Our little Cowboy is already a month old. It’s hard to believe that he is changing and growing so fast! He is 9 lbs, 13 oz and 22 inches long. He’s just starting to smile a little bit and can track you with his eyes (and a little with his head.)
He’s starting to grow out of the newborn clothes. This is my only baby to grow out of those clothes in a timely fashion! Butterfly never wore them, and the boys were in them for several months. He does not sleep well unless he is sleeping next to me or in my arms. He almost always calms down the minute I pick him up, which is soothing for me (and him!)
We still wonder what color his eyes are going to be. Sometimes I think he’s going to stay blue eyed, sometimes I think they will go hazel like the others. He looks SO much like Professor that it would be nice if he stayed blue eyed like Professor is.
I love how portable he is at this age. Honestly I can put him in the wrap and he sleeps. I can do pretty much anything but sit down with him! He’s been only a few places like the grocery store and Butterfly’s school once or twice. I’m trying to limit his exposure to germs as much as I possibly can because he’s so little.
I’m working on his birth announcements and this is what I’ve done:
I think it’s probably my nicest one! If you are lucky enough to get one from me in the mail, I hope you enjoy the picture on the back too!
Baby #4, Cowboy
It all started about 4:30 in the morning on January 7th. I sat bolt upright in bed because of a pain or heart burn or something. Maybe a little of both. It was pretty common for me to be up half the night with some kind of pain but in the back of my mind I thought this was different. I laid back down and dozed until 5am, when I was up feeling very uncomfortable.
I hoped this was it. See, my parents were in town and I really wanted to have him while I had lots and lots of help. I had an induction scheduled on January 11th, and I hoped that I wouldn’t make it to that day.
I didn’t have very regular contractions. Mostly I felt horrible cramps. Like menstrual cramps. No matter what way I switched positions, I still felt them. I got up and walked around. I took some pain killers. I kind of puttered in the bathroom. I started noticing a pattern to the cramps and started timing them. They were around 2 min apart and lasting about a minute or so. I had about 20 minutes of that and Juice woke up.
By this time, I knew this was different. The pain killers did nothing to touch the cramps. I felt awful. My doctor at my last appointment told me not to wait to call. If I had contractions for more than half an hour, to call them.
I told Juice that I thought he should stay home. I decided to take a shower and see if the contractions and the pain went away. It didn’t. I got dressed and put all of my stuff into the hospital bag while Juice got ready. Still not very painful contractions, but these horrible cramps. I started noticing that the tops of my thighs were started to ache. I called my doctor. He said to come on into the hospital and get checked out. It never hurts to be looked at.
I was 38 weeks and 3 days. I had Butterfly at 38 weeks and 4 days. And the boys, I had at 36 weeks and 6 days.
I had breakfast and said goodbye to the kids. I was going to stay and make sure that Butterfly got off to school around 9am but I really just wasn’t feeling well. Juice said we should go sooner rather than later so we left.
We got to the hospital (time unknown, I really wasn’t thinking about the time) and headed up to Labor and Delivery. They were expecting us. I signed a bunch of forms. I got my ID bracelets and they asked us to wait in the empty waiting room.
About 5 minutes later, a triage nurse came and took us to triage. I got undressed and they hooked me up to the monitors. One showed that the baby’s heart beat was good. And the other showed my contractions. Or my lack there of. I was sure they were going to send me home. I still felt pretty horrible, lots of cramping but nothing really showing up on the monitors as a real contraction.
I answered a bunch of questions, including how dilated I was at my last appointment. Which was Wednesday the 2nd. I was 2 centimeters. They checked me again and this time I was 4 centimeters! They said they were going to keep me and moved me into room number 2.
There, I had all my monitors hooked up again, and answered a bunch more questions. Mostly about the baby and what my plan was. They asked me about 3 times if I wanted the epidural and I said I would think about it. I got a few more bracelets and an IV. (I HATED this IV. They put it in the side of my wrist and it ached every time I moved my hand. Which was a lot.) They left me to labor a bit. The nurse came back in and adjusted my monitors so I would get credit for the contractions that I was having. Since they weren’t showing up on the monitor and I was feeling them. The cramping was getting worse but nothing I couldn’t handle.
My doctor came in (same one I saw on Wednesday! Yay!) and we discussed my plan for labor. My contractions were still very, very mild. And not terribly regular. I wanted the doctor to break my water and see what happens from there. I didn’t want pitocin. I wasn’t sure about the epidural still. She said she was fine with that and got out her stuff. It was about 10:40am by then. She broke my water (which hurt, not the water part but the getting the hook in there part) and frowned. Both her and the nurse looked at me and the doctor said she knows she broke it. No water was coming out. (Honestly, I had been wondering if I’d been leaking fluid for a few days…no conformation on that though.) She had to break it again and pushed on my belly after. A small gush came out. Followed by regular little gushes as I had contractions.
It’s game time. When I had Butterfly, the doctor broke my water and I had her only a few contractions later. They did the same with the boys. I was expecting things to start moving. So was everyone else. So when nothing really happened, the doctor left and the nurse too. I tried to relax. Juice took a nap (a tiny short one, lucky) and I turned the music on my phone so I could think of something. About 10, maybe 15 minutes into it I started hurting. The contractions were finally starting to get regular and hurt! I just kept telling myself “down, out, down, out, down, out” with each contraction. Pretty soon my breathing and shifting woke Juice up.
I made him come over to my right side and hold the baby heartbeat monitor onto my side. I wanted to be sitting up. It was the only comfortable position. Sadly, they don’t want you sitting up because it’s hard to monitor the contractions and the baby. So Juice’s job was to hold the monitor on my belly and make sure that they can still monitor the baby while I sat up and tried to manage the pain.
I remember feeling like I couldn’t do this. I remember thinking that this was normal and that I was probably in transition. (Yay for reading and watching a ton of labor stuff before!) I started to shake. I KNEW I was in transition. The nurse came in and tried to talk me into an epidural but I knew it was close and I couldn’t wait for the epidural to kick in. I started to have contractions back to back to back and the nurse asked if I wanted to be checked.
The doctor walked in at that moment and said that she would check me. It took me about 4 contractions to be able to roll over onto my back to be checked. I was complete and ready to push. Then it took me about 4 MORE contractions to respond to that. I remember saying that I didn’t want to do this. A lot.
I had a small break in the contractions and they convinced me it was time to push. I asked if I could lay on my side. Really, I wanted to sit up but being on my back hurt way worse than being on my side. They said sure. It was awkward, laying on my back. They kept trying to push my legs out farther than I was comfortable. And I lost control. Lots of pain, lots of screaming (yes, screaming) and lots of crying. I think I only pushed on my side for a few contractions. They kept counting to 10 to help me and I totally ignored it. I pushed when I was ready, and for how long I could. The doctor told me if I rolled over on my back we would have the baby.
I remember having to steel myself to roll over. It hurt. A lot. And when I did, they kept trying to push my legs back. And I kept wanting to arch my back away from the pain. It HURT to be on my back. Finally, I decided, “Let’s get this over with!” and pushed as hard as I could.
Then, the contractions stopped. I had been having stair step contractions back to back, where I didn’t get a break in between to re-center myself. The pain just kept coming and coming and coming and building and building. I could feel his head crowning but it wasn’t painful. I suddenly could take a breath and realized what was happening. Then I felt the contractions come back and I pushed as hard as I could. His head was out. Then the next contraction the rest of him came out with a whoosh and a HUGE gush of water came out with him. It was 12:27pm.
They put the baby right onto my chest and I looked down at him. Boy did he look like Professor! I got to hold him for a few minutes and they took him to the warmer to get him wiped up and weighed. (8lbs, 3 oz which is what I weighed when I was born, and 20 inches long)
Juice took his picture.
The placenta came out in one big whoosh and I felt so much better. It really is amazing that once that is gone, you feel great. I guess it was a big placenta too because the doctor said so. She said she had to give me one stitch. She asked if I would rather have some local to numb the area, but it would be two sticks. One stitch, also sticks. I chose just to do the stitch and have it over with.
I started shaking really bad again at that point and they brought the baby back to me. They brought me a few more blankets and covered me up. They gave me a very cool bracelet that would play Braham’s Lullaby when the baby got close to me. They gave Juice his bracelets and I started shaking again. We did some skin to skin and they piled the blankets on. I think every house should have a blanket or towel warmer. A totally frivolous thing I would like to put on my Christmas list.
Juice and I looked him over, and he started sucking his thumb! So adorable.
I let Juice hold him for a few minutes and then they wrapped him up to be moved over into the other rooms. He got to push the bassinet and I got a wheel chair ride.
This was my longest delivery yet. Butterfly: 2 hours. The boys: 4 hours. And him, they count it from the time of my first contractions (I say about 5am) till he was born. So 7 and a half hours. But really, from the time they broke my water at 10:40 till his birth at 12:30 was only about 2 hours. This has been the only birth I’ve actually gone in to labor on my own. The other 2 were inductions. So I think it’s okay if it’s a little longer than the others! Plus, I had no pitocin, no interventions (other than breaking my water) and I seriously felt great after. Shaky, and a little light headed, but I like that I could get up to go to the bathroom if I wanted and I could walk only a few minutes after birth.
We decided on his name (email me if you want to know, I won’t mention it here) and Juice decided he disliked Buckaroo for his blog name. So we switched it to Cowboy and it fits him much better. Welcome to the work baby Cowboy!
PS- More about the hospital stay later. I have A LOT to say on that subject.
Baby #4, birth stories, birthdays, Cowboy
For reasons unknown to me, I keep avoiding the blog. I keep opening a new post window, only to leave it there for days. In ways, I feel buried behind in all the information I need/want to put on here. In ways, I’ve just gotten out of the habit of posting. I’ve also got a ton of warnings and things that don’t work on here. I don’t have time/money/patience to fix all of them.
So. Instead of talking about all of that, let’s talk about the baby!
Poor 4th baby. I feel a little bad about how little I’ve talked about this kid. With the boys (still kind of annoying that I feel like I have to pick out a new nickname for Pirate and Professor, I don’t want to say twins) every single doctor’s appointment was documented. And I went a lot. With Butterfly, I have all of her doctor appointments documented too, and a lot of her firsts written down. This baby, I think I’ve talked 3, maybe 4 times? Poor kid.
I keep hoping that it won’t be important to him as an adult and that the mommy guilt I feel won’t last.
Let’s talk about him right now though! I see him bouncing in my belly as I type. He is the most active kid I’ve ever had. Pirate and Professor were calm. This little guys bounces and rolls and wiggles and flutters.
I’m measuring right on track. My doctor’s appointments are a 4 minutes of weight (scary), blood pressure (semi high), belly measure (right on track), concerns addressed (heart burn, minimal swelling), and sent on my way. Seriously, this is the most boring pregnancy I’ve had.
Which is good I guess. Boring is good. Boring is normal. Boring means I don’t have any scary complications and can expect a healthy baby in early January.
I did have an ultrasound a few weeks ago that said that he was measuring very big. Like, around 5lbs when he should be around 3lbs. And that his legs and his belly are measuring way over 95th percentile for other fetus’s in his gestational age. Now, they said the boys were going to be bigger than they were, so I’m taking this with a grain of salt. And scaling it back a pound or so.
He’s head down, and hopefully will stay that way. I have a big fear that he is NOT head down a lot of the time, but we will see when the time comes.
I think we have settled on a name, but we are waiting to see the kid to know that this is the name.
As for me, I’ve had a lot of heart burn. That is killer! It’s the worst when acid shoots through your nose in the middle of the night with no prior warning. Yuck! Between that and waking to pee every 2 hours, I’m getting very little sleep. Oh I sleep during the day just fine. In fact, I could sleep all day and be happy. It’s night that I really struggle with. I often lay and ponder troubles and then wake myself up even more. Sometimes I can’t get comfortable and end up crying in frustration. Sometimes my legs are so restless that I have to get up and pace the house in the dark, hoping that I don’t get eaten by aliens or step on those stupid crickets that show up.
Let’s just say that nights are awful, days are increasingly uncomfortable and I am ready to have a baby in my arms that I can actually put down. Or give to Juice to hold for awhile.
I’m so looking forward to meeting this little miracle of a baby. I want to see what he looks like. I want to know if me and Professor are going to be the only ones with blue eyes in this family. I’m anxious to see how having a singleton after twins is going to be. I want to do something along these lines when the kid is born: http://www.etsy.com/listing/105937178/horse-hat-and-diaper-cover
And I’ll let you in on a little secret…I think we’ve picked out his blog name. Buckaroo. Since he is the one that has spent the most time at the barn with me and probably could recognize a horse’s neigh over all the other animals, we thought this would be fitting.
Next up in my photo stream is our annual trip to Assateague Island. This year we were able to take our friend Lavender with us. (She died about 3 months later.) We only spent one day instead of our normal 3-4 due to a mix up in lodging. But it didn’t mean we didn’t have an awesome day!
We didn’t spend any time anywhere else but the beach. But we did stop and see the ponies. Because what is a trip to Assateague without the ponies?
Getting to the beach is always an adventure. This year, the kids (with me and Lavender in tow) ran right to the water and jumped right in. Leaving Juice to do the heavy stuff.
We had a ball in the water. The boys thought it was a little cold. But still, this was the first year that they wanted to be in the water more than out of the water.
You can see our little beach tent with Lavender in it in the background.
Juice took Butterfly way out and tried to get her to body surf. Basically he picked her up by her life vest and tossed her into the waves. She was so water logged and happy!
We drug everyone out into the deep water and had someone take a picture of us bobbing in the waves outside of the breakers. Professor was NOT happy about the breakers. And then, not happy about being far out. He wanted to go!
Right after lunch I took a nap. Or I should say that I was SLAMMED with sleep. (Remember, I’m about 8 weeks pregnant here.) We have a little beach tent that I mostly made it into before I slept. But my legs were not all the way in the shade and they burned. Bad! Lavender kept me company while Juice played with the kids in the sand.
The day was very long (we left around 5am and didn’t get home until after midnight). But it was worth it! Can’t wait to go again next year!
Assateague, Baby #4, beach beach
You know, it’s been about 5 years since I’ve had a newborn. 5 whole years. And in those 5 years, a lot has changed. Oh I saved all of the boys (going to have to get a new nickname for them…) clothes. And baby gear. And stroller. And car seats. I was set! The only thing I had to think about buying was warmer baby clothes. See, the boys were spring babies. And this is baby will be a winter baby.
But then I started researching things out (because that’s what I do) and did you know that car seats expire?! And that mine, the one that we got for Butterfly as an infant, is probably expired. Makes me just a little bit sad because I have pictures of all of the kids in that car seat. I suppose I can keep it to take pictures of the new baby in it before I do something with it.
So. All of a sudden I need a new car seat. Hey, guess what else changed? My states car seat laws. In Maryland, you now need to be rear facing from newborn till 2 years old. Wow, that’s a huge change! Especially since my kids are long.
I mean, by 10 months old, I’m criss-crossing their legs to fit them into the seat. Long kids. How am I going to fit them in the car rear facing until they are 2?!
Enter the Graco SnugRide Click Connect- 40.
photo credit: sitsgirls on flickr because I didn’t take any pictures. I was too busy gabbing.
This car seat is the only seat on the market that is designed specifically for kids from birth to 2 years old, rear facing up to 40 pounds. It has an 8 point harness and an adjustable base to give the baby the most comfortable ride in the car. And not only is it the most adjustable for comfort, it’s also very safe!
- Engineered and crash tested to meet or exceed U.S. standard FMVSS213
- Side-impact tested: in addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable U.S. safety standards, the SnugRide Click Connect 40 has been side-impact tested for occupant retention by the harness system
- EPS, an energy-abosrbing foam, for effective impact energy management
If you’re interested in seeing more about the seat, you can click here. Babies R Us has an awesome video that shows all the cool little things that this car seat does. I’m really excited to see our new little one in it on our way home from the hospital, and for the next two years.
The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40– the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.
Plus, I had an awesome time at the party thrown by Minky.
Baby #4, Review, reviews
So last night was my very first uncomfortable pregnancy night. I woke up at 3 (ish) and tossed and turned. I finished a book. I pulled the covers away from Juice (at least 3 times) only to toss them away again. I had 2 leg cramps and pulled my round ligaments just by laying still. There was also a bout with heartburn that I was stubbornly ignoring and failing. I finally fell asleep around 6am, only to be woken up by a screaming Professor for his barrel of monkeys. 20 minutes later.
Did I mention that I was coming down from a super nasty cold/flu thing? Fever, chills, aches, sleeping, snot, etc.
I am not at my best today.
Here’s a few (wordy) highlights from our past weeks because I’m just too tired to upload anything.
- This wonderful surprising baby of ours just keeps surprising us. Latest surprise? It’s a BOY. I thought for sure it would be a girl. Nope. Surprise! Thrilled, but a little sad too. I’ve taken my woes out on Butterfly and bought her a ton of clothes she doesn’t need. Hey, if I’m going to have one girl to buy clothes for, I’m going to live it up!
- Next surprise with Baby Boy. No name. Seriously. With all the other kids I had a name picked out right away that just felt right. Now, I have no clue. I have a few that I’m pondering, but nothing seems like THE name. You know? Name suggestions can fill my inbox…now.
- I never felt the need to “nest” with Butterfly and even the boys I felt maybe I could do something but was on bedrest and not allowed to. This time, it’s hitting my HARD. My current obsession is ripping up my entire bottom floor of the house and putting in new floor. Can’t be that hard, right?!
- We’ve done the annual Labor Day Parade.
- My dad came into town and we spent the day at the county fair with him. I think I got more of a kick out of watching him ride the rides with the kids than anything else.
- Things are slow on the job hunt. But we’re starting to count down in months the termination of his job. He’s had several promising interviews but no job offers. We could use your prayers and thoughts on this matter. Desperately.
Baby, housing improvement, visitors, and jobs. Oh my.
Baby #4, county fair, Juice's job
We’ve been having a lot of “oh right!” moments in our house lately.
I feel sick and tired and bloated and awful? I feel like I’m pregnant.
Our kids are finally able to travel nicely on the airplane. We did not have a screaming baby.
This is the first year we’ve been to the parade without a stroller. I kind of miss it’s pack horse capabilities!
Why am I waking up AGAIN tonight?
We haven’t bought diapers in months! This is awesome!
When you take out the stroller from the van, you have so much more room in the back!
We are going to do xyz or whatever next year! Wait…
Why did we think this was a good idea?
It’s been awhile since I’ve joined in Cheryl’s Way Back When-sday meme. I thought it might be fun to revisit some of these pictures.
This is Pirate’s ultrasound. I love his profile (that I can see who he is now in it) and his bent up legs. Man they really didn’t have much room in my belly!
And Professor with his beautiful round head. I can also see him in his profile.
This is one of the very first pictures of Butterfly. She is less than an hour old. Look at all that dark hair! I never knew that I could have a kid with lots of hair. She still has it.
Now wait a second? What is this?! I’ve represented all 3 kids, right? So what is this?! Is this what I think it is?
Oh yes. It is.
You know, after years (and years) of infertility treatments, you CAN have a baby without doctors helping. Huh. Who knew? It’s like…Magic.
PS- Due mid January (the 10th-18th, and I’ve had several days stated in that time frame) and I guess I’m around 20 weeks. Yes, I know I haven’t talked about it anywhere. It kind of caught me for a loop, you see. No idea if it’s a boy or a girl yet. I’ve got about 2 more weeks till my big ultrasound. Only one baby. I promise. They’ve checked. Twice.