7.06.2014

Kate Summary - Month 2

As I write this, you are just a week away from being 3 months old, and I am about to go back to work in 2 days!  The time sure is flying by!  

Baby girl, we love you so much!  Month 2 was when things started to get interesting.  The majority of month 2 can be summed up into one word: screaming.  You started to become a little (okay a lot) unhappy at times.  The swing was your best friend at nap time.  And driving around town in your car seat in the evenings happened a time or two.  On the bright side, you started smiling this month.  And you started interacting and playing more.  AND you started sleeping through the night - right at 2 months!  The best Father's Day gift you could have given daddy (and mommy, too!).

You are so precious, little girl.  No matter how difficult things have been, we love you more than we ever knew we could.  I can't imagine our family without you in it.

At your 2 month appointment you were:
Length: 23 inches (82%)
Weight: 12 lb 12 oz (87%)
Head Size: 15 1/2 inches (92%)

I am Kate.  Hear me roar!

Visiting Nana at the cupcake shop - and had to dress the part.
Bubba likes to play with Kate on her mat, too! :)
Ruffle booty!
Right around the time the screaming started to kick in.  But that face is so sweet!
Some of Kate's first smiles around 5 or 6 weeks.
Parker loves to hold Kate (and his brother, too!)  They are so in love with her!
Preston's turn!
All clean!
Holding onto daddy's finger as tight as she can.
He adores her!  And she loves him back!  Siblings are amazing!


8 weeks old!
Happy Father's Day to my love!

Papa working his magic to soothe the screamer :)
2 months old!!

5.18.2014

Kate Summary - Month 1


Weeks 1 and 2

  • We spent the first two weeks getting into a routine with nursing.  I am loving every minute of it, and that special time of bonding between the two of us.  We started with a 2 1/2 to 3 hour feeding schedule.
  • Kate slept a lot in the first two weeks.  We couldn't remember how much was normal, and were getting worried - she seriously slept all of the time.
  • She doesn't mind her car seat at all - and that is a blessing.  We are in the car quite a bit running errands, taking Jackson to school, etc.
  • She has a good set of lungs on her and can scream when she is not happy.
  • She was napping in her crib during the day, and sleeping in the pack & play in our bedroom at night.
  • She had newborn photos taken, and was very cooperative for us!
  • She is STRONG!  She kicks her legs in and out with force, holds her head up for a long time, and will squeeze your finger super tight!
  • Her big brother loves her, and is so very helpful.
  • She loves (insists) to have her hands near her face while eating.
  • She wanted her arms out of the swaddle, and would sleep much more soundly this way (but this changed...)
  • She has had really bad gas pains, and a horrible diaper rash that we can't get under control.
  • At her 2 week well check-up she was 21 1/4 inches long and 9 lb 1/2 oz.





Week 3

  • When Kate turned 3 weeks old, I moved her out of our room and into her nursery.  She slept better, and we slept better.  Win-win!
  • At her 2 week pediatrician appointment, she nearly rolled over when placed on her tummy.  A few days after, Scott saw her do it for the first time.  I witnessed her rolling over from tummy to back for the first time at 3 weeks.  Strong girl!
  • Halfway through this week she began getting very fussy during the day, and was inconsolable.  
  • She didn't want to nap.
  • Night time sleep was improving.  She would go back to sleep after nursing at night.
  • Still has bad gas pains and diaper rash.  Mylicon helping for gas pains.  Diaper rash - still can't get it under control.  Have tried Boudreauxs, Vaseline, Aquaphor, and Desitin.  Mild improvement, but still pretty bad.






Week 4

  • Night time sleep is better and better.  She went 6 hours between feedings at night for the first time!  That was an accident - I slept through my alarm.  Whoops!  
  • I have been letting her go 4 hours between feedings at night, which is working well.  She is on a 3 hour schedule during the day.
  • She is more alert during the day, which has been fun (and also not so fun when all she wants to do is scream).
  • Napping still isn't great - she prefers to be held, but things have to get done around here.  She naps in the swing a few times a day.  
  • Today, I started practicing more of the babywise recommendations of wake-time length, and putting her down for naps while she is still awake.  So far it is working well, but we are just starting.
  • Still has bad gas pains and diaper rash.  Introduced Gripe Water this week when she has been inconsolably screaming - and it has helped some.


One Month Old!


5.13.2014

Happy 5th Birthday, Jackson!

Having kiddos with birthdays 4 days apart may make for a crazy April each year, but it will be a lot of fun!!  Just one day home from the hospital, and we had to make sure we celebrated this sweet boy!

Opening his presents after he woke up

The Holmboes delivered a yummy fruit basket/chocolate covered fruit for our homecoming and Jackson's birthday - how special he felt!!
And of course he got to pick what he wanted to eat.  All. Day. Long.  :)

This birthday celebration was pretty low-key.  We made sure to have a birthday party for him early this year - before sister arrived.  I don't have any pictures from that day...so we'll just have to trust that it happened.  He went to the trampoline park with his cousins, and came home for some food and cookie cake, and PRESENTS of course!

Happy Birthday, sweet Jackson!  FIVE YEARS OLD!  I cannot believe it!  You are starting Kindergarten in the fall, and you are just so big.  When I put your sister down to sleep, and then come tuck you into bed...you feel huge.  You are big and strong, and growing into such a smart and handsome young boy.  You love to play tball, enjoy playing Skylanders and Ninja Turtles, and always want to be where the action is.  You love your baby sister so much, and are a huge help around the house.  I am so proud of you, and so thankful that I get to be your momma!  I love you, sweet boy!  So much!


kate's blood sugar

Since Kate was over a certain weight at birth, the nurses explained to us that they would need to check her blood sugar a few times the first day or so, to make sure it didn't drop too low.  This is standard procedure, so no big deal...

A couple of blood sugar checks in, the nursery nurse explained that it had dropped pretty low, and if we didn't react (supplement with formula), Kate could end up in the NICU.  She went on to explain that low blood sugar could cause brain damage, etc.  She said that if it were her baby, she would definitely give her a few MLs of formula.  So, we followed her advice, and we did!

Fast forward a few hours, and Kate decided she didn't want to nurse anymore, because the colostrum wasn't coming out nearly as fast as the formula did from the bottle.  She was getting frustrated and angry, and screaming her little head off.  The lactation consultant came in, and asked what was going on.  I explained the blood sugar issue, and apparently that set her off.  She checked the charts, and the blood sugar reading was apparently NOT dangerously low.  She would have been fine if we just would have kept nursing.  This little issue turned into a big huge ordeal, where the lactation consultant wanted to file a report on the nursery nurse for providing us mis-information.  Meanwhile my baby is screaming, and I'm freaking out that I've already failed at breastfeeding.  

Thankfully with a lot of crying and frustration from Kate, and a little from me, and a lot of persistence from everyone - we got Kate to start nursing again.  This was about a 12 hour process.  Meanwhile, everyone who came into our room asked us the blood sugar story, and EVERYONE had a different opinion about it.  I finally had reached my breaking point with all of it, and broke down into tears.  I was so tired of everyone talking about it, pointing fingers, and giving us different advice.  I was so confused!!  This went on for awhile, and the last day at the hospital - the CNO (Chief Nursing Officer) - head of all nurses - stopped by my room to talk about it.  Seriously!  This was crazy!  I was so ready to leave the hospital.  I loved all of my nurses (well most of them anyhow), but the confusion was getting to me.  I just wish they were all on the same page and gave me the same advice.  I seriously had at least 5 different people telling me 5 different things!  

By the time we were discharged from the hospital, Kate had lost an entire pound.  This was a big concern for the staff and pediatrician, so they recommended we continue supplementing after each feeding.  We had to get her weight back up.  I was scheduled to go back on Easter Sunday to get her weighed again, and to have an appt. with the lactation consultant.  Kate had gained 4 ounces in 2 days!  The lady recommended a few things, encouraged us to continue the good work we were doing to get her weight back on, and we went on our way.

I don't know if supplementing this early caused supply issues, or not.  I don't know if my hypothyroidism is truly the reason why I don't produce a lot of milk, or not (that is what the nurses and lactation consultants have told me).  Breastfeeding is going much better with Kate than it did with Jackson.  I just don't make a lot of milk, so I have to supplement an ounce after every nursing session.  I don't love it.  I was sad about it for awhile.  But it is what it is.  I'm still able to have bonding time with Kate while I nurse.  I still love that.  She loves it.  And she is growing!  So I will be thankful for what is going well, and the ability to at least nurse and provide her some benefits of breast milk.  And above all, I will be thankful for a healthy, growing, baby girl.

5.07.2014

april 15, 2014

I woke up hungry and thirsty on Tuesday, April 15th.  My c-section was scheduled for 2 pm that day, and I couldn't have anything to eat or drink 12 hours prior to surgery.  Other than that minor inconvenience, I was feeling great and ready to have this baby girl!  I got Jackson ready for school, loaded him up in the car and dropped him off.  I gave him a big hug and a kiss, and told him that I'd see him that afternoon when he came up to the hospital to meet his baby sister!  (This was really happening!)

I went home, finished packing bags for the hospital, and waited for Scott to get home from work.  He got home around 11:30 and we headed up to Baylor Frisco to check-in at noon.  We were in the waiting area all of 5 or 10 minutes before the nurse came to get me.  We went into the labor & delivery room, and got prepped.  IV in, blood taken, monitors attached.  I was having fairly regular and strong contractions, which I wasn't even aware of.  Kate might have arrived on the 15th on her own, had we not been scheduled.

After I was all prepped and ready to go, I literally walked down the hall into the operating room.  This was a different experience from the last time!  I didn't have an epidural in yet, which was also different.  I got into the OR, and sat up on the operating table.  The anesthesiologist came in, and asked me to lean over so she could place my spinal.  I was given a spinal to get me through the c-section, and then the epidural to deal with pain for the next 12 hours.  That was also different from last time.  I remember my mom telling me her horror story of when she was in labor with me - I was a c-section baby after 23 hours of labor.  They had to do an emergency c-section, and gave her a spinal.  The spinal fluid leaked, she had a crazy headache and couldn't hold me for hours because of the complications.  I was slightly nervous about getting a spinal, knowing all of that.  But everything worked out just fine!  It didn't really hurt, just felt weird going down my spine and into my hips.  I remember thinking there was no way I was numb yet, and nervous that I would feel being cut open.  Ha!  Not a problem.

Scott was right by my side the whole time, smiling at me.  We were both pretty calm and collected, compared to the last time.  I was a little nervous, and had about a 5 minute moment where I didn't want to be there, awake on that operating table, about to be cut open.  But as soon as they started working, and I realized this wasn't going to take long, I calmed down.  I was freezing cold, and got the shakes (again - same as last time).  They put warm blankets on me, and then finally gave me Demerol for the shakes.  That helped tremendously, but also made me a little loopy.  I remember talking to Scott, and wondering if he could hear my voice because it was such an effort to get out the words.  The radio was playing in the OR, and John Legend's "All of Me" came on, which was a sweet moment for us.

Pretty soon, they lowered the curtain a tad so Scott and I could watch them pull her head out.  Within moments we heard that sweet baby cry, and saw her precious face.  She looked JUST like Jackson when he was born, except she had blonde hair!  :)  Scott kept wondering throughout the pregnancy if she would have blonde hair like he did when he was younger.  It has darkened some since birth, but I think it is still blonde-ish.  Kate was a little drama queen and kept crying off and on.  After the nurses cleaned her up and weighed her, Scott held her while they stitched me up.  Then we were off to the recovery room for a couple of hours.  I was awake the entire time throughout the delivery and recovery room, which was also different from last time.  It was so nice to have Kate in the recovery room with us, and for me to begin nursing her and having skin-to-skin time immediately.

After a few hours in recovery, they wheeled me into our room.  Soon after,  Scott went to the waiting room to get Jackson.  We wanted to have a special moment with the four of us before the rest of our family came into the room.  Jackson walked into the room with a few tears in his eyes - I think the whole thing was overwhelming for him.  He quickly warmed up, and was interested in his baby sister.  Soon after, all of our family came up to meet baby girl.  I was a little out of it - but it was so fun to see everyone snuggling her, and in love with our little miracle.

I don't think Kate's delivery and birth could have been any smoother.  I am so thankful for answered prayers, and for a healthy baby girl!  We are so in love, and couldn't imagine life without her in it!



4.23.2014

kate elise echols

I want to take some time to document Kate's birth story, and a few details about our hospital stay.  I am not quite ready to sit down and write that out yet, so for now it will just be photos from our days in the hospital. :)

Kate Elise Echols was born on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  She weighed 8 lbs, 10 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.  I was at 39 weeks, 6 days gestation.



Heading to the hospital to have this baby!  Not the most flattering photo of me - but what can you do. :)

Proud daddy

This girl has some lungs on her.

In the recovery room, snuggling my newest blessing

My precious little family...my heart is bursting!

Nanna & Papa

Aunt G (Kate - you guys are going to be great friends...trust me!)

This photo of my dad snuggling Kate just melts me!

Uncle Rodney looks good holding a little girl!

Jacqueline came to visit and love on Miss Kate

Big brother holding Kate for the first time - LOVE this photo!

Had fun taking a few quick pictures while at the hospital - a story on that later...

Miss Mary came to love on Kate

Heading home with this precious bundle!

I couldn't get out of bed the first day, and apparently decided not to take many photos over the next few days - so I'm missing pictures of Scott's family.  I will need to get some of those and post them later.  They definitely have been loving on her as well.  :)  Little girl is spoiled and loved more than ever.  We are so thankful!

4.10.2014

growing bump.

16 weeks
17 1/2 weeks
22 weeks

27 weeks

36 weeks, 1 day
37 weeks
38 weeks, 5 days