Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hallie Eva's newborn photos

I enjoyed this session so much! It was so fun to play dress up with this super sleepy 3-day old baby! When she would wake and be fussy for a bit, it was totally ok: We just stopped and chatted while I nursed her back to sleep. Such a fun time hanging out with a bestie: Ashley of the very talented Justin and Ashley photography! They even brought a super cool light that duplicates sunlight- I think that made the difference for these shots to turn out extra pretty... I totally forgot that the room we took them in gets afternoon sun... not morning! Thank you Ashley! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hallie Eva's Birth

My transition to four kids has been harder than my others. Oh how I love Hallie. I feel so bonded to her and I am so happy she's joined our family. I feel so blessed to have so many good things going for us- but I often wonder- how would I be getting by without all the generous blessings we've been given? How would I be doing without the help from friends that have brought dinner, or all the many ways my mom was able to help us? How'd I get so lucky to have a baby that actually has her nights figured out and I usually get a great night's rest with her feeding in bed with me. What would I do without sister-in-laws that are so thoughtful and helpful? I really needed the time that friends have taken my kids to play. Even with their help- I feel like I'm able to barely stay afloat. We have had so many good moments as a happy family of 6- but life is quite chaotic.

Here I am, approaching her 6th week and I'm just getting around to this post.

April 18th at 5:59 a.m. was a perfect moment I hope I never forget. Hallie Eva was born and I got to hold her for the first time. A bigger baby than my others- she was 8 lbs 1 oz- a healthy little girl!
We'd been anticipating her arrival with lots of contractions over the last month. I thought she'd be early: for sure. I kept being surprised each time the doctor would check me and I was at like a 2! We really *hoped* that she'd stay in till Monday the 17th. Tax season in would be over and I could enjoy Easter with my kids.

Well Monday came after a wonderful weekend with my parents being here- celebrating a fun and memorable Easter. I went to the doctor's office that morning and got my membrane's stripped. I was so happy that Doctor Chalmers was back on-call that week. I came home from the doctor with lots of energy so we took a long walk with Holly, her kids, and my mom on the trail. I was feeling bummed that nothing was happening- hardly any contractions at all! I was glad I felt good and had energy, but I really wanted the baby to come. My mom had been here since Friday- and I was just not loving "limbo" stage- I like to plan, you know? 

So that night my mom offered to put the kids to bed while we went on a date. We ate delicious Benja's Thai food: good and spicy! We borrowed Grandpa Woodbury's truck and took it up to hard-to-reach spot to really try and bring the baby here. It worked 'cuz after I dropped Josh off back at work- they got a bunch of last minute trust accounts to do on the last day-- I started having some consistent contractions! They were pretty hard and about 4 minutes apart so I decided to run home for a few necessities for a hospital stay, and then I planned to labor at Josh's office if they were manageable, or just go straight to the hospital. We decided to have my mom drive me straight to the hospital since they were getting intense. We stopped at Jack In The Box for one last treat- (Oreo milkshake!) before we checked into the hospital. I had several super hard contractions- they were 3 minutes apart on our way to check in. These consistent contractions had been going on for over an hour! So exciting!

Once I got all settled in at the hospital, contractions were really manageable, and to my disappointment, I hadn't dilated at all since that morning! The nurse said they'd keep me for an hour, but if I didn't start making progress with my dilation they would send me home. We hung out for about 45 minutes with super mild contractions and right about midnight the nurse came in and surprised us by saying, "I have good news! Dr. Chalmers is here and he thinks we should just keep you and break your water to get you started."

 We were so glad. We walked around for an hour or so and eventually I let them stab me with the IV which was not my favorite. Next time I'm going to put off the IV as long as I can. I love the feeling of being so hydrated, but I hate the pokey thing stuck in my skin. Anyway, we settled in to try to get some rest and we both fell asleep. Dr. Chalmers came in to break my water and he had no luck. I was still about a 2, and my water was too high for him to get to. SO, they gave me some pitocin and we slept some until the contractions are too painful. We had the anesthesiologist give me the epidural which went so smoothly. A little pinch and within about a minute I was totally comfortable. Shortly after though, i got itchy all over- so bad that I asked the nurse to give us Benadryl. The Benadryl took the itchiness away completely but it made me so drowsy. I kind of liked to the drowsy feeling because it was the middle of the night and I had NO CHOICE but to sleep. I fell into a deep sleep with the doctor still in the room chatting with us.

About 5:45 a.m. the nurse came in looking a little panicked. I've been through this 3 times now and so I knew the baby was here but the nurse said, "the babies not liking that side..." They were trying to switch me to lay on my right side and of course when they checked me the baby's head was right there. They rushed in our doctor and I pushed through two contractions: so excited and pumped... and there was my little Hallie! It was a very special moment. I bonded with her right away. We snuggled as they wiped her off and they just left her on me. 

Nursing went just great and I was awake to really enjoy the experience. I'm so grateful for that. As they wheeled me to the mom and baby room though, I could hardly stay awake. I CRAVED sleep so bad. 

We got some breakfast room service and got another nap after breakfast. Josh and I love the hospital's room service food- don't judge- and that was actually a major factor in whether or not to stay through the night, or try to get home in order to save some money. I just want people to bring me delicious food! I am so glad we decided to stay another night. I let Josh go home and get some good rest, and I let the nurses take care of Hallie that night while I got some good rest at the hospital too. Through my rose colored glasses, I just remember newborns being so sleepy and so I figured we might as well all sleep at home rather than paying so much for the hospital to sleep there. But what I'd forgotten is that babies are noisy while they sleep! I'm very thankful for the extra time I had for the hospital staff to take care of us. We came home to my mom who was taking very good care the big girls! It's been an adventure since then, pure chaos when all four children are all home and awake. Recovery has been good for the most part, but day 2 home was a hard one- I left like a truck'd ran over me and just so weak. 

One of the things I don't like about postpartum is the part where you're expected to stay home all the time. I want to get out and be social, but as I try to approach that line- I kinda get yelled at by people: "You should be home in bed!" I don't know how to go about that- but I had to jot that in here. It was a big part of my postpartum experience- feeling a little cooped in, even with me sneaking out here and there. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 2017

piggie tails!

our fave fruit dip, ready to go to the park.

fun time at the children's museum by ourselves. 

we started making a pinata!

We transitioned Lila to her big girl bed.She LOVES it, and she LOVES that white blanket and she REALLY loves that birdy nightgown.

Abby really enjoyed her soccer camp over Spring Break.

Kate works hard to get to the top of this ball- every time we go. 

fun time with josh one morning!

Babysitting toby... perfect situation for us!!! We loved having him, but we only lost him twice... 

I had to set an alarm for who got to hold the leash. Every 3 minutes I had them switch. The ENTIRE time Lila was't holding Toby she cried. 

This is a pic of my mid-tax-season/happy-birthday-to-me treat. I bought a little spa experience at Red Mountain Spa- I got to eat lunch by myself and had a massage, then laid by the pool with a book! Amazing!