Aubrey’s Birth Story

At my last OB appointment, my doctor asked me if I had any questions. Since the ultrasound confirmed that the cord was still away from her neck, that only left me with one question… “Is it at all possible to induce early?” She stated that the earliest she would agree with is 37 weeks. That’s exactly when we lost Sawyer, 37 1/2 weeks so to me, that was music to my ears. Now that we were in the home stretch, the reality of what had occurred the year before was never far from my mind. I was waiting for the day that I noticed “she just wasn’t moving as much”. Every time we went more than ten minutes without a foot in my rib cage, I’d have a mild panic attack. To say my third trimester was stressful was a huge understatement. I was relieved when they agreed to induce me at 37 weeks.

Tuesday morning we dropped Aiden off at summer camp and headed into the hospital. My doctor checked my cervix the day before and confirmed that it was getting a little softer and was about 1.5cm dilated. It hadn’t changed at all overnight. Pitocin was started at 8am and we were on our way.

I was already contracting on my own when we arrived but the Pitocin definitely increased the strength and consistency of them. They offered the epidural pretty early and I took it. There is zero part of me that wants to ever have a “natural” birth. The first epidural was “positive” meaning it went into a vein. That was pretty terrifying! My heart started to race (it climbed to the 160s within seconds) and I started shaking. When the anesthesiologist said he’d have to remove it and insert a new one I looked at Brian and he was ghostly white! I announced that he was about to pass out (I’ve seen that look before) and the nurse went and got him orange juice. He claims it happened out of sympathy for me. The second one went in perfectly and I was getting numb in minutes. The anesthesiologist stated that that had only happened one other time in his career. Thanks for sharing. ::insert eye roll::  They checked me a few more times along the way and by around 1pm I was 5cm. Around 2pm my mom decided to head downstairs to grab something for lunch.  As soon as she left the room, the nurse inserted a catheter to empty my bladder. I guess my bladder was pretty full because as soon as it deflated… you could see Aubrey’s head full of black hair! They brought the mirror around for me to see and sure enough, there it was! The nurses quickly started paging the on call doctor. I remember moving my legs at one point and the nurse said, “Umm, Kelley, don’t move. We need the doctor in here like now”. I responded with, “Is she just going to fall out?!” The nurse shot me a look that clearly said, “She might!”

The on call doctor came in and told me that my doctor wanted to deliver me but she was finishing up a surgery. She gave me the option to wait for her, in which I declined. I mean, I just saw her freaking head! I can’t wait any longer. I literally pushed three times… THREE! I watched the whole thing in the mirror and it was amazing. Because the delivery was so fast, she wasn’t really squeezed in the birth canal to get all of the fluid out of her lungs (just like a C-section baby). She was bubbling from her mouth and they could not make her cry. That was a little scary even though everyone assured me that she was fine. Her face was also pretty bruised. They said that was because of how quickly she was delivered too. She was 7lbs 13oz and 20 1/4″ long. The doctor said that if we had waited until 40 weeks she would of been 10lbs! I can’t imagine.

We were transferred to the post partum suite and my mom went and picked up Aiden so he could meet his new sister. My mom said he was ecstatic when she arrived. He was beaming from ear to ear when he came in the room and immediately asked to hold her.

Brian took Aiden home that night and Aubrey and I had a great first night of lactation consultants, nursing aides pushing on my uterus and taking my vitals every hour. Needless to say, there wasn’t much sleep.

The next morning, the pediatrician came in with the baby nurse and explained to me that Aubrey was very jaundice and her bilirubin level was 11.7 (20 is the “danger zone”) and that she would need to stay in the nursery for light therapy until she leaves. We’d also have to stay an extra day or two. Then the nurse wheeled her right out of my room. I was devastated. There was something about being in the hospital room without a baby that was eerily familiar to last year with Sawyer.  I curled up in the fetal position and cried.

Eventually I pulled myself together, washed my face, and wandered to the nursery to understand what they were doing better and to see her for myself. My lactation consultant saw me crying at the nursery window and invited me inside to talk to the nurse and to see Aubrey up close. I felt a lot better after talking to them. I explained what happened last year so they would understand my emotional response and not think I was just an overdramatic new parent. The nurse assured me that they would call me as soon as she woke up and I could come down and nurse her for thirty minutes with skin to skin contact and then they would supplement her with formula or breast milk (if I would go back to my room and pump, which I did). She received one bottle of formula but the rest was breastmilk. Brian came to the hospital and went to the first feeding with me. I felt much better after that initial feeding. It wasn’t exactly my vision of her first few days on Earth, but it was necessary for her and looking back on it now, it wasn’t that bad. Her bilirubin level came down to 8.3 so they sent us home after just the one extra day. We were home before lunch on Friday.

 

Aubrey Update! 6/9/17

Today I had my weekly appointment at the high risk OB. The ultrasound confirmed that she had wiggled out of the loops and the cord was no longer around her neck! She was practicing breathing the entire time, perfect heart rate, and a good size. They’ve agreed to induce me at 37 weeks. That’s next week!!! I’m so excited that she’s almost here! I told Aiden the good news and he said, “Wait, she’ll be here next week? Alive?!” Bless his heart.

Thursday was suppose to be a normal day…

Since twenty eight weeks, I have been having additional monitoring and ultrasounds twice weekly. This Thursday was no different. I went in for my ultrasound and everything looked perfect. Little Aubrey was measuring five pounds exactly and was right on track. I don’t know what made me think of it, but I asked the technician where her umbilical cord was. She gave a very vague answer of it being close to her head… and that was it. Next, I went into the room and started my twenty minutes of sitting on the fetal heart monitor.

When the monitoring was done, the doctor came in. She explained how the umbilical cord actually looks like it might be looped around her neck. My heart sank. She explained that they wanted to do another ultrasound to confirm. I practically ran her over to get back to the ultrasound machine.

During the ultrasound the doctor and the tech whispered to each other but there was one part of the conversation I heard plain as day.

Doctor: It’s just looped once, right?

Tech: No. It’s twice.

Twice?! There’s no way I heard that. Twice?! I lost it. I started sobbing. They assured me that as of right now, she was perfectly fine but I couldn’t even imagine it. All I saw was the cord tightening down in an instant and I will lose another baby. I could not go through that twice!

Somehow I pulled it together enough to call Brian. He was working close to my job so he picked me up and we went to the hospital. I went right past the check in desk. I feel like I was at the check in desk for what felt like an hour before I got up to labor and delivery when I went for Sawyer. I can’t help but wonder if that time could of made a difference. When I got to labor and delivery nd hit the buzzer, they told me to go back down stairs to sign in. I just started pleading, “Please just put me on a monitor. I’ll go back down after. Just please, please, please”. The opened the door and everyone just looked at me like I had two heads. I just started apologizing and pleading my case to anyone that would listen. Explaining how I just lost a baby the year prior for the same thing. And that I was so scared. One nurse finally walked over to me and lead me to a room. She had me put a gown on and get in the bed. She put the monitor on and after a few seconds )felt like forever!) I heard the most beautiful sound, and could finally breathe. There’s something about being in the hospital that makes you feel like everything is going to be alright.

They kept me overnight. My mom brought Aiden up there for a while. We all ate something from the deli at the hospital and they all went home so I could sleep. I slept pretty well considering she would move away from the monitor constantly so they were in my room adjusting the monitors every half an hour or so. But it did not bother me one bit. I was just so happy to be there and that people were watching over us.

The next morning, I saw the high risk doctor and was given an ultrasound in their office. He assured me that everything was just fine. She is completely healthy and not at all in distress. The tube was still around her neck like it was but it was very loose and floating in the amniotic fluid. There’s a chance she will wiggle out of it, but it’s not likely. The monitoring that we did through out the night showed no issues.  So, they sent us home. They said that 35% of babies are born with the tube around their neck, once, twice, even three times and they are fine. I was instructed to pay attention to movements and if I feel like anything is wrong, to come back to the hospital. Well, now I constantly feel like something’s wrong. I’m going to try and not become a psychotic mess in the next three weeks but I think that’s a lot easier said than done.

My sweet, concerned husband’s Instagram post..

The Nursery

I wanted her nursery to be simple, yet girly. It’s not quite done but it’s pretty close.

We left the walls grey and reused all of the nursery furniture Aiden used. I went with a Native American/ tribal theme because I really wanted to have a teepee in the corner but the husband decided the nursery was the best place in the house for his desk… we’ll see how much he uses it. I ordered light-blocking curtains from Target but they haven’t arrived yet. I’m not sure if they are going to work. They are white with bright multicolored dots. I might be taking them back to Target. If I keep them, I’ll add an updated picture. We are also planning on adding white bi-fold closet doors but until then, I don’t hate the open concept. Maybe it’ll help me keep the closet somewhat organized. I was wanting to just hang a pretty cloth shower curtain but the hubs wasn’t going for it.

Baby Number 3!

So, for whatever reason, I have slacked on my blog this pregnancy. Don’t worry. I’ll catch you up… We lost Sawyer in April 2016. I felt like since we were already in the mentality of having a baby, jumping right back into the saddle would be the best bet. We starting trying in June and conceived in October. It took us just four months of trying to get pregnant with Aiden, too. I am now 33 weeks and am just now getting to the “tired, uncomfortable, and just plain over it” phase. I think the plan is to induce me at 37 weeks…. meaning we have only one month left!

This was our pregnancy announcement. How cute is this?!

For the gender reveal, we wanted to do something unique and memorable for Aiden. A friend of mine was the only one to know what we were having and she ordered the smoke bombs for us.

It turned out perfect! She brought some sub sandwiches, chips, and cupcakes with pink frosting in the middle. We only invited a handful of people which is exactly how I wanted it. I found the smoke bombs online, gave Jennifer the ultrasound that was sealed in an envelope (no, I did not peek) and she ordered the appropriate color. The funny thing is, when the smoke bombs arrived, the inside color was visible so she stuffed it with the only tissue paper she had, which was blue. When she handed them to us to light she whispered, “Don’t let the tissue paper fool you”. The original smoke that came out was of course blue (due to the tissue paper) and I thought, “I knew it!” Then pink smoke bellowed out and I screamed! I did not think we would have a girl. I just always pictured myself with boys. I don’t even know how to do her hair. Brian says he has it covered. We’ll see…

This pregnancy has been just as easy as the last two. I have gained the same exact amount of wait (20 lbs so far) and feel great. I haven’t had cravings to speak of. I just want food… all of the time! I did go through a phase where I really wanted cold, crisp salads but I wouldn’t call it a craving.

Aiden is very excited about his baby sister. We were in Target (Surprise!) not too long ago and he pointed to an older woman on the same aisle as us. This is how the conversation went…

Aiden: “Mommy, tell her about our baby”.

Me: “Honey, we don’t know her. She won’t care.”

Aiden: “Just tell her.”

Me: “Excuse me. My son would like for you to know that we are having a baby.”

Aiden: “It’s a girl!”

Woman: “That’s great! Congratulations.”

Aiden: “See? I told you she’d care.”

I was worried about how he would feel if it was a girl but he is really happy about it. As a matter of fact, the other day I said, “Aiden, there’s about to be a lot of pink in this house.” To which he replied, “Yea mommy, she’s a girl. That’s okay.” And when he sees commercials for girls’ toys on TV he’ll say, “Girl toys are so lame. She can play with all of my toys. I have cool stuff!”

We haven’t had family pictures done since Aiden was six months old and I’ve never had maternity pictures taken. I wanted to change that. Thanks to Sarah Polson Photography, we have beautiful pictures to look back on…

I think they turned out great. We are so happy with them that we will be using the same photographer to do a newborn shoot when she gets here. We took Aiden to Sears and had pictures made when he was a week old. They turned out okay but since I want these to be a little more artsy and include her brother and Sawyer’s bear, I thought it was a better idea to do them at home with a real photographer.

I have been having erratic contractions since thirty weeks. I had them with the last two also so I don’t think it means anything. As of today, I have three and a half more weeks until we meet our baby girl. To say we’re excited is the understatement of the century!

Palm Coast

The hubs did some electrical work for one of the doctors I work with, so to repay him, he offered for us to stay in his beach side condo for the weekend. Of course we accepted. We headed out on Friday after work, picked up the keys, and made it to the condo around 7pm. It was beautiful. The condo was on the first floor, right in front of the beach access and pretty close to the pool. We unloaded the car, checked out the pool and then headed out to find dinner.

By this time, it was already 9pm which apparently is when the whole city of Palm Coast, Florida shuts down. Publix was our only option. We had a really nice dinner of fried chicken and refrigerated mashed potatoes.

We cuddled up on the couch and fell asleep pretty quickly. We were sleeping great until about 4am when the fire alarm went off! Poor Aiden woke up with his eyes wide open, put his shoes on and headed to the door with his blanket without any instructions. He started crying once we were out in the parking lot. It was cold and windy and that is a terrible way to wake up!

After about an hour the alarm was shut off and we found out what happened. An elderly man was having a heart attack. His wife didn’t know what to do so she pulled the fire alarm. Unfortunately, once the alarm was set off, the pressure built up in the water pump that supplies the sprinklers and blew a valve so the alarm kept going on and off for a few hours after that. Needless to say, Aiden and I didn’t get much sleep. It didn’t seem to bother Brian though. At least we didn’t miss the sun rise!

Notice how bundled up Aiden is to see the sunrise. It has been 80-90 degrees for weeks but the one weekend we chose to go to a beach condo it is 60 degrees and ridiculously windy! We tried to go to the beach for a little bit but it was miserable. We decided to try the heated pool when I realized that I packed everyone’s things except my bathing suit! The closest store was thirty minutes away. We let Brian sleep and headed to Target. I hated spending money on a new bathing suit while I’m pregnant in my third trimester. I feel like it’s only going to fit for a couple of months. I found a top on sale for nine dollars so that was good. We got back to the condo, changed into bathing suits, and headed for the pool. By this time, it had warmed up to about 70 degrees but the wind was still kicking!

Notice how the palm fronds are blowing. The winds were strong!

Thank God the pool was heated. There was even a hot tub but it wasn’t turned up very high. It felt like a warm bath, which was great!

My mom doesn’t like it but I am not one of these woman who wear a one piece and a cover up when they’re pregnant. I think the belly deserves to be tan too!

After the pool we headed back to the room. Aiden and Brian played soccer in the grass outside of the room and I watched from the porch. Aiden craves one on one time with his daddy. He hasn’t gotten too much of it lately because of Brian being in school so he absolutely ate every minute up!

Next, we went back to the beach. This type of beach is perfect for kids… once you get past the rocks.

My little daredevil loved climbing and jumping on the rocks. As Brian put it, it’s a “a kid’s dream and a parent’s nightmare”.

Eventually, Aiden asked to go back to the room. We took showers and cuddled up on the couch for a nap. We didn’t wake up until 5:30pm. Before we left our house on Friday, it was determined that Brian needed to fix his truck before the work week started. We decided to pack up and head home Saturday night instead of waiting until the morning. I wished we had stayed to be able to see the sunrise and play on the beach one last time but then again, Brian’s truck is now fixed and ready for the week. Aiden and I played in the pool and rode bikes while he did it so we still had fun today. We just went to dinner and are now laying in bed, replaying the weekend. It certainly wouldn’t be an “Elmore vacation” if everything went perfectly (hence the name of my blog) but we always make the most of it!

 

Our First Easter Party

For as long as I can remember, my nana had an Easter egg hunt party that I absolutely loved. Her backyard was perfect for it! It was huge, lots of big trees, on a creek with plenty of hiding places….and a pool. I love Easter and looked forward to it every year. I’ve always wanted to have an Easter party at our house but hers was always so fun that I didn’t want Aiden to miss out on it. This year, my nana wasn’t feeling up to it so we decided it was our opportunity.

I made some Easter themed foods, bought a really pretty cake from Publix and we grilled burgers and hot dogs. It was pretty much a pool party with an egg hunt.

I made these for Aiden’s class party and they were a hit. It’s just frosting piping bags filled with cheese balls and tied with a green ribbon.

I wanted the deviled eggs to be festive. First off, I don’t boil them, I bake them. You just put them in a muffin tin and bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

The only drawback is it causes burn marks on the shell that can make it down to the actual egg. If you don’t mind that, it’s a very convenient way of creating “boiled” eggs. Make sure you immediately transfer them to an ice bath to make them easier to peel.

I was going to make a cheese ball but ran out of time, so I bought two and formed them into the shape of a carrot. I topped it with parsley and surrounded it with crackers, then viola! A carrot shaped cheeseball.

Lastly, you have to have dessert! I was going to make a dirt cake with crushed Oreos but I sort of fell in love with a cake I saw at Publix and it was on sale for $9.99. I had to!

For the egg hunt, we separated the kids by age group. Six years and under had the first egg hunt, then the “big kids” were after that. We filled the eggs with candy and had a silver egg with $1 and a golden egg with $5 for the little ones. Luckily my sister in law brought a lot more filled eggs for the bigger kids.

Aiden and Carter found the golden and silver eggs! That worked out perfect because they are very competitive with each other for some reason. We gave out a chocolate bunny to the kid with the most eggs, Liam, and he was thrilled!

The party started around noon and most people left around 5pm. Our parties usually last all day which we love. Towards the end, the few kids that were left watched a movie inside while the adults hung out and talked on the deck. This is how we found Aiden when we finally came in…

Over all I think it was a success. Aiden said it was the best day ever! I plan on throwing another Easter party next year. I was exhausted after this but I remembered at midnight that I hadn’t added the Easter bunny foot prints that have become a tradition in our house. After a template was made and flour was sprinkled on the ground (so much easier to clean up than baby powder) I was out! His face the next morning was completely worth it!

The Deck

We moved into our house in 2010. One of the things that drew us to the house was the big above-ground pool and the deck. We imagined lots of cook outs and pool parties for our future children. The only problem is, it wasn’t very pretty. Every year we would do what we could to get the pool blue so we could swim but we never did anything about the deck. The previous owners painted the deck white, and then spackled blue paint on top. It was hideous. This year I decided enough was enough. This was the before…

The hubs started with replacing the rotten wood. In typical Brian form, he went above and beyond what he was suppose to do. He ended up replacing more wood than necessary and redesigning the step up/seat around the pool. I must say, it is much better.

I should say that we had the paint for at least two weeks before touching it, and the wood for at least a week. But with the hub’s new job and going to school three nights a week, plus trying to get to the gym whenever he could, he had no time to work on the deck until the afternoon before our Easter party.

He didn’t start painting the deck until midnight. I believe he finished and was in bed around 2am and we still had some wood that wasn’t painted. It still looked a lot better than before!

When we woke up, Aiden and I ran out to the deck to see how it turned out. The paint was still pretty wet and we left with grey feet but by the time the party started, it was bone dry.

We still need to do another coat of paint but it looks a thousand times better! Hopefully, this won’t be another house project that is still unfinished years later.

 

Sawyer’s Birthday

I took a little hiatus from this blog. I’m not sure why. I think it was just procrastination, one of my downfalls. Either way, I’m back now and I plan on keeping it up this time. Today marks a year since we had/lost Sawyer. A few coworkers reminded me and one even gave me a condolence card. It was very sweet. I also had my 29 week OB check up. That was the only time I lost it. It was something about being in the OB office that turned on the water works. I am just so thankful that we were able to get pregnant right afterwards. I understand that some people need a little bit of time before trying again, but for me, that was definitely not the right decision. It makes the year anniversary a little easier to deal with knowing that we have a sweet baby girl on the way.

No Carb Isn’t Easy, But It Works!

Once I started back to work, after Sawyer was born, I wanted to concentrate on me. I wanted to get as healthy as I could possibly be for my self esteem and the next pregnancy. When I got pregnant with Aiden in 2011, I was 146 pounds. Through those next three years of sharing his toddler food I packed on 10 pounds, leaving me at 157 pounds when I got pregnant with Sawyer. I was 168 pounds the day I had him in 2016. Two weeks after delivery, I was back to 157. The day I started back to work, I also started eating no carb. I lost 17 pounds during the first six weeks and am now down to 139! I can not tell you the last time I was in the 130s. Literally, I can’t. I’ve tried to figure it out but I think I was in the 140s in high school. One more time for good measure: 17 pounds in 6 weeks! That is from diet alone. Not working out. I have been going to the gym but I HATE cardio so I do 10 minutes max and mostly weight train. Every time I tell someone this, the first thing they say is, “What CAN you eat?” since everyone thinks a meal is not complete without rice, mashed potatoes, or bread. Actually, I don’t feel like eating low carb is restrictive at all. You can eat as much as you want (constant snacking is encouraged) until you are full, as long as it is the right stuff.

Example Day:

Breakfast- two egg muffins (I’ll post the recipe at the end. They are made up of egg, spinach, and sausage. So easy & sooooooo good!) and water to drink.

Snack- turkey (regular lunch meat, I just look for the one with the least amount of sugar) & cheese roll ups and water to drink.

Lunch- grilled chicken with sauteed zucchini and squash (from the deli next to my work) and water to drink.

Snack- peanuts, string cheese, and water to drink.

Dinner- Grilled chicken, green beans, and water to drink. (Dinner isn’t always easy because I’m the only one in the house not eating carbs. I’ll typically make them rice or macaroni and cheese, but saute me some veggies of some sort as a second side.)

Have you noticed a pattern? “Water to drink”! I drink so much water.

It’s basically meat (of ANY kind), veggies (no carrots, corn, potatoes), eggs, cheese, and nuts. I cook with olive oil or real butter. Fruit should be limited (I have none). It’s easiest to cook at home but it is doable if you go out to eat a lot. I will typically look at the menu ahead of time to see what I can have. BBQ is my favorite! A nice brisket with green beans. Yum! The first week or two wasn’t easy but I was motivated so I didn’t cheat at all. Now, when we go out to eat, I can smell the sweetness from the hub’s sweet tea. I know that sounds weird but it’s true! Most any restaurant has some sort of grilled meat (without breading or sauce) and vegetables as a side dish. Although, fast food can be a bit tricky. You can get a cheese burger or other sandwich and not eat the bread, but that gets a little pricey. How many bread-less sandwiched would you have to eat to get full? I’m telling you, by eating no carb you dropped wait continuously until your “body is satisfied”. I say that because I believe once you are at your body’s ideal weight you’ll stop losing and instead be maintaining. Think about it, our original ancestors ate this way. It’s called the Paleolithic diet (Paleo for short) because that is what humans ate during that era, as cavemen. That is what our bodies were designed to run on. Cavemen would kill animals, eat their meat, and eat whatever vegetables were around. If they did eat fruit, it was whatever they came across and what was in season (which wasn’t often). Although, the fruit that we grow today is a lot sweeter than what they ate. Thanks to cultivational crossbreeding, farmers have been able to create fruit plants that taste much sweeter, are more desirable, and more profitable. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t tell if the sugar we are consuming is from an apple or a Snickers. It is stored in your body as fat. We need so little sugar to survive that pretty much anything we eat is overload. If you don’t consume high amounts of sugar while eating, your body doesn’t get that spike in blood sugar and in turn, has to burn stored fat for energy causing you to lose weight.

Any way, I lost 17 pounds and I’m excited. I haven’t lost any in the last two weeks so I think my body is telling me that I am at, or close to, my ideal weight. Now I’m concentrating on toning up at the gym. Once I get a routine down and start seeing results, I’ll post it!

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Egg Muffin Recipe:

I made these with cheese because I didn’t have any veggies in the house.

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1 pack of sausage

8 eggs

Whatever you want (cheese, spinach, broccoli, etc)

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Brown the sausage.

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In a large bowl, combine eggs, sausage, cheese and vegetables (cooked per package instructions).

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Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way full.

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Bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Store them in separate containers in the fridge. It’s so easy to pop them in the microwave for 60 seconds and eat breakfast on the go!