Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harrison - 4 months

Harrison is somehow now 4 months old.  I don't know how this is happening!  I feel like he should still be such a little baby and I'm always surprised when we're out and about and I see newborns and do a double take, because they make him seem huge and old in comparison!  I feel like he should still be the smallest but not anymore!

He seems like such a big baby to me!  At 4 months + 10 days, he is 26" and 15lbs 15oz.  So he has doubled his birth weight.  I think that was around the 45th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height.  That was strange to hear since he seems so solid and roly to me!  He has the sweetest chubby baby thighs and belly and cheeks.  He is now in size 2 diapers and in 6 month clothes.  Some of his 6 month clothes are getting too small.

His new blond hair is coming in though he still has some longer hair on top, down the middle.  I like to comb it forward into a faux hawk. ;)
He has become so much fun!!  He's sitting up in the bumbo seat, looking all around.  He grabs his little feet and sticks them in his mouth.  He giggles and coos and babbles, grabs toys and fingers and loves attention.  He ADORES being held, cries when I put him down, although I try to tell him he has to be realistic, since he's a third born.
He rolled over from back to front on Aug 1.  He'd been trying to and I ran upstairs to get something, came down a few minutes later, and he was on his belly!  Little stinker.  He hasn't rolled from front to back yet.
No change in sleep patterns.  He goes down around 8 or 8:30 and wakes once during the night.  I am ready for him to sleep all through the night, although I know that going 8 or 9 hours straight is still pretty good.  I'm still swaddling him but need to break that soon.  He takes 2 or 3 naps during the day, depending on the length of his afternoon nap. 

His first tooth popped through on July 25, a little over a week shy of 4 months.  He had been biting me while nursing and I finally spotted the sharp little white tooth coming up.  His second came up about two weeks later.  It seems so early to be teething, so I am surprised.  He is sooo drooly these days and soaks his clothes so fast.  He is definitely a biter so that has not been fun.

And, since he's the third born, he can't get a photo shoot without competition.  Everyone else has to jump in for their turn.  But he is so incredibly loved, so they just want to do anything he does.

And for a little comparison, here's Barrett at 4 months vs Harrison at 4 months.

Yeah, they look pretty similar to me!  Wow, I thought Harrison's cheeks are big, but they have nothing on Barrett's!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Harrison - Professional Photos

Life with 3 - the first month

The first few weeks home, the kids begged to hold Harrison every morning.  They couldn't wait to see him and begged to hold him.  The first morning he was home was no exception.
Barrett holding his new baby brother. 
Audrey holding her new baby brother.

And we refereed regular arguing over who got to hold him first and most.  Barrett was obviously pouting over not being able to hold him at the current moment.
Audrey included Harrison in her regular play.  Our anti-pajama 2 year old shared all her toys and dolls with her brother.  He was a very willing playmate.  Every time I turned around, she was laying her toys and dolls on him, putting hats on his head, and bracelets on his wrist.  She loves him so much.

I love sneaking up on them and catching them "playing" together.
And there's nothing like the snuggles of a newborn and how they can fall asleep anywhere.  The sweet head nuzzled into your neck, the weight of that sweet bottom on your arm, and their sweet, sweet smell.  Oh, it's like nothing else in the entire world.

Bringing Home Baby

I would be remiss to not post about the wonderful greeting we had when we brought Harrison home from the hospital! 

When we brought Barrett home, it was a quiet and snowy December 26, and we arrived to a quiet and clean house and I spent the rest of the day nuzzling a sweet little newborn, hanging out in the window to help his jaundiced skin and taking photos of the little one.

When we brought Audrey home, we relieved my parents of babysitting duties, they headed for home and we fell back into the hectic pace of life with a needy two year old and now a newborn.

This time, we arrived home to a PARTY!  My parents were in town to watch B and A and my sister and brother-in-law had come up with their 4 kids to visit, so there were 10 people at our house, waiting to greet Harrison.

The kids each decorated a sign for the door to greet us when we arrived. It was so cute to pull up and see the signs.  Thanks to my sister, the preschool teacher!

The highlight for the kids of course was the Happy Birth Day cookie cake that my dad had bought.  Perhaps part of the excitement of our arrival was that it was finally time to dig in to the cake they'd been drooling over all afternoon?  When I asked Barrett if he was excited that Harrison was home, I believe the answer was that he wanted some cookie.  The kids were crazy, playing and running all around the house.  

Caroline, my sister's 4 year old daughter, couldn't wait to hold Harrison.  She is such a sweetie, covered him with the blanket that her older brother Jack had made, and proclaimed that he was her baby.

And my parents attempted a photo of all their grandkids, less Audrey, who was down for a nap.  It was insanity.  This was the best of the bunch, if that tells you anything!

And so Harrison was welcomed to his new home! It was loud, fun and crazy, so the perfect greeting for him of what was to come as the littlest member of our family.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Harrison is Born!!!

On April 3, 2014, our littlest one Harrison Wesley was born at 4:02am!  He weighed in at 7lbs, 15oz and was 21" long. 

I was due on Saturday, March 29 but fully expected to go overdue.  I was planning on a VBA2C and I had done everything I could do.  I took a hypnobirthing class and was practicing the self-hypnosis and affirmations.  I was bouncing and rotating on a birthing ball, seeing a chiropractor to adjust my pelvis and back.  I was eating six dates a day, drinking at least three cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day since week 35, and upping my intake of evening primrose oil from week 38 onward.  I visited an acupuncturist at 37 weeks, 39 weeks and 40 weeks. I did notice this increased my contractions at the 40 week visit intensely.  I felt very optimistic when my 39 week check up revealed that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effacted, since I had never gotten to this point previously!

On the morning of Wednesday, April 2, I awoke around 8 am (I got to sleep in because my mom had arrived Monday night and was up with the kids) and noticed my pajamas felt pretty wet.  At this point, I was sweating a lot in my sleep so attributed the dampness to night sweats.  A little later, Audrey dropped something on the floor at breakfast and as I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a gush of liquid.  I was starting to suspect my waters had ruptured and another gush or two confirmed my suspicions.  I called the doctor, who advised me to come in to the hospital to be checked.  (On a sidenote, I had actually fibbed on my due date at my first appointment to buy myself some extra time, knowing I'd be overdue, and told the doctor 4/2 was my due date.  So they believed this was actually my due date.)

I called Tim to tell him I thought my waters had broken around 8:25.  He had taken the train downtown and was standing outside his office, about to walk in.  He sounded very surprised and turned around to take the next train back home.  When he got home, we finished packing up for the hospital and I took a shower.  I was very reluctant to head to the hospital and was putting it off as long as possible.  I even was mopping the kitchen floors, running to the bathroom every time my water leaked.  I didn't want to come back to filthy floors!  We stopped to pick up lunch on the way, a turkey sandwich and Oreo smoothie from Potbellys, the same final meal actually I'd had the night before Barrett was born. 

When I finally got to the hospital my worst fears were realized.  I was measured at less than 1 cm, 50% effaced and -4 station.  So no progress.  I was having no contractions whatsoever.  I was labeled a "likely surgery" because of my VBA2C status.  I was incredibly concerned.  I called my acupuncturist to come to the hospital to see if she could help jump start contractions, but the nurse told me this wasn't allowed.  We walked the halls and did everything we could.  Finally, around 5pm, we managed to get contractions going.  And boy, were they intense!!

I continued having intense contractions every few minutes, lasting about 1.5 minutes but just could not get the baby to drop. Although the contraction pattern was ideal, I was checked and nothing was happening.  Tim and I continued to walk/limp through the halls but my energy was dwindling.  I laid down before midnight and napped for about an hour.  The doctor came in around 12:30am and I had no progress.  He was very blunt - it just wasn't going well.  I wasn't progressing, had a history of zero progress and failure to progress on Pitocin and was a VBAC candidate and had ruptured membranes.  So he shrugged his shoulders, said I could keep trying if I wanted to and to just let him know what I wanted to do.

I cried but rallied and got up and continued to walk the halls another hour.  I was beyond frustrated with my body.  I was having super intense and regular contractions and just couldn't get the baby to drop and force my body to dilate.  I was tired, I was discouraged and I knew that this was going the same way as all the others.  I finally admitted that my body, no matter what I do, will not deliver babies the natural and normal way.  I told the nurse around 2 that I was conceding to a c/s.  They scheduled me for 4am and notified my doctor, who was sleeping at the hospital, after a midnight c/s with which he assisted.

The nurse came into wake me around 3am and started the preparations.  I walked into the surgery room, got the spinal, and was ready to go before long.  It's all a little blurry but I am pretty sure I threw up after I got all the meds and before the surgery, but the anesthesiologist was great about tweaking the medicine and getting me to feel better.  He was my favorite anesthesiologist so far.

At 4:02am on Thursday, April 3, Harrison Wesley was lifted from me.  We hadn't known the sex, so Tim looked over the curtain, his mouth dropped open and he announced it was a boy!  I was surprised!  He was exercising his lungs and was crying very loudly.  He was placed on me for a little while so I got some good time seeing him and feeling him. 

Baby's first picture

It's always so disorienting after the C-section.  On one hand, I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness at the birth of a beautiful and happy baby.  But at the same time, I also felt like complete and total crap, after having my abdomen cut open and my insides removed and all the medicine.  So recovery, where I held him and breastfed, was rocky but I actually recovered the best of all I think.  He weighed in at 7lbs, 15oz and 21" long.  Perfect!

After awhile in recovery, I was wheeled upstairs, transferred to the new bed in my room and crazy enough, it was just early morning.  My mom brought the kids around lunchtime.  They trotted in, looking excited and so cute.

Barrett wasn't so sure what to think.

 Audrey was excited. She gave her new baby brother kisses...

 and then gave her mama kisses.  I have a very sweet little girl!!

He was staring up at me for a while, with such intense eye contact.

I was still in such a state of surprise to have a boy!  I kept looking at the board, where the nurses had written Baby Boy and thinking, really??

We hadn't picked out a name yet and it wasn't until the middle of the second day that we finally settled on Harrison Wesley.  I had never really believed that when you looked at a baby, you would be able to pick a name but now I do.  Some of the other names we'd liked just didn't seem right for him.  This name just seemed to fit him.

These were from day 2.  The kids were a little more interested in holding him, although Barrett was still pretty tentative.

Audrey clearly thinking, 'let me at him!'

Such sweet love.  I know she's going to be a great big sister.


And getting ready to go home!  By this point, I was starting to feel more human. I had showered, could walk around and get in and out of the bed by myself for the most part. 

All loaded up and ready to see his new home!

More on the fantastic greeting he received at home in the next post!