Monday, October 7, 2013

Cate's Newborn Pictures

**Thank you Photos By Phelicia!


One month ago today, Baby Cate made her entrance into the world and our family. I know it's taken me forever to write our 'baby story' post, but in my defense, life has been pretty crazy. I figured I'd do it today in honor of our baby girl turning a month old.
If any of you talked to me during the last 6 weeks of Cate's pregnancy, you'd know that I wasn't having the best time. It was nothing like what we experienced during Cason's 9 months. His pregnancy was so easy (except for the morning sickness) and I slept soundly every night. With Cate, I experienced morning sickness, pains, and no sleep starting at week 30. My moods were all over the place... My husband handled them like a champ though. Everyone had told me, "Boys have harder pregnancies because they're so easy going the rest of their lives.. Girls go easy on you during the pregnancy because they'll cause you stress starting the moment they arrive!" Yeah, that's not always true.

At week 36, I was pretty sure my water was leaking. We went to the hospital, and were told that it wasn't. (Which we were glad at that point because full term isn't until week 37.) About a week later, I started experiencing pretty intense pains. I didn't go into labor naturally with Cason- I had to be induced... So natural labor was new to us and we weren't sure what the pains were. We went to the hospital again and were told, "You're having contractions, but it's not time yet. They're early labor contractions." (Yes, there are all different kinds of contractions. It's more complicated than the movies make it seem, haha.) At this point, we were all pretty nervous. The doctor told me that she thought Cate would come early, and my mother-in-law wasn't set to be up here for another couple weeks. Every time we had to go to the hospital, we had to make sure my friend, Josie, could come get Cason. (Thank you SO much by the way. We love you!) We were just worried that Cate would come at a time that we couldn't reach Jo or she couldn't get there quick enough... Gimme was more stressed than we were, worried that she wouldn't be here for the birth. She decided after the 2nd hospital visit that she was going to fly up a couple weeks early and boarded a flight 2 days later.

Those last four weeks, I walked, ate all sorts of spicy food, and bounced on my exercise ball (which REALLY does help the labor process!! I recommend it, for sure.) Those weeks were less stressful with Gimme around to help me with Cason, most definitely. She took over our house- letting me rest, playing with Cason, cooking amazing food, doing housework, etc. We can never thank her enough! Plus, she was here for Cason's 2nd birthday and that made it all the more special. 

The night of Friday, Sept. 6th, we had our normal Family Night. We ate pizza and watched a movie. I started having pains, and again, thought my water might have broken. I refused to go to the hospital though- insisting they'd just send us home and tell us, "It's not yet time!" My MIL and Cody started trying to convince me to go and I finally gave in, but wouldn't let Cody pack all the bags in the car. (Did I mention my moods during this pregnancy? Yeah. They were real.) We got to the hospital and they took us straight back to L&D- even though I was insisting, "I just need that easy test so y'all can tell me to go back home!" Once we were in our room, they hooked me up to the monitors and did the simple test that tells you whether or not your water had broken- it came back negative. Again, I felt the sinking feeling that we weren't going to meet Cate yet. I swear it's just as bad as getting a negative on a pregnancy test. I was pretty sad, even though I had prepared myself for it. Then the nurse told us that we needed to do an ultrasound to make sure that the baby had enough fluid... That it could be dangerous if she didn't. We did the ultrasound and fluid levels were extremely low, they were supposed to be 7+, and they were at a 4. We were then told that we would be staying and getting induced because Cate couldn't stay in any longer. Then I heard, "Well. Now I have to go back home to get the bags since you insisted that I couldn't pack them." :)

The next 24 hours flew by pretty quickly. They started the pitocin around midnight and I lasted around 4 hours before asking for the epidural. I was surprised I lasted that long, and so was the nurse! They administer it to you in different levels, ranging from 1-20. I got to 18 before I insisted, "Give me the juice!" I'm not waiting that long next time. The epidural is too great to not take advantage of it, ha!

We had a few "scary moments" during the process. I nearly passed out after the epidural because it made my blood pressure drop to 70/50.. Then my IV got disconnected and Cody found a huge puddle of blood under my bed from it leaking. My husband has gone into extreme protective mode during both pregnancies (as expected) so you can imagine how he reacted during those situations. It's a testament of his love, most definitely. 

Anyways, after the epidural we just rested and passed the time by watching college football. Around 11:00 am I could feel the pressure becoming more intense and knew it was almost time.. My epidural was starting to wear off, or they had decreased how much they were administering. I told the doctor I was ready to go and within 6 minutes, and 3 rounds of pushes, they were handing Cate Elizabeth to me. She was a healthy 8 lbs, 15 ounces and 20 inches long, and so beautiful!
I'm nursing her, like I did with Cason, and I asked them if I could try to feed her right away before they took her to the nursery for initial cleanings, tests, and what-not. They agreed, but within 5 minutes we all knew something wasn't right. She had way too much fluid in her lungs and could barely breathe, let alone eat. They took her away from me and I didn't see her for a long time. Cody lived in the nursery with her, harassing them with questions, and then coming back to fill me in. I recovered quickly, and was up walking within an hour. (One of the few pros of your epidural wearing off early.) They finally let me go to the nursery to see her.. They were still debating putting her in the NICU, and luckily, after 6 hours, they decided that they had gotten the majority of the water out and she was good to come back to our room.
After that, we kept her in our room 24/7- only letting her out of our sight if she had required tests or vaccines. I had been so worried after having Cason that I wouldn't have enough room in my heart for another baby, but I definitely do, just like everyone reassured me. Cate is a perfect addition to our family and we are so blessed. 
 Nursing is going really well, she would sleep through the night if I let her, and she never, ever, fusses. She'll let me know when she's hungry, but that's it. How we were blessed with two easy babies, I have no idea. She smiles when she hears Cason laughing, and he can't handle when she's upset. She is HIS baby, for sure.
I can't believe she is already a month old. It's already flying by too fast, and that makes me sad. I was amazed at how quickly Cason turned two, so I told myself I'd make sure to soak up every minute with Cate- because it really does fly by like everyone says... But you can't do anything about it except make sure to take it all in and never take their early days for granted.
One month old :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Life Lately

So much has happened in our lives, honestly I'm a little overwhelmed wondering where to start to get everyone updated. I'll begin with the biggest change. :)
Our daughter, Cate Elizabeth Works, was born on September 7th at 11:08 am. She was a healthy 8 lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long. I'll do a separate post for our baby story, but I will tell you now about how perfect she is in every way. We, including Cason, are so in love with everything Cate. We were blessed with another easy and healthy baby. She is already trying to sleep through the night, but Mom is being mean and making her wake up to nurse every 4 or so hours. Believe me, she's grateful when her tummy is full afterwards. She is extremely alert and was lifting her head to look around during week 1. She moved into 3 month clothing during week 2. I was pretty sad about that, but I just need to accept that we make big ole babies! A lot of people have asked how Cason has transitioned and I'm so happy to be able to tell them that he's done awesome. He loves his 'Baby!!' and wants to cuddle her when she cries. He actually helps me put her paci back in her mouth when it falls out- and then strokes her cheek afterwards... And I promise she's gotten more kisses from him than the rest of us put together. I knew he'd be a great big brother- but he's exceeded my expectations. We're so proud of him!
The next big change in our life would have to be Cody's deployment. An assignment came up after Cody's deployment window closed, but he was sought after for the job. We were given a choice- for him to go or not. We decided this opportunity was too good for him to pass up and accepted the job. The deployment is in Qatar, which is actually a safe(r) zone. He'll be an executive for a colonel, working directly for him. He might have to do some traveling with the job, and that will be the most dangerous part. He was set to deploy at the end of December, but decided to leave a little earlier so that the guy he is replacing can make it back in time for Christmas. He is scheduled to arrive early December and will most likely return in August. The babies and I will spend those 8 months in Texas with family, rotating between Pittsburg, Carthage, & Pampa... With a few trips to other various places like Dallas, Tyler, College Station, & Ardmore, OK. Hopefully our friends and family won't get too tired of us! I'm not excited for the 8 month separation, but I am so stoked that Cody has this opportunity. I'm so proud of everything my husband is, does, & stands for. He's our hero!

Due to Cody's deployment and our lease ending at the end of September, we said goodbye to our first home and moved into temporary housing on base. It was pretty stressful packing up our house with a 2 year old and a newborn, but we got everything boxed up and moved into our storage unit. We had a great group of guys come over and help Cody move the heavy stuff, while me and a friend picked up the house. She and her husband brought their kids along, so their son helped the guys while their adorable daughter helped keep Cason entertained. We are so grateful for all of them and love the unity that the military promotes. We kept out things that we'd need for the apartment: clothing, toys, baby items, etc. The babies and I will take these items, plus some, to Texas with us.. Packing a house is hard enough- but packing a house and having to make multiple piles for different purposes (storage, temporary housing, and storage until we leave for Texas.) is not fun. Luckily, it's over and we are now comfortably living on base! We were pleasantly surprised with the apartment. It's a 2/1 with a full kitchen, dining and living room. Washer and dryer in the unit, and a daily maid service. Yep, the next two months will be nice. We are also less than a minute from Cody, so he can finally come home every day for lunch and it doesn't take him an hour to get home at the end of the day! We are enjoying these last couple of months and spending as much time together as possible.