Monday, September 17, 2018

A Nautical Baby Shower


After all of the pregnancy and baby posts for my sweet boy James Brody the last few months, you may think that this is another post celebrating him. Nope! There's another bundle of joy coming into our lives in a matter of weeks; my very first nephew Gabriel Francis Lewis! That's right, I'm going to be an auntie and I couldn't be more excited. Don't get me wrong, I feel like an auntie to my very best friends babies because I love and care for them so much, but this time it's my sister that's pregnant and it feels so special.

My sister is 9.5 weeks behind me in pregnancy, so yesterday she hit the 34 week mark. We're looking at just about a month and a half until we're back in labor and delivery again to meet Baby Gabe! It was so much fun being pregnant together, and it's going to be even more fun raising our sons together! The fact that she lives only 5 minutes from me is the absolute best. Chloe's going to love having two little boys to boss around in a few years.


My mom, our friends Meena and Kelsey, and I hosted Gabe's nautical themed baby shower. His nursery is going to be ocean/whale themed, so we were able to incorporate lots of decorations that could be used in his nursery as well. 


Of course we had to do a whale themed clothes line to help her get his wardrobe started! Most of these items can be found at Carters or Target! The Nautical bandana bibs are from Amazon. {4 for only $14.99!} They have other patterns if you're interested too. I received the dinosaur set at my shower and had to get some for Gabe. The burp cloths and breast pads are handmade by family friends, and the personalized onesies and bibs are made by our friend Amy Jo who has an Etsy shop called Milk Belly Designs!


Speaking of Amy Jo, she also created this gorgeous diaper cake for Gabe! Even though she couldn't be at the shower, her personalized touches were all over the place!


The diaper cake sat in the middle of our under the sea candy bar! We had everything from sour seaweed to the catch of the day, gummy sharks to fish bait, and salt water taffy to a school of fish! We bought some white treat bags from Amazon and some sweet thank you whale stickers to add on for guests to fill up and take home with them. It was definitely a hit.


Here is what our Under the Sea candy bar consisted of:

Fish Food: M&M's
Salt Water Taffy
Whale Kisses: Dark and milk chocolate kisses
Seaweed: Sour noodles (blue and green separated)
Fishing Bait: Sour noodles (red separated)
Gummy Octopus
Whale Poop: Peanut M&M's
Gummy Sharks
School of Fish: Swedish Fish
Catch of the Day: Tropical Fish Lollipops
Chocolate dipped pretzels


As far as baby shower games go, we didn't really go the traditional route. Since the shower was co-ed, it was really more of an opportunity to just hang out, mingle, eat good food and open lots of presents. But you can't have a baby shower without a little something! This time we put a spin on the traditional "Don't Say Baby" game. Instead of using clothes pins, we used lifesaver necklaces made with mint Life Savers and bakers twine. Whenever someone said "Baby" if you caught them, you could steal their necklace. Whoever had the most necklaces at the end of the night, won a gift card!


We also had a diaper raffle for everyone who brought a pack of diapers for the parents-to-be! You can never have too many diapers when welcoming a little one into the world. Everyone that brought some was able to enter their name for each package they brought and at the end of the night we drew a winner for another gift card! Speaking of diapers, we also set up a "Midnight Changing Station." The idea is to write a silly note of the back of a diaper to lighten the mood when changing diapers in the wee hours. I love doing this for new parents because they get lots diapers and a few laughs too.


As far as food goes, we had quite the assortment! Since it was an evening shower, we provided dinner. My dad smoked some pork and brisket on the pit, so we had sliders with all the fixin's and sides! We also had buffalo chicken dip, raspberry chipotle meatballs, baked beans, coleslaw, veggies, chips and dips. On top of that, we had tons of desserts to choose from aside from the candy bar. Brownies, a truffle pudding, sopapilla cheesecake, an actual cheesecake and two cakes! I completely forgot to get pictures of all the food before everyone started digging in, but I did snap a picture of the vanilla cake with it's sweet whale topper that we found at Hobby Lobby.


I think that covers all the details of the shower! Now it's all about the mom and dad-to-be and the ones who love them most. It's not a party without a moment to take ALL the pictures.


Just before pictures, we had to snap a picture of Matt and Emily, but of course Chloe had to be in it. Emily is quite possibly Chloe's favorite person in the world.

Then we had to get the traditional hostess, parents, best friends and family pictures at the end of the night.


Hostesses with Emily and Matt
Kelsey-Amy-Donna (Mom)-Emily-Matt-Meena


Emily & Matt with all the parents...and Chloe (at least she's smiling this time!)






It was an absolutely wonderful shower! The new parents received so many amazing gifts and were showered with love the whole night. It's always wonderful to see people come together and celebrate especially when it's for two very deserving people.

Emily and Matt,
We love you both so much and can't wait to meet your baby boy. He is going to be the most perfect addition to our crazy family. I'm already excited to see him and Brody grow up together as best friends and cousins! Prayers for an easy rest of the pregnancy and labor and delivery. I can't think of two more amazing parents than y'all. Gabe is a lucky little boy.
xoxo,



Monday, September 10, 2018

Brody's Birth Story Part 1: The Birth

At 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I was so done. I was emotional, exhausted, hurting and just ready to meet my baby boy. My body has shown signs of progression for several weeks, yet it wasn't kicking into active labor. I had done everything possible to prepare my body and get things going. I even dealt with a day of prodromal labor and was sent home after going to the hospital at 40+1. Luckily the following Monday was my doctor's appointment where we planned to discuss what the next steps were, and this is where our story begins...

10:45am: I had my final OB appointment where I planned to waltz in and beg her to induce me! And that is exactly what I did. My doctor came in and asked me how I was holding up. I told her that I concede and would love to just be induced as early as possible! {For those of you new around here, I really wanted to go into labor naturally and not have to deal with the evil pitocin. I was induced with my daughter and knew the pain of pitocin contractions. Since I wanted to have a medicine free delivery, an induction free delivery was ideal.} She said she'd call the hospital as soon as she checked me. She checked and I was still sitting at about 3.5cm dilated, but she could stretch me to a 4. I had been walking around at 3cm for over 2 weeks! She also did another membrane sweep to hopefully help jump start things before she went straight to her phone to call the hospital. Meanwhile we waited for the ultrasound tech to call us back to check my fluid levels. My doctor had said if they couldn't get me in today that she would schedule my induction for the following night which pretty much was my worst case scenario. I needed that baby out! Only a few minutes later, she called me back and asked if I could go to the hospital straight away. Ummm...OF COURSE!

11:10am: We went straight to the hospital which was only about 10 minutes away. First, we called my dad who was working from home to see if he could come grab Chloe. He had a call to jump on, but luckily my sister-in-law Corbette was there and able to come grab her for us from the hospital before driving back to San Antonio for work! Then we called or texted the rest of the family to let them know what was going on and where to meet us once they got to the hospital. I was also texting all of my friends like crazy letting them know this was the real deal. I was going to have a baby soon!


11:30am: While JP waited for Corbette, I checked into hospital! My mom was working that day, so she walked from postpartum to labor and delivery to meet up with me. {My mom is a lactation consultant and former NICU nurse at the hospital where I delivered!} I waited for just a few minutes in the lobby before they called me back to my room. Luckily the VIP Princess Suite was available and ready for me! It's not really called that, but that's my name for the room because it's the largest L&D room and it even has it's own waiting room area attached.

I got all dolled up in my super sweet hospital gown and was ready and excited to get things going!


12:30pm: After answering all the questions and getting situated in my room my Pitocin and Penicillin were administered. I'm GBS positive, so I needed two doses of Penicillin in my system before baby was born to ensure that I don't pass it onto him! While it's harmless to adults, it can be deadly to babies. My pitocin levels were started at a 2 and could go as high as 36, but they gradually increase it in increments of 2 to slowly ramp up your labor.

My awesome nurse, Stephanie, was very supportive of my desire to have a med free delivery and presented me with several options to help aid my cause. First she brought in wireless monitors! That's right, I didn't have to stay in the bed with two monitors strapped to my belly reading baby's heart rate and my contractions. Instead, I had them taped to my belly and they were waterproof in case I wanted to get in the bath tub. Then she brought out the yoga ball for me to sit on if it felt right. In my case, it definitely did!



1:00-5:00pm: These 4 hours are kind of a blur as far as exact times go. There wasn't really anything too exciting about them other than the fact that I was indeed in labor and my people started arriving. Contractions over those hours gradually get more intense, but are manageable. They started as mild cramp about 5 minutes apart and picked up to a more moderate pain in the first couple of hours. My mom came and went as she had patients, and my sister arrived around 1:00pm. You know what else came at 1:00pm? That awesome tray of goodness you see in the picture above! When I was induced with Chloe it was ice chips only. This time my doctor allowed me to have clear fluids! I was all about the jello, sorbet and apple juice. Thank you Jesus. I know those sugars helped me to keep my energy up over the next several hours.

Around 3:00pm, my in laws arrived at the hospital from College Station. It was nice to have another mother in the room with me!


During this time, I labored standing up or on the medicine ball. Laying in bed was easily the most uncomfortable position I could possible be in! As the pitocin and my contractions picked up, I had to focus more on my breathing through the contractions, but they weren't the incredibly painful contractions that I knew would be coming. I was just wondering why they weren't here yet! At 4:00pm my sister left for her OB appointment. Funny story, we have the same doctor! I had a feeling that once my doctor was finished with my sister's appointment, she would be headed my way to break my water.


5:15pm: Emily returned from her appointment and only a few minutes later, my doctor comes in to check me and I'm only 3.5cm still! It was incredibly discouraging, but I knew that after they broke my water that things would pick up since that's what happened with Chloe. Brody had plenty of water in my tummy, so he wasn't able to descend and put pressure on my cervix, until some of that fluid was gone.

Luckily after both my doctor and nurse checked me, my doctor did indeed brake my water. This is where things picked up. Immediately my contractions were much worse. Literally the very first one after my water broke was painful. Instead of breathing through my contractions, I was moaning through them. I knew I couldn't stay on the bed, and my doctor again was awesome and encouraged me to get on the ball or stand whatever I needed to do except get in the tub. I was thankful because some doctors would prefer you to stay in bed after your water is broken. She was so respectful and encouraging of my wishes!


The ball became my happy place and I found a nice rhythm with my support team. With each contraction, JP would press his thumbs {and eventually decided his fists would be better} into my lower back while I push back with counter pressure. I kept my hands on my mom's legs and she helped me to breathe or moan through each contraction. It was incredibly empowering. My sister was also in the room taking pictures as well as my mother in law who was encouraging me the whole time.


7:00pm: It was shift change, so my lovely nurse was leaving me and I was introduced to my new nurse who turned out to be equally as awesome. She checked my cervix and I had progressed to 5cm, I was completely effaced and my cervix finally moved to an anterior position. I was bummed that I was only 5cm though because I started to feel like I was going through transition. You can see in the picture above that I'm in quite a bit of pain and transferring into the bed was the last thing I wanted to do!

At this point, JP turned on the Astros game for some distraction for me and entertainment for everyone else. {Yes, this turns out to be an important tid bit of information!} Then quite rapidly things began to change in the room. I was in an immense amount of pain and began shaking.

7:15pm: In between contractions, I talked with my mom and sister and decided that 3-4 more hours of contractions like that would be excruciating for me. I didn't think I could continue on if I was only 5cm dilated! I called my nurse and let her know that I decided that I wanted an epidural.

7:30pm: The anesthesiologist was actually nearby and finishing up with another patient, so he was in my room in 15 minutes. Getting from the ball to the bed was intense. I was shaking uncontrollably as I was sitting on the bed, but my nurse was amazing. She got me situated in the place I needed to be and just help me and helped me breathe through everything. She held my head to her chest and just encouraged me and made me feel safe, Poor JP didn't know what to do, so he just sat on the couch while everyone sat in the waiting room.

Then all of a sudden sh*t hit the fan. The anesthesiologist stuck me twice with the shots of Novocaine when I said, "I need to push right now. I'm pushing!" Just 30 minutes prior I was only 5cm! The anesthesiologist quickly stuck me with the epidural needle and I honestly didn't feel a thing. I was slowly doing little pushes to relieve the pain and pressure I was feeling.


They laid me back down and the room got frantic. All of my people in the waiting room didn't know it was showtime. My mom helped my nurse get everything ready by calling the nursery while my nurse got my doctor and everyone else necessary. During this time, the anesthesiologist was able to push the smallest dose of medicine through my epidural to take off the edge. Essentially it allowed me to feel calmed down and it numbed my butt. I still had full control of my entire body and I felt every single push.


7:45pm: Speaking of pushing, it was less than 15 minutes after the anesthesiologist arrived that I began my real pushes! I was able to hold my legs and give it my all with each contraction. Some people say they don't like it when the nurse or doctor counts to 10, but honestly it really helped me to concentrate on what I was doing. Pushing felt so amazing. Don't get me wrong, there was pain, but it was the greatest relief after going through transition. After the first few pushes, my doctor asked if I wanted to feel his head! Ummm...ABSOLUTELY! It was the greatest feeling knowing he was there and feeling his head of hair. I gave another couple of pushes after that and delivered his head. Just one push later my baby boy was here! Despite his quick delivery, I didn't even tear.



7:56pm: James Brody Gougler was born! He was immediately place on my chest and my legs finally got a chance to rest on the stirrups. I was so completely in love and flooded with emotions. I went from ugly tears and joyous laughter!

During this time, the Astros game was playing in the background. We were down 0-4 against the A's before I started pushing. By the time I finished pushing and Baby Brody was here, the Astros were up 5-4! JP was so proud and told everyone that I was the Astros good luck.


Now times get really fuzzy, so I'll just share the details. After a few moments on my chest, the nursery nurse had to take him from me because of fluid in his lungs. He came so fast that he didn't have time to descend and push the fluid out of his lungs. They suctioned 18 cc's of fluid from him, monitored his breathing, wiped him down, weighed and measured him!



Brody's grandpa arrived as I was pushing, so he was stuck out in the waiting room with the other gentlemen until I was decent. As you can see, he was itching to come in!


They only had Brody away from me for a few minutes. It didn't bother me too much because he was in the room and my mom was helping. Knowing she was there with him gave me a sense of ease. It's kind of funny because in all of these pictures, she looks like she's one of the nurses working since she had been working earlier that day!


While Brody was on the warmer, I easily delivered my placenta with a little push and no problems at all. I asked my doctor if I could see it, and not only did she show it to me, but she explained the different parts to me and my sister. It was so neat and fascinating. She also gave me one stitch because there was a loose piece of skin that she wanted to encourage to tighten up, so although I didn't tear, I had one stitch down there. The difference in the healing process tearing vs not tearing is incredibly different. I feel like I'm healing so much faster this time!

The only issue I had with Brody being away from me was the uncontrollable postpartum shakes! I was shaking like crazy when he wasn't on me. I needed him to help regulate my hormones!


James Brody Gougler was born at 7:56pm in Sugar Land, TX. He weight a whopping 8lbs 7oz and was 20 1/2 inches long.



My mom was able to hand him to me after his examination. If my mom hadn't been there, Brody would have gone to the NICU. It's standard procedure to take them if they have a certain amount of fluid on their lungs, so thank goodness for my mom and her expertise. I would have been devastated if he had to leave me!




After some skin to skin bonding, it was time for Brody's first breastfeeding session! How convenient to have a lactation consultant in the room with me. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I kind of forgot what to do! It was nice to have my mom there to help with the first feed. After that, everything came naturally to me again.



Needless to say, Brody is a natural and a pro at this breastfeeding thing just like his sister!


Once we were situated, the whole gang was let in to meet the newest grandson and nephew! But I'm going to stop here for now. I promise to come back with Brody's Birth Story Part 2: The Recovery soon! I still have so many pictures and stories to share, but this is the perfect stopping point. My baby is here and we are so in love! 

Friday, September 7, 2018

10 Day Unbumpdate

In the blink of an eye, my baby is now 10 days old and we've spent over a week at home as a family of four. It's been a wild 10 days with lots of emotions and doctor appointments, and we know there is even more to come.

I thought it would be fun to do a postpartum update or an Unbumpdate as I've decided to call it! I no longer have a bump, but a baby! I also think it's incredibly important to be real here about how my postpartum recovery is going. I was real with y'all about pregnancy, so I'd like to continue on through my 4th trimester. I'm going to take the categories I used during my weekly Bumpdates and tweak them to make them more postpartum friendly. I hope that this will help someone out there realize that you aren't along in your postpartum journey. It's hard for everyone. Even though we have these amazing precious lives that we would do anything for, not every moment or every day is pretty!

How Old is Baby? 
10 days old as of 7:56pm last night.


Size of Baby: 
8lb 14oz
He was born at 8lb 7oz and dropped to 8lbs even when we left the hospital. We have a hungry boy on our hands!

Weight Loss: 
20lbs
This is based on my home scale. I have my first postpartum follow up at the doctor on Monday which will be my official weigh it. I'd also like to note that I did end up gaining 34lbs in total during my pregnancy with Brody. 1lb more than I did with Chloe and I know that with hard work, breastfeeding, and time, I'll be back to my old self once again.

Stretch marks: 
Just the ones under my boobies from their first great expansion when I was pregnant with Chloe. Going from a barely B to a DD will do that to a girl.


Postpartum Aches and Pains: 
The postpartum cramping has been so much worse this time around. Apparently it's common for your cramping after birth to be much worse after the first. Who knew? I definitely had to stay on top of taking my medicine the first week. It's gradually getting lighter, but seems to be the worst at night. I've only been taking my medicine right before bed to help with that. Otherwise my perineum pain has decreased exponentially. I didn't end up tearing this time, which has made the healing process much easier and faster.

Emotions: 
For the most part, I'm feeling really great emotionally. There are definitely weepy moments here and there that mostly revolve around Chloe and the fact that she doesn't want to have anything to do with me and is changing so much right before my eyes. It's been a very busy and emotional couple of weeks for all of us. I'm definitely on high alert for postpartum depression/anxiety symptoms because I know it can happen to anyone. I've told my husband and my mom to keep an eye on me and let me know if they sense something off. I may be mad at them in the moment, but I know I'll get over it. I dealt with some postpartum anxiety with Chloe and went undiagnosed until about 9-10 months postpartum. After taking some medicine for a few months, I was back to normal and able to wean off without a problem.

Sleep: 
Well I'm not waking up to go potty 4-5 times a night, but I am waking up to feed Brody about 2 times every night. We were told yesterday that we no longer have to wake him every 3-4 hours to eat, so I'm hoping we can start to get a solid 5 hour stretch each night. Luckily Brody is a really efficient eater and seems to love his sleep, so we are getting some sleep! Definitely more than we did with Chloe. We have a solid night time routine going on: We both wake up when Brody does, JP changes his diaper while I go potty and get situated, I feed Brody and get him back in his SleepSack, if Brody decides to be fussy, JP will help soothe him to sleep so I can get some rest. It just works!

Our first family photo and Brody's first nursing session!

Breastfeeding:
I am one of the fortunate ones that has a pretty easy time breastfeeding. Chloe and Brody were both great eaters that just seemed to know what they were doing. Neither had tongue or lip ties either, which I know is a blessing. It's also a blessing to have a lactation consultant mom! Any questions I have can be answered instantly and trust me, even though this is my second time, I still have questions! I love breastfeeding and the bond that it gives mother and baby. It's such a special time and I hope to be able to nurse Brody for at least a year, but ideally up to two years!
Now just because it's easy for me and I love it doesn't mean I don't feel the aches and pains! I definitely have tender nipples especially when he's cluster feeding. Take a look at my postpartum favorites post to see what I use to help that!

Cravings: 
Taco salads, Honey Nut Chex Mix, cookies, cake, spaghetti squash (random I know), lots of water, watermelon, coffee. Breastfeeding cravings pretty much involve a lot of carbs and more sweets than I care to admit!

Workouts: 
I'm still not cleared to workout and likely won't be until 6 weeks postpartum. I've been trying very hard to take it easy and rest while I allow my body to heal these first two weeks. I think I've actually done a really great job at that! I haven't gone on an outdoor walk because of lots of rain and crazy humidity. I'm hoping to get out there soon for a slow and steady walk. Otherwise, I've made an effort to get out to the grocery store, Target and Hobby Lobby just to walk around a bit more this week.


Best Moments The Past 2 Weeks: 
Bringing Brody home and starting life as a family of four.
Watching Chloe grow closer to her brother each day. I love seeing her interact with him and show him her love!

Be sure to check back Monday for Brody's Birth Story! I can't wait to share one of the most amazing and painful experiences of my life!


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