Monday, June 6, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Alphabet Blocks Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly has modern graduation announcements and photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hugs and Kisses from Katie Brooke!

Candy Hearts Valentine's Day 5x7 folded card
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This year we'll get to sign 4 names!!!

First off, if you know me at all you know I hate to do things out of order.  I've been meaning to blog about each month since Katie Brooke has been born...but that hasn't happened.  So you know if I'm skipping how I like to do things it must be important!

Today's topic...CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!

Since our first Christmas as a married couple (2005) Brendan and I have made photo Christmas cards.  They help us get a card out to MANY people, including our large church family.  This year is no exception.  However, two things are different.  Last year we signed Brendan, Jenny, Baby, and Audrey (yes-our dog!).  This year, though, we get to sign Brendan, Jenny, Katie Brooke, and Audrey!!!  I'm determined to start traditions for Katie Brooke no matter if she remembers them or not and an annual photo Christmas card will be on our list!  Another difference this year with our Christmas card is that we're getting many for FREE!!! is a great site I use with a lot of the pictures we've already collected in Katie Brooke's 5 short months here.  They are offering 50 free photo cards which I can earn by doing exactly this-talk about it!

They have HUNDREDS to choose from so picking one out is going to be much tougher.  Here are some of my favorites.  Feel free to give your opinion!

I always stress about the colors we're wearing.  This is making me consider using B&W.  Love that green and red, the initial, and the option to use so many pictures!

Katie Brooke has a Christmas dress with candies like this. that would go perfect with this card. 

I really am a sucker for things with initials.  
Besides Christmas cards Shutterfly is great for all kinds of things.  They can help you make great photo books with their templates; I've been working on one about Katie Brooke's arrival.  I also plan on making a calendar in the near future.     
 Well, that's all for now. I'll try and get back real soon to write all about Katie Brooke's first 5 months.  (Whew...will that be a task!)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Katie Brooke's Arrival!

Sunday, June 20th I was admitted to the hospital to start my induction.  To help me get started my doctor gave me Cervidil that was to work throughout the night.  After some Ambien I got a really good night of sleep.  We were surprised to learn that I had started contractions on my own, but I didn't feel them at all.  Around 5am I woke up, the nurse removed the Cervidil, and I enjoyed a shower.
The doctor came in sometime around 7am and got me started on Pitocin.  I still hadn't dilated much or thinned out.  Half an hour later she broke my water.  Within 45 minutes my contractions were about 3 1/2 minutes apart and we were hopeful that my dilation would pick up soon. 
I had pretty bad back labor for a few hours, some of which I was able to have visitors through.  I was nervous to learn that epidurals weren't routine until you were around 4 cm.  I wasn't sure I would be able to make it.
Besides the back labor I had really bad nausea partially due to not being able to eat- I was STARVING!  Thankfully I was able to get some phenergan and did receive my epidural when I was just 2 1/2-3 cm dilated sometime in the 1 o'clock hour.  I was kinda scared about it hurting, but the worst part just ended up being the initial numbing shot.  Afterwards I was knocked out and able to sleep for around 2 hours.
Sometime around 5:30 p.m. my doctor came in to check me.  Yet again, I was still only 3 1/2 cm and 80% effaced.  At that time the doctor talked a little about a c-section saying that with the "power" my contractions had been, she expected to see more progress.  Knowing some surgery history of mine and that I was a 9 lb baby she wanted to know my thoughts of having a c-section.
Overall I was alright with the idea- if it's what was best for Katie Brooke and myself.  I just didn't want to go through hours of pushing and then end up with one.  She agreed and said that she would give us an hour to an hour and a half to see if there was anymore progress. 
By 6:20 or so the doctor check me and yet again found that I was still only 3 1/2 on my own and around 90% effaced.  With that news she scheduled a c-section for around 7pm.
By an hour later I was in the OR getting my epidural topped off and prepped for surgery.  My nerves weren't too bad...but my nausea was still in full force.  I had been given zofran earlier after I declined more phenergan (I didn't want to be out of it).  However, I'm pretty sure they gave me phenergan in the OR because I had to fight to stay alert before her arrival.  It took a while for me not to feel anything.  In fact, at one point Dr. T. "tested" me and then asked if I felt anything.  My response was, "A pinch-Like a knife slicing".  It took a while, but I was finally numb enough for them to start.  Dr. T. later said that I did have quit a few "hot spots" where I wasn't completely numb. 
Eventually at 7:46 p.m., with Brendan right by my side, we heard the doctor announce that our daughter, with a head full of dark hair, was here!  We didn't hear a cry right away which made me a little nervous, but it wasn't long that we heard her sweet whimper.  Later we learned that we didn't hear her cry because her cord was wrapped around her neck.  Earlier in the day the nurses kept coming in to tell me I needed to roll a bit to my right (I was laying completely on my left side due to back labor).  Now we know it was because KB's heart rate was dropping a bit- probably due to her cord being around her neck.  We are SO grateful that God's providence was for us to delivery via c-section so the cord couldn't cause any harm to our beautiful little girl.
Within 15 minutes or so we had our first family picture taken, I had kissed my daughter, and her daddy was taking her to the nursery.  On his way he showed her off to our sweet family and friends who had been waiting patiently all day long for her arrival.
Our next three days there were great.  We had some great friends come and meet Katie Brooke, got some gorgeous newborn portraits, enjoyed a sweet steak dinner, and received some great care from very sweet nurses.  Since June 24th we've been home.  That's 9 days of adjusting.  The biggest is of course getting "use" to the interruptions of our sleep.  Katie Brooke is a great sleeper and would probably let us sleep through the night if we let her, but the dr. told us to not let her go past 4 hours between feedings.  We've also started having some trouble of getting her back to sleep after her midnight feeding- but hopefully that will soon swap back.

God sure has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams!   

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pregnancy Week 38

Sunday I was able to go to our evening service.  Brendan was preaching and did a great job.  Our week at camp had started earlier that day so there weren't a lot of people at worship (they were at camp!).  However, I was able to visit with some great brothers and sisters.  Little Danielle was so excited to know that Katie Brooke could be here so soon.  Now, earlier this day we had some troubling news.  The car seat that we had planned on using (given to us by a family at church) wasn't going to work in either of our cars.  The base just wasn't safe enough for our little Katie Brooke.  We had a police officer at church even take a look at it.  So...we had planned to head to Dothan first thing Monday morning to buy a car seat/stroller that would be safe.
After spending TONS of time researching what car seat is the safest in our car (yes, there really is a website that tells you) we headed to Our New Baby Monday morning.  We were in and out of there in less than 30 mins with a stroller that they assembled for free!  After about 15 minutes the car seat base was installed and we sighed a big sigh of relief!
We had another early morning Tuesday with my OB appointment at 8:45.  This day ended up being a VERY long day for us.  You can see my previous post to get the details.  Long story short, by the end of the afternoon we had an induction date for the upcoming Sunday and Monday.  We are going in Sunday night to get things started with Cervidal and then Poticin Monday morning.
Wednesday is was able to go and get a pedicure seeing that I hadn't been able to do my own for a while. :) 
Thursday was my last "girls day" with my own little girl.  I met up with some friends for lunch at one of my favorite "girly" places to eat.  Afterwards I was REALLY hoping to find a table to sit beside the rocker in the nursery.  I did stretch myself a bit, but after running in Big Lots and Burks Outlet I found a great table at Fred's.  It was already assembled and it was the last one.  There are two little places where the paint was gone, so I was able to get it for $25, ten dollars less than the manager first told me!  I was so happy and knew Brendan would be happy because he wouldn't have to put it together.  Later on that evening Mandi came over to bring supper and keep me company since Brendan was staying out at camp all afternoon and evening.  After we ate, she and I (mostly she) did a few things in the nursery.  We hung the mobile (so happy with), put some pictures on the wall, and set up the new table.  I'm so pleased with the way the nursery turned out.  There are a few details still left to do: hang a mirror on the chifrobe door, hang a monogram Mandi is painting, hang a cross stitch my mom is working on, and hang another cross stitch my Grandma Jo is working on.  I'm so excited to have such a great room for Katie Brooke.
Friday I laid around a bit so I would have enough energy to go out on our last official date before Katie Brooke arrives.  We were planning to go to dinner and see Toy Story 3.  Before we did either of those, we went by Dr. T.'s office to pick up our papers for our induction.  Once we left there we went to Chili's.  Don't ask me why, but I was wanting it.  We got there pretty early, but for some reason the waitress wanted to seat us in a certain booth.  Well...this 9 months pregnant gal wouldn't fit!  Thankfully I was able to laugh it off and she moved us to a table with chairs.  After that we headed back to Enterprise to watch Toy Story 3.  I held up okay, but was EXTREMELY hot so I did swell a bit.  Thankfully we got there early enough to get end seats of a short row and didn't have anyone else next to us.  The movie was adorable.  I even cried a few times.  Some of which I know was pregnant emotions, but I still think I would have teared up not being pregnant; I'm such a softy.
Today (Saturday) has been a laid back one.  I was able to sleep till about 7 after getting up for a bathroom run around 4.  Like lots of recent days I nap practically all day long.  I definitely become better at napping and hope I continue to be once KB is here.  I did the last of our laundry so we won't have to be concerned about it when we come home.  And Brendan did a run to the grocery store for some things that should be useful when we come home.  He was also sweet enough to bring dinner home- some Mexican :)  (It doesn't hurt to try some at home induction things, does it?)

Seeing that this was my last full week of being pregnant I want to remember a few other details to share with Katie Brooke. goes:

My sleeping has been interesting to say the least.  Some days I'm able to sleep till 7 or even 9, while others I'm up before 6.  Bathroom trips aren't always a must, but if they are it's between 3:30 and 4:30 am.  Audrey (who sleeps in her crate in the laundry room) is getting better about not crying to be let out as soon as she hears one of us.  I'm sure we'll have some adjusting to do once KB gets here, but I'm hopeful Audrey doesn't take too long to realize we are getting up for the baby and not for her.  We shall see! 

I've still been wanting to eat tons of fruit.  I can finish a pound of strawberries in just a few days.  I've also been known to eat as many as 3 bananas in a day!
I've tried to do better about my sodium intake since being on bed rest and have done pretty good.  The negative side of this is that there aren't too many snack foods that aren't sweets and have lower amounts of sodium. 

Well, guess I've been rambling enough.  Our next post should be about little miss Katie Brooke's arrival. 
Till then...thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What a day!

This morning we had our 38 week appointment.  After last week's appointment I knew I was going to have to get my feelings in on not wanting to be induced unless Dr. T. felt it was necessary.
We got there a few minutes early and didn't have to wait too long before we were called back.  I was surprised to learn that we were actually headed to the monitor to have a non stress test done.  After that I had my blood pressure taken.  You should have heard the nurse when it came up as 131/7?.  We were also surprised because of the readings I had been getting here at home for the last week (they were all up). 
Once we saw the dr. she was really sweet to understand my feelings about not wanting to be induced unless she thought it was necessary.  After she checked me (which by the change) we talked about some of the symptoms I'd been experiencing the last few days (nausea/headaches/high BP readings) so she thought it would be best to send us over to the hospital where I could be on the monitor for longer and have my BP checked frequently.  (Side note- There were a few times during the non stress test that things could have looked better.)
So...Brendan and I grabbed some lunch nearby and then headed to labor and delivery around noon.  We were there till about 2pm when we were discharged.  My labs, BP, and Katie Brooke seemed to be doing alright.  Knowing my feelings on inducing Dr. T. had the nurse make me an appointment for next week.  This is where things got interesting.
We didn't get to see Dr. T. personally while at the hospital (she had a delivery and then ran back to the office) so we were totally shocked when the L&D nurse told us our appointment was for NEXT Friday, the 25th-2 days before my due date!  When I asked why I was told that Dr. T was out of town Tuesday-Thursday.  Oh, what wave of emotions ran through me.  Why didn't they tell us this at the office? 
You see...I haven't had ANY appointments with the other dr. in the practice and can't imagine anyone but Dr. T delivering Katie Brooke.  So...Brendan and I made the decision that we didn't want to run the risk of going into labor or having my BP spike and needing to deliver while Dr. T. was out of town. I was, the annoying patient that can't seem to get her mind made up, calling Dr. T. just hours after telling her that I didn't want to be induced unless she felt it was medically necessary calling to ASKED to be induced before she goes out of town.  Thankfully she was very understanding and we are now scheduled to start our induction Sunday night with Cerevidil and then Pitocin 12 hours later on Monday.  If everything works we should have Katie Brooke here in our arms sometime Monday!
Brendan and I are excited, however, I don't think the reality that we'll have our little girl in less than a week has hit completely.
Our plan for the rest of the week is to enjoy these last few days of being a family of 2 (ok, 3 counting Audrey).  Guess we'll get to go and see Toy Story 3 and I just might be able to get a pedicure like I've been wanting!  Who knows...maybe we'll get the last decorative touches done in the nursery.  Anyway we spend it will be wonderful, I just know it.
Thank you to all our wonderful family and friends for your support, prayers, cards, meals, and cleaning you've done this entire pregnancy.  You all mean so much to us and we look forward to Katie Brooke getting to meet each one of you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pregnancy Week 37

I was able to attend Sunday morning worship for just the second time since being on bed rest this week. Brendan was preaching so I did a no-no and drove myself there. It was so uplifting to be with so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
On Monday Brendan was home like he is every Monday (it's his "off" day). Vacation Bible School started that evening. Brendan was to lead the singing like he usually does, but this time I wasn't helping out like I normally do. Strange and weird, but nothing I could do to change it.
Tuesday we headed to my appointment with Dr. T. We had an early appointment hoping that would cut down on our waiting time. It did a bit-but we were still there for almost two hours total. During this appointment I was shocked that my blood pressure was actually a bit down (upper 130s). So...when the dr. came in she was quick to bring up the induction topic. However, this time (for the first time) she made me feel as though it was more in my court to decide if I wanted to have it. I was totally caught off guard about this and dealt with a lot of mixed emotions over the next few days. The appointment ended with her checking me and telling me for the third week in a row that we were still not "ready".
That evening Mandi came over and kept me company while Brendan was at VBS. She finished painting the teacups and Bible verse on the chifferobe as well as starting some wall art for Katie Brooke. While she was here I was able to chat with her sister Amy who is an L&D nurse. We discussed all the things Dr. T had mentioned using for inducing and my feelings about choosing me daughters birthday. She really helped me sort out my feelings about the whole situation.
Over the next days Brendan and I came to the conclusion that we're up for inducing, but only if Dr. T says it's best for medical reasons (and only medical reasons) otherwise I'm going to be patient and let my body prepare itself for labor. I am quit interested to see how it does if I'm suppose to stay on bed rest with my feet up though (isn't that the opposite of what you're usually encouraged to do to help move it along?).
On Wednesday I escaped out of the house again, but only to go and get a massage! One of my students gave me a gift certificate for the total cost of a 50 min prenatal massage. It was WONDERFUL. I only wish the girl would have massaged my ankles! (I didn't understand why she didn't till a friend told me afterwards that massaging ankles can start labor) :)
Thursday I was home...but did manage to make us dinner. We gotta eat, right?
Friday I had an appointment to get my last trim before Katie Brooke arrives. I had been needing this for around a month so I was relieved to get it done before she comes!
To end the week Brendan and I enjoyed a nice Saturday at home. He went and picked up dinner so I didn't have to cook and we watched tons of Back to the Future. We also TRIED to install our car seat, but with no luck. Turns out the one we'd been given has a base that had an involuntary swap 2 years ago (not a recall or else I would have caught this MONTHS ago when I looked). So...tomorrow morning bright and early we have to make a dash to Dothan and get a car seat and stroller so little Katie Brooke can come home! Can't believe we're doing this the week she could be coming home. Trying not to stress about it-don't want the blood pressure to rise!

In other news...

For the past three evenings (and various times today) I've been experiencing nausea. Even had to take some of my left over Zofran to get rid of it each night. Some say this is a sign of going into labor, but my BabyCenter email said it was a symptom of preeclampsia. Don't plan on calling the dr. about it unless it gets really bad. I'll just be sure to tell her Tuesday morning.

That's all for now!