Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby Blake is here!

Blake Paul Jeppson was born Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 7:58 p.m.  He weighed 8 lb. 14 oz, and was 22.5 inches long.  Big boy!

Blake is a name Brad and I both liked (and it fit him when he was born), Paul is my dad's and my dad's dad's (my grandpa's) first name.  

I went to McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden to be induced on Thursday, June 28, five days before my due date (July 3) because I grow big babies.  I was also induced with Connor on his due date and he was 9 lb. 2 oz.  At every prenatal appointment for Blake, I measured 2 cm bigger than normal (just like I did with Connor), and at my 34 week ultrasound, Blake was already 6.5 pounds (which would have put him at about 9.5 pounds at birth 6 weeks later).  So my doctor (Dr. Margit Lister) and I decided it would be best to induce me a little early, and good thing because he would have been exactly 9 lb. 2 oz. if I waited 5 more days, exactly like Connor was.

Brad's mom, Brenda, drove to our house Wednesday night so she could watch Connor for us.  We were supposed to be at the hospital at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, but we got a call that morning to wait a couple hours because they were so busy.  So we hung out for a couple hours - we showered, pulled weeds in the yard, I cleaned the bathroom one last time (still nesting big time!), we took the last pregnancy picture of my huge belly and one last picture of us as a family of 3, and Brad gave me a priesthood blessing to help calm my nerves and bless the doctors that they would perform in their jobs well.

Last picture together as a family of 3!

We got to the hospital around 11 a.m. and as I was walking in with Brad, it really hit me that when we walk out we would have a baby!  I couldn't believe the day was actually here.  I was still a little scared, but I was ready.  Here's how the day progressed:

12 p.m. - The nurse started me on pitocin.  I was already dilated to 1 cm and 60% effaced before going to the hospital.
1 p.m. - My doctor broke my water, dilated to 2 cm.
3:45 p.m. - Got an epidural, dilated to 3 cm, just waiting.
5:45 p.m. - More waiting, dilated to 4 cm.
6:15 p.m. - Dilated to 6 cm, almost completely effaced.  Labor starting to pick up now!
7:00 p.m. - Dilated to 9+ cm, almost completely dilated, almost ready to start pushing!
7:40 p.m. - Completely dilated to 10 cm, start pushing!
7:58 p.m. - Baby Blake is born!!!  (My dad won the bet - he said Blake would come at 7:59 p.m.!)

Right when Blake came out, he was screaming.  They laid him on my tummy while they suctioned his mouth and nose.  My very first thought was how sweet my new little baby was - I loved him instantly!  My second thought was, "Wow, he doesn't look anything like Connor."  They put him on my chest and Blake continued to scream.  The doctor was trying to talk and explain things to me and I had to tell her, "I'm sorry, I can't hear a word you are saying."  Everyone laughed. 

I'm not wearing lipstick.  The only thing I could eat the whole time was ice, suckers, and popsicles.  I ate 3 double popsicles (so like 6 singles), and the only color they had was orange.  They tasted so good and refreshing but definitely turned my lips orange!

Brad cutting the umbilical cord.
Blake has CRAZY long fingers and toes.  And legs.  And body.  I guess everything about him is long!
Look at those long skinny legs!  He totally didn't fit any of the outfits I brought for him to wear home.

He finally stopped crying with skin-to-skin contact.  My sweet little baby.  I loved him so much already, I was on a totally euphoric endorphin high.

Our hospital stay was perfect.  I really liked all my nurses and the food was AMAZING!  All patients got free room service for every meal (and even snacks in between) and I could order as much food as I wanted (Brad was on his own, but I shared some of mine).  We had a few visitors while we were there - Brenda and Ady Thursday night; Brenda, Connor, Byron, and Krista Friday morning; my parents and Ady Friday afternoon; Brenda, Brian, and Cami Friday evening.  We were in the hospital from Thursday morning (June 28) until Saturday afternoon (June 30) and I really loved having those couple days with just us and Blake to bond with him. 

It's so funny how siblings can look so different.  Connor's and Blake's features seem to be switched.  Connor has my eyes and chin (Carver cleft), and Brad's ears and full lips.  Blake has Brad's eyes and chin (no cleft), and my ears and thinner lips.  Connor got my coloring and length (20"), Blake got Brad's coloring and length (23").  Genes are a funny thing!
Comparing Connor (left) and Blake (right).  They really don't look much alike to me!  We'll see as Blake gets older...

My sweet little angel.
Auntie Ady.

The nurse said his feet are so big they almost went off the edge of the ink pad.  Yep, he's a Jeppson!

I got Connor a few gifts "from Baby Blake."  I got him a toy motorcycle, a new Thomas train, chocolate kisses, and water balloons.  All his favorite things right now.  He was very excited.  Thank you dollar store. 
Daddy and his 2 boys.

Brad's Aunt Krista and Uncle Byron came to visit us.  They and their kids (Brad's cousins) are who we went on our Southern Utah trip with a few weeks ago.
The hospital photographer.  I ordered 3 pictures she took, which cost me an arm and a leg, but it is totally worth it.  The pictures are perfect.  Stay tuned to see them in a later post...
Family of 4!!

Gaga.  (My mom, Janiel)

Aunt Cami
Grandpa Brian and Grandma Brenda.

This is one of the outfits I brought for Blake to wear home.  The other was a onsie and pants with feet in them - I couldn't make up my mind which one I liked better when I was packing.  They were both newborn size, I thought my NEWBORN would fit them.  Silly me.  The pants came up about mid-thigh.  And notice how stretched the legs of this sleeper are.  At birth he fits 0-3 month clothes. 
He looks so teeny in his carseat!

One side note:  Blake was Coombs positive in the hospital (means some of my type O blood mixed with some of his type A blood and my O red blood cells form antibodies that attack his A red blood cells putting him at a higher risk for jaundice).  We monitored his bilirubin count for those couple days (5 at birth - moderate high risk, 9 Friday night - moderate low risk).  I supplemented him with formula a couple times during our hospital stay because a full belly and lots of dirty diapers helps his liver work better and decrease jaundice/bilirubins.

Blake is such a sweet baby and we love him.  From day one (even in the hospital) he has been sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at night.  He is a great eater and has been gaining weight like crazy!  Connor was pretty indifferent and seemingly disinterested about Blake in the hospital, I think because the hospital was a new and exciting place.  I'll post more about him and Blake once we bring Blake home.

We are so in love with you baby Blake!  We are so glad you have joined our family and can't wait to experience life with you and watch you grow!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thoughts on Pregnancy #2

(Originally written June 27, 2012.)

I haven't written much on the blog about this pregnancy, but I have been jotting down notes of things I don't want to forget.  I have had a lot of mixed emotions with this second pregnancy.  After my experience with my first pregnancy, labor/delivery, and first several months with Connor, I was incredibly nervous to do it all over again:

First of all, I did not enjoy being pregnant with Connor.  The one fun part was feeling him move, but other than that it was just a means to an end until I had a sweet baby.  My pregnancy was laden with many of the typical pregnancy symptoms - nausea for the first 16 weeks, horrible swelling starting at 20 weeks, to name just two (many of the others are just TMI).   My labor and delivery with Connor was also fairly difficult.  I was induced with Connor on my due date (October 21) and he was born after being in the hospital for 28 hours (his birthday is October 23).  He was a big baby (9 lb 2 oz), and my body paid for it.  I was on Percocet for a full week after I had him, and I could hardly walk more than 10 steps at a time and was in a lot of pain that first week.  Then 1 week to the day after I had him, the PUPPPS started - pure torture for several months.  On top of all this, Connor was not an easy baby and sort of threw me for a loop.  I just didn't expect motherhood to be so hard!  He cried a lot, wanted to eat every hour or 2 for the first several months of his life (including at night) and I had trouble nursing at first.  He would not let me put him down for anything so I had to hold him, or read or sing to him all day every day in order for him not to cry - which was fine until I had to do laundry, or cook, or clean, or even go to the bathroom.  The nerve.  To this day, he is active, demanding, and insists I play with him (he will not play at all by himself) - he knows what he wants and when he wants it, and it's very hard to get him to settle for anything less.  That being said, I have to say that Connor is a good kid now.  He is difficult at times and we have quite a few power struggles on a daily basis, but he listens pretty well and is incredibly smart (sometimes I think too smart for his own good).  Sometimes our biggest challenges are also our biggest blessings - this is one of those.  I love him dearly.  

Probably the biggest challenge of early motherhood for me with Connor (and not many people know this, but I want it on the record) was that I struggled with Postpartum Depression for a few months starting when Connor was about 3 months old.  Those few months were just awful and I felt like the only mom that has ever felt like this.  I always thought to myself, "what is wrong with me - all the other moms can can handle it, why can't I?"  I consider myself a generally happy, talkative, and social person - I love to be around other people.  But during those few months, I was not myself.  Brad and I really struggled, I dreaded getting out of bed, didn't want to talk to or see anyone, and I had to force myself to just take a shower.  It was really difficult for me to find joy in anything.  I am so grateful for wonderful friends in El Segundo who were supportive and helped me through this.  The frequent trips to Disneyland, the park, the beach, the El Segundo Farmer's Market, walking Tuesdays and Thursdays (thanks Becky!), and visiting and listening helped more than they will know.  They were supportive and encouraging that life would eventually get easier and I would eventually sleep again. :)  Once my hormones had a chance to even out (when Connor was about 6 months old), I've felt great since.

Because of that overall bad experience with Connor, I really did not want to do that to myself again.  When Connor was little, Brad and I always joked that we would have 1 child and a puppy (by the way, I totally get why some people only have 1 child!).  But I really do want more kids, and also want Connor to have a sibling(s).  So when Connor turned 2, Brad and I decided it was time to try for #2 (afterall, postponing wouldn't make it any easier).  I was so scared not only for another pregnancy, but now to have to take care of my active and demanding 2 year old at the same time.  Then what if I have another difficult labor/delivery/recovery?  I am also worried that this new baby will be just as hard as Connor.  And how will Connor react to this new baby?  (I will update how this turns out after I post about Baby #2's birth.)

Well, I am so happy to say, my Heavenly Father is watching out for me.  There have been so many tender mercies with this pregnancy, and it hasn't been even close to as bad as my first pregnancy with Connor.  Maybe it's because my body has done this before so it isn't so shocked, but it has been so different that before I found out I am having a boy, I thought I was having a girl.  All the typical symptoms I suffered with my first pregnancy have been far less or non-existent with my second:  less nausea/morning sickness, cloasma (brown spots on face from pregnancy hormones) not as dark or noticeable, almost no heartburn, no leg cramps, I haven't gained near the amount of weight I did with Connor, no (or at least very little) swelling, my stomach hasn't been as itchy in the final weeks, etc, etc.  I even craved different food at the beginning - mostly fruits and veggies with this one as opposed to Lucky Charms, buttered popcorn, and Panda Express with Connor.  This baby get hiccups ALL THE TIME, and Connor NEVER did!  As far as I can tell, the only thing the same is this baby kicks just as hard and seems just as active as I remember Connor being. 

I thought it was going to be so difficult to take care of Connor while being pregnant, but it's been great.  At the beginning when I was slightly morning sick and exhausted from early pregnancy, Connor would wake up at 6:30 a.m, I would go downstairs to get us breakfast (toast, fruit, yogurt, pop-tarts, bread, cereal, and the like), and we would eat in my bed while watching cartoons or a movie for an hour or so.  It really helped with the exhaustion and sickness, allowing me a little more rest in the morning when I needed it the most.  The rest of the day I usually felt fine, and Connor and I were still able to get out of the house and have fun like before I was pregnant.  

When we finally decided to tell Connor about the baby to get him ready for the new arrival (at about 4 or 5 months), at first he just said, "No!  No baby at our house."  He said this until I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant, but slowly started coming around.  As we talked to him more about the baby and tried to teach him what to expect, he understood there was a baby is in mommy's tummy and would tell me when the baby was moving/sleeping.  He told me once that Daddy has a baby in his tummy, and Connor has a baby in his chest, and told me to tickle the baby in his chest.  Now he says baby will say "wa, wa, wa, wa" (with scrunched up face), that babies drink milk, and Connor will watch Blue's Clues with his new brother when he is born (I told him that is a great idea since the baby won't be able to do much else at first).  He is now excited to be a big brother, even asking for his "baby bruver" to come out so he can play with him.

Now that I am getting closer to the end of this pregnancy, I am more nervous about this labor/delivery/recovery than I was with Connor's because I know what I am potentially in for this time.  I am also getting a little sad for Connor because he will no longer get my full attention and I wonder how it will affect him.  He says he is excited to be a big brother, but he just has no idea how much his life is about to change.  I also worry how hard this new baby will be.  I wished away my pregnancy with Connor and just wanted the sweet baby at the end because I was blissfully naiive.  Now I know better!  I am so grateful I have had the entire 9 months to get used to the idea of having 2.  I am in no rush to end this pregnancy because I know babies are so much easier inside than outside.  But, thankfully, in these final weeks of being pregnant, I am getting so excited to meet this little boy.  I love him more with every little kick and wiggle, and I am comforted in knowing that I will have so much help from my family and Brad's mom and in the first couple weeks while I recover and adjust to life with 2.  And then, once they all leave, I know I only have to survive by myself for 4 days a week and Brad will be there to help me the other 3 (he works 10 hrs/day, M-Th).  So now I am just forging ahead with faith that everything will turn out ok and hoping I will be able to handle it. (I don't really have another option at this point!)  But even if I can't, I know it will get easier with time (just like with Connor).  So I just keep telling myself - it will get easier.  It will get easier.  It will get easier... (I will update how this turns out after I post about Baby #2's birth.)


Now for the fun part - documenting the growing baby and baby bump thru this pregnancy!

First ultrasound - December 6, 2011 (10 weeks pregnant).

If you look closely, you can see his tiny arms folded across his chest and legs sitting Indian style.  So cute!

Second ultrasound - February 13, 2012 (20 weeks) - IT'S A BOY!!!

Sucking on his hand!

3D ultrasound - I want to kiss those little lips!

Growing baby bump:

February 5, 2012 (18.5 weeks)
February 14, 2012 (20 weeks)

February 27, 2012 (22 weeks) - I think the belly popped out this week.
March 16, 2012 (24.5 weeks)
May 1, 2012 (31 weeks)
May 28, 2012 (35 weeks)

June 23, 2012 (38.5 weeks)
June 28, 2012 (39.5 weeks) - I will be induced today!