This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have an almost-6 year old boy and a newborn boy (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥

Monday, April 20, 2015

8 Days of Being a Family of 4

We are home and adjusting well to our new life! The doctor kept us at the hospital an extra night and day to watch Jacob's blood sugars. They had me supplement some formula after nursing until my milk came in.

Brad was very excited for us to come home Tuesday evening and he pushed the cart for us with our things to the car.

 Very first car ride!

 Holding his baby brother for the first time

So far things are going well. Nick has been a huge help with the baby, Brad, and the house. He cooks meals, cleans, goes grocery shopping, and takes Brad to/from school. I get about 5-6hr of sleep in intervals during the night and I get by pretty good thru the day. For the most part Jacob sleeps well and has a huge appetite that can be hard to keep up with.

We took him to the pediatrician today for his 1 week checkup and they were very happy with everything. He doesn't have to come back until he is 2 months old. His current weight/height is:

9lb 7oz
22 in


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy Birthday!


....has arrived! And boy he arrived with a bang. Completely unlike his big brother and we are all so happy that he is finally here. Here is the story!

At 1:45am this morning I woke up with sharp abdominal pains. I started watching the clock to time them and the first one I counted was 5 minutes apart, but after that they were about 3 minutes apart AND my water broke. I got up and went to the bathroom and they quickly got stronger. I woke Nick up and told him it was time! We immediately called his mom to come over and stay with Brad so that we could head out.

I stumbled around the house to gather our bags pausing every few minutes to struggle thru the contractions. I was NOT looking forward to the drive to the hospital. We got the car all packed and as soon as my MIL pulled into the driveway we ran off! I told Nick to turn on the flashers and fly! Let's just say he made the usually 30 minute drive in about 15 minutes.

Thankfully I had already filled out the registration paperwork and as I barely made it thru the entrance they stuck me in an exam room while Nick parked the car. It was about 3am at this point. The contractions were super bad and I was very afraid it would be too late to get an epidural. They still had to page the on-call CRNA and wait for him to come in. Anywho they checked me as soon as I got in the exam room and only 1 hour after my contractions started I was at an 8!!!!!

At this point it was all I could do to get thru each one, and I could barely talk in between to sign consent forms. I kept my eyes shut and kept saying prayers to have strength. They wheeled me into a labor/delivery room and I could hear all of the commotion and workers around me getting everything ready. I heard the on-call OB come in (who I know and work with) and introduce herself but I could only keep my eyes shut and breathe. Then I heard the magical words: "Brian is here". Brian is the CRNA to do the epidurals and I obeyed everything they needed me to do to get it.

By this time I was at 9cm and Brian thought it would go super quick so he only did a spinal injection of pain medicine that would last about an hour. I did get relief and it was so very welcome....until it started wearing off! Jacob was having trouble getting past my pelvic bone (just like his big brother) so it drug out for a couple more hours. Around 5am-ish I started feeling the super painful contractions again so we called Brian back. He stuck me in the back again but this time for an epidural injection. After that I couldn't even feel the butt I was sitting on!

 I did some pushing around 6ish then we took a break so that Nick could help the nurses position me differently to help baby move around. Around 6:45am the OB checked me again and he had moved just right to get past the pubic bone. She had me push a few times and he popped right out with no trouble at 6:58am!


 They immediately put him on my chest while they rubbed him clean and Nick cut the cord. I snuggled him under my gown for awhile before he nursed, then after he was done they did his newborn bloodwork and shots in the room.


 When he came out everyone was commenting how big he was. I figured since he came out so much quicker and easier than Brad that he couldn't be more than 8.5lb. When they finally weighed him.........I was way off!

 9lb 9oz
21.5 inches

Wow! A big boy indeed. He got a nice sponge bath then we snuggled him up in some clean clothes and got moved to a postpartum room just in time for breakfast! We have had lots of visitors today and everyone is so happy to see our little angel finally here. He has been a wonderful baby so far with a huge appetite. Tomorrow morning he will get his last few newborn screenings done and get circumcised, then we will head home hopefully in the afternoon! We are so very blessed to have gotten to this point and we are so thankful for everything God has given us. We have overcome infertility and heartache once again and are proud to introduce our precious baby boy.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Birth "Plan"

I had my final prenatal appointment today! I am 39 weeks and 2 days along and I am booked to be induced on Monday evening. I was pretty gung-ho about not being induced, but I think things will go much better this time since my girl stuff already knows what it's supposed to do.

Last week I was dilated to about a 2.5cm and 80% effaced. They booked me to come in Monday the 13th at 6pm to begin the Cervidil overnight, then Pitocin drip in the morning. Today she checked me and I am dilated 3-4cm AND I talked her into stripping my membranes (ouch!). She said my cervix is all ready to go and we can skip the Cervidil! Now we come in at 10pm on Monday and they will start the Pitocin drip after I'm checked in and have an IV. With any luck my little one will be born Tuesday morning or afternoon and maybe we'll go home early Wednesday!!

I work tomorrow and it will be my LAST day before I start maternity leave. Hopefully they have mercy on me because these loins are feeling heavy! I was pretty crampy right after the doctor visit but I think it's subsiding a bit. Of course I could still go into labor on my own at any point--which would be ideal--so we are ready for that too, but either way he'll be here by the end of Tuesday! I have already been having frequent contractions for the last few weeks. Sometimes they are about 6 minutes apart even! I know they are just Braxton-Hicks and aren't the real thing but I have been on high alert waiting for the real stuff to start! I never had any of this with Bradley--he was just a happy camper staying in there until we dragged him out.

My MIL Penny has graciously accepted our request to stay at our house with Bradley while we are in the hospital. That way he doesn't have to miss school and she can watch our house and cats. She will still bring him up to visit us of course and she won't have to make the hour drive from our house to her house while things are going on.

Thank you for following our intense and emotional journey to parenthood! We are in the final days now and my next blog post will be all about our new bundle of joy! Check back soon!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Crafts and Easter

Today I am 38 weeks and 5 days along! I have been trying to get a few last sewing projects out of the way, but one thing that just couldn't wait was baby's coming home outfit! I made a special onesie for him, and a shirt for Bradley.

I finally embroidered Brad's library bag that he uses during the summer for library trips while school is out.

A doctor I work with is due a week after me and she is naming her little boy Dash. Their nursery theme is Travel, so I made her some coordinating custom burp cloths!

And of course I couldn't go without making little Jacob his very own burp cloths!

Today is Easter and I hope everyone who celebrates was able to spend time with their family and remember the reason for the holiday. After our church service this morning we gathered up some food and headed over to my mom's house to join the rest of my family for a big lunch! It was moist outside but dry enough for the kiddos to run around looking for eggs!


This Thursday is my last checkup before my scheduled induction on the 13th. I really hope little Jacob decides to make his appearance before then! We have everything ready for him to join us and I can't wait to hold him and kiss his forehead.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Homemade Freezer Garlic Bread

As most of you know I have been cranking out the freezer meals lately in preparation for baby #2 to get here (in 3 weeks!). A lot of them are Italian-themed because that is what I love :) And what goes better with a hot lasagna out of the oven than garlic bread? Yum! I found this recipe here and knew it was perfect for me.

I went to my local grocery and got 3 huge loaves of marked down French bread for 60 cents each.

 I changed it up a little and used margarine instead of butter (all of my butter was frozen). I also used garlic powder (around 2tsp) instead of fresh, and I added basil (about 1tbs).


 I started slicing up the bread and coating each slice with a good layer of garlic butter. Then I layered them on a pan to freeze individually...

I just happened to be cooking spaghetti dinner while I was doing all of this, so I threw three of them in the oven to go with it. Yes they tasted so delicious! I personally thought they were better than premade frozen ones from the store.

 I left them in the freezer for a good 15-20 minutes before I took them out and stacked them nicely into a labeled freezer bag. From there they went into the deep freezer and are ready to go!

I only had time to do 2 of the 3 loaves but I got two stuffed gallon freezer bags out of it (minus the three slices we ate). All for less than $2!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

36 Week Update

I had my 9 month checkup today! We were a little nervous about this one because at our last US a month ago the baby was breech. My doc told me then that if he was still breech at this US then she would want to schedule me for a C-section. Well I had a feeling he would be turned around and I was right! He is head down, measuring at about 6 1/2lbs and doing fabulous! And even better, I am already dilated to 2cm!!!

I got another 3D pic of his face, and that is about all that we could get because he is so big now you can't really tell what you are looking at! All of his fingers and toes are accounted for, and he has chubby cheeks and a button nose just waiting to get kissed. Three weeks from tomorrow is my LAST day of work until I go on maternity leave. I have been picking up extra call and extra shifts to get every little bit of money saved for my time off.

As far as the nursery goes, we have made pretty good progress on that. One big thing I wanted to have done was a ceiling fan installed. That room was the only one that didn't have one, and we had put a little clip-on fan for Brad but I wanted a ceiling fan to cool both boys and to update it a little in there. It was the first time Nick installed one but he did great and it turned out really nice!

Although I am planning on breastfeeding, I have still requested free samples from formula companies. I remember with Brad I got several single-serving packets as well as high value coupons for tubs of formula. I was very glad to have these because my supply starting dwindling around 4 months and we ended up having to start supplementing. Well this time they not only sent me the packets, I also got 4 FULL SIZE tubs of formula for free! All of the expiration dates are good thru the middle of next year so even if I never need them, I could still donate them to someone.

 One of the only good things to come out of the "Affordable" insurance changes is that they now cover breast pumps! I ordered mine online and received it a few days later---absolutely NO cost to me. It is a Medela double electric pump and it is all mine.

We don't have a crib yet but I'm not too worried about it just yet. I plan on keeping baby in the pack n' play in our room at least for the first 6-8wks until he is sleeping mostly thru the night and won't disturb Brad too much. My coworkers are having a baby shower for me on the 29th and I look forward to celebrating with them! I have started prepping my cloth diapers and soon I will start washing all of the 0-3mo clothes that I have so they are ready for use.

The time is passing quickly now, and we are all very excited to welcome a new addition to the family! It is so nice not being all crazy nervous like we were when Bradley came. The second time around is much more chill and we know we survived it once, and can do it again!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Around the House

 I thought I would share some non-baby/pregnancy things that we have been doing around the Pierce household. First of all, we got a new truck!

It's a 1988 Chevy Blazer in excellent condition. Our Ford Explorer (that we just bought last April to pull our camper) started having transmission issues so we replaced the parts we could afford to and decided to swallow our losses and sell it as-is for half of it's value. Nick decided we were going to get something easier (and cheaper) to work on that would be much more dependable. We actually bought this Blazer from my brother and got a great deal on it!

The hardtop is removable and there is a ton of space inside. It has big tires and a great stereo--we can't wait to take it to the lake this summer! The engine and transmission are super tough so I don't think we'll have any issues with reliability here.

There is plenty of legroom for Brad, and another carseat will fit right in! It's a little hard for me to get into in my current state, but that won't be for much longer!

 I have been keeping my sewing machine busy lately. There are a lot of little projects I want to work on, plus some custom orders! Here is a lab coat I embroidered for a friend's new job:

And if you recall I am switching the boys' room over to robots so I have been busy working on robot accessories. The latest is a valance for each window. The yellow curtains are ones I made 6 years ago when I decorated Brad's nursery in safari animals. They match the robot theme except for the animal I embroidered in the corner of each panel. They will be fine for now, but I will eventually make new panels out of a bright color to match.
We have all been enjoying the beautiful weather here recently and my little one is on Spring break next week so he will be outside as much as he can stand! Here he is sitting on the porch playing with his keyboard...


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY Maternity Pics!

Today I am 35 weeks along (!) and we finally took some maternity pics! Last time I was pregnant I had a friend come over and use my camera, then I edited the photos myself. I was very happy with the results so I knew I wanted to do that again! Professional maternity pictures would of course be wonderful to have, but this single-income family does not have disposable money for that right now! Mine cost $0 (unless I get a few prints made) and you can't beat that!

95% of the poses here are ones I {attempted} to imitate from photography online. There is an endless variety of ideas to choose from but I went with simple yet classic and flattering. I don't really understand the reasoning behind the whole "boudoir" maternity shoots so needless to say I did not do any of those...

I just have a basic Samsung point-and-shoot camera, and for all photo editing I used PicMonkey (which I love!) because it is FREE and very easy to use. Hopefully these will inspire you if you are in a similar situation to take the plunge and go the frugal route with your maternity pictures.

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