Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Scarlett's Birth Story

I'm finally making good on my intentions! Scarlett, who will be four months at the end of this week, officially exists on this blog. 
(One measly photo from birth doesn't count, we need the whole story to make it official)

And here she is! 

A perfectly healthy chubster.


Let's rewind a little.
My pregnancy with Scarlett was by far my worst. In September of 2015, I got pregnant. At Thanksgiving, we shared news with family (I was just shy of 12 weeks) and at my ultrasound the following week there was no heartbeat. I was shocked. I felt pregnant - sick, tired, no bleeding at all - it was just weird to hear that the baby inside me was no longer viable. My doctor recommended a D&C, since I had what is called a "missed miscarriage," which is basically your body not getting the memo that the baby is no longer growing. Nick was scheduled to have his third surgery for the year (this time an ear surgery) in Seattle that week, so we opted to wait a week and see what happened. 

Well, nothing happened. So, one week after Nick's ear surgery, I had surgery of my own. It was my first time being completely put under and honestly, the anesthesia was the worst part.

Fast forward a little, and I got pregnant again in January. My due date?

This gal's BIRTHDAY!
(she's the best)


From the get go, I was super sick. The most sick I've ever been. I would have said it was a boy, but we all know ... there's a 100% chance it's a girl every time! At 15 weeks, while we were in California, I started bleeding really heavily. I assumed I was miscarrying again, so when we got home I called my doctor. An ultrasound confirmed that the baby was fine, that it was indeed a GIRL and that I had placenta previa. You can google placenta previa, but I will save you some time. It's when your cervix is blocked by the placenta, resulting in PERIOD LIKE SYMPTOMS YOUR ENTIRE PREGNANCY (or until it goes away).

BOO.

So, my doc told me to take it extremely easy and I started having ultrasounds every 3-4 weeks. (I also went through a Costco-sized box of jumbo pads! YOU'RE WELCOME)
Since my cervix was completely covered by my placenta, they were keeping a fairly close eye on everything - and my doctor was fairly certain that I'd deliver early. Most women who have a complete placenta previa have c-sections. 

DOUBLE BOO.

At 30 ish weeks, I went in for another boring ultrasound and GUESS WHAT?!
My placenta had moved! It's common for the placenta to shift with placenta previa, but if you have a completely covered cervix, it's highly unlikely, so this was basically the best news ever. I was taken off all my restraints and given back my modified (and now hugely pregnant) lifestyle. During this time, both my siblings got married, we bought a house and I survived being camp director at Girl's Camp! 

YAY!

I was no longer bleeding, which was fantastic. But I continued to have horrible period-like cramps until I went into actual labor with Scarlett. I assumed I would have her early, like my other two, but she felt like giving me a panic attack about her and Anna sharing a birthday. I told my doctor that I didn't care if she was two weeks late, I just didn't want to have her on October 8th (which was her due date). On September 25th, I started having contractions. They were fairly inconsistent (4-10 min apart), but they were painful enough that I couldn't sleep. This lasted for 2 days and then abruptly stopped. I was bummed! 

BACK TO BOO.

I continued to have very consistent contractions for the next two weeks. They were not braxton hicks. I know what braxton hicks feel like (not my first rodeo!), so I felt like a dumbo because people would ask me when I was having the baby and I'd be like, "Well, I've had 23 contractions today so who knows?"

DOUBLE BOO DEUX.

We decided to live our normal lives and pretend like I'd be overdue (which in fact I would be). So, on Anna's 3rd birthday, we went to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins, eat 12 donuts each and take a hayride.

Here I am (far left OBVIOUSLY) with my gal pals in all my 40 week glory.
My contractions were very consistently 10 minutes apart at this point, but I wasn't about to get my hopes up because I REFUSED TO HAVE THIS BABY ON ANNA'S BIRTHDAY.




We had a great time. It was a beautiful day, spent with awesome friends and just enjoying our last few days, minutes, hours (WHO KNEW ANYWAY?!) of being a family of four.

Evie and Jane.


Sister shot. 
Ready to get a new sister for sure!


95% of the pumpkins weighed more than Anna.
I'd like to point out that she now weighs 25 pounds and is proudly wearing a size 2T-3T.


My fam! They're the best, right?!


Our last family pic of four.
YIKES.


My weirdos.


The Birthday Girl!





More awesome friends!


By the time we left the pumpkin patch, I had a feeling that go-time was not that far off. Nick kept asking me, "Is this it?" and I would say, "I have no idea!"

By the time we put the girls to bed that night, actual labor had begun. Contractions 6-8 minutes apart and I assumed my waiting position on the couch with Netflix and some snacks. All three of my girls were born around lunchtime after being up all night suffering. At six AM or so, I called my mom to tell her that today was the day and I'd be dropping off the girls all dressed and ready so she could take them to church. So around 10:00, we loaded up and took the girls to my parents, then headed to the hospital. I was dilated to a 5, so they got me all checked in, etc. and then doc came in and I was dilated to a 7. He said he wanted to break my water, but I told him only after I had the epidural (I'm so sneaky!) Got my epi, doc broke my water and I pushed three times (roughly 5 minutes) and our baby was here! I was SHOCKED that she came so fast. I normally have a very difficult time getting my babies out of the birth canal, but Scarlett came so fast. I even told the nurse that I was a notoriously bad pusher and the next push Scarlett came out. 

At this point, we didn't know she was a Scarlett. Have you ever had 3 girls in a row? Well, naming them is HARD, especially when your husband only likes one name in the whole universe and tells you 'no,' to every name you suggest. We narrowed it down to Scarlett and Blaire, but we couldn't agree on a middle name for Blaire, so Scarlett she was! It suits her well and I'm glad we went with Scarlett. Just don't be surprised if girl #4 is a Blaire! JK Nick says were done having children.

Scarlett was a chubby little thing! When they put her on my chest I thought she looked so much like Anna. (Their first encounter was captured below)


Everything was smooth post-delivery and the girls (I should really just say Evie) were excited to see what their sister looked like!



Sister meet sister.


The Baby Whisperer in all her glory.



My nurse was amazing. Actually, I've never had a bad experience with my nurses, which is fantastic. They spend a great deal of time with you and having attentive, kind nurses has made each birth experience in a hospital quite lovely. Anyway, my nurse (I think her name was Becky?) had three girls of her own and she was very excited that we were having our third girl. We chit-chatted all through my labor (once I got to the hospital, I had Scarlett 1 1/2 later, so pretty quick) and she even made Scarlett a giant bow hat. Who doesn't love a gigantic newborn bow hat? Nobody, I tell you!


We packed up and left the hospital as soon as they'd let us and settled into being home. My mom took Ev and Anna for a whole week, which was so wonderful. I missed my goobers, but it was heavenly to just focus on Scarlett. The hardest part about having multiple children isn't the baby, it's the Fidel Castro of a toddler and the emotional kindergartner. But we're surviving (thriving even!) and we sure love our newest girl.

Scarlett is relaxed and content, happy to observe the world around her. She's not a great sleeper or napper, but she's rarely fussy and she loves to be snuggled and talked to. Like my other two, she hates being swaddled and prefers to sleep with a muslin blanket over her face. Call CPS if you want, but I swear by it. Anna and Ev STILL sleep with blankies over their face. 

Here we are, enjoying those first few newborn days. 
I'm pretty sure Anna watched 500 episodes of Goldie and Bear. (Netflix was made for mothers with newborns)


Whoops! Back to the hospital. Ev was truly thrilled to meet Scarlett. She asked me EVERYDAY what the baby's name was, to which I never had an answer, so she was happy to finally put a name to her sister. I should also note that Ev was very happy to suggest names for Scarlett, most of which were more suitable for a stripper or a unicorn (Sparkles, Glittery, Babyface, Rainbow, etc). 


Some flattering lighting and me with no shirt on.


Scarlett was the most alert newborn I'd ever seen. My other two just kind of fell asleep on my chest right away but not Scarlett. She stared up at me and kept looking all around. It was so cute! The nurses kept commenting on how alert she was - just a social butterfly! 


Look at that chunker!


Newborn heaven. 


Before she realized she hated being swaddled.


World's best babysitter came to visit!


My life in a nutshell.
We still don't have blinds on this window. Gotta love home ownership!


Chilling in her space swing.


Bumblebee, holding her baby sister.


Whoa. This is a lot of people all the sudden.


Back at the hospital! I'm killing this blog post. Another Scarlett tidbit - she's ALWAYS touching her face or playing with her hands. Every ultrasound picture I have she's either got her hands folded or she's touching her face. It's pretty dang cute.


My alert baby girl.


Yikes. Looking nasty, but gotta post it for posterity!


My favorite picture of her.



Since the beds in the hospital feel like Satan is stabbing you in the back, it's hard to sleep, so what ends up happening is ... you take a million pictures of your baby.



She had quite a bit of hair. Not as much as Anna, but more than Ev.
It's all currently gone. So sad, but nothing a headband can't fix.


Easily my darkest baby. Dark hair like Anna, but much darker eyes.
She's my first BROWN-EYED child and I'm so excited! 


Second favorite picture. Baby stretches are my jam. 


She has long feet and skinny toes (like me). I hope she doesn't have Ronald McDonald feet like me one day however... the clearance shoe section for size 9.5 is always lame.


Destined to have girls ... and pretty happy about it.


Hair!


Cheeks for days.


You guys! Scarlett is TWO DAYS old here! Look how alert this baby is! Ready to party at any moment.



I captured the one physical trait that all my girls have - their Dad's forehead. Every single one of them! It's cute!



Ev has shown genuine interest in Scarlett, which is so different from how she felt about Anna. I'm sure age has something to do with it, but Evie loves to hold Scarlett and has given her about 20 nicknames. She's always bringing her blankets, giving her the pacifier and trying to make her smile.


Awkward, but cute.


At this point, we're not entirely sure who Scarlett looks like. I think maybe more Anna, but she morphs constantly and all my babies looked pretty similar so who knows?





There's that forehead!




Three kids hasn't been as bad as I thought. Sure I've had days that were terrible, but all in all, I love having three little girls. I'm really tired all the time, but I've learned to relax and just let life be - I'm much less stressed about this or that, so if you stop by unannounced ... expect a messy house and a homeless person (ME) to answer the door. But we're happy! 
Welcome Scar! We love you baby girl!


5 comments:

Jennica Van Blerkom said...

Syd this whole post just made my heart so happy! i love you and your family so much! you are the best and i can't believe you have 3 of the cutest little girls ever! im so glad that scarlett is here safe. xoxox

ellen said...

You were pregnant and in charge of Girls Camp? That ain't right.
And are you a minivan mom now?!?
(I'm Darcee's friend)

Sydney said...

Of course I remember you! We started looking at vans a few weeks ago... so I'd say it's in my future for sure!

Rachel said...

Longtime lurker from back before Anna was born... Congrats on daughter #3! Scarlett is gorgeous! I can't believe you were camp director while pregnant. Wow!
I'm another mom of 3 girls, and my oldest was 5 when youngest was born. Such sweet memories (I think I forgot all the problems). Now I have 3 teenage girls. It's a very different challenge. I had a wide-awake baby first. It made having a baby who slept more than 20 min at a time very surprising. Enjoy your snuggle time!

Sydney said...

Hello Rachel! Thanks for sharing! At least I know I can make it through it! :)