My Boys

My Boys

Sunday, September 27, 2015

More Pictures

My cute little dinosaur

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby Austin

Austin Logan born September 10, 2015 at 10:48pm
8 lbs. 4 oz. 19 3/4 inches tall

Daddy holding Austin for the first time

Getting ready to leave the birthing center at 2am

All home sleeping in our own beds

The boys meeting Austin for the first time the next morning before heading off to school. They went to bed with no baby and woke up to a baby!

Love this picture of both boys

Carter always wants to hold Austin

This little boy constantly wants to snuggle with Austin as well.

 Cuddles with Daddy

Austin's arm looks a little awkward, but we've made progress with Bryson conscious of holding Austin's head :)

A few newborn pictures that a photographer friend from church took. Austin had trouble cooperating, but they turned out awesome.

[Long] Birth Story:

Thursday morning I got up early and took a very vigorous walk for a little over a mile; I was over a week past my due date and more than ready for baby to come! I rollerbladed the older boys to school then came home to get ready for the day. At 10:30, Bryson and I went to the library to catch the trolley as our fun activity that day. Not soon after I had a contraction, though I was skeptical if I remembered what a contraction felt like! Contractions continued about once every 30 minutes for the next several hours. I was afraid to mention anything to Matt in case it turned out to be nothing, but mid-afternoon I texted both him and my mom to let them know an update. Around 6pm, contractions finally started becoming regular about 10-12 minutes apart. We ate dinner at 6:30, then I texted my mom to have her pack an overnight bag as it looked like she would need to spend the night at my house. I waited longer to tell her to actually come as I finished up piano practicing with the older boys and packed lunches for school the next day. My mom arrived around 8:15 pm and was practically shoving us out the door as my last two labors were 3 1/2 hours once contractions became regular, but contractions were still 10 minutes apart. The midwife advised to wait a little longer until they picked up in intensity as they weren't too painful yet.

Matt and I left around 8:45pm to head to the birthing center and met the midwife and birth assistant there at 9:15 pm. The midwife checked me, and I was dilated to 7cm, 90% effaced, and the baby was positioned at 0. She predicted I'd have the baby within the hour and started the water in the tub.

The atmosphere at a hospital is quite chaotic--bright lights, people in and out, signing papers, answering questions, uncomfortable bed, IV in the hand, a nurse checking your progress, etc. The atmosphere at the birthing center is quite the opposite. The lights are dim, relaxing music in the background, a few candles, idle chatter in between contractions, no needles, no progress checks, warm bath. Being in water really did help ease the contractions. I was able to take deep breaths through each contraction and only became vocal when my water broke and it was actually time to push. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with being in water or if it was just a different experience this time, but while doing natural childbirth with Carter and Bryson, the pushing part felt good and was a huge relief from the pain of the contractions. This time with Austin, it was the opposite. However, because the pushing was so painful I pushed slower which helped with Austin's head shape and no tearing. After 4 minutes of pushing in which I was saying things like, "This hurts really bad!!" Austin was finally in my arms at 10:48. Matt actually let me have my moment this time, and I cried as I held Austin out of relief that he was finally here and healthy and an overwhelming sense of love. I held him against my chest for about 30 minutes until the cord stopped pulsing and then Matt cut it. (Being connected via umbilical cord for that long was probably the weirdest part for me.)

I didn't believe them at first, but both the midwife and birthing assistant repeated a few different times that this was the most peaceful labor they have ever witnessed. I guess that's a compliment. :)

Austin and I got cleaned up, then the midwife weighed Austin and got his stats and Matt was able to hold the baby for the first time. After that, Austin and I took an herbal bath together which was neat. As soon as Austin and I were checked out thoroughly, we left the birthing center at 2am which put us arriving home at 2:30. I felt great and it was sure nice to come home and sleep in my own bed! I was a little nervous about this part though simply because I'm used to being in a hospital for 2 days with nurses checking on baby constantly.

{Funny story to remember for the future: we actually would have been home sooner but when the birthing assistant pulled out of the birthing center, she cut the turn too close and a wheel went into a ditch. Matt spent about 30 minutes helping her get her car out so that she didn't need to wait for a tow truck.}

Having done a birth with an epidural, natural birth in a hospital and now natural birth in a birthing center, would I do a birthing center again? The answer is yes. The whole experience felt natural and as peaceful as birthing can and should be.

We needed to go to a pediatrician within 48 hours, so that put us going to the doctor when Austin was 12 hours old since offices are closed Saturday. He was too young to get his PKU and newborn screening done, so I had to go to a lab open on Saturday to get those things done. On Sunday, the midwife stopped by to check on both me and Austin (heart rate, monitor breathing, etc.).

The after-birth pains are much more intense and lasted longer this time around. With Bryson they lasted 2 days and with Austin they lasted 5 days. The healing process after having a baby is never fun--the after-birth pains along with blisters from nursing. On top of that, Monday I experienced some pain that was separate from the after-birth pains plus a really bad persistent back ache. I just shrugged it off and dealt with it thinking that I was over-doing it and needed to rest more. However, Tuesday morning I woke up to do the first feeding of the night and had trouble standing up from my bed because the pain was so intense. Walking over to get Austin from his basinet required holding on to something while I walked. Same thing happened for the next feeding of the night. When I finally woke up for the day to get the older boys off to school, the pain was so intense that I couldn't walk and finally started crying. Matt helped me to the bed, got the boys off to school, called my mom to come get Bryson, then insisted we were going to the ER. I wasn't sure what was going on but wondered if it might be a large blood clot or some other complication with birth. Because the pain was lower in my abdomen, I had the thought that it might be kidney stones though I knew nothing about them besides that they're extremely painful. I convinced Matt that we should see my midwife before jumping straight to the ER. They fit me into their schedule and I got checked out. 

Though it wasn't 100%, everything pointed to a kidney stone. The ultrasound proved that there was nothing wrong with my uterus but that there was something that looked like it could be a stone in my bladder. The pain I was experiencing that morning was the stone going through my ureter to my bladder. I rested the remainder of the day and drank a lot of water but didn't experience any more of the excruciating pain. The results from my blood work also indicated a kidney stone.

My mom has been such a wonderful help this last week. Matt took Friday off of work and then started back to work on Monday. He has helped me get the kids off to school each day and has also come home an hour or two early each day. Tuesday he cancelled meetings because of my ER scare and stayed home that day. Because he's had to work, my mom has taken Bryson each day so that I can focus on resting and taking care of Austin. It's been a huge blessing as I've adjusted to a new baby again.

We are all loving on baby Austin! A new baby is just such a miracle and blessing from God. We are so grateful to have him in our family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

41 Weeks

Making it to September still pregnant was not how I thought things would pan out. Having gone earlier with each pregnancy, I fully expected an August baby. If I would have picked the date, I would have guessed August 31st because that was the one day Matt said I couldn't go into labor due to things going on at work. But now that I'm a week past my due date, it feels like baby Austin isn't ever going to come. I keep doing things to prepare to no avail. For example, over a week ago I made sure I had all the laundry done in the house because I felt for sure I'd go into labor in the next few days; I made sure I was stocked with groceries so that wouldn't be an imminent need. There's just no predicting when baby will actually come (unless you're getting induced).

Last week on my due date I had the midwife check me to see if there had been any progression at all. I was dilated 2-3 and 50% effaced. At the appointment this week, they did an ultrasound to check that fluids were fine as well as a non-stress test to make sure the neurological development of the baby is okay. Both checked out just fine. I'm now dilated to a 4 and 85% effaced. It's comforting to know that there's been some progress. The baby is currently measuring 8 lbs. 10 oz. Yikes! I have friends who have delivered 9 pound babies naturally, but I will admit that it has me nervous. The atmosphere at the birthing center is very relaxed about the fact that I'm past my due date. Baby checked out fine, I checked out fine, so baby will come when he's ready. The atmosphere in the rest of the world is panic, so it's hard not to feel that anxiety as well. He's only getting bigger, and with that come the potential for a few more complications--increased risk of a stillborn (from 4/1000 to 8/1000) and increased risk of needing a c-section. We all want to meet him so badly, and I'm praying that nothing will go wrong.

In terms of "do it yourself labor", nothing I've tried has worked. I mowed the backyard on Saturday (no small feat since we have a large backyard), I rollerblade the boys to school every day, weeding, mopping the floor on hands and knees, cleaning bathrooms, running up and down the stairs, walking... Nothing. (I quit running two weeks before my due date.) Despite being 1 week past my due date, my weight gain is 26 lbs., which I'm proud of because it's a lot of work to monitor gaining a healthy amount of weight gradually. However, the weight gain is now reflected in my chubby face. :(

I'm definitely tired of being pregnant--bending down, trying to find a comfortable sleep position, getting winded easily, feeling like a bloated whale. There are many things I love about being pregnant, but after 9 months, it's easier to focus on the things that make it so hard!

Here's to hoping that baby Austin decides to come sooner rather than later. I'm especially nervous about the time table now because Caleb gets baptized on Saturday!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Birthday Boy

 Caleb's birthday was on the Saturday before school started. It was hard for him because he was looking forward to his birthday but was NOT looking forward to school starting.

Due to Matt's cousin getting married on the same day, it put a damper on being able to focus on Caleb all day, so we also celebrated the day before as well. We attended Allison and Kyle's temple sealing at 9 am while my parents watched the boys, and we also attended their wedding reception that night. Mid-day, Caleb was finally able to open his presents. He got a lot of new clothes, an in-door soccer ball (hover ball), a new game, and some Rubik's cubes.

We met up with my family for lunch and our monthly Family Home Evening and also celebrated Caleb's birthday. His choice of cake this year was angel food cake and fruit. He's not the biggest fan of frosting.

My parents gave Caleb his new Cub Scout shirt and Wolf book. He's a Cub Scout now!

As I mentioned, we tried to make Friday a super fun day as well in celebration of Caleb's birthday and also as the last day of summer vacation. We spent 3 hours at Pump It Up, an indoor inflatable bounce house, then went to lunch at Chick-fil-A, followed by 3 hours at Splashtown. This pregnant momma was exhausted! Also one of Caleb's birthday presents was a night out bowling. Since Bryson and I were done for the day, Matt took Caleb and Carter out bowling to end the day of fun.

Happy 8th birthday Caleb!

Caleb at 8 years old:
He has a very tender and sensitive spirit. He rarely slept through the night as a little boy until Carter was old enough to share a room with him because he was so scared. That fear is still there, and he loves sharing a room with Carter and Bryson.
He is a people-pleaser. He hates to mess up or feel like he didn't live up to someone's expectations.  Because of this, he has yet to step out of line at school or church. He's a very well-behaved boy in public and very polite.
Caleb is very mature and a great helper with Bryson. I know he's going to be a great helper when the new baby comes as well.
Caleb is very athletic and can play any sport well! He is also very competitive and hates to lose. Besides playing sports, one of Caleb's favorite things to do is watch sports (especially baseball) with his dad.
He is a talented piano player, but is struggling right now with a new teacher and a new style of learning.
Caleb and I have a tendency to butt heads; we are learning that our personalities don't work very well together! We have had to learn patience with one another, especially when it comes to practicing the piano.
His love language is quality time. He LOVES playing games or ping pong with anyone who will play with him.
Caleb is very smart. He can achieve anything he sets his mind to!

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day of School

My handsome boys!

Caleb's first day of 3rd grade 

 Carter's first day of Kindergarten

Caleb's classroom is conveniently just down the hall from Carter's class, so I didn't walk Carter in for his first day--older brother dropped him off. Carter wasn't nervous at all. Caleb kept telling him all this last week, "Carter, school isn't that fun. You just have to do lots of homework and tests." Despite that, Carter was still excited to go.

Bryson bawled almost the whole way home that he didn't get to go to school too. :(

Family Time

We did a family night painting with marshmallow paint. Inevitably it ended up on our faces.

The games on the table were a permanent fixture for the whole month of July. Caleb and I played at least an hour per day of different games. Carter has quite a few games that he really likes to play as well so I would play separately with him or sometimes the three of us together. Soon Daddy joined in on the fun and we did a few weeks of a family game every night. We've slowed down in August as we all got a little burned out. :) Carter's favorite games are Uno, Love Letters, It Came to Pass, and Rage. Caleb and I played a lot of Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan.

We went to an Astros game a few rows up from the field. Orbit ran right past us which the boys thought was exciting.

Carter learned how to ride a bike this summer. Matt tried earlier in the year to teach him, but Carter got too frustrated. A month or so ago, they tried again and Carter picked up on it really fast in two tries. The tricky thing for Carter has been practicing on a narrower space like a sidewalk, which we needed him to master before school started. We practiced almost daily, but he still has a tendency to weave because he'll concentrate on pedaling and forget about keeping his arms steady. I'm nervous about him crashing into other bike riders for the first little while!

For the most part, he is doing great!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pregnancy Update & Delivery Plan

We are nearing the end of this pregnancy with only 4 weeks till baby Austin joins the family. The middle name is not decided yet. I spent the first half of the pregnancy planning on the name Liam and was absolutely crushed when a close neighbor and church friend named her baby Liam a few months ago. I debated for the next month continuing with the plan of Liam, but soon fell in love with the name Austin. Matt is very easy-going when it comes to naming our children; he will let me know when he strongly opposes a name, but doesn't give a ton of input on name suggestions which can be frustrating at times. :)

The pregnancy has continued to go well. I've never had a doctor that will do extra ultrasounds so I've only had the 8 week and 20 week ultrasounds. I get nervous when I can't see the baby and have the doctor assure me that all is well with baby's growth. I took the 3-hour glucose test instead of the 1-hour this time; it just made sense to jump straight to the 3-hour since I've failed the 1-hour 2 out of 3 times in previous pregnancies. I passed the 3-hour test just fine.

My weight gain was looking off-track this time around for my personal goal to only gain 25 lbs. I was doing worse than my other pregnancies and gaining more weight sooner; I just attributed it to the fact that my body is older though it was frustrating since I was running more than in previous pregnancies. However, something shifted where my weight gain slowed down even though nothing changed in my appetite. I am currently at 22 lbs. gained and am on track to gain the least out of all my pregnancies. Something else odd this time around is that I didn't gain as much weight in my face, which I was happy about!

I constantly hear how small I look for as far along as I am. As in the two previous pregnancies, I am measuring smaller, but only by a centimeter. I definitely take it as a compliment when I hear this, but I hope people realize it doesn't come naturally--it's a lot of hard work! I attribute it to my running since my eating habits could definitely improve. A few people have assumed I just have smaller babies. All my babies have been average-size: 7 lbs. 11 oz., 7 lbs. 13 oz., and 8 lbs.

I've cut back from running my 17 miles a week (4 days: 3, 3, 3, and 6) that I've been doing throughout my pregnancy to running 12-13 miles a week (4 days: 2.5, 2.5, 2.5, 5). My pace continues to get slower, currently 10:45. Some days are better than others depending on how I'm feeling; some days I can run the whole time and other days I have to walk one or two times. I'm sure I look pretty silly while running with a big belly which is why I try to go really early. :)

The BIG NEWS of this pregnancy was a change in delivery plans at 26 weeks. After gathering a lot of information, I've decided to deliver at a birthing center with a midwife. I haven't loved the OB I've used for the last 3 pregnancies, but I was too lazy to switch over to someone new. It was convenient to stay with the only thing I've known. He hasn't been super supportive over my decision to birth naturally and also my personal feelings against being induced. Each baby he has tried many times to convince me to be induced so that it can be on his time table--it has just made me feel that all he cared about was being there to deliver the baby for the money. I've always felt good about the baby coming on baby's time table, not on anyone else's.

The switch to a midwife is definitely different. Some things that I thought were just part of OB appointments I'm learning are not necessary. For example, I do not do a urine sample each visit. The midwife doesn't do cervical exams at all (unless warranted or desired) because it does nothing to tell you the timing of when the baby will come and increases the chance of infection.

The doctors that have delivered me (different doctors for each baby since 2 were on-call doctors), had very little to do with the labor. They were just there to catch the baby. I'm excited to have a midwife with me every step of the way during labor, which should be quick based off my record. I'm also looking forward to the experience of a water birth as I hear that it does a lot to ease the contractions. All in all, the decision to switch to a midwife just felt right despite the stories I've heard about a few bad experiences.

All of my previous pregnancies I wasn't necessarily excited for the pregnancy to end, despite how uncomfortable it can be those last few months! I knew that having the baby out was a lot more difficult than having the baby in! Once the baby comes, so do the sleepless nights, the worrying about every little thing, the demand on your time with nursing so often... However, this time around I'm not feeling quite the same way. I can't wait for baby Austin to be here! Maybe because I'm not so nervous about the labor this time around combined with the fact that I'm more experienced. Also Carter and Bryson are both obsessed with babies right now. I can't wait for them to have their own little baby in the home to be obsessed with. :)

Here's to hoping the rest goes well...