3 Weeks Old


Our sweet little lady is three weeks old!  So hard to believe how quickly time flies, but then I look at Collen and think, "Where did 2 years go?!"   He was 3 weeks old once...yesterday, right?  And now, he's saying full sentences and kissing his little sister on the head before heading off to bed.

At 3 weeks old, Charlotte is just precious.  She is still petite, but she has definitely been gaining weight.  Her one month check-up is next week, and I can't wait to see just how much she has gained.  She is a really good eater.  Nursing has been 10 times easier this time around.  I did not breastfeed Ayden, which I regret every single day.  With Collen, I nursed him for 7 months before my supply just couldn't keep up.  He was never a great nurser.  It would take me 45 minutes to feed him, and then in an hour I'd be feeding him again.  This, plus his restlessness and being unable to sleep well at night, made for a lot of exhaustion for me. In fact, he didn't sleep through the night until just this summer....which I guess really wasn't such a bad thing since a newborn was on the way anyway.  Getting up to feed Charlotte hasn't been as much of a struggle because I've been used to getting up with Collen.  When I do get up to feed her at night, she eats...(which takes her about 15-20 minutes - woo!!)...then goes right back to sleep.  She is nursing every 3 hours.  Sometimes, she will stretch to 4 hours, and one night she even slept a 6 hour stretch.  I'm hoping she is going to be a good sleeper.  If she continues like she has been, it looks like she will be.

So many people say Charlotte looks a lot like Ayden.  We are seeing it more and more every day.  However, she has traces of Collen as well.  And others would say, "She just looks like Charlotte."  Our children tend to have strong traits, though, that resemble each other's.  All three of them have the same mouth - Charlotte has a sweet little birthmark on her lip; that is the only distinction.  Her eyes are more like Ayden's in shape.  For now they are blue, but we will see if they stay that way.  We are hoping hers turn brown so at least one of our kids has Jeremy's eyes.  Her hair is dark and thick like Collen's.  Ayden had thin, light brown hair.  Her nose - just like Ayden's - and they got that nose from me....no doubt about that...it's identical to mine in my baby pictures.  Collen doesn't have that nose.  Charlotte makes faces that take me back 3 years - right back to Ayden.  It's uncanny at times...and takes me aback.  There are pictures I've taken of her that immediately cause me to flashback to Ayden making the exact same face or looking a certain way.  It's amazing.  A friend of mine said to me, "You know how people say - 'That baby has been marked' - Ayden marked that baby."  It certainly seems like it.

I'm beginning to figure her out little by little.  She rarely fusses, but when she does, it's one of 3 things - hungry, gassy, or sleepy.  And judging by the time of day...or proximity to eating...I usually know what she wants.  Later in the evening, she gets really antsy.  She will nurse frequently, but then she will get really fussy.  She wants to nurse to fall asleep, but she gets frustrated because she just wants the comfort of sucking...not the milk that comes as the result.  She tends to cluster feed in the morning - to compensate for lazy eating overnight - and then again just before bed time, which for her seems to be 7:30 - that's when the red eyes and "I want to sleep!" fussing begins.  It doesn't take much - swaddle, nurse (or paci) and being rocked to sleep.  She is the first of our babies that I have had to give to someone else to get her to sleep.  I can do it, but she is restless with me.  I think it's because she smells me and thinks she should be eating.  Usually, I have to give her to my mom or to Jeremy for her to calm down enough to fall asleep.

The last 3 weeks have been wonderful.  This week was my first at home with both kids by myself.  It has gotten progressively easier as the week has gone by.  I haven't ventured out by myself with both of them, yet.  Not brave enough.  I'm planning to try soon though....start small by taking a quick trip somewhere.  We'll see.  Nap time has been perfect so far.  I've been able to get both kids to sleep at the same time, so I join in with them.  That has been heavenly.  I hope I can keep that as a routine - that would really help the babysitter once I go back to work!

I have 5 weeks left in my maternity leave.  I was going to go back the week of Halloween, but I really want Charlotte to be at least 8 weeks before I go back.  I wish I could stay out longer, but financially, we just can't afford it.  I struggle with that a lot, and I'm trying not to let fear seep into my mind.  I am determined to trust God and believe that she is going to be just fine.  He is in control, and I know that.  I can do everything humanly possible to protect her, but ultimately, it isn't up to me.  All I can do is pray that He will protect her and let us keep her.

I promise to be better about updating.  It has been a little busy around here. :)  Once I go back to work, I don't even want to think about how little time I will have.  For now, I'm going to enjoy the time I have with my 2 babies.

You asked; I'll deliver :)

Here are some pictures of Charlotte for those who needed their baby Jones fix :)

With her Great Grandmas 

I love this one!

Had to throw in a picture of me and my little man

Wearing mommy's dress home from the hospital.  She looks so big here, but she was around 6lbs 12oz here.

And she is even smaller here!  Snoozing away

And a quick update: Charlotte is no longer jaundice, her weight is up to 7lbs 7.5oz - past her birth weight! - and she is doing great!

Charlotte's Arrival - 9/4/2012

This is more for my records than anything else, but if you happen to want to read about Charlotte's entrance into the world, here you go...

   Because of Charlotte's 2 vessel cord, my pregnancy was watched pretty closely.  Frequent ultrasounds and a lot of discussion about potential risks, delivery options, things to look out for towards the end of the pregnancy.  It was pretty stressful, but I was determined to keep a positive outlook.  As we got closer to 37 weeks, my OB talked to me about induction.  My midwife and I had already discussed this as a possibility, and I had said I was against it.  I had read about 2 vessel cord babies not tolerating delivery as well....and that was under normal circumstances.  Add pitocin and strong contractions to it, and you might as well be prepared for a c-section (at least that's how my mind read into it all).  Despite all of this, my OB was able to talk me into an induction at 39 weeks - if we made it that far.  She said that because of her 2 vessel cord, she didn't want to risk going to 40 weeks because these babies do tend to stop growing towards the end and because of the possible risk of complications.

 Well, from the beginning I think Charlotte had decided to defy the odds.  She gained weight well and never had any issues with growth restriction in the womb.  And then...as I neared 38 weeks and was sure I would go into labor at any moment...she continued to stay put.  I was beyond shocked.  With Ayden, I made it to 38 weeks and 6 days.  Collen - 38 weeks and 4 days.  With Charlotte, I was positive she would show up even earlier.  The Saturday before my scheduled induction, I woke up with contractions.  They stayed pretty steady for most of the morning but then dropped off in the afternoon....then just fizzled out.  I really, really didn't want to do the induction, and I kept holding out hope that she would come on her on.  All I've ever know of labor and delivery has been going into labor on my own....I didn't like the idea of it not being "natural."

Well, Tuesday came, and we went in for the induction bright and early - 6:30am.  No more contractions...not even very many braxton hicks. I had only dilated 2cm at 39 weeks....with Collen at 38, I was already 5cm!!  For a 2 vessel cord baby, she definitely didn't seem to be in a hurry to make her debut.  Ready or not, though, she was coming!

Me before going in for the induction

So, we got into the room....I got changed into the lovely hospital gown....climbed into the bed and waited for it all to start.  Being the 3rd time around, I felt like an old hat at all of this.  Jeremy got comfortable in his chair....and I turned on Good Morning America just like I always do every morning. The nurses came in...did their assessments...got the meds ordered and I got hooked up to the Pitocin.  From that point, it was a waiting game.  My midwife came in and hung out for a while....then went to the office to do some appointments.  Around 10, she came back and checked me.  I told Jeremy, "I bet you anything I'm only at a 3."  Sure enough - 3 cm.  Ugh...I was so disappointed.  I was ready to meet this little girl!! And being my 3rd, I thought it would just breeze by. My midwife assured me, though, that once it picked up, it would probably go a lot quicker.  

At this point, I was still against the epidural.  I was already concerned about the Pitocin affecting her heart rate; I didn't want to add anything to the mix that could cause anything to happen.  As the contractions got stronger, I continued to handle them pretty well.  UNTIL.....they moved to my back.  I was talking to my midwife, and mid-conversation, a contraction hit right in back....and it didn't stop.  I was trying to be polite and continue talking....staying in the conversation.....but then it just didn't stop.  It went on for a good 3 minutes straight.  I could handle the pain as long as it was across my abdomen, but once it hit my back....I couldn't breathe.  I had already let them give me IV pain meds, which were fine with normal contractions.  Had they stayed across my belly, I could have gone through with just the IV meds.  However, once the back labor hit.....I knew I wouldn't be able to tough it out.  I felt like such a wimp, but I needed relief to the pain that didn't seem to have an end in sight at this point.  So, I got the epidural, and the Dr. who did it did the best job I've ever had with an epidural.  I was not completely numb.  I could move my legs.  I could feel the contractions - just less intense.  I could even feel my bladder - which is a crucial part the story later.

So, we got to noon....still not a whole lot of progress.  I think I was hanging out around 6cm.  I was able to rest a little bit and I had to move to another room.  In that transition, the contractions got stronger, and it was time to start focusing on delivery.  My mom stayed in the room for a little while until I asked her to leave.  I told her that once things got serious, I would need it to just be me and Jeremy - she was more than okay with that.  Plus, it was her job to go get Collen. Our hospital has this wonderful channel with ambient music/nature sounds.  I would not allow anyone to change the channel....this became my focal point.  Thank you to whomever put this channel on their lineup - it was wonderful!  Normally, I would have thought it was cheesy, but anyway....back to the story....

....around 2, my midwife came in again and checked me.  I had made it to 8cm.  At this point, I figured we probably had another 2-3 hours to go.  Everything had seemed to progress more slowly than I thought it would.  While she was there, I decided to let her know that my bladder felt very full (fun stuff...I know...).  They were amazed that I could even feel my bladder.  So, we took care of that, and my midwife seemed to think that with my bladder emptied, we would see a baby very soon.  So, she went out to check on a few things, and I sent Jeremy out to tell my mom to go get Collen so he could be at the hospital once Charlotte was born.  I still thought we had a good 2 hours to go.  Well, this left me in the room alone.  And of course, this is when things stepped into high gear.  I started feeling a lot of pressure....the tell-tale pressure that a baby would be appearing very soon.  However, I felt silly calling everyone back in once they had just left.  Surely....I wasn't already at 10 and ready to go.  I had just been checked!  So, I waited and breathed through very, very strong, hard contractions...and what I now know what Charlotte pushing down as hard as she could.  Finally, everyone came back in, and I told them that I thought it was time.  Literally, in a matter of 20 minutes things escalated quickly. 20 minutes was quick compared to dragging through the first part of the day.  My midwife checked me again and waited through a contraction.  I was still at 8cm, but once the contraction hit, she felt me go from 8 to 10 and ready to go!  Everyone started scrambling.  The table wasn't set up for birth....my midwife had to rush to get dressed....it got crazy quick!  While everyone was scrambling, I was trying to hold myself together and hold this baby in long enough for them to get everything set up.  Luckily, I had done this before and had an idea of how to control myself a little bit. In less than 5 minutes, we were ready to go. This was at 3:15.  My midwife gave me the go ahead to push....and push I did!  Within 2 pushes, her head was out, and then with one more....Charlotte was here and born at 3:21.  

She was by far the easiest of the deliveries - as she should have been.  She is also our smallest baby, so having 2 bigger babies before her definitely helped this one be a lot easier.  As I've mentioned before, I tend to have dramatic deliveries - the babies are fine; it's usually me who has freak bleeding that leads to being rushed out - or having a doctor rushed in - to do some emergency work on me.  This time - drama free.  Not a tear....not a scratch....easy, easy delivery.  My midwife was incredibly relieved - as were we all!  I've never felt so good immediately following a delivery.  

Charlotte checked out great - 7lbs 5oz, 20 inches long.  Beautiful fair skin and a head full of dark hair.  She has long fingers and toes and dainty little features that distinguish her as a sweet little girl. I was able to nurse her right away, and she is a champion nurser!  Much better than Collen was - strong and efficient. 

We were told we could go home the next day, but we decided to just wait and see how Charlotte did.  Collen was coombs positive - meaning my blood type and his conflicted with each other, which led to him being very jaundiced.  We waited for word on Charlotte's blood type before making a decision about going home.  Luckily, she is coombs negative and actually has the same blood type as me.  So, we went home the next day!  Crazy....I know...but we were ready to get home to Collen and get back into a routine as soon as possible.  

Since being home, it has taken me a while to get back into the swing of things.  My hips have been out of whack since pregnancy, and they are finally (just today) starting to feel back to normal again - or at least close to normal.  I'm still weaker than I'd like to be - I can't pick Collen up as easily as I could before, but I'm hoping my "mommy muscles" kick back in soon.  I have to remind myself daily that I gave birth a week ago....just a week.  I can't expect myself to jump right back in to being supermom.  I'll get there, though.  Charlotte still became jaundiced, so we had to work on that early on by supplementing formula until my milk came in.  Luckily, it came in more quickly this time around.  With Collen it took 5 days; with Charlotte, it was in by the evening of the 3rd day.  She continues to be a great eater - although she has decided she likes to use me as a pacifier as well.  I have moments when I have to give her over to either Jeremy or my mom because as long as I'm holding her, she thinks she is supposed to be eating.  Whew....  

She's only a little over a week old, but I feel like I already know her so well.  I can read her cues, and I already know what the "burp me" frown looks like.  Charlotte is such a good baby! She rarely fusses - only when she is getting very hungry or if she needs some help with a burp or gas bubble.  Right now, she alternates her awake and asleep days.  Yesterday was a sleepy day; today was an awake day.  At night, she sleeps in 3 hour stretches. I have to wake her up to eat and then she goes right back to sleep.  Easy, easy baby.  I know it's still the honeymoon period right now, so I'm hoping she continues to be this easy.  If not, though, that'll be okay, too.  Collen was a very restless baby, and I survived long nights with him.  I can do it with her, too, if I have to.  

I look forward to updating you all on Charlotte as she grows and we learn more and more about her.  I never, ever thought I'd have a little girl. I always thought I was destined to have boys...then God surprised us with Charlotte.  I look at her with so much adoration, and I can't even imagine not having her in our lives.  She fits perfectly, and we just love her to pieces.  Thank you for your prayers and well wishes...and for keeping up with our little family. :)

He's just so stinkin' cute...

I mean, really, does it get much cuter?

I think not. :)

Collen is adjusting to big brother life pretty well.  I'm the one who needs more time to adjust.  Having two is tough.  There's no other way to put it.  Balancing my time between the two has been the biggest struggle.  Because of Charlotte being jaundice and the usual "waiting-for-the-milk-to-come-in-so-your-baby-can-nurse-like-crazy" beginning stages of being home with a newborn, I have struggled with finding the balance.  Luckily, my mom has been here with me, so Collen has been spoiled by time with his favorite playmate!  But, Mommy feels pretty guilty most of the time....I miss spending time just me and him.  

Charlotte is a week old now.  A WHOLE week!  She is doing really well.  She is a content baby....very easy and laid back.  She sleeps a lot...which I'm trying not to worry about too much.  I have to remind myself that newborns sleep.  They eat, sleep, poop, repeat.  Collen was always restless and alert most of the time.  Charlotte is not...just have to get used to her being a different child.  

We go in for a weight-check on Thursday to see how Charlotte (and by extension...Mommy) is doing.  I'm hoping she is back up to 7lbs at least.  She was 7lbs 5oz at birth and got down to 6lbs 10oz.  At our last check, she was 6lbs 12oz, and that was after being weighed the day before at 6lbs 10oz.  So, if she has continued on the 2oz a day track, we should be doing fine.  She is peeing and pooping as she should be, so I'm feeling good about her feedings.  I'm much less nervous this time around about feeding her.  Collen was my first experience with breastfeeding, so it stressed me out and I obsessed over it to no end.  This time around, I still obsess a little, but I'm more confident that she is getting enough and that my supply is good.  I'm worried about keeping up my supply because I'm not able to pump much with Collen running around, but again....I'm not going to stress.  And if it doesn't work out....then I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I will breastfeed her as long as I can and continued once I go back to work, but if it starts dropping off after returning to work....then I will deal with that as it comes.  I'm just going to do the best I can.

I want to get Charlotte's birth story down, soon.  I just haven't had time (ha! imagine that!) to sit down and get all of it together without missing something.  It was quite exciting....yet uneventful.  And uneventful is good for my deliveries! :)  My midwife was thrilled to have a drama free delivery this time around. 

Until then....thanks for checking in on us.  The word of the moment is, "adjust" and we're doing pretty well. :)

Never fear, Charlotte is here!

I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep it quick for now, but I know some folks have anxiously been waiting to hear. YES, SHE IS HERE!! And she is absolutely beautiful!!  I will update more on my first induction, labor, my quick, 5 minute delivery (woo! it was exciting!), our one day hospital stay (crazy...yes), and how we are all adjusting.  I will say - big brother, Collen, is doing great, but Mommy sure does miss spending one-on-one time with her sweet boy.

Here are some pictures from Charlotte's arrival, and her stats are as follows:

Charlotte Brooke Jones
Born: 9/4/2012 @ 3:21pm
7lbs 5oz
20 inches
Beautiful baby girl who looks a lot like her big brothers!

Mom and baby are doing well :)  Thank you all for your prayers and for anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little lady!

One day

If nothing happens between now and Tuesday, we will meet Miss Charlotte in a little over a day!  I am set to be induced Tuesday bright and early.  I thought for sure that she would be here by now (I'm at 2cm with my 3rd baby....I thought it would go a lot quicker this time around!), but she continues to defy all odds and prior history.  And by defying the odds....she has not been the "typical" 2-vessel cord baby.  She has continued to grow at a great rate...always above 50%.  She has gained weight, and is probably going to be around 7.5 pounds at birth (which is small for our big babies, but still a good weight).  She has gone (or will have, by Tuesday...Ayden was 38 weeks and 6 days. I will be 39 weeks Tuesday) longer in the womb than her brothers, when most 2-vessel babies tend to be born earlier.  I continue to have plenty of fluid and no growth restriction. Her heart and kidneys look perfect! I'm thankful that she has defied the odds.  However, fear still seeps into my mind.  I'm terrified of something happening at the last minute.  I welcome labor and have been praying for it to come before Tuesday because I'm worried that induction could put her into distress.  However, I trust my doctor and midwife 100%, and in asking my doctor if there should be any cause for concern with the induction, she assured me that everything would be fine.  And if something were to go wrong, I know that she would get Charlotte out as quickly as possible.  One thing I know about my doctor and midwife....they are going to take care of us....and be especially sure that they do everything in their power to make sure our babies are okay.  

I know that God has a special purpose for this little girl, and that she will come in His time (well...with a little help from a scheduled induction, but I know that even that isn't a coincidence if it is meant to be).  I continue to pray for health and a long life for her and most importantly God's blessing over her life.  I know that I have to trust that she is in His hands and His care.  He has carried me through the worst, and while I know I'm not immune from that happening again, I do my best to continue to trust Him through it all.  

I have had a lot of pain this time around.  Whew...makes me feel like the almost-30 that I am! haha  This will be my 3rd delivery in 4 years.  My body is feeling it....oh, definitely feeling it.  Walking has been a huge problem over the past 3 weeks.  Once I hit 37 weeks and she began dropping, my hips have been all out of whack.  With the boys, I didn't do the pregnant waddle.  With this little girl, I waddle..shuffle...limp....all at the same time.  I pulled a muscle in my belly/upper abdomen, so leaning forward becomes excruciating if I do it too much.  Walking is difficult because of all the pain in my hips and joints.  Then on top of that, I woke up a week ago with a crick in my neck, and it's still hanging around.  BUT....I have welcomed it and endured it all with a smile on my face.  If I have to go through this little bit of pain to have a healthy baby, bring it on.  I've faced much worse; this is nothing. It is quite humorous, though.  People just look at me with such pity these days....and I just keep smiling. :)

The good thing has been that I was able to make it through my first week of school with my students.  I'm glad I was able to get to know them and put names with faces.  I'm hoping I remember all the names when I get back in October/November!  I think I have all of them down with the exception of a few.  One of my few talents as a teacher - remember names.  I pride myself on knowing all of their names by the end of the first week.  Let's see how good my memory is!  I have a wonderful sub coming in for me.  He is not an English teacher, but he is a retired History teacher - and I've always said that History and Literature go hand-in-hand.  He is a bit nervous, but I've assured him that I've left him with solid plans and more than enough work for the students to do.  He was my top choice because I know he won't let them get away with anything.  So, if nothing else, I will come back to a structured, organized, disciplined class - and that is most important with returning mid-semester.  

So...in one more day, I will be sure to post pictures of our little lady.  It still isn't real to me.  I still have to remind myself that we're about to bring another baby home.  What a blessing....a huge, beautiful, awesome blessing.  One that I don't, and won't, take for granted for a single second.  I can't wait to see what joy Charlotte will bring to our lives.  I can't even begin to imagine it!  God is good.  So, so good.