Friday, May 30, 2014

The Nursery

I never did get around to sharing pictures of Jackson's nursery which thankfully we pretty much had done before his early arrival.  I love that we were able to incorporate several items that my friends made as decor for the baby shower.

We purchased the glider and ottoman from babies r us and the black out curtains off of Amazon.

The crib is a generous gift from my parents!  The art work above the crib is all DIY.  My friend Colby made the middle two canvases along with the J wreath on the right side.  I made the two canvases on the outside with the one of the far right being a purchased printable from an Etsy seller.

We purchased the dresser off of WayFair, the bookcases are from Ikea, the lamp is from Target and the changing pad is from Amazon. 

My talented friend Colby also made the name blocks!

I'm really happy with how the nursery turned out!

Friday, March 28, 2014

An Early Entrance - Part 3

Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2

Monday 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day
Sunday night into Monday morning was probably one of the worst sleeps I've had.  I'm guessing it was due to the nerves, but I couldn't really sleep for any longer than an hour or maybe 1.5 hour stretch.  I was up a little before 3am for my antibiotic pill and vitals check, then again around 5am for a blood draw that would determine how we would proceed.  Waiting Monday morning was a little agonizing, without knowing if we would be starting or holding off I was advised not to eat or drink anything until we heard back from my OB.

I started to feel a tightening feeling and asked the nurse if she could hook me back up to the monitors to see if they were contractions. My OB stopped by to talk to us about the elevated white blood cell results, noted what seem like contractions and we all agreed to head on over to labor & delivery. We settled into our room in L&D and that tightening feeling was indeed the start of my contractions.

I was hooked up to the pitocin by 10:30 am and in what felt like no time, I was already at 4 almost 5 cm dilated.  By 11:19 am I had progressed to the pain point of having the epidural administered.  I felt much better after the epidural, and was able to get into a couple of different positions with the assistance of the nurse.  My nurse estimated that I would probably be at a 10 and ready to push by 4 or 5 pm, so Chris and I relaxed and watched TV.  Much to our surprise, when the nurse checked right before 2 pm, I was already at 10 cm and ready to push.  From here it seems like everything was a blur as they prepared the room, quickly assembled the team (which included the NICU team since we were 6 weeks early) and my OB came running over from his office next to the hospital.  Once my OB was suited up, I pushed through 2 contractions and heard that little cry I had been waiting to hear since our first sonogram!

Cutting the cord

Jackson William was born at 2:17 pm, weighing in at 7lbs and 18.5 inches long. Thankfully we were able to get some skin to skin time in before they took him away to be monitored for his temp, sugars and feeding skills. After 48 hours of monitoring he proved that he could have the antibiotics IV removed, no longer had to have his oxygen or sugars monitored, had the feeding tube removed and was removed from the heat lamp bed.  The focus for discharge was to get him to finish 8 bottles of formula in a 24 hour period.

I was discharged on Thursday 3/20 and that was probably the hardest day ever.  Having to leave without our son broke my heart, but I knew he was in good hands at the NICU.  I also count my blessings, because I knew that our son was in much better shape than the other babies in his "pod".  I pray for those families and hope that their little ones are able to develop and thrive in the outside world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Early Entrance - Part 2

Catch up on Part 1 here

Friday 3/14
When we last left off, I had been checked into L&D and hooked up to monitors and watching some Iron Man 3 as I waited for what the next steps would be.  The nurses continued to check in on me, explaining what they were doing and why - which I truly appreciated.  Since things seemed stable, my OB gave the go ahead over the phone to allow me to eat and said he would drop by shortly.

One major plus to our hospital was the nicer dining menu

When my OB stopped by we talked about the plan of action - I was going to meet with the high risk OB, have another sonogram taken to check on the baby and hear what his opinions were.  The rule of thumb is that if your water has broken and are 34 weeks or more they will likely induce labor, if you're less than 34 weeks they will try and hold out unless there is a problem.  Since I was so close to the 34 week cut off, he wanted to hold out throughout the weekend before induction.  The great news was that the high risk OB said everything looked fine with the baby for now so he agreed with holding off on labor to give the steroids more time to do what they needed to do. 

With the continuous monitoring of the baby's heartbeat, my vitals being checked regularly and the antibiotics through the IV, we were good to hold on as long as we could.  The only downer was that I would be moved out of L&D into the High Risk wing.  As my nurse explained - L&D is great at getting babies out, High Risk is better at keeping them in.  The rest of Friday was spent watching TV, getting checked up on, a visit with my mom (who was too cute and picked up some smaller outfits as options for baby boy's arrival since we didn't buy many smaller outfits thinking he was going to be a bigger baby) while Chris ran home to pick up some more items.  The great news for the day was that I was in the clear to end the continuous monitoring at 8 pm which allowed me to get a little bit of sleep as I had not slept since I woke up Thursday morning.  I did wake up at 3am for my second steroid shot and changing out my antibiotics and wasn't really able to sleep after that, but laid in the dark trying to give Chris some extra time to sleep.

A rare sight - usually I'm the one under all the blankets - but in the hospital I needed it as cold as possible

Saturday 3/15 & Sunday 3/16
Not too much went on Saturday - we watched movies and a Black Sails marathon, ate meals, and enjoyed a surprise visit from my brother (who was nice enough to move up his appointment for his Tdap shot up a week when I told him my water broke).  The nursing team continued to check up on my vitals, the baby heartbeat and my contractions which had almost become nonexistent (a good sign that things were stable). With everything looking good, Chris spent the night at home with Heisenberg since my parents had a prior commitment.  I made use of the downtime by addressing some baby twin shower invites.

Sunday was more the same - vital check ups, monitoring of our son's heartbeat and the switch from antibiotics via IV to antibiotics via pills. It was great not to have to wheel in the IV machine anymore when I had to use the restroom! We got to spend some time with our local friends that are expecting twins in the very near future and also received one of the sweetest surprise gifts from our friends in Houston who had warm, soft cookies delivered to our hospital room.

Sunday night we got another call from my OB who let us know that spots had opened up to start the process on Monday.  A part of me wanted to wait until Tuesday just because I was so worried about how early it was, but I knew that one extra day wasn't going to make a world of difference and if waiting that extra day would increase any risk to baby boy I needed to prepare myself to get this show on the road.

Up next - It's show time...

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Early Entrance - Part 1

I know not everyone wants to read birth stories, but as an expecting mom I did enjoy reading other mom's experiences and wanted to share mine.  I might need to break it into a couple of posts because our experience was not your typical birth story.

You know what they say about best laid plans! Turns out you can start to prepare and plan to the best of your ability for your first child, but that child may have plans of his own.

A little bit of background
My due date with baby boy was April 26/27 - the 26th based on my charting and the 27th was what the OB went by due to my last period. I have a family history of diabetes (both grandmothers had it and my dad has it as well), so my OB did a glucose test in the first trimester (via blood draw and the 1 hour drink that I passed) as well as in the third trimester (1 hour glucose which I failed, and then the 3 hour glucose which I passed).

I also have a family history of high blood pressure (both parents take meds for it) so my OB was keeping an eye on it. When we got back from our babymoon cruise, my OB was concerned with my blood pressure (BP), so he had me admitted to the hospital for monitoring.  That was back on January 13th, and I was very nervous that it would result in early bed rest.  Thankfully after a sonogram visit with the high risk OB in the hospital, and 7 hours of monitoring in Labor and Delivery, my OB decided it was OK for me to finish my 24 hour collection at home.  All blood results came back good as did the protein results from the 24 hour collection so my OB and I made a plan to start weekly visits in addition to me tracking my BP at home on a daily basis.

Everything seemed to be going well.  Every week I would go in to have my amniotic fluids checked as well as my BP taken and then talk with the OB on how I was feeling.  We started taking measurements of baby boy every 3 weeks and he was measuring on the larger side, but since I passed my glucose test (did not have gestational diabetes which could result in a larger baby) my OB attributed it to family history on Chris' side since he and his siblings were larger babies.  We also did a BPP test on 3/7, where our son scored an 8 out of 8 (I think this measured the amniotic fluid, heart rate, breathing and something else).

Ultrasound 32w5d, that large foot was the source of some strong kicks

Thursday 3/13 into early Friday 3/14
Thursday was another normal day for me, I worked from home, took a nice afternoon walk with the dog due to the great weather and made dinner in time for when Chris got off work.  I was working on a big project at work and I planned to go into the office on Friday to lead a meeting after my weekly OB appointment. For the past couple of days I had been feeling super heavy whenever I stand up from the sitting position. It would take a moment or so to feel normal again, which I mentioned to my mom.  She said it could be that baby boy was getting bigger or just maybe getting into position early.

That night Chris and I watched TV on the couch, I feel asleep and woke up around 11:30.  I did my usual trip to the bathroom and then took Heisenberg out for one last pee break before going to bed.  While out with Heisenberg, I felt like I was peeing my pants and I couldn't control it.  I thought it was really weird, but maybe just a pregnancy incontinence symptom. Little did I know that in actuality, it was my water breaking in the trickle method which occurred at 11:55.  With it trickling, it took me a moment to really put 2 and 2 together.  I really didn't think that it could be (or should be) happening this soon.  I yelled for Chris who came running from upstairs, told him my thoughts and made the call to the after hours line with my OB.  We also called the labor and delivery who told us it sounded like my water did indeed break and that they would be seeing us soon.  Chris threw things in a bag, grabbed the car seat and was ready to go.  I on the other hand was trying to hold off until the trickle effect stopped so I wouldn't have to go in wet clothes (with it only being 33w5d, there was a lot of little but important things that I had not yet picked up - among them nursing tanks or bras, yoga pants and pads).  We used an old towel on my seat just in case and hit the tollway for the hospital.  Even with everything that was going on, I still mentioned and pointed out the cop car on the side of the clue why I was worried because I'm sure the cop would have understood our circumstance like they do in the movies ;).  Chris continued at his higher than posted speed and the cop never started after us.

We arrived at the hospital a little before 1 am, and knew that we had to enter through the emergency room.  After giving our information again (which I'm sure was in the system since we pre-registered and I registered again when I was admitted in January), we were told that someone would push me to L&D shortly. Well that turned out to be a joke!  After waiting 15 mins for someone (I probably could have walked there and back in that time) there was still no one to push us.  I asked the lady behind the desk what was taking so long, so she finally called L&D to come and get us (why not do this in the first place?).  By the time L&D arrived for pick up there were 3 people sitting behind the ER desk playing on their phones and talking about dreams of eating rolls of pennies.  Chris was just a bit peeved, as was L&D who did not understand why none of them could have done the drop off instead of making us wait 30 mins.  Thinking back on it now, I can only imagine what could have happened in that wasted time with baby boy and it makes me livid.

Thankfully once we made it to L&D they were ready and waiting.  Our nursing team for the night started tests which proved that my water did break, also took blood draws, hooked me up to monitors for the baby's heartbeat and my contractions (which were very mild and spaced out), and begun my IV with fluids and antibiotics. After talking with my OB, the nurse also gave me my first of 2 steroid shots to help with the development of baby's lungs.  Those things burn like no other!

A little Iron Man 3 on TV to keep us company

Since this is getting a little wordy, I'll stop here for now.  More coming soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh The Places You'll Go Baby Shower

I can't tell you how blessed I feel from the outpouring of love from my friends and family in showering baby boy!

My amazing friends Kristen and Colby threw an "Oh The Places You'll Go" themed baby shower for me and I loved it!

We're holding off on sharing the name until he arrives

All of the details were so cute and I love the fact that we're able to incorporate the DIY decor projects into the nursery.  Sadly, sharing pictures of most of the decor will have to wait until we share nursery pictures after he comes since they do have his name on them.

The food was so tasty!  Chicken salad sandwiches, quiche, rice krispies, parfaits, and the cutest baby shaped fruit display.

We were gifted some awesome gifts including our stroller, car seat, crib, cute outfits, and even some great elephant themed baby items.

I can't wait to put all of these items to good use once he makes his arrival, which is getting closer and closer. We're so excited to meet him next month!

Have you been to or planned any cute baby showers lately?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Maternity Shots

Once we learned we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to capture some beautiful pictures to remember it by.

There was no question that we would use the same amazing photographer that did our engagement pictures and shot our wedding in 2011.  We LOVE Lynn Michelle not only as a photographer, but also as a person.  She is just one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  Her positive, fun attitude rubs off and you can't help but feel like a million bucks in her photographic hands.

We really lucked out in the weather department.  Our original planned weekend was cold with a high in the 50s, so we pushed it back one week and ended up with beautiful sunshine and 70 degrees in February.  

The first half of our session was at the Dallas Arboretum, which was a very popular location that day with several bridal portraits and quinceanera pictures being taken as well.  We finished up with some casual pictures at White Rock Lake.

Baby boy has to have some chucks to go with our custom ones from our wedding!

I loved that we wrapped the session up with some gorgeous sunset pictures.  The sunset picture from our engagement shot is still one of my favorite pictures ever! 

Can't wait to see this amazing man as an amazing dad!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travelin' Tuesday: Curacao & Aruba

Our final two stops on our Southern Caribbean cruise were Curacao & Aruba - where we had pre-booked tours with local guides (as in not booked through the cruise line).  Get ready for a picture heavy post!

The famous painted buildings

The tour in Curacao was with Irie tours and for $20 per person we enjoyed a 3.5 hour tour around the the island on an open air bus with unlimited drinks (water, soda, beer), photo ops, a stop at a beach and some wonderful commentary from our bus driver.

The pontoon bridge

Our ship in the distance

One of ours stops was at the Curacao Rum Factory where my family enjoyed free samples of the various flavors.

The later part of the tour was spent relaxing at the beach before heading back to the port area.  We took some night time pictures in front of the painted buildings and the welcome sign before making a beeline back to the ship for dinner (and a bathroom stop for this preggo).

Our tour in Aruba got off to a wet start (thanks Caribbean rain showers) but we lucked out with a mainly sunny tour with our tour guide Sonny.

The ships in port from afar

Our first stop was the rock formation which we all climbed.  The climb wasn't so bad to begin with, but then the steps got steeper and I'm not ashamed to admit I was winded by the time that we made it to the top.

We drove along the coastline making our way to the famous natural bridge, or what was left of the natural bridge. 

As you can see in the shot below, the natural bridge collapsed back in 2005.  Luckily it fell in the early morning time frame when there were no tourists or others on the bridge. 

There is a "baby" bridge not too far from the remains of natural bridge that we were able to snap pictures in front of (it was pretty windy that day so I didn't want to tempt to walk over it) before checking out other landmarks such as the chapel and the lighthouse.

While our tour guide was very friendly and informative in Aruba, we all agreed that our best tour of the trip was Curacao hands down.  We had an active bus full of fellow passengers, there was a party type atmosphere and our guide was just so passionate about his country.

All around this was a wonderful trip and I'm so glad we were able to make it out of the country one last time before baby boy gets here.