Monday, May 30, 2011

Nathan's Birth Story: Part 2- It's a Boy!

Nathan's Birth Story Part 1
Rylee's Birth Story Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

I had fairly regular contractions all that day. That night I put Rylee down to sleep and then climbed in bed at about 9:30 pm. I leaned far over to grab something on the floor and I heard a "POP". I was so scared because I felt something snap in me. 

I called Tim in the room and told him that I thought I had squished the baby too much and broke his leg inside of me. He went and got me a towel because apparently I have a hard time realizing when my water has actually broken. The weird thing is I had time to put the towel under me before water gushed everywhere. I have no idea what the delay was.

It was late and Rylee was sleeping so my mom told us to leave Rylee with her even though she was really sick (the next morning Tim's sister Tami was going to pick her up and keep her at her house until we came home). 

Once again we (Tim's mom, Tim and I) drove back to Seattle. On the way there my contractions became pretty intense. I could tell that I was moving along faster then I did with Rylee. 

When we arrived at the hospital, I again told them my water had broken. One nurse just took one look at the towel between my legs and said "Oh ya, your water has broken." But then the same mean nurse from earlier made her use a test strip to make sure. She practically snarled as she explained that I had already been in there once that day "claiming" that my water had broke. She really was mean. I don't think I was being over sensitive. The test strip proved that I was indeed in labor. 

They wheeled me into my room and I met my nurse. She was to stay with me the entire time and never leave my side because I was considered high risk because of my heart condition. Luckily, she was super nice and I really enjoyed having her as my nurse, especially after the mean lady. :) This time around I only had one doctor and one nurse. What a difference...
They strapped me to all kinds of monitors and I couldn't move at all. The contractions felt so much more painful laying on my back like that. I decided to just get the epidural. I didn't have to wait very long and the anesthesiologist was much faster then the last one. It took about ten minutes. I probably only had to deal with 2-3 contractions while he was inserting it. It really was a huge difference from my experience during Rylee's labor. 

The epidural took the pain away but this time I could feel my legs going in and out of being numb. It was a terrible sensation. What I remember the most was being itchy. I felt like I was scratching so hard that I was going to rip my skin off. Tim and I slept most of the night, but I kept waking up because I was so itchy. The doctor said that sometimes happens and typically gets worse with each time. Yikes, I don't think I want to try another epidural if that is the case. I was much more rested this time around then I was with Rylee though. 

Just before 7am I was fully dilated. It was shift change time, but my wonderful nurse stayed with me anyway. I pushed for thirteen minutes and at 7:17 am there was my sweet little boy. He was dark purple. The cord was wrapped around his neck. They made some comments about taking him to the NICU. I felt desperate, I didn't want that again. Luckily they decided he would be okay. After they watched him for a little while they gave him to me. He was still a little purple...

They weighed and measured him... 7 lbs 6 oz 19 1/2 inches long.

His coloring started looking normal, I nursed him a little. 

Later Tami and Tennille brought Jadeyn and Rylee down to the hospital to meet the baby...

We did a name drawing to pick his first name. But then we ended up going against the drawing and choosing Nathan Michael.

Nathan loved his binky, he was super noisy when he sucked on it. 
My mom finally gets to hold him... 

What a blessing my babies are to me. I am so excited to meet this little one on the way!

37 weeks...

I think this baby is ready to make it's arrival. I have been having false labor pains all week. I cannot believe the pressure I feel. It shouldn't be too much longer. I am guessing 39 weeks but then again you just never know. I am so excited. These last three weeks are always the hardest to be patient. Hurry up baby! A part of me is perfectly willing to wait. The part of me that is still going through the storage shed. I finally found the newborn boy clothes. I just need to find the newborn girl clothes. I don't think they are in there. ??? They must be in the attic. My birthing kit will not be here until Tuesday. After that we are good to go.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Try Swagbucks!

I just claimed another Amazon giftcard from Swagbucks. I thought I would give a little rundown of all the possibilities of earning Swagbucks points. I will also share how I typically redeem my Swagbucks.

The easiest and fastest way to earn Swagbucks points is by referrals. If you click on one of my links and then go and earn some Swagbucks, I will then earn every time you earn. This can add up very fast. So feel free to sign up under me. ;)

There are a lot of other ways to earn Swagbucks if you do not want to refer anyone. The most common is to use the Swagbucks search bar. You can download this into your browser to make it convenient. When doing normal routine searches you will occasionally get awarded Swagbucks. Typically I earn about 16 a day from this. Occasionally you earn large quantities like 50 or 100 or even more. I think the most I have ever one from one search is 100. You can find the toolbar along the top bar of the homepage. If you download the toolbar to your browser you will receive 1 Swagbuck just for opening your browser each day automatically. Occasionally you will get special messages in your toolbar from the swag guy with special swag codes (I will talk about swag codes later).

On there home page there are several ways to earn Swagbucks. On the top there is a drop down menu that says "Earn". I will go over these next...

Coupons: They have the option to print coupons. You earn 10 Swagbucks for every coupon that you redeem in a store. This one has a little turnover time. I use coupons occasionally. I generally browse the coupons before going to the store to see if there are any for the items I am already planning to purchase. I only print them if I am going to use them.

Daily Deals: These typically give you a lot of Swagbucks. These include Groupon deals and other saving sites. If you are going to purchase a Groupon deal you mine as well do it through Swagbucks and earn some extra Swagbucks.

Daily Poll: This is a very easy one. You simply answer a poll question and earn 1 Swagbuck everyday.

Games: I do not use this feature but you can play their little mini games and randomly be given Swagbucks.

Invite and Earn: This is a new one. Everyday you can invite one of your friends from your choice of platforms to join Swagbucks and earn 1 Swagbuck.

NOSO: No Obligation Special Offers: You just click on the circle that says "Start Earning now" and then at the very bottom of each add it will have a button that says "see next offer" or "skip", just click through each add and after 4-5 ads you get 2 Swagbucks. Sometimes you have to watch a very short video at the end. In order to get these you will need to enter the code shown in the box. You can do this once a day.

Search: This is just a search bar if you do not want to download one you can use this one. There is also one the home page.

Special Offers: This is one I rarely use. It doesn't hurt to browse through it every once in a while. There are things like Netflix in here. You can get a lot of Swagbucks here if you were going to sign up for the products anyway. If you sign up for a free trial of Netflix for example you earn 1000 Swagbucks.

Swagbucks TV: These are basically commercials. You watch 10 of them and earn 3 Swagbucks. I do not think there is a limit of how many you can do in a day.

Tasks: These are kind of like Treasure Hunts online. You complete the tasks they give you involving a website and then they give you the listed Swagbucks.

Trade In: They will pay the postage for you to ship them phones, mp3 players, books, games and game consoles. It does have to be something they approve of ahead of time. Once they receive the items they will give you the specified Swagbucks. I have not ever done this.

Trusted Surveys: When you first go into the Surveys you can take a short Swagbucks survey for 10 Swagbucks. They will occasionally have other surveys that you can take. If you qualify you could potentially make a lot of Swagbucks. I rarely qualify for a survey. However if you just click the Trusted Survey link each day you will receive 1 Swagbuck. You also have the option of filling out profile questions for the Surveys. This is a simple way to make a total of 75 Swagbucks.

A very easy way to make extra Swagbucks is finding and entering Swagcodes. Typically they release one code a day. Sometimes they do a special day where they will release 5-6 codes in one day. The codes do not last very long. You can find them on Swagbucks Twitter page, Swagbucks Facebook page, Swagbucks Blog, on Swagbucks Home page and in the chat bar on Swagbucks homepage. I do not have time to search all these places for Swagbucks codes, so I just follow SwagCode Spoiler on twitter. I have it set up so that my phone sends me a message whenever they make a post. Then I just go to my computer and enter the code. They only post when there is a code so I do not get a ton of messages from them.

One last way to earn Swagbucks is to watch the 30 second commercials that are on Swagbucks Home page. They only have them sometimes. Watch it over and over until it tells you that you cannot watch it anymore. It doesn't tell you that you are earning Swagbucks but you are.

Okay now that we talked about all the ways to earn Swagbucks, let's talk about the way that I redeem them.
There are a lot of different ways to redeem them. You can click on the drop down menu called "Redeem" to browse through all of them. I always redeem mine for gift cards. Amazon gift cards to be exact. A $5.00 Amazon gift card is 450 Swagbucks. You can add these to your Amazon account and save them up to use on one big item. It usually takes about a week for it to be available from the time you put in your request. You can only redeem two of same giftcard in a day and I think 5 of the same giftcard in a month. ??  If I need more then this I save up for the $50.00 giftcard which is 5900 Swagbucks. I do not ever get the $25.00 giftcard which is 3150 Swagbucks. The best deal  of the three is the $5.00 gift card. The second best is the $50.00 Amazon gift card. The $25.00 Amazon gift card is the worst deal of the three.

The math:
10 $5.00 Amazon gift cards= 4500 Swagbucks
2 $25.00 Amazon gift cards= 6300 Swagbucks
1 $50.00 Amazon gift cards= 5900 Swagbucks
All three equal $50.00 Amazon giftcards but the $25.00 one is clearly the worst of the three.
The only time I would get the $50.00 giftcard is if you have to many Swagbucks to order only $5.00 giftcards. Clear as mud???

You should definitely look around, you may find something you like much better. There are $5.00 giftcard for about 140 Swagbucks. I just prefer the Amazon giftcards.

I hope this helps clear up some things for some of you. It really is easy money. I have been using Swagbucks for at least a year.

Have you tried Swagbucks? What do you typically redeem yours for? Did I miss any ways to earn Swagbucks?

Rylee's Birth Story: Part 3- A baby Girl!

Read Rylee's Birth Story : Part 1  Part 2 

Nathan's Birth Story: Part 1 Part 2

Warning: Some people may not want to read this...

Holding Rylee for the first time was amazing! I felt so much love for her. I never wanted to let her go. Unfortunately I did not have a choice. She turned blue in my arms. They took her from me and started fussing around her. They put an oxygen mask on her and said they were taking her to the NICU (which was five floors away).

They moved me to a regular room. Eventually a doctor came in and told us that they thought she had spinal meningitis and they needed to do a spinal tap on her to find out. He recommended starting antibiotics as soon as possible because the longer we waited the higher the risk of her dying. Tim and I were brand new parents and just agreed to everything they said. I didn't get to see her for awhile. 

I did ask for a breast pump and asked that they not give her any formula. They threatened told me that I would not be able to keep up with Rylee's milk needs. They said that I needed to pump 2 oz every three hours otherwise they would supplement with formula. The nurses were amazed I pumped 2 oz my very first time. I asked a nurse when my milk was going to come in and she laughed and said that it obviously already had (she was wrong). 

They finally let us go see her. Tim changed her first diaper and then we fed her my breast milk with a syringe dropper. We then had to weigh her and make sure that she weighed 2 oz more then she had. We had to get her back in her incubator as soon as possible because she wasn't keeping herself warm. We hadn't slept in a long time so we went back to our rooms and slept for 1 1/2 hours and then did it all again. This time I changed her diaper. We repeated this over and over. 

The test results came back and it turns out she didn't have spinal meningitis. However because they had given antibiotics she would need to stay in the NICU for a  total of three days. 

Finally, on the 3rd day they said she could come home. Tim gave her a bath for the first time. We got her dressed, did the hospital test and Auntie Tami drove us all home.

 I finally get to nurse...

 Grandma Airplane (my mom) with Rylee...

 Rylee's first bath...
Auntie Tami and Jadeyn...
 Grammie and Jadeyn visiting...
The day we came home from the hospital my milk came in... wow... they were hard as concrete. I didn't have a pump. That night Rylee refused to eat. My breast were drowning her every time I removed the breast pads so I think she at least got some in her mouth... and her eyes and her nose and her ears. I tried all night long. She cried and cried. I cried with her. The next day we went to the hospital to rent a pump and the lady there explained to me that it was impossible for Rylee to latch on because I was so engorged. When we got home I pumped like 20 ounces. Rylee latched on and ate after that. Nursing went okay after that. I just had to pump before and after feeding her to give a little relief. I was always still full afterwards. Over time I was able to pump less and less until I finally regulated.

 Taking a nap with daddy, 7 days old

 8 days old
 8 days old

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nathan's Birth Story: Part 1- Pregnancy

You can also read Rylee's Birth Story... Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Nathan's Birth Story Part 2

I found out that I was pregnant right after Rylee's 2nd birthday. 

I decided to use a midwife this time around. I found one that I loved but unfortunately she couldn't deliver my baby because of my heart condition. She referred me to the perinatologist at Swedish Medical in Seattle. I continued to see her as if she was going to deliver my baby just because I really liked her but I had weekly appointments in Seattle too. I had constant stress test, ultrasounds, contraction test and who knows what else.  It was interesting with a two year old who didn't sit still while mom was strapped to a machine. 

When we found out we were having a boy, we knew right away that his middle name would be Michael. Michael was Tim's dads name. Tim lost his father when he was 16. We were completely unsure about a first name.

As my pregnancy progressed one of the ultrasound ladies was nice enough to give me some print outs of a 3D ultrasound. That was fun to see. We narrowed our name search down to three names... Nathan, Alexander and I honestly cannot remember the third (maybe someone else does?). 

Tim's sisters did my baby shower at Tami's house. This time it was just ladies. I cannot find any photos of this??? But once again I have photos of the presents. :) And I definitely was spoiled... again.
(Don't mind the blinds, we had a new puppy and it took him all of one day to do that damage...

I painted his nursery and put a border in between the two colors. I cannot find any photos of the finished nursery. I was such a slacker back then.

We will pretend that this is what it looked like when I was done...
(that border is the one I had seperating the two colors)
8 months pregnant...

Nathan's going home outfit. The shoes that went with this were so adorable. They were flipped in the photo so you cannot see them.

With this pregnancy my mom came out a few days early. I thought that because Rylee was two weeks early that I would have this baby early too. I was wrong. 

On April 30 (the day before my due date) I felt a little splash and realized my water had broke.  It wasn't a lot of liquid like it had been with Rylee but it was definitely something. It was early and I wasn't really experiencing any pain yet so I took my time getting ready. My mom was feeling sick so she opted to stay home with Rylee. Tim's mom came and picked me up and we drove to Seattle. Tim was working in Seattle, so we grabbed him on the way. I was starting to have contractions but they were not regular yet. 

When we arrived at the hospital they checked me out and told me that my water had not broken. They were pretty rude about it too. Not gentle in the examination at all. I am thinking this nurse seriously needed a vacation. I was really confused because I had definitely had liquid run down my leg (yes, I checked to make sure it wasn't pee). :) I must have just had a small hole and leaked or something. Anyway they were mean to me and sent me home. 

By the time we got home my mom was much sicker (stomach flu). Good thing we came home. 

I had fairly regular contractions all that day. That night I got Rylee to sleep and then climbed in bed. I leaned far over to grab something on the floor and I heard a "POP" and felt something snap inside of me. I was scared...

Rylee's Birth Story Part 2: Labor

Rylee's Birth Story Part 1 Part 3

Nathan's Birth Story Part 1 Part 2

Warning: Some people may not want to read this.

I woke up at 3:00am in the morning and realized that I had peed in the bed- a lot. I tapped on Tim's shoulder and said "Honey, I need you to get up. I need to change the sheets, I peed in the bed." He was out of bed fast. :) I was standing next to the bed and said "Oh my gosh, I'm peeing again." I ran to bathroom. "Tim, I can't stop peeing." He came in and said "Are you sure you are peeing." And for the first time it occurred to me that maybe I was in labor. 

I started crying because my mom was all the way in Arizona and her plane ticket wasn't for another two weeks. Tim changed the sheets and called the hospital while I took a shower, did my hair and make-up, packed a bag that wasn't yet packed. Tim also called his mom and sisters to tell them. His sister called the airline and somehow managed to get them to change my mom's ticket to that day. My mom was still four hours from the airport and so it would be at least 12 hours before she could be there.

Tim drove me to the hospital. I started having more regular contractions by this time. My doctor was just leaving the hospital and we ran into her. She told us that her colleague would be taking care of me until they transferred me to Seattle. What? Why? She explained that she wasn't comfortable with my situation and wanted me to be at the University of Washington which had the ability to deal with heart stuff better then this hospital (I had a heart condition). They checked me in, started me on antibiotics and then checked to see how dilated I was. I was barely moving along. Tim's mom and sisters came to the hospital.

At about 10:00 am, some paramedics came and put me on a gurney and wheeled me out to an ambulance. Tim rode up front- zooming down the freeway to Seattle was a lot more fun for him then it was for me. By this point my contractions were super painful and being strapped down flat to a gurney wasn't helping. It didn't take long for us to arrive at the hospital but it felt like a long time.

Once there I was given a pretty large room. There were a lot of people there with me. My mom was getting ready to board an airplane from Arizona at this point. Five doctors came in to check on me after I arrived. I don't remember any of their faces. At least three of them if not all of them checked to see how far dilated I was and then they sat there and discussed it. It is a teaching hospital. Never mind that I am having horrible contractions and have been for the last six hours. It was frustrating for me to hear that I wasn't dilating. They mentioned that we had a timeline. They would give me twenty-four hours from the time my water broke and then if I hadn't had her they would do a C-section. They recommended an epidural because then my body could relax and it might help things along. They also recommended Pitocin. I declined and after they left Tim suggested that I get the epidural. I said that I didn't want to and he went back to rubbing my back as hard as he could during contractions. Hot towels on my stomach during contractions kept the poor nurses busy.

I was stuck in bed and the pain was so bad. Tim kept asking me to get an epidural. Several hours later, an anesthesiologist came in with his cart full of supplies and asked if I wanted one. He told me he could do it right then and take the pain away. Does this seem especially cruel to you? Tim was really tired and wanted me to get one really bad- so that he could sleep! :) I caved. I agreed to Pitocin and an epidural.

Let me just say if I had known how incredibly painful the epidural experience was going to be, I never ever would have let him touch me. It was by far the most painful part. It took over an hour (remember this is a teaching hospital). He had to start over in a different spot three times. What made it so horrible though is that my contractions were so strong from the Pitocin. I was having them very frequently and they were long. I wasn't aloud to move at all and Tim couldn't even rub my back for me. Torture! Note to self: in the future, if I am going to get an epidural, do it early on before the contractions get so bad!

My mom arrived at the hospital while I was getting the epidural, so she didn't see me in any pain. Because...

After he was finally done and the epidural kicked in, it was all peaches and icecream. I enjoyed everyone's company and laughed and joked. I couldn't even tell I was in labor except that I was strapped to a bed and couldn't move my legs.

At about 11:00 pm I still hadn't had her and I was getting very tired. The nurses asked me if I would like to take a nap. Tim answered this question for us with a resounding yes! :) We both slept until about 1:00 am. The nurses came in to check on me saying that if I wasn't dilated that I would be having a Cesarean. The doctors came back in and checked on me. I was ready.

The Delivery:

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