Baby on Board!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Carolina's First Two Weeks!

Let me start by saying this: Eric was the ONLY reason we had such a great first week at home together as we adjusted to having a brand new baby. He was incredible and took care of literally everything...the kids, the house, me and the baby, you name it. We had quite the busy week. Wednesday was Carolina's first doctors appointment. I was excited to show all my friends that work in the pediatrician's office our sweet baby girl ;) She had a great checkup and was already weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz.

Thursday was a big day for Ethan...we got to meet his teacher at preschool! It was really nice for Ethan to be able to see his classroom and play with the toys while we met with Ms. Kate.

Friday, I scheduled newborn pictures and had a photographer come to our house. I had low expectations because none of our newborn shoots with the other kids have gone great. I have no idea how people get these picture perfect-baby sleeping-siblings smiling-Pinterest looking glamour shots with a baby that is days old! But, low and behold I always schedule pictures thinking MAYBE we will have a flawless experience. Here's how it really went: Ethan having an epic meltdown before the photographer got there saying he didn't want to take pictures...Emerson excited to take pictures...once we were set up to do sibling shots Ethan was all of a sudden all about taking pictures and Emerson had a meltdown because we wouldn't give her a m&m before the picture. We were trying to do individual shots with just Carolina, but she did not want to fall asleep. I got peed on, pooped on, and everything else in between before I called it a wrap :) Here are two of the sneak peek pictures the photographer sent me...will be interesting to see the rest to see if there are any good ones!

Eric went back to work on Monday and I officially became a stay at home mom of THREE!! Not only that, but Ethan started PRESCHOOL! Heading into the week, my only "goal" was to get him to and from school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That first morning I was running on nothing but pure adrenaline. Ginka was gracious enough to offer to come with so she could stay in the car with Emerson and Carolina while I walked Ethan in. I thought I would be a sobbing mess, but he walked right into his classroom, took a picture with me, and was like, "okay mom! See you soon!" My big boy!! He did awesome the rest of the week and I'm so excited for all the fun he's going to have this year!
Tuesday I decided to be really brave and make my first grocery run with all three munchkins. I only needed a couple things for Ethan's birthday snack for preschool the next day. I was so nervous the entire time, but everything went nice and smooth and I was exhausted afterwards! I was still moving a little slow at this point so even quick errands were enough to wear me out.

Wednesday was Ethan's birthday (which I'll write a separate post about), Thursday was a low key day around the house, and Friday we had Carolina's two week check up. She is above her birth weight at two weeks (weighs 6 lbs. 8 oz.), but we are going in for a weight check in two weeks just to make sure she's still gaining at the rate she should. She's just a tiny little peanut!!

I've been making notes on my phone throughout the last two weeks because I knew I wouldn't be able to sit down and remember cute moments, funny things the kids have done, etc. Here are some highlights:
  • When we got home from the hospital Monday afternoon, Eric took Carolina out of the car seat and gave her an official tour of the house and was telling her about each room and what's in it :)
  • Ethan knew the stairs were going to be hard for me the first week or so. He decided to show me how I could get up the stairs...he got on his belly and did an army crawl up each stair. "See Mom, you can do this." 
  • Life with littles...there is always someone in the bathroom with me. The first time Emerson saw my bandages over my c section scar, she got really sad, head down, walked over to my side, and patted my arm and whispered, "it's okay, it's okay, it's okay." Love her previous heart!!! I explained to her that mommy was getting better, but she continues to do it each time she sees my scar. 
  • Ethan said Carolina sounded like a dinosaur when she cries :)
  • Emerson loves when she hears Carolina crying and she'll shout, "baby's AWAKE!!" 

  • Carolina looks exactly like Ethan did when he was a baby. Identical. Same dark hair and everything. I think it also helps that they are both skinny mini's! But then I took a picture of Carolina last week and it immediately made me think of this picture of Emerson:
    Carolina on left; Emerson on right
  • By the grace of God, Carolina's longest nap falls during Ethan and Emersons nap too. Which means mommy gets to sleep as well!! 

  • Carolina is following in the footsteps of her big brother and sister in the sleep department. She is allowing us so much sleep at thankful! She's been waking up only once on the majority of nights, usually around the 3-3:30am mark. I've been able to put her down about 10:30-11:00pm so she's easily giving us a solid 4-5 hour stretch. 


  • She likes being swaddled and cuddled close under your neck or on your chest. She also likes her paci. She hates diaper changes with a passion.

  • Carolina has a birthmark on the left cheek of her little tush =)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

{Carolina Jane Ellen Graebe}

After waiting 39 weeks and 6 long days, we finally got to meet our sweet baby girl Thursday, August 11 at 8:49am. Carolina Jane Ellen Graebe was born weighing 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 19" long. Three c-sections in four years - all very different experiences, but all ending with perfect little additions to our family.

The night before our C-section, we took Ethan and Emerson out to parents to get them settled for the next couple days. We headed back to our house (so quiet!), did some last minute packing and cleaning, and set our alarms for the next morning. We got to the hospital at 6am and started the process of getting prepped for surgery...including my last bump picture!


My nerves were doing okay this point - just anxious. I couldn't sit and kept pacing around our room waiting for the green light from the nurses. As always, I had a phenomenal team of nurses taking care of me - not to mention Dr. Stowell who has now delivered all our sweet babies. Come to find out, Dr. Stowell wasn't on call that day...he came in just to deliver THAT is an awesome doctor.

I felt pretty good during most of the surgery. Obviously there's so much going on around you, but you can't see anything but the sheet in front of you and the anthesologist over your face asking how you're feeling. I remember Dr. Stowell saying "we're getting close" and soon thereafter said he's got her head, a big push, and she was out! As she was being taken over to be checked out, I remember thinking, "wow, she looks small"! We really thought we might have a 7 lb. baby, but nope...6 lbs. 6 oz! Just a peanut! Eric immediately went over and started taking some pictures of her before he came back to check on me. He has always said it's such a surreal and "weird' experience because here his child has just been born, but his wife is cut open on a surgery table being put back together. Love him, he's knocked it out of the park all three times being the official photographer in the operating room!

One new (and really cool) thing our hospital has implemented in the last two years since Emerson was born, is skin-to-skin for C-section babies. In the past, you wouldn't be able to have skin-to-skin until after your surgery is completed and you're in the post-op room. With Carolina, they cleaned her up and then placed her right across my collarbones/neck area. It was kind of awkward because there wasn't a lot of room since the sheet was still up and I had one arm tied down (normal during a C-section), but Eric kept a hand on the baby and just let her lay there for awhile. She kept taking her little hand and touching my face and sweet.

With all three surgeries, you start to get really loopy after the baby is already out - they say it's the surge of hormones leaving your body. So here Carolina is on my chest and I just remember getting reallllllly tired and wanting nothing more to pass out. I had my eyes closed and barely had enough energy to muster up the word "hi" to her. Once we were in our post-op room where they monitor you and baby for a hour, Eric said I kept asking the same questions and saying the same things I did after Ethan and Emerson too. Haha. He just kept laughing at me and I had no idea why. The newborn nurse was in love with Carolina and kept saying how alert she was under the warmer.

We made it back to our recovery room and things got super busy with nurses coming in every 15-20 minutes to do checks on me and baby. Traffic started to slow down about 11:15 and then it hit me...all the pain. I felt like my insides had just been ripped open...which I guess they had =) One major difference with this surgery was I chose not to have morphine because of an itchy reaction I got after both Ethan and Emerson. It was bad enough after Emerson that I said I would rather deal with the pain versus the itchy madness. I don't regret my decision, but wow the pain was immediate.


On to more important things though...Carolina meeting her family!!! Carolina was so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by ALL her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and most importantly, her BIG brother and BIG sister!! Emerson wanted to crawl right up into bed with me so she could check Carolina out. Ethan...well, he was a little more hesitant - mostly because he didn't like seeing mommy all hooked up to the machines with "boo-boo's" everywhere. The next couple days during our hospital stay was full of family visits, friends visiting, and "picnics" with Ethan and Emerson =)




As with our other two birth experiences, we received the best care during our hospital stay. We can't say enough about the nurses that took care of us. The best part was seeing familiar faces from two years ago with Emerson! We saw our most favorite nurse, Miss Deb, who was our lifesaver with Emerson and you would've thought she was our long lost aunt! I literally got choked up when I saw her because she was so excited (and surprised!) to see us! My nurse, Susan, who was with me during my surgery with Carolina actually came by our room on Saturday to visit us and bring stickers for Ethan and Emerson. Every one we came into contact with was so incredibly sweet, truly took time to invest in our lives, and made our stay that much more enjoyable. We love our nurses!!

We headed home Monday afternoon to begin our new adventure as a family of FIVE!!! There came a time at the end of my pregnancy where I just needed her here. I needed a brand new, wrinkly baby to snuggle with on my chest. I needed to smell her. I needed to protect her and take care of her. I needed her. She serves as such a relief to me. I feel like she is going to be my constant reminder amidst all the chaos of raising two older toddlers to just take a deep breath and slow down.  To look around and be so incredibly thankful of these tiny little humans we get to raise and love on each day. We are overflowing with love for sweet Carolina and we can't wait to share her with our family and friends!