March 30, 2012

Claire's Maternity Session!

*Pause my music at the bottom to hear the song*

Photos by Amber Dean Photography

March 29, 2012

Claire's First Week

Now that I finally got Claire's birth story published (I've been working on it since we got home from the hospital!) I wanted to do a recap of Little Miss' first week. I feel like these first few post-partum days and weeks go by in such a blur. Between being sleep deprived, on pain meds, and having a hard time tearing myself away from my little angel, it's hard to take in everything that has happened. I barely remember the week when Graham was born, so I wanted to document this while I can! WARNING: Suuuper long post!!!


MONDAY (March 19): Claire was born at 11:44 am and she didn't leave my side or our room without us the entire hospital stay, which I LOVED. Chad's parents and Graham were our first visitors, then Maw and Grandad (Chad's grandparents) showed up not long after. That afternoon we had our friends and  church group leader and his wife Jon and Amy come visit, and our friends Jerry and Nicole stopped by, too. That evening, my Aunt Ann and Uncle Sonny came to visit us, and so did David and Kara and our friends Jared and Kelley. Chad left to go eat Freebirds with them while my friends Traci and Nina came by for a visit. Claire had sort of a rough patch during the middle of the night because she had a gas bubble after a feeding. Our night nurse came in to help and gave her some of this sugar water stuff and helped us calm her down. She settled back down, and  fell asleep.

 TUESDAY: It was really stormy that day, so my mom stayed at our house with Graham and we didn't have any visitors until that evening. Chad picked us up Subway for lunch and we just relaxed with Claire. Chad did some work from the laptop and his phone.That afternoon our friend Ashley came by and so did Chad's bestfriend Ryan and his two sisters. That evening, our parents came back up with Graham. He was still not super excited about me being in the hospital bed. He didn't want me to hold him or come up on the bed with me. He didn't want much to do with Chad and Claire either. He was all about the grandparents. My dad, Chad's dad and Chad took Graham to Chick-Fil-A for some dinner b/c the cafeteria was closed for some reason. Then Chad picked us up Cheesecake Factory for dinner. My friend Sarah was on her way back to Dallas and got to stop by and she brought Graham a stuffed Mickey Mouse and Claire a sweet blanket. My friend Jaclyn also stopped by with a magazine and cupcake for me :) And Chad's Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Eddie and cousin Austin came by to meet Claire.


WEDNESDAY: We got released! My doctor actually asked me Tuesday morning if we wanted to go home that day or Wed. I wanted to stay a little longer to give me some time to establish nursing and recover without Graham around to chase. Also, I wanted to make sure Claire was perfectly healthy. Chad had a big surprise for us, that day too. When we were wheeled out waiting for the car, a limo pulled up! He had gotten one of his vendors who owns a limo to take us home from the hospital! He said he wanted Claire to be a princess from day one, and my heart completely melted. The four of us rode home in style, with Claire's stats written on the windows and "Just Born" written on the back! So cute!!! My parents hung out with us during the day, then went home and brought us back Goodson's for dinner later that night. Claire got her first bath at home. She was a little fussy again that night, but it was probably just her getting used to her new environment.

Some of Claire's balloons floated away, but do you see the heart in the clouds??? So neat!!!

THURSDAY: Chad's grandparents (both sets) and his cousin Jamie and her family came to visit us. I was still in my PJ's when everyone showed up, so I had to run to the bedroom to get decent. My parents brought us fajitas for dinner that night. Late that night my milk finally came in, with a vengance!

FRIDAY: Claire had her first check-up at the doctor that morning. Everything looked great! She was down to 7.1 ounces, but that was within the normal range for newborn weight loss. No jaundice, perfectly healthy!!! Chad's boss and his wife stopped by to meet Claire and brought us some presents for Claire and Graham.Chad's parents came over that night and brought us burgers for dinner, and we all took Claire on her first walk down the street. The mosquitos were vicious, so we didn't stay too long, but we did get to introduce Claire to some of the neighbors!

SATURDAY: Our good friend Amber came in town all the way from Dallas to take Claire's newborn pictures. The morning started off crazy b/c we all slept until 8:30 and she was coming over at 10. At 3 am that mornig, Claire had projectile pooped all over Chad, our bedspread and sheets!! We had to wash the sheets, get everyone showered, bathed and dressed and clean up the house all before she got to our house. The pictures turned out amazing, though! I can't wait to see them all. That evening, we took Claire on her first outting to Lowe's to buy a fan for our bedroom. We picked up Chick-fil-A for dinner then went to Chad's grandparents house to visit while his Aunt and Uncle and cousin Jamie were in town for Jamie's birthday. Graham had a blast playing with Jaxson, Jamie's little boy who is only a couple of months younger.

SUNDAY: Chad went to Lowe's with Graham to get mulch for the front yard. He worked on the front yard most of the day. We went to my parents for dinner and to see their new wood floors that were put in the day Claire was born. I had my first BFing meltdown that night because I was so engorged and in pain. The feeding before she went to bed was torturous but the next one was much better. It has gotten better everyday since, thank goodness.

MONDAY: Chad went back to work, and I had both kids by myself for a few hours that morning. My mom came over just as Graham went down for his morning nap. She did a few loads of laundry for me, and watched Claire and Graham while I ran to the dry cleaners to drop off our bedspread that Claire had pooped on and picked up lunch for me, my mom and Graham. My mom left just before I put Graham down for his afternoon nap, and he was still napping when Chad got home from work, so it was a pretty easy day. That night some friends from church dropped off a delicous dinner for us, so nice!! We also made a run to Target for some groceries with both kids. Claire loves the moby wrap, it's so nice for running errands! I feel like she is more protected and less germs can get to her, not to mention curious strangers who feel the need to touch your brand-new baby.

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: The past two days I've been all on my own with the kids. I was pretty nervous about it, but so far it has gone great! I've gotten in a shower and put on make-up both days, took the kids for a walk yesterday and been pretty good with keeping up with the laundry and such. Claire is a really good baby. Graham has been taking his naps well, and he is such a good big brother! He calls Claire "Baby" and we always catch him giving her one of her toys, a dropped sock and he even gave her his Bear and paci one day!!!! We were in shock!! He really loves her, and I think he's starting to get that she is part of the family, and is here to stay. He keeps going "Mama, Daddy, Baby" Still can't say his own name, but we're working on it ;) Right now both kids are napping. I'm hoping the rest of this week is smooth sailing. I'm kind of holding my breath hoping Claire doesn't develop a case of colic or Graham starts getting super jealous.

Whew!! What a week! Right now we are getting a decent amount of sleep. I feed Claire around 11 or 12, then we sleep until about 3 am, and feed her again around 5 or 6. We don't have too many plans for the weekend, so I'm hoping we can take it easy and enjoy our time as a family of four! :)

March 27, 2012

Claire's Birth Story

The morning before my induction, we met my family for breakfast because my sister and her family and some friends of theirs were in town for the rodeo. On the way to breakfast, I started feeling contractions that were different than my usual braxton hicks. With each contraction I was feeling crampiness in my lower back, which is exactly what I felt the night I went into labor with Graham. We debated whether we should turn around and go back home, beacause I had several things I wanted done around the house before we went to the hospital. We ended up going ahead to breakfast, and I had a few contractions while we were there, but nothing too bad.

After breakfast

On the way home, though I had several more, and by the time we pulled in the drive way, it was hard for me to walk into the house. I was sure at that point we would be heading to the hospital fairly soon. I went ahead and did some last minute chores around the house with Chad's help. I mopped the kitchen while he vacuumed and mopped the entry hall. (That sounds so crazy now, that I wanted all that done, ha!)  Did some laundry, put clothes away and packed the rest of my hospital bag. By the time I did all that, I sat down and felt like the contractions had stopped again. Chad's parents had already come over at this point to stay with Graham. I couldn't decide whether we should go to the hospital or not, but ended up deciding to go because my sister was planning on leaving town that afternoon, and I didn't want her to get on the road just to go into labor an hour later.

We got to the hospital, went to triage where I was checked and found out I was still at a 2; same as before my membranes were stripped on Wednesday :( After being monitored for awhile, we were told to walk around the hospital for 30-45 min and then get checked again. We ended up even walking up a bazillion flights of stairs all the way to the 7th floor!!! I still can't believe I did that. Anyway, I was checked again, and still no progress. By this time I was kind of glad to not be admitted, because I hadn't eaten since breakfast and knew I wouldn't get to eat for a long time if I was in labor. I was starving by that point, so we decided to grab dinner at Macaroni Grill. My parents and Mer, Randall and Charlotte met us up there too, since they were about to grab dinner when we called to tell them we were leaving the hospital.

After a nice dinner, we headed home and prepared to go the hospital in the morning!!

Around 4 a.m. Monday morning, Graham started fussing in his crib. We'll usually let him fuss for a little while and he goes back to sleep, but Chad went and grabbed him and brought him to our room. It was so nice just laying in bed soaking up our last moments as a family of three. At 5 a.m. Chad put Graham back in his crib and he went right back to sleep and I called the hospital to find out our induction time. They asked if we could be there at 7 a.m.! I was so excited they were able to get us in, and so soon! We called our parents to let them know the plan, and started getting ready to go. We showered, finished packing our bags and getting all those last minute things together and waited for Chad's parents to arrive to watch Graham.

Last pregnancy picture: 39 weeks!!

We left for the hospital around 6:30 and stopped for some kolaches and donuts on the way. :) We got to the hospital right at 7, and waited for our nurse to come get us and take us to our room. We had the best L&D nurse, I really liked her! I got my IV hooked up, and around 8 or so, my doctor came in and broke my water. I was really nervous it would hurt, but I didn't feel a thing! She checked my progress and I was dilated to a 2-3. They started my pitocin, and my parents showed up not long after that. The contractions started coming on but they weren't bad at all. About 30 minutes later, my nurse came back in, checked my progress (still at a 2-3) and upped my pitocin. I started feeling the contractions more, but they still weren't bad at all. I think she upped my pitocin a little more at this point. It wasn't long until they were a minute and a half to two minutes apart and getting a lot stronger. I was told I could get my epidural at any time, but I wanted to wait until I was at least a 4, so I could be sure it would be working good for the delivery.

The contractions started to get really painful, and I was having to breath through them. When I started to feel a sharp pain with each contraction, and a lot of back pain, my nurse thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and get my epidural. She said it deosn't take long to go from having to breathe through them to crying. After she told me that, I agreed I should go ahead and get it. She said he was finishing up a C-section so it would be a minute before he could get in there. By the time he got in my room, I was more than ready!!!

We were told during the hospital tour that the husbands weren't allowed in the room for the administration of the epidural, but when our anesthesiologist got there, he said it was up to us if Chad wanted to stay or not. I was so glad he could be in there with me. Just like last time, I didn't feel like the epidural hurt. The hardest part was having to be still while I was having painful contractions. Chad on the other hand, ended up feeling really light headed and almost passed out, so the nurse had him sit on the floor and gave him a cool wash cloth for his neck. She said it happens all the time.  Chad said he kind of loses it when he sees me in pain. He was still white as a sheet when my Mom, Dad and sister got back in the room!

The epidural kicked in after about 10 minutes, but I was still feeling pain on my left side, so the nurse had me lay on my left so the epidural could spread to that side. This is where things pick up...

The nurse said she was going to let me get nice and comfortable and let the epidural get to working good and then she would come back to put my catheter in. She told me to buzz her when I was nice and numb. The epidural started working good, and before long I was having big contractions and not feeling a thing. The last two contractions I had before the nurse came back in, I felt a tiny bit of pressure with each one. It was noticable but not bad at all. I was thinking at this point, I probably wouldn't have Claire until the afternoon. Everyone went to grab something to eat at the cafeteria, and my mom and Chad got back in the room with their food just as the nurse was coming in to put in my catheter.

She asked how I was feeling and if I felt any pressure. I told her the last two I had there was a little bit of pressure, so she said she would go ahead and put in the catheter and then check me. After she put in the catheter, she said "Oh yeah, I felt her head, let me check you." After she checked she said "Ok, looks like we're gonna have a baby!" I asked her how dilated I was and she said "You're complete! We're gonna get the doctor in here and start pushing." She said she could see her head and that she has dark hair. I couldn't believe it was that easy! I was so excited, and I knew I was going to be numb for the whole thing!  I pushed one practice push and she stopped me and said we needed to wait for the doctor becasue she was right there.

 My doctor showed up right away. Since my mom was in the room already, we asked if she wanted to stay, so she ended up being able to videotape the entire birth. Chad grabbed my left leg and my nurse grabbed my right and I started pushing. I didn't feel a thing, I couldn't believe it! I must've got that epidural right in the nick of time. I pushed for one minute and thirty seconds and she was out!! My  mom asked how many pushes that was, and my doctor said one, just one long push was all it took! The doctor came into my room at 11:40 and Claire was born at 11:44. Right when Claire came out, my doctor said "Now that's the way to have a baby!" I kept saying, "Is that some kind of record?" I couldn't believe it was that fast and totally painless. I think for a few hours after she was born I couldn't believe that it was that easy and she was here!!!

Claire was absolutely perfect, she cried immediately and I was in awe from the moment they placed her on my chest. I love that we have that moment on video. Of course, the first thing I asked was "Is it a girl??"  and my doctor said "It's a girl!" She had dark brown hair and they kept saying how chunky she was! When they weighed her, I was so surprised to find out she was 7 pounds, 10 ounces just like her big brother!!! She was a little taller at 19 and 3/4 inches. Her apgar scores were 8 and 9 for color only. Perfect in every single way. I still can't stop staring at her! I think she looks so much different than Graham, but they do have a similar chin and mouth. She has a darker complexion and of course darker hair and more of it. Ok, now time for the picture overload!!

First picture with Mommy and Daddy

Our first picture together

 Me and Dr. E, love her!!!

Our L&D nurse
Graham meeting Claire for the first time!

Chad's parents meeting Claire; she arrived so fast they didn't make it to the hospital in time!

Aunt Mer with her first niece!

Claire getting her first bath

Sweet baby love

Maw and Claire

Grandad and Claire

My Aunt Ann and Uncle Sonny with Claire

flowers from my family

balloons from my family

Uncle David meeting Claire

Jared and Corbin

Traci and Nina

Jaclyn and Claire

First family picture!!!