Saturday, January 30, 2016

Birth Story: Kate Alma Lancaster

Little Kate is here and we are beyond in love with her. It's insanely crazy how fast you fall instantly in love. 

Here is her story. 

Nothing went according to plan. And I mean not a thing. The whole thing was a true test of patience, understanding, and just going with the flow. The complete opposite of me and my personality... 

The organized, perfect plan was to be induced on Tuesday the 26th at 5:30am. My mom was to fly in on Monday afternoon. We were going to have lunch, go play with the kids, and get all situated before Dan and I headed to the hospital the next day. It was a really good plan. 

The Thursday before (The 21st) I woke up and went to the bathroom for the 100th time that morning. This time it was a bit different... I had lost my mucus plug (Super gross, I know. I hate the word, I hate how scared I was and it was just all super not what I wanted to see.) 
So I called my doctor and talked to the nurse, she told me that could be a sign of labor or it means you could go into labor in three weeks. Doesn't really indicate a whole lot. So she said just keep calm and if I want to come to the doctors office to get checked out I could. I was just heading out to drop June off and go shopping for the kids and didn't want to drive all the way down there, so I told her I was ok. I dropped June off at school, and did my shopping. I got a call back from the doctor and it turns out that he did want to see me. So I finished my shopping, called Dan and we headed to the doctors office. Everything was looking fine. I had dilated to a two. Nothing crazy progressing, but he was pretty confident that I wouldn't make it to the following Tuesday, so we moved up my induce date TO THE NEXT DAY!! I went into super mode! I first had to call my mom to see if there was in anyway she could fly out THAT DAY! She too went into super mode and she and my dad were able to get her here that night at 10:00pm. 

The day went into blur mode as I tried finishing the "Before baby comes" to-do list. I cleaned like a mad women, finished all the shopping I needed to get done and packed our hospital bags. I picked June up from school and we had a pretty regular afternoon. I had made dinner, but Dan and I decided to have one last "fun dinner" before baby came the next day. Our favorite thing to do is order wings and veg on the couch, catching up on favorite shows. 
So we put the kids to bed around 8. I cried kissing them and trying to let them know how much our world is about to change. How Nana would be here in the morning to take care of them. It was really hard leaving their room. It was really hard leaving Owen for some reason. He's such a sensitive little soul and I worried so much about him and how he was going to take all this. After an emotional bedtime,  Dan went to pick up wings. As he was walking out the door with shoes and coat on, I said "Hey, will you just pack your hospital bag real quick?!" He was kind of like "Are you kidding me?! Right now?!" but he amused me and packed his bag. 
Meanwhile my mom was on her flight and on her way to Dallas! So amazing of her to do this. I mean it was such a last minute switch but they made it happen and I am so grateful. I was going to pick her up at 10pm, leaving the house at 9:30. Dan got home, we had dinner and we were content just snuggled on the couch finishing up "Top Chef." 

Then it just all happened. 

I felt a little "pop" and a little trickle of liquid in my pants. For reals, I thought I just peed my pants. I just got up and went to the bathroom. The liquid kept coming, but yet I wasn't peeing. (Too much detail?! Sorry people) It was weird and then it clicked that it was my water breaking. On its own. That was a whole new experience for me. I walk out to Dan slowly and calmly tell him "Um, I think my water just broke..." 
I've never seen Dan go so quickly into action. He threw the bags in the car (Which I'm so glad he had packed!!) and I tried getting a hold of my friend Mary. We were seriously a half hour from picking up my mom. Of course my water had to break!! 
We got a hold of her husband and he got in touch with her and she was over in five minutes! THANK YOU MARY!! 
We left so quickly after Mary left that I don't think I even said Hi or anything to her. Hahaha I was panicked a little bit. 

On the way to the hospital the contractions started. They weren't crazy strong but they were definitely contractions, which made the car ride even longer. We got in touch with my mom as she was boarding the plan. I explained what was going on and that she would end up having to get a taxi to our house. She was such a trooper and told us to not worry about a thing! It was amazing at how calm everyone was. 

We finally arrived a the hospital and I think Dan and I were both feeling a bit better once we made it there. 
The contractions slowly started getting stronger and closer together. Again terrifying. I have never gone into labor on my own, where the pain wasn't controlled. I was on my own. And I was awful at it. They kept telling me to breath and I would just hold my breath. They told me to sit down in the wheel chair and I kept standing. It felt better to stand! 

It scared me to my core. It's funny because a lot of women, if not most go into labor on their own, so it's not even that traumatizing, but for someone like me, who has had her children's births completely planned out, going into labor on my own was terrifying!! I felt a huge relief once we made it to the room and everything was being watched and monitored. 
The contractions were strong, but I knew I could get my epidural at anytime, so I waited it out until the contractions were just too much. The yellow gown really added to the pregnancy glow! 

Monitoring the baby and me. 

The contractions were getting so close together and SO painful, so I asked for my epidural and was expecting to go smooth sailing from there... 
My body does something funky with epidurals and it only worked on my right side. People, it was awful. I was completely and I mean COMPLETELY numb on the right side and then my left was feeling EVERYTHING! Every movement, EVERY CONTRACTION! 
I literally have never felt so much pain in my entire life. The contractions were SO SO SO SO painful to the point where I kind of started yelling at everyone. I was yelling at the anesthesiologist that it wasn't working and what did she do wrong and so on and so forth. I was yelling at the nurse to stop telling me to calm down. I was yelling at Dan, for no reason. It was just so painful that I needed an outlet. Everyone was so beyond calm with me. Even while I was yelling at them. They rubbed my back and were giving me breathing techniques. It really helped. Once the contractions passed I was apologizing like crazy and they were so nice about it. I did feel really bad because it was no ones fault that my body was having a reaction to the epidural in a weird way. 
At one point I was curled up in a ball with my head pressed up against the rails on the bed with my arms wrapped around the rails and Dan. Once again, the most pain I have ever been in. My head was so sensitive the next day from pushing me head so hard against the bar. They up'ed my dose and rolled me to my left side. I finally was having some relief. I think I then spent the next hour apologizing over and over again. 

My doctor wasn't on call, so I ended up having a midwife. At first I wasn't super thrilled about it, but really didn't have a choice. She ended up being super calm, nice and reassuring she knew what she was doing. 

She came in to check on me, and let me know that baby was pretty much coming and to NOT PUSH! I really couldn't feel anything at this point, so I just laid as still as I possibly could. The midwife and nurses got ready super quick! Within five minutes and only one contraction and push, Kate Alma Lancaster made her arrival. 

I instantly started crying. I LOVED how I got to hold her right after she was born. With my other two, they cleaned her up first, did all the measurements and then I was able to hold them, but Kate instantly was placed in my arms and she stayed there. It was heavenly. 

She is here! Kate Alma Lancaster. 
We liked the name Kate mostly because it's short, four letters and goes well with June and Owen. Alma comes from Dan's side of the family. Alma was Dan's Grandma's name. Dan's Dad's mom. We love it. Alma is a bit of a complicated name just due to the fact that in our church we had a pretty popular prophet named Alma, but we really wanted to have her carry on the name from the Lancaster side of the family. Dan's Dad is an only child, so we really loved giving her Alma as her middle name. 

We were wheeled into our room and the next 24 hours were a blur. Having her at 2:30 in the morning really threw us off. It made for a long stay in the hospital. And we were really tired! 

So we posted up in our room and just started the healing process and let the visitors roll in. 
We were first greeted by June, Owen and my mom. My mom made is safetly and the kids were so excited to have her here. 

June is in love with baby Kate. She couldn't get enough of her! 

 And neither could Nana! 
We are forever grateful to my mom who first jumped through hoops to get here, from leaving her mission to hopping on a flight that day and taking care of our other two kiddos without any instruction from us! She's amazing! 

Owen wanted really nothing to do with her. Just wanted to play with his trains. What a kid. 
Our family of five! 


Friends came and said hello, we chatted for a bit and then slowly night  came and we realized we have been awake for almost 24 hours. Dan came into bed with me and we reminiced about what it was like just as a family of three. And now look at us!! 

That night was the super awesome cluster feeding, where all Kate wanted to do was eat every 10 minutes. No literally every 10 minutes. It's what babies do and I remember doing the exact same thing with June and Owen. 

This was a 3:45am. I was so tired but beyond happy. 
The next morning was Saturday, A nurse came in super early in the morning. I wasn't too keen on this  nurse to begin with, but she came in and said that Kate was only weighing in at 7lbs 13oz. That she had lost 16% of her body weight in less than 24 hours. So she tells us this, but then is just standing there like we are supposed to give her a reason why?!? She was expecting us to have an answer?!? I was SUPER annoyed, it was so early and I was so tired. I started to get upset with her telling her that we aren't the doctors, we aren't the nurses, we don't have the answers... Dan calmly stepped in and asked what needed to be done. The nurse came in to weigh Kate again and then said we just needed to talk to the pediatrician when she came in. I hated this nurse at this point. Making us wait and panic over her weight! Lame nurse! 

We finally got some answers and Kate was perfectly healthy and fine. Eating plenty. It turns out there was some discrepancy when she was born and 8lbs 7oz was wrong. Sadly we do not know what she officially weighed when she was born, but they are estimating around 7lbs 14oz. We aren't sure where the mix up happened but it did. We are just happy nothing was wrong with her and that she was eating well. I was also very happy when my OB said we could go home a day early! He said we knew what we were doing and would get more rest at home ( that's an understatement!) 
It was super awesome to spend less than 48 hours in the hospital! We got Kate dressed in her going home outfit, filled out all proper paperwork and then headed home! It's funny how much more careful you drive with a newborn in the car! 

Being home has been a whirlwind. It took my breath away the first couple of days getting used to knowing I now have three children! We are beyond blessed with a healthy little girl who eats and sleeps like a champ! We have never had such a calm baby! (Knock on wood) she is officially a week old and we are completely infatuated with her and loving being a family of five!! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Potty Trained Owen!

My little OD has conquered the challenge of potty training, and I have conquered the challenge of potty training him!! It was NOT easy AT ALL!! But he's awesome and stuck with it and we were successful!! 
Here is the run down... Get ready for a lot potty talk! 

The whole potty training Owen has been on my mind for a while. I knew he wasn't ready quite as early as June was, so we waited and then the holidays hit and we waited and then I we have this little baby coming, so I thought that we would wait, but the more I thought about it, the more anxious I got about waiting too long, dealing with a new born and potty training and then really lose my motivation and not potty train him at all until he was older. 
So, the week that Dan went back to work I figured I would just do the "3 day training" thing I did with June, and see how it went. Dan was pretty busy with work and had a lot going on, so he was gone a lot that week, and in all honesty it just made it easier to potty train. He was on a business trip the whole week I potty trained June and it was kind of nice not having to worry about dinners, and we were able to just stick to the schedule without any interruptions... NOT that Dan is an interruption but the distraction of exciting daddy being home, caused accidents... 
Since Dan had a busy week it pushed me even more to at least attempt potty training Owen. 

I did the exact same thing I had done with June. It was successful the first go around, so I figured I would make a go at it again. Well, it didn't go as according to plan. 

I started the 1st day on a Wednesday. Owen and I went and picked out some "special" underwear and plus his Paw Patrol ones he got for Christmas, we were set. I did grab one generic brand undies just in case we needed them with lots of accidents. GOOD THING I DID!! 

I rolled the rug back, put the potty in the middle of the floor with books, and cartoons ready to be turned on. I set the timer for every 20 minutes and we prepared ourselves to be quarantined in the house for the week. I learned quickly that staying home like that was much easier with just one child, but we had things we needed to do and June had activities we couldn't miss. We did the best we could. The first day though, we were at home and did not leave all day. I prepped ourselves for that with a run to the dollar store and loaded up on crafts and activities for the kids to do. That way we could stay close to the potty and the timer. 

When the kids woke up, they thought it was pretty fun to have the little potty in the middle of the living room. I instantly switched Owen into his big boy undies and we set the timer. We were a go! 

It was a long morning!! A loooooong morning. I made the mistake of expecting it to go like June's potty training experience. My fault for that, but had no successes in the potty ALL MORNING LONG! I had already kind of given up and it only being the first day, that was a bad sign. Also my fault to have such a bad attitude towards it. I really didn't think potty training was actually going to happen. I just wasn't in it. But I promised myself three days or at least until the weekend, to see how it went, so we stuck out the first day. 

Owen must of known that it wasn't looking good so he FINALLY went in the potty!!  We claimed our first success!! Then it was time for naps and I was really relieved! Constantly watching him, making sure he didn't go anywhere in the house that could be stained with pee and the blasted timer going off every 20 minutes. I was already cooked and we had the rest of the day to go. 

After naps, he woke up wet (expected) and peed a small amount in the toilet. It was then accident, accident, accident. I was done. What was I thinking doing this... But Owen was so excited about his sticker chart and M&M's that I decided to keep going. 

Yes, I kept a very detailed log. Honestly it works for me and I loved having the reference from my last blog post about potty training. 

Potty chart Day one. 

We woke up and did the exact same thing we did the day before. We did have to leave the house for bit to take June to school, and I just prayed for him to not have an accident. It was good to have June in school for the day, so that I could just focus on Owen and not feel like such a bad mom for neglecting June. 

We got home, I stripped Owen down and he was just hanging out in his undies. 
For the record day two was HELL! I am sorry for the harsh language, really, but it was the worst day of potty training! I pretty much cried all day. I kept telling myself, Why was I doing this, I'm so tired, I'm so pregnant, whats the point? Who cares if I have two kids in diapers... So on and so forth. It all ran through my head. "Three days Les" Thats what I kept telling myself and Owen was so happy with his underwear on that I had to just keep going. 

By nap time I was COMPLETELY DONE! I had even put Owen back into a diaper, and in all honesty I felt really relieved. I just couldn't bare the thought of cleaning up another accident. I called Dan, and he told me that if I really wanted to quit it was ok and we could try again later... I was so done. I saw this and it was exactly how I felt by the time Owen went down for his nap. 

Day two was so beyond awful. Owen was fighting me with the whole timer thing, He was just constantly having accidents. I was getting mad and wondering who pees this much?!? He hated putting a diaper back on, and I felt so awful for making him put it back on. It was just all around a rough day. A REALLY ROUGH DAY! Dan came home later that night, and saw how extremely tired I was and took care of the kids baths and made it his priority to put them to bed. I just cried. 
We had ZERO success that day. I told Dan I was done and that we would just have to wait until later. He was totally understanding and I felt like a failure. 

I woke up that morning, but didn't put the potty out in the living room. I just kept it in the bathroom. I wasn't sure if I should just completely put it away or what... 
I was feeling a bit better about the whole thing and figured I might as well at least finish out the three days. As soon as the kids woke up, I took Owen straight to the potty to put undies on. Dan was very surprised because after the day before it was pretty clear I was done. But after sleeping on it, I knew I had to just give it more of my time and effort. 
He woke up completely dry in his pull ups. With undies on, he had a bit of a dribble of an accident and a HUGE PEE IN THE POTTY!!!! SUCCESS!! So, we kept going. I did realize that Owen needed to just figure it out on his own. The kid cannot be pushed into anything, so I stopped setting the timer, and let him just kind of learn for himself. If he hadn't gone pee every two hours or so, I would simply just ask and if he told me no, then I wouldn't force the issue. He did so so so much better that morning! 
He did drag over a chair at one point to try and reach the M&M's. This is how I found him. Haha it was pretty funny. I totally caved and gave him one. We both needed the stress release. 

That day, June had a birthday party to go to, and it was horribly frightening to go out. We were only on day three, He hadn't been on any big potties yet, and I knew we would be gone for a few hours. I hesitated to even go, but June really wanted to see her friends and after being stuck in the house so much, I couldn't blame her. 
We made it to the birthday party, and I watched Owen like a hawk. I even thought of maybe just putting him in a pull up for the party, but I thought, no. Let him learn, put him in big undies and deal with the consequences. Step it up Lesli! I gave myself a lot of pep talks!
He did SO GOOD!! We played and had lunch with our friends, then he said "Toot, potty" Thats his code words for I need to go. So we attempted the big potties and they scared him. I didn't expect anything less. He told me several times he needed to "Toot, potty" but as soon as we walked in the bathroom he ran out. It was just too scary. He then had an accident. I felt so bad because he really was trying! I completely forgot about our little fold out potty seat that can sit on big potties but even then I wasn't sure he would go because he was still used to the little potty training toilet. 
I got him all cleaned up, changed his pants and undies and we headed home. Really it turned out ok. We survived our first outing and on day three! That's big! 

Day three was a complete turn around from day two. I figured where we were actually having successes we should stick with it! I am so glad we did!!! 

A blissful day! He didn't have a single accident, woke up dry and we all felt like we could breath a little easier. That maybe he was actually getting the hang of it! 

It was church day! Nursery!! Another big scary thing! He wouldn't be with us for two hours, but he did great. We still weren't on big potties yet, but he did go on the little toilet they have in the nursery room! It was a big victory! 
After church, He did have a poop accident. The poor kid is a chronic constipated child and so when he goes, he goes. It was his first accident though with poop and he did NOT like it. I think that helped him learn to tell us quicker when he needed to poop! 

Dan got him cleaned up and headed home. Then he had seriously the biggest poop I have ever seen the kid make! (SORRY THIS IS SUPER GROSS! FEEL FREE TO STOP READING!) I  might also  scar my children for life when they read this in our blog books later on in life. Hahaha sorry kids!! 

It went well enough on day five and I felt like we were actually getting to the point where he was potty trained! 

DAY 6: 
It was a Monday, so we were able to be home much more. I figured that it was time to put the little potty away and get him used to going on the big potty! He wasn't super thrilled about that. He liked his tiny potty and was sad when I put it away. But we got him a sweet little seat that hooks onto the big potty when he needs to go. He got to pick it out so that helped sitting on the potty. The first time he went, it really scared him and he wanted off instantly, but with singing "Wheels on the bus" and "Patty Cake" he learned that it wasn't too scary. There was no looking back from then on. 

He did his business on the big potty all day long! 

DAY 7: 
I had a doctors appointment and we were out and about of the house basically all morning. We dropped June off from school, shopped a bit, had my appointment and had lunch with daddy! Owen totally nailed it! He peed in the big potty and didn't have a single accident. He was telling us when he needed to go and everything! 
Super successful day!! 

I stopped keeping track after we hit the week mark! He has had zero accidents and even peed at the park! He is telling us when he needs to go, and waking up completely dry from naps and bedtime. He has even woken up a few times in the night to tell us he needs to go!! 

So I called it... He is potty trained! 

He filled out his chart completely and was able to go to the store and pick out basically any toy he wanted (with a spending limit of course!) 

He picked out this truck and it hasn't left his hand since. He even sleeps with it. We are now officially done with the potty chart and M&M's and now he is just my potty trained little boy!! 

 All in all the experience was awful! hahaha!!
But I am so happy that we stuck it out. That I took a step back and realized that Owen needed to be potty trained differently than June. When I did that everything changed. Owen was a bit harder to potty train than June was, but Owen caught on WAY quicker. Given though, that June was about six months young. 
I am so beyond proud of him for how quickly he grasped the concept. I no longer fear where he is or what he is doing. I know he will come and tell me if he needs to go. It's so nice. I mean its super annoying to now have to find a bathroom everywhere you go, but we are taking it with heart. It's such a successful thing to get potty trained! It's a big deal to them and it is to me too! I have to admit I give myself a big shout out for not quitting! 9 months pregnant and all! (I really need to stop potty training my children when I'm so pregnant! Haha)  It's an accomplishment that is no easy task!!! So beyond proud of my big boy!!!! 

Now, lets just hope he doesn't regress when his little sister arrives! :) 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

38 Weeks... Small Update

38 Weeks.

This isn't a big pregnancy update. In fact I think I might have done my last one at 37 weeks. We are so close and really, each doctors appointment is basically the same, so nothing crazy new to report! 

There are just a few things that I wanted to share being at 38 weeks pregnant. 

I've officially decided I am done being pregnant. It's time and I think my kids are ready to have their more energized mom back and to be able to bounce on me and use me as a human jungle gym again! Haha
Owen was laying on my stomach and the baby gave him a good jolt to the head. He did not like that! It made me laugh!! 

I have also officially hit exactly 164 with two weeks to go. At this point I don't really care. I'm so close that it's kind of like whatever. I know I'm going to beat that number with this pregnancy, its the shedding of the weight that has me worried.... Oh geez, I'm gonna miss eating everything and anything without feeling the guilt. Goodbye Chick Fil A, more than once a week. 

Good news though, is that we are absolutely on the final stretch! At the appointment we set my induce date to be on the 26th and even better news is that my mom got church approval (meaning she can leave Colorado from her calling) to come and help out with the kids and baby!! What a huge relief!! It is so so hard being away from family, so knowing she can make it is a big weight off my shoulders! Of course if this baby comes at an unplanned time, we have made arrangements with friends and my sisters know they are on call as well! So we've got this! 

I'm not progressing very fast, and my doc doesn't think I'll be going into labor anytime soon. Soon as in days. I'm getting this baby out in two weeks whether she likes it or not! Haha just kidding, but really... 

Everything else is pretty much all set! I am working on some last minute projects and just trying to finish up a few loose ends. Since next week is officially my last full week, I'm hoping to spend some good quality time with each of my kids. One on one. I know life goes on after baby, but it's a change of life and pace and I just want my kids to know that with this change coming, they are still my whole world and priority. 

Dan is getting beyond excited. I honestly don't know what it is about this pregnancy but he has been so super jazzed about it! He's the coolest and has handled the pregnant Lesli very well! 

We are getting excited and anxious all at the same time. We are ready. Dan isn't really looking forward to the labor and delivery part, as for me, in a really weird way, I kind of like it. I guess its just all so surreal and I like the challenge of getting this baby here. Oh man, I know I sound crazy, but it just doesn't scare me. The scary part is the waiting and hoping everything works out according to plan! We shall see! 

So I've managed to take a picture in the same blue sweater at 38 weeks pregnant with all three of my kids. I still can't get over how fat my face was with June! It's also fun to see just how much bigger I am with my girls than I was with Owen. Plus how my belly is shaped differently. Pregnancy is weird.