Growing Boy

As I mentioned, it is our pediatrician's recommendation that you bring breastfed babies back for a weight check one week after their first check-up.  They hope baby will gain 1/2 ounce/day in the week that has gone by.  We had our weigh-in yesterday and Charlie passed with flying colors.  He now weighs 9 lbs, 8 oz, a gain of 7 oz over last week or double the goal.  What a big guy!

We're doing well and getting settled into our lives as the parents of two.
Charlie is still a very mellow little guy and only cries when we change his diaper or occasionally when he gets hungry.  He's a pretty good sleeper, generally waking every 3-4 hours to eat.  He has been wide awake typically after one of the overnight feedings, which is a little exhausting, but it could be a lot worse.  And last night the big shot went 6 hours and 15 minutes between feedings.  Nice!

Charlie had his first sponge bath last Wednesday and was not a fan.  He also has not been a fan of any baths since then.  Hopefully when he loses his umbilical cord and we can do a real bath he will enjoy it more.
Jack enjoyed playing in the bath tub too - might have to somehow squeeze him in there - might make bath time go more smoothly (he is still in an "I hate baths" phase).
Yesterday we had a mini play date with Charlie's BFF (aside from Jack), Ethan Asher.  This is Jack's BFF Addi's little brother and he is 2 weeks and 2 days older than Charlie.  They're going to have a lot of fun together in the future!  We think Charlie was trying to look taller than Ethan in the picture...
 Here are some pictures from the last few days of Charlie being cute.


Video Catch-Up

I realized I've been accumulating videos and haven't posted any in awhile.  So here are a few of the cutest ones.

This one Jason took this morning of Jack's first visit to the driving range.  Not too shabby for a rookie, eh?
This one is from Jack's birthday party a few weeks ago - Jack just being silly with his neighbor buddies, Nathan Mincher and Addison Asher.
Here's one from back in July - cutting the grass at Grandma & Grandpa's house, and discovering his shadow.
This one, also from July, shows Jack "helping" Daddy wash strawberries - not quite the most sanitary way to do it...
First experience with a splash park - so much fun!
And this one is a real oldie - from Easter.  It's Mia and Lily doing Mia's dance routine with Jack joining in occasionally.


A Quick Video

Here's a quick video showing a good example of how interactions between Jack and Charlie generally go.  It also includes Jack's adorable pronunciation of his baby brother's name.


Home Sweet Home

We were lucky to leave the hospital a day early - we got home Monday around 4:30pm and couldn't be happier.  Generally my hospital stay was fine and the nurses were great, but that last day I was getting very frustrated.  My sheets hadn't been changed since Saturday morning and were covered in my sweat and Charlie's spit-up, my bathroom hadn't been cleaned once (I even had to request more toilet paper), my trash was overflowing, and I had a neglectful nurse Monday morning (I had to remind her several times that I was due for pain medicine).  So, needless to say I was ready to go home!!  And so was Charlie...
Home at last!
Jason picked Jack up from school and they came to pick Charlie and me up.  Jack was so excited to push our cart full of stuff out of the hospital and loved that the baby was next to him in the van.  However from the moment we got home, Jack became whiney and very challenging.  It was probably a combination of tiredness and other factors, but I think mostly "holy cow, this baby's here to stay and I have to share my parents' attention with him??"  Already Tuesday he was much better and is doing really great with his baby brother.  He always wants to know what he's doing - looking for him as soon as he wakes up in the morning, pulling a stool up to watch me change Charlie's diaper, attempting to climb into my lap while Charlie is nursing.  He's generally very good with him, albeit a little rough at times.  He's tried a few times to pull Charlie's hands or feet and when he holds the baby, he doesn't want help and tries to yank him out of our hands.  This will just take time and lots of reminders of how fragile little Charlie is.  In general, Jack is a great big brother already!!
We went Tuesday morning for Charlie's first pediatrician check-up.  He's already back to 9lbs, 0.5oz, so getting close to his birth weight.  His length was 21.5" in the hospital but Tuesday at the doctor they measured him at 20 3/4" - they said often when the baby's head flattens out they get a little shorter (strange since he wasn't delivered vaginally, but OK).  His head circumference was 14.5" at the hospital and 14.75" at the doctor's office.  They asked us to come back next week for a weight check which is common practice when baby is being breastfed.  The doctor looked him over and said he looks great!  We learned that his weight is in the 95th percentile, height is 90th percentile and head is 75th.

Jack & Charlie Meet

On Saturday morning, my parents brought Jack up to the hospital to meet his baby brother for the first time.  He wore this adorable shirt (we had to get him to show his muscles to get a good picture of the shirt).
 At our pediatrician's recommendation, we sent Charlie to the nursery for his initial arrival.  Jason brought Jack into the room to see me and we had a little bit of snuggle time.  Almost right away we asked him if he wanted to meet Baby Charlie and he said yes, so we called the nursery to bring him down.  He climbed up into bed with me right away and was very sweet, saying "aw, baby" in his sweet little voice.  In the picture below, he was a little distraught that Charlie's hat had fallen off.

 Almost immediately he wanted to hold him, saying "I hold baby."
 He helped Daddy hold him too.
 All in all the visit went great.  Ma Maw and Pa Paw came into the room after a little while and Jack wasn't jealous when they each held Charlie - I was a little worried how he'd react when Pa Paw held him especially.

Here's our happy family:
 Then Sunday Daddy and Jack came up for a longer visit.  We gave Jack the present Charlie brought for him and because it was choo choos, a choo choo track and a tunnel, he LOVED it!
 He again gave Charlie lots of love, and he was especially curious when I put him in his rolling crib/cart thing to change his diaper.  Jack pulled the little side table over next to the cart so he could stand on it and get a better view.
 Just before they left Daddy wanted to change Jack's diaper and Jack requested he do it in "baby's bed."  So Daddy obliged and we had the most peaceful diaper changing we've had in months.

Charlie's Birth Story

Brace yourself, it's gonna be a long one...

It all started Thursday evening at about 5:30 when I started having regular contractions.  I'd been having contractions off and on all week - even timed them for awhile Wednesday morning but they just went away.  Thursday night they were 2-5 minutes apart for over an hour and a half and getting more painful so we packed up and headed to the hospital.  My parents met us there to take Jack to their house.  When we got all checked in at about 7:45pm I was still only 3cm dilated (same as my check-up on Tuesday), but was indeed having regular contractions every 2-3 minutes at this point.  They were somewhat painful, but really not that bad.  After this continued for several hours with no change, my doctor came in and said I had a few options: 1. Go home and wait it out or 2. Have him break my water and get this party started.  Initially Jason and I were thinking 'we're not leaving here without a baby in our arms - let's do it!' but the more I thought about it I decided that wasn't what I wanted.  I had my heart set on a VBAC and this would reduce my chances of success.  I didn't want to look back and always wonder 'what if??'  So, we were discharged from the hospital around 1:00am and headed home for the night.

We got decent sleep that night, sleeping in with Jack still at Grandma & Grandpa's house.  At 9:00am, shortly after we got up, I was going to the bathroom and felt a pop.  When I stood up there was a steady stream coming from me.  Well that seemed to stop too - this was nothing like the gusher I experienced with Jack.  SO, I decided not to freak out and went about eating breakfast.  By 9:30am contractions had started and they were very quickly get stronger and closer together.  Jason timed them for me and they were happening every 2-3 minutes.  Pretty quickly I couldn't even walk around during the contractions, so we quickly packed up the car (again!) and headed to the hospital.  I thought I was dying on the way to the hospital, and not sure I would have managed if it weren't for my cool-headed husband reminding me to breathe and think about something else.  He told me later "there was one point when I thought you were going to jump out of the car."  All I can say is, thank goodness rush hour traffic was over!

We got the the hospital at 11:00am and by some stroke of luck there was an orderly with a wheelchair helping a new mom and her baby into her car.  He said he'd take me up to Labor & Delivery and Jason rushed to park the car with my last instruction to him "JUST RUN!"  When I got wheeled up to the desk, the nice lady asked me if she could help me and my response was a resounding "I need my epidural!!"  She got me checked in as quickly as she could, but really didn't I just tell them my baby's pediatrician's name LAST NIGHT???  Jason was there before I knew it and just in time for me to say "I'm gonna vomit."  The words weren't even out of my mouth when I lost my breakfast all over the floor. Sorry Labor & Delivery front desk lady!

After that they quickly wheeled me into a room, got me into a gown and checked my cervix.  4cm.  WHAT??  I know it had only been about 1.5 hours at that point, but holy cow those puppies were powerful - what a letdown to be only 4cm.  Regardless I knew I needed my epidural immediately because I couldn't tolerate it much longer.  After lots more check-in questions, no less then 5 attempts at getting an IV in my arm and some monitoring of the baby and my contractions, they finally got the epidural in at about 11:30am.  At noon my contractions were about a minute apart, but I was still 4cm dilated and 90% effaced.  At 1:30pm they decided to start Pitocin (very slowly because of my desire for a VBAC) and an hour later I was STILL 4cm.  Grandma and Grandpa brought Jack up for a quick visit at about 4:00 while I was resting comfortably with my epidural, so that was nice.  They checked me a few times throughout the day (4:45pm and 5:45pm) and I was still at 4cm.  Apparently my cervix was not interested in dilating any further.  Luckily, baby was doing just fine through all of this, so that was a big relief (recall that Jack's heart rate kept dropping during my labor with him).

After that last check, it was decided I was c-section-bound - there wasn't much else they could do.  SO preparations began and we were off to the operating room.  The walk to the OR is only a couple minutes, but I still managed to vomit on the way there.  I started to get pretty sleepy, but was able to stay alert during most of the surgery.  After what seemed like forever, they said, OK baby's coming out!  Then they said "Oh, lots of dark hair!!"  Then they said "Baby's out - Dad take a picture of the clock" (it was 6:50pm).  So he obliged and then we were both saying "What is it?? What is it??"  And they said "Dad, tell her!"  So he looked over the sheet and said "It's another boy!!" and we both promptly began crying and crying.  He was finally here!!

The next minute (or maybe it was less, who knows) seemed like an eternity because Charlie wasn't making any noise.  I said over and over again "Why isn't he crying?  Why isn't he crying?"  Finally after lots of jostling they got him to make a quick cry and assured me he was fine, just being lazy.  What a relief!  His APGAR scores were 5 (eek!) and 8 (much better!).

While they stitched me up, the nurses got Charlie all cleaned up while Jason took lots of pictures and we both just continued to cry.  They weighed him in at 9lbs, 4.5 oz and then handed him to Jason to hold.  At one point during the surgery I thought I was going to vomit again so I dry heaved into a kidney dish for awhile.  I also got the severe shakes, which didn't stop for about 45 minutes after surgery was over (this is common with c-sections).  Man, I just don't do pain medicine well!

After the shakes died down, I FINALLY got to hold Charlie - by then it was probably about 9:00pm.  I put him to my breast and he quickly latched on - what a good boy!  But then about 2 minutes in, the nursery came to take him to get cleaned up, measured, tested, etc. and wouldn't let me finish.  Ugh!!  After what seemed like an eternity I finally made it to my new room and we were all reunited.  He ate like a champ and was just peaceful as can be.

So that's how our precious little Charlie Nicholas came into this world.  He arrived on his due date, and while it was not as we planned, he is healthy and that is what matters most!

About his name:  Charlie is his given name (not Charles).  Charles is a prevalent name in both our families (Jason's paternal grandpa's first name, my dad's middle name and my paternal grandpa's middle name), but the name is not really after any of those - it's just a name that both Jason and I love.  Nicholas is Jason's middle name, so Charlie has part of his daddy in his name.


It's A Boy!!

Jason and I welcomed our son into the world Friday, September, 9 (cool birthday, eh?  9/9/11) at 6:50pm.  His name is Charlie Nicholas and he is absolutely perfect!  He weighs 9 lbs, 4 oz (big guy!), is 21.5 inches long and his head is 14.5".  He was delivered via c-section (more on his birth story in the next few days) and we're all doing great.  Jason and I are enjoying snuggling with our little guy as much as possible, and so far Charlie is nursing very well.


Jack will be meeting his baby brother later today, so more on that in a future post as well.  We feel so lucky to have two such amazing sons and cannot wait to watch them grow up together.


Sparky Update...Again

I had another check-up today - I'm 39.5 weeks along - due this Friday.  I've finally made some more progress and am now 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  I'm a happy girl.  That means all the inconsistent cramping I was feeling this weekend was doing its job.  Now, if we could just get it to be consistent, and say, 5 minutes apart for an hour or more so I can head to the hospital and meet this little guy/gal!

My doctor doesn't estimate birth weights because it's so unreliable, but he did measure the head today (not really a precise measurement either in his mind) and it's measuring right at 39.5 weeks.  I have completely lost my mucus plug starting Thursday and continuing all weekend and today (ew!) and the doctor said my bag of waters is bulging.

The hope is that I have more significant labor before my water breaks and the hard core stuff starts.  With Jack I was only about 2 cm when my water broke and that wasn't ideal.  As of now my next doctor's appointment is Monday and I will be induced next Thursday or Friday.  Fingers crossed that we won't need either of those things!!


Jack at 2 Years

Jack had his two-year check-up at the pediatrician last week.  Consistent with EVERY check-up he's ever had, we determined that he's a big boy.  He now weighs 35 lbs (98th percentile), is 36.5" tall (93rd percentile) and has a 19.5" head (71st percentile).  Everything else with his check-up was great - developmentally he's right on track.  The best part of the visit: NO shots until he's 5!! 

So here's a summary of Jack's interests at 2 years old:

  • Trains - He is still very much obsessed with choo choos.  The latest is the addition of "nunnels" (tunnels) into the mix - man, does he LOVE nunnels.  We are constantly building them out of whatever toys happen to be laying around, whether for his trains to go through or for Jack himself (and Maggie too if he has his way) to go through.  It's so exciting to go under overpasses on the highway (those are nunnels too, you know) and especially exciting to drive over choo choo tracks.  Luckily there are some by our house, so we can generally drive over some without too much of a detour.  He also loves to point out every water tower he sees ("boo wawa!" or "white wawa!") - turns out there are a lot of them around that I've never noticed before.
  • T-ball - Jack has gone through a big t-ball phase too. Unfortunately that phase hit during the crazy heat of the summer, so we caved and started letting him play in the house.  Boy, that child can hit a ball off a tee!

  •  Big boy bed - Jack is still doing great in his new room and big boy bed.  He generally stays in bed until we come in the morning and get him.  Since we have his lock turned around, occasionally he'll get out of bed when we first leave at night, but when he tries the door and it's locked he gets back in bed and goes night night.  Our bedtime routine consists of first brushing his teeth.  He's gone through phases with this - occasionally not minding, but usually despising it.  We've had to get pretty creative to get a good scrubbing in - sometimes we "race" Daddy, sometimes Daddy holds him upside down while I brush him, etc.  Whatever it takes to get those teeth clean!  After that we either go back out and play choo choos for a little while or we go in his room and read 1-3 books (depending on what time it is).  Just in the last week or two he's discovered his Dr. Suess books.  He especially likes The Cat in the Hat and will dig in his bookshelf until he finds that one.  Those are fun books to read!!
Notice the shoes in this tooth brushing picture:

  • Twos room at day care - Our big shot is now transitioned to the next classroom at day care.  His new classroom is the Butterflies room and his teachers are Ms Cindy and Ms Lauren.  He is doing surprisingly well with the transition - I underestimated him!  I thought it would be pretty rough on him because he was pretty attached to Ms Jill in the Comets room.  He's done great from day one though - we're so proud of him!  The new classroom has pint-sized bathrooms and sinks for hand-washing, a Lego table, a toy kitchen, a computer and lots of other new, fun toys to play with.  Drop-offs are still a little tough (Ms Cindy generally has to pry a crying Jack off of me), but we're only through week two, so it will get better.
  • Speech - Jack has turned into quite the chatty chatster!  He says lots of words and strings together several words.  We can have real conversations with him, which is so much fun.  Of course, his pronunciation is not perfect on many words.  Some of our favorites: the aforementioned "nunnel," "pu" (cup or up), "tat" (hat and cat), and "pippow" (pillow).  He also sometimes makes his "S" sound with a lisp, but only for some words (mess, yes).  Other "S" sounds come out like "SH," for example "peesh" (please) and "keesh" (keys).  In the last week or two, Dada has suddenly become Daddy.  That seems so grown up to me!!  He's also playing with how he refers to his grandparents...MawMaw has become more like MaMaw (rhymes with Grandma) and PawPaw has transitioned to PaPaw and yesterday it became PamPaw (closer the Grandpa, I suppose).  He still calls me Mama, but sometimes I think he's saying MomMom.  The other thing he just learned is "Why?"  Jason and I can't believe he's already picked up on that (where do they learn these things??), but sometimes the only way to get him to stop asking "Why" after everything you say is to just change the subject.
  • Potty - Jack is still dabbling with the whole potty thing.  We're not pressing him too hard because he's young and about to have a big uproar in his life (a.k.a. Sparky's arrival), BUT he does surprise us sometimes and tell us he needs to go potty and does just that when we put him on the potty.  I will say that I've noticed him paying more attention to this now that he's in the new classroom at school.  Since the ages range from 2-3 I think most of them are either potty trained already or working on it now, so that should help the process for us.  We'll see!
I think those are the highlights - our little boy just continues to grow up before our very eyes!!


Family Fun Weekend

Last weekend we spent the whole weekend together - one of our last as a family of three.  We checked out a few new places and had a really nice time.

Saturday we went to Purina Farms.  They have animals to look at, toy tractors to ride, a cow milking domonstration and, the highlight, a dog show!  The dogs do lots of frisbee tricks, an obstacle course (including a "nunnel" to run through - Jack's favorite part!) and long jumps into a pool.  It was a nice day!  Purina Farms is over an hour away from our house and there wasn't a ton to see, but it's a nice (and free!) way to spend part of a day.
We even ran into Jack's friend Grier from school.  Isn't she a doll?

Sunday we checked out the Wabash Frisco and Pacific Railroad.  This is a cool little train that you can ride in Wildwood, MO - it takes about 40 minutes in total and Jack loved every minute of it.  He especially liked it when another train would pass by us and we'd get to wave.  They're only open on Sundays, but definitely a fun activity for kiddos, especially kiddos who love choo choos!
After the train ride, we checked out the Whittle Shortline Railroad shop.  This is basically just a store that sells toy trains and supplies, but they have a big play area with LOTS of trains for the kids to try out the merchandise.  Jack was in heaven!!  They also host birthday parties, so we'll have to keep that in mind if Jack's love of trains continues.  When we were getting ready to leave there, a real train went by on the tracks just outside the store, so we got to watch that up close.  Talk about a train-filled day!!