Friday, November 7, 2014

Avonlea Elizabeth - birth story

Avonlea Elizabeth 
6 lbs. 14 oz. 

40 weeks - leaving for hospital
The last few weeks of my pregnancy found me anxious, excited, and waiting for labor to start at any time. Since Cohen was 5 days early, I was partially expecting our little girl to follow suit. It ended up being a blessing that we had plenty of time at home and work to get ready for her arrival. After several discussions with my doctor, we decided to schedule an induction for my due date, November 7. My mom came early that morning to get the boys ready for preschool and daycare and we left for the hospital shortly before 7am.
After checking in, I had to be monitored for an hour and we found that I was already having contractions, although they were 7-8 minutes apart and I couldn't feel them at all. It was nice to know my body was signalling that it was ready for labor! After seeing the Dr. and getting some medicine at 8:15, I had to wait another hour to see if contractions would pick up. They did. They quickly accelerated to every 2-3 minutes but still weren't intolerable. The nurse anesthetist then stopped by and we decided to get everything prepped/tested for an epidural since my last 2 labors went too fast to get it placed. The test dose seemed to go fine and made my left side a little numb, but I was still able to walk around for about 45 minutes, even stopping to see my friend and her new little guy who was born the night before!

At 10:45am, we saw the Dr. again and decided to start pushing fluids in preparation for the epidural medicine and also break my water.  After getting about 30 minutes of fluid, they pushed the first bolus as well as starting the slow drip. I did not notice any decrease in pain and so they got the okay to push a second bolus. It was quickly obvious to me that this was not working. I was in as much pain during contractions as I had been with my last 2 medication-free labors, especially on the right side. Changing positions didn't help much and after consulting with the other anesthetist, they were given the okay to try a 3rd bolus. I pretty much knew that things were going too fast for any of this to make a difference, but I had mentally prepared to do this without an epidural and I'm glad I wasn't depending on it. Around noon, I knew I was nearing the end and she was finally born at 12:33pm.

Our little girl was 6 lbs. 14 oz (compared to Ryan- 8lbs. 3oz. and Cohen- 8 lbs.) and 21.5" long. I got to hold her for quite a while before they finished cleaning her up and doing the measurements. We noticed right away her nice dark hair and how she looked a lot like Ryan as a baby.  Here are a few pictures of her first hour of life.

Here's a quick side-by-side of Avonlea (left) and Ryan (right).

 We took a quick picture before moving to our room, then had some time to just get to know our little girl before calling our family.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year, Ryan went back and forth quite a few times on what he wanted to be for Halloween. We considered a few DIY options but in the end, the cost of finding all the right clothing pieces was more than just buying a cheap costume off of They had a great deal going with swagbucks, so on the last day that you could order to be shipped in time for Halloween, Ryan finally settled on Captain Hook (the version from Jake and the Neverland Pirates) which consisted of a "shirt" and hat (which is very poorly designed and basically just sat on his head flat, not formed like a hat). We got him the accessory hook and ended up just letting him wear the jeans and tennis shoes he had on from the day.  Here is a video from the day the costume arrived (and the only time he actually wore the hat.) This is another improv-type song that we hear from Ryan on a daily basis:

We had a few options for Cohen but ended up deciding he had a few green shirts in his wardrobe, so we made a trip to the new Craft Central (Benjamin Franklin) in town and came up with a Peter Pan hat made out of 2 sheets of felt, some elementary hand-stitchin by me, and a red feather. See the tutorial I loosely followed here. Cohen refused to try on the hat all the way up to when we left for trick-or-treating, so I was actually amazed he wore it at all.

There were hardly any lights on down our streets, so we only stopped at a few houses before the boys were cold and we decided to just head to the Hallelujah party in Sioux Center.

In Sioux Center, we met up with Adam's parents who were finishing their shift working the food lines, grabbed some supper, and then played some games. The boys enjoyed the games, Mr. Twister balloon animals, and picking out prizes from the tickets they earned. There were new games and more of them this year which made the lines shorter and gave them a good variety to try out.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Photos

Here are a few more random pictures from the month of October:
Catching Mayflies
Wanting pitches instead of tee-ball
Sandbox with a neighborhood friend
Movie night with Mommy when it's too cold for the football game

Time to break out the winter gear!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Fun

After our Morning on the Green at Northwestern, the boys and I spent some time playing in the backyard, enjoying the sunshine. Ryan was excited that some of our neighbor's leaves had blown into our yard (our trees are tiny) and wanted to rake a big leaf pile. I am all for "recreational raking," I'm just glad we don't have to do any serious leaf management for the next few years.

To complete our festive fall day, that afternoon, Ryan convinced me we needed to carve some pumpkins. The boys had gotten some pumpkins from one of my mom's friends when they were at her house one day, so we had a few out for decoration and Ryan picked out 2 that he thought would make a perfect Angry Bird and accompanying Piggy. As predicted, picking out the design and pumpkin were as much as Ryan participated and I found myself solo-carving a pumpkin on our driveway with several neighborhood kids looking on.

The pumpkins proved to be too thick for the light to glow through on the areas with just peeled skin, so these were a bit of a fail, but you can't win them all (a good lesson learned by Adults who are asked to help a 4-year-old pass an Angry Birds level only to realize we are completely ill-equipped to pass anything but the easiest levels).

Although Ryan wouldn't touch any of the slimy stuff, he was keen on collecting pumpkin seeds with grand plans to plant our very own pumpkin patch in the backyard. When I explained that pumpkins need a lot of room to grow and we don't even have a garden, he compared me to "The Little Old Lady Who Didn't Like Pumpkins." I think he was combining two books: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything and Too Many Pumpkins. Anyway, his creative insult made me laugh (and we conveniently remembered that fall isn't the best time to plant pumpkins anyway so we just "saved" the seeds for Spring.)

We had a great day celebrating Fall!

NWC Homecoming

Since the Dutch made the playoffs, Adam had practice on Saturday morning, so the boys and I ventured out to Morning on the Green, the carnival put on by various student groups for Northwestern's Homecoming. The boys had a fun time trying out different games and winning small prizes. It helped that it was a gorgeous fall day!


Dart gun.
 Funny note on this one. Ryan had watched several kids try (and fail) to get the darts through the pumpkin mouths. The "winners" got to pick out of a large tub of chotsky toys and if you didn't make it through, you still got a Laffy Taffy. After hitting the cardboard 3x, Ryan happily retrieved his consolation prize and then whispered to me "I tried not to get it through so I could get some candy!"

Ryan chose a lightning bolt for his face paint design. Future Harry Potter fan?
One of the few games Cohen could play and unfortunately he "caught" some bubble gum. He's 1. He also dropped the bath toy he won in the duck pond, but was pretty content with a Dum-Dum lollipop as his net gain on the day.

Football toss

Land the beanbag on the step ladder.

Always a popular stop with the college guys cheering loudly on every drop.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 38 weeks

I realized that I haven't taken many "bump pics" this pregnancy, mostly because I don't have a great mirror, so most of these are in various hotels/places I've been with better mirrors! I feel like I am carrying a bit higher/more in front this time and even though I've gained 30 pounds and feel like I am running out of things to wear, I'm actually trending 8lbs less than my other 2 pregnancies, so I'm not too worried about losing it again.

14 weeks
18.5 weeks
25 weeks
29 weeks
37 weeks
Everything's been going pretty well lately with just the common complaints of aching joints (especially hips), lots of heartburn, dry eyes, being tired and hungry all the time, and a little swelling, but the swelling seems to either be less or maybe just holding off more than last time. After the possibilities I was expecting when I still had previa, I am completely fine with these symptoms because I know they are minor compared to what many other women face. I've had some trouble with my left wrist (tendonitis/carpal tunnel) and wore a brace for 3-4 weeks but it's really something I've had for 2 years and am just trying to minimize the pain and discomfort.

Now that I'm 2 weeks away from my due date, I feel like I'm getting mentally and physically ready. I am finally prepared at home with supplies, clothes, gear, etc. and just concentrating on trying to get ready to be gone from work, although I don't know that I'll ever really feel ready there.  It's been an exhausting Fall with Adam's school and coaching schedule so I'm looking forward to everything slowing down for all of us and looking forward to celebrating holidays with our new little one! It won't be long now!