Sunday, March 29, 2009

1 week old

I can't believe Olivia is a week old already. This has been one of the busiest weeks of my life and it has flown by. We started out the week with our baby girl being in the NICU and completely exhausted. Monday Albert's dad left. Tuesday Olivia and I came home. Wednesday Olivia had a doctor's appointment and later that day was put on the bili lights. Thursday Olivia had a blood draw and was taken off of the lights. Friday Boaz had a doctor's appointment and began nebulizer treatments. Saturday it snowed! In addition to all of this, I have been sick and now Albert is feeling a little under the weather. Hopefully this week will be a little slower.

We did venture out to the park today. It was pretty windy, but 65 degrees. I could not stay in the house any longer! Canon rode his new bike and did an awesome job. We won't be able to keep up with him before too long.

A couple of other events that squeezed their way into our week: we moved the pack n' play into our room. I never thought I'd let a baby sleep in our room. Our house is just so small that that seems to be the best place for her. It hasn't been too bad, since she's a pretty good sleeper, but hopefully Boaz will be ready for the big boy bed soon and she can transition into the crib. Our other exciting event is that we made it to the Just Between Friends sale. When Olivia was born on Sunday, I thought the sale was totally out. But, by Saturday, we were looking for somewhere to walk around. So, we headed out to the fair grounds for about 45 minutes just before the sale ended. Everything was pretty well picked over, but we did find a couple of good deals. There shouldn't be anything stopping us from shopping this fall though!

Here's our week in pictures:

^Nurse Bobbie, our NICU nurse who worked so hard to get Olivia out!
^Boaz's nebulizer mask.

^Canon enjoying Daddy being home so much!
My three little ones!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daily Digest 3

Things are starting to settle in around here. I am feeling a lot better and did not even have a coughing fit when I went to bed last night. I don't think I sound like I just woke up any more either. So, that is nice. My uterus is contracting back down to size and about 6 of the cramps hurt so bad last night that I thought about calling the doctor. It was really painful. This morning Albert asked if I was worried there was another baby in there. I said no, that I was worried it was a different organ besides my uterus and something was wrong. Those few in a row did keep me up, but thankfully they went away. My abdomen is hurting from coughing so much, but maybe I'll have great abs again soon! I'm finding that I need to pump to help me function well and this morning I pumped for 15 minutes and got 9 ounces! I always feel like pumping is a competition and gives me great excitement when I'm able to pump so much. Just off of that one "pump session" I could feed Olivia for 4 1/2 feedings or 12 hours! Isn't it amazing that God made our bodies work this way???

Olivia is doing great! We have been given another "easy" baby. I'm sure her dark side will come out as soon as I post this, but she is a little sweety. She's on a pretty good three hour rotation. She only stays awake a little bit during the day. At night she sputters a bit, nurses for like 2 minutes and is back asleep for another three hour stretch. This morning all of us slept until about 7:40 a.m. That is unheard of in the House of Duck, and especially with a newborn! I guess we just all really needed the rest.

Boaz is getting much better! This is such a relief. He didn't even fight Albert to do his nebulizer treatment this morning. He just sat their calmly and enjoyed the smokey medicine. He has decided that we are trying to take his nose off when we wipe the boogers away, but hopefully he will relax about this again soon. This morning he was playing, laughing, walking around and eating again. It's awesome to have our little boy back! I don't know if everyone is like this, but when my kiddos are sick for a couple of days, I forget what they are like normally and think these battles will continue forever. I love the change back to normal!

Canon is great! He has a lot of energy pinned up. Between traveling back and forth to the hospital and crazy winter weather, he has not had much outside play time. This time is critical for my boys. We just all get along better when we can get a little energy out outside. Canon is doing well though. He and Daddy have been having some extra wrestling sessions and we've watched just about every movie we own. Hopefully our movie marathon will subside soon and we can head back outside.

I think that covers us. Albert is still doing great. He has had some special bonding with the boys due to the weather and illness and we both think this week at home has been a real blessing!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Daily Digest 2

Yesterday we received a call around noon telling us that Olivia's bilirubin number was down to 11.3 and we could take her off of the lights. We were to keep the lights here in case her number went back up, but she didn't have to use them!!! What a relief. So, after naps we ventured out to Target for a little walking. We really didn't need anything and would have preferred to just go for a walk, but it was too cold to walk around outside. So, we walked a bit, came home and ate dinner and watched "Finding Nemo." Nothing too eventful.

Yesterday I set up an appointment for Boaz with the doctor. His grumpiness was getting a little out of control. Shortly after setting up the appointment I gave Boaz some tylenol and he seemed to perk up. Several times we thought we should cancel the appointment. I figured I would call first thing this morning to cancel if he seemed fine. Well, our little guy was not so fine when he woke up. Albert took him to the doctor while I waited for the nurse to come and draw Olivia's blood. Come to find out, our little guy has an ear infection and is wheezing. They did a nebulizer treatment in the office and sent him for a chest x-ray. Once they got home, he had a temp of 102.2. So, for the next few days Boaz will be having nebulizer treatments every few hours along with Tylenol and another prescription. Hopefully he will be back to himself soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Digest 1

Things have been a little crazy around here. Here's a little run down of what all we've been up to. I think I'll try to give you a brief update for the next few days, at least until everything settles down. So, here's the first one.

Olivia had a very rough first night at home. From about 11-3 she wanted to snuggle or eat or just have some interaction. Yesterday morning I took her to a doctor's appointment. The pediatrician in the hospital wanted her weight and bilirubin to be checked. The nurse weighed her in at 7 lbs 15 oz. (Later this number seemed to be wrong) Her bili number was 13.1. Nurse Adrian called and said we would have the bili lights brought out to our house. Just for the record, I hate these lights. So, they were set up last night around 6:00 and our little beauty has been tanning her backside ever since. The nurse who set up the lights weighed Olivia, and she was 7 lbs. 6 oz. This morning she was weighed again and her weight was 7 lbs 6 oz again. The nurse did another blood draw this morning, and we should receive the results any time now. Until her bilirubin number goes down, she will be strapped to the lights as much as possible. This is helping us establish a routine, but I hate leaving her on it all the time! I guess we'll just have to make up for lost cuddle time when she gets better.

Boaz got sick in the hospital and has been sick ever since. He is very grouchy during the day and took a very short nap yesterday. We are waiting for him to start feeling better. Boaz was not sure what he thought of Olivia when he first met her. He seemed to be thinking, "What is that? We don't need another one." Since then, he has warmed up to her. He'll walk over and touch her with one finger and give a big smile. This is much sweeter than his first reaction.

Canon is also very sick and grouchy. He loves his baby sister "ibia" and asks about her often. He enjoys checking on her and turning her lights on and off. When Canon first met her, he gently touched her head and could not stop smiling. He offered her a cheerio and has been very loving ever since. He received a big boy bike for becoming a big brother again (Boaz will get his soon) and he loves riding it in the house and outside. It is parked next to Daddy's bike, which Canon thinks is pretty cool!

I have been doing pretty well. My fever broke Monday morning and I have been feeling a bit better each day. My coughing has subsided a bit, but picks up right when I lay down for bed. I have been pumping some, to help Olivia get better quicker, but nursing is going pretty well too. She just is so sleepy that I want to have some idea how much food she is getting.

Albert is the only one who is not sick. He is doing an awesome job of taking care of all of us. I'm so thankful for him!

Here are a few pics to hold you over until the next time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We're HOME!!!!

Olivia was brought to my room yesterday at about 1:30. I was so anxious to see her little cart pushed through my door. She has been a good little baby ever since. She is a little sleepy, so feedings have been a bit of a struggle. Hopefully she will nurse better when my milk comes in. She hasn't had a single issue with her temperature and she passed the car seat test. At OU the test preemies oxygen level while they are sitting in the car seat. We left the hospital around 12:45 this afternoon. We are so happy to be home and feel like a whole family.

In the mean time, both of the boys have gotten sick. I think they caught what I had/have. Hopefully they don't get fevers that last as long as mine did. At least we know they won't be going through labor with a fever! 

I have more pictures, but I'll have to load them up later. Thank you for all of your prayers, please continue to pray for our nursing to go well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

She's coming out!!!

Sweet Nurse Bobbie just came to pick up the bassinet from my room to bring out little beauty down! It seems that it took Olivia about 28 1/2 hours to transition from my womb to the outer world. She was first taken to the NICU because she was breathing so quickly. She was taking about 85 breaths per minute. After her breathing leveled out, they wanted to keep an eye on her blood sugar. She is considered large for her gestational age and they wanted to be sure she does not have diabetes or anything like that. So, after all of the blood sugar numbers came back great, Olivia got cold. Babies do not run a fever when they are sick, they get cold. This is what kept Olivia in the NICU over night. While her temp was low, her white blood cell count went up. This can also be a sign of infection.

I haven't had a chance to talk with the nurse yet, but my best guess is that all of her numbers have evened out. Please pray that she will nurse well and hopefully we'll go home tomorrow. Check back for more pics soon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Baby sister can't have all the fun!

Here's a little glimpse of what our crazy boys have been up to.
^The boys are ready to meet their baby sister.
^Papaw brought some special pjs for Canon and he cannot get enough of them!
^Canon's been wearing an eye patch 2 hours a day to correct some eye muscles.
^Boaz took a great fall. The other day we walked down to see the turtles. The wind caught the stroller and rolled the front wheel off the curb and our sweet boy's cheek met the road. It is totally cleared up today though!

Sneak Peek

Here's another little peek of our little girl. Enjoy!

Papaw got a few good pics of our baby girl too!

Ducky3 Has Arrived!

We are excited to tell you that our sweet baby girl has arrived. Olivia Grace joined our family officially at 5:41 a.m. on March 22. She is doing well but was taken to the NICU to be monitored for rapid breathing. I will update as I find out more.

Here's a bit of the delivery story. Albert's dad came in on Wednesday to stay with the boys and me while Albert went to a wedding in Houston. The wedding was at noon on Saturday the 21st. At about 4:00 pm I started having contractions varying from 3-5 minutes a part. They were not painful, but since I am a VBAC, I didn't want to take any chances. Also, I've been sick since Friday afternoon and have been a bit dehydrated. So, I called Albert around 4:20 to give him a heads up. I didn't think it was active labor, but I wanted him to have an idea of what was going on. He left Houston around 5:30 and my dear friend took me to the hospital at 6:00. Like I said, I didn't think I was in labor and I was hoping some fluids would stop the contractions, so I wasn't too worried. She and I sat in triage for a couple of hours, I was given two bags of fluids and my cervix did not change much, so they send me home. I think I got home around 9:30 or 10. My father-in-law had the boys in bed and I laid down right away. I just wanted to rest! I'm not sure if I ever actually fell asleep, I felt each contraction and they were close enough that I could not drift off in between. Albert got home at 12:30 and had trouble falling a sleep. So when I had one contraction that was very painful, he was up and putting his jeans on. I told him that the contractions had not stopped and were much more painful and we were in the car within 20 minutes. I think we got to the hospital around 2:00 a.m. My body was shaking I was in so much pain. Running a fever, back labor and exhaustion are not a good mix for labor! We got checked in and they poked me 5 times before they could get the IV in. I was dilated to a 5. We sat in Triage for a while before being wheeled to my room. Back labor is not my friend! I knew I needed the epidural for us to survive the delivery. I received my epidural at 4:00 a.m. The doctor broke my water at 4:40 a.m. and Olivia was born at 5:41. She stayed in our room for about two hours before they took her to the NICU. I don't have any great pictures yet, but here's a little snapshot of our morning.

Friday, March 20, 2009

36 (or 38) weeks

I'm tired. That pretty much sums up this week of pregnancy. The baby is moving well. I think she is rolling her fists across my hip and pelvic bones. I think she's getting pretty crowded though. I only really feel her when I lay down or am driving in the car. I am still having several contractions a day, but nothing close enough to measure. I've had a few contractions that I had to sort of breath through. They were painful enough to be labor contractions, but I've only had one at a time. I have an appointment on Monday, so hopefully that will be pretty eventful. Albert is gone this weekend, so I am hoping for no activity this weekend, then to hit the ball running on Monday! 

My sweet father-in-law came to spend the weekend with us just in case I go into labor. Today we drove across town to get Boaz some little sandals and I showed my FIL the general route to the hospital. I told him that I should be able to help with directions along the way unless I am having back labor. Then, he might be on his own. Let's all pray for NO back labor!

We found out this week that Albert's next deployment will begin April 24th. I am thinking about talking to my doctor about inducing on the 10th if the baby hasn't come yet. This will give Albert two weeks with his little girl and helping me, before being gone for a month. To be honest, I am hoping to not be pregnant on the 10th, so hopefully we won't have to worry about this. But it is crossing my mind.

In other news, I have felt this little one have the hiccups. That is something that I haven't felt with either of the boys. It always makes me laugh a little and tell her that she can't grow too much.

The other day I was mailing a package at UPS and the clerk said it looked like I dropped a little. Now, I've never seen this lady before, so her opinion is not well educated or valid, but it made me hopeful. I guess we'll see on Monday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

35 (or 37) Weeks

Today I am at least 35 weeks, possibly 37. Everything is going pretty well. I think my hips are starting to spread. They and my pubic bone are sore every time I wake up. I had an appointment on Monday. My weight gain is a bit more than I would like it to be, but my doctor is happy with it. She measured my belly and said, "You've definitely grown!" To which I responded, "Does that mean I'm due on the 4th?" She said that she wouldn't say that's not my due date. She checked me and said I am a good 1 cm and 50% effaced. This is better news than being told everything is sealed up tight, but I was hoping for a bit higher number. Maybe next time. My blood pressure and the baby's heart rate were fine, though I can't remember the numbers.

In other news, my ribs are killing me this morning. She's sitting so low that I can hardly sit with my knees together and even when I'm standing my ribs hurt. I guess those are minor complaints though and I have had a good pregnancy. 

Canon keeps saying, "Baby sister come out soon." I hope he's right. I was hoping to make it through the Just Between Friends sale, the end of March. But, now I am just hoping to make it through our friend's wedding on the 21st. Albert will leave on the 20th and come home on the 22nd. My dad-in-law will be here while Albert is gone. Then, we are working on getting this baby out! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book of Recipes

I'm pretty sure I posted about my book of recipes before, but I can't seem to find the original post. None-the-less, I have updated it. I have been reading several blogs written by women with several young children. Within a week or so I read a couple of post about shopping once a month and meal planning. This is an area that I am always looking for new ideas with! One of the ladies said that she picks 15 meals for the month and triples all ingredients except the meat. She has six small children and a husband, and they eat this for two nights. Well, obviously we are not eating quite as much as they are. I am able to do most of my recipes exactly how they are, and they last us two nights. There have been a few things I've doubled, but for the most part a casserole or soup will last us just how it is. So, with all of these jumbled sentences, here's what we're doing now.

Instead of having my binder divided into weeks, I have all of my muffin recipes in the front, then the dinner recipes. Going straight through the dinner recipes, I picked a recipe for Monday, Wednesday and Friday for each week of the month. We eat breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights, so I wrote that in. Sometimes we go to Awanas on Wed. night. When we do that, I cook Thursday, move Friday's meal to Saturday and we have left overs for lunch on Sunday. Also, two Fridays a month I do homemade pizza. For March I needed 13 recipes. 

On the first Monday of the month, I went grocery shopping and bought all of the non-perishable ingredients and all of the meats for the month. I also bought our household items and toiletries, enough for the month. Now, once a week, also on Mondays, I go to the grocery store for fruits, veggies, milk, eggs and cheese (if we've run out). We were given a freezer when we were in Enid, so I am able to store all of our meat, shredded cheese, various ingredients and breads out there.

This has lifted such a burden. I do not enjoy spending forever thumbing through recipes, writing the list, going to the store, spending a fortune. This has cut down on our grocery bill at least 20%. 

Oh, one other thing I did was make a Staples Grocery List. These are all of the items we keep on hand. I like to have a spare of all of our toiletries. We do not like running out! Also on this list are my spices, sauces, baking ingredients, household cleaners and things like that. I have a good mental idea of what's on the list, so when I run out of something that I don't have to replace often, I write it on the list for next month's shopping trip. I am trying to not pick these things up at my quick stops on Monday. That will increase my grocery spending for the month. 

It's all been very exciting and much more enjoyable to only cook and do a ton of dishes every other night.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Washing Machine

I usually wash clothes on Tuesday and Friday. I always start with the diapers, then move on to whatever else needs to be washed. Yesterday, as soon as we finished breakfast, I filled the washing machine with dirty diapers and began washing them. After a while I checked the cycle to switch them to the dryer, and the machine was making a strange sound. Apparently the washing machine filled with water and died. It is never fun for an appliance to die, but at the beginning of the wash cycle with a load of poopy diapers, is not ideal. Albert picked up our new washing machine this morning and it seems to be working like a charm. We'll see how it holds up!

So, R.I.P. hand-me-down washing machine. You have served us well for the past four years and we appreciate your service!

34 (or 36) weeks

I thought about this post all day yesterday and am obviously late with it now. But, there isn't much to report. I am still having contractions throughout the day. I did have an exciting evening Wednesday night. We laid the boys down for bed and were checking stuff on our computers when I had a contraction. This was no surprise, but then I had another one. Albert was ready for bed, but I told him I was going to have to keep track of these contractions for a few minutes. They were 5 minutes apart. After a half hour or so I called the hospital. When the doctor called back and asked me what was going on, I gave her the brief details and asked, "How do I get them to stop?" She told me to drink 32 oz. of water in 20 minutes and if the contractions didn't stop, to come in. It was 9:45 pm and I did not want to go in. I downed about 24 oz, then went to bed. I figured the contractions would wake me up if they got stronger. Obviously they went away at some point. 

I was impressed that my doctor's nurse called Friday to see how I was doing. I missed the call, but I have an appointment on Monday, so that should be fine. My doctor is going to start checking me on Monday. Though this is not an enjoyable experience, I am looking forward to knowing if I am making any changes or anything. With all of these contractions and pressure, I should at least be thinning out some. We shall see though.

The car seat is strapped in and my bag is in the process of being packed. I will have it packed by the end of the weekend. Then we'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

There's a new walker in town

Boaz has finally decided that he is brave enough to let go and take a few steps. He seems to be very cautious. I am sure I will appreciate his caution even more when he is older. Maybe he will help prevent Canon from breaking any bones or doing other ridiculous boy things. I doubt it though. Canon will probably tell Bo to just do it, then we'll rush them both to the emergency room! Ha, they will be boys.

Anyway, it has been very exciting to watch our little guy branch out. I have been telling him that he needs to walk before baby sister gets here. I have been a little doubtful though. He is a very fast crawler and pretty quick with the furniture walking, why would he want to slow down and walk alone? Ever since Albert got home, we have been working on walking more. Today he was walking along our chair and thought he'd like to play with the ride-on truck. So, he let go and took 6 or 8 steps until coming to a road block - Cheyenne. There was no way he could walk around her. So, he fell to his hands and knees and crawled the rest of the way. He did this several times today. Even when he was furniture walking, he just lightly touched one hand on the furniture or wall. It's just a matter of time until he's running with his crazy bro!