Sunday, January 26, 2014


As I mentioned, baby was scheduled to come via c section of 1/17...but I guess he had plans of his own! I woke up at 3:50 am on Sunday, 1/12 with contractions stronger than any Braxton Hicks I have ever experienced. I began to time them and they were consistently 10 minutes apart for over an hour. After that I stopped timing them and had fitful sleep until around 6 am. Between 6-7 am I started timing them again and they had started to be between 5-6 minutes apart. But I still wasn't exactly sure what was going on. So around 9 I called my doctor and he said to wait a little bit and see how I felt. He said they should be getting stronger if I was really in labor. So Paul took the kids to Church and I rested in bed for a while trying to figure out if I was in fact in labor. I called Domi for advice - she has had 4 kids, is studying to become a nurse, and most importantly, she is someone I trust completely. Domi cleared her schedule and said she would come up to be at our house with the kids in case we needed to go in to the hospital, which she thought we should. At first I was hesitant...I didn't want her to drive up if it was nothing and waste her day. Plus, I had a lot I needed to get done that day too and I didn't want us all to be sitting around with nothing actually happening, which at that point, I figured it was all in my head. But, Domi and Caroline drove up and we sat around for a few hours timing the contractions and trying to tell if they were getting stronger. My doctor had told me to call back if they got stronger and not to eat or drink anything in case I needed to deliver that day. So finally around 1:30 or so I called him again because I didn't know what to do and I was hungry and thirsty and starting to get a bit shaky from not eating or drinking anything. He immediately told me to go into the hospital since the contractions were still happening. So, I quickly packed a bag, grabbed the camera, and we headed off to the hospital figuring we would be back again in a few hours. Luckily, we decided to grab a quick family picture just in case this was the real deal.
We got to the hospital and my doctor had already called ahead and ordered an IV.  They hooked me up to the contraction and fetal heart rate monitors and at this point my contractions were getting much stronger.  It was also at this point that we discovered that my blood pressure was elevated.  So we waited for a while, watched the contractions, and hoped my BP was high because I was nervous, which I really was.  This wasn't happening today...right?  I wasn't ready!  The nurse called the doctor and it was quickly decided that he was going to come in and we were going to have the c section.  I couldn't believe it and almost started crying - it was scary as this was not how it was planned!  I have had 3 scheduled c sections... I know how this goes and this was not it!  But they prepped me for surgery and Paul had just enough time to run out to the car, grab our bag and camera, get into his scrubs and get into the OR.  The surgery started at 4:52.
And at 5:00pm, this little guy came into the world crying!!!
He weighed in at 6 lbs, 12 oz and was 20.5 inches long.  For the first time, in 4 c sections, I actually got to hold him in the OR.  It was wonderful.  Paul held him for a bit and then he went to be washed and checked in the nursery while my surgery finished up.
While I went into recovery, Paul went to check on the baby and call in the good news.  Aunt Domi was able to bring all the kids to the hospital to see him in the nursery.  They couldn't hold him quite yet, but they got to see him and apparently they were all very excited!
Checking out their new are our 4 children!
Meanwhile, I was still in recovery and things were not going very well.  My BP continued to rise despite the fact that surgery was over, I was on morphine and should have been totally relaxed.  You are supposed to be in recovery for about an hour before being transferred to the mother/baby unit and being reunited with your baby.  But as we approached the hour mark, it became clear that wasn't going to happen.  It was determined that I had preeclampsia and so they put me on the magnesium drip, which in most cases is the cure.  Unfortunately, my body wasn't really responding to it.  So, they tried another drug and while that seemed to help my BP come down, it also made my pulse rise, which wasn't good.  So after a third medicine, things started to come down ever so slightly, yet not quite consistently.  I was hooked up to a BP monitor that took the reading every 10 minutes.  It was scary as we sat and waited for each 10 minute reading to see if the medicine was working and then discover that it was not and then hope again that in 10 more minutes it would work!  They finally did bring the baby down to me, which was good as I desperately wanted to see him. 
Finally around midnight it was determined that my BP was coming down, but they didn't want to transfer me up to mother/baby unit quite yet.  I stayed in recovery overnight with a nurse that checked on me frequently.  She became concerned because my pupils weren't contracting with the light.  She told me she would google why that was happening, at which point I asked her to please just call my doctor.  He was not concerned about my pupils, but the nurse persisted and found my anesthesiologist, who checked my pupils and said they were OK.  Whew, another thing to worry about!  But at least I had my baby close to me.  Isn't he cute!

It was a long night and I was scared for a lot of it.  Paul started to get really worried when telemetry called my nurse to alert her to the fact that my BP and pulse were increasing.  But eventually it started coming down.  I am so thankful to Domi for staying the night with the kids - things were a bit scary for a while late into the night and I was so glad Paul was with me during it, which wouldn't have been the case if he had to go home to watch the kids.  Thank you Domi!!!  The next morning I was transferred to the mother/baby unit finally, although I was still on the magnesium drip and being monitored closely.  But things were looking up! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Polar Vortex!

Well, we have had an absolutely crazy winter. The snow and temperatures have been record a very cold way!  But before we get to that, this was our last ultrasound picture of our baby at 36 weeks.
The day the kids were due to go back to school after Christmas break we reached a record temp of -17 degrees (without wind chill) and so school was canceled for two days!  I was glad to be home with the kids and not have to go out in that weather, although by the end of the second day everyone was a bit stir crazy!  Here is the snow in our backyard from Christmas break!

And here is the car reading the temp at -14...brrrrr....

So, our baby was technically due on 1/24, but I had a c section scheduled for 1/17.  So on 1/11, I started to really prepare for him to come, which meant getting a hair cut!  I decided to go shorter and donate 10+ inches of my hair to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for cancer patients.  
That afternoon/evening, we decided to have a special family night.  We took the kids to Rainforest Cafe as we had never been before, and it was a big hit!  We ordered the Sparkling Volcano Dessert and it was both delicious and entertaining!
Fun times!

Then we took the kids to Build A Bear.  Together, they worked on building a bear to give to their new baby brother when he arrived.  They did an awesome job agreeing on what to get. 

Ben picked the shirt, Abbey picked the pants and Juliette picked the shoes for the bear.  Plus they included a special recorded message for their new brother, which was very sweet!
This picture cracks me up.  Not only is it a cute picture of Juju, but it's like she got photo bombed by baby brother!
Here they are showing the new bear they made for Baby Brother!

It was a really fun family day and got everyone excited for Baby Brother to come, which turned out could not have been better timed...

Happy New Year!!!

Wow, lots to catch up on! Let me start with New Year's! We celebrated by going to see a movie and then coming home to celebrate with the kids with our traditional count down to 8:00 :) Unfortunately, Juliette did not make it past the movie and had to miss the big count down because she fell asleep!  That's OK Juliette, Mommy didn't make it to the adult count down of midnight either!

So here is the party crew!  We had our "kids wine" ready for the big count down!
Happy New Year!  Time to blow the horns and give kisses!
And don't forget to shoot the confetti!
Almost time for baby to come out and celebrate with us!
Our celebrations may be low key, but we enjoy the tradition of it and everyone seems to have fun with it!  Happy New Year - what a year we have ahead of us!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Post Christmas Fun

I have a few cute pictures from my phone that I wanted to post. Just as an update, the girls still love sleeping in the same bed! It isn't every night, but it is not rare either. I can't help but take a picture when it happens as it is just so cute!
Here is Juliette enjoying the musical Disney characters...
Abbey and Saige
Before Christmas Mass...
After Mama Kay and Papa left, we had another week of break to relax and enjoy our presents.  One of the things Ben asked for this year was his own set of roller skates.  So we got him that and then took the kids to our local roller rink for a fun afternoon.  He did awesome!
High 5's as he passes by!

Juliette also really enjoyed it!
And it took Abbey about an hour of watching everyone else, but she finally put on skates!  She didn't want to do it, but I convinced her to just try the skates on.  Luckily, right at that time they announced that only boys could skate, so I told her she couldn't skate anyway and to just try them on to see how they felt.  Once she did that, I was able to walk around with her for a little bit and by the time it was free skate she was ready to try it out with Daddy!  Good job Abbey!
But then one of the refs stopped the girls and said they should try these skates that fit over their shoes and are easier to maneuver.  Once the girls put those skates on, they were happy skating on their own!
Look at them go!
Everyone had fun!
And enjoyed a nice treat too!
It was a really fun afternoon, but it made my little Juju quite tired when we got home!  I was all too happy to cuddle up with her and let her take a quick nap...I love my cuddle time with my babies!

Christmas Day!

Well, if you can believe it, Paul and I woke up at 5:30 on Christmas morning and were so excited to see if Santa had come! But, we couldn't take a peek without the kids so we waited in bed until Juliette came in around 6:30 and asked if she could go look downstairs. We told her to wake up her brother and sister and we would all go down together.  And this is what we found...
I would say the kids were excited!
But the kids weren't the only ones who had matching PJ's!  Thanks goes back to Aunt Theresa and Aunt Domi who got everyone matching PJ's several Christmases ago!
Ben immediately started scanning the presents to see if any of the boxes could be big enough to have his Razor Scooter that he asked for...he got it!
Abbey's main request this year was for an American Girl doll...look at her smile!
She got Saige!
Now we all know that Belle was on the naughty list this year.  Among the many things she has chewed, I think she was officially booted off the nice list when she chewed up Elfie Scoutie, the Elf that comes to visit us before Christmas and report back to Santa.  And we all talked about whether or not Santa would bring Belle anything.  Sure enough, Christmas morning, Belle's stocking was EMPTY!  I guess Santa really does abide by his naughty and nice list (a good lesson for us all)!  Luckily for her though, I bought her a raw hide candy cane for Christmas so she wasn't completely forgotten.
The kids got a very cool indoor croquet set from Mimi - perfect for winter indoor entertainment!
Let's not forget Juliette and her big present this year - American Girl Bitty Baby Twins!  She has named them Sarah and Claire.
The kids made this awesome apron for Mama Kay and Madgie this year...I think Mama Kay liked it as she wore it all Christmas Day!

And the kids got a very cool musical Mickey and Gang Christmas gift from Nana and GrandPatch.  This was such a neat thing as each character played a different instrument, but you could start one and all the others would chime in and play together.  It was really cool and got a lot of playing time!
Abbey and Saige.
After all the presents had been opened, we went over to Aunt Domi's house and the cousins all enjoyed some downtime and watching a new movie that Caroline had received for Christmas.
And then it was time for our yummy Christmas feast!
Juju spent some quality time with Lilly.
Matching PJ's!
Cousin Andrew quality time!
I believe they were trying to look like a Christmas Tree in this picture!
Christmas Day was wonderful!  The next few days were spent playing with all the new toys!  Here are Papa, Abbey and Ben playing croquet in our basement!
Ben trying out his scooter, which unfortunately didn't work too well with all the snow and ice on the driveway.
And a family game of Qwirkle!
It was a wonderful Christmas!  As I mentioned, it was our first Christmas at home and we loved it.  We were so glad to have Mama Kay and Papa with us too.  Thank you for all your help around the house and playing with the kids - it was a very relaxing break for me, which I very much needed being so close to the end of my pregnancy!  We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too!