Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fox is FOUR Months Old

Dear Fox, 




You are FOUR months old. Holy batman! Where did the time go? We are closer to you being 6 months old than we are closer to you being a newborn baby. You are about to see what is all the fun about with the upcoming holidays, and the whole family is so excited to have you to celebrate with them. You are a happy, happy smiley baby boy with a sharp witted edge to your personality. As a Gemini, beware of Mr. Hyde and Mr. Jekyell dwelling inside you, because your happy nature can turn sour in a blink of eye! You definitely like to keep all of us on our toes. It is never boring with you three boys.  



You are beginning to fill out. You are sporting chubby cheeks that are constantly asking to be kissed on. Your thighs have rolls, and it's adorable. It's evident where all of the breast milk are going to! Mama and Daddy think you are in 12-14 pound range, and it will be interesting to see if they are right. Mama and Daddy see so much of Forrest, and Frank in you! 

You are quickly outgrowing your infant car seat. It doesn't surprise Mama that you are following the suit to your older brothers, because your older two brothers outgrew the same carseat by the time they were 5 1/2 months old! You're on the 3rd notch for shoulder harness, and there is only ONE more left this one! It is a good thing you are almost done with this car seat, because it will expire by December. Mama is feeling a bit sentimental about retiring your infant car seat, because it has carried all three of you boys. It will be a sad day to officially recycle the car seat. There are a lot of memories of you all three using the car seat such as first ride home from the hospital, and how small you looked in it to how you are barely fitting in it. It's bittersweet. Once you are done with the car seat, you will start using Frank's current Britax car seat, and Frank will upgrade to using a car seat high back booster. You three boys are growing up too quickly for Mama's liking.



Goodness, you are a drooling machine. It is as if one day your mouth decided to turn on its waterwork, and ever since, you have been drooling like a mastiff. Your onesies get quite soaked by the end of the day. Sometimes Mama have to change you several times because you drool so much! On top of your drooling, you are a quite pooping machine, and has managed to soil your outfits several times. Sometimes you have at least 3-4 outfit changes in just one day! It's a good thing that there is a lot of laundry in the home to be able toss your dirty clothes along with it! 

You have discovered your legs, and toes! You love to bring them to your face so you can examine them closely. Sometimes you fall over, especially if you are propped up against your boppy pillow, and Mama often have to keep a close eye on you. You never like to stay still. You work so hard to achieve rolling over. Currently, you are able to get on your side during your tummy time. You are able to pull yourself forward in a sitting position. We jokingly say that you are working out your abs! You are still not a fan of tummy time, but it is critical for you, especially with your Torticillis. Along with practicing tummy time, Mama is looking into pulling out a jumperoo saucer for you! She has an inkling that you will really love it, given with how much you love to move!!



Dr. Katie, who is your chiropractor, continues to adjust you on a weekly basis. She says that she can tell you're getting stronger, and better. You're able to hold up your neck longer when you are on your belly. Go Fox Go! After all, once your spine is in a correct position to hold all of your neck muscles, then you use tummy time to help strengthen the muscles. It is proving that it has been so beneficial for you. It's a win!

With this in the place, you are able to prove to Dave that you have a full capacity with how your neck function, and he decided, with his good graces, to release you from his care! You have a normal range of neck control, and can hold your head up without tilting. Dave did warn that you may tilt your head when you are ill (which is something Mama has already seen with Frank). Aside from that, you have recovered from Torticillis, and from this point on, it is all about managing your condition when it flares up.


We celebrated Forrest's and Franklin's birthdays by throwing a family party earlier this month, and you were quite lavished on by everybody there! Grandpa Dave and Nana Jess came to visit at the later time; like always, you boys were spoiled rotten! You joined your brothers to visit the roaring dinosaurs, and spent most of your time asleep despite the noises. You even slept through your first dining experience with the family. It was just not that of a big deal to you! 

You are very particular. You like to have your routine to be exactly the same every evening, and if somehow, your routine is thrown off even by slight bit, then you're going to make your feelings known to everybody! For instance, after your day trip visiting your grandparents, you screamed your head off the whole way home, because it got dark, and you didn't go down to bed in specific way that you preferred. You can go from being very happy to being very angry in a blink of eye. If a hat is on you, and you're not up to wearing it, then you will scream your head off until it's removed.  It is as if there is no happy medium to your personality! You are either happy and alert, or angry and screaming your head off. That's it. I suppose you have to make your stand between your older brothers, and make sure that your presence is always known!



You are gradually showing a consistent pattern by falling asleep between 7:30 to 8:30 pm. It is a good thing, because it shows Mama that you are ready for a consistent bed time routine. Staying asleep through the whole night is still out of the question for you! After all, you are still being exclusively breastfed, and your tummy is still small. Because of that, you don't stay full for long, and get hungry. You won't be sleeping through the night until you are past 6 months old, and that is okay with Mama. Right now, the biggest focus is to make sure you are used to sleeping in your crib. To start that process, Mama is going to start putting you down in crib for nap time. Once you've shown comfort with sleeping in the crib for nap time, you will be transitioned from bassinet to the crib for night sleeping. This is rather consistent with your older brothers' pattern from when they were babies too!

Mama is quite excited, because the books she made for you have been ordered, and the first of two books has just arrived! The book that has arrived is called "The Day I was Born", and the other one that is still in the process of being shipped is a pregnancy journal from when Mama was pregnant with you! Mama has made the same books for both Forrest, and Frank. So it's nice to be able to continue the tradition for you. She hope that one day you boys will appreciate those books.


Halloween is quickly approaching, and the whole family is excited to take you out for trick or treating! The boys want to buy you a Halloween pumpkin basket to gather EXTRA candies, and Mama told them to wait at least a year before that can happen. The boys want to go as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mama is thinking about simply putting you into a skeleton pajamas that Forrest wore as a baby at your age! After all, Wisconsin weather is usually finicky around Halloween. It's either going to be really cold, or mild. Mama is betting on the former instead of later, so it might as well to put you in something warm during trick or treat!

You will have a visit with Dr. Karbon on Halloween for your 4 month old wellness check as well! It will be fun to see how much you have grown since, because you are quickly outgrowing your 3 month outfits, and transitioning into 6-9 months outfits. Here is the crazy thing; depending on what brand of outfit, some of 6 months outfits DO NOT fit you, not because of your width, but because of your height! You are a tall kid!

Mama and Daddy are excited to bring you with the older two to a pumpkin patch that they have gone every year. It has become something of a tradition for the family to attend that particular pumpkin patch ever since they had moved to the area. You'll be introduced to carving the pumpkins this come weekend. You may be too young to enjoy pumpkin seeds yet! Next Halloween, you will be able to enjoy digging out the goo, and making fun pumpkin faces with rest of your brothers.


You are such a joy, and bring so much happiness to all of us. We look forward to what you bring to Month 4!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Frank


Monday, September 18, 2017

Fox is THREE Months Old

Dear Fox,


You are THREE Months old. We have officially left the fourth trimester. It simply means you are no longer a newborn, but an infant. Mama and Daddy always seem to forget how quickly a newborn stage goes by. It is quite difficult to have you grow up so fast, yet at the same time, it is truly a joy to watch you learn about the world around yourself as you get older.  

                  


You have recently begun to smile!! It is the most endearing thing, EVER. Your smile reaches to your eyes, and cause a sparkle to shine from your face. You are easily amused by your brothers playing, and talking to you. You love, love, love, I cannot begin to emphasis on this, being talked to. You enjoy a conversation whether it's gibberish from Frank, an imaginative story by Forrest, a baby talk by family members, and reporting by Mama about what happening in the day. You respond with your vocalizations such as ah, eh, and oo! Forrest and Frank often tries to get you to sign back, and they even go so far to help you to move your hands properly to create signs to reply! It is amazing to watch you three communicate in two languages. 

You are starting to be interested in your surroundings. Sometimes you try to focus so hard that your eyes end up crossing each other! It's kind of funny when that happens although it startles you when that happens. You are starting to flap your hand against hanging toys, not quite grasping them, but learning to grasp at them. Go Fox Go! You really enjoy toys that rattle. You try hard to get a toy rattle, yet you have not mastered a skill of grasping, and holding a toy. Often, one of us need to rattle a toy for you, and you get a kick out of it!


You weigh 11 pounds 8 ounces from your last check up. You are a TALL boy. You are 24 inches tall. Because of your height, you did not remain in 3 months clothes for too long, and entered the 6 months clothes. You do still fit in some 3 months, but not all. Crazy! Mama and Daddy does wonder if you will end up being the tallest of all three boys. Who knows? Only time will tell. 

Mama also got a news from Dr. Karbon about your health. You have been diagnosed with Torticillis. Here we go for the second time. Fortunately, it is milder than what Frank had. Right now, it looks like all you need is physical therapy with Dave at Bellin every 3 weeks or so. Most of the exercises are being done at home with Mama stretching your neck. You tolerate having stretches done when you're in a happy mood, and if you're being talked to. Otherwise, there has been some instances when you protest...loudly, and fight hard to have the stretches done. Nonetheless, it has to be done, because you do show remarkable improvement after being stretched.



Fortunately, you have not been diagnosed with plagiocephaly, which means a flat spot developing on your head, and when that does happen, it usually requires a corrective helmet to round out your head. Mama has been on top of this by turning you over like a hot potato during the night to prevent your head from getting flat. Tummy time helps greatly. You love to be baby-worn inside the wrap, and watch the world go by around you. Mama is nearly done with the tummy time quilt for you, and when it is done; you will be able to spend a lot more time on your belly! With all of this being done for you, Mama thinks you'll be able to avoid from needing a helmet.

You love hikes the most, because you get to breath in all the fresh air, watch your brothers run with the dog on the trail, and watch tree branches wave above you. It always soothe you, and put you in a wonderful mood, especially if you are really struggling with your crying fits.

You finally have met nearly the whole family. It will be fun watching you grow up alongside your cousin, Izzy, since she is about over a half year older than you are! You are definitely spoiled by everyone. They all love you so. You just need to meet Uncle Joey, and Aunt Lauren soon!



You continue to be a fidgety boy. You are craving to be on move, move, and move! Mama and Daddy imagine that you will take off running once you learn how to walk just to keep up with your older brothers! Forrest, and Frank continue to lavish their love, affection, and protection over you. You laugh, and coo back to them, which is the most awesome thing ever, and enjoy their presence. You get sad when they are no longer in your sight.

You are getting better at sleeping during the night; waking up 2-3 times to nurse, and go back to sleep. However, when you are going through your fussy periods, which coincides with your mental leaps and regressions, you do go back to waking up every 1-2 hours to be nursed, and consoled. It's just all part of the territory. Growing up is a hard work!

You like to wake up for the day between 5-6 am, which is pretty much when your older brothers wake up! There has been some mornings when either Mama or Daddy have to wake you up for the day! Your colic days are somewhat behind of you. Mama thinks that you are over that hump. However, spicy food can be a trigger for your crying fits, since it triggers your reflux. It just means Mama has to be more vigilant with what she eats until you are a bit older. When you also want to be held, you cry until you are picked up, and held. Who can blame you though!


Time is quickly approaching for you to be transitioned to your nursery. You are still fitting in your bassinet, but you are quickly running out of the space to be comfortable. It makes Mama a bit sad to think that you will be moved into your own room very soon. Of course, it is always harder on her than it is on you, and your brothers from when they were babies! After all, this is a big step for you, and Mama both. Nonetheless, your room is now completed, and ready. It just needs YOU in it. Mama thinks that by mid-October, you will be sleeping in your own room. My, you're becoming to be a big boy, aren't you?

With September drawing to its end to welcome October, Mama and Daddy are excited to start exposing you to a lot of fun traditions with fun holidays arriving around the corner! You're quite lucky to have two older brothers to show you all the fun to come soon yet.

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest & Frank 





Monday, August 21, 2017

Forrest is FIVE Years Old

Dear Forrest,


You are now FIVE years old! For an unexplained reason, your turning five years old is quite hard on Mama. Perhaps it is because your lingering strands of babyhood is now faded away, and transformed into the next stage of your life: childhood. The folks are not kidding when they warned Mama and Daddy that the first five years of your life will flash by before their eyes. Mama desperately wants to hold on to those moments from when you are little. At the same time, it is a beautiful, amazing thing to witness you becoming into a person you have always strove to be.



Dinosaurs continue to be your source of obsession. You can expertly name each dinosaur without failing to miss a single pronunciation, and dazzle people with your intimate knowledge about them. You have piles of books about dinosaurs on your bed, and get upset if Mama tries to relocate your books! You love reading the books, sounding out dinosaur names, and sharing facts with anybody who is sitting nearby you. It amazes everybody how well-versed you are on the topic of dinosaurs. You recently attended a dinosaur camp, and loved your experience there! You love playing dinosaur pirates with Frank, and use your rich imagination to explore a humid jungle filled with razor-sharp clawed dinosaurs! At this rate, you will probably grow up to be a paleontologist.



You love to read. It warms Mama's heart so much to watch you grow to be a bookworm just like how she had been growing up! This love of reading began when you turned 4, and blew everybody away by being able to read! Of course, it is not so surprising that you are able to read this early with closed captioning constantly streaming on TV, and having Daddy read you books every night before you go to bed. This is where a lot of your imagination has grown from--from your love of reading. This is something we hope you will continue with your love of reading into the rest of your life.



School is one of your favorite places. You're always asking to go school, even on the weekends, and it makes Mama and Daddy laugh. It makes us so happy that you love learning, and are so full of enthusiasm when it comes to being in school.

You recently completed your second summer of school, and we love how you came home with art projects as well as facts that you had learned from that day! Your teacher had always been amazed by how much you knew about sharks, and ocean life, which was a topic of learning at your summer school.



You are enrolled into a charter program, LEADS, for this fall. Mama and Daddy have decided to put you in the second year of 4K, not because you had significant struggles with learning in 4K class last year, but because they want you to be the oldest among your peers to ensure that your maturity level is up to par among your peers. This program consists of inquiry-based learning method that encourages their students to be critical thinkers, and to learn collaboratively. Mama and Daddy are excited to see where you will go with this learning based program! Currently, you've mastered coloring inside the lines, cutting out pictures, and writing. You are able to ride your tricycle without any struggle. We are confident that you are at the point where you should be equal with your peers.



It has been nearly over half of a year that you've been rooming with Frank. You absolutely love sleeping on the top bunk! Since day one, you insist on sleeping on the top, and showed no fear of height. Your favorite thing about the bunk beds is that you are able to get Daddy to drape blankets around the lower half of the bunk to build a fort to create a ship that you are a captain of! You and Frank get along pretty well as roommates. It is not often that you two erupt into arguments when you are together in the same room.



However, outside of that room is entirely another story! Mama usually makes you apologize, and hug each other, much to your dismay, but it is good to strengthen your bond with Franklin, and to learn that pride is not the answer. After all, once we are gone, and your brothers will be all you have left. It is so important to establish a loving relationship with your brothers, since they look up so much to you. Sometimes, it can be a struggle for you to keep your temper in the check when Franklin hits you, because Franklin is still learning boundaries, and how to behave properly around others. When you respond properly to his misbehavior, it is a great source of pride for us to see that you are learning as well with how to treat others when they don't treat you well.



You love dressing up as a pirate captain, a dinosaur hunter, or a professional entertainment wrestler! Your imagination is so rich, so creative, and holds so much stories that you love to act out. More often than not, you bring Frank into your world, and it makes him so happy to be a part of your adventures. You enjoy building with duplo blocks, and legos. When it comes to art, you love creating dinosaurs, and monsters. It makes us laugh when you tell us that you remember this or that from when you were a baby, not because we know you really don't remember those situations, but because of your rich details to those memories. We love hearing what you have to share, and encourage you to feel comfortable to include us in your world.



As a big brother, you are wonderful, and loving. With Fox being our newest addition to the family, you took on the role as a big brother (again) with a such great stride! You love helping out by giving diapers, or a fresh onesie to Mama. You are full of questions when it comes to nursing, and loves to let Mama know when Fox is crying. You ask to hold Fox when you have a chance to, and you make sure that Fox is protected from Frank's well intended (but not so gentle) pats. It is not very surprising that you are not having any trouble adjusting to having a second little brother! We couldn't be any more proud of you than we already are with how gentle you are toward your littlest brother.



You are slowly being night trained. It is no easy feat, and even so, we are not in a big rush to have you to be out of pull-ups. We believe in allowing you boys to learn at your own pace for the most part. You're transitioning into big boy clothes! You are no longer in the toddler sizes, which is one of the few reasons why Mama is sad about you leaving the last stages of toddlerhood, and you are now entering a big boy clothes department! Soon before mama knows it, you will be sporting your own style, and expressing how you want to dress, which is pretty cool, because it means your personality is out there for the world to see. 


You are gradually getting better with eating. We suspect your pickiness with food is your hesitation toward trying new food due to your peanut allergy and some of it is also because you are, well, a kid! Your picky-eating nature is still evident with how you have your preferred food, which isn't necessarily healthy, and we are encouraging you constantly to try new food. 9 times out of ten, you are usually very willing to sample new food, and not turn your nose up to them. Dinner time is less of a battle with you these days. It is quite funny. When you are eating great at dinner, then Franklin usually is the one that refuses food! It seems that you both take turns with picky eating!


You are starting to be more assertive with your food allergy. You are able to announce to people that you have an allergy to peanuts, and ask every time if this or that is safe for you to eat. Sometimes you even ask Mama or Daddy if the food in our house is safe! Silly you, of course, it is always safe here at home for you. We couldn't be any more pleased with how you are able to stand up for yourself, and understand the severity of your allergy. It helps Mama to worry a lot less too! You are so strong-willed, and assertive, which comes as a great asset to you being proactive with your allergy. We believe it will take you to far places someday as long as you use your traits for good.

You had your doctor appointment today, and received two last booster vaccinations. You handled it like a champ. You were told that you won't need any shots until you turn eleven years old, what a relief, right?! You weighed at 39 pounds, measured at 35 inches and half, and checked out wonderfully. 



It is truly a joy to have you in our lives. You are so much fun, and bring that into our home. We don't go a day without laughing, because of what you have said about something. We look forward to what you bring to year 5!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Franklin, and Fox 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fox is TWO Months Old

Dear Fox, 





You are two months old! You've graduated from wearing newborn clothes to clothes size ranging from 0-3 months to 3 months. Just like the other two boys, there is some sadness in putting away your newborn clothes. Mama is considering about taking several of each boys' favorite clothes to be stored away, then turning them into quilts. 




Mama is relieved to find a bunch of sleeping sacks for you to have when it is time for you to transition to your crib, which will happen when you are between 5-6 months old, or when you outgrow your bassinet. Unlike your older brothers, you will not be having blankets to sleep with in your crib, because the recent studies have shown that babies don't fare well with blankets until they are a year old. It will be an interesting learning experience to figure out how to keep you warm inside your sleeper sacks. 

You recently had a trip to Dr. Karbon's office, because Daddy and Mama noticed that you had a white blister cap on top of your big toe, and suspected an ingrown nail! You didn't like having your big toe inspected. Sure enough, Dr. Karbon confirmed that you, in fact, did have an ingrown nail. 




Apparently, it is quite common in newborn babies to have ingrown nails, because their nails are so thin, and it can interfere with how it grows with the skin. Who knew?! 

Anyway, Dr. Karbon assured that all was well, and that the nail was growing into the right direction. Whew! Mama and Daddy were told to be on an outlook for any signs of infection, and to call back if anything had changed with the ingrown nail. 

You are clocking at 10 pounds! It puts you at 33 percentile of weight. You may be small, but you are turning into a chunkster! You are still a good eater, and make it clear when you are done by pushing yourself off. It is amazing to see much of strength in something so small. You are not as small as Frank, and not quite as large as Forrest at this age! Mama still thinks you resemble Forrest the most.



You continue to lift your head, and prefer to propel your skinny legs off anything. It is obvious that you prefer to be in a standing position, but with you being so young yet, and becoming fatigued easily; it is not very often that you are able to keep yourself upright for so long. You are my most restless baby. The only time you are not wiggling around is when you are asleep. During your awake moments, your legs and arms are always shaking, wiggling, and grooving! It is very rare that you would be content with sitting still while watching the world unfold around you. With you always moving, it is almost as if you are impatient to be able to join with the world, and be on the go!

You're quite colicky. The witching hours begin at 4 pm, and usually don't end until between 9-11 pm. Fortunately, your crying fits are getting less, and less these days. You no longer feel a need to be held in the middle of the night to go back to sleep, and your crying fits has ceased in the night. However, Mama and Daddy are expecting this to resurge with your regressions yet to come. Nonetheless, it is a relief to have your crying fits to stop at the night, and to be able to put you down in your bassinet without you erupting into tears. Your colic should fade away between 3-4 months.


Your feedings are usually between 1-2 am, and 4-5 am in the night, which is not so quite bad, and it is nice to be able to just wake twice to nurse. By your 4-5 am feeding, you are usually ready to be up for the day! You do go back to sleep with a lot of holding, and prompting. Hopefully in time, you will learn to return to sleep after your 4-5 am feeding, and rest for at least an hour or two before the big brothers wake up for the day! It looks like you will be following your older brothers' tendency to get up EARLY for the day.

Unfortunately, with you turning 2 months old, this means you will be getting your first set of vaccinations, and it may or may not put you in a bad mood. You won't be getting your vaccinations by yourself though. Forrest also will need his 5-year old vaccinations, and he will be with you in a solidarity on that day! Hopefully you both won't be feeling out of sorts after getting your shots, but it all depends! It will be great to find out how much you've grown height-wise, head measurement, and weight.


You are settling into our family rather wonderfully. The older brothers are still fascinated by you, and they always want to hold you. If they are unable to hold you, then they are touching you. You are never without kisses, and hugs! They love helping you with your baths, but not so much with throwing your stinky poo-poo diapers in the trash. It will be so much fun to see you finally walking, and running to keep up with your older brothers just like how Mama had envisioned when she first got pregnant with you.

Mama is looking forward to buying the books from Shutterfly soon! With every boy, there is two books called The Day You Were Born, and Pregnancy Journal. It is a tradition that she has kept with each boy, and naturally, you will be receiving your books soon!



You are such a blessing, and darling. We look forward to all the new changes with you in this upcoming month!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, & Frank








Monday, July 17, 2017

Fox is ONE month old!

Dear Fox,



You are ONE month old! Just like how it is with your other two older brothers, I am in a constant awe of how fast time flies, and those past four weeks have gone by in a blur. It does not feel like it is a long ago that I was pregnant with you, and waiting for your arrival. Yet here you are with us for a whole month. 




Our miracle, our rainbow baby, and our hope after the raging storm. Stu always tell me how amazing it is that you are already here with us, and amazing it indeed is. It has been a really long journey to have you arrive into our growing family's embrace. 

We used to be one of those couples that were untouched, separated, and outside of the realm of the loss. After all, we did have your older brothers, and we were naive to believe that we would not experience a heartache of a miscarriage. Unfortunately, our naivety was shaken up, and in that, we realized that life did not spare anybody from experiencing its thorns. 

The pain of our angel baby's loss is still very prominent. Somehow with having you here with us eases that pain, knowing that our angel baby has sent you to us, and having you here is profoundly healing. Having written these words, we also want you to realize that, while you are our blessing to our sadness, and that you are conductive in our healing as our rainbow baby, do know this: we love you dearly for who you are, for what you bring to our family even though we miss the chance and the possibility of the baby before you, you are set apart from our devastating loss, because you are uniquely YOU.  




You are clocking at 7 pounds, and 12 ounces! It is a surprise how fast you have gained since your birth. We jokingly call you our little piglet, since you are a champ at eating. Like Frank as a baby, you are quite small among your peers at only 20 percentile for weight. You are 20.75" tall, and that puts you in 54 percentile for height. You are an interesting mix of both Forrest, and Frank. You have Forrest's head shape, skin color tone, and nose, yet you have Franklin's lips, eye shape, and slim stature. Rest of your features is uniquely YOURS. It will be fun to watch you grow a bit more, and see who you resemble more.



The umbilical cord stump has fallen off. To my relief that the icky scab is gone, you now have a belly button! It is a bit hard to tell if it is an innie, or an outie. Time will tell once you get a bit older. The best part with having your belly button healed is that you are able to take baths instead of needing a sponge bath! Sadly, you are not a fan of baths! You're a voluble baby! You are definitely not afraid to let us know what is on your mind, little buddy. You scream, holler, and cry despite the water being warm, and the consistent room temperature. Once you are dried off, you are back to being a happy little baby. 

Your jaundice is slowly disappearing. The only sign left is a slightly touch of yellow-ness in your eyes. Nursing and sunlight are taking care of this for you. Before we know it, it will be gone. It does not affect how you nurse, or act on a day to day basis. Because of this, Dr. Karbon is not overly concerned. You are a healthy baby with no issues to worry about. This is a big change from our previous experience with Franklin when it comes to health, and care.



You wake up 2-3 times during the night to nurse, and be changed. It is not so terrible. Your witching hour begins at 2:30 am, and you tend to stay awake until 3:30-4:00 am. Darn the icky gas! You are more sensitive than your brothers when it comes to my diet going into the breast milk, and I often have to watch what kind of food I eat to reduce how often you have your 3 am party! I've learned that you don't like strong coffee late in the day, and because of that, I have to watch how much coffee I drink. You love to be bounced, and held, especially late in the night. Because of your late night shenanigans, it does take a bit of toll on me with sleep deprivation. However, what helps is knowing that this is only temporary. Before I know it, you will be sleeping through the night, and I will find myself missing those moments.

Bea, and the cats don't mind you. Bea is often too busy playing with Frank, and Forrest or sleeping to truly care. Missy Girl prefers to keep her company with me. Mr. Jinxy is most fascinated with you. He loves to rub his chin on your head! He is often sitting by your bassinet at the evening, watching over you. Mr. Jinxy enjoys having you near him...except when you start fussing, then he takes a refugee under the bed! 

Forrest, and Franklin love you so. With Forrest being a bit older, he is more engaged by helping giving me your diapers, clothes, and bathing! Franklin is still a bit too young to participate, and understand your vulnerability. Because of that, either Stu or I have to monitor Frank around you. Even so, Frank loves you so much, and always want to pet your hair (just like how Forrest is with Frank). Unlike Forrest, Frank does acknowledge your existence! We get a big laugh out remembering how it took Forrest a good year to acknowledge Franklin's existence. Thankfully, Frank is interested with your presence. He struggles more so with adjusting than Forrest is, and because of this, Stu and I make sure that Frank gets enough attention from us, and that if Frank is up for it, then Frank is able to help us out with your care. Frank gets a bit envious that Forrest holds you with limited assistance, and it is hard for him to understand that you are fragile to be left alone in his arms without an adult's help. We are grateful to have this problem though, because it goes to show how loved you are by your brothers!



Adjusting to having three of you is a continual process. Stu has been a huge help in taking the older two of boys off my hands so I'm able to shower, shop, and take care of you. It will be a challenge once Stu returns to work full-time, because it means I will have to learn how to juggle three of you until Forrest starts school again in fall! I have had small tastes of being on my own with three of you, and let me say this; it is an adventure! It is always chaotically fun, and sometimes, difficult to the point where I want to tear hair out of my head. Nonetheless, by the end of the day, I sit down, and realize that one day we will have a lot of stories to tell to you about your childhood with your older brothers! We have always wanted a big family of three to four kids, and we are so thankful for all the moments we have as a family. 

You don't mind tummy time too much. You like to be held against our chests, or to be babyworn. As a result, you are developing a strong neck already! It will be interesting to see when you hit your milestones. Will it be early, or on time, or late? We shall see, won't we?

Your personality is starting to emerge. For the most part, you are laid-back, which makes it easy for me to be able to attend other two boys' needs. You love your little swing. Being in a constant motion soothes you very much so. At the same time, you are not afraid to show your grumpiness. You can get quite fussy at times, which is a new territory for us, because we've been spoiled by other two not being overly fussy. Once you get fussy, it can be a bit hard to settle you down, and I have had often come up with tricks to soothe you. Among one of the tricks, I have discovered that you love to be bounced in my arms. Being wrapped against my chest is also one of your favorite ways to be held. I suspect it is to help to combat pressure in your belly from gas. Between babywearing, bouncing, and the little swinger, you are pretty set for the most part.

      

We are so blessed to have you in our lives. Words can't even begin to articulate how thankful we are to have your presence in our family. We look forward to what this month brings to you, and us.


Love, 

Mama, Daddy, and the Boys 


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Welcome to the World, Fox Edward!

On June 19th of 2017, we welcomed our rainbow baby, and our third boy to our family, Fox Edward, into the world. Fox was just two days shy of his due date when he decided it was a perfect time to grace his presence. 



I had no signs of starting labor with Fox until 2:30 am on Monday. Forrest had woken up Stu from a deep sleep, and he was upset about wetting his bed. I joined Stu to help to clean up the mess, and assured Forrest that all was well. I noticed that I had a wet discharge running down my leg. For a moment, I wondered if it was my water breaking, and had to check. As it had turned out, I had some light spotting, and it was something new to me, since I had not had that symptom in my previous pregnancies. Since it was not threatening, or worrisome, I went back to bed, and got up with the boys for the day. It was when I started having a bloody show, which was a good indicator that a labor could start within 24 to 72 hours. 

I had no contractions to indicate that I was going into labor very soon. Nonetheless, I informed Stu about the latest development. He excitedly replied that "today was the day", which I had dismissed. I figured with a bloody show symptom that I might as well just do laundry, and do some light cleaning, because who knows when labor will start? 

Stu had a flat tire on his car, and he was busy working on that situation, then went to work while I spent all morning doing laundry, and light cleaning without a single contraction. Stu checked on me periodically through the morning without any change in my report. By noon, I had a contraction out of blue, and nothing happened afterward. I opted for a wait-and-see method instead of jumping to a conclusion. Frank and I went to pick up Forrest from summer school. By the time we got home, I had a second contraction. I told Stu about the contractions, and quickly added that it was nothing to worry about, because they were so far apart. Stu insisted on coming home anyway. 



I took a shower, and did some last minute packing for my hospital bag...just in the case. By 2:30 pm, I finally sat down to put my feet up, and downloaded a contraction timer app on my iPhone to keep a track of my contractions. Within an hour and half of tracking, I realized my contractions were progressively getting closer together with a couple strong ones thrown in the mix. I emailed Dr. Mbah to follow up whether how far apart the contractions had to be in order for me to go to the hospital. She replied that time between contractions meant nothing, and just to go in as soon as I had six contractions in an hour. It was when I realized I had more than 6 contractions from 3 pm to 4 pm! 

I told Stu what Dr. Mbah had informed me, and showed him my contractions on the timer app. Stu decided he would like to leave to go to the hospital. I was more reluctant. I wanted to labor as long as I could at home before heading in, because I worried I was not dilated enough to be admitted. After all, I was only 50 percent effaced a week prior! Stu still insisted, reasoning that he did not want to risk delivering our baby at home, and called Wally to have her come over to watch the boys. 

It was when chaos began at home! Stu could not get a hold of Wally, then Spencer. I tried texting Wally to get no answer from her. While Stu packed his bag, we debated if we should take the boys with us to the hospital, having Bobbie meet us there to pick up the boys, and I started putting shoes on the boys. I also texted Andrea, our birth photographer, only to discover she was not also not answering her phone! Suddenly, Forrest promptly threw up on the floor. I thought to myself, oh no, he's sick on this day out of all other days he could get sick?! As it had turned out, it was thankfully one time incident from the stress, and anxiety from us running around, failing to contact our birth photographer, and trying to get a hold of Wally and Spencer to watch the boys. 

We were about to leave the house when Stu finally got a hold of Wally and Spencer. Thank goodness! We said our good-byes to the boys, and left them in Wally and Spencer's hands. Unlike my previous experience from being in labor with Frank, I was not sad about leaving my boys behind to bring their baby brother into the world. I knew my heart was capable was growing even bigger to make a room for all of my children, and I knew they would be loved as much as we would love their baby brother.  I kissed the boys, then went out of the door with Stu. 

Stu called Andrea, and to my relief, she answered! She had not heard text notification going off on her phone, and thanked Stu for calling her. After all a phone call notification was louder than a text notification! Then she was finally on her way. I decided that I wanted an Iced Caramel Frappuccino coffee to celebrate the fact that *maybe* I was in labor. Stu grabbed a hamburger just in case if he had to miss dinner that night!  I texted my interpreter to let her know we were on our way. 



On the ride to the hospital, I kept back playing to the night I was in labor with Frank, and how the ride to the hospital was extremely uncomfortable. I did not feel that way this time. My contractions were getting stronger, but not closer together. I remained still unsure whether I would be admitted that night. Stu assured me that it was better to be checked out  even if it ended up being a false alarm. We arrived at Bellin Hospital without any hitch. The nurse put us in the triage to monitor my contractions, took a quick history of my pregnancy, and performed a cervical check. The nurse discovered that I was at 4 CM, and 100 percent effaced. It was enough to admit us at the hospital! We were pretty excited about the fact that we were getting closer to meeting Fox! My regular interpreter had to leave, and promised to return in two hours. In the meanwhile, my back-up interpreter was able to take in the place for those two hours. I had already met my back-up interpreter from a previous appointment for one of my kids, and liked her. I assured my regular interpreter that it was not my first rodeo, and that it was fine to work with someone different this time even for a short while. Andrea showed up about the same time when my back-up interpreter showed up. We relocated to my birthing suite. Andrea started snapping pictures, and she did a fantastic job of making herself a part of the background without making it feel like there was an intruder during such an intimate time in our lives.  



There in our birthing suite, the nurse took my vitals, our histories, and monitored the baby during this process. My contractions were becoming more bothersome. I wanted to walk around. My nurse assured me that once an IV was placed, then I was free to do whatever I wanted while laboring. Bobbie showed up around 6:30 pm to exchange her car for our van since she planned on taking over to watch the boys while we were at the hospital. Stu and Bobbie left to do this while the nurse attempted to put an IV into my left hand. My vein blew. She attempted again into my left wrist only to blow my vein again. Darn my icky veins! She decided to insert IV into my right hand, and I told her that the third time was a charm. Indeed I was right! My nurse was able to insert the IV with no problem this time. Stu  returned, and I got unhooked from the monitors. I was told to inform the nurses when I felt a pressure, or when my water bag broke. I was quite ecstatic to be able to get back on my feet to ride out the contractions. 



We spent about 40 minutes walking the laps around the maternity ward. My contractions got more painful, and stronger. Stu wanted us to return to my birthing suite, and we compromised on one more lap before heading in. I wanted to be able to keep moving until I could not anymore, because I had learned from laboring with Frank that motion was what helped me the most. 


                           
Once we entered my room, Stu asked a nurse to check me, and the nurse explained that they didn't like performing checks so frequently in order to prevent from introducing an infection. By then, I insisted on swaying by the bed, and keep moving, because the idea of laying down did not sound appealing to me. A contraction after other kept hitting me. I closed my eyes, and focused on my entire being to ride through the pain. Unlike prior contractions, I had no breaks in the between the pain. 

                          

Stu was quite amazing as a labor coach. He may not have thought so, but I digress. He made sure that I was supported, loved, and comforted. Stu often asked me where was the best place to rub me while experiencing a contraction. When I was unable to ask, or speak for something, Stu knew what to ask, or what to say. Stu knew when a contraction was on its way, and when it was ending. We were truly a team in bringing Fox into the world. I could not ever show him enough gratitude for what he had done for me. 


Stu constantly put a cold rag on my neck, which I really appreciated, because it felt so good against my sweaty skin. I started making sounds, because the contractions were so painful. Stu helped me to power through the transition phase. It was when everybody collectively decided to see where I was at in my labor.


The nurse requested me to lay on the bed to be checked. As soon as I sat down, my water bag broke! Now, this was my first time experiencing water bag breaking on its own. It was not small short gushes, but rather one big splash! I was stunned, and announced my water had broken. For a moment, the pain all but ceased. I was able to lay down on my back, and wondered when the next pain will hit me. 


The nurse checked, and confirmed that yes, the baby's head was right there. She paged Dr. Temp, and the birthing staff to make their haste, then told me to not push. For a moment there, I thought it was doable, since I did not feel any pressure yet. However, the pain crashed over me. This time, the pain was so much more intense than I have ever had experienced in my entire labor with Fox. Little did I know that it was a calm before the storm. 
                             
                                         

Suddenly, my body just took over! I had no control over what was going on. I was just going along for a ride. All I remembered was intense, intense, intense amount of pain, and thinking, baby Jesus why didn't I get that damn epidural? Never mind that I never requested for one to start with, and had no desire to get one, but  sometimes when you are peering at the edge of darkness, you panic a little, and think you can't do it alone. I suspect that a lot of women feel this way right before their bodies take over to bring a baby into the world regardless how a baby is born.


Fox was not definitely waiting for Dr. Temp to come. I grabbed on a poor soul's arm, probably a nurse, on the left of me and on the right side, Stu's arm, and held on for my dear life. Stu became like a sport commentator; Oh the baby's head is right there. Oh! Oh! The head is out!...Now the body is coming out...Annnnndddd he's on the bed! 


Fox was born on the bed without it being converted into a pushing table with stir-ups. The nurse  was scrambling to glove up, picked up Fox, then placed him on my chest. She told me to wait for a doctor to show up to deliver the after birth. I looked at this baby on my chest in a stunned silence, then looked at Stu, and said, did this just happen? It all had happened so fast that I had not had time to process it all. 


Stu laughed, and said yes, yes! He cut the cord, and I asked the baby nurse to weigh Fox, because he felt so small. I was SO SURE that Fox was going to be the biggest one out of all boys I had. After all, I had been told that Fox was 65 percentile above average during my pregnancy. How wrong! As it had turned out, Fox was only 6 pounds 13 ounces! My mom later told me that he was close to my birth weight when I was born. Nonetheless, all 6 pounds and 13 ounces of Fox was blissfully perfect. 

                             



 Dr. Temp finally showed up, and said, well, well! She and I had a good laugh about how quick the birth was.  She took care of the after birth, and made sure all was okay health-wise with me. Someone commented that Stu should be prepared next time, if we ever decided on having another, and bring a baseball catcher mitts! A baby nurse brought Fox back to us, and placed him into my arms. It was when it finally hit me that we had our rainbow baby in our arms at last. It was a very special moment, the very moment that Stu and I were waiting for so long, and I was so thankful that Andrea captured this exact moment for us.  






After such a difficult loss, having Fox finally in our arms was a healing moment for us, and it was a moment that we were always going to cherish. There were so many times, especially when a nurse brought Fox to me for nursing, where it just took my breath away to have Fox in our arms, because he was such a miracle. We had waited so, so long for him to complete our family. At last, we felt complete. 



Welcome to the world, little Fox. We love you so.