Monday, December 31, 2012

Gretchen Updates

Gretchen is just getting to be SO big!! Seriously I can't believe how big she is. She seems to be doing so much. I'm not sure if it's because for the last year I've basically been gone, with school and work and everything that I haven't noticed a lot of the changes with the other kids and now that I'm home and she's changing the fastest that I'm noticing everything or what the deal is but she's getting so big so quick.

Did that make sense??

Anyway, Gretchen is now almost 15 lbs according to our scale at home with me weighing myself with her and then without her. She rolled over for the first time from her back to her belly on Saturday, December 29th when she was about 3 1/2 months old. This is the quickest of any of my babies to do this. She now coo's all the time too. We joke around that she talks more than Annabelle (who still only says about 10 words, and yes I'm still very worried about this). 

She is so alert all the time. She really focuses on things now. She can track you all around the room. Her whole face lights up when she sees or hears someone she knows. If Nick has been gone to work all day and he comes into the room, she just smiles and looks for him. She starting laughing yesterday, December 30th for the first time.

I hate that I'm going back to school in just a week because I know I'm going to be missing so much more!

But that's what's been going on with Gretchen!

What a BIG girl!! :)

Work Updates

I'm no longer just a Unit Secretary! I'm now a Student Nurse Technician!

Which means I get to work directly with patients! Woohoo! This means a lot to me because it feels more like being a nurse. Last week was my first week as a SNT and I got to do 2 blood draws (1 I got, 1 I didn't, but in my defense, the one I didn't get I was in the vein, the patient just freaked out and begged me to quit. I would've gotten it if she let me). And I got to start an IV.

I get to do vitals during the day and just be in patients rooms all day. It feels so much better than sitting at the desk all day and working on their charts or stuff like that. It makes me feel that the end is in sight and I really can't wait to be a nurse and graduate.

Only a few months to go!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Dominick's Christmas Show

Dominick was in his Christmas Holiday show on Dec. 6th. Yes it's been that long since I've blogged...Sorry!!!

It was the cutest darn thing I've ever seen. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. They all got up and sang their little songs and it was so adorable. We sat in the very back because we had both girls with us and wanted to be able to make a quick get-away if Annabelle was a terror but that wasn't necessary because everyone had kids there and basically all the kids were terrors!

My mom came to help and to watch Dom and he was so excited. When his group was up, we stood up to take pictures and record his class singing. I stopped recording in between each song but I wish I didn't because in between the two songs he yelled "That's my Mommy!!" and I didn't get it on camera!

I'll see if I can upload his class singing; I know I can upload the pictures I took.

 Dommie reading in his classroom before heading down for the show

 His class lining up to sing. He's in the middle, the second row from the top. He's wearing a white sweater vest. He's the cute one. ;-)

Just another view. 

After getting off the slide at McDonald's where we went for dinner to celebrate how good he did. 

Sorry for the shaking!! I took the video with my regular camera! 

All in all it was a great night and Dom had a great time. We are really happy with his school and he loves it. This was a great start to an amazing holiday season!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Too long

It's been way too long, but again, there's no way to catch up tonight. I'll try tomorrow, but that will be tough since I'll be home with all three kiddos tomorrow.

So instead I'll just mention the most important thing right now, Gretchen rolled over for the first time yesterday!! Yay!! :) She's getting to be SO big!

I'll try to post within the next few days to catch up on everything.

Cousins Holiday Party
Gretchen's Newest things
Dom's school Christmas show
My work
My school
My hospital stays, etc
Addie's Scare on Christmas

So much to discuss! I'll try tomorrow, I promise!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catch up?

There's no way to fully catch up since my last post. Too much has happened. But I'll glaze over the basics.

First, I went back to the hospital. I got home from the hospital on that Monday. Had a rough Tuesday, an ok Wednesday, a great Thanksgiving, a rough Friday, a bad Saturday and was back in the hospital on Sunday at 2 am. Again, I did a million tests, and again I left with no real answers. The only thing that was interesting is that a spinal tap made me feel better. I was at the hospital from Sunday, very early AM until Tuesday at 6:30 in the evening. It was another long stay. And the worst part was I missed Gretchen's baptism!!! :( And I've still only seen 3 pictures. Nick's sister texted me 3 pictures, which were great, but those are the only pictures I've seen.

Second, Thanksgiving was amazing. We went to my Dad's side in the morning and my Mom's side in the evening. We were going to celebrate with Nick's family in conjunction with Gretchen's baptism, but I missed that. I'm sure it was amazing though as well. And that was the one day I felt good enough to eat!

Third, Gretchen is baptized! Yay Gretch! A big girl! And Dominick completely ripped up her baptismal certificate because he's very into ripping these days. So I have to get her a new one, but that's ok.

Fourth, I went back to work and I love it! I missed it so much!!!

Fifth, Annabelle and Gretchen are at a new sitter's. The old sitter, Stella, didn't have an open spot for Gretchen and it seemed crazy to send the girls to two separate places. So both girls are going to Karen's. And they love it! And I love that Karen charges by the day and not the week. So I stay home with the girls on the days I'm not working. So it's cheaper (although a little more stressful), but totally worth it. I think it's harder work than my work but I love spending time with my girls!

I think that's about it!

I'll try to be better on here, but it's tough. I'm getting ready for bed at 8 with the kids and exhausted by 9:30. But I'll try to get on here more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Hospital Stay

What a wild ride this past week has been. Not even a week! This may be a long post.

It started a few weeks ago actually when I started getting these headaches and dizziness that would go away. I started getting these headaches on the 7th of November. I didn't think too much of them, but they were BAD headaches. I took advil but they wouldn't really fully go away.

The day it all got very very bad was on Friday, the 16th. Nick needed to go up to his job site because he needed a permit number. Well, he never got the chance. After getting both kids (I already had Gretchen at home) and driving through downtown, I got a weird sensation. I had just turned around to tell Dominick something (Nick was driving) when I got a heavy feeling in my legs arms. I turned back around really quick and it almost felt as if it went away. Nick asked when was wrong and when I told him, he told me I had too much stuff in my lap and I needed to breathe.

He took a bunch of stuff out of my lap and when he did, I realized I could barely move my right leg. My left leg was fine though.

I was thinking maybe it fell asleep, but it wasn't a tingling feeling, it was HEAVY. Almost as if a lead weight was attached to my leg. Then I could feel it spread. The heavy feeling went up my right side and I couldn't move my arm. Again, only my right arm and not my left. At this point I started to freak out. We were stuck in traffic and I couldn't move any part of my right side. I kept smiling at myself in the mirror an both sides were smiling so I wasn't completely freaking out, but I was scared.

Then was the scariest thing to happen yet. I felt it go up to my face. When I felt it in my face, it was tingles and it wasn't just my face, my whole right side started tingling. I opened the mirror and smiled in the mirror and my worst fear was confirmed. I was only smiling with my left side of my face.

About the same time that happened, I lost my speech. I couldn't make out any words. They were just noises. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't make the words come out.

We had already been headed up north, so Nick brought me to Christian Northeast. We had all three kids with us so Nick pulled up to the ER and helped me out. He locked the kids in the car until he could get me in. I had told him I could walk but I was way wrong. He practically carried me in and a security guard brought me a wheelchair. Nick went back out to the car and brought the kids in and waited for my parents to get there.

They kept asking me questions and I knew the answers but I couldn't say them. I'm sure it was frustrating for a lot of people.

I just got home last night. I had a million tests done. 2 CT scans (one with contrast and one without), MRI, MRA, TEE, 2 D Echo, too many vials of blood to even count. At least 20. And by the time this is all said and done, they aren't 100% sure what happened to me. They are "suspecting" that I had a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA - or mini stroke) but they aren't positive. I had something happen that has affected my brain though. Even typing I know it's different than it used to be. But it's ok, it's not starting from scratch. It's like I just forgot where some of the letters are located on the keyboard. I'll be back to a fast typist again soon, I'm sure.

I'm off of birth control and back onto a blood thinner (something I was told would be fine because my disorder isn't a big deal but clearly it is more of a big deal than any of us realized). I'm still trying to shake this headache and somehow I caught a virus in the hospital and have been throwing up a lot lately, but I think that's on the way out. I've been drinking a lot of alka-seltzer and eating basically popsicles and crackers.

I have an appointment with a stroke neurologist on Tuesday. Hopefully they can figure some stuff out, because I have to go to work 1 week from today!

I'm very thankful to the many people who came up or called or texted while I was in the hospital. I know on Sunday and Monday I was in NO mood for company so I'm sorry I didn't talk to any of you. But the balloons, flowers, everything was beautiful and it means a lot to me.

I'm so happy to be home. Even though I still feel weak and kind of sick, I'd much rather be here than in the hospital. I'm so thankful to get to see my kids! I missed them being away from all 3 for 4 whole days. And I missed my husband.

Ok, that's enough. Sorry if I just bored you to tears! I'm actually feeling so much better that Gretchen and I are headed to JCPenneys to buy our Thanksgiving outfits! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Next up!

Since I've finished the last EASY thing on my list, I'm moving to a few harder ones. The next two things I want to accomplish on my list are read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and learn to drive a stick shift. I think those are both doable in the next few weeks. Or months. But things I can do before I graduate. And of course I'm going to start going to Growlers and work on that list. Supposedly they don't have all 131 beers anymore but they have like 75 and you can get a card for those. We shall see.

I can do it. It will be nice to be able to knock a few more off the list. I created this list when Dom was a baby and haven't been able to knock too much off the list yet. I can also probably work on my short story, exercising and starting a savings account/college funds for the kids, although I think maybe I should wait until I actually make some money. We'll see. :)

Bring it on!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Star Wars Trilogy Complete!

I probably should have done something productive today...but instead I finished one of my goals and finished the Star Wars Trilogy!

I have to say that I liked it! I've heard awful things about the actual first 3, so I'm not 100% I'll watch them. It took me 28 years to watch 4, 5, and 6, so maybe I'll attempt this before I'm 56!

Anyway, I'm just excited to be able to knock another goal off my list. 10 down, just 20 to go! And I have about 14 months to do them! Yikes! Better get crackin!

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Just finished this one! 2 down and just 1 to go! Unless you count the newer ones but I'm not that concerned with those. I'm sure I'll watch them but I'm not worried about watching those before I'm 30.

Woohoo! Knocking stuff off my list (even fun stuff like this) feels so rewarding!!

Go me! :)

Dare I watch the 3rd one today? Or will Nick kill me for doing absolutely nothing today but laying on the couch, eating and watching movies?? We'll see....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Star Wars: A New Hope

It was good! I think I'm more excited to see the next two now that I know what's going on!

Bring on this 30x30! I'm down to a little over 1 year to get this stuff done. I can't believe I'll be 29 in almost two months! Scary!!

Working on that 30x30

I have laundry to fold and a baby to feed. I'm going to do this while watching Star Wars, Episode 4...the beginning of one of my goals to watch the Star Wars trilogy.

Let's start knocking these off my list!

Out for a Night!

Nick and I were fortunate enough to go to my cousin Ben's journeyman party last week. A week ago today, actually. My parents watched all three kids so we could go up to Cugino's and congratulate Ben. While we were there, I played darts for the first time ever. Apparently I have some natural talent with darts and I LOVED it! I played so long that Mom had to call me and ask me to come home. :)

Well on our way home from Cugino's, I was talking about how much fun I had and Nick told me that while I'm still off of work and school he thinks I should go out one night a week. What?!? OK!!!

So last night was my first night out. My cousins Sara, Ben and I decided to go to Friendly's bar in Tower Grove. Sara's friend, Marcus, joined us and we had four people to play darts. I had a blast!!! I left my house at 6 pm (with the kids eating dinner of mac and cheese, apples, grapes, corn and milk, Nick's dinner in the oven and a bottle ready for Gretchen) and played darts, had a few beers and a light dinner of fried pickles (light as in not much food, not as in light in calories).

We played a lot of darts (301 wipeout, 501 double out, shanghai, stop watch, high score, and cricket) and even a game of shuffleboard. I had so much fun. I love love love my children and my husband but I was so happy to be out of the house. I literally spend almost every day doing laundry, cleaning up toys, doing dishes, etc. I maybe get out on a Wednesday to hang out with my Mom but that's the most exciting day of the week. So getting out last night was fantastic.

Here's a picture of me and Ben taking a break from darts. Ben was practicing his new picture face. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Yesterday was my mother in law's 70th birthday.

The kids all celebrated by throwing her a surprise party on Saturday night. It was great! She was surprised (I think) and the whole party was a success. The party was thrown at my sister in law, Kate's, house. She lives in a beautiful house and the setting was perfect.

It was catered by a place called Stellina's and the food was amazing. The cake was from Sam's. We ordered a pretzel in the shape of a "70" from Gus's Pretzels. It was just great.

Of course, I forgot my camera. I have no pictures from that night (and I think I looked pretty good too!). Nick and I were in charge of getting Sue to the party, so that was the one thing on my mind. Get to the party. So no camera. Oh well. Hopefully one of my sister in law's took pictures and will pass them on!

Happy Birthday Sue!!!


My schedule for Spring has been posted! :)

I'm such a nerd but I can't wait to go back to school. Even though it's hard, even though it sucks, deep down I'm just a big nerd and love it. The best part about it, the sooner I go back, the sooner I'm done and GRADUATE!

Here's how my schedule will be next term:

8:00-12:30 Community Health Nursing
1:00-5:30 Community Health Nursing Clinical

10:00-12:15 Pediatric Nursing
1:00-4:00 Adult Health Care Nursing II

Possibly my Pediatric Clinical from 7:00-2:00
3:30-8:00 Leadership Role Development

Again, possibly my Pediatric Clinical from 7:00-2:00

 10:00-12:15 Pediatric Nursing
1:00-4:00 Adult Health Care Nursing II

My classes are from January 7-March 22. My clinicals are from January 7-February 25. I have to complete 192 clinical preceptor hours from March 4-April 19. I have to take an elective in there somewhere (I'm hoping to take the HIV elective on Tuesdays from 5-8:30, but won't know if I got in for awhile still).

Oh and I have to find a way to work 18 hours a week still at the hospital to keep my job.

I can do it!!! Just four more months and I'm a nurse!!! Or at least I'll have my bachelor's. I'll still have to study for and pass boards, but I can do it! :)

Yay for school!


What a disaster! Holy cow, I was completely unprepared for what this Halloween was going to be like. We decided to do the trunk or treat at Dominick's school. The trunk or treat was from 6-8 and we were instructed to decorate our trunk and bring at least 300 pieces of candy. Of good candy.

So we got signed up. My mom and I spent two hours making Handy Manny tools out of cardboard for the car decorations. Then we went shopping (another story, but I got AMAZING boots!). Then I got the kids costumes together.

I was excited. This was the first year Annabelle would really understand and the first year that Dominick was REALLY excited.

It started off great! Here are a few pictures of the car and Dom and I waiting for Nick and Grandma to get there with Annabelle.

It started off great. But there were so many people there. We brought almost 500 pieces of candy. Again, GOOD candy. We spent like $40 something on just candy.

Then I got frustrated. I knew it was a community event, but I was thinking it would be more of just Dom's school and not every single person in the area. We ran out of candy in the first 45 minutes. And I don't mind giving kids candy. If it were all kids, in costumes, I would have been happy and even gone out to get more candy. But it wasn't. There were MANY "kids" over 18 there. A lot of people brought 2 bags for candy. One for them and one for their "kid in the car". Why was their kid in the car??? There was a couple who were walking around with their infant child, who wasn't dressed up, and they were asking for candy. Really?? Really???? Wait until the next day and buy a whole bag for 50% off.

I was mainly frustrated because I spent all my time and effort and a decent amount of money to make sure that Halloween was great. And instead of getting to enjoy it with my kids and family, I was trying to worm my way through a throng of about 500+ people, make sure I didn't lose my kids, and try and have them enjoy walking to the 25 cars that were there.

It was annoying.

After 6:45, we left. I wasn't going to try and get more candy while my kids waited in the car. So we left and went back to our house and then took the kids to the few houses that were giving out candy in our neighborhood.

Luckily a few houses were left in our neighborhood and Dom and Anna had fun.

I was so frustrated and tired at the end of the night that when we were all tucked in, I realized I didn't take hardly any pictures. I took no pictures of Annabelle in her full costume. I took literally NO pictures of Gretchen on her first Halloween. Bad Mommy...

Here's a picture back at the house of Annabelle eating some candy.

Doesn't she just look like trouble??

I'm going to have to get the kids dressed up again and just take a picture! oh well.

I know next year we'll just stay in our neighborhood. I'd rather do that. I would be less frustrated and I think the kids would have more fun.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grammie's Birthday

We had my Grammie's 86th birthday party yesterday at my Aunt Jane's house in Hermann. I love her house. It's on a ton of land and it's so cute. It's like a country house out of a magazine. My Uncle Don designed the house and it's just perfect.

After going to this party, I was again reminded as to how bad my Grammie is getting. As soon as I got there, I went over to her and told her happy birthday. I had Dominick tell her happy birthday and I sat with her for a bit. I gave her Gretchen's birth announcement and her baptism invitation. She asked when the invite was and I told her and after about 15 minutes, I got up and went to help in the kitchen. While we were getting ready to eat, Grammie looked at Nick and said, "I guess Meghan had to work today since she's not here?". It's just hard. Hard to watch, hard to hear, just hard all over.

But the kids had a blast and I think my Grammie did too. My sister came, which was a surprise to me, and it was great for Dom. The kids were running all over the yard and just having a ball. I brought candy and all the kids got some Kit Kats and everything worked out perfectly.

I made an easy pasta salad recipe that was really good if anyone is interested.

Pesto Pasta Salad

1 box rotini pasta
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1- 7oz container of prepared pesto
1 cup toasted pine nuts

You just cook the pasta, drain it, rinse with cold water and drain again. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pesto, oil and vinegar. Pour the pesto mixture over the pasta. Top with the tomatoes and pine nuts. Toss to coat the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My mother in law is having some problems with her back. She was in the hospital for a few days a few weeks back and she's in so much pain. It's hard to watch. I feel so bad for her. She loves exercise and picking up the grandkids and DOING things and she's pretty much confined to her house and she's in so much pain she's not sleeping. I feel awful for her.

We went to visit her for a bit yesterday. It was just Nick, Gretchen and I and it was the first time I've seen her since all this has happened. Nick's been over to see her but I haven't been able to go. It was sad for me to see her like this. She was walking with a cane and it was very evident that she's in pain. Please say some prayers that she feels better soon and can get back to the things she loves. Exercise and playing with grandbabies!!

Pumpkin Patch

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch this past weekend and it was stressful! :) but fun and totally worth it.  Luckily my mom met us there and that was a major life saver. It's hard when you are outnumbered by kids! Especially when one has to be held and another one doesn't talk but likes to run away!

But we made it. And Dom and Anna had a blast (Nick calls Annabelle Anna and I'm trying to go with it so she doesn't get so confused with having a million different names!).

We got there and it was PACKED. I swear, everyone was at this pumpkin patch on Sunday around 2. But there was a lot to do and Dom jumped right in. There was a small maze for kids with a bridge, a pole to slide down, a tire to crawl through and more. There were a few slides to go down. There were some hay mazes to crawl through (that were completely pitch black and I can't believe Dom liked them). There were also pony rides and swings and of course, pumpkins!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the pumpkin patch!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 19, 2012


My grandpa holding Gretchen and talking to Annabelle

My little dare devil. She climbed up onto the coffee table 
at my parents house and was smirking as if daring us to tell her to get down...

Gretchen napping in the pack n play while I cooked dinner one night. 
It amazed me how close in size she and the doll were!

HAHA, I HAD to post this picture!
Cecilia is SO skinny and tall. Her pants can't even stay up. When this happened
I asked if she needed help. She said, "no". She was more concerned with playing 
than worrying about her pants! 

Annabelle, Dominick and Cecilia
Cheering on the Cardinals!

Go Cardinals!!!

Big girl Gretchen!!

My Grammie, Gretchen and me. 

Gretchen at 1 month

Dommie and Addie cheering on the Cardinals. 

I haven't hardly taken any pictures, but this is what I have. Hopefully I can add more to it soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Grammie

My grandma is sick. You wouldn't know it if you just looked at her. Physically she's perfect. She's living on her own and doing everything for herself. The scary part is that she has dementia. I don't talk to her as often as I should, but every time I do talk to her I realize how bad it's getting.

I went to visit her last Wednesday with my mom and Gretchen. We wanted Grandma to get to meet her. Here's the conversation we had the first few minutes I was there:

me: "Hi Grandma! How are you?"
Grandma: "Hi. Is this the baby? What's her name?"
me: "Yup. This is Gretchen."
G: "Oh hi Gretchen!"
silence for a few seconds
G: "So what's his name? Is it a boy?"
me: "No, it's a girl. Her name is Gretchen."
G: "Oh I thought it was a girl, but then you just said he."
I got the baby out and gave the baby to Grandma.
G: "How old is she?"
me: "She's 1 month old."
G: "Oh she's tiny."
me: "Yeah, she's pretty small for our family."
G: "Yeah, she's small. How old is she?"
me: "She's 1 month old."
G: "One month? Oh wow, she's tiny"

It went on like that for every conversation we had. We were there for 2 hours and we probably had 30 minutes worth of conversation. It makes me sad. Sad because I know that must be frustrating for Grandma to think that no one tells her things or that she can't remember anything. Frustrating for the family when Grandma can't remember things. It's sad because she'll never really know these great grandchildren.

The only thing to really do is keep visiting, keep calling and make sure she knows we love her. So I'll keep doing it. And keep taking pictures. Even if the kids don't remember Great Grammie, I want to be able to show them pictures when they are older and tell them stories about her.

I have a great picture of me, Grammie and Gretchen, but of course it's on the camera and not on the computer. I'll upload it soon.

I'm going to try and remember to bring my camera more places and take more pictures. I've been lazy recently.

Anyway, we love you Grammie and I'm so happy you got to meet Gretchen the other day! We'll come back soon and visit.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1 month old

I need to bring my camera downstairs and update all my pictures, but I wanted to post Gretchen's 1 month stats.

She turned one month old on Thursday and we had her appointment with the pediatrician. She's doing great! She's up to 9 lbs. 4 oz. and 21" long. So she's back on track with her weight and doing fabulous. She got 1 shot and only cried for a few minutes.

She's tracking with her eyes and starting to hold her head up. She's already getting to be so big!

She just got out of newborn clothes. Literally yesterday. As of Thursday she was wearing newborn and then yesterday she was just too long. Now I'm sure that has more to do with the brand and the actual onesie I put her in, than the idea that she grew overnight, but still. I'm moving her to 0-3 month clothes. It's crazy. Dominick and Annabelle NEVER were able to fit in newborn clothes and Gretchen wore then for a full month!

One thing that the doctor said at the visit was that Gretchen was going to start giving me longer stretches at night on sleep. She said within the next month I should start getting 4 and 5 hour stretches as well as more awake time during the day. Well the last two nights have been AmAzInG. Last night she ate at 10, and then slept until 3 and then again until 6:30. It was great. GREAT I tell you!

I can't believe she's getting so big!! I'll update with pictures soon!

Cardinal FeVeR!!!!

Man I love baseball season!!!

Last October, we were the miracle team. We barely made it into the post season. We were the underdogs. We were the long shot.

And yes, we were the WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!

Here we are again. We were the 2nd Wild Card team. We went on the road to beat Atlanta, the first wildcard team. Then we played the Washington Nationals. The BEST record in baseball. ON the ROAD. We were down to our last strike twice. TWICE. JUST LIKE LAST YEAR!!!!


I'm so excited!! What a game! What a season!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The night before...

So tomorrow is when my scheduled c-section was supposed to be. it's kind of crazy to think about what I would have been doing.

I would have been double checking my hospital bag to make sure I have everything. I would have been charging my camera. I would have been making sure we had arrangements for people to pick up Dom and Annabelle from school and daycare. I would have been enjoying one last meal (complete with ice cream) before having to stop eating and drinking before the surgery. I would have been soaking up the last few minutes of being a family of 4 before turning into a family of 5.

Instead, I'm chasing around an almost 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old. I'm cleaning up after making dinner. I'm folding laundry. I'm watching the baseball game and getting ready to watch the debate.

But best of all, I'm looking at a beautiful 3 week old sleeping in her pack n play.

Today isn't what I was planning on it to be. But sometimes messed up plans turn out to be amazing.

I'm so happy that Gretchen is already here and so happy to be our family of 5.

What an amazing night.

Oh and GO BIRDS! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hospital Pictures!

I'm such a sucker. I always buy the hospital pictures. Even when Dom was born and Bella Baby wasn't doing the pictures yet and the pictures were awful! I bought them all... But I got the CD in the mail yesterday with Gretchen's pictures so I thought I'd post a few of my favorites!


Isn't my baby beautiful???

Happy 3 weeks Gretchen!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I have no excuses. I have to get back into shape and work towards my goal of reaching my goal weight! I don't plan on getting pregnant again for AWHILE so now is the perfect time to get my booty into gear and start eating better and working out again. My doctor said I can start walking but no running yet. But I can work my way up to running. So I'm going to do just that. I'm going to start off by walking just a bit each day. And I'll walk while carrying Gretchen in the Baby Bjourn so I'll be carrying a little extra weight. :)

I'm also using to record everything I eat and everything I do. I was using it before I realized I was pregnant and I like the site. I really love weight watchers but I can't afford that right now so I'll try this for a bit and if I can't get it to work, then I might need to cut something else out of my life so I can rejoin!

I'm at a decent weight right now for me so I just need to keep going with it.

So many goals to reach before I'm 30! I WILL reach this one. :)

Gretchen's Stay in the NICU

While we were in the hospital, we had a bad day where Gretchen had to go to the NICU. It was my first postpartum night and I went to bed thinking they would bring Gretchen in about 2:30 am to eat. I woke up on my own at 2:45 and was wondering where she was. I called my nurse who came in to give me meds and she told me that she'd call the nursery. She came back in to tell me that the baby's nurse was on her way in. I assumed this meant she was on her way in to give me Gretchen to eat.

I was wrong.

She came in and told me that she thought Gretchen looked a little "dusky" and hooked her up to an O2 monitor. You want your oxygen saturation levels to be in the high 90's. Anything about 94 is really good though. Gretchen was in the mid 80s. Not so good. She also told me that while checking her vitals, she thought she detected a heart murmur. So she called the NICU nurse practitioner. She came in and told me that they were going to try feeding her a little formula and keeping her on the O2 monitor and see what her oxygen levels did while eating. If they were high, she'd stay in the full term nursery. If they dipped, she'd go to the NICU. They'd come back in an hour.

So I waited. I drifted in and out of sleep while waiting, sure that they'd come back and say she was fine and be back with me.

Wrong again.

They came back at 3:30 am and told me that her oxygen levels dropped too low and she was indeed going to the NICU. They brought her in for me to say goodbye and I cried. They told me it was mainly precautionary and she should be back with me by mid morning. They also said I should come down around 6 am to feed her if I wanted to continue nursing. They also recommended that I pump since I didn't feed her at 2:30.

Then they took her.

I pumped and went to bed for about an hour. My alarm went off at 5:30. I called my nurse to get my pain meds and anything else I might need and asked for a ride down to the NICU. They brought me down, got me an ID badge, and taught me the ropes. They taught me how and where to scrub in. They showed me which POD Gretchen was in (the elephant POD). And they showed me my baby.

The nurse was very nice. She told me that she'd be back upstairs by 10 am. I felt better but not great. It's not fun to have your baby taken away the day after she's born to go to an intensive care unit. Even if it is precautionary and mainly for observation. It's scary and sad to not get to hold her whenever you want.

One thing that is interesting is every baby is hooked up to a monitor. Now each baby is being monitored for different things. Gretchen was being monitored for O2 saturation, heart rate and respiratory rate. If another baby had something drop below a certain level (HR below a certain number or respiratory rate lower than normal) an alarm will go off in every room so that the nurses will know where to go and how quickly they need to respond. There were a few rooms that always went off. Since I'm in nursing school I've learned a lot about "normals" for vital signs and reading heart monitor EKG's, etc. Some of those babies are fighting really hard for their lives and I'm so thankful that Gretchen isn't one of those babies and I'm saying many prayers for those babies that are fighting.

Even though Gretchen wasn't having to fight like those other babies, I still didn't like her being in the NICU.

I especially didn't like all the wires attached to her. But the NICU team was great.

I spent the next full day coming down for one hour every three hours. It killed me to leave her but I was exhausted and needed to go up to eat. My Dad came and visited us. So did my Mom. Later that night, Nick was finally able to come up. We all just kept waiting for them to tell me she could come back upstairs. 

Around 7 pm, the nurse and on call doctor told me she could come back upstairs but it would be awhile because a baby was just admitted who wasn't doing well and they needed as many people as possible to help with him. I completely understood that. Just the knowledge that my baby was doing better and could come back up was good enough for me.

Nick brought me dinner and we ate and I went back down to the NICU to wait for Gretchen to be able to come up. Well at 10, then told me I should go upstairs and they would bring her up when the full term nursery was ready. I listened.

Around 11 pm, I called the NICU and asked why she still wasn't up. They said the full term nursery hadn't accepted her yet. So I called the nursery. They said the NICU hadn't called yet. I asked them to call the NICU and straighten this out because I wanted my baby!

By 11:45 pm, Gretchen was back upstairs with me. Right where she belonged!

It was a long day. I'm glad they were cautious and checked her out. I didn't want her to be left upstairs and something really bad happen, but I hated having her gone. You only get 2 days in the hospital when you delivery vaginally and one of those days was her in the NICU. It made me sad, but she's happy and healthy now and that's all that matters!

We are so in love with our baby girl!