Friday, January 23, 2015

October

Pictures from October:

We went to a friend's birthday party that was "Frozen" themed. Although our house has somehow avoided the Frozen obsession that has swept the world, Dallin and Connor still had fun and enjoyed the "build your own snowman" kit they got to bring home.
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Mckay is getting really creative at plating our Thai food dinners.
This one is "Turtle swimming through massaman curry."

Still trying to convince Dallin to eat rice, Mckay made Dallin's rice a pizza shape.
It wasn't very effective...
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We went to the Purdue research farm again this year to pick pumpkins.

We remembered to dressed warmly this time and I even brought a blanket to keep us warm on the tractor.
Connor was very helpful picking the pumpkins and tasting the apples.

He's also pretty helpful around the house.
Even if it was him who made the mess in the first place.
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The boys have been really into puzzles. 
They put together this 100 piece Spongebob puzzle at least 20 times in October. Connor can do the puzzle by himself! (100 pieces is impressive for a 3 year old.) And he will sit patiently working on it for a solid hour. It's marvelous.
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Dallin and Connor like to join in when Mckay does his workout at home.
Connor can do a decent pushup.

I did a lot of yoga during the last few months of pregnancy and sometimes the boys would join in with that as well.
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I spent much of October getting ready for the new baby, doing things like pulling the baby clothes out of storage and washing them.
Looking at all these baby clothes brought back a lot of memories. Maybe it's because Dallin was so tiny and he wore all these 0-3 months size clothes a long time. I attach a lot of sentimental value to my children's clothes for some reason.
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I held my annual piano recital and only took one picture the whole night.
Since the recital was in October again like last year, the kids wanted to do a minor key/Halloween theme again. Mckay talked me into learning and performing "Raindrop" by Chopin. It was more difficult than I wanted it to be but I figured I should set a good example for my students by practicing a lot and setting high expectations for myself. While my performance was not perfect, it sounded pretty darn good and I'm glad I wasn't afraid to learn a new song.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Half Marathon and Connor's Birthday

Connor turned 3 in October! The day before his birthday, we took him out to lunch while Dallin was at school.
I think Connor felt pretty special having time just for him with mom and dad.

On Connor's birthday, we all woke up early to take Mckay to run the Purdue Boilermaker Half Marathon!
This was Mckay's first half marathon.

It was a cold, drizzly morning.
The boys seemed rather annoyed that we pulled them out of their warm beds.

The runners were off!
If you look closely, you can see Mckay in this picture, just about to run under the archway.

Since we were close to home, we went back to eat breakfast, get dressed and make a sign for Mckay. Then we returned to campus to greet Mckay at the finish line. 
I knew what time Mckay expected to be done, and planned to be waiting for him well before that time. Being hugely pregnant, it took longer than I expected to push a double stroller with two kids in it up the hill from the parking lot to the finish line. I still figured we were ok on time and we watched and waited for Mckay to cross the finish line.

After about 20 minutes at the finish line, Mckay called my phone. He had finished running about 20 minutes before (we must have just barely missed him!) and was now freezing and waiting for us to bring his jacket.
He finished in 2 hours and 2 minutes! We were all so proud of him. He has plans to run a marathon someday, maybe this year. I think that next time we'll make a better plan for meeting up with him afterward.


After we all took a long nap, we celebrated Connor's birthday.

He got lots of good things (books, trains, cars, clothes, treats). One of his favorite presents was his very own baby.
Connor is definitely a rough play, loud, energetic kind of kid, but when he plays with his baby, he gets very quiet and gentle. It's sweet. I made some felt diapers and a simple blanket for Connor to use with his baby. After Connor unwrapped "Charlie," he changed him and dressed him in pajamas.
Then Connor said that baby needed to sleep and ran to our real crib. I thought he would just drop him into the crib.

Connor climbed in...

...and very gently laid the baby down for a nap.
It's really fun watching Connor grow up into a sweet, smart, fun boy.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

And then there were five...

(I'm wayyyyyy behind on blogging, so I'll blog about October, November and December later, but I wanted to post this first before I forget all the details.)

Introducing the newest member of our family: Bennett Alan Easton!


My labor with Bennett was very different from the other two, but still pretty short like the others. With Dallin's birth, I was induced and had no regular contractions beforehand. With Connor, I was already 5 cm before contractions really started, so I went to the hospital quickly after only a few contractions.

The morning of Monday November 24th, I felt like it would be a good day to have a baby. A two day hospital stay would put me getting home on Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving. My parents would be flying in that night (for a Thanksgiving/baby visit). Plus, I had an appointment scheduled with my midwife that afternoon, and I was hoping that after she checked my progress she would send me over to the hospital. I was already at 4cm for my 38 week appointment, so I figured once contractions really started, things would go quickly like Connor's birth.

That morning around 7am, I started right out with several regular contractions for an hour, then a break for an hour. This kept up all day: a solid hour or so of contractions every 6-7 minutes, then a long break. Mckay stayed home from work because I felt like things would pick up. We went to Home Depot so that I could walk around and keep the contractions going strong and so Mckay could get some supplies for his latest project. That really seemed to help and contractions kept coming longer and stronger throughout the day. We grabbed our hospital bags, dropped Connor off at the home of our neighbors/friends (who would also get Dallin off the bus for us), and went to my appointment with Sharon, my midwife at 3pm. With contractions coming every 4-5 minutes, she checked me and I was about 5-6 cm. We went straight from the appointment to the hospital. Sharon was not on call at the hospital that day, so I got one of the other midwives. I'd met this midwife before and liked her, but I was hoping for Sharon since she had attended Connor's birth. 
My last belly picture at 39 weeks.

Since I tested positive for Group B Strep with this pregnancy, I wanted to get to the hospital as quickly as possible so that I could hopefully get the antibiotics in a full 4 hours before birth. (Given my previous two birth, it was unlikely for labor to last longer than 4 hours total.) We got up to the delivery room around 4 pm. The midwife told me that antibiotics had been ordered and would be there soon. I got changed, filled out paperwork, had a saline lock placed, had 20 minutes of fetal monitoring, and still the antibiotics had not shown up. We keep asking about the status of the antibiotic and was told it should be there soon. Finally at 5pm, the antibiotic was brought in and hooked up to my IV. I see no reason why it took so long to get. This antibiotic is routinely used to treat GBS. I was in a hospital on a labor and delivery floor! Why don't they just keep some stored nearby?! Right next to the saline and pitocin? Ok, I'm moving on...

After the full dose of antibiotics was in, I got into the birthing tub, planning to have another water birth. The contractions weren't very painful yet (intense, but not quite painful), but I was getting bored and wanted to do something different. We watched some TV, talked, ate some snacks, monitored the baby's heart rate occasionally and waited. My body seemed to be in no hurry. Contracts slowed a little. My midwife was hoping I could wait the 4 hours until a second dose of antibiotics at 9 pm before she would brake my water to speed things along. At 9pm, I got the second dose while I sat in the tub. Once that was finished around 9:30, she broke my water. I normally wouldn't have been so quick for her to step in and break my water, but I was getting tired and hungry and just wanted to be done. Up until this point contractions were very manageable. About 10 minutes after my water was broken, the contractions quickly become more intense, more painful and much closer together. Thoughts of "Why did I want to do this again?!" crossed through my mind. A little after 10pm, I felt pressure to push. More thoughts of "I'm crazy but it's too late now!" At 10:15pm, Bennett was out of the water and in my arms.  
He screamed and screamed and had great coloring. 

We got all cleaned up. Bennett ate. He weighed in at 7lbs, 4oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. Since the hospital cafeteria was closed by this point, Mckay went out to grab some dinner for us. He brought me back a special treat.
Smart man. 
I hope ice cream becomes a new tradition for after having a baby.

We got settled into the recovery room and got a little sleep here and there. It's amazing how quickly my body has gotten used to waking every few hours again. 

Bennett got his first bath in the morning.

Just in time to meet his brothers and grandparents.

Meeting Bennett for the first time:
video


Both boys were excited, but Connor was instantly smitten.

When they went home at the end of the day, Dallin kept asking if Bennett and I could come home with them. He was really sad that we had to stay at the hospital.
The "normal" postpartum hospital stay is 48 hours after birth. With both previous births, I stayed the full 48 hours, but with Bennett's birth I was feeling great and ready to get home to my family early Wednesday, especially with it being the day before Thanksgiving. I knew that with me having GBS, they would want Bennett to stay the full 48 hours, but with how great he was doing, I hoped they could be lenient. And I really didn't want to be getting out of the hospital at 10:15pm. I wanted to get home and see my children before they went to bed.

My midwife said I looked great and was cleared to go Wednesday morning. Bennett was eating well, gaining weight, no jaundice, great temperature, no signs of infection. Several of my nurses said that we might be able to leave before the normally required 48 hours because he looked so good. The on-call pediatrician (who had never met me or Bennett before) came in Wednesday morning to look him over. She came in and said, "So you want to leave early today?" I responded yes and was very hopeful things would work out. The doctor started reading over Bennett's chart: "Weight is good, that looks good, mmmhmm, good good.... Oh wait, you had GBS. (closes chart) I can't let you leave early." I was floored. I said, "Really? You were just saying how great he's doing. Can't we leave just a little early?" She responded that hospital policy is a full 48 hours to ensure no signs of infection for the safety of the baby and there was nothing she could do. 

Enter Mckay.

I'm a person that does not like confrontation, so even though I was upset and frustrated by the doctor's response, I wasn't going to rock the boat. But Mckay is good at rocking boats. He stands firm by what he thinks and is willing to work to get what he thinks is right. Mckay was not there when the pediatrician came, so he asked the nurses if he could speak with the doctor about her decision. An hour later, the nurse came back and said the pediatrician wouldn't be back at the hospital at all that day, and that the pediatrician rechecked her guidelines which said to observe baby for at least 48 hours.

Mckay spent all day researching and found the CDC's recommendations. The CDC's own algorithm stated that while a 48 hour stay for newborns is recommended, "observation may occur at home after 24 hours if other discharge criteria have been met, access to medical care is readily available, and a person who is able to comply fully with instructions for home observation will be present." Mckay told the nurse what the CDC allows and asked to get the doctor on the phone. I think the doctor was getting sick of us. She probably wanted to just enjoy her holiday at home with her family. (Oddly enough, we were trying to do the same thing....) Around 7pm, the nurse came back in and said that the doctor would allow us to leave early, but only if we brought Bennett back on Friday to complete the newborn screening test and if we took him to see his pediatrician on Friday (sooner than the Monday appointment we originally had). I think the nurses thought we wouldn't want to go through all the hassle just to leave a few hours sooner. We were packed and ready to go in 20 minutes. At that point it wasn't so much about getting home early, it was about setting a precedent that hopefully will affect future families. 


 I don't like that the doctors and hospital would have such a strict policy that didn't allow for individual cases. (This is where I get on my soapbox, so you can skip this if you feel so inclined.) Everything about my labor and Bennett's health made him a great candidate for leaving early. And it really bothered me that they tried to scare me into staying, saying that my baby would not be safe otherwise. The last time that any nurse checked on Bennett's vitals or looked at him before we left the hospital was 11am on Wednesday. Had we waited until 10:15pm to leave for Bennett's "safety," it would have been a full 11 hours since his last vitals check. No one was going to be checking on him the last part of the day. If he were to show any signs of infection or complication, it would have been up to me to notice and inform hospital staff. That's something I could do just as easily from home. If you're going to require me to stay at the hospital for the safety of my baby, you better be in my room checking on him right until the end. Ok, stepping down...

Dallin and Connor were overjoyed to have Bennett home. Their very own baby in their own house! We spent Thanksgiving and the weekend loving on our new baby. We admired his hairy back:

and marveled at his blonde hair.


He's been a great baby and we're enjoying getting to know his personality.