Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Remi Lauren!

Remi was born January 7th, 2014 at 4:46pm. She weighed 7lbs and 2oz and was 20in long.

On the evening of January 6th, which was my due date, our family met up and went bowling for my cousin's birthday. I had been experiencing contractions on and off for weeks and didn't really think I would be going into labor any time soon. Actually, that day I was hit with a big energy burst and even told Jon that I didn't feel 40 weeks pregnant. I spent the day with the kids, playing in the snow, having a dance party in the living room, signing up for my first 5k, and looking up natural labor induction methods. When we got the invite to go bowling, I was like, "okay, why not?!"

Toward the end of our game I started having low, shooting pains in my abdomen. They didn't feel like contractions but they hurt pretty bad. They started coming on a little stronger and were hurting enough that I couldn't walk through them. Jon made the decision that I should go get checked at labor and delivery. I honestly didn't want to go. I was worried about the hospital keeping me a long time to monitor me and then sending me home over nothing. We had the kids to worry about and it was freezing outside. However, Jon won the argument and we headed to the hospital. We decided that I would go in alone and he would keep the kids in the car. I was sure I was going to be sent back home within an hour and there was no reason to bring everyone inside. When I reach labor and delivery a nurse takes me straight into a delivery room and has me undress and put on a gown. She then checks my cervix, which hasn't even been checked by my OB yet, and says I'm 4-5 cm and 70% effaced.
I was surprised but I knew that this didn't necessarily mean anything. Then she hooked me up to a monitor to watch my contractions, which were about 7-10 min apart, and called the doctor on call. My doctor was on his way back from Vegas.... great. The doctor on call came in, checked me, and confirmed that I was about 5. He said I wasn't going anywhere tonight and that he thought this baby would be arriving soon. Because I was having a VBAC, he didn't want to take the chance of me going home and going into full blown labor at 5cm.

I couldn't believe it. I was uncomfortable but not in any real pain and I did not think I was truly in labor. So, I called Jon and let him know we would be staying at the hospital and to take our children to my aunt and uncle. Then I decided I should call my parents. I was hesitant about calling anyone because I was still in denial that I was actually in labor. I told my dad not to worry and that I didn't think Remi was coming any time soon and that we would update him as things changed. I could tell he was torn and that a part of him wanted to come on to the hospital to be with us, bless him.

After Jon took the kids to my aunt and uncle he had to go home to grab a couple of things. We had packed the hospital bags and an over night bag for the kids in the car just incase we were out when I went into labor but we didn't have the camera and we needed to take care of our pets. He didn't really want to go, but I insisted he go ahead and run home. Meanwhile, I'm sitting at the hospital by myself getting poked and prodded by a nurse who admits she is really bad at putting in ports and drawing blood. She actually told me not to look while she tries to find my vein because she "tends to make a mess." Awesome. She blows a vein and I literally almost pass out....twice. I did talk them into just putting in a saline lock since I loath having an i.v. and I wasn't anywhere near getting an epidural. I absolutely hate being tied down to a bed. I feel like I can't move with an iv.

Alright, so Jon finally gets to the hospital and gets settled in. My aunt comes to see how I'm doing after getting Laney down to sleep and we just wait....and wait....and wait. My contractions become sporadic into the late hours and by morning they have all but stopped. My new, thank the lord, nurse checks me and says I've only dilated slightly. At this point I'm just thinking that I want to go home. I want to labor at home. Just as I'm starting to feel overwhelmed, my midwife arrives. I can't describe how much I needed her in that moment. I was exhausted and anxious.

She swooped in, looked over my chart, checked my cervix, and decided they needed to augment my labor. A little hesitant, I agreed to a low dose Pitocin drip. Because I hadn't eaten dinner the night before and I was feeling low on energy, my midwife allowed me to have some jello and Gatorade. Thank God for midwives, because they made the world of difference. She also had me go out onto the floor and walk for about an hour. I felt so refreshed after that. My contractions also started to pick up a little.

At 9:00 am they started me on 4ml of pit. A little while later they doubled it and that's when things really started to happen. My contractions became regular and painful. My parents were there at this point which gave us some company. After a few hours of Pitocin I decided to get my epidural. I was a good 6-7cm at this point so I felt good about going ahead and getting it.

Am I the only one who has a traumatic experience every time they get an epidural? I tremble and cry uncontrollably when I'm getting them. I've been told this is a normal experience but sheeeesh, it's awful and I always end up feeling like a complete sissy. Okay, back to the story.

After my epidural is in, the nurse suggests that I try to sleep and hold off on having any visitors for a little while. I'm glad to oblige and I'm soon off in sleep land. Jon said that I slept so hard and so peacefully that he got nervous and went and got the nurse to make sure I was doing okay. While I was sleeping my contractions got much stronger and much closer together. Jon said he just stared at me and my monitor the whole time.

Next thing I know I'm waking up with a large amount of pressure down below. I tell Jon to "Call...No...GO GET THE NURSE!" Two nurses come in within seconds and I tell them that I feel like it's time. They quickly examine me and one says, "She's got hair!" They decide not to let me practice push because they feel the baby will come. I ended up having to sit like this for about 10-15 minutes until the doctor arrived. The next 45(ish) minutes were amazing.

The doctor arrives and gets into action. The room fills with nurses and all sorts of gadgetry is pulled out of cabinets. The doctor looks at Jon and says something to the effect of, "are you ready to get in the action?" to which Jon says, "sure." He had no idea what the doc had in mind. Next thing I know, Jon has on a gown and is running through five pairs of surgical gloves because he keeps ripping them or touching things. All while I have a bowling ball sitting between my legs...but I'm trying to wait patiently because I know this is going to be epic.

Jon looks like a giddy child who has just had candy for the first time as he sits down to help deliver our baby. Then I watch him transform as he puts on his "game face" and follows the doctors instructions. As I push I steal glances of my husband. For a moment it felt like it was just he and I bringing our baby into the world. We were doing this together, as one. I felt so close to him in those moments. It's something I will never forget.

After a final and extremely hard push our baby girl finally emerged, guided by her daddy. Jon then laid her on my chest, where she rested against my skin, and he cut her cord after letting it rest a moment. Jon kissed me, kissed her, and told us he was proud just as he did with all of our babies.

Remi was gorgeous. Different from our other babies, her hair was dark. She had a little pink stork bite on the tip of her nose. She was tiny and perfect. She simply glowed.

I nursed within moments of giving birth and Remi knew exactly what to do. She only left me briefly to be weighed, measured, and foot printed. It was perfect. We were perfect. It was an amazing VBAC experience and it went so smoothly, Pitocin and all.

Jareth and Laney were the first to come in and meet Remi. They LOVED their baby sister and our family of five became complete. It is now three weeks later and we are all doing well. My post partum recovery has been easy and although we are still trying to find our groove, we are all so happy we brought our little love child into the world to complete our family. I can't imagine not having her in our life. It was meant to be.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dear Remi

We are just days away from your expected due date and I find myself in a whirlwind of emotion. One moment I'm anxiously pacing the floor, trying to bring on labor. Then other times, I find myself patiently belly gazing, not wanting my last pregnancy to end quite yet.
My pregnancy with you has been wonderful. Sure, I had my share of morning sickness as well as general aches and pains and in the very beginning I wasn't quite sure how in the world I was going to be able to take care of three kids....but I've felt more at ease this time around. Maybe it's because I'm more prepared and more of a veteran mom now. Perhaps it's because your dad and I have never been better and we are in a great place both financially and in our relationship. Whatever it is, it's good. It feels good. Don't get me wrong, we are completely stressed out at times. Your big brother and sister are quite a handful and adding another baby to the mix is going to be interesting. I think we can manage though. You'll just have to forgive me for my insanities at times, I can be a bit crazy. I'm quite impatient as well. And I'm a little stubborn. But I'll love you more than anything else in the world. You'll see that one of my strengths and weaknesses is that I love really hard and that my family comes before anything else.
I just can't wait to meet you, little Remi. I can't wait to hold you in my arms and smell your sweet skin and hold your tiny hand. I can't wait to see what and who you look like. I can't wait to get to know your personality and watch you with Jareth and Laney. My prediction is that you'll be sweet and gentle natured. Of course you'll be beautiful.
I'll try to keep being patient until you're ready to make your debut. There are a lot f people ready to see you though, including your big brother. He is old enough to understand that he is getting another baby sister and he is just thrilled. He talks to you often. Laney thinks you are in her belly. She pats her tummy and says "Remi." It's very sweet. And your daddy, well, he is just excited as can be to have another baby girl. He can't wait to cuddle with you. We are all so excited to bring you into our family! You are loved!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 Weeks to Go!!!

This pregnancy is absolutely flying by!!! Having two kids and being pregnant with another definitely speeds up time. Twenty five weeks have already passed and although I haven't done a good job of journaling this pregnancy (Sorry baby!), we are so in love and so excited about our new addition. I totally forgot to mention, we found out the sex and we have FINALLY chosen a name!
That's right! Jareth and LaneyBug are going to have a baby sister in just a few short months. We had two top contenders for her name. They were Aria and Remi. I liked Aria and Jon liked Remi. Daddy won. Our baby girl's name will be Remi Lauren. After her mommy and her cousin, Kennady. I love it!
I've felt pretty good throughout my second trimester. I've had some back pain but that is to be expected and these other two little ones keep me pretty worn out. So far I've gained 15lbs which puts me on track to gain about the same as I did with my first two pregnancies. Overall everything is going great and we are counting down the weeks!

Monday, July 22, 2013

16 Weeks!

That's right! We are already 16 weeks along with the love child! Yep, unplanned baby = love child in our book. I'm feeling a lot better than I was in my first trimester. It was a rough one. I was very nauseated and extremely fatigued, more so than in my first two pregnancies. I'm not having any real cravings. I love sweets but that's nothing out of the ordinary. I'm thirsty a lot! I try to drink a lot of water.
I've been feeling the baby move some in the past week. It's been more of a rolling type of movement than any kicking. According to my pregnancy app on my phone, he or she is roughly the size of an avocado. Speaking of "he or she," we get to find out the sex in two weeks! Everyone keeps asking me the same two questions. "Do you want a boy or a girl this time since you already have one of each?" and "Are you going to let it be a surprise?"
My reply to the first question is a big "I don't really care." And I don't. I've learned with my son and daughter that there are wonderful things about having each. Sure it would be easier to have a girl because we already have all of Laney's baby stuff but having two girls so close in age could be tricky in the long run. And sure, it would be nice to have another boy since Jareth is almost four and we just had a girl however, the boys would be so far apart I don't know how well they would play together as they got older. Either way, it doesn't matter and we are very excited to be adding another Anderson baby to the family!
Now, my reply to the second question is a resounding, "heck no!" I have no desire to wait until the baby is born to find out whether she's a she or he's a he. I was surprised when I found out I was pregnant and I will be surprised on the sixth of August when I found out what we are having. I've been feeling like she's a girl but I've had two dreams that he's a boy. We will see soon enough and I will have plenty of time to prepare the baby room and the layette.
16 weeks down and 24 to go!

Orange Beach, AL

The Anderson clan just returned home from a great beach vacation at Orange Beach, AL. Along the way we stopped at my grandparents house and spent the weekend with them before heading south to the beach. We had a great time, as always, at their house.
Some family friends offered their condo in Orange Beach to my father in law and us for the week. We had never been to Orange Beach before and were excited to go somewhere different. It was the four of us, Popaw, Jeremy, and his girlfriend Mechelle who went. We had an absolutely great time! The kids LOVED playing in the ocean, the pools, and the sand. Jareth learned to swim in his puddle jumper and Laney enjoyed digging in the sand and picking up sea shells. We ate some really yummy seafood and had great quality time together. I also got to celebrate my birthday at the beach. The worst part about the trip was having to leave!

Monday, June 17, 2013

And Baby Makes 5!

That's correct! We are excited and surprised to be announcing that our clan is growing again!

For our seventh anniversary Jonathan surprised me with a wonderful night out. He took me to Nashville where we stayed at the Union Station Hotel, ate at Verago, and had a couple's massage. It was amazing. It was also my first night away from Laney bug.

On our way home the next day I started feeling bad. I had been kind of off for a few days and I was about two weeks late. However, I had only had one period since having Laney and I was on birth control so I thought my hormones were just getting back to normal. We decided it was best to take a pregnancy test just to ease our minds. I just knew it was going to be negative. The month prior I had taken one because I was feeling a bit off and it had been negative and then I had my first period. I really didn't think I was pregnant. I was on birth control! Then, the little plus sign appeared.

I had to convince Jon that I wasn't joking and show him the test. To say we were surprised is an understatement! The very next day I was able to get an appointment with a new OB here in Cookeville. They confirmed what we already knew and I got to see a little flicker of the heart that is growing inside of me. No matter how many times you've been through pregnancy, seeing or hearing that first heartbeat will always be an amazing experience. That's when you truly fall in love.

I have to say that we honestly thought we were done having kids. We had been planning to take permanent measurements to prevent another pregnancy but we wanted to make sure we were certain. Apparently we waited too long! Apparently there were better plans in store for us. We call this one our "love child."

I'm definitely a little nervous about having a third child. I worry about changing up our routine, making sure everyone gets the attention they deserve, and of course my sanity. I get nervous about how I'm going to go grocery shopping with three kids and how we will do vacation. I worry about the kids having to share a room and I imagine the house will never be clean. I worry about a lot of things. I guess I did with each pregnancy. But you know what? I think it's going to be quite an adventure. We have so much support from our families and we are in a great place in our lives. I know we will do just fine, better than fine. Just think of all the wonderful grandbabies I will have one day! Our table will be full and that makes me happiest of all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Laney Tomlyn Anderson!

Laney was born March 13th, 2012 at 11:17am. She weighed 7lbs and 4 oz and was 20 inches long.

On the evening of March 9th I started have contractions. They lasted several hours but weren't getting closer together or increasing intensity so I went to bed assuming they were just Braxton Hicks contractions. The next morning they gained intensity and by 3:00 they were between 5 and 7 minutes apart. I was in Athens that day so I called my OB and the nurse told me to go on to the hospital. I really thought it was time. My sister, Dana, drove me back to Knoxville and sat with me in triage while nurses checked my cervix and hooked me up to a monitor. Two hours later I was sent home, still having contractions. Saturday and Sunday were the same; I kept having painful contractions but they just weren't making me progress the way they needed to. It was a very long weekend.

On Monday I went to my weekly appointment and saw one of the nurse practitioners. I told her what was going on and she checked me saying I was 5 to 6 cm dilated and if I was still contracting she was sending me to the hospital. She put me on a monitor and sure enough my contractions were steady and about 7 minutes apart. She sent me directly over to labor and delivery. I was so excited and called Jon to let him know he needed to go home and get our bags. Then I proceeded to text family and friends to tell them we were having a baby. Once I got to the hospital I was once again put into triage and hooked up to a monitor. The nurse said I was actually only about 4 cm dilated and that I still wasn't progressing enough to keep me there... I lost it at that point. I had been in pain since Thursday evening and had been sent to labor and delivery twice just to be sent home. The nurse called my doctor and said she would schedule an induction for the next morning. I still wasn't happy but at least I knew that it would be over soon. So we went home and got ready for the induction.

Neither one of us slept very good that night. Not only were we excited but I was also in a lot of pain. I couldn't sit or lay down and even standing and rocking wasn't helping. I had sharp, persistent, pains in my stomach and right side. We called the nurseline and she seemed to think it was a nerve shooting off. This, mixed with my contractions, made for a very long night. If all of this is anything like going into labor naturally, it isn't for me. It was terrible.

Finally I fell asleep for about two hours before our alarm clock went off and we got up to leave for the hospital. Jareth stayed home with Jeremy, Jon's brother, who had come in the night before. He was very helpful and also took care of our dog, Jack. We asked everyone who wanted to come to wait until about 8:30 before coming to the hospital. Jareth had been induced and we knew nothing really happened until about 9:00.

Once at the hospital I was hooked up to an IV and put on a monitor. (Side note: I loathe IVs.) Dr. Walker came in a little after 8:00 to break my water and at about 8:30 the nurse started my pitocin. I had been hurting for about five days at this point so I decided to get my epidural right away. I was at 4 cm dilated already so I didn't worry too much about it delaying my progression. The epidural hurt pretty bad going in and my contractions at that point were very intense. My nurse, Deb, coached me through it. She was incredible the entire time we were there. It was she who determined how this delivery process was going to go, much to my dismay.

At close to 11:00, Nurse Deb came in to check my progression. Everyone except my sister was ushered out of the room. Jon was downstairs getting coffee so Dana stayed in the room with me. Deb checked to see how far dilated I was and made a very important discovery. I was 7cm and she noticed my water was dark. She said that Laney had, had a bowel movement. Then she checked me again and very calmly said "I think I feel a bottom and not a top." Breech, my baby was breech. I looked at Dana and I immediately knew I was going to have a c-section and quickly. Deb ordered an ultrasound "stat" and all of the sudden nurses and doctors were flying around my room preparing to move me to the OR. I started crying and asking if I could deliver her breech which of course my answer was "no." I did NOT want a c-section. I wanted the experience I had with Jareth. I didn't want to be layed on a table and have my baby cut out of me and not get to hold her for god knows how long. I was afraid I wouldn't get any time with her before being put into recovery and I would lose thos precious first few moments.

The next thing I know I'm being shown an ultrasound that Laney's head is in my ribs and am being told the importance of getting her out now. Jon is back and has been thrown scrubs to put on and Dr. Walker is running in. (Dana said she was running down the hall to my room as she left) She comes to my side since I'm still crying like crazy and talks me through the process. She was very firm with me but answered all of my questions and put me at ease. It was exactly what I needed. I look up for Jon and he is rubbing my head and telling me that everything will be fine. Then we are in motion.

In the OR I am moved from my bed to the operating table where they strapped down my arms and put a big, blue sheet in front of my face. A man asks me if I can feel "this" and "that" and I tell him no. Jon is brought in and sits beside me and I hear Dr. Walker get started. She talks me through most of the procedure assuring me that everything is fine. She even tells me not to expect the baby to cry since she'd had a bowel movement and may have swallowed some of the fluid. I felt a lot of tugging and some pressure but of course no pain. Then I hear Dr. Walker say "baby's out" and following that I heard the sweetest cry. Laney was letting me know she was okay. She was brought around to me to see and her little legs were stuck up by her ears where she had been in breech positon for a while. It was comical to see them slowly come down. They took her to a little bed  right next to me and began cleaning her off and doing tests.

She was beautiful. A head full of strawberry hair, big eyes, and the prettiest little lips you've ever seen on a baby. Long fingers and toes. Perfect doesn't begin to describe her. Jon went to take photos of her and kept telling me how good I was doing and how perfect our daughter was. I had forgotten that I was on the table for a few minutes until I heard Dr. Walker say "bladder is back in, bowels are back in." I tried to ignore that statement but I got nauseas and my head started throbbing. Then a nice man named Chris who I think was an assistant to the anesthesiologist put me out for about five minutes. I woke up not having a clue what had happened. Jon just said I took a short nap. It must have been very short because Laney was still being poked and proded not two feet away from me. Her APGARs were 8 and 9 and outside of a scrape on her butt from the incision, everything was perfect.

When they were done sewing me up and done with all of Laney's stuff they put me back in my bed and asked if I wanted to hold my daughter. Absolutely! I thought I would have to be seperated from her and was so suprised that she never left my side even for a moment. They placed Laney on me skin to skin and Deb put warm blankets over the both of us. I was in heaven at that moment. The surgery was over and I had my little girl in my arms. I even got to breastfeed when we got back to the room.

We spent the next three days in the hospital. Jareth was fantastic with his baby sister and of course everyone was smitten with our little angel. We had a lot of visitors. I admit I was pretty loopy the first day. I was in a lot of pain and my emotions were running high so they gave me some good medicine! I just remember being so sleepy and calm. Although recovery has been difficult, I have to say I got better faster than I thought I would. The first 5 days or so were terrible. I couldn't do anything on my own. I have to brag on my husband. Jon was absolutely amazing. I can't say enough how lucky I am to have such a supportive husband. He did everything for us for close to two weeks. On about the 7th day I noticed a big change in myself. I could move around easier and the pain was much less.

A little over two weeks later, I am now doing much, much better. My incision is still sore and I have some ligament pain but overall I'm doing great. Laney and Jareth are keeping me busy and Laney is still doing wonderful. Jareth is an awesome big brother. He is doing so well. I'm very proud of him. Our family of four is just perfect. Jon and I are happier than ever.