Jun 29, 2009

My blessings :)

When Gracelyn was just 2 days old I took this picture of her in the hospital and it immediately reminded me of a picture of Ethan that I took at the same age. Do they look alike in these pics or what?! They have the same mouth, my favorite physical feature on both of them :)

Ethan
Gracelyn

They are both doing wonderful and we are having lots of fun as a family of four!

Jun 23, 2009

2 Weeks Old

Our little girl is already 2 weeks old today (picture is from this morning), she's growing up too fast! I teased Jeremy the other day when her umbilical cord fell off...she was 10 days old and I sent him a text saying, "Our little girl is growing up...her umbilical cord just fell off...time for another baby!" and he replied with, "O Lord!" haha....

Gracelyn is doing great...she's a really happy baby and doesn't fuss much. I gave her a bottle of breastmilk for the first time 2 days ago and she did well with the bottle...she is having no problem with the whole nipple confusion thing...she does well nursing and bottle feeding but I am mainly nursing. She eats every 3-4 hours during the day and many nights she will go 6-7 hours between feedings and sleep for a good 5 hour stretch. It is so wonderful and so different compared to Ethan. He was up every 3 hours for months. I am definitely getting more sleep so I am really thankful...especially since I have another child to care for...but I still wake up to pump during the night when she is taking her long stretch of sleep so that's kinda a bummer but overall we are doing so great and I'm feeling good.

I got Gracelyn's newborn pictures back today...they turned out really nice and I can't wait to order some. I really like the photographer I found and plan to use her in the future also....can't wait to get some family pictures done...maybe when Gracelyn is 3 months.

Ethan is doing good...we were over both Grandparents houses this past weekend and seeing as it was a hot and sunny weekend we thought we would see if he wanted to run in the sprinkler. He absolutely LOVES it. Terrified of the pool but loves the sprinkler. He ran in the sprinkler Saturday and Sunday and had the biggest smile on his face while doing it. He is so much fun and I just love my little boy to pieces!

He is really starting to like his little sister too which is so sweet. He comes up to her often to rub her head and always tries to give her her pacifier. He calls her "Dah". Too funny. I think he will really love her when she gets a bit older and they can play together...will be fun to watch!

That's about all to report for now....we are all doing great and adjusting well to being a family of four. We love it!

Love,
J, K, E & G

Jun 18, 2009

Gracelyn's Newborn Photo Session

So I never got newborn pictures done of Ethan and really wished that I had. I wanted to make sure I got them done of Gracelyn and so I found a photographer and she came out this past Tuesday morning. She just sent me a couple sneak peeks and I am so in love with them!

If you go to her blog you can see the others she posted....If I get 20 comments on her page under Gracelyn's newborn post I get a free 8x10 so please check her blog out and leave a comment for me, thanks! :)

http://www.christinakingsleyphotography.blogspot.com/

Isn't she perfect?! This is my favorite!

And look at my sweet boy! I love this pic!




Jun 17, 2009

My Wedding Ring

So Monday night I decided to put my wedding ring back on. My fingers were back to being skinny and I've missed wearing it and was excited to wear it again. I had it on for about a half hour and it started to feel a little tight and was a little uncomfortable so I thought I better take it off. Well, it wouldn't come off! My finger started to swell and it got so swollen that I absolutely could not get it off.

We tried olive oil, soap and water, windex, lotion, saran wrap, put my hand in ice cold water...all things the internet said to try. No luck, this ring was NOT coming off. This of course happened at 10:30 at night. So, Jeremy and I prayed that the swelling would go down and I could get the ring off. After about an hour my finger was really starting to hurt and I just knew we had to go to the ER and have them cut it off. Of course we were trying to avoid this but it was too swollen and I knew that was the only way it would come off.

I was so so mad at myself...Jeremy kept trying to calm me down and tell me I did nothing wrong I simply put my wedding ring back on...but I was so mad because now it was 2 in the morning and I had to call my mom to come over to stay with Ethan so we could go to the ER. We had to take Gracie with us because she is strictly nursing and hasn't had a bottle so she had to come along too. I was like great, the ER is the last place I want my 6 day old baby!!

Anyhow, we got there and were in the waiting room waiting....and I heard this lady go to the front desk with her little boy and say, "I've been waiting 3 hours." I almost died...3 hours!! Well praise God because they just brought me back to this little area since I didn't have to see a doctor or anything within 15 minutes of getting there. They got their nifty tool and cut my ring off :( I was so bummed but at that point I was a little more concerned about my finger and not getting it amputated :) One of the doctor's did come to look at it...he couldn't believe how swollen it had gotten so fast...and so we all just decided to have fun with it and were making jokes :) They got me in and out so I was really happy about that.

My beautiful ring is now in two pieces and one day when we have the money we'll get it fixed or buy a new band if it can't be fixed. It's a bummer as the band was $1,000 and no we don't have insurance on it but money is just money and it's not the end of the world.

Anyhow, that was my crazy story and it will definitely be a story to write about in Gracelyn's scrapbook.

Yesterday we took the kids (that sounds so weird) over to my parents to celebrate my sister's 30th Birthday. We made homemade pizza's, had my mom's yummy oreo dessert and just hung out as a fam and it was fun. I love you Kris!

All is well with us....I love being a mom of two and it's actually a lot easier than I thought so far and I've really been enjoying them both.

Be blessed!
Mommy of two beautiful kids

Jun 15, 2009

Gracelyn's First Doctor's Appt.



Today was Gracelyn's first doctor's appointment.

Our little girl is doing well. She now weighs 7lbs, 10.5 oz so she is up past her birth weight which the doctor said is great for being just 6 days old. She is 21 inches long. We are pretty confident she didn't grow an inch and a half in the past 6 days so most likely she was closer to 20.5" at birth but since 19.5" is written on all her paperwork we'll just leave it at that. She may be tall like her brother :)

She is doing great though...doctor said she looks great and healthy and all is well.

Big brother Ethan is adjusting much better to his little sister...he is starting to take a liking to her and even gave her 2 kisses on the forehead today. He had a couple rough days but now seems to be just fine and back to more of his normal self.

Just wanted to post her stats real quick, hope everyone is well :)

Love,
The Four of Us

Jun 13, 2009

Gracelyn's Birth Story


I have been wanting to sit down and write this out ever since Gracelyn was born and am finally finding a little bit of time to do so.

First let me start off by saying thank you so much for all your prayers, texts, emails, phone calls and congratulations on the birth of our sweet girl, Gracelyn Joy. We were so anxious for her to arrive and we love that we finally got to share her name with everyone and can stop calling her Bertha for good :)

Overall my experience was a better one than my labor and delivery with Ethan. I think the main reason is Jeanne, my midwife. It is completely different to have someone who really cares and is encouraging compared to the doctor I had with Ethan that was very impersonal and never rooted me on as I was trying to bring Ethan into this world. Jeanne was so wonderful and I will forsure use her again if we have a 3rd baby down the road.

On Monday the 8th I started to have contractions around 6pm...they were mild but staying consistent enough to where I felt the baby was going to be coming soon. I called Jeanne at 9:30pm to let her know what was going on. She encouraged me to try and get some rest and if the contractions got stronger and more painful and I couldn't sleep through them to call her back and come to the hospital. I slept for about 40 minutes and woke up around 1am because the contractions were becoming more painful and I couldn't sleep. I went online and was trying to pass the time as I really wasn't sure if it was time to ask my mom to come over and didn't want to wake her in the wee hours of the morning unless I had to. By 3:00 I called her and said, "I think it's time" and she headed over. Jeremy and I got our things together, both showered and headed to the hospital around 4:45. I got set up in a room (no I didn't get the big bed room as there were many of us girls in labor that night...but my friend Jenni got the room so I was happy to hear that:))

Jeanne checked me at 4:45am and I was dilated to 2, 60% effaced. Nothing much going on. Jeremy then decided to try and lay down for a bit as I was unable to lay in my bed due to having to walk through my contractions every time they came. I was having them every 5-7 minutes. At 10:40 am (7 hours later!) Jeanne came to check me again...I was now just a 3. Ugh! This labor was going to be longer than I thought. I was enduring the contractions as much as I could but they were getting to the point where I was wanting to get an epidural...they were painful and intense. I tried walking, using the birthing ball and also sat in the shower for a good 40 minutes. The shower seemed to help relax me a bit but after 40 minutes I was getting hot and needed to get out.

Jeanne encouraged me to try and hold off on the epidural and she would check me again in 2 hours and see where I was at. I said ok and she checked me again at 12:45. I forsure thought I was at least a 6 or 7 as it was a painful 2 hours. I was JUST a 4. My water still had not broken at this point either. When I heard I was just a 4 and I was already at the hospital for 9 hours in pain I knew I had to get an epidural. I just felt like I had hours left to go and that I physcially could not continue without pain medication...especially knowing the hardest and most painful part of it for me is pushing...the very end. I needed to relax and prepare myself for the worst part. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours with Ethan and it was horrid. That is the best word I know to describe the pain of pushing.

I got my epidural at 2pm and it was heavenly :) Within 20 minutes I couldn't feel my contractions and that made me very happy. Two hours later at 4pm I was lying there and suddenly felt a big kick from the baby and a huge release. I knew right away my water had broken. I paged the nurse and told her my water broke and she came quickly. Jeanne came in and checked me and I was dilated to 5. At least I was making progress right?

At 6:30 Jeanne decided to give me pitocin as things were just progressing slowly. Here we thought this baby would come in 7 hours....maybe half the time that it took with Ethan and it was going to be longer! (19 hours total) Jeanne even said to me at one point, "You are just a slow laborer..." and that is why I knew I had to get the epidural. So many women go fast the 2nd time around but my body just labors a long time and I just knew I couldn't go on hours and hours without pain medication. It's such hard work.

At 7:00 pm I asked for another boost of epidural as I was starting to feel my contractions. I was so happy I was able to get a strong dose as I knew things had to be progressing and getting closer to the end. At 7:15 I suddenly felt a lot of pain again but I could tell it was the pressure of feeling like you needed to push. I wasn't expecting it so quickly and Jeanne was around the hospital but doing something else so I told the nurse....something is going on, I'm having strong pain again and feel pressure down there...almost like I need to push. She checked me and I was a 7-8, things were suddenly progressing!

Jeremy had just left for a walk and I quickly texted him saying, "Come back!!" I could tell with the pain/pressure I was having that things were going to happen really soon and I needed him there. My wonderful nurse Marilyn (who I thank God for, she was there with me for it ALL) said she was off to find Jeanne and tell her that things were really moving fast. I was really suffering at that point and just wanted it to be over so badly and for the baby to be here.

By time Jeanne got there a few minutes later and checked me I was complete and ready to push. I only pushed maybe 10 minutes this time (Yea God!) and that was a whole lot better than 2 1/2 hours. I'll tell you what though...for me, pushing is the worst part...it is so painfully horrid that there are honestly no words to describe it to anyone. You think you're dying and you would prefer to die at that point rather than live. At least for me that is how painful it is. I honestly don't know how I made it 2 1/2 hours of pushing with Ethan.

At 7:52 pm our sweet baby GIRL (I made Jeremy check right away and he confirmed the gender) Gracelyn Joy was born. She was 7lbs 8oz (I was shocked, I thought she would be smaller but turns out she was 5 oz bigger than Ethan!) and 19.5 inches long. She has dark hair (another surprise, I thought it would be red) and dark blue eyes (for now, they will probably turn green) and she is just perfect. I started to cry after she was out...partly because she was out and that horrible pain was over and of course emotional that we just brought a baby girl into this world. It's such an incredible moment and Jer and I were both in tears. Oh I almost forgot...right when she came out she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck once and she was purple. That was really scary for Jeremy as that was the first thing he saw when she came out but the nurses quickly unraveled it and got her to cry and all was well.

Jeremy immediately started taking pictures of her while they were cleaning her up, checking her out, etc. and I had a couple blood clots again that Jeanne had to get out (did not hurt nearly as much as it did with Ethan) and thankfully my placenta came out within 5 or so minutes of delivering. Nothing like the 45 minutes it took with Ethan. I did have one first degree tear...nothing bad I guess but it took Jeanne a good 20-25 minutes to get me stitched up.

My friend Jen is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital and she only works 2 days a week and it was really cool that she happened to get there at 3pm that day...Marilyn stayed with me from beginning to end which I loved but Jen came in after Gracelyn was born and she did her bath, weight and length measurements, etc.

So, I suffered through contractions longer this time as I was trying to go without drugs as long as possible but other than that the pushing was way shorter and I felt a lot better after she was out then I did with Ethan. Jeanne was awesome and Marilyn too and I already have thank you cards and little gifts to send them both. They are both heroes in my book!

We are adjusting to life as a family of four and so far so good. Ethan had a hard time the first day it seemed but now he seems to be doing much better. He doesn't really bother her much and he just looks at her at times and then goes on playing. It has been so wonderful having Jeremy home to help with cleaning and cooking and giving Ethan the attention he needs. It's been hard for me as I haven't had much time with Ethan yet but I know this is just a season and I try and spend time with just him when Gracelyn is sleeping or content. Ethan and I went to Target last night to get some things so I am trying to make sure he gets mommy time as much as I can. I sure missed him while I was at the hospital and he seems like such a big kid to me now that Gracelyn joined the family. He was my little baby a few days ago but now he is so grown up to me.

One interesting thing is Ethan has been sucking his thumb. He sucked it for maybe a couple times when he was just born and that was it. We saw him sucking it when he was about 14 months (he'll be 16 months tomorrow) but it was only here and there and only if he was in the car or stroller. Well, since I left for the hospital he sucks on his thumb all day...and since we've been home that is what he is doing most of the day. It's so strange. I don't know if it's his way of adjusting and comforting himself throughout this process or what but that's the only thing that makes sense to us. It's nice that he can comfort himself and is more mellow when sucking his thumb now that we can't give him all our attention but it's just so interesting to me how he suddenly sucks his thumb all day...he even sucks on it at night now, just crazy!

People have been asking us what we plan on calling Gracelyn...we plan to call her Gracelyn for the most part (after all, this is her name:)) but we will call her Gracie for short. I am hoping people don't call her Grace as we would have named her Grace if that was the name we wanted.

Anyhow, we are doing well and I am just trying to get caught up on sleep as much as possible. Gracelyn was awake most of the night the first night we were home but last night she did so great...she slept between all of her feedings and that meant so did I! I slept almost 6 hours total throughout the night and I never got that with Ethan. She seems to be a pretty calm and good baby...really only cries when you change her diaper or when it's time to eat...otherwise she doesn't fuss much and is pretty happy.

I feel so blessed to have Ethan and Gracelyn as my kids. They are so precious and I look forward to watching them grow.

Thanks for reading the story about our sweet girl. We love you all very much.

Jeremy, Keri, Ethan & Gracelyn

Jun 9, 2009

It's officially a GIRL... and her name is...

Born on June 9, 2009 at 7:52pm. Our little girl. Can't wait to share birth story soon.
video

It's Time!!!!

So it is June 9th and I am writing this at 3:50am.

I started to have contractions last night around 6pm....they felt like cramping (my description of contractions) but they weren't really close enough to time at that point and I was managing them fine. I called Jeanne at 9:30pm to just let her know what was going on and she suggested I try and get some rest and see if I could sleep through the contractions. She told me if they got worse and I was just getting more uncomfortable, etc. to call her back and then I can go in....but at that time she didn't think I needed to rush in.

Well, around midnight we finally decided to try and get some sleep....I fell asleep for about 40 minutes and then woke up to having contractions again...I quietly slipped out of the room as I didn't want to wake up Jeremy...I wanted to wait and see what happened, if they got closer together and let him sleep as long as possible. Around 2am they started to be more regular and get more intense and I started to track them online....after about 40 minutes I decided it was time to call my mom as I was starting to have them about 5-7 minutes apart, definitely getting more intense and I wanted her to be here so when we were ready to leave for the hospital I knew she was here and Ethan wasn't alone.

I woke Jer up at 3am and told him he better get in the shower if he wanted one because they were getting more intense and I had been having them regularly for the past hour. We are now both showered and getting ready to leave for the hospital. I am going to call Jeanne in a few minutes to let her know we are on our way. I have been trying to hold out as long as possible in case she is sleeping. She delivered a friend of mine's baby last night at 2am so I'm sure she's tired.

We will update you all as soon as we get the chance but it looks like sometime on June 9th we will have a baby girl! We are putting together a birth announcment video that we will post on the blog...that will reveal her name...so be looking out for it.

Thanks so much for everyone's texts and prayers the past few days. We have been eagerly awaiting her arrival and are really excited it is finally time! I'm praying and believing for a easier and faster delivery this time and no complications....God is so good and He's given me a lot of peace throughout my pregnancy and I know things will be fine.

Next time we post we will have a baby girl!!! Finally! :)

Love you all,
Jeremy, Keri, Ethan and.....Bertha for the very last time! ;)

Jun 8, 2009

Got Baby?

Well....I am 4 days overdue and still no baby! I totally thought she would be here by now....maybe since I went 4 days early with Ethan I will go 4 days late with this one and go in to labor this evening?

I really have not been having many contractions at all...never did with Ethan either. I've had some cramping/contractions/pain on and off this morning but nothing consistent or that bad. She is just on her own timetable, a due date means nothing to her :)

It looks like I will be making my midwife appt. tomorrow morning. It's at 9am. Jer is planning on staying home with Ethan while I go. Jeanne wants me to get a non stress test (standard at 41 weeks) and check up on baby...she will then strip my membranes (I just hate that term, it sounds awful!) and try and induce labor naturally. It's a very common procedure and may cause a little pain and discomfort from what I've heard/read but I guess there's a 60% chance women go into labor within 48 hours after. I've been praying that she would come before my appt...just because I don't want to have it done but I'm just trusting God with it and going with the flow.

I know Jeanne mentioned last week that she would do a 2nd non stress test on Friday if still no baby and then on Monday would talk about inducing me if still no baby. Hopefully this little girl comes soon but I thought she would be here over a week ago and she is still cookin!

I will be sure and update tomorrow after my appt....or if I go into labor before then.

It's gotta be close now...
Keri

Jun 6, 2009

Still no baby...

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are still waiting on this little girl to arrive...had some contractions last night for an hour on and off but then they stopped and nothing has been going on today. So, still waiting......stay tuned!

Jun 4, 2009

The latest on baby...

I had my appt. this morning with my midwife. It was so wonderful to see Jeanne and know that she is back and will be here for this little girl's delivery.

Please pray for Jeanne, her husband is in the hospital and it sounds like he had another stroke. She's so sweet and was trying to see as many of her patients this morning as possible but had to cancel her afternoon appointments so that she could go be with her hubby. He had a stroke a few months back and lost his speech and other things but has been recovering well and was doing a lot better. As of this morning he was back in the hospital and I felt so bad for her as she has 3 of us girls overdue/expecting this week so I'm sure she's feeling a little overwhelmed although she didn't show it.

Nothing much new to report as far as the baby goes. She asked if I wanted her to check my cervix and I said no thanks! In my opinion, there's no reason to be uncomfortable if I don't have to be...sure I was curious to see if I made any progress and if I was dilated or effaced anymore but even if I was it doesn't mean anything so I just told her no. I go back on Tuesday (if still no baby) for a non stress test and she will check me then and also strip my membranes to try and get labor going. For many women it puts them into labor within 24-48 hours but for others it doesn't change a thing. I would really prefer to go into labor on my own before then so I'm praying for that but if not it's ok and I know she will be born when she's supposed to be.

Jeanne won't talk induction until I believe 2 weeks past my due date so she mentioned the 15th...I would be shocked if I went that long but I guess you never know. This pregnancy has been different than Ethan's from the beginning so there's just no way to know.

Yesterday I felt great....no contractions or cramping....but woke up at 3am with some contractions but they only lasted 5 minutes and that was it. So, she's getting ready but isn't completely ready to meet us yet I guess. My due date according to my ultrasound is today...so I won't be considered overdue until tomorrow....although Jeanne has my due date marked down as the 2nd....but today is probably the most accurate.

On another note, I want to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary today....33 years and counting! I love you both very much and am so grateful to have you as my parents.

Back to the waiting game....tick tock tick tock....

Keri

Jun 3, 2009

The Vintage Lane

My friend Rachael is a stay at home mommy to 3 adorable kids and she has a jewelry business that helps her be able to stay at home with them...I think that is awesome as God has given us all different talents and creativity and I love being able to support a friend and stay at home mom, especially one that loves Jesus!

She has opened a shop on Etsy to share her really cool necklaces. (She also does special orders) I ordered a necklace months back for a friend as a Christmas gift and plan on ordering one for myself soon once this little girl arrives, I just LOVE personalized stuff. If you want to check out her store here is the link and I would be more than happy to hear that someone I know placed an order with her....because it would bless me to hear it and bless her I know as well.

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7448089

Happy Shopping :)

Keri

Ps. Still waiting for Bertha.

Jun 2, 2009

She's due today...

I can't believe today is my due date! Wow, the time sure has flown by and we will be a family of four anytime now...so exciting. What a blessing it is to have had another great pregnancy with no major complications, thanks God!

Nothing too much going on....last night I woke up with a horrible charlie horse...it was awful and the one part of my leg feels bruised and just really sore. It lasted 5 minutes or so which is a very long and painful time for a charlie horse. It's very normal to get them during pregnancy...I did with Ethan and I did this time as well but last night's was horrible. Hoping I don't have any more of those!

Here's a picture of my baby bump at 40 weeks....we took it this morning. I never made it to this picture with Ethan.


We went for a little drive last night and stopped and got 2 vanilla cones from McDonald's (my newest craving) and we gave Ethan some of daddy's....which of course he LOVED as you can probably see from the pictures below :) He would just stick his whole face into the cone and say, "Mmmm." Of course mommy had to capture Ethan's first time eating part of an ice cream cone...now Grandma's, don't think this means you can start giving him ice cream ;)



Jun 1, 2009

June is here!

It looks like we are going to have a June bug just like mommy wanted:) Daddy guessed today would be her birthday so we'll see what happens...so far nothing much going on this morning and I don't even feel pregnant at times. I know this will all change once the painful contractions kick in :)

So, I just thought I would update my readers....and let you know that I am still pregnant....and my due date is tomorrow. Here's a picture of my sweet little boy Ethan when he was just born. Isn't he perfect? Oh I can't wait to hold our sweet baby girl, she is going to be so precious! We are making a birth announcement video that will reveal her name that we will be posting on the blog after she arrives....so be looking for it!


Stay tuned....