4 months

Well 4 months have come and gone since Miss Felicity was born. It always goes so fast. We had her check up yesterday and she is the smallest of our babies at 4 months old, yet she was the biggest by far at birth. Strange things. She is definitely not small, still in the 80-90 percentile, but the smallest by weight at just under 16 pounds. But she sure is cute! She can roll from back to belly and these days spends most of her time on her belly attempting to move around. Her hair has mostly fallen out and is turning blonder every day.

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In other news, I’m still spotted. We are kind of getting into a school year routine, now that most everything has started up. Greta will be starting Girl Scouts next week and then I think everything will have started. Greta’s picture day was on Monday and before she left I snapped a picture or two in case we don’t like the school ones. The others had to get in on the pictures as well.

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And because everyone was cooperating and we needed to get Felicity in the picture and she can’t sit on her own yet, we did a group shot. It didn’t it take many shots to get them all mostly looking and smiling.

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7 quick takes

Apparently it has been a while since I posted, oops. So, what’s been going on?

1. Well that awful rash was fading and nearly gone from my arms and everywhere else was definitely lighter and less itchy, and then I got strep throat again. Because of course. Now, I’m not someone who frequently gets strep throat. My mom says that I might have had it as a child, but not more than once or twice. So, woo, twice in a summer. So, thanks to some excellent (sarcastic) medical care, I’m covered in spots again. I’m likely going to be starting UVB light treatment soon, but I still might change my mind and not do it. I was supposed to go this morning, but Eloise is home from school with a cold (first week back, and sick already), so I cancelled it. Thankfully my face has so far been sparred this time, so as long as I’m wearing mostly long sleeves and pants, no one can tell that I’m a spotted leopard. One day, I’ll be back to normal, at least I hope so. And let’s hope that I don’t keep getting strep because I’ll likely continue to break out. Yuck.

2. School started for both older girls. Greta is in first grade. Eloise in 4 year old preschool. So far, so good, but Eloise is sick already, so that’s no fun. While she probably would have been ok to go to school, with all these new scary viruses going around, I didn’t want to send her. Greta is annoyed that they are reviewing everything they learned last year.

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3. Last weekend we baptized Felicity. It was lovely and nice to have most of our family together.

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4. Greta started playing soccer. For now, we are letting the girls chose one extracurricular activity. Eloise is sticking with dance, and Greta picked soccer this year.

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5. Four kids in and new things are still happening. First, last weekend was the first time I pulled a kid out of their carseat while the vehicle was moving. Felicity was screaming after waking up on a long drive home. We were pretty close to home, but really just needed to actually get home. She started spitting up and then choking. I was sitting in the back seat, so I pulled her out, flipped her over and started whacking her on the back, while yelling at Matt to pull over. Eventually he found a safe place to pull over and all was fine, but definitely not my favorite event. Felicity is the first child to fall asleep on her own every once in a while. Today she fell asleep in the play gym. What new surprises are still in store for us?

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6. The garden is slowly reaching it’s end. We’ve had yummy tomatoes, super long green beans (plus lots of regular green beans), squash and zucchini, okra, peppers. We still have some carrots planted that we will harvest in another month or two. We bought and packaged a bunch of local corn to freeze for the winter.

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7. And we will end with the mohawk picture that I’m sure most of you have seen already.

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The past month

Let’s see, all sorts of things have been happening around here. We’ve had visitors and illness, a broken washer, and lots of squash.

My sister came to visit for a week (the other one is stopping by this coming weekend on her way to/from a beach weekend with her friends). The girls loved having someone to constantly entertain them and do whatever they wanted to do. I loved having the dishes always done and of course hanging out with my sister.

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Felicity got to meet lots of new people, aunts, cousins, and family friends.

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We got some super cute new shirts from a friend.

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Our garden is producing well so far. We are still waiting on the tomatoes to start ripening, but it should be soon!

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Three of us had strep throat, and mine resulted in guttate psoriasis, which is basically a lovely rash all over my entire body that could take a few weeks or MONTHS to go away. I’ve never had psoriasis before and I’m still a little unclear about it, because some things say that if it was triggered by strep you might not have another flair up again, where others say that it could flair many, many times again, or even turn into another form of psoriasis. So for now I’m trying get in the sun to hopefully heal it, soaking in dead sea salts, and moisturizing like crazy and I’m trying hard to be patient, but it is quite difficult when I’m itchy all over and wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts in the middle of July.

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My sister gave Greta a slip and slide for her birthday and at first they were all incapable of actually sliding down it, so Matt threw them down it.

A month or two ago, Beatrice had a boo-boo on her nose and while looking in the mirror noticed her hemangioma and called it a boo-boo too. So, we decided to teach it what it really was. Before this she hadn’t really noticed it at all, so we didn’t see the need to point it out to her. Here she is telling you her name, age (two old), and what she has on her nose.

Some of our neighborhood fireworks that we watched from our backyard.

Oh, and our washer was broken for about a week, but is now fixed, thanks to a handy husband and a new hose.

4 babies!

Everyone always wants to know who each baby looks like. We think Felicity looks the most like Greta, but we also see some of Beatrice in her.

Greta:
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Eloise:
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Beatrice:
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Felicity:
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Who do you think Felicity looks like?

Kindergarten Graduation

Here are a few pictures of Greta’s kindergarten graduation. She had a small speaking part (everyone who wanted one, got one) and they sang a bunch of cute songs. I’m only posting the pictures that don’t easily identify other kids. There are some others up on flickr and if you are listed as a family or friend you can see them, but otherwise they are private. Both sets of grandparents were able to attend.

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Our first attempt at a family photo with six of us didn’t turn out all that well. We will keep trying.

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Greta’s cheering squad.

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Greta loved Kindergarten and misses it already. She loves learning. Six months ago she couldn’t read and just last week she finished her first chapter book, which she read in about 3 weeks.

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Felicity’s birth story

Let’s start a few weeks before Felicity was born. Most of the pregnancy I was measuring about 2 weeks ahead of actual gestational age. At about 35 weeks, I jumped from measuring 2 weeks ahead to 4 weeks ahead. The midwives recommended a growth scan to check size and fluid levels. The ultrasound at 36 weeks estimated the weight of baby to be 9 lbs, 8 oz. I had heard of many stories of people having very off measurements on ultrasound late in pregnancy, so I pretty much denied that the baby could possibly be that big. I mean Matt was 9 lbs, 15 oz at 37 weeks when he was born, but I still didn’t really think I would have that big of a baby. I was also more convinced that this baby was a boy. I had been having lots more pain and was totally exhausted, plus I had a UTI a few weeks before that landed me in the hospital. So I was pretty much thinking clearly this is a boy causing all this trouble. After the ultrasound the midwives said I needed to consult with the doctors since this was a big baby and I needed to know the risks of shoulder dystocia and whether to chose a c-section or not. I knew I didn’t want a c-section and since I had vaginally birthed three not small children I would likely be fine. I met with one of the doctors and before we even said anything she said you have birthed three good sized babies vaginally before I don’t see why you can’t birth this one. So yay!

The next few weeks were pretty much me laying around on the couch trying to rest and not over do it and end up in pain. I didn’t really gain any weight from about 32 weeks on, which was much different than my other pregnancies, during which I gained lots of weight towards the end. I was still eating plenty and really doing no exercise, so I guess the baby was just taking everything including any extra fat she could.

On Friday, May 30, we celebrated Greta’s birthday with Chinese food and frozen yogurt. After going to the bathroom at about 1:15 am on Saturday, May 31 (37 weeks, 6 days) I got back in bed and tried to fall back asleep. Then, GUSH! I went and woke Matt and said I’m pretty sure my water broke, I’m headed to the bathroom to confirm. Yep, definitely my water. Due to the speedy arrival of Eloise after my water broke, we decided we were heading to the hospital immediately, even though I had only had a one or two mild contractions. We went down and woke Matt’s mom, who thankfully was staying with us for two nights, to tell her we were leaving. After convincing her to go upstairs and sleep with Beatrice so that she would hear the girls if they woke up, we left.

On the way to the hospital I had a couple of contractions, but nothing painful or regular at all. I got to bypass triage and went straight to a labor and delivery room. The nurse and midwife came in and got all the paperwork and such out of the way. The midwife checked me and I was 4 cm dilated and 70% effaced. I got a hep-lock put in since I really didn’t want an IV unless I needed it.

For the next bunch of hours we did a variety of things, walked around the floor (stopping to chat with a friend who happened to be working that night), took a shower, got in the jacuzzi, took a nap, ate some breakfast, ate some lunch. A new midwife took over for the weekend first thing in the morning. She stopped by around 9 am to chat and to see how things were. Both the midwives were surprised I was still without a baby, since both the previous labors were relatively short from the time my water broke. But alas, I was still there, having irregular not very painful contractions. Walking seemed to make the contractions more regular and painful, but I was getting tired of walking and was afraid I would be out of energy by the time I really needed it if I kept walking and walking, especially after a night of little sleep. We knew that around 3 pm we were going to have another discussion with the midwife about how to get things moving.

By 1 pm, we were ready to have that discussion and see what options there were. The midwife came in around 1:15 pm and checked to see if any progress had been made. I was 5 cm, but she could feel my water bulging, so we opted to let her break it again and also strip my membranes. Let’s just say this was quite painful and not something I enjoyed one little bit. She thought that my water must have broken at the top and not at the bottom, so no progress was really being made. Pretty much immediately after she broke my water on the bottom, the contractions were painful and much closer together. This was the real deal now!

Prior to the second water breaking I didn’t have to be on the monitors, except to check in every once in a while. Once the contractions really started though they wanted to mostly monitor baby’s heart rate. I sat on the yoga ball for a while, breathing through contractions. Matt had to hold the baby’s heart rate monitor in place the whole time since the shape of my belly plus the position of the baby made it nearly impossible for it to stay in place. He was also rubbing my back. I like quiet when I’m in labor and I pretty much close my eyes and never open them unless required. :) After a while I decide the ball is not cutting it anymore and get in the bed, sometimes sitting up, sometimes laying down. Shortly after getting into bed I start gagging on my phlegm, which is typical for me and pregnancy. But thanks to active labor, plus eating right before hand it turned into me throwing up all over. Fun stuff. I think I got up to go to the bathroom a time or two in here. I drank a lot of water throughout the whole day and so had to keep peeing, especially as the baby descended and put more and more pressure on my bladder. Pretty soon I’m miserable and ready to give up (apparently my favorite thing to say during labor is “I can’t do it, I want it to be over.”). Eventually the midwife checks me and says you are complete, ready to push. Good thing cause I was feeling ready to push whether she liked it or not. Once I was in the bed the nurse took over holding the heart rate monitor in place and Matt went to the other side of the bed. I’m pretty wimpy in labor at times and refuse to hold my own legs when it is time for pushing. So another nurse comes help (she was planning on coming in when I was going to be pushing anyways) and Matt and my regular nurse hold my legs.

So time to push. I can’t recall exactly how long I pushed, maybe 20-30 minutes? For the first time in labor I wasn’t screaming my head off and pushing actually helped dissipate the pain. While I was ready to push full force the midwife made me slow down so that I wouldn’t tear too much and so that hopefully this big baby wouldn’t get stuck coming out. After a few good pushes and a few gentle pushes her head came out. Then this lovely child of mine decided to spin around, first one way, then another (a full 180 degrees). I guess she was trying to figure out the path of least resistance. I yelled at the midwife to stop doing whatever torture she was doing, but she said that’s your baby. Another push and out she came (2:55 pm), all covered in vernix. Both the midwife and two nurses were very surprised at the size of the baby and Matt of course thinks she doesn’t look that big. I think we all forget how big babies are, but nurses and midwives see them all the time, so they are a much better judge than us lay folks. At first they were going to take her over and try to pink her up, but then they changed their minds and put her on my chest for a bit. Eventually I handed her over to Matt for the remainder of the delivery stuff because I’m always afraid of dropping the baby while pushing out the placenta and the stitching up. I ended up with just a first degree tear, which isn’t bad considering the size of this child. They did bring the scale in relatively fast to weigh her (10 pounds, 5 oz) since we knew they were likely going to need to monitor her blood sugar (big baby hospital deal).

During the actual laboring portion my midwife sat in the chair and observed for the most part. Both her and the nurse let me do my thing. When it came time to push the midwife shined. Seriously there is no way this would have gone as smoothly without her there. She told me exactly when I needed to push hard and when to stop and when to give a little push. She was calm and serious, which is what I needed. I definitely hit the jackpot with which midwife was on call and which nurse I was assigned. I loved them both and wouldn’t have done nearly as well without them there.

So while we were at the hospital for quite a while before she was born, I’m glad we were. Based on the fact that once my water was truly broken it was less than two hours until she was born, makes me happy we left the house when my water first broke. Something like 10% of labors begin with the waster breaking, but for me I’m at 75%, craziness. This was by far my most controlled and best birth from my perspective, even though there was lots of initial waiting. I’m happy with how things turned out and still surprised that I was able to birth a 10+ pound baby with no drugs and remain relatively calm throughout the labor. I’m also really glad she didn’t stay in much longer as I can’t imagine how much she would have weighed at 40+ weeks.

dance recital

Thanks to Felicity’s timely arrival, I have made it to all of the end of the year events (we did miss the dance group picture, but I wasn’t really worried about attending that). Last Sunday was Greta and Eloise’s first dance recital. Although Greta took dance last year, we were out of town for the recital, so this was her first actual performance. They both did wonderful and had fun. Here are some pictures I took of them in their costumes before we left. Greta was not as into giving me serious poses as Eloise.

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And then I made them pose together.

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Then they did their silly pictures, which turned out rather fun.

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I was hoping to get one of them with their flowers after the recital, but alas, this is what happens when the recital doesn’t start until 6 pm on a school night.

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more cute baby pictures

These big girls really love their little sister. Greta is a super baby holder, she doesn’t even need anything behind her to support Felicity’s head. I expect she will want to hold the baby all summer long.

When they got to the hospital we were still in the delivery room (3ish hours after delivery) and the nurse had come in to do her footprints, bath, etc. The girls got to see all of that fun stuff and watched in amazement.

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They all got a turn to hold Felicity and we had Greta’s birthday cake (her party was supposed to be that day).

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We sang to both Greta and Felicity.

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I love this picture so much of all the girls so happy to see their baby sister.

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The next day they came back to visit again and got another turn to hold Felicity.

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And just a few more random pictures from the first day or two.

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And then there were FOUR!

Felicity Rita made her appearance on May 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm, weighing in at 10 pounds, 5 ounces and 21.5 inches long (to be debated, at the pediatrician two days later she was 20.5 inches long, so who knows who is right).

We are settling in at home, trying to finish up all the school year business with a new member added to the mix. There will be more soon, including her birth story.

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Everyone adores her and wants to hold her all the time. She is pretty tolerant of her big sisters being in her face and poking her all day long. She has the blondest hair of the four at birth, but she does have some brown, so time will tell whether she is blonde or brown.

Happy Birthday Greta!

Last Friday Greta turned SIX! She had a good day at school, followed by dinner at the Chinese restaurant and frozen yogurt for dinner. Cake was planned for her party the next day.

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All dressed up for dinner:

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