Saturday, August 31, 2013

Welcome Baby June

One might think that the 3rd time around, some of the excitement of having a new baby has worn off.  If anything, I'd say that it gets more exciting each time as I know what to expect and find myself able to enjoy the moment as opposed to being consumed with anxiety.  Our sweet girl held out until her scheduled c-section on August 23rd, despite almost nonstop contractions in the last weeks of my pregnancy.  When I got hooked up to the moniors at the hospital they couldn't believe the number and intensity of the contractions I was having-go figure.  The scheduled nature of this arrival threw my nesting instincts into an unbelievably high gear-stocking the fridge, laundry baskets empty, emails answered etc.  I couldn't seem to stop preparing to her arrival, it was a relief to check into the hospital knowing I didn't have to spend another day cleaning and organizing.  

We arrived at Northside at 8am, got admitted and taken back to pre-op for my 10am c-section.  I'd venture to say the 5 attempts at getting an IV in me followed by the epidural needle was hands down the worst part of the entire ordeal.  I'm not a huge needle fan; although I've gotten much better over the years but after 5 awful, painful attempts combined with the no eating after midnight thing and I was a woozy mess.  I had a harder time tolerating the epidural this time-my blood pressure was dropping to scary low levels (like at one point it was 70/40) which is a normal effect but certainly makes you feel like you're about to die.  My wonderful nurse was right on top of things and could easily correct the pressures with medication and was very reassuring that I was not in fact dying :)  This was also the first time I was actually being delivered by my doctor (rather than the on-call MD) which helped put me at ease.  

Once you get set up on the table in the OR, it is literally less than 10 minutes before they pull the baby out.  June Elizabeth came screaming into the world at 10:50 am.  She was 7 lbs 12 oz, 21 inches long and with a full head of dark hair just like Lucy.  When Johnny brought her over so I could see her, my first thought was "she looks just like her brother and sister!".  After an hour or so in recovery, I was in my room by lunchtime (although lunch was jello for me...booooo, I was STARVING) and no sooner did I get into my room did Hank and Lucy show up to meet their new sister.  

Hank has been absolutely smitten with June from the first minute he met her.  He is so protective and sweet with her-he makes her things at school and always wants to hold her.  Lucy is still a bit young to understand exactly what is going on, but everytime she walks by the baby she gives a big smile, wave, and "hi baby!".  I was discharged 48 hours after delivery, and this recovery has been very similar to my others, probably the easiest yet.  

June is now a week old, and so far been another super easy baby.  Johnny and I have said all along that there is no way we could get a baby easier than Lucy, so we have been preparing for another needy, fussy baby.  I realize that this will likely come in the next few weeks, but so far she has been alarmingly like Lucy.  She has been my best eater, she took to breastfeeding immediately and never turned back-we were back to birth weight by day 5.  She is still in that sleepy newborn stage, waking every 3-4 hours to eat and so far she's been sleeping at night for a 6-7 hour stretch--what??  I'm just enjoying it while I can, as I cannot imagine one of my children actually being a good sleeper as an infant.  

So with one week under my belt with 3 children, I'm going to have to say that really it hasn't felt any different. I suspect that my transition from 0 to 1 will remain the hardest, as it seems to just get easier each time we have a new baby.  I just don't worry like I did with Hank, I say all the time that my children have mellowed me in a way no medication ever could have!  At this point I know that these precious early days are so short. They become big, dirty, loud, and wild kids so quickly-and stay that way for a loooong time :)  Certainly the days feel like an endurance sport, but luckily Johnny and I have the energy for a challenge!  We were saying that other day that we crossed into the realm of "large families", and while it is scary at times thinking about how we will send these kids to college someday, we have always felt that 2 kids just didn't seem like enough; although 3 did seem to push the limit of too much :)  No turning back now. 

Finally done with the needles, and ready to meet our girl

Welcome Baby June

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Countdown is on

We love a good countdown in our house...Hank and I both love the anticipation of good things to come, so we started our official "countdown to baby" this week. I was also getting tired of the daily question "when is my new baby sister coming out of your belly?".  I'm concerned that he thinks we might be trading in one baby sister for the other...sorry bud, you'll be forever plagued with two baby sisters.  Lucy is pleasantly oblivious; however she's recently started with her first major mommy stage-excellent timing Lucy, she must sense something is about to rock her world.

I have 2 weeks until my scheduled c-section on August 23rd; however due to much discussion about my actual due date it seems quite likely that she will decide on her own to show up earlier (which would actually make life immensely easier since her arrival on the 23rd really cuts into all of Hank's back to school activities).  So I'm hanging out somewhere between 37-38 weeks pregnant depending on who you ask, what calendar you look at, belly measurments, ultrasounds etc (at this point, Lucy had already graced us with her presence in the world).  One would think they could figure due dates with a bit more accuracy at this point, but alas....given that I have been pregnant 3 times now in 3 years I'm fairly certain that I am a bit farther along than initially thought given the amount of timeable contractions I'm having and the amount of pressure this baby is exerting in a downward fashion.  Overall though, I'm feeling pretty good--certainly tired and having a ton of contractions (which it seems happens with subsequent pregnancies and as the doc told me "they are just more of a nuisance than anything").
The Good: No swelling, no back or hip pain this time around (YAY!), my blood pressure was actually the lowest it's been all pregnancy in the past few weeks (totally not normal for me), my weight gain is low as well-only 20 lbs with this babe (after 30 with lucy and 40 with Hank)so now I can say I've made it through 3 pregnancies in 3 years without one stretch mark!

The Bad: heartburn is awful-ultrasound last week showed a full head of hair and possible cause of all this acid indigestion, can't sleep at all because of all the contractions that pick up significantly at about 2am every night, this babe rides so low that she sits right on my bladder causing me to pee all the time.

37 weeks

And since I'm so terrible about keeping up with the blog, I'll give a quick Ritger life update in a greatest hits variety...

  1. We bought a car! Say hello to our family friendly 2008 Honda Pilot.  Nicest car we've ever owned, and we're totally overwhelmed by the number of features.  I can't figure out how to work anything, and I always have some new flashing indicator at me b/c I've pressed some button somewhere.  The kids love it and Hank wants to change his seating arrangement everyday.  According to him, the 3rd row is reserved exclusively for boys and/or his friends only.  "no baby sisters can sit in the way back".

2. Our home is still not under construction, but it is super close.  I'm pretty sure we hired the slowest architect and structural engineer in the history of mankind; however they did finally get our construction plans finished last week and they look great!  We got our stamp of approval from the Urban Design Commission and now they are hanging out in the building permit office downtown with the expeditor that we paid $300 extra to move things along quickly.  Our builder says we should have permits in hand in 2-3 weeks with the help of the expeditor (this is compared to 3-6 months without).  Oh City of Atlanta government.....Once the permit is in hand, off the roof goes.  We've already spent somewhere between $6K-$7K for permits and plans alone and so far we've got not a thing to show for it! 

3. Hank heads off to preschool in 3 weeks and it can't get here soon enough for everyone  He's pumped, I'm pumped, I'm pretty sure Lucy is pumped for some time away from her annoying brother.  Of course the school that seems to be the perfect fit for our high maintenance boy is the most unbelievably high maintenance school in terms of parent requirements etc-you'd think we were sending him to Harvard law, not 4 year old preschool.  I have to squeeze in 4 new parent meetings, a home visit, a classroom visit before school starts and before the baby shows up.  There are "no exceptions" according to the director-we miss a meeting he loses his spot unless we pay a $250 fine.  Having a baby is not a good enough excuse :) Anything for our children, right?

4. Lucy is a wild woman who loves Dora, food, and her "minky" (pacifier) equally.  She knows she's adorable, and has already started using that to her advantage.  She will help herself to her snacks and look at me and say "thank you" while she cocks her pigtails to the side and giggles before running off. 

5. Baby #3 still doesn't have a name but we're narrowed down as much as we will narrow before she arrives.  We have about 3-4 names and we just need to decide the combination of first/middle names using those 3-4 names.  Nothing will be revealed until she's arrived and named !

absolute animals....

Yeah, I'm cute

 and it is quite likely that the next time you hear from me we'll be a party of 5!