Jack's Friends

Jack met two of his friends tonight. Melissa brought Addison over and Jill brought Maggie. Kate came to meet him too - her daughter Zoey is due in 6 short weeks! It was funny to sit around and all hold our babies (and Kate holding hers inside her belly)!

Here they are hanging out together. Maggie was born 3 days before Jack and Addi is 3.5 months old. Jason suggested I post that all three were born on the same day because Addi looks so much bigger than the newbies. Funny.These kiddos are going to have a lot of fun together!


Hangin' Out at Home

I think that subject line will apply to most of our pictures for the next several weeks.

Here's Jack during his daily bask in the sun in an effort to combat jaundice:

Last night the little man put both hands over his face - couldn't resist the photo op:

Taking a snooze this morning.


Our Jealous Niece

I keep meaning to post this awesome picture I took in the hospital. Our 3 1/2 year old niece Mia is completely smitten with Jack (who wouldn't be?) and when they came to visit us in the hospital, she couldn't get enough of him. I captured the picture below when it was big sister Paige's turn to hold the baby but Mia was ready for another turn.



Pictures of Jack's First Week

Jack's homecoming (8/20):

Chillin' with Daddy (8/21):

Trying Out His Swing (8/22):

First sponge bath at home (8/23):

Relaxing after the bath in his ducky robe that is just a tad too big:

One Week Old Today (8/24):


Jack Update

We got home from the hospital on Thursday night and started getting settled in. The first night was a little rough with Jack waking up every hour and a half or so for the first half of the night. Friday night was much of the same, but last night our little man decided to give Mommy and Daddy some rest and went 5 hours before the first feeding and 4 hours before the second. I feel like a new woman this morning!

Jack is doing very well and we are settling into our routines. It's amazing how quickly the baby stuff takes over your house! It's also amazing how quickly the little man goes through clothing - between the spit-ups and the urine showers during changing (this has only happened to us twice so far, so I think we should consider ourselves lucky), I'm going to be doing a lot of laundry!

While we were still at the hospital, they were testing Jack's bilirubin levels daily (poor little guy had blood drawn from his heel 3 times, a Hepatitis B shot and most importantly a circumcision all before we left the hospital) because he was looking a little jaundice. Each time his levels were a little higher (Thursday morning it was 13), but they said he didn't need treatment because he's several days old and nursing very well. He also has a hematoma on his head - a very scary word to describe a bump of blood caused by straining during birth or nursing. They are not concerned about it - it goes away on its own after 2-4 weeks - but it is also contributing to the jaundice.

We went to his first pediatrician appointment yesterday and he is doing very well. He already weighs 9 lbs!!! It takes some babies 2 weeks to get back to their birth weight and Jack is already 9 oz. higher than his at 5 days old! My boy is a good eater!

The doctor was a little concerned about his yellow tinge though, so he asked us to go immediately to the hospital to have more blood drawn. His level had increased slightly to 14.3, but the doctor said he thinks that is the peak and no treatment is required unless he seems to get more yellow. Phew! Those bili light bed things are no fun for a baby! The doctor said to get Jack into the indirect sunlight (sun through a window) as much as possible, so we've now had two sessions of sitting just inside the window soaking up the sun with many more of such sessions to come - hopefully that does the trick!!

That's the update for now - I will post some more pictures of the little guy soon - he just gets cuter and cuter every day! We are so lucky for this little perfect blessing in our lives!


Jack's Birth Story

As you know, we were scheduled to be induced on Monday since we were several days past the due date. On Sunday I was having some contractions, but nothing too painful or consistent. We were just settling in to call it a night (actually Jason was already asleep on the couch) when my water broke at 9:30pm. We packed up our stuff, called Jason's sister to come pick up Maggie, and we were off to the hospital.

When we got checked in, I was still a little over 1 cm dilated, much to my dismay. The contractions started almost as soon as we got there and very quickly got painful and closer and closer together. At 12:45am, I was about 2 cm dilated, and by 1:30am, I had vomited a couple times and I thought I might die, so I got my epidural, during which I vomited again. They checked me shortly after that and I was 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced.

We were just settling down to get some rest - I was actually pretty tired - when the nurse rushed in the room followed by another nurse saying Jack's heart rate had dropped. They frantically called for the Resident and eventually the "3rd Year," which I assume is a doctor more experienced than a Resident. They put the monitors inside instead of on my belly so they could more closely monitor the baby, and they were making me roll from one side to the other about every 30 seconds. They also gave me a shot of Terbutaline to stop my contractions. Apparently they were too strong and too close together and little Jack wasn't handling it well. That was VERY scary, but as Jason pointed out, we were in the right place and if it really got bad, they'd knock me out and take him out immediately.

After that drama was over, I of course couldn't sleep, choosing instead to stare intently at the baby's heart rate monitor and freak out any time it dipped even slightly. By 3:45 am, I was 5 cm dilated, but I was numb from my shoulders to my knees (higher than an epidural should be). They reduced the epidural so I could feel my arms again, so I started feeling more pressure. Still nothing like before, so I was not complaining.

At 4:30, they decided to inject some kind of fluid into my cervix to reduce the pressure around the baby - they said each contraction was causing his heart rate to drop, so they were afraid the umbilical cord was being compressed. That seemed to help, so they decided to start the Pitocin. They increased my doses of Pitocin very slightly every hour or so to make sure Jack could handle it, and I got up to 6 cm.

Then at 7:30 am we had another scare - same thing as before - and they stopped the Pitocin completely. After awhile, they slowly started the Pitocin up again, but after several hours, I was still at 6 cm. At 11:30 am they said I was having a c-section. When your water breaks, you only have 24 hours before the baby has to come out because of risk of infection, so they didn't want to wait since I was making such slow progress. I cried when they told me because I really wanted to experience pushing and a vaginal delivery, but I got over it quickly because obviously the most important thing is a healthy baby!

They came in almost immediately to get me prepped for surgery, and the anesthesiologist gave me a LOT of numbing stuff through my epidural. Unfortunately she hadn't read my chart first to see that my epidural was in too high, so I almost immediately couldn't feel my arms and I could barely breathe. They put an oxygen mask on me and put a spring in their step to get me to surgery ASAP (or should I say STAT?). I was really scared - every breath and every time I tried to talk took a lot of effort, and they said if I really couldn't breathe, they'd put a tracheotomy in - eek!

We got to surgery and I was in and out of consciousness the whole time - I could barely keep my eyes open. At one point I needed to swallow and couldn't so they had to suction my throat. The whole thing was so scary.

The baby emerged at 12:45 pm and my doctor announced "It's a Jack!" Yay!!!!

I kind of half watched, half dozed while they got him all cleaned up and weighed and checked out. His APGAR scores were really high, like 8 and 9 I think.

There are a few things from the haze that I do remember:
-Every time I looked over, Jason was cuddling little Jack so close to him with a huge smile on his face.
-As my doctor was sewing me up he said "Annie, you might want to pick a smaller husband next time," to which Jason replied "but then he wouldn't be so handsome." My doctor's response: "Maybe a more modest one too."
-The song Holiday Road was playing when Jack was born. This is ironic because we called him Fletch the whole pregnancy after the Chevy Chase movie, and Holiday Road is from National Lampoon's Vacation, also a Chevy Chase movie. Crazy.

After I was all put back together, I threw up, and they immediately took out my epidural (normally with a c-section, they leave it in for 2 days). That turned out to be a blessing because they gave me morphine instead, which they took me off of Tuesday morning, so I was up and about, showered and in my own clothes by Tuesday afternoon.

So that's the story of how our little Jack came into this world. A little scary at times, but he is a perfectly healthy little guy and I'd do it all over in a heartbeat.


Jack's First Photo Shoot

The photographer made the rounds today at the hospital, and although little Jack is not a fan of being unswaddled, so was unhappy during the session, she got a lot of cute shots!

Here's the link:
Bella Baby Photography

Click on "View my photos - login" at the top right
Password is: 0817jackclayton

I should mention that Mom and Dad had no intentions of being in these pictures, with the exception of maybe a hand holding his head or feet, so please disregard our disheveled appearance!



Pictures of Jack

Big boy - 8 lbs., 7.5 oz!


First sponge bath

Full head of dark hair

Bright eyed

More pictures and details on his birthday to come!


Jack Thomas Clayton has arrived!!!

Jack Thomas joined our family today at 12:45 pm. He was finally delivered via c-section after 12 hours of labor. Jack weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz, he's 21" long and wears a mens size 8 shoe. Mom and baby are both doing well.

Fletch's Dad


Giana Caroline Marciano

Alison had her baby yesterday after being induced on Friday. Beautiful little Giana weighed 6 lbs, 11 oz and is 19.5 inches long!Giana and Fletch will get to meet in October when Al and Giana come to MO to visit - can't wait to meet that little doll!!!

Now it's our turn! We should be getting a call sometime tomorrow morning telling us it's time to come in and get induced. Can't wait!!


Baby Neu

Jill had her baby yesterday! Baby Maggie was born at 5:19pm, weighed 8 lbs., 9 oz and was 20 inches long.

Congratulations to Bobby, Jill and big brothers Aidan and Connor!!

Baby Marciano is still working on entering the world. Will post after she arrives!


Happy Birthday Lily!

Today is our niece Lily's 1st birthday! They had a birthday party for her last weekend, which was a lot of fun. Today I met them for lunch at Steak N Shake. Hard to believe she is 1 already! Looks like she and Fletch won't be sharing a birthday after all, which is the only positive thing about me still being pregnant. :)

A couple pics of the birthday girl from today:
In other news, both Alison and Jill are currently at the hospital on the way to delivering their baby girls! I will post when I have news!

Also, I'm not sure why the baby ticker at the top right of the blog is stuck at one. Surely I'm not the only woman to require -1, -2, -3, etc on this thing!!


All Set For Monday!

I talked to my doctor yesterday, and we're all set to be induced on Monday. He said I am Mommy #5 on the list for that day, so the hospital will call me when they're ready for me and then we head on in to get this process started.

I'm relieved that I have an end date, but of course still hoping for something to happen sooner.

Time will tell...


No Update

Well, I went to the doctor yesterday after my raging hormones caused an unwarranted meltdown, which led to a tearful call to the doctor's office, which led to him seeing me yesterday instead of today (nice, I know). Surely I'm not the first emotional pregnant woman he's seen (or at least that's what I'm telling myself).

Anyway, there is no change from last week; I am still 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Bummer. He tried to "get things moving," so we'll see if that works. If it doesn't, he is going to schedule me to be induced either Monday or Tuesday (I should find out for sure which day sometime today). I'm crossing my fingers that something happens on its own before then, but I guess waiting one more week is not the end of the world.

I have been feeling LOTS of tightening in my stomach and random aches and pains in various parts of my abdomen and back, but still nothing super painful and definitely nothing consistent.

This waiting game is by far the hardest part of pregnancy if you ask me. All of the unknown is getting to me and causing me to be an anxious wreck and crabby to boot! I don't know if I've ever been this crabby in my life! Hopefully before we know it, we'll be holding this baby in our arms and all will be right in the world again.

I'll keep you posted.


The 70s

First, I don't have a baby update - just patiently (or maybe not so patiently) waiting.

My parents are preparing a room for Fletch, so they got a bunch of stuff out from when I was a baby, including some toys, a toy box, etc. The best thing that they saved was the "punkin seat," which they apparently used to carry my sister and me places. I'm sure it used to be white instead of yellow, but even still I cannot imagine carrying a child in this thing!!It's amazing how far baby stuff has come! Rest assured, Grandma and Grandpa have no intention of carrying Fletch in this fancy carrier.


Test Tweet

First, I must say that I hate that a posting to Twitter is referred to as a "tweet." How lame.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that when/if you sign up to follow Jason on Twitter, you also have to check or select something that allows him to send you messages to your phone. Therefore, I asked him to send a test message tonight. If you did not receive a message from him about 2 minutes ago, then yours is not set up properly.

I promise this is the last "tweet" you'll receive until it's go time (which will hopefully be VERY soon)!


We Have Progress!

We went to the doctor this afternoon, and we finally have some progress! I am about 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Yay! Of course, this really doesn't mean much because you can walk around dilated for weeks or you can go into labor without being dilated at all, BUT I'm excited because it tells me my body is getting ready for action!

It's hard to believe I'll be 39 weeks on Thursday - my due date is only 10 days away! Nutty! My doctor asked us what we want to do if we get to August 13 and haven't had the baby yet (i.e., do we want to induce?). I told him although it kills me to say it because we're SO ready, we'd like to wait it out and avoid induction if possible. We'll give Fletch that weekend to see if he/she comes on his/her own, but I'm guessing after that, the doctor will want to induce (he doesn't want me to go past 41 weeks). Cross your fingers that Fletch comes before that - preferably like tomorrow! :)