Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Resolutions

I've been a little behind blog-wise, and I apologize. We're still adjusting to 3 kiddos in the house...However, this is what I'm hoping to accomplish weekly, as far as the blog is concerned.

Monday: Meal Plan Mondays, featuring a new recipe as well as our weekly meal plan.
Tuesday: Do It Yourself Tuesdays (or some kind of craft, kid project, or something like that)
Wednesday: Wordless Wednesday, because it's easy!
Thursday: Free day, a busy day with MOPS and other co-op things, so may not have many posts this day.
Friday: Preschool wrap Up

What do you want to see this year? I have a couple giveaways planned in the upcoming weeks/months!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Life as a NICU Mommy

Bringing #3 to the NICU was one of the most emotional experiences in my mommyhood career to date. It's not the top one, we'll get to that. #3 went to the NICU just one day after birth.

The doctors wanted her to be on antibiotics for monitoring because they have NO IDEA why her leg swelled. The leg that swelled was the leg that she got the Vitamin K shot in, a normal routine shot ALL newborns get. Who ever heard of a baby being allergic to vitamin k? So they started antibiotics, meaning she had to have an IV in. Sad. But doctors are doctors and somewhat know what they are doing, however I've learned to always ask questions and make sure I know why they are doing what they are doing and being and advocate for my children!

On Sunday I was ready to be discharged, but I waited until #3s really late feeding, I fed her, then I went home with Pastor from the hospital, WITHOUT my baby....empty carseat, empty crib. By far the HARDEST moment of my life. Being home, recovering from having a baby, and not having her home. Hard. Yes I know I still had her, she was just in the hospital. However it wasn't planned and we have NO IDEA why she was there.

They started treating her for cellulitis. Thinking maybe that's what it was. Her right leg was still very swollen, about 4cm larger than her left. It was just crazy. So Monday came and I was up at the hospital for 5 out of her 8 feedings a day. I needed to nurse her and love on her. It was exhausting. I was tired from having a baby. Tired from being up at night pumping to get my supply in. Tired from moving. Tired. Period.

Monday came and went. It was a long day. #3s godmother came to see her this night (and take me home from the hospital) and that night we noticed that the outside part of #3s leg was bruising, but not right at where she had the shot, lower on her leg.

 Hmmm, interesting I thought. I noted it. I came back Tuesday morning, fed her, read on our new tablet, talked to the nurses and doctors, and enjoyed her. By #3s 1030am feeding I noticed bruising on the inner thigh of her right leg. Hmmm very mind boogling. On Monday the doctor had told me they wanted to "rule things out" and so I "demanded" an xray be done. (Note: Pastor and I requested an x-ray on Sunday to see why her leg was swollen but we were rejected because we were told it was most likely fluid and that wouldn't show up on an x-ray.)

I called the doctor and told her that in my family history we have OI (osteogenesis imperfecta). She immediately agreed to the x-ray and things moved incredibly fast. They did the x-ray on #3s leg and found something!
Turns out #3 had a metaphyseal bucket handle fractur, looks something like this. (Note this is not #3s actual xray, this is just an image I pulled from google). Hmm, now how in the world did she get a broken leg. Did it happen during birth, in uetro, afterwards. It's all a mystery. Do you want to know how this type of break normally happens? It's most commonly found in child abuse. Yes, child abuse. My heart SANK when I heard the doctor told me this. Had we went home on Sunday with #3 instead of going through the antibiotics and then bring her back to the doctor when we saw the bruising on her leg, the doctor said that CPS would've been called....what! Are you kidding me! So, how did this happen you ask. We'd love to find the answer out, and we're still searching. The part that confuses everyone is that she never acted (and still hasn't) like she was in pain. She's our WARRIOR PRINCESS!

We continued antibiotics in the NICU for 7 full days. They didn't cast or brace #3s leg because of where the fracture was.

We got to take #3 home on December 1st, caring for her gently and watching her. Since, she's been happy, healthy, and seems to be growing. We're going to be going to get her genetically evaluated for OI, to rule that out (or in, whichever God decides). Stay tuned later in January we'll find out what will be happening.

It was a whirlwind of a week during our stay in the NICU. I cannot say enough nice things about the nurses there. They treated her like she was there own! I am so thankful for them.

Her first week of life was nothing like I expected, but I'm thankful now that she's home!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

#3 Birth Story

So, this post as been in my mind for a long time now. #3 is now a month old, however she's only been home with us for a week less than that, so 3 weeks. Her first days of life weren't the easiest, for anyone, especially myself. Here's a little glimpse into her "birth story".

On November 23rd at 3:15am, my alarm went off, however I didn't sleep more than an hour or two that night. I was anxious to meet our newest little person for our family. I took a shower that morning, knowing it might be my last shower for a good day or so. I kissed #1 and #2 goodbye (they were peacefully sleeping) and we were off to the hospital. My parents were here so they stayed with the "big kids". We got to the hospital a little after 4. I was prepped for my scheduled c section. #1 was an emergency c section after a long 14hour labor, and #2 was scheduled because she didn't come by her due date, so #3 was scheduled a week prior.

I got into the operating room, had a spinal (which is by far the worst part because Pastor couldn't be there with me, because the room had to be completely sterile. I kept asking for Pastor, every 3 minutes. I didn't want him to miss anything and it seemed like they were starting without him. Needless to say, my OB (who sends his child to the school which is part of our church, so we "know" him) got Pastor in there right away.

It seemed like it took FOREVER for them to get #3 out. It was the longest of all 3 c-sections. #3 was VERY high up. They had trouble pulling her down to get her out. They had to use the vacuum (but not long enough where her head was misformed, that happened to #2). A nurse also had to push so hard on my left rib cage that she said at one point during the delivery "I don't want to break her ribs". I remember replying, "yes, please don't". After what felt like forever, but was really only 25 minutes, #3 was here!

She was 8lbs 1oz and 21 inches long. Her head was 14cm!

She and Pastor left the OR about 10 minutes after she was born. I stayed there to be stitched back together...which took a LOT longer than planned. I didn't leave the OR until almost 2 hours after they started. Needless to say it's recommended that we don't get pregnant again, due to the previous scaring from the other c-sections! At about 10am (about 3 hours after #3 was born) I got to HOLD and LOVE #3. Pastor and her were quietly waiting in my recovery room watching PBS.

I tried nursing her right away. It was tough, but we were just learning together. She was a sleepy one (still is a very lazy nurser). After that I took a nap and in the late afternoon #1 and #2 came up to meet their new baby sister.

It was a long day. I was REALLY sore. My first c-section was hard in recovery, my second was amazing, this one was well in between. I was expecting it to be super easy, but for some reason it was hard on me. That night Pastor went home to keep a somewhat normal routine for #1 and #2. He came back that next morning. During that night #3 had some blood sugar problems. We ended up supplementing a few feedings with formula because of her blood sugar. It just wasn't stabilizing. After the formula feedings it would go back up, but she kept having dips in her blood sugar. Otherwise she was acting normal.

Saturday afternoon the well baby nursery nurse came to me and mentioned to me that #3s right leg was looking bigger than her left. She wasn't sure why. She told me not to worry, but she was going to call the doctor. By now, #3 had probably had her foot pricked for blood draws for blood sugar monitoring 3-4 times. Saturday night at about 7:45 they came in to do another lab draw for blood sugar and the nurse came in and TOOK HER from my arms to the nursery because they were going to run some other labs on her because of her swollen leg. This is where emotional mommy took over. I was so overwhelmed, not moving the greatest at this point (but yes, up and walking) that the nurse told me to stay in my room and they'd bring #3 back with me. I was alone in my room at the time. No one was with #3 and that wasn't OK for me, but I wasn't moving well so I stayed put. I balled like a little baby. My dad ended up calling me and I sobbed to him on the phone about how they took my baby away, (being way over dramatic probably) and such.

It was a blessing though, while talking to my dad on the phone, I noticed my room was tidy corner to the well baby nursery and I could see perfectly what the pediatrician was doing. He was standing over her crib on the phone, looking totally and udder confused! Great! The pediatrician came into my room and told me what was going to be happening. They were moving #3 to the NICU.

Find out tomorrow about our NICU experience.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Neighbor Christmas Gift

So we give gifts to many people in the church staff, our friends, and neighbors. It amounts to about 25 people total. Its very expensive to buy gifts for them all. Our first Christmas here I made everyone 6 dozen cookies, so that was about 150 dozen cookies. With having another baby, well THAT wasn't going to happen again. We've made maybe 6 dozen cookies this year so far.

So, what did we do this year for Christmas gifts this year you ask? We made Peppermint Cocoa for everyone!

I got this recipe out of a "mixes" book my mom had. It goes like this.
Peppermint Cocoa Mix for a Pint Jar
Ingredients for the Jar
1/2c powered coffee creamer 
1 (2.25oz) Bottle of Betty Crocker Decor or Wilton Red sugar OR 1/3 cup white sugar colored red. 
1/4 cup crushed candy canes
circle of heavy paper
1/3c powdered sugar
1/2c chocolate drink mix
1/2c dry milk

Place ingredients in the jar in this order. Place the circle of paper on top of the crushed candy canes. 
Attach the following for instructions: 
1. Empty cocoa mix into bowl. Remove circle and discard.
2. Blend well with a whisk. 
3. Place the mix back into jar or another container. 
4. Place 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp in 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved. Add whip cream if desired.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kid's Gift

I like to have the kids MAKE a gift for their grandparents. This year we dove into a HUGE project (that I ended up finishing right before Christmas with the help of my sister) that took a lot longer than I had imagined. BUT The finished product is awesome!

We made 39, yes 39, hand prints. One for each month. Then I put them together with a 2013 calendar. I also laminated all of the months so then after the year is over the grandparents have some nice art work to display if they choose. On each month there is also a poem that goes with the picture. Now I did NOT come up with this idea on my own, if you want the poems and closer up pictures you can go here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My apologies

I apologize for the lack of posts. We've had TONS of family coming to visit to meet #3 and help out since I am not able to lift anything heavier than #3 or do any house work (bummer, I know). I hope to get on the ban wagon right after Christmas. Stay tuned to the end of this week for my two homemade Christmas gifts (found on Pinterest of course).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sending Birth Announcements to the White House & Disney

I read a while back you can send birth announcements to the White House and to Disney World/Land. With #3 I'm going to do this! The person who did this before got replies back from both! I'll keep you updated as to what I get back!

To Disney....the address is:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Walt Disney World
1675 N Buena Vista Dr
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Mickey and Minnie Mouse

The Walt Disney Company

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank, California 91521

White House
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Greetings Office Rm 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20500
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