Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Shot!

He is such a sweet baby.  There is no other way to describe him.  

Settling In


I am happy to say that we have been settling in nicely.  We have had a lot of help from Mom and Jeanne'.  They have been coming by and lending a hand with the kids so that we have time to be one-on-one with each.  Sarah Graves has loved having Aunt Nay and Lovie around.  Now an evening with just Momma and Daddy is considered pretty boring for her!
We have also felt a lot of love from friends at church and my parents' friends, the Currans bringing us meals that fill more than just our tummies.  
SG was so cute in the bathtub and kept saying she had a blue bubble bath!  She even pulled out her letter "B" to show Nay that "B" was for blue bubble bath.  She has been so sweet and loving to Charlie and has not behaved with jealousy toward him at all.  She has acted out a few times at school, but we aren't sure if that is directly related to Charlie's arrival or not.  We have been doing a lot of talking about treating our friends well and trying to make sure she gets individual time with us.  Love that funny girl!
This bright eyed guy has been an absolute joy.  He is just so sweet and so laid back.  He definitely likes to eat and sleeps pretty regularly throughout the day and night.  We are still waking him to feed every 2 or 3 hours, but he is letting me get some sleep at night.  He likes to suck on his fingers and is very happy when he can find his thumb!  

It is still crazy for me to think that we have two kids, a son and a daughter.  I feel very blessed to be in this phase of life.  

First Pediatrician Visit

Monday was Charlie's first visit to the pediatrician.  I really like that our pediatrician has a special entrance and waiting area for newborns.  Charlie handled the visit like a pro and was content the whole time.
Here are his current stats: weight is 8 pounds 11.5 ounces (81st percentile and almost back to his birth weight, which is pretty impressive for a breastfed baby); height is 21.25 inches (78th percentile); and head circumference is 14.25 (86th percentile).
We were concerned about the jaundice, but the pediatrician said he looked good and she didn't feel we even needed to check the billirubin level.  That was a relief to hear!
Saturday my milk started coming in and Sunday night I was miserable with so much milk.  It was making it difficult for Charlie to latch and causing me a lot of discomfort.  I felt like there must be something we needed to do to make it better, so I called our doula and asked if we could come by.  She is very gracious and had us over for a few hours to see how Charlie was nursing and help us perfect his position and latch given how swollen and sore everything was.  She gave me a few suggestions like leaning back to help slow the flow of milk and keep him from being overwhelmed by all of the milk!  She also showed me how to hold him better to keep him latched correctly.  I am so grateful that she spent the time with us and it was nice to sit and visit with her when I wasn't in labor!
We also took Charlie for his first visit to Dr. Laura, our chiropractor.  She said that Charlie was just a little misaligned on the right side and to watch that he doesn't continue to favor it.
I am so happy that we have multiple people for support and it has really taken some of the stress off of me this time around!

Placenta Pills

On Sunday the pills made from the dried and ground placenta were delivered.  As you can see, they look a lot like any other supplement type pill.  The instructions were to take 6 pills a day for 5 days, then 4 pills a day for the next 5 days, and 2 pills a day for the last 5 days.  It was recommended the you not just stop taking the pills, but step down the dosage.  The pills can also be helpful during times of transition like going back to work, so I will save some for that time as well.
This birth was so different from my previous one that I think I will never know what really had an impact on me, but I have been feeling really good since the birth.

Big Sister

She is so proud to be able to hold Charlie!  She is very gentle with him and really adores him.  She will tell him, "it's okay, Charlie."  I love that they are bonded already.

Visit with Aunt Lexie

While we were at the hospital, we found out that Aunt Lexie would be passing through Atlanta on Sunday on her way to her new life in Virginia just outside of D.C.  We couldn't miss the chance to see her and she was up for the  chaos that comes with a two-year-old and a newborn.
Sarah Graves LOVED playing with her godmother and showing her every single object in our house!  Momma felt grateful that both kiddos fell asleep on Sunday evening giving us some time to visit with Aunt Lexie.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Poop

It seems that taking pictures without the diaper on is just the right moment to bring on the first big poop and pee for both of my babies!  The same thing happened to me while we took pictures of Sarah Graves and Sunday Charlie christened me by first having a poop that seemed to keep coming and then peeing everywhere!  Fun memories with new babies!

Charlie's First Bath

We chose to give Charlie his first bath ourselves and I am so glad that we did.  We waited until we were home from the hospital and did it as a family.  I'm not sure that Charlie relished the experience, but it was a nice way for us to involve Sarah Graves in his care.  




Meeting Sister

We were so excited for Sarah Graves to meet Charlie!  She had been waiting so long for her baby and we were just bursting to have her there at the hospital.  


Sarah Graves has three prized possessions: her lovie, her binkie, and baby Kate.  She was so sweet to offer to share them with Charlie.  She has a very big heart.  

She brought a present that she picked out for Charlie.  She was most excited to give him the pacis that she picked out and to show him the balloons she brought.   

 Charlie brought presents for her and she was quite excited to see paints for the bath and a Sesame Street play dough set! 

Watching these two together is definitely going to be one of the highlights of being their parent.  I know they will have days where they fuss and fight all the time, but I think they will be one another's buddy and I am very excited for them to have that.  

Coming Home

I am still working on the birth story, but thought I would start posting some of the other goings on since Chubby made his entrance into the world.
We expected to b at the hospital for just over 24 hours and were prepared to go home first thing Saturday morning.  About 1 a.m. on Saturday our nurse came in to check his billirubin levels for jaundice.  We went back to sleep until about 4:30 a.m. when the pediatric resident showed up asking about numbers of wet and poopy diapers.  At that point, I got up and decided to shower and start getting ready.
When our new nurse came on shift at 7, she rushed in and made mention of the billirubin level being high and needing to do blood work.  I was a little confused because that was the first we had heard of it and at that point, I realized we might be there a while.  The first round of blood work came back a little high at 8.9, so they wanted to wait and check it again in a few hours.  Aaron had brought Sarah Graves up to the hospital to take Charlie home and she started to get a little rambunctious in the room, so Lovie took her back to her house and we waited.  Waiting around a hospital room makes the time pass very slowly, especially when your baby sleeps.  Charlie slept with his belly exposed to the sun in an effort to break up the billirubin and help the jaundice.

The second round of blood work showed that the level was 9.6 and still considered stable, so we had the all clear to go home.  The all clear does not mean that you are walking out of the hospital.  It takes time to get all the paperwork ready, go over all the discharge information, get someone to transport Charlie and I out of the hospital, and finally we were free to go home!



When we reached home, Lovie and Pops had Sarah Graves waiting at our house with dinner ready, too!  Home felt so good to us and Sarah Graves was beside herself excited to see Charlie again.









  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Still at the hospital

We were expecting to go home early this morning, but a billirubin check done in the wee hours showed Charlie's levels were high.

Lab work was ordered this morning and those levels were moderate, so we were told to wait here for a recheck late this afternoon. He looks a little yellow on his face, but not really all over. They suggested exposing his belly to the sun, so he has been basking in it this afternoon.

We were really anxious to get him home to be with his sister. She is starting to miss the consistency in her life and has started to cry for Charlie. She spent a few hours here this morning with him and then mom took her home. She is IN LOVE with him!

I am getting stir crazy being here. Thankfully, our nurse just came in with the good news that we can go home!



Friday, August 24, 2012

Charlie is here!

Charles Matthew Caldwell born in the water at 11:37 PM August 23 weighing 8 pounds 13 ounces and 21 inches long. Born on his Ma Maw's birthday.
It was a long journey, but so worth it. We are exhausted and overjoyed. This little boy is such a precious gift.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunday at the Aquarium

What to do when you're waiting for a baby brother who is taking his sweet time?  Sunday we headed to the aquarium for a great day.   SG insisted on wearing her fish dress to go see the fish and she was so much fun!

It was not very crowded and we had the penguins to ourselves, which is rare.  

 She is always fascinated by the jellyfish.  They are neat to see and kind of glow.  

 She and Daddy were checking out the tropical fish.  

She was in such a good mood that we decided to give the 3-D Deepo show a try.  She sat on Daddy's lap and took it all in!  Granted, it's short, but she isn't known to sit for long!


 We enjoyed a delicious lunch before heading over to Centennial Olympic Park.   The weather was so wonderful for Georgia in mid August.  We enjoyed a walk in the park and then found an ice cream truck!  She was pooped by the time we headed home and fell asleep before we exited the parking garage.  Not a bad way to pass the time waiting for Chubby!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Check-Up

Today at 40 weeks and 6 days I went back for another non stress test and to see the midwife.  Charlie did well on the non stress test showing no decelerations and a reactive heartbeat.
I saw my favorite midwife, Anjli, today.  I went in with a lot of anxiety and she has a way of making it seem better.  My two big concerns were the placenta "giving out" and how that actually works and Charlie's size and what that might mean for delivery.   As for the placenta, it doesn't just stop one day.  It's a more gradual process, which is how they can monitor every few days and have me monitoring his movements at home and determine if he is doing well.  I guess the placenta starts to calcify over time and gradually stops providing nourishment to the baby.  If the baby is not getting enough nourishment, vital function for heart and brain are prioritized making things like fluid output from the kidneys slow down.  That's why the fluid level is also monitored to ensure that it isn't dropping.
I have been concerned that it was hard to deliver Sarah Graves because her shoulders were large and that is why they had to pull to help her out.  Anjli said that actually the problem was not her size, but the decelerations in her heart rate making them anxious to get her out quickly rather than take time for me to push.  She feels confident Charlie isn't too big for me to deliver and thinks that sometimes bigger babies are easier because they don't have room to get their arms stuck by their face, etc.  I told you she has a way of making it seem better.
Although I never ask to be examined because I usually think it won't tell us anything, today I decided to be examined.  My cervix is soft and starting to efface or thin, but it isn't open.  Think of a round piece of dough that you gradually smoosh the center of it so that it gets flatter and then begin to open the whole to make a doughnut.  I was considering different options for what to do since we are at 41 weeks and knowing if my body has started to get ready for labor was helpful in making a choice.  Induction from stripping membranes or going to the hospital for pitocin didn't seem like a good idea since I haven't started to open at all.  However, starting to efface can be a good thing making it easy to dilate very quickly once labor starts.
Given this information, I have decided to try a homeopathic medication, actually two of them, to possibly help start labor.  We should know within a couple of days if that will work.

Charlie's Room

This is Chubby's room from the doorway.  I am pleased with how it all came together.  I knew I wanted light blue walls, it just seemed like a peaceful color for a baby boy.  We loved all the monkey theme when we were expecting Sarah Graves and thought we would do that for a boy, but once it was time to decide, we were drawn to the fish.  





 We found the bedding and that started the whole theme




 Jeanne' had the idea to make this darling frame and have his monogram in it to personalize it.  The fish tails font is perfect for his theme!

We found this cute photo frame at a festival and just fell in love with it.  We can't wait for him to arrive so that we can put his picture in it!

I took this photo before we had the picture from Aunt Nay to put up.  
 We went to Etsy for a lot of the artwork in his room and couldn't resist this growth chart personalized with his name on it.
We found this neat fish at an art festival and thought it had the right character for the theme.  


We fell in love with these canvases.  

 Mom had the vision for these curtains and did the aplique to tie in the fish theme.  They turned out cuter than anything I had envisioned.
Then, she made the lamp shade to match and I just love it.  The table is something that I found about 10 years ago and I have repurposed it several times.  It was in Sarah Graves' room and then I painted it orange and it ties in great in Chubby's room.

This nursery was a true family effort.  Dad helped us paint it, Mom did the curtains and lamp shade, and Jeanne' made the personalized artwork over the crib.  Aaron and I repainted a few pieces and worked on the other details.  I am so anxious to show it to Charlie and spend a lot of time snuggling and nursing him in this room.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cold Care

We had Sarah Graves adjusted at the chiropractor last week to give her immune system a boost and Dr. Laura reminded me of some good advice:
At the sign of runny nose or congestion, start using saline nose spray
Help her ears drain by holding her nose while she drinks
Probiotics are made ineffective by the antibiotic, but double up for several days after the antibiotic is complete

Last water day

Friday was the last day to go to the spray ground at school. Her teachers sent these precious pictures to us.

Friday, August 17, 2012

40 Weeks and 4 Days

Here we are 4 days past the estimated due date.  It's hard not to feel a little anxious that he may never get here.  I'm really not physically uncomfortable, but I am growing anxious to get things underway and see him.
Thursday, I went for acupuncture.  The acupuncture isn't painful and they use points in the hands, ankles, and lower back to try to stimulate the body to move everything downward.   That helped get things moving when we were waiting for Sarah Graves, so I had high expectations that the next day I would be in labor; no such luck.  I went into work as usual, but it is starting to wind down for me and it's hard to keep my mind off waiting for labor to start.
I had one more idea that a pregnancy massage might help me relax and let my body get things going.  I called and they had an opening during lunch.  I enjoyed the relaxing experience and wish massage were something I could do all the time, but still nothing seems to be moving.
We have tried eggplant parmesan from Scalini's, making the sauce used to make the renowned parmesan at Scalini's that is known to put women into labor, eating pineapple, walking, and using the evening primrose oil, but nothing seems to make contractions happen.
We know that he is head down and in a good position, so I just can't figure out what the hold up is.  I guess it just isn't something I can control, but have to wait for him to be ready.  Boy, my babies have a way of letting me know they are in charge from the very start!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Still Pregnant!

Today I went for some tests to make sure that Chubby is doing well and okay being past his date.
Part of that included an ultrasound and a peak at his profile! They checked the fluid levels and there is plenty! You need a measure of 5 cm and I had 24 cm! The placenta looks good and Chubby had a reactive heart rate. His weight is estimated to be around 9 pounds, so he should live up to his nickname!
They checked my blood pressure and it remains low, which might explain my persistent headache.
I will need to go back on Monday to be sure his heart rate is reactive. We can only hope he is here before then!
I am headed to acupuncture this evening and that helped get it going for SG, so we will see!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bye Bye, Little Gym

 This weekend we had our last classes at Little Gym.  Sarah Graves enjoys playing on the equipment and we learned some ways to spot her in tumbles, but I don't think Aaron and I will miss going.  It is a little overwhelming with so much activity and so many kids in there!
They did some singing at the beginning of each class and at the end of the class.  We also learned a tune for picking up toys that can be adapted to most any situation.  Always a good tool to have!


The beam was by far her favorite apparatus.  She was drawn to it each week.  
I do like that they focused on social development as well as physical development.  Her teacher handed out a diploma to each child and they had to patiently wait for their name to be called.  No easy feat when you're two!  My baby was so excited to climb up on the makeshift podium and get her certificate. 

She was very curious to watch the girls in the ballet class, so that may be our next endeavor!