Friday, June 13, 2014

4 Years

May 26th marked our 4th wedding anniversary. Are we still newlyweds?? Not sure but these 4 years have flown by we still feel like newlyweds! With Christian being born 4 days before (2 kids in less than 4 years??) it made for a crazy time but we managed to get out to a fancy dinner in the North End with the help of my mom. I'm just going to admit that I totally value a fun fancy dinner. I love the ambiance and the obscure different foods you are able to try. And... having never been to one of the nicer Italian restaurants in the North End it was a new adventure dabbling into the finer cuisine that area has to offer. I love you Montavious my Boo with all my heart. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mothers day weekend 2014

Mother's day weekend was quickly commandeered by a last minute camping trip with some great friends. The Klomps are leaving us soon (I don't want to talk about it) and we wanted to squeeze one more last minute camping trip in. So with spotty weather we drove 1.5 hours to Northwestern Mass to Tully Lake. It misted the friday night but wasn't very cold, the next day the sun came out and it was nice weather but the bugs came out, sunday it was sunny but the wind picked up (which blew away the bugs). All small things that didn't put a damper on the trip. We had a great time being in the great outdoors all together, enjoying birthday cake oreos and movie candy, watching Beau gather firewood and build our fires and listening to Nick Smith tell stories of when he was "mackin on chicks". 

 The campsite was great because instead of having dirt everywhere, there was pine needles which made for soft landings for a wobbly Tenny and less clean up for me!

 Morning Beauties. We camp with our air mattress. Tennyson did pretty well sleeping with us in the tent. I was worried about not having him in a pack n play. I learned quickly that he is a very active sleeper!

Pretty sweet setup

 Saturday morning breakfast

 Sly baby Geo

 On Saturday wee did a quick hike to some beautiful waterfalls. The Smith's dog Bear fought off all of the wildlife.

 Playing baseball at the campsite.

The ladies went on a "beaver hunt" up the river where we saw various beavers and their homes. Katherine and I needed a lot of direction from Elise on how to paddle a canoe. Very embarrassing. While we were out the men made our tinfoil dinners which was lovely.

 The men also made us breakfast on Mothers day morning. 

After we loaded up and headed home we decided that we couldn't miss the annual Lilac festival at the arboretum. We hopped in the shower and drove down to the festivities and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Bear the dog was a celebrity and we literally couldn't walk 2 feet without someone stopping to ask us to take a picture of her. 

The weekend was packed but it was a lot of fun spending so much time with quality friends!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Christian Jens Jewkes

Am I really writing another birth story? Do I have 2 kids?? This is crazy business. My pregnancy with Christian has been different in a lot of ways compared to Tennyson's. For starters we found out at 18 weeks that our new little one had a condition called Gastroschisis. They didn't tell us during the ultrasound but I could see it on the screen and knew that something was up. When I received the call that confirmed my suspicions I was devastated. After having to go through what we did with Tennyson at such a young age and all of the work that it takes for us to get pregnant I felt cheated and a lot of fear. More on that later.

It was also different in that I was much more uncomfortable the last half of my pregnancy. My belly felt tight, my back hurt and I was exhausted by the end of every day. This pregnancy also went by 100x faster than Tennyson's. I feel like it was just yesterday we found out I was pregnant and 8 months and a zillion doctors appointments later we are now a family of four. 

So now for the birth story. Because I love birth stories. Oh and it's a long and detailed one.
I had been told that if I didn't deliver on my own by 37 weeks that I would be induced. This is because Gastroschisis babies typically slow down in growth and don't do as well inutero after 37 weeks. I was surprised that I would be able to deliver this baby vaginally rather than a c-section due to his condition and was thrilled with this information. Dealing with a sick baby and taking care of my toddler while recovering from a c-section was something I desperately wanted to avoid. I was going in for monitoring 2 times per week and things looked stable but the little guy was swimming around in all of my amniotic fluid and was in a different position every time I had an ultrasound. The latest was breach which meant c section. So with about 2 weeks left before induction I was trying everything I could get my hands on to get this baby to flip and stay head down. This included yoga poses, flashlights, music and even homeopathic sugar beads. I was desperate. 

On Tuesday May 20th I got up went to the gym and did the stair stepper. On the way home I stopped at Whole foods to get a homeopathic remedy for a breach baby I had read online called Pulsatilla. I went home and placed a few beads under my tongue in hopes of a miracle. Then when Tennyson got up from his nap we headed to Walden Pond with a few friends to soak up the sun. On the drive there I felt my first real contraction. It felt more like a cramp but it was something I hadn't felt yet in my pregnancy so it had my attention. I felt a few more of these pains at the pond but nothing even remotely painful just more of a sensation. After Walden I got the urge to take Tennyson to Kimballs farm for some ice cream as it would probably be the last time for the summer and definitely the last time when it was just us two. We stopped by Beau's work on the way home to eat some dinner (because I was so over cooking at this point) and then headed home for a bath. I was still feeling achy so I finally put Tennyson down early and laid on the couch.

The next morning the 21st I woke up and the contractions were gone yay! I wasn't sure if I could stand those for a whole week. We met up with Mary and Marjorie Staples for a brisk walk around fresh pond in the morning which was greatly needed. I love getting up early in the summer time to exercise. Afterwards we headed to home depot to get a few moving boxes so I could continue packing up our stuff in preparation for a move at the end of June. The day proceeded uneventfully. Tenny took a nap while I made bread and laid down. Around 3 we headed to a park for Ladies group (a weekly play date) and it was fun seeing so many friends. While we were there I discussed my contractions with a few friends and was asking if braxton hicks could be painful. Chasing Tennyson around the park just made me feel worse. The aching was starting to be a little more than just uncomfortable so we headed home. We had a dinner of homemade bread and jam (yum) and once again I put the little guy to bed early. poor thing. I was exhausted and knew that if I wanted the pain to go away I needed to lay down.

I was laying on the couch when Beau came home from work. I started to time the contractions and they were all over the place- 5 min, 20 min. Definitely braxton hicks.  I was supposed to go to a flower crown making party that evening in preparation for a photo op the next morning but I just knew that if I started walking around again the pain would come back. So I shot out an email to my friends explaining how I could not muscle through "these gnarly braxton hicks" so I would have to miss out. I headed to bed around 830 and passed out. I vaguely remember having dreams about having contractions but was not woken up from the pain until 5 in the morning. At this point I was well rested but was so confused as to why they hadn't gone away like they did the night before. To the bathtub!

Here are a few of the pictures from the pregnancy photo shoot I missed. Christian was born 1 hour before these were taken. How adorable are these ladies? Love them all to pieces.

How "Now and Then" is this picture? And this is only 9 of the 12 of us who were all pregnant this summer.

I filled up the bath and decided to relax until Tennyson woke up. I turned on an episode of Psych on my phone while starting the timer to time the contractions. After about an hour in the tub they were around 4 min apart lasting 30 seconds. They were definitely bearable but I had a feeling I was in labor. Luckily I had a dr. appointment scheduled for 830 that morning so whatever was going on I would figure it out then. I got out of the tub and woke Beau up telling him I thought I was in labor but that I would just wait till my appointment to go to the hospital. We got Tennyson up, I fed him breakfast, got him dressed and started gathering things up. Luckily I had thought to pack a hospital bag a few nights before when the contractions started just in case. Around 730 I started having to stop and pause during contractions but I still kept questioning whether or not I was in labor because they weren't excruciating and they didn't last longer than 45 seconds. Meanwhile I was having Beau time them for me while we both ran around getting stuff together. Every time one started I would yell "GO!"  and then "STOP" when it was over. They were coming in at 3-4 minutes apart still and slowly getting more intense.

Beau called the hospital and we waited for the on call doc to call us back. I didn't even know which floor to go to but my contractions were getting to the point that I knew we had to get going. So with Tennyson in tow Beau hauled all of our bags down to the car and I quickly waddled close behind eager to get there before another contraction hit. I got in the backseat next to Tennyson in his car seat while Beau drove and simultaneously called friends to see who could meet us at the hospital to take Tenny. Luckily he got a hold of our friend Elise who got there just a few minutes after us. On the drive to the hospital I was hunched over during contractions breathing and trying not to moan. Every so often I would look down at Tennyson and he had the most concerned and confused look on his face and I would burst out laughing. What on earth was mommy doing??? Well lo and behold as we were driving to a major medical area at 8 in the morning we hit traffic and I was dying! I kept telling Beau to go around people and break the law but there really was no where to go on the narrow Boston streets. So after an exceptionally long drive we made it to the hospital ran up to the 8th floor and checked in. Almost immediately after we got there Beau had to run Tennyson down to Elise so I was on my own as they took me back to triage.

Beau insists on taking pictures of me while I'm in labor

The nurse had me change into a gown and then lay on the bed while she checked to see how dilated I was. After looking around for a while she concluded she couldn't find my cervix and that I must still be pretty posterior. I was so bummed. Here I thought I was super far a long in labor (although I had been questioning myself) and it turns out I wasn't even close to having this baby. I asked if she wanted to check again and she said she would get another nurse to check. A few minutes later a different nurse came in, checked me and immediately stated that I was fully dilated. She added I had a "bulging bag of water" but.....the babe was breach. While I was relieved that I was farther along than initially stated I immediately broke down. How could he be breach??? I started sobbing and saying over and over that I could not have a c section. As Beau began calming me down the nurses went to get an ultra sound machine to confirm. After they left I jumped off the bed and demanded Beau give me a blessing that I wouldn't have a c section. I don't know if the nurse was wrong or if the baby really did turn but I did feel some movement and when they did the ultrasound the baby was head down. Miracle of miracles!

They took me from the triage room to the delivery room and began hooking me up to all of the monitors. Thankfully I didn't have to have an IV so no pokes this time. My nurses this time around were much nicer and understanding of letting me stand up and be in whatever position I needed to during contractions. I was asked if I wanted an epidural and I was like no way! I've gotten this far (fully dilated) on my own I'm finishing this thing. Weirdly enough my contractions this go around weren't as painful as with Tennyson. Not sure why that is but I'll take it. I laid on the bed and they broke my water and man was there a lot of water. They had to change the disposable pads under me 4 or 5 times because there was so much fluid and during every contraction afterwards more would come out (too much detail???). The doctor checked the station of the baby and decided he was at about a 0 and I wasn't having the urge to push yet like I did with Tennyson. She asked if I wanted to try pushing to see if I could move him down. Sure! why not? The next contraction I began pushing and he moved down quickly. When the next one came I pushed again and couldn't stop. The ring of fire is a real thing! With some yelling on my part and frantic requests from the doctor to stop pushing because the NICU wasn't there yet, Christian Jens Jewkes came launching out like a rocket (according to Beau).

 I looked down to see my baby screaming his head off and was overcome with emotion. Last time I felt much different, maybe it was the shock of it happening so unexpectedly in Maryland, but this time I immediately started crying uncontrollably. A sympathetic nurse next to me kept saying "just let er rip, cry all you want, get it all out" Embarrassingly enough, during the video Beau took of the baby at the warmer you can hear me in the background still sobbing and moaning.

After the NICU team checked out the baby's bowel and everything else seemed to be in order, they brought him over to me. This was the greatest moment ever. I knew immediately I was his mother and he was my baby forever and nothing could ever change that. This was really important for me because for most of my pregnancy his identity to me had been his diagnosis. It consumed all of my thoughts and brought a lot of fear. It was hard for me to see beyond it to the fact that at the end of all of it I would have a baby and it would be a really great and wonderful blessing. I understood that when I held him and almost completely forgot about everything that I had been planning for and worrying over. He was so much more than a baby with Gastroschisis.

After I held him they took him to the NICU, Beau following, and all of the sudden I was alone. I said a prayer of gratitude that everything had gone well and tried to relax. It was such a weird feeling to have dozens of people around you with all of their attention focused on you one second and to be totally alone in silence the next. About an hour later that nurse came in and said she would take me to go see him downstairs. I couldn't wait! I got to hold him one more time before they transported him over to Boston Children's hospital (100 yards away from where I delivered). I felt like I was going to pass out standing next to his warmer but didn't want to say anything that would shorten the time I could stand there staring at him.

 I'll end my story there. It was another wonderful natural birth experience that I hope is some indication of how the rest of my deliveries will be. I'll leave all of Christians health documentation for another post.

Christian Jens Jewkes 
9:03 AM
5 lb 3 oz

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pregnancy Documentation

Oh just a few more pregnancy belly picks to finish off my documentation. I was soooo much bigger and more uncomfortable this time ( I did have polyhydramnios which I'm hoping contributed to it). Thank heavens for early babies!

 30 weeks

31 weeks

32 weeks

 33 weeks

35 1/2 weeks
 I delivered 5 days after this pic was taken