Monday, September 29, 2014

2 Weeks Old

I am a little late in writing this post, but Kellen was two weeks old last Thursday.  He saw his pediatrician that day and weighed 8 pounds and was 21 inches long.  He is up 3 ounces from his birth weight and 11 ounces from his hospital discharge weight.  He is also an inch taller than he was at birth!  He's growing like a weed.

He continues to be a pretty happy and easy going little guy.  He went through a growth spurt a few days ago where he was fussy and wanted to eat every 1.5 to 2 hours, but he seems to have gotten through that.  He is back to eating every 3 hours or so.  At night he has gone as long as 4.5 hours between feedings, so that's nice.  He generally goes back to sleep really quickly at night, so I actually feel rather rested most days.  He has been really gassy lately and has been spitting up A LOT, so he refuses to sleep laying down.  And of course, we give in for the sake of sleep, so he has been sleeping in his rock and play sleeper (a life saver for many reasons and a MUST have for all parents if you ask me...).  The only downfall about this is that we can't use our AngelCare monitor in the rock and play, so I'm paranoid that he's not breathing and obsessively check on him throughout the night.  I have cut dairy out of my diet to see if that is contributing to Kellen's gas and spit up.  Both Braden and Logan had milk protein allergies until they were a year old, so I wouldn't be surprised if Kellen has an allergy as well.  If so, it's an easy fix, though it really limits what I can eat!  And, it means that he will be a breastfed baby for quite sometime, because the formula for babies with milk allergies is insanely expensive.  We went that route with Braden but if we can save $220 each month by not using that formula, we will!  In the past few days he has been awake more during the day and much more interactive.  He enjoys playing in his activity center (a.k.a. the ocean).  He likes to stare at the "other baby" in the mirror and make noises at him.  He also likes the swing and the bouncy seat.  He enjoys going for walks.  He does not really enjoy his car seat or bath time.  So far, he has been to church twice, to the library, to Target, Arbuckle Park, and to the indoor Park at Traders Point Christian Church.  He has had lots of visitors and enjoys company!

Braden and Logan continue to adjust well and they want Kellen to do everything that they do.  They have a difficult time understanding why Kellen can't ride a bike, crawl, or eat ice cream.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kellen Robert Hall

On September 11, 2014 at 5:38am we became a family of five when Kellen Robert Hall was born.

His birth was a brand new experience for us and it was crazy, chaotic, and perfect.  His older brothers were both born via c-section, and we really wanted to avoid a third c-section if at all possible.  Having a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC) carries risks that are different than having a third csection, but both options carried risks.  Having a VBAC after one c-section is fairly common, but having one after two c-sections (VBA2C) is far less common and much less supported, even though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changed their stance on this a few years back and supports a VBA2C.  Anyhow, the OB that delivered the older two boys was not in support of a VBA2C, and I really wanted to give it a shot, so off I went to find a new OB... at 20 weeks pregnant.  I feel very lucky to have found Dr. Jarrett with OB/GYN of Indiana Northwest.  He was fully supportive of our plans to VBAC from the start, as were the other practitioners in his office. 

Fast forward to Sunday 8/31: I woke up that night with fairly strong contractions.  The "rule" is that you don't head to the hospital until your contractions last for one minute and they are five minutes apart.  My contractions were about 45 seconds in duration and coming about every 10 minutes.  That lasted for about four hours and then they stopped.  And never returned.  

Wednesday 9/10:  I felt the best I had felt in months, which was odd given the physical strain of this pregnancy.  My back didn't even hurt, and it had hurt every single day since about March.  I thought it was strange, but didn't think too much about it as I was just happy to be feeling good!  I went to the chiropractor that evening (as I had every Wednesday for the past several months) and she was puzzled because she didn't find any areas to adjust.  Again, that had not been the case in a very long time.  I met up with Kevin and the boys at Scotty's Brewhouse for dinner and then we headed home.  Still felt great.  

Thursday 9/11:  I woke up around 12:45am with horrible and unrelenting abdominal pain.  My entire abdomen felt like it was contracting and the pain was so intense I could hardly stand up or walk.  The pain was also constant and did not come and go as I expected typical contractions would have, so I really did not think it was labor.  I thought it was the flare up that I had at 31 weeks pregnant that landed in the hospital for a week.  We decided to head to the hospital because I was in so much pain.  Thankfully, our neighbor came over to our house since the boys were sleeping until we could get someone to relieve her.  We called Dr. Jarrett and let him know we were heading to the hospital.  I told Kevin that either this was labor or it was what happened before, but either way this baby was coming out.  I was going to have Dr. Jarrett just do another c-section if it was the flare up again because I was not dealing with that again.  We arrived at the hospital right at 2am.  They hooked me up to the monitor and checked my cervix which was already dilated to 4cm - active labor!  So, off to labor and delivery I went.  I made sure to tell them I needed an epidural ASAP as I was not handling the pain very well at all.  By this point, the pattern settled into a typical contraction pattern, except I was having horrible back labor at the same time.  It was by far the worst pain I have ever been in and I knew it was past the limit of what I could tolerate.  The nurse called Dr. Jarrett who said to call him with an update after I got the epidural.  They got me to a L&D room in about 5 minutes and started my IV which took awhile and multiple attempts.  By this point I really felt like I had to push with every contraction, so the nurse checked me again and to our amazement I was dilated to 7cm already.  They got the anesthesiologist in there within a few minutes and called Dr. Jarrett to tell him to start heading to the hospital.  The epidural was AMAZING and I was finally able to be comfortable.  About 30 minutes later the resident came in and checked me and told us I was fully dilated and ready to have this baby, we were just waiting on Dr. Jarrett.  He showed up about 10 minutes later.  I pushed for 40 minutes and Kellen made his arrival at 5:38am.  He weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 inches long.  Since I had never labored before, I couldn't have imagined that things would go so quickly.  My doctor was even a bit surprised.  Good thing we went to the hospital when we did, or Kellen may have been born en route to the hospital!

Kellen was born on was would have been my Grandpa's 91st birthday.  He passed away earlier this year.  We decided that Kellen's middle name should be after him, and that's where Robert comes from.  Kellen is a combination of Kevin's full name, Kevin Allen.  

We are so blessed to have three healthy boys!  Braden and Logan love him and are kind of obsessed with him.  They refer to him as their baby and will tell me things like "Mommy, my baby is hungry."  They love to hold him and help burp him.  They really want to play with him and are confused about why he eats from mommy's "belly".  Explaining breast feeding to toddlers is not easy, so we just left it at that...   

Kellen is a very good baby so far.  He rarely cries, goes three-ish hours between feedings, and is doing pretty well overnight.  He has had some gas issues which caused him to be fussy a few nights, but I think we are on top of that now.  He was 7 pounds 13 ounces at birth and 7 pounds 5 ounces when we left the hospital.  He saw his pediatrician yesterday and was back up to 7 pounds 7 ounces, so he is gaining weight and is doing well.  Mommy is feeling great too!