Monday, April 27, 2009

The New Big Sister

Little Kirsten is a big sister now! I think she's so lucky, because I always wanted a sister and never got one. And how does Kirsten feel about it? Well, she likes sitting in the new baby's bouncy seat. . .
Other than that, she's kind of freaked out. She mostly ignores the baby when she's sleeping or being quiet, and she gets really scared when Natalie cries. It's not really a surprise to me, since Kirsten has been scared of other babies' and toddlers' cries for awhile now. So, when Natalie cries it makes Kirsten cry too and cling onto someone. We're hoping she gets used to Natalie sometime soon!

Here's Kirsten with the new bunk bed. She won't be sleeping in it yet, not until she wants to, but she likes to play in it!
She loves it when people hide under the bed and pop out to scare her. And she's having such a great time playing in the bedroom with Grandma.
She also likes to play in the baby's jungle play mat. Kirsten always loved it as a baby, and she still gets a kick out of it!
Baby Kirsten in the jungle.
Thank goodness she has Grandma to play with while I'm taking care of the baby! But what's going to happen when Grandma goes home? I don't really want to think about that yet. . .
See, who wouldn't love a Grandma who uses diapers as hats???
So who else had a rough time when their only child became a big brother or sister? How long did it take them to get used to the changes?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sleepy Natalie

It's been great to be home! And Natalie has been one very sleepy baby. At least, during the day. At night she's much more active and restless, ready to eat and be held and just look around at everything. But she really would sleep ALL day long if we let her. Here's a typical day in the life of little Natalie (one week old now!):

10 am: Sleeping peacefully in the bouncy seat.
11 am: We should really wake her up to feed her, since it's been three hours. But sometimes she absolutely refuses to wake up and eat! Doesn't that look like the face of a hungry baby? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
Noon: Burying herself in her blanket as deep as she can so we won't wake her up.
1 pm: Maybe putting her on the floor in a bright place and unwrapping her will work. She's stretching! Maybe she'll open those eyes. . .
Nope. Still sleeping.
If only she would sleep this peacefully all night, it would make Mommy and Daddy really happy! But she looks so precious.
2 pm: Tummy time? No problem. I'll just sleep like this too. All positions are comfortable in the middle of the day.
3 pm: Tigger comes over to investigate the new little family member.
4 pm: Such tiny feet! I could eat them up!
5 pm: See what I mean? This is one sleepy girl! I hope her days and nights get less mixed up soon. It's tough to keep waking her up during the day and trying to force-feed her when she would rather just sleep. She always is eager to snuggle and cuddle at night, rather than stay in her bassinett. But she's just so sweet! We love her so much already!
So far she is a much more mild baby than Kirsten was. She's easy to console, very content, and only cries when she's hungry, having her diaper changed, or wants to be picked up. She's a little sweetheart!

If anybody has tips about how to get babies' days and nights un-mixed, I would appreciate them!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Hospital Stay

It's Ashley again! I'm back to blogging! Thank you SO much for all the well wishes and comments we've gotten. I feel so loved! Our new baby Natalie is so beautiful and we are so thankful that she came into the world safely. Here she is, sleeping so peacefully at the hospital after 24 hours of life:
Stephen did an awesome job on the hospital posts, but of course there are plenty of other details I'd like to share:

*The induction really did seem to take a long time! When they started the Pitocin, I expected labor to start really quickly and thought I'd be feeling those contractions soon. But we waited and waited! Natalie must have really liked being inside me, because she sure didn't want to come out in a hurry!

*My experience with the IV was a million times better than last time. When I got induced with Kirsten, my IV kicked out while I was pushing. They didn't know why, but it just stopped working. So they had to take it out and figure out a new place to put it while I was in the middle of labor! They stuck me so many times, and ended up putting it inside my elbow, so I couldn't bend my arm. I should have taken a picture of what my arm looked like when they finally took everything out. It was covered in dark purple bruises and painful for quite awhile! This time, the IV went in the back of my left hand, kept working the whole time, and I don't even have a bruise from it now. Thank goodness!

*I couldn't believe how fast she came out, once they figured out how close her head was. The nurse had to get everyone in the room fast, and I seriously pushed once and out she came. Wow, it was amazing! And I had my beautiful new baby girl in my arms so quickly. It was wonderful!
*Also wonderful. . . the epidural. I love epidurals.

*My recovery so far has been also a million times better than it was with Kirsten. When I had Kirsten, I lost a lot of blood and was very weak and anemic for quite a long time. I had to stay an extra day in the hospital, and had to stay hooked up to the IV for a really long time. This time, the IV and all my tubes and wires came unhooked so fast! It made a world of difference!

*I had a couple of great friends who came and visited me in the hospital and brought me flowers and gifts. Thank you so much! It was great to feel so loved!

*Hospital food is pretty disgusting. A step up from airplane food, but a small step. I got really hungry while we were waiting for the Pitocin to start working, so the pizza we ordered after the labor was over and done with tasted really great!

*Natalie is so strong and healthy. She got 9's for her Apgar scores and really has a strong head and neck. She didn't cry much at all after she was born, and she also didn't seem to mind most of the poking, prodding, and tests she had to endure. She was so cooperative and mellow about it all! She didn't even cry during her first bath the nurse gave her in the hospital.
*Dr. Nicolov delivered her and of course did a great job!
*In the hospital, she slept and slept and slept. I wish I could say the same for me. I just can't ever get any good sleep in a hospital bed. But Natalie got all wrapped up and snoozed away in that funny little clear bucket bed.
*My mom brought Kirsten to the room to see me and her new sister on Sunday. They didn't stay very long because Kirsten seemed a little nervous about everything, but she was pretty interested in all the pills and stuff next to my bed. I loved getting a hug from her! She didn't really want to touch the baby or anything, and since she was asleep the whole time I don't think she really knew what it was all about.
*Stephen is a great Daddy! He seriously is a natural with babies.
*Grandma loved being able to meet her second granddaughter!
*I was so happy when we got to check out of the hospital and head home, in the early afternoon on Monday the 20'th. I was looking forward to being at home and being able to sleep in my own bed. Natalie looks so cute and tiny in her infant carseat.
Goodbye, hospital!
*Overall, it was a really good labor and delivery experience and of course it's so very worth it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hospital Play-by-Play #3 - Natalie is Born!

Around 10:45 PM on April 18th, the Doctor checked Ashley and she was only dilated 4 centimeters and typically it is about 1 centimeter an hour. Stephen (myself) decided to get in a few moments of sleep...

1:16 AM, April 19 - Nurse came in to check on Ashley and see how far along Ashley was and surprise! Baby was there and ready to come out into this big, new world. The doctor and staff was paged and Stephen got up and was ready to help. It's amazing how fast everything came strolling in and everyone got into their "stations" or whatever they call it.

1:20 AM - Doctor said push and it was crazy quick.

1:21 AM - Natalie Joy Veater was born a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Didn't I tell you that was quick?

Here Natalie is a few minutes after being born. Opening up her eyes and taking it all in.

She weighs in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and is 20 3/4 inches long.

Here are my two beautiful girls. Ashley did a very good job and was great at delivering Natalie.

Here's some father and daughter time which lasted only a brief moment. Baby has got to eat!

Natalie is very strong and was even lifting her head when she was on the heating table facing down. Kirsten better watch out because this baby is already showing off :) Thanks for all of your support and prayers. We love you all!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hospital Play-by-Play #2

7:45 PM - Ashley is at 3 centimeters and -1 station...I'm sure all you ladies that have had babies know what that means and if you're a guy and you know what "-1 station" means, then you're probably a doctor...or just have too much time. Ashley didn't even know what it means and I'm a guy that has too much time on his hands or just remembered from our birthing class we took when Ashley was pregnant with Kirsten. Doctor said that she is good for an epidural.

8:08 PM - Epidural is administered and life is good.

8:55 PM - Ashley wanted me to update everyone. I can't really refuse a pregnant wife about to give birth.

9:13 PM - Doctor broke Ashley's water. Last time they broke Ashley's water, the labor moved really quickly.

We hope that the new baby will be born soon. All this waiting is boring (Ashley's words verbatim)!

Hospital Play-by-Play

Since Ashley is currently hooked up to IVs and the such, I'll (Stephen...Ashley's husband) be taken over the steering wheel and writing a post. Thought I would do a quick time line recapping our day where maybe our new daughter will be born. Here it goes:

6:30 AM - Came and went with no phone call. It is a nice 55 degree day outside.

10:30 AM - Received phone call from hospital telling us to "Come on down".
12:15 PM - Checked into hospital. Room #331. Nurse's name is Donna. She is a nice lady.

1:30 PM - Started the "juice" aka Pitocin.

2:30 PM - My sweet (and extremely humble) husband brought me some flowers, balloon, and a teddy bear.

3:00 PM - Turned up the Pitocin since there were not any contractions. Baby doesn't want to come out.

4:00 PM - Started to watch Lost (Season 4 'Cabin Fever'). Move the Island Locke!
6:30 PM - Contractions are coming and Ashley is starting to feel a little bit more uncomfortable.
6:45 PM - The changing of the guards. Donna went home and Aubrey is the new nurse until tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the baby will come before then.

Not exactly sure when I'll have time to make another post, but there will be a separate post later on with more details.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Having a Baby Tomorrow!

Unless there's a totally full house at the hospital, I will have my baby tomorrow, April 18'th, which is my actual due date!

The doctor checked me yesterday and said I'm only dilated 2 centimeters but I'm 90 percent effaced, and he thinks I'm definitely good to go for inducing on my due date. So I'm getting my bags packed and all ready to go today, because the hospital could call us really early in the morning tomorrow and say it's time to come in. So the excitement is kicking in! I hope I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Isn't it a funny thing, choosing a date to go in and have a baby??? It's certainly never how I imagined it would be, and it's never that way in the movies! Movies and shows always have that dramatic moment where the mom's water breaks or she suddenly realizes she's in labor, followed by the speed-racing, heart-pumping drive to the hospital. I guess it's because showing inducements or scheduled C-sections would be just too boring for a movie. But it's reality for me. Kirsten was born vaginally, but I had the full-on inducement when she was a week late with the Cervidil and the Pitocin and everything. I am curious to know what it's like to go into labor on my own, so I hope I get to experience that with a future baby. Maybe if it's my last baby and I still have never gone into labor on my own I'll just wait and wait and find out what it's like.

I'm so curious to find out what this baby will look like! Will she be the opposite of Kirsten and have brown eyes and curly blonde hair? Or look a lot like her? I'm excited to finally get to see her and discover her little personality! Hopefully I can update my blog from our laptop with pictures and information after she is born. So you can all wait anxiously for the pictures!

And so everyone can compare, here is what Kirsten looked like on the day she was born. Here she is on May 13, 2007.

And that's how much hair she had. Thick enough to comb, on the day she was born!
Well, I'm off to pack my bags and run some errands on my last newborn-free day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This Week. . .

*Who knew that turning your oven on the auto-clean mode would cause the smoke alarm to go off??? There was no smoke either, but it did smell pretty hot. Unfortunately, I had put Kirsten down for a nap about 20 minutes before the alarm went off, and she woke up crying. Even though I tried putting her down again a little later, yesterday's nap was totally shot. Next time I want the oven to self-clean, I'll be sure to open the windows first!

*It finally felt like spring in Seattle today! I don't know if it will last, but it felt great to be outside in the sunshine and Kirsten loved it too!
*If the good weather continues, we'll actually be able to move the slide outside. That's right, we currently have this large slide taking up space in our small living room. My mom got it for Kirsten and Kirsten loves it, so I've kept it inside in the rainy weather. Hopefully it can find a new home on our little back patio soon!
*Kirsten had a terrible diaper rash over the weekend, along with a bug. I'm getting pretty tired of washing her crib sheet and outfits so constantly. Today was the first day in awhile that I haven't had to wash her crib sheet! Hopefully it's over and done with.

*According to my nifty little pregnancy ticker at the top of the page, I only have 2 days left of being pregnant! Craziness! It might be pretty accurate too, since I will most likely be induced this weekend if I haven't gone into labor on my own by my due date. I was induced with Kirsten (a whole week late) and she was 8 pounds 15 ounces, so the doctor thinks I definitely don't need to wait as long this time. I had some Braxton-Hicks contractions a couple of nights ago, but they didn't last long at all and then went away. Other than that. . . this baby seems to be in no hurry to get out of me, just like Kirsten was.

*My Peanut Shell baby sling arrived in the mail. I got it in this fabric, and I think it's so cute! Hopefully the new baby will like it. I never used a sling for Kirsten and she was never a fan of being in baby carriers at all, but I think the second one will need to get used to them!
*I got a surprise phone call today from one of my BFF's, Rachel! We talked for about an hour, and it was so great to catch up because I hadn't talked to her in the longest time. Thank you so much for calling me! It was an awesome surprise!

*Adam and Anoop were my favorites on American Idol this week, and I always like Kris too. I was glad the judges used their save on Matt, because I really do like him even though he had a rough time this week. I hope Lil goes home next week for sure! Does anyone else agree with me that if you get rid of Adam's makeup he looks like Ewan McGregor on Moulin Rouge? He totally reminds me of him! And I love Ewan McGregor in that movie!

*I have a huge crush on this dress from Gap Kids and I really want to get it for Kirsten. It's the perfect summer dress! I love sunflowers!
*This shirt is pretty darn cute too. Of course it's from the same place. I buy very sparingly from Baby Gap because the sales never seem to be that great. If you wait for the cutest stuff to go on sale there, it's always completely gone before the sales hit. My very favorite is Gymboree, and I love combining Gymbucks and 20 percent off coupons with the great sales they already have. But Gap Kids is completely adorable too, and some things are worth paying for!
*I'm picking my Mom up from the airport tomorrow! She's coming up to help with Kirsten and the new baby. I'm excited to see her and Kirsten will be totally thrilled to have her playmate back!

Two Baby Monitors Or One???

Question for moms of more than one kid: I definitely need some opinions on this one! For awhile, our two little girls will be sleeping in separate bedrooms. We won't be able to hear them unless we have a baby monitor in each room. So if you need to own two separate baby monitors, do the frequencies interfere with each other? Do you have two of the same kind, or different brands of monitors? Do they interfere with each other less if they're the same brand of monitor or different brands?

Here is the kind we have now. . . the Fisher Price Sounds and Lights Monitor. We keep one receiver downstairs, and the other receiver in our bedroom.
I also read about a Graco monitor that actually monitors two separate bedrooms at the same time, and just switches back and forth between the two rooms. It seems really cool to me, and like it would be a lot easier than having so many different transmitters to deal with. But it's pretty expensive. Has anybody used this before, or another multi-room monitor? What's your opinion?
Here's another question for moms of any amount of kids: What do you do when your almost-2-year-old constantly asks to watch the same show or movie ALL day long without fail? And refuses to be distracted by anything else? Kirsten asks for "Ernie! Ernie!" a million times a day, and she means that she wants to watch Play With Me Sesame, a half-hour show that features the Sesame Street characters and has Bert and Ernie as some of their main characters. I keep them on our DVR so we always have access to them, but I just can't keep it on all day! What should I do?

Thank you for all advice and opinions! I love the blogging world, where there are so many wonderful moms with tons more experience than me. I want to learn as much from you as I can!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rainy Days and Plastic Eggs

Despite our very rainy Easter, the Easter Bunny still came to our house. He must have gotten really soggy! The rain didn't stop all day long, and we never saw even a tiny piece of blue sky. Welcome to Easter in Seattle I guess!
I outdid myself by putting together the most adorable Easter basket for Kirsten! Look at all that great stuff! A stuffed bunny, Easter My Little Pony, Sesame Street toys, fun decorative flowers from Target, Little People Easter toys, and books and coloring books. What kid wouldn't love that?
Well. . . all Kirsten really cared about in there were the plastic eggs. Sometimes I wonder why I try so hard!
The eggs were fascinating. She yells out "Eggs!" whenever she sees them, except she pronounces them like "Eeeegs".

I was definitely feeling very pregnant (39 weeks now!), so Stephen helped out a lot with making the Easter dinner. It all turned out so yummy! We had three friends over for Easter dinner, and the hit of the night was the Four Cheese Au Gratin Potatoes. They were gone quickly!
The Easter Bunny must love me! My cute Easter bucket was filled with a Dove bunny, Dove egg, and a Bordeaux Egg from See's (love those!), Starburst jellybeans, and the Marley and Me DVD. When it comes to chocolate bunnies, I'm totally picky. There better not be a cheap chocolate bunny in my basket! See's or Dove, or heads will roll! (Just kidding. But really, I do love Dove and See's. One time Stephen put a Brach's chocolate bunny in my basket, and I took it back to the store and exchanged it. I don't think he'll do that again!)
And Stephen got MarioKart for the Wii with an extra wheel, a Reester Bunny, and a Ghiradelli Chocolate Peanut Butter bar. The Easter Bunny ran out of Easter baskets, so he had to improvise with a kitchen bowl. Oops!
How cute is the name Reester Bunny? I love it!
I hope everyone had a fun Easter! Maybe we'll get a sunny Easter someday, at least we can hope for one. But we know how to have a fun Easter indoors too!