Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One month old

 Guess who is already One month old????

While I am quite behind on blogging, I at least wanted to get these on here...

Olivia was super impressed with my 1 month photo session.

My long legged lady with her first doll

I have a blanket that I have taken the boys' pictures on every month (until they turn 1)
The first picture was supposed to be at 1 week, but I missed that. So here she is at one month.

The boys had to join in of course.

They look exceptionally large next to her too!

 Dear Olivia,

    One month ago I became the mother of a baby girl!  I can't believe you have only been here for 1 month.  It has flown by, but seems like you have been here forever!  You have turned our house upside down and stolen our hearts.  There also is an abundance of pink around here!

      Your daddy is smitten with you and your brothers can't leave you alone.  Your Grandma and Grandpa are quite fond of you as well and Auntie Nikki and Auntie Laura have been sneaking in some snuggling time when they can.  I am sure enjoying having a daughter and dream of what you will be like.  Your brothers are hoping you like shopping so they don't have to join me ever again!  I also am enjoying the dresses, tights, and girlie accessories.

      You are very peaceful, easy going, and calm (except when you are hungry).  You are a GREAT sleeper and spend most of your mornings awake, sleep through the heart of the afternoon, and are awake from supper time until 10pm or so.  Then you like to get up between 230 and 3 to eat, go right back to sleep and wake around 7am.  You take a bottle like a champ, and nurse even better.  You have given us a few smiles and coos and we enjoy just watching you check out the world around you. 

     You are a bit more petite than your brothers, and are actually on the growth charts.  You weigh about 9 1/2 pounds and still wear mostly 0-3 month clothes.  

    You have quite a few names: Liv, Olivia, Livie, Little lady, baby, Livie J, or Livia.  Your hair is auburn/brown and your eyes are still dark blue but we are suspecting they will become brown.  You look a lot like your big brothers, and we can see each of them in you.  

     We love you so much baby girl!  We are so blessed to have you in our family and look forward to watching you grow!

     We love you so much little lady. Happy One Month Birthday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Miss Olivia's Birth Story Part 3: Bringing Olivia Home..now we are a family of 6!!!!

I love the time you get to spend in the hospital with a newborn. 

It is bittersweet, as it becomes harder to be away from home the more children you have, but so wonderful to have that time with just your new baby at the same time. 

I enjoyed my time with Olivia in the hospital, but I was also looking forward to getting home and adjusting to a family of 6!

Still couldn't quite believe we were bringing home a girl!

Funny story...the first night we stayed in the hospital with Liv, it was almost 1:30am by the time we were settled and ready to pass out.

So, I sent her to the nursery for a bit and crashed.

My fabulous nurse Sara brought her back in when it was time to eat only a few hours later, in my sleep deprived, exhausted state I went to change her diaper before feeding her. 

However, when I opened the diaper and didn't see a penis I had a mini panic attack until I woke up enough and remembered we had a GIRL!!!!!!

I bought a few things for Miss Liv before she was born and one of my favorite purchases was her going home outfit.  I had 3 girl sleepers in our hope chest from each pregnancy with the boys.

It was our tradition to bring one boy going home outfit and one girl going home outfit with to the hospital since we didn't know what we were having. 

I let Jonah and Elijah help pick out Isaac's going home outfit and Olivia's.

We bought it this summer at the Carter's store at the Mall of America.

They picked the boy sleeper quickly and spent quite a bit of time deciding on the girl one. 

They eventually picked an adorable pink one with butterflies on it. 

This summer when we were in Texas and I was shopping with my sisters-in-law at TJ Maxx I found an adorable pink onesie that said Daddy's Princess in glittery silver letters. 

I knew it was going to be part of my daughter's going home outfit!

It was hard to believe she was finally going to wear both things!

Olivia wasn't too impressed with the changing of clothes business.

The boys were pretty excited to get her in the carseat and get her home!

Isaac wanted to "help" get her buckled and shove her whole pacifier in her mouth causing her to gag extensively put her pacifier in her mouth

Here she is all ready to go!

Jonah giving me the thumbs up when I asked about Olivia coming home

Isaac and Daddy were excited too!

Olivia was a bit nervous coming home to a family dominated by males I think.

I told her we would stick together.

Elijah told her that despite being outnumbered, his daddy told him 2 girls is the same as 4 so we are really equal!!!!!

 Isaac was a little stressed sitting next to Olivia because he couldn't reach her, and he kept ripping the pacifier holder off her seat straps and trying to take a hit of her pacifier while no one was looking. 

He did eventually give it back...

My mother-in-law Irene had cleaned and picked up the house before we got there.

It was so nice to walk into a clean home!  Thank you Irene!!!!!!

It was a bit surreal bringing her home.

I am still blown away by God blessing us with these 4 beautiful children. 

3 weeks later we are still adjusting to being a family of 6...there have been quite a few moments of craziness and I am sure there will be more. 

I feel as though we are almost finding somewhat of a "new normal" with Miss Olivia joining the ranks.

Thank you Lord for our family of 6, despite how crazy it feels and how overwhelming it has been at times, it sure is amazing to watch these 3 boys loving their baby sister.

And a Daddy who has been transformed by his little girl.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Miss Olivia's Birth Story Part 2: What's in the diaper?

The hardest part about Olivia not arriving until so late in the evening was knowing the boys would have to wait until the next morning to meet their sister!

They were sound asleep when she finally graced us with her presence, so I suppose they didn't know any different, but it was hard for me to wait!

As soon as I knew we were having a girl I dreamed of the day she would be born and her big brothers would get to meet her. 

They had been praying for a sister for so long!

You may also remember that Elijah told me that there was a baby in my tummy and that it was a sister before I even knew I was pregnant!  

Crazy huh? He said he had prayed for a sister before and we got Isaac, but Jesus said he was sorry so he gave him a sister this time!

I laughed at him, because being pregnant was the farthest thing from my mind and having a daughter was unfathomable! 

Jonah and Elijah didn't want to know if the baby was a boy or a girl until they could come to the hospital and see for themselves. 

So the morning after she was born, Richard headed home and helped get them all ready to come meet their baby sister.

Before they got to the hospital, I took her pink clothes off and took everything out of the crib so they couldn't tell it was a girl.  She just had a diaper on and was in the crib.

They walked in the room and the big boys went right up to the crib, peeked at her, and Elijah said, "It's a boy."  Then I said, "Is it?" and Jonah got really excited and said, "It's a girl?!?"

I said they better look in the diaper and check for themselves. 

Elijah decided that was a bad idea because he was pretty sure she was a boy and he remembered how baby boys pee very easily when their diaper is taken off. 

He tried to convince Jonah to do it, but he was pretty nervous too...

So Richard did it.

The look on their faces when they realized she was a girl makes me cry every time I see this picture...

When they saw what was in the diaper, they said, "It's a girl???? We finally have a sister!"

They were so excited it was adorable!!!!

Isaac was pretty curious and went right up to her and said, "Baby....nice, nice!" and wanted to touch her

and hug and kiss her right away too!

Jonah played the biggest brother card and wanted to hold her first. 

Then Elijah wanted a turn.

He was pretty proud of his baby sister!

Isaac was curious enough about everything else going on, he was perfectly happy waiting his turn to check out Miss Olivia. 

Can't believe all these beautiful babies are mine!

Too bad they didn't really like her huh?

Isaac was pretty fascinated with Miss Olivia 

The whole time they were visiting, the boys kept exclaiming how excited they were to have a sister.

When Isaac was born, the boys had a hard time leaving me in the hospital and going home. 

When Isaac was born, they weren't too worried about him having to spend a night at the hospital, but really wanted me to come home.  

The first night after Olivia was born, when it was time for them to leave, Elijah was very worried about his sister coming home with him.  I reminded him about how Olivia and I had to stay another night to make sure we were okay.

He said, "You can stay another day, but I want to take my sister home now!"

So sweet!

The big boys were able to stay a little later that first night with Richard and Olivia and I.

Irene took Isaac home and got him to bed (THANK You Irene!!!!!) and the big boys were able to stay and watch Karate Kid with us.  

It was so fun to watch them taking turns holding her and just loving her. 

We were blessed with many visitors while we were in the hospital too!

Great Grandpa Tony (GGP)

and Great Grandma Sharon made the trip to meet Miss Olivia and joined my mom and the boys for lunch. The boys LOVE their great grandparents and enjoy spending time with them!

Aunt Nikki and Uncle Tom

Miss Ally, my cousin's daughter, who was cheering for a girl!

My cousin Stacy and her other darling daughter Kate....these girls are going to have to teach me a few things about having a little girl in the house ;0)

Grandma Irene, who was an AMAZING help with the boys while we were in the hospital and for the next week and 1/2 when we got home.

We couldn't have done it without you Grandma Renie!  The boys sure miss having you here!!!!!
(Olivia is wrapped up in the beautiful blanket Irene made for her)

Grandma Teresa, who also helped out a ton with the boys and ran a few errands for me involving purchasing a few pink items for Miss Olivia!
I can't find a picture that turned out of Grandpa Rod with his first grand daughter, but he was there too!

Auntie Laura came on Sunday to meet her niece!

We also had many family, friends and my super co-workers stopped in to meet her too!

I can't even begin to tell you how crazy it is to have a girl after all these boys!

Olivia has no idea how blessed she is to have these big brothers who adore her and will protect her for life.  Richard and I are pretty sure she won't have any dates when she gets older...or at least if she does he will have to big one tough guy to get past her 3 big brother and daddy!

Part 3 is coming soon! Bringing Olivia Home...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Miss Olivia's Birth Story Part 1: It's a....

I can't believe that almost three weeks ago we were taking the last belly shot at 39 weeks (at 4:30am) and getting ready to head to the hospital to have our baby!

As we drove to the hospital that morning, it was hard to not feel anxious for what the day would bring and excited at the same time that we were finally going to meet this little person who already felt like part of our family, but whom we had never met!

I also realized, of the 4 times we were pregnant (including Miss Olivia):
 this was the 2nd time we had gone to the hospital together to have a baby, the first time I had packed my own bag, and would end up being the longest we waited for any of our children!

We arrived at 5am and I hardly slept the 2 nights prior as I was anxious and excited!

After getting my IV placed, antibiotics going (I was Group B Strep positive), they checked me and I was still only 1.5cm dilated!

My Dr wanted to start some pitocin, a very low dose due to my history of quick labor/delivery, and she would come break my water between 9 and 10 when she came for her morning rounds. 

Many people have asked me if it is awkward to deliver in the same area that you work, and have your coworkers see you in labor. 

I have to say I think the experience is much better knowing who my nurse is and having my friends and coworkers caring for me and my baby. 

Plus, it was sure fun to visit with them while we were waiting ALL day long!

My friend Rachel (who also happened to be our nurse when we were in labor with Isaac) and Christina admitted us that morning, my friend Becky happened to be working the night before and stopped in to say hello...

Plus, when you know the staff, you get special treatment...
like notes of encouragement for your baby to come out...

By the time my Dr came around I was already 3.5cm and I remember thinking we could have a baby by the end of the school day...or supper.

My Dr broke my water and we increased the pitocin a little more and I was feeling the contractions and they were slightly uncomfortable, but nothing crazy or painful. 

It was hard to tell if they were "effective" since I had been having some pretty decent contractions since 18 weeks.  I made it all the way to 4 for my pitocin before Miss Olivia and my uterus got into a small disagreement.

I had a 6 minute long contraction and poor Olivia didn't care for it and dropped her heart rate pretty low.

It was scary to be laying there while it was happening because I knew everything they were doing was because her heart rate was too low. 

I remember mentally preparing myself for a c-section, which would have been the result had the contraction not resolved or her heart rate not improved. 

More fabulous co-workers rushed in to help our nurse, Kerry (who was AMAZING by the way) and tried to keep me calm as we waited for the contraction to end and Olivia to respond. 

When it kept going I was given some medication to stop the contraction, which in turn stopped my contractions completely and the pitocin was turned off during this time was well. 

Olivia's heart rate finally came back up, but due to that we had to wait for a few hours before doing anything again. They also placed an internal monitor in her scalp in order to get a more accurate reading...so I was restricted to being close to the bed and on monitors. 

So we waited, and waited, and waited...

My friend Amy was working that day and stopped in to say hello too...

Richard's mom was home with our boys and I am so grateful for that. It was such a relief to not have to worry about them all day. They had a blast with her too and I don't think they wore her out too much ;0)

My friend Mollie (who is also a nurse in labor and delivery) brought Richard some lunch and visited for awhile too.

Richard and my mom spent the day waiting with me and my sister Nikki and Dad came up much later in the day to hang out and do more waiting...

I don't remember lots of specifics about time and how things progressed, but I do know it was so SLOW and hard to be patient.  Fortunately I wasn't really even that uncomfortable for the most part during the day.  For whatever reason I just wasn't dilating very quickly, yet was having contractions regularly. 

Our nurse Kerry did such a great job during the day and I knew my friend Mollie was working that night so I was hoping this baby would come at shift change in order for them both to experience her birth. 

Miss Olivia had something else in mind. 

Mollie ended up being my nurse at 7pm and I was starting to worry this little one was holding off until the 29th of October to be born!

Eventually we ended up turning the pitocin up again and finally my contractions were becoming uncomfortable and requiring me to breathe through them.  I think this was sometime between 8:30pm and 9:30pm...Richard, my mom, sister Nikki and Dad were all in the room keeping me entertained and we watched baseball while we continued to wait...

This picture is bittersweet for me.

It was taken right before things started getting "ugly" or before I started experiencing the most horrendous pain I have ever felt and thought I was going to die

I was able to deliver the boys all naturally and really wanted to do that again, but was fearful of the pitocin and how much worse it made the contractions.  

Looking back, had I known how bad it was going to be I am not sure I would have been able to do it.

The only way I survived the last hour of labor, which proved to be the most painful I had experienced of all 4 children, was by the grace of God, and the encouragement of Richard, my mom, sister and amazing nurse Mollie!  I was begging them for something, anything, to stop the pain. I am pretty sure I ridiculously continued to proclaim over and over how I couldn't do it and wanted it to be over. 

The hardest part of it all was not knowing how much longer it was going to be, since everything had proven to be completely different than my 3 previous labors. 

Somehow I made it through and remember not wanting to know how far dilated I was anymore as it was just too depressing to know I hadn't changed. 

I do remember my Dr checking me during the hour of HELL and at some point letting Mollie know it was time to set up for the delivery. 

I know at that point I told God I was sure I couldn't handle much more of this and to please help me make it to the end quickly!

The next thing I remember was feeling the intense pressure that comes right before the baby is born and feeling so completely exhausted I couldn't even open my eyes or speak. 

Then I remember my Dr telling me I could push with the next contraction if I thought it would help. 

She said I still had a little bit of cervix left, but could probably push through it. 

So I did. 

And her head started coming out before they were ready.

Then I remember hearing Mollie yelling my Dr's name and she told me to stop pushing until they were ready.  Then I took a deep breath and in one giant push and a little lots of screaming...

We finally met our sweet baby girl!

Only the funny part is, due to the craziness at the end of her coming so quick after waiting all day, no one announced if it was a boy or girl.  Richard said he saw her face and since she looked so much like her big brothers he thought it was another boy.

Until at almost a minute of life, our nurse said "It's a...." and our Dr turned Olivia (whose legs had been together the whole time) and Richard just happened to be standing right there as she opened her legs and he saw it was NOT a boy!

Then he was in shock for the next few minutes as he processed this. 

My dad was standing outside the door and he heard the announcement "It's a GIRL!!!!" and passed the great news along to my fabulous coworkers who were anxiously waiting to find out boy or girl and were standing in the nurses station just a few feet down from our room. 

So 17 hours after we arrived at the hospital, Miss Olivia was born at 10:33pm on...

Weighing (7lbs 15.6oz) and 21 inches long...

I was in so much pain after she was born that I didn't cry until I had her in my arms after she was all wrapped up.  Couldn't believe she was finally here safe and sound!

And that she really was a girl!!!!!  It was one of the best secrets I have ever kept!

Loving her adorableness...

Our amazing Dr with Miss Olivia!  

Richard was still digesting the fact that we had a daughter!

She had lots of dark hair

Mollie, Olivia and I

Auntie Nikki, Olivia and I

We just couldn't stop looking at her

Daddy and his little lady

Grandma Teresa (who was so amazing during the whole day and through labor...meant so much to have her there for Olivia's birth and her encouragement)

Grandpa Rod loving his new granddaughter! 

Auntie Nikki sneaking in some snuggle time!

My mom headed to our house so Grandma Irene could come meet Miss Olivia too!

Our nurse Sara giving Olivia her first bath

She was super impressed...

Richard was overwhelmed with the fact that we had a girl and I started pulling out pink clothes that I had brought with making him feeling even more overwhelmed I think ;0)

After all was said and done we headed to our new room and were able to catch a few hours of sleep.

Olivia was a super eater and we were exhausted but overwhelmed with joy!

My friend Rachel made Olivia a sweet hat with It's a Girl on it!
Miss Olivia, even though I knew you were a girl, I couldn't believe it until I saw it for myself!

I have loved being the momma of 3 boys, but it sure is fun to have a daughter too!

You have stolen our hearts!

Working on Part 2 of her birth story where her big brothers got to meet her!

Hoping to have it done soon...it makes me cry every time, and it's hard to type when you are teary eyed!