Saturday, July 8, 2017

Third Pregnancy Recap - First Half

Even though I haven't blogged in FOREVER, I want to at least get this info in writing before I forget it all.

I had a suspicion I *might* be pregnant towards the middle to end of February, but every test I took was negative.  I was crampy, nauseous, moody, and had twinges in my uterus I had only felt when I was pregnant before.  Finally on Monday, February 27th, I got the faintest of positive tests.  I then proceeded to take 3 more that day, and they all showed up as positive.

I told Joshua that Monday night after he got home from Lane's basketball practice and the kids were asleep.  We were both shocked, but excited.  I had always wanted a third child, but this came as quite the surprise!

Over the next few weeks I had multiple blood draws to check my HCG and progesterone levels, which took a while to increase.  I also started supplemental progesterone as a precaution.

At our first ultrasound, baby measured 6w1d and we saw a heartbeat, but it was slow (~95bpm).  We were then told to come back two weeks later to recheck, and when we did everything was progressing as it should.

I spent the first 10-12 weeks very nauseous and exhausted.  It was hard to keep the secret at work because I just felt so miserable all of the time, plus my belly always starts to pop right away.  We also held off on telling the kids until after the first trimester.

Because of my history of preterm labor/delivery with Owen at 32w6d, I started receiving the Makena injections at 16 weeks to hopefully reduce the risk of this baby being a preemie.  The first shot was given in the office, and every other one Josh has given me at home.  This will continue until the end of my 35th week or baby is born, whichever comes first.  Owen thinks its hilarious that Daddy gives me the shot "in the butt" (intramuscular injection in the back of my hip), and Lane is terrified whenever I have to get it and hides in the other room.

Also around 16 weeks I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions quite frequently, so I try to really keep my water intake up, lie down whenever I can, and just listen to my body.

I have an anterior placenta this time around, which has made feeling this baby much more difficult; its like all of the movements are muffled instead of stronger like with my last two pregnancies.

We found out during our 20 week anatomy scan that this baby is a little GIRL, which completely surprised me.  I was so sure we were having a third boy, and I even had his name picked out.  I cried when the tech told us her gender, because I was so surprised and excited.  It seemed so strange at first to be expecting a girl, but it now feels "right" and like she was always meant to join our family.

That's about it for the first half of this pregnancy!  I am trying to savor every moment, no matter how uncomfortable, because this is likely our very last baby.  Fingers crossed we make it well into the third trimester before we meet this little girl!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm Back!

Wow, has it been a long time since I've written!

Our hectic life turned me away from blogging for a while, causing me to lean more towards social media and it's quick and easy posts. But I've always loved writing and being able to document our lives in a more personal, in-depth way, so I've decided to try blogging once again!

Tonight I will be posting a life update, full of details and pictures of us and the kiddos. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Owen: Three Months


Dear Owen,

You are now three months old!  It is so hard to believe you are a quarter of the way through your first year of life.

You are now 8 lbs!  You still fit into newborn clothes, but your long legs are getting squished in footy PJs.  Mommy tried 0-3mo clothes on you, and they are just too big still.

You have become quite the little sleeper at night!  Around 8-8:30pm you start to get very sleepy, and if we wait too long, you get CRANKY.  This is how you let us know you are ready for bed.  So, Mommy feeds you, and then you get changed and swaddled.  We can usually put you in your Rock’n’Play awake, and you will fall asleep all on your own.  You also tend to stay asleep until early morning, sometime between 3-5am, when you wake up hungry.  After you eat, its back to sleep for another 2 hours or so, and then it’s time to eat again.  Mommy and Daddy are LOVING this long stretch of sleep every night!  You also still nap a lot during the day, but you tend to only take one really long nap and then a few short cat naps.

You gave us your first smile this month!  It is such a sweet, gummy grin, and we will talk to you in as silly of a voice as necessary to see that smile.  You also are getting better at tracking things with your eyes, and you love to look for us when you hear a voice.  You happily play on your piano mat, and your little legs just kick and kick to play music!

You are still a great eater, and have stuck to your every-two-hours routine during the day.  Breastfeeding is starting to feel much easier, although I still get nervous about my supply, making sure you are getting enough, etc.  You are not a huge fan of bottles/formula, but with a little work we can convince you to drink it.  We are hoping to discontinue your preemie formula at your 6 month birthday!

We took you to Walla Walla this month on your first vacation, and you did great!  You slept a ton in the car, and were a great sleeper in the hotel too.  We even got to walk around town in the stroller and enjoy the sunshine with Nana and Great Grandma Kathi.

We are loving watching you grow and develop, and can’t wait to see what next month brings!


Mom and Dad

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Owen: Two Months


Dear Owen,

You are now two months old!  It doesn't seem quite possible though, because we missed out on having you home for almost a whole month.

You are still waking up every 2 hours or so to eat at night, and sometimes even every hour.  While I would much rather you sleep, I know your tiny tummy just can't hold very much yet, so waking up often is necessary.  You prefer to be swaddled in your Halo, and sleep in the rock'n'play right next to our bed.  You have also taken a few naps in your swing and in your crib!

You still haven't shared any smiles with us (besides gassy ones while sleeping), but that doesn't keep us from trying!  You now "talk" to us, and love to be held up against our shoulder so you can look around.  Your tiny neck muscles aren't very strong yet, and your heavy head swings around and hits us in the face.  :)  You are not a fan of being on your belly, unless it involves lying on Mommy or Daddy.

Your big brother Lane just adores you, and is so proud to tell everyone that you are his brother.  He holds you every day, and is great at giving you back your pacifier!

Breastfeeding has continued to go so well for us.  You have a great latch, are a quick eater, and are able to take two bottles each day (of your special preemie formula) with relative ease. You definitely get impatient when its time to eat though!

At two months old, you now weigh 7 lbs 12 oz, and are 21.5 inches long.  You are still so tiny, but have grown so much from birth!  You are still in newborn clothes, and I anticipate you will stay in them for a lot longer.

We have battled an icky rash on your belly and face/neck, and Dr. Huang thinks it might be related to a dairy allergy.  So, Mommy is going dairy-free, and we shall see if that helps.

We do plenty of babywearing every day, especially with your brother at home!  You have already been lots of places too, including the Children's Museum!  You so far love all of our carriers- ring sling, Moby wrap, and Boba.

We can't wait to watch you continue to grow, and am hopeful for a smile soon!


Mom and Dad

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I Had It All Planned Out

I am such a Type-A person, who likes plans, and schedules, and lists.  I applied all of these principles to Owen's pregnancy and birth, and obviously a great deal of my plans didn't work out.

Lane's pregnancy was a complete surprise to us- we were NOT expecting to become pregnant, but it was a welcome blessing that we absolutely would not change.

Owen's pregnancy was very much planned; we knew we wanted to add another baby to our family, we knew when we wanted that to happen, and happen it did, right on schedule.

I had plans to pack our hospital bags, Lane's suitcase, and install the infant car seat soon after my baby shower, right around 36 weeks.  I even spent the evening before I went into labor discussing all of my plans with my mom!  Little did I know, I would go into labor that night, and would be rushing home the next day to throw stuff in a bag to take to Tacoma.

Although I had a great experience with my epidural with  Lane, I REALLY wanted to have a natural childbirth this time around.  So, like with everything I do, I began researching.  I read blogs, I read books, I watched YouTube videos, I talked to people, I practiced labor techniques, etc.  I really felt like I could do this.  And guess what?  I got an epidural.  And I don't regret it.  I think the stress of the situation and just how quickly everything was progressing made me feel out of control.  At home, I was able to use natural childbirth laboring techniques to manage the pain.  But after arriving at the hospital, everything was so rushed that I was never able to calm myself, remember what I had practiced, or put it into practice.  Because of Owen's prematurity, there was no laboring in a tub or shower, no bouncing on a birth ball, no trying different labor positions.  I arrived at the hospital so dilated (7cm and bulging water) that we had to move quickly to get antibiotics in me, get an IV started, get a team assembled to care for Owen, etc.  The epidural gave us a few minutes to calm down, realize the severity of the situation, and talk about what would likely happen once he was born.  I think that if we decide to have more babies, I would be able to handle a normal, term delivery naturally, and that is something I hope I get to experience.

With Lane's birth, he had to go to the Special Care Nursery a few minutes after birth due to difficulty with breathing.  I was able to hold him when he was born, but didn't get to breastfeed him for several hours.  I also missed him being weighed and measured and bathed.  I was so excited to have that experience this time around- and again it didn't go as planned.  I even told Josh one weepy night "I just want to give birth to a baby and be able to keep him with me for once!".

I had planned to have Lane at the hospital when Owen was born, so that Lane could be the first person from our family to meet him.  I wanted Lane to come into our room, climb on the bed with me, and meet his brother (and learn his name, since that was a secret).  I wanted Josh to walk into the waiting room filled with our family, and announce that Owen Ellis Davis was born (since none of them knew his name either).  Instead, Lane was at Josh's mom's house, and while my family was in the waiting room, they only got to see Owen through his incubator walls on his way to Tacoma General.  When Lane saw Owen for the first time, he was in his incubator, attached to tubes and machines, and I wasn't there.  I missed the first interaction between my boys, and it breaks my heart.

So, if this labor and birth experience has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to "go with the flow" more.  I am (slowly) learning to let go of things, and just embrace what comes.  It doesn't mean I won't still try to plan things, but at least I can accept when things don't go as planned!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Owen: One Month

Dear Owen,

Today you are one month old!  It is hard to believe you have already been with us over 4 weeks, but only home for less than one week.

Now that you are home with us, we are getting to know your personality so much more.  You are calm and quiet, and happy to just look around and observe.  Your time in the NICU has made you independent in that you don't need to constantly be held to be happy, and you fall asleep on your own so easily.  I'm sure that will change as you get used to us holding you more often than we were able to at the hospital, but we will gladly hold you as much as you want.

You have always been so strong physically, and like to lift your head up off our shoulder.  You also try to push off with your legs, and even got your little butt in the air while on your stomach in your incubator.  Your name means "little warrior", and that is you to a "t".

Breastfeeding is going exceptionally well for us- you are eager to eat, have a great latch, are a fast eater, and I haven't had any supply issues like I had with your big brother.  We have a freezer full of breastmilk, and I will continue to add to our stockpile.  You do get two bottles each day of a special high calorie/high nutrient formula, but we hope to be able to discontinue that in the next few months.

You absolutely love your bathtime!  You cry when we undress you to get in, and cry when you get out of the bath, but while you are in there, you are so calm and relaxed.  Giving you a bath is one of Mom's favorite activities!

Your big brother loves you so much already, and is very concerned with taking care of you.  He is a great helper, and instantly gets our attention if you start to fuss even a little bit.  He is proud of having a baby brother, and loves to show you off.

Your newborn clothes are still a little big on you, but you don't fit into any preemie clothes, with the exception of onesies.  You have skinny, wrinkly legs, but an adorable round belly.  I'm sure in time you will chunk up quite a bit!  You are now 6 lbs 8 ounces, and 22 inches long.

We are so thankful you are a healthy, strong little boy, who was just too excited to meet us to wait until your due date.  We love you, Owen!

Owen's NICU Story

Within an hour of you being born, the hospital decided to transfer you to Tacoma General's NICU, as they were better suited to care for a baby of your gestation.  The transport team from TG came down to get you, and we said goodbye to you in your tiny incubator before you left.  Daddy followed the specialized ambulance up to the hospital, while I stayed in Olympia, waiting to be discharged.

I started using a breast pump at the hospital right after you were born, and continued pumping every 2-4 hours around the clock until you were discharged 3.5 weeks later.  Luckily, once my milk came in, I had a great supply, and have had more than enough milk for you.  You did receive donor breastmilk for 24 hours while we waited for my milk to come in, and my breastmilk was mixed with a human milk fortifier everyday to provide you with extra calories while in the NICU/ICN.

You needed a CPAP machine to help you breathe for the first 24 hours, but then moved to room air and did just great.  You occasionally had episodes of apnea and minor bradys, but we quickly learned that is to be expected with preemies.

In the NICU, we had a private room.  Every morning, a team of doctors/nurses/other health care professionals would round on all of the babies, so everyone on the team got to hear the same information at the same time.  This was also a great time for us to ask questions!  We got to know all of your nurses very well, and had a few favorites (Danielle, Jorden, and Amanda).  After only 3 days in the NICU, (Wednesday, December 3rd) we were informed you were being transferred to the ICN (Intermediate Care Nursery).  This was because you were one of the bigger and more stables babies in the unit, and more "delicate" babies were coming in that needed the higher level of care you no longer needed.

The ICN provided much less privacy and room than the NICU.  We immediately missed our nurses and space from the NICU, but knew we would just have to settle in and make the best of it.  Either Daddy, I, or both of us spent every single day with you.  We made sure to attend daily rounds, and as many care times as possible (you were on a 7/10/1/4 schedule).  At each care time, we took your temperature, moved your O2 saturation probe to the opposite foot, changed your diaper, and the nurse listened to your heart, lungs, and stomach.  Those were also your designated eating times.

You needed a bili light for several days, which included a pair of "sunglasses" to protect your eyes.  The light made getting you in and out of your incubator/bed more difficult, but we wanted your jaundice to pass as quickly as possible!

You had an NG tube in that allowed your milk to be fed to you directly into your stomach.  We started allowing you to try breastfeeding right away, but it took you until almost your discharge date before you really got it down.  You also started taking a bottle while in the ICN.  Learning how to take all of your daily volumes by mouth was your major goal for discharge, and really the only thing keeping you in the ICN.  On Thursday, December 18th, you finally took 1/3 of your daily volume by mouth, which was a huge accomplishment.  That next day, Friday, neither Dad nor I could be at rounds, due to me being sick and Dad being home with Lane.  Dr. Willham, the neonatologist assigned to you for the majority of your time at TG, called us that afternoon to say that once you took 1/2 of your daily volume by mouth, we could move you to "modified demand" feeding, which meant we waited for your cues of hunger before feeding you, but wouldn't allow you to go more than 4 hours without a feeding.  This was to test out your ability to take enough food in everyday on your own schedule and still gain weight.  Well over that weekend, you hit the 1/2 mark!  So Monday morning at rounds, I brought up moving you to a modified demand schedule, as I truly felt you were ready to try.  Luckily, both the neonatologist (Dr. Golden) and the nurse practitioner (Alta) agreed with me, and gave us the green light for a full demand schedule!  The nurse took your NG tube out, and it was so nice to see your tiny face without any tubes/wires!

So, we spent that afternoon focusing on breastfeeding.   Later that afternoon, our nurse asked if we wanted to "room in" with you that night, because as long as you continued to feed well and gain weight, you would be discharged soon!  So, I got to call Daddy at work, and asked him if he wanted to bring you home in time for Christmas.  I cried and cried as I talked on the phone, as we never expected you to be discharged in time for us to celebrate Christmas as a family at home.

We spent the rest of the day getting plans in place for Molly and Lane, and performing your car seat challenge (which you passed easily), getting your Hep B vaccine, giving you a bath, and moving into the private room in the ICN.  Daddy and I spent two nights rooming in with you, performing all of your care and feedings.  You were finally free from all of the monitors too, and we were free to walk around the room with you without being tethered to any machines!  The first night, you lost 30 grams, and the nurse and doctor told us if you gained ANY weight the second night, we could go home the next day.  We worked really hard at feeding you frequently, and the nurses waited a few extra hours before weighing you to give you as much time as possible to gain weight.  And you did!  You gained 10 grams the second night, and so Christmas Eve morning, we got the green light to take you home.

It took us several trips to the car to get all of our stuff out of the nursery and our Treehouse room, and Daddy had to run to the store to buy a cooler to take all of my frozen breastmilk home.  Walking out of the nursery with you in your carseat was such a strange and exciting moment- no more scrubbing in each day, no more signing in, no more name tags, no more daily doctor exams, no more cafeteria food, and mainly, no more having our family separated.

This experience was one of the most difficult things we have ever faced, and we could not have done it without all of the help and support we received from family and friends.  You are one tiny but tough little boy, and we love how perfectly you fit into our family.  We love you Owen!