July 26, 2012

Newborn & Family Pics

I just about cry everytime I see these, they are so precious! Thanks Felicia Holland Photography! Felicia is having her second baby this October, I'm so thankful she was able to sneak us in before she puts down her camera for a while to finish school and take care of her babies!

Our little stinker decided that she wanted to be awake for the whole sitting, despite having fed her literally minutes before! I don't blame her though, it was almost 100 degrees out and the humidity was killer {just look at momma's hair, eek}!  Love, love, love these--and cannot wait to get the rest next week! Someone's going to go crazy at the Costco photo department, I can just feel it!

those lips!

special delivery

my mom thinks the (intentional) natural sun flare ruined this one, but it's one of my favorites! I promise she wasn't crying!

Rylan: 3 weeks

It'll be three weeks tomorrow, and we're all still alive!!! Really though, I couldn't ask for an easier baby. Rylan is such a good little sleeper, we have to wake her up to feed her! Feedings are going ok, but I never knew breastfeeding was this hard! I'm always worried I'm not making enough milk, or that I'm doing something wrong. It doesn't help that she lost quite a bit of weight after birth...she went from 7# 11oz at birth to 7# 1oz at our first doctor's visit. As of last week we were still lagging at 7# 6oz, but we've been working hard on getting that up this week, and she just so happened to reach the first milestone of passing her birth weight, she was 7# 12oz yesterday! That's an ounce a day for a week straight!! The doctor was happy, so that put mommy at ease. I just started pumping last week too, to help boost production so I really feel like all I do is feed her! I don't get much {like an ounce and a half after each feeding} but we're working on it by drinking a ton of water and more eating often. Ross jokes that our living room has turned into a "milking parlor". Sigh.

Here's what Rylan has been up to the past three weeks...
  • You finally reached your birth weight...19 days later
  • You've grown almost an inch already!
  • We took our first family overnight trip to the cottage in Traverse City when you were 1 week old and you did great!
  • You're sleeping 3-3 1/2 hours straight at night {we wake you up for feedings}
  • You're a slow eater, and it takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes for you to finish nursing
  • You have great head control already and you love tummy time! Daddy thinks you look like a little turtle when you poke your head up and around. So stinkin' cute!
  • Mommy broke all the rules she set for herself; you're definately a paci baby & co-slept the first week and a half of life {bad mommy}
  • You wear newborn size diapers & clothes
  • You have a ton of long, blonde hair! Instead of falling out, it seems to be growing! We love dressing you up with little bows and headbands. The only downfall is that it makes you look so much older than you are :( Mommy wants you to stay little FOREVER!
  • You did so good in church! We were a little nervous and sat in the back, but you were quiet the whole time and all the little old ladies just loved you!
  • We had family pictures taken this week, and they turned out so great! Preview coming soon. 


snuggles with Bethany


naptime with daddy

You love:
Hanging out on your changing table
Car rides and being outdoors
Bath time and being naked
Your furry big brother, Elvis
Your family--grandpas, grandmas, aunties & uncle
All the presents and meals everyone brings us! You just love having vistors!

You're learning:
How to lift and move that little noggin of yours
Routine--what "cues" mean it's time to eat/sleep
How to look us right in the eye when we talk with you

You dislike:
Being swaddled...you liked it for a minute, then decided it wasn't for you.
Mommy's phone. Everytime it rings or texts, you jump a mile high.
We love you, Rylan Marie!

July 24, 2012

Rylan's Birth

It was Friday, July 6th. I woke up about 7:30a, not feeling so great...more or less like I got hit by a bus. After my giant crybaby bawl-fest the night before, I figured it was nothing. At this point I was so sick and tired of being pregnant--It was 1000 degrees out {ok, it was 104--a record high for the day}, and everything hurt.

I opened my inbox to find the usual "did you have the baby yet" messages, to which I replied NO and if I get asked ONE MORE TIME I'm going to go CRAZY!

By 10am I had a few very weak "contractions", but they were hardly noticeable and were a good 30+ minutes apart. Which basically means nothing. Fast forward to noon and these puppies were coming on every 8 minutes, but not lasting very long and were still very much bearable--I could walk, talk and work through them, but sitting was becoming uncomfortable. The dog was driving me nuts again, following me everywhere around the house, and my sister had stopped by to ask if "today was the day". I told her NO, but these braxton hicks were not letting me get any work done.

By 2pm the pains were coming sooner, though I still refused to believe this might be it. It felt like gas cramps and went away when I went to the bathroom, which is not at all what I thought contractions might feel like. My pal Stef just happened to text me, and when I replied with questions like "does the hospital have a hairdryer?" she began to probe.

I told her about the timed contractions, about the stringy/bloody discharge again this morning {even though I had lost my plug 2 weeks prior}, and my gas cramps. It was Friday afternoon, and I debated calling the office to see if I could get checked before the weekend just in case. Stef laughed {she's had two kids already} and told me I better call them and tell them I'm coming in. To heck with work I thought, and closed my computer. I began to finish packing the hospital bag...just in case.

The last thing I wanted to do was go in and have them send me home! When I called and talked with the nurse she said to wait until they were 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each for an hour. I thought cool, this really is it and prepared for a long night. I was about ready to put the call in to Ross when he walked in the door. I told him what was going on and explained that we still have plenty of time, so he should finish running his errands and go deposit his check at the bank.

By the time he got back I knew for a fact that today right now was the day since I was doubled over the kitchen counter in pain, with my Itzbeen in hand to time the contractions! Ross still needed a shower, and I told him he had 5 minutes to take one and get dressed before I got in the car and left by myself. It was 3:30 now, and the contractions jumped from being every 8 minutes for the past 3 hours, to being 3 minutes apart consistently and getting so much stronger. I wasn't sure I could live for another hour with the contractions coming that hard and fast, so I called the nurse and told her we're coming in and if they wanted to send me home I didn't care anymore--I'm coming!

We made it upstairs at the hospital a little after four, and the nurse took her sweet time checking us in and going over all the routine questionnaires & forms. I was sweaty and shaking all over at this point. Trying to be "helpful", Ross told me I shouldn't be disappointed if I was only at a 3 and get sent home. I thought there's NO WAY that's happening. Not on my watch. Once the nurse finally got me set up in bed to check my cervix, her eyes about bulged out of her head when she announced that I was already past 6cm dilated, and 100% effaced! Baby time!

When she told me this was my only chance for an epidural, I said YES PLEASE! It was then that Ross so kindly reminded me that I wanted to do this without drugs, but obviously that idea was out. In hindsight, I should have just went without it since I was moving so fast, but at that moment the pain seemed so intense that I couldn't imagine it getting worse {and low & behold it didn't}. So they set me up like an assembly line and administered the IV & epidural. After about 15 minutes they rolled me from side to side and I heard a *pop*...my water had broken on its own! The nurse was quite surprised I could feel that, and I told her I could still feel everything on my right side. She said that wasn't right so they tried rolling me again. It didn't take long for her to call in another anesthesiologist who fixed the epidural and gave me another shot of magic juice. Upon doing a quick check, I was already at an 8 {and still feeling everything on the right} so they started setting up to deliver. This was at 5:30. By ten to six the epidural finally kicked in on my right side and they had just removed the bottom of the bed to have me start pushing.

After 15 minutes of pushing, Rylan Marie was born at 6:07pm, at 7 lbs 11 oz & 20.5 inches long! Overall, my whole labor and delivery was a breeze! I can't believe I spent all that time reading and obsessing about what it might be like, when it wasn't bad or scary at all. Was I nervous, yes-but it all seemed so natural. Everything happened so quickly that we didn't really have time to think, and before we knew it they were cleaning her off in my arms!

38 weeks, 4 days

We're feeling very blessed to have such a happy, healthy baby girl!

July 11, 2012

She's here!!!

Ross & I welcomed Rylan Marie, 7lbs 11oz & 20.5 inches of love, on Friday, July 6th at 6:07pm!

July 02, 2012

bumpdate: 38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks

Total weight gain: +35

Maternity clothes? Yes, but with some non-maternity pieces mixed in.

Sleep:  Still getting up around 3-4 times a night, what a pain it is to get out of bed!

Best moment this week: Taking the boat out on Lake Michigan with our pals Zeb & Kristi. We ran into a couple of rough patches from all the other boat traffic, but it was smooth sailing down to Saugatuck for the most part! I just loooove going out on the lake! Hubs and I are so thankful to be taking some time for ourselves these past few weeks.

Miss Anything? Seeing my feet, sitting comfortably, wearing a bathing suit...and beer.

Movement: It's certainly slowing down, but I can feel her feet wiggle every once and a while. She gets the hiccups about twice a day too :)

Food cravings: Cereal, fruit, anything cold or crunchy...and chocolate.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week!

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: Lost plug 6/23, 90% effaced & 1.5 cm dilated at my 37 week visit on 6/25. Had some nice contractions this past Saturday, but they just all of a sudden stopped. At my 38 week visit today I was still 90%, 1.5, -1 station. Boo.

Symptoms: Other than being grossly huge and having to pee all the time, I really don't have any symptoms. It's like I've caught a second wind this week!

Belly Button in or out?  Flat/out. Sometimes if she's laying just right it's like I have another belly button below mine. Looks great with a white tee...not!

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly off, much to husband's chagrin.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy! We are so thrilled to be so close to meeting our little girl!

Looking forward to: Ultrasound tomorrow to re-check fluid. Last week it was already up to a 12, which is pretty amazing since the week before it was a 7-8 and before that, a 4! I don't know what to expect this week...because at this point anything can happen!

June 26, 2012

bumpdate: 37 weeks

How far along? 37w1d

Total weight gain: +34 and at this point I don't give a crap. I'm considering this my last few days in which I'm completely allowed to have ice cream twice in one day...and it is fabulous! Baby needs all the fat she can get on her :)

Maternity clothes? Yes, but with some non-maternity pieces mixed in.

Sleep:  Still getting up around 3-4 times a night, but sleeping hard when I'm down!

Best moment this week: Getting the good report from the specialist--S's kidney is still quite dilated (11mm+), but only a partial blockage near the renal pelvis! There's no damage so far, and she could still grow out of it without needing surgery. Praise God!

Miss Anything? I could still use a nice, cold beer.

Movement: Yes, although it's pretty confined to my left side where her arms & legs are.

Food cravings: Cereal, fruit, anything cold or crunchy.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week!

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: Lost plug on Saturday night, 90% effaced & 1.5 cm dilated at my 37 week visit...oye!

Symptoms: Other than being grossly huge and having to pee all the time, I really don't have any symptoms. It's like I've caught a second wind this week!

Belly Button in or out?  In/flat.

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly off, much to husband's chagrin.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy! We are so thrilled to be so close to meeting our little girl!
Looking forward to: Ultrasound tomorrow to re-check fluid. Between weekly OB visits & weekly ultrasounds, it seems I'm always at the doctor's office. Better safe than sorry I suppose!

June 21, 2012

Week 36: the rollercoaster

What an eventful week and it's only halfway done.

Monday began with a call from the doc, nothing that he said was anything I wanted to hear--of course. I've learned that's how it goes when they call. Basically all the bad news they'd rather not say to your face. On the bright side they can't see me sobbing away on the other end. I'll take it since today it was more of an ugly cry and nobody wants to see that. Ugh, weak moments.

Baby's kidney is not doing well at all (we guessed that at Friday's ultrasound) and my amniotic fluid is too low so they're sending me to a specialist for another high tech ultrasound for further direction. Of course they first ordered up a stat NST, which I passed no problem. Babe is an active one, and always has been.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, we had no idea what to expect going up to Spectrum. The sonographer was so great though, and we spent an hour and a half with her going over everything. We even got to try a 3D ultrasound, but it turned out that I am too far along to make out her cute little face. After that, they brought us to a little room full of sunshine--you know, the ones with the nice corner view, round table, and boxes of kleenex scattered all over--yea, that room.

And we waited.

After what seemed like an eternity the maternal/fetal medicine specialist came in and sat down. What an awesome lady! She was so understanding and took the time to answer all of our questions. We couldn't have been happier with what she had to say--yes, babe's left kidney is 11+ mm, but it's only due to a partial ureter block, something that could easily still clear up, or can be fixed later with a stent if necessary. The other kidney is working perfectly (it was also dilated at 28 weeks)!

You see, your kidneys are one of the only organs that form from two parts of solid, not hollow, tissue. Sometimes, the two parts just don't come together perfectly and you get an odd little flap that gets in the way. It won't cause her any pain, but her belly may just be a little "puffier" than normal at first. We did get a referral to a pediatric nephrologist, so she won't get checked on again until after she's born.

After a review of all her systems--brain, heart, lungs--they couldn't find anything else concerning, which makes them believe her kidney issue was caused by a random fluke. Doc said she looks like a healthy, average, 5lb 15oz little girl, hallelujah!

As for the amniotic fluid, it was still lower than normal (7 or 8), but higher than it was Friday. Since it's still above 5 and she seems to be  moving around in there just fine, they did not see any reason for bed rest, early induction, or a c-section! As of today they'll let me go on my own...and I could even still make 40 without any trouble! They'll be doing a few more ultrasounds back in my regular obgyn's office to keep checking the level, but the specialist was confident that it was nothing too out of the ordinary that would require special action.

Praise God for the good news, and answered prayers! We couldn't feel more blessed and fortunate for the events that unfolded today. Sadly, we know that not all parents get to go home with smiles on their faces--and tonight we're saying a special prayer for them.

As a sometimes chronic Negative-Nancy {I prefer the term realist}, I learned a tough lesson today--that no matter how easy it is to get wrapped up in what you hear bit by bit, nothing amounts to the full story and it's not worth reacting to until you have all the details. We were ready to go today...the bag was packed and in the car, and Ross even turned off the A/C in the house! While I do feel a little silly admitting that we took the first bout of news at face value, we were just going off what we were told by the doctor. After Wednesday, my attitude towards the rest of this pregnancy has changed. I am so thankful I can enjoy the next three weeks or so with a clear mind. I can actually say that we're ready--at least we feel ready--which means will be as ready as we can be when she does decide to make her arrival.

Hang tight little girl, while we love you very much and are very excited to meet you, we don't mind if you get comfy in there for a bit longer! You are such a tough little fighter, and mommy & daddy are so proud of you!