Friday, June 10, 2016

December 2015

December was a big month for the Mower family! Early in November we found out that baby #3 was not growing at the expected rate, and when that fact was combined with concerns of low amniotic fluid it made my doctor somewhat concerned. I had to start going in for weekly ultrasounds to check on the baby and make sure she still looked okay. If at any point baby seemed to be going downhill I was to be sent to the hospital to be induced. I was only about 29 weeks along, so at first we were just praying baby could stay put until she hit 35 weeks so I wouldn't automatically have to go to Albuquerque to deliver. We hit that milestone the first week of December and were able to breathe a little sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, life went on as usual. We got together with Mom and Dad Richins, as well as Zach and Carolyn to go Christmas tree hunting. It was a fun day and we got some nice trees to adorn our homes for the holidays. The kids had a blast decorating!
Erik's school had their annual Community Christmas Dinner and program. It was fun to watch the kids, they'd worked so hard.
This is how Erik spent most of the time snapping himself with the elastic on his hat or doing this:
Somewhere around this time my doctor decided that if baby hadn't come by the time I hit 38 weeks we'd go ahead and kick her out of there just to be on the safe side. Since that was right on Christmas day, we agreed to have her come at 37 weeks 5 days and hopefully baby and I could be home with our family for Christmas. So on Dec 22 I had Ethan take a before picture...
 ...and then early on the 23rd we headed to Silver City to meet our new cutie. My mom met us at the hospital and took the older two kids home with her, and Ethan and I headed inside. We got checked in and they got my IV started (the first of all three inductions where they didn't mess up my IV, hooray!). We passed the time playing cards and watching TV. By lunch time things were starting to get a little more exciting. I knew that with the IV painkillers (my preferred method of pain management) I had a limited number of doses available to me and that each dose was less effective than the one before, so I waited as long as I could stand before asking for some kind of relief. Unfortunately I had waited too long, so baby #3 got to be my first "natural" childbirth experience.
At 2:51 pm our cute little Maren Eleanor made her entrance. She came out MAD! She's the first of our kids to arrive screaming at us, it was actually kinda funny. She weighed in at 5 pounds 12 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was borderline "low birth weight", so I got to hold her right away, but they kept a really close eye on her.
  I was STARVING, so they brought me lunch as fast as they could and Ethan got to snuggle her while I stuffed my face. I don't know if I've ever appreciated a meal as much as I did that one! :)

She had no trouble eating, but she did have a hard time maintaining her body temperature, so we spent a lot of time snuggling.

 They got us moved over to a recovery room and we settled in for a good nap. Except not. She was still too cold, so the nurse came in and turned my thermostat up to 80 degrees. Then she wrapped Maren in blankets, put her on my chest, then wrapped both of us in warmed blankets. Just before she left the room the nurse reminded me not to fall asleep like that because Maren could fall off or smother. So we sat there in our sauna and waited for Ethan to come back from his food run.
 Between dinner and baby feedings and other misc. stuff I was still awake when they came in about 1 am to give Maren her first bath, so I figured I'd go along.
 She was finally able to stay warm on her own, so we moved her to her own bassinet and, after having been awake for about 21 hours straight I finally got some sleep.
 Christmas eve we were greeted by this cute little Elf. My parents had come to bring Erik and Sharli to join us so we could all go home together. Kett and Cameron came along to meet Maren and Darrow was so excited to get to hold her. We all loaded up in the car and headed for home.
Christmas day was so much fun. We'd planned on keeping things pretty simple, but between family and friends the kids had a pretty good pile of presents under the tree. It was so much fun to watch them open their gifts, they were SO excited!

Maren and I snuggled in a comfy chair and Ethan do all the work of present distribution and wrapping paper clean-up.
Sorry, I cannot for the life of me get this picture to stay turned how I want it to be!

Maren was so tiny we had a hard time finding newborn clothes that didn't swallow her whole.
Sharli was so excited about all the fun new stuff in the house. It didn't matter if she was playing with her own stuff or someone else's (like my crossword puzzle book Ethan gave me).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Maren could not have cared less about all the bustle around here. She just slept and slept.
Grandma and Grandpa Richins gave this kids this great teeter-totter, so even in the yucky winter weather they had a great way to burn some energy inside. (We have since moved this thing outside, but for a few weeks it was oddly nice to have it inside.)
We're sure in love with our new little snuggle bug, she's such a sweet addition to our family. (Here she is at 5 days old.)

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