Monday, November 24, 2014

Stuffy Nose

Poor little dude experienced his first stuffy nose.  It could have been worse, but it still wasn't fun to see my little guy not being able to breathe very well. I noticed that on Friday morning he was getting stuffier than normal and then his sleep began to deteriorate. He was sleeping from 8pm to 4am straight through days earlier and then he began to wake up every 4 hours. Friday night/Saturday morning he went to sleep at 8pm, then awake at 12am and 4am and 6am.  6am I decided that we will go downstairs to sleep on the couch because sleeping in the crib was beginning to become pointless.  

Saturday we snuggled lots on the couch and got a couple things done around town. We were even able to get out to purchase Luke's Christmas presents! That night when we put him down for bed we plugged in his humidifier to help with his congestion.

Sunday morning I got up with him at 12am and Andy got up with him at 4am.  From 5am-7am Andy tried as best as he could to make Luke happy but he just wasn't having it.  He was stuffier than the day before and Andy just wasn't able to help little dude out.  Bless his heart he tried as hard as he could to let me get some sleep.  He did a great job none the less. :)  I thought having him sit in the bathroom while I showered would help clear him up a bit, which actually did! I also went out that afternoon and picked up a Vicks Plug in for his room. I read that you weren't suppose to use Vicks BabyRub on babies under the age of 3 months and Luke is currently 10 weeks old.  So what I did was mix a tiny bit of the baby Vicks with his lavender lotion and put that on the bottom of his feet.  

Luke fell asleep pretty fast that night and woke up at 12am with no congestion.  His room smelled like a spa and it made the rest of the upstairs smell pretty good too!  At 4am he was still not congested.  He ate and I put him back down without any troubles!  

Thankfully we didn't have any issues with a fever and he seems to be clearing up just fine. I don't know if it's because of being in daycare or if it's because of the silly weather us Missourian's deal with.  Whatever the cause is, it really doesn't matter.  What matters is, we survived!  :) 

He has little rosey cheeks here.

Here are a list of the following things that helped us survive our first stuffy nose.  

V3700 Vicks Starry Night Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Plug-in Waterless Vaporizer

Vicks® Rosemary and Lavender Scent VapoPads - 6 Count

Vicks® BabyRub® Soothing Ointment - 1.76 oz

up & up® Baby Lotion Nighttime 27 oz

NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator
As much as I hate to admit that I use this, 
its worse to admit that I think it does a great job!!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Looking forward to the weekend


I made it through my first week back from maternity leave and Luke made it through his first week of daycare!  Oh how I cannot wait for 3:30 PM when I get off work, pick up Andy and Luke and then head home to spend all weekend with my little family!  The weekends will be even more cherished now that we have a little one.  


How can you tell that one is a "new mom".  Just look in her purse!  I picked this awesome Petuna Picklebottom purse/diaper bag up for $20 on a buy/sell/trade site on Facebook 2 months ago and couldn't wait to use it!  I have stashed in here my usual Jessica things: chapstick, wallet, hand sanitizer, lotion, nail clipper, and keys.  But I also have my new Mom things: 2 diapers, some wipes, an extra pacifier "Bink", and a bottle with formula in it.  I didn't want to carry around Luke's usual diaper bag around as my purse also, so I have these things in my Mom purse so that I am prepared at any moment!


Wednesday morning I decided that I needed to decorate my office for Christmas.  :)  I got out my little fiber optic tree and purchased some $1 garland from Target!  

Christmas 1-Piece Microfleece PJs

Christmas jammies for Luke!  Oh how I love jammies and Christmas jammies are even better!!  So far Luke has 2 pairs of Christmas jammies and he may even get a third.....LOL!


This is what shopping with a baby looks like now.  We just pile all the groceries around Luke.  :)  This was our Sam's trip on Thursday night.  Lots of goodies including formula.  


Mommy and baby snugs on Thursday night.  I can't believe how fast Luke is growing.  I love picking him up from daycare because he just lights up and smiles and Andy and I.  Melt my Heart!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anemia pt. 1

When Luke was born, they took him at 25 hours of age to do the newborn screening testing. I remember I fed him at 1am that morning and then called the nurse who took him down to the nursery to complete the newborn screening.  He was brought back to me and I was told several things including that he was not happy about the tests and therefore they could not finish the hearing test because he wouldn't stop crying.  Several hours later (around 7ish) day 2 of Luke's life it was discovered that he had a high bilirubin level and would need to be placed under phototherapy lights in the nursery.  Not only would they be able to get lights on his backside, but they could get lights on his frontside also.  We were told that he would have to be in the nursery for as long as possible and they would bring him to me for every feeding because I am breastfeeding. While I knew it was best for him to be under those lights as long as possible, I was also sad that I couldn't bond with my baby except for feedings.  Along with breastfeeding we had to introduce formula to Luke so that he wouldn't get dehydrated (since my milk hadn't officially come in, all I was producing was colostrum) and could grow a little more and keep the bilirubin at bay.  I would nurse him anywhere from 20-40 minutes and then give him a 2 ounce bottle.  At first he wouldn't take the bottle from me but then he became accustomed to it.

I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, September 14th, but Luke was to stay another night. (Cue Momma tears)  The hospital was amazing and found a way for me to be able to stay at the hospital with him another night but in a smaller room.  My smaller room was right next to a stairway and some guy actually opened my door thinking I was someone else.  Needless to say I didn't sleep very well.  I was so grateful to the hospital for getting me that room though because there was no way that I could leave Luke like that.  I remember calling Andy that night and crying saying "I feel like I he isn't mine and I have to keep giving my baby back".  What an awful feeling!

You can see his raccoon eyes and the cute little goggles that he wears under the light.  
Poor kid had a high bilirubin level. :( 

Monday, September 15th we were finally able to go home with Luke but had to take home a portable bilirubin bed for him to sleep on.  We were to bring Luke back up on Tuesday for a blood draw to find out how his bilirubin level is.  His numbers jumped from a 12 to an 18! The pediatrician said he was looking for his number to be around 10 or lower for him to be off the light therapy. Luke's pediatrician was concerned that his level went up so high, but found another alternative in keeping him home.  The bili blanket was ordered for Luke to lie on.  We thought it was this thing like a blanket that you zipped him up in, but found out it was this rectangle shaped pad that we placed on his back.  It was much smaller blue light for him to lie on, but the light was much more concentrated.

The bili-bed in the hospital

The bili-bed at home

The bili-blanket

Luke had a blood test every 2 days to determine his bilirubin levels and was stuck using some sort of light therapy for 2 weeks of his life.  We went to visit the pediatrician 2 times in that 2 weeks to follow up on Luke's care.  The office visit on September 26th the pediatrician wanted us to get another blood test done on Sunday, the 28th to check his red and white blood cell counts.  While I wasn't happy about going to get blood drawn on a Sunday, I knew it had to get done.  The bad part about getting blood drawn from the hospital on a Sunday is that we had to go into the ER to register and have some random pheblotimist draw his blood.  When I say random, I really mean RANDOM!  It was pretty obvious she was not use to drawing blood from a newborn and it really was making me angry.  She was so frustrated and took so long to draw the blood (not to mention sticking him multiple times) that the blood clotted and was no longer useful to get labs from.  She told me she needed to step away and would be back in 15 minutes so that Luke could rest.  10 minutes later a new person arrives to draw his blood, THANK GOD!!!  

waiting to get our blood drawn on a Sunday,
we sent this photo to Grandma while we waited

That afternoon Andy, Luke and I spent some time with my family over at my brother's house.  My brother had just purchased a pop-up camper and they were opening it up and checking it out.  Around 5pm we received a phone call from our pediatrician.  He told us that Luke's bill-rubin levels were down enough to for-go the light therapy but his hemoglobin levels were at a dangerous level and we would need to head to the nearest ER as soon as possible for further testing.  Talk about making a mama cry and freak out!!  So back to the ER again while we wait in a room with sick people...ugh!  Eventually we were brought back to the pediatric ER room and waited for a nurse to come draw blood from Luke.  This time the blood was to be drawn from his hand and not his foot.  Mama tears once more!  I held Luke while a nurse and a tech tried to get the blood and they had no luck.  Tears were flowing down my face while I watched my poor baby cry and cry!  They determined that they would need the nursery nurse to come down and draw the blood.  The nursery nurse was able to get the blood right away and we waited for the results.  I lied with Luke in the bed and we watched the end of "Dirty Dancing" and the beginning of "The Blind Side".  I was not about to put my baby down and he received lots of snuggles.  

10pm that evening it was determined that we needed to be transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital that night!  We didn't have to take an ambulance there (thank god, can you imagine the cost of that ride!) but we needed to be there as soon as possible.  We ran home and grabbed some clothes and snacks.  We had no idea what was going to happen and just wanted to get him there as soon as we could.  

11:30pm we arrive in downtown St Louis at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.  We have to go through the ER (awesome....) and get admitted.  At one point and ER doctor comes in and says "So I hear we can't stop vomiting".  I say, "Uh no, he has a high hemoglobin level and we were transferred from another hospital".  He says, "Yeah because he won't stop vomiting"  I say, "No" and then we were saved by a nurse who says they have a room waiting for us at the second floor.  

1am we arrive in our room and Luke is screaming because he is tired and has a poopy diaper and this doctor and nurse comes in and asks a million questions.  Andy and I were getting annoyed because all we wanted to do was change his diaper real quick and calm him down and they just kept talking to us.  We then find out that they won't be doing anything to Luke until around 6am to draw his blood.....Andy and I were not happy but there was nothing we could do.  Luke ended up sleeping on my chest that night.  He wasn't happy and that was the only way we could calm him down.  I got maybe 3 hours of sleep that night and I know Andy didn't get any.  The fold out recliner was an awful option to sleep on for him and I felt so bad for him but I knew he wasn't about to leave Luke and I alone at the hospital.

6am his blood was drawn.  7am the doctors and nurses start to come in the room asking the same questions over and over again but never telling us what is going on.  It was really frustrating but I had to just stay quiet until they could find out what is going on.  At one point we had 10 doctors in our room at one time.  I kid you not.  I felt like I was on an episode of "ER" or "Grey's Anatomy".  There were student doctors, 3rd year doctors, the head of pediatrics, dietitians (yes you read that right), you name it that doctor was in our room at one point.  FINALLY around 2pm a doctor came in our room and explained what he was thinking was wrong with Luke.  He said he couldn't determine exactly what blood condition Luke has because of his age, but he would be taking over Luke's care from the time being.  He said that Luke could very easily grow out of his blood condition also around 6 months of age but its really just a waiting game.  We were to get weekly blood draws and the hematologists office would be in contact with us.  The scary thing about this doctor is his title, "Hematology and Oncology".  

We were thankful for some explanations and answers from our doctor and learned that we could go home that evening.  So from 11:30pm on the 28th to 5pm on the 29th we stayed at the hospital for really no reason and were charged a whopping $500 to sleep in that room that night....I never spend that much on a hotel room!  I had wished that they handled us a little bit differently because there really was no reason for us to rush to the ER that night at Cardinal Glennon.  They knew they wouldn't be testing him until that morning and we could have easily brought him up to the hospital at 6am, but they didn't want to do it that way.  While I understand why they did what they did, I also wish it had been handled differently.

The first ER of the night

Daddy cuddles, see his poor hand bandaged up

The way too big gown at Cardinal Glennon

Sleeping in the crib at Cardinal Glennon

The morning at Cardinal Glennon sleeping on Mommy again

Leaving Cardinal Glennon with a road bottle!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maternity leave is over

Oh how I wish it weren't true, but my maternity leave is officially over.  In fact, it was over 2 days ago.  Today marks day 3 of work for me.  

How was leaving Luke on Monday at daycare for the first time?

     SO HARD!  Sunday evening I started to cry when I rocked him to sleep while he was eating his bottle.  I rocked him a little bit longer than normal after his bottle just to enjoy some extra cuddles.  Then when lying in bed while trying to fall asleep I cried again and asked Andy, "He will be ok, right?"  That morning he woke up around 4am to eat.  I got up and dressed him for the day.  I then sat down in his rocker and fed him.  Keeley and Smokey decided to join us on the rocker too.  It was such a sweet moment that I was joined together with all 3 of my babies.  I teared up a little bit while feeding him knowing that in just 2 short hours I'd be dropping my baby off.  The drive to the daycare (which is a whopping 5 minutes) wasn't bad and getting into the daycare and setting him up wasn't bad either.  The moment that I was saying my goodbye's was TOUGH!!!!  Tears started and I felt so guilty in leaving him at daycare.  I walked out of the daycare with Andy (were still carpooling to work) and cried for another minute in the car.  I then started the car and we drove off.  I cried for another minute or two and then I calmed myself down.  Having me drive helped keep my mind off of the fact that I just left my baby at daycare and won't see him for another 10 hours.  

How many times did you call the daycare to check up on Luke?

     Once at 10 AM.  Andy actually asked me if I had called yet and I hadn't.  So I picked up the phone and called.  They said he was doing great and nothing to worry about.

How many times did your co-workers ask how you are doing today?

     Too many times to count but to be honest it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.  The hardest part was dropping him off that morning.  After that I was pre-occupied with people welcoming me back to work and asking about him and how he was doing.  Work also pre-occupied me.  

How fast did you drive home that night to get him?

     Not too bad actually.  I would have driven faster but I really didn't want to run the risk of getting a speeding ticket.

Did the drive feel like it took forever after you left work to go pick Luke up?

     Not really!  I thought it would feel like that but it really didn't.  I actually got out of work 15 minutes late and then went to pick up Andy and then we headed home to get our baby!  We chose a daycare that's really close to our home rather than close to our work.

How did it feel to see Luke in the daycare that afternoon?

     AWESOME!!!!  I actually didn't even notice where he was located in the room and asked where he was.....(isn't that awful!).  It was hard to see where he was because the room can have a maximum of 10 babies in there and I am pretty sure all 10 babies were there that day!  He was napping in a bouncer.  I picked him up and gave him so many kisses!

Did you let Andy even hold him that night?

     Yes, but it was for maybe 5 minutes....LOL!

How did Luke do on his first day of daycare?

     He did great!  He eats like a champ so I knew we had no worries there.  The only thing is, he doesn't sleep real well there.  I think it's because he isn't use to being there and being in a new environment he wants to be more awake.  The longest stretch of sleep that day was an hour and a half.

Did you cry anymore that day?

     Nope!!  I just cuddled all evening long with my baby until it was time for a bath and bed.  We kept him up 40 minutes longer than normal because I just wasn't ready to give him up to bedtime yet.  :)  He actually was so tired from not sleeping much during the day that he zonked out on Mommy.  I was more than fine with some nap snugs.

Morning 2 of going to daycare
He looks thrilled, right!?!
He was actually pretty happy and smiling for Mommy that morning!

How was day 2 drop off?

     I actually didn't drop him off.  Andy was working from home and he took him to daycare and I picked him up that night.  Picking him up at daycare was awesome.  I found him right away in his room and when I picked him up he was all smiles for Mommy!  I guess he really does know who I am.  :)  LOVE!!!!!!  

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Luke Andrew - 2 Months Old

Month - 2 Months Old, November 12th, 2014

Height - 23.75 inches!  He has grown another inch from last month and 2 inches from birth!  He is in the 93% of height.

Weight - 12 pounds, 7.5 ounces!  Again little dude is putting on some weight and growing!  He is up 4 pounds from birth and 2 pounds from last month.  He is in the 73% of weight.

Diaper Size - I just had to move him to size 2 diapers on Friday the 7th of this month.  He could still wear the size 1's but I could tell that they were getting a little tight and there was more room in the 2's.  I cannot believe how fast you move to a size 2 diaper.  I thought we would be in 1's for at least another month or two.

Clothing Size - currently he is wearing 3 month clothing but I can tell that we are going to have to move him to 6 month clothing by the end of the year and maybe even by the end of this month!  It's because he is so tall that the sleepers and onesies are getting short on his torso and he doesn't have a lot of room to stretch out.  I have a lot of 6 month clothing thanks to my mom, but am going to need to get some more jammies for him to wear.  

Sleep - we are still struggling at times in this department.  I wish I could say "Oh he's been sleeping through the night"....but I can't.  I want to say that some of it has to do with his anemia and other parts has to do with he is just pain over-tired.  I'd say 98% of the nights he is sleeping in his crib at night.  The other 2% he is sleeping in the Rock n Play in our room.  We start the bedtime process at 8pm with a bath by Daddy.  Then is lotion, jammies, brush the crazy hair, read a story (our favorite is "The Going to Bed Book") and then a 4 ounce bottle.  I lie Luke in his crib and sometimes he cries and other times he lies in his crib awake until he falls asleep.  Most of the time I have to go in there 1 time to give the pacifier and then he is out.  He awakes at night anywhere from 2-4 times a night....yes I typed a 4 in there because it's true and sooooo tiring!  

Starting on Friday the 7th something switched in Luke and he is sleeping sooooooo much better!  Now he sleeps from 8pm to around 1am, eats and then is back out until 4 or 5am.  Eats again and sleeps until around 7:30 or 8am.  We have been on this schedule for almost a week now and it feels amazing to get some more sleep now.  Also the stress of knowing that we are hopefully done with waking up 4 times a night!  The thought of getting up every 2 hours to feed while I am back at work was really starting to get to me.

Eating - 3-4 ounces of formula at night and 4-5 ounces of formula during the day.  He eats 3-4 hours a day. I nurse or pump 1-2 times a day.  Breastfeeding/pumping is going to be another story or another day.  As much as I would like to say it's working for us, it just isn't and I am throwing in the towel.  We switched his formula from Enfamil Infant to Enfamil Gentilease.  I noticed that at times he would act like he was in pain from eating and wouldn't finish a bottle so I switched him to the Gentilease and he seems to be doing better with it.

Likes - when it's time to eat, his pacifier, his puppy, mornings when he is the most happiest, routine with Mommy, diaper changes, bath time, car rides, walks in his stroller, music, comfy cozy blankets, his play mat or really anything that lights up and sings and he can lie under and watch 

Dislikes - dirty diapers, when he isn't fed at that moment he is ready, being cold, sitting in one place for too long, 

Firsts - Halloween, moving the car seat straps up a step, getting his first and second blood transfusions

Nicknames - Mr. Luke, bubba, little dude, little buddy, buddy, Mommy's baby
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Luke Andrew - 1 Month Old

I see now where every mom says that time flies by! I cannot believe that Luke is already 1 month old! Yes I am getting this out a little bit late, but at least I'm getting this written because I know I'll enjoy reading this for years to come! :)

Month: One - October 12th, 2014

Height: 22 3/4 (up 1 inch from birth) This puts him in the 90th percentile.

Weight: 10.2 pounds (up 2 pounds from birth) This puts him in the 50th percentile.

Diaper Size: 1 (he has been in this size since birth.  I am sure he could have worn the newborn diapers at birth, but the nurses put him in size 1 and I just stuck with size 1.)

Clothing Size: we started in newborn clothing, then grew a little bit more and we are now wearing 0-3 months and 3 month clothing.  The weather has been a bit tricky here in St. Louis and has fluctuated between 50 degrees and 85 degrees.  Luke has worn both summery clothing and fall/winter clothing.  Just depends on the day!

Sleep:  it has been all over the place!  It also has to do with Luke's anemia.  In the beginning he was sleeping between 2 and 4 hours in-between feedings, but ever since he has had the blood transfusion his sleep has been every 2-3 hours in-between feedings.  Also with us bringing him home on the billi-bed/billi-blanket he wouldn't sleep in his crib so he slept in either the Rock n Play or the Bouncer.  Then he would only sleep on me so we had lots of nights of sleeping on the couch.  Then one night (October 17th to be exact) Luke would not calm down and go to sleep so I took him to his room to rock him and just tried out the crib and he slept in the crib.  Ever since that day, its been sleeping in the crib at night.  We start our bedtime routine at 8pm.  Andy gives Luke a bath, then I take him and give him a bottle (usually 4 ounces) and place him in his bed.  He might cry a little and I have to go back in to give him his pacifier but then he passes out.   

Eating: nursing and eating 3-4 ounce bottles of formula. We had to supplement with formula from day one because of his jaundice issues. Unfortunately Luke became accustomed to the bottle and I never could produce enough milk for him so we nurse and supplement each feeding.  I am still determined to breastfeed Luke so I have upped my Fenugreek to the maximum dosage (6 mg.) and started to drink Mother's Milk Tea (one cup in the morning and one cup before bed).  We are using Enfamil Infant Formula.

Likes: bath time, sleeping on his mama, feeding time, "walking" around the neighborhood, comfy cozy blankets, pacifier, his play mat, mama singing to him, sitting in his bouncer while mama showers, getting dressed for the day, our daily routine, his carseat/car ride, the stroller, baby wearing (likes both the Moby wrap and the Ergo)

Dislikes:  being cold, not getting fed when he is ready, his anemia, gas, hiccups

Firsts: smiling, First trip to the Pumpkin Patch, Sunday shopping with Mommy, Grandma and Jena, pretty much everything we did this month was a first for him :) 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Luke Andrew's Birth Story

September 10th I had my 40 week doctors appointment. It was decided a week prior that I would wait one more week for this baby boy to arrive and then we would talk induction. My doctor likes to induce his patients between 40 and 41 weeks and won't let us go any farther than 41 weeks, so I knew I'd pretty much was going to be induced when I said I wanted to be.  I was very uncomfortable and ready to get the show on the road.

During my appointment my doctor called up the hospital to find out if they had room and they did! Induction was set for Thursday, September 11th, 2014. We were to arrive at 7am in labor and delivery. 

That evening Andy and I got dinner at Qdoba for a second night in a row (it's the only thing that sounded good for my last meal before baby). I then spent the rest of the evening finishing packing my bag, the baby bag, charging camera batteries, etc. I wasn't able to fall asleep until 11pm (which isn't too bad) but awoke at 3am due to tiny bladder and baby using it at a head butting pillow :) 

3am to 5am I lie awake in bed just anxious and excited that today was the day to meet our little boy! 

last bump photos

6:30am - pack car up and drive the short distance to the hospital (I know that Andy is forever greatful that we chose an awesome doctor like our doctor and a hospital only 10 minutes away!)

6:45am - arrive in labor and delivery. I was waiting for a big long process of being admitted and surprisingly it was nothing. I did get a phone call from the registar that verified I am who I am and filled out a couple pieces of paper (cord blood donation, epidural papers, etc)

730am - nurse shift change and in enters my nurse for the day, Rena. She normally works at a different hospital and today she was helping out my hospital because labor and delivery was busy and they needed more nurses. Rena was so sweet and really helped me out a lot during her 12 hour shift with me! 

8am - doctor comes in to explain that we are starting pitocin right away and reminds me to give about an hours notice for the epidural. I said ok and he was worried I had changed my mind on the whole induction. Andy told the doctor that I was nervous and I had thought the doctor was upset that we were inducing. My doctor, as awesome as he is, reassured me that everything was going to be fine and that I am doing the right thing. He told me he would be back around noon to come break my water. I was currently 1.5 cm dilated and 75% effaced. 

9am - pitocin is flowing and moved up 2 increments every 15 minutes. Andy and I call our moms to let them know that we are settled in our room and they can join us if they'd like. 

selfie in the hospital

me and Andy during the induction

monitoring my contractions and the baby's heart rate
1pm - I convince my mom to go eat lunch with my brother. I know she had no desire to leave but I knew she needed to eat something. I told her that if the doctor had come I would call her and let her know how it all goes. My contractions were starting to get a little painful but I could still manage the pain. I had known in the back of my head that I should probably get the epidural before the water breaking but we had no set time on when the doctor would be in. I told my nurse I wanted to go with the epidural around 1:25pm and I swear my doctor came in not 5 minutes later. 

130pm - Doctor arrives to break the water. He first checks to see how far I am at which I am 3cm. He inserts the plastic hook thing and out comes the nice clear fluid. It seriously feels like you peed yourself when it comes nurse, Rena tells the doctor that I am ready for my epidural and he delivers the bad news that he has the anesthesiologist tied up at the moment for his surgery. My nurse offers me some IV medications (Stadol) but I said I could wait for the epidural 

145pm - I experience the worst pain of my entire life!!!! It's like the baby dropped all at once  and I am in so much pain. I was curled up in the fetal position in my bed, bawling my eyes out and squeezing the living crap out of Andy's hand.  My nurse offers me the Stadol and I gave in.  While I was writhing in pain, the nurse managed to find a nurse anestestist to come administer my epidural.  Rena was amazing in finding someone so fast! 

2pm - Epidural is administered. I was able to sit up on the table with my legs dangling off the side. I was actually brought over a chair so that I could prop my feet up. I was given a pillow to curl my body over and Andy stayed with me the entire time. I actually didn't have to really curl over the pillow as much as I had heard from other people or has seen on baby shows. The "bee sting" injection into the skin did hurt quite a bit but so did the contractions so it sucked either way. I remember the cool sensation running down my back and saying something about it. Andy then decides to get a little woozy and says something to the nurse. They immediately make him sit down. He didn't see anything that was going on in my back but he said the thought of the needed just creeped him out.  The epidural took right away and I was pain free.  The catheter going in was such an odd feeling that I was not a fan of. I could feel it in there for a good 10 minutes but once I got my mind off the fact that I am now peeing in a bag with no control over my body, I noticed that I didn't feel it anymore.  I made a comment after the epidural that I am such whiner when it comes to pain, I only made it to 3cm....LOL

my mama and I after epidural

From 2pm to 8pm I was slowly dilating. We knew it would be a long day and to be honest, I thought the day flew by!

730pm - nurse shift change. Edie was going to be my night nurse and she was AMAZING!!!! Seriously I cannot even put the exact words as to how awesome she was. 

8pm - epidural starts to wear off and I am feeling a little bit of pain. This starts to scare me because I'm not fully complete yet and I'm feeling pain. I had heard of so many horror stories of people not being able to get another boost on their epidural and they then feel everything when it comes to pushing the baby out! My nurse Edie called the nurse anestestist and she gave me another boost in my epidural and I was able to push the boost button every 10 minutes as opposed to the every 15 minutes before. What a relief it was to have the extra medicine to help me not feel the pain! 

830pm - I decide I want some peace and quiet. I'm exhausted and I hadn't even have done the hardest part of this induction, PUSHING this baby out!  I send everyone out of the room except Andy and my mom. The lights were turned off and I was able to get about an hour to hour and thirty minutes of sleep. My mom was impressed that I was able to get any sleep seeing as I had my blood pressure cuff going off every 15 minutes.

10pm - Edie checks and I am at 9cm. She tells me that I could start pushing him down if I wanted too but she was afraid that I would get too tired. He was also posterior (sunny side up) and she wanted him to come down more and turn so that it wouldn't be as difficult when it came to pushing. I told her I would be more than fine with waiting a little bit more to push. I also told Andy if be ok with waiting to push so that his birthday would be on 9/12 instead of 9/11. It's not like I have any issues with 9/11, but every time I'd say my due date was 9/11, I'd get the "look" of sorry. 

12:15am - I start to push. I push 4 times in a contraction for 10 seconds at a time. I know normally people only push 3 times but I was asked if I wanted to push a 4th time and I thought why not make the baby come a little faster.  I also made sure to tell my nurse to not lie to me about how close the baby is coming.  I said she could only tell me that he is almost 

1am - my doctor arrives and I am still pushing.  It is pretty obvious that I am getting tired and my doctor can tell.  He tells me that he could help me the following ways: use vacuum, use forceps or have a c-section. While the vacuum and forceps sounded like it would help, I was more determined than ever to push this baby out with no help! Oh and a c-section, NOT!! I could literally feel his head (pressure) so why would I give up now? (Oh an pushing is not easy at all!) it's kind of hard to push a baby but hold your breathe. Maybe it's just me but I had a hard time sometime pushing. 

The baby was finally starting to come down and I was told that he has lots of hair. My doctor at one point gave Luke a Mohawk while he was still down there. I laughed and doubted that he did and then they made me touch his head, yup a Mohawk indeed! I swear after I touched his head and started pushing again he was out in 3 pushes but Andy says not. Let's go with my version, shall we? :) 

2:10am - Luke was born! They immediately placed him on my belly/chest (on the gown) and started to dry him off. He was crying and I was told that he pooped as he was coming out so there was poop all over my legs and him.  They then lifted my gown and placed him on my chest. All I could see was the top of his head but I was in LOVE!!  I was also SO tired! I remember lying there with my eyes opening and closing with my baby lying on my chest.  There's a photo of me smiling with my mouth closed (which I never do) and I absolutely LOVE that photo of Luke and I! You can just see the amount of sure joy and love I have at that moment. 

He lied on my chest for about 20 minutes and then I tried to breastfeed. Luke latched on right away.  Then came time for Andy to hold him and then my mom.  I want to say one of my very first comment about Luke's features were, "Where are his eye lashes and eyebrows?" I couldn't believe they were blonde! 

We then had the rest of the family come in and hold Luke. Andy's Dad and Mom, Tim and Lynn; my step dad JP, my brother Jeff, my Dad Randy and my step mom Debbie. They all stayed till 4am to hold and meet our newest family member. My brother Jeff even took a selfie with Luke declaring "Luke's first selfie". 

Luke's first selfie with Uncle Jeff

Daddy and Luke

Grandma Carolyn and Luke

Grandma Lynn and Luke

Grandpa Tim and Luke

Grandpa JP and Luke

Uncle Jack and Luke

Aunt Jena and Luke

Uncle Joe and Luke

Grandpa Randy and Luke

Great Grandpa and Luke

After everyone went home including Andy (I was not about to let him sleep on some hard as a rock couch thing when he had just been up for 24 hours straight). My nurse Edie gave Luke his first bath and I was so tired I slept through most of it. She gave me some pain medication (an ibuprofen and 2 OxyContin) and asked if I would like the baby with me or in nursery. I asked if he could go in nursery so I could get an hour or two of sleep. Seriously that was the best 2 hours of sleep I have ever experienced!! I had no desire to eat, all I wanted to do was sleep! 

Edie brought Luke in to me at 7am and Luke and I started to get to know each other. I nursed him and then we snuggled skin to skin on my chest. That moment I will never forget. We began a bond that will never be broken. 

skin to skin right after nursing Luke