Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Two Month Old

You know how you've always heard that mothers know what their baby's cries mean? Well I have learned what Shane's "tired cry" sounds like and what his "hungry cry" sounds like, and today I learned a new cry... I learned what his "pain cry" sounds like. It's the saddest one. 

He woke up this morning a super smiley dude, cooing and smiling at everything I did. And then I ruined it all by taking him to his 2 month appointment to get shots.  He's pretty much been crying every waking moment since. The rest of the day he's been looking up at me with puppy dog eyes as if I betrayed him.  I'm the worst. 

In other news, I got Shane's stats today at his appointment. Our big guy is:
-24 inches long (79th percentile)
-13 lb. 11oz. (I think he said 89th percentile)
-Head circumference: 86th percentile. 
.... Basically he's growing like a weed. 

 I just cannot get enough of this boy. 

He is SUCH a chunk. 
But a handsome one.

 Seriously with this smile? It's too much. 

 He fell asleep with his hands up again. 

Happy 2 Months, my boy. Life is so happy with you around... and it's only getting better.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My sweetheart Shane is nearly 2 months old! Today marks 7 weeks of his precious life. I have already missed posting a 1 month update. Although I've had every intention of posting, and have even sat down multiple times to draft something, I just cannot put my feelings into words. Words do not do it justice. So I've let day after day slip by and here I am, almost 2 months later. I guess I should just give it a shot....

The most precious blessing I have received thus far in my life is the gift of motherhood. The joy and love I feel is inexplicable. It's the strangest, hardest, yet most humbling experience knowing that my every minute is accounted for. Little Shane depends on me for.... just about everything. And the strangest thing about it is how strong a bond can be with someone who cannot talk, laugh, or even smile. The kid just has my whole heart. I'm grateful every day for this little one who has changed my life forever.
Today was the first day I got him to intentionally smile at me. He's smiled at me plenty of times before but I'm pretty sure it was just reflexes. But today I was making my usual obnoxious faces while using my equally obnoxious voice and it finally worked! I thought maybe he smiled on accident so I tried it again and he smiled again! My cheeks are sore from smiling so much today, but it's worth it because my little guy smiled at his mama and it made me happy. 

Some other fun facts: 
 - He LOVES Ceiling fans. They're his favorite. They don't even have to be spinning. He will stare and stare at them. Am I a bad mom if I lay him on the floor and tell him to look at the fan while I do something? Because that's what I do. But he likes it!

-He also loves this picture of Christ surrounded by children that we have hanging in our family room. He'll stare at it and will crane his neck to see it.  He's liked that picture since the day we brought him home from the hospital. It's probably because of the bright colors, but I like to think it's because he recognizes Christ. Sometimes it makes me sad because I wonder if he misses his life in heaven... and maybe if he resents me a little for bringing him into this world. And then I feel bad for him. But then I remember it is his time to be here, and Heavenly Father has a plan for him, and I'm happy that if he has to be here at all that at least he's here with me!

-He absolutely loves baths. He could live in the bath all day long if I let him. Sometimes I give him multiple baths a day, just because I like how much he likes it. He gets so calm and relaxed. Tooo relaxed. There have been a few times that I've had to take him out of the bath, dump out the water, and start over because he's gone to the bathroom in it. And then as soon as I put him back in he goes again. One bath time that happened 3 times! Kind of frustrating, but worth it because he loves it so much.

-He loves to be held looking over your shoulder while getting his bum or back patted. It's almost a guarantee to getting him to stop crying. Almost. Not always, but almost.

-He really doesn't cry that much. He's pretty much an angel baby. He had a period of 4-5 days last week that were really hard where he wailed pretty much non-stop all day, but I think he was going through a growth spurt or something, because thankfully we seem to be over that. (crossing my fingers).

-He can track things with his eyes really well. He'll watch me move around the room, or will track something as I shake it above his head. He also likes to look at the airplane mobile I hung above his changing table. 

- Sometimes he snores in his sleep. It's the best. 

-He doesn't like to be swaddled completely. He only likes to be swaddled if his arms are out of the blanket. He's just like me and hates to feel trapped/ constricted and wants to be free.

-He can't grab anything yet.... except for my hair. Now I know why moms chop their hair off. I'm going to be bald before I know it if I don't get my hair cut soon!

He didn't have a one month appt, but he did have a 3 week appt (4 weeks ago). His stats then were:
Wt: 9 lb 7 oz (66%)
Ht:  90%
Head circumference: 91%


I didn't know that I could share my heart with two different people, but my goodness do these boys have my heart.  I love them both so much. They are my whole world, and I am so blessed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shane's Delivery

I'm sitting here on the couch watching my baby sleep in his crib through the video screen on our monitor thinking about how much our lives have changed in just a little over a week. 9 days ago Luke and I wondered what Shane would look like, what his cry would sound like, how big he would be. We even began to wonder if little Shane would come at all, since pregnancy seemed to drag on and on, and we began to think maybe our baby would live inside of me forever. (Impossible, I know, but it sure felt that way).  My heart is so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude as I look at the little baby we created, and think about the journey it took to get him here. I'll warn you... this will be a long post. Feel free to not read it, I won't be offended (nor will I even know), but I just have to write my thoughts and feelings about Shane's delivery.

I woke up at 5:35am on Monday, July 15th to cramping in my stomach. I wondered whether it was Braxton Hicks or contractions. I hadn't had either of them throughout my pregnancy so I didn't know what either of them felt like. I started timing them and they came so sporadically. 15 minutes apart, 11 minutes apart, 13 minutes apart, there was no consistency. I did this for nearly 2 hours before Luke woke up and when he did, he saw me looking at my phone as I timed the current contraction. I told him what I was feeling. He questioned whether he should go to work that day, and I assured him that what I was feeling was probably Braxton Hicks since there was no consistency to them and they weren't super painful at that point. Plus, I was to have a Dr's appt that morning at 10:20am so I would consult with the doctor and fill Luke in after the appointment. He showered and got dressed and left for work.

At about that time, Luke's mom came over since she was in town that week. She says she could tell as soon as she saw me that I wasn't feeling well, and she felt confident I was having contractions. I tried to play it cool and not complain, just bore each contraction smoothly and calmly. They started to get more consistent as the morning went on, but I kept holding on to the fact that I would see the Doctor that morning and shouldn't freak out yet. I spent the morning up until my Dr's appt doing work, answering emails, making phone calls etc.

Luke's mom offered to take me to my Dr's appt at around 10am and I accepted. My normal doctor was out of the office that week so I saw a new doctor for my very last appointment. She confirmed that I had been feeling contractions, and that I was dilated to a 3. She offered to strip my membranes which would pretty much guarantee me to go into labor within 24 hours. I nervously said ok. She said she was working Labor & Delivery that night and she was positive she would be seeing me at the hospital within a few hours.

I called Luke and let him know the news. He left work early and was home around 12:30pm. We decided to drive to the mall to walk some laps to bring on labor. We got to the mall, ate some lunch and walked about half a lap around the mall before I decided I couldn't take it anymore. We drove all the way back home and I thought maybe I'd take a shower but after sitting on the couch for about 2 minutes, I was in so much pain I knew I had to leave for the hospital immediately. So we grabbed our bags and headed in.

We checked into the hospital at 3:00pm where I was checked and confirmed to be dilated to a 5. Yay! That meant I could be admitted immediately instead of being turned away to walk laps around the hospital. I was relieved to be so far along. I was moved into the delivery room and had my contractions not been so painful it would have been a pretty relaxing atmosphere. The lights were dimmed, Luke played some chill music from the speakers he brought, it was a really calm feeling.

I immediately asked for an epidural and the anesthesiologist was there shortly to administer it. She was really nice. It was the weirdest thing feeling my legs go numb. I tried wiggling my toes and it didn't work. It made me nervous but I knew that was what I wanted. My right leg was completely numb while I maintained slight feeling in the left leg throughout the duration of labor.

Throughout the next few hours I had been checked and visited by many nurses and doctors (one of which was the doctor I saw earlier that morning who guaranteed I'd be in labor that night). I was impressed by the level of care and the kindness from each person who saw me. Eventually (around 9pm) one doctor broke my water and just minutes later it was time to start pushing. The nurse who was assigned to me for the first few hours was so nice and tried as hard as she could to direct me on how to push, but there was a language barrier and it was often hard to understand what she was trying to tell me. After an hour of pushing with no luck, it was the end of that nurse's shift and I got a new one. This nurse was much better at instructing me and I soon learned I had been pushing with the wrong muscles the whole time. I felt so disappointed that I had wasted a whole hour of time and energy. I spent the next 2 hours pushing, trying the best I could to use the right muscles although it was really hard to tell since I was so numb. As the 3rd hour approached (at this point it was around midnight) I was told that I would not be allowed to continue pushing because they only allow 3 hours of pushing. Any more time than that creates risk for mom and baby. They would let me push up to the 3 hr mark and then I'd have to have a C-Section. I was defeated and near tears. I did not want a C-Section. I begged the nurse to beg the doctor to allow me more time, especially since the whole first hour was wasted by me pushing incorrectly. The doctor allowed me to have more time, but they would use a different approach. They would be using a vacuum to try to get the baby out.

At this point I was so exhausted, tired, fatigued, and basically delirious. The feeling had almost fully returned in my left leg and I could feel each contraction as they came. It was nearly unbearable and eventually I ripped the oxygen mask off my face and panted that I needed more of the epidural. I received more medication in time for a whole slew of people to enter my room and attempt using the vacuum, although the feeling never completely left my leg again. There had to have been about 15 people in my room-- doctors, nurses, doctors in training who were there to observe. I was on display for all to see and I couldn't have cared less. The vacuum was attached to the baby's head which was beginning to crown, and pressure was applied. Then I was instructed to push while the doctor pulled the vacuum. The amount of pressure between my pushing and her pulling was intense! Each vacuum attempt ended in a very intense snap as the suction between baby and vacuum was lost. Every time that I happened I heard myself let out a loud scream. Oh my gosh, this was so intense! And bloody! And defeating! I felt so depressed knowing that I could not do it for my baby. I wanted so badly to hold him and to give him life and release him from my stomach. I wanted this to be over. I felt defeated as I came to the realization that it wasn't working, and the Doctors confirmed that we could try forever and he just was not going to come out. It was useless. My pelvic bones were too narrow to allow the baby through. It was becoming too dangerous, so a C-section was our only option.

I was wheeled into the Operating Room and somehow was rolled from one bed to another. My eyes struggled to stay open after all the exhaustion I had just gone through. I struggled to answer questions, and honestly thinking back at this, it all seems like a blur. I remember them asking me if I could feel them pinching on my stomach and I could! I was terrified that I would not numb up! They had to increase the level of medication 3 times in order for the feeling to disappear. And then surgery began. There was a lot of tugging and pulling. It was the oddest feeling. There was no pain, but there was definite feeling. It was uncomfortable.

After a few minutes of surgery, I heard a faint whimper and I realized that my Baby Boy was here! Luke left my side to go see him and take pictures as they cleaned and weighed him. Tears began to swell in my eyes-- tears of exhaustion, tears of relief, tears of gratitude, tears of sadness that I could not see my sweet baby boy. I had to wait until he was cleaned up and then they handed him to me and I got to look at my sweet angel. He was perfect. His eyes looked at me and I felt so glad that he was mine. That he was ours! That we did it! All 3 of us were there in that moment, and it felt perfect. Our little family of 3! I was overwhelmed with love for my sweet baby boy and for my sweet husband who never left my side, who was there to hold my leg and cheer me on through each contraction, who held my hand during surgery, and who held and comforted our baby in those first few minutes that I could not. I instantly loved our family of 3.

After probably a 1/2 hour of getting stitched back up (and more pulling and tugging) I was wheeled into a Recovery room where we would have to wait until the feeling came back in my legs. That didn't happen until about 4:30am. Then we were wheeled into our postpartum room where, although we didn't know it then, we would spend the next 4 days.

The next day we learned that Shane had jaundice. This was most likely brought on by the vacuum. His poor head was filled with fluids due to the suctioning of the vacuum and the intensity of labor. It was completely squishy to the touch. It felt like a water balloon. His skin and eyes turned yellow. He had to be placed in an incubator until the jaundice disappeared, only to be taken out to feed and change his diaper. It was the hardest and saddest thing to place my newborn baby into the incubator. I felt like I was deserting him. Poor guy had just entered the world and now I had to leave him  all alone and secluded. It broke my heart. It also broke my heart as he screamed and cried while having blood drawn so many times! I wanted to hit each nurse who announced she had to draw more blood! Over the course of 4 days I counted 8 pricks on one foot and 6 on the other. My poor child!


Those next 4 days in the hospital blurred into one. Time consisted of nursing, pumping, getting Shane's blood drawn, and a whole lot of nothing else. Grandma & Grandpa Stephenson as well as Grandma Hammer and Aunt Boo dropped by for a few visits. They got to hold him when we took him out for a feeding or diaper change, but otherwise they had to observe him from outside the incubator :( Finally, Friday came and we were told we could leave. We left the hospital at 5pm and were ready to begin our real lives together. Since being home, we have begun creating a system and routine. My life definitely feels like it revolves around 3hour blocks of time as I plan around feedings. Sleep at night is definitely harder to come by. But those are just small sacrifices we've made in order to gain a sweet blessing. We love our Shane. We love our new family. We love our role as parents, and I love watching Luke as he cuddles our sweet son. We just feel completely blessed to all be home and all be healthy, and to have made it through delivery together!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another Wonderful Shower :)

So you know how I always talk about how much I love my job? Well this weekend was extra special because I got to hang out with *almost* all my co-workers outside of a work setting... and even better, the setting included me getting showered with gifts! How could it get better than that!? 

That afternoon resulted in Luke's second ever baby shower. It was so fun. We all just spent time talking, laughing, eating, guessing what kind of candy bar was in the diapers, and opening gifts. All the girls were far too generous, and Little Buddy is going to be one cool lookin' dude. Thank you to all who came and who helped plan & prepare. Luke and I had a blast!

We are at the point now where it's just a waiting game. Little Guy could come any time, and we are ready. My due date is two weeks from today and I will be induced in 3 weeks (possibly minus a few days) if he doesn't come on his own. Crazy to think that in 3 weeks we will definitely have a baby in the house.

I made it through Luke's 24 hour business trip last week (which I was nervous about), thanks to my friend Julia who stayed the night and filled in for Luke while he was gone. She was prepared to hold my hand through labor, had I gone into delivery mode. Yay for good friends!--- and even more yay that she didn't have to go through that!

Now that all Luke's traveling is out of the way, we are pretty much going to be home bodies for the next few weeks. You may see us walking, though, as I sure am going to be doing a lot of that to help get this baby here soon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I Wish I Was Back to a Human

Have you all seen this commercial?

I love these AT&T commercials. I think they're hilarious. This particular one is actually one of my least favorites because I don't think it's as funny as some of the others, but I've thought about this one so many times lately. The last week or two I've often thought "I wish I was back to a human".  I feel so not normal. I've definitely reached the uncomfortable stage.   I want to run. I want to jump. I want to bend. I want to sleep comfortably. I want to get dressed in the morning and not have to worry about whether my stomach will pop out of my shirt or wear pants without wrapping a rubber band around the button to keep them up without zipping/ buttoning them. I want to be able to do all the normal things that everyone else can do, and that I used to be able to do. I really want to be skinny again. 6 more weeks! 6 more weeks!

Okay, I'm allowed to complain, right? I feel like I really haven't complained much at all throughout pregnancy. AT ALL. It's been smooth sailing and I've felt great thus far, but I feel like I'm entitled to complain once. So there it is. Thanks for letting me vent.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Baby Shower, A Trip to DC and some Ramblings.

I pride myself in my job. I love my job (most days). I love what I do, the people I get to know, and the service we provide. I work at the best dental office around. It's the best because of the people I work with, but also because I think we have some of the best patients. We strive to create a family-like atmosphere. I could tell you at least one personal fact about every single patient we have, and even life stories of a lot of them. I consider a lot of our patients friends. Well sometimes I wonder why I work so hard to create that family-like atmosphere.... because I've noticed lately that people have become quite comfortable with me as far as telling me what they really think.

Case #1: the other day a man patient walked in the door, saw me, and immediately blew up his cheeks, wrapped both arms in a circle in front of him and pretended to hobble around like a fat monkey. When I looked at him with an astonished face and asked if I really looked that big he didn't stop there. He then asked how much longer I had--- 1 week? I responded, no 2 months! And then he told me that I look really big. Awesome.

Case #2: Another man patient (why is it that it's always the men? Don't they know the rule not to comment on a woman's weight? Especially a pregnant lady?) started naming every body part that looked bigger on me. No lie.

It's a good thing I have thick skin and let things just roll off my back because I think if I was any other pregnant woman I would have lost some major self esteem with all the comments people feel free to make to me. Luckily, for every harsh comment someone makes, there's been many more positive women telling me I look great. Nonetheless, I really don't care what people think/ say about me. I feel great, baby seems to be doing great, and that's all that matters.

 32 weeks

I am starting to get uncomfortable. Sleeping is difficult. I have always been a stomach sleeper, but now I have to sleep on my side which is my least favorite sleeping position. One arm goes limp and I never know what to do with the other arm. Not to mention my hips. My hips KILL at night. I don't know why but they hurt so bad! I also get massive leg cramps in the middle of the night. Oh My Gosh, they are the worst. I have learned how to feel them coming and can usually prevent them before they get too bad, but sometimes I'm too late and my whole leg cramps up and it's hard to get rid of it and the next morning I'm so sore. I also have been getting random heat flashes. Those are bad. I'll start getting really hot and sweaty (gross!) for no reason! It's the worst.

I've started having mini panic attacks lately. Not because I'm having a baby. Not because I'm scared of giving birth or of having a child to care for. It's because I'm stopping my full time job on June 1st and beginning my new position which will be less hours and I can work from home if I choose. This gives me a whole month and a half before the baby's born to be at home, sometimes working but not all the time. I think I might go stir crazy. My job has been my life for the past 2 1/2 years. I love it, and I practically live there. The last few weeks I've been slowly transitioning the girls I work with on how to take over my position and it's honestly been hard for me to know that I'm giving it up and that soon I will no longer be doing what I've known for the last few years. I will miss it. But I know that I am giving up that job for a job that is even better, and I can't wait to meet my little guy.

Okay, enough sappy talk. And now for some pics:

I have some really awesome friends who threw me a baby shower. I felt so blessed to have so many people come out to support me, Luke and Baby Boy. Thank you to all! I had a fabulous night!

The very next day after my shower, Luke and I hopped onto a plane and flew across country to visit my sister, Brother in law and their kids for the weekend. We had SO much fun, and 
I wish they lived closer so we could see them more often!

Me and Ev waiting in line for some yummy Georgetown cupcakes

Ev and Luke became buddies!

The Capitol. Or as Ev pronounces it: "apicapol"

The 2 cutest kids alive.

We made a surprise visit to Luke's grandparents! So fun!

Love this girlie!

I hope my little guy is as cute and cuddly and happy as this one.

Thanks Hen & Jared for an awesome time!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


You guys... I can' t believe it. Today marks ONE YEAR of being in our house. On one hand it feels like we just moved in yesterday, but on the other hand thinking about all we've done in the past year makes it seems like we've been here for much longer! What an experience this past year has been. Luke and I have grown so much, both individually and together as a couple as we've planned, worked on, and completed SO many projects together. I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have such a handy-man for a husband who, let's be honest, is the reason our house is the way it is today. Such a stud. 

Anyways... in honor of our one year, I decided to go down memory-lane and post some before, during and after pics.

We'll start in the kitchen.

So much was wrong here. The stove was awful, and didn't even work. The grapes painted on the wall were just...ugly and not for us.

 This little peninsula thing was horribly placed, making the kitchen too big and the eating area far too small. This wall had to be moved 18 inches to the right, making the kitchen a more reasonable size and allowing us to fit a table in the eating area.

Here is our kitchen now. Laminate floor has been replaced with tile. We installed a back splash, got new countertops, hardware on the drawers and cabinets, crown molding all around, all new appliances including microwave, oven, fridge, sink, dishwasher. It is now a more functional size.

Next we'll go to the front living and dining rooms. 

 The colors in these rooms were awful. Carpet was nasty and smelled like cats, the tile in the front entry way was one of 3 flooring styles in the downstairs and was orange-ish and ugly. All of this had to go.

 I had envisioned these rooms a blue-gray color with wainscoting all around, so we got to work. Well, first we removed the carpet, installed hard wood floors, painted the walls, then began on the wainscoting.

Last came the crown molding (which you can see on the upper right hand corner isn't complete yet) and baseboards. Both the baseboard and crown molding still need to be painted a crisper white to match the wainscoting. I have yet to hang the curtains which are sitting on the chair and hang a silver sunburst mirror above the couch. 
 This is the neighboring room which was designed to be a dining room. The hanging chandelier light has been replaced with a ceiling fan. Crown molding and baseboard need to be painted here too. We have yet to decide if we will use this as an office or kids' play room. 

Next is the family room, where I think the biggest transformation took place. 

We started with these awful colors, and nasty, nasty carpet which again smelled like cats.

We started by adding a ceiling fan where there previously was no light, and painting the walls. 

 Next was crown molding.

Then out came the carpet and in went the hardwood floors. 

Next: baseboard. 

And here it is now. All we need now is a giant area rug so that I can have a soft place to lay Baby Boy for tummy time, etc.

Our latest addition was new carpet! Yay yay yay! We just had it installed about 2 weeks ago and I just love it. Our old carpet was flat and matted down and stained and gross. This carpet is soft and fluffy and pretty.  It extends up stairs and all throughout the second floor. 

Now we'll go to what I used to call the Purple Room, although it clearly was more than just that. What is this!?! 

The Master bedroom hasn't changed much. This room had the most "livable" colors, meaning they weren't so odd and unbearable that we felt they needed to be changed right away. We have been so busy working on the rest of the house that our room has received the least attention. We're fine with it for now.
 All we've done in our Master is gotten a new bed and bed set including the night stands, a dresser and media stand.

I'll end with the Nursery, not only because it's one that I'm really excited about, but because it was seriously AMAZING how awful this room was. It was bad.

 I don't think I need to say anything about the colors. The pictures say enough about that. The seashell stickers wee plastered all over the room and despite my best efforts in soaking, scrubbing, scratching, and all other methods, these suckers were not coming down.  The stupid straw wallpaper was my nightmare. I spent days scraping at that stuff too and finally gave up, realizing that it was not coming down and we would have to come up with a resolution to cover it.

Here is proof of my scraping efforts in trying to get the wall paper off. 

I painted this room I think the week we moved in. I painted it the same color as we painted the rest of the house, knowing that I would eventually paint it a different color when this room became a nursery but I could not live with the blue/yellow, so paint was the first thing to happen here. Months later we beadboarded over the remaining wallpaper which also entailed baseboard and a chair rail. 

I debated with this mustard yellow, but we eventually decided on the blue-gray below. Luke and I are both happy with our color choice. 

Luke also cased both windows. Don't they look fab?

We've purchased a crib, bedding (aside from a mattress), a dresser and hutch which aren't pictured, and the stroller and carseat. Yay! I plan to do an airplane theme for the nursery. Airplanes are harder to come by than I thought, but my vision for this room stands and it will be super cute by the time Baby Boy gets here.

And that concludes our tour! We feel so blessed to have this house, and to have had the last year transforming it into our home, one which will hopefully provide many years of happiness to us and our growing family :)