Friday, August 31, 2012

Look who is ONE month old!!

Oh Charlie Carter...I cannot believe you are already one month old!!  It's crazy to think how much our lives have changed and how much we love you.  Literally, I do not think we ever thought that we could love someone so much so fast, but boy, I think your dad and I could stare at you for hours and hours.

It's crazy how fast you are growing (gaining way more weight than the "recommended" amount each week...haha) and changing.  You are so much more attentive at times and stare at things so intently.  You do this little half smile when you are sleeping and it literally makes my heart melt.  When you cry, the minute we pick you up, you's just like all you needed was your mom or dad's touch - I love that.  You are sleeping so good (let's hope that lasts) and are playing good.  You are LONG!!  Yep, you are growing out of some of your footie PJs already.  We are fully engaged in tummy time each day and it shows because I cannot believe how much stronger your head is...I love it and hate it all at the same time.  I love to see you grow and progress into this little person you will become, but I hate it because you are already getting bigger and are not my sweet little baby that was 8lbs and 9oz.  I guess that is something I will have to get over and embrace, but I know we are cherishing all these moments with you and trying not to forget any of them.

And now for the one month photo shoot.  Haha.  With the big bear from my sister to see how big he's grown.  Well let's say that the first shoot went...ok...but it was pretty amusing.


And the outtakes....showing that he wasn't too fond of the whole picture thing..

...and then going down.  Poor guy!!

Can't wait for all the changes and excitement and growth to come in month 2!!!  We love you!

Week 4 - where does the time go?

Holy moly - Charlie is already been around for 4 weeks.  I cannot believe it!!  Seriously the time has literally flown by.  Every day seems like there is a new thing that Charlie does...whether it is playing longer, sleeping longer (thank goodness), eating better, taking a pacifier, getting better at a bottle, holding his head up much better and stronger...or just being so darn cute.  We are definitely starting to get better and used to things with Charlie Bear around the house.  And we are getting better at emerging back into the "real world" aka more trips out and about.

This week was even more exciting because Arden Quinn Calcara made her debut late on Thursday night, almost Friday.  My best friend Vanessa had a beautiful baby girl and they are doing well.  I am so happy for her and Chris and their family!!!  I SO wish that they lived in Kansas City because it would be amazing to be on maternity leave together, but maybe for the next baby??!

Can't believe there are only 8 weeks left until I have to go back to work - the first 4 just flew by!!  But I'm going to make the best of them with just me and my little man!

Pregnancy progress in pictures

Because I did make sure to take a picture every week - I had to put together a total view of my pregnancy progress. It's funny looking back and reading all the notes and saying "I finally look pregnant" halfway through to at the end being like "can I get any bigger?".  It was fun to document and even more fun to look back with my little man in my arms.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!  Not sure if I will be able to be this dedicated the next time around, but we shall see.  That won't be for awhile though ;)

PS Don't cut your hair when you are pregnant.  I'm dying for longer hair again...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

So grateful

I cannot adequately put into words how loved and blessed our new little family of three (or six with pups) has felt over the last month!!  With the arrival of Charlie at the end of July, we have just had the most wonderful outpouring of love and support and excitement from all those in our life celebrating this new little bundle of joy.  We were literally overwhelmed with all the cards, sweet messages, emails, text messages, facebook posts, etc.  And the visitors that are still rolling in just to meet this sweet little boy and chat with him mom and dad.  I know I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in our lives and it feels so great to bring this little boy up with all of them surrounding us, praying for us, celebrating our joy and listening to us when we need to complain - because we all know there is some of that mixed in with all the joys of a new baby.  Maybe not complaining as so much completely clueless and feeling helpless and sleep deprived.  Hm, there are probably a few more emotions worth mentioning here that I have forgot!!

So in the past month we are just so grateful for all of you wonderful people in our lives.  THANK YOU.  I promise I am in the midst of writing thank you notes and when Jimmy gets home at night on the nights that people aren't coming over, I'm working on writing them.  I now have most of them written but not addressed.  Jimmy wants to know what I do all day that I can't do this during the day. Seriously??!  Taking care of our kid!  Haha!  I honestly never knew it was THIS much more and THIS time consuming to watch a little one.  Especially one you are completely obsessed with and pretty much don't want to ever put down.  But I do, every once and a while, like when he needs a nap and I have to shower and/or pee.  You know, the necessities.

To all you stay at home moms out there, my hat goes off to you. I'm just amazed at myself most days when I take a shower and put on clean clothes that are filled with spit up.  The eat, play, sleep routine is one we are trying to follow and getting better at, so that's good, but still no routine at all that is set in stone.  However, I am trying to get him to nap in his crib, which is good...but the whole putting him down to nap/sleep when he's a little bit awake still, yep, we're not there yet.  But I keep telling myself we have plenty of time and plenty to learn still.  In the mean time, we'll celebrate our small accomplishments with our family and friends.  Like that this little man is up to 10 lbs and 12 ounces at just 4 weeks old.  He's growing like a weed each week and is SUCH a great eater.  Very thankful for that.  Very thankful for my over-supply of milk too.  While I do have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump, I'm thankful that it's there to feed this growing and hungry boy.  And the fact that Charlie has been going around 6-7 hours between feedings at night is something HUGE to celebrate.  Now, we'll see if he keeps that up, but with that little extra sleep in longer stretches, I'm already feeling like a new woman!!  Needless to say, taking care of a kid is HARD work and I give mad props to those that do it all day everyday and with multiple kids.  Nice job!!

And then my birthday rolled around at the end of August.  The big 2-7.  And I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to receive all the love in the form of cards, all forms of social media, texts, phone calls and hugs and kisses.  Another year done and I couldn't be happier with everything that the last year held and look forward to all the wonderful things that this year will bring.  It's so exciting and so unknown and so fun.  I'm trying to live in the moment more.  Slow down.  Reevaluate what is important to me and my priorities and that is where I will dedicate my time.  I want to cherish and remember those sweet moments at night when I'm feeding my little man. When he sneezes and opens his eyes to look at me and does his little half smile.  I have to slow down and not do 14 things at once like I did before to make sure to not let those pass during this 27th year of my life.  And that is what I will do.  I've been working on it now and am thoroughly enjoying the slower pace of life.  I think it suits me quite well actually...

While this post turned out to be a jumbled mess of "thank yous" and "I look forward tos" and "I will do this...", I am thankful for all of our family and friends and coworkers and wonderful people that are in our lives.  The first MONTH with this little man (yep, it's been a month, which is crazy) has had it's ups and downs and emotional rollercoasters, but we are in love with him and he has truly changed our lives forever.  We could not have made it through without the love and support and prayers from so many wonderful people.  So thank you.   We are oh so grateful and know that we will be there for you in good times and bad!!!

And I couldn't end this post without a picture of Charlie.  Look at how much he's grown in just one month!!  This was on my birthday and he was sporting his new fedora hat from Grana.  Um, yeah, love this little guy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Week #3 with Mr .Charlie

Oh man - another week.  Seriously, I thought I would be getting bored, but absolutely not.  The days seem to fill up so fast with our sleep-eat-play-repeat routine.  I say routine, but there is really no routine at all.  We made our first outing absolutely alone to our breastfeeding support group at the hospital.  It was intimidating going there at first but was so great.  So great to be around other new moms in the same position - swirling with all kinds of questions - and some moms that are pros with older kids.  It's run by a lactation consultant that is great too.  We are planning on going back every week; our little outing!!

Some other big moments was me having a panic attack by taking him out on Friday night to the KU kick off at Corinth Square.  I pretty much freaked out and thought he was going to get stolen or lost or sick or something.  I'm a crazy mom already.  It was just a lot to take in and his dad didn't think so - but I was freaking out.  We were only there for 2 hours, but it felt like 2 years!!

But we had a GREAT weekend hanging out with all the grandparents and families on Saturday and Sunday.  We have also loved all our visitors and getting to see everyone and introduce them to Charlie!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guess what??

My ankles are BACK!!!  At the time when I was super pregnant and super hot and super uncomfortable, I really never thought I would see them again.  My doctor did warn me after labor that they would probably get worse after he was born before they got better and they did.  And they hurt a lot.  But I am so excited that my tennis shoes fit comfortably again.  Wahoo!!

Before - "super pregnant"

After - not pregnant anymore and toting around a newborn!!

So I will say for those our there that have severe swelling like I did - enough that my doctor was ready to put me into labor - it goes away eventually.  Just be patient.  Easier said than done I know.  One body part back to to "normal", now just waiting for the rest (haha, if you have had a baby you will understand this one...)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Charlie Week #2

Week 2 has come and gone - so crazy!!  We had a very busy second week of Charlie's life, especially since Jimmy was at home all week to help out with everything.  We marked off a few big events - including Charlie's first projectile vomiting episode, peeing on both mom and dad, first sponge bath, belly button falling out and several stroller rides!  And ended it off with a 2 week doctor's appointment, which went great.  Still love our pediatrician and so happy with her.

We had a few good "out of the house" outings, including shopping trips and visits to both the grandparents house.  Including meeting the rest of Charlie's cousins!!!  Overall - everyone was right with the comments that breastfeeding does get better - it totally does.  We have gotten so much better at it and have a much better handle on a "schedule" (well really no schedule, but just eating when he's hungry at somewhat good increments, especially at night).  Hard to believe we only have 10 weeks left with the 2 of us....I need to think about the positive things!!!

Had to show you this cousin picture a little bit bigger - Eli and Katy weren't there and Libbie was in the kitchen, but got 5 of the 8 in the picture!!  Charlie is screaming, but they all look so cute!!  Lots of fun to come with these cousins in Charlie's future!

The debut of Charlie Carter

(aka the "birth story" as so many people in blog world call them)

This little man was set to originally make his debut on August 1, but as I mentioned previously, we moved that date up and made it official for July 31. You can read some of my thoughts the day leading up to when we left for the hospital- yep, lots of emotions going on with the anticipation of his arrival!! But of course, nothing goes exactly as "planned" does it??

After my parents came to get our dogs and a last pregnant meal at Panera with Jimmy's mom, we headed to the hospital to check in. She asked us if we wanted room 290 or 291 and we said 291 because I like odd numbers. Well just seconds later she said "Oops, 291 is already taken- how is 290?" And my optimistic husband said "it's great because 2+9=11". Yes it does Jimmy!!

When we got to the room I would deliver in it was pretty crazy thinking this is where our whole life would change in just a short amount of time!!! We went into to get cervidil that night to help me dilate more. The nurse was super nice (Jimmy liked her because she was Bob Davis' daughter-in-law) but when she checked me - which for the record was pain cry #1, which was odd because that hadn't hurt me before- I was already to 2.5 cm so she said she would have to call the doctor because normally at that rate they wouldn't need to do it and would just send us home. Well then she took my blood pressure and it was pretty high. Enter the pee test for preeclampsia for the 3rd time now - which again for the record, it's really hard to pee in a cup at 10 months pregnant. Test turned out ok, but she said the doctor said no cervidil and we'd move up the start time to 5am versus 8am. She said just hang out tonight and enjoy one last "date night" haha.

Here I am the night before - not hooked up to anything quite yet

Four thirty am rolled around and it was time for my final shower. At 5:15, they started the pitocin and at 6:00, I had my first contraction. Eek - wasn't a fan. At 6:30, to my surprise I peed the bed- oh wait no, I thought I peed but when I called the nurse to check it out, my water actually had broken on its own. Which is awesome!!!

After several more contractions and then throwing up (in which Jimmy had the honor of holding the barf bag), it was time for the drugs. The epidural wasn't bad at all and made it SO much better. That was at 7:30 and I was a 3. My parents arrived at 8:30 to hang out - as it could be a long day!

Next check was at 8:40 and I was a we were making progress! My parents came into hangout and pass time aka they slept and I chatted with my nurse about Pi Phi because her daughter is going through recruitment at KSU in the fall.  Next check at 10:00, there was no measurement given- just a "ok, you're ready- lets get this baby out".  We were going to start pushing at 11.  Wow- I was in shock and couldn't believe it was actually time!!!

Excited to get this going!!

With just me, Jimmy and our wonderful nurse Debbie in the room I pushed through the contraction based on Debbie's direction and both their support. I did have to tell her at one time I wasn't pushing as hard as I could because I felt nauseous again and didn't want to projectile vomit on her. While she said I wouldn't have been the first person, she appreciated my concern and called for some drugs to help with that.

At around noon, she called my doctor who was just in the other building to let her know we were almost ready. Then we were going to push one more time. We usually did 3 pushes per contraction but on this one I was told to stop at 1. Apparently he was headed out (pun absolutely intended here). When all the nurses and labor support people walked in and said "wow, you're ready"- I knew he was going to make his debut sooner rather than later. A few more pushes after my doctor arrived and all of a sudden, poof, Charlie Carter made his debut into the world at 8lbs and 9.3 ounces.

With a healthy cry and after being cleaned off, he made it to right where he belongs- in his mom's chest. That moment was absolutely wonderful. To be holding this little person that was in my stomach and started out as such a small little nugget with a heart beat had grown and formed into the perfect little man. I lost it.

Now we knew what his name was going to be about 10 min before he was born. We had it narrowed down to Luke or Charlie and after a quick discussion with our awesome nurse, Debbie, we were sold on Charlie. Charles Francis to be exact. When they asked his name and we told the room full of doctors/nurses, they all said it was a very strong name and it sounded like he'd do great things. We said, we can only hope!!!

So after everything was finished up on me, my parents, sister and uncle came into meet him and also fell in love. And let me tell you, it's hard not too when looking at such a sweet baby face!!!

My parents also brought lunch for Jimmy and I which was a delicious Mr. Goodcents penny club that I had been craving for the last 10 months. Pretty delicious!!

The downside was my blood pressure continued to be sky high and if it didn't go down they were not going to let me go to the recovery room. I was told to lay on my left side and take deep breaths and I did. Luckily it kind of came down so then the awesome nurses (seriously cannot say more wonderful things about them) help me go to the bathroom and "walk" post-epidural and then wheeled us off to our recovery room. Jimmy's parents had come up to meet Charlie in the mean time and were so sweet to help us move!!!

And there you have it. Probably more details than you ever wanted to know but things and memories I never want to forget. I had no clue what to expect regarding the child birth process- despite 5 weeks of prep classes. But honestly, nothing could have prepared me for the moment I heard his cry, saw his string bean legs stretch out and felt his warm skin on my skin. It was more than surreal, it was God's wonderful miracle of life that literally changed me. I wanted nothing but the best for my son and knew I would do anything for him.

Also, seeing Jimmy hold him and that wonderful and proud smile, I couldn't have been more in love and awe of this man that gave me this wonderful gift of life. Everyone said it makes you see your husband in a whole new light when you have a baby.  And that couldn't be more accurate - I fell even harder for him as he stood by my side the whole time and was so supportive.  Fatherhood looks great on him- just like I knew it would.

You might be wondering how I remember all these details?  Well Jimmy kept a "baby log" of pretty much everything that happened down to the minute, including comments like "7:04AM: Brittany vomits...a lot."  It was pretty neat to sit down after it was al over and look back on everything that happened and when it did.  He also took 4 videos throughout the process, which are great too.  Check out the baby log.

The funny part?? As we were leaving labor and delivery, the nurses kept saying "congrats, see you guys in 18 months!!"; apparently they thought parenthood looked good on us too!!  We'll see about that.

The rest of our stay in the hospital was great - the nurses were just so fantastic.  We had so many visitors and were so happy to introduce everyone to baby Charlie.  Charlie wasn't too quick to eat or latch on, so that made mom and baby both kind of frustrated.  He ended up losing a whole POUND at the hospital (not the 10-20% that they were aiming for) due to his lack of eating.  That made me pretty sad, but very determined when we got home to put some weight on this guy.  So it was good motivation and by his 5 day old birthday - he was up 5 ounces already from leaving the hospital!!! YEAH!

Here we are leaving the hospital - tried to wear the shorts but his little waist and bird legs made them not stay on!!

I love this picture of us!!

So now we are at home, little Charlie is growing and already over 2 weeks old.  It's crazy to look back and write this post.  I'm now on day 4 of taking care of him on my own during the day and things are actually getting better and better each day.  He's sleeping longer increments at night (which makes for a happy mama) and we are keeping ourselves entertained.  I never thought just literally sitting at home with my sweet baby all day and doing "nothing" really is fun and keeps me entertained.  I just love this little man so much!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Charlie: Week 1 breakdown

Ok, one of my good friends Ali had her sweet little baby Henry on Memorial Day and has been doing a weekly update on her blog by day of the events with Henry, her, Andrew and their dog Franklin.  I love it so much (check out week 10 here!) and I love reading it as her friend.  As a mom to be I was pretty amazed at how in the world she ever kept up with it all...but I have found plenty of time when we are sitting up at night nursing to be able to keep track of our daily events (and probably more details anyone else would ever want to know), in an attempt to truly remember each day with our little Charlie.  So Ali - thank you so much for the idea and inspiration to do this because I know just a few weeks from now I will be looking back at the first few weeks we brought him home and think about what that was like.  Well, now I will have some clear details of memories written down!!

It is amazing now just looking back at the first week and how far we have come from then!!  I'm feeling so much better about being a mom and more confident in my intuitions and especially nursing.  We are both doing MUCH better!  Going to go to our first breastfeeding support group on his 3 week birthday and we're excited about that...but probably more excited to see if this little man (now looking much bigger) is finally back up to his birth weight at his appointment on Monday.  Here's to big babies!!!

Parenthood is so crazy, but I will say it's worth every hour of sleep that I'm not getting and every fear that I ever had.  I just stare and stare at our little guy and notice new things about him all the time.  Love him!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Week 40 and Week 41!!!

Since Charlie was born just one day before my official "40 week" mark- here is a picture I snapped on our way out the door to the hospital with him!

My last belly pic of my pregnant with him!!!  (WOW - looking back at this picture and what my stomach looks like now, makes me rethink how I keep feeling bad I had stomach pooch left.  I was a big mama, but makes sense because I had a BIG boy inside me!)

So to commemorate his one week birthday now (that's week 41 if you are not catching on), here's a picture of me WITH Charlie, but not inside my belly anymore!! He's pretty stinking cute!!

I cannot believe its already been a week!! Here we were just one week ago today....

I've been trying keep track of the events and all the visitors, but the days seem to fly by and this mama is much happier when she gets a nap in since my body wasn't accustomed to getting up to feed a baby every 2 hrs!! I'm excited that we made it through his first week ok and are starting to get the hang of things a bit more but at the same time I want time to move slower. I want to savor every sweet look he gives me, remember every wrinkle on his face and neck, remember his cry when he just wants his mom to hold him, remember those funny faces and NOISES that he makes and then the big "tootsie" comes (aka what we are calling a huge baby fart/shart) and never ever forget a moment that I get to spend with him. While I have gotten a little frustrated with nursing, I'm hanging in there and do is he, which makes me feel good with each day he's progressing and confident that we will get better!! But as frustrating as those moments are, those times at night when he's all mine again (like he was when I was pregnant) might be those most special!!

So with that, HAPPY ONE WEEK BIRTHDAY CHARLIE!!  We love you so much and have completely turned our world upside down in such a good way we could never imagine.  You are so freaking cute we pretty much cannot stand it and just like to stare at you all the time.  I'm so glad your dad got to stay home the rest of this week until he goes back to work as we continue to get adjusted and fall in love with you even more.  Here's to many more wonderful milestones and moments with you!

This is pretty much our house everyday and we love it!  We are going to miss your dad SO much next week, but we will have to make it work and will visit him lots at work over lunch time!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meet Charlie

So we are alive and now parents to a handsome and healthy baby boy. Charlie Carter (full name Charles Francis Carter) came into this world on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 12:26pm. He was 8lbs, 9oz and 22 inches long- whoa baby!!!

I will post more about all the fun we had welcoming him into our lives and this world, but for now we are continuing to adjust to our new role as parents! And let me tell you it's one role that I didn't have a full appreciation for until now- wow!!! We are doing good and we are so in love with this little man that it's crazy !!!

In the meantime, I have downloaded blogger app on my phone bc it's easier to use my phone than computer with a baby permanently latched to my boob (not complaining bc getting him there is many times easier said than done!!)

Here are a few pictures of our little man!!