Sunday, March 18, 2018

Elsie's Newborn Photos

This year for Christmas my co-teacher, Lora, gifted me a newborn/family photo session with her daughter, Averi, who is a budding photographer.  Last Saturday I realized that the days were getting away from me and if I didn't get something scheduled with Averi soon that Elsie would no longer be a newborn for her newborn photos.  In texting with Averi, last Saturday, it turned out, was going to be the best day for a while.  So while conditions of the the day were definitely less than ideal, we decided to push forward.

So what we were missing in preparedness for the day we made up for with Elsie's cuteness.  The pictures really speak for themselves so I will go ahead and let them.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

All About Elsie

This week (and probably many more weeks to come) revolved around Elsie.  I forgot how all encompassing having a newborn is and I feel like I have done nothing else since her birth but feed her, change her, and focus on keeping her happy and alive.  She really is a joy and we love her so much, but life has been all about her since she joined our family.

For the kid's part, they have been very helpful and understanding of the situation.  Every morning both kids ask to hold her and I have to convince them that they still need to get ready and go to school.  Merrick probably asks to hold her more but Carrigan always asks me to take her picture when she is holding her.  Merrick is into pictures too but he likes to be the one to take videos and pictures of Elsie.  This week he took a picture of her with one of her teddy bears, "beary", and put it as the wallpaper on "his" phone.  It warms my hearts the way that they love her.  I hope that never changes.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Elsie Rae Clifford

We have had a small hiatus on the blog and if you are a faithful reader I am sure you already know the cause.  About a week and a half ago our family experienced a life changing event with the birth of our sweet Elsie.

The journey began on Wednesday, Feb 21st.  I had a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment and thankfully it was in the afternoon because that day had been a snow day from school.  We had been getting snow in the afternoon/evening/overnight that led to bad mornings with icy roads that led to school being canceled.  I had been very worried that I would go into labor and not be able to make it off the hill and down to the hospital.  In any case, that morning it was snowy.  Jeremy was working from home, Merrick was off sledding with friends, and Carrigan and I decided to build a snowman on the front patio.  By the afternoon Jeremy was able to make it in to work and I headed to my doctor's appointment.

I think I may have mentioned in earlier blogs that the doctor has been concerned off and on with my blood pressure, which had been erratically high over the last couple of months.  At my appointment, it was up again (I attribute it to stressing about getting stuck on the hill in the snow).  The doctor and I discussed it and the snow and the fact that my body was showing signs that labor was imminent. She told me that she thought it was time to call it and she wanted me to head over the the hospital to be induced.  I left my appointment, called Jeremy to tell him that he needed to leave work, called my mom to tell her I wasn't coming home and she would need to keep the kids, and headed over to the hospital.

At the hospital, my doctor wanted me to start Pitocin right away and then break my water later on but she wasn't there so I convinced the doctor at the hospital to break my water and let me try to start labor on my own before we went to the Pitocin.  She agreed and it went well for a while.  My contractions were getting stronger and more regular, but then they kind of just stalled out.  My doctor got to the hospital and encouraged me to get going on the Pitocin.  Once I did, the contractions began coming hard and fast.  I had been on the fence about getting an epidural, but my body was not prepared for a Pitocin induced labor and I told Jeremy that I felt like I needed the epidural because my body was fighting the contractions rather than working with them.  At 11pm I got the epidural and began to feel relief.  I could tell that things were going to go quickly then.  I was watching the clock tick closer and closer to midnight, wondering if she would be a 2/21 baby or a 2/22 baby.  I knew it was going to be be close.  Right about midnight I started calling the nurse and when she finally came it was definitely time to push.  I was able to hold off just a bit longer while they got things ready and the doctor arrived.  Elsie Rae Clifford joined the world and our family at 12:23am on February 22, 2018. She weighed 8lbs 6ozs and was 21.25 inches long.


The rest of the time in the hospital was a bit of a blur with working on nursing and Elsie and I both being checked on and poked and prodded every two minutes.  The major highlight of the time in the hospital was when my mom brought the kids (and my grandma) for a visit.  I couldn't believe how much I was missing Merrick and Carrigan and it was so great to have them there and be together as a family.  My dad was also able to stop by after work, but for the most part we were just there being pestered and I was totally ready to go when it was time on Friday morning.

Since arriving home, Elsie has been just the sweetest thing.  I am not going to sugar-coat it, life with a newborn is rough, but she is doing better with nursing and sleeping than either of the other kids did.  We are all loving her so much and can't wait to see how she grows and develops and how her personality emerges.  Now we just need her it gain a little more weight.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Valentine's Day 2017 and Bobcat

This week while we wait, wait, wait for baby girl's arrival, we celebrated Valentine's Day.  I was really worried that I might be in the hospital for Valentine's Day and not get to celebrate with the kids the way they are accustomed to.  Fortunately (I guess) that didn't happen and we had a great V-Day.

The first surprise of the day was to wake up to beautiful flowers from Jeremy.  We weren't supposed to be doing anything for each other this year so this was a big surprise. He is always so thoughtful and even bought some flowers for Carrigan so she wouldn't feel left out.

Traditionally, we have heart shaped pizza for dinner, but we had just had pizza a few days earlier so I decided to mix thing up this year.  Instead of pizza we went for pink, sourdough waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.  It was a yummy change.

We also celebrated the day with our traditional love hunt.  As usual, the kids hunted for clues around the house, found treats and notes about what we love about them and ultimately found presents.  This year Carrigan got a basket and streamers for her bike and Merrick got a boomerang.

The other highlight of the week, that I thankfully didn't have to miss, was Merrick's cub scout troop's Blue and Gold Banquet where Merrick earned his Bobcat award.  He worked hard for it and really wanted to make sure I was there so he could pin on my mother's pin.  I made it, he got to pin my pin, and he even got turned upside down to remind him to do a good turn daily.

It was a good week and now we just wait to see if this week will bring baby girl.  I am not being very patient.