Monday, October 20, 2014

Tiny Hand (and foot!) Prints are ours to Love!!

If you have been readers of my blog for a while, you might remember last year when I did hand print and foot print impressions for Samantha and Zachary.  The plates are beautiful and the ornaments were a huge hit with our family so I knew once Eliza was born we would have her prints made as well.  I decided this time to do them right away once she was born so my friend Dawn from Tiny Prints and Paws came right to my house to do our impressions when Eliza was 4 days old.  I am not sure if she typically offers house visits to do impressions but with a newborn and adjusting to having a new baby plus two older *still little* kids, it was a HUGE help.  We had so much fun getting Eliza's prints and she was a champ at keeping her little fingers and toes straight.  I was actually quite worried since they had to redo her footprints in the hospital since she kept curling her toes!  We got all of our impressions on the first try!  Samantha loved looking at all of the color samples and using the sponge to get them dirty with clay residue.  Sorry Dawn!!

We ended up selecting a sunny yellow color for Eliza's plate.  It's not too bright but not too bland either.  You know I won't do anything dull!!  The finished product, as expected, looks great!

Dawn was also nice enough to offer me a free Baby's First Christmas ornament.  I absolutely love the way this turned out.  I tweaked the words slightly so it says Eliza's First Christmas and rather than the typical two toned options they offer (which have a natural clay background and the print and text colored) I was able to have the background one color and the print another.  It is perfect and I can't wait to hang it up on our tree this year.  Almost makes me wish I didn't give away all of our Samantha and Zachary ornaments as gifts!

With Christmas just around the corner, Tiny Prints and Paws is offering two different deals to get you all set for the holidays.  The first option is buy two ornaments get one free.  This is an awesome option if you want a few gifts, or if you'd like some for yourself and some for gifts.  You can do a hand print and foot print to keep and make an extra to give away!  The second option is a free ornament with the purchase of a larger plate.  I love this option since you get a beautiful plate that can be displayed all year long plus an ornament to bring out seasonally or give as a gift.  You could even get a little hanger and display the ornament all year.  My dad has his hanging on his kitchen cabinets.

If you would like to order plates for yourself you can contact Dawn via e-mail or phone (703.574.0488),  They can also be found on Facebook.  Tiny Prints and Paws will be at the Little Sprouts Fun Fair at Linton Hall School in Bristow, VA this Saturday October 19th from 10am-3pm.  Not a Virginia resident?  Not a problem!!  Tiny Prints and Paws can ship all the materials needed to create the perfect clay impression of your own.  Ship it back and Dawn will paint, fire, and finish the perfect piece for you!  I'm telling you now, you won't regret it!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Eliza is ONE month!

Eliza - One Month Old

I can't believe Eliza is a month old already!  This month has just flown by though it also feels like she has been here forever!!  She has already grown so much, though it's hard for me to notice.

Eliza now weighs 10.2 pounds, 2 pounds bigger than at birth.  I looked through Samantha's baby book tonight and she was 9 pounds at 2 months and 11 pounds at 4 months!!  Eliza really is chunky.  She is pretty much completely out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 months.  She has a few Carters outfits that she can still fit newborn in since they run longer, but the Garanimals and other brands she is too big for.  She is also wearing size 1 diapers (and should have been out of newborn around 10 days old but I wanted to use up the box so she was in them a lot longer).  She is pretty much outgrown the majority of the newborn cloth stash, but OS is still huge on her.  The nb setting fits but they are so bulky!  So I've just been putting her in the newborns still and changing her more often.

She is still very much in the newborn phase - eating, sleeping, peeing, and pooping...oh and crying!  No cooing or smiling yet.  She is doing great at learning to hold her head up.  She is rather strong and has been lifting it up great from the start.  She is exclusively breastfed and doing decent at nursing (I'll touch more on that in a different post).  She loves to cuddle and hates being put down.  She also hates having a wet diaper.  She enjoys looking at her big sister and brother, but hates when her brother hits her.  She also loves being outside.

I guess at this point there isn't a whole lot to update on!  I'm sure by her 2 month update there will have been lots of changes though.  They grow so fast!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ellie's Heart

What a week we've had!  I must apologize for my lack of updates as I was all set to make many posts last week about Eliza and everything we've been doing, and then her two week check up happened.  My mother-in-law and I toted Samantha, Zachary, and Eliza to the pediatrician last Monday for Miss Eliza's two week check up and for Samantha and Zachary to get their flu shots.  The appointment went really well, Eliza was up to 9 pounds 2 ounces, an entire pound above her birth weight, Samantha and Zachary did sort of okay with their flu shots, and at the end the nurse asked if I had any other questions.  I mentioned that Eliza's legs and feet had been turning purple several times a day and asked if it was concerning.  She laid Eliza on the table and checked her legs and feet, as well as her stomach, and felt all her pulse points.  She noted that there was adequate blood flow going to her legs so she wasn't super concerned but decided to consult with a colleague just to be sure.  While she was gone Eliza got hungry and I started to nurse her.  I noticed during her nursing that her legs and feet were turning purple so as the nurse came in I said that it was happening.  She ran out to get the doctor (at least I think it was a doctor) and they both started checking out Eliza.  They asked me to stop feeding and as I sat her up they noticed that her face and lips were turning blue as well.  This really freaked them out and they raced to get a pulse ox monitor to check her.  It all happened so fast!  Thankfully the pulse ox test came back normal and her O2 levels were at 98.  However, they said they wanted us to see a cardiologist ASAP.  We waited a while while they got a referral from our insurance as well as got us a same day appointment with a local pediatric cardiologist.  Then we got to go home where I could dwell on everything until our appointment that afternoon!

I ended up having to go to the appointment solo since it was Chris's "one day off" and he expected to stay home all day.  Thank God I didn't get any bad news that day!  Eliza and I got to the doctor and they immediately did an EKG on her.

The EKG was normal and then we were sent for an echocardiogram to check for heart defects.  The echocardiogram took quite a while and was rather difficult.  Eliza was tired and upset and I don't think she liked all the goop very much so she was crying a ton.  I just kept trying to soothe her but it didn't really work too well.  Finally after what felt like forever the tech let me get up on the table with her and sort of cuddle her and she immediately fell asleep.  I don't know why we couldn't have done it that way from the start!  After the echocardiogram we were able to talk to the doctor.  He said they are watching for three things (they were also looking for more serious defects but nothing immediately serious was found): Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), and Peripheral Pulmonic Stenosis (PPS).  ASD and PFO have to do with a hole in the top chambers of the heart.  This is present at birth and should close over time.  However sometimes this doesn't happen and the hole remains.  The PPS has to do with the arteries leading to the lungs.  While in utero there is a 3rd artery that goes to the placenta and once the baby is born, the third artery shrinks since the blood now goes through the other two arteries to go to the lungs.  Sometimes when the artery shrinks away it causes the other two arteries to get kinked.  We will be returning in 3 months for another echocardiogram to make sure none of these conditions are present.  Unfortunately though (or fortunately too!) none of these 3 issues could cause her to be turning blue.  We were sent home with a 24 hour Holter monitor to monitor her heart for the next 24 hours.  I had to keep a log and write down every time she had an episode of turning blue or had any other concerning symptoms or behaviors.  They would then compare when I pressed the button (I pressed it every time she had an episode) to the heart's activity to see if her heart was experiencing any changes during the episodes.

Last Friday we made the trek back to the cardiologist to get results.  Again fortunately everything was okay.  Her heart had a few occasional early beats but the doctor said that that is completely normal and nothing to be worried about.  Unfortunately though, we still have no answers as to why she keeps turning colors.  The doctors best guess is that she is just a little behind with learning how to regulate her body temperature.  I am not sure about this because even though she appears blue/purple her skin feels warm.  The doctor is hoping it is something she will eventually outgrow but if she is still having the episodes in a few months, we will reevaluate with our pediatrician.  I am so thankful that it isn't anything serious and I am praying that she outgrows it!!  Although I didn't post about it here, I thank everyone that followed this on facebook for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Introducing Our Baby GIRL!!!

On September 13th at 1:52 am we welcomed the newest member of our family!!

Eliza Mary
September 13, 2014
8lbs 2oz
19.29 inches
She has been such a wonderful addition to our family and we are thrilled that she is here at last.  It is hard to believe that she is 15 days old already.  So cliché but I feel like she's been here forever and it's hard to remember what life was like before she got here.
It has been quite a transition to 3 kids but I feel like overall we are doing great.  Samantha is absolutely in love with having a baby sister and I am so so happy that she got the sister she desperately wanted.  Zach is finally starting to do better with her.  The first day in the hospital he came in to meet her, sat on the couch, smiled and gave her a swift slap on the head.  So nice he is!!  He has given her many more slaps since then but they have drastically decreased in the last week and now he enjoys giving her hugs and kisses and pointing out his baby.

Hopefully I will be able to get her birth story written up in the next few days!  It is quite exciting in my opinion and I can't wait to have it written down so I can always remember it.  I will leave you all with a few pictures of her from the past two weeks!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Longest Pregnancy!

Today I am 39w2d pregnant and this is officially the most pregnant I have ever been!  When I was exactly 39 weeks with Samantha I went to the hospital for an ultrasound and ended up being immediately whisked away to L&D to be induced and Samantha was born at 12:47am at 39w1d.  I really have no gut feelings as to when I'll go into labor but I'm hoping it is soon!  I am so anxious and excited to meet our baby, find out if it's a boy or a girl, and not be so sore and uncomfortable all the time.  I am however getting a little bit nervous about all the pain and how I'm going to deal with it. 

With Samantha, I was favorable so they started with Pitocin right away.  Things went great until they broke my water and then the pain became unreal.  I ended up getting an epidural which was great, however, I was still numb two days later when I was getting ready to be released from the hospital.  With Zachary, I was unfavorable so they started with Cervidil.  The cervidil did its job so well that it sent me into full blown labor.  The nurse didn't believe I was in labor and by the time I convinced her to check me it was too late to get an epidural and Zach was born before the doctor even made it to the hospital!  It was great afterwards and I'd love to do it again, however I won't kick myself down if I do end up deciding to get an epi.

Now I'm getting off track!  Hard to believe that this is my longest pregnancy and I'm curious to see just how long it goes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 years...

No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye.
You were gone before we knew it and only God knows why.

September 8, 2009.  A date that will forever be etched in my memory.  In December of 2008, Chris and I decided to start trying for our first baby.  Shocked as could be, I found myself pregnant the very first month.  December 27th my first ever big fat positive.  I couldn't believe it!  Shortly afterwards I developed a pain in my shoulder.  Since my mom had passed away quite suddenly only 5 months before my heath anxiety was sky high and I immediately consulted Dr. Google who told me that it was most certainly an ectopic pregnancy.  Cue me freaking out.  I called every OB/GYN in Northern Virginia but since it was a holiday (New Years Day) everyone was closed.  I finally got a hold of a nurse who told me to go to an urgent care center.  I called Chris home from work and off we went.  All they did that day was a confirmation pregnancy test, which was also positive, and gave me a referral to a radiologist to have an ultrasound performed.  I was pretty upset they didn't do one right then and there, but oh well.

A few days later I had the ultrasound which unfortunately didn't show much of anything.  Thankfully at that point I was still only a few weeks pregnant so it wasn't too surprising.  The sac, not in my tube, was measuring on track but there was no visible fetal pole or yolk sac.  I was sent on my way and I made my first prenatal appointment with an OB/GYN.  Another few weeks later I had my appointment where the nurse assured me that everything was going well.  I had mentioned the pain and how I had the ultrasound and she set me up with a follow up ultrasound just to see.  I went to that ultrasound and was SO nervous.  The entire walk back to the room the tech kept saying that there was nothing to be nervous about but I just had a gut feeling.  She turned on the ultrasound machine and all of a sudden I saw our baby up on the giant screen.  So cute, I wanted to breathe a sigh of relief.  However that quickly turned to fear when I saw a flat line going across the bottom of the screen.  I asked what it meant and the tech wouldn't say anything.  After that she quickly left the room and came back a few minutes later saying that my doctor was on the phone to talk to me.  The doctor basically said that the baby had no heartbeat and that the chances of the baby surviving were slim to none.  I was devastated.  I left the appointment in tears just knowing that our baby was gone.  I was scheduled for a second follow up ultrasound a week later but I knew I wouldn't need it.

The following weekend the bleeding started.  Alone at home on February 1, I passed our perfect little baby.  Quite traumatically I was instructed to bring the tissue to my OB's office so it could be inspected and then disposed of with the hospital waste.  How awful.  Unfortunately, I didn't know any better and didn't ask for it back so we could bury it or do something a little more humane.  I will always regret that.

September 8, 2009.  The due date of our first child.  Today our baby should be turning 5 years old.  Instead we are left with an unfillable void.  Thankfully since then we have been blessed with Samantha and Zachary and in a few short days or weeks we will be welcoming our third little blessing into our family.  But no matter how many children we have, we will never forget our first and what could have been.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Today marks 38w4d of pregnancy.  On this day in my pregnancy history, Zachary was born!!  Hard to believe that at this point in Zach's pregnancy, I had a baby in my arms.  As with Samantha, Zachary had a dangerously low amount of amniotic fluid and I had to be induced.  The induction started around 4:00pm (I really don't remember, but it was late afternoon) so last night as I was laying down trying to fall asleep all I could think about was being in labor and the excitement of welcoming a new baby into our family.  It's making me really excited to go through the process again!  I am not looking forward to the pain, but a healthy baby in the end makes it totally worth it! 

Although I am feeling "done", I'm still having trouble processing that in a few days or weeks our baby will be here.  I know I've said it a million times but this has seriously been the fastest pregnancy ever.  I don't know where this year has gone!  I have been trying to enjoy it to the fullest because as much as I would absolutely love to have a fourth baby, I don't know if I'll be able to get Chris on board.  For as long as I can remember I have always wanted a big family.  When we first got married it started out with wanting 5 kids, but I abandoned that thought A LONG time ago!!  Definitely don't want that many but I would love to have 4 though!  I guess we will see what the future holds.

At this point in time, I am feeling somewhat conflicted with going into labor.  I have never gone into labor on my own before so part of me doubts that my body can even do it, which I'm sure is not the case!  I feel like everyone has their own opinion on what you can do to jump start the process and well, I can't deny the fact that I have been thinking about trying some of them.  I'm in the mindset that if my body is not ready I can try all the things I want and they just won't work.  Today I was all set to do some exercising and got my WiiU Fit all set up, then I started playing and Zach decided to push every button on the TV he could.  So unfortunately that didn't go over too well.  (Right now the XBOX 360 is turned on and Zach is nowhere in sight!  Speaking of XBOX, maybe Just Dance would be a better way to get me moving, that one really gets me sweating.)  I may attempt it again tonight after the kids are in bed!   At this point in time, I think that's about as far as I want to go with a "natural induction".  Well there is one other thing I'm willing to try, but I'm not going to mention that here.  :-P  All I know is that the only one I refuse to try is drinking castor oil.  No thank you!  Hopefully the baby will decide to come on his/her own terms and I won't even have to think about doing other things to jump start the process!

Have you tried any natural induction methods?  Did they work?

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Family "Tradition"

The big question on my mind, other than when the baby will come, is if it's going to be a boy or a girl!  There are plenty of old wives tales about gender, but truthfully, I don't pay much attention to them.  Sickness wise this pregnancy was more like Zach's.  Pain wise, it was more like Samantha's.  I really just don't know what to think, and I don't have a gut feeling one way or another.  Then you have family traditions.

Going by the family "tradition" this baby is going to be a boy.  Looking back a few generations is my grandma.  She is one of 4 children.  Of the four there are three boys and she is the only girl.  Then she had three children.  Of those three, my aunt is the only girl.  My dad and my uncle each had two children.  Of the four, there are three girls and my brother.  This brings us to the generation of our children.  At this point there are 7 great grandchildren between the 3 girl cousins.  You guessed it, my Samantha is the only girl out of the seven!  I know there is no basis to this tradition since the dad provides the X or Y chromosome but it is still interesting to see.  I'm so eager to see if this baby will break or uphold the family trend!

Are there any patterns in the genders of your families members?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

38 Week Update!

Today marks 38 weeks, wow!!  According to my ticker the baby is this size of a pumpkin now.  It's almost the right season for pumpkins, haha.

This morning I had my weekly biophysical profile and check up.  The BPP went well and baby passed with 8/8.  My first fluid measurement was 11.8 which was 1.1 lower than last week, but then she found a better pocket of fluid and it jumped up to a little over 14.  That was great news since Chris and I were both thinking I was going to be sent to the hospital today.  She got some cute pictures of the baby, however the printer wasn't working properly so they are a little screwed up.  It looks like baby is going to be a chunker, so different from Samantha and Zach!
Look at those lips!!  I just want to kiss them!!  I can't wait.  After the ultrasound I met with the doctor.  I think I actually lost 2 pounds since last week which is good.  I'm so done with this diet and can't wait for baby to get here so I can eat what I want again.  I have an entire list of junk I want to eat once the baby comes haha, starting with all the pumpkin flavored goodness that is starting to come out now.  Pumpkin is seriously my favorite!!  So if you come to visit me...pumpkin is always welcome.  ;-)  I got checked and was seriously expecting to be the same as last week, but to my surprise I am 2-3 cm dilated and 70% effaced!  I know it doesn't mean anything but it's still exciting to know that things are starting to happen.  Maybe I actually have a chance of going into labor on my own.  I would LOVE to go into labor on my own.  Only time will tell!
Tonight we took my 38 week belly shots.  Still getting bigger and bigger!  I don't know how much bigger I can get.  I'm really praying this baby isn't too huge.  Under 8 pounds would be great.  Samantha was 6 pounds 12 ounces and Zach was 6 pounds 15 ounces and they were just so cute and tiny.  I love tiny squishes, though of course I'm sure I'll love a chunky baby if I get one too.

These past few days I've been starting to get really impatient and I just really can't wait to see who has been residing inside of me for these past 9 months!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hospital Bags

These past few days I've been working on getting my hospital bag all packed and ready to go.  With Samantha I never packed a hospital bag and ended up needing an emergency induction so I had to send Chris home to get all the stuff I needed.  While he did do a decent job, it stunk not having everything that I wanted with me.  With Zach, I packed most of my bag before hand just in case.  Turns out that was a good thing since I needed to be emergency induced with him as well.  Since I was induced for the same reason both times (very low fluid) I decided this time I'd be proactive and pack early.  Finally I think I am just about finished.  I do have a few last minute things that will go in the day of but I'm not too worried about it.
To start, I am using my All Pro Tote from 31 Gifts.  This bag is awesome and the perfect size to be a hospital bag.  It has an outside pocket, two inside mesh pockets, an inside regular pocket, a pocket for shoes, and a "tab" for jewelry.  Definitely room for everything we'll need.
For me I've packed (probably overpacked!)
  • two nursing tanks
  • two tops
  • two pairs of shorts
  • two pairs of pants
  • one skirt (for coming home)
  • two tank tops (for coming home)
  • toothbrush/paste/scraper/floss
  • hair brush
  • deodorant
  • body wash
  • body splash
  • lotion
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • razor
  • sandals
I'm pretty sure that's everything that I have in there for me!!!  I need to also pack some breast pads (though I don't recall ever needing them in the hospital but I suppose I'll pack some just in case) and I think I should be good.
For the baby I've packed (double each item since I've packed each list for both genders):
  • two sleepers
  • two outfits
  • one swaddle blanket
  • coming home outfit
  • bag of headbands
We've also got the Build-A-Bear set and ready to go.  This is Twinkle, named by Samantha.  Sam and Zach made it at Build-A-Bear for the new baby.  The left picture is Twinkle for baby boy and the right picture is Twinkle for baby girl.  In the girl picture Twinkle is also sporting a Disney princess shirt but Samantha's hug covers it up!  She is so excited for the doggy!  We also have small gifts for Samantha and Zach that will be from the baby.

I will have a list of things for Chris to pack in my backpack in the event of another emergency induction but hopefully that will be avoided and I can pack myself.  My backpack is usually my electronics bag and I'll probably have that bag with me in the labor and delivery room.  I haven't packed it yet since I am obviously still using everything.  It will include:
  • computer and charger
  • cell phone charger
  • book
We will also have the camera bag with associated chargers, extra battery, lenses, etc.  I am also planning on bringing my new My Breast Friend pillow.  I've always hated having to prop myself and the baby up with a million little hospital pillows so I'd like to give it a go with a nursing pillow in the hospital this time.  Hopefully it will make things a little bit easier!

I am fairly certain this is everything I plan to bring to the hospital with us.  Is there anything I'm forgetting?  What did you pack in your hospital bag?