Monday, July 30, 2012

The Big Sister

People keep asking me how life is with three kids.  And to be honest, it is pretty chaotic, but it was that way with two there is just one more sweet little man to love on who sometimes makes his presence known but for now tends to sit back and observe.  One of my concerns before Eli was born was how would Reese be with having a little brother, since she had been the baby for two years.  Well, she has embraced her role of not only being a little sister to Ashton but now a big sister to "EI" as she calls him.  Her love for him is apparent and her concern is heartwarming.  She often asks to hold her brother and will let me know if he is crying.  If she is crying I usually just have to bring Eli over to her and his presence soothes her.  Here are a few pictures of our little man and then of him with his big sister.  I need to do a separate photo shoot of my boys together....I love that relationship that is already developing.

Check out my muscles!

Why does that thing keep flashing in my face???

She just loves him!

Eli isn't so sure about this...Reese loves the camera!

A slight smirk

Already talking to him and he to her, making her laugh

Holding hands

Still holding onto him

hi People!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rub a dub dub

Just have to record Eli's bath...this wasn't his first but was his second at home..

Friday, July 13, 2012

Labor of Love

This may not be interesting to some people, but I wanted to document Elijah Hayes Lee, now officially called "Eli" and his birth story.  So if you aren't interested, then just scroll down for some more pictures of our newest addition.

Well to back up a ways, I never blogged about it but for all those who know me, they know how difficult this pregnancy was.  We had a few scary moments about half way through this pregnancy.  I will try to keep it concise, but when I was 15 weeks pregnant I opted to do an OPTIONAL blood test which will tell you if you have increased risks for something being wrong with the baby (down syndrome, chromosome issues, etc.)  I waited over a week to get my blood results and when I finally called the nurse told me that while all of my tests came back negative (thankfully!) on the result page it said I had extremely high HCG levels and to "Interpret with Caution." Not what I wanted to hear.  With this news Casey and I were referred to a specialist.  I got the first call on a Monday and we went to see the specialist on a Wednesday.  Two very long and emotional days to say the least.  When we went in for the ultrasound the nurse started it and couldn't say much, but when the doctor came in he pretty much said most of the time when there are high levels of HCG at this point in your pregnancy it often means there is a major problem that can be seen in the placenta (I was freaking out!)  As he went through the ultrasound he kept uttering the word NORMAL which was like music to my ears.  After what felt like an eternity he said he couldnt see anything on the ultrasound as of now and wanted to retest my levels.  (FYI: HCG is the hormone that is produced when you get pregnant, it continues to double in the first trimester, but then should decrease to almost nothing when the second trimester starts, it hasn't been proven but they think it is this hormone that causes many women to have morning sickness...mine just kept increasing)  So off we went to retest.  Two more long days, and the results came in, the levels were even higher, so next step Amnio.  I spent a lot of that weekend crying and praying for the unknown.  Just asking God to protect this innocent life inside.  I went in that Monday for the Amnio which was incredibly painful to say the least, the dr. kept telling me to relax...yeah right.  Of course this is after Casey and I spent 30 min with a genetic counselor telling us everything that could go wrong.  We opted for a FISH test (honestly can't remember what it stands for) but it gives you a prelim panel that will tell you if there is something really wrong such as extra chromosomes or missing ones, etc.  I was on bedrest for two days.  I was counting down until Wednesday when the dr said he should get the prelim results.  Low and Behold on tuesday afternoon the dr called to say everything came back NORMAL.  Praise God!  I could breathe.  I called Casey and just cried tears of joy.  I had to wait another week for the final panel but all was okay.

After all of this it was suggested that I continue to see the specialist every three weeks and continue with my regular dr. as scheduled.  Throughout the rest of the pregnancy I constantly had blood work done which just kept showing my levels rising.  I honestly think I could count on my hand the number of days I did not throw up since I was 7 weeks pregnant.  I was constantly nauseated and had my head in the toilet on a daily basis, unfortunately, this was my new "normal."  With that said, I didn't care, as long as this baby boy inside was healthy.

Fast forward...I really wanted to make it to July for a number of reasons.  And when my dr told me he was going out of town the last two weekens in June, I literally did NOTHING.  I worked from home (thanks to an awesome boss) and did as little as possible.  I made it through the first weekend and was optimistic for the second one.  I was counting down the hours and made it through Friday, then Saturday.  My doctor was coming in late Sunday night so I was just praying to make it to Monday, July 2.  Around 5:30 on Sunday, July 1st I made myself something to eat and really felt like I was in the clear.  I got in the shower around 6:30 PM to just wash off.  I had gotten out and was drying off and then at 6:45 it happened; I felt my first contraction.  I immediately got back in the shower to wash my hair (I don't know why but I just felt like I wanted to be clean).  I quickly got out, got dressed and picked up the phone to call my parents.  Ashton had been at their house that afternoon and when my dad answered he said my mom was on her way to bring Ashton home.  I told him he needed to head here now as I was in labor.  I then walked outside and told Casey I had a contraction and they were ten minutes apart and he needed to go get showered and cleaned up, so him and Reese headed in.  A few minutes later my mom showed up and I told her what was happening.  Two minutes later my dad was here.  At this point it was only about 7:05.  My mom then called my sister who got here in record time and proceded to think it was fun to take pictures of me having a contraction.  When I asked her what she was doing she responded with "I have never seen anyone have a contraction before."  I asked her if she could photograph me in the other 9 min in between them.

Casey was busy loading the car and my mom decided to follow behind.  We called his parents and his mom started checking flights.  I had another contraction which was 10 min apart and then all of a sudden, they were 4 min and 30 sec apart.  When I got to the registration desk I had to hold on to the desk as I was having one while they were asking for my driver's license and insurance.  They quickly got me to a room by 7:45 and had me get changed.  The two nurses there said they were going to check me and then come back in an hour.  I just looked at Casey and my mom in fear and told the nurses how quickly I have babies.  Well when she checked me her face quickly changed when she said I was a full 6, closer to a 7 cm dilated.  The said they were going to move me to labor and delivery and got me started on blood work and some fluid drip.  They told me Dr. Kirkman was the on call doctor and they would call her shortly.  The last time I was in labor they were waiting on my blood work to come back which meant I did not get my epidural in time and I was so afraid that was going to happen again.  Thankfully I was the only person in labor so the anthesiologist was standing by waiting for my blood work to come back.  At this point the contractions were very strong and were about two and half minutes apart.  I was in a lot of pain and having alot of pressure.  The nurse checked me again and said I was an 8 to 8.5 cm.  I remember looking at Casey and telling him I was afraid I wouldn't get the epidural in time again.  This time it wasn't the blood work we were waiting for, it was the fluid drip to finish.  Ugh!!!  Finally around 9:30 or so the drip finished and the Dr. gave me the epidural.  I still had some pain on the left side so she had me lay on my left side.  At one point an alarm went off and I had Casey go get the nurse.  It turns out there was a kink in the epidural line and once they got it released this cold sensation went down my back and my left side went numb.  Amazing!!

Dr. Kirkman arrived around 9:50 and went to check me.  She broke my water and said I was about a 9.5 cm.  She had me move from laying on my left side to my right and within a minute I said I had a lot of pressure and was ready to push.  Sure enough, he was ready to come.  What felt like forever, but really was less than 10 minutes, I began to push.  I did have to push quite a bit more than I ever had with Ashton or Reese but at 10:02 PM Elijah Hayes Lee arrived.  Tears of joy and a flood of love just filled my eyes and heart.  What a beautiful baby!  Who was perfect.  Ten fingers, ten toes, a head full of hair.  He was the missing piece our family was waiting for and now here he finally was.

Despite all of the worry during the pregnancy for Eli's health and for my own anxiety with having a smooth delivery with my doctor, etc., Eli came at the perfect time.  He is a testament to God's amazing works.  And no matter how much I wanted to plan for things to happen, some things are out of our hands but things always happen the way they are supposed to.  We love you Eli!

Grandpa and Eli

Happy Baby

Just snoozing

Big yawn!

Big brother and lil' bro...Ashton is so sweet with him

Big Sis, this is quite the adjustment but she ADORES Eli and asks about him all the time, we just have to watch how much she loves on him

She loves kissing his forhead and TOES

I love his fluffy hair.  All the kids came out with full heads of dark hair but then they went blond around six/seven months....this will be interesting to see what his does

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All Ashton


Wow!  Five years already, where did the time go???  What a joy it is to have this little guy as our first child.  He has taught us what parenting is all about and has given us numerous challenges but in spite of those challenges, the love and joy he brings to our lives completely outweighs them.  Ashton, you are amazing and we love you so much.  Here are a few things to remember about you at this age:

Nicknames: As-ton (this is how Reese says your name which may just be the cutest thing), Binky (a baby name that your dad and I still use occassionally)

Weight/Size: No official weight but above 50lbs at least, we go to the dr next week for your five year check up.  Wearing XS/S in the boys more toddler stuff for him

Food: What a challenge!  You really only eat a handful of things: hot dogs, mac n cheese, chicken nuggets (prefers McDonald's, does not like Chick fi la ugh!) with KETCHUP!, pancakes, ICEEs, "popsicles" (gogurts), tortilla chips, apples, cereal....I really think you would like a lot more stuff but you are not open to trying new things.  We have tried for much for me making all of your baby food hoping to expand your pallet...maybe in a few more years.  Also, you really aren't into sweets, only things you do like are sugar cookies and vanilla ice toppings and NO CHOCOLATE (are you really my kid??)

Sleeping:  No more naps, and try to get to sleep by 8:30, still wake up once at night for the most part but will go back to sleep...never have been much on sleeping

Interests:  We did Tae Kwon Do this year and you did well with it, but after six months straight I think you got burned out so we have decided to take a break.  You LOVE to be outside, swimming (really doing well with this now), and pretend play!  You LOVE Power Rangers and love to pretend that you are the blue one and someone else (Mo, Dad, Grandpa, Brendan, etc) is the red one.  The IPAD/IPHONE is your go to at night when settling down.  You love to play games and watch shows on them and can operate it better than me!

Overall you are just a super cool kid.  I think my favorite part of you is your gentle spirit.  As a baby you never were a cuddler, but you are supersensitive to little kids and their well being which makes you an amazing big brother to Reese and now to Eli.  When Eli cries you are very concerned and when Reese is upset many times she will calm down when you talk to her.  Even with other people's kids you tend to gravitate towards the younger ones and serve as a protector.  Someday you will make an amazing husband because of this quality.  Ashton, you are one of the loves of my life and I am so proud to call you my son.  We love you and Happy 5th Birthday!!!

Overload of pictures this past year...