Monday, November 23, 2009

We're Back

Ok... so its been what like 3 months since I have posted.... I apologize. I'm sure most of our followers have given up on us by now. A lot has changed since last time. We are loving life with our baby girl. Mark just finished up most of his work for this semester and is gearing up for finals. Within the last week he has had an emergency appendectomy and traveled to Lubbock for a moot court competition. Beth is doing school, mostly from Dallas, and working as a part-time Chaplain at Children's Medical Center. Baby Charlotte is growing and exploring life. She stays with Beth's Dad on Mondays and Mark's mom comes to help when Beth has to work overnights. I will continue to update yall on the past few months in the days to come, as well as share some of our many pictures of Charlotte. If you would like to see Charlotte's pictures Click here to visit Beht's Flickr Page or Click here to visit Charlotte's Shutterfly Page.

And, here are some pictures Beth took this afternoon. Beth took baby Charlotte to a neighborhood park so she could play in the leaves. As you can see, Charlotte is sitting (although in this picture she is trying to get to the leaves off in front of her) and attempting to crawl.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Month Two

Charlotte goes to the dr. on Friday, so we will have an update on how much she has been growing. She has changed a lot this past month, and looks more like an infant than a newborn. She has learned how to hold her head up and pushes herself up from her stomach. She sits in her bumbo chair and has perfected the social smile. Also, she found her hands, and they are pretty amazing. She rolled over from her tummy to side a few times. She is a very good eater and sleeper. We cut a feeding at 8 weeks, and she moved into her own crib this month. This was a bigger step for mom than baby, as she has slept through the night from the beginning. Her cries have more sounds to them as she is learning to communicate. She is very expressive, inquisitive, and social. She loves to explore and is discovering the world more and more each day. 

One highlight from this month was when 20 people came to visit her when she was 6 weeks old. Beth's mom's family came in from Oklahoma and we cooked out at our new house in Dallas. It was so fun, Charlotte didn't want to nap while they were here, so she was wiped when everyone left. 

Charlotte at 5 weeks.

Charlotte enjoying the swing.

Charlotte looking at mommy, she is still kind of small.

my beautiful baby girl.

Charlotte laughing and being silly.

Charlotte at 6 weeks.

Charlotte having fun playing with her hands.

Sitting in the bumbo chair. Charlotte at 7 1/2 weeks.

Crazy hair, Crazy baby. Charlotte at 8 weeks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Month One

At one month Charlotte was 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. This month she learned how to smile, laugh, and make sounds (coos). She turns her head from side to side and is very alert as she moves her arms and legs actively. She can follow an object with her eyes. Her personality is laid-back, happy, playful, and alert. She really likes baths and warm water and cries when the bath is over. She loves her play-mat especially the red bird that hang in the middle. She talks to this red bird and her teddy bear that makes sounds. She also enjoys tummy time, not because she likes to be her on tummy, but because she likes to watch t.v. Her favorite thing is getting her diaper changed and laying on her changing pad. 

Charlotte just 4 days old.
Charlotte at 1 week.Charlotte at 2 weeks. 
Charlotte at 3 weeks.
Charlotte at 4 weeks. 

Charlotte's Birth Story

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything and my baby is already seven weeks old, but here is the story of July 4th...

On Thursday July 2nd, Mark finished his summer internship. When he got home that afternoon we went to our favorite pizza place in town and I ordered the eggplant parmesan, because I had heard that this dish helps induce labor (something about eggplant and basil). I was scheduled to be induced Monday, July 6th. The doctor thought Charlotte would make her arrival around June 23rd, and she dropped into place about 4 weeks before the 23rd. 

After an early dinner, Mark and I came home and planned out our final weekend before having a baby. At about 10:00 pm I decided to take some castor oil (which is suppose to induce labor). I didn't think much about it because you probably have to take a very large dose to induce labor. But, around 11:00 I started nesting. I decided to throw out everything in the pantry and refrigerator. Then, I put all my clothes (by this time I only fit into about 3 articles of clothes) in the washer (but forgot to put them in the dryer). Mark asked me if I was nesting, and I claimed I was just trying to clean and that he was being ridiculous. Eventually, Mark convinced me to got to bed.

I woke up at 2:00 am with some little pains. I thought I was having braxton hicks contractions so I went a laid on the recliner. They kept getting more uncomfortable. I would empty my bladder, drink three glasses of water, and lay on my side just like they told us in Lamaze class. I didn't sleep all night because I was uncomfortable. I had experienced so many braxton hicks that I just assumed that these contractions were the same. I drank so much water and spent hours walking around the house in circles (because I didn't want to go walking in the middle of the night by myself, and I didn't want to wake up Mark). I tried to wake Mark around 8 and 9 am but he didn't wake up. I finally called my mom around 9:30 am, by this time I was rolling around on my birth ball (a large exercise ball) on the living room floor in pain. My mom told me to call my doctor. I woke up Mark and we called the doctor (it was 10:00 am), but since it was Friday, July 3rd the office was closed. While I waited for the doctor to call me back I took a shower and finished packing my bags. The on-call doctor (a woman doctor from another practice that I have never even heard of) called me back and told me to get to hospital because I couldn't even talk to her. 

Mark and I got in the car and drive into Dallas to the hospital. I'm not sure how fast he was going but we made the 35 minute drive in about 20 minutes. I just remember sitting in the car was so uncomfortable. When we got to the hospital, we were one of many people who had just showed up in labor. They examined me and saw that I was in labor and admitted me. We arrived at 11:00 am and I was already dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced. By the time I got checked in and to my room I could barely walk, and I was between a 4 and 5. I had to get an IV and take one bag of fluids before I could get an epidural. I am really glad I decided to get the epidural right when I got there because this process took a long time, and I remember those last few contractions while I was getting the epidural were pretty painful. 

As soon as I had my epidural I met Dr. Haddock, the on-call doctor. She was young and outgoing and I really liked her. Before she could examine me my water broke. They said I would be pushing in a few hours and that the baby would be out by 8:00 pm at the latest. So, we called everyone and they all started to come to the hospital. I was progressing very quickly, and then things started to slow down when I was almost fully dilated and I was getting sick to my stomach. I was getting an infection and fever, but I didn't know it yet. I took a nap and everyone got dinner and then we were ready to start pushing. I pushed for an hour and a half. I wasn't feeling very well, but thought that since I hadn't had anything to eat since 4pm the day before and didn't sleep all night that I was just tired and hungry. They stopped me from pushing because I became ill and was shaking and nauseated and my blood pressure bottomed out.  They found out I had a fever of 103, so they gave me several bags of medication for the fever, nausea, and blood pressure. About an hour later we started pushing again. I pushed for 2 and a half hours. They started to talk to me about interventions and possibly a c-section. And then in walked Dr. Haddock. She was able to turn Charlotte to the correct position since she was facing the wrong way, and within another 20 minutes she was out at 1:35 am on July 4th. Total, I pushed for 4 hours and was in labor for over 24 hours. 

Charlotte was 7lbs 11 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. She had a full head of hair. She scored an 8 and 9 on her apagar test. But, she had a fever and infection. They swaddled her up and put a hat on her and gave her to Mark to hold while I finished up. Mark held her for about 20-30 minutes and then they took her and ripped off her swaddle and hat because they realized she had a fever. They then poured water on her head to "wash her hair" but really to cool her off. They handed her to me and she was breathing really hard because she was shocked from the cool water. Just a few minutes, about 3-4 minutes later, the NICU nurse came to drawl some blood to see if she had an infection. When she got there Charlotte was breathing at a rate of 105 when 40-60 is normal (remember she was in shock), so they took Charlotte from me and told me she was going to take her to the transition nursery to be watched for 2-4 hours. 

Everyone got to see her before they took her away. Everyone went home because it was after 2:30 am except my mom and Mark. I sent Mark home to shower and take care of the dogs and catch a small nap. My mom and I finally made it my room at 5:30 am. While the nurse was orientating me, in walked a NICU nurse with some photographs and rules for visiting the NICU. I had no idea the Charlotte was in the NICU. I was a little shocked. The nurse told me I couldn't see my baby until 7:30 am. It was a surreal feeling because I knew I had a daughter but she wasn't with me. Around 6:30 am the NICU doctor came and told me that Charlotte was in the NICU because she had fluid in her lungs and her chest x-rays were hazy. This was the first of many reasons we were told that our daughter was in the NICU, and the only baby doctor I ever saw or talked to. 

We still aren't very sure why Charlotte was in the NICU. Every time we would go see her all her vitals and stats were perfectly normal. We were very frustrated as we never got a clear answer and they would keep telling us she would be released and she wouldn't be. The more time that goes by the more upset I get about the whole situation. I am going to try and speak with a patient liaison for some answers. She is perfectly healthy and we were able to all come home together at 6:00 pm on Monday, July 6th. 

And, here are a few pictures...

Mark and I when I was almost ready to push.

First picture when she was born.

Charlotte and all her hair!

Proud Dad!

Charlotte in the NICU

Dad giving Charlotte a bottle for the first time.

Charlotte's first outfit (she was finally allowed to wear clothes over her monitors)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Newborn Pictures

For all of you who have requested more pics...

Here are some of Charlotte's newborn pics (taken when she was 2 weeks old).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two New Posts

I have posted two new updates. I still need to write her birth story and a few other things, and I promise I will soon. We go for another doctor's appointment and trip to Dallas tomorrow, on Friday. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coming Home

On Monday July 6th at 6 p.m. Charlotte was discharged from the NICU and I was discharged from Baylor Medical Center. Mark and I couldn't wait to take our baby home. This was the first time we got to hold our baby without her being attached to monitors. As usual she slept through this experience. On the way home we rode in the HOV lane and stopped at Sonic, little did she know.

Waiting at home for us were our two original babies, our dogs Halle and Belle. They weren't really sure what to think of her at first. Belle (border collie) didn't know what she was for the first few minutes, then she decided it was her duty to protect Charlotte. 

I couldn't get this one to turn the correct way, but it is too funny. Belle helping Mommy change Charlotte.