Monday, June 4, 2012

And Beau Make Four

Beau 15 hours old
Beau Bridger Jeffers made his debut on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 4:47pm. He weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 22 in long. His head circumference was 14 inches. Beau's arrival pretty much came out of nowhere. I had been feeling a little crampy the weekend Beau arrived, but it was nothing that struck me as this could be it! Lee was getting anxious for Beau's debut and had been dragging me on long walks. This particular Sunday morning he went to the grocery store for raspberry leaf tea. Raspberry leaf tea is supposed to be a uterine stimulant, and it is advised that a pregnant woman not drink it unless she is full term. It was quite tasty (it had a few other ingredients), so I was drinking it really strong and a lot of it.

I was in the middle of a phone call with my sister around 12:30 when I had my first contraction. It wasn't much, but I felt it. Lee was upstairs booking appointments to head out to work around 3pm that day. I went upstairs to tell him that I had a couple contractions. I told him to continue booking because I highly doubted that anything was going to happen until really late that night if at all. Around 1:30pm, I decided to keep moving around so the contractions didn't stop. I still wasn't convinced anything was actually going to happen. My sister called and asked if I had started timing the contractions. I told her to chill out because the contractions were super short and at least 10 minutes apart. After getting off the phone with her, curiosity got the best of me and I timed a few contractions. Just as I though...sort of. They were short lasting about 30 seconds long on average. However, they were coming every 3 minutes. How in the world did I get 10 minutes or longer? I went upstairs to tell Lee to quit booking appointments. He said he was finished booking and about to come downstairs. That wasn't what I had meant and told him he wasn't going to work today.

At 2:00, Lee and I decided we should shower and start getting Cora ready. I also called Eva to make sure she was home. I still was in denial and told her this was merely a precautionary call. Meanwhile, Lee was literally running through the house gathering things for the hospital. He was freaking out because the bags weren't packed. Yep, they were missing things like a tooth brush and other items I use on a daily basis. He was stressing me out, so I told him that if he didn't calm down that I would call a cab and uninvite him to the delivery. He rolled his eyes and reminded me that the nurse said second babies come faster. At 2:30, Lee got fed up with my antics and told me we were leaving whether I liked it or not. We had a lot of stops on the way to the hospital. Lee had to drop off all the information about those appointments he booked with a colleague. We also had to get to Eva's to drop Cora off and switch Cora's carseat over to her car. The contractions were getting worse in the car. I chalked that up to having to sit for so long and hitting bumps. Edmonton has really crappy roads.

About 3:45pm, Lee and I pulled into the drop off zone at the Royal Alex hospital. I had a pretty intense contraction in the elevator heading up to the labor and delivery floor. Of course there would be a family in the elevator with a young girl about 6 or 7 years old. It took everything I had not to double over and grab Lee in front of her. I certainly didn't want to scare her, so I stood straight and smiled the whole way up.

Once I got up to L and D, I was glad that Lee had made me come in. A lot had changed in that hour it took to get to the hospital. I knew I was definitely in labor at this point. I told the nurse at the front desk that I would like to check in for my delivery. It was a really slow day and about 12 nurses started laughing at me. The nurse helping me told me it wasn't a hotel (jokingly) and then asked me if I was actually in labor. I was in between contractions and super calm when I walked in. Ten seconds after asking me that, I had the worse contraction of the day and my whole body started convulsing. Lee grabbed me, and the nurse quickly pointed me to a chair to get "checked in". After about 10 minutes in the registration area, I got paired up with my nurse and shown to a room.

They first had to check me out on a monitor and such before they actually admitted me into the hospital. I changed into my gown and they hooked me up to the monitors to watch my contractions. I told Lee this would be a good time to go park the car. As soon as he left, the nurse asked me if I felt like I needed to push. I looked at her really weird and say, "NO! Why would you ask that"? She said she was just asking and then left the room to get a delivery table and the resident doctor. I have done this delivery thing before, and I knew this was strange because I hadn't even been fully admitted into the hospital yet. The nurse came back in with the table and my wrist band. I was officially admitted into the hospital at 4:10pm. Things were moving really fast. I was just laying on the bed watching people rushing around while my contractions were getting worse and worse. Lee came back moments later and the resident doctor came in right after him. I was asked what I wanted for pain relief if anything. I decided if I was only 5 or 6cm dilated, I would get an epidural. If I was 7 or 8cm, I'd try to go natural. Well, I was 6-7cm. Go figure. I opted for the epidural. It was about 4:25pm at this point. I first had to get an IV and a bag of fluid before they could give me the epidural. At 4:35 or so, the IV bag was just about finished. I signed the epidural waiver and the anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural. It was about 4:40 at this point, and I had the sudden and incredibly strong urge to push. They quickly checked me and I was 9cm dilated. The anesthesiologist told me he could still get the epidural in for the delivery. Of course he offered during a contraction, and I demanded the epidural STAT. I sat up for the epidural and my water broke during a contraction. After the second contraction while sitting, I called off the epidural and laid back down to deliver the baby.

Beau was coming so quickly that there wasn't time to pull apart the delivery bed, so I was laying basically flat on my back. The side rails weren't up and I kept grabbing the nurse. She told me I had to hold on to something else because it was only her and the resident doc in there to deliver and she needed to help with the baby. The delivery doctor hadn't made it yet, which really wasn't that big of a deal. Beau came at 4:47pm after only being admitted for 37 minutes. Lee was a superstar and really helped me through it. I do remember him looking down there and saying, "OH HONEY! He's here!!". I quickly replied with "I KNOW!!!!". Such a loving moment from my end. Ha!

We hadn't been able to talk with the nurse about what was going to happen when Beau was born. While I was delivering, they asked if I wanted skin to skin and if Lee wanted to cut the cord. We both said yes. When Beau was delivered, they immediately cut the cord and took him to the incubator. He was super blue and not crying. The nurse was rubbing him really hard, and then he finally let out a good cry and pinked up. Turns out the cord was wrapped around his body and part of his neck. It was compressing really hard on his carotid artery causing the lack of responsiveness. Lee was with Beau taking pictures and was able to cut part of the umbilical cord. He looked like he was on cloud 9 over there.

As soon as Beau was born, it started raining. The raindrops were huge and were hitting my hospital room window. I thought the rain was fitting since Beau was my springtime baby. It was quite relaxing to sit in our delivery room with our new baby boy listening to the rain. Lee spent the first 20 minutes holding Beau. My body was completely exhausted. My arms were trembling from holding the bed so tight that I wasn't sure I would be able to hold him. I just needed some time to lay there. I am guessing that is what it would feel like after running a marathon. It was amazing watching Lee and Beau bond. When I finally held Beau, it was wonderful. He was so sleepy and content. The nurse weighed him before she left us by ourselves. Beau was a whopping 7lbs 10oz!! WHAT?? He seemed smaller than Cora, but he was nearly a pound heavier. Lee and I hung out with Beau enjoying our first moments with him before we started calling people and getting ready to move to our recovery room. It was quite nice. Before we were moved, the nurse who checked us in came by to say congrats. She was still laughing about me asking to check in for my delivery.

My first moments with my son.

He's pretty swollen from the delivery. He is absolutely adorable.
Going to our recovery room in a wheelchair. The ultimate treatment.
 We called Eva as soon as we got to our new room and had her bring Cora to the hospital to meet Beau. Lee also sent out a text message inviting everyone up. I was feeling great and was on a mega high after having such a fast delivery. I couldn't wait for Cora and our friends to get there. Mara arrived first quickly followed by Eva and Cora and then Linnea. It worked out perfectly because Beau was getting his first bath. We were able to get Cora's reaction to her new brother on video when he made his grand entrance into our room. She was so excited to see her new brother. She held him right away and was all smiles. It was awesome! Mara, Linnea, and Eva all had their cameras in hand, so we have a ton of photos. Amazing. For a moment, I felt like a celebrity with all the flashes going off. During all of this, more friends arrived. Shaun, Amy, Rene, and Jamie all came to see Beau. Beau did excellent and slept the entire time people were visiting.

22 inches long!
Bath time.
He hated his first bath- just like his sister did 3.5 years before him.
All clean and back in our room.
Cora patiently waiting to meet Beau.

Beau saying hello to Cora
Cora holding Beau for the first time.
Jeffers Quartet. Our first family photo.

 After everyone left, Cora almost immediately fell asleep in my hospital bed. Lee and I decided we would all spend the night together in the hospital. It was quite fun. Beau slept in his bassinet, Lee in the foldout chair, and Cora and I in my bed. Reggie was the only one left out and he was at home freaking out. Seriously. He has become such a worrier in his old age.

Beau is dressed and ready to go home.
In true baby fashion, Beau pooped a soon as we had him dressed. The nurses gave us a bio-hazard bag to take the diaper home.

Daddy is a pro at this car seat thing.
Our starfish is so excited to go home that he is cheering with every ounce of energy he has.
 We were discharged by 9:30am the next morning. We had the room until noon, so we took our time leaving. Lee took Cora to daycare and then went to get Reggie. Lori and Amy both stopped by in the morning to see Beau. By the time Lee and I made it home, it was 1:00 in the afternoon. We had a few hours to enjoy Beau before picking Cora up. We pretty much just watched him sleep. He's pretty cute.

Home Sweet Home. It seems as though he likes his bassinet.
 Beau's hair is light brown and not near as thick as Cora's. His eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are smaller than hers, but his profile is nearly identical to hers. I've had many déjà vu moments since having Beau. It is very uncanny how much he looks like Cora from the side. He nurses like a champ and rarely opens his eyes. In fact, it took us a few days to actually see his eyes fully open. Most of the time, he'll only open his left eye. He is such a lazy baby. He is very strong, but he hardly ever tries to use his strength. He is just a lazy little noodle. He arches his eyebrows a ton trying to keep his eyes open. It never works. His forehead wrinkles all the way up to the top of his head. He looks like a really old man when he does that. His hands are enormous and his feet might as well be swimming paddles. The nurses couldn't believe how long his toes were.

Cora is adjusting quite well. The first night was a bit tough. She was feeling left out, but handled herself as well as I could ask of a three year old. She has since fallen in love with him. He seems to be soothed by her voice -- yelling, growling, talking, crying -- it doesn't matter. She showers him with kisses and reassures him when he cries. She is extremely protective of him and doesn't really like people other than Lee or I holding him when he is fussing. She is a wonderful big sister and he is a great little brother. Our little family feels pretty darn complete.
Cora holding Beau all by herself!!
She adores him...most of the time.

For such a short labor and delivery (about 4 or 5 hours total), that sure was a long birth story. I am really thankful that Lee made me go to the hospital when we did. Having a baby on the side of the road or at a friends house would have made for a good story, but not a good experience from our end.

Mara put this little collage together. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CO Comes To AB

Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim made their last journey from Denver to Edmonton to visit Blondie and Co before our big move back to the States. We had a wonderful long weekend with them. Alberta spring weather cooperated and we had our nicest weekend of 2012 thus far. What luck we had!

We started the weekend and spring off right by having a picnic and flying Cora's kite. After 5 years of living in Edmonton, we are still learning about the rules of the roads...I mean rules of the parks. It turns out that Reggie isn't allowed in parks with or without a leash. The warning didn't seem to affect our fun. Watching Lee talk to a Peace Officer because of his dog might have actually been one of the highlights of the picnic. Lee also got some casting in, which probably was the highlight of his day. Cora ran and ran and ran. Open fields on a nice day is good for her little soul.

Chasing the kite to help get it back in the sky.

The Edmonton skyline. Not a bad looking city.

Lee getting busted by local law enforcement.

The culprit. He certainly looks like a ornery dog. 

Casting Lessons. Cora preferred chasing the fly like a cat.

The picnic is over and it is time to head home. Cora loves being responsible for Reggie.

Cora, always the performer and center of attention lover, performed many dance marathons for Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim. She got a new skirt (same one in above pictures) from her grandpas and didn't take it off for close to two weeks. Her dancing is very entertaining. She is really learning how to shake those hips.

 This has to be one of my favorite photos ever.

We finally visited the Royal Alberta Museum here in Edmonton. I opted to not tote my camera around in the museum and instead enjoy as much of it as I could. Cora was on an animal high as soon as we walked into the exhibit showcasing all the animals of Alberta. Cora was sprinting from exhibit to exhibit. She was incredibly excited and yelling things like,  "Ohhhh, Look at this!!!" or  "Ohhhh, wolf babies are soooooo cute!!" and  "Look Mommy! The bird flies!!" I'm not kidding when I say that we were had been in the museum for nearly an hour and she hadn't made it past the first few exhibits. Just as we got her to finally decide to move on, she spotted the Young Explorers area. I figured she'd get bored in there pretty darn quick because it looked to be mostly jars of dead stuff and computers. What I didn't notice were these really great microscopes that she could easily operate. I showed her how to use the microscope and we looked at bird feathers, snake skin, seeds, bark, etc. She was fascinated and had to get Daddy to show him all the stuff. After Lee sees everything under the microscope, we pick up our coats to leave this exhibit (still in the first one). The only problem is Cora has her butt firmly planted in the stool and will not move. As we're coaxing her out, she notices another microscope. This one was a dissecting microscope hooked to a computer screen. Here we go again. There were spiders, all the life stages of bees, plants, and lots of other stuff to explore with this microscope. It was really cool, and it was neat seeing Cora so excited about viewing spiders close up. Eventually we got her to move along to the second exhibit.

I was thinking that she would have used up a good stash of her energy by this point, but I guess that kid keeps a lot on backup reserves. The next gallery was full of stones and gems. I could spend hours looking at this stuff, but Cora was less than interested. I was OK with this because there were still more galleries to get through. Then we both heard a strange noise coming from the back. Cora stopped in her tracks and her eyes were the size of dinner plates. She wanted to know what the noise was. I didn't know because I hadn't been there, so we went back to check it out. It was a whole room of dinosaur skeletons. Dear God, please help me now. Cora loves dinosaurs. There was no way, on this green Earth, that I was ever going to get her to leave. Lee was able to check out what was still ahead. Lucky for us, it was a bunch of living bugs and spiders. I knew that would get her out. We finally persuaded her to come with us to check out the bug cages. As we were leaving the dinosaur exhibit she turned around said, "Sit Dinosaurs! Stay. I be right back!!" Yep, we weren't leaving any time soon. Sure enough, she checked out the bugs and spiders and then sprinted back to the dinosaurs. We finally dragged her out kicking and screaming. She and I had a long talk about her behavior. Seriously, the talk lasted a good 20 minutes due to sobbing and then needing to pee. I was exhausted, but we made a deal to look at the bugs one more time with Daddy and then we would make our way to the entrance. Meanwhile, Lee, Bob and Jim had peeked in the other exhibits. I was able to look through a great gallery of close up photos of moths which was incredible. I couldn't believe how much fun Cora had, and how much time she spent in so few rooms. We could spend an entire day at this museum and her little heart would be content. It was a ton of fun, but a lot of work for a pregnant lady who was 35 weeks along at the time.

We also spent a lot of time eating great food like sushi, Edmonton's best eggs benedict, Famoso pizza, and Lee's amazing steaks. Because we were being snoopy, we lucked out and got a private tour of a Sikh Temple along with a quick cultural education about Sikhism. Did you know that only Sikh men, who are East Indian, wear turbans all the time for religious and cultural reasons? Talk about wrong stereotypes! I have to say, I felt quite ashamed for not having a clue about Sikhs. In Edmonton, there is quite a large community of Sikhs. I just always assumed they were Muslim, but I am incredibly wrong and feel quite "white bred" after learning what we did that day.

Before sending Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim on their way, we made Easter crafts that Grandpa Bob had picked up for Cora. They were bunny die cuts that she helped decorate. After they dried, we hung them on some ribbon Grandpa brought making a lovely Easter garland. Cora had so much fun with all the sparkles. I am pretty sure we will all find glitter on something for the next few months.

 The beginning of Arts&Crafts. It had been a long time since Grandpa Bob used glitter and glue. Good thing Grandpa Jim was there to lead the way.

 Uhhhh, Grandpa. That is all wrong. Cora's look of disgust cracks me up every time I see this photo.

 One bunny done! It looks GREAT!

Bunny Garland. Mission accomplished and the perfect Easter decorations.

We had many laughs over the weekend. It was wonderful having Bob and Jim visit for one last time before we make the haul back to the USofA. We're all looking forward to many more wonderful weekends in the future with Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting Ready for The Boy

 Lee and I have decided to not set up a nursery of any sort for Baby Beau. We'll be moving back to the States when he is merely 2 months old. While I had pictures of Cora's nursery, there will be none for The Boy. At least not for the first few months. I decided to take some pictures of his clothes and bassinet to at least remind myself of what we did get ready for him.

Since we rarely dressed Cora in anything other than footed PJ's until she was 6 months old, I imagine we'll prefer the same for Beau. So, I've been shopping for lots of footed PJ's and cozy little clothes. So FUN! We are doing cloth diapers again, but this time we've chosen to go down the diaper service route. I found with Cora that cloth diapering is a lot easier when you have an awesome washing machine, which we did not. I really don't want to spend my time standing over the stove boiling diapers again. To prepare, I had to buy some diaper covers that are a bit more masculine than what I had for Cora. Aww shucks. The last thing we purchased for Beau was a Moses Basket and a rocker. Since Cora is still sleeping with us, we can't safely co-sleep with a newborn baby. We got the basket so he can be right next to my bed. It will also be incredibly useful for camping this summer.

 The crab PJ's will more than likely be his going home outfit from the hospital. It is Lee's favorite.

 Newborn diaper covers

 Small diaper covers.

 This is my favorite outfit. It is just a long-sleeved kimono style onesie. I am a total glutton for kimono onesies and gowns. 

The end is near for Beau to enter this world. Lee and I have both been nesting. Weird, I know. We waited way longer with Cora. I know that we are near the end because we have finally settled on a name. A full name.

Beau Bridger

I honestly thought we would never decide on a full name. From a previous entry, you would know why we chose Beau. The whole Medicine Bow National Forest thing. Bridger is after the Bridger-Tetons. Lee and my first backpacking trip (my first trip ever) was to the Bridger-Tetons to hike along the Green River Lakes to Square Top Mountain. It was an amazing trip. Lee took me there shortly after my cousin passed away 10 years ago for me to clear my head. I remember the whole trip like it was yesterday. The drive there, the hike, the drive back to Laramie. All of it. We saw tons of wildlife from a beaver to a glimpse of a wolverine. I, not surprisingly, did not drink enough water and ended up getting altitude sickness pretty badly. Lee, being the pack horse he is, strapped my back pack to his and hiked my pack for a good portion of a day. He is a brute. I dragged close to a quarter mile behind carrying only a map. Thank goodness for my strapping boyfriend. I think I'll regularly remind Beau that his father can be a brute of a man so as to not cross him. I'll also be reminding Cora about the caveman like tendencies of her father, so she thinks twice before she "falls in love" and bring a boy home. We'll keep it a secret that we would move a mountain for either of them until they are grown and well-adjusted adults.

The Green River Lakes behind us. Behind us standing tall in the middle of the valley is Square Top Mountain. Because I got sick, we weren't able to summit Square Top. We'll be visiting the area again soon to show the kids, and I am sure we'll backpack it soon enough with Cora and Beau. We have a lot planned for them. :)

I have some blog entries coming up. Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jim came to visit last weekend. The Easter Bunny visited Cora yesterday. And, I think I forgot to post Lee and Cora's ice fishing trip! Unless Beau comes in the next two weeks, there will be at least three more entries before his imminent arrival.