Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy belated Father's Day

Ryan's gift he made at school for Daddy

Due to Kara's early arrival, we were in the hospital for Father's Day this year. Kara's birth was a great Father's Day gift for Chris! We finally got a chance to 'celebrate' Father's Day on Sunday, June 22nd. I got up early with the kids and let Chris sleep in (he usually gets up with Ryan). Ryan and I made Daddy some waffles for breakfast. Around 9am (that's sleeping in these days!), we surprised Daddy with breakfast in bed and his gifts. He was completely surprised and well rested after many sleepless nights.

This year, I decided to create frames for Chris to hang in his office. He just has to put his favorite picture of Kara and Ryan in them. Below are pictures of Chris with the kids and his gifts. I also included a picture of Chris doing story time with the kids as well. I have the best husband and our children have the best Daddy!
Happy Father's Day, honey! I love you to the moon and back! :)

Daddy, Kara & Ryan
(Ryan was too consumed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to look at me)
Daddy & Kara

Ryan (camera shy)

Frames: Daddy's Bubba (Ryan's nickname) & Daddy's Girl
Storytime with Daddy

Kara ~ 2 weeks old and growing...

It's hard to believe that our little girl is already 2 weeks old. We have learned a lot about Kara's likes and dislikes over the past few weeks. Kara is definitely more demanding than Ryan was as an infant. Ryan was and still is very laid back. Kara...not so much! When she wants something, she wants it now or the screaming fits begin!! Her likes include eating and sleeping. She also likes to take rides in the car and I swear she already perfected her's too cute to see her smile. (some would say gas bubbles but I disagree!) Her dislikes: She lets us know as soon as she has a dirty diaper (we are going through diapers like crazy!) but she doesn't like to get those diapers changed though. She absolutely hates to be naked and despises bath time! Her grouchy period is between 8pm and 10pm and there is no consoling her once she gets upset. I think I might get back into shape a lot faster with this one due to all the walking and bouncing I've had to do lately. Kara also likes to do "all nighters" every other night. Chris has been a huge help the last few weeks but he goes back to work tomorrow. So it looks like I am on my own when she decides not to sleep. :( Guess I can't complain, at least I can get a few naps in the next day.

So many of you have asked for more pictures. Here are a few from the last week...ENJOY!

Kara's favorite position to be held in

"I didn't do it!"

I love my car seat.


Monkey Toes!

Our little Caterpillar

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Birth Story


Kara Ellasyn High

Thanks for patiently waiting for this post. Our first week as parents to a 2 year old and newborn was challenging to say the least. Chris and I are in survival mode with little sleep and trying to keep up with an very active toddler and very needy newborn. But we wouldn't trade it for the world...we are so blessed to have our two little ones!

As promised, here is Kara's birth story. Her birth was quite an adventure and the best way to describe it would be something out of a movie! Hence the title...'A Birth Story~ Starring....Kara Ellasyn High'. Today, June 22nd was her actual Due Date but Kara wanted to make an early arrival and surprise us all! I decided to write a short version (for those of you who don't want to read about all the labor details) and long version of her story.

Short Version-

I woke up on Saturday, June 14th at 6am to what I thought were strong "Braxton Hicks" contractions. They came in waves and were not consistent so I wasn't too concerned about them. Around 8:30am, I decided to give the doctor a call because the contractions weren't going away and seemed to be getting stronger. (Keep in mind, I was induced with Ryan and truly did not know what beginning labor contractions felt like.) Dr. Feio was on call and told us to go to the hospital to get checked. We arrived around 9:45 and the nurse midwife hooked me up to the monitors. We stayed in the triage section for about 2 hours before being sent home because I did not progress from 1 cm...also the contractions were not consistent (ie- they want to see contractions be 5 minutes or less apart and lasting over 30 seconds each). So around 12:30 we left the hospital and headed home. All the while, I am breathing through some pretty strong contractions!! Chris set me up on the couch with tons of towels and blankets and I "labored" there from 1:30-3:34 (he timed all my contractions- you would think he would have noticed them getting closer and closer?!) before getting up to go to the bathroom. When I went to sit on the potty, my water broke (what luck huh?!). I yelled for Chris to call the doctor. The contractions came full force now and I told him that we had to get to the hospital asap. Got to the hospital around 4:10pm, Dr. Feio checked me around 4:20 and told me that we were 6 cm. I said great, let's get to labor & delivery and I want an epidural now! The midwife proceeded to ask if I wanted to walk or take a wheelchair, at the same time I had one of the worst contractions hit and Chris told her to get the wheelchair. As they were wheeling me to L&D, I felt the urge to push and really couldn't control it! We got into my room and 10 minutes later at 4:41 Kara arrived! She weighed 7 lbs. and was 19.5 inches in length.
So we went from 1 cm to 6 cm in 2 hours and then 6 cm to 10 cm/pushing in 10 minutes! CRAZY! Needless to say, I did not get that epidural nor did they have time to even admit me into the system. It was everything I wanted except for the pain of course. Kara came when she wanted (no induction needed), we didn't have to get a c-section and it was very fast!

**pictures below long version**

Long Version-

This version will include little details that happened throughout the day that lead to her speedy arrival. My labor and her birth were like a scene out of a movie in many ways...

I awoke on Saturday, June 14th to what I thought were strong 'braxton hicks' contractions around 6am. By 8:30am, I decided to call the doctor because the contractions weren't going away and they seemed to be getting stronger. I truly thought this was false labor because Kara arriving "early" was something I didn't really think would happen. Plus I was induced with Ryan and really didn't know what beginning labor felt like. My contractions were all over the place instead of being like 5 minutes apart and some lasted longer than others. Dr. Feio was on call (this is the same doctor I had seen the day before who told me that he didn't need to check me to see if I dilated further than 1 cm) and told me to go to the hospital to be checked out. At this point, I start to freak out because a) we had an entire day planned out to get a lot checked off our list. We still had quite a list of items to accomplish before her this threw a wrench in our plans! and b) I did not have "the bag" packed! I know I know, I was one day away from 39 weeks and didn't have the hospital bag packed?! What was I thinking? I just kept pushing it off because I seriously thought she would be on time or even late. So I quickly jumped in the shower, we called my dad to come get Ryan, packed the bag and left for the hospital...the entire time believing this was false labor!

We arrived at the Reading Hospital around 9:45 and went to the front desk to ask where Triage was. As Chris was asking where to go, I had another contraction and the lady behind the desk (must have been new!) freaked out and said, "OH MY GOD, you are having a baby!" Before we knew it she had me in a wheelchair and said follow me to Chris. This woman proceeded to run me to triage with Chris trying to keep up from behind! The poor woman was huffing and puffing and yelling around corners to let people know we were coming! When we got to triage, the nurses just looked at her like she was crazy! They even said, ummm, she is only having a baby. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. I thought it was hilarious how fast she got us up there but I also felt sorry for the woman for running the entire way! We had a nurse midwife hook me up to the monitors and got me plenty of water to drink as we waited. 2 hours went by and no progress. Still at 1 cm and the contractions were all over the place. So they sent us home with a Tylenol w/ codine to take for the pain if I needed it. You should have seen the woman's (who ran me up to triage) look on her face when we walked by her to leave.

We decided to stop at the grocery store to get a few things. I stayed in the car because I was still contracting. We got home a little after 1pm and Chris set up the couch with tons of towels and blankets. I ate a bowl of cereal and laid down to try to rest. Chris started timing my contractions around 1:30. By 2:30, I decided that I needed that Tylenol w/ codine and hoped it would make me pass out. At this point, I am getting exhausted because the contractions wouldn't let up. The pills made me sleepy but DID NOT take the pain away. I would drift off and then be awaken quickly to strong contractions! At 3:23 (thanks to Chris' notes, I know the exact time!) I got up to go to the bathroom. As I was about to sit down on the potty, my water decided to break! (what luck huh?!) I also noticed blood and screamed for Chris to call the doctor! The one annoying thing about needing a doctor on the weekend is having to call an answering service first and waiting for the doctor to call back!!! Once my water had broken, the contractions were VERY strong. I told Chris that we had to leave asap and couldn't wait for the doc to call back. Chris threw a ton of towels in the car (can't ruin the Acura seats!) and off we went to triage again.

On our way, Chris must have been very nervous. I guess my screaming through contractions didn't help his driving. He stopped at lights when he could have made it through them and then he took the crazy long way around the hospital! When we finally got there, I told him to just drop me off in the front. There was an old man behind the desk now. Where was the new lady when I needed her!? The old man told Chris that he would take me up and Chris went to park the car. Well, not only was this man SLOW but he didn't know where he was going. At one point he got off on the wrong floor!! Finally got to triage and of course it was the same midwife on duty. She must have thought I was crazy for being back so soon and took her good ol' time getting me checked. She wanted to make sure my water had indeed broke (even though I was leaking this fluid the entire time!) and tried unsuccessfully to get samples off sheets. She even said I have to look under the scope at one point. All I could think was, lady do you really think I am peeing myself this much?? Chris had finally reached my room and my contractions were very close together and also the strongest ones yet. I must have been yelling too much because the midwife told me to "lower my tone"?! WHAT?! I was ready to punch the midwife (which is very unlike me!) when Dr. Feio arrived. He checked me and said you are 6 cm! I was so relieved because I knew this meant I could get a room in labor & delivery and what I really needed at that point, the epidural!

The midwife came back in and asked if I wanted to walk or be wheeled into L&D. As she was asking this question, I had a crazy contraction and Chris said please get her a wheelchair. I truly believe my husband was the only one who could tell that I was about to give birth! As they wheeled me to L&D, I felt the urge to push and couldn't control it. It was like my body was saying, get her out now! We arrived at the L&D room and there was only one nurse there to check me in, get an IV started and hook me up to the monitors. As I stood up, more water gushed out and I said, "her head is right there!" The nurse somehow got me on the bed and sure enough there was Kara's head! I have never seen so many people run into a room as fast as they did! We went from 1 nurse to like 15 people in seconds. Dr. Feio was throwing his robe on and everyone kept telling me to breath through the contractions even though I couldn't help but push. The pain and pressure were unbelievable!!! All I wanted to do was push it away. With 4 good pushes, Kara came "shooting" out at 4:41! I felt so much better once she was out. Chris cut the cord and she was immediately taken over to the warmer for NICU to evaluate because (once again- same thing happened when Ryan was born) there was mecodium (sp?) in the amnio fluid. She checked out just fine and once I was all "patched up with stitches" (had a 3rd degree tear! uggg), I got to hold her. I was in complete shock at how fast it all happened and that she was here. I got everything I had hoped for (except all that pain!) with her delivery. I didn't get induced, didn't need a c-section and the delivery was very quick. :)

**below are some pictures and a small video of Kara at 1 week old!- Enjoy!**
I'm a peanut!
Mommy & Kara
Gift Exchange-Sadly, this is the only "family" photo from the hospital!
Big Brother Ryan meets baby sister Kara
Happy Father's Day, honey! :)
Kara ~ 1 week old

Friday, June 13, 2008

Labor Funny

Well there is nothing "funny" about labor but this cartoon was too cute and oh so true! BTW- I did not do this to my wonderful husband when I was induced with Ryan, I might have tried to strangle him after my epidural wore off after only 4 hours of relief but I don't recall doing anything harmful to him?! I am such a wimp when it comes to pain. I was begging for drugs the entire 33 hours! Ok, maybe begging half that time but being in labor for that long is no fun task!

We are about to hit my 39th week of pregnancy this weekend. This means we only have 1 more week before the "DD" (due date). Unfortunately, I do not have any updates on the baby. Our last ultrasound was quick and uneventful (that technician needs a lesson on bedside manner!), we didn't even get a picture! and my 38 week appt. today was also quick and I did not have an exam. So we don't know if my pregnancy has progressed more than 1 cm or not. As the end draws near, I can't help but relive my first labor story over and over in mind. It was such a traumatic but also beautiful experience. I was sad to have almost everything that could have gone wrong, go wrong, but in the end we had the most beautiful little boy in our arms. Hopefully soon "any day now" we will have our beautiful daughter in our arms and I will have all the yucky pregnancy/labor pains behind me!

Dear Kara,

It has been a long and at times very emotional pregnancy. We had several complications that caused a lot of worries, but we survived! Soon you will entering into our lives, creating a family of four. Even with your active kicks and bumps, I feel blessed to have carried and nurtured you for 9 months. I am very excited (as is your daddy, your big brother Ryan and all our family/friends) to meet you. We can't wait to see what or who you will look like- will you have blond hair and blue eyes like your brother? Will you have your Daddy's bottom lip pout or Mommy's teardrop eyes? We just know you will be beautiful!

Mommy and Daddy are looking forward to all the wonderful little girl things you will bring into our lives, getting to know your personality and watching you grow into a beautiful young lady some day. Your big brother Ryan is getting anxious for you to come out and play. He will teach you so many things!

So as we all patiently wait for that blessed day to arrive (your birthday!), please know that you are VERY much loved. Please come soon so we can show you the world and hold you in our arms!


PS- I know you are probably waiting for Daddy to finish up his projects before you make your grand arrival but Mommy is really starting to get very uncomfortable and the summer heat is not when you are ready, give me a sign! xoxo

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sprinkler Fun!

On Sunday we finally got a chance to hook up the Mickey Mouse (or as Ryan loves to call him- "Mick-E Da Mouse"!) sprinkler we got at Target a few weeks ago. This weekend was HOT HOT HOT and a little water fun was just what we needed. Well, Ryan and Daddy had all the water fun while Mommy sat, took pictures and enjoyed watching them. :)

Ryan was a little hesitant at first but started to enjoy it after Daddy ran through it a few times!

Enjoy the montage!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Showers of Happiness

On Saturday, my good friends Jamye and Wendy hosted a shower luncheon at the Viva Restaurant in West Reading. It was a nice gathering of all my girlfriends celebrating the "soon to be" arrival of baby Kara. The food was very good and gifts were very generous.
Wendy, me & Jamye

Wendy showed off her talent with creating awesome invitations, menus and favors. I still haven't seen the invite (hopefully someone saved one!) but I've seen her work for past showers and just know it was beautiful! I was surprised to see a menu that she printed out for everyone showing in detail what the appetizers, entrees and desserts were. The favors (see picture above) were so creative and cute as can be! Thanks Wendall for all your hard work-everything looked great!
The Cute Menu!

Jamye came up with a few games (unique ones might I add!) and we all had fun participating. The first game was called He said/She said- this is where she asked Chris and I to answer the same questions about parenting and the girls had to guess who said which answer. It was a tricky game because my darling husband surprised us all with answers that the girls thought I had said! The second game was called 'The Price Is Right'- baby item version! Jamye had a few items she bought (ie- hangers, baby wash, etc) and the girls had to guess the price of each one and then give her a total...the closest to the actual price wins. Both Wendy and Jen were VERY good at these games!! Thanks Jammers for the putting together the games- you definitely have a hidden talent that you should embrace more- maybe we should start our own event business? ;)

"The Price Is Right!" (GO JEN!)

I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends. They all took time out of their busy schedules and lives to spend the afternoon with me and baby Kara. Each and every one of you has touched my life in your own special way and I am so lucky to have your support and love! Thanks again for a beautiful shower (even if the weather was almost 100 degrees!). Baby Kara is going to be the best dressed little girl in town!
Kara is already spoiled!!

Jen and me

Lily (Jen's daughter)- she was our entertainment for the day!

Cecelia (Candi's oldest daughter), me & Candi (not pictured- baby Ava)

Kathy, me & Tina

Lauren & me


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Garden Party ~ 2008

With having to visit the DOB (doctors office building) at the Reading Hospital every week, I saw the Garden Party being advertised everywhere! I've been wanting to do more one on one things with Ryan before the baby comes and this sounded like it would be something Ryan would enjoy doing. So with the help of my cousin, Sahira, we headed over to the beautiful Reading Museum (located across from the Reading Hospital) today for some good 'ole fair fun.

We started out with Ryan's 1st pony ride. He was very excited to climb on the "horsey" and I was surprised at how well he handled riding the pony without me next to him! Check out our cute little cowboy!

After the pony ride, it was lunch time. A fun time at a fair wouldn't be complete without the fair food! We were lucky to get some fresh fruit along with the burgers, hot dogs and fries!

We ended our short stay (it was very hot today!) with Ryan checking out the ducks and beautiful garden flowers. I think the highlight of Ryan's day was seeing the "duckies!" Next year, I am sure he will be begging to go on the rides and get his face painted. It was a nice time and I can't thank Sahira enough for all her help. Hopefully she will be available next year too when there are two little ones! :)

The Garden Party will be open again tomorrow June 4th until 9pm. There is a rain date of Thursday, June 5th if the rain decides to stick around all day tomorrow. Check it out if you get a chance! It has Ryan's seal of approval! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy June!

Happy June everyone! Wow...where did the last 6 months go? Here comes SUMMER! I've had the song, "June is busting out all over..." in my head all day. Ok, all my Broadway loving friends...Name That Musical!

Today was my LAST day at work. I can't believe I'm done. I was actually kinda sad to leave...I didn't cry but I will definitely miss this field of work. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't always a piece of cake and getting yelled at on a daily basis was starting to get old, but there is something about helping people that I love doing. I haven't found "my true calling" in life (aka the perfect job) yet, but I know it will involve helping others. So with that said, GOOD BYE LEASING...hello motherhood again... :)

I also hit 37 weeks pregnant today. Only 3 more weeks to go and let me tell ya, I am ready to have my body back!!! Argg...the last month of pregnancy is very hard. Sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, etc. are all becoming nearly impossible to do. Especially sleep- it's crazy how your body can adjust to the lack of sleep. With Ryan still attending school 3 days a week, I am looking forward to taking some much needed naps! Ok- enough pregnancy venting for now.

Update on Kara- everything went well at my last appt. Her heartbeat sounded very strong and she seems to be growing at a nice steady pace. My blood pressure is fine, strep-b test came back negative, and I am still measuring where I should be. Now my weight, arggg, that's another story. I need to lay off the oreos!! ha! No seriously, I have gained as much as I did with Ryan's pregnancy. Which surprised me because I didn't eat nearly as many sweets with his! So it hasn't been bad, I just feel a lot "bigger" this time around.

I also had a conversation with Dr. Feio about my delivery with Ryan and he seems to be pushing c-section. I do not want to go down this route but I know that if it has to be done, it has to be done. Luckily, I am doing well enough that I could start labor naturally and if a c-section is necessary, then they will do it then. I also do not want to be induced this time around...cross your fingers I won't have to go through that as well! Our next visit is on Friday (6/6- I see the doctors every week now) and we are getting an ultrasound done to check the fluid levels. I am excited to see Kara (here's hoping she didn't grow another body part since March!!!) and hopefully I will get a nice picture that I can post.