Monday, April 30, 2012

4 Weeks Later almost five. But I'm pretty sure having two small children at home gives me the right to be a little behind schedule!

Aspen Update:
She is sooo fabulous! As of Friday the 27th she weighs 9 pounds, 8 ounces. While we were at support group that day she ate a total of 4.3 ounces. What a good girl! She is still sleeping like a princess. She's usually down for the night around 10:30 and up again between 2 and 3am. Once she's back to sleep then, we're asleep again until usually 6 or 6:30. Just in time for big brother to be awake. She's obviously eating well and nursing is going quite easily this time around. Not that it was hard with Lincoln, but this time I've got some experience under my belt and I don't feel so questionable or worried that I'm not doing it right or that she's not eating enough. As much as she poos we don't have to worry about that! :) She really only cries when she's hungry during the day, or if she's gassy. She's a pretty good shopper because she loves to sleep in her car seat! Thank goodness we've got another happy rider! She's usually great in the car and the stroller. She also LOVES to be carried and held. I've already worn the Ergo more with her than I did for months with Lincoln. She must enjoy the feeling of closeness and being snuggled. Some days I have to put her in a sling and wear her around the house to get things done. I can't just hold her all the time, I need my hands free to help Lincoln, or chase Lincoln, or feed Lincoln. Those tasks are quite difficult if both arms are busy.
She's becoming more awake and alert during the day. The trouble is, I can't let her play in the floor under the play gym without being RIGHT there. Lincoln demands to get in there with her and can't be trusted for a minute!! He does love her. So much he squeezes her! More on that later...
We're just now beginning to move to 0-3 clothing. She was so little that the newborn clothes we had fit so perfectly! The 0-3 is still quite big and I hate that they hang off of her. We'll squeeze at least another week out of the newborns. Maybe even more! Speaking of's so easy to get in trouble while shopping for girls! There are entirely too many cute outfits, accessories, shoes, etc that we just have to have! Goodness! I am terribly thankful to all my friends who passed down baby girl clothes though. It really helps keep me from buying tons of stuff. I just remember all the sweet stuff we already have and usually the urge to buy a whole bunches goes away. Usually!
She likes to swing...more than Lincoln did I think. She loves to be patted or bounced, and the rougher the better. She really enjoys sleeping on your tummy or chest. She may be like her daddy, in that she likes to sleep on her belly. We'll see what comes of that! She's eating about every 2 hours during the day and we're taking all the classes I took with Lincoln. Baby massage and breastfeeding support group were so important with Lincoln. Getting out of the house and meeting other mommies going through the same things we are is priceless. And I am more thankful than I can say that we have such fabulous friends and family. Anthony's parents are ready to have Lincoln at a moment's notice. It's so nice that I can spend that sweet time with Aspen, just like I did with him.

Lincoln update:
He is a true 2 year old. He's getting into EVERYTHING all the time! He's such a good boy though, I can't even tell you. He definitely has his moments (don't we all?!) but for the most part he's so good for me during the day. Not many 2 year olds could be trusted without supervision like he is. Not that I'm not watching him, but when I'm stuck in the chair nursing for anywhere from 8 to 45 minutes he's on his own. He brings books to me and we look at them together, he plays with his toys, he goes out on the deck and blows bubbles if the weather's nice. He wanders around the house talking to me and playing by himself until we're finished and I can play. It's incredible! He's not jealous or fussy about Aspen, ever. He loves her so much. All he wants to do is kiss her and hold her. He tells her good night every night, and good morning each day. He holds her hand and finds her paci when she cries. He says she's "purdy." I can't help but fight back tears when he's with her. He just is so precious. Until he squeezes her or tries to poke her eyeballs! Anna says he doesn't realize he's hurting her yet. I'm not so sure! They cannot be left alone for even a second. He'll try to pick her up, take her paci away, or shout at her to wake up. Or he'll just pretty much jump on top of her! I know it's hard for him to understand "easy," or "gentle," or "she's little." But he's trying.
He turned 2 since I last posted! I cannot believe he's such a big boy. It certainly does not feel like it was two years ago when we brought him home from the hospital this small. I cannot imagine my life without him, and Anthony and I often wonder what in the world we did with all of our time before we had kids! We had a VERY small affair with just cake and ice cream. We just invited immediate family and told them to come eat cake! The picture at the top of the page is at his "party."
He is speaking in fractured or complete sentences all of the time. Very rarely does he not put a complete thought together. "I see big truck." "I hold it, remote." "I watch Mickey Mouse big TV." "I want bubble bath, please!" So incredible. Anthony and I are blown away every day by things he says. We play with other kids his age and a little older, and it seems like he's very advanced. There are extremely few things we don't understand when he talks...and almost everyone else can understand what he said without a translation. That's crazy impressive for a brand new 2 year old! He has learned my name is Kyla...thanks to Anthony hollering through the house! If I don't answer fast enough to Mommy he starts yelling Kyla! It's the funniest thing! I tell him that yes, my name is Kyla, but he better call me Mommy! "Ok, Mommy." he says! I could just eat him.
He got a haircut a few weeks ago and it looks soooo good. Still preciously curly, just a little more manageable now! Not quite so much all over fuzzy...but more close to the head curls. Unbelievable! I'm anxious to see what Aspen's hair will do as she grows up. Knowing my luck she'll get Anthony's hair and it'll be stick straight and won't do a thing!

Anthony & Kyla Update:
I am doing well. I recovered very quickly from delivery and have felt great ever since. I told Anthony many times that it was tons easier this time. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that she was such an easier delivery. Pushing for three contractions, instead of 3 hours!, makes a big difference on the body! Of the 25 pounds I gained while pregnant I've already lost 21. The last four must all be in the belly because it is certainly more squishy than I would like. We've gotta get outside and walk! I am officially at home now. I'm not going back to school for the rest of the school year, I'll just go back and clean up my room. It's a great feeling being at home with my babies! Mommies should raise their children instead of sending them to daycare just so they can go to work. Hate me if you want, but that is truly my heart and I hate that all Moms can't stay home with their sweet babies. It just seems silly to give birth to this person and then give it to someone else to raise so you can work. I am incredibly thankful and our family is terribly blessed to allow me to be home for a while. I know many families do not even have that option to consider.
Anthony is doing great. There's really no change so there was no need to update. He's doing dialysis at home manually (without the machine) just like before. It seems to be working perfectly because every time he goes in for a blood check it all comes back just like it should. The only thing he's still dealing with is his parathyroid. It's still overactive even though he's taking meds to suppress it. The doctor upped his dosage this last visit. If the medicine doesn't help more they want to remove some of it. The parathyroid is what deals with the body's dealings with calcium. That's why his bones were so deteriorated. He can't continue to lose bone mass, so it'll have to be corrected with surgery if the meds don't work. We're praying it won't come to that.
He's still dealing with hospital stuff so he's still not on the "list". Once his insurance works out a contract with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that will be his home hospital. That's where he'll go for all doctor's appointments and the transplant. It's also where he'll go to be tissue typed to find a match. Friends and family can't be tested until he's selected a hospital and the insurance has accepted... and then of course Anthony has to be tested first. He's still feeling fabulous and riding his bike 2-3 times a week. He's still not as tired as before and is sleeping so much better. Very thankful for both of those things with a new baby in the house! He's such a great daddy. I couldn't have made it at home without him for those first 2 weeks. That time as a family is the most precious time we've ever had. He stayed home with me and Lincoln too...and that is something none of us will ever forget. Since his employer is fabulous they let him take 2 more weeks with Aspen. What a wonderful time to be able to bond and adjust. We had family outings, sat home and watched tv, ate alot!, had visitors, and just generally enjoyed each other's company. Life is so much sweeter when you're not rushing around all the time. When you have the luxury of taking your time about everything it's all so much nicer and everyone has more patience. What a blessing.

 Sweet bath time baby! Just last week...

This is how Lincoln enjoyed Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on his birthday morning!

Our super-fun birthday gift for Lincoln. 

 Sissy is enjoying the sunshine and fresh air outside while brother plays. 

Aspen's first time under the play gym...Needless to say she wasn't allowed to have fun without Lincoln. She still can't lay in the floor without him being right there.

Oh....they have my  heart! My handsome men on Easter Sunday.

Mamaw came down to meet Aspen! What precious memories.
 Just rocking her pjs!

This kid is such a joy! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Aspen Ensley Vance


Aspen Ensley Vance was born Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long. She has a head full of dark dark hair, just like her brother! Labor and delivery this time around were very different, and much easier! 

My contractions started getting worse Tuesday the 27th around 7:30 pm. I walked around the house and sat on the exercise ball for a long time. Around midnight my contractions were steadily 5-7 minutes apart. Not terribly painful, but constant. I texted Anna to see what I should do, then called the doctor. Dr. Miletich said it wasn't active labor, just early labor. She wanted me to try to get some rest if I could and call her back if it got worse, closer together or anything else changed. I labored while Anthony slept until about 4 am. At that point I was really hurting and still about 5-6 minutes apart. I called the doctor back and she said to come on into the hospital. I woke Anthony up and we packed up the car. It was quite different packing dialysis stuff with us this time. 
We checked into the hospital around 6 am. I had yucky contractions in a very uncomfortable car seat on the ride there. We stopped at the McDonald's drive through  to eat because I knew they wouldn't let me eat once we checked in. I was only 1-2 cm dilated when we checked in. Disappointing! After all those contractions I surely expected they were doing something...
Of course, contractions got steadily worse. They made me lay in the bed for baby monitoring for at least 30 minutes. Let me tell you, that is the WORST place to be when you're in labor. They wouldn't give me an epidural yet because they didn't want me to not progress. They gave me Staydol instead. After trying to rest a while I was still only 2-3 cm. Dr. Harraghy decided to break my water to see if it would help move things along. BOY the contractions surely changed! They became awful and unbearable! Ohhhhh it was no good! I continued to ask for an epidural! So did Anthony and Anna...bless them! FINALLY the sweet drug man came and gave me an epidural. Ohh sweet relief! 
Once I got to relax it only took about an hour to get to 6 cm. Then about an hour and a half later I was fully dilated and ready to go! :)
The best part of this labor and delivery?! The delivery!!! I only pushed through three contractions!! Yes, you read that right....THREE (3) contractions! After a terrible 3 hours of pushing with Lincoln, this sweet girl felt sorry for me. She came quickly and easily and was perfect!! It was wonderful.

Oh how I cried....but not nearly as much as when Lincoln came in to meet her for the first time. Anthony was holding Aspen when Nana and Papaw brought him to meet his little sister. I just held Anna's hand and cried. Talk about indescribable love... what a feeling, to see your first born child, whom you love more than anything in the world, love on your new baby that you now love like crazy. Amazing. If you haven't experienced it, you can't understand. But if you know how unbelievable it is. 

Our family of four...gasp!

Now that we've been home for over a week we're settling into a routine. She's like a little angel! She hardly cries, she's sleeping like a champion, and breastfeeding is going very well. The crying usually only happens if she's got gas, and that gets taken care of quickly...with many, many diapers! She also cries when she gets super hungry. But most of the time she lets us know it's time just by sucking on her fingers and grunting. She's sleeping fabulously. She's only getting up once a night. There were two nights where she got up twice or so...and I have to say that's pretty perfect! She likes to be swaddled, and I really think that's helping with her great sleep at night. She took to nursing right away. My milk came in fully on Friday and she's been very happy ever since. 
Lincoln absolutely LOVES her! The only major problem we have is that he loves her too much! He wants to hold her, squeeze her, hug her, kiss her, play with her, wake her up....and he just does all of that a little too roughly! He truly does enjoy her being here. He runs around the house looking for her if we've moved to another room. Every time he sees her he smiles and says "Sissy" or "Baby Appen." It's absolutely precious! He wants to hold her every day, and he kisses her a lot. He's learning to be easy and can hold her hand without hurting her. He also is increasing the time he wants to hold her..and seems to enjoy it. He watches us change her diaper and change her clothes and talks to us about what we're doing. You know, we forgot what it was like to have a newborn...but it's harder to have a toddler! All Aspen does is sleep, eat, and poop. She spends a large amount of her day sleeping, or eating. Lincoln on the other hand, is never still...he only naps like 1-2 hours a day. He wants to play with you, talk to you, he needs juice, he needs a diaper, he wants to go outside........ Newborns are easier! Who ever thought I'd say that?!
So we're home and happy. And Aspen is perfect. Lincoln is wonderful and totally not jealous. Anthony is still home with me until next Wednesday. He took 2 weeks off again, like he did with Lincoln. It's a truly wonderful time for our family. To be able to spend the time together, to bond, to play, to figure all this out. It's priceless. We are so blessed. I thank God every day for our life, our family, and our time together. It's truly a magical time.

She got to come home with a bow in her hair!! :)