Tuesday, May 31, 2011

{Miles Birth Story: Slide Show}

Remember how it was the best idea ever to hire my friend to take photos of us in the hospital? Well, she did an amazing job and took over 900 pictures!! It took 9 cds to copy all the amazing photos for me. The photo lover in me thinks this is pretty darn awesome!!  You can't really have too many pictures of your baby's first moments in the world, can you? Every moment was captured, and I had fun going through and editing and sorting to pick the best ones for the 'birth story'.

After a few hours of waiting, the actual delivery happened so quickly, and it seemed rushed and a little chaotic. I didn't have time to think or really soak it in because the doctor was rushing in hoping the baby wasn't going to fall out on his own before she got there! But having these photos help slow the time a bit and I can savor and enjoy it again and again. I have been a crying mess as I watch and edit and watch again. I am sure it is the hormones, but it brings me to tears every time I watch this sweet baby come into the world. Such an amazing experience.  What an incredible blessing and miracle it is!
And I am sure I am biased, but he could possibly be the cutest newborn. Ever.

It's 9 minutes (and believe me ... I cut it down!).  Don't judge my sweet video-making skills...this is your basic slide show. Nothing fancy.

And don't worry. Totally G-rated.

I will still re-cap the birth story with photos for my printed blog, but wanted to get the slide show up for family and friends (and so I will stop working on it!) I hope to put all the pictures in an album, but there is something about seeing the pictures with music that makes it that much more special :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

{Family + Miles = Complete}

I have been wanting to take this shot ever since Miles was born. I got the idea from a photography website a long time ago (....can't remember where???).  Finally got around to it today thanks to warmer temperatures and a shaded garage floor. 

I survived week one on my own. I am managing the regular household stuff ok...it is the huge list of 'to-do's' that I never seem to get to...like hang pictures on the walls, sort through some boxes, organize closets, start Miles baby book,  etc.  Miles isn't sleeping too well (up every couple hours to eat at night)...so that leaves me pretty exhausted in the afternoon when Addy and Car are at school, Ry is down for a nap, and Miles is sleepy...so I sleep too.  And try not to think about all that I could be doing instead.  But I also get a newborn to snuggle. And that doesn't last forever, so the list can wait for now. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

{First 12 days & Mother's Day}

A sweet newborn...nothing like it!  We are just soaking Miles up every minute!!!  We love this little guy! 

It gives me a tad bit of anxiety to get behind on my blog...but I am also a little OCD about getting everything in chronological order.  And I know you all are waiting on pins and needles for Miles' birth story...right?  Well, I had the best idea ever to hire my friend and photography guru to take pictures at the hospital.  She was with us from the time we got to the hospital until about an hour after Miles' birth to take all the important shots and document the whole day ... so we didn't have to worry about it!  It was amazing.  And made the day so relaxing.  I hate passing up photo moments...and it is a little hard for me to do from the hospital bed or for me to give Trevor the tutorial on the camera settings.  So, she took care of all those precious moments. It was seriously the best idea ever.  But, I don't have the pictures back yet ... Being a new mom again, I'm a tad anxious, but know the hundreds of photos she took take time to weed through.  It will be worth the wait!

So, I am skipping ahead to the first week...but don't worry....I'll have a major, picture-filled post of all the details in the hospital...probably the day I get the cd from my friend :-)

My mom arrived to take care of us on Thursday before Miles was born that following Monday. We did some baby prep and she entertained the kids and cooked dinner...trying to keep my mind off being hugely prego.  She was great with the kids while we were in the hospital and took care of me once we got home. There is something just so nice about having your own mom to take care of you while you take care of your new baby. It is just as it should be.  I loved having her here for 2 weeks! The time flew by too quickly.  She knows just what to do.  And will stay up late and watch tv with me. 

The kids are loving the little guy.
Most surprising is how much Carson loves holding him.  He runs in from school to hold him...and often I find 2 hours have gone by and he is still snuggling him.  He is so, so sweet with him.
 How cute is this?
 Addy is a good little mother to her new baby brother.
And absent is a picture of Ry with the baby...probably because he doesn't hold him much.  But he does give him kisses and is very curious at feeding time!  What, mommy has milk in there???! And also note-worthy is how happy Ry is all the time.  He is excited about EVERYTHING from french fries, to trains, to movies, to Grandma...If we mention something like dinner, he'll say "I LOVE dinner!!" ...in his raspy, boy voice. He has been a hoot these last few weeks with this happier personality ... and we love it!

We had tons of family in town...my whole family actually!! They were all up for my niece's baby blessing and Miles' birth! It worked out great.

This was a frequent sight:
We had 4 babies born on my side of the family within the last 6 months.  (Yes, grandma has been busy!!). 

And here is a picture of all 4 of them (in birth order, left to right:  Claire, Jett, Finley, Miles). Isn't Finley adorable in her blessing outfit?

6 days after Miles was born was Finley's baby blessing.  Despite still recovering ...we didn't want to miss it!  It was a small miracle to have all FOUR of my kids ready and in the car at 8am on a Sunday!  Seriously, a miracle. 
The blessing was perfect and my sister did a great job hosting such a big group.  Everything was fantastic. Finley looked so sweet. And my entire family was together (minus one brother-in-law...we missed you BW).  Can't believe our family is this huge!  But what a treat to all be together.  
And on Mother's Day too.   
My parents and all my siblings. 
So great to be with my OWN mom on Mother's Day...that hasn't happened in a long time. 
She made us these cute aprons...how amazing, huh?

And a cute picture of the future mothers...all the girl cousins in dresses my mom bought...they are adorable!

And how special to have a 6 day old baby of my very own to snuggle on Mother's Day.

Nothing makes you feel more blessed that looking into those eyes of a baby straight from heaven.  Even being baby #4, this never gets old.  You never get used to it.  A newborn will still take your breath away.

Which is why I. can't. stop. taking. pictures.  I am trying to capture every second.  I almost shed a tear when his umbilical cord fell off on Thursday....so sad to see him growing already. Thanks to my sister who helped me pose Miles for these photos.  It is a two person job for sure!

It has been a busy week and half. Lots of visitors (we love having company!), projects, doctor appointments, and the normal routines of school drop-offs, homework, piano, housework (ALL of which my mom has handled...and I am trying to figure out how I will do it on my own on Monday!). But amidst it all, I find myself constantly grateful for this little life that has been added to our family. It is a tremendous blessing.  And at the same time I can't quite wrap my brain around the fact that I have 4 kids. 

Loves these kidlets to pieces. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

{Miles Birth Story....}

The slide show pretty much tells the story...but to have it in  written format...Here are the events in words...

We set up the induction for Monday.  I was 39 weeks, 2 days.  The nurse told me the hospital would start calling around 4am to set up a time for me to come in.  I couldn't sleep at all.  Too anxious.  The call finally came at 5am and they told me to be at the hospital at 7am.  I tried to rest, but couldn't.  I got in the shower at 6am...did my hair and makeup (gotta feel good about yourself on delivery day, right?), kissed my kiddos (it was oh-so-hard to kiss Ry knowing he wasn't going to be the baby after today...), and we left around 6:45am with suitcases, diaper bag, cameras and car seat. 
Once I got admitted and changed into a gown, they started the IV around 7:30am.  The IV was the hardest. part. of. the. entire. delivery.  No joke. I hate IVs.  Luckily it was one poke and done...but I got really light headed, felt the world closing in.  Trev says I passed out completely, but I didn't think I was totally out...just not coherent enough to respond.  Ugh.  It was awful. I hate needles, pokes, IVs... yuck.  So glad to have the done right off the bat. 
I was 5cm, 50% effaced, -2 station upon admission.

The nurses were in the middle of a shift change, so it took awhile, but they started pitocin around 8:15.  But, as usual for me, no real action on the pitocin.  The doctor stopped by and said she would break my water once the anesthesiologist came by for the epidural (I insisted on getting the epidural before they break my water...knowing the baby comes super fast after that and there might not be time.  And that would be no fun). 

The doctor was hoping the anesthesiologist would be ready by 9am to break my water...but as hospitals go...he couldn't get there until 9:15 and my doctor had left for the office.  The epidural was fine.  Much easier than the IV.  I think it is something about not being able to see or know what is going...so my mind doesn't fret so much. It wasn't painful.  I was numb in about 30 minutes. It worked great...especially great on my right side and took several hours to wear off.

Well, now my doctor couldn't come back to break my water until another one of her patients was ready to deliver. The other lady was pushing...so how long could it really be?  Well, it took 3 hours. Poor girl.  We just waited and chatted and waited. They upped the pitocin a few times, but no real change. 
Finally she came and delivered the other patient's baby.  And broke my water at about 12:15.  She said she was staying in scrubs and would be over when I was completely dilated. 

At first I was thinking this might not be like my other deliveries...the contractions weren't coming much harder or faster...but by the time 12:40 rolled around, I started to feel some pressure.  The nurse checked me and said I was complete.  From 5 to 10 cm in 25 minutes!  She said don't push, we are calling the doctor. 

Fully dilated...it's go time!

My doctor was there by 12:45 (thank heavens for an office next door to the hospital).  She scrambled to get in gloves and all the garb.  We waited for one contraction, and with 2 pushes he was here at 12:53pm.  After all the waiting, all the action happened so fast! 

He was crying as soon as he came out.  10 toes. 10 fingers. Boy parts. Check. Check. Check.  He was sweet as can be. Cute little head (no cone head here) and sweet little face.

So unbelievable to think this precious baby has been inside me!  Pregnancy and birth is such a miracle!  Holding that sweet baby on my chest while they did the cord, placenta, and few stitches, was incredible.  A little life straight from heaven and just placed in my arms.  I was paranoid the entire pregnancy and it was such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to see him crying, pink, healthy, and perfect. 

He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces (my biggest baby by 9 ounces!!), 20 inches long.  Head circumference was 14 inches.  Apgar scores were 9 and 9. Blood type is A-...same as me (no need for another Rhogam shot...hooray!).

The kids came running in around 2pm so excited to see the little guy!  Carson and Addy couldn't get enough of him.  And then it took some coaxing to get Ry involved, but he did kiss his head and was super excited about his 'big brother' present (a toy train).  He was more interested in my IV's and cords and 'owies' than the tiny person in my arms.  Since then he has warmed up to little Miles.  I haven't sensed much jealousy or change in behavior ... SO grateful for that!  (But then again, he's just as crazy as he usually is).

Family of 6!

We moved to the Mother/Baby section about 5:00pm. It took a long time for me to get on my feet because the epidural had my right leg numb for a really long time.  But I was finally able to get up and get to the wheelchair.  Trevor went and got take-out Olive Garden for us...and it was a pretty uneventful first night. Baby got up to eat a couple times and the after-labor pains and nursing pain started kicking in.  Of course they had to take my blood at 5am, and then the anesthesiologist at 8am and my doctor at 9am.  I snuck in a shower around 8:30.....which felt SO good. 

2nd Day in the Hospital

Hearing Test at 24 hours old.
(He passed after 15 seconds...a little type A already. Love that).

We were fully expecting to go home the day after the delivery.  But when the pediatrician came by she was concerned by how much he was spitting up.  He was spitting up after each feeding..and it was yellow..which could be normal, but might not be. To make sure he didn't have a intestinal problem, they ran some x-rays and decided to keep us another night to make sure he was ok.   We got the ok the next day even though he was spitting up still...but with wet and dirty diapers every hour or so, and no unusual weight changes, we figured he was just a spitty baby!  The second day and night in the hospital were very relaxing because there wasn't much left to do.  So I just enjoyed having food brought to me, medicine on demand, and snuggling my sweet baby.  My sisters, mom, and the kids came by again that day too to keep us company.
And we had time to finalize the name: Miles Eric.  Eric is my Grandpa Snow's middle name.  After months of debating...it just 'fit' and settled in both of our hearts the day after he was born.  He was our little Miles. I love his name.

Cousins Visiting:  Brynn, Paige, and Graham

The little cousins:  Finley, Miles, Claire
My sisters with our babies. 
First bath by mom (at hospital).

Going Home on day 3.

A little present from the kids and my mom in the front yard.
Such a beautiful and sunny day!

And one happy big brother to greet him (older kids were at school still).

The first day at home worried me because I felt like he wasn't keeping anything down.  So I had him into the pediatrician the next day.  And the following day he was at the Children's hospital for an upper GI series of tests to make sure there wasn't anything more serious going on.  It wasn't unusual for him to be spitting up so much, but it was unusual for his age (only a couple days old!)...usually it doesn't begin until 2 weeks of life.  The test was torturous for the baby and me...First he couldn't eat for 4 hours before the test and then they didn't get him in for another hour once we checked in...so my 4 day old baby couldn't eat for 5 hours.  He was starving! And then they had his arms strapped up by his head and his body strapped to a board while they fed him some liquid and took dozens of x-rays as he swallowed it.  It was over in less than 5 minutes...but he was screaming and crying. I was crying.  Ugh.  It was awful. The doctor called me that night to say everything was ok.  He just has normal reflux.  And we started zantac...which has helped....some.  He still spits up at every feeding, but is gaining weight like a champ.  So it is more of a laundry issue than a medical concern...for which I am so grateful.  He should grow out of it by 4-6 months old. 

In addition to my mom...we were lucky to have a ton of family come see Miles when he was brand new.  We have been so grateful for all the visits, cards, phone calls, presents, meals, and love offered to us by so many during those first few weeks.

Aunt Erin

Aunt Becca

Grandma Judy
She came to our rescue after my mom left...cleaning, helping with the kids, and snuggling Miles.  Thank you so much!

And then there is the new dad (well, the 4th time around, anyway). Trevor is so good with our babies. He'll get up in the middle of the night to change diapers and bring the baby to me to nurse.  And has even been doing the school drop-off  in the morning so I can sleep in a bit.  He has totally acknowledged the changing needs of our family and has been home more and is totally helpful with the kids and housework as we adjust to a family of 6.

Daddy with his baby boy.

The delivery and first week is a whirlwind of experiences and feelings.  Despite the exhaustion and adjustment that comes to adding a newborn, we feel immensely blessed to have Miles in our home. 

Okay, whew! That was long....but I'll be grateful someday for all this detail and pictures, right?

Oh...and the winners of the contest:  Uncle Chris and my dad.  They were only a day off on the delivery date (no one got it exactly right)  AND they both were the only ones even close on the birth weight (they both guessed 7 pounds 13 ounces...only an ounce off).  Next closest guess was 7 pounds 5 ounces.  I'll make good on the prizes...promise!

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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