Friday, November 25, 2011

.:First Bath:.

Harper had her first sponge bath at home this past week. Since she does not enjoy getting dressed or having diaper changes, I knew this was not going to be a hit with her either.

She screamed through most of it until we got to running the water over her head. She quieted down right away, and as you can tell, quite enjoyed the last little bit of her bath.

But overall, I think she was not a huge fan, as evidenced by this picture.

Real subtle, Harper.

Friday, November 18, 2011

.:Harper Nollie:.


Only two days after writing my 37 weeks post, our sweet little girl decided to surprise us and come almost three weeks early! I figure I had better write down how it all happened before I forget in the newborn mommy fog that I'm currently residing in.

I had been having random contractions for a few weeks, and my doctor stripped my membranes at my appointment. Neither of us expected it to do anything because it never has in the past, but why not? All day on Friday I had the same random contractions; nothing really changed.

We sent the girls out to Grantsville to spend the nite with their grandma and aunt so that we could finally celebrate our anniversary. We went out to dinner and to the movies.

Saturday, Josh had to work a clinic in the morning, so I cleaned house and ran some errands. We met up for lunch and did a little shopping. We were informed that our girls would be staying another nite in Grantsville (don't have to tell us twice!) so he had a friend over to watch football while I worked on costumes for Reece's dance class. During the day, I started to lose some of my mucous plug, and was still having contractions - nothing regular or painful, but more frequent than before.

We didn't go to bed until about midnite on Saturday, and at 2 a.m. I was woken up with a painful contraction. I tossed and turned for awhile trying to get through them, but it wasn't working, so I got up for awhile and got online and tried to get through them. Still, nothing totally regular, but definitely increasing in pain and in occurence. Around 5 a.m. I decided to try to go back to bed. That lasted for about an hour with more tossing and turning, before I got up and headed back to our recliner. I moved the laptop next to me and started using an online contraction timer to see how far apart they were. For that period of time, they were generally about 7 minutes apart, although some varied from 3-5 minutes, and a few were even closer to 10 minutes apart.

Around 7:30 I started thinking that I had better shower in case we ended up going in to the hospital later in the morning. I also had to go copy the program for sacrament meeting. While in the shower I remember having two distinct thoughts: I was really glad I had cleaned my house the day before because I was pretty sure I was having a baby today, and also I was cursing myself for not shaving my legs the day before because it was quite difficult to do while having contractions!

I got ready, told Josh he better get his hospital bag ready, and headed over to the church. The timing worked out perfectly; I had a contraction just before I parked, so I was able to run in and grab keys from one of the bishopric members. Made it to the library, started copying programs, and proceeded to have about three contractions while in there. Hurried out to return keys, and barely made it to my car before another one hit!

I got home, and tried to breathe through some contractions and decide if we should really go in. I really didn't want to get to the hospital and get sent home, but at the same time, the contractions were killing me! It was so weird though, because I felt so totally fine in between contractions that it didn't seem possible that I was really in labor.

We finally ended up leaving around 10:00 to head to the hospital. I had always heard stories about women getting mad at their husbands for hitting bumps in the road on the way to the hospital, but never understood it until then. I didn't get mad at Josh, but man, you definitely feel every tiny little bump in the road when you're in labor like that.

We got to the hospital, got checked in and hooked up to the monitors by about 11:00. I was dilated to a 4 and having regular contractions, and they said there was no way I was going home! I lasted about one contraction before taking them up on their offer to get my epidural right away. Got some relief from that around 11:30, and then around 12:15 or so, the doctor came in to check me (5+) and break my water. About an hour later the nurse comes to check me because apparently my contractions were going crazy (bless epidurals and kudos to the natural mamas out there - not for me!) I was totally complete and she said she was going to go get the doctor. About that moment I started feeling the urge to push and I told her she better hurry because the baby was right there!

The doctor came in and got prepped. The first contraction that hit I pushed twice for her head to get out, and then one more push for her body and that was it! I couldn't believe how fast it had all gone! I am soooo grateful that I was able to go into labor on my own! It was an awesome - although painful - experience.

Just born

When Harper first came out, she let us know she was there with a strong set of lungs (that have continued to be quite strong at home). They took her over to check her, and the nurse was dying over how she was trying to roll over and suck on things. They had the NICU nurse come down because she was doing something called retracting. When babies are born, they are supposed to use their chest muscles to push out all the gunk that is inside them. Well, Harper was kind of doing the opposite of that. They ended up sticking a tube down her throat to get the stuff out.

When they put her on the scale and said she weighed 5 lbs 11 oz, I about died! She was small, but I didn't think she was that small! She was also 19.25 inches long. Our little string bean! We had some skin to skin time while she nursed and looked around. She's been very alert from the moment she was born. After nursing, they checked her blood sugar and it was low, probably because of her size. They said I could nurse her again and if it was still low, then they would have to admit her to the NICU. Or we could give her a bottle of formula which would almost certainly raise it, and then she could come up to the room with us. So we opted to give her the formula and not risk her ending up in the NICU.

We ended up getting her up in the room with us awhile later, and she had her first bath in our room. Reece and Remi came up to visit later that evening. Remi patted her a little bit before this picture was taken, and Reece held her.

We enjoyed a couple of days of visitors, getting checked on constantly, and having Harper's heel poked for more blood sugar checks. She is strong and healthy, though, and her pediatrician gave us the okay to come home. My recovery has been amazing as well. I'll chalk some of it up to staying active and exercising my entire pregnancy, but I'm sure some of it is due to Harper being so small, too!

Harper came home at 5 lbs 5 oz, but at her two day check up yesterday she was up to 5 lbs 7 oz. Hopefully she continues to gain quickly. She is so scrawny; I don't really know how to hold her! She likes to eat frequently, and by that I mean ever 1.5-2 hours. I don't mind it too much right now; she is little and needs it, and her little tummy probably can't hold too much at a time. She doesn't like to be put down much, but I'm sure she'll get used to that quick; I kind of have to when I've got two other little kids to take care of! I'm sure we'll be making some good use of the moby wrap as well.

Her nites haven't been the greatest; she doesn't like to be in her little bed, but up on our bed with me. I can get her to sleep in between her sleep positioner on our bed if I keep a hand on her to let her know I'm right there. She likes to snuggle up next to me, which I admit I totally enjoy, but I also don't want that to turn into a habit; it scares me for one thing, and I like my kids to sleep in their own beds for another!

She is a beautiful baby, and we are just so blessed to have her here with us! Reece loves to help get things for her and hold her; it is so sweet. Remi is pretty indifferent, but doesn't seem to mind because she still gets to do her thing. It will be fun once Harper is a little older and interacting with them more.

Here are some more pictures of Harper from the first few days in the hospital.

Just hanging out

Resting on the boppy

And snoozing on the boppy

Our long and lean little string bean!

Wide awake

Getting ready to go home

Picture with Mommy

And Daddy

All together

Let's go!

And a few pictures Sam and Nikki took when they came to visit. Love them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

.:37 Weeks - Full Term Baby:.

Full term!

I can't believe it.

I am sooooooo ready to meet this little gal, it's just time for her to come out and play.

I'm still not feeling super uncomfortable, but I am starting to want her out more badly for other reasons. Like my weight gain. It has skyrocketed lately, despite my efforts to continue exercising 4-5 times a week and laying off the snacks. Can I continue to blame this on my thyroid? Even though my doctor never said anything about the last blood draw to check it? It makes me feel slightly better about it. I know in the grand scheme of things, it's really not important; I can lose it after. But my pregnant, hormonal self is struggling with it lately. Seems silly, but it's frustrating.

Definitely acting a bit crazy and bi-polar lately; just ask my kids and husband. Lucky for me, they are tolerating me. I don't like feeling so moody all of the time, and I'm really trying hard to be conscious of how I'm acting and feeling. Sometimes I forget that my kids are still really little!

That being said, I am really trying to soak up this last little bit of time with my girls before we add another person to the mix. It's been fun to pal around with them lately. We've been having lots of impromptu dance parties lately, and enjoy our frequent trips to the 'popcorn store'.

I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks and contractions lately. It's been odd to me because I didn't have a whole lot of that with either Reece or Remi. I'd love for it to mean something, and that baby is going to come early. But I'm not holding my breath on that one. We'll see what happens. If she doesn't come by December 1st, she's going to be forced out; I'd really love to go into labor on my own, but if not, that's a good time for us with Josh's work schedule, making plans for the girls to be taken care of, and family coming into town.

I'm just so anxious to meet her and see what she looks like! In the 3D ultrasound we had, she definitely looked like Reece. It will be interesting to see if she favors either girl, or if she's a mix, or if she has her totally own look. It's so exciting!

At my appointment today, I was dilated to a 1+ - up from a half the past two weeks! My doctor was happy with the progress. We'll see, with Remi I was a 1+ for about three weeks, so who knows! She also stripped my membranes the best that she could; it really did not feel wonderful; she admitted to being 'mean' about it because she is really trying to get me to go into labor on my own. We'll see if it helps speed things along or not! As she said on her way out, "Keep your fingers crossed and your legs uncrossed." (Kind of crass, but still funny!)

I think we're about as ready for baby to come as we can be. Hospital bag is as packed as it can be. List of what I need to pack still that can't be packed yet is in the bag. Girls' schedule is typed and hanging on the fridge. Baby has a new coming home outfit and blanket that I made for her (as well as a backup outfit in case she doesn't fit what I made her - hey, from Reece to Remi, our babies went up a pound at birth; if we're following that trend, this baby is going to be 9 lbs. 10 oz.). Made some new boppy covers. Made a new wipes case for the diaper bag (which I proceeded to dream about it falling apart the next nite). To-do list almost done (it's never-ending, so it's as close as it can be!) Christmas shopping mostly done.

Guess all we need now is a baby!

Oh, and a name. But like I said before, not likely that she'll be receiving that prior to discharge from the hospital.

Anyone have some labor inducing tips they'd like to share? I'm all ears.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

.:This is Halloween:.

As usual, we kept busy this Halloween month. There are always so many fun activities, and I like to get as much use out of costumes as possible!

We went simple this year with a handmade Halloween.

Cute Ariel

With her trusty sidekick, dolled up Flounder

Skeleton parents - I drew the stencils on freezer paper, cut them out, then stenciled on to the shirts. Yes, it was a pain. But I think they turned out pretty good, yes?

We kicked off the festivities with a Halloween party thrown by our neighbors. The girls had fun playing with their good friends, Dawson and Emerson.

Posing with Daddy

We headed to Gardner Village with Dawson and Emerson one day. We had fun looking at the witches and shopping around. We chose UEA weekend, so it was kind of crazy there, but we all survived.

Every year, my friends Sarah and Stacy and I throw a Halloween playgroup for our neighborhood. This was our third year doing it. We have everyone bring some sort of Halloween treat to share, and we let the kids eat and run around in their costumes. We also do some sort of craft and game.

Remi quite enjoyed the food, obviously.

Reece loved the candy corn bowling.

Remi was all tuckered out by the end - too much fun!

Library Halloween Storytime was our next stop. We went with Dawson and Emerson, as well as Dixie and Parker. The girls loved it. My goal is to be better taking them to the library each week, why I haven't been doing this, I have no idea!

Reece loved doing the Halloween fingerplay. Here are her vampire teeth.

Remi had fun running around and dancing. She has quite the booty shake.

The whole gang.

Well, minus Remi. She got her own picture since I can't get her to stand still.

Halloween nite we had a good time eating with a big group of friends, and heading out trick-or-treating. Reece was just in heaven! She loved saying 'trick-or-treat' and we were so proud of how she almost always said 'thank you' without being asked. She thought it was pretty awesome, and I am excited to see how Christmas is with both of the girls this year. They are getting to fun ages for the holidays!

Trick-or-treating with Daddy

Checking out her stash

We had a fun-filled month. We're so lucky to live where there are so many things to do!