Monday, January 28, 2008

Coming Home From the Hospital, Teagan's First Bath and New Pictures

So, we made it home from the hospital, and Teagan enjoyed her first car ride (even though her brother did not...). She slept through the whole thing, despite the fact that Kieran cried the entire way home. He was pretty torn up about the fact that we weren't going to be going back to the place with the helicopter pad and where the doors miraculously opened. (You had to ring a bell to get into the postpartum wing and then the nurses would buzz you in.) I swear, Kieran was way more excited about "Doors Open!" than about his little sister. ;)

We slowly settled into a routine of being a family of four (well, five for a little bit since my mom was here to help, thank goodness!!). Teagan's cord stump fell off when she was only four days old (SOOO early! Kieran's didn't fall off until he was well over a month old, which was really late!), so we gave her her first real bath the next day (goodness, did she need it!). David was thinking she was going to hate the bath, but boy did she love it! Instead of bathing her in the sink, we decided to give her her bath in the bathroom since it was like -15 degrees out the night we bathed her, and our house was COLD, despite the heat being up. The bathroom has a ceiling heater installed, so it was nice and cozy back there. Teagan was so calm and alert the entire bath. She was just looking around and observing everything that was going on. Kieran decided after he got into the big boy tub that he wanted to help, but fortunately, he was mostly happy just observing what was going on.

Last Sunday, Kieran got sick. He had a pretty good fever and a *nice* cough. By Monday night,his fever had reached 104, so we gave him some tylenol, and it came down to 101. He seemed to be on the mend on Tuesday (although he still had a fever) so my mom left, but on Wednesday he started regressing and was in bad shape on Thursday and Friday. Totally lethargic and sleepy. We took him to the doctor's on Friday, and everything looked and sounded okay, despite his lingering fever. FINALLY on Sunday (yesterday) his fever broke. AN ENTIRE WEEK LATER, folks!!! When Kieran started to get sicker rather than better we tried to limit his interactions with Teagan so as to avoid getting her sick with whatever it was he had. Since Teagan is pretty much attached to my breast all day long, this meant that he didn't get to spend much time with me, either. (Thank goodness for David's ability to stay home to help out!!) Kieran has been acting out a bit--lots of crying fits/tantrums and hitting, and I'm feeling major mommy guilt about it. I'm convinced that it's because he feels abandoned by me because of how we handled this first illness. But, it's hard to think about knowingly exposing your one week old baby to an illness that's causing a fever of 104+. This is SO not how I expected Kieran and Teagan's relationship to begin. I hope I haven't messed it up for them. So, now that we're all on the mend, hopefully we'll be able to get off on a better foot. Things seemed to be going pretty well until Kieran got sick. Hopefully we'll be able to get back to that.

Here are a few pictures of my cuties to tide you over until I post again.
I thought this last picture was hysterical--all three of my sweeties crashed out in bed (along with "No-Man" and "Bank-et" who go pretty much everywhere with Kieran). Teagan and David really cracked me up since they're sleeping in the exact same position. Teagan really is her father's daughter, I guess. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Story of Teagan's Birth

While I had some time this morning, I briefly wrote down Teagan's birth story, so here it is! :)

My labor with Teagan was short but intense, but before we get to that, I should give you some background information. David's sister, Diane, was visiting us this past week and wrote about the days leading up to Teagan's birth from her perspective in the following paragraph:

I got out to IL on Monday (well Tuesday AM thanks to the storms), and was pleased to hear the weekend before Loretta had been having lots of contractions. I hoped that meant that this little one would come on time. Nothing on Tuesday. Wednesday morning dawned bright and unseasonably warm. Nothing. Loretta kind of shrugged her shoulders and apologized that this baby seemed to be late too. That day we (Grandma, Loretta, Kieran, and Aunt Diane) went to the Children's Museum to play with Kieran's friend Maya. I made Loretta (I mean I encouraged her) to walk around a lot and bend and pick up her son. Hoping that would jump start labor. Nothing. Thursday came. And went. Nothing. Friday came and... On Friday night was went to Papa George for some Greek cuisine. Loretta started having pretty regular contractions. I pulled out my pad of paper and we counted them about everything 3-8 min. apart! Sweet! My plane left in the afternoon on Saturday and I was hopeful that this was it! It was not it. On Saturday morning the contractions faded. I had to make the easiest decision of my life. Should I leave or extend my trip by two days. I called the airline and made the switch (best money I ever spent). That night Loretta, Jackie and I went out to see the movie Juno, which is about a pregnant teen aged girl. Loretta laughed at the birth scene which was about 20 sec. long. Girl's water broke. Everyone went to the hospital. Push. Push. Baby out. We all made fun of how Hollywood makes birth seem like one quick scream, and then it's all over. (Little did we know...) We got home that night, and for the millionth time I asked hopefully, "How are you feeling?" Hoping like crazy that she would finally answer, "I feel terrible, like I'm having a baby or something." But she just looked at me and said, "Sorry, I'm feeling fine."

(back to Loretta's perspective) As Diane noted above, I had been having contractions off and on since Friday evening, but nothing regular or painful. I went to bed Sunday in the early morning at around 12:30 a.m. (we are night owls) not feeling like anything was going on and thinking that Teagan was not anywhere near being born, which I felt bad about since Diane was leaving Monday afternoon. I seriously did not think that Teagan would be born until after she had left. Then, I woke up around 2:15 a.m. with intense, regular contractions. I laid in bed until around 3:30 trying to go back to sleep, but at that point, I decided to get up and start timing contractions (and take my somewhat noisy self out of the room where my 20 mo. old and husband were sleeping). I spent about 45 minutes in the bathroom, timing contractions and laboring on the toilet, which was the most comfortable position I could find. The contractions were just about 3 minutes apart and intense. With Kieran, my labor started similarly--contractions around 3-4 minutes apart for several hours, then they dropped back to about 5-6 minutes apart for about 24 hours. They never went away, just slowed down slightly, and they were nowhere near as intense as the ones I was feeling on Sunday morning. I was getting pretty discouraged because I thought for sure I would be in labor for at least 24 more hours based on how things had gone when I delivered Kieran. Also, my water hadn't broken nor had I seen any show or mucus plug (which my mom kept asking about hopefully).

At a little after 4 a.m. I woke David and told him I thought I was in labor. We decided to wait to go to the hospital until after Kieran woke up (usually around 7:30/8ish) since he'd never woken up w/out us before, and we were still thinking that this was the very beginning of labor. I spent the next hour and a half laboring in the living room on my exercise ball and in the bathroom. By 5:30, I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. The contractions were coming a bit more quickly and were even more intense. We decided that it would be better for Kieran to wake up with his fun Aunt Diane (and maybe grandma) than for him to wake up to an in-pain momma. I decided I wanted to find out how dilated I was, then labor in the tub until I got an epidural. At that point, I was resigned to an epidural. If I was going to be in labor as long as I had been with Kieran (36 hours, plus or minus), I was sure I was going to need an epidural to make it. We woke up my mom and Diane to let them know what was going on. We decided we would call my mom once we were at the hospital and knew how far along I was. David gathered together our things and started the car--at one point during a contraction I shushed my mom when she was trying to coach me by breathing differently that I was...

We arrived at the hospital a little after 6 a.m. By the time I was in a room and being checked, it was after 6:15. The nurse checked me and said I was a good 6-7 centimeters dilated, which was a big relief for me. I had been sure they were going to tell me that I was only at a 3 or so. Dr. Nelson, my doctor, was not on call this past weekend, but we had asked early on in my pregnancy for the office midwife, Cathy Hinton, to deliver if Dr. Nelson was unavailable (out of town or not on call), and she had agreed to do so. We had also done the same thing when I was pregnant with Kieran because I saw both of them alternatingly throughout both pregnancies and both David and I felt really comfortable with them and with the fact that they would respect our wishes during labor. The nurses called Cathy and she headed over to the hospital. Fortunately for me, she was already up and in her car on her way home from the other hospital in town when they called to ask her to come. I kept alternating between laboring in the bed, standing up, and in the bathroom. I asked for an epidural, the nurse got things ready to start an IV for me. It took a few tries to get my IV in (I should have known to tell them to use my right arm rather than my left because my left arm's veins are always tricky when I'm having blood drawn). The nurses told me that the anesthesiologist was on his way up and that this particular one would want David to wait in the hall while he was administering my epidural. I headed for the bathroom again with David. While I was in there, both Cathy and the anesthesiologist arrived. I waited for the current contraction to stop and then headed back out to get my epidural. David stepped outside, Cathy Hinton stayed in there with me. It was a little after 6:45 a.m. This is when things started moving at warp speed.

I told Cathy that I felt like I might need to push soon, she said I didn't need to get the epidural, but I was adamant. At this point I seriously did not think I could do it without the epidural. The contractions were so fast and SO intense. I told her that I was also pretty sure I couldn't have gone from 6-7 centimeters to 10 centimeters and ready to push in less than 30 minutes. She said it was possible, I insisted on the epidural. The anesthesiologist was putting the needle in my back when I felt my water break and an intense urge to push, I tried to stay as still as possible, but informed Cathy that I now needed to push. She reminded me to stay still, the anesthesiologist took the needle out of my back--no epidural for me!--my nurse looked down and confirmed that Teagan's head was crowning. I said, "I need my husband in here right now!" and another nurse ran out into the hall to get David. I somehow climbed back up onto the bed, David ran back into the room, I pushed twice, literally less than a minute, and Teagan was born! Cathy barely had time to put on her gloves to help catch her! They put her on my belly--she was a hefty little babe!-- and suctioned out her mouth and nose, and then David cut her cord. It all happened so fast! My mom obviously did not make it to the hospital in time for her birth, and since it happened so quickly we have absolutely no pictures or video of her birth (but we also don't have any of Kieran's birth, either, but for different reasons), which are the only downsides to Teagan's birth.

When Teagan was being born, I could feel myself tear again in the same exact place I tore with Kieran, although it didn't feel painful at all, unlike the first time around. Apparently the tear was smaller, too. I felt great despite tearing, and delivered the placenta within 10 minutes or so.

Diane has a picture of her phone's incoming call log, which reads like this:

6:22 AM David (called to say that they were at the hospital)
6:48 David (called to say that they were giving Loretta the epidural)
6:56 David (called to say that Teagan was born)

As I mentioned before, I seriously doubted my ability to give birth without an epidural. I am a wimp when it comes to pain, and based on my prior record with these things, I felt sure that I would be in labor for a long, long, long time. As it were, I ended up being in labor for about 4.5 hours--WAY different from the first time around! Teagan was only in the birth canal for about 2 minutes at the most. She has the most perfectly round head. When the pediatrician was examining her on Sunday he asked David if she was a c-sectioned baby because her head was so round. The pediatrician was shocked when David told him that she was not! :) I am so proud of myself for giving birth with no drugs, and while I remember that it hurt worse than anything else I've ever felt, I also can't remember exactly what it felt like.

Everything else is going great here. I am sore, although I know to take it super easy this time around (unlike with Kieran--I totally overdid it a couple of days after he was born and reaped the consequences for weeks afterwards...). Teagan is nursing like a champ and my milk started to come back in yesterday. I could tell partially because Kieran is insistent on drinking more mommy milk all the time, too, and he's having a bit of a hard time sharing *his* milk with Teagan. Thank goodness for Daddy and Grandma to distract him a bit. He was super excited to wake up with "Bee Ats" (Baby X) as he still calls her, in bed with us all this morning. Our first night of co-sleeping all together went well last night. Hopefully it will continue to do so!

Thanks again to everyone for all the congratulatory remarks and well-wishes! We can't wait to introduce little Teagan to you all! I'm sure we'll have more pictures up in the next few day so be sure to check back.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Introducing Teagan Eleanor Ullrich Ferguson

Here are some pics of the newest member of our family, Teagan Eleanor Ullrich Ferguson.

Teagan was born at 6:50 a.m. on Sunday, January 13, 2008. She weighed 8 lb. 10 oz. and was 21 3/4 inches long. Her stats were almost identical to her brother's! (Kieran weighed 8 lb. 10 oz. and was 22 inches long when he was born.)

We're so excited she's here with us. We know many of you are eagerly awaiting pictures, and I'm too tired to write the exciting story of her birth, so without further ado, check out KRUF's little sister!

Shortly after her very quick birth (aren't you anxious to hear the story??)
First Meal
Hanging out with Dad and Meeting Big Brother Kieran
Newly Born With Grandma
Meeting Aunt Diane
Long, Long Fingernails
First Family Picture
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, January 04, 2008

November and December in the Life of Kieran

I am so bad about posting on this blog! I can only imagine that posting will get even more sporadic once Baby X arrives. I seriously cannot imagine what it's going to be like with two. I feel like I'm sometimes barely keeping it together with just one--and that one is becoming more and more adept at entertaining himself! Thank goodness for my mom, who will be here for a couple of weeks after the new baby's born! (And, I guess I should say thanks to my dad, too, who works hard so my mom was able to be a stay at home mom and now has the ability to just drop everything to come out here and help me out, and to my brothers and sisters who are going to be helping out around my parents' house while my mom is out here, and to my grandparents, too, who will be doing the same thing. Apparently it does take a village...) :)

Anyway, there's a lot to catch up on in the lives of Kieran and co.
November started out with very mild weather, and we took advantage of it by spending a lot of time outside. Playing in the leaves was one of Kieran's pastimes, and we had a lot of leaves in our yard for him to play with. He also enjoyed raking the leaves and helping load them into paper yard bags to take to the landscape recycling center in town. We made one final trip as a family of three back to Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday, and had lots of fun, minus a stressful start to the trip when our flight out of town was delayed, then canceled for about five minutes before the airline reinstated it. Kieran is old enough now to really play with his cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends, which is incredibly fun for everyone. He really enjoyed seeing everyone, and he talks about different family members all the time. He's pretty stoked that his "gamma"/"maa-maa" and "Annn Diannn" are coming to visit him in just a few days. he certainly remembers them both from his visit back east just a few short weeks ago. Below are some pics from our visit:

Kieran and cousin Jay playing in the tub

Three little stairstepped KieFerg boys

With Aunt Cathy and the newest member of the fam, Uncle Darren

With "Annn Diannn" and Uncle Lincoln

We returned to find all the mild weather gone, having been replaced with the frigid prairie winter. Blah!! Between the extremely cold conditions, a fair amount of snow, and my pregnancy-induced lethargy, we didn't spend too much time outside, although we did make it out one night to pick out our Christmas tree from the local tree farm where we always get our tree. This year they offered "moonlight" hours, so off we went the first Friday we were back to pick out our tree (especially since the ACC championship football game was that Saturday at noon, so we weren't going to be going anywhere lest we miss the big game). Usually we get a white pine, but the selection was sparse this year, so we ended up getting a red pine, and it was great. I think we may go with this option again next year. The branches are sturdier than a white pine and the tree stayed fresher so much longer (perhaps because we remembered to water it more frequently this year...). In fact, the tree is still up in our living room, partially because Kieran loves his "key-bee-bee" (christmas tree) so much. He was fascinated with the decorations and for the first few days it was up he kept bringing ornaments he'd take off it, saying "uh-oh key-bee-bee" and would want to help put the ornaments back on. A particular favorite of his was a blue and white foam snowflake ornament made and given to us by his Aunt Molly several years ago. Kieran was also particularly fond of the lights on the tree and outside (which I smartly told David to put up BEFORE we left for Thanksgiving one balmy Saturday before Thanksgiving when it was 60 degrees out--he mocked me at the time, but I know he was ultimately glad he had done it with the nasty 20 degree weather that arrived after Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, Kieran also learned how to plug in the tree lights all by himself, which is an advanced feat I am not so proud of. One morning I was sitting eating my breakfast in the kitchen and he came bounding in, excitedly proclaiming, "Dee-Dee (which is what he calls himself--we have no idea where that name came from!) key-bee-bee dight on. Dee-Dee key-bee-bee dight on!" When I glanced around the corner, the lights, which had previously been off, were sure enough on. We've spent a few weeks trying to explain to him that turning the lights on without mommy or daddy or another grown-up could give him pain, so he should always ask one of us to help him turn the lights on. (As I sat here typing this, the little guy walked over to plug the tree lights in BY HIMSELF again! I guess it's time to start reusing the electrical socket covers again...)

Christmas was fun and very laid-back, which was great since I wasn't feeling too hot on Christmas Eve or Day. David and I think it was something I might have eaten since no one in the rest of the family got sick, thank goodness! (Fortunately, it also didn't mean that I was getting ready to go into labor because my doctor was out of town until the 28th.) Kieran got lots of fun toys, which he loves to play with, and some great books, too. It's a good thing we're having another baby because he would be one spoiled little boy if we weren't!
Kieran has been all about the holiday season this year. He's really into "no-man" (snowmen), and he's started singing, too. His favorite song right now is "Frosty the Snowman," although the alphabet song is a close second. Our neighbor at the end of the street really goes all out with their holiday decorations, which include a huge, inflatable snowman and Santa. Kieran loves them both and is always asking to go down and look at them. When they're off during the day, he will say, "Frosty/Santa night-night" and he's always really pleased when it's dark out and they're inflated. He is into Santa, although as evidenced in this picture, he much prefers the inflatable Santa to a human one. David and I have decided that we're not going to make a big deal about Santa because we have some issues with the whole "you'll get presents if you're good" idea (because, really, that's not the reality for a lot of kids). So, all of Kieran's presents this year were from mommy and daddy or grandma and grandpa or this aunt/uncle/cousin, etc. We'll see how effective this is once Kieran's a little bit older and has more exposure to the whole Santa lore.

With Christmas over, we rang in 2008 with our friends Erin, Brian, and Maya (who is Kieran's best bud). It was so nice to have a family-friendly New Year's party to go to. Last year, we stayed home and watched a movie, which we both thought was kinda depressing, and it was great to be able to go out and share in the revelry with others this year. Kieran didn't quite make it to midnight--he went to bed at 10:30ish (but he could easily have gone done earlier than that), but he enjoyed the party while he was awake. Here's a nice picture of the two little ones during the holiday festivities:
Mom and Dad had a great time, too, and we didn't leave until well after 2:30 a.m., which made for an interesting day on New Year's (more so for David than for me since he got up with Kieran when he awoke at 7:30 while I slept in).

As you may have noticed, Kieran looks like he's grimacing in many of these pictures. In fact, he's actually *smiling* for the camera! Clearly, we're going to have to work on the smile. :) Here is another picture of Kieran smiling:
I put this up as the background on my computer, and when Kieran saw it he said, "Dee-Dee kai. Dee-Dee sad" (Kieran cry. Kieran sad), and I explained to him that he actually wasn't sad here, but rather, he was smiling. He pondered that concept for a while, but he still *smiles* like that. We'll see. I guess I'm going to have to try to take some more candid shots for a while. If he's making this kind of face in any of the pictures with the new baby, don't worry. It actually means that he's happy and smiling.

We hope you all had a great holiday season. Keep checking back for news about Baby TEUF (pronounced "tough"). Yes, we've decided on a name, we think! Let the guessing begin. You only have a brief amount of time to come up with your guess before we make the big announcement about her arrival sometime (hopefully!) in the next week or so! Happy 2008! We have a feeling it's going to be a good year!