Friday, November 29, 2013

You're a Good Mom

Sometimes things don't work out the way we've planned and hoped that they would. With my first two children I planned on breastfeeding. And if you've followed this blog for a while, you've probably seen at least one blog post about how that didn't work out. We never knew why that didn't work out. Was is just because I didn't give it enough effort? Maybe, that seems to be the answer most people give for why they or others they know stopped breastfeeding. Was it because those sweet little boys were lazy eaters? That's what the lactation specialists at the hospital told me. BUT I had hoped that this time, the third time, would the the charm for me and my new baby. Breast is Best after all, at least that's what I hear EVERYWHERE. I figured that since I had worked hard to be in much better shape, before and during this pregnancy, that maybe I had fixed whatever was wrong the last two times- I always felt like something was wrong- I mean, my milk NEVER came in. That's weird in my opinion. But anyway, This time I was going to do EVERYTHING RIGHT, this baby was not going to get a pacifier, she was not going to get bottles in the hospital AND I was going to take herbal supplements that promised to increase my milk supply. 

In the hospital we had some ups and downs but in the end, I felt confident that everything was going very well and THIS TIME it was all going to work! And so we went home and Thursday night and Friday went very well. The baby nursed on demand, which at times was every 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, and she nursed for quite a long time too- sometimes 15 minutes per side, sometimes 30 minutes per side. By Friday I was sure that my milk was coming in and my baby girl seemed to be catching on to the fact that there was more there too. But on Saturday, things changed. We took her into the pediatricians office for a weight check. The PA that was there said that her Jaundice looked good BUT she had lost about 12 ounces, weighing 5 pounds 15 oz at the time of our visit. They do give breastfed babies 2 weeks from birth to return to their birth weight, but I would want to watch her closely and make sure she was getting enough when she ate. We were asked to come back in on Monday for another weight check. All that day my baby was fussier than she had previously been and she stopped pooping. She was still having wet diapers, but she was also jaundiced so not having messy diapers was not a good thing. I prayed and prayed and prayed to know what to do and I felt different bits of inspiration all throughout the day. I was able to help her get calm and sleep by holding her close to me, kangaroo care style- skin to skin, if she was laying on my chest, head next to my heart, she would sleep! So that is how she slept. I didn't get a lot of sleep that day or night. She nursed and nursed and nursed some more but it seemed like every time she nursed it lasted longer and longer and she was never really satisfied. Finally at about 4 AM on Sunday Morning I had another thought. And that was to give her some formula. I had just nursed her for 40 minutes and then I gave her a bottle with 2 oz of formula, she ate about 1.25 oz- the size of a 4 day old babies stomach- and then she sat back, happy and satisfied. This was kind of heartbreaking to me. I thought I was feeding my baby, and I guess for the first 3 days of her life I had, but I apparently just don't lactate! I cried, I mean, I was happy that we knew what to do, that we knew we needed to at least "supplement" with formula, BUT I kind of broke down at this point and asked Ken, and God, why I'm broken? Why I can't do what so many other woman can do? It still hurts today to think about it. 

A couple of hours later the baby was hungry, and she nursed for about 10 minutes before letting me know she was done with that. Once again I gave her some formula, and once again she was quickly satisfied. The next time she was hungry she didn't want to nurse at all, she just cried and cried and fought with me. Finally I brought her upstairs, got a bottle ready and sat down. She saw the bottle and quickly stopped crying and sat patiently. I had to laugh and call Ken's attention what she was doing. This was the biggest sign to me, she knew where the food she needed was going to come from. Over the next day or so I would try to nurse her at different times with different levels of success, but eventually I just started pumping what I could get and feeding her formula with a 1/2 oz of breast milk here and there when I could accumulate that much. On Sunday we realized that we didn't have enough formula samples to get us through until Monday so I put a request out on our neighborhood facebook page and before we ran out of our samples we had a good supply of formula for our baby. On of our neighbors said that she wanted to help us out because she couldn't stand the thought of a baby having to go hungry in the middle of the night. I am thankful for our neighbors.

So it's been almost a week since that day when I sadly discovered that I just wasn't giving my baby enough. She has been fantastically happy baby ever since. Like I mentioned in the previous post, she eats and sleeps and fills diapers like a champ (I would like her to poop a little bit more- BUT I'm trying to remember that formula fed babies sometimes only poop once a day). Her coloring is much less yellow and she is gaining weight. 

I'm pretty happy too, because I know, no matter HOW I feed my baby, I do feed her! I take good care of her! I look at her and I adore her and I'm pretty sure she adores me. See those eyes, they tell me "You're a Good Mom!" Yes, I didn't get what I wanted, but that's okay, there are plenty of times in our lives when we don't get what we want. So to all of us out there, who are trying to take the best care of our children that we possibly can, Keep it up, You are doing a Good Job! 

My New Life as the Mother of Three!

My heart grew three sizes the day she was born. It was a full heart to begin with, it's hard to believe that more love could fit in there, that's why our hearts grow I guess. It feels to me as if she has always been a part of me. Maybe someday, when this life is over and I can clearly see and remember my entire existence, I will recognize that she has, that all of my sweet babies and Ken and I have always known each other, that we chose each other, that we wanted to be together forever. Whether or not I ever get to experience that future moment, I can and will savor the feeling of it now. She has always been a part of me. We have always loved each other, and now that she is finally, physically here, I can't imagine how I could ever feel happier. 

Right now she's sleeping peacefully about 2 feet away from me. The sweet girl, she takes her current job very seriously- she eats, and sleeps and wets and messes diapers. Sometimes she eats and then stares at me for a while with deep, knowing eyes, but then within 30 minutes to an hour she's sleeping again. Sometimes I think that she is trying to tell me something, in fact when she stares at me this is what pops into my head "Remember this Mommy, in a couple of weeks when I'm fussy just to be fussy, remember how perfect I am right now". I will try to remember. 
We will be staying away from large crowds for the next month or two, which means no Church. But just because Baby Girl and I didn't go to church last Sunday doesn't mean that we sat around the house in our pajamas all day. That's right, we got dressed up! What I learned- 0-3 month tights are the equivalent to 0-3 month clothes.....and skinny, skinny newborn legs drown in them. Also- headbands should only be worn for short periods of time, but she will be super cute during those times!
I'm quickly learning that as a mother of 3 very loving children, I can expect to be needed by more than one at a time. Luckily B is happy just to be near me most of the time, and when he does need to be in physical contact with me, he's willing to find space. For example, laying across my knees while I feed and burp his sister.
Big Brother J takes his new responsibility, of watching over his baby sister, very seriously. If only he protected his brother this well, mostly he does his best to annoy and pester his little brother. I guess that is also the job of the Biggest Brother.
When I saw this picture on the  camera I thought- 
THIS is what the baby sees when her brothers visit her.
Speaking of Visitors, we had a fun visit with Aunt Donna and Uncle Weldon. 
And here is a picture of my new life, my family, it's not so little anymore. If you had told me on the day after my 31st birthday, as I held my first child in my arms, that 5 & a 1/2 years later Ken and I would be the parents of 3 amazing children, I probably WOULD HAVE believed you, BUT I wouldn't have ever believed how much my heart would have grown between then and now. We are truly blessed. 
For the past year of my life I've been in the middle of a storm, a storm of doubt and fear that this little baby of ours might never join our family. Well, after the storm is over there often comes a beautiful rainbow. That is what this sweet baby of ours is, our Rainbow Baby. I hope and pray that she will be healthy and strong and that she will grow and develop into the amazing woman I feel that she is destined to be.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 21st

Our B was born at 12:52, and I spent 2 and a 1/2 days in the hospital- it was wonderful. This hospital stay was also wonderful (I really enjoy people bringing me food and having a safe place to send my baby when I need a nap :) I know lots of women who want out of the hospital ASAP after having a baby, but I'll stay as long as I can!) but since the baby was born an hour BEFORE midnight instead of and hour AFTER (and possibly because we have different insurance) I had to be discharged within 48 hours, so we headed home on Thursday. Ken came and we spent a couple of "Quiet" hours together.
I always wonder what babies dream about.
Well, eventually, we had to get ready to go. We got dressed.......... all buckled up........
......Picked up the boys at Grandma Turners and we headed home. I love this picture, they love her so much, and are interested in just about everything she does.
Ken got a package from his Mom, a San Francisco Giants Santa hat, can you tell how happy it made him? Amazingly Happy!
Only one other person was allowed to wear Ken's special hat that day, she looked pretty cute in it too.
And that was the 21st.

November 20th

November 20th came FAST- considering that she was born at 11 PM on the 19th, it was the 20th right around the time we arrived on the Maternity Ward. The baby was taken to the nursery a few times during that first night, so that the nurses could do her initial evaluation and so they could give her a bath. Each time they brought her back to me she had a new hat. I like to think that it's because she was the most gorgeous baby they had ever seen and they wanted to make sure that she was properly accessorized. 
Ken came back- as well rested as a new Daddy can be- and spent a few hours with us, first all on his own and then later with the boys.
I usually don't like pictures of myself with my glasses- but I really love this one. I'm a happy girl.
Not sure where her blankets went- BUT it's such a cute picture I couldn't help but post it.
SO- the boys came, and they found just their mommy in the room AND some toys that their sister brought for them. Little B got an Octopus named "Ocho" and J got a crab that he named "Crabby" (lately he's been naming everything with an E sound at the end, "Bearry" " Rabbity", I guessed correctly that "Crabby" would be his name.
Not to long after they arrived and met their present their baby sister returned, they boys were immediately smitten. how could they not be, she's so tiny and sweet!
First J got to hold her. I've said before that J has inherited my "not so natural" picture's proof.
Little B was more interested in watching the local light rail and commuter trains than holding his sister.....
.....but eventually he made his way over to his dad and gave it a good 3 year old try!
After holding their sister they had some fun with the sleeper couch in my room.
Our first family picture- Got to love the boys faces. They were not ready for this.
While we were gone that day a group of neighbors "broke in" to our house and cleaned :) There was not actual breaking and entering- Ken gave them the key. We have amazing neighbors, and we are so very grateful that they wanted to help us out.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 19th

On Tuesday morning, November 19th, the boys and I finally put our pumpkins out on our front porch. I didn't buy any pumpkins this year. We were given a big family pumpkin and a couple of little pumpkins by some friends who grew their own pumpkin patch. We got another big pumpkin from the side of the road- I noticed an orphaned pumpkin plant it was in between a neighborhood and an office building in an area that no one had landscaped. It grew several pumpkins and we claimed one for ourselves, since we watched over the plant several times a week when we ran/walked by. Aunt Donna and Uncle Weldon gave us 3 pumpkins too. We ended up with 9 pumpkins and I didn't have the heart to carve any of them. So on Monday night we painted them- They are now our front porch fall/thanksgiving decor! I think they are awesome. 
Tuesday afternoon I had a doctors appointment. At the appointment we scheduled an induction date- Thursday November 21st. But my doctor also stripped my membranes. He told us that he was on call that night and if stripping my membranes happened to help get contractions started (any contractions at all) that I should come on in to the hospital. Well, contractions did start, they were not the most consistent, sometimes they were 5 or 6 minutes apart and lasting a minute, sometimes they were only 3 minutes apart. I texted the doctor to ask what he thought and he said to come to the hospital. I worried that they would just send me home especially since the contractions had slowed way down by the time we got to the hospital. But after being monitored for a half hour or so the nurse sent us on a walk while we waited for the doctor.
We found the doctor while we were on our walk and we all headed back to the labor and delivery room and a decision was made, we would stay, Dr. Barton would break my water and we would see what happens. that was 9:30 PM. With my water broken, Ken and I embarked on another walk around L&D. Contractions most definitely started again, in fact I had Ken time them and they were 2 minutes apart and lasting for about 45 seconds. I was doing pretty well. I had planned to go without medication again for this birth and so I was trying hard to breath with the contraction and think positive thoughts and remember that I HAD done this before. They had put me in a room that didn't have a tub but they were trying to find a room that had a tub available, that tub was what I wanted next. By this point I was experiencing something I've never felt before- Back Labor- It hurt......a lot. I'm good at smiling through pain- as you can see from the picture below :)
It was time to be monitored again- the pain I was experiences from the back labor was intense. I decided that I would ask the nurse to check me when I laid down for the 20 minutes of monitoring. She said I was at a 5. I felt like I needed to use the bathroom and since I was only at a 5 I figured it was safe. While in the bathroom the pain got even more intense, I wished, wished, WISHED that I was in the tub, but they hadn't moved me to the new room yet. I decided that there was no reason for me to have to deal with the intensity of the pain I was feeling for another hour or two or more. I yelled to Ken, "VOLDEMORT, VOLDEMORT, VOLDEMORT!!!!!" Ken ran out the door to the nurses station and told them that I wanted an epidural. I started grunting and groaning. The nurse walked in and said "I know what that means, I'll get  the doctor" she left and then came quickly back and told me that she knew I was in a lot of pain and that I wanted an epidural but that this was going to happen really fast. It would take 20 minutes or more before the anesthesiologist could give me an epidural and in her opinion, I would be delivering the baby by that point. She was right- I went from a 5 to a 10 in 30 minutes and even though I said my safe word "Voldemort" (I've told several people that having "Voldemort" as our safe word was perfect because I'm pretty sure back labor and the Cruciatus Curse are the same thing. but back to the story) and asked for that epidural, I ended up going without pain medication. I screamed a lot- apparently "Crap" is my favorite swear word, and I used it profusely.  I didn't have to push at all with little B, but I sure had to push with this little baby. Push and scream and try to bite things, that's what I did. Ken said he didn't notice me trying to bite things- for me it felt like a very primal need.

And here she is- sweet little Elodie Ann Wheeler. Born on November 19th at 11 PM. Just 90 minutes after Dr. Barton broke my water. WOW, that was fast! She's quite a sweet little lady. 6 pounds 11 ounces and 20 & 1/2 inches long. The nurses have a rotation at 11 PM, so we had 2 nurses in the delivery room with us, the new nurse heard Elodie's name and told us how amazing that was, she has a 7 month old granddaughter named Elodie. We explained that Ken chose that name a long time ago when he was a missionary in France- the nurse said her daughter had also been a missionary in France. I thought it was quite the fun coincidence.
I got to hold her for quite a few minutes before they finished cleaning and wrapping her up. Then it was Ken, the Proud Papa's turn.
Getting ready to head up to the Maternity floor. I must say, I look pretty good for someone who just survived the cruciatus curse....I mean, gave birth. And that baby girl, she just kept getting cuter and cuter!
Once last picture before Ken headed home for the night and Elodie and I embarked on our adventure.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Young Love

When I was in kindergarten I fell in love for the first time. I fell hard. His name was David and he was color blind and I was sure that he NEEDED ME, because, you know, he was color blind. So was it love or was it compassion? We may never know. Fun fact- 23 years later, I married a Color Blind man....HE NEEEEEEDS MEEEE!

For the past month or so I've been volunteering for 30 minutes each Thursday in J's kindergarten classroom. One of our neighbors is in J's class. She is a sweet little girl who I will call O. J and O are in love :) They have been now for a few weeks. Last week J told me that he loved O, I asked him what that meant, he said "I love all my friends and cousins". I told him that was great.  Today in class, O, who sits at a different table from J, was working hard position herself in line so that she could stand next to J while they walked to their music time. A boy at J's table noticed this and said "I think you and O like each other". J smiled and quickly replied "Yeah, I love her".

I felt this was too cute not to share :)

After I finished volunteering I went to a local store and bought my baby girl some bows that will attach to the soft headbands I've made for her. I bought a piece of "chocolate tuxedo cake" for me. To tie all this together with the Young Love theme, I fully admit that I can't wait to meet this baby!!!! I love her!!!! I'm pretty sure that the boys all fall in love with her immediately.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's November! So....where's that baby?

Well, the official due date is November 23rd or maybe the 24th, all of the sudden I'm starting to wonder if I've been a day off this whole time, I keep meaning to try to sneak a peak at my chart at the doctors office, but when I'm there, I forget. Oh well. As of today I'm closer to 38 weeks than I am to 37. Last week at my 36 week appointment I wasn't dilated at all. This week I was almost a 3! We'll have to wait and see what happens and when she makes her arrival, but I hope, hope, HOPE that it is long before Thanksgiving. Why? Well, Thanksgiving is closer to 41 weeks than any pregnant woman would ever want to be.

I'm trying my hardest to let this baby cook as long as she needs too. It's hard sometimes, for a few reasons. One would be the fact that my 2nd boy was born at 37 weeks (what a fabulous 6 pound 10 ounce little angel he was), that makes sitting here at 37 weeks and 5 days, feeling those stabbing pains that whisper "yes, little by little your dilating" and being very very tired because I can't seem to sleep past 4 AM just a little harder than I remember almost 38 weeks being with my first pregnancy. Another reason would be that I'm kind of falling apart. That's right, I knew there were lots of annoying and sometimes quite painful pains associated with pregnancy, and especially pregnancy after the age of 35, but I've discovered a new one that I haven't experienced before, the pain that comes when your pelvic bones decide to start separating. I kind of overdid it on Halloween, there was no real resting that day. Drop B off at Grandma's, get J to school, watch the costume parade, help the kids play "pin the nose and or eyes on the pumpkin" and "marshmallow drop" at the Halloween party, drop J off at Grandma's, go to the grocery store, pick up boys and return home, try to take a nap, go to the Halloween dinner party, come home,discover that I'm no longer able to walk because of an unbelievable pain which made me wonder if I had completely missed the fact that I was in labor and would need to start pushing hurt REALLY BAD, I couldn't move, I was stuck mid stride clutching a chair. When I eventually found myself able to walk again I laid down on the couch and rested the rest of the night and then questioned my OB via text the next morning. He said "Pelvic Laxity" which is perfectly normal and told me to continue to rest until the pain resolved. I've discovered that if I rest a lot during the day I don't feel much pain, but there are still days when I wonder if I'm going to fall completely apart, and especially I wonder if the pain will make natural labor just a little too hard.

The final reason why waiting for the baby is hard is just the time of year. Yesterday was 11/6, and on 11/6 last year I found out that we had lost our last pregnancy. It was a really, really bad day. I was kind of hoping that the baby would come before the anniversary of that day, so that I would be able to hold her and know that she is healthy and HERE!!!!!! But you know what? I made it through 11/6 just fine. The next bad day anniversary that is looming on the horizon is 11/15, the day we ended up going to the hospital for the d&c last year. Hopefully that day will come and go with no problems this year, but I will admit that if I show up to my Dr's appointment next week and he says "Kate, you are at a 4 (or a 5) and I feel that it would be best to break your water now and get this baby here!" I will probably agree. I've also told Ken that he should feel free to pray that this situation doesn't actually happen, (because he is still busy with work until the 18th) but if it did and she was born before 11/15 I'd really be fine with that.

As it is, babies come when they come, and I will do my best to be patient and try really hard to overcome my anxiety. I'm grateful for the Doppler that I have here at home (on loan from feel free to make a donation to them!) it has come in very handy in my most anxious of moments, yes even during the 37th week of this pregnancy. I will also tell you this, I broke through some anxiety yesterday and I washed the newborn clothes and put them (and all the other clothes 0-3,3-6 and 6-12 month) away in the babies dresser. I've been avoiding this chore, out of a little bit of fear that if I did get ready, something would go wrong. Well, so far, nothing has gone wrong. I did wake up this morning thinking "she's going to be over 8 pounds and she's not going to fit into ANY of those cute newborn sized clothes!" but that's really not such a horrible thing.

AND, for my final bit of pregnant lady ranting today (because I'm pretty sure I'll still be pregnant tomorrow) I would like to let you know how FABULOUS my husband is. I have apparently reached the point of pregnancy where I want to nest, but I'm too tired to nest and nesting sometimes involves doing things that aggravate the pelvic laxity that I've been experiencing. What does this mean? Well, it could mean several things, 1- a very tired hurting pregnant lady did way too much......2- a very tired pregnant lady dreamed about nesting and making changes around the house and nothing every came of that dream......or 3- a very tired pregnant lady drew up plans for rearranging a room and her best friend talked her down off the ledge before she got too far into rearranging it herself while he was at work, then he got home from work and did way more cleaning than any man ever dreams he will be doing (shall we say someone who is blond and about 6 foot 1 cleaned, swept and mopped quite a few rooms) AND helped his wife rearrange the front room exactly how she envisioned it. All his hard work this week has been enough to make me cry grateful tears. I love Ken Wheeler, his awesomeness truly is beyond words. Someday I hope to be as awesome as him :) I'm pretty sure this little baby girl we're about to welcome into our family will make all his hard work (and all that he's had to put up with over the last two years) completely worth it!

And that's it for today.

Kate's so vain, she prob'ly thinks this post is about her........

Well, it's not about Kate, It's about Penelope, our fabulous Van, and her new VANITY PLATE....which just happens to sing the praises of Kate. That's right.........
we've always known it, BUT, just in case you were wondering, she really is Kate the Great! Even the stat of Utah agrees :)
(psst......Thanks Ken!)

This is Halloween!

Snoopy and the Pirates. 
You may have noticed that I didn't dress up this Halloween, but all my children did. My boys were the cutest pirates ever, and my baby was snoopy. Even Ken's car got in on the action, dressing up as a very, very hungry Subaru at the neighborhood trunk or treat.  

 I volunteered at J's class Halloween party too, it was right after the Kindergarten Halloween costume parade. Quite possibly the cutest group of kids ever to parade through a gym!
 On Halloween night, Ken took the boys trick or treating around our neighborhood and I went by myself to a party at my friend Miriam's house. Why- because I wanted to eat food that other people made while I lounged on a comfortable couch and didn't have to answer the door and Ken wanted to take advantage of the population density of our neighborhood. You can't blame either of us really, I mean, Ken's a smart man- there are about 120 doors within 1/3rd of a mile in our neighborhood, the boys made a HAUL and I, I got to rest and eat well :)