Saturday, January 21, 2012

Grandma and Daddy

I realized I don't have long to write much on this post. I looked at the time and saw that it's time to feed Mason...again. Amazing how quickly these 3 hour increments roll around. Kev's mom (aka "Grandma" to Elliott and Mason) came for a visit last week. Kev was able to take these photos of Grandma and Mason bonding. So sweet!
Mason and Daddy hanging out. I can't believe our little man will be 4 weeks tomorrow! So amazing!
Okay...I'm off to feed the boy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mason's BIRTH day

I have been thinking about this post for a while just haven't sat down to actually type it. As time has been flying by, I figure I better write it soon or we will be celebrating his first birthday before I know it. Slight exaggeration, but time does seem to be passing quickly.

We obviously had a successful outcome from the delivery, but I will say that it was different than I expected. As I have contemplated his birth, I think I went into the whole experience with unreasonable expectations. Elliott's birth was uncharacteristic of a first birth. First, she was a week and a half early. Not common for your first baby. Since she was early, I (and my doctor...and everyone else for that matter) assumed I would go into labor early. Obviously that didn't happen and I was actually a day late. Second, with Elliott, I went to the hospital at 9pm and delivered her at 12:06am...3 hours later. Apparently that's not normal either. So with that information, here is Mason's story.

I had contractions off and on several weeks before I actually went into labor that I thought for sure were labor signs. Not so much. My OB doctor was actually leaving town on Christmas Eve, my due date. My due date came and went and I had almost no contractions on that day. My mom flew into South Bend on Christmas Eve and Kev and Elliott were able to pick her up from the airport. I had resigned myself to the fact that Mason was coming in HIS timing, and just tried to make fun plans for the next day, Christmas. I woke up at 1am Christmas morning with pretty intense contractions. They continued to get harder and closer together, so when they were consistently 3 to 4 minutes apart, I decided to go to the hospital. This was at 6am. The best part was my mom was there, so we didn't have to take Elliott to anyone's house. Such a blessing!

When I got to the hospital, they checked me and said I was dilated to a 5-6cm. This was exactly what I was when I got to the hospital with Elliott. My nurse said she thought I would deliver by 11am with my previous experience. When we checked in, they informed us that the doctor on call for my doctor had a family emergency so a doctor from a completely different group was going to do the delivery. Fantastic. Just what I love...unpredictability. The hospital in South Bend was very different than my experience in Norman. They had lots of options for working through your labor...a jetted tub, walking in the halls, birthing ball, a rocking chair. They also did not require continuous monitoring so the nurse would listen to Mason's heart beat once every hour and then listen continuously for 20 minutes every 3 hours or so. They also let me drink clear liquids the whole time and I even got to eat some crackers. This was a huge blessing because I ate a bowl of cereal at 1am when my contractions started so by midmorning, I was starving! Not to mention nauseated when Kev started eating a Christmas meal from the cafeteria while I was having intense contractions.

So, Kev and I got settled in and tried to make the contractions more consistent by walking in the halls and around the room. They continued to increase in intensity so I decided to get into the tub. It was really relaxing but made my contractions slow way down...I don't think that was the intent. So I got back out and tried to do more walking. The doctor came and checked me around 11am and said I was an 8. From 11-2:30, my contractions definitely got worse and I was having TONS of back labor...something I didn't experience with Elliott. The only relief I could get was every contraction Kevin would put pressure with his hand on my low back. Not fun! I started feeling more and more pressure so I finally asked my nurse to check me again at around 2:30. I was still an 8.

I felt TOTALLY defeated at this point...definitely the low point of the day. I had been at the hospital for over 8 hours and had only dilated 2 centimeters. The nurse mentioned that she was afraid Mason was OP instead of OA (meaning he was looking up instead of looking down). I felt like every time I had a contraction, he wasn't being able to engage my cervix (my cervix was still apparently pretty posterior as well and had not rotated forward) instead his head was ramming into my spine. Not comfortable. My nurse recommended I try a few "techniques" to try to get him to turn. First she had me lay on the bed in a very awkward position. For me, laying while having contractions is one of the MOST uncomfortable things. We did that for about half an hour and then she had me doing lunges on the bed during contractions. You heard me right...LUNGES. I remember thinking, "What in the world am I doing?" I was in so much pain, disheartened, emotional, and weak. I decided at this point, we needed to reevaluate our course. I had Elliott naturally, but I decided at this point in the game, I needed some relief. I decided to have an epidural. I have always had a healthy fear of epidurals so this helped me deliver natural the first time. However, I was at the point that as they covered the risks of paralysis and death with an epidural, I really DIDN'T CARE!! Whatever helps take this pain away. The nurse also warned me getting an epidural might slow my labor down and push my delivery back. The epidural process wasn't too bad besides having to sit still while you're having intense contractions. Then they made me lay flat on the bed with instructions it would take around 20 minutes for the epidural to kick in. Again...not comfortable but doable. About 15 minutes after I had my epidural, I was still having pretty uncomfortable contractions but my doctor checked me and said I was a 9 with a bulging bag so she broke my water. REALLY? That's all it took? Apparently, sometimes if your body is able to relax just a little it allows the baby to turn. Well, my epidural finally kicked in and I felt so much more comfortable but was able to fully move my legs and feel pressure. The doctor came back about 45 minutes later, checked me and said I was complete and ready to push. I think I pushed 3 times and Mason just popped out. SOOOO much easier than with Elliott.

So, if anyone is actually still reading this, there is Mason's birth story. Not what I expected but TOTALLY worth it. Even though I wasn't necessarily planning on having an epidural, I don't have any regrets, and yet I don't have any regrets I went sans pain medicine for so long either. It happened how it was supposed to. I will say, the epidural definitely improved the actual birth, and I was able to enjoy holding Mason way more than I did with Elliott after he was born. Here is a few pictures from our hospital stay.
Just born. Kev says this is his "scary" picture.
Hanging with Dad.
Sweet Elliott. Entertain by hospital ice.
Love this guy (actually, both guys in the pic)!
Ready to go home.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

To keep me sane...

It's hard to believe that Mason will be 3 weeks old tomorrow! Time flies with newborns...truly amazing. When I had Elliott, I felt like I was in a foggy haze for at least a month, we kept the blinds closed almost all the time because I would sleep at all times during the day, and we rarely left the house. This time around has been so different. We leave the house on a daily basis (because we want to get out) and I rarely take naps in the day. Part of the reason is the second time around all the details are not nearly as exhausting or stressful, but I've come up with a list of things that have kept me sane these past 3 weeks:
1. A supportive husband. Kev has been so helpful and simply amazing. He has cleaned the house, done countless loads of laundry, helped prepare meals, and taken the lion share of caring for Miss Elliott. Plus, every night he has gotten mason back to sleep after I finish feeding him. I'm not kidding, this helps tremendously and I can actually function when I wake up in the am.
2. A cooperative daughter. Pre-Mason, Elliott woke up every morning at 7 or 7:30...without fail. Since Mason was born, she started waking up at 9. That's right, 9 am. Incredible. We still put her to bed around 7-8 but she just sleeps later. Thanks Bean. She also has started taking 1 long nap a day so she'll sleep anywhere from 2-4 hours in the afternoon. I think this might be a much needed break time for me when Kev goes back to school.
3. EmergenC. I tend to get sick when I'm not getting sufficient sleep. Fast. I try to take emergenC on a daily basis and it makes a huge difference.
4. Coffee. Love me some coffee in the morning...and occasionally in the afternoon. I'm glad it doesn't seem to affect Mason.
5. My iPhone. One handed entertainment since I'm spending so much time nursing and holding the boy. I can have my quiet time and be totally caught up with all my social media while sending pics to relatives and friends. Love it.
6. Supportive friends and family. So many people have brought us meals, visited, called or sent messages. It has made us feel so very loved and supported. Thank you guys for loving us!

I'm sure there are many other things bit these are the things on my mind right now. I know you wanted to know.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I have had lots of numbers in my head recently. Like in this little guy is 2 weeks. I can hardly believe two weeks have already gone by since he was born. Time flies when you're getting limited sleep and changing countless diapers. No seriously, Mason has been such a good baby. He rarely cries and is going 5 hours in between feedings at night. I'll take it. He is a great little nurser, and I can totally tell he is getting bigger...take a look at the double chin in this picture. Love it.
He does have extremely active bowels. I seriously don't remember having to change Elliott's diaper as often as I do his. Not only that, but he has peed and pooped out of more diapers than I can count. Ridiculous. There is nothing like going through multiple the middle of the night. Love this little guy!
17...Miss Elliott is 17 months old. This past month has been filled with super fun times but also frustration as well. She is learning so much and her little personality is becoming more evident, but she has also thrown more fits and tries to exert her independence which has created so many questions for us on how to parent and discipline. It can definitely feel overwhelming at times. But she is still such a sweet little girl, and I know we're all learning through this process. in how old I am as of yesterday. It's hard to believe I am 30, no longer in my 20s. It sounds so old, and yet I don't feel that old. Interesting how that works. I have had an amazing 30 years, and feel so blessed at each day God has given me. I wonder what the next 30 years (Lord willing) will hold? in the number of years we have been married as of tomorrow. I feel like this is a major accomplishment. 8 years is a long time people. Kev figured out we have been married for approximately 26% of my life...pretty amazing. I have loved the past 8 years and I am so thankful for the amazing man that God gave to me as a husband. I love him more and more every day and thankful we get to journey through life together.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


There are so many post ideas I have buzzing around in my brain, but it's been a little hard to find a moment when my hands are free and I have the time to write them. Not going to lie, when Elliott lays down for her afternoon nap, usually writing a post isn't on the top of my priority list. Instead, I have to decide between showering, napping, cleaning, being productive, returning phone calls, or just spending a few minutes snuggling my sweet baby boy. Usually I choose snuggling...and resting. Let's face it, aren't those the two best things on the list? :)

So instead of going in order and posting about Mason's birth story or Christmas, I decided to post some pictures of Elliott's first experience playing in the snow. Yesterday, we toted all our snow gear over to some good friends' house to let our daughters play in the snow.
It took a while getting all their gear on. Snow boots, check. Mittens, check. Hats, check. Coats, check.
Elliott was OFF as soon as her feet hit the snow.
She LOVED the snow...even when she fell and face-planted in it.

She loves her Daddy!

Group picture. Don't worry...Mason was warm and cozy inside. It's hard to tell in this picture, but Elliott was throwing a fit because she wanted to be down playing in the snow and did NOT want to be picked up. Oh the drama.
Mason and I snuggling inside. He is 10 days old here.

It looks like we've got ourselves a little snow bunny. I guess it's good that we now live in a place that gets lots of snow. Also good that her Daddy loves to play in the snow too. However, I'm sure we're all going to be sick and tired of the snow and cold weather by the time this winter is over.