Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nolan's Birth Story

{I wrote this about a week after he was born... I have had a few people ask me if I would share, and I love reading birth stories, so I figured I would share mine too... even if it is 4 months late :) }

My beautiful son Nolan Louis…

I never imagined I would have a son.  And from the moment your warm & soft little body was placed on my chest, I was overwhelmed with a love that took over my whole body.  You are perfect.  The sweetest little face with proportionate features.  A button nose, eyes that remind me of your pops, luscious little lips, and light brown hair.  You smell absolutely scrumptious, and no matter how many times a day I breathe in your scent, I know once it is gone, I will never smell anything like it again.  You have already mastered some of the cutest little facial expressions.  You have long fingers, long arms, and the cutest, most perfect little feet and toes.  You and I have locked eyes several times, and my goodness, you are the sweetest little guy.  Your daddy and I are both crazy about you, it’s a feeling I wasn’t certain I would feel… but meeting you for the first time changed my life forever.

The first week of your life has been a busy one.  Blessed with family and friends visiting, celebrating the start of the New Year, chasing around your busy big sister, and loving on you in every moment we possibly can.  The hardest part of being a mom… your mom… is the despair I feel over how quickly the time passes.  This newborn phase of your life, where you are so tiny and helpless is so special – and it kills me to know it will pass too fast.  I worry I won’t remember exactly how you look right now, I won’t remember the exact scent, or these sweet tiny sounds you make.  But, your daddy reminded me – every minute I spend worrying about the time passing is just a moment I could be spending loving on you.

I can’t believe it’s been just over a week since you made your grand entrance into the world.  I had a great pregnancy with you, besides being quite sick for the first 15 or 16 weeks, you remained healthy, strong, and we knew from our monthly ultrasounds that you were growing at a steady pace… measuring about 2-3 weeks big at each phase.  I even wondered if they got your due date wrong, but I was assured the very first ultrasound we had at 6 weeks was the most accurate, you are just a big boy!  You were closely watched during pregnancy because of the complications I had with your sister, but we loved getting to see you so you often!

I started feeling contractions early with you.  Nothing painful, just pressure and tightening and it went on for several weeks before your actual arrival.  I knew you were big because your movements were blunt and strong and your daddy and I were often shocked at how much you moved.  You made yourself comfortable inside the womb, and I am so glad you grew to your potential.  At our 36 week check up, I was told you were close to 7 pounds, bigger than average, and I was 75% effaced and dilated to a 1.  The contractions I was feeling were making a slight progress, but I was assured you would stay put for at least a little while longer.  I really wanted to get through Christmas, so I did my best to stay off my feet and drink lots of water.

Beginning on Christmas Eve, the contractions I was feeling, although still not very painful, were beginning to get more consistent.  I could time them out to be around 5 minutes apart and they would do that for hours at a time.  We made it through Christmas, and on December 28th, Gramz, Pops, Auntie Kelly and your cousins came over to help me take the Christmas decorations down.  I told Gramz I was in pain… I knew you were big and I was feeling a lot of pressure on my bones.  Gramz and Pops stayed the night at our house because daddy was at work and they wanted to make sure that if I happened to go into labor, I wouldn’t be alone.  Well it’s a good thing they did.  At about 12:30AM on December 29th, I felt a contraction so painful it woke me from my deep sleep.  I popped up and thought, “Ouch, wow… this is the real thing!”  I texted my mom, who was sleeping downstairs and said: mom… really painful contractions just woke me up.  I’ve had 3.  Can you come up?  She did and said the moment she saw me, she knew it was time to go to the hospital.  I texted your daddy, and he left work to drive to the hospital.

After some commotion of getting dressed having these contractions 1-2 minutes apart, I finally got into the car with Pops and he drove me to the hospital.  He was so sweet, trying to talk to me through the contractions.  The drive went relatively fast, and I was relieved when we made it at about 1:40AM.  I went into L&D triage, and the nurse checked me and was a little shocked when she realized I was already 7, almost 8 centimeters dilated and my water bag was "bulging".  My body wasn’t wasting any time – and I couldn’t wait to meet you.

The nurse who we saw in triage wasn’t exactly the friendliest nurse.  She was a little cold and wasn’t very nice to my dad or TL.  After about 10-15 minutes in the triage room, they admitted me into the hospital and rolled me into delivery room 208.  As the nurse was getting ready to start my IV, she went to sit in a chair on wheels, and missed the chair and fell onto the floor.  She started screaming and crying and when I asked her if she was okay, she said no, that she thought she had broken her wrist!  It turned out she did break it and she had to get wheeled out of our room.  It was quite chaotic, and luckily there was another nurse in the room who was extremely nice and she jumped into action and got the IV started.  I needed it right away so I could get enough fluids in so they could give me an epidural. 

The midwife who was helping with admitting me said she wasn’t sure if I would make it very long before your arrival, but they were doing what they could to slow things down slightly so I could get 2 doses of an antibiotic, 4 hours apart.  I got the epidural around 3:30AM, and was very relieved when I did.  The midwife said if I hadn’t gotten the epidural and if they decided to help break my water, you would have arrived very quickly after I arrived at the hospital.  But those antibiotics were important, and when I asked the nurse what doctors were coming on the next shift, I found out the same doctor who delivered Andie was coming on next.  I absolutely love her, and knew I wanted her to deliver you as well.  So I was willing to do whatever I could to hold off for just a couple hours.  Luckily my water never broke, so we were able to do that.

By about 6AM, Gramz, Pops, Auntie Juju and Auntie Kelly were all there.  Our neighbor Carol had come over to stay at our house with Andie.  Daddy never left my side.  I was not in pain anymore, but I could feel those contractions coming on very close together… my body was working hard to get everything ready for your arrival.  And you were taking labor like a champ.  Your heart rate stayed strong and you never showed any signs of distress. 

I could feel lots of urges to push, but held out until I saw Dr. Harrison, who came on the clock at 8am.  We were all so excited to see her, and she came into the room with a huge smile and a big hug – and I was relieved.  She checked me, and sure enough, right when she did, my water broke, and I was at a 10.  She and the nurses prepared the room for delivery… and after just 4 contractions, you made your entrance into the world.  The whole pushing time was about 5 minutes.  The doctor had to untangle you from the umbilical cord.  It was around your neck and wrapped around your chest.  You came out with an arm up, instead of your shoulder, but other than that, you came out quickly and smoothly.  Before you were even completely out, you were already screaming, which relieved us all because when my water broke they had found a little bit of meconium, which can be dangerous if you inhale it.  But sure enough, your strong little lungs were all ready to go and you came out with a scream.  Daddy, Gramz, Pops, and your aunties were all able to watch you come into the world, and it was very special.

You were placed on my chest, and I was immediately overwhelmed with an intense love.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have a son.  A beautiful son.  I feel so connected to you already, and you are the perfect little addition to our family.  Nolan, I hope you know just how much you are loved and adored.

Right now, you are lying next to me in our bed and I am looking over at you studying your face, tiny hands, and features.  I am in such awe of you.  What a privilege to be your mommy – to be able to see you grow and change everyday. 

I love you and I will unconditionally, forever and ever.

Your mama

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dear Nolan... You're 4 months old!

My mellow, smiley little guy. . . you are 4 months old!

Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I do is turn to my right to stare at you.  You always wake up with a big, happy smile and I am immediately filled with so much gratitude and joy to have you in my life.  I hope you always wake up happy and ready to start another day.

Our adventure with you has been so much fun this month.  You started giggling!!  The first time was for your pops (who affectionately calls you 'lil louie') and from there all we have to do is tickle you or tell you funny stories.  You've really started developing more of your personality traits.  You've become pretty mellow and comfortable in your own little body - you're easy to entertain and love watching your big sister play around you.  You've gotten really good at grabbing things and putting everything in your mouth!!  You seem to especially like blankets and will chew on them when you figure out you have it in your hands.

You had your first Easter this month and we went to Aunt Karen's house.  You looked adorable in your little outfit and took a picture with several of your second cousins.  We've done several play dates with a few babies your age, and it is so much fun to put you all together and take pictures.

You seem to enjoy laying on your back and batting at toys.  Your neck has gotten much stronger and you're able to hold your head up high and look forward.  You have started rolling from your tummy to your back, but you don't always remember how to do it.  This week you did it twice in a row, but sometimes you get stuck and need help.  You still have a clogged tear duct and get lots of eye boogies from it, we are hoping that clears up soon.

You are a very big boy.  I am estimating that you weigh close to 16 pounds and you are wearing size 6 month clothes and filling them out.  We are transitioning you to 9 month jammies this month because 6 month is just so tight!  We are also transitioning you into size 3 diapers this week because you are managing to potty right out of the size 2.

You haven't been the best sleeper.  We are having a little bit of trouble getting you into a good routine.  Right now you are waking up 2-3 times a night and sometimes it will take an hour to get you back to sleep.  We will find our groove soon.  The special time I have with you in the middle of the night won't last forever, so even if I am tired, I feel very blessed to be breastfeeding you.  You are still eating very well - usually every 2-3 hours during the day.  You do take a bottle of pumped milk well if I am not home.

You have the most beautiful blue eyes and lots of people comment on your light brown hair.  Occasionally it looks like it has a slight shade of red in it if you are in a certain light.  You have the cutest little booty - cottage cheese buns and rolls galore in your thighs.  I love seeing your naked little body during bath time.  You are almost growing out of our infant tub... you love to kick and splash during bath time and water typically goes everywhere.  Bath time is still one of your favorite times of the day, I think.

You are talking a lot more - babbling at us and screaming with happiness, too.  You are very vocal.  You have the most adorable gummy smile.  Sometimes while I am away from you if I think about that smile I feel immediately happy - it is just so electric and joyous.

I can't possibly put into words the depth of this love I have for you, my son.  You have really opened up a special place in my heart and I am just so grateful for you.  You make me so proud.  I am always a little sad to write these letters to you because I know time is passing at an impossible pace.  I am doing everything I can to just savor this time.  We spend a few minutes each day staring at each other and I hope you are feeling this love.

4 months old, baby boy!!  You're growing, thriving, changing, and making me happy every single day.  I love you so much.

Your mama

My handsome little man!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend

We had a fun & busy Easter weekend spent mostly with family!  It was really nice.  I am so fortunate to have the supportive family I do.  They helped me so much this weekend, especially since TL has been so busy with work he hasn't been able to spend a lot of time with us (thankfully that ends this week!)  I have so many cute pictures from this weekend - Holidays have always been special, but adding these two babies has made them even more amazing!

On Saturday, we went to an Easter celebration near my parents house with my mom, sister & nephews, Ryan and Adam.  Andie had a great time!!  After the egg hunt, she tripped and fell head first into a concrete step. :(  It absolutely broke my heart and she immediately had a huge goose egg on her forehead and it instantly turned black and blue.  I may have shed a tear over it, but after a few tears, she wanted back down to run and play!  It was pretty scary, but she is a tough girl.  She loves other kids, especially my nephews, so she ran around like crazy and had a wonderful time.  Nolan is at a very easy-going stage.  Unless he is hungry, he is a happy camper and he seemed to enjoy being out and about seeing lots of new faces and places.  He spent a lot of time with my parents and sister while I chased Andie around.
Blowing bubbles
Cole, Ryan, Adam, Andie, & Reagan
On Easter Sunday, we woke up and surprised Andie & Nolan with their baskets from the bunny.  She was so cute with her new Disney goodies!  Then we went to my Aunt Karen's house for our annual family celebration.  She has a beautiful home and is so sweet to host our very large family there every year.  My busy girl ran around like crazy with all of her cousins and had a wonderful time.  I was very surprised at how many eggs she collected during the hunt.  It's amazing how kids pick up on what to do so quickly.  It was adorable.
Their baskets from the bunny
Sweet girl giving kisses to her brother.
 Nolan "Little Louie" as my dad calls him, with Pops, and his Great Grandpa
 The Cousins { - Nolan }
We added Nolan in and the chaos erupted!
My beautiful, happy & sweet little girl.  Oh, how these babies warm my heart!
 I feel so blessed & grateful.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear Nolan... You're 3 months old!

My smiley, strong, happy little boy...

3 months old!  I can't believe it.  This month has been filled with lots of smiles - big, open mouth, squishy eyed smiles.  Some of my favorite smiles in the whole world.  You've started to really take in the world around you and like to be walked around so you can see everything.  You've also become more comfortable with your surroundings and your 'fussy time' at night is getting shorter.

You love being in the front pack - when facing toward us, you can't stay awake for very long, you usually always fall asleep.  If you are facing outward, which we do for short periods of time, you love to stare at everything around you.  Unfortunately, like your sister, you really dislike the car seat.  It causes mama lots of anxiety and getting into the car and going somewhere is always a carefully planned event.  You cry most of the time you are in it.  We are really hoping you start liking the iPad so maybe we can distract you for longer car rides!  We switched you into a big boy carseat, and it has seemed to help a tiny bit.

A couple weeks ago, you started discovering your hands and batting at objects.  Gramz got you a new bouncer seat with a bar with toys on it and you have really started eyeing the toys, grabbing at them, and swatting them.  You love staring at books and toys while laying on your back as well.

We took you to the doctor this month because you were having trouble with your coughing and breathing and you had to get a breathing treatment and an inhaler to take home.  It broke my heart, but you were such a good boy through it all.  Sometimes, you would stop to smile at us in the middle of your coughing spells.  You weighed 13 pounds 10 ounces at your appointment!  Big boy!

You are wearing 3-6 month, and 6 month sized clothes.  I can't believe how quickly you grew out of your 3 month sized stuff.  It made me so sad to go through your drawer already.  You are in size 2 diapers and I am guessing at least 24 inches long.

You are getting strong and starting to hold your head very well.  You like standing on your legs (with our help) and kicking your feet and swinging your arms around when you are on your back.  Before you got sick, you were doing 6-7 hour stretches at night, but since getting sick we are off our schedule and lately you've been getting up 2-3 times per night to eat.  You love sleeping on your belly and you love your sleep sheep.  You are still sleeping with us in our room, but taking longs naps in your crib.

You and your sister are starting to interact a little more, you love to look at her.  You are such a happy guy and it is so much fun to see you grow and change so much each month.  I feel so privileged to be your mommy, you make me so happy.  You are very snuggly and love being held.  You are almost starting to giggle and make funny sounds when you are trying to laugh.  We have a few nicknames for you - Toots (still), little man, lil wheezy (when you were sick), and mr. butts.

I think you are just adorable.  I look at you and can't believe you're my baby boy.  Although you and your sister look alike, I think you definitely have your own little look.  I hope you never doubt my love and admiration for you.  I am so proud of you and love you more than you could ever fathom.  As much as I hate to see the time pass, it is so much fun to see you everyday - you're growing and changing so much.

I love you, my sweet son.  Forever and ever!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Nolan... You're 2 months old

My handsome, almond-shaped, blue-eyed little boy . . .

You are TWO months old (well, sort of... there isn't a 29th day in February this year).  You have changed so much in your short time here with us.  My favorite part of this last month has been your adorable big smile.  When you make eye contact with me and flash that squishy smile, I can't help but feel completely smitten.  Your eyes crinkle up and you smile with your whole face.  Your first official 'non gas' smiles were on January 31st, and you flashed them to me and your gramz and pops all in the same day.  You are also starting to get vocal and will coo and talk to us.

Unfortunately, you picked up your sisters cough at about 6 weeks old.  It was so sad to see you struggle with coughing.  You and I slept in our comfy nursery chair in your room for a couple nights so I could keep you upright and near the humidifier.  Mostly, you sleep with us in our room.  Sometimes you will sleep in the bassinet, but you like to sleep next to us.  You are waking up about once or twice a night.  You don't usually cry, just wake up to eat and go back to sleep.  You are still quite gassy, and I can tell it's painful, so sometimes you wiggle around to get it out and that will keep you up a little longer.  

You are a very snuggly baby and you love to be held and touched.  We carry you around a lot in the front pack and you are usually pretty content.  You love to look around and are really starting to take everything in around you.  You like looking at ceiling fans, lights, people and toys.  Dada loves holding you while you sleep on his chest.   You love your bath time, especially when the water is really warm.  You immediately relax when we put you in.  

You are a very happy and smiley baby, but you have definitely had your fussy days.  Just like your big sister, you are not a fan of the car.  I have to be strategic about when I take you places or you will scream the whole time.  We have had a few days where you have been pretty fussy most of the day.  It breaks my heart when you cry, so I will do everything I can to make you comfy.  We have two nick names for you so far - "Toots" and "needy Nolan".  We also call you "shiver lips" sometimes because you shiver your lips a lot.  Your sister absolutely adores you and is constantly trying to hug, kiss, and snuggle you.  She gets so excited when she gets to hold you and I am so glad you two are already developing a little relationship.

This month, we celebrated your first Super Bowl (the Patriots won against the Seahawks), your first Valentine's Day - complete with a matching shirt with your sis, and your first trip to the Folsom Zoo.  Even though right now you aren't able to comprehend all of your firsts... we are so privileged and blessed to be experiencing life with you.

We just bumped you up to size 2 diapers today because those size 1s were tight and causing lots of extra outfit changes.  You are wearing size 3 month and 3-6 month clothes.  You are big and growing so fast.  We have your doctor's appointment on Monday.  I am guessing you weigh about 12 pounds.  You are breastfeeding well and eat every 2-3 hours during the day.  I am so happy we are able to breastfeed.  It's our special time and you are so sweet when you eat.  

You are so sweet, Nolan.  You have the most adorable little stares and I feel like we have a strong connection.  You have the most darling chubby cheeks.  I love the little notch in your left ear.  I am so thankful every single day to have you as my baby.  I love holding you and watching you.  I have a favorite spot on the side of your head that I love to kiss over and over.  Your daddy and I talk about how precious and cute you are all the time.  We feel ridiculously lucky to have you.  There are no words to express how much I love you.  Unconditionally & forever.  

Happy 2 months my sweet boy.  I still stare at you and can't believe you're ours and have been for 2 months.  The time is passing at an impossible pace and I just want to soak in every little detail of you.

Love you,