29 October 2015

My Friday Things

How is it that yet ANOTHER week has come and gone? And how is it our baby is a month old already? The days fly by faster than ever before. 

ONE: Over Thanksgiving weekend (yes, that was 3 weeks ago), we went down to Whitefish, as per usual. Charlie girl was only 9 days old when we went so we kept things pretty low key, but there is a great pumpkin patch/petting zoo close by that I knew Palmer would love. They have this giant pillow bouncy thing and Palmer had the best time on it. To hear her giggle and see her laugh like that was priceless.

TWO: These two girls seriously melt my heart. We have adjusted fairly well to our new norm. Palmer can't seem to get enough of little sister Charlie. And I must admit, I can't either!

THREE: About a month before Charlie was born, I won an Instagram giveaway for a Slouch Headwear newborn beanie and I absolutely love it. I chose the striped salmon color and it is perfect. The material is so soft and fits a baby head nicely for Fall.

FOUR: This week, Palmer and I got our flu shots. I didn't tell her about it before we went or I knew there would be a meltdown when we got there, because ironically, before we went, she was playing doctor and had to give me a "shot" and told me all about how much it would hurt. So, before we went, we stopped by the candy store to choose a treat. We had the option of doing the nasal spray for kids or a shot, and I know she would have hated the nasal mist even more so I opted for the needle. Girlfriend was a trooper and cried for about 3 seconds before she asked for her jelly beans and said "These will make me feel better."

FIVE: Can I also just mention, afternoons like this are the best, even if they are sleeping simultaneously for only 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes are a mamas heaven after chaotic mornings!

Happy Halloween weekend everyone. Be sure to check out my Instagram for our Halloween costume updates!!

21 October 2015

Charlie Dawn's Birth Story

It's hard to imagine that our sweet little Charlie is 3 weeks old already! And what is even more difficult to imagine is that she could have still been baking in mama's tummy until now had she not decided to come early like big sister did. 

I wanted to make sure I got this story written out sooner than later, while things were still fresh in my memory of how the day went down. So, here it is, the story of Charlie Dawn Lowe.

I had been expecting to go into labor early, just like I did with Palmer (you can read her story here). My whole last week of work (my 35th week of pregnancy) I was constantly thinking about it. I kept wondering when this little bean was going to join us. My last shift at work was Friday September 25th, and I was hoping I would have a little while longer before baby arrived to get a few things done - get the nursery set up more, get myself organized, spend those last few much needed moments with Palmer as the only child before her life was going to change in a major way. Every day after that last day of work, I wondered. I wondered if today was going to be the day. But, every day came and went and no baby yet. Then I got myself thinking that these next few weeks could get to be pretty long if I was just waiting and waiting. 

My last week of work, my mom was here watching Palmer. Then the weekend, Mitch was home from being away at work. Then Sunday night, my in-laws were back in town. Every one (but me) was wanting to make sure someone was around for me "just in case" the time came. I started to get pretty frustrated with everyone thinking I needed a baby sitter, but I tried to carry on with my days like normal.

In the early morning of Wednesday September 30th, I had myself awake for a good part of the night. I woke up thinking that for sure, today was going to be the day. I was up tossing and turning from 3am-6am, wondering what to expect from the day. Palmer and I did the usual morning cuddles in my bed. Made our way downstairs for breakfast around 8, had a fingernail painting party, then made our way downtown to pick up some paint to do some touch ups in the living room. On our way home, we stopped at the park. This was the day Palmer didn't want to leave. I'm certain it took us 25 minutes to leave the park. 

After lunch, Mitchell's parents came over so they could do some work around the house. While Nan and Palmer played for awhile, I did a deep cleaning of the master bathroom (nesting much?) It was just before 3pm when I was checking my e-mail on the computer and I felt and heard a funny "pop." I have to admit, I wasn't quite sure what it was at first. But, when I stood up and I could feel what I was sure was Niagara Falls, there was no doubt anymore that we were having a baby that day. Although my water broke with Palmer too, I was sleeping when it happened and have no recollection of a "popping" noise or feeling. 

So, I went and told my mother-in-law that today was the day. I made my phone call to Mitchell (who had to make a 2 hour drive to get here), my mom (who drove 4 hours) and my father-in-law to come back to take me to the hospital. 

At this point, I was having no contractions, no pain, no worries at all. We arrived to labor and delivery, got registered and admitted and waited for the doctor. When the nurse came back from me having left my sample in the bathroom, she told me that my fluid tested negative as amniotic fluid. I was so confused. She proceeded to tell me that sometimes, baby will kick just right and urine can leak. All I could do was laugh. Are you kidding me?? I just had a waterfall of fluid gush from me, and you are telling me it might just be urine! So they had to get an order from the doctor to do another test which included a swab. And sure enough, it was positive (duh!)

It was around 5 when Mitch arrived, and I let out a huge sigh of relief. The one thing I was worried about was that he wouldn't make it there on time to see baby be born. Not too long after he got there, I could really start to feel the contractions. They were getting more intense and closer together. At my previous doctor's appointment, they had ordered for me to have an ultrasound because she wasn't sure if baby was breech or not so after being at the hospital for awhile, they decided that they couldn't tell either if baby was breech and ordered a STAT ultrasound. Let me tell you, I work in the hospital and I know this was certainly not performed STAT! Just before leaving, I measured at 2cm dilated. It was about 6:30 when I finally left from LDR to the ultrasound, feeling super uncomfortable and having pretty intense contractions.  We were happy to find out quite quickly though that baby was head down.

Upon arriving back to LDR, the nurses decided it was time for me to move into a labor room. By now, I was very uncomfortable and the contractions were getting a little more difficult to get through, but I held on without medication. At 7pm, the new nurse came in to introduce herself and asked me if I knew what the plan was. She said the doctor had ordered for a oxytocin drip to be started if I wasn't progressing quickly enough. That was NOT something I wanted at all. I knew being on the drip was more painful and more intense and I did not want that. So, she decided that if my 8:30 I hadn't progressed much more than a couple cm, we would talk about the drip further. 

I felt the contractions were much more intense than before. I was sure I was progressing faster than that and was certain I wasn't going to need a drip to move things along. I think it was about 7:30 when she checked me again and I measured 6-7cm. Good news!! I was so happy to hear that. 

I couldn't tell you what time it was by this point, but things were getting beyond painful. I remember pain from last time and I was sure this time was worse. Maybe because things were moving along so much more quickly, but it was to the point where I didn't think I could take it anymore. This was the point I asked for pain medication. My nurse, kind as she was, strongly recommended I not have any. She explained to me that being this far along, having pain meds now would make both me and baby sleep, and because baby was already potentially going to the NICU for being born at 36 week 3 days, we didn't need another reason to send baby there. I broke down. I began to cry. I didn't know if I could do it. I think this was when I grabbed on to Mitchell's hand and I don't remember letting go. 

Then, there it was. The urge to push. I feel like it came on so quickly. I remember watching the nurse push the button to call for other nurses. The NICU team came, a respiratory tech, and another nurse. The doctor wasn't there yet. I kept telling them I needed to push and they kept telling me not yet, not yet. I could have sworn I couldn't not push. I remember saying "I have to. I have to push." They told me not to push yet because there was still cervix there and I could tear it, but I'm sure they were waiting for the doctor to arrive. 

I'm sure the minute the doctor arrived, I began to push. 3 pushes and I heard Mitchell say "It's a girl!" 

Our sweet little Charlie girl was here. Perfectly healthy. Perfectly beautiful. Weighing 5lbs 9oz and measured 18 3/4 inches long. I was in love all over again. 

She didn't need too much assessment and I got to hold her on my chest almost immediately. She latched on and started nursing right away (much different story than with Palmer) and I didn't have to spend anytime away from her like I did with Palmer. 

I was so excited to see Palmer with Charlie for the first time. The look she gave Charlie was just the sweetest; made my heart melt. I had tears of absolute pure joy and happiness. It was the beginning of one of the best relationships they will ever have and the perfect ending to a perfect day.

19 October 2015

Cover Me Ponchos: Review and a Giveaway

A while back, I won a giveaway for one of these fabulous nursing covers from Cover Me Ponchos and Mariah was so generous to team up with me to give one of my readers the opportunity to win one too!

Cover Me Ponchos are the perfect accessory for any mom. I didn't actually have mine before baby was born, but using the poncho over a baby bump would be a perfect way to transition into Fall.  I have had a few weeks now to put the cover to use and I have to say, it does not disappoint.

I chose the Grey and White Stripe cover. I love the neutral aspect of it, yet the stripes give it a fun feel. There are so many cute prints and colors available though. I have my eyes the new Black and White Aztec print, and if I was feeling really bold, I would choose the Floral print because I think it's super fun and pretty.

The main use we have for it is as a nursing cover. I didn't actually have a cover when Palmer was a baby. We used whatever baby or swaddle blanket we had hanging around at the time. Not super convenient when you are out, I must say.  These nursing covers are perfect. They cover you all over, both front and back, and they are easy to nurse with; no trying to get it just right, and no worrying about flashing the world!  The light, airy fabric of the cover is just perfect. It's not too hot when nursing baby and it is the perfect lightness to wear over your shirt as a poncho when not nursing. 

I also love mine for a car seat cover. I especially love it for those (germy) grocery store trips when people just HAVE to see your new baby, or when the outside weather is just a little too much for baby. Whether its the sun or the wind, I know my baby will be hidden away from the elements. I like the fact that I don't have to worry about baby getting to warm with the cover over the seat because the fabric is not heavy at all. 

The Cover Me Poncho also doubles (or triples??) as a baby blanket when you don't have another one available.  Because there are so many uses for the poncho, I make sure it's always in my bag when we head out, and I don't have to worry about bringing along other blankets or covers; it's a "one-item-does-all" sort of thing. It can also be used as a scarf, a shopping cart cover or a stroller cover. See the list here for all it's uses!

So, if you want to win one of these fun, functional, and versatile covers by Cover Me Ponchos, head on over to my Instagram to enter!

8 October 2015

My Friday Thoughts

It's been a week since I've done up a post, but I can't believe how fast this week has gone by. Adjusting to life with two little ones is making these days just fly by. I cannot even believe little Charlie is 9 days old on Friday. We seem to have all transitioned well into our new roles and life is good.

One of my best friends, Tawnya, came over on Tuesday and took some sleepy newborn photos of Charlie and Palmer. I am in love. These photos are just the sweetest and I can't wait to see the rest. Tawnya is seriously talented and takes gorgeous photos!

We have been doing a lot of cuddling this week. Settling in and cuddles. All week. Palmer has been asking me to cuddle all the time and I love it. I'm sure sharing mom and dad with a new little being can't be easy for her, but she is adjusting so well. She is the best big sister ever. Giving lots of hugs and kisses to Charlie. She really is so sweet. I have been trying to make a point of making sure she knows just because there is a new baby, things didn't change the way we feel about her. I've been trying to still spend some alone time with her too. It's not always easy with a newborn whose feeding schedule isn't a schedule yet though.

And lots of hand-holding with my biggest little. 

I have been feeling all kinds of Fall up in here! I am loving the color of this sweater (similar) from Old Navy (P.S. can I say Old Navy is totally killing it in the Fall clothing department! I swear our whole family is wearing Old Navy all day, every day!) And I enjoyed my first Chai Tea Latte in a long while. The perfect Fall drink!

And of course, Little Charlie got some new Fall clothes too. She can't be wearing only hand-me-downs from her big sister! 

But, that's all for tonight. My biggest little is beckoning me for some cuddles. I can't say no to more cuddles!  Happy weekend everyone. And to all my Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving! 

2 October 2015

That Friday Post

This week has all been kind of a blur and went by rather quickly! So, without too many words and a handful of photos, I will recap what's happened!

We played in the park, stomping leaves and using our magic wand sticks.

We cuddled up in mamas bed, more than one time. 

Did our nails. 

Took our last pregnant selfie ever! This is 36 weeks 3 days. 

Sisters met and cuddled for the first time!

More baby Charlie cuddles. 

Baby Charlie Dawn. Born September 30, 2015 at 8:23pm. She weighed 5lbs 9oz and measured 18 3/4 inches long. 

We are hoping to get sent home today and get settled into a routine over the weekend while there are lots of hands around to help! 

Happy weekend everyone!!!