April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I'm posting super late tonight, but I saw this link-up and thought it would be a good way to share what's going on with us lately.  Kyla and Kase are in bed and Tyler is hanging out with Kenley before she eats for the last time before bed.

What we're eating... Let's keep it real here.  I have a needy 5 week old baby and two toddlers.  I am not making any amazing meals lately.  My kids love having breakfast for dinner so we've had pancakes a few times lately.  Last night we had a freezer meal that my sister-in-law made.  Tonight was leftovers.  I have made shredded chicken in the crockpot a couple times, which is super easy and really good.  We just eat it in sandwiches.  Hopefully soon I can start making some good (and hopefully some new) meals.

What I'm reminiscing about... sleeping a full night.  Between a newborn and terrible sleep during pregnancy, it seems like forever ago that I got a good night of sleep!

What I'm loving... the weather!  It's been in the 60's, perfect to get out and get some fresh air!

What we've been up to... I'm actually planning on doing a "day in the life" post soon.  I've done a couple in the past and it's always fun to see what life was like back when I only had one baby or when Kase was born, etc.  So you can look for that soon.  But we've been pretty boring here, not leaving the house much.  I feel like I breastfeed all day.  And we're still all trying to adjust to life as a family of 5.  We have some good days and some bad.

What I'm dreading... Cleaning/organizing the kids toy room(s).  Kenley's room has turned into a toy room since she's sleeping in our room and then there is a toy room downstairs.  Both are such a disaster and full of toys.  We plan on going through and selling and/or donating a bunch.  We have SO many!  I'm not looking forward to doing it, but it needs to be done.  I'm not sure when Kenley will move to her room, but I'd like to get it somewhat ready.

What I'm working on... Finding some type of routine.  Kenley likes to be held 24/7 so I'm trying to figure out a balance.  I'm also working on finishing some house projects.  We finally bought a few big pictures for our bare walls.  It's finally starting to become really homey (after almost a year of living here).

What I'm excited about... the weekend!  Kyla asks almost every night if tomorrow is Saturday because she knows Daddy doesn't have to go to work on Saturday's.  We all love when he's home, but she is such a Daddy's girl and doesn't leave his side on the weekends.

What I'm watching/reading... I have American Idol on, but I'm not really watching it.  I watched Survivor while I ironed some of Tyler's work clothes tonight.  I'm rooting for Mike to win!  I used to read for myself, but ever since having kids I really haven't found the time.  I would like to start again, but the free time I have is usually at night and sleep is just more important at the moment.

What I'm listening to... Some dude singing.  I haven't followed this season at all, but I like to have something on in the background.

What I'm wearing... a tank top and lounge pants.  My typical wardrobe.  Tank tops are easiest when I'm breastfeeding so unless I go out in the public somewhere, that's usually what I have on.

What I'm doing this weekend... My niece is having her 7th birthday party Saturday night so we'll be going to that.  Otherwise, just hanging out, hopefully getting outside with the kids, and getting some stuff done around the house (like those dreaded toy rooms).

What I'm looking forward to next month... My six week post partum appointment next week, hopefully a weekend (or day) at the farm and Memorial Day weekend.

What else is new... Not a whole lot!  Just trying to get through this stage where it feels like each day we're just surviving!

What I'm giving (or what I want) for Mother's Day... we just get both of our moms a card.  Hopefully they both know how much we love them and thank them for everything they do.  And I kind of already bought myself something, haha.  I have been eyeing up a new diaper bag so I pulled the plug and ordered it yesterday.  Tyler has surprised me with flowers a few times in the last couple months, which I always love.  My sister-in-law and I are going to get pedicures next weekend so that will be part of my gift too.

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  Kenley is going to need to eat soon and then I need to get to bed!  But I can't leave you without one, so here is my sweet girl at 1 month old!

Hopefully I'll be back next week with that day in the life post!

April 23, 2015

My fertility story

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  Obviously I have three kids so I am not infertile, but I did struggle to get pregnant the first time.  It was stressful, emotional and something that I didn't really talk to people about.  I always thought it was kind of strange that people didn't talk about it.  It's an important issue that so many people struggle with and it's important to have support.  My heart goes out to anyone out there who is struggling to get pregnant.  We were lucky to have great doctors that helped us figure out what the problem was so we could fulfill our dreams of having a family.  I decided to share our story on this little blog because in the two years that we were trying, I liked reading other women's stories.  Every story is different and I don't think it's something that has to be kept quiet.  So here is my story.

Tyler and I are planners.  When we were dating, we would separately sit down and write what we wanted in our lives.  When we wanted to get engaged, get married, buy a house, have kids, etc.  Then we'd compare.  We were usually pretty spot on with our plans.  We both agreed that we wanted to wait a few years to have kids after we got married, to take time to enjoy each other (and sleeping in on the weekends).

We got married in 2006.  We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, were lucky enough to go to Italy and Greece in 2007, bought our first house later in 2007.  We enjoyed going out with friends, playing in several volleyball leagues, sleeping in, and all those other things that kind of lose importance once you have kids.

Then we both agreed, it was time for a baby!  We'd stop birth control and get pregnant.  Isn't that how it works?  For some people, yes it does.  For others, it's not that easy.

We tried for a year and nothing.  I took so many pregnancy tests and was just as devastated with every single negative.  This wasn't how it was supposed to work.

After that year, I made an appointment with some doctors that I had a few friends recommend.  They were wonderful and very positive.  They assured us that they had no doubt that we would get pregnant.

The first easy step was some blood work.  My prolactin level came back high (which can cause infertility) so they put me on some medicine to lower it.  They also had me do an MRI of my brain because one cause of high prolactin is a tumor on the pituitary gland.  Thankfully, that came back fine.  So I took the medicine and had to go in every other week to have my blood drawn to see if it was going down.  I honestly can't remember how long it took, but eventually it was down to an acceptable level.  But after several more months of trying to get pregnant...nothing.  They had no reason to believe there was something wrong on Tyler's end, but they checked everything, and it was fine.

In April of 2010 my doctors decided to do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is basically an x-ray to see if there is blockage in the fallopian tubes.  I won't get into details, but this test was extremely painful.  They said there was some minor blockage, but they didn't think enough to require surgery.  The doctor told us that sometimes the dye that they use is enough to clear the blockage so they wanted us to try for a few more months and then move on to the next step.

I'm actually not sure what the next step was.  The very next month, on May 17th, 2010, I got my first positive pregnancy test!  I was at work and just had this weird feeling so I ran to Walgreens for a test and took it in the work bathroom.  I was in complete shock.  This "story" may not seem like a big deal since it was pretty short.  But when you want to get pregnant so bad and literally take a test every month for two years, not understanding why it isn't happening, it is exhausting.  I know a lot of people struggle for a lot longer so I'm very grateful, but it was a very hard time for us.

My doctors said they believe the HSG is what allowed us to get pregnant and that minor blockage was enough to cause my infertility.  That awful procedure that Tyler almost passed out during (he might kill me for putting that in there), was obviously SO worth it!

Luckily when we were ready to have more babies, we didn't have any issues.  We are so blessed!

1 in 8 people live with infertility.  We all probably have a family member or friend who is living with it.  We likely don't know it though because people just don't talk about it.  It's not something people should feel ashamed of.  Share your story.  You are not alone.

April 13, 2015

The first 3 weeks and Easter 2015

Well, we've survived our first three weeks as a family of 5!  I've made it two weeks with Tyler back at work and me home with all three little ones.  It's been hard, but I feel like it's getting a little easier each day.

Kenley had her two week appointment last Tuesday and is around the 90th percentile for everything.  She was 9 lbs 13 oz so I'm sure she is 10 pounds by now.  You wouldn't guess it when you see her though.  She still seems so teeny tiny!  She's doing great though.  She LOVES to be held and HATES to be put down.  I can usually get about 5 minutes in her swing before she is screaming.  This makes getting anything done very difficult!  Sometimes, as much as it breaks my heart, I have to let her cry for a bit.  You know, because I have those two other kids to take care of.  Once in awhile they need lunch or a new diaper or just 5 minutes of Mama's time.

Cooking and cleaning have been very scarce around here during the day.  I try to catch up on the house stuff when Tyler gets home.  It's actually kind of a nice break.  Freezer meals have been popular and thankfully my sweet mom and sister-in-law made meals for us that we have been enjoying.

I went to my doctor last Wednesday and my incision looks great and I feel like I'm slowly starting to look like I had the baby already and not like 6 months pregnant.  I still have pain once in awhile when I do too much.  I sometimes forget this recovery is much different (and much slower) than with the other two.  I'm really looking forward to my 6 week checkup so I can start getting outside with the kids for walks.  When I need to get out of the house, I pack everyone up and go for a ride.  But holy cow, that is a process!  Kenley isn't a huge fan of riding in the van yet.

Cheering on our Badgers!
I am breastfeeding and she eats pretty much every two hours.  Up until two nights ago she was eating every 2-3 hours at night too.  By the time I get her back to sleep, I get about an hour of sleep before she is up again.  But (knock on wood), the last two nights she ate at 10:00 pm, 2:00 am, and then 6:00 am.  Three straight hours of sleep is amazing!  Tyler has been giving her a bottle at the 6:00 am feeding so I can get a little more sleep before Kyla and Kase get up.

Kyla has been a big help (sometimes too much) and is absolutely obsessed with her baby sister.  She loves to pick out her clothes, hold her, help Tyler feed her bottles, and smother her with hugs and kisses.  Kase has pretty much ignored her altogether.  A couple times he has gone over to the swing while she's in it and given her a good push.  But otherwise he has not gone near her.  He gets upset when he can't crawl up on my lap while I'm feeding her.  And he's had a hard time accepting that I can't pick him up.  I try to give him some extra attention at night when Tyler is home.  He loves to snuggle on my lap before bed.

I got Kenley's newborn pictures taken when she was a week old.  She refused to sleep though so we didn't get many.  She caught her blinking in this one so it looks like she was sleeping :)

We've been trying to get Kyla and Kase outside as much as possible at night since I can't really take them all outside yet.  I'm looking forward to it warming up a little so I can take Kenley out with them.

I'm combining this post with Easter because everyone here is napping and who knows when I'll have a chance to get on here again!

Every Easter we go to my mom and step dad's for lunch and an egg hunt.  We weren't sure if we would go this year, but everyone was feeling well and we wanted Kyla and Kase to get to do the egg hunt.  I knew they'd love it.  Each year it gets more fun watching them run around the yard screaming that they found one.  Kase really just liked running around.  Tyler helped him find the eggs and Kase enjoyed putting them in his basket.  Kyla had an absolute blast!

I got my good camera out (first time in a long time!) and while looking through the pictures, I thought all the pictures looked kind of funny.  I then realized my camera was on a weird setting the whole time.  How annoying!  But anyway, here are some that I wanted to share and have to look back on some day.

My attempt at a cousins picture before they took off running.  Kase was clearly not interested.

Each egg had a name on it so she's checking to see if it's for her.

"It says KYLA!"

Tyler was busy chasing Kase around and helping him find his eggs.

Kyla and Grandpa looking for the missing eggs

The weather was beautiful!

High five for Daddy!

I can't believe how close they are in height!  Gianna is almost 7, but so petite!

Sun was a little bright :)

Haha, love this one of Gianna!
It never fails that we all spend 20 minutes outside looking for the missing egg or two.  This year was no different.  Grandpa will probably find them when he mows the yard.  It's such a fun tradition every year!

The Easter bunny was very good to us!

Kyla got some Littlest Pet Shop stuff, shoes, gum, an Anna doll, and a couple peanut butter eggs.  Kase got a Brewers outfit, some cars, a dump truck, some puzzles and some peanut butter eggs.  Kenley got a couple stuffed animals, a book and a rattle toy.

The baby's awake and ready to eat!  Hopefully I'll be back with another post soon!

April 3, 2015

Kenley's Birth Story

I share my babies birth stories on this blog because they are days and moments that I want to remember forever.  Of course I will never forget them, but 20 years from now I probably won't remember the little details and our feelings.  Plus I think it will be neat for the kids to read some day rather than us just telling them about the days they entered this world.

You can read Kyla's birth story HERE and Kase's HERE.  It was fun to read them again myself!

Warning - This is really long, but again, it is my personal account of Kenley's story and I included the details I could remember.  And as you will see, it all happened extremely fast so there really was no time for pictures.

After having contractions for over a week and being told I was dilated to 3 cm for a week and a half, I finally felt like it was the real deal late Friday, the 20th of March.  I took a shower and went to bed around 11:00 with the contractions continuing and getting stronger.  I hate that feeling of not knowing when it's time to head to the hospital.  I always feared going in and having them send us home.  But my problem was my mom is an hour away and then we have another half hour to the hospital.  So I couldn't wait TOO long and risk not getting there on time since I had an hour and a half to get there.  I also didn't want to call my mom to come over and then have the contractions stop, like they had done for several days before.

Around 3:45 am, I decided it was time to call her.  Her and my step dad were here by about 4:45 and we were out the door by 5:00.

One last pregnancy picture before we left!

We arrived at the hospital around 5:30 and got hooked up to the monitors and had a cervical check.  Still only 3 cm.  I was SO disappointed!  My contractions were strong, but not the crazy intense can't talk or walk kind.  I immediately got emotional (blame it on the hormones) and thought for sure they'd be sending us home.

After being monitored for about an hour, the nurse came in and said my doctor wanted me to get an IV.  The baby's heart rate was dropping with every contractions and they thought maybe I was dehydrated.  20 minutes later she came in and had me flip over to lay on my right side, hoping that would help Kenley's heart rate.  She said they were really worried about the baby and I would not be going home.  I was too scared at that point to be excited about not going home.

My doctor came in at 7:30 and broke the bad news.  I needed a c-section.  I did not want this at all and immediately started crying.  I obviously wanted what was best for the baby, but I just wasn't expecting this.  My first two pregnancies were so similar and everything went so smoothly and exactly how I expected.  He explained that my baby was not handling the contractions well at all.  They could give me something to make them faster and stronger, but if she couldn't handle them at that point, he was very confident that she would not handle them as I progressed.  He said there was no doubt it would end in a c-section regardless.

As he was explaining all this, he was also watching her heart rate on the monitor.  At 7:30 am, he said to the nurse, "OK, we need to go NOW!"  Within minutes, there were about 5 more people in the room, including two anesthesiologists who were explaining what they would do and how the surgery would go.  I couldn't even concentrate on what they were saying because everyone else in the room was talking and getting me ready.  It was pretty chaotic.  They bumped another planned c-section so I could get in right away.  Before we knew it, I was being wheeled to the operating room and Tyler was taken away to get dressed in his scrubs.

While they were getting me ready and about to do my spinal, I could not stop shaking.  My legs were shaking uncontrollably.  I was so scared.  I knew c-sections were so common and safe, but it all happened so fast.  Looking back, it was probably a good thing it happened so fast so I didn't have more time to think about it.

I had the spinal and was all set.  They brought Tyler in and had strict instructions to not tell us what was happening and definitely not show him anything (he has a VERY weak stomach).  I was very worried that he may not be able to be in there with me.  But he did amazing and was so supportive.  They told us everything would take about 45 minutes.  I really didn't feel much except for some tugging and pressure when they took her out.  And I got some weird pain in my shoulders.  They gave me some pain medicine for that, which then made me throw up.  But overall, it went well.

At 8:21 am, Kenley Lynn was born.  It took a couple minutes, but we finally heard her cry.  They talked about how cute she was and how much hair she had.  I couldn't wait to see her!  But she had swallowed some meconium and had to have a tube put down her throat to get it all out before it went into her lungs.  I couldn't believe how fast it all happened.  We were told later that my doctors (they were in the middle of a shift change so two of them were in there doing the surgery) did it all start to finish in 22 minutes.

This was our first picture of our sweet girl.  Tyler took this while I was still in the OR and he was waiting for me in recovery.

We spent about an hour in recovery where Tyler and I just kept looking at each other, and at Kenley, amazed at what just happened.  This is where I finally got to hold her and breastfeed for the first time.  She latched on like a champ!

My doctor came to talk to us and let us know that they weren't positive why her heart was decelerating so much.  They think her swallowing the meconium was a result of being under stress, not the cause of it.  They sent my placenta off to pathology because they think that was the cause.  I go in next week for a checkup so maybe I will find out the results.  I'm anxious to know, but really it doesn't matter.  I trusted my doctors with their decision.  And we now have our healthy little girl home with us.

We could not be happier.  She is the perfect addition to our family.  Our family of 5!

Such a bad picture, but yet I love it so much!
Since this post is already really long, I will do a separate one with how we are all adjusting now that we're home and Tyler is back to work!