Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Babbling Boy

Somewhere in the midst of all these family changes this little guy learned in ACTUAL words!  It's weird how quickly they just appeared into his vocabulary.  It's amazing that I can finally understand some of what he has to say.  And I guess it's good he's still holding on to the jibber jabber too because it can be cute sometimes.  Not so much in the times where he and I are both struggling to figure each other out - but the other times it's adorable.  I love driving down the road and listen to him jabbering away simply because Addison has gabbed for the last 15 minutes and now he feels like he needs to chime in with his thoughts...whatever they are.  

He's such a cute guy and I feel like everytime I post about him it's about the messes he's making or the frustration he's giving me.  While those times do exist (still to this day) I do so love this boy.  He can melt me within seconds and can quickly wipe away any frustration I have within minutes.  He has that charm and smile that works like magic....and he knows his powers.  Lucky for him and I eh?  He's a Mama's boy and I love it.  He is all boy but still needs to stop for an occasional 'Mommy snuggle.'  He's still struggling (as am I) with how to be creative with these snuggles now that Brooklyn spends so much time in my arms.  He tries his hardest to listen and obey and when he does it successfully we have nothing short of a five ring circus of celebration in this house.  I'm hoping the more we get excited the more it will encourage him to listen.  

I'm realizing he understands WAY more than I give him credit for.  John came home from work one evening and Jonas was not listening very good so Daddy put him in time out.  Prior to this I thought the only time out he could do was me holding his hands while he sat on my lap.  I was convinced he wouldn't sit still in time-out.  Much to my surprise, that little guy sat there against the wall until it was time to get up.  Daddy did have to remind him a few times but he knew full well what was being said and that this was definitely the time to obey it.  That little stinker - I had just assumed he wasn't old enough to understand all these things.  Hmmm....time to quit taking it soft on the guy.

Of course, he does do good, for the most part, when we are out and about.  After having three kids, I mentally went through different scenarios of how exactly I'd get them in and out of the vehicle when I was by myself.  Addison was an easy solution - she is my rule follower.  Jonas is the one I had fears of darting into traffic the minute I turned my head.  Well, once again this guy has surprised me.  I went from having Addison stand there and hold his hand while I got Brooklyn out, to now having him able to stand and stay still while I get Brooklyn.  Granted I have to keep repeating every 30 seconds "Jonas, don't move - stay" but the little guy does it.  Sometimes he makes me feel like I have a little dog instead of a boy.  He loves to get into and spread the trash around and I frequently have to tell him to "stay" and he enjoys eating whatever crumbs he finds on the floor.  At least he's a cute little doggie - I'd much rather have him than a real dog.

We are so grateful for our Jonas and love seeing his personality grow more and his sense of humor come out more.  He's a funny kid and he loves to make us laugh.  He's very mellow and very curious and you can tell he really tries his hardest to be obedient.  It's just sometimes his need of curiosity overcomes his obedience.  You'd think this was his birthday post but nope it's just a "We love our Jonas" post.  We can't wait to celebrate his two years of life in a few weeks though!  What would we do without this little guy?  So glad we don't have to find out.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Newborn Photo Shoot

One of my favorite treats is getting each kiddo's photos professionally taken shortly after they are born.  Luckily we have such good photographers in the area that I also call my friends so it's always easy to find someone willing and ready.  My good friend Michelle came over to the house and took these adorable shots (during a crazy busy time for her) and I'm so grateful she did.  I never had baby pictures of myself so maybe thats why I find it so fun to document my own children?  Or it could be because they are so stinkin' adorable that I can't help not having their pictures taken.  Here's our tiny little baby girl Brooklyn Nicole Hufford at 5 days old and just home from the hospital.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Brooklyn's Birth Story

Now that Brooklyn is a little over two weeks old, I figured it was time to document her birth story before I forget the details.  It was indeed an exciting day full of twists and turns but the end result turned out beautifully as you can tell.  :)


Don't pay attention to my tired face.  It was a late night.
Before I can talk about the special induction day, I must start a week prior to that.  I had tentatively discussed a possible elective induction with my doctor about two weeks prior to July 1st.  Between that discussion he had gone on vacation and I had never heard if it was a for sure thing or not.  Thankfully, when he returned from vacation he was able to book me in for an appointment on a very overbooked day for him.  I figured if we were in fact inducing on Monday, July 1st then we'd likely need to see him a few days before the Friday prior (my actual scheduled appointment).  

Heading to the hospital.  This is the traditional "induction day" picture.
I must stop and mention how much I LOVE my doctor this time around.  Due to circumstances outside of my control, each child has had their own delivery doctor.  It started w/Addison's who was just okay, next was Jonas' who I did really like but when I got pregnant w/Brooklyn, that doctor no longer delivered babies and had moved away.  Dr. Kale Dittmeyer had taken his place so we figured we'd give him a try and go from there.  He is young (younger than me by a few years so that's a bit weird) but he has a good personality and knows his stuff so we kept him.  And it turns out he's willing to work quite a bit of magic to keep his promises as well - which I'll be forever thankful for.  

So, he and his nurse got me in for my last check-up and we confirmed I was dilated to a 3 and 70-80% effaced (I've never been able to do that on my own before folks) so I decided to celebrate by taking him up on his offer of an induction on July 1st.  He scheduled the appointment and it was official - time to start notifying the grandparents and clearing the schedule.  I was technically only 39 weeks but I figured since I went over with my other two babies and I was sooo far dilated on my own that I'd just go with it and enjoy an early delivery for once.  

The first bump in the road came Sunday afternoon.  While I was napping, my doctor left me a message saying that my 7:00 am check-in would now be pushed back to 10:00 am since the L&D floor was so busy that weekend.  I was just grateful he wasn't cancelling it altogether so we happily accepted that news.  I decided to throw together a small gathering of family for a breakfast out before we went in.  That way it'd pass the time and I'd have a full belly before I starved for the next several hours in labor.  Well, just as we were leaving for that breakfast, my doctor called again to tell me that the L&D floor was not doing "elective inductions" that day and that if I would come to his office first for a check-up he could "find a reason" to send me up to L&D.  Sweet!  Do you realize how rare that is in doctors?  We finished our breakfast and headed over to his office (right next to the hospital) with my doula and sister-in-love Sarah, my Mom, and John in tow.  We headed back to an exam room and were quite curious as to what exactly he was going to do to justify my check-in on L&D.  We heard the healthy heartbeat and he confirmed I was still dilated to a 3.  However, he all the sudden had a serious look on his face and I immediately got nervous (and nauseous).  He said that when he was checking my dilation he did not feel a head (like he did last week) that he felt feet or fingers.  He got an ultrasound machine to confirm that she did indeed flip and was now transverse (in a footling breech position) which meant her feet were dangling by my cervix, her spine was at the top of my chest and her head was on my right side.  It wasn't cause for immediate alarm but definitely gave us another bump in our plans.  Our first option was to check-in and do a c-section to get her out (my least favorite), our second option was to do a version (painful!) and manually try to flip her to get her head down again (which had a 1% chance of placental abruption), or our third option was to wait a week and see if she flipped by her due date (but if I went into labor and she still wasn't flipped - it'd be a c-section since they don't do versions once you are in labor).  So, we discussed and decided to go ahead and do a version that day.  In hindsight, this was a legitimate way to get us a bed on the L&D floor after all.  He scheduled our appointment and told us to check-in to the hospital in 1 1/2 hours (at 1:30 pm) for our version.  Since we had a little time to kill we headed back home and tried a few things to flip her on our own.  Sarah had googled a few ideas on and we gave those a try.  Which included squatting on the couch with my elbows on the floor, putting an ice pack by her head, shaking my stomach with a blanket, and putting a flashlight by my cervix.  

Trying to wiggle the little girly to flip into the right position
Toward the end of our attempts we just sat and visited and took a short little rest before it was time to go back to the hospital.  While visiting I felt a rolling movement up by my chest.  I got excited realizing maybe she flipped after all since that movement was very unlikely to be caused by her spine/back which was previously by my chest.  We all got excited and headed back to the hospital.  I got checked in and gowned up and we relayed the news to our wonderful nurse.  She decided to get an ultrasound machine and check it out for herself before she called the doctor up.  Sure enough, we looked and saw a head on the ultrasound.  The nurse called Dittmeyer and he requested an ultrasound tech to confirm the position.  She was right up and within minutes of checking me out confirmed that our little girly had actually flipped on her own!  Yay!  I didn't have to survive a painful version after all!  

Now that she was in position, we went straight for the pitocin to start the labor process.  It was a lot of sitting and waiting and making very little progress past a 3.  I think two hours into the pain/process I was only progressed to barely a 5.  I decided it would be a good time to get the epidural and thankfully it didn't take long to get the anesthesiologist up and at it.  Of course it hurt a little bit but is always so worth it to avoid the bigger pain at the end of labor.  My doctor also decided to break my water at this point.  Of course, when he went to break it, Miss Brooklyn had her hand by her head (something she had done for most of her ultrasounds and even now after she was born).  My doctor ended up pinching her little finger so she'd move it down and he then broke my water so she'd be in position (locked & loaded) for delivery.  This was the first time I could actually HEAR my water gushing when he broke it.  Usually I've only felt it but it sounded just like a water hose shooting water.  It was very surreal sounding/feeling.  For the next two hours I was in pain-free heaven.  We were laughing and joking and visiting with each other just waiting for something to happen.  Of course, just as with my other pregnancies, my epidural started wearing off and I was feeling quite a bit of pain again.  No one seemed very intent on getting the anesthesiologist back to up my medicine until I was in tears from the contractions.  The nurse finally took pity on me and called him back and he gave me an extra dose which nipped the pain in the bud within 5 very long minutes.  Within a few hours of that process, I finally started to get nauseous and asked John to find a nurse to give me some meds.  All along I had been making very slow progress but knew I didn't want to puke in the meantime.  The nurse came in with the meds and also decided to check me since she saw some improvement on my contractions.  Sure enough, I was fully dilated and she could feel the baby's head.  Thankfully she still gave me my anti-nausea medicine while the doctor suited up and everyone got into position to welcome Brooklyn.  

My body was dead weight from the waist down so I needed quite the help just getting into position to push.  John had my right leg, my Mom had my left leg, and Sarah was documenting it all with her camera.  As each contraction grew stronger I pushed a couple of times.  Honestly, within about 2-3 contractions and 2 pushes per contraction, she was out!  She was quite the little squirmer and managed to pee on my stomach while they wiped her down (Jonas pooped on me so this was better ;).  She was beautiful and I couldn't stop kissing her (goop and all).  They took her to the warmer bed while my doctor finished stitching me up.  Just as with Jonas' delivery, since this one was virtually pain free, it was so surreal to realize that she was indeed MY baby!  I pushed her out of me!?  Once she was all wrapped the wonderful nurses indulged my request for some skin-to-skin time with her and we were able to practice her nursing latch.  I've always struggled with nursing so this part was very important to me since they are born with the natural inclination to latch.  It was so nice just to hang out with her for the next hour and hold her all nakey and nurse her.  She was so warm and cuddly and I loved just squishing her little bum in my hand while she nursed.  It was so nice to finally be done being pregnant and to finally meet our little girl.  
Brooklyn Nicole Hufford
8 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long
Dr. Dittmeyer - I highly recommend him even if he is only 33 years old. ;)
The day was full of twists and turns but looking back on it now, everything went just as it was supposed to have gone.  I was so relieved I didn't have to experience a c-section and that little Miss Brooklyn was able to listen to us and flip on her own when it was time.  I hope she's always such an obedient little lady.  Welcome to the family little Miss Brooklyn!  We are so excited to watch you grow.  You are already such a perfect little baby.

Addison meeting Brooklyn for the first time the following morning.  She has been in LOVE ever since.  So glad she has a sister to enjoy along with her brother.

All loaded up and ready to take Brooklyn home for the first time.

Here are all three kiddos.  They love her of course.

Our Growing Family

It's official!  Little Miss Brooklyn Nicole finally joined our family on July 1, 2013.  It was so hard to imagine another little family member before she came but now that she's here it's hard to imagine life before her.  I think I marvel at that concept each time I have a kid.  Such a surreal time in life that I have to pinch myself a lot just to make sure.

Brooklyn Nicole Hufford: 8lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long.
Brooklyn actually got to come a week earlier (unlike her siblings) but that was by choice, not because of any emergency situations.  Although, her induction day did prove to have some interesting bumps along the way.  (Which you will read about in the following post).  All bumps considered, led to a wonderful birth experience and everything happening in just the order it was supposed to.  We couldn't be happier with little Miss Brooklyn.  Her brother and sister adore her (especially her older sister) and Daddy and I are quite fond of her too.  She's by far the easiest baby yet in my opinion.  Not that any of my kids were particularly "difficult" but this time around we, as parents, are MUCH more relaxed and I'm definitely less anxious and uptight.  Plus she nurses MUCH better and I'm finally getting into a groove with it all too.  If anything, it's her older siblings that give me a run for my money (mostly Jonas and his explorations).  

We are very excited to take part in watching Brooklyn grow and getting to know her little personality even more.  It's pretty amazing for me, two weeks post delivery, to actually think maybe we could have another one in a couple of years!  How can you stop when they come out looking soooo cute?  Plus, we have great kiddos and they are sooo good (for the most part).

Welcome to the family Brooklyn Nicole - we are so excited for you to join us!