Deanna Rose as a Family of 4!

Holden's first week home from the hospital was a gorgeous one.  Sunny and temps near 80 nearly every day!  Craig was on vacation, my parents were in town, Brantley was home with us, and I was feeling great, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity for an afternoon at Deanna Rose Farmstead.  Even with a 4-day old.  Our first visit of the season and first as a family of four!

This was the perfect time to try out our new stroller!  Brantley loved the ability to hop on and off so easily!  And this type of stroller is seriously perfect for a place like this!

Highlights always include feeding the goats.  Brantley loved it at first.  And then he took a sip of the goat's milk.  (Sick)  And I happened to snap a photo at that exact moment.  And then the pushy goats jumped on him.  And frightened him.  And that was the end of that.  Not to mention, the poop they got on his shirt.  Darn goats.  We maybe used one of five bottles that Daddy bought. 


Moving on to the pond.  And ducks.

Holden was amazing.  He slept the entire time.  I even tried to wake him to eat--in a swing under the warm spring-time sun.  (Don't worry, he was covered by a blanket to protect him from sunburn.)  But he wasn't having it.

It was a perfect afternoon.  And even better because it included a trip to Orange Leaf on the way home.

H is for Holden

Holden Beckett.  The name we chose for Babe #2. 

Like with Brantley, we wanted a name that was unique, but not weird.  And like with Brantley, it was our choice from day one, but not officially decided upon until a couple of months before his arrival.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure where it came from.  Craig swears it was his idea, but it was on my list of 'Boy Names' saved in my iPhone, so I like to think it was my idea.  I've always loved last names as first names and I had a student with this last name a few years ago.  But I can't remember if that's when I jotted it down, or if I heard of another Holden at some point since?  According to Craig, he's liked the name since reading Catcher in the Rye.  Holden Caulfield is one of the main characters.

Early on in this pregnancy,  I was rattling off my list of names to Craig and I was surprised to learn he liked it!  (He shot down most of the suggestions from my list.)  We explored lots of other options, but always returned to the name Holden.

I tried and tried to convince Craig to go with another B name.  We both really like the name Brogan.  And Beckett, as well.  But he wasn't convinced and refused to name all of our kids with the same letter.

So Holden it was!  With Beckett as a middle.  And now that he's been here for ten days, I can't imagine anything else!

The Bump - Watch It Grow!

Seeing that this was Baby #2, I'm pretty proud of myself for consistently taking a weekly bump photo!  And the best part?  Putting them altogether and comparing from start to finish!  Enjoy!

And last but definitely not least!

Click here to see my collage of bump photos from Baby #1!

Boy Moms - Guest Post

Hello and happy Monday!  Today I'm doing something I've never done before - guest posting over at Chasin' Mason about being a "Boy Mom"!  Ten years ago, when I pictured my life as a mom, I always pictured little girls.  Clearly, that vision couldn't have been more off, but I love my little boys more than anything in this world and I'm very thankful that God had a different vision for me. :)

Go check out my post to see what else I have to say about being a "Boy Mom"!

Holden Beckett: 1 Week Old

We made it through our first week as a family of four!  Quite successfully, I might add!  You fit in perfectly to our little family, Holden, and despite being a little unsure of you at first (saying "ohhhhh nooooo" in the hospital), your brother is quite smitten with you.  Lots of brotherly hugs and kisses so far.  Your daddy and I have each already managed being alone with you and your brother and guess what--we each survived! ;)

You had a busy first week of life.  Your Grandma and Papa Fritz were here for the first five days and with them, we ventured out to Deanna Rose Farmstead, Texas Roadhouse, and Oklahoma Joe's.  Yesterday, we had our first Mommy-Holden dates--a morning walk to Starbucks and then an afternoon at Buy Buy Baby and Target.  People seem quite surprised that I'm out and about so soon after having a baby, but I've been feeling great!  Recovery time was much quicker with the second and I'm also more laid back and relaxed about driving with you and taking you out in public.

After Grandma and Papa left on Wednesday, Brantley went back to daycare.  (Daddy went back to work yesterday, as well.)  I love hanging with only you during the days and I'm glad we get that special one-on-one time.  It usually means lots of cuddle time...and Mommy gets to sleep in in the mornings. :)  I feel a little bad that I am not as focused on Brantley as I was before you came along, but Daddy has really stepped up to the plate and given Brantley 99% of his attention.  He's been the one to put him to bed and get up with him nearly every night and morning and for that, I am very thankful!

Mommy Update - Like I mentioned before, I'm feeling great!  Tired, but that comes with the territory.  Since giving birth, I've only taken one dose of pain meds--the morning after for cramps.  Weight-wise, I'm down about 20 pounds, but still up about 15 from my pre-prego weight.  I'll take it, given it's only been a week, even though I'm a little bummed about not yet fitting into my summer shorts.

Food - Breast feeding seems to be going well, but I'm leery about how much you're actually getting (or not getting).  You rarely cry, let alone seem starved (which one would think is a good sign), but it was the same with Brantley despite my low milk supply.  We go back to the doctor on Tuesday and I'm super nervous that you will have lost weight and that we will have to start supplementing with formula once again.  (Which also means exclusively pumping, which is what I dread the most.)  I feed you nine times per day (as suggested by your pediatrician) and I'm trying to get you on a schedule as follows: 2am, 6am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7:30pm, and 10pm.  Every two hours during the day so we can stretch it to every four hours overnight. 

Sleep - I hate to jinx ourselves, but so far, you seem to love sleep, just like your big brother!  I've been having to wake you for overnight feedings and often during the day, as well.  I'm very thankful for this, as it allows me longer chunks of sleep overnight!  Probably a main reason for me feeling so good!  Although you still sleep the majority of the hours each day, you're becoming more alert and I've noticed your eyes wide open looking around more often in the last couple of days.

Size - You are itty-bitty and have made us realize how big Brantley is!  I change his diaper and think "Whoa, thunder thighs!"  You're wearing newborn size clothing and seem to swim in anything bigger! 

Activity - You love being held, but you also don't mind hanging out in your rock and play sleeper, as long as you're tucked in nice and cozy. You enjoy the swing and car rides and you rarely ever cry.

It's been a wonderful first week!  You are just a perfect little baby, Holden, so, so sweet, and I love you so, so much!  Grandma got us these cool blocks as a gift, and though I didn't plan on weekly updates, I couldn't pass up the photo-op!  Happy 1 week, Sweetie Pie!

Holden's Birth Story

Friday, April 18.  It started as a normal Friday.  Good Friday, to be exact.  My last scheduled day of work.  I awoke to my alarm, rather than the labor pains I had anticipated waking to each night that week.  I was going on four days of knowing I was 3-4cm dilated and 80% effaced and getting frustrated that still nothing had happened.  Not only had nothing happened, I had absolutely no contractions or signs that labor was anywhere near.

I went to school and taught blocks one, two, and three.  Forth block was my planning period.  Craig emailed me around lunchtime to ask how I was doing.  He also asked if I had felt the baby move.  I thought about it and decided I hadn't felt him quite as much.  He encouraged me to call my doctor, which I did.  The nurse advised me to drink something cold (either pop or orange juice), then lie down and wait for three kicks in an hour's time.  Luckily, I was on my plan period by that point, so I finished an email to my long-term sub and headed to the nurse's office.  Funny--as I was entering her office, she said "You're not coming here to have a baby, are you?"

I drank 12 ounces of Coke and laid down to wait.  I felt a couple of subtle movements, but not what I would consider kicks.  In the 45 minutes of me laying there, I also had a couple of cramps.  It was around 1:45 that afternoon.

I headed back to my classroom around 2pm and called back to my doctor's office.  The nurse told me to come in and they would monitor the baby via sonogram to ensure everything was okay.  At that point, it was nearly the fifth and final block (seminar) of the school day.  I attend math lab during this block so I told one other math teacher what was going on and informed her that I wouldn't be in math lab.  As I was telling her, another cramp.  It was at that point that I wondered if the "cramps" were beginning labor pains.  However, they weren't what I thought contractions would be, as my stomach wasn't tightening like with Braxton Hicks.

I headed out and had two to three more cramps en route to the doctor's office, which is about a 15-minute drive from work.  They were bearable, but definitely uncomfortable, especially while driving.

Craig met me at the doctor's office and I had another cramp while walking towards the door.  I had to stop and wait it out in the parking lot.  I remember telling him "I think I might be in labor."

Luckily, we were called back for a sonogram pretty quickly, especially considering we were there without an appointment and they told us it could be awhile.  Because at that point, I was certain I was going into labor and just wanted to be at the hospital.

Of course, as I was laying on the sonogram table, I felt some distinct kicks and knew Baby was fine.  The technician verified this and confirmed that my amniotic fluid and fluid through the umbilical cord were fine, as well.  While laying there, I suffered through a few more cramps.  The technician said that though she couldn't officially diagnose my "condition", she agreed that I was in labor.  She mentioned that sometimes the baby's movement will slow or stop right before labor begins.

She took us to an exam room to wait for the doctor.  (Which was not my regular OB, by the way.  She had already left for the day/weekend.)  I had another stop-me-in-my-tracks cramp in the hallway on the very short walk to the exam room.  The nurse told me that the doctor would want to introduce himself before I removed my pants.  My cramps were so bad at that point that I said I didn't care!

The doctor came in right away and was quite surprised that I was in such pain.  He thought he was checking on a baby that wasn't moving, not a woman in labor!  He checked me and said I was 5-6 cm dilated and 80-90% effaced.  He said we needed to head straight to the hospital (across the street), as we'd be having a baby very soon!  This was around 3:45pm.

We checked into the hospital and were taken to a labor and delivery room around 4pm.  There were a couple of nurses scrambling to get my information, labs, and IV in place.  They knew I wanted an epidural ASAP, but that couldn't happen until my blood work was complete and I had received a certain amount of fluid.

I had pretty severe labor pains for about 45 minutes and remember feeling like throwing up due to the extreme pain.  I was still 5-6 cm according to the labor and delivery nurse.  By 4:45, the epidural was in and working, thank God!  Like I said with Brantley, epidurals are amazing things!  I can not imagine doing it without!

I did have to push the button for more dose of the epidural a couple of times.  And the anesthesiologist was also called back to my room to adjust the meds because I could feel pain and uncomfortable pressure in the lower left side of my abdomen.  But once she did, I was good to go and completely pain-free! 

The doctor stopped by and broke my water.  And for the next hour and a half (ish), we hung out, texted friends and family, listened to the nurse tell stories about her life, and even dozed off for awhile.  Around 6:00, Craig mentioned something about that night's Royals game and the nurse said we'd definitely have a baby by first pitch at 7:10.

At 6:45, it was go-time.  The room filled with nurses (more than normal, I think, because 7:00 is transition from daytime to nighttime nurses).  I pushed for under five minutes and was shocked to learn that Baby was here so quickly.  I could feel the doctor pull him out--immediate relief in my belly area!  Baby Holden was born at 6:49pm.  He immediately started wailing and within minutes, he was laying skin-to-skin on my chest.  As the nurses did what they needed, Craig and my eyes each filled with happy tears.  He was here--a perfect, healthy, and beautiful little boy!

Holden came out with a full head of dark brown hair!  Oddly enough, our tow-head Brantley had dark hair when he was born as well, but very little of it.  It was almost hard to believe that this was Brantley's brother!  He also came out with a red and beat-up face.  The nurses said this was the result of him descending so quickly.  On the plus side, because he came so quickly and spent so little time in the birth canal, he had a very round head for a vaginal delivery.  Almost immediately of being placed on my chest, he lifted his head (super strong neck muscles) and looked around at his new world.

After all we went through with Brantley, we were very relieved to hear that Holden appeared to be a healthy newborn.  He quickly latched and breastfed, which was also a relief.  We enjoyed the next couple of hours--just Mommy, Daddy, and Holden.  Craig had specific orders not to post our news on social media until we notified family and close friends first.  I must say, these initial moments were my absolute favorite.  No visitors, no social media--just a special time with our precious little bundle of joy.

Holden's birth weight was 7 pounds 2 ounces.  However, overnight on Friday night, he weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces.  It's highly unusual and unlikely that a baby would gain six ounces in a few short hours, so my recovery nurse is certain the delivery nurse transposed two digits of his weight (in grams), and hence, the conversion to pounds was incorrect.  The following night, he weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce...which is more consistent with the 7-8 weight, as most babies lose about 5% of their birth weight in the first couple of days.  So, weird story.  His birth certificate will say 7 pounds 2 ounces because that was "official"; though, he probably more accurately weighted 7 pounds 8 ounces.

Because Craig and I each went straight to the doctor's office from work, and then straight to the hospital, we had nothing except the clothes on our backs.  Which meant no camera.  Which, if you know me at all, you know that this killed me!  Of course, we had our iPhone cameras, but no "real" pictures.  I'm still a little disappointed about that, as iPhone pictures just aren't the same.  Typical for baby #2, I suppose.  Sorry Holden.

I always imagined I'd go into labor overnight.  I'm not sure why.  I'm still shocked that I was teaching about inverse functions, and a few hours later, delivered a baby!  It's so not how I pictured my labor going, but it sure makes for a fun story!  Thankfully my contractions (cramps) didn't start during class, and I'm even more thankful my water didn't break at school.  It really couldn't have happened in a more perfect manner.  I also can't believe I went from zero to severe labor in such a short amount of time!  So much for it being a long, slow process!

Overall, it was yet another wonderful labor experience.  I thought Brantley's delivery was easy, but Holden's was even easier.  I had another epidural that was the best of both worlds--I could still feel my legs and wiggle my toes, but it absolutely diminished all pain.  It also helped me relax and get to 10 cm in no time!  I was also up and walking within hours and took a shower less than 24 hours after giving birth.  The only unpleasant side effect was extreme itchiness all over my body and that was gone by Saturday.  I was a bit bummed that my regular OB (Dr. Cooper) wasn't the one to deliver, but we feel very lucky to have had an amazing on-call doctor (Dr. Sheridan) that we did.

I will always look back on Holden's birth story with such joy and happiness.  I am grateful for the positive experience--the one that gave us a perfect and beautiful Baby #2.

And now for our below-average iPhone photos.  My husband isn't the best at capturing all the little moments...I kept having to remind him...but he did his best and I'm thankful for what we have!

Realities Set In

This morning, we attempted newborn photos.  I thought, in addition to photos of Holden, we could sneak in a few sibling shots and an updated family photo, as well.  Yeah, I'm not sure what I was thinking.  Trying to get two kids under two to cooperate simultaneously was a mission impossible.  So I decided to fore-go the family photo altogether.  Despite coordinating some cute outfits and getting all done up for them.  Oh well.  I suppose that's the reality these days... 

The photographer (Sarah Ireland Photography) did post a few sneak peaks tonight on Facebook.  I just can't get enough of them, or of my adorable little boys!

In other reality news, my parents left today.  They were a huge help throughout these past five days--mostly entertaining Brantley so we could focus our attention on Holden.  Craig went to happy hour with some co-workers this afternoon (despite not going back to work until tomorrow) and I was left alone with my two boys for the first time ever.  I managed to feed both, play with Brantley, care for Holden, and put Brantley to bed.  Successfully.  And I even remembered to feed the dog.  I'll consider that a major win.  It definitely called for a selfie.

Due Date

Today was my official due date, and I'm happy to have Baby Holden in my arms!  Like I did with Brantley, I wanted to pose for one final "baby bump" photo this time around!  I will always be amazed that these babies fit inside me!

Between the lack of sleep and my post-prego hormones, there have been a few stressful moments.  But I'm also so glad to have this baby on the outside!  It's amazing what changes the second the baby comes out.  Easier to breath, no more acid reflux, bladder control, and feeling like I have my body back to myself.  I'm also loving the ability to sleep on my stomach once again!  Well, what sleep I get anyway!  Loving this little guy and all that newborn life entails!

Stay tuned for more baby-related posts!

Welcome Holden Beckett!

Holden Beckett Sides
Friday, April 18 at 6:49pm
7 pounds 2 ounces
20 inches long

We are home and everyone is doing well!  We are adjusting well as a family of four!  I'll update with further details soon.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of our new little man!