Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{Blakely}: One Month

Hard to believe it's already been one month...well, more like 5 weeks (tomorrow).  This little love bug is exactly what we prayed for, and has been the biggest blessing to our family.

At one month, she loves:

  • Eating.  She's exclusively breastfed, and eats every 1.5-2 hours during the day.  She stretches this to 3 hours when she's napping (usually a long one mid-morning and a long one mid-afternoon, though she still sleeps most of the day in cat naps).  
  • Sleeping.  Like I said above, she sleeps most of the day, but we're starting to see patterns/routines in her sleep.  Hopefully soon we'll have a defined nap time in the morning, afternoon and evening, but I won't complain.  She's a pretty easy baby and goes with the flow.  She also gifted us with a full nights sleep this past week, sleeping from 11:15-6am.  I about died when I woke up and realized what she had done.  It was nice to get a full night's sleep!  She hasn't done it since, but gives us 4-5 hour stretches from 11'ish until 4'ish!  I'll take it!
  • Smiling.  She's such a happy baby, and loves to look around and smile at anyone in sight.  She is really good at holding her neck up, and can lay on her stomach and lift her head to switch positions or look all around her for long periods of time.  She's definitely stronger in that regard than Knox was.  She loves to see what's going on around her...guess she'll be nosy/social like me :)
We don't go back to the doctor until 8 weeks, but I can tell you that she's chunky and long!

I took a few pictures in the same chair that we took Knox's monthly pictures...can't wait to compare the two as their year progresses!

Everyone got in on the photoshoot...and just for comparison, this is the shot I had when Knox was one month.  Not a great one to compare anything with, but the next few months will have him in his chair to compare with hers!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The New Normal

Coming home with Blakely was interesting.  While waiting to be discharged Friday morning, my mother-in-law called to let me know that Knox woke up in the middle of the night with a fever.  Instantly I was sad for him, because it would mean he would miss his Valentine's party at school, but I really didn't think anything of it.  I advised her to administer Tylenol or Motrin and to let me know if anything changed.  She reported later that he woke up and was acting normal and the fever seemed to be gone, so I honestly forgot about it.

Once we were discharged and got to the house, I went looking for him to give him hugs and let him see Blakely again.  My father-in-law said he was in bed, that he asked to "go lay down."  This is NOT normal behavior, he never wants to rest.  When I went to check on him, he was on fire.  I immediately checked his temperature and it was 103.5.  I panicked.  Not only was I extremely nervous and scared for him, but what do I do with a newborn in the house?  I called the pediatrician, and they advised we bring him in immediately.

At this point he was really bad.  Picking him up "hurt him," and he didn't want to put on shoes because his "skin hurt." Poor guy.  No other symptoms, just the fever and lethargy.  I texted Stephen the entire time he was at the doctor, worried for my little guy.  I had my first "break down," at this point.  It was the first time I couldn't be there for him...I had to stay back with our other baby.  I know I'll have a million more of these situations, but it hurt.  They tested for the flu and strep, and both came back negative.  After the doctor listened to his lungs, he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Apparently this is the "best case" scenario as far as contagious illnesses go with a newborn, so we were thankful...though that sounds weird.  He was given an antibiotic and sent home.  By the next morning he was back to his normal self...so strange!  We kept him away from his sister for a week or so, just out of caution, and that was pretty difficult.  But all in all, we managed and everyone is healthy and happy now!

Now, for the pictures!  Blakely's first few weeks at home have been great.  She's such a good baby, and goes with the flow rather easily.

We've been on many walks:

Seen quite a few dream/gas smiles:

Knox has given her all of her baths so far...he loves to help:

He also played "doctor" at our first check-up:

She's been to Home Depot and watched Knox do the Kids Workshop:

Tried to nurse her brother:

And melted our hearts:

Her second check-up went great, and we won't go back until 8 weeks for her shots:

More bath time:

She hates tummy time:

Knox helping again:

It's been so fun finding our new "normal," and it already feels like she's always been here!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Blakely Marie is here!

Blakely Marie Dotson
2/12/14, 10:54am
8lb 3.5oz

We arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning at 6am.  I wasn't induced with Knox, so I wasn't sure what to expect, however I definitely didn't expect for them not to have my paperwork or know I was coming in.  After a few minutes of standing around, they advised we go on up to Labor & Delivery and they would handle my paperwork later.

Once upstairs, they let me in my room and asked for me to get into my gown.  At this point it was 6:30am or so, and the nurses were beginning to prepare for their shift change.  The nurses still on duty planned to administer my IV and pitocin, and then the day nurses would take over from there.  I've never been a huge fan of needles.  Going through IVF will change you, though, as I was injecting myself numerous times a day for weeks on end.  However, for some reason my body never seems to cooperate with IV's, and for this reason I was a bit apprehensive.  Ok, a lot apprehensive.  I didn't sleep A WINK the night before in anticipation of the IV.  Really, you say?  Well, sure enough the nurse prepares my arm and I already feel like I'm going to pass out.  They get me ice chips, Stephen starts fanning me, and I'm fully reclined.  When I feel like she can begin, she sticks the needle in. The BIG ONE.  Why didn't she deaden it?  No bee sting?  Then she starts talking out loud: "I thought this was a good vein.  I might have missed it.  Oh, looks like I hit a valve.  Let me see if I can make it happen still.  I'm sorry I'm hurting you.  Let me see if this is it.  Nope, I'm sorry.  I'm going to have to start over."  All of this can be described as KATIE'S WORST NIGHTMARE.  

I'm in tears, seriously in pain, and nauseous.  I ask her why she didn't deaden it. Her reply is she "doesn't like those small needles."  Um, I do.  So she went to get the other nurse.  Said nurse comes in five minutes later, and within seconds has deadened my arm and the IV is in.  Hallelujah.  I told her I wanted to kiss her.  It was awkward for a moment, but I didn't care.  It was done. 

Once the IV was in, she started the pitocin drip.  It was well after 7am at this point, and my new nurses were on duty.  They checked me and I was 6cm, and having semi-regular contractions.  Nothing out of the ordinary, I'd had contractions since 25 weeks.  This was easy.

My doctor came in around 8:15 and checked me again.  Still around a 6, so she broke my water.  Though extremely uncomfortable, it was nice to know that things would start happening.  It was now 8:30am, and we just had to sit and wait to see how my body would progress.

9:15am and I wanted an epidural.  Seriously, 45 minutes.  I had high hopes that being so dilated walking in it might go so quickly I wouldn't need drugs.  No go.  My doctor mentioned that I would go from nothing to active labor once my water was broken, and she wasn't kidding.  The REAL contractions started almost as soon as my water was broken and were intense from the get-go.

9:45'ish, epidural was in and I was feeling great.  Or was I?  Some parts of my legs were numb, but not all.  One leg was more numb than the other, and contractions were still noticeable.  I called the nurse in at 10:00 and asked if she would check me.  I just felt like there was a lot of pressure.  She wanted to wait until an hour had passed from the epidural to check me, so she told me to wait until 10:45, unless I was in intense pain or felt the urge to push.  

I held out until 10:30, and then called her back in.  The pressure was really intense and I knew that something was happening.  She came in to check me, and sure enough I was complete and she thought it was time to push.  When she came to meet me that morning and go over all of my information, I let her know that Knox came after only a few pushes.  To test my theory, she asked me to give a test push to see if she should call the doctor now or wait until it was time.  I pushed and she immediately said, "Call the doc."

My doctors office is attached to the hospital, so Dr. Schneider was there in minutes.  At 10:40 she arrived to start setting up the room/my bed.  I had invited my mom and mother-in-law to stay for the birth if they wanted, and both stayed.  Once my doc was ready, she told me to push.  Almost immediately Stephen exclaimed, "I can see her hair," and the doctor told me to slow down.  She wanted me to go slower, and the fact that I could feel most everything made this a lot easier...well, more manageable.  At the next contraction, I felt her shoulders come out and then seconds later, at 10:52, she was here and immediately brought to my chest.  We all hedged bets on her weight, and my doctor won.  EIGHT pounds.  Holy cow...2 pounds heavier than her brother :)

The entire birth experience was amazing.  I couldn't have asked for a better doctor and team of nurses,  and having Stephen, my mom and MIL there made it so special!  

Knox was at school while this was going on, and once he was out he came up to meet her.

I was overcome with emotion the second he walked through the door. Everything had forever changed, for the better, and I couldn't wait to share her with him.

He was slightly timid at first, then quickly warmed up.  He was smitten!

Knox picked out a gift for his sister:  a kitty cat hat and a baby doll.  

She knew exactly what he would want, too:

He was so excited to get his spidey costume!  He'd been asking for it for some time!

The grandpa's were excited to meet her, too!  

This picture of my dad makes me so happy...an answered prayer, in the flesh.  A sweet miracle baby!

And all three dads:

Over the next few days, we had lots of visitors.  Family and friends came by to see our sweet Blake, and she had a quite a few outfit changes, too!  We were so excited to learn that she was a good baby...not a lot of crying, latched on and found breastfeeding pretty easy, and slept like a champ.

We were discharged on Friday, Valentine's Day.  

She wore the same outfit home I did 32 years before:

So meaningful.  So perfect.  So blessed.

Now the real fun begins...starting life at home as a family of four.

This didn't begin without any drama, though.  Right when we walked in the door, Knox and Daddy left to take him to the doctor.  He was running 103 fever and severely lethargic.  Diagnosis:  pneumonia and orders to steer clear of the baby.  Needless to say, we started the "real fun: with a bang!

Up next:  our first few days home!