Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Urgent Care **EDIT: ER Visit**

And... More excitement.

Bethany's first urgent care visit today.

She was nursing and seemed to eat more than usual, then she vomited (not just spit up) twice in 20 minutes. The first one looked like undigested milk. The second one seemed a little more digested.

When I called the nurse line she said any time there is an infant under 12 weeks who vomits twice or more it is recommended they are seen.

So here we are.

No fever or anything. I still think she just over-ate but as the nurse said, not taking chances with a newborn. 

Praying for my girl's health and grateful Daddy got out of training early so we could be here. 


So, while I am at urgent care, the PA who I am working with seems kind of nervous to let me go because Bethany is only a 10 day old infant. You just don't mess with infants.

She asks her colleague what to do; they decide to let me feed Bethany and see if she spits up again. I think to myself, "Perfect!"  Because I'm still pretty sure she's fine and this is a smart way to confirm that to myself.

I go to feed her, and after 5 minutes burp her, and *Blech* again she emptied the entire contents of her stomach and kind of soaked the blanket on my shoulder as well as getting my shirt fairly wet.

So now I'm nervous.

They don't have somebody in house who can do an ultrasound, and what they are concerned with is Pyloric Stenosis, or the narrowing of the sphincter muscle in her stomach, which would not allow food to pass through.  Their recommendation was to head up to the ER at Children's Hospital in St. Paul, and she had already called the ER there so they were expecting me.

I asked her, what if it is this Pyloric Stenosis? She said that Bethany would need surgery to open up the stomach muscle.

Well now I really am kind of nervous. I kept repeating to myself two verses over and over and over: Matthew 6:27 (And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?) and Psalm 119:68 (You are good and you do good...). I was just thinking over and over again, God, I can't do anything for my baby right now but she isn't keeping food down. You knew her before I did, you formed her inside of me when I couldn't see her, and you have kept her healthy all this time before I had any "control" over her health. Please God, help me remember she is in your caring and merciful hands, and that I do not need to worry over her.

But that didn't stop me from being a sobbing mess when I called Chris to tell him I was going to the ER at Children's. He managed to interpret what I was saying, communicated to family, and then met me at the ER a little later. Brenda was also there with me; she called right after they got Bethany all checked in and when she asked how I was doing I just fell apart on the phone.  I was perhaps a little more emotional than I might normally be, but consider that I just gave birth. That's the excuse I'm going with. And it is my 10 day old infant, and I think the concern everybody else was showing by getting her into the ER right away was adding to my emotions.

She was given another hospital bracelet (hopefully the last one until she has children of her own) and seen by two doctors before she was given the ultrasound. It was pretty amazing to watch her tiny little body lying on the table with a miniature little hospital gown, getting an ultrasound. And what an amazing medical age we live in that something like this can be diagnosed or evaluated on one so small.

At the Urgent Care the PA had said that the muscle stenosis looks like a little olive on the ultrasound, so I was carefully looking at the screen trying to see if there was an olive, but it really was difficult to read anything on that little screen. Just a bunch of gray blobs to my untrained eye.

Bethany was a champ. Didn't fuss at all through the ultrasound, took the pedialyte well from a bottle... She was just mad about me not feeding her, I thought she was going to undress me. Every once in a while she would look up at me and utter an intentional "wah". Almost like she was asking me "why!?" 

Results came back fine. The ultrasound was clear (Praise God!!) and she kept down first some Pedialyte and then some breast milk.  All told it was about 5.5 hours of adventure, and I am glad that she appears to be healthy and safe and we are home for the night.

I am going to tuck myself, my baby, and Chris into bed as we prepare for family pictures tomorrow!

Sophia, Heidi, and Bethany

The girls have a Peter Rabbit board book. Peter Rabbit has 3 sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. Whenever I read this book to the girls, I use the names "Sophia, Heidi, and Bethany" instead. Sophia loves this, and will request that I read the book with that particular change.

This week has been fun. Sunday, when Bethany was officially one week old, we had her dedication at church. I made the choice to have the whole family up on stage and so I grabbed Sophia and Heidi from children's church/nursery. Heidi tends to get quite tired on Sundays, and more often than not is asleep in the car by the time we get home.  Plus she is "dealing" with being displaced. We can go ahead and chalk this decision up to silly, sleep-deprived Mommy.  Heidi did okay at first and then decided she wanted to run around the stage, and play with pianos and guitars. When it was made clear this would not be okay, by Daddy picking her up, she screamed and cried. This continued through the entire dedication prayer. Oops.

It's tough being 2.

On Monday, I had a little bit of a crazy time. Adjusting to 3 girls takes some adjustment from all of us, and it isn't always easy. There have certainly been more discipline times, for both girls, than there usually are. Monday was no exception to this rule. And, while it is somewhat easier to monitor two girls, it is significantly more challenging to monitor 3 (even though the third isn't really moving yet). I was upstairs with Sophia and Bethany and Heidi came walking upstairs pointing at her shirt and saying, "messy!" I looked, and yes, sure enough, she was messy. There was some type of brown liquid stain all the way down the front of her shirt. I asked her what it was, and she said "coffee!" Hmm. Ok. Now I'm concerned, because I have not made coffee today. I asked her to take me downstairs and show me, and sure enough, on the kitchen table, there was a McDonald's coffee cup sitting there that she had been drinking out of.


Later I found out that it was sitting up in Oma's room and Heidi had found it, taken it downstairs (without spilling it on the stairs, so, at least there's that) and brought it to the kitchen table to drink from it.

Bethany is also officially out of her newborn diapers. I had an entire package of like 24 left, so I let the girls have the package of diapers to use with their dolls. Now, of course, everything that can be diapered has a diaper on it... dolls, Minnie Mouse, whatever.

And, I have a 3rd gifted child. Bethany was up doing some tummy time on Monday and she actually rolled over from tummy to back. Accident? Perhaps. But the fact remains that my 8-day-old infant rolled over.

On Tuesday, I was given a beautiful gift from Sherri. She sent me a text Monday asking me if the girls had plans for Tuesday, and if not, she'd like to take them to the splash pad in the morning, then to her place for lunch and nap for the afternoon. No, the girls do not have plans, and I am sure they would LOVE to go out (by they, I mean "I" would love for them to go out also...).  She did encourage me when she picked the girls up to get out and do something with someone else for some fellowship time. I would have been perfectly content to sit at home and stare at Bethany, so I am glad she encouraged me to get out. I called Katie and we had lunch; Bethany and Raelynn had their first little lunch date. Bethany slept through all of it. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, grocery shopping, and taking a very long, very hot, very peaceful shower. It was a perfectly nice and refreshing day, and gave me a good boost that was much needed.

Today is Wednesday, and I spent some good time playing with the girls this morning. It was one of those times where I wanted to freeze everything and just really remember every detail. Sophia was asking me "remember those Chinese things? What animal am I?" I informed her that she, like me, was a dragon. So then she was cuddling up to me and telling me she was my baby dragon. Sophia did pick out her own outfit today; she is wearing pink cargo pants, with a fluffy bow-printed tutu skirt over them, with a slightly oversized t-shirt. Oh, to be 4. Heidi was also snuggle-y this morning, and while she did spent some time playing with her favorite Disney Princess Klip-Klop castle, when I got up off of the floor she said "Mommy! Way Down!" (Lay down). And then she actually took my head and kind of pushed it to the floor. Then she said "I snuggle". It was really very sweet.  And while I'm laying on the floor, snuggling with the girls, reading books, playing with toys, I have a sweet little baby girl behind me on a blanket on the floor, snoozing away and occasionally making little baby squeaks, while she's wearing a sweet little sleep sack.  Like I said, I wanted to freeze the moment and remember these 3 girls, small, innocent, snuggling, and just loving the time.

Love those little toes tucked under

Crazy Heidi going for a swim at bath time

Way cute flip-flops made by Katie's mom

Watching Lion Guard is serious business

Giant Minnie Mouse is wearing a diaper

Girls had a fun day at the splash pad!

Cute nightie from Nana and Papa

Eating my nose...because apparently she is just sooo hungry!

Heidi planking. In the middle of the stairs.

Sophia's outfit of choice. T-shirt, pink cargo pants, fluffy tutu

Friday, August 26, 2016

First Doc Appointment

Bethany had her first doctor appointment post-birth today. 

When she was discharged from the hospital she weighed 8lb 8oz (9lb 3oz at birth). 

At the doctor appointment today she was  9lb 6oz - at 5 days old already over her birth weight! 

She is 97th percentile for weight, 95th percentile for height. My healthy girl!

Now if we could just figure out the difference between day and night... 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mom of 3

Well, it didn't take long to get my first "mom of 3" moment where I need the amount of arms that an octopus has.

I was unloading and loading the dishwasher with Bethany next to me in her little rocker/bouncer chair when I hear her make a poopy noise. I was thinking - "Great! She needed one of those tonight". So, I give her 10 minutes (you know the rule) and after I'm finished loading the dishwasher I check behind her and the seat, her legs, up her back, everything is covered in yellow newborn poopies. Oh my.  I wrap her up in the burp cloths that I had down here and take her up the stairs to change her and her outfit. While I'm up there changing Bethany, Sophia comes out of the bathroom where she was helping Heidi brush her teeth and she is crying and making a gagging sound and complaining of a smell. Sure enough, Heidi has decided to have a major poop at the same time.

Meanwhile, I still have to get the cover off the swing and get everything treated to be washed and I'm slowly developing a full load here... 

Then, while I'm trying to figure out what to do with number 3, who is not happy, so that I can get number 2 changed, I go past the bathroom and notice that it has been visited by an F-3 tornado. Towels are thrown all over the place, floss is strung like a spider web, and first aid tape is stuck all over from the towel rack to the counter and elsewhere, and Sophia is clipping her hair clips onto it. Apparently, brushing your teeth is a much more complex ordeal than I remember it being.

And Chris is at a Deacons' meeting at church. 

I get Sophia calmed down and convince her the smell is out of the bathroom since Heidi is with me, and tell her to clean it all up. I get Heidi changed. I prepare Bethany for her bath. Sophia cleans the bathroom.

But it was like, 0 to crazy in 15 minutes. Why don't mothers grow extra arms during the gestational period? Two diaper changes at once could be accomplished with 4 arms!

What gave me a good, well-needed laugh during crunch time was Bethany's diaper. At her shower, one of the games was friends drew pictures and wrote quotes on a bunch of newborn diapers to keep me entertained at middle-of-the-night feedings. The diaper I picked up featured Nikki's artistry and had a smiling pile of poop on it. I laughed out loud. See picture below :)

Introducing the Third Pitts Girl!

Do not read this post if you wish to avoid birth details. Because there will be birth details.

A miracle came into the world on Sunday morning at 1:56 a.m. And she came fast.

My labors have followed the same pattern, and my doctor described it as "textbook". Bloody show, labor beginning within 24 hours of that, and then birth. But they have been getting progressively faster, with less time between bloody show and labor, and less time between labor and birth. Friday morning at work I was feeling kind of "weird". I didn't know if it was just because I was 9 months pregnant or if I was feeling off (nauseated, just kind of 'blah') because of impending labor. Friday evening Chris and I had a "date" at the gym where I did a strength training class and he exercised and then we had dinner together at the cafe while the girls were being watched. Yes, we are so romantic.

Saturday morning I woke up and had bloody show. I let Chris, his parents, and my parents know (and not really anybody else just in case the pattern broke) that we'd probably have a baby girl the next day.  As an interesting side note, I received a rather prophetic text from Erica that morning, shortly after this happened, that said she was keeping her phone by her and on loud just in case I went into labor that day, which I did. She has a 6th sense I guess!

I went through the day preparing for labor. Cleaned up the house and the baby areas and toy areas, finished up all of the laundry (especially towels and washcloths), had Chris put together the baby swing, and prepared for the arrival of the baby.  In the evening labor still had not started, but for Heidi it really didn't start until 3 a.m. the next morning when I had had bloody show at 6 a.m. the previous day so I still thought we'd have the baby Sunday. I had had sporadic somewhat strong contractions throughout the day but nothing regular.

For fun, Sophia and I went on a "date". We had talked about going on Saturday all week to the Mall of America to pick out a special toy because she has stopped sucking her thumb. So, when I woke up that morning and had bloody show, I was like "let's go now in the morning before lunch!" We got to the Mall of America shortly after 10 a.m. and went shopping first to the Disney Store (Sophia's request) where she picked out a nightgown, and I also grabbed a little stuffed Olaf toy for her. She then requested to go to a candy store, where she picked out 3 giant pixie sticks. I forgot about them almost entirely - for her it was a fun and novel candy thing. Then, mommy was about to pass out from starvation so we went to Jamba Juice and split a large smoothie, then it was home we went. It was absolutely crazy how busy it was at the mall by the time we were leaving (it was before noon!) and it took us over 15 minutes just to get out of the parking garage. I was followed back to my car too by some people who were looking for a parking spot.

Around 10:30 p.m. I started immediately to have strong contractions that were close together, about 4-6  minutes apart and taking my breath away. After about 4 of them I figured it was time to go in to the hospital so I called the nurse line. She informed me that they normally want you to have contractions like that for an hour before going in (to which I thought to myself, we're leaving anyway) but she said she'd call the doctor and have the doctor call me back. She also said to call her back if the doctor didn't call me within half an hour. Again, we'd be at the hospital if I had to wait that long. Fortunately, the doctor called me back after about two minutes. She said "this is your third? Why don't you come on in". So, in we went.

We arrived at the hospital around 11:30 and were in our hospital room getting checked around 11:40.  The absolute worst part this time was that my cervix was sitting behind Bethany's head, because her head was sitting so low. Yes, behind her head. That meant when the nurse had to do the check for it, she had to reach back behind the baby's head. This was, to say the least, not comfortable. And it took several checks and two different nurses to determine how far the cervix was dilated because it was so difficult to reach.  At first check I was at 5 to 5.5 cm. They asked what my plan for pain was and I remember saying in one very fluid and connected sentence without a pause "an epidural is the anesthesiologist close by???" They did say they were surprised that I used an epidural before because I seemed to be managing the pain well. I didn't feel like I was managing the pain well, I felt like I was going crazy, so I guess that's a good thing. Perhaps they should have asked Chris, who I am sure has broken bones in his hands from me squeezing.

Anyway, they got me all set up, brought in the anesthesiologist, and he said he had to let me know the risks of the procedure. I responded by telling him to "make it fast". The contractions were coming pretty heavy and close together, within a very short period of time. The contractions got bad enough to make me hot, sweaty, and nauseated; while they were placing the epidural I asked for ice chips and was munching on those while it took effect. After the epidural was placed, I had a little time to relax. They next checked me and I was at an 8. My water was broken by the doc, then I had the urge to push, they checked and I was at a 10. She was already so low that when they brought the doctor in, I did two pushes and she was already getting her head out, and then she didn't even wait for a third contraction before she actually, literally, wiggled herself out. I just kind of pushed along to help her, because apparently she was determined to go. Only one little superficial stitch was required. Also, as a note, having my toes painted sparkly pink was awesome. I did take some time to look at them while I had my feet up in stirrups, which wasn't long (thank you, little Bethany).

They had Chris cut the cord on my stomach, which was a first for me. I have never actually witnessed the cord being cut. I was surprised how thick it was and how many cuts it took to get through it.  She has a good set of lungs and was crying away until I could really snuggle her against me; they really love doing the skin-to-skin thing which is nice.

They checked her weight. They asked what I thought she was; I am a terrible judge of weight and she seemed so small to me (compared to the other girls, my points of reference). That, combined with the fact that I had gained no additional weight with this pregnancy compared to the others led me to guess that she was close to 7.5 pounds. For reference, Sophia was 7 lb. 10 oz and 20 3/4 inches long. Heidi was 7 lb. 8 oz and 20 3/4 inches long. Almost identical. The nurse when she picked her up (who has a better point of reference than I do) was guessing in the 8 pound range. Bethany was 9 lb. 3 oz. and 21 inches long. Wow. Length about the same, long, but with an additional pound and a half or so of weight! She doesn't look quite as skinny as the other two girls looked when they made their entrance. She is my "Fancon" baby I guess :)

So, Bethany Grace Pitts was born at 1:56 a.m. on August 21, 2016, weighing 9lb 3oz, and 21 inches long. She is beautiful. She is apparently LGA ("large for gestational age") so she had to have her blood sugars checked before each feeding to make sure they were stabilized and that she wasn't having problems with her pancreas or anything like that. She tested beautifully, though the poor girl had to have a heel prick each time so she had about 5 little circular bandaids stacked on top of little pin pricks between her two feet.

I love her name, but I should, right? We decided on Bethany a while ago (which was a top choice for Heidi, so it resurfaced and was chosen by Daddy this time). Bethany is the town where Christ was the week prior to the crucifixion, at the crucifixion he showed his grace, unparalleled grace, as he presented himself as a living sacrifice for a sinful creation. God shows his grace to us not only for the selfless act of love that is the gospel, but also for the gifts that he gives to us freely (including our three little girls). So Bethany Grace seems like a perfect fit for our beautiful little gift.

Around 4 or 5 a.m. they moved us from the birthing room to our room where we were going to be staying for post-partum recovery. This was the first time I have not been able to walk to the bathroom after getting the epidural. I thought I was okay but my upper legs were still pretty numb so I kind of collapsed when I tried to stand up. I was wheeled to the bathroom in this fun little chair that I kind of leaned up against to go to the bathroom. I think it was a combination of the spinal block with the removal of significant pressure from my bladder, but over Sunday, and especially right after birth, I couldn't tell that my bladder was full when it was. Glad I didn't have an accident; apparently my body knew because when I sat down it was like Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own" where I peed for like 5 minutes. Anyway, that only lasted through the first day and then I could tell again. My body is slowly recovering!

By the morning I could shower. Chris was, of course, by my side all night and we got back to the room and just rested. Neither one of us had slept at all, because I was getting checked every 10 minutes or so after birth.  In the morning my in-laws brought the girls in to see the baby. It was kind of a miracle that Bob was able to be here; she just came in perfect timing. He had to fly into Rochester instead of Minneapolis, but he was able to be here to see her before going to work training in Dallas again. Heidi is fairly indifferent to the baby, which isn't too surprising. Sophia seems crazy about her - she even went to the crib at home and grabbed one of the little newborn stuffed animals that was there waiting for the baby to arrive. She has been asking to hold her for most of the time when she comes in to visit. I have a very sweet video of the two girls singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her, which I really wish I could post here because it's just heart-warming. Sophia has told me before, "Mom, when the baby comes, you take care of Heidi and I will take care of the baby". I tried to talk to her about realistic expectations, but I am glad she is so willing and eager to help.

In the afternoon, Erica drove down from Sauk Centre to visit - and brought with her a beautiful and massive monster sandwich cookie from Nadia Cakes. Chris and I split some of it last night (not even all of it) and I'm pretty sure I entered a sugar coma and was giving Bethany a sweeter drink. She also brought me Cane's for lunch, which I ravenously ate (I have been very hungry at meal times. It's like I did work or something). We were also joined by Ben and Katie, and little Raelynn (who is Bethany's BFF, but she doesn't probably know it yet). 

Last night, the first night after her birth, she was awake from about 12 a.m to 5 a.m. cluster feeding. We are going to try to spend some more awake time and bump up the cluster feeding today so that she is on a more normal schedule. After she fed like that, she slept pretty much until 10 a.m. Chris was a big help in getting her to fall asleep before he left for home so that he could be with the girls (Oma graciously watched them overnight so he could spend the night with me).  She has been having some scary spit-ups with choking, which I guess is due to the amniotic fluid and can happen with fast deliveries. She's getting better now, but there were some that were pretty scary.

Today is Monday, August 22. The girls visited this morning with Daddy and they had "big sister packs" waiting for them with hot pink hospital-style bracelets that said "Big Sister' and some coloring pages and a "Big Sister" sticker. They didn't stay too long, because Heidi is my active and antsy girl and needs to be doing more than sitting in a hospital room. Sophia just loved holding the baby and was really sweet about talking to her and singing to her. Other than their visit this morning, it has been a beautiful and peaceful day where I am just enjoying my newly born girl. She has been sleeping and eating, I have been sleeping sometimes and reading and worrying about nothing but feeding her. Tonight I will spend the night here at the hospital by myself with Bethany, while Chris watches the girls (kind of a gift to me while he is on his paternity leave). They gave me the option to go home today but with her kind of scary spit-ups I wanted to stay one more night.  I'll miss Chris being here, but it is also a comfort to know that the girls are spending good one-on-two time with Daddy.

One thing I forgot was the cramping pain during nursing. I think it gets progressively worse with each one, or my memory is great at helping me forget the discomfort. Either way, the ibuprofen I was on wasn't cutting it and I was taking tylenol in between as well, but by now at the end of Monday (dinner time) I haven't taken tylenol since middle of the night last night or ibuprofen since around 6 a.m. today so it is getting better. I'd rather not be taking medication any longer than I absolutely need to. The worst part now is just soreness in the middle from the labor part (as I was told multiple times by the nurse and the anesthesiologist, "it isn't called labor for nothing") so even though it was quick, it was enough for there to still be some discomfort in the joints. Sitting on these magical ice packs that appeared in my bathroom is helping. My milk hasn't come in yet, I am still hoping it does before I leave. It is always nice when it comes in, because you feel like the baby is getting food that is probably slightly better tasting.

Little Bethany is just sitting away eating on my lap, and we're enjoying the quiet time together as she helps me blog about her birth before we *hopefully* rest some tonight and go home to family tomorrow. She makes these really cute squeal-type sounds when she cries, and her cries aren't usually really loud strong cries (unless she gets mad) but are more of these cute squeaky whimpers. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  I'm reading through Psalm 119 with a ladies Bible study, and one of the memory verses is 119:90 which says "Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast." All generations! He is so faithful, and was (is) to my grandparents, parents, Chris and I, and will be to our girls. Truly, she is fearfully and wonderfully made, and her presence in my arms is nothing short of a miracle. Through recent reading I have done, it has really helped me to understand how each and every time a child is conceived it is a miracle, much less making it to full-term healthy birth. Chris and I have been more richly blessed than I can even put into words and I thank God for that. Three girls! Wow!

I am also especially looking forward to the arrival of Baby Jane around the end of October, and more so to spending Christmas time here with my family and 5 little girls under the age of 5! Really WOW! My Dad gets to be Tevye as a grandfather, and with his daughters its a total of 8 girls that he is surrounded by. 

Hard to tell but under the red pain face it says "It Hurts Real Bad".. haha