Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The first day...

After spending 2 hours with our little prince, he was whisked off to the NICU for observation. This is a standard procedure for babies who weigh under a certain weight at birth. Parker was under weight by just one mere ounce. Luckily though, Ben was able to stay with Parker while Sam gathered our belongings and helped get me moved into our mother baby room. As soon as we were moved in, it was off to spend time with Parker. Shortly after I arrived the pediatrician came in to examine Parker. She noticed a slight heart murmur, which is not an uncommon thing o gear in newborns. To be on the safe side, she ordered an electrocardiograph that would be sent to Children's Hospital for evaluation. While the pediatrician was there, Ben went to get Grampa and Auntie Sarah followed by Uncle Ian and Aunt Lindsay. Unfortunately shortly after Parker was born, my mom had to leave for work, so my mom and dad would have to wait til later in the day to meet the little guy. Time passed quickly in the NICU especially once the echo started ( it took up the last hour or so of time). After Parker got the green light from the NICU that he was free, we headed off to the mother baby room where we would spend many hours in the near future. We started with a nursing session where a lactation consultant came to help with how to feed Parker, how to pump anyhow to substitute formula. Additionally they assisted with when feeding times should be (every 2-3 hours) and this included asking him to eat if he was sleeping. Ben and I started a routine right away, he would warm the formula while I nursed Parker, once that was done he would take Parker and feed him the formula while I pumped. The idea was to breastfeed first for 15 minutes max, give any pumped breast milk second and lastly add in formula. He was only eating 5-15 ml of formula at time. Due to his small birth weight and what turned out to be a mild case of jaundice, Parker would sleep often and was thought to not have the strength to detect hunger. After doing this routine a few times, visitors started to arrive. The rest of the day really flew by as family trickled in to say hello. Before we knew it, it was 7:30, the room service was closed and we had not eaten dinner. My brother and sister-in-law came by for a visit and brought Ben and I Panera Bread (a personal favorite of mine!!!). Lindsay and Parker actually share a birthday and she was kind enough to spend her birthday evening with our family. The night wrapped up shortly after dinner as Ben and I tried to take everyone’s advice and sleep when baby sleeps. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The birth story of Parker Timothy

It all started on Friday, December 9th at 4:05am when I was awakened to the feeling that I was peeing, but I couldn't stop it. I quickly woke up Ben and realized that thankfully I had not peed the bed in my sleep, but that my water had broken and we would be meeting our son very soon! We were overwhelmed with joy!!! However, knowing that hard work was ahead, Ben and I decided to take a quick nap until the doctor’s office opened or my labor progressed. Despite the contractions that started shortly after my water broke, I was able to get 3 solid hours of sleep (which will come in handy later). When Ben and I woke, we started tracking my contractions for the next hour, which we coming in average every 3.5 minutes, and lasting about one minute. I was able to feel the baby move throughout the contractions so when we called the hospital to let them know that my water had broken they said to come in when we could. Ben got up and made me breakfast while I took a shower and called our doula Sam. After the shower we headed to Overlake Hospital.

On the drive in, my contractions slowed drastically, but because my water had already broken, we had to continue on to the hospital. Once we arrived at the hospital, they took a sample to confirm that my water had broken and started monitoring the contractions. Within 45 minutes it was confirmed that my water had broken and I was admitted. Sam arrived, bearing snacks and other creature comforts, eager for the events ahead. Upon admission, I was told that I was 4 cm dilated and had a ways to go. Because my water had already broken, they encouraged me to get moving by walking around the floor. Unfortunately, this did not work and at 4pm I was given antibiotics and told that if things did not progress, I would have to be given Pitocin. I saw the doctor at 8 pm where she told me things had still not progressed, so we went ahead with the induction medication. Almost immediately, contractions started to pick up some belated steam and increased in strength and frequency. At 11 pm they checked me again and I was only at 4.5 cm, so they again increased to the Pitocin. In the next hour I went from 4.5cm to 8.5cm and 80% effaced. During this long day of labor our families were waiting patiently in the waiting room. Sam was keeping notes on everything that was going on in the room and updating the family regularly. She was great about being sure that I was eating and staying hydrated.

Throughout the labor I had Ben and Sam to help me breathe through my contractions and was staying on top of the discomfort in a calming, restful way. I had been battling a sinus and ear infection in the days prior to my labor and the congestion had spread to my chest which was making breathing increasingly difficult. At about 11:30pm my asthma had gotten the best of me when an asthma attack took my lungs hostage and I was no longer able to breathe through my contractions. This was a huge disappointment to me that resulted in many tears and an internal battle to put aside my pride and do what was best for our baby. I could not possibly bring a healthy baby into this world if I and not able to breathe. I decided, with Ben and Sam’s support, that I needed to get an epidural to keep me breathing strong so the baby had enough oxygen for the journey ahead. By 1:00 am the epidural had started to work and I was able to concentrate on bringing our baby into this world.

At 4:30 am, as the lunar eclipse started, it was time to start pushing. With Sam on one side, the nurse on the other and Ben holding my hand, the pushing began. After half an hour, our nurse had to leave the room for a few moments and Ben took her place holding my right leg. As the moon was slowly swallowed by the Earth’s shadow, our baby made his way further and further down the birth canal. Around 5:10, the nurse called the doc to let her know she better be on her way. This baby was coming! Crowning started at 5:25 and the nurse said to stop pushing since the doctor was still 10 minutes away. But at 5:32am, as the earth's shadow completely covered the moon, without a single additional push, Parker Timothy decided to slide his own way out. Our nurse, much to her surprise, delivered Parker while yelling for assistance. As a flurry of 8 nurses rushed into the room, our nurse had to clamp and cut the umbilical cord that had looped itself three times around his neck (which was a complete shock because his heartbeat was nice and strong throughout the entire labor). He was quickly carried away to ensure he was stable and had clear breathing. When Ben and I heard that first cry, tears instantly filled our eyes. He was absolutely perfect weighing in at 5lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. Parker, to date, has surpassed all his tests and has been surprising doctors left and right. I cannot wait to see what other miracles this little guy has in store for us!!!

Our first glimpse at our little prince! 
Our Family!!!

Christmas came early

Introducing Parker Timothy Koske, born December 10th at 5:32am, 5lbs 4oz and 19 inches long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Ultrasound Picture and Video

On Friday Ben and I were given another opportunity to see Baby K. I have been consistently measuring about 3 weeks ahead so the doctors wanted to take a look and see how big he really was. Turns out while baby is long, he is still lean and his measurements will not force them to take him early. This comes with mixed emotions as Ben and I were hoping to meet our son sooner rather than later. I guess we will just have to do our part to try to get him here this year. The good news is that our little guy has a strong heartbeat and appears in good health! Two things that we are truly thankful for and do not take for granted! 

Technology is a truly amazing gift that Ben and I took full advantage of at our appointment. We took a little small video here of the ultrasound where you can see the 4 chambers of the heart, his head, stomach, lungs and at the end hear/see his heart beat. During the ultrasound we were able to hear his heartbeat from his brain blood flow as well as the cord blood flow. All of this is a very surreal experience and reminds us that we will be meeting our little guy any time in the next few weeks. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 36

25 days til our due date
Size of a crenshaw melon
564movements felt
Craving eggnog
Feeling healthy and happy
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
49 hours of sleep
9 midnight trips to the bathroom

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The change...

The transformation of baby and my belly months 3 through 9...

Week 35

32 days til our due date
Weight of a honeydew melon
456 movements felt
Craving stuffing
Feeling excited
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
47 hours of sleep
7 midnight trips to the bathroom

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 34

39 days til our due date
Weight of a cantaloupe
657 movements felt
Craving pumpkin
Feeling a bit tired
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
33 hours of sleep
6 midnight trips to the bathroom

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 33

46 days til our due date
Weight of a pinapple
703 movements felt
Craving pumpkin
Feeling great!
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
47 hours of sleep
9 midnight trips to the bathroom

* Milestone this week: Ben and I felt what I think was a knee! So exciting. Ben was also able to hear Baby K's heartbeat by putting his ear to my stomach! This makes everything SO real!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Maternity Photos

Last Sunday Ben and I had a maternity photo shoot with our photographer. She is one of the most talented photographers I know! Below are some of the favorites from the shoot.

To see more of her work, check out Anda Photography

Week 32

53 days til our due date
Weight of a jicama
446 movements felt
Craving granny smith apple w/peanut butter
Feeling excited
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
38 hours of sleep
6 midnight trips to the bathroom

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 31

60 days til our due date
Weight of four large oranges
856 movements felt
Craving turkey tacos
Feeling nauseous
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
67 hours of sleep
6 midnight trips to the bathroom

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Week 30

67 days til our due date
Weight of a large head of cabbage
638 movements felt
Craving salmon
Feeling anxious to meet our little boy!
2 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
53 hours of sleep
7 midnight trips to the bathroom

*Milestone this week: Ben and I were both able to feel Baby Koske's hiccups! It was a pretty cool feeling :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Ultrasound Picture

This morning Ben and I had the privilege of getting a glimpse at Baby Koske. My weight gain is low, so the doctors wanted to ensure that baby was growing like he should. His heart beat is normally about 150-160, but today he was sleeping so it was about 128. He is a long little guy, his head under my left rib and his rump sitting at my hip bone (about 12 inches not including his legs). His stomach size was in the 40th percentile and head size in the 70th percentile. Apparently big heads run on the Ludwig male side - thanks dad!  Overall though baby looked healthy!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our first Sounders FC game!

On Saturday we attended our first Sounders game. OK fine, it was Ben's second game and my first :) The game was unlike any other sporting event I have ever been to. The fans seemed genuinely there because they enjoyed the sport! I did not realize that when I bought the tickets that this was Kasey Keller's (our goalie) last home game. The games total attendance was 64,140!!! That is the most fans to have attended a soccer game in the US! I have never seen so many soccer fans in my life. It was amazing. In the last 15 minutes we scored 2 goals winning the game. I am bummed that it took us this long to get to such and incredible event, but we will not be missing out next year. I can't wait to share this incredible experience with Baby Koske - since he will of course be a soccer player...He is practicing his kicks daily :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 29

74 days til our due date
Size of a butternut squash
604 movements felt
Craving avocado
Feeling anxious to meet my little man!
3 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
57 hours of sleep
6 midnight trips to the bathroom

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Anniversary Getaway!

Our anniversary weekend started with a ferry ride over to Roche Harbor. The weather was beautiful with the sun shining bright! 
When we arrived at the resort, we had about an hour to explore our cabin and it's surroundings. The cabin was an adorable 2 bedroom/1 bath quaint getaway. It felt like home the minute we walked in. 
We then headed over to the local restaurant for a luxurious 4 course meal. Starting out with their crab and artichoke dip, followed by a shared caeser salad and crab bisque. For dinner Ben had their all too famous prime rib, while I had their morale mushroom crusted tenderloin. Both were heavenly. We each received our own dessert from the restaurant, I had the very last piece of their delicious apple pie and Ben had the berry cobbler. All in all dinner lasted a glorious 3.5 hours, during which time we enjoyed watching two otters play of the dock. It was a wonderful way to spend our first night. 
The next morning we had breakfast on the pier before heading out on our whale watching trip. While walking to the boat, this little guy decided to say hi.
The first wildlife we saw out on our whale watching trip were harbor porpoises. The captain followed them around for a bit trying to get them to play in the bow wave, but he was unsuccessful. It was fun to watch them hop in and out of the water though.
Half way through our trip, there were two young humpback whales spotted near the coastline. We were able to watch them for a few minutes until they went under for a nice swim.
When they came up again, they were so close to our boat putting on our own personal show. Humpbacks are rare in these waters as they have been on the endangered list for many years following humans hunting them to nearly extinction. In recent years their numbers have been increasing and young pups like these show us they are surviving well.
After our humpback spotting we took a leisurely trip back in along the coastline. We saw a few bald eagles in the trees with their massive nests and a few seals beached out on rocks catching some of the last sun rays before fall.
The naturalist on our boat told us that there were sightings of the J,K, and L pods of Orcas the day before from the lighthouse on Lime Kiln Point. Ben and I took a scenic drive up the coastline to see if we could see any. Unfortunately there were no Orcas, apparently they moved north towards B.C., but the view was beautiful. 
We did see an odd site while at the lighthouse, a turkey vulture (which are normally around when the weather is warm) swim in from the water and perch on the rocks to dry out. There was a wildlife rescue lady watching him to ensure he was not injured, because swimming in water is not normal behavior. He eventually took flight just over our heads, showing us he was in fine health.
When Ben and I came back "home" I started making butternut squash risotto and while that was cooking we enjoyed a great pastime game of Candyland. Ben got schooled several times but was a good sport about the whole thing. Eventually after game 5 or so, he was able to beat me. Better late then never I guess.

When cooking was wrapping up, Ben built us a fire out front to enjoy while we ate dinner.
With the fire at our backs, we enjoyed a toasty dinner while the sunset over the harbor. Dinner was the perfect taste of fall, a recipe we will definitely be making again!
After dinner the fire had perfect coals for s'more making, so that is exactly what we did. Instead of eating them like normal people, we stuck them in the freezer to have under ice cream later in the evening.
 We ended the evening with a few games of Monopoly. While Ben may have again been beat severely, he kept on playing and eventually won. This and Candyland will be a great addition to our families games! 
On Monday morning we checked out of our new home away from home hideaway and went on a nature trail through the sculpture park.  It was quite an odd site to come across a dragon in the woods, but this little guy was one of Ben's favorites (shocker I know).
After our nature walk we headed into Friday Harbor to walk around while waiting for our ferry. We stopped into my favorite lavender shop and bought some massage oil to use during childbirth for assisted relaxation. Neither Ben nor I had been to Friday Harbor for a few years and while a few things about it have changed, it is still a cute little town to walk around in. When we finally boarded the ferry, we were the front car and had a pretty stellar view. 

On our way home we stopped for dinner in downtown Snohomish at the Cabbage Patch restaurant. We had only previously been here for breakfast, but had heard that their dinner setting was just like home, with a menu to match. It was very relaxing and enjoyable and truly was just like being at home. The perfect ending to the most perfect weekend!

Week 28 - The start of the 3rd trimester

81 days til our due date
Size of a head of Chinese cabbage
502 movements felt
Craving salmon
Feeling thankful
22 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
44 hours of sleep
5 midnight trips to the bathroom

Friday, October 7, 2011

My first baby shower!

Last Sunday was my first baby shower hosted by the wonderful and amazing Rachel and Jessica. The girls transformed my house into a dream home with beautiful decorations, sweet treats and great guests. 
The girls started off the party with a drinking game. The one to drink the most orange juice (and vodka if they chose) from the bottle in the allotted time won! This was quite entertaining to watch! Apparently is it not an easy task, Kirsten mentioning that she could not feel her lips.
The ever so popular "how big is my mommy" game was next. Everyone seemed to over guess by almost the exact same amount! Except Sam...she was able to tie a bow with her leftovers while apologizing profusely :)
Next came the disgusting and yet amusing game of what candy bar is melted inside this diaper. Jess and Rachel only had one tragedy while melting the candy bars, they burnt the twix bar nearly catching it on fire! Interestingly enough the house smelled like smores - a delish smell really.

The afternoon ended with the opening of so many adorable presents that I cannot wait to use! When Ben came home I was able to go back through all the presents and get even more giddy that in less then three months we will be meeting our little guy!!!

This was the delicious sweets table!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

I thought this quote was appropriate as Ben and I look towards the future and how times will change with the addition of our little guy. This quote not only holds true for mother, but for father as well. We will have the time we need, because we were given this gift of life!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 27

88 days til our due date
Size of a head of cauliflower
308  movements felt
Craving salmon burger and sweet potatoes
Feeling strong, excited to meet my little man
5 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt
41 hours of sleep
8 midnight trips to the bathroom

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it. 
This has been circling around Pinterest now for a few months and I thought it was perfect for Wednesday's Wisdom post. If/When more stretch marks grace my body, I hope I have the courage to look at them this way.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 26

95 days til our due date
Length of an English cucumber
358 movements felt
Craving green apples, celery, sweet potatoes, zucchini and avocado
Feeling empowered!
0 Braxton-Hicks Contractions felt 
50 hours of sleep
4 midnight trip to the bathroom

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Stretchmarks I am told are par for the course when having a baby. I have heard them referred to many different ways to make woman feel better about them, but this one is by far my favorite. It is an empowering statement, and makes me proud of the stripes I will earn!

This was found on Pinterest (if you haven't heard of you are missing out!).