Friday, July 13, 2018

Briggs' Birth Story

Just like with Wells and Grayer (their birth stories are HERE and HERE), I wanted to make sure to write down the events surrounding Briggs' birth.

I had my 37 week appointment on Monday, May 21st. I had not dilated at all, which was no surprise. I did not dilate with either of the other boys until I went into labor. I found at at this appointment that my lab work from the week before showed that I tested positive for Group B Strep. I did not test positive for this for either other pregnancy, so I really had no idea what that meant. I was told that I would be put on an antibiotic via IV during labor to ensure that the baby did not contract it. The only issue? You have to be on the antibiotic for at least 4 hours before giving birth. Since Grayer was born only 45 minutes after checking in to L&D, I was told to get to the hospital as soon as I started contracting this time to ensure the medicine would have time to get into my system.

That Saturday, May 26th, we threw Wells' 4th birthday party. Since the baby was due only 2 days before Wells' actual birthday, we wanted to make sure to have the party a few weeks early. It was a fun but tiring day. I was on my feet a LOT and was feeling exhausted. On Sunday we met up with family after church to have lunch and then walked around at the outlets some. More walking = more tired!

I woke up on Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day), with contractions. They weren't painful, but they were regular. I had been having Braxton Hicks for months, so I wanted to make sure these were the real deal. I got up and made pancakes, and the contractions continued to come. I told Eric to go ahead and pack his bag (I had just packed mine 3 days earlier!) and gave my mom a call. My contractions were still not painful (but were regular enough that I was pretty sure today was the day), but because I needed to be on antibiotics hours prior to delivering, I wanted to make sure that we got to the hospital in enough time. 

We headed to my mom's and dropped off the boys. My mom wanted us to call her and let her know when to head to the hospital. Since Wells was a 30+ hour labor and Grayer was a super quick labor, we had no idea what to expect this time around. We said goodbye to Wells & Grayer and headed to the hospital. Side note: Eric almost turned into the wrong hospital. Even though this is our third child. #facepalm

We got to the hospital and checked in around maybe 12:30pm. Another girl was being wheeled up to L&D alongside us, and she looked like she was in a lot of pain. I felt like an idiot for being there so early and feeling pretty good still, but i knew it was important for the baby's health to be there early enough for antibiotics. Once we got into the exam room, they hooked me up to the monitors. The contractions were getting a little stronger but still not too bad. They checked me and I was at about 4cm. We were in the exam room for about an hour, and the doctor admitted us. We moved rooms around 2pm I guess. Once we were there, my mom, dad, sister, nephew, and the boys headed up to the hospital. Things didn't seem to be progressing as fast as I'd hoped, and all the boys headed to the waiting room to let the boys watch their tablets and then they headed to the McDonald's right around the corner.
Ready to get the show on the road!

When your husband taunts you with food but all you can eat is ice.

My mom and sister stayed with me. My sister painted my nails and did my hair, and my mom made fun of me for diffusing my essential oils in the room. :) By this point, I was hooked up to IVs with the antibiotic and fluids. Because they wanted to monitor the baby's heart, I was not able to walk around, which I was kind of upset about. But I was able to sit on a birthing ball right next to the bed. The contractions were getting much stronger by now and were taking some considerable concentration to get through. I did much better this time around focusing on my breathing and remaining calm. 

Eventually the nurse checked me and I was only at 5cm! I had only dilated a cm more than the last exam which was several hours before. The doctor came in and asked if I wanted to have her break my water to see if that would speed things up. I definitely wanted to speed it up. But she also wanted to know if I wanted an epidural. I was really torn. I didn't have an epidural with Grayer (because he came too fast), so I knew I could do it. But this labor seemed to be taking a lot longer. The doctor also said that the anesthesiologist was on the floor at that time and that she could not guarantee that he could get there quickly later. I was really stressed about what to do, and Eric practically begged me to get the epidural (apparently, the screaming I did without the epidural the last time scarred him for life! haha just kidding! #butseriously). I decided to have my water broken and hold off for a little bit on the epidural. Almost immediately after she broke my water, the contractions got much, much worse. I was checked a few minutes later and was at 7cm. Still not sure how long labor was going to take this time, I went ahead and asked for the epidural. The contractions were awful once the anesthesiologist got in the room, and my mom and the nurse helped me through the contractions so that I could be still enough for him to administer the epidural. For whatever reason, it took two or three tries to get it in right. Not fun. At this point, it was almost 8pm, and my mom decided to go ahead and take the boys back to her house to put them down to bed. She would come back up by herself after that. The epidural did not seem to be kicking in all the way. The contractions were a little better, but I started feeling intense pain in one targeted area. My left side was in excruciating pain every time a contraction would come (which was almost continuously at this point). I was writhing in pain, and Eric decided to call the nurse. She checked me and I was at 10cm. I could tell by her phone call asking for assistance that the baby was close. She never said it, but I would guess that he was crowning or close to it because I'm pretty sure I heard her tell whoever was on the other end to hurry because the baby would probably be out in one push. 

The doctor (the same one who delivered Wells almost 4 years earlier) came in and we were ready to roll. I pushed through one last contraction, and Briggs Alexander was here at 9:13pm!

They put him on my chest immediately. Just a few minutes later, one of the nurses noticed that he was apparently making a strange noise when breathing. I'll always be thankful for her noticing that. They took him from me, put him on the warming table, and discovered that he wasn't breathing quite like he should. He was breathing on his own but not at the level he should have been. They put an oxygen mask on him, but when they took it off, his numbers would drop every time. Eric and I were really scared, and they told us that they were going to need to take him to the NICU. I was a mess. Before they put him in the incubator on the rolling cart, they took his measurements. He was 7lbs 7oz and 19in long. He was our smallest baby (but if he had been born on his due date two full weeks later, he probably would have been our biggest!). My mom walked in and was able to see him before they left for the NICU. 

We moved rooms and were finally able to go visit Briggs around midnight. We weren't able to hold him. He had an oxygen tube and was hooked up to all kinds of machines. I cried the whole time we were there. The doctor came to let us know that he likely had breathed in amniotic fluid. He said that this happens a lot and that some babies are able to work it out themselves and that some need to stay in the NICU a little longer. We were told that they would make a decision around 4am as to whether he would stay in the NICU or if he could come back to us. My mom headed home, and Eric and I headed back to our room. Eric had grabbed me a little something to eat from the cafeteria (I hadn't eaten since breakfast), and I cried the whole time I ate. Eric prayed for Briggs, and by the time we got in bed, it was 2am. I was up and pumping by probably 3:30am (since I hadn't been able to nurse Briggs right away due to his complications). At 4:00, I called the NICU to ask if we could come see him and hold him and also to see what they had decided. When we got there, I held him and was able to breastfeed. Then Eric got to hold him. He was off of all oxygen and was breathing perfectly. They decided that he could move to the step-down unit.

Exhausted from no sleep & nonstop crying,but so happy to hold my boy!

Daddy & Briggs
 We headed back to the room and I was able to sleep for about 45 minutes. I headed to the step-down nursery to feed Briggs again. His new nurse let me know that as long as his blood sugar tests were good after each feed, he could come to our room that afternoon. So all that morning and early afternoon, I would nurse him and then feed him a few milliliters of formula to ensure his tests would be good. It was in this nursery that Wells got to meet Briggs for the first time (Grayer was not old enough to visit this area), and he was so excited. He held him and picked out a book for him from the little library they have there. 

Briggs' nurse in the step-down unit was was awesome and got him discharged even earlier than she promised. I was so happy to have baby Briggs with me again. Grayer got to meet him that afternoon. For the next day and a half, I got to spend lots of snuggle time with my new boy. We ended up having to stay until Thursday morning (he had to have antibiotics for 48 hours because of the Group B Strep), so we were beyond ready to be home! So thankful that God took care of our boy and that he has been healthy ever since.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Briggs is ONE month!

Literally, how in the world did that happen so quickly? The baby of the family is already a whopping one month old, which means it's time for his first monthly update/picture!

Weighs: Briggs' one-month check-up is next week, so I don't know his exact weight right now. But I did weigh myself on the scale and then held him with me on the scale and figured out that he weighs about 10.5 lbs. We'll see how accurate that was! {{Just for reference, at his two-week appointment he had gained 1.5 pounds and two inches in length}}

Sleeps: Briggs is a pretty good sleeper throughout the day. He still enjoys napping a lot, and due to the LOUD noise level of our house, he can sleep through just about anything ;) Just like we did with Wells & Grayer, we try to make sure he gets some awake time in the evening so he's ready to go down at night. During the night, he wakes up every 3-4 hours; so that's usually two overnight wake-ups and one in the morning once it's time for everyone else to wake up.

Eats: Briggs is a great eater! He hasn't had a full bottle of breast milk yet (just about one ounce that I pumped for Wells to feed him because he had been DYING to feed him!), so I'm not sure how many ounces he is eating in one sitting. During the day, he usually eats every two hours.

Wears: He can still wear some newborn items (some of the sleepers are definitely getting too small, though). I guess 0-3 month clothes are the best fit right now. We are finishing up the last of his newborn diapers, and then we'll be starting to use size 1's.

Plays: He's obviously not into toys yet, but he is starting to hold his gaze a little more. He will stare at items if you put them in front of him. He will listen to you talk to him, and he is starting to get a tinnnnnyyyyyy bit vocal. He seems to like when there is a lot going on around him (which is all the time in our house!!!).

Briggs has been such a blessing in his short little life! He has such a sweet personality and has been so easy going. His big brothers both love him and always want to be near him, be touching him, and be talking to him. As fast as this month flew by, I know it'll seem like no time that he's up and running around with his bubbas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hello Baby + Hello Summer

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I was busy having a baby and all! :)

My due date was June 11th, but I had a feeling little man might come a little early. We celebrated Wells' 4th birthday with a party a few weeks early just in case the baby came on a later weekend. We got the party done just in time because I was in labor two days later. We welcomed Briggs Alexander on May 28th. Just like I did with Wells and Grayer, I'll be posting his birth story here on the blog.

So far it has been a great summer! Eric is off of work (perks of the teacher life!), and we are getting to spend lots of quality time together as a family of FIVE! Here's a little of our life lately...

Like I said, we had an early birthday party for Wells. He has been LOVING sea turtles lately, so we had an Under the Sea 4th birthday party for him. He and Grayer had a great time playing with all their friends, and we were all exhausted after all that bounce house/water slide fun!

Two days after that, we headed to the hospital since I was in labor! Later that night, we welcomed baby brother Briggs into the world! We had to stay in the hospital from Monday through Thursday morning (details why in upcoming birth story), so I was BEYOND ready to get back home! Even though they came to visit at the hospital, being away from my big boys for that many nights was hard.

All my boys together!

Settling into life with three kiddos was hard the first couple of days (hello, hormones! haha!), but things have been really great since then. Briggs has been such a good baby, and the boys are doing great adjusting to having a baby in the house.

We've been enjoying time on the boys' new trampoline (but they enjoy it more when we put the sprinkler underneath it because it is HOT outside!), going on bicycle rides, watching some favorite movies, snuggling baby brother, and attending a week of VBS.

Last week, we celebrated Wells' actual birthday by taking a little day trip to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island (which is only about 1.5 hours from us). He loved seeing all the turtles, and we stopped by the beach for a little bit on the way home.

So, that's what we've been up to lately! We've got about 5 more weeks of summer left to soak up, and I'm hoping to squeeze in a trip or two to the movies (hello $1 summer movies!), lots of water fun, some ice cream runs, 4th of July fireworks shows, and our trip to the beach (Charleston, SC) with Eric's family. And hopefully I can find the time to get back on the blogging train!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Friday Favorites

Linking up with AndreaNarci, and Erika for Friday Favorites!

What a crazy week! We have been so busy lately - getting ready for baby #3, ALL the birthday parties, end of the year activities, and the usual craziness of life in general! I am ready to slooooowwwww down, but I don't see that happening any time soon :) But still, here are some current favorites...

So, I bought this juice on sale the other day. Both boys said they didn't like it (even though they both love apple juice and pineapple...apparently just not together?). So, I've been drinking it all myself - although, I did tell Eric that he could have some, too. ;)

I so wanted these dryer sheets to be a favorite. Does anyone else use them? They smell really good, but I feel like the scent barely clings to the clothes. The other day when washing a load of sheets, I had to use 3 sheets...and the smell was still barely noticeable. Anybody have a favorite, good-smelling natural dryer sheet/fabric softener?

I love lowkey day dates with these guys. We like going to our local library, and when we went the other day, they were SO well-behaved. We did puzzles, played on the felt and magnet boards, and made towers out of the checkers, and had a great time...Aaaaaaaaand then we went to Kroger, where they lost their ever-loving minds. #kids

We had a great little Mother's Day as well. For my gifts, Eric planted hydrangeas (my favorite) in our new flower bed, and he also washed my van (MUCH needed!). Wells was so excited to give me his handprint key chain he made at school, too! We usually go to my parents' church instead of ours on Mother's Day since that is where my mom and Granny attend. Later, we all went to a cookout at my uncle's house.

Eric and I had what I will assume is the last date before we become parents of THREE! Saturday night, we headed to Treylor Park, a restaurant in downtown Savannah that we haven't been to. Eric had the Southern Sloppy Joe, while I had the waffle fry nachos. OMG. Those nachos were so stinking good. We finished out the night by heading to the outlets to check out a toy store that was closing and swung by Old Navy, where Eric found a few really great deals. I didn't get anything, but I cannot wait to be able to fit back into normal clothes!!!

This guy had his last day of PreK-3 this week. I cannot believe he will be in "real" preschool next year. That is not a favorite of mine, although Wells is pumped about it! But it is a favorite that he is now on summer break. Just two more weeks until Daddy is on summer break, too!

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

{Joining Mel, Shay, and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday}

How in the actual world is it already time for What's Up Wednesday? How did we get to the end of April SO FAST???

[[What we're eating this week]]

Tuesday - I was planning to make this Honey BBQ Meatloaf but we ended up heading to our local Chili's because they had a Superhero Night. The boys got a free meal for wearing a superhero cape & mask, and the restaurant had a little craft table set up as well. It was a fun Tuesday night with Batman and Superman :)

Wednesday - Aforementioned meatloaf :)

Thursday - We are having friends over, so I am needing something that is a crowd pleaser and, of course, kid-friendly! I am thinking of trying out a new-to-us recipe - these Cheeseburger Tots look so yummy for adults and kids, right? 

Friday - It's my mom's birthday, so we will probably go out to celebrate!

[[What I'm reminiscing about]]

I can't really think of anything I've been reminiscing about lately...although we did have so much fun on our Sea World trip! We got a pass that gets us free admission through the end of 2018 and are planning to go back in the fall. I'm already excited!

[[What I'm loving]]

The weather! This season has been so weird for us weather-wise. But the last couple of days have been pleasant. The other night we went on a little neighborhood walk, and it was warm enough to be enjoyable but cool enough for the gnats and mosquitoes to not be swarming. That's a rarity for south Georgia this time of year!

Enjoying the weather before the stifling spring/summer heat arrives!

[[What we've been up to]]

Eric has had a hectic workload lately, the boys have been playing outside a lot, and I've been cleaning and organizing everything I can because hello nesting!!! The other day, Wells decided he wasn't tired enough for a nap, so I recruited him to scrub down cabinets with me while Grayer slept. Ha!

When you don't want to take your nap, you help mom with chores :)

[[What I'm dreading]]

Conquering the continually growing to-do list that I've been compiling. Baby #3's arrival is getting closer and closer, and I am starting to stress with all of the stuff we still have to get done!

[[What I'm working on]]

Trying to put a dent in the above to-do list :)

[[What I'm excited about]]

Planning Wells' 4th birthday party! Although, HOW IS HE ALREADY ALMOST FOUR???? He has decided he wants a sea creature birthday party, and I jumped on that (because I have no train-theme inspiration left in me!). He requested sea turtle cupcakes, and I love these ones!

[[What I'm watching/reading]]

I finished up Summer Secrets and really liked it. With all the craziness coming up then next couple of months, I'm not sure when I'll get to sit down with another book!

[[What I'm listening to]]

Y'all. I've never been happier to listen to Thomas & Friends or Daniel Tiger or WHATEVER during our car rides than I am right now! Our van's DVD player has been broken for about a month, and while we don't let the kids watch it every time we are in the car or anything, they do enjoy watching it. And since we live kind of out in the country, it takes us a little while to get to some places/run errands/etc. I am so grateful that Eric and my uncle fixed that precious device on Sunday! True story: A few weeks ago (while the DVD player was broken), I counted the number of times the boys said my name on a 25-minute drive. Any guesses? SEVENTY SEVEN TIMES!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, I am loving having the DVD player back. #allthepraisehands

[[What I'm wearing]]

Leggings, maternity pants, any shirts I can squeeze myself into...ha! I did finally buy a couple more maternity items to hold me over for the next few weeks. But I am ready to be able to wear normal clothes again! :)

 [[What I'm doing this weekend]]

My hometown is having its annual Stand Up for America Day parade and festival. We always go every year, set up our chairs on the front lawn of my parents' church (the parade passes right in front of us), enjoy being with family and friends, watch the parade, and roam the booths and let the kids ride the small rides that are set up. Look at how small the boys are in this throwback pic of us after the 2016 parade!

2016 parade, flags a-waving!

[[What I'm looking forward to next month]]

-Finishing up the baby's nursery
-Our 36-week ultrasound
-Wells 4th birthday party (his birthday is actually in June, but I don't want to risk the baby coming early and us having to cancel the party :))
-Eric getting off for summer break!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Girl Chat - Guilty Pleasures!

I am joining the Girl Chat link-up today to talk all about guilty pleasures!

+ I am a HUGE offender of sleeping until the last minute possible on weekday mornings. Like the last. possible. minute. I just love to sleep (and when you are a mama to littles, you take it when you can get it!). But, this is not a good trait to have when you've got two little ones to get ready along with getting yourself ready. It's not always THIS extreme, but on Monday morning, I had stopped my alarm and fallen back asleep and woke up about 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave to drop Wells off for PreK. We got ready super fast and got him there, but why do I do this to myself?????

+ My hands-down guiltiest pleasure food-wise? French fries! They have literally always been my favorite food. Weird fact: When I was little I didn't eat cake (?), so my birthday "cake" for a couple years was a sheet pan filled with french fries and drizzled with ranch dressing "icing." Not gonna lie - I'd take that over a real birthday cake even now. This shirt is way too true...

+ Another guilty food pleasure is a late night bowl of cereal. This is happening a lot right now, but I'm blaming it on the pregnancy ;)

+ Am I the only one who looks forward to sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office (when you don't have the kiddos with you, obviously)? I get so excited to pick up People magazine and read with no interruptions! The other day at one of my prenatal visits, I got called back so fast I didn't get to read anything, and I was actually a little upset. Ha!

+ I fill up online shopping carts and then never buy the things I put in. And I do it all the time.

+ Two words: romantic comedies. Seriously, rom-coms are my jam. And double bonus if it's got Sandra Bullock in it. Love her.

Join the link-up to share your guilty pleasures!