Thursday, June 30, 2022

Andie's Birth Story

     I'm just going to pretend like it hasn't been over a year since my last post.  That was never my intention but here we are.  Life has been a lot lately and I've found myself wanting to turn back to this outlet to write and process so here I am. I'm going to start with Andie's birth story so here it goes...

    This pregnancy felt different that the previous three in a lot of ways.  Probably because I was "advanced maternal age" (you just really can't hear that enough) and because I was so busy with the other three I didn't have a lot of time to really dwell, or focus on this pregnancy.  I had gestational diabetes but other than that I felt pretty good.  But the last week I was done.  Mentally, physically, emotionally DONE.  I was scheduled for a repeat c-section on Monday, April 11th.  So that's the day we'd been planning for.  My mom was scheduled to be off work that week so she could stay with the kids.  Patrick had been scheduling all of his work around that date, everything was orchestrated around April 11th.  On Monday, April 4th, I got ready for my last weekly appointment and I packed my bag because I told Patrick, " I don't feel right".  I wasn't in pain, or labor.  I couldn't even really give you anything specific that felt off just that it wasn't exactly right.  I didn't sleep well the night before, I'd been having back spasms and just didn't feel good.  I went ahead and threw some things in my suitcase and left it at the house just in case.  But deep down I knew I wasn't coming home.  I got more and more anxious as the morning went on.   Patrick's parents came to stay with Adler and off I went.  

    I got on the scale at the doctor and I'd gained a lot of weight in the week since my last appointment but the nurse didn't act like that was a big deal.  I finally got in a room and they checked my blood pressure and it was high.  (I don't know the numbers because I didn't ask).  I've never had high blood pressure in any of my pregnancies.  So I was immediately worried. (and I'm not a worrier).  I had not mentioned to the nurse yet my uneasy feeling but she said "with that number you might not be going home".  I was relieved and anxious at the same time.  My doctor came in and checked it again and it was still high.  She said it might just be nerves but she was going to send me down to the maternal emergency department for more tests and monitoring and she would make a decision on whether to deliver me that afternoon or the next morning.  

    I got down to MED and as soon as I walked through the doors it looked like a hospital and it was a little overwhelming.  (I know this sounds crazy, but the regular maternity rooms aren't as hospital-y.) The nurse quickly got started filling out the paperwork.  Meanwhile I called Patrick to let him know that we were now looking at April 4th or 5th.  He needed to wrap up the job he was at, I told him to take his time.  Then I called my mom.  She was excited and anxious as well.  I made a plan with her for the kids and hung up the phone.  That was when the reality of the moment set in and I just sobbed.  The poor nurse asked me if I was ok.  I told her I was sorry, but I'd very unexpectedly lost my dad just 6 weeks earlier and he was my person.  He would have been that call and he would have dropped everything and made the plan and had the kids everywhere they needed to be.  My mom there to help him with whatever he told her to do but he was always the mastermind.  I couldn't wait to meet this baby but I was devastated that he never would.  

    We got the results from the blood work and my doctor decided to go ahead and admit me and schedule the csection for Tuesday morning, April 5th.  I was going to get one vacation night in the hospital.  I was not so secretly excited for the night to rest and relax, but I still felt the mom guilt of not having everything perfectly ready at home for the kids and my mom to make it as easy as possible.  Patrick brought me my suitcase and then he went back home to take Barrett to baseball practice so my mom could go to my nephews first teeball game.  I ate dinner and settled in for the night.  He got back around 10:00 and we went to sleep as best we could.  We were going to meet our last baby the next day.

   I was scheduled for 8:45.  I got up around 5:30 and took a quick shower.  They wanted to get the baby on the monitor and start the fluids and all that around 6:30.  She kept kicking the monitor off so the nurse kept having to come in a adjust it.  She'd been content and then all of a sudden two nurses came in quickly and started looking at the monitor and had me turn on my side.  The baby's heartrate was dropping and they couldn't get it stable.  It was around 8:00 and they decided to go ahead and take me down to the OR and bump the earlier csection.  I was nervous but also so thankful.  

    We got in the OR, the spinal went in beautifully, I asked for the clear drape.  I also threw up before we even got started.  Mostly nerves, I'm sure.  It took a little longer to get through all the scar tissue.  I also had a uterine window, so it was a very good thing I didn't go into labor.  It wasn't long until I heard that sweet new baby cry.  They held her up to the drape so I could see her and she looked so tiny.  Dr. Crowe said she felt "pretty sturdy".  She looked just like her sisters.  They brought her over so I could touch her and then took her over to weigh her.  The OR felt different this time.  More serious for sure.  I heard Dr. Crowe tell the nurse to call up to the office to tell them she was going to be a little longer than normal.  I thought that was odd but didn't think much about it.  Then the anthesiologist came back in and the CRNA (I'm probably not correct with these titles) was quietly talking to him.  I looked at Patrick and he could tell I was worried and I could see the concern on his face too.  He just kept looking at me and saying it's ok.  We knew something wasn't right but didn't know what.  We could hear the baby so we knew she was ok.  They did say she needed oxygen but she was fine.  

    Dr. Crowe asked the nurse to call back up to the office and tell them that anyone that needed to see her needed to reschedule or see another doctor in the practice.  Finally, the doctor told us what was going on.  There was so much scar tissue my bladder was higher than it was supposed to be so while trying to cut through the scar tissue my bladder got nicked.  The CRNA, told me if I started to feel the pain they could give me more drugs.  They called in doctor from another hospital to repair my bladder.  After they told us what was going on with me, they came over with Andie and told us she needed to go to the NICU for observation.  She just needed a little more oxygen.  They strongly encouraged Patrick to go with her.  The other doctor got there and they got me put back together.  I was going to have to go home with a catheter for a week but everything would heal back normally.  Patrick was outside waiting for me.  Andie was doing great.  I was relieved.

    I got in the room and got somewhat settled. I called my mom and the first thing I said was "we're both ok."  I knew she was beyond worried that it had been nearly 2 hours since I went back for my 30 minute csection.  She was so relieved to hear from us.  Patrick went back to the NICU to check on Andie.  The nurse came in and told me they would probably bring her back to my room around 1:00 but if I wanted to go to the NICU they would wheel me down there.  The thought of getting out of the bed and into a wheel chair sounded excruciating so I stayed put and tried to rest a bit.  

    I'll wrap this story up here.  I knew that her birth and the hospital would stir up all the emotions and it did.  But I felt such peace and overall gratitude that she came early and was healthy.  I get overwhelmed when I think of Andie's life, and how every detail was perfectly orchestrated.  When we first told we were pregnant I said her due date was April 18th but I knew I'd have a repeat csection the week before.  My dad mentioned a few times that April 5th was his dad's birthday (My granddaddy).  So for that to be her birthday couldn't have been more perfect.    

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Adler 5 Months


Adler is 5 months old.  I know I say it every month but I can hardly believe she's already 5 months old.  Time is truly flying by!
You are finally sleeping in your crib all night.  While we were in quarantine we accomplished this and I am so proud!  You don't usually go down until 8:30-9:30 at night (it's just the time of life we're in, some nights we don't get home before 9:00).  You usually sleep until 6:30-7:30.  You're by far my best napper.  You usually nap for around 2 hours in the morning, a little cat nap in the middle of the day, a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon and then another little cat nap before bedtime.
You weigh 15.9lbs and I measured you right at 25" long.  You take 6 ounces 5 times a day!  You're wearing 3-6 month clothes and a few 6 month things.  You're wearing a size 3 diaper! 
You can roll from back to belly and belly to back!  You did it for the first time at small group.  We were all supposed to be watching a video but we were all watching you roll all over the floor.  It was so sweet!  Then you just passed out in the floor, you wore yourself out.  
You've been the best on the go baby!  You've gone to baseball and my workouts and you just sit and watch.  
You really are the easiest, sweetest baby!  The big kids are still obsessed with you!  I keep thinking they're going to get tired of you but so far they haven't!  It's really sweet!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Adler 4 Months


Adler is 4 months old!  Time flies when you're having fun!  We're having a ball with you!  This month was your first snow day and first Valentines day!  You are by far the biggest "talker" of the three as a baby.  I guess you've got a lot to say to keep up around here.  You are the most dramatic too which is a little terrifying!

You weigh 14 pounds, 7 ounces and are 24.5 inches tall/long.  You wear 3 month and 3-6 month clothes and we moved up to size 3 diapers.  You take 6 ounces 4-5 times a day.  You want to drop your last feeding but you need the ounces.  You're still sleeping pretty good.  You've started kind of waking up and whining but not really waking up.  We're trying to transition you to the crib, the first night you slept until 4:30 without waking.  The second night you were up nearly every hour whining but not really crying.  We're going to keep trying because you're about to outgrow the rock 'n play that you've been sleeping in.   You usually take 3 good naps and one little cat nap everyday.  You nap well in your crib when we're home, we're just not home enough. ( We're home for the next 10 days in quarantine so getting you to sleep in your crib for all naps and all night is my main goal).  

You are the sweetest "on the go" baby.  We wrapped up basketball season but we're getting ready to dive into baseball season.  You just go with the flow, thank goodness!  We started a small group with a few other families from church and you just slept and then sat in my lap the whole time.  You were just the sweetest!
Highlights this month: Your first snow day.  First Valentines Day, you will roll to your side so you're getting close to making it all the way over.   You try to sit up all the time.  You want to hold your bottle.  You are so loud and it makes me laugh so much.  If you're talking and no on is paying you any attention you just get louder and louder until we acknowledge you.  After your shots Monday,  you were just pitiful.  I was always able to calm your brother and sister down before we left the little exam room to walk out of the office.  Not you, you just screamed and screamed.  When we walked by the nurses station you just looked right at them and poked that little lip out and screamed some more.  You wanted everyone to know how upset you were.  
It's been a fun month!

Friday, January 22, 2021


 Christmas 2020 looked different for us, just like most people.  We still enjoyed many of the same traditions but it just all felt so different.  First of all, last year we gifted the kids a tip to Disney World and were busy planning and looking forward to that.  We were excited to see what Santa brought this year and knew the kids would be excited but I was a little sad we didn't have a fun trip to look forward to.
Christmas Eve we usually go to my Grandmother's house for lunch but she now lives in the apartment at my parents house so we cancelled Christmas Eve because we would see her Christmas Day.  So we had all day Christmas Eve to be at home and just relax.  

We got ready and went to Mass at 4:30.   After Mass we went to my parents house to visit a bit before we headed home to get ready for Santa.

We somehow ran out of time to bake cookies for Santa so we left him candy canes instead. 
We hugged Mr Elf goodbye.  
It proved to be a little more dramatic than I was anticipating.  She was distraught that Mr. Elf had to leave.  I was not expecting this reaction.  
Last picture as a 7 year old.

The kids were wired and I didn't think they'd ever go to sleep.  I was up washing bottles in the kitchen and I turned around and Barrett was standing in the kitchen.  Santa had already come and left their gifts in the living room. I was a little upset because I knew he'd probably already seen them.  When Patrick came in the kitchen he led Barrett back to his room to go back to sleep.  At one point both big kids were in our bed and Patrick got mad and got up and went to Barrett's bed.  I knew it was going to be a long day.
This is a terrible picture of all the goodies Santa left.  Barrett got a nintendo switch (the only thing he asked for), AveryAnn got a jeep and Adler got a glow worm.  They all were apparently very good this year.

She has a nicer car than me.  I'm not jealous at all.

This is my favorite mug.

Matching jammies on her first christmas.
13th annual Christmas morning pj picture.  

I love this one so much.  This year has been so wild but it has been so joyful.

The big kids wanted her to enjoy all of her gifts.

After we opened all of our gifts at home we headed to my parents house for brunch.  I didn't take a single picture of the Christmas mess there.  I can't believe I didn't get one picture.  The kids had a blast.  We had a big fire in the fireplace.  We gifted everyone tickets to go to the Glow Wild lantern festival at the zoo the week after Christmas.  It was similar to what we saw in Huntsville a couple of years ago and we knew everyone would enjoy it.  After brunch we headed downstairs to my grandmother's house for lunch.  This year is so different with her and my aunt in the basement but it's been really nice to get to spend so much time with them.  After lunch we headed back upstairs for Barrett's birthday. 
I can not believe he is 8 years old.  It just really doesn't seem possible.

For dinner we headed to the Hortons.
The only picture I took there.  We had a wonderful meal and enjoyed our time with them as well this year.  
It wasn't the same.  My sister and her husband didn't get to come to my parents and Patrick's brother and his family didn't get to come to his parents all because of COVID.  But we made the most of it.  I could easily be sad or bitter thinking of all the things COVID has taken from us this year, but I'm trying my best to choose JOY.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Adler Three Months


Adler Marie, you are three months old.  One-fourth of your first year is behind us!  It feels like forever and no time at all.  You are growing and changing right before our eyes.  I feel like you're growing so much faster than your brother and sister did.  We've all enjoyed you so much this month.  We celebrated your first Christmas and it was perfect.  You are a perfect go with the flow baby and we're so glad you're ours.
You weigh around 13.5lbs and are around 25" long.  (I'm not entirely sure either of those stats are 100% accurate but we're going with it).  You wear 3 month or 3-6 month clothes.  You're wearing a size 2 diaper and you go through about 5-6 each day.  AveryAnn is the official diaper change helper.  You eat 4-6oz every 3-4 hours during the day.  Right now you usually eat at 7:00am, 10-11:00am, 2-3:00pm, 5-6:00pm and 8-9:00pm.  You got to sleep around 9:30-10 and sleep until 7:00am.  You're sleeping great at night.  You've made it one night in your crib.  We've got to make that transition but it's been tricky.  You've napped in the crib a couple of times and done well.  I think if I could ever be home for a couple days where you could take all of your naps in the crib you could transition more easily but we're never home it seems.
You take 3-4 naps during the day, they range from 45 minutes to 2 hours.  I started working a few hours a week while AveryAnn is in school and you've done so well at the office.  You usually nap most of the time we're there.  We've started going on lots of walks outside when the weather permits.  You're pretty content in the stroller, thank goodness.  We've gone hiking a time or two as well.  Barrett is playing basketball right now and you've enjoyed watching the games.  The buzzer scares you every single time.  We've also gone to Mass several times.  You have been an angel baby there too.  
You have found your voice this month and you "talk" all the time.  Your sister is convinced she can "speak baby" and she interprets for you often.  We love hearing what she thinks you're saying!  
Highlights this month include, your first Christmas, your first trip to the zoo for Glow Wild, your first basketball game, lots of trips to the park and a few hours at the office.  Its been so much fun watching you grow and watching how much we all love you.  We are so thankful for you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Santa Visits

We weren't sure what our visits with Santa would look like this year.  Our church has had cookies with Santa the last couple of years with the best Santa.  He has an accent and his just the best.  We also usually go to Bass Pro Shops and see Santa there because we've had that tradition since my brothers kids were little.  But this year we didn't know what to expect!  

What we got was the sweetest, most magical visit at our church.  We got to sit with him, without our masks on (he wore the clear sheild).  The kids were amazed.  We were able to sit and talk as long as we wanted and it was just perfect!
I just love these pictures.  

All 5 of us!
The outfits I'd orginally bought to see Santa in didn't arrive in time so they wore there pjs.  I was so upset that the outfits didn't come but the pjs turned out so cute.  The bottom of Adler's were a hit.  

After we saw Santa we went up to Cullman and had dinner at Carlton's.  It's one of our favorites but we only manage to get up there about once a year.  It was our first public outing as a family of 5.  I was nervous how dinner would go but it was just perfect.  The big kids ate all their dinner.  I fed Adler as soon as we sat down and then she sat in her carseat and just watched us.  She got a little fussy but I was able to hold her and she went to sleep.  It was a really sweet time.

After dinner we headed over to see the Christmas Pyramid and the lights in the park.  
Dad mode.

These two have been so much fun this season.

We tried to get a picture with all 5 of us.  This was the best we got!

After this we went to a drive through light display.  It was such a fun night with my little family! 

The weekend before Christmas we wanted to do our annual trip to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa. This year you had to have an appointment.  Our store didn't have any times available but the Cabela store in Huntsville had some so we booked a time there.  We decided to make a night of it and had another fun family night.

After we saw Santa we made our way to Big Spring Park to see the Tinsel Trail.  There were so many trees, it was so pretty!

Although the kids favorite part was feeding the ducks.
After the park we were all starving.  So I googled a restaurant.  When we got there it looked like a bar from the outside, so we were a little nervous but it ended up being perfect. 
I was so nervous adding a baby to the mix this year.  I was worried we wouldn't be able to just pick up and go like we'd been able to.  Our kids have gotten to such easy, fun ages I knew it would be different.  Yes, it's more work, and not as easy but its still so much fun.  The big kids are a big help.  They love their baby sister and they just just as excited to take her and show her off as we do.  It really is the sweetest.