Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two Weeks with Mason

I'm so sad that the first two weeks of Mason's life have already flown by! Time is just going way way way too quickly for this sappy mama!


A lot has happened over the first two weeks though...mostly lots of snuggling!

A few noteworthy things:
* Because he was so big at birth, Mason essentially never fit into newborn clothes! He barely fit into the newborn "going home from the hospital" outfit we got him. Thankfully, we hadn't really bought many newborn things for him (well, really, we didn't buy hardly any clothes at all. He only had 2 newborn sized outfits, and has just a handful of 3 month sized outfits). A couple days after he was born I had to go buy him some size 3 month sleeper jammies because he only had 2 pairs that fit (and anyone who has ever had a newborn knows that they can go through way more than that in one night if they're spitting up a lot!)
* That also means he barely wore newborn sized diapers. He wore them for about the first week and then we switched to size 1.
* At his first doctor appt 5 days after he was born, he had lost a couple more ounces of weight (he was 9 lbs 7 oz at birth, was 9 lbs 5 oz when we left the hospital, and 9 lbs 3 oz at the doctor). But the doctor said that's really normal for big babies; he's eating great so no concern there. 
* My poor baby boy caught his first cold before he was even 2 weeks old :(  On Sunday one of his eyes started getting all gunky and crusted over. We thought it was just a clogged tear duct, but then Monday the other eye started crusting over, and yesterday he started being really congested and having a bunch of green snot. Yuck. He's been a trooper though and is still sleeping pretty well.
* He has fluctuated on sleeping at night. Some nights he'll eat every 2 hours, but there have been several hours where he's gone 4+ hours between feedings. Overall he's doing quite well.

And now, pictures of our first 2 weeks of adventures with Mason!

Strapped in and ready to leave the hospital!

 Layla was excited to hold Mason.

We had to bribe Landon to get him to hold Mason :)

Daddy & Big Brother telling Mason about all the adventures they'd have together camping, fishing, playing basketball, etc. 



Pretty good summary

 Mason was NOT happy about his first bath at home, or his second one. Finally by his third bath he settled down a little bit and seemed to enjoy the warm water. But not this time!


Survived his first doctor appt!



He likes to look out the window

First time with all 3 kids in the car!

Our first outing was to Sonic for some snacks and to play on the playground!


We've enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL weather lately

Our littlest Wildcat

 Mason's first walk! He relaxed while his brother and sister fought over who got to ride in the stroller. Not a super peaceful walk for Mom and Dad :)



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mason's Birth Story


It's funny, before I had kids or was ever pregnant, I didn't find birth stories all that fascinating. But starting when I was pregnant with Landon, I love hearing/reading people's birth stories. I think it's incredible and fascinating how ever single birth is different. God is such an amazing Creator!
So here we go, Mason's birth story!

Mason's story is very similar to Layla's birth story. (And just for fun, here's Landon's birth story). Like Layla, we were induced with Mason a few days before his due date. He was due on March 10th, and we induced on March 4th - and thank goodness we did! With him being 9 lbs. 7 oz, if he would have gone to term (or late!) I'm sure he would have been over 10 lbs. Yikes. 

We were instructed to get to the hospital at 7 a.m. to start checking in. We filled out admission paperwork downstairs for awhile and then were sent up to the maternity wing. We met our nurse, Jessie, who was a-MAZ-ing, got changed into my hospital gown, filled out more paperwork, drew blood for lab work, got the IV hooked up, etc. Right around 8:00 she started the pitocin, and the induction process officially began. As of my 38 week appointment the week before, I was dilated to 4, and when the nurse checked me the morning of the induction I was still at a 4, maybe slightly more. 

Ready or not, here we go! And I was definitely ready
For the record, yes, I curled my hair and put on makeup. I showered and curled my hair the night before and then touched it up the morning before we went to the hospital. People, these pictures last forever. When you know in advance you're being induced, may as well be prepared!


With Layla's labor, I waited awhile to get my epidural for some mystery reason that I regret completely. So I only had the epidural for 30 minutes before she was born. This time around, I was determined to get my money's worth out of that giant needle. I had told my doctor at my last appointment that I wanted to get the epidural sooner this time, so she called the nurse as she was driving over to the hospital that morning and told her to go ahead and call in the anesthetist. (One of many, many reasons I LOVE my doctor). My doctor got there at 8:30 to break my water to get things rolling. Prior to that I could tell that I was beginning to have contractions from the pitocin, but they weren't really painful. After she broke my water, the contractions started coming a little stronger, but nothing too intense. The epidural woman arrived in my room at about 8:50 to start that process. Kyle left the room this time during the epidural so he wouldn't get light headed :)  Getting the epidural this time around was MUCH less uncomfortable though than with Layla (or even Landon) since I wasn't having ridiculous contractions at the same time. Really I only felt about 4 actually painful contractions before the epidural kicked in around 9:10. 

At this point I was just watching some HGTV, and Kyle was eating some breakfast from the cafeteria. While I'm in labor and can't eat anything, he gets to order "my" meals to eat. It was a little bit torturous to watch him eat french toast while I was hungry and fasting :)  Thankfully they let me have some apple juice because I was starting to feel just a little bit nauseous. 
At about 10:00 the nurse checked me again and said I was dilated to a good 5, but not more than that. At this point I started wondering if Mason's labor would wind up taking longer than Layla's. However, when she checked me the nurse said that baby's head was still floating really high because there was still a lot of fluid preventing him from truly engaging and putting pressure on my cervix to help it dilate faster. So she pushed around and let out a TON more amniotic fluid - she said combined with when they broke my water earlier, she had never seen that much amniotic fluid before, ha! 

About 10-15 minutes after that, the nurse came in and said she wanted to reposition how I was sitting and prop me to my other side. She said that baby's heartbeat wasn't doing exactly what it was supposed to - it was dropping after contractions instead of during contractions. She didn't seem overly concerned and said that probably repositioning would correct things. So she helped me sit more upright in the bed and switched which side was propped up (when you have an epidural, they prop one side of your body up with a pillow so you're tilted to one side bc it's not good to lay flat on your back, but then they periodically swap what side you're tilted on to keep the epidural medicine evenly distributed.) Mason's heartbeat straightened out after repositioning so it was nothing to worry about. We joked that he was just mad that she had removed his spa water :)

The combination of the fluid being gone and me sitting upright with gravity to help made my contractions start feeling much more painful, even with the epidural. Obviously they weren't nearly as intense as if I didn't have the epidural, but it was still enough to make me squeeze Kyle's hand really hard, tear up, and have to remind myself to breathe. At around 10:30-10:45ish I was dilated to a six. I was still kinda thinking that maybe he wouldn't come quite as quickly as Layla did (she was born at 11:35 a.m.) 

My contractions continued getting more painful, and around 11:10 I called my nurse in and told her I was feeling a LOT of pressure and feeling the urge to push. She checked and I was fully dilated and ready to go, although baby's head was still floating a bit. She called my doctor and she headed over to the hospital (thankfully her office is only about 5 minutes away from the hospital! That was smart planning.) I had been texting occasional updates to my mom and sister, Kyle's mom and sister, and a couple of close friends, and at 11:18 I sent this text: "Fully dilated. Dr on her way over." While my doctor was on her way over, the nurse brought in everything for delivery, and the baby nurse got everything set up for him, and I resisted the urge to push. My doctor arrived at the hospital and was getting ready, so my nurse had me try one "practice" push to see if baby's head would come down as I did or not, and it did.

So my doctor got set up and I started the pushing process. Four pushes later (well, 12 actual pushes - with each contraction you try to push 3 times, and I pushed over 4 contractions), Mason was born at 11:32 a.m.! (He just had to beat his sister by 3 minutes). My doctor immediately marveled at how big he was, and bet that he would be over 9 lbs. Kyle cut the umbilical cord, and then the best moment of childbirth came - when they lay your baby on your chest for the first time.



I seriously cannot even describe how overwhelming and breath-taking that moment is. To see and hold your baby for the first time after dreaming about him for 9 months is just so incredible. I cried of course, and eventually let the nurse pry him away to get him cleaned up. 
Holding Daddy's finger while the nurse checked him over


Mason was a whopping 9 lbs. 7 oz, and 21 1/2 inches long. The nurse said he had big hands, so maybe he'll turn out to have my dad's frame :)

My doctor got me cleaned up, and the nurse got Mason cleaned up, and then we were reunited!

Smitten with that sweet chunk :)


Apparently when babies are big for their gestational age, like Mason was, there's some concern about their blood sugar dropping after birth, so the nurse wanted me to feed him immediately. Then my mom came over with Landon and Layla so they could meet Mason for the first time. We don't have any pictures from that first meeting, because I still couldn't move well from the epidural, Landon was really antsy about being in the hospital and seeing me still with the IV etc, so it was all my mom and Kyle could do to hold Mason and also corral Landon and Layla. We decided to save pictures for later that day when Kyle's mom would also be in town to help with Landon and Layla.

The nurse checked Mason's blood sugar every few hours that first day (poor boy got lots of pricks in his heel). Unfortunately even after nursing, his blood sugar had dipped below what they prefer, so she had us feed him just a few ml of formula. After that, his blood sugar stayed fine the rest of the day and we didn't have to give him any more formula. 

I ate some lunch while my epidural wore off, and then they moved us over to our regular recovery room. Then we got to go to the nursery for Mason's first bath.



Sweet, clean boy!

We spent the afternoon snuggling Mason, and around dinner time our moms came back over with the kids. They weren't super cooperative for pictures, but we did what we could!
The miracle picture


Layla's true sassy colors

With Nana (Kyle's mom)

With Grandma (my mom)


A few friends also came to visit around the same time, and then I ordered some dinner and stayed up and cuddled Mason way later than I should have, but how could I resist this sweetness?!
 And that's the story of how our littlest baby came into the world! We're so in love, and I'm just trying to savor and soak up the sweetness of this newborn stage as much as I possibly can!
Love you, Mason Joshua!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Introducing...

Mason Joshua
Born March 4, 11:32 a.m.
9 lbs 7 oz
21 1/2 inches of perfection!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Layla Is THREE!

Thought I'd try to give Layla her time in the limelight as a three year old before Baby Brother arrives tomorrow!

Here's our sweet beauty girl on her THIRD birthday!


And here she is being her sassy self :)

For her birthday, the four of us went to our favorite local breakfast place to have a special breakfast, and then for lunch I took Layla and Landon to their new favorite discovery - the McDonalds on "other side of town" (I say that in quotes bc Manhattan is NOT big), which has an awesome play place. 


We had brownies after dinner and watched part of Frozen. That's a good day in Layla's books!

When we went to the doctor about a month ago, Layla was in the 86th percentile for height, and the 75th percentile for weight. She's so tall! She's wearing all 4t clothes, but even some of those are starting to be a little small...won't be long before she graduates to 5t probably! 

Layla loves to talk. As a second born and a girl, she talks WAY more than Landon did at her age. She puts multiple complex sentences together, and is usually pretty good at communicating what she wants. 

If you couldn't tell by her percentile statistics, girlfriend likes to eat! She's enjoyed eating all the good stuff in America, although it's interesting that she has decided she prefers chicken nuggets at McDonalds over hamburgers. Guess that's what happens when she's spent more of her life in India than America! (actually, she's probably pretty 50/50 now that we've been back for a few months!) She loves green beans, bananas, spaghetti, fruit snacks, crackers (Goldfish, animal crackers, Cheezits, basically anything!). 

Layla loves anything Minnie Mouse, although she also likes Frozen, Sofia, and Doc McStuffins. But Minnie truly has her heart :)  Here she is opening the Minnie Mouse doll we got her for her birthday:

Layla loves to play with PlayDoh, cut paper with scissors, and paint. She also loves to wrestle like a crazy woman with Landon and Dad. She still loves being outside, whether it's playing at the park or in the snow! She's ornery, dramatic, sassy, and yet the sweetest snuggly girl at the same time!

She's slightly oblivious to the fact that she's about to get a baby brother for her birthday, but she's about to figure that one out! Little Love has been such a source of laughter and joy for the past three years! We sure love her a lot! 
Here are a few more pics of our big girl:

Napping on Daddy's lap at the doctor's office

She loves Landon
Giving the toy airplane a check up with her Doc McStuffins doctor kit
Ready to go out in the snow!
And here you can see her grow over the past 3 years!
Ready to leave the hospital!

One year portrait

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