Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Introducing: Logan James Brown

It's hard to believe that I'm just now posting the big news and our little man is already over a month old!  The time sure does fly by - much too quickly.  I only have two weeks left of maternity leave and it makes me sad to think I will have to leave my little guy while I head off to work - it's going to be an emotional day when the time comes.
Logan is such an amazing baby!  We feel so blessed to have him as part of our family - he is definitely a great addition to a house full of girls.  Katlynne, Kelsey and Kayla all love him and can't get enough of him.  Kayla is such a proud big sister - whenever we go out in public with him, she wants to be the one to hold him or push his stroller or carry him.  She thinks it's pretty awesome having a little brother.  I hope that feeling never goes away for her...even when he's old enough to pester her!

For the most part, Logan is a pretty good sleeper.  We have had our share of rough nights here and there, but all in all, we really can't complain.  I'm in the process now of trying to get him on a daytime schedule.  We've just been winging it the past six weeks where he eats and sleeps whenever and wherever he sees fit.  It has worked for us - but with the daycare situation looming ahead, I know it will be best to get him on a schedule for the daycare lady's sake.

One thing I will remember about Logan is that he is a major grunter.  He grunts all the time - in his sleep, when he's eating, when he's just sitting there doing nothing.  He's grunting.  I used to think he was doing it because he was gassy - but now I'm not so sure.  It's just one of those things I will always remember about him as a baby.  Funny boy.

But okay - I've gotten a little ahead of myself.  There are those of you who don't even know the birth/labor story so I'll start over and begin there (prepare yourself for a novel - this is going to be detailed so I will have a record of it for Logan's baby book).

As I stated in my previous post, there were some blood markers during my routine quad screening that came back abnormal that put me at risk for placental insufficiency.  To monitor the situation and make sure there weren't any complications, I was going to see my OB twice a week for growth ultrasounds and non-stress testing.  So far, everything was looking great!  He was actually measuring big which is the complete opposite of what you would expect in the case of placental insufficiency.  So it was safe to say, while my risk was increased, we beat the odds and all was well.  With Kayla, she weighed 8 pounds exactly and I had 4th degree tearing giving birth vaginally (TMI for some of you - I know).  Since Logan was measuring big at all of my ultrasound appointments, and because of the placental insufficiency risk, my OB and I decided early on in my pregnancy that a C-Section would be best for this delivery.  The date was set for March 15th.

On Monday, March 12th, I had my last ultrasound and non-stress test scheduled before the big day.  Kayla had the day off from school, so I brought her to my appointment with me and then she was going to go to work with me.  The ultrasound was first thing and went fine - Mr. Logan looked great!  (At one appointment, they noted the cord was wrapped around his neck which caused some anxiety for me - but he managed to untangle himself).  After the ultrasound, I was brought to another room for the non-stress testing.  If you have never experienced this process, let me tell you, you aren't missing a whole lot.  While some people think it's awesome that I got to hear my baby's heart beat twice a week, it was cool, but it gets very tiring laying on a table with heart rate monitors hooked up to you for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours!!!  They are looking for the baby's heart rate to accelerate and come back down to normal in two separate events within a 15 minute window.  So you might have the two separate events, but if they don't occur within 15 minutes of each other - you have to continue to be monitored until this happens.  A lot of times, the baby will move and the heart rate will drop from the monitors.  This happened a lot with Logan - they would make me drink ice water, he would get excited and shift, and we would lose his heart beat for a period of time, but eventually he would turn back and we would resume monitoring.  Well at this appointment, everything was going fine for the first 1.5 hours of monitoring.  Then Logan did some shifting and his heart rate dropped off.  I was thinking no big deal - this happens ALL the time.  I struggled to move the monitor around my belly trying to pick up the heart beat again and couldn't find it (again - no big deal, it had happened at every appointment).  So eventually the nurse came back in and I told her I was having a hard time finding his heart beat after he shifted.  So she helped me, moved the monitor, pressed into my belly.  Finally - we found his heart beat!  She turned the monitor so I couldn't see his heart rate and continued to monitor for about 5 minutes while holding the monitor to my belly.  I could tell she was concerned, but not quite sure why.  She then left the room and came back in with my OB doc behind her.  She did the same thing - stood there and monitored the heart beat.  Without saying a word to me, they both left the room and came back 5 minutes later (a VERY LONG 5 minutes later) and my OB announced:  "Get ready - little Jethro's coming today!"

I think my exact response to her was: "Shut up!"  She said: "Okay - but the baby is still coming today.  I can't let you leave without taking this baby out."  The issue of concern was that his heart rate had dropped to 77 (a healthy heart rate is 110 to 150; 130 to 140 was normal for Logan) and at times his heart rate dropped from the monitor all together.  This was a red flag for them that the baby was in distress.  They immediately began making arrangements with Labor & Delivery for my arrival.

Needless to say, there was instant panic!  We weren't ready for this!  I still had to finish my last day of work - two people had called in sick that day.  My hospital bag was at home.  Jim was at work.  My parents were at work!  I tried frantically to call EVERYBODY!  Jim wasn't answering.  My mom wasn't answering.  My dad wasn't answering.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  During this time that I'm trying to stay composed and frantically punching phone numbers into my phone trying to get a hold of somebody - ANYBODY at that point - my things are being gathered and I'm being escorted to Labor and Delivery in a wheelchair.  I eventually had to hand the phone to Kayla (thank goodness she was with me - otherwise, I would have completely LOST IT) and I told her to keep trying to get a hold of someone.  We finally got a hold of my grandma and asked her to come down so someone could stay with Kayla in the event that we couldn't get a hold of anybody else.  And then finally, we got a hold of my dad and told him we were having a baby and to try and get a hold of mom for Pete's sake!  I finally thought to call Jim's work and I think I scared the crap out of the receptionist because she picked up the phone and answered all nice and professional-like and my response:  "I need to talk to Jim Brown and I need to talk to him NOW!"  Fortunately, he had just finished scanning a patient and was standing right next to her.  Okay - relief - we finally got a hold of someone and I won't be alone during the process.

I get to L&D, they send me to triage because the OR is booked for the day.  I'm hooked up to monitors again and our little man's heart rate is sounding good, so my case is no longer categorized as "emergent"; but they are still concerned enough that baby was going to come that night. Somewhere during the hustle and bustle, I started having contractions - regular contractions - every couple of minutes.  This lasted most of the day.  Finally around Noon, Jim showed up (what a relief).  Then my grams and uncle Steve showed up and finally my mom.  She had just gotten to work (she takes the bus to Seattle) and had to turn right back around and take a cab to the hospital.  Poor lady.  I feel bad, but was so glad when I saw her face!

Anyway - so we stayed in triage until around 6:00 or so when I was moved to a room.  And then at some point I was moved to the actual room where I would be staying about an hour after that.  And finally at 8:00 pm, they started to prep me for delivery!  It was a really, REALLY long day.

I was already terrified to have be having a C-Section.  Before that day, I had never been cut open or had any kind of surgical procedure in my life.  So it was a scary situation for me and I was in tears the minute they took me into the operating room.  The spinal was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my LIFE (the epidural I got when I had Kayla was so simple).  They gave me a shot of a local anesthetic to "numb" the area (I don't know why they bother - the shot itself stings like the devil and even then, you still feel EVERYTHING going in and out of your back - seemed pointless to me).  Then the anesthesiologist asked me to roll myself into a ball and hold perfectly still (um - easier said than done when you have a friggin basketball in the way JERK!).

Oh - let me preface the previous paragraph by mentioning that as I was being wheeled into the OR, we passed my OB and she told the nurses and the anesthesiologist that she had to do an amnio in another room before delivering my baby.  So they were to take their time and wait for her.

Okay - so back to the spinal.  The anesthesiologist inserted something into my back and holy crap mylanta did it hurt.  I could feel his needle (or whatever they use) from the minute it entered my back.  I kept telling him to stop, I think I even threatened his life if he didn't.  He kept asking me on what side of my body was I feeling "it".  I told him if he didn't know what side it was on, I wanted a new anesthesiologist!  Anyway - so needle #1 was inserted on the left side.

Insert OB doc:  I told you guys I had to do an amnio real quick.  You shouldn't have started yet!  Um - what did she just say???  So the anesthesiologist had to stop with one needle in my back and I'm in pain, struggling to stay curled up in a ball and he tells me:  "You have to hold perfectly still while we wait otherwise we will have to do this all over again."  During all this, my husband was outside in the hallway waiting and I was even more terrified than when we had started.  The nurse had to help hold my legs to my chest because I was getting tired from trying not to move.  Finally about 15 minutes later, we got the okay to continue.  Insert needle #2 - I think I almost passed out.
Finally - they brought Jim into the room.  I don't really know what he saw and I don't remember much after that.  It happened so quick.  I do remember my OB telling me she was going to test to make sure I was numb and then next thing I know, I heard my baby boy cry!!!

Logan James Brown was born 03/12/12 at 8:48 pm.
Height:  19.5 inches.
Weight:  8 lbs 3 oz

I didn't get to see him right away - during the delivery process, he inhaled a bunch of fluid and he struggled to breathe.  But Jim was right by his side the whole time and I finally got to see him after they wheeled me back to my room.  

The first 24 hours after delivery were so painful and I was so scared to take the pain medication, so I only intermittently took it and suffered the consequences until I finally figured out if I stayed on top of it, I wasn't in so much pain.  The nurses kept trying to tell me that - but I think I was in a little bit of a fog for a while.  Anyway - I was in the hospital for less than 48 hours and then we were on our own!!!

Below are some pictures from our time at the hospital and also some other random pictures from the first few weeks of his life.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby Boy Brown

I suppose a pregnancy update is due. I haven't been very good with my blogging - but as soon as this baby comes, I'm going to have to try harder. Might was well start getting in the habit now.
I'm not quite sure where to start....

07/22/11: Positive pregnancy test!

09/2011: Some time in September, I had the blood work done to screen for genetic abnormalities such as Down's, Trisomy 18, neural tube defects, etc. All the markers for those abnormalities came back normal - the risk for any of those defects is about as low as they can possibly go. However, about a week after getting those results, my doctor called to tell me that a couple of the blood panel markers were high which indicates that I am at an increased risk for developing placental insufficiency. This means that there is a chance that the placenta didn't fully develop or didn't develop properly which means that as the baby gets bigger, there is a chance that he won't get enough oxygen or nutrients. To monitor this, I have been having monthly ultrasounds to check for growth and starting at 32 weeks (which is next week), I go to the doctor twice a week: Mondays for a growth ultrasound and non-stress test and on Thursdays for a non-stress test. This is just to monitor the baby and detect if he is experiencing any signs of distress as he goes through his biggest growth spurts before delivery. If at any time during these appointments my doctor feels the baby is in distress, I will immediately be induced. It sounds really scary - and I freaked out for about a day, especially because during this time, we experienced an abnormal increase in full term fetal deaths at the hospital and we were doing a fetal autopsy about once a week for a while. But then I realized that this wasn't caused by anything I did and there is nothing I can do to fix it or prevent it right now. So all I can do is cross my fingers and hope that things go progress normally. I am grateful that we know about the situation and can at least monitor it so if something does go wrong, our baby has the best chance possible. I really have a great doctor and as she told me after I freaked out: "You're paying me to do the worrying - just relax." So far - the monthly ultrasounds have shown our baby's growth to be right on target. At the last ultrasound, he was measuring in the 60th percentile which is fabulous!

10/19/11: 18 Week Baby Bump -

November 2, 2011: Gender Ultrasound Revealed.....

It's A Boy!!!

For the reveal to my family, I had a cake made. We invited everyone over for dinner and when it came time for desert, we cut into the cake for the big reveal. My mom was the first to see a hint of blue and started screaming before anyone else could see what color came out. We are all so excited to add a boy to our family - especially Jim. It's so awesome to see him get excited at the idea of having a boy. They are going to be best friends.

At work, we had our quarterly pathology meeting the day after we found out the gender. We usually have lunch catered at these meetings so for dessert, I made these sandwich sugar cookies with blue icing in the middle, concealed by white icing on the outside. Everyone broke into their cookies at the same time for the big reveal at work. It was a fun way to share the news.

November 30, 2011: Monthly Ultrasound - Everything Looks Great!

December 19, 2011: 27 Week Baby Bump -

December 29, 2011: 28 Week Ultrasound - Measured in the 60th Percentile!

My pregnancy with Kayla almost 10 years ago was a really easy pregnancy. Aside from the occasional nausea and certain food aversions, I didn't have any morning sickness. My biggest complaint was feeling tired all of the time. But other than that - it was so easy and I never understood those pregnant women who complained ALL the time about one things or another.

Well - this time around is paybacks I guess. From the constant fatigue, to the morning sickness, to the excruciating round ligament and sciatic pain, to the chronic back and hip pain - this pregnancy is wearing on my body so much harder than I could have ever imagined. At one point, my doctor sent me to a physical therapist and massage therapist to help with the sciatic pain. But their schedule and my work schedule weren't able to accommodate each other so I had to give that up. Now I just settle for a monthly prenatal massage at Massage Envy which tends to be the best 60 minutes of each month. Since hitting about half way into my second trimester, I haven't been able to sleep. I'm lucky if I can sleep for an hour straight before my legs go numb and start to ache or before my hips start to throb - our mattress just isn't soft enough to accommodate a side sleeper. I recently have resorted to sleeping on the couch which is much softer than our mattress and last night was the first night I was able to sleep for 6 hours straight. It was awesome! So - it looks like I'm going to banish myself to the couch for these next nine weeks in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep before the baby is born. Even with all the pain that is associated with this pregnancy - I could't be happier and more excited to welcome this little man into the world. I'm even more excited to see Jim with his son and witness the bond that they will have from the start. I'm hoping these next nine weeks go by quick!!!

Seattle Heart Walk

October 15, 2011:

This year I was asked to be a co-captain of the Overlake Hospital Heart Walk team. We ended up recruiting over 50 walkers and raised over $3,000 for the American Heart Association. The day of the walk was freezing, but most of our team still showed up to do the 5K walk. We had a great time and it felt good to be a part of something so important.

Halloween & The Roloff's

We made our annual trip to Oregon this year. It's a tradition I hope to continue throughout the years. We went down the first weekend in October and spent that Friday at Roloff Farms. They were celebrating Matt's 50th birthday that weekend so there were balloons and signs and at one point they brought out a cake - but I think we left before then. They were also doing some filming for one of the Roloff Specials that is going to air this year, so we saw the film crew wandering around. It was a fun time and the girls picked out some pretty nice pumpkins.

While we were in Oregon, we also took advantage of the tax free shopping and purchased our crib and some other baby items. When we weren't shopping or wandering around town, the girls spent a lot of their free time in the hotel pool. Overall, it was a great weekend!

Fourth Grade Already!

Kayla started 4th grade in September. She ended up getting the teacher she had been crossing her fingers for. But two weeks into the school year, we learned they were bringing in another 4th grade teacher and that the classes were going to get mixed up. Kayla was one of the unfortunate ones who ended up switching to the new teacher's class and she was devastated. She is still struggling with this teacher. Her biggest let down is that the teacher promises the kids certain things and then doesn't follow through. It's been an adjustment for all of the kids - but we've turned it into a lesson for Kayla that life doesn't always go the way you want, and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We still hear stories of disappointment, almost weekly, but it hasn't stopped her from doing her best. That's all we can ask for.

Lake Wenatchee State Park

I have been pretty fortunate to have stayed in contact with a couple of really good friends from high school and we have made it a point to get together as often as we can over the last few years. This last summer, we arranged a couple of camping trips with our families and had a blast. Our first trip was to Lake Wenatchee State Park. It was a little cold - but with this company, it was still a ton of fun!

This is Wil - He Cracks Me Up (Except When He Cheats at Game Night)

Brandon - Eating a Giant Marshmallow S'mores

Spoiled Dog - And Wil

Hanging Out On The Beach

Just Because It's Funny