Sunday, January 30, 2011

The challenges and rewards of having two!

There are so many things that are new and different now that we have two little ones at home! Most of them were easily anticipated but there have been a few that I didn't expect.

Challenge: Time is cut in half, work is doubled!!

                While easily anticipated, I never could have realized just how true this was! It makes me even more grateful that Mitchell has been off of work and such a huge help. Trying to get back into the 'swing of things' has proven much more difficult than expected. Brookelynne has been totally off schedule and trying to get her back on her schedule is not easy. She woke up in the middle of the night the first 4 nights we were back home, and since I was still not able to lift her, Mitch had to be the one to try and put her back to sleep. The problem is that Daddy is 'fun', so as soon as she saw him, she wanted to play, play, play instead of sleep! I, of course, was still getting up in the middle of the night anyway, pumping and feeding Braxton, but the lack of sleep for hubby, meant two tired parents each morning instead of one. Then of course there is the laundry and dishes of having 2 little ones!

Reward:  The quiet moments alone with them are perfect...

               One thing that I had totally forgotten was the serious amount of time that babies spend sleeping. I had this picture of him being awake for at least 6 or 8 hours each day and me having to work really hard to get time with Brookelynne, but that has not been the case! Each day I've had time to set aside for me and Brookelynne to do something together. Whether it's just singing her songs (while she does the motions) or if it is sitting with her and playing or reading, it has been a sweet joy to get alone time with her so that she knows how important she still is to me! It has also been great to set aside the time that Braxton is awake for Mitch and I to look him in the face and talk to him just like we did with Brookelynne. I know he can't really see us yet, but I want him to know that we love him and recognize us as soon as possible. He's so precious and the one on one time that I spend with him, whether it's while he's eating or in the rare times he is awake without reason, are such a joy! One of my biggest fears had been that as the second child he would miss out on so much of the one on one interaction and the individual attention that Brookelynne got, but so far, that hasn't been the case.... What a blessing!

Challenge:  Every baby is different...but how?

              Everyone who has ever had children will tell you that their kids were each distinctly different from each other and from the parents. This has been something that has been on my mind since we found out we were pregnant (if I were to be totally honest, I would have to say even before that) and while I wouldn't say I 'worried' about it, I have given it more than enough thought. Mainly because of how much we love Brookelynne and everything about her, it scared me to think that the 'differences' would be things that were 'not desirable' (ie- that he would be super fussy or never sleep, always upset or easily bothered) or that I would see them that way if they weren't.  And while there is very little of his personality that we can already 'know', the things we've seen that are different, aren't bad. They're just different, but it's definitely a challenge each day to recognize that he is his own person, and not another 'Brookelynne'. I've found myself assuming that he's going to do/like/want something 'just like she did', when he doesn't. (Thankfully, this has happened less than I expected). I pray that the Lord will continue to let me always see my children as He does, as separate, unique, precious individuals that He created perfect and special in their own way (not sinless, but perfect creations)!

Reward: The differences can be so sweet!

              Like I said, there's only so much of Brax's personality that we know so far, but the things we've seen are precious. He's quiet and reserved, giving us 'warning sounds' before getting upset. (Unlike his sister, who only cried when she was hungry, but when she was hungry she went from 0 to 60 in no time and stayed that way until we fed her!)  He doesn't push away from you, and likes being snuggled, something Brookelynne never took to. She was pushing away from your body, and wanting to look out from day one. His sweet smile isn't yet something that I can get him to do, but when he smiles, its a sly one, like his Daddy's, not a big cheesy one like mine and Brooke's. Oh, and he can already do the 'Mitchell look', for those of you who know what that means, and it's soooo funny!

Challenges: Schedule. Or should I say "What Schedule?"

              Call me silly, call me crazy, maybe its a little bit of both, but I REALLY thought that with Mitchell having 10 days off, we would *easily* have Braxton on a schedule that worked well with Brooke's before he headed back to work. But that has not been the case! lol I can honestly say that part of that is simply because I've been waiting on Braxton to set his own schedule that we can 'adapt' Brooke's too. But unlike his sister, he is not like that. She had herself on a schedule by 5 or 6 days old, and she ate every 5 hours, and slept 7 or 8 hours at night. Braxton has been a great baby, but he's not as content as she was. If he's awake, but not really hungry, he'll still fuss and take part of a bottle, which only encourages his not-consistent eating habits. I am planning on getting a book from a friend of mine on putting them on a schedule and hopefully will have him on one soon!

Rewards: Unplanned fun and excitement...

              Brookelynne was already off of her schedule when we came home from the hosptial. After 6 days of 'playing' and 'fun' with friends and family, she was less than excited about going back to her 2 naps a day and sleeping through the night routine! :) She has been waking up in the middle of the night, but it's been quite a sweet thing for me. Mitch has been handling her in the night, since I have to pump and feed Braxton anyway, and his way of getting her to go back to sleep is bringing her to the bed with us. This has never happened before, because I always rock her back to sleep and put her in her bed, but she won't calm back down once she sees Mitch, so he just brings her to bed with us. It was so sweet the first morning that I woke up with her in the bed. Even though she had kicked me in the face a time or two in the night, she had also snuggled up to me. I woke up to her leaning over my face with her big cheesy grin, and she started laughing as soon as I opened my eyes. :) lol. We also had a morning where we got Braxton in the bed with us too, and we laughed as Brookelynne played on the pillows and kissed on her brother. Those are things I would have never planned, or would have ever happened on 'my schedule'. :)

All in all we have been thrilled to have this time with our two little bundles of joy and are looking forward to the coming weeks and years of raising them, challenges and all! Mitch goes back to work on Wednesday, so we'll see what happens!

Our Hospital Stay..,

Well, our hospital stay this time around has been less than ideal, and quite honestly, very upsetting for me.

But I will get to all of that later, first let me tell you about the 'milestones' of our first couple days! After meeting Brookelynne, Braxton had to go back to the nursery for some tests, and my family all went down the the cafe to get food. While they were gone, I laid down and tried to get some rest, even though I wasn't sleepy at all, so it was kind of pointless, lol. While I was resting, Misti, Garrison and Maele came up to see me. They were so sweet and I felt horrible that Braxton wasn't there for them to meet! Braxton got back a few minutes before my family did, and was able to see everyone one more time before they headed home. Mom and Dad were the only one who stayed after everyone else left, but Dad was in the waiting room "racing" Brookelynne back and forth. :) Then Mr Don and Mrs Diane came in to see us. (They are 'our' deacon and his wife. :) They've sat at the other end of the pew from us for as long as we can remember and we just love them and Allison, their daughter!) They were so sweet and brought Braxton a little blue puppy dog! They sat and visited with us for a little while, and were getting up to leave, just as Dr Kim came in. Kim is our pediatrician, and used to go to our church, so she actually knew Mr Don and Mrs Diane, so it was like a mini reunion! lol. Kim did Braxton's exam (most of which I missed because my nurses came in to check my vitals at the same time) while my Mom and Mitch looked on. She said he looked great and that she was the doctor on call for the whole weekend, so she would be back to see us both days. :) Shortly after that, Whitney and Brad came by. They came in one at a time, because they didn't want to bring Max into a small room where he would have to be calm, so Whitney came in for several minutes and held Brax while Brad entertained Maxwell in the waiting room, and then they switched. It was very sweet to get to see them both! We're so grateful for good friends! (Whitney also brought us cookies, which were very good!)

That night Mitch stayed at the hospital with me and the next morning went by slowly. Braxton was wonderful, barely making a peep, and we both got a decent amount of sleep. My parents brought Brookelynne up to the hospital around 10, and she sat with me and held Braxton some more. She really liked the halls and the waiting room more than being with me, but that's okay because she was having fun. The nurse came in around 11:15 to do Brax's hearing test. This was something different for me, because when we had Brookelynne they did all the tests and pediatrician exams in the nursery, and then told you the results. Now they do them in the rooms with the parents, so I got to see it. He passed on his right ear, but then his left ear failed, so they said they would come back the next morning. They have 3 chances to pass the test before leaving the hospital and it's totally okay if they fail, because most of the time its something as simple as the fluid not being out of their ears yet. Around noon, everyone left! lol. Brookelynne and my dad went to St Augustine for my nephew's birthday party, my mom went to work, and Mitch went to run some errands. So Braxton and I just hung out! Kim came by and did his exam again, and said he looked great still. She did feel some popping in his hip, like they did with Brookelynne, but neither of us is really concerned about it, because we are pretty sure that its not dislocated, just soft. (by soft, I mean that the hip bone hasn't hardened yet, because I produce so much of the pregnancy hormone released in the third trimester, meant to soften the mother's hips for delivery that he and Brooke's hips are soft too) They'll of course keep checking for it, and he'll get an ultrasound too, if it keeps up.  :) Kelly, Jeff and Malachi came by around 1 and kept us company for a couple of hours. It was nice to just have someone to talk to, and of course they both held Braxton and Malachi had a good time "exploring" the room!

After they headed out, Mom, Mitch, Dad and Brookelynne all returned, followed shortly by my sister's family. Tricia, Chris, Davis and Abbi all came to see little Braxton and Davis and Abbi were both super excited to meet and hold their new little cousin! They were so cute with him! It was Davis's birthday (which is why Brookelynne had been at his party) so he was having a great day anyway, but he said seeing Brax made it even better. Abigale definitely wasted no time in asking to hold him either! She even sang to him a time or two! When they headed out, so did everyone else. Mitch took Brookelynne home with him, so that she would be in her routine and once again it was just me and my little man!

We went home Sunday morning, even though it had only been two days since Brax had been born. Our first priority was making sure that he passed his hearing test, which he did on the first try that morning, and then getting everything ready for discharge. I watched Chest of Joash while getting ready to leave, and we headed home around 1.

As promised, here are the reasons that my stay at St Vincents was horrible this time around. 

After I got out of recovery and taken to my room, I asked for a pump and bottles/formula for Brax, which didn't happen for hours. Braxton was literally like 5 hours old before he got to eat anything, or before I had the chance to pump. On top of which, even though my doctor told me and put in my file that I could have solid food as soon as I wanted too, the nurses refused to give me any. (And by refused, I mean that she said "While I'm aware that you THINK you're ready to eat, and that Dr Phelan has approved it, I don't think it's a good idea. How about I bring you some water and maybe a jello".) And that's what she did. I didn't get any food from midnight the night before until almost 6, when my family went to dinner and brought me something back. I was, needless to say, VERY FRUSTRATED. On top of this, since my doctor left me multiple prescriptions for pain (ie 4 different ones, in case one didn't work as well as the another), instead of asking me out right which ones I wanted to take, they waited until I was in pain before giving me anything. And no, I'm not kidding. This was even more frustrating because I have a pretty high tolerance for pain (ie- I'm not crying or really even upset until the pain is a 8, 9, or 10) So by the time I ask for pain medicine, they go and get it, and it starts working, at least an hour has passed and I'm pretty close to tears. This was the biggest problem on Saturday night. Mitchell and I decided that he would take Brookelynne home and they would stay there (so she would have a little routine) and I would stay by myself at the hospital. I woke up at 1:30 am, got up to go to the bathroom, and when I got into the bathroom, realized that I was in serious pain. I couldn't find the nurse call (as it was directly behind me), so I stood up and tried to walk back to the bed. Halfway there, my entire body froze, and I was literally scream/crying in pain, as I held onto the door to keep from falling. I made it to the bed and called for the nurse. When she came in, and I told her that I was in serious pain, she said "Well, that's not surprising, your pain medicines should have run out about an hour ago, but you didn't ask for more, so I didn't give them to you." (NOTE: "an hour ago" was 12:30 in the morning and I was asleep!) I was crying, pretty hysterically when she left the room, and I called Mitchell. I didn't ask him to come, mainly because it was such an inconvenience to have him wake Brooke, take her to my moms and wake them, and then come to the hospital, but I was terrified. All I could think was that the nurses weren't taking care of me, and since no one was there who could make sure that they were, that I had to stay awake and make sure nothing happened to me. I don't think I've ever been so scared (for myself) in my life, as I was that night. Mitch texted me about an hour later saying that he was leaving our house. It didn't really matter, because even if he hadn't been coming, I wasn't going back to sleep. I couldn't even put Braxton down, I couldn't help but think that something might happen to the both of us, and I sat there, sitting up, holding him for hours. Mitchell got to my room about 4 and I was still crying, still holding Braxton. At that point I tried to get some sleep, but it didn't come easily. Even though I didn't feel strong enough/well enough to go home that day (it had only been 2 days), I was too scared to stay any longer. Ironically the nurse I had on the last 5 hours I was there, was better than any of the others.

There were a few other things, like the rudeness of the anesthesiologist and nursing assistants, but I get too upset while talking/typing about it to do so anymore. Next time, things will definitely be different, and if they aren't, I'll be speaking to a hospital administrator before leaving. In fact, I may be making an appointment with one about this visit any day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brookelynne and Braxton meet eachother!

Once I was settled into my postpartum suite, (where I am allowed visitors under 5 years old), my first priority was getting my sweet little girl to meet her sweet little brother. So I waited for a little while, and then called Mitch to see where he was at. He told me that they were on the way up, and the nursery (unfortunately) was pushing Braxton back to my room just as they came down the hall. (They were supposed to call me before bringing him). Anyway, someone noticed, and distracted Brookelynne while they turned Braxton's cart around and returned to the nursery. It was very important to me that Braxton be out of the room when Brookelynne came in and saw me. So they brought her in, and it took her a few minutes to get warmed up to the idea of me in the bed, with the gown and the fact that everyone else was looking at her. She definitely knew something was different/weird, but she wasn't so sure what that was, lol. When she would come to me, I sent Mitchell to get Braxton from the nursery, and I got her up on my lap and we started singing her songs (so she would stay on my lap w/o moving and be in a really good mood!) We were singing "The itsy bitsy spider" when Daddy got to the door with the cart.

Practicing her "itsy bitsy spider"

Daddy bringing over Braxton

 Family of 4

Of course, at this point, everyone in the room got silent and pulled their cameras out, so Brookelynne froze and started looking around. :) lol. She was on my left leg, facing the door that Daddy had just come in, and as Mitch picked Braxton up, he looked at Brookelynne and said "Hey Brookelynne, where is Braxton?" [This is not a new question to Brooke, since we've been asking her this since she started registering what things are, and her answer has always been to pat my belly. It has only been in the past few weeks that Mitch has been telling her "Braxton is in mommy's belly, Braxton is a baby in mommy's belly", which I was pretty sure she had no comprehension of. And this morning, on our way to drop her off, with both car seats in the back, Mitchell asked her where Braxton is, she pointed to me, and he said "Yes, Braxton is in mommy's belly, but today he's going to come out and then he's going to sit in that seat." (pointing to Braxton's car seat). She nodded her head yes and really seemed to understand, which I found to be hilarious! ] So she looked over at me, back to Mitchell, at me once again and then pointed right to Braxton! :) We were so happy that she seemed to realized that he was a baby and he was the same Braxton that had been inside Mama's belly!


Giving Kisses

Then Mitchell brought him closer and asked her if she wanted to see him, which of course she did. So I held him in my right arm, and she pointed to his nose, and patted the blankets several times. I asked if she wanted to hold him, which of course she did. So I turned him around and held him in front of her, on her lap. She kept patting his blanket and we asked her if she wanted to give Braxton a kiss, and she did. :) She had to keep doing it over and over so that we could get a picture of it, and once she had kissed him several times, I could tell she was done, so I asked her if she wanted Mama to take him back. She shook her head yes and then tried to 'give him to me', which she did the same way she hands all of her dolls to picking them up by the neck! Of course I stopped her and told her that Mama would just take him back, she didn't need to hand him to me, and she sat patiently as I did so. Mitch got a little freaked out though! lol

 Smiling for a picture

  The Pearsons!

Mitch picked Brookelynne up off my lap and she went back to playing with all of the people in the room. I was so thrilled that she seemed to understand that he was ours and that that was okay. She didn't get jealous and it was huge to me that she could leave me while I was still holding him. Thought out our hospital stay, she did really good with everything, from letting me hold him, to the way she interacted with him each time she saw him. The only time she really got 'concerned' about what was going on is when my dad picked up Braxton, and then she all of a sudden wanted to be sitting right there too! Of course Paw Paw put her on his other knee and they talked to Braxton together, so it was okay, but she definitely wasn't going to leave him alone with her Paw Paw!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Braxton's Birth!

Today is the day that we have been waiting for and we finally got to meet our new little man! After having had a c-section with Brookelynne, Braxton's delivery was scheduled in advance at 39 weeks. Originally he was scheduled to come around 7:30 am, but after some hospital issues, they tried to cancel our section all-together and make us wait until sometime next week. Thankfully, my amazing OB (Mike Phelan) went to bat for us and told the hospital that if they wouldn't put me back on the schedule for today (Friday) that he would just come in first thing Saturday (when we officially hit 39 weeks) and do it then. (They REALLY didn't like that idea! lol) So they put me back on for noon.

Mitch and I got up around 6:30, dressed Brookelynne and packed up the car for the eventful day ahead. We dropped off Brooke at Mrs Lindsey's house (our sweet friend who teaches Brooke at church, and lives a few miles from the hospital) for a morning of fun with her friend Chandler. Then we stopped to by dvds for the camcorder and made our way to the hospital. At 9am, we checked into the surgery center and began our waiting experience. Half an hour later, they came and told us that Labor and Delivery was going to transfer us up there early because they were very slow, and would take care of our intake paperwork up stairs. So my friend Susan (who threw us a sweet shower for Braxton and works as a surgical tech in L&D) showed up at our curtain to take us upstairs and told us that someone had had to cancel their hysterectomy because they were sick, so Mike was planning on taking us early. This was quite a surprise, so we immediately started making phone calls to our parents and siblings who were planning on being there around 11 (the new surgery time) to tell them to hurry up! My mom was the first to arrive, about 15 minutes later, followed by my sister who made very good time coming from her son's school. About 10:50, Mitchell's parents and my dad came in as well. They sent everyone out to the waiting room (just as Josh and Amy arrived) at 11.

A minute or so later I walked over to the OR (yes, I walked), and Mitchell had to sit outside while they prepped me for surgery (a part of our previous experience that I had no idea had happened). They took me into the room (which was freezing) and gave me my spinal anesthesia. For the record, this hurt worse than the spinal epidural that I got with Brookelynne, and kept shooting these pains down my left leg-seriously scary, because I couldn't stop myself from 'jumping' and every time I did, I pictured the doctor jerking and paralyzing me. (On a side note- I probably wouldn't have been so jumpy if I hadn't already come to the conclusion that he was the rudest doctor that I had ever dealt with and had lost my respect after the way he had talked to me in pre-op) Once the spinal started 'warming' my feet, I was told to 'quickly' lay down. Things started happening pretty quickly at this point, as people started swarming, putting in my catheter, tying my legs together and down, putting up the sheets and scrubbing my skin to prep. Once all of that was complete, Mitchell and Mike made their way in as well. (Apparently the dads get to watch the doctors scrub up in the hallway while waiting). When they came in, they began checking to make sure I was numb enough, from my legs up, and waited for the medicine to work completely before getting started. Mitch sat down next to my head and held my hand, telling me he loved me as they began the procedure.

I listened and tried to pay attention to everything they were doing, mentally associating the 'pulls' and 'tugs' I felt with the general order of the surgery as I understand it. It took a little bit longer to get inside of me, because Mike wanted to get rid of my previous incision site. So instead of cutting in along the line they used last time, they cut just above and below the scar I had and removed all the scar tissue, so that when they came back out, and sewed me up, I wouldn't have scar tissue developing on top of scar tissue. About the time that they began to start pulling things out, the anesthesiologist assistant, Veronica, had encouraged Mitchell to watch, so he stood up and watched as they manipulated my organs, pulled up my uterus and took out our baby boy. I had told him to get the camera ready so that he could take pictures once they pulled him out, and  Veronica was like "Yeah, Dad, get some shots of his birth" and he looked at her like she was a little crazy and said "You mean I can take a picture of that?" and she told him 'yes'. He looked at me for confirmation, like she might have been pulling his leg and when I told him that he was allowed to photograph all of that, he started taking pictures as they pulled him out of my uterus.

The whole thing seemed extremely slow and long to me, because I only remember 'clips' of my c section with Brookelynne, so every time we would get to a point that I remembered from before, I would tell Mitchell, "I had no idea that they did all this _______ before they did _______. That's crazy" :) And while I really hadn't been nervous or scared going into the surgery, in those final few seconds before Mike started cutting, I got very anxious for a moment, but once Mitch had grabbed my hand and told me he loved me, it seemed to melt away as quickly as it had come.

The doctor took him over for the cleaning/weighing/testing/etc that had to be done and Mitch went with them. As I laid there it was interesting the things that happened while Mitch and Braxton were across the room. My little man cried the whole time, and it was interesting, because I know how big the room was, but it seemed like he was 100 yards away, not 20 ft. That seemed really weird to me. I also started getting light headed even though I hadn't moved. (The doctors said that that was normal, but I still don't know! haha). Thirdly, I have a place in my shoulders/neck (that I've had problems with in the past) that has spazmed and frozen in this contracted position for hours or days before, and while they were finishing up, it started hurting really bad. This was a slight problem because my husband was across the room, my hands were still tied down to their places on the table, and the only way to help the pain is to pinch the spot really hard. So I looked up at Veronica, asked her to pinch my shoulder/neck and then told her why I needed that. Do you want to know why it was hurting in the first place? Because (while I couldn't feel this at all) Mike (my doctor) was yanking on my ab muscles so that he could get them all stitched back up, and this causes a chain reaction of muscle reactions that I couldn't feel until they got above my breasts (which is where the spinal stopped). How weird is that?

Then they brought Braxton back over to me, all cleaned up and told me that I could even go ahead an hold him if I wanted! I was so thrilled and it was so sweet to feel him on my chest and touch his little face and talk to him! This was also something else I didn't get to do with Brookelynne, which makes it even more special. (I love that since there will always be plenty of things that I was able to do with Brooke that I won't be able to do with our other children, that there are some things that are new with Braxton that I didn't do with Brooke.) At that point, Mitchell left with Braxton and went to the waiting room first (to show everyone) and then to the nursery for his testing/cleaning, and I got transferred back to my bed, and then to the recovery room.

When we pulled into the recovery room, the first thing they did was check my vitals. At check in my blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse had been good and my temp had been 96.5, a little low, but fine. When we got back from surgery, my temp was 95.1 which kind of freaked me out a little bit. Not because I was worried that I was sick or something, but because they didn't tell me why they were acting weird until they had already come in and out of the room a couple times, put me under an incubator, gotten me 4 more blankets, and were in the process of hooking me up to a 'hot air blanket'. I thought the incubator was weird, but really just assumed that Braxton had been a little jaundice and that they were putting it in place so that I could hold him when they brought him back.

I asked them what the risks were for having a low temp after surgery, and what temp I had to be at to get to see my son and/or leave recovery. They ignored my first question and refused to answer it, and then told me that they just needed me to warm up because they couldn't let me leave recovery until my temp reached 97. (This really bothered me since it hadn't even been that high at check in.) After 25 or 30 minutes and 3 temp checks, I was still only up to 96.1. This really bugged me, but there was nothing else that I could do but lay there. The two nurses came back in and one nurse asked the other how high my temp had to be and instead of the answer she gave me, she said "As I understand the policy, she just has to be within a  degree of her intake temp." WHAT???? I was so angry it wasn't even funny, because that is a very simple and easily understandable answer that would have been much more helpful to me than her earlier comment. At this point I just told her that I was already there, and that I was sending my husband to get my son and bring him to me. She didn't argue, and that's what they did.

Mama, Daddy and Braxton!

A couple of minutes later, Mitch pushed Braxton and his cart down the hall to my room, and handed him to me. He was still so sweet and cleaned and wrapped up, he was just perfect! My mom was practically shaking she wanted to hold him so badly, so I handed him to her. :)


She held him for a couple of minutes and then passed him to Jeanna (Mitch's mom) who held him for a couple of minutes and was going to pass him to my dad, but my dad said to let Wayne hold him first. Once Wayne had held him for a couple of minutes, my dad did and then Aunt Tricia. :) She was just a little excited about it! lol. Then Uncle Josh got him followed by Aunt Amy. They were all so happy to hold him. By this time, I was to the point that I was getting anxious about when I would get to see Brookelynne and let them meet, so I got Mitchell's attention (he was very involved in following Braxton around the room and making sure that whoever was holding him was doing it right and safely, lol. He did the same thing with Brooke and it cracks me up everytime!) As soon as I mentioned going to get Brookelynne, my dad offered to do it himself, but I told him that I wanted Mitchell to be the one to get her and bring her to the hospital, not just Paw Paw, so they went together to Lindsey's house while Mom, Josh, Amy and Tricia stayed in the room with me and Brax. About the time that Mitch left, Jeanna and Wayne headed home too. The nurses were talking to me at the time, so I honestly don't remember exactly when they left, just that when we went to go to my other room, Mrs Carmen had just walked in, and they weren't there anymore. It was only 20 minutes or so after Mitch left, that they wheeled me and Braxton down to my normal room (about 1:45 or so) and hooked me up in there.

 Nay Nay and her first Grandson

 Uncle Josh, Grandma and Braxton

 Braxton and Aunt Tricia

Paw Paw, Daddy, Braxton, Poppy, and Uncle Josh

Overall, the csection process, was just different this time. I wouldn't say that I liked it better, because while I thought I knew what to expect this time, having done it before, there was so much of it that I hadn't realized I had missed the first time around, that I spent most of the morning being surprised by what was going on or how long it took. I didn't like that they didn't/wouldn't/couldn't give me my spinal in my room or even with Mitchell in the room. It would have made a huge difference in how comfortable and relaxed I was if I had been holding his hand or even just able to see that he was there. I did like that I was really awake and aware of what was going on, and didn't miss anything. I liked that I was competent enough to talk to the different doctors there, get any questions asked and be a contributing member of the birth process (ie, not asleep for it! and able to respond to them). I didn't like the lack of answers I got from the nursing staff or the way that the anesthesiologist spoke to me or him in general. His assistant was very nice and helpful but he was just a jerk. In fact if I had been the caretaker, instead of the patient (ie- if it was my mom having surgery instead of me) I would have been talking to the nurse supervisor and in the faces of the OR nurse and the anesthesiologist on multiple occasions demanding that they treat me with respect and make sure their responses to me are honest and not flippant, but I really didn't want them to cancel the surgery after all the other issues we had already had trying to get it on the schedule. I have a strong feeling that I'll like the 'scheduled c section' process a whole lot more when it is 'first thing' and not the 4th or 5th procedure of the day.

That was the whole process from beginning to end and we are so grateful for our new little miracle! He's just precious and I can't wait to get to know him even more! I'll post about the hospital stay and of course, the first meeting of brother and sister, asap!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Braxton's Room!

As the past few months have flown by, we have had distraction above distraction with birthdays and holidays, long work days and short weekends, and because of that, the focus has not been the easiest ones to plan and prepare for our new arrival. So, while I had some ideas here and there, and been working toward a general goal for his room and clothes, I have not been nearly as 'together' as I was when I had 3 holiday/birthday free months before Brookelynne's arrival. But I can honestly say that it has all come together! Little things were getting done, bit by bit, but the 'big stuff' finally got done in the past two weeks!

We bought the bedding back in September, and shortly after that, got Brookelynne's new furniture and moved the baby furniture into Brax's room.

I decided on the basic design of the walls and we painted his room in October on Mitch's last vacation. But since then, not much has happened. We've been doing small projects here and there, like organizing the clothes and putting them away, or organizing the closets, but no real obvious progress. Once the holidays were threw, and we had a free weekend day, we buckled down and knocked it out. My Mom and Dad came up early and between the four of us, we had 3 working and one playing with Brooke for the whole morning. I got up and went straight to cutting all of the molding, and then Mitch and I put it all up. Mom washed, dried and put away all of the bottles and pump stuff as well as cleaned the kitchen and then when Brookelynne went down for her nap, my dad went outside and started cleaning the siding and porch. (Which he did a fantastic job on, btw).

By the end of the day I felt a lot better. A few days later the wood letters came in the mail, so I painted those that night. The next day I finally finished the plaque for his room. (I worked on it all week, and it was tedious, to say the least). Then it was time to hang them and we would be almost done. All that was left was getting and assembling the rocking chair, which we got a couple days later. Finally we can say we're done!

I'm so proud of his room and how great it turned out! I was so worried that we wouldn't be able to put together a room for Braxton that was as nice as Brookelynne's or as personal, but I really feel like it all came together perfectly. And for all of you who have been waiting so patiently, here are the pictures!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our New Years Christmas-es....

Well this year worked out quite unusually, with Christmas and New Years Days falling on Saturday, making the past two weekends very festive! Obviously you've been able to read about our many celebrations so far, but if you know us, you'll notice that there was obviously family missing! For one reason or another, we can't always see everyone on Christmas Eve, Day or the day after (most years because of Mitch's hectic work schedule, and this year partly due to other people's schedules) so we do our best to celebrate with them ASAP...That meant 2 jam packed holiday weekends in a row! Here is the rundown of our celebrations!

Saturday morning we got up and spent a few hours relaxing at the house. I double checked the presents and made sure we had all the presents for everyone we were going to see all weekend already in the car, and then we headed out. We wanted to go to the outlet mall in St Augustine to get some clothes for Braxton, and needed to run some more 'Braxton errands' before we did. So we went to Target and Babies R Us and used the gift cards we had left! I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever worked harder on a shopping list or on 'matching coupons' than I did for this trip. We had our "10% off everything left on your registry" coupon, as well as target and manufacturers coupons on most of our items! We walked out of there with $220 worth of baby things for $145. (which was a little less than we had in gift cards). These included 6 or 7 pks of diapers 15 pks of wipes, 8 50-count pks of breastmilk bags, 4 pks of bottle nipples, 2 baby ibprofin, 2 baby tylonal, 3 milocons, 2 pks of baby spoons, 2 pks of 8 oz bottles for my breast pump, 4 pks of bottle liners, and some diaper rash ointment! I was so proud of myself! :) We also got some clearance clothes for an additional 40% off at Babies R Us.

Then we headed out to the outlet mall and I hit up Carters, Gymboree, OshKoshB'gosh, and Toys R Us Express. (The last one wasn't on our list but when Mitch saw they had a 75% off clearance, we went in and spent 45 minutes picking out toys for next Christmas). Anyway, I had been very frustrated with the clothes that we have for Braxton (and the clothes that are even available to begin with) because it seemed like I couldn't find, much less buy anything that was less than size 6 months that looked more 'dressy' than a sweat suit. (Except for the $45 'suits' which is a ridiculous price that I would never pay for something he'll only wear for a few hours at a time, once or twice!) But knowing how 'dressy' Brookelynne gets for church, I could just hear people saying "You can see which one is her favorite!", as I walk around with Brookelynne in a princess dress with matching bow and fufu socks, and Braxton is the equivalent of a sweatsuit. But I digress.... when I went into Gymboree, I found a very cute little collared shirt to match some sweet little brown pants, an outfit and extra long sleeved collared shirt at Carters, and then several adorable polos/slacks at OshKosh! I came home feeling much better since Brax will at least look 'dressed up' for Sundays!

Then we finally made it to my sisters! (Every store seemed to take 10 or 15 minutes longer than planned with Brookelynne in tow, and we were running behind). She had all of the siblings over to her house for the kids to get their presents, and have nice New Years dinner! It was very sweet of her to have us over and the food was wonderful! Abbi and Davis were so glad to have Brookelynne get there so that they could play with her, and took her outside immediately to slide and swing with them! :) They guys had the games on in the house and the girls got to spend some time catching up in the kitchen before we all chowed down! The only one missing was my nephew Austin (as his Mom was getting remarried that day). The kids got some very cool presents and all of them were very excited! (Uncle Josh and Aunt Amy were the hit, as they got the 'cool toys' for Davis and Abbi!) Abbi loved her new baby doll, and Davis loved his new nerf gun! Uncle Josh and Uncle Fred were more than happy to help him learn how to use it!
 Brookelynne didn't like the 'big girl swing'
 But Abbi's a pro!
 Aunt Amy and Uncle Fred playing topple with Davis and Abbi!
 The kids opening presents!

 Uncle Fred showing Davis how to use the his new nerf gun!

 Notice Uncle Josh was playing with the other nerf gun!
 Aunt Amy and Brookelynne playing with the cool piggy bank!
First it's Aunt Amy's turn, then Brookelynne's!

 Abbi getting in on the shooting!
 A Siblings Picture! :)
Josh, Tricia, Me and Fred
(Who would have ever guessed that me and my sister would be pregnant at the same time!??!)
Siblings with our Other Halves!
Mitch and Me, Josh and Amy, Chris and Tricia and Freddy!

 Sunday morning we got up and went to church and had a great time! Then we headed over to Nay Nay and Poppy's house for lunch and presents with them! Jeanna had made a very good lunch and we really enjoyed it! Brookelynne finished most of Daddy's plate! Then we opened presents! Brookelynne did a  great job and Nay Nay helped her whenever she got hung up on something!

 She wanted to show Mama her presents for a change! After opening them, she would bring them for me to open up and let her play with them. I kept having to remind her that there were more presents to open before we played with the ones we had just gotten! When I finally started opening the boxes for her, she then wanted to open Nay Nay's presents!

 Helping Nay Nay open her presents!

 Brookelynne had a very good time with Nay Nay and Poppy and was very cute! Around 2:30 or 3 we headed home (because it was way past BoggaBoo's nap time! She fell asleep on the way home, so instead of waking her and shortening her nap, I just went inside and changed and then Brookelynne and I headed to my mom's for Christmas with the Avary's! (Mitch had to go to bed because he had to be at work by 3 am.) Brookelynne slept most of the way to the house and then was more than happy to go inside and play with Paw Paw until everyone else got there!

 Josh and Amy, Nickie, Philip, Parke and Emma all arrived about the same time, and we enjoyed getting to see everyone. We spent a half hour or so just catching up and then let the kids open their presents!
 Parker was a very helpful big brother and made sure that Emma got all the paper off of her presents! And Brookelynne got a baby doll that she loved!

 Nickie had found some cute UGA and UF necklaces and got them for Mom and Amy respectively, but they accidentally switched the bags and opened the wrong ones! Of course they weren't keeping it that way! LOL. Brookelynne wanted a necklace too, so she got to pick between Grandma's and Aunt Amy's. She picked Grandmas!!!!! :) Such a smart girl!

Mom, Nickie and Amy
After that we went to dinner at Cross Creek and had a very nice time! Everyone got plenty of food and we even left with 2 full to-go boxes worth of left overs! When we got back to the house, we sat around catching up some more and just enjoying family time. PawPaw/Uncle Fred was a big hit with the girls (as usual!). This is a picture of him, Brookelynne and Emma working on a puzzle together! 

Brookelynne and I didn't make it home until close to 10, but we both slept well that night! We had a great weekend and were so thankful to get to see and spend time with so many loved ones! We are so blessed!