back to doing crunches, though i do not like them one bit. with nursing, i feel like i need to eat all the time, and i find myself gravitating toward sweet things. i need to just nix all sweets for awhile to break myself of desiring them. when i was pregnant i didn't crave sweets at all. i need to try to get back to that state somehow.

well, it's time for me to get out there and exercise. after this second cup of coffee.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

school is done for the day, and Hazel is down for a bit. i'm brewing a pot of afternoon joe, and the kiddos are playing nicely outside. oh, and i'm feeling GOOD! it is nice to feel kind of human again. i've felt like i've been sleep-walking for, well, since about a week before Hazel was born. but i think i've been getting a little more sleep the past couple of days, or maybe i'm getting more efficient with what little sleep i'm allowed. either way, i don't feel tired at all today, praise God! the baby blues have lifted and i feel energetic and

neighbors from the next street over brought us a huge pot of soup, a loaf of sourdough bread, a bag of Clementines, and some chocolate-chocolate chip cookies last night. what a blessing! i just feel overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity we've received lately! this morning, Sandy, another friend, dropped in with a gift for Hazel - two cute little outfits with appliques on them. Brian brought home a gift from his co-worker, Anthony and his wife, Monica - a little jean/cardigan set. i need to get with it on thank you notes.

Brian has been working half days from home this week, which has been fabulous! it gives me a chance to get out and exercise or run a quick errand.

i am amazed at how much milk that little baby can put away! she eats around the clock. i feel like 75% of my waking hours are spent on that futon in her room feeding her. and that's not counting all the eating she does in the night. she now has round cheeks and a tiny double chin and her legs aren't so skinny anymore.

it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. with Hazel's birth and all the activity surrounding that, it seems like the calendar days are just flying by. we'll be gathering with all of my mom's family on T-Day, and then going up to visit Brian's family the rest of the weekend. i'm really looking forward to spending time with all the kinfolk and introducing Hazel to them. gotta get out my recipes and figure out what yummies i'm going to whip up.

well, baby is hollering for me, so i'd better run...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

freeze frame time

me and my girl~

life is starting to get a little more normal. a new normal, which includes around the clock feedings (for both me and Hazel) and diapers changes, and little - very little - sleep. and i love it.

i was blessed by visitors twice yesterday, first Karen and Josef and their kiddos. they arbitrarily kept them out of school yesterday and so my four enjoyed some midday sword fighting with Keegan and Jewels. later on, my sweet friend, Lisal, brought us dinner. she also said she wants to give Hazel a baby shower, which will be a huge blessing!

i'm recovering nicely physically, a little slower emotionally. i was able to squeeze into my 00 jeans, albeit with some effort 4 days post partum, and tummy is pretty much back in place although looking like elephant skin. emotionally, i felt like i was on a bit of a rollercoaster for the first week, but yesterday seemed like a more even day. i always feel so good while pregnant, that once baby comes, the change in hormones is almost overwhelming to me. it's enough to make me want to get pregnant right away - haha. anyways, i think things are evening out a bit.

Hazel changes day to day. i don't want to forget these moments and what they felt like, how she looked.

love this Brandon Rhyder song -

well, gotta get back to my other job, the teaching one. have a happy tuesday, friends!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

baby o' mine

well, Hazel is here and we are all enjoying loving on her. here's a quick run down of the days leading up to her birth.

last friday the kids went out to stay the night with my mom. Brian and i got an unexpected evening to ourselves. i was really starting to feel bad, so it was nice to have a break. we went out to dinner at Trudy's and i noticed when i got up that i felt like i'd been riding a horse all day. well, since i hadn't ridden a horse in years, i figured it was my bones starting to spread out in preparation for Hazel making her debut. we walked around the neighborhood near the campus for about an hour, seeing what kind of contractions we could get going. when we got home, Brian made a fire in the fire place and we watched some college football together. i sat on my bouncy ball trying to help the contractions along.

saturday morning we got out and exercised, Brian running and playing basketball, and me walking my 4 or so miles. we drove out to Burnet after that, where my mom had 7 of the 10 cousins. we had a birthday party for Claire who turned 13 this week. i continued to feel just generally "bad" and walk like a cowboy. that feeling continued all evening with intermittent contractions. i didn't sleep much saturday night, and got up a couple of times with severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. i almost called my doctor,  but wanted to wait until the contractions formed a clear pattern. the thing that kept us from heading on to the hospital right then was me worrying about who i felt comfortable calling in the middle of the night to come be with the kids. i called my mom in the wee hours of the morning to give her a heads up, and she started heading this way. she lives an hour or so away, so it gave me a little more time to assess the situation. with no clear progress being made, we all got a little more rest. we decided to go to church sunday morning even though we adults had been up most the night. i'm glad we did. it was very encouraging and just what my weary body and spirit needed.

Mama spent the rest of the day with us. she thought i needed to just go on in to the hospital, but i kept waiting to see if i was really in labor. we had a relaxing afternoon of eating take out pizza and lying around looking at magazines. Mama and i made a trip to target for some last minute items to take to the hospital. while there, we walked the entire store several times to see if my contractions picked up.

i made a huge pot of chili for dinner and enough for leftovers the next day. Brian's parents got to our house in the evening. it was a cozy evening with my mom and Brian's parents all staying the night. Mama and i sat in bed and watched NFL together until i was too tired to keep my eyes open.

i can't remember if i got much sleep sunday night. i doubt it. we were up at 5 as usual. i had to be at the hospital at 6. amazingly i wasn't hungry at all, though i hadn't been able to eat much at all over the previous couple of days. Mama and Margaret rode with Brian and i to the hospital. i had put together a couple of goodie bags for the kids full of treats and snacks, games, Legos, and drawing things. Margaret and my mom sat off in their little corner of the room while the nurse got me hooked up with an iv of fluids and the antibiotics for the group B strep. Dr. Love came in some time around 8 and sat and visited with Brian and i  for awhile. he checked me but i wasn't ready for him to break my water, so the nurse started me on Pitocin. i labored along for an hour or so with regular contractions, but little increase in the severity of them. Dr. Love came back over and attempted to break my water, but for some reason it wouldn't give. i guess my bag of waters is too much like rubber. it has never ruptured on its own, even when i'm far along in labor. as i wasn't making progress, the nurse kept bumping up the amount of Pitocin, going all the way to a level 16, whatever that means. the contractions were painful, but there was still this threshold we weren't able to cross. Dr. Love came back over after lunch and this time was able to break my water. immediately i started in on hard contractions. i can't say how long they lasted, but with all that Pitocin coursing through me, i was getting them hard and fast. i tried to relax, tried to quote Scripture to get my mind off the pain, tried to pray, but i was really having trouble coping with the powerful contractions. the nurse turned off the Pitocin as i was moving along at lightning speed at this point. as i'd been working on having this baby since about 9 am. and it was now around 1 or so, and i had no idea how long this labor would last, i requested an epidural.  before the anesthesiologist got there, the nurse checked me and i was dilated 5 cm. getting the epidural was pure hell. it took an especially long time, or so it seemed, and i labored through several horrible contractions while clinging to the nurse as the anesthesiologist and his assistant worked on putting wires in my back. during all this, Hazel's heart rate started dropping quite low as she began her descent through the birth canal. it was really scary not hearing a heart beat for a second or two. they gave me oxygen and kept encouraging me to breathe deep for my baby. it was all i could do to not panic. i began to pray out loud, crying out to God to protect her precious life. as soon as the Dr. finished giving me the epidural, the nurse checked me again and i was dilated 10 cm. i went from 5 to ten in less than ten minutes. no wonder i was hurting so bad. the nurse called Dr. Love and told him about Hazel's heart rate and asked whether she should put a catheter in me to put some fluid back, or just tell me to push this baby on out. they decided to let me push her on out if i felt ready. i gave it one good push, then Dr. Love came in and had me push again and then she was out. how does one describe the feeling of hearing your baby cry for the first time? i just burst into tears! i couldn't believe she was finally here. the first thing the nurse said when she was out was, "she's so tiny!" and she was, the same size Margaret was when she was born. Brian and i were in awe of her! when the placenta was delivered, Dr. Love called Brian over to take a picture of it, saying that the position of the cord and the condition of it was extremely rare, and that it was a miracle that Hazel was here. instead of the cord being in the middle of the placenta, it was down at the end, and very narrow. it could have become detached at any time. even more reason to praise God for His mercy over her!

she weighed a whopping 6 pounds and 1 ounce and was 18 and a half inches long. no, not my smallest baby, as Margaret was 5 lbs. 15 ounces and 18 inches long. she looks much like Samuel did, with long, skinny legs, big feet and hands, and fair skin. i think she'll be freckled like him eventually, but maybe with darker hair. her eyes aren't as light as his were when he was born - we could tell they were going to be blue from the start - though they're shaped the same. i would bet they're going to be brown though. and she has the same mouth as Samuel. William and Margaret have prominent bottom lips, you know, a perpetual pout. Samuel has a more prominent top lip, which Hazel also has. John has his own set of lips.

a few pictures from this week -

making a goofy face around 7 am., Monday morning as i wait for the nurse to get things started -

skin to skin with my precious Hazel -

Brian and i stayed in the hospital from Monday until Wednesday morning. it was nice to have some time together, although i don't think we talked much, what with all the nurses coming and going and Hazel needing to be fed or changed. Brian's parents watched the kids at the house and brought them up a few times. my mom came, as well as my stepdad. Thomas dropped in on Tuesday. Leah came by on monday before Hazel made her appearance. i can't recall whether any one else dropped in.

Brian went back to work on thursday, and i had to jump right in to my job as mother of 5. i guess i wasn't quite ready. i found myself in tears by the time he got home, so he decided to work from home on Friday. i haven't been able to get much sleep, but what little i get is a blessing. Hazel eats about every two or three hours, but mostly every two hours. i cherish those nighttime feedings. i know that all too soon she'll outgrow them, and we won't have that special "us" time anymore. i try to use the time to talk to her and pray for her and others.

i am still somewhat in awe that i have been blessed with another child. it still sort of feels like a beautiful dream that i fear i will soon wake up from.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

i had a whole blog post typed up last night detailing our Halloween and the last couple of days and then accidentally erased it. Halloween was fun. we got together with Thomas and Meredith as we usually do and trick of treated in the Mueller neighborhood since it is so pedestrian-friendly.

i've been feeling awfully irritable lately. i think i've reached the end of my pregnancy rope. i went to the dr. yesterday and was so disappointed to hear that i'm only dilated, maybe 2 cm. all that getting up every morning at 5 to walk 4 or so miles and that's ALL!? i really thought it is was supposed to help move things along faster/earlier. oh well. hopefully i'll be in better shape because of it if nothing else.

if i don't have baby this weekend, i am scheduled to be induced on monday. i was hesitant to blog about this because mommies can sometimes get real nasty and judgmental about how other mommies handle their pregnancies, but, well there it is. i've been induced three times before, so i know the drill. being GBS positive, i prefer to be given the antibiotics than have them given to Hazel, which is what would happen if i had too fast of a labor.

also, having a date to look to helps us plan for the kiddos a little better. Brian's parents are coming sunday night and will be with the kids first. my mom will take over after they leave.

it is a releif to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

it was kind of weird to make my 6 week appointment yesterday. i'll miss seeing Dr. Love and his nurses and staff. to me that's always the bittersweet part of finally delivering the baby. you get so accustomed to seeing these people every week.

i guess i could still have Hazel before monday, but i'm not counting on it. we're going out to the Redeemer family campout at Inks Lake this weekend and hope to get in a lot of hiking. yes, probably crazy for a 4o week pregnant woman to do, but i guess i'm just crazy. i'd rather be out doing than sitting around waiting for something to happen.

maybe next time i blog i'll have pictures of the Wells 2011 model.