Tuesday, August 1, 2017

James - Two Months Old

Well time just keeps marching right along, and as of today, I have a two month old!

He had a lot of "firsts" this month!  

Let's see... he attended his first birthday party (my Pops' 85th):

 He celebrated his first holiday:

He took his first trip to the beach and stuck his foot in the Gulf of Mexico:

He rolled over for the first time (July 10th - he did it four times that evening, but he hasn't done it since).  I don't have a picture for this one!

We put him in the swimming pool for the first time.  I just walked around the shallow end with his lower body submerged.  He pretty much had zero reaction:

We introduced him to his swing.  I save it for when I go swimming with Eden and Ila.  It keeps him occupied for an hour or so while I spend some time with them in the pool.  He was so mesmerized by those hanging elephants the first time:

And he took his first overnight trip... we spent a few days in Matagorda this past weekend.  (More on that in a later post!)

This is what James does:





Man oh man is it COMPLETELY DIFFERENT nursing this boy compared to his sisters!  There are some days that I feel like ALL I DID THE WHOLE DAY is nurse him!  But I really don't mind.  I'm a cocky nurser... have been with all three... every time they gain an ounce, I'm all, "OH YEAH!  I DID THAT!"

Also, he is a HUGE MAMA'S BOY!  Already.  He wants me.  All the time.  When I do things around the house, I have to strap him to my chest with the baby tula because he cannot stand to not be with me.  When I try to play or read with Eden and Ila, he has to be laying in my lap.  And at night, when I finally take him out of the tula and give him to Dustin so I can shower/brush my teeth/get ready for bed, he screams until I take him in my arms again.  And then we get into bed, and I lay him next to me.  He no longer fits comfortably on my chest, so now I usually just lay him in bed between me and Dustin until he falls asleep.  And a few nights ago, he wiggled and wiggled and wiggled until he managed to move his body until he was touching me, and then he smiled at me!

I love it so freaking much.

Don't get me wrong... it makes life difficult sometimes.  I pretty much get nothing accomplished ever because he won't let me put him down long enough to do anything (right now, as I type this post, he is strapped to my chest), but BABIES DON'T KEEP, DANGIT!

My mom and Grandma Jan both came to watch Eden and Ila do gymnastics today.  Ila's class is mommy & me, so while I did Ila's class with her, my mom and grandma did their best to keep James happy.  He pretty much cried or fussed the entire 45 minutes.  But once that class was over and he was in my arms once more... HAPPY!

I love my little mama's boy!

In addition to nursing, bathtime, and being held, add pacifiers and being outside to the list of things James likes!

On the day he turned 6 weeks old, I dressed him up in Dustin's "coming home" outfit:

And some more pictures of my handsome boy:

And do you want to see the most adorable thing ever?  This evening, when Eden saw me taking James' picture on his blanket next to his stuffed animal, she set up her doll on her blanket next to her stuffed animal and took pictures of the setup on her LeapPad!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

James - One Month Old

James was one month old on July 1st!  And what an amazing, wonderful, magical month it has been! Oh, having a newborn in our house again!  There's nothing like it!

Part of me feels like it just zoomed by!  One month?  Already?  How?  But then when I look back at pictures from the hospital and the beginning of June, it feels like ages ago.  A lifetime ago.  It seems like he's always just been a part of our family.  Hasn't he always snuggled with me in bed in the mornings?  Hasn't he always been asleep in the bassinet by the table while we eat?  Hasn't he always laid on Eden and Ila's beds while I read them books at night?  And when I look at those early pictures, he has grown and changed so much already!

At his 1 month checkup, he weighed 9 lbs. even.  That's more than a two pound gain from his two week checkup!

James didn't get much downtime before he had to start accompanying me to all of his sisters' activities!  Here he is at five days old, headed to gymnastics:

In addition to gymnastics, he spent his first month going with us to horseback riding, Sleeping Beauty Dance Camp, and Vacation Bible School.

But when he wasn't in his carseat on his way to all of those things or laying in my lap in a horse arena, he was in my arms.  OH, newborns.  I can't leave him alone, I have to have him on me at all times.  MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD, ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING EVER OF ALL TIME is to hold a newborn on my chest.  So we also had plenty of days in June where I was all, "Eden and Ila, let's watch Bubble Guppies for five hours straight!" just so we could all lay on the couch together, James asleep on my chest.

Sometimes I have to share him though.  One month in, and Eden and Ila are still head over heels for him!  Eden likes to hold him.  Ila likes to hug and kiss him while I hold him, and as a former pacifier addict, she always makes sure he has his paci.  At the first sounds of fussiness, Ila shouts, "HE NEEDS HIS PACI!  HERE'S ONE!  I HAVE ONE!"  And she comes running with a pacifier and shoves it into his mouth.  Sometimes she tries to shove it into his mouth even when he's perfectly fine and completely asleep.

I taught Eden the pure joy of having him sleep on your chest.

He smiles already.  I KNOW HE DOES, DON'T TELL ME IT'S JUST GAS!  Because he smiles at appropriate times!  There are so many mornings when I take him out of his bassinet and hold him and say, "Good morning, James", and he just breaks into a little lopsided smile.

He pretty much spent his first month sleeping, but here's what we have so far:

likes: bathtime, nursing, being held
dislikes: not being held

haha!  He's a cuddly one.  We've spoiled him rotten, and he wants to be held!

He is handsome and snuggly and perfect.  Happy 1 Month, James!

 left: one day, his sisters thought he needed to be surrounded by all his stuffed animals  
right: day of his two week check-up

 2 weeks old

 He and I spent many afternoons this month sitting in a chair by the pool while his sisters swam.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

When James Was Born

My SON, James Kyle, is one week old today!

When Eden and Ila were both one week old, I sat down to write all about the day they were born.  So now it's James's turn.

I'm always a complete wreck when my babies turn one week old.  I've been crying for two days.  I'm just always so sad when we start to leave our newborn bubble behind.  I love the first few days SO MUCH!  I actually even love being in the hospital, and I'm always sad when it's time for us to leave.  It's the place where I met them, spent their first nights with them, fell head over heels in love with them.  My heart has broken three times as I've walked out of the rooms where for three days and two nights I spent my life completely surrounded by all things newborn baby.

A couple of weeks before James was born, I picked a blue shirt out of Dustin's closet and told him it's what I wanted him to wear the day James was born.  It's now washed, and I cried when I hung it back up in Dustin's closet... heartbroken that the day James was born is now in my past instead of my future.  The day before he was born I had my fingernails and toenails painted blue, as did Eden and Ila.  Eden and Ila's polish is now completely worn off, and my fingernail polish is chipped.  After James was born and we were settled into our new room, Dustin went to the giftshop and brought me back flowers.  I put them on our kitchen table when we got home, and now they are dry and faded and droopy and dying.  Yesterday I started crying because of my chipped fingernails and dying flowers.  Again because it's just a reminder that I'm getting farther and farther away from that magical day he was born.

My mom came down the day before he was born.  She stayed at my house with Eden and Ila while we were in the hospital and then stayed a few more days while I got settled in with three kids.  She left yesterday, and I about lost it.  I cried and cried and cried last night.  Because her leaving means it's time to get back to real life.  And I know that's GOOD!  I know it's time to officially start my life as a mom with three kids.  And I'm excited and happy, and really, I just feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world to have these three perfect, amazing kids!  BUT!  I love my newborn bubble.  I love the first few days.  I hate leaving it behind.

But let's start.

James was born on June 1st.  Exactly one week prior, on May 25th, I went in for my regular check-up.  During the routine ultrasound, they saw that the cord was wrapped around his neck.  The doctor didn't want to deliver him YET since I was only thirty-five weeks at the time, but she wanted to get him out SOON because of the cord.  I freaked of course, but she was confident that he would be okay for a little bit longer because I had so much fluid around him.  Her plan was to give me steroid shots to help develop his lungs and then deliver him in one week.  I got a shot that day in the office with instructions to come back the next day for another shot and to go to the ER immediately if I felt a decrease in his movement.  TALK ABOUT TERRIFYING!

Naturally I freaked out by the very next morning when I hadn't felt him move for a few hours.  I ended up in labor and delivery at the hospital, hooked up to monitors, only to feel him start moving shortly thereafter.  It was actually kinda embarrassing, although my doctor assured me I did the right thing and to come back if it happened again.

We had a follow-up appointment on May 31st to get another ultrasound and check on our boy to see if we still needed to deliver early.  May 31st was our 9th anniversary, and I wouldn't have wanted to spend it any other way but with Dustin at the doctor's office, making the official plans to meet our son.  Sure enough, the ultrasound showed that the cord was wrapped not once, but twice.  So yes, they wanted to induce me the next morning!

Dustin and I went to lunch for our anniversary, bought a bottle of whiskey (more on that later), hit up the grocery store so we'd be prepared when we came home from the hospital, and I went and got my blue manicure and pedicure.  We got home that evening, and I painted Eden's nails blue (Ila wanted to wait until my mom got there to paint hers!) and spent extra, extra time putting them to bed that night.  My last night with just my girls.

We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 in the morning.  Just like the drive to the hospital with both Eden and Ila, I spent the hour drive both crazy excited and crazy nervous about what I was fixing to have to do!

When we got to the hospital, they put us into Delivery Room (lucky number!) 13.  I changed into my hospital gown and spent the longest time staring at the little baby bed/warmer thing that was in there. Knowing that in a few hours, that's where my baby was going to be weighed and cleaned and swaddled.  The little hospital hat was already laying there, and it was just so surreal to think that it would be placed on my baby boy's head soon.

Even though we had to be at the hospital at 5:30, it was almost 8:00 before we got the show on the road.  First they had to do lab work on me, we filled out paperwork, answered hundreds of questions about my health, etc.  But finally, after what seemed an eternity, we got started.

I mentioned in my posts about when Eden and Ila were born that my labors go FAST!  Pregnancy is not my friend.  It never has been, and ESPECIALLY this go round.  This was a HARD pregnancy on my body.  BUT!  My body is seriously amazing at labor.  Before they started the pitocin, I was already dilated to a three.  About thirty minutes after they started, my doctor came in to break my water, and I was already at a five.

While the doctor was in there, she asked me if I wanted the epidural.  At first, I wasn't going to.  I didn't like it when I got it with Ila, and my plan was to try my hardest to go without it.  So I told her I was going to try to go without it for as long as I could.  She informed me that I wouldn't have time for that and that if I wanted it, I better get it right then because I wouldn't be in labor for long.  Then she told me that they weren't sure if I was going to be able to have the baby naturally.  That we were going to try, but with the cord situation, it might end up in a c-section.  Well as soon as she told me that, I thought, "Oh hell no!  I'm not about to labor naturally AND possibly end up in a c-section too!"  If there was a possibility of a c-section, I wanted labor to be as pain free as possible!  So I told them to bring on the epidural.

Well of course, you can't just get the epidural immediately.  First they have to pump you full of fluids.  So I labored on while I waited for the IV bag to empty.  And I started panicking that I wasn't going to make it because those contractions were coming hard and fast.  I would watch the clock across from my bed to time my contractions and then glance up at the IV bag to see how much was left and then panic because the math didn't seem to be in my favor!  And for all my "I'm gonna do this labor naturally" talk that I had before June 1st, once you're actually IN labor, it's a different story.  And you get to a point where nothing else in life matters EXCEPT GETTING AN EPIDURAL.

Lo and behold, I got my epidural in time!  Just in time, because about thirty minutes later, it was time to push!

And on June 1st at 10:36 am, James Kyle entered the world and changed my life forever.

And because the labor went so quickly and because it only took pushing through three contractions to get him out, everything went smoothly, and they slipped the cord over his head as he came out, and it wasn't an issue at all!  Dustin was even able to cut the cord.

He weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 inches long.  And he was the handsomest little fellow I ever did lay my eyes on!

 I cried for the longest time after they gave him back to me.  I couldn't stop!

We laid there skin to skin for about an hour.  It was magical.  I nursed him for the first time.  I stared at him.  I kissed his face.  I told him "Happy Birth Day" and "I love you" over and over.

After a while, we were moved to our new room, and then Dustin got to hold him for the first time.

After he was born, we called and texted everybody to let them know, and we told all of the parents and grandparents to come around 4:00.  So we had a couple of hours to relax and enjoy him and hold him before everybody showed up.

Soon, everybody started trickling in, but there were really only two people I was interested in seeing! :)

To say they are over the moon about their new little brother would be an understatement.  One week later, and they're still fighting over who gets to hold him!

When Eden and Ila were born, we toasted to them with champagne.  I knew Dustin was not going to be okay with champagne for his boy though.  After we found out that he was going to be born on June 1st, I asked him what we were going to toast to him with.  I knew exactly what he was going to say.  "Whiskey."  So the day before he was born, Dustin bought a bottle of whiskey to take to the hospital, and my mom brought the cups.

Everybody who came to the hospital had to take a shot of whiskey (as has everybody who has come to visit us at home since he's been born!)

Eventually everybody left, leaving just me, Dustin, and James.  Our little trio.  This is the part in Eden and Ila's story where I ended the post, saying how wonderful the day was and how happy I was as I drifted off to sleep.

However, if I were to end this post on James's first night in the world, it would go, "and then he was taken from us and put into the NICU because he couldn't regulate his blood sugar."

Because that's exactly what happened.  Between my gestational diabetes and him being born just over three weeks early, the poor little guy just couldn't get that blood sugar under control.  In addition to nursing, we supplemented with formula, but to no avail.  He had to go to the NICU and get an IV.  I was devastated of course.  Devastated that they had to put a needle into his teeny hand.  Devastated that he would be away from us on his very first night in the world.  And stressed of course that he was having problems.

They wouldn't allow me to be there when they placed his IV, and when I was allowed to go back, it was heartbreaking to see my tiny baby with tubes and wires coming out of him.  I went back and forth all night long to nurse him... I nursed him every three hours... And it went like this:

-get to NICU at 11:45 so I could be there when they took his vitals and blood sugar
-start nursing him at 12:00
-nurse for about thirty minutes
-hold him for about thirty minutes
-go back to my room to get my vitals taken
-go to the bathroom (which, if you've given birth, you know is a HUGE production)
-go to sleep around 1:30
-wake up at 2:30 to walk to the NICU and do it all again

And on and on and on for two days.

He never did get to come back to our room.  He stayed in the NICU up until the day we were discharged.

My doctor came and discharged me bright and early on Saturday morning.  At that point, we didn't know if James was going to be discharged or not.  His blood sugar was good by then, but it was just a matter of how fast they could wean him off of his IV.  I was completely freaking out about the possibility of him not being discharged with me.  I begged my doctor to let me stay another day if he had to, but insurance wouldn't allow it.  There was no way we were leaving that hospital without him, so we were prepared to set up camp in the NICU, but around noon, they told us that he was going to get to go home!

the nurses setting James free of his tubes and wires!

It was the best feeling in the world when they handed me my baby back, and THIS time I didn't have to worry about tangling up wires or being careful of his IV! :) :) :)

We packed up the last of our things, I dressed him in his going home outfit, and we said "Adios, Houston!"

 Eden picked that onesie out months ago, and I had it monogrammed.  The hat is one of the things I bought the day I found out he was a boy and wanted to surprise Dustin.

With Eden, Ila, and now James, before we go home, we always stop at my Pops and Granny's house so that they can meet their great-grandchild.

 and my grandpa's nurse, Carmen, and my Uncle Harold

Finally, late that evening, we arrived home.  Where two little girls came bursting out of the house to meet our car.  And then climbed in the car to see him because they were too impatient to wait for us to actually get him out!

get used to it, James!

And then we put him in the bassinet for his first night at home, and my heart was so full I thought it may burst to be home and have my three babies all under the same roof.

blowing him kisses and telling him "goodnight"

And life is grand, and my heart still feels like it may burst from being so full, and we've had the best week! 

My heart still hurts to leave our first days with Baby James behind though.  Part of me wishes I was still in the hospital with him, sitting in his NICU room, holding him in the middle of the night, feeling like we are the only two people in the world.  It sucked having him in the NICU during our whole hospital stay, but I will forever cherish the memories of my late night walks down the hallway to his room, unswaddling him, and holding him to me.  I can picture us now, in the chair in the corner of his room, just me and him, with monitors and beeps in the background.

But I know that we have some AMAZING days ahead of us.  I was pregnant for nearly nine months, and I've held him in my arms for seven days, and I still can't believe that I have him.  My little bonus baby.  I feel like the luckiest girl to get to start over and do all of this again.  The newborn days, him curled up on my chest.  First smiles and giggles and steps.  And to have Eden and Ila by my side to do it with me.  It brings tears to my eyes right now to just imagine it.

James Kyle, you have brought so much joy to our lives in such a small amount of time.

By the way, my dad and Dustin's dad are both named James, and Dustin's middle name is Kyle.  So my little James Kyle is named for both his grandfathers and his father, and I think that's just the coolest thing ever.

all of the Jameses 

And now it's my favorite part of the day... the part where I climb into bed and let my newborn lay on my chest.  Life is good.