Monday, October 28, 2013

1 Month!

He may be my third, but I am determined to do monthly posts like I did for his sisters!  This little guy has been with our family for over a month now!  Little did I know how incomplete our family was without a baby BOY.  He has been like most normal newborns sleeping most of the time and eating and pooping a lot (seems to me more than the girls did).  After he turned about a week old he started getting fussy after feedings and was showing signs of reflux.  I read some scientific studies about using probiotics to help and I really think it made a difference.  The reflux obviously wasn't affecting his growth because these were his 1 month stats:
13.2 pounds ~ 95%
23.5 inches ~ 90%
38.7 cm ~ 50%
 Some of my favorite Caleb pictures:
Note the dimpled chin in this one.  The most common comment people make when they see him is about his chin that he gets from his daddy.
 One of my favorite outfits (thanks Marci!) that I am so sad he has almost already outgrown!
 It looks like he is roaring while wearing this Lion onesie which is another one of my favorites.
 I'm so thankful for this swing which has faithfully rocked and calmed all three of my babies.
  He has had a few firsts this month, including his first bath.  He didn't like the first one, but has liked all his baths since then.
 I also caught him sucking his thumb for the first time.  I think it might have been a fluke, but I would love another thumb sucker like Anna.  He is already a pretty good sleeper without it and by week four,  was consistently giving me 5 hour stretches at night. 
  First photo shoot with cousin Thomas.  These two are less than 6 months apart and will be best buddies one day.  My sister and I separately found these onesies on clearance at Old Navy.  We have the same similar cheap taste. Ha!
  This is more of a first for me...the first time I loaded up all three of the kids to go somewhere.  Is this really my life now?  I'm one of those SUV driving moms with a car full of kids!  And I'm dreaming of getting a minivan!   
 Another life with all three shot.  Caleb is definitely the center of all our attention and is basically only alone when he is sleeping in the pack-in-play. 
He prefers to be held and most of the time, we don't mind!  Daddy with his mini-me, one of Caleb's nicknames is Baby Brad.
  This is how Caleb and I spent much of his first month...nursing and hanging out on the couch.  I also spent much of the first month looking as tired as I do in this picture.
 We did get off the couch and got cleaned up to go to our friend Mindy's wedding.  Daddy was out of town, so Caleb was my handsome date.
 These girls truly "love" on their little brother ALL the time and it hasn't really lessened since the day he came home.  As I was going through all of the precious pictures of them with him, I decided the siblings deserve a separate post.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Caleb's First Few Days

 I love the first days/weeks after a new baby is born.  There is so much excitement and love from family and friends as everyone comes to meet the new little one.  I also appreciate being in a hospital and having at least one night with just Brad and the new baby.  Being in that setting again brought back a flood of memories of when the girls were born.  I don't take for granted that I have been able to do this not once or twice, but three times.  Tears are streaming down my face as I write this.  I am eternally grateful and have treasured these things in my heart.

 Here he is just minutes old and in the classic blue and pink hat and baby feet blanket.
 Daddy doing skin to skin kangaroo care. (love that Harris Methodist encourages dads to do this!)
 Not even a day old and he gave his first hook 'em and no it was not posed!
 When Caleb was born his blood sugar was a little low, so they had to prick him every hour to measure it.  He just barely failed the test a couple times and they were threatening to take him to the NICU if he failed again, so the first 8 hours were a little stressful.  When the girls came to meet him, I was having to keep him really calm and still so he wouldn't use too much energy and drop his blood sugar levels.  
It was still a very special moment when they got to see him for the first time.  Anna had almost the same reaction she had when Haven was born - she was very cautious and just took everything in almost in awe.  She kept her hands up by her face a lot of the time and just looked at him and me.  She had such a sweet, sensitive demeanor and talked in a soft voice to us.
 Little Haven's reaction was just as I expected - she was very excited to see him and ran right over.  She had a big smile and immediately wanted to touch him.
 Our first picture as a family of five.
 Our siblings' families stopped by and we got to show Caleb off to them.
My college roommate, Cara, happened to be in town from New York for work and was able to visit.  Although she didn't get to stay long, it was so special for me to get to share that time with her.
 Our sweet friend Lauren.
 After 36 hours in the hospital, we were packed up and ready to go.  Here he is in his going home outfit.
 Proud daddy.
 Adoring mama.
 This may very well be my last ride down the halls of a hospital in a wheelchair with a new baby in my arms, so I was a little emotional.
 Somehow we didn't get pics of the grandparents at the hospital, but it wasn't long before they came to see Caleb again.  Gigi has a picture like this with all her grandchildren.
 Appy and Grandy with their 2nd grandson out of 10 grandchildren!
Our faithful friends Mindy and Ashley also came to meet Caleb shortly after we came home.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Caleb's Newborn Pics

My sweet sister-in-law volunteered to come over and take pictures of Caleb when he was just one week old.  He decided to be awake most of the shoot, but she still got several good ones.  Here are my favorites!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Caleb's Birth - Part 2

When the nurse checked me, I was between 4 and 5 cm dilated.  I was disappointed because you can't get into the birthing tub until you reach 7 cm.  With Anna, I showed up to the hospital at 4 cm and progressed 1 cm per hour, so I thought I had several hours to go.  Since I was a VBAC, they put me on the monitor for about 45 minutes.  

When the midwife came in, she told me that she didn't think my contractions were consistent enough and that I would have to stay on the monitor.  I wanted to be able to walk around to get the contractions going.  She was a new midwife to the practice and was telling me that it was hospital policy, blah, blah, blah.  I pushed back and told her that I had been at my nephew's birth 5 months previous and my sister was attempting a VBAC.  They monitored her about every 20 minutes with the doppler.  The midwife agreed to just not admit me and let me walk around. 

Brad and I walked up and down the hall in the hospital for about 30 minutes and I told him I wanted to go back to the room because the contractions were getting pretty intense.  I asked him to get the midwife because I was starting to feel the urge to push.  She came back in and we were all shocked that within 30 minutes, I had already progressed to 8-9 cm.  I immediately asked to get in the tub and the midwife was hesitant, but reluctantly agreed to let me labor but not deliver in the tub.
I practically ran to the tub and once in, I felt almost instant relief.  There is a reason the tub is called the aquadural!  I started pushing during some of the contractions right after I got in the tub and rested through others.  After about 30 minutes of pushing he started to crown and then would go back in.  Finally, I asked the midwife if I should get up and squat to try to get gravity to help him out.  The whole time I was pushing, she kept telling me to just listen to my body and that is what she told me again.  At the time I was frustrated by that because I wanted someone to rescue me and tell me exactly what to do to get him out.  In hindsight, I appreciate that she let me do what was natural and helped me to trust what my body was created to do.  As soon as I stood up to squat, I had a contraction and out he came!
What a rush of emotions, the greatest of which being pure joy!  As I held him in my arms, I heard the song Holy Spirit, which is the same song out of the many songs on my playlist that was playing when I woke up as my water broke.  The chorus of the song is:

Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence Lord.

I cannot think of better words to be sung as the life of our precious son was ushered into this world.  The presence of the Lord was felt by us and we were overcome as we praised Him for the good and perfect gift He gave us.

I love this picture of Brad kissing my forehead that the nurse snapped.  He was very much a part of Caleb's labor and delivery and such a support.  Sometimes the days go by with him working long hours at his job and me staying home with the kids, and we can feel like we are each doing our own thing.  This experience helped to remind us that we make a great team and are stronger together than we are separate. 
I knew I would love this little boy, but honestly after being a mom to two girls, I wasn't sure how quickly I would feel a bond with him.  When I got him in my arms, any worries I had about that were gone.  There are just no words! 
Caleb Henry Bruce
Born on September 9, 2013 at 4:42 a.m.
8 lbs. 15 oz.
21.5 in