Dylan’s newborn photos

From a photographers standpoint you want to take newborn photos sometime in the first 11 days of their life, before they start getting any baby acne, dry skin or become too alert and it gets hard to do those sleepy pictures.  Well the first 11 days of Dylan’s life were kind of chaotic and full with us being sick and the whole remodel/move thing.  I kept trying to pick a date and something would come up and we would postpone it, again and again and again.  Finally, after we actually moved, I was determined to get these pictures done before Dylan was a month old.  So on his 3 week birthday our wonderful photographer came over to our house about 10 minutes before the flooring guy arrived to start laying our hardwood floors.  They both worked around each other and got the job done, so now we have some beautiful pictures of our newest boy and a few with big brother too!

wDylanNB_058fv 8DylanNB_002-4fv 8DylanNB_009-2ev 8DylanNB_008-2cv 8DylanNB_075fv 8DylanNB_060-2fv 8DylanNB_069dv 8DylanNB_072ee 8DylanNB_056ev 8DylanNB_026-2bv 8DylanNB_021-2dv 8DylanNB_034-2f 8DylanNB_030gvAnd since the flooring was not installed and the entire house was concrete we couldn’t move our furniture in, except in two of the bedrooms where we had carpet.  So the only place we could all sit together for a picture was on the blow up mattress we were sleeping on until the flooring was finished in the master.

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Month One

The first month was such a blur.  Dylan was so good through it all.  He rarely cried, except when you changed his diaper, he choose to let the world know he was alive and well during those diaper changes, regardless of what time of day or night it was.  I found myself silently apologizing to our neighbors during those middle of the night diaper changes.  During that month a nasty sickness went through our household.  The day we came home from the hospital with Dylan, Jacob started throwing up.  He never had a fever, runny nose, cough, etc…just every time he ate or drank something he would throw up.  That lasted for about a week with him. Just a couple days after he started getting sick, I got it.  It only lasted for 24 hours with me.  Then Justin got it, he had it for a while.  Then my mom got it and it was only 24 hours with her.  Then Jake got it again for 24 hours.  It was a vicious cycle of sickness, and for people who very rarely get sick, it was quite a curve ball thrown at us in the middle of our remodel/move/newborn baby life.  During that time we were also taking Dylan to his check up appointments.  The doctor was concerned at first because he didn’t seem to be gaining back the weight he lost as fast as he would have liked.  Dylan was 8 lbs 3 oz at birth and at his first check up 3 days later he was 7 lbs 11 oz.  His second check up 4 days after that he was 7 lbs 6 oz.  Then 3 days later at his next check up, it started going back up when he weighed in at 7 lbs 9 oz.  Although the weight loss is completely normal at the beginning, I think maybe Dylan may have had a touch of the sickness that was going around, and all the stress with the remodel/move, it took a little longer to get a good nursing routine down, so it took a few extra days for him to start packing on the pounds.  Two weeks after he was born (and the day we moved!) Dylan had his circumcision and he weighed 7 lbs 11 oz.  A week later at his circumcision follow up appointment he had gained a pound and weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz.  His doctor was very pleased with his progress and said we didn’t have to come back until his 2 month check up.  Through all of this Dylan was a trooper!  Since the day he was born he has been proving how strong he is, his pediatrician noticed the same thing.

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I love this picture of my boys snuggling the day we came home from the hospital.

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After Dylan’s first bath

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He has never been a fan of being swaddled and has been sleeping like this from the beginning.

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The first few weeks are just a big cycle of sleep, eat and poop, with some brief moments of alertness and smiles.  I am not one to take pictures of poopy diapers or breastfeeding so here are some of my favorites of him sleeping, snuggling or awake.

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I know it was pretty ambitious of me to take weekly photos of Jacob during his first year, and I am so glad I did.  It is fun to look back on those pictures and see the gradual change in him.  My mom asked me if had planned to do the same for Dylan.  “Yes, I am!” was my reply.  So I started the weekly pictures. I kept the same giraffe but replaced Jacob’s blue elephant with a brown woolly mammoth for Dylan.

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Mother’s Day

This year Mother’s Day was extra special with the arrival of Dylan just 3 days before and my mom was still here and my Aunt Heidi and grandma came over to meet Dylan and spend the day with us.

IMG_4077edIt was not anything fancy, just a day spent together, with some yummy snacks, a little champagne and the joy of seeing Oma with her newest great grandson.

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I’ve learned a lot from my mom and grandma over the years, growing up.  But now that I am a mom myself I really appreciate these women for who they are and all they have done and I couldn’t ask for better role models.

IMG_2656edI can only hope that I will be as good of a mom to my boys as they have been.

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Dylan’s story

It is kind of crazy how drastically different the stories are about how our boys came into this world.  With Jacob, everything was new uncharted territory for us, there was a lot of anticipation and wondering about the unknown.  This time around, I felt more confident and knew what to expect having been through the labor and delivery process before, except I didn’t, because it was completely different.

On April 30th I had a check up with my OB and I was telling her that I was ready to have this baby and my time with my mom here to help was running out.  So we talked about being induced if he didn’t come by his due date.  We looked at her schedule and called the hospital for availability and scheduled an induction for May 6th (3 days after my due date).  I left that appointment feeling better since we now had a plan, if nothing happened before, then I knew that we would be having a baby on the 6th.

A few days later on May 4th, the contractions I was having were getting more intense and more frequent.  I was one day past my due date and I wanted to get checked out and see what was going on.  So Justin and I went to triage and they were pretty busy, but we didn’t have to wait too long before getting checked in.  They hooked me up to the machines and monitored me for an hour.  I was 2.5 cm dilated and was having contractions every 3-5 minutes, but they just were not doing anything.  The nurse told me that I had the option to walk around for 2 hours then come back and see if anything changed, but at that moment I was not in “active enough” labor to be admitted.  We didn’t want to waste time walking around the hospital since I was doing plenty of walking up and down the stairs at home and walking around during all of our errands.  So we went home.

The contractions continued, on May 6th, induction day, I got a phone call at 6:00 am from the hospital telling me that they were so busy and instead of coming in for my induction at 9:00 am, to call them at 9:00 am to see what time I should come in.  When I made the call they told me that they were full with women who were in active labor and I was put on standby but not to expect any availability before noon.  By then I was getting frustrated because “my plan” to have this baby kept getting delayed.  My OB’s office called and said they were working with the hospital to see what they could do to get me in.  As the day went on with no increase in labor and no phone call from the hospital telling me to come in for my induction, I started realizing that it wasn’t going to happen that day.  At 6:00 pm my OB’s office called to tell me that my induction had been pushed back to Friday, May 8th.

The good thing about my induction being postponed was the next day I was able to go to the Mother’s Day brunch at Jake’s preschool!

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I even got my big belly in the teeny tiny preschool chairs and had quiche, fruit and bagels with Jake while admiring the place mat, coffee cup, and crafts he painted and made for me.  Then after realizing I had a miscommunication with my cleaning lady and she was not coming that day as we thought, my mom, Justin’s mom and I cleaned our house before we had to go back and pick Jake up from school.  See what I mean about the whole walking/moving around vs resting up for baby…there was no resting going on.  That night after dinner I had some spotting and my contractions were still going at it, so Justin and I went back to triage.

After getting checked out and monitored, I was still only 2.5 cm dilated and my contractions were the same, just not progressing.  This time they were not as busy and since I was past my due date the doctor wanted me to stay at the hospital and walk around but she didn’t want to admit me to labor and delivery yet.  So we were told to walk around for 2 hours and come back.  I was ready to have this baby and didn’t want to go home only to come back the next day for my induction, or run the risk of them calling me to tell me not to come in for my induction because they were busy.  I had my foot in the door and I was not taking it out!  So we walked…we went up and down every hallway, we looked at all the pictures on the wall and read all the plaques next to the pictures.  We explored the “Suzy’s Zoo” artwork on display in the hallway leading into the NICU, which reminded me so much of my Grandma since she used to write notes to me on Suzy’s Zoo cards all the time.  Since it was late, the coffee cart was closed and when we asked the reception desk if there was somewhere Justin could get a cup of coffee they said there was not.  When we were walking away, one of the ladies ran after us and said she would get Justin a cup from the doctor’s lounge, another point for Mary Birch, we love this hospital!  We rode the elevator between floors and smiled and nodded at the same people we passed countless times.  As we walked we talked, it was kind of nice since Justin and I rarely have 2 hours of uninterrupted time, away from home and all the distractions to just talk.  Twice we stopped to sit down and rest, my back was killing me.  After the second time we sat down it was about 10:15pm and we got up to walk out the last 15 minutes of our 2 hours and my water broke! Hallelujah!  I was so happy and we quickly made our way back to triage.  After getting changed and hooked back up to the machines, they checked me and said I was still only 2.5, maybe 3 cm dilated.  We started the admitting process and they took me up to Labor and Delivery.  Justin’s parents arrived at our house to take over with Jake and my mom came to the hospital.  Since the contractions were still tolerable and I was not that far dilated I decided not to get the epidural right away.  We turned off the lights and laid down to try and get some rest (finally that rest that everyone keeps talking about!) Only it wasn’t too restful for me…It wasn’t long before my contractions started getting stronger and more intense.  Finally I told Justin to get a nurse because I was in pain and wanted the epidural.  The nurse checked me and I was 7 cm dilated, she told me that the anesthesiologist was tied up in a double emergency cesarean section and would not be able to get to me for another 30-45 minutes.  At that point my contractions were coming fast and furious and shortly after I felt the intense need to push.  I told my mom to get the nurses again and when she opened the door they were all huddled around my monitor outside the room waiting, they knew it was coming.  They came in and bustled around the room getting everything ready.  I kept thinking, no you can’t get things ready yet, I haven’t had my epidural yet!  Then they started coaching me through the pushing process.  After a few pushes, one of the nurses told me that his heart rate was dropping with every contraction so they needed to get him out asap and she left to get the doctor.  Then the anesthesiologist walked in and I was never so happy to see anyone in my life.  He apologized that I had to wait and said he heard I wanted an epidural and I said yes!  Before he could say anything else the lead nurse walked in and said, sorry no time, the doctor is on her way and we are getting this baby out now.  The anesthesiologist wished me luck and reassured me that I was in good hands and left.  I looked at Justin and my mom and said I don’t want to do this without an epidural! But I really didn’t have a choice.  I don’t remember all the details after that since it happened pretty quickly.  But basically the doctor showed up, she attached a suction cup to his head and after a couple of pushes, he was out.  The cord was wrapped around his neck, that is why his heart rate kept dropping.  From the time I started pushing to the time he was born was only 30 minutes, it felt a lot longer than that!  They put him on my chest and we snuggled for about an hour and a half before they took him to check his stats.

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Before the doctor left she congratulated me saying that I was part of an “elite group” to have a baby naturally, I don’t think I responded to her, I was in shock. Looking back on the process, I am kind of amazed at what happened.  It was not my choice to have a delivery without an epidural, but it really was not as bad as I thought it would be.  Of course at the time I thought this was the worse it could get, I was scared, in pain and everything was happening so fast and I was screaming. In fact, I do remember yelling “get this baby out of me!” during one of my contractions.  And Justin was convinced he was going to have to see an orthopedic surgeon to repair his hand.  No matter how many times he tried to get me to hold on to the rails on the bed or the nurses were trying to get me to grab my thighs when pushing, it was his hand that I had a death grip on. If I had gone into this wanting to do a natural birth, I’m sure it would have been completely different.  I probably would have taken the classes that teach you about meditating and focusing on something (other than your husband’s hand) and breathing techniques and I would have felt more prepared.  Then maybe it wouldn’t have been the frantic frenzy that it was.  About a week and a half later, when talking about my delivery, I remember the word that my mom and Justin used to describe it was intense…That it was…but it was all so worth it…

The result of all the waiting, the contractions, the walking, the intense delivery was the perfect addition to our family.  Dylan Luke was born on May 8, 2015 (on a rainy day, just like his brother) at 4:57am.  He was 8 lbs 3 oz and 22 inches long.  All 10 fingers and toes and a healthy set of lungs.  He is such a blessing and we are in love with this little man.

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Since Mary Birch was so busy the past few days with all those babies being born, they didn’t have any overnight rooms available, so we ended up at Sharp Memorial next door. We were quite the parade of orderlies, nurses, me in a wheelchair holding Dylan, my mom and Justin with all our bags walking through back hallways, underground tunnels between the hospitals and staff elevators to get to our room.  That evening, my mom brought Jacob to the hospital to meet Dylan.

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The next morning Justin’s family came

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I was recovering nicely and Dylan was doing well so we only had to stay one night. We had a checklist of tests and and things that needed to get done before we could leave, including the hearing test, which Dylan passed with flying colors (thank you God!)

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After getting our discharge checklist completed we went home, to the other crazy part of our lives, packing up our house, sickness and moving…More on that to come.

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If there is one thing I’ve learned about my body after two deliveries is after my water breaks, things tend to happen really fast.  And after this time around, IF we decide to have a third (that is a BIG if) I’ve learned not to wait to get the epidural after my water breaks.  Of course things would probably be completely different that time around too!

And I leave you with more pictures of our sweet boy.

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40 Weeks

I never dreamed I would go past my due date.  The old wives tales always say that you are late with your first babies…Jacob was 11 days early. So I assumed I would be early with my second as well.  We had it all planned out, my mom booked her flight to come 2 weeks before my due date to ensure she would be here in time, Justin was telling clients during meetings that he was “on call” and would have to excuse himself if I called, we had the diapers stacked up, hospital bags packed, babysitting arrangements made for Jake and we were ready should he decide to come early.  But God and baby had other plans…my due date came and went, and they decided he would stay snuggled in my belly.

Those last few weeks of my pregnancy I had a lot of pain, there was so much pressure and it was really hard for me to wrangle Jake and get him in and out of the car, I couldn’t even pick him up. I ended up getting down to his level when he wanted to be close to me, then I had a hard time getting up off the floor!  I was so thankful that my mom was here to help with the heavy lifting (Jake)!  I was having lots of Braxton Hicks during my 3rd trimester which turned into contractions during the last few weeks.  There were a lot of them, but no consistency to them.

The remodel on our new house was underway (I will do another post about the house).  Justin, my dad and crew were breaking down and rebuilding our house.  Everyone kept saying to me, I hope you can get some rest before the baby comes. I laugh when I think about that time! Instead of sitting on the couch with my feet up, visiting with my mom, enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, playing with Jake and “resting”, my mom and I were running around like crazy trying to get as much done as we could before the baby arrived.  We picked out flooring, paint, cabinets, took endless trips to Lowes and Home Depot and took meals over to the new house to feed the crew.  As well as doctors appointments, dropping off/picking up Jake at preschool, packing up our house and making endless phone calls, emails and lists.  The entire time through those weeks I kept thinking it would be any day…any minute…every time I would have a contraction, and I was having them often at this point, while driving, walking down the aisles of Lowe’s, while eating, etc… I would think, okay, is this it?  It rained a couple times during those weeks and Jacob was born on a rainy day, so whenever it started raining I would wonder if that would be the day?  And he actually was born on a rainy day! This time it was past my due date, not before.  Random strangers in public kept asking me when I  was due and when I told them I was X number of days past my due date, their eyes got big and it seemed like they got nervous around me like I was going to go into labor that very second.  A cashier at Home Depot practically ushered me out the door when she found out I was 3 days past my due date, she was telling me how the employees there are very helpful for lots of things, but delivering babies is not their specialty!

Even though it was really hard and uncomfortable, it was nice having that bit of extra time to get things done for the house before he arrived.  As usual, God knew what he was doing.  I just never dreamed I would go past my due date…

Here is the last belly shot, at 40 weeks.

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