Posts Tagged ‘4’

Welcome To The World, Finnegan!

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Introducing our fourth child…

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My birth story is decidedly average, with nothing super interesting or noteworthy happening. But since I like reading birth stories no matter what, I’m assuming other people do too.

My due date was August 28th, and although I’ve been preparing myself to go at least a week late (I did with both Evan and Linc) I was SO SO DONE when I got to my weekly exam on Monday the 29th. DONE. I had enough of the heartburn and insomnia and peeing every 20 minutes and sciatica and pelvic pain and throwing up (I was still throwing up every morning when I got out of bed) and being incredibly uncomfortable 24 hours a day. I had made it past all our vacations and commitments and E was back from his work trips and my mom had just gotten into town to help with the kids. So basically, everyone was sitting around waiting for me to have a baby but I was in too much pain to walk 10 miles a day to start labor.

I’d been taking evening primrose oil for a while, since it’s on The Internet’s List Of Things That Might Start Labor But Who Actually Knows. I’d also been drinking gallons of red raspberry leaf tea, eating all my food with extra hot sauce (and then crying myself to sleep because my heartburn was so bad) and doing as much walking as I could handle. I’d had a couple of evenings of steady, increasing contractions but they always faded away before I seriously considered going to the hospital. I had refused any checks to see how far along I was because in the past they’ve always been very discouraging, so when I went in at 10 for my appointment I didn’t know what to expect. OK, that’s not quite true. I knew I had either a UTI or a kidney infection. I knew my midwife wasn’t against induction. And I knew if she offered me one I would say yes.

I was right about all those things. My UTI turned out to be caused by e.coli, so I needed treatment. (Sidebar: it must be some sort of non-terrible e.coli though, because I wasn’t any sicker than I regularly am with a UTI. I wouldn’t have even treated it beyond cranberry juice and Tylenol if I hadn’t already been under a doctor’s care.) My blood pressure was high enough that it fell in the hypertensive range and I needed to go up to L&D for a non-stress test anyway. And my midwife could see how tired and stressed I was. Right after I got upstairs she came in and said “So do you want to have a baby?” Yes, yes I do.

If you had told me before I had my first child that someday I would happily and joyfully agree to an almost-elective induction, I would have called you a liar. And at the time I would have been right. But 3 births later, I was perfectly comfortable saying yes. I had a few moments of doubt when things got slow and I didn’t manage to have a baby by 8 pm (which had been my secret goal). I’m not someone who enjoys or longs for a natural, unmedicated birth. I think people who do are amazing and with my second pregnancy I briefly thought about giving it a try, but that one ended with pre-eclampsia and a definitely-medically-necessary induction. I used to think I’d like to know what it’s like to have my water break spontaneously, and then that happened with my third pregnancy, where I almost ruined our mattress and carpet. So this time, my only real wish was to get the baby OUT.

I went to the hospital around 3 pm. I hung out, E left to wrangle the kids and gather up the stuff I forgot, I bounced on the birth ball (I really loved the ball, I wish I had bought one for home), eventually they decided I was definitely progressing so they would start pitocin and break my water. A little later I got an epidural, hung out some more, finally agreed on a name with E, and waited. I ended up with a very slight fever (possibly the UTI, possibly something else?) and they stopped pitocin for several hours which let me get some sleep. But I woke up on Tuesday and felt like having a baby, so we started again. The doctor on call was one of the good ones, he was patient and trusted me to trust myself. Despite the fact that their monitors weren’t showing the contractions super close together, I could tell they were strong and if I were to try pushing things would happen. I secretly tried pushing. Things happened. So I told the nurse and the doctor and they did all the room switch-over stuff for birth and then everyone waited while I did a practice push to prove I could get the baby out. They were all very impressed with my pushing skills. It’s really the only part of birth I’m particularly good at. I was so good at it, my husband and my nurse forgot to help me hold up my legs and I remember thinking “this is nonsense, I don’t want to hold my own legs AND do all the work!” But everything happened so fast I didn’t have time to vocalize my complaint before I had a baby!

The doctor called him a bruiser. Everyone made sort of terrified faces at how enormous my baby was. My guess pre-birth was that he would be 9 lbs 4 oz AT LEAST and E said no more than 9 lbs, so even though they gave us lots of time to cuddle and nurse before they took him off to the scale, we really wanted them to weigh him. 9 pounds 13 oz is a LOT of baby. Plus also I was closer, so I win.

Because they had given me antibiotics while in labor, we had to stay for a minimum of 48 hours. Then his bilirubin levels came back high and they kept us another night. We finally got to come home…but right now as I type this E and Finn are back in the hospital so Finnegan can spend some time under the lights to help him get his bili levels down. I managed to pump so much milk in the past couple days trying to stay comfortable as it came in (I have oversupply issuses, which sound silly, because most people worry about undersuply. But let me tell you, oversuply is nooooo fun) that E can stay the whole 24 hours without me having to go back. I’m not going to completely abandon him – my natural urge to stay near my baby combined with the mom guilt of letting other people take care of him plus the fact that this breast pump is just NOT as effective as an actual baby means I’m eager to get back and nurse and cuddle and spend some time with Finn. But I really really reallyreallyreally REALLY really really appreciate that E is willing to do this part. He missed a lot of stuff after Linc was born because he had to go to sea (including a nearly idetical trip back to L&D for 24 hours under the lights) and the experience of doing it alone was really hard for me. It sounds silly to say “traumatic”, but the second I heard Finn’s bili levels were high I started feeling anxious and I’ve barely slept since then. I don’t like hanging out in hospitals.

Fingers crossed that 24 hours is all Finn will need and then we’ll just be done forever with the birthing center at our hospital.

I meant to do a really good job documenting this birth, but it turns out that’s hard to do. I felt very distracted and had no desire to pick up my camera at all until several hours after all the birth stuff was over. But I did take a few. I’ll have the official Fresh 48 photos up later this week too.

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I never made it in for a pedicure pre-baby. Now I probably never will.

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These cups full of crushed iced and water are the BEST part about the hospital. I love that ice.

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Me: HONEY QUICK GIVE ME THE CAMERA SO I CAN CHECK THE SETTINGS BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY

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All the kids really love holding the baby. It’s adorable.

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Thank you to everyone for the well wishes!! We could not be happier to be a family of 6 and hope we will all be back under one roof again soon.

 

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Baby FOUR Details And Stuff

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Surprise! Honestly, I would say I was also surprised to find out I was pregnant again but REALLY?! This is the fourth time – fifth if you count the chemical pregnancy right before Linc. I know how it happens. This is not that surprising.

It is a little bit surprising because I was using the lazy person’s birth control (breastfeeding) and hadn’t gotten my period back at all (sorry any dudes who happen to read this by accident) so it’s not like I was trying to get pregnant. I was just not NOT trying. The plan was always to give Linc a close sibling since it worked out so well for Evan and Caroline, but without a way to actually make that happen we just had our fingers crossed. I’m just very, very lucky. I’m very, very aware of that.

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I realized I was pregnant at a game night with friends, when I drank half a glass of wine and immediately felt like throwing up. That is not at all my normal reaction to wine. I took a test that night when we got home and even though it wasn’t ideal testing conditions I got a super faint line. I woke up my (perhaps slightly drunk) husband to wave it in his face, but he swears his has no memory of that. The next day I tossed a digital test that said “PREGNANT” in his lap and that’s when he actually found out. I am not good at Big Gestures To Tell My Spouse. Not when I need him to immediately start handling all smelly house- and child-related issues.

I have what I think of as all the regular pregnacy symptoms – exhaustion, morning and evening sickness, constant peeing, sensitivity to smells, unexplained headaches I can’t take anything good for, pants that don’t fit. My face was breaking out like crazy for the first few weeks but it seems to be slightly better now. I spend every morning throwing up for 20 minutes but then I can usually power through until 3 or 4 pm when I have to start being careful to avoid triggers and then as long as I go to bed before 9 I’m mostly safe. Hopefully I’m almost past the morning sickness stage too and will get some of that good second trimester engergy, now that I’m in my second trimester.

Surprise again! I managed to not announce my pregnancy the second it happened, like I have previously done! I’m actually just slightly more than 14 weeks along, due at the end of August. This is the first time I’ve delayed talking about a pregnancy for so long, which felt a little weird. It started because I just didn’t want to announce at Christmas, then I didn’t want to announce until I had at least seen my OB but because I didn’t even call them until January my appointment wasn’t until the middle of the month. Then my standard screening test came back with some questionable results and I wanted all the information I could get before I opened myself up to every Facebook friend’s questions. Luckily the second, more accurate test came back normal and the ultrasound I had on Tuesday didn’t show anything concerning. I have another ultrasound at 19 weeks to triple check, but I feel reassured that things are as OK as you can ever say they are.Evan is SUPER excited. Caroline is excited about the idea of getting a sister. Linc doesn’t understand yet. Since I don’t want poor Caroline to spend the whole pregnancy thinking she’s getting a sister only to be disappointed at the hospital,

Evan is SUPER excited. Caroline is excited about the idea of getting a sister. Linc doesn’t understand yet. Since I don’t want poor Caroline to spend the whole pregnancy thinking she’s getting a sister only to be disappointed at the hospital, we’re going to find out what we’re having. Team Green was SUPER fun to do with Linc, but since this is mostly likely our last baby, having the next 5 months to purge baby clothes we won’t need is a good use of time. Just like I did a fancy announcement photo shoot, I have plans for a gender reveal photoshoots. It’s my LAST BABY. I want to do ALL the things. Imagine flower crowns and a sunset in my maternity photos.

Our families are very happy. My wonderful, fantastic, very understanding sister might have rearranged her wedding a tiny bit so I could still attend, which is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. E has been great. Honestly, I think he also realizes this is probably the LAST BABY and has stepped up – doing the dishes, putting the kids to bed, volunteering to hold my hair while I throw up, bringing me the food I’m craving, letting me lie on the couch and wallow while he vacuums. It is making being pregnant while also having three children much easier.

I’ve heard adding a fourth barely matters in the grand scheme of things. We already have a minivan. I’m already staying home with a toddler, staying home with a toddler and a baby only means I’m more tired, not a real change in my schedule. Linc might have just weaned himself (literally yesterday) because my supply has dropped, so I get a little break before I have to nurse a newborn. And then I’ll get a NEW BABY to wear in all my wraps and my baby carriers and snuggle and take pictures of and love undyingly forever and ever. We already scheduled the summer out so we still get to do our beach vacation, lake membership, camp for the kids AND I can spend all of August lying in 18 inches of kiddie pool water in our backyard so I don’t have to wear clothes.

I know myself too well to make any blogging promises, but I have high hopes that now that I’m not keeping my pregnancy a secret I’ll have a lot more stuff to say. I might even do some pregnancy style posts, since this is my LAST BABY and I need very little stuff so I might treat myself to a few cute things that are meant for people actually growing humans instead of just mashing myself into XXL tanks and yoga pants. Although, like I said, I am due in August, and there is no pregnancy style in August. Especially when you don’t have air conditioning.

Isn’t it completely crazy that I started this blog in 2008 when I was newly pregnant with Evan and only a month after I reach the 8 year mark I’ll have my FOURTH baby? That’s a lot of babies and a lot of time to maintain a blog, even if it’s just a personal narrative at this point and not the amazingly popular money-making mommy blogging empire I imagined in the first few years.

And I am INCREDIBLY happy about all of it.

 

 

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Caroline: 4 Years Old

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Today my baby girl is turning fourteen. No wait. FOUR. She’s turning four. But sometimes it sure feels like she’s turning fourteen, with the sass and the attitude and the confidence and the hilarious things that come out of her mouth. She wants a pink unicorn for Christmas – a REAL unicorn, not an imaginary unicorn. And not a purple one. A PINK one. I told her maybe Santa didn’t have room in the sleigh for a unicorn so she could maybe ask for something smaller and she agreed toy ponies would be OK for now. She’s accommodating like that.

She has asked to take tap dancing lessons now that she is four. I’m not really looking forward to all the tap dancing practice that is sure to follow, but since she stomps around “tap dancing” in her sneakers anyway it really matters very little if she’s signed up or not. Caroline loves to perform and if you ask her she will sing you a completely improvised song about a mermaid who looses her baby and then finds her again and lives happily ever after, complete with an interpretive dance, since everything includes an interpretive dance. Getting her coat on involves an interpretive dance. Brushing her teeth involves an interpretive dance. Screaming about how I ruined her life involves an interpretive dance.

Caroline is VERY excited about her birthday  plans. Tonight she and I are going to see The Nutcracker at Mohegan Sun. It looks fancy, with an orchestra and a chance to meet the dancers. I’m just as excited as she is, since I really really want her to love it. I have a very magical memory of going to see The Nutcracker when I was little and I’m hoping this can be a tradition for us on her birthday. Then Saturday we have her mermaid party. I feel less prepared than I have been in previous years (being trapped inside by the cold limits my water-based games and activities) but between a zillion different kinds of sugar to feed the kids and plans to fill the house with balloons I think the kids will have a good time. And if not Caroline can do some more interpretive dances for them.

Happy Birthday to the craziest, happiest, sweetest, bravest, most adorable little pixie mermaid ginger I know, Caroline Noelle!

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Please enjoy Caroline’s 4 year old interview. Last year’s interview is here. I let her watch it just before this year, so she answered some of the questions the same to be funny, not because they’re true. She’s too stubborn to argue with though.

I asked her this morning how she liked being four, and she said “How about I try on all my shoes and see which ones fit me. Cause I’m four and four is BIG BIG BIGGER.” Sounds like a plan.

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Evan: FOUR

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I have a little person who lives in my house named Evan. He’s not a baby. He’s not a toddler. He’s not even very little. He’s a kid, and he’s kind of awesome. He picked out birthday cupcakes and helped bake and decorate them for his school friends today. He’s helping my dad set up the electric train set for his birthday on Saturday and being a very good listener when it comes to the teeny tiny screws and wheels and pieces. He also had a total meltdown at the aquarium yesterday because he was super tired and just wanted to go home and lie down for a little while. It was understandable, since that was hat I really wanted to do too. You’d think after four years I’d remember my kid was a little person more often, but I think I must have fallen into some sort of accelerated time warp since I’m pretty sure I actually gave birth yesterday.

Evan loves books and reading and going to the library to pick out MORE books. He loves trains and cars and trucks and diggers and every other boy-thing you can think of. Bugs! Dirt! Loud noises! He loves swimming and is really excited about going to the beach and the lake this summer. When we’re in the car he requests “rock and rolling music” most of the time, but his favorite CD is Beethoven’s Wig. Every time he does something funny or cute he yells “TAKE MY PICTURE MOMMY! CHEEEEESE!” He can work the iPad better than I can and always knows where my phone is, even if I lose it. Last week he finally earned his special reward (some sort of outer space blaster that shoot glow in the dark balls) for ditching his night time pull ups. As of today, he doesn’t use his much-loved sippy cups anymore because he is a big kid. He is so kind and generous and helpful and sensitive and I am so so lucky to be his mom.

I spent a large part of my week filling out paperwork and touring various preschool programs for next year.The only certainty at this point is he will probably be taking the bus. Which…whoa. My kid is almost old enough to ride a bus. Although he’s not quite old enough to answer these questions without looking around the room and choosing things he can actually see. Abstract concepts are hard when you’re only four.

All about Evan, Age Four

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Pirate Ships
3. Who is your best friend? You! and Caroline. She always jumps and flies.
4. What is your favorite TV show? RescueBots!
5. What is your favorite food? Pizza!
6. What is your favorite drink? Milk.
7. What is your favorite game? I like watching TV. *Me: That’s not a game* I like Sneaky Snacky Squirel. THAT’S my favorite game.
8. What is your favorite snack? Watermelon.
9. What is your favorite animal? Brutus!
10. What is your favorite song? I sing my own song BUH BUH BUH BOP! Like that!
11. What is your favorite book? Mike Mulligan. It broke.
12. What is your favorite dessert? Cupcakes!
13. What is a big boy thing you can do now? I don’t get any more baby cups!
14. Where do you go to school? I go to school with my best friends!
15. Where is your favorite place to go? Staying home with you! The aquarium! The seaport! The yarn store!
16. What would you like to do for your birthday? A choo choo train birthday party!
17. What do you love about yourself? Being four!
18. What is Daddy’s job? Go to work a lot.
19. What do you like to sleep with? My milk cup and my blankies.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be Evan.

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evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

evan four years old

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