Thursday, May 31, 2012

6....Is That Your Final Answer?

We are now a family of 6 and I'm happy, but can you believe that even before I was moved out of my postpartum room after having my C-Section I was already saying, "I could do this again!" Kind of hard to believe since about a week before Zeke was born I was seriously ready to almost cut him out myself. Of course after I finished saying that I could do it again I got THE look from Michael followed by a firm and stern, "No...we are done!"

In the days that have followed I've mentioned it again and again and each time it's the same response....nope! I did go into Zeke's pregnancy knowing it was going to be my last, but to actually have it over and know that that chapter of my life is now over....ouch! I will never again get to see that double line on a pregnancy test, or go to the doctor and nervously wait to see that first ultrasound of a new little baby growing inside of me, or get to tell friends and family the good news, or feel the beautiful life growing and kicking inside of me. I know that mostly this is me riding the "I just had a baby hormone high", but it's so hard to say with finality...."We are done!"

Another thing that's been hard was putting away the little girl clothes that I had washed just in case Baby Z was a girl. It's not that I'm sad Zeke is a boy it's just we didn't know the gender so in my heart I had hopes both ways. I really didn't have a definitely feeling one way or another. I would say I was leaning more towards feeling it was a boy at the end, but I didn't want to let myself feel completely one way or another and then be disappointed. Not that any baby is a disappointment, but I think you know what I mean. I do think it would have been fun for Ella to have a sister. I have friends that have sisters and that bond is special. I always wished I had a sister...someone to talk about boys with and do our nails and go shopping. Ultimately I'm confident that God knew that our family needed Zeke and I'm so happy He blessed us with him. All the kids are completely in love with him as Michael and I are.

Do I still want another baby? Right now I would say yes. Can we afford another baby? Truthfully...not really. Michael is going to go in and have surgery...the dates not set yet and I'm sure when it is all said and done there will be some tears shed as that chapter in our lives will truly be over.

Nursing Issues!


For those of you that follow me on FB you know that Zeke had some nursing issues. This is really for documentation purpose, but here's the whole story.

While in the hospital Zeke had lost 10% of his body weight...he went from 7lbs 5.4oz to 6lbs 9oz. That is actually a normal amount of weight loss, but my milk hadn't come in yet and they didn't want him to lose anymore. So we came up with a his next feeding we gave him formula (I hate doing that) and then I pumped while he ate that. Then at his next feeding I nursed him and then he was given the milk that I pumped during his previous feeding and then I pumped again. The idea was that he would nurse and stimulate my breasts, but then he would get the extra that I was pumping as well. Good idea right?

Well....this turn Zeke into an even more laid back chilled baby and actually turned him into a more lazy baby. He wanted his milk and he wanted it now and the bottle gave him that. It got to the point where he wouldn't even latch onto me and would just scream at my breast. Not exactly what a new mommy wants. I was really feeling low and this came right around the time when I started to feel like my hormones were really messed up and I hadn't' taken my anti-depressant since the day he was born....bad combination folks!! I was sitting in bed holding him and sobbing. It was not good! That was Sunday and of course with the holiday weekend the lactation consultants wouldn't be in the office until Tuesday. I was able to talk to two LC's over the phone and through those conversations I was given quite a few ideas to try to see if they helped. After trying a few of them we figured out a combination that worked for us. The biggest help came from my friend Kim....I had called her earlier on Sunday...crying of course...after we got off the phone she started to pray for us and then she remembered this syringe that Micah (her husband) had used when he had some work on his tooth. It has a crooked thin spout at the end and would be perfect to use for breastfeeding. Her and Micah brought dinner over for us that night and she gave Michael the syringe for me to try.

Since Zeke is an instance gratification guy the first thing I had to do when it was time to nurse was prime the pump per se. I watched a video on You Tube...don't you love You Tube...on hand expression. I must say it's quite interesting watching breastfeeding videos of other ladies, but you know you gotta do what you gotta do. After learning how to properly hand express my own milk I started doing that before even bringing Zeke up to nurse. The milk I was able to express would go in the syringe to help entice Zeke to nurse. So when I brought him to the breast I could squirt some milk in his mouth to calm him down and then I would put a little on my breast so he knew that's where it came from. Thankfully on Monday after a day and half of just pumping and feeding him breast milk through a bottle he finally nursed from me directly again. For a breast feeding mama like me I was in heaven. I LOVE to nurse my babies and to hear that sound of him gulping up the goodness that God designed my body to produce for him....pure joy!!!

So that was our ritual starting on Monday. In the beginning he would get too tired to nurse from the second breast so I was still having to pump and then feed him a bit more by bottle, but that was another thing we changed. In the beginning Michael was the one that was giving him his bottles and although it was nice for Michael to get to have this bonding time we came to the decision that Zeke was getting a bit confused about who was supposed to feed him. So for the time being it became solely my job to feed him both by nursing and with the bottle. He needed to understand that food only came from me! By Tuesday afternoon he was nursing regularly from both breasts so I didn't need to pump anymore and feed him extra from a bottle, but I was still having to hand express and use the syringe. Then by Wednesday he was really getting it and I no longer needed to use the syringe. I still have to hand express, but I just do it directly into his mouth when I bring him to the breast.

I still don't feel confident about nursing him outside the home since he is a bit of a high maintenance nurser. He's also so tiny I really need have to have the Boppy and blankets to help support him. Thankfully the one time we've gone out he didn't need to nurse. If you had asked me on Sunday if I thought that he would be nursing this well by Wednesday I would have laughed in your face. It really is astonishing to me and an absolute answer to prayer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MOPS Granduation!

Backing up to the day Zeke was was our last MOPS meeting of the year. During the last meeting the 4 & 5 year old's always perform for us moms. They do their scripture verses and sing songs. It's always a treat for us!!

Here's Owen's class - L to R - Owen, Laurel, (new girl who I don't know her name), Tyler & Philip.

This is technically when the kids "graduate" from MOPS since the next year they usually go to school. However, since Owen is home schooled he will be returning next year.

All the graduating kids get their very own Bible.

Laurel & Philip technically graduated last year so they got their Bibles then. The kids were super cute and did their scripture verses and song so well....they were a bit quiet which is surprising since normally we can hear them down in the multipurpose room and their classroom is upstairs!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

He Is One LOVED Little Brother!

From the start of the day until the end of the day we hear...

"Mommy can I hold Zeke?"

"I love my new brother!"

There really is absolutely ZERO jealousy going on over here. I love how they have just accepted Zeke so openly.

Monday, May 28, 2012

He's A Little Guy!

Just because I want to remember how little Zeke is right now I thought it would be fun to take a couple comparison shots.

Zeke is just a little bigger than the burp clothes I sew.

And about exactly the same size at Ella's baby doll! If you're wondering why he's crying it's because Daddy had just said we could put him in baby doll's outfit since it's the same size! Zeke didn't think that was too funny! ;)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hospital Stay!

I knew that once I got home that blogging would take a now I'm playing catch up! Here's what happened during the rest of our hospital stay.  

Zeke looks so cute in his little giraffe outfit.

Mama love!

He has these super long, skinny fingers. Owen keeps asking if he's going to play the piano. Not sure if someone mentioned that to him or if he just knows that it's good for piano players to have longer fingers.

Zeke thinks they are for sucking on right now!

Daddy snuggles!

We had a couple other visitors while in the friend Kim and her boys Andrew & Josiah came with Kim's mom Caroline on Thursday morning. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of them. Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie also came on Thursday and hung out for a while. I love having visitors at the hospital!

While in the hospital we found out that Zeke was boarder line jaundice and he had lost quite a bit of weight. He was down from 7lbs 5.4oz to 6lbs 13oz. They were getting a little worried since my milk hadn't come in yet so they asked me to start pumping after he nursed and then give him the rest of that as well. This is where nursing issues started!

This is absolutely my most favorite thing to do right now!!!

All strapped in and ready to go.

Zeke had his circumcision on Friday morning and I got my staples removed. After that we had lunch and did one more feeding session and then it was time to go home.

Walking out!

Welcome home Zeke!!!

We were greeted by all the kids. It was like we had never even been gone. It was mommy this and daddy that. Can I do this and can we have this? To be honest it was a bit loud and overwhelming. Later on I ended up having a mini meltdown. I was feeling overwhelmed and incapable since I can't do much because having surgery. One of the biggest issues was not having everything ready for Zeke. Since we didn't know he was boy all his clothes weren't washed and once we started feeding him with a bottle he started sipping up more so he had gone through quite a few outfits. Thankfully my mom and dad stuck around and mom got the laundry started and dad went and got dinner. Michael was dealing with the kids and trying to have some special time with them. It just wasn't the laid back welcome home that I had envisioned and I think my hormones were just all out of whack!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warming Up!!!

Look who finally warmed up to mommy today! Okay it did take bribing her with chap stick and anti-bacterial gel, but whatever works right!

See the blue chapstick on her upper lips?

She also decided it would be okay to love on her little brother. Melt my heart!!!

We will be heading home tomorrow and I can't wait to be with all my babies!

Travel Art Cases!

As well as having their quiet books, felt checkers board and the felt tic tac toe board I wanted to make one other thing for the kids to take with us on our trip to Wyoming. I found this idea guessed it Pinterest and knew it would be perfect.

I bought these clear DVD cases through Stampin' Up. They are really used for storing your clear stamps, but I had another idea for them. The idea on Pinterest used a normal old recycled DVD case, but you had to cut out and fill in the section where the DVD is held. With these cases I got to skip that whole step! I used cute paper and stickers and decorated each of the kids cases.

Here's the inside of their travel art cases. The colored pencil pouches are cardboard cut to size and then fabric that is sewn into two pockets and then glued to the cardboard using spray adhesive. I have never used spray adhesive before and it's interesting. You have to be careful about over spray and my fingers were tacky for a few hours even after washing them. Also the fumes are quite strong! I also adhered the clips on the left to the case and then put in 6 pieces of white card stock. I love how compact these are and the fact that the case is hard enough for the kids to draw on. I think these will be a big hit on the plane and in the car.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Visitors!

Today after Ella woke up from her nap Ga-Ga & Pa brought the kids to the hospital to meet their new brother. Earlier in my pregnancy they all thought it was girl, but in the last month or so Jack was sure it was a boy. We thought that Owen might be upset since it wasn't a girl, but Michael told me when Owen was in the hallway walking to my room he said, "I hope it's a boy!"

My cute bigger boys!

Ella is still very cautious about being in any sort of medical setting.

Owen was so sweet...he wanted to see Zeke right away and when he saw him he said, "Ohhhh he's so cute!"

Ella wasn't so sure what to think at first. She did say, "baby out" so it was good to know that she understood that the baby was out of mommy's tummy.

Jack was the only one that actually wanted to hold Zeke and it didn't really last that long.

Ella getting a closer look at her little brother! It was fun to hear her say, "Baby Zee". Before when I would ask her if the baby was Zeke or Zoey (that was the name we had chosen if it was a girl) she would always say, "Zo". She's had never said anything that remotely sounded like Zeke before today.

Owen loves everything about coming to the hospital....the parking garage, the elevator, the buttons on the bed and of course the cute little juice cups!

I had saved three of my juice cups so each of the kids could have one as a treat. They also got to finish off my angel food cake that I had for dessert at lunch time.

Pa getting some snuggle time with Zeke!

Newborn kisses!

Whenever we have added a child to our family I always like to make sure I give each child some special attention at the hospital. I don't ever want my kids to feel like they are being replaced by the new baby. Both the boys snuggled with me in bed for a bit and we watched Wild Kratts.

Love my boys!

Ella on the other hand wanted nothing to do with mommy. I think I'm getting punished a bit, but I know she'll come around. Thankfully she didn't seem to have any bad feelings towards the baby. She didn't want to hold him, but she did kiss him and point to his nose, ears and hair.

And here's our cute little man as of tonight...nice and awake and wearing his cute new outfit from Auntie Michelle!

Zeke's Birth Story

On Tuesday after getting home from MOPS I got the kids there lunch and then sat down with them to eat some macaroni and cheese. I took one bite, but it just didn't taste very we eat at MOPS so I wasn't too terribly hungry then. After putting Ella down for her nap I finished up a craft I was working on and then put a movie in for the boys and went to take a nap. I wasn't sure if I should take one at first since the last time I took a nap in the middle of the day I ended up sleeping horribly that night. But I figured if my body was telling me to sleep I should do.

I woke up from my nap at 3:15, went downstairs and told the boys to come snuggle me in bed and watch Curious George. The boys and I snuggle Jack on my right and Owen on my left. I asked them to talk to the baby and tell Baby Z that it was time to come out so they could snuggle. 5 minutes later my contractions started at 3:38pm.

I started monitoring my contractions and they were pretty sporadic at first, but then they became more consistent coming every 4 minutes. I had already called the on-call doctor and she told me to call her back when they were closer together. When I called her the second time she told us to come on in.

After I spoke with the doctor the first time I called my mom to tell her the news. She was getting a pedicure, but once she was finished they drove home, got their suitcases and came to the house to be with the kiddos.

It was a new going into labor while the kids were still awake. We talked about how the baby was going to come soon and that Ga-Ga & Pa would bring them to the hospital to meet their new sibling.

Ga-Ga and Pa got to our house around 6:45 and Pa took this last picture of us as a family of 5!

We got to the hospital a little after 7pm and went right up to triage. The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and sure enough I was contracting. She checked my cervix to see if was dilated...on Thursday at my doctors appointment it wasn't at all. In triage she said I was a 1 cm.

Sitting in triage waiting to get hooked up!

Poor Michael had the worst night sleep on Monday night so he was already running on fumes.

Since having Ella the rules have changed a bit at Swedish...I'm sure they have at other hospitals as well. Since I wasn't 39 weeks yet they have to make sure you are truly truly in labor before they will just take the baby...even though I technically don't have to labor at all. This is when I started thinking they just might send us home. To see if I could make more progress they had Michael and I walk through the hospital hallways for an hour. During that time the contractions got much stronger. At 9:10pm we headed back up to triage where the nurse checked me again and I was still at a 1 progress at all. The nurse told Dr. Pray how my contractions had gotten stronger and more consistent so when she came in to see me she said, "Are you ready to have a baby?" Heck yeah!

Baby #4!!!

After our nurse and the anesthesia doctor had finished running around trying to get everything they needed to start the C-Section...forms to be signed, IV to be hooked up and medical junk to be conveyed we ended up getting bumped back. Another woman came in completely ready to push so she got precedence over me. She seriously must have almost given birth in the car because I think we all ended up waiting another 20 minutes or so.

All suited up and ready to go to the OR.

Sitting on the table waiting to get my spinal block.

After spinal block...feeling a bit icky.

Crazy!!! Dr. Pray has her hand in my abdominal cavity!

Pulling baby out! Michael got to be the one to announce that Baby Z was a boy!

So happy my baby is here!

11:10pm May 22nd 2012. My friend Erin McGinnis guessed this day as Baby Z's birthday!

Baby Z really only let out a couple cries. He had a bunch of junk stuck in his nose and throat so they had to suchion that out.

Cute little guy....7lbs 5.4oz and only 18 inches long! I was sure he was going to be way bigger than that since I was so freakin' huge!!

Getting to hold my baby boy for the first time!

Poor baby had a bit of trouble transitioning from the womb to the outside world. At 12:15 he was taking up to the NICU so they could help him regulate his breathing and oxygen saturation better. It turned out to be a really good thing since I was having a hard time transitioning as well. Normally after my C-Sections I itch like crazy so this time the anesthesia doctor didn't give me a certain pain meds in hopes that I wouldn't have to deal with that. So the nurse ended up having to use some other pain meds to get my pain under control. I was also having a lot of bleeding at this point so they had to give me another med to make my uterus contract so the bleeding would slow down.

Around 4:10 or so my pain was under control so they wheeled me up to the NICU in my bed and I got to really see my baby boy for the first time. He was doing much better so I tried to nurse him...he wasn't quite getting it yet. Around 5am they took us down to our room.

Thankfully the bed for Michael in my room is SO much better than the bed he had to sleep on when Ella was born. He was seriously pooped out.

I really haven't slept much so I'm exhausted as well. Ga-Ga & Pa will be bringing the kiddos up to meet their new baby brother later today. Now I need to focus on getting some rest, feeding this cute baby boy and just plain lovin' on him!

Welcome to the world...Zeke Russell Martin!