Monday, November 4, 2013

Almost 8 Weeks!

So, holy moly, Cade will be 8 weeks old tomorrow and he has so much life under his belt already! I have a little catching up to do here so bear with me...

September 10th Cade was born. September 30th Ava, Raina, and I made a road trip to GA (the same day Richard left to be in the field for a couple weeks). Cade was a champ the whole way, sleeping mostly and nursing on stops. Ava and Raina did great too; it just takes a little more work on my end to keep them comfortable and occupied for a long trip like that. Every now and then I would hear "My booty hurts!" coming from little Rae after sitting in her seat for so long. (Can you blame her? Have you seen how thin the layer of fabric and "cushioning" is between their little booties and the hard plastic seat? My booty hurts too, Rae, and I'm sitting in the nice seat.) They read lots of books, drew lots of pictures, listened to lots of music, and watched a couple movies on Richard's ancient portable DVD player. :)  I think that road trips with kids are totally great and fun for the kids. They are, however, a lot of work for the parent(s) so I would recommend lots of stops if you have help, not many stops if you don't have help, lots of prayer, and lots of Spark.

While we were in GA Cade met A LOT of family and friends for the first time. In addition to family visits he also attended his first AdvoCare event (sorry you were the only dude at Ladies Alive, little man) and went to his first wedding (and most of the festivities preceding the wedding itself that weekend)! That's the best/worst thing about exclusively breast feeding- Best: I can take Cade anywhere with me and he's good to go. Worst: I have to take Cade with me everywhere I go. In my normal everyday life it is never a problem to keep him with me or at least be able to get back to him every few hours, so I don't even have a breast pump, but it may be worth investing in one should I have events or wedding weekends in the future.
Hanging out at the breakfast table with A & Rae
At GA Ladies Alive
We came back to KS October 16th and resumed "normal" life as quickly as possible. Ava and Raina go to bed around 9-9:30pm and Cade goes to bed with Richard and me around 11pm. Cade sleeps until about 5-5:30am before waking to nurse, so I have been getting some pretty decent uninterrupted stretches of sleep! Let's see what has happened since we've been back:
Checking out Dad when we got home from GA
10/18 - Got his first piece of mail (social security card)
Has been enjoying some time in the bumbo
He loves hitting the hang down toys 

Tummy time (that turns to back time pretty quickly as he can roll over now)

Napping with the baby dolls
Being held by big sisters
Refereeing some Go Fish games (wow, that's a lot of dog hair on my pants)
I have yet to capture his elusive smile/smirk but Cade has started smiling (on purpose in response to stimuli) a lot more lately. Before he would "smile" in his sleep or while passing gas or something, but I never counted those kinds of "smiles." So stay tuned for a smiling picture. It is quite adorable I must say. :)

Cade is such an easy baby... I am even more laid back and go-with-the-flow this time around than I was with the girls... Richard is not deployed... I am older and "wiser"... I think it's a combination of these things, really, but the adjustment of going from 2 kids to 3 has been pretty seamless and for that I am so thankful. I know for sure that time management is and will continue to be an area for me to improve in as being on time getting out the door with all 3 always takes longer in reality than it does in my mind. And as they all get older, finding making time for each of them individually will be a challenge. But if those are the biggest things I have to worry about be intentional about, I think we are in good shape.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Birth Story of Baby #3

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1:50am - I awoke suddenly with the feeling of wetness... my water broke! I was not really having any contractions but did notice some back pressure. I put my last minute toiletries and such in my hospital bag and got a few more things prepared for Ava and Raina to stay with Ms. Katelyn for the day.

3am - I called Labor & Delivery to tell them what was going on and see what they wanted me to do. The nurse I spoke to told me that since my water was broken I should just come in. Having clear fluid, good fetal movement, and no established contractions I decided to wait a bit. A little while later I called my doula, KayLee, and she agreed that staying home and getting some rest would be a good idea.

5:15am - Richard's alarm went off for him to get ready for PT at work. I filled him in on what was going on but he apparently was not quite awake and did not fully understand because he continued getting ready to go haha! I finally said "Richard, you're not going to work today. WE'RE HAVING A BABY TODAY!" (Ultimately, as labor was not yet fast and furious, he did go in long enough to tell the guys he wouldn't be in and to put things in place for him to be gone for a few days.)

7:30am - Everyone else in the house was awake and I decided to go for a walk up and down our street while Richard got the girls breakfast.

7:45am - My midwife, Kyanna, saw the report that I had called L&D earlier and called me to see what was going on. She asked me a few questions and told me it was time to really try to get things going. She suggested walking and nipple stimulation (helps the body release oxytocin, which is a hormone that causes contractions - ask any mom who has breast fed a baby after birth!).

9:20am - I had gotten my contractions into a pattern of every 2-5 minutes but had to really work to bring them on and keep them going. The contractions were not terrible but were strong enough that I didn't want to walk through them.

11:30am - I talked to KayLee & Kyanna again. Kyanna wanted me to come in to the hospital regardless of what was happening once I reached the 12 hour mark of my waters having been broken as I was at a higher risk of infection with ruptured membranes. With that "deadline" in mind I decided to eat lunch and get a little rest. 

12-12:45pm - I had three strong wake-me-up contractions while trying to sleep a bit but they still didn't develop into a closer pattern.

Right before we left for the hospital.
Our last picture as a family of 4

2pm - Katelyn came to our house to watch the girls and Richard and I headed to the hospital and met KayLee there. We walked around the halls while waiting to be taken to a room. I still wasn't having many noticeable contractions.
2:35pm - Kyanna checked me to confirm that membranes were ruptured and I was 4cm dilated, 80% effaced, -2 station. I was put on the monitors for 20 minute strip, fetal heart tones were in the 140s, and we started discussing options for how to get labor progressing. We decided that, rather than going with the drug pitocin, I would use an electric breast pump to stimulate my own body's release of oxytocin to get contractions going again.
3:25pm - I was on the pump and contractions were definitely increasing in strength and frequency. I was starting to notice a lot of back labor so KayLee and Richard helped relieve some of that pressure using the double hip squeeze. (They really got a good upper body workout throughout my entire active labor!)
3:50pm - Contractions were about 3 minutes apart and 40 seconds long. Around 4:30 we stopped pumping and walked around the unit for a while. Walking felt good and we stopped to work through contractions all around the hallways.
5pm - KayLee and Richard took turns using a Rebozo to sift my belly and help Baby come down.
This is what it looks like to do Rebozo sifting. I don't know why we didn't get a picture of this!

6:10pm - Kyanna checked me and I was 6 cm dilated, 80% effaced, -1 station. I did another 20 minute strip on monitor to make sure all was looking good with me and Baby then I got in the big tub. I really liked being on my hands and knees in the water and using the shower sprayer attachment with hot water on my low back during contractions helped with that back labor. We had the lights very low and some soft music playing. It was a very calm and relaxed atmosphere that allowed me to enjoy the time between contractions and really focus during the contractions themselves.
Kyanna was to be going off duty at 7pm and Baby was obviously not coming by then so we talked through options again knowing that the doctor who was coming on in her place would want to get things moving faster (likely with more intervention) if we didn't already have a plan in place that was clearly working. I was bummed that Kyanna was not going to be there for the birth but was so glad to have had her to work through things up to this point!
8pm - My contractions had really increased in intensity and length. KayLee really helped me regain my focus during some of the contractions by having me focus on parts of my breathing where I was carrying more tension. Having something to DO helped a lot. A quote from KayLee's notes during this time: "Richard tells Danelle, 'You got this babe.' Richard and Danelle work so well together." I love that man.
9pm - Dr. Nicholas wanted me out of the tub to be checked and on the monitors for another 20 minute strip. I really did NOT want to get out of the water (or really change anything at all for that matter) but was anxious to see where I was by then. I was 9 cm dilated, 100% effaced, 0 station, but Baby's head was transverse not allowing it to come down the rest of the way. The nurse suggested lying on my right side for 15 minutes, hands and knees 15 minutes, left side 15 minutes, and repeat to get baby’s head in correct position. So we started that. We worked through a few contractions on my right side with my left leg up during contractions (and counter pressure applied to my low back - I told you Richard and KayLee were getting a workout!). During one contraction in particular I felt Baby move, which you normally don't feel duringcontraction, so I told the nurse after that one that Baby had moved and that it might have been the final change of position needed for coming down the rest of the way.
9:25pm - I changed to hands and knees position with Richard and KayLee applying counter pressure AND double hip squeeze, and was feeling A LOT more low pressure and an opening feeling. Baby had definitely moved down that last bit.
9:40pm - My body started involuntarily pushing with contractions. It was such a weird/amazing feeling to have my body do that without even trying! I had a couple more contractions like that (not trying to push but just letting my body do some work) and then moved onto my back/side into a semi-sitting position to push WITH my body. Dr. Nicholas was in the room hurrying to get ready and the nurses were preparing for birth! KayLee was right in my ear telling me to push or pant or blow during contractions (whatever needed to be done at the time) and Richard was encouraging me.
9:49pm - Baby was born! *What an incredible feeling of relief for that baby to be OUT!* I had already let everyone know that I wanted Richard to announce the sex of the baby but it seemed like a million years with no announcement so I said "What is it!?" to which he finally answered "It's a boy!" It was such a cool thing to find out from my amazing husband (rather than from an ultrasound tech) this time around. It being a boy confirmed my gut feeling (and what Ava had been saying since about 19 weeks) so I wasn't entirely surprised, but I also couldn't picture us with anything other than girls, so it took a little while to wrap my head around. Cade Milton Ezell was here!!!

   Cade Milton Ezell  --  8 lbs. 8 oz. 21 inches
By 10pm Cade was already nursing like a champ and enjoying lots of skin to skin snuggling. 
I felt so good (physically and emotionally) to have accomplished a natural birth and am so thankful to Richard, KayLee, Kyanna, and all the nurses for their encouragement and support. This labor was definitely different from my others in that I had to work to make contractions happen as well as work through the contractions, but I really enjoyed the whole experience and wouldn't change it for the world.
Katelyn brought Ava and Raina to the hospital to meet Cade a little while after he was born. Ava was excited and chatty. She wanted to see him and talk to everyone. Raina was excited and apprehensive. She wanted to look from afar and stay in the comfort of Katelyn's lap. :) 
Once I was settled in a recovery room, Richard went home to be with the girls for the night so it just Cade and me all night. He pretty much just nursed and slept, nursed and slept, so I got some good rest. Thanks be to God for this perfectly healthy little blessing!

If you live in the Fort Riley area and are considering a doula for your upcoming labor and delivery, we highly recommend KayLee. Check her out here:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

4 Basic Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

I finally wrote the blog I was referring to in my last post... Hope some of you find it helpful! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Break in the Posting

I obviously had quite a break in posting on my baby blog here. I guess I felt like since I didn't have "babies" anymore there wasn't much to post in the "baby journey" blog. I have done a lot more blogging on my nutritional blog instead which I invite you to check out --HERE. I plan to post soon about the importance of nutrition in pregnancy (and how/which supplements can play an important role in that) on that other blog pretty soon.

I also hope to blog more here through this pregnancy and about Ava and Raina and some of their adventures. Here's one I want to document before I forget...

A few weeks ago the girls and I went to the outdoor chapel here on post where there's a big stone cross and some stone benches to pray, worship, hold miniature services, etc. Ava had been learning all about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus surrounding Easter so when we got to the outdoor chapel area she was talking all about how Jesus died on the cross but then he ROSE! from the grave. After we left the chapel we were driving to a park and passed by a graveyard. She asked what it was so I told her that when people die, sometimes their bodies are buried there in the ground, etc. (I tried to give a good 4 year old explanation of that whole process -?-) So then she asked if she was going to be buried when she died and I told her that her body here on earth might be buried but she would have a new body in heaven with Jesus. She thought that was awesome...
    "I'm gonna have a new body!?"
                    "I wanna have a brown body!"

So funny!

Racism is taught.

Kids are amazing.

Here We Go Again!

Early in January I started a new fitness routine. I was feeling great and working out at home but wanted to go in a different direction with my body and get back in the gym. I started working out hard and heavier, lifting 4 days a week, and following an eating plan that a trainer helped set me up with. LOTS of protein, vegetables, and strategically placed complex carbs. The main goal was to increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat. Well one week I found myself dragging in the gym (and in general) despite my normal sleep, eating, and supplementation habits. And I was starving... for carbs and cheese and everything I don't normally eat. I thought I just had some serious PMS going on but then I finally realized it may be time to take a test (or two).
We are expecting Baby Ezell #3!!! Due date: September 21, 2013
So "operation muscle gain" has turned into "operation muscle sustain" for now. :)

I texted this picture to some of our friends and family and said "Raina has something to show you..." 

We are so excited to be going down this road again. AND we are especially excited that there are no deployments on the calendar for Richard between now and this due date!!! He is missing a month of my first (sick) trimester again, just like with the other two, but I'll take that over missing the birth and newborn days anytime! Speaking of sick, I have had some decent all-day "morning" sickness but compared to both other pregnancies it has been fairly mild. Eating... carbs... constantly seems to help keep the sickness at bay which I suspect has led to a little more first trimester weight gain than really needed but I know I will get back on track very soon. I have been napping with Ava and Raina almost every day, which is fantastic.

I had my 8 week orientation type appointment with a nurse in the OB clinic last Thursday. We covered my medical and pregnancy history and all the basic educational first trimester stuff. I have an appointment with Kyanna, my midwife from both pregnancies here before, on March 11. I am SO looking forward to seeing her again (she's AWESOME) and to hearing a heartbeat and maybe even an early ultrasound! The first trimester feels like 80 years long when you're just feeling crappy and have no tangible proof that there's a healthy growing baby inside. Hearing that heartbeat for the first time is THE best sound that can ever be heard. (And Richard should be back from California by the 10th so hopefully he will be here to go with me.)

Not much else to report for now; just puking, eating, napping, repeat. :)