Blessed

I am feeling so blessed right now, despite the little bit of a rough start we had with colds, ear infections and the flu in our house. We are starting to recuperate now. I still have a cough but not nearly as debilitating and incontinence inducing! Sofie is still snotty but no fever and her energy is back. She is just about done her antibiotics. Livi is no longer throwing up and her fever is way down. Jon is tired as we expected because he is helping to pick up the slack with the big kids during the night and work during the day. I’m tired, obviously, but with all the support I’m getting everyone is making it easy on me!

Sick Livi

Sofie’s social worker approved 4 days of house cleaning for us to use once a week in January. AMAZING! My floors and bathrooms are clean plus she had time to dust! I could get used to this. My mom helped out at the end of last week and Jon’s mom is staying with us this week and next while Jon is at work to help with the big girls. This has been a God-send! I was so worried about the transition with Sofie but with her getting the extra attention from Grandma’s she seems to be handling the baby quite well. She ignores Evie most of the time but is being gentle and gives kisses when she does touch Evie. I think by the time it does come to me being alone with the kids Sofie will be used to her new sister and used to me balancing my time and attention that it won’t be such a shock. I’m doing my best to give Sofie some one-on-one cuddle time each day which she is eating up. I’m loving it too. When I was really sick at first my mom would take her downstairs so I wouldn’t see her all day, which was making me feel pretty guilty. Now that I’m feeling better though, I’m really enjoying our cuddles together too.

Sister love

Our mom’s have been able to help out tremendously for the these first three and a half weeks then Jon is home on parental leave for 5 months! (Assuming no positions become posted at work that he wants to apply for.) What a blessing! Family bonding for 5 months! We will be taking a bit of a pay cut in order to make that work and we have to balance it with owing more taxes at the end but we think it is worth it. Plus, it is the last time Jon will be able to take a leave like this so we might as well optimize on it.

Evie has been a champion. She is calm and breast feeding like a pro! I was so scared it would be an issue. Livi and I always had issues and ended up turning to formula between 3 and 4 months. Evie is loving the breast, latching amazingly, and cries minimally… so far. I know things could change but right now I’m thankful. She is so content and is soothed easily by nursing or being held. She loves being held  which I don’t mind right now but hoping she gets a little more content to lay by herself or sleep in her bassinet as she gets a little older. She is only 11 days old after all!

I got home visits from a midwife for the first week which was awesome. I was able to transfer care to another group for the first week of post-partum care so I could get the benefits of the home visits that I thought I would lose out on by choosing the maternity group that I did. So happy about that! The visits were great and affirming. Evie had a little jaundice and wasn’t peeing quite enough at first. My culostrum wasn’t enough to hydrate her size. We ended up spoon feeding her some formula after each feed for just over a day to get some more wet diapers out of her. Poop doesn’t seem to be a problem though!

Now that my milk is in she is well hydrated. She is gaining weight rapidly too! From 10.3 lbs on Sunday she went down to 9.11 lbs on Wednesday and back up to 9.15 lbs on Friday! 2 ounces a day when the average is .5 – 1 ounce a day. What a little porker 🙂 By Tuesday, nine days old, she was over her birth weight… 10.4 lbs!

I know some people don’t appreciate breast feeding pictures but this is how my baby eats and I’m cherishing it right now. Night time feeding and cuddles after a nightmare.

Livi is still an adoring, doting sister. She loves watching the baby and helping out. She has had a few little meltdowns or tantrums but for the most part she has been an angel. I love seeing the instant bond that she has with her new sister. With Sofie that bond took a little more time. Livi was slightly more tentative, probably because Sofie was 3.5 years old when they became sisters and had a mind of her own where as Evie just sits there and looks cute. She really is quite an amazing big sister, sharing her favourite stuffed toys and Fuzzy with Evie when she is crying and always wanting to hold her. She gives me play-by-play narrations of every move, noise, and expression Evie does.

I want to also say thank you to everyone who has been praying for health for us (don’t stop yet!) and helping us out where they can! Mom B and Marmee… you are amazing! Sisters who helped with our big girls… you rock! Jenn… the family pictures you take for us are so special! (Plus I love saying that you are our personal photographer. Makes me sound fancy!) Friends and family who have brought or promised meals… looking forward to eating them! Thank you for the gifts that have been received. I can’t wait to play dress-up some more and use the beautiful and thoughtful presents you have given to us and our family. I feel the love and want you to know how much we appreciate you all.

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Pictures!

These are already on Facebook but I thought I’d post some here…

 Fresh on Mommy!
Having a moment.

Marmee shocked that Evie is already here!

Meeting her baby sister!
 Proud Daddy.

 Shocked that Evie was already here!
 Adoring her sister 🙂
 “She’s this big!”
 Getting checked out with Livi trying to comfort her.
 Squishy face
 Gramma’s first cuddles.
 Big sister love!
 Oma love
 Marmee cuddles
 Big sister checking out the baby!
 Mommy time 🙂
 Auntie Sessa
 Auntie Liz

Auntie Maggy

Evie!

She’s Here! 
Evelyn Jane arrived in a fury Sunday morning 
and it was quite the adventure for Mommy and Daddy!
Here are the details to the best of my recollection anyways…
Around 1:30 am I was woken up with my first contraction after only an hour and a half of sleep. Jon and I had foolishly stayed up talking. I wasn’t completely sure it was real right away. Ten minutes later I had to moan through my second contraction and ended up waking Jon. I was pretty sure this was it with the second one. 
Of course I couldn’t sleep knowing my baby was coming so I got up to get a snack and watch the season finale of Downton Abby season 1. Around 3am I was sitting on my big exercise ball at the table watching the episode when I coughed, I still had a bad cold, and thought I had peed myself. Hindsight, that is probably when my water broke. 
Contractions were about 60-90 seconds each and about 5 minutes apart although that fluctuated a bit. I couldn’t sit through the contractions so I got in the tub for pain management. It helped a lot, I just wished it was a little bigger to rock and move around a bit more during a contraction. 
We texted our doula and started alerting people between 4 and 4:30am telling people there was no rush. We needed my sister to come from Abbotsford to take care of Sofie for us and have my mom make arrangements for the ladies she takes care of. Liz got here around 5am and Kristi, our doula, arrived around 5:30. At this point my contractions were still over a minute long and 3 minutes apart but they ended up slowing down to 5 minutes apart again. They were definitely more intense though. 
Having Kristi there was so helpful. She reminded me of different breathing techniques that really helped that I of course forget in the moment and Jon doesn’t remember either. I was handling labor just fine. Compared to the back labor that Livi gave me, this was a breeze! It still hurt, but it wasn’t ripping me in half. We decided to try the tub again since the contractions had slowed to 5 minutes apart… Three contractions in the water and I was done. They shot up to about a minute apart and Kristi thought she heard me sounding “pushy”. I was still handling everything quite well though so I wasn’t really that concerned. I just thought these were normal labor contractions. I wasn’t really pushing. Kristi was like “maybe we should go…” That was just before 7am. We still had a 30 minute drive to the hospital!
I started realizing that I was further a long then I thought once I got in the car. I couldn’t sit through a contraction, consequently having no hope for a seatbelt despite the icy roads. I knelt backwards in the back seat praying they would slow. I tried to focus on alerting everyone to meet us at the hospital. My friend who was going to photograph the birth texted back saying to let her know when I reached 6 cm because that’s when she would head over. I remember thinking I’m pretty sure I’m already 6cm but had no way of knowing. I still thought my water hadn’t broken yet. I also called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and told them that my doula thought I was a little “pushy”. The nurse said they don’t call the midwives until after they have checked me at triage. I remember being a little annoyed that she wouldn’t call and I didn’t have the midwives number to do it myself. Not the biggest deal because right around then my attention changed… my body was pushing. We still had about 15 minutes to drive!
I kept denying what was happening in my head but Jon could hear it. He started speeding, more, and tried not to yell at me NOT to push. This stage was still easier than my previous back labor by the way, which is why I was still trying to deny it. I was puffing my way through the back to back contractions trying my damnedest not to let my body push. I even reached down at one point afraid I’d feel the baby’s head.  Poor Jon. He was freaking out. He could hear me grunting and knew what was going on. Kristi was following us in her own car.
We got to the hospital at about 7:15am and I had a long way to walk through the lobby… I got out and immediately had to bare down. Jon did yell this time “Don’t push!” I yelled back at him that I couldn’t help it. My body had taken over. Kristi was there and took my hand. I never would have made the walk through the lobby with out her. She was my rock that kept me from collapsing and giving birth right there. Jon had gone to park the car and I remember thinking that he was going to miss the birth of his child in the lobby! 
Some how I made it to the elevators and Jon had met us there. On the fourth floor Jon jumped out of the elevator and half yelled “We need a room now! My wife is about to give birth.” Understandably, they have probably run in to a few panic stricken husbands who think this, so she asked him for my care card. Right then I think I emerged from the elevator with Kristi saying “I can feel her head coming” and they saw me walking towards them bowlegged. Jon slammed my card down and yelled “She is going to give birth in the hallway!” 
The nurses sprung in to action. Their faces were shocked. The admin told another nurse to get me a room and told Jon they’d take care of the paperwork later. She must have gotten my name from some one because I was entered in to the computer at 7:27am. Some one grabbed a wheelchair for me but there was no way that was going to work. I may have even laughed at their attempt. A nurse grabbed one hand and Jon took the other rushing me down the hall. People kept asking, “where are you taking her?” and she replied with “I don’t know!” Some one shouted to take me to room 18. I kept trying to reach the wall to bare down and remember thinking ‘what would happen if I gave birth to her with my pants and underwear still on?’ The nurse who’s hand I had sternly kept me away from the wall and told me that if I kept walking the baby wouldn’t be born. I wonder if that is true or if she was just trying to get me to a room. 
The second I saw the bed I whipped off my pants and shoes and knelt on the mattress. No one had told me if I was allowed to push yet. I remember asking some one to check me now! A doctor came in and concluded that I was +1 and to push! Thank the Lord! Apparently I was so excited to be able to relax I pooped all over the doctors hand the second I started pushing. Is that something you apologize for? The really awkward thing is that he was in Jon’s unit at Bible College 12 years ago! Jon later made a crack about me letting two guys at CBC get to third base with me. Nice hun. 
Anyways, we figure I only pushed a handful of times. I felt her crowning and yelled that I was going to tear when I felt the ‘ring of fire’. The doctor helped me stretch it out with little pushes. Her head came out and I had to hold back one more time because the cord was interfering somehow. I don’t know if it was around her neck or what, but he had to reach in to help pull some slack for it. One more push and she was out… at 7:30 am. We got to the maternity ward with three minutes to spare!

They did pull her over to the check up table quickly just because it had been such a quick delivery. My placenta was still inside. I asked if I could turn around and Jon reminded them that I wanted to hold her right away. They brought her back to my chest and I was in heaven! Jon was crying and coming down from all his stress and excitement. 

Evie’s birth was NOTHING like we expected. It was far less painful and much shorter than we thought. Everyone missed it! Our midwife showed up to deliver the placenta. My sister showed up about 5 minutes too late and my mom and Livi had missed it by only 10 minutes. Jon’s mom came a little later and we never did text my photographer about being 6 cm 🙂 I feel a little disappointed for everyone missing it but I think the story is epic enough that they’ll get over it. My sister texted my mom who was just in the elevator at the time that they had all missed it. Everyone was in a bit of shock. Mom tried to tell Livi that maybe the baby was already born but Livi’s answer was “Maybe not, and there is going to be blood!” Sorry Livi!
Actually there was very minimal blood loss. The cleaning lady even asked if this was a C-section because the bed and bathroom were so clean, post birth and my rinse off. I had NO tearing. My midwife was amazed by this considering she came so quick in the end, was 10lbs 3oz, 22.5 cm long and had a head circumference of 27.5 cm! Jules, the midwife, said some would consider that sized head undeliverable. Not for these birthing hips! Too bad they won’t be delivering any more!
Evie (pronounce EH-vee) did have some pretty good swelling on her face and bruising on her head, face and shoulder but it went down pretty quickly. She looks a lot like Livi did… but still different and fatter 🙂 She came on her ultrasound due date and actually doesn’t look over done at all. That confuses me because I thought she was at least a week overdue!

Since everyone was on their way anyway, they all showed up right away to meet Evie. It was a busy maternity room with family and nurses trying to catch up on the paperwork. Evie went right to my breast and stayed there for nearly 3 hours! Awesome! This is a great sign for the breast feeding to come. She has slowed down a bit now and we are having to supplement with a bit of spoon fed formula because the bruising has turned in to biliruben and caused a little jaundice. Plus, my milk hasn’t come in yet and she needs more liquids in order to pee enough. She is rather large after all! I’m taking herbs to help with my milk supply already and since she is going to the breast so frequently we are expecting this to all rectify quickly. I am ravenously hungry too, to a higher degree than I was with Livi, so I know she is depleting me dry!

With her attached to my breast everyone had to wait their turn to hold her! Vanessa took pictures for us when she showed up so once I get those I’ll do a picture post 🙂 We did get about 6 pictures on our camera because Jon had the frame of mind to shoot a few just after Evie came out.

All our expected visitors had come and gone by noon so Jon and I decided to head for home after a short nap! I birthed her quick and was back in time for dinner! A bunch of people thought I should stay a night in the hospital but I figured I would sleep better in my own bed. I am a very quick recoverer post surgeries and births so I wasn’t worried. We had child care for the older girls. This was a great decision. I feel much more rested and comfortable than I would have been in the hospital.

A midwife came to our house the next day and checked up on all of us and she is due again tomorrow, unless she is concerned about the jaundice and milk supply. We are all doing really well, despite me still having a horrid cough. Thankfully it is just a cough though. My sinuses are clear and energy level is up a bit. I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight! I only gained 13lbs and Evie was 10 of those pounds! My uterus went back down really quickly too. I’m surprised how contracted my stomach is already!

Livi is absolutely enthralled by her new baby sister. She dotes on her and narrates every little thing Evie does with a huge smile. It is pretty adorable. Sofie is… learning. She doesn’t care much for her sister yet but is trying to be gentle. She wants more attention from me, which was expected. I am trying to include her in cuddle time and give her lots of love too but it is a new balancing act. Jon is doing his best to keep the big girls occupied while being there for me. He slept on the couch last night to get a more solid sleep so he can be more energetic for Livi and Sofie during the day. My mom has also been an awesome help with Sofie especially!

Jon is back to work for 2.5 weeks starting on Thursday. My mom is around and Jon’s mom will come stay for a couple weeks to help out as well. Then Jon has a few months of parental leave! This will be so nice 🙂 I’m feeling very blessed and loving having a pink, estrogen filled household! Feel free to come for a visit soon. Maybe text me first to make sure we are totally up for it but I think we are doing pretty good!