Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Baby Story

This year I learned that having one baby does NOT mean you know what it will be like to have 2 babies. From beginning to end, my pregnancy and delivery, and even my take home experience with Lily, has been totally different than my experience with Brooklyn.

With Brooklyn I wasn't very sick. In fact, I think I only puked 6 times total through the whole pregnancy. Lily was a different story. I puked when I woke up, when I went running, when I smelled our neighbors cooking...etc. I was also more tired, had more headaches, gained more fat, ate more chocolate and cereal, and felt more aches and pain. On a positive note, I carried Lily higher than Brooklyn so I never had to wear maternity pants. I was able to walk into the hospital to deliver wearing the same jeans I wore the day I found out I was pregnant! That was cool. Also, I grew up a little between pregnancies and wasn't as weirded out by it this time.

When it comes down to the actual delivery, nothing was the same! A few weeks before my due date (February 22) I found out I was already dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced. The next week I was dilated to a 5 and 90% effaced and still not in labor. So, the doctor told me to check in to the hospital on February 12, to have my water broken because she was worried if I didn't, I would end up having the baby on my living room floor!

Kevin and I walked into Edward's Hospital at 4pm on February 12th feeling happy and healthy. We were laughing and joking and snuggling in the elevator. We teased with the nurses (who all thought Kevin was the funniest man alive), got dressed (or undressed I suppose), and waited for the doctor to come in and do her thing.

The one bad thing that happened was when they came to start my IV, they found out how hard it is to stick someone who's veins have been trained to run and hide! I told them I was a hard stick so they sent in their best nurse. After she missed twice, they sent in the anesthetist. He tried 4 more times before he finally got me. Then they taped me up real good and named it the golden IV. Several other nurses came in just to see it!

Between the IV and blood draws, I received 13 shots before I left the hospital. The bruises got even worse than this but this is what my arms looked like the day after they put in the IV. Ouch!

Any way, as soon as they got some antibiotics in me and a little fluid, they sent the anesthetist back in to start the epidural. I still wasn't in bad pain but they were going to break my water and knew it would hurt after that so they wanted to get it started. He hit a vein the first time and accidentally numbed my whole body and made me really itchy from the inside out. But then they got it fixed and all the happiness came back!

After the epidural was in, the nurse left the room to tell the doctor and to get a catheter for me. Kevin and I started watching the Olympic opening ceremonies and about 5 minutes later I noticed the contractions were coming back and they were really hard and low.

Hmmmm..."Hey Kevin, did I knock out my epidural on accident?"
"No. It's still there."
"Huh. I think the baby is coming out then cause it hurts real bad and real low. I feel a lot of pressure."
"Should I get the nurse?"
"Nah. She should be right back."

Just then the nurse came back in and took one look at me and said, "You look like its hurting. I recognize that face. Let me put in this catheter and then we'll check you out." She went to put in the catheter and immediately pulled back and said, "Wow! In all my years of nursing this is a first. There's the head! I better get the doctor but first lets see if its a false alarm. Give me a practice push." I did what she said and she started shouting, "That's enough! Its for real!" and then she went to get the doctor.

Well... long story short, the doctor came in, I pushed through 3 contractions while we all watched the Olympics, the baby came out with a giant swollen head, the doctor kept saying "Wow! that's a big baby", the nurse kept agreeing, they gave Lily a really bad outie belly button while trying to rip her cord off from around her neck, the baby cried, Kevin and I said, "Wow! That was fast!", and then... they handed me my bruised up, red faced, swollen little Lily! And I loved her right away!

Because of the nature of the whole delivery, Kevin and I were still in great spirits. We joked some more with the nurses while they were cleaning Lily up and had a good laugh when everyone was in shock that I had a baby that weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. (If they only knew the amount of chocolate I consumed during this pregnancy, they wouldn't have been surprised at all!)

Kevin was instantly comfortable with Lily since Brooklyn already helped him overcome his fear of breaking new babies. He took some pictures and got some good snuggles in, and then it was my turn.

We gave Lily lots of love and then sent her on her way to the Nursery so we could get some sleep. She was born at 9:22 pm but we didn't get to our new room until midnight, so we were pretty wasted!

The next day, Kevin's mom brought Brooklyn to the hospital to see her new sister! She had flown in the night before. 1 hour after she found out we were going to have the baby, she was on a plane and arrived just in time to help us with our preparations and watch Brooklyn while we were at the hospital. THANKS MOM!

When they arrived, Brooklyn was more interested in the bathroom amenities than her new sister, but after she and Lily exchanged gifts she decided her new sister wasn't too bad.

She gave baby a pink duck (that she later took back) and a little rattle. She also shared many hugs and kisses with her new sister.

She thought about things for a little while and then decided that we could bring Lily home if we really wanted to.

After all...once the swelling in her head started going away, she was pretty cute!

So naturally, we brought her home! I've been healing REALLY quickly since we left the hospital and Brooklyn is adjusting to her new sister quite nicely. Now that you have the scoop, I'll start working on getting some pictures of Lily, post swollen head, so you can see how cute she really is!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Living in Lisle

On January 23rd, with the help of our wonderful Elders Quorum, Kevin and I dragged all our belongings out of Downers Grove and into Lisle, Illinois! What possessed the move? Well, I was exactly one month away from my due date to have another little girl and we desperately wanted to get into a place with a washer and dryer! We felt it was essential with a potty training two year old and a barfing newborn.

We found the perfect place called Green Trails Apartments where we are able to live in a townhouse equipped with out own private entrance and a washer and dryer!

They just remodeled the whole thing before we moved in, so we got new stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops in our kitchen! Woohoo!

The living room has a fire place and a really cool window seat where we can sit and stare out all day...unfortunately, other people can stare at us too!

Kevin's mom was even kind enough to come out and help me with the finishing touches. We recovered the blue chair in the back corner (it use to be white with Cheetos stains), hung the curtains, and found some cute pillows to throw on the bench.

The dining room is connected to the living room and has a neat bay window where we put our "office". It also looks directly into the kitchen. I love the open floor plan!

One of my favorite rooms is the girls' room. Kevin's mom sent some stickers out earlier this year that we were able to put on the walls. It really gives the room that "girly" look and Brooklyn LOVES it!

I still have a few more things to hang on the walls, but the room is already really cute without them.

Some fun facts about our new place:
-They feed us free breakfast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
-There is a fitness center that is open 24/7 with a pool, hot tub, and sauna.
-The property is attached to 30 miles of running trails.
-They have a family game night every Thursday. (After they help your kids with their homework!)
-They have 2 guys whose job is to help everyone meet each other and feel like part of a community. They brought us balloons and dinner after Lily was born and one guys mom even crocheted Lily a beanie!

Any way, we love our new place and hope that if any of you are around Chicago you'll drop by and stay awhile! We have plenty of floor space for everyone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2 Years and Counting...

On January 26th, 2010, Brooklyn officially turned 2 years old! That's right...we kept her alive for 2 whole years! The celebrations were low key and very similar to her first birthday celebrations, but they were still fun and memorable!

We started out the night at McDonald's (a very special treat for someone who NEVER gets to eat out!) Brooklyn got to eat a cheeseburger happy meal before her and Daddy ran a muck in the play gym!

It didn't take long for Brooklyn to make friends. Within 5 minutes, she was running in and out of the play gym with 2 other little girls her age. Kevin and I both appreciated the break!

When we got home, I made Brooklyn some cupcakes and we sang Happy Birthday, blew out candles, and then stuffed our arteries with yummy frosting!

Look at the bliss on Brooklyn's face as she licks every last drop of frosting off of her cupcake! She's a foodie just like her mom!

Grandma and Grandpa Hanks got Brooklyn a baby doll for her birthday to help her prepare to be a big sister. She was SUPER excited and was very gentle and loving to the little doll that she named Baby.

The baby doll has since received many kisses and diaper changes and has been fed more than any human baby could ever handle! Thanks G & G Hanks!

When all was said and done, we put Brooklyn to bed in her new princess pajamas that Kevin and I bought her. (The top picture shows her right before she crawled into bed.) We sure love our little Brooklyn! She is the light and laughter in our lives and we could never imagine life without her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKLYN! Glad you were born! :)