Thursday, February 20, 2014

Welcome Baby Lawson!

Lawson Prescott Van Buskirk was born on February 8th 2014 at 8:15am.  He was 5 lbs. 14 oz. and 19" long.  Lawson came 2 weeks early and still scored a 9 out of 10 on his Apgar test :)

My Birth experience:

Honestly, I didn't expect it to go as smooth as it did.  I had prepared myself for anything to happen and luckily, none of those things actually came to fruition.  I didn't have to be induced, have an episiotomy, get pitocin or have a c-section and had virtually no tearing, which were all things I was trying to avoid but with labor you never know what is going to happen!  

I had been having more and more contractions the two days prior to going to the hospital and the night before, when Prescott were on our nightly walk, I was counting them at a minute apart for a minute long, but they weren't strong, more like your typical braxton hicks contractions, just closer together and more of them.  I knew then that I was getting close (how close I didn't really realize!).  The next morning I packed my bag for the hospital, just in case, and put it in a place that would be easy for Prescott to find.  I did my hair, tidied up the house and then drove myself to the bakery to take all of the last minute products they were going to be needing to get prepared for Valentine's Day (our busiest day of the year).

Amber, one of my closest friends and bakery manager, was the one to tell me that I needed to go to the hospital.  I remember her saying, you don't look too good, I think you need to go in and get checked.  She even offered to drive me, which I probably should have taken her up on, but I was being stubborn and insisted that I was fine.  However, she made me promise that I would stop by the hospital on the way home, just to check and make sure everything was fine and that I wasn't actually going into labor.  

It was as I was driving that I realized my contractions were getting way stronger, so I called my mom (like any southern girl does when she is worried) and she stayed on the phone with me until I got to Labor and Delivery.  At that point my pain was increasing with every contraction!  The midwife came in immediately after the nurse hooked me up to the monitor and viewed my contractions on the screen.  She could see how much pain I was in now and could also see how strong and close together my contractions were.  She quickly told me they needed to check to see how dilated I was, expecting it to be at least 5cm or higher from what she was seeing, but she was puzzled to find me at only .5cm dilated.  

I asked her if I should call my husband because I didn't want to worry him if it was just false labor and she said, "Honey, I don't think you are going to be going home anytime soon with the way these contractions are going.  I'm hoping this is it and you are here to stay because I can't send you home when you are in this much pain, so let's just wait this out a couple hours and then I am going to come back and check you again to see if we have progressed any.  In the meantime, tell your husband to get over here."  

Well, being 2 weeks early according to my period date and 3 weeks early according to what my doctor charted me at, Prescott was not thrilled when I texted him that I was at the hospital.  Luckily, the midwife and the rest of the nursing staff assured him when he got there that the baby would be fine and that little Lawson is going to come when he is ready to come.  By now, I was in so much pain that tears were literally falling down my face.  The midwife had checked me again only to find me at 1 cm dilated.  

She told me they needed to hook me up to an IV to get some fluid and pain meds into my system so that I could relax and progress, that my body was so tense from the pain that it was keeping it from moving forward.  After debate, Prescott and I finally decided to go through with it and I was able to relax a little bit, but my pain was still pretty intolerable.  After a few more hours she came in and checked me again to finally find that I had progressed to 3cm, when she exclaimed, Hallelujah sister, you are here to stay, get anesthesia up here right away, I want that epidural in her as soon as possible to relieve her of this pain!  I was like, "Okay, sounds good to me!"  

Getting the epidural was the least of my pain at that point and as soon as it kicked in, the rest of my birth was an absolute breeze compared to my prelabor pain.  For me, the epidural was an absolute necessity and made the whole rest of the process a relaxed and calming one.  The pain was immediately gone and I had no bad reaction to the epi.  The weird thing is that I was so worried getting it would slow everything down and complicate things, but it actually did the complete opposite.  Not just a few hours later she came back in to check me and I was at 5cm and the next check I was at 10cm!  The nurse calmly said, oh look your water just broke and you are at 10cm, I will go get the doctor.

Meanwhile Prescott had fallen asleep (after all, we had been there for a while and at this point it was 6:00am) and I gently told him he needed to wake up because my water broke and that I was at 10cm and to get the camera, that it was time.  It took him a second to realize what I had just said and once he did, you could see immediate panic in his face.  He jumped up and started fumbling around for the camera, asking if I was okay, while I remained completely at ease.  I think it is fair to say at this point he was more worried for me than I was... they need an epidural for the dads too, I think, lol!

Then came what I thought was going to be the hardest part but in reality was the easiest for me... time to push.  In less than an hour that baby was out!  I didn't feel a thing.  It felt great to have him out of me and resting on my chest after daddy cut the umbilical chord.  Such a surreal moment where time just kind of stands still. At this point, Prescott got to be with the baby while they checked and tested him to make sure everything looked good and I started to work on the placenta, which they actually had a harder time with than the baby.  It didn't want to come out as easy but eventually it did and then they put a couple stitches in my superficial tears just to be safe, but they were really tiny, which is awesome!  

As far as post labor, you will want to limit visitor time to quick visits as this is time for bonding, breast feeding and recovering.  You will stay there for a night or two and don't expect to sleep because you will be so paranoid about your baby that you won't be able to.  I kept thinking he was choking to death and was so worried that he wasn't going to make it because babies seem so little and helpless, but he was fine and those feelings are completely normal, especially for first time moms.  No problems nursing, he latched like a champ and hasn't stopped since!

I listed out some things below that I thought would be helpful for other moms-to-be, so I hope my birthing experience can shed some light on what to expect for all you soon-to-be mommies :)

What I didn't expect:
- for the contractions to hurt so much, you will cry it's okay 
- for the epidural to hurt so little, this was my saving grace
- that only like 10% of women's water actually breaks, mine didn't break until I was 10cm
- that pushing would be the easiest part, for me
- that the placenta would be kind of hard to come out
- that breast feeding would hurt so much!!!
- that you will still have contractions while you first start breastfeeding
- when your milk comes in your breasts will fill up like water balloons and it will hurt really bad until baby gets the milk out, this is called engorgement
- your whole body including your feet will be swollen for a few days
- you won't lose weight immediately, I weighed about the same as when I went in from water retention but then started losing more and more each day
- that you will bleed a lot afterwards for at least a week or so and it can look scary but some clotting is normal so don't panic
- that you will be so paranoid, you won't be able to sleep the first few nights at the hospital because you are going to be so worried about your baby and that he is okay
- that your baby will choke when you lay him down because of the fluid possibly swallowed at birth, it's okay, he's not dying just needs to be picked up and patted on the back 
- that Prescott and I would be so emotional, lots of tears of joy. You just can't fathom the amount of love you have for your child until you have him
- that having a newborn would be so much work! You will need help!

- epidurals
- nipple shields (these saved me!)
- pacifiers ( there was no problem with confusion for Lawson)
- top of the line breast pump (the handheld ones from the hospital will not do!)
- Nursing camis and bra in a larger size or two larger sizes than normal
- preemie/newborn outfits especially short sleeve ones (0-3 months most likely will not fit your newborn)
- your mom and all her cooking

What I highly recommend:
- get the epidural, it doesn't cross over to the baby and makes the whole rest of the labor and delivery a breeze
- have your mom there, you are going to want her. It's a weird primal type instinct that you want your mothers love and support, your husband is wonderful but your mom has felt this pain and knows how to comfort you.
- have your mom or someone helpful stay and help you for the first week, it is more work than you know.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Peanut Butter Smore's Cups!

Well, our SuperBowl party wasn't exactly the best (if you went by the score of the game) but these little goodies helped sweeten the blow, for sure!  They were really easy to make as well.  Here is the recipe and a couple pics from the party.

In a food processor combine 9 full size graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar and 6 Tablespoons melted butter.  Put 1 Tablespoon of graham cracker mixture into a regular size muffin pan and pat down into pan and up the edges.  Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes until bubbly.  

Then place a full size reeses peanut butter cup and a regular size marshmallow in each graham cup.  Return to the oven until the marshmallow softens and can be flattened down to cover the reeses cup.  Take out of oven and let cool completely.  Gently take each cup out and drizzle with melted milk chocolate.  YUM!

Here was the rest of the dessert table...

Butterscotch pudding parfaits and lemon blueberry shooters.

We still love you Broncos!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lawson's Nursery!

Well, I am FINALLY finished with Lawson's nursery and it feels so good to have it complete!  I am super happy with how it all turned out and now I am just waiting on the baby to put in it :)  

My goal was for it to be bright, airy and neutral with a sense of sophistication yet still fun, personable and child friendly. The base colors I chose were classic whites and taupes, this way I could start decorating early and then when we found out the gender I could add subtle hints of soft pink or blue, which in our case it ended up being BLUE .  I didn't really have a theme in mind, but if I had to categorize it as something I would say, Parisian World Traveler meets Animals of the World. 

Here were my top 3 inspiration nursery Pins that I used for Pinspiration:

And here is how it actually turned out...

Crib: Graco Charleston Convertible Classic Crib in White from WalMart - $154
Crib Skirt: Restoration Hardware Washed Organic Linen in Cloud- $129
Animal Mobile: Restoration Hardware - $59 
Large Plush Giraffe: - $69 
Glider: IKEA Chair along with Glider Attachment - $289
Pouf: Target - $60
Pedestal Garden Stool: Home Goods - $99
Curtains: Home Goods - $80
Floor Lamp Base: Target - $80
Lamp Shade: Pottery Barn - $70
Animal Prints: 4 Target Frames @ $12.99 each (and photo paper to print animal prints) - $54
Sheep Skin Area Rug: - $119
Dresser: IKEA in white with Knobs from Lowes - $299
Bookrack: Restoration Hardware - $179 
2 End Table Lamps: Target - $64
Changing Pad Cover: Restoration Hardware in Cloud - $39

Total Cost: $1,843

How far I could have gotten with $1,843 at Restoration Hardware for the same look:

A glider. LOL!

These were my top 3 favorite money saving projects:

- Making the glider.  They are so expensive otherwise!

(we bought an IKEA chair and the glider attachment online and Prescott attached it to the bottom of the chair, here is the step by step blog post on how we did it)

- Buying a canvas on sale at Aaron Brother's for 80% off the day after Thanksgiving for $40 and attaching the Paris map decal to it that was only $30 as opposed to buying an expensive framed piece of artwork for over the crib.

(this way it is safer too because we could really secure it to the wall and there is no heavy dangerous glass over the crib!)

- Printing out animal photos and putting them in Target frames that were: 
$12 each 

as apposed to:
$179 each

And, yes, this was for the same size print!  Crazy.

Anyway, hope y'all liked how it turned out as much as Prescott and I enjoyed creating it for our little Lawson and hopefully this inspires other mommies with trying to design their dream nursery without breaking the bank :)