Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two in the Bed...

I have been meaning to post about this for a few months now! Whoops!

A few months back we moved CK from in bed with Jay to in bed with Molly. She's the resident nurturer and it just made sense. Molly wasn't a great sleeper (nor were any of our other kids... I see the pattern, it was us, not them...), Jay was a phenomenal sleeper, and CK was happy to go anywhere. I figured Jay would soon want his own bed since he was the "big boy," and if CK could help Molly sleep better than it was a win all around!

So we moved the girls in bed together, and it took about three nights for it to go smoothly. There was waking up by Molly, waking by Charley Kate worried about Molly, and lots of trips up the stairs to get everyone settled by Mommy (not gonna lie, Anthony helped in none of this so I am taking 100% FULL credit for this one! Ha! But seriously...). But after three looooooong nights for this pregnant and sleep deprived momma, we made it! It's still not perfect, but Molly is doing 100 times better and is definitely "sleeping through the night" (at just two years old! Eek). I put that in quotes because she will wake up and cry out, but she is asleep through it all, so we just watch her on the monitor put herself back to sleep. Only a handful of times has she actually woken all the way up and needed something!

The first night... Poor CK got the raw end of the deal in this one! Ha

After a few weeks of establishing a good sleeping pattern, we started switching beds each night (like we did with the big kids... PS, honestly, not sure why I keep saying "we"...). So I let them switch so that CK could sleep in her own room in her own bed every other night. This is definitely a work in progress! For whatever reason (even months in!) Molly still sleeps better in her own bed! But I want CK to have time in her bed, so I will push through!

And how's the big guy doing?? Ummm... totally fine I'd say!

One of my favorite pictures... He will kill me for this one day!
My parents traveled to Europe and brought these eye masks back for the kids from the airlines. Jay slept in his a few time and it CRACKED ME UP. Beauty rest!! 

So just in time for LOTS of sleepless nights ahead, we finally got everyone sleeping! Sigh... :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kelsey's Story

Well, we've survived two weeks! And now that we've gotten a little bit back into our new normal, I finally feel like I can sit and take a few breaths (and hopefully blog some, too!)!

Tuesday, June 7 we woke up at 4:30 am to check into the hospital to be induced. There were several factors that went into our decision, and we and the doctor felt very confident with our choice.

The night before, my mom spent the night to help out with the kids the next morning. She and Anthony and I stayed up too late watching the Bachelor and visiting. We finally got in bed around 12:00ish, and just as soon as we fell asleep, our power went out! No rain, no weather, just went out! And it wasn't the regular just "turn off" go out, it was the constant on/off flicker- FOR TWO HOURS!  So the kids' sound machines would flicker on and off and our phones and gadgets would do the same. Good grief. So with the kids up, we all frantically tried to get them back to sleep and get us some rest as well. We finally fell asleep around 2:30... and the alarm went off at 4:30 to get to the hospital. Not exactly the great night of rest we needed to get through the next few days!

We checked in and loaded all gear into our room. This was the fastest they have ever gotten us checked in and started- I was shocked!

My last ever belly pic! 

At 6:30 am my pitocin was started, and at 8:00 my doctor came in and broke my water. I was 3 cm dilated when I checked in so I had a good foundation. They did notice that when they broke my water it was "cloudy/white" which meant there was meconium present. My doctor confirmed with the nurse and while they didn't panic, they did say, "Ok, well this just means today was absolutely the right day to do this. She is ready and we need to get her out soon! Glad we decided on today!" Goodness, isn't it amazing how God knows what we need and when we need it before we even have a clue!

I had an odd nurse that morning- this guy who was definitely a little different than we were used to. Anthony was NOT a fan of him, nor was I- not for any specific reason, just because he felt a little weird about everything. Luckily, he took on a different patient, so we got a new wonderful nurse around 8:30 that made our experience so wonderful!

Right after they broke my water my new nurse said, "Do you want to go ahead and get your epidural?" I told her that I had hardly felt any contractions at this point and I was totally fine with waiting. She said, "Ok, but you know, you don't HAVE to wait. Unless you want to." And I chuckled and realized I didn't WANT to feel any pain (been there, done that three other times now). So I said, "Sure!" and by 8:40 I had my epidural. If I was going to script out how to go into labor, this was it! Ha!

Just like all the other times, after my epidural my blood pressure plummeted and I felt dizzy and completely out of it. I knew the drill- I labored on my side for a while and got my oxygen mask and they stayed in there for the next hour while it came back up and I felt better.

Because of that, the epidural settled REALLY heavy into my right side. I couldn't feel any part of my right side of my body, which was super annoying (my leg fell off the bed somehow and I had no clue!). I knew I had time to regain some of the feeling before actual labor, so I was hopeful it would wear off some.

I napped and labored all morning in ignorant bliss. They checked me again around 10:30 and I was 6.5 cm dilated. They kept asking me if I could feel the contractions or any pressure and I could honestly feel NOTHING. I could feel my stomach tighten and relax but that's it. They also told me she was sunny side up- this little girl had to keep things interesting!

At 11:00 they checked me again and I was 9.5! That went fast! Still no feeling of pressure or anything, which had me worried that pushing would be hard since my epidural was too strong. I told the nurse that as we got ready we should possibly cut it off so that I could feel to push and make it easier on me. She said we could give it a try and if I didn't make progress we would certainly do it.

It was nice to slowly get into that phase of labor- time for the nurses and doctor to set up, no one running around frazzled and me not having to "keep the baby in" like the previous two times! This was much calmer. My mom had come up to the hospital by that point (thank you to my sisters for watching my other kids!), and so she, Anthony, and I just listened to music and relaxed and joked around. It was really wonderful!

I am 9.5 cm here! Seriously, we just laughed and acted goofy and were listening to music! 

Then, it was TIME! Around 11:35 or so it was time to push! My epidural was still too strong, and that was frustrating. They also had me pushing from an almost laying down position- also frustrating. I told my nurse several times that I couldn't feel the correct way to push in this position and with the epidural so strong.

After a few failed attempts of pushing, they finally cut the epidural off and sat me up a little (due to my asking)- but not enough.

After a few more failed attempts of pushing (it wasn't a total failed attempt, but I wasn't making nearly the progress that I knew I could be making), I looked at Anthony with pleading eyes and said, "Please, help me sit up some- I know I can do this but I have to use gravity in my favor!" So the next contraction he seriously pushed my entire back all the way up so I was in an almost sitting position (I pulled myself up also and my biceps were SOOOO sore the next day! Ha!), and just like I thought- two sets of pushes later and she was OUT!!! She didn't flip all the way around, so she was delivered sideways (head and body turned sideways, not like I delivered her ribs first or anything).

At 12:22 pm on June 7 I delivered my last baby!

She came out was COVERED in green and brown and black poop. ALL OVER EVERYWHERE. She looked camo! Right as I delivered her one of the nurses said, "Do you want skin to skin right away, mom?" I answered, "Yes! Of course!" and the nurse responded, "Well, she is completely covered in poop. You ok with that?" And I replied, "Blanket to skin is great!" and we all chuckled!

This is one of my least favorite pictures of me ever- I look huge and swollen and awful...
But it's the most precious moment, too. 
My last time holding my baby for the first time. My last time I will ever meet this child I carried for 9 months.
The last time. 
So this picture gets posted.
And I'm so proud of it! 

They suctioned her right away and wiped her off a tad and put a blanket loosely around her and stuck her on my chest. She was perfect and crying and pink and wonderful. After we spent a little time together (probably just a few minutes) they checked her vitals again and suctioned her some more and gave her a really good wipe down. Then they put her on me and I nursed her. She had a STRONG suck (and we had a terrible latch which I knew I'd pay for later!!).

While I nursed they cleaned me up and took care of everything. She weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. She was perfect- even if she was covered in poop! :)

My mom came in and met her (and cried of course!). 11 grandkids later and she still cries when she meets one of them!

So here's my second favorite part of the entire day (first being the birth of Kelsey-duh!)... While they are cleaning me up and trying to get my bleeding under control (I'll go more into that in a sec), I look over at the window and see wires swinging around- WINDOW CLEANERS!!!!!! I am seriously completely exposed and just out there- I throw my sheet over me (mid clean-up) and shout to the nurse to close the window blinds! Hilarious!!! So she shuts the blinds and assures me they couldn't see in anyway... But I don't trust that for a sec! Ha!

Back to the bleeding issue... If you remember when I delivered Molly I couldn't stop bleeding. They had to do a couple things and give me a few shots to stop the bleeding. So I went into the delivery worried mostly about that. I was worried that it would be worse and I would need at best a blood transfusion or an emergency hysterectomy (and obviously, could be much, much worse). Those were two very likely options and I tried to prepare mentally for this. I prayed and prayed and prayed throughout my pregnancy for this specific issue. Well, clearly God heard me. Because I didn't have an over-bleeding issue this time... I couldn't bleed much at all! My blood was clotting inside of me and blocking the exit path for any blood. So my uterus was contracting and trying to get back down to normal size and nothing was escaping because it was all being blocked by giant clots. 

Thankfully my epidural was still very present, because the next few hours were terrible. They were "massaging" my stomach and uterus and trying to push it down and push the clots out. And by massage I mean, shoving both fists into my stomach and pushing. It was pretty awful. So awful that I had bruises on my stomach the next day and anytime anything would touch it it was very painful. The nurses did this for hours. When they couldn't really get it under control, they called my doctor back in. Without being too graphic, she basically scraped the clots out... over and over again. THANK YOU GOD FOR THAT STRONG EPIDURAL that was still very very present. I know I wouldn't have been able to make it through all that without being numb. It makes me shiver to this day thinking about it. Anthony and my mom both watched them doing it and they said it made them physically ill. Bottom line, they took care of it and I am healthy and alive and had no emergency issues! Thank you, Lord! I did get two of the same shots as last time and three pills to keep my blood moving and my uterus contracting. Drama, but just a little bit of it! :)

While I was delivering Miss Kelsey, Michelle (my littlest sis) was driving in from Dallas and brought Anthony's mom in with her! So we utilized Clay's nap time and Michelle came up while Brenda got Molly down for nap. Michelle is seriously a baby whisperer. It's her nice, calm nature. And she's due with her second in September! Woohoo!

After naps, Brenda and my mom brought our kids up for their first meeting! What a sweet, hilarious, totally chaotic moment! I have been most worried about Molly.. She's been my little buddy for two years and I knew this was going to rock her little baby world.

Well, sister totally shocked me... She was a total BABY HOG! "I hold it!" "No, this is my baby!" were two of her favorite phrases for that afternoon!

First meeting!

It was definitely a three ring circus with everyone in there! The kids were as good as they could be. It was hard for the bigs because Molly wanted to hold Kelsey and would holler if she didn't get her turn! So Jay and CK were super patient and calm, but I knew they wanted more time. Grandma Brenda got to hold her newest grandbaby- number 6!!

We also had to switch rooms right in the middle of the kids being there, so between hauling all our crap, kids wanting to hold the baby, and Molly wanting Mommy, my head was spinning. It was our first dose of four kids, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't seriously stressed out after that. That was my first time to think, "Oh my gosh, this is going to be harder than I thought. What did we do?!" I had a totally panic/anxiety moment. We made it to our room, the kids were done, Molly and CK cried leaving, I was exhausted, and Kelsey's latching was terrible and causing me tons of pain. It was a come to Jesus moment for sure.

Then, I had my two older sisters wanting to come meet Kelsey (of course!) and the lactation consultant coming by. And did I mention I was exhausted?!?!

We had a little downtime and I got a little bit of a nap once we got settled. Then, my BFF Courtney came by and it was great to see her...

And we ended our day with Anthony's former secretary bringing us a fantastic fajita dinner from his team- what a wonderful treat! Needless to say, we were completely famished. We ate until we thought we were going to explode... and we watched the Bachelor and I napped for ten minutes and we had nurses in and out and Kelsey got heel pricks every three hours (since she was so big at birth they had to test blood sugar)... and FINALLY at 2:00 in the morning she got a bath! Hallelujah and goodbye poop covered baby!

It was a long, long day. I won't even lie to you, it was a long, tiring, and emotional day. I felt tired and overwhelmed and very very nervous about this new baby.

But June 7 was the day we had our last baby. And Kelsey Jo, you were totally worth it.

More to come... when I find some time! :)

Monday, June 13, 2016

End of School 2016!

Where did the school year go?! Just yesterday I felt like I was sending Jay off to PreK, CK to her 3's class, and trying to get Molly to not cry at school drop off (every. single. time). And just like that, it's OVER!

Once again we were blessed with some wonderful teachers. I felt so confident sending my kids off to school on the days they went knowing that no matter what they would be loved on and cared for. I don't send my kids to school this early to learn academics, I send them to learn to play with other kids, interact with other adults, and just have fun! 

They all had end of the year performances (which were adorable!) and made some wonderful friends along the way!

I CANNOT believe that Jay is finished with preschool forever and will go to elementary in the fall! Kindergarten!? 

And equally as crazy to me is the fact that Charley Kate will be in PreK! What?! 

And Molly will be at school with CK next year and I am SO grateful for that! 

And y'all know I LOVE a good comparison pic! First day on the left, last day on the right... Not only do they grow, but their hair all gets so much darker throughout the year when they aren't in the pool every day! 

Man, time flies when you have a lot of kids! I am not sure I like how fast these years are slipping by... 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Well Hello, World!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm we welcomed our precious fourth baby into this world. 

World, meet Kelsey Jo Squillante! 

Weighing in at 8 lbs, 6 oz and 21.25 inches long! She is strong and healthy!

And of course her older siblings couldn't get enough of her! 

More updates to come soon! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Well, this is definitely overdue, but I had to write about it!

Memorial Day 2016 was spent at our ranch! It was a fun but BUSY weekend!

The weeks prior, Brenham got record amounts of rain (seriously, almost 15 inches in ONE DAY). Because of the crazy storms, it was perfect timing to head out and check on everything. Nothing super major except a few trees down and our trampoline is JACKED. Some strong winds carried it over our fence and twisted it all around! Yikes!

This is supposed to grass. Not a lake/river!

Fields. No river/lake!

Bye bye trampoline! 

Thankfully our house is on a little hill and we have a great pond that catches all our spilloff, so all in all we were extremely lucky!

We had my family out Saturday and the kids played, the moms got stuff done and watched the kids, and the dads helped cleaned up debris and get some work done around the place. We went to a fun, super kid-friendly, laid back cajun restaurant that Saturday night and the kids had more fun than I imagined. Lots of pool playing and jukebox dancing!

The best part about cousins and lots of people around is just dropping where you drop... 

Sunday was spent getting up early (of course!), shooting fireworks (in the morning? Why not!), welcoming friends out, having porch church, fishing, cooking out, playing in the blow up pool... You know, all the typical FUN stuff! The kids had a great time and I think the adults did, too... Though they were all pretty exhausted!

One of my most favorite traditions at the ranch. 
When we are gone on Sundays and can't attend church, we have Porch Church. 
Singing, praying, communion, and a little sermon by Preacher Anthony.
These are the times where my heart just bursts! 

Almost everyone left that night, and Anthony and me got the house and kids cleaned up. Michelle and Clay stayed since he was exhausted. I joked that it was good to have her stay "in case I went into labor and we had to drive fast back to Houston!".....

.... And when I laid down at 10:00 from sheer exhaustion and couldn't fall asleep due to contractions, shortness of breath, uncontrollable cold shaking, and racing heart, I was thankful we had her stay! So I called my oldest sis (she is the most level headed medical one) and asked her opinion. I googled "Am I going into labor" which is hilarious because you think I'd KNOW by my fourth kid, and then called the on-call doc. Since I was 38 weeks and it was my fourth and we were an hour away, we figured we'd better head in. I wasn't sure if it was labor, but I did know I felt horrible and had never felt like this before. So we SPED (and I mean SPED) into Houston... It was a good thing we did because the entire drive there my contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart. They never got super painful, but they were enough to be concerning. I seriously thought we might have to pull over and deliver this baby in some teeny hospital along the way.

But we made it to Houston! After getting checked out, I was still just one cm dilated!!!! Are you kidding?! Turns out, I wasn't in labor but was severely dehydrated/worn down from the weekend. AGH. I was so bummed that it wasn't baby time, but so thankful that it wasn't because I felt so bad I wasn't sure I could deliver her anyway! Her heart rate was hovering between 170-180, my heart rate and my blood pressure were up, and I had a headache was dizzy... After a couple bags of fluids and some meds and a jillion tests run, the contractions slowed way down, and all numbers went back to normal... And they sent us on our way... we got home at 3 am!

I took this in the bathroom mirror at the hospital in case it was my last ever prego pic!

I spent most of Monday doing this... It was a necessity! 

Meanwhile, here's how the night worked out.. We drove to Houston at 10:45 and made it to the hospital around 11:30. Michelle had the kids at the ranch so that was ok, but my mom and Kiki and drove to Brenham to help her. And then my mom drove back to be here if I got in trouble! The power went out at the ranch and popped back on in the middle of the night, but all kids slept through the night and woke up at 7:15 so I'm grateful that Michelle and Kiki didn't have too much drama on their hands!
Morning wakeup at the ranch...Survival mode! 

Back in Houston, Jennifer swung by my house and grabbed my bag (not anything in there!) and baby's bag and met us at the hospital. Since we weren't having a baby she hung out for a bit then came back home. My mom went straight to our house and spent the night there.

Anthony drove back out to the ranch the next morning to close up shop there, and I met the kids at my parents' house where we cooked out and let them play and I took it easy.

I got a big nap and rested more and we called it a wrap on the weekend...

Y'all, it truly does take a village. And I am beyond appreciative of mine... Even it was a stupid false alarm. I made it through FOUR pregnancies and had ZERO hospital stays... I was SO close!