Monday, April 28, 2014

Lily takes a selfie

Up front I'll say I'm not a big fan of the word "selfie", but I cant think of a better way to describe the wondrous pictures that Lily has taken on my phone and iPad. Here are a few of the more enjoyable snapshots she has taken in the past few months. Enjoy:

 She hadn't figured out the flip camera button yet.

There we go.

Hand in the lens. 

Concentration city. 

 Gotta make sure her favorite book is documented for record keeping.


Making sure the coast is clear. 

My personal favorite. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Smile Harrison!

The Henrys aren't really "posed picture" people. Murphy's Law tends to make appearances on any picture day...and it did not fail for Harrison's newborn photo session. We decided to pack up the entire family to try for some of those adorable sibling pictures that Pinterest leads you to believe are possible. (liars, they are all liars!)

Harrison peed on Chris no less than 5 minutes after arrival and then proceeded to stay wide awake for most of the session. Precious sleeping newborn photos...not for the Henrys. Lily refused to smile or stay still for pictures while Harrison continued to pee on things. Thankfully, Rachel of Rachel Erin Photography was a super champ and managed to get some cute shots while not running for the hills! These are some of our favorites:

Thanks so much to Rachel Erin Photography for putting up with the Henrys! We were a hot mess express!

But...I love my family...goober faces and all!

That last picture melts my heart!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ahoy Captain!

What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been! Being a family of four has been amazing and amazingly busy! I feel like this "maternity leave" has flown by much faster than it did with Lily and with this being my last week, I figured it was time to catch up on blogging while Harrison snoozes! To kick it off, please enjoy the story of how he arrived...

Harrison's Birth Story

One would assume that with this being my second pregnancy, I would know the difference between indigestion and labor...but no. In the month of February I thought I was going into labor no less than 20 times. I was so miserable and uncomfortable that with every kick, twist, or cramp I just knew that this was "it"...only to be faced with the reality that he wasn't evacuating anytime soon. An inner battle was starting to take over...should I stick with our birth plan of striving for a natural birth or should I selfishly ask to be induced to end this misery of pregnancy? When I waddled in to my 39 week appointment and was told I was still only 2 cms and it would probably be another week, the selfish side won. My doctor, the fabulous Dr. Dickerson, could see the disappointment and broached the topic of an induction. He assured me that it would be safe and that it was very likely that I could stick with my birth plan of a (semi) drug-free vaginal birth. Although this was the news I selfishly wanted to hear, I still reluctantly agreed. We scheduled for the following day and I left the appointment in tears. I'm pretty sure the nurse and everyone in the waiting room thought I was a crazy person! Although a decision had been made, the inner debate continued. My previous birth experience was proof that one medical intervention typically leads to another. Although a healthy, happy baby is all that matters, I was terrified of a cesarean birth. So, a couple hours (and sleeves of Oreos) later, I called and canceled. Despite being physically and mentally exhausted, I just couldn't get over the increased possibility of a cesarean birth. I wasn't even to my due date yet so I made the conscious decision to regroup in a week. This was on Thursday.

Friday came with all the wonders that Friday brings. I cleaned the house, did some laundry, repacked my hospital bag (for the 25th time), and basically just puttered the day away. Chris and Lily came home from work/school and we enjoyed a relaxing evening and hit the sack early....thank goodness. I was up at 2:30am for my second bathroom break when it happened. The infamous passing of the mucus plug and bloody show. If you aren't sure what these little wonders are, do not Google it. Trust me. They are what they sound like. Blerug! I excitedly jumped back in bed when the contractions hit. Now, I can hardly contain my excitement...finally, this is IT! With them being 20 minutes apart, I forced myself to relax and get some sleep. What would inevitably be proven again, is that my labors follow the mantra of "slow and steady wins the race". We were in for a long Saturday!

Reinforcements were called in and GranZee arrived to play with Lily...who was oblivious to everything happening! Oh the joys of being two! In addition to getting plenty of rest, another lesson learned from birth #1 was to eat for strength. So around 6:30pm, I took down some mac & cheese. Probably not a traditional choice but delicious nonetheless. At this point, contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and the decision was made...we packed up the car and said our goodbyes before heading to the hospital!

We arrived at Woman's Hospital around 7pm and went straight in for assessment. Thankfully the nurse checking me was very understanding and "normal" because when she told me that I was a solid 5cms my reaction was a little...uncouth. I basically shouted "F*** Yeah!". After everyone had a good laugh, we headed for labor and delivery in very high spirits! Not only was it happening...but it was progressing nicely, naturally, and in line with my (typed) birth plan!

Once we got settled in our labor and delivery suite, our amazing nurse came and talked to us about our expectations and desires. She was on board to support us through our natural birth plan but we set a code word, just in case. I hate bananas (gross) so that was our word to cue it was time for some meds. Our only hiccup was that Dr. Dickerson was not able to make it for the birth. While this was a little upsetting, he prepped us pretty well during all our appointments so I was confident that things could stay on track. So we continued on! I was fitted with the mobile monitors so I could walk around and change my position as the contractions grew stronger.

After a couple hours and really intense contractions, I was checked and to my horror I was still only 5 cms. I wasn't progressing and the baby's heart rate wasn't constant so the first medical intervention was made...the on-call doctor broke my water. After an insane amount of liquid gushed out of me, we waited for the contractions to speed up...but they didn't. The heart rate didn't change either so the second medical intervention was internal fetal monitor was inserted and attached to the baby's scalp to more closely monitor his heart rate. This changed everything.

With this monitor I was glued to the bed and the hopes of delivering or even laboring in the birth tub went out the window. I had convinced myself that the only way I could survive a natural birth was with the help of the magical birth tub. When that possibility was off the table, so went my confidence. After a few intense contractions, I said banana and received the epidural around midnight. While this was not the plan, this was my opportunity to get some much needed rest. We turned down the lights and turned on the television for a distraction. Now, there is very little quality programming after midnight on a Saturday but we lucked out...Zoolander was on. Chris passed out and I enjoyed looks of Blue Steel between contractions. Unfortunately, all the rest and relaxation was having an adverse effect...the contractions were slowing down and the doctor suggested a dose of Pitocin. This decision was probably the most difficult for me but I kept my eye on the prize...a healthy, happy baby...and the fourth medical intervention was administered.

Contrary to popular belief, an epidural isn't the magic eraser of pain medication. While it does help numb everything south of the navel, you aren't completely ignorant to all feeling. I was still very aware of the contractions and they were getting much more intense...but on top of everything else, I felt the insane urge to...poop. Awesome. To my relief, I wasn't going to poop my pants...I was complete and ready to push! The hustle and bustle of getting the room prepped and ready happened, I pushed through one contraction, and our little bundle of joy arrived!

Despite the little set backs and detours from our birth plan, Harrison Reid Henry arrived perfectly healthy and happy on March 2 at 2:50am. I spent the next few hours nursing and snuggling with 8 pounds, 20.5 inches of absolute perfection.

Lily arrived around lunch to meet her little brother and it was...anticlimactic. We were prepared for an excited big sister or a scared little girl...but...she barely noticed him and just wanted to push all the buttons on the hospital bed. But, in true Lily style...she wasn't too please to take a family photo! But, we tried anyway!