Hello, Hello Again

It’s not even 5am.

I’m currently sitting on the oversized chair in our living room nursing an impossibly perfect, chubby, absurdly adorable little boy who’s drifting off to sleep, his tiny feet crossed and his tiny hand cupping mine.

5am used to feel so early. Now it’d be considered “sleeping in” if that was possible. I’ve been up since 1am. And the tiny, impossibly perfect baby isn’t the reason.

Bry worked last night so I thought I’d take the opportunity to start sleep training kyle. At 2.5 months old he’s still sleeping on me. While it isn’t ideal, he sleeps really well on me which means I’m actually getting some sleep for the first time in 11 months. And it feels good. But I know the longer we wait, the harder it’ll be so we really need to start trying sooner rather than later.

The first night went well. Kyle slept soundly, mostly off me while I awoke every hour wishing him to awake so he’d nurse and relieve my chest. Then 1am hit and bry came home which woke me up for good. 3am hit and a certain almost 2 year old came strutting out of his nursery with his blankie. Unfortunately this isn’t unusual. He’s been doing this daily for weeks and usually we put him back in his bed with a fresh diaper and most often he’ll fall back asleep until 5. But he’s currently sporting a high fever and his cries of pain were so sad I scooped him up and brought him to the living room, propped him on the couch with a bottle and turned on Doc McStuffins (per his request).

I pumped for the first time in months and started much needed coffee and to my surprise and excitement, kyle stayed asleep on his own for 45 whole minutes! I ran to the bed to scoop him up when I heard him start to wail at 4:15.

Another pot of coffee. A giant bowl of oatmeal. Here we are.

Doc McStuffins has turned into last night’s episode of Greys Anatomy, both little ones are softly snoring and I expect that any moment the biggest brother will come trotting down the stairs, loudly proclaiming “choo chooooo”.

And of course his volume will awake the younger two and the day will officially begin. So for now, I’ll sit here watching Greys, sipping coffee and nursing this sweet boy who is growing right before my eyes. And for now, I’ll soak up the rare silence.

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Playing Catch Up

Woah, where has the time gone?! When your days are filled with chasing 3 little ones and your nights consist of marathon feeding sessions, the weeks fly by at lightening speed! So let’s play a little catch up.

Somehow I blinked again and this perfect little boy turned TWO months old. IMG_20160307_160717

He’s weighing in at a whopping 13lbs 1oz and is 24″ long. He’s still sporting these memorizing baby blues and loves to show off his gummy smile. He’s starting to “talk” and loves when you talk back. He’s a big fan of his tongue and is thoroughly amused when you stick your tongue back out at him.

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When he’s fussy, which is rare unless we’ve missed his golden hour at bedtime to put him down before he’s overtired, patting his back is his preferred method of soothing. He’s obsessed with the Ergo and gladly spends his nap times in there whenever were on the go. He’s basically perfect and we’re still in disbelief that were lucky enough to be his parents.

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The older boys are doing great! Andrew will be 2 next month which completely blows my mind. He’s still so small: he gets tired on long walks and asks “carry mommy” while throwing his arms up at me to pick him up, he carries his blankey everywhere with him and still sports those beautiful baby cheeks.

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He’s got these huge eyes that are full of innocence and these tiny lips that beg to be kissed. He loves his brothers and is such a sweetheart to everyone he meets. When we pick jax up from school, he greets big brother with a bear hug and squeal of excitement yelling “Jack!!!” & is always has to be pulled away from his endless kisses and dances for baby kyle or he’d never stop slobbering all over baby brothers bald head.

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But at the same time he’s getting so big, stringing together sentences, mastering the rock climbing wall at the park without assistance and asserting himself in true toddler form with emphatic “no!”s.

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Jax is still in school 3 mornings a week and loves it.  He’s learned so much this year and grown by leaps and bounds. His language has taken off and most days are filled with nonstop chatter, namely in the form of questions or endless observations.

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He’s still obsessed with trucks, dirt and lately, Paw Patrol. The long winter days coupled with a newborn and incredibly early wakeups for the entire house, led to far more TV time than I’d care to admit. But the weather is finally turning and Spring is definitely in the air.

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Oh this weather! After snowfall last Friday we’ve been spending every waking hour outside this week, soaking up the 60 and 70 degree sunshine. We’ve gone to visit the animals at the zoo, frequented countless parks, gone for morning hikes, eaten dinners on the back deck…

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And I’ve finally found my way back into my running shoes! After each boy I’ve trained for a half marathon so it only seems right to do the same now. I have my sights on one in September and hope to register as soon as registration opens in April. Right now I’m running 3 days a week with the double stroller (when weather allows) & trying to get 10k steps in every day. I’m currently up to about 4 miles for my long runs. I have an extremely generous friend who just gifted me a gym membership which I can’t wait to start using this week, perfectly timed with the rain we’re expecting. I’m hoping to throw in some bootcamp classes for cross training and maybe some spin, yoga or bootcamp if schedules allow. Just moving again from my permanent butt print on the couch during the endless days of nursing, feels amazing.

So here’s to a new season! & hopefully updating this space more often with training and with life.

Kyle Henderson: 1 Month

As I sit here with you curled up on my chest, lightly snoring, your brothers sitting beside us eating cereal with Paw Patrol playing in the background, I’m overcome by this feeling of content, of pure happiness. You are such a blessing and such a joy. You’ve made our family feel complete, something I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel, as if money and skies were the limit we’d happily have a million tiny babies.

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You are such a sweet baby. You rarely ever cry and using the word cry feels like an exaggeration. You’ll let out a cry for a second or two to let us know you’re unhappy but will never cry for long. You’re extremely happy and extremely easy to please. Your only wants in life are to eat and to cuddle. You dislike being put down, even if you’re fed, clean and tired. You much prefer sleeping on my chest or in my arms. And while I love our cuddles, with two older brothers to care for, i often feel like I’m constantly juggling everything.

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In the past month you’ve probably gained a bit over 3lbs!! Your triple chins and extra rolls make me proud. You’ve started to begin to give intentional smiles and they are every bit as heart melting as I imagined.

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Your eyes are still blue and we constantly wonder if they’ll stay blue like Jackson’s or turn hazel like Andrews. Your hair is this beautiful, soft dark brown that fluffs after baths and sticks up when you wake up in the morning. Your cheeks are utter perfection. They constantly beckon for kisses and are so soft and smooth I find myself brushing your face with my finger constantly, especially while we nurse.

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Our love for you is fierce. And your brothers have taken to you immediately. Whenever you’re around they run to kiss you and hold your hands. They love to “play” with you on your activity mat and constantly ask to touch, hold and kiss you. Jackson gets especially worried whenever you’re upset and will run over to sing to you and rock you. He always asks to wash his hands so he can touch you and wants to know when you’re hungry so he can help feed you.

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andrew is equally enamored. He loves to try to tickle you and kiss your face, which often consists more of a head butt and slobbery face wash but it’s the thought that counts. He’s still too young to really understand how little you are but insists on being present for nursing, diaper changes and anything that involves being near you.

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This month has been a whirlwind blur of no sleep, constant nursing and an extra 31 days of being constantly attached to you 24/7, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re the piece of Our family we always knew was missing and dreamed of all our lives. We couldn’t be more grateful for this past month, for being your mommy and daddy, for every moment we get to spend kissing, holding and loving you. Happy 1 month baby boy!!

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Kyle’s Birth Story

Kyle Henderson was born at 9:47pm on January 10, 2016 weighing in at 7lb 5.6oz and 20.5″ long ❤
It’s hard to know where to begin with Kyle’s birth story, so I’ll start at the very beginning. At 33w I mentioned how I was in zero rush to bring him into the world as I was soaking up what might very well be our last pregnancy, enjoying my giant belly and utilizing every last moment I had with my 2 big boys before their world was rocked upside down.
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At 35w I had my first weekly OB appt which included my first cervical check. To our surprise I was already 100% effaced, Kyle was at a -1 station and I was 1 fingertip (1/2cm) dilated. I left the appointment feeling completely confused. I knew the progress could mean he could come at any time but also that I could go 5 weeks or longer and he might still be baking away. I felt ready but scared that he’d come early. I desperately wanted to avoid having another baby go to NICU, wanted the best chance for him to be completely healthy and for him to come when he was ready. But as the days ticked by I was more and more uncomfortable. He was so low that by the end of the day I could barely walk without wincing in pain from the pressure of him. It hurt to put on socks, shoes, pants. As each day went by I was able to do less and less with the boys as well. I physically couldn’t chase them, I was nervous about venturing out too far from home in case I went into labor, etc. My biggest fear was that I’d go into labor and by the time Bry would be able to leave the job site and meet me at the hospital, Kyle would have arrived. Each day Bry and I were on pins and needles wondering if this was THE day.
On Wednesday the 6th Bry got home from work early. Around 3:30pm I started having contractions. I’d had Braxton hicks here and there for a few weeks but this was different. They kept coming, were getting stronger and closer together and wouldn’t stop with movement. We went out to get Reubens for dinner and when Jax asked to sit down to eat at the restaurant, we decided to go for it. All through dinner the waves continued and by the time we got home I thought for sure this was it. We did bedtime routine and then I decided to try to get some sleep. If it was true labor I’d need the energy and if it wasn’t, we’d need the sleep for work the next day. I was restless most of the night but finally fell asleep. I woke up Thursday morning feeling totally normal and totally defeated. (Dr. Google said I had prodromal labor).
Thursday a few more contractions came and went. By Friday I was feeling pretty convinced that Kyle was playing a cruel joke on us and would actually go past his due date. Friday night I felt crampy but it was Bry’s work party and I told him to go. I knew he could leave at any time if true contractions developed and my heart told me it wasn’t time. And it wasn’t. I went to bed still feeling the cramps and waves and woke up feeling completely normal again.
Saturday morning we got bagel sandwiches at our favorite place in DC and hung out at home. I bounced on my stability ball forever and after naps when the rain cleared a bit we took a family walk. I did circles on the basketball court at the playground while the boys dug for worms with dad. By that night I was feeling sore and a ton of pressure, per usual but no contractions. We went ahead and went on our anniversary date night we’d planned. After dinner at Founding Farmers, we went to pick up cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and walked around the mall for awhile. We came home and watched the newest episode of Blacklist on DVR, then went to bed. A couple hours later I started feeling contractions. By midnight they were strong enough to wake me up. I wasn’t sure if they were real but woke up Bry who thought we should go to L&D just to be safe. Everyone kept warning us the 3rd babe comes fast, though I had my doubts as Jackson took 19.5 hours and Andrew took 22!
Around 1am we checked into labor and delivery. I was hooked up to monitors for an hour and checked. I was 1.5-2cm dilated but my contractions were showing as an irritable uterus not real contractions, so we were sent home. The nurse casually said she wouldn’t be surprised if we were back later that day, but I knew enough to brush her off and not get my hopes up. We crawled into bed at 3am, exhausted and not looking forward to an early morning wake up from our boys.
They slept til 6 and after pancakes for breakfast we decided to bundle up and go for a long walk on our favorite trail and let the boys go puddle jumping. We went 2 miles on the same route we covered on the day we went into labor with both other boys. The boys had a blast jumping in the puddles, getting soaked with mud and doing what boys were made to do. It was such a wonderful morning and I walk/waddle/jogged along. When we stopped I’d do some squats to open things up. By the end we were all thoroughly exhausted and Bry and I looked at each other, grateful that we had this morning with our boys. That we hadn’t actually gone into labor the night before.
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We bathed the boys, got back into pjs and watched a movie before naptime. We also skyped with Bry’s parents and had 4c of red raspberry leaf tea, which is thought to help the uterus prepare for labor and make contractions more effective once labor begins. I laid down when the boys did, still recuperating from the night before. But at 12:38, just 30 minutes after lying down, something woke me up. I rolled over and felt kind of wet down there but didn’t think anything of it. I watched netflix in bed and after feeling a couple of contractions decided to go to the living room. I ate some trail mix and at 12:55 sat on the couch with a pen and paper to time my contractions. One at 12:55. One at 1:02. One at 1:04!!? By the 5th contraction that came every 2 minutes I started to freak out and told Bryan what was happening. He looked at me and got the biggest smile. He “knew” it was time as my face showed the contractions were stronger than I’d ever experienced.
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I went to shower to see if they’d go away with movement, and to have one last shower in case this was the real thing. By 1:30 they were still coming fast and strong so I called my mom to see if she could come watch the boys just in case. She got to the house 15 minutes later and the contractions were still coming strong and steady every 2 minutes. The hospital had told us to come in if I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes for an hour and I was almost there. I was in total disbelief that labor was progressing so fast! We threw a few last minute things into our bag again and headed for the door.
Right before we left Jax woke up from his nap and I was able to give him hugs and kisses. We explained we were heading to the hospital to have Kyle, but that we might be back home if I wasn’t in real labor. He was completely sweet and loving and seemed to understand, as much as an almost 3.5 year old can, what was going on. I went into the nursery and watched Andrew sleep soundly. I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him, mentally willing him to wake up so I could selfishly hug him. He kept sleeping and Bry and I left for the hospital. For the first time in weeks, Jax didn’t cry when I left the house. He just told us he loved us and “good luck”.
At 2pm we checked into labor and delivery. I was fairly certain we’d be sent home again but was hopeful. We were sent to triage where I was again hooked to monitors. They asked a ton of questions including if my water had broken. I mentioned the wet feeling I’d felt earlier though I didn’t really think it was anything. 30 minutes later the resident came in to check me. I was 4cm dilated, contracting every 2 minutes and the test to see if my water had broken showed a tiny bit of ferning. We were staying!! We immediately called my mom so she knew she was on big baby duty and then walked over to labor and delivery. On the walk over people kept wishing us good luck and smiling at us. It felt totally surreal.
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At 3:50 we were in our room and ready for however long it’d take. We had two nurses but our main one was Bridgett. She kept asking if I wanted an epidural yet and I said no. I could feel the contractions but they barely felt like anything. She started setting up everything for Kyle’s arrival and by the 6th time she asked if I wanted the epi, Bry asked her if there was a point when I wouldn’t be able to get one. She said yes if I got to 10cm and he was right there. He then asked how long she thought it’d take and she showed us my contractions. They were coming every minute and were the highest level the machine monitored. Bridgett told us everyone outside kept asking if I’d had the baby yet based on my contractions alone.
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At 7pm I decided to go for the epi. I still wasn’t in any pain. I was laughing and joking and generally just excited. I didn’t have fear of childbirth medication free, it’s the aftermath that I didn’t want to feel (if you tear they stitch you, and I didn’t want to feel that!) After the epi was administered I was checked again. It took Bridgett, a new nurse, almost 10 minutes to complete the check and it was not a delicate experience. I’d never had anyone do it like that and I was really glad I was numb for it as I still felt a lot of it. She said I was still at 4.
Dr. Mian came in and finished rupturing my bag of waters and then they started pitocin. I was @ 1 miliunit and at 8pm they bumped me up to 3. We wondered if Kyle was going to be born that night or the next morning and as the time ticked by, we got more and more excited. I had 2 shot bloks around 7:30 as I hadn’t eaten in 7 hours but with all the meds I was on I started to feel extremely sick. (I was GBS positive this pregnancy so in addition to the epi and pitocin i was on antibiotics for that). At 8 I asked for something for the nausea and got zofran. I felt really hot, like I did with Andrew, and generally felt like hell. I had ice packs behind my neck but I still felt very nauseous, dizzy and out of it. I tried to close my eyes and get some sleep before I started puking.
At 8:45pm the new nurse, Malina, came in and flipped me to my side. I immediately felt a ton of pressure on my right side and she said it was because all the epidural was moving to the left side, that I was lying on. The pressure was actually Kyle, who’d dropped but she didn’t check me until 9:15pm when I told her the pressure was still there. Her eyes got wide as she realized I was complete. 10cm, completely effaced and Kyle was at a +1. The other nurse seemed doubtful so she checked me as well and agreed. It was go time. They called for my OB and I began to labor down.
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Both nurses ended up leaving the room. Bry and I were alone and started joking that we’d have to birth Kyle on our own. He started telling him to stay in because he didn’t know what to do and I laughed hard which made Bry freak out that I’d have Kyle from laughing too hard. Finally the doctor arrived and was less than thrilled to find us alone. He paged the nurses and then got onto them when they came back about never leaving a patient alone who’s complete. Finally at 9:45, my legs were put in the stirrups and we were set to go. Dr. Mian told me to take a deep breath and push. And push I did. With that single breath, I felt our littlest man enter the world and my heart literally shattered into a million pieces as tears rolled down my face at the sound of his first cries. “What color’s his hair?” I asked Bry. “Dark brown!” I watched Bry for the next few moments while they cut the cord and wiped Kyle off a bit. I couldn’t see him but I could see the love and amazement on my husbands face, and my heart felt full. They put him on my chest and I melted all over again. I could hardly catch my breath I was in such disbelief. Everything happened so fast, it still felt surreal. After just 9 hours of labor, our sweet baby boy was here. He waited until he was perfectly cooked at 37 weeks, waited for daddy to enjoy his work party and mommy and daddy to get one last early anniversary date night, let us have an incredible morning puddle jumping as a family of 4 and then perfectly and wonderfully came into our lives and our hearts, filling them both to the brim.
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As I sit here typing up everything that happened with our 4 day old breathing softly on my chest, I wonder how we ever got so lucky. This life we’ve created, this family we are so blessed to call our own, is nothing short of miraculous. Were excited to embark on our new life as a family of 5, with all the chaos, love and insanity that will surely go along with it.
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Pregnancy #3: 36 Weeks

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How Far Along?

36 weeks + 3 days

Weight Gained

24lbs

Sleep

Exhaustion is back in full force. I’ve been napping for an hour with the kids at naptime and am beyond ready for bed by 8pm (really, long before that but sleeping earlier isn’t possible while the kids are up). I’ve been waking up around 2am every morning and tossing and turning. Most days I’m able to get back to bed until 4am or so but then I’m fairly restless. Thankfully, nighttime sleep is going fairly well still!

Cravings

Chocolate croissants. Always and forever. Reubens, again. Pancakes (I have them every morning they’re so darn good).

 

Aversions

The aftertaste of almost everything makes me feel really gross.

 

Movement

Not intense but he loves to stretch his little feet and legs out on my right side. And he gets hiccups quite often, just like Jax did.

Symptoms

Nausea. Still. I combat it by shoveling food into my mouth constantly 🙂

Exhaustion. I’m really tired lately. I constantly feel like I could fall asleep at any moment and try to catnap unnoticed on the couch while the boys play. It never, however, gets unnoticed. Instead Andrew climbs onto my back saying “mommy, mommy!” and cuddles up close and Jackson uses the time to escape and find pens throughout the house to decorate the walls.

Pelvic soreness. It hurts to move, to roll over, to walk, to put on shoes pants or socks. Hes so low, especially the past 2 days, that its constant severe pressure. Im so ready to MEET him!! Come on out little man. Eeeekkkkkk

My lower back aches. And so does my pelvis, especially by the end of the day. As of Monday, Kyle’s moved back up a bit and is sitting happily at a -2 station. But I can tell he drops significantly by the end of the day. Apparently he’s indecisive…like his mama.

Pregnancy #3: 35 Weeks

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How Far Along?

35 weeks + 3 days

 

 

Weight Gained

22.6lbs

 

 

Sleep

Exhaustion is back in full force. To compound the problem, the past few nights I’ve been completely restless. Kyle likes to party at night, my mind goes a mile a minute and I literally have to pee every 10 minutes. I need 24 hours to just lay in bed and restock my sleep bank.

 

 

Cravings

Chocolate croissants, strawberry & mint chocolate chip ice cream (a scoop of each would be divine…or a pint), panda express, carnitas tacos & bacon, egg and cream cheese sandwiches! Mmm

 

 

Aversions

The aftertaste of almost everything makes me feel really gross.

 

 

Movement

Usually start around 5pm and go through the night. Quite terrifying when I think of how this schedule will translate once he’s out!!

 

 

Symptoms

Nausea. Still.

Swelling! I’ve never experienced it during pregnancy before, only after I gave birth to Drew, but on Christmas morning I went to try on slippers from my inlaws and they were really tight despite being sized up. I looked down and realized my feet and ankles were incredibly swollen. It was also 80 degrees in our house and Id just spent 3 hours standing in the kitchen making homemade cinnamon rolls. Relaxing on the couch with my feet up and switching our A/C back on helped and I havent experienced it since.

Dizziness/uneasiness. Especially in the mornings. Its this weird hot feeling where I feel like I might pass out and throw up all at once. Not pleasant.

Exhaustion. I’m really tired lately.

I have to pee all.the.time. And its no surprise why. Kyle’s officially dropped. As of my OB appt this week he’s at a -1 station (most babies are at a -3 at this stage), I’m 100% effaced and 1/2cm dilated. So basically he could come at any time…or he could be late. Its a waiting game and I honestly felt better about the wait before my appt. Now i keep thinking my water might break at any moment. ((For comparison, I looked back and I was only 50% effaced and Drew was at a -3 station when i was admitted in labor with him))

My gut instinct says I might not make it to our anniversary January 12th. My first goal is to make it to the new year. Then to Sunday when Ill be 36 weeks. Then Jan 10th when Ill be fullterm. After that he can come whenever!

We’re ready when you are, sweet boy 🙂 ♡