Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Things I Love….




I love my little girl, my firstborn, my child that looks so much like her father but has so much of my attitude running through her.  I remember going to my very first ultrasound with her and immediately falling in love with the child growing inside me and when she finally arrived months later she was everything I could’ve ever hoped for.  She’ll be three in just a few months and I love watching her grow and watching her find her own interests.  She loves animals so much and can name the most random animals and her newest thing is telling you what different animals eat or asking what other ones eat.  I love sitting and watching her play with her toys and speak for them.  She loves going to school and gymnastics and will constantly practice the different things she learned at gymnastics throughout the week.  She says the most hilarious things all the time and makes observations that I wouldn’t expect a 2 year old to notice.  She’s had a bit of a hard time trying to find her “new normal” with a new little brother at home.  Her attitude reached a climax during those first two weeks but luckily my mom was here to help with the brunt of her attitude and for the most part she’s back to normal now.  On the other side of things, she’s the amazing big sister that we thought she would be.  She loves Finn so much and wants to help with him however she can.  Every morning she looks in his bed to check on him and when we’re out she loves to show everyone her baby brother. 



one week old




two weeks old




I love my new little man so much that I can’t seem to put him down.  I didn’t bond with him during the pregnancy like I did with Reese, it was a more difficult pregnancy and while I knew I loved him already it was that time we spent alone in the hospital that made me fall head over hills with my little boy.  So far he’s been an amazingly content little guy and has made the transition from one kid to two easier than I had imagined (for now).  He’s very quiet, except for when he wants to eat, and LOVES to snuggle with Mommy and Daddy.  I like watching the way he looks at Reese when she comes over to play with him on his playmat, he’ll stare at her so intently as she talks to him and “shows” him how to play with his toys.  He’s the perfect addition to our family and we all love him so much, even if he doesn’t let me sleep quite as long as I’d like to at night.



Not only do I have the cutest little girl and the cutest baby boy, but I also have the cutest puppy too.  The best thing about Jaeger is that she seems to be able to sense when you’re not feeling well and comes to cuddle with you and make you feel better.  Whenever I’ve had a long day, which was most of them while I was pregnant and trying to deal with a two year-old, she’d be there to curl up on my lap and watch TV with me.  She’s been a part of our family since we moved to Germany and two kids later we still love the furry member of our family as much as we did when we got her.



I can’t forget this guy.  He had to work extremely long shifts and all through the weekend last week giving him basically zero time with us, but he still changed Finn’s diapers in the middle of the night without complaint and comforted Reese in the middle of the night when she wasn’t feeling well.  He started his two weeks of paternity leave on Monday and we’re glad he gets to spend some time at home with us as we try and figure out a new routine.


And one last photo of these two on St.Patrick’s Day because they really are THAT cute


We Love Nana

This is what happy kids look like when Nana is in town:


We were lucky enough to have my mom come out to help us when Finn was born.  She arrived the Friday before Finn was born and we had some fun running errands in Trier that weekend, then luckily enough for us I was headed to the hospital that Tuesday and Finn was born the next day so the majority of her trip was spent with two grandkids.  It was really nice having her here to help keep Reese’s schedule the same and just give Reese extra attention so I could relax and have some bonding time with Finn.  As if the hours she spent playing pet shops and “beach blu-au” (a Reese made up game that is essentially a picnic) weren’t enough, she also cooked for us and kept the house spotless.  Oh how I enjoyed those first two weeks after Finn was born, it was like a mini vacation of laziness for me.  

Friday, March 11, 2011


Finn Everest Crandall

born March 2nd 2011 @ 5:56am

9lbs 15oz, 22in long, 15in head circumference


It was quite a journey, from my perspective, to get Finn out so I’m going to start from the beginning.  I’d been having a lot of shooting pain in my baby exit area for a number of weeks but had been told that that isn’t the right kind of pain I need to be in for pushing a baby out.  I’d been having contractions as well but they weren’t regular and most of them were very light.  On Monday February 28th I went in for my check up and I was in a very emotional state due to lack of sleep and constantly feeling like I’d been kicked in the crotch.  I made it through my fetal monitoring with out an emotional break down but when I was in with the doctor I couldn’t contain it anymore.  He asked if I had any questions and I asked him when I could be induced which I believe is the last thing I said without having to concentrate on not crying.  Dr.Jerono could tell I was beyond uncomfortable and my blood pressure was way up for the first time as well so he said I could be induced at anytime I wanted, I could even walk back to the delivery room right now and start the process but he wanted to see if I was dilated because if I wasn’t the induction would probably take a few days.  After he checked he said I was about a 2 so I was  good candidate for drinking their dreaded cocktail.  I had asked if I could skip the cocktail since it hadn’t been very effective when I had Reese and it was insanely disgusting and he said yes but somehow by the end of the conversation we were back to me starting with the cocktail.  I went in for my ultrasound after that and they estimated that Finn was already about 8.5 lbs but he couldn’t get an accurate estimate since Finn’s head was so low,  so then he said that he wanted me to be induced either that day or the next so that Finn didn’t get any bigger.  I decided that since I was already so emotional and had had so little sleep, that I would go home and try to relax and spend a fun last day with Reese as an only child and then come back the next day and be induced.  Nate and I both felt very good about our decision and we ended up having a very relaxing evening with Reese, we even took one last family photo:


Dr.Jerono had instructed us to have a relaxing breakfast and come in after that, so Nate took Reese to school and after we got a few more things ready we headed over to the hospital and got checked in.  We were up to the delivery room just before noon and started the fetal monitoring and then the midwife told me that I was dilated to a 1 and still had a little more to go before I was fully effaced, Nate and I were wondering what happened to the other cm I was dilated the day before but we tried not to be discouraged.  After they plugged in my IV they gave me the dreaded cocktail and sent me to my room to drink it and hopefully begin labor.  Despite the disgusting taste of the cocktail I downed it as quickly as I could and hoped that this time around it would do something.  With Reese I took the cocktail at 10am on Wednesday and didn’t have her until 11:20pm on Thursday so Nate and I had prepped ourselves for having Finn Wednesday night but we’re hoping he’d be out by noon on Wednesday.  We pretty much just hung out in the room all afternoon watching TV, but I had begun to feel contractions so we were excited that maybe it was working this time.  We went back to the delivery room at 4pm for more fetal monitoring and it was pretty uneventful but they said I was having contractions and to go have dinner and then come back at 7 got more monitoring.  Even though we knew they meant go to my room and have dinner we decided we’d rather escape the hospital for a few hours and go home for dinner with Reese, so we did.  It was so relaxing to be at home for a few hours and it definitely helped to take my mind off the impending pain.  We went back at 7 and by then I was beginning to feel a lot of pain so they gave me a little something and told me to walk around and come back at 10:30.  It was really cold outside by then so Nate and I were stuck just walking around the hospital and making circuits on the stairs.  When we went back for more fetal monitoring Finn’s heart rate begin to sky rocket and the midwife was a little worried because it wasn’t coming down and my blood pressure was still up.  Nate and I could tell that if Finn’s heart rate didn’t improve soon we were going to be having a c-section.  They started me on some saline and some homeopathic something to try and get Finn’s heart rate to improve, I started rubbing my stomach and it calmed him down enough to get back in the acceptable range, but they were still worried.  Since I was at 4cm by this point they decided to give me an epidural in the hopes that it would calm both Finn and I down.  The anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural and to make a very long story short, the first time she tried she punctured my spinal dura and a little bit of fluid leaked out so she had to give me a different type of epidural that was in a different place, I didn’t realize this at the time but this little puncture would play more of a role later on.  The epidural helped with the contractions but I immediately became concerned when they checked to see how far along I was and I could feel it, with Reese I couldn’t feel anything and that’s the way I liked it, I tried not to let myself think to much about it right then but I told the midwife and she didn’t seem to have an issue with it.  For the rest of the night I was stuck at 5cm every time she checked and even with the oxytocin it was slow going.  I had a lot of pain in my pelvis and the midwife said that that was Finn basically banging his head against my bones trying to get out and that the epidural wouldn’t do anything for that and sometime between 4:30 and 5 in the morning I thought my water had broke but they couldn’t tell for sure.  A little after that they came to inject some more of the epidural medicine and I was feeling a lot better when all of the sudden I had massive pain and pressure and I told Nate to ring the bell for the midwife because I felt like I was going to poop everywhere.  The midwife came in and told me that I was at a 10 and Finn was pushing his way out, I told her she was wrong and that I just needed to poop really really bad but she seemed positive that that feeling was Finn coming and not a giant poop.  I’ll spare some of the details and just say that I never ever ever had the desire to feel a child come out of me and yet that’s exactly what I had to feel.  I was clutching Nate to my chest and biting his hand and they ended up giving me an episiotomy and after 20-30 mins of pushing and me begging Nate not to make me, Finn was out.  He was a purplish gray color and I could see him lying on the table between my legs and after they gave him a quick check there they handed him to me and Dr.Jerono had finally rolled out of bed and wandered into my room, I did in fact inform him that he was late to the party.

DSC_0033 They took Finn away for just a second to measure him and while the doctor was sewing me up he made some comment about a 10lb baby, Nate and I were confused and asked what he was talking about and then he clarified Finn’s size with the midwife and told us that Finn was 9 lbs 15 oz.  Nate and I were pretty shocked since we hadn’t been expecting him to be so large.  Once they gave me a few stitches they gave Finn back and we got to relax in the delivery room with our new little boy for a little bit.

DSC_0036 DSC_0038 DSC_0041 They finally wheeled me to my room shortly after 8 and the nurse came and got Finn to administer a glucose test that he needed since he was such a large baby.  Nate and I took a nap and when we woke up Nate went to the nursery and got Finn.  Reese had gymnastics that day so she and my mom came over around 10:45 and Reese finally got to meet her little brother Finn.

DSC_0048 DSC_0051 DSC_0053 Reese seemed to enjoy her little brother and was excited to see Mommy again as well.  After their visit, Nate took them home so that he could get some rest and Finn and I spent the rest of the day together.  It was at this point that I realized the effects of the botched epidural.  Apparently 75% of people that get a dura puncture and lose some spinal fluid will end up with a massive headache and have to have some kind of treatment that involves putting blood or something in to the spinal cavity to make up for the lose, I was really really tired and wasn’t paying much attention at the time so I don’t remember the details.  Because of this risk I was only to get out of bed to use the bathroom and I was to try and lay down as much as possible, I also had to drink at least 3 liters of water a day and I had to have infusions of saline to try and keep my body extra hydrated.  Beyond that since Finn was so large there had been a lot of blood lost when they delivered and they were worried about me being anemic so they were pumping me with even more fluids and some oxytocin as well to help contract the uterus and get all that excess blood out of there.  Needless to say not only was I sore from my 10lb baby but I was also carting around my IVs every time I went to the bathroom.  I tried to get some sleep during the day but for the most part I just got a few minutes here and a few minutes there.  When the doctor came in to check on me that evening he suggested I let the nurses take Finn to the nursery for the night because the thing I needed most at the moment was sleep.  Nate came back with food that evening and stayed for a little bit but then he left to go be with Reese and once again Finn and I were having a little mother son time. 

DSC_0054That night they were worried about his glucose levels and told me that if they didn’t improve soon they were going to have to send him to the hospital in Trier to get treatment so I was to feed him every 2 hours and then they’d give him a glucose test to see if his numbers improved.  For the majority of the night they brought him in and had me feed him and then took him away for his test and brought him back and woke me up when it was time to feed him again.  By the time Thursday morning came his numbers were fine and they were no longer testing his glucose levels.  I however was back on my infusions and still not allowed to get out of bed.   Nate was taking Reese to school that morning so my mom came over and spent some time with Finn and I until he arrived with Reese again. 

DSC_0076 Reese had lunch with us and seemed to enjoy spending some more time with Mommy and Finn and while she had cried for Mommy the majority of the way home the day before, this time she left without too much of a fuss.  When the doctor came in later that day he said that I was looking much better and they were going to take me off the infusions and take my IV out.  The chief of anesthesiology also came in and was glad that I hadn’t yet had a headache but said I still needed to be drinking lots of water and that I needed to stay off my feet for at least the rest of the day. 

DSC_0079 DSC_0087 DSC_0114 Nate, Finn and I spent a lazy Thursday afternoon laying in my hospital bed with the hopes that since my IV was now out we’d be able to go home the next day.  On Friday morning I asked the doctor if I’d be able to go home and he said as soon as the pediatrician checked Finn out we could go.  She came around that afternoon and gave him high marks and by 3pm I was finally back in my own home.  We had a sore couple of days but I was finally able to get some sleep and with my mom around I’m able to relax a little bit and try and get some rest and spend time with both my kids.  Reese is still very fond of Finn but she’s giving the rest of us attitude so hopefully her life will find a new normal soon and the attitude will stop.

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