Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Time at the Starks

Christmas time here is very new for the kids. Kael, I am sure, does not remember last years Christmas. He enjoyed the wrapping paper more than the actual toys we bought him. This year is totally interested in the gifts that are under there. He brings them over to me and I have to tell him that we can not open them right now. I am not sure if he understand why.

Little Ava, well, that is another story. We got her a few little gifts and we are not getting her anything else. She has clothes to last her until she is one. Her room is filled with blankets, stuffed animals, and furniture. As I said in the last post she is not even sleeping in her room any more.

We will be spending Christmas Eve with my parents and sister's family and Christmas day we will be with Walter's parents and sister's family. So that means that Kael and Ava will have three Christmas's. Wow, are kids these days spoiled. My twin sister Michelle is getting induced the day after Christmas so that is a gift in its self. She is having another girl. They are naming her Payton. I am sure Ava and Payton will be good buddies since they will only be about 5 months apart.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God Bless!

Ava is now 4 months old

A lot has happened since Ava has been born. She was sick at 4 weeks old with the common cold and has recently got over a bad infection that she got from her brother. Talk about a week of hell here in the Starks home. I had Ava on a great sleeping schedule but when she started her coughing it made her throw up thus leaving me no choice but to sleep with her to monitor her. This has totally spoiled her. I do not believe the doctors when they say you can not spoil a baby.

She can not go to sleep on her own, she does not like sitting alone, she hates her swing now, and sleeps with us every night. This really stinks because I worked with her as a newborn to sleep alone and this has totally ruined it.

Kael is sleeping well these days. He goes down at night at about 9:30p.m. and does not wake up until ten every day. He is an active little boy and he sure does love his new little sister.

In about a month I will be watching an eight week old little boy named Jaden. He is the neighbors new baby and she will be returning back to work. I am getting the house ready for another baby and preparing my mind. I know it will be a lot of work but I really want to help them out and a little extra money won't hurt either. I am young so I hope I can handle it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ava's Birth

Being pregnant with Ava was easy. I felt pretty good through-out the whole pregnancy. I thought I would have a harder time being pregnant because I had a son to care for. I did experience sleeping difficulties towards the end but leading up to Ava's arrival was exciting for me.

I had been going to the doctor regularly now and my last visit I was told we could set up a scheduled c-section, (because I had one with Kael). The doctor told me she would call me in the next day or two to schedule the c-section but I waited almost a week. I finally got a hold of her and she said we were a go for Friday August 1st. I was so excited.

Over the next few days I prepared as much as possible for her. I enjoyed going out to eat with my sister for lunch. I knew that when Ava came I was not going to be able to get out as easily with two kids.

Finally, Friday came. My dad was going to watch Kael and Raelynn while I went to the hospital with my husband, sister, and mom. I arrived at the hospital two hours prior to the c-section for preparation. The nurse introduced herself and told me to put on the gown, socks, and take off all my jewelry. The nurse was very personable to me and Walter. She joked and laughed with us until it was time to put in my IV. She took my left arm and tried putting in the IV. She told me to turn my head while she was doing it. I kept feeling pain and when I looked over she was wiggling the needle to find my vein. She took the needle out and tried in another spot on the same arm and again she was unsuccessful. My stomach was turning by this point and I could feel my whole body getting sick and flushed. She took my right arm and tried again. I was trying so hard to think about something else but when I felt the same pain I felt on the other arm I realized that she was having problems again. She pulled the needle out and once again she tried it in another spot. So, this makes the fourth time she has poked me with this needle and had been having a hard time finding the vein. Finally, she said that she was just going to put it in my hand and that she was trying to avoid that.

Once she got it in my hand I felt so sick. I had to lay there and shut my eyes about 30 minutes later I started feeling better. Oh my gosh, how awful was that.

All the doctor's had come in and talked to me about the procedure. I was familiar with it already so there were no surprises. They told me I could walk back to the operating room and Walter would join me in about 20 minutes.

I hopped up on the table and the doctor put in my epidural. Once again, they had trouble putting it in and had to try 3 times to get it. They laid me down and my legs started going numb. They preped my belly, put up blue drapes, and asked Walter to come in. They had already started the incision. I noticed my lungs getting heavy and they told me that would be normal from the epidural.

Only moments later I heard the doctor say it's a girl and little Ava was out. He quickly lifted her up for only a second for me to see. Walter rushed over to her to take some pictures. He kept coming back to me saying that she was rolling all over the place and that she didn't look like Kael. I was so medicated that I was kind of out of it. I just wanted to close my eyes because I was a little nervous about what was going on in just around those blue drapes.

Once they got Ava all cleaned up, weighed, and wrapped Walter walked her over to me so I could get a good look. She was just so darling. The emotion you have when you first get to see your little baby, that has been in your stomach for so long, is priceless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leading up to Kael's First Birthday

Kael grew very quickly over that year. I made some mistakes with him because he was my first. I ran to every need as quickly as he would cry. I would rock him to sleep every night in the rocking chair. I would have to hold him a certain way just to get him to fall asleep and the biggest mistake of all was...... letting him sleep with me every night. He would wake up every night 3-4 times wanting to nurse. He did this until he was 9 months old.

The night he started sleeping through the night was great. I finally saw some hope of getting a full night's rest. He then started sleeping through the night until about 8 a.m. He still was sleeping with us but I, at least, got a full night's rest.

I started coaching
In October of 2007 I got a coaching job at a Christian Junior High School. I went back and forth with myself wondering if it was a good idea to take the position because I had never left Kael more than a few hours every 2-3 months. I decided I would take the position because it would be good for Kael to be away from me for a few hours a day and he could be around other children.

I started taking him over to a good friends house, Valerie, until Walter or I could come get him. At first it was very difficult to drop him off and watch him cry as I leave but, Valerie was very good with entertaining him and giving him snacks. After a few weeks he started to get used to me dropping him off. I think he was having a good time over there. At least he was getting out of the house and playing with Valerie's kids.

Getting pregnant, again
In December I noticed my apatite was changing. I started craving certain foods and did not feel so good. I went out and got a pregnancy test and turns out I was pregnant. Walter was happy and so was my family. I only had 3 months left of coaching so it did not interrupt anything. That season we ended up going undefeated and winning the Championship's.

In January of 2008 we celebrated my 3 year old nieces birthday with Kael's, since they are only 2 days apart. That was the first time that Kael ate cake, as it is most 1 year old's first time.

We had quite a few people show up for their birthdays. All of our friends and family came and of course Kael could not understand why all these people were here, giving him presents, eating sweets, and why he did not get a nap that day. It was an exciting day for little Kael, oh, and Raelynn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kael's First Few Weeks/ Common Cold 101

The first few weeks of Kael's life was hectic. My family had gone to North Carolina because my younger brother had just finished boot camp for the Marines. They were going to bring him home after he got his award. While they were gone I fell into postpardom depression. I never thought that would happen to me after my first child. I thought every thing was going to be just great and joyous. I usually am the type of person that is always happy and I can get myself out of a funk pretty easily, but I had no control over the baby blues. With the drop in hormones and the idea of my family being gone I could not help but cry over the smallest thing. I was nervous because I thought I was not doing things right with Kael. Walter did not know how to help me but tried to just stay out of the way and tend to my needs as much as possible. Walter also went back to work three days after Kael was born and that also made me emotional because now I am here alone with the baby, recovering from surgery, and no family to lean on.

Once my family got back they all came over and my brother, Ryan, got to meet Kael for the first time. I was very emotional to have him and my mother there. I kept asking my mom if she thought I was doing a good job with the baby. I really needed that reassurance that I was doing good taking care of the baby and that every thing would be okay.

Taking Care of a Cold for Infants
At 8 weeks Kael got his first cold. I noticed that he had a little bit of a runny nose. I called the doctor and they said that it is not a good idea to give him any medicine unless he was running a fever. He said to monitor him and just wait it out. What I failed to do was clean his nose out with the suction to make sure that bacteria was not growing in the extra mucous in his sinuses.
When mucous starts multiplying due to the common cold it harbors bacteria and the bacteria starts to grow, as well. Once this happens the bacteria in the mucous leads to the infants ears and causes an ear infection. An ear infection is almost 100% of the time a secondary symptom to a cold. The infant doesn't just start out with an ear infection. They start out as a cold and then when the mucous is not drained or suctioned out it turns into an ear infection.

I failed to clean out as much mucous as possible because he hated when I suctioned his nose and I didn't learn how to correctly get a good strong suction. I did learn that you have to do what ever it takes to get that mucous out. It takes suctioning the nose 8-10 times a day until the cold is gone or the mucous is gone.

Suctioning the nose out is a skill. I actually hold one side of the babies nose to close it off and put the suction in the other nostril. This seems to be the best way to get a strong suction for deep mucous caught in the sinuses. The infants nose may not always drip or run so this is the only way to get the thick mucous out.

Using a humidifier and some Vick's vapor rub is also a good tool to loosen up thick mucous in the infants nose.

Okay, there was your common cold 101. The worst thing is having a newborn or infant with a cold. They are unable to communicate to you verbally what is wrong and they can not blow their own nose to get mucous out, so the only way is doing it for them. I have noticed that the more I was my hands the less we are all sick in our house.

Once a baby has an ear infection there is fear that comes along with it We all hear that a lot of babies have ear problems because the tubes in their ears are not mature and are lying horizontally instead of lying on a tilt so they will drain Multiple ear infections usually result in putting tubes in the babies ears to help them drain properly. The doctors told me not to get worried about that now because this is only the common cold and not the result of the ears not draining properly.

The doctor did tell me to make sure water did not get in his ears while we took him a bath. I made sure of that every time we took him a bath and he has been ear infection free ever since.

So, next time your child gets the common cold follow those few tips and that will keep them out of the doctor's office and off antibiotics. The goal is to have the child's body fight it off and takes its course.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bringing Kael Home

After spending a few days in the hospital we were ready to go home. Kael had a little bit of jaundice but nothing that would be of harm. I was told to keep him in some sun light and feed him often. Here he is moments after we got home sitting in his swing.
We thought what do we do with him now. We never got a manual on how to take care of him. I could not believe they just sent us home with him. It was a sureal moment but scary. I was around my niece when she was a baby but I never had something that I had to take care of 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kael's Birth

My family was going to North Carolina on January 14th, right around my due date. I was getting really nervous because I wanted my family there when the baby came. I kept asking my doctor if it would be a good idea to be induced on the 11th. Under most circumstances doctor's will not induce because it makes things more complicated. Dr. Stevens told me that we would go ahead with the induction on the 11th but he was not promising that it would be smooth or quick. I did not care what it took because I was determined through pray that I would have this baby one way or another.

I arrived at the hospital at 8 o'clock that night and did not get started on pitocin and cervadil until 9 p.m. I started having minor contractions by midnight and by 9 the next morning I was only dilated to two centimeters. The applied another batch of cervadil which helps thin the cervix and allows for dilation to occur more easily. That stayed in for another 12 hours and when I was checked again I had not changed at all.

The contractions had got very intense and the only way I could manage them was to close my eyes and lay completely still. Rolling onto my sides helped with some of the back labor I was having. When I decided to turn onto my other side my water broke.

It was 10:30 p.m. on the 12th of January and I had now been laboring for over 24 hours. The pain was getting so intense that the nurse decided it was time for my epidural. I was contracting all the way through the epidural that I did not even feel the epidural. The pain of the contractions out-weighed thepain of the epidural. After about 5 minutes all my pain was relieved. I was a new person after that. To any one who is going to have a baby and is not anticipating a lot of pain I totally recomend an epidural.

By 11:45 p.m. I still had not dilated to the doctors expectations and with the baby's heart rate dipping with each contraction they decided that it was better to have a c-section. I skipped that part of the book about c-sections because you never think that it could happen to you. I envisioned labor like my twin sister where she pushed her daughter out in 27 minutes.

I was very nervous and scared because I feared being cut open and the recovery with a newborn to deal with. You can read about the details of the c-section by going to the tab labeled c-section. At 12:08 a.m. Kael James was born. He was 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. More pictures of him are also available to view.

Being a first time mom I had so many emotions when Kael was born. I was new to every thing. To look at him for the first time and see what was growing inside me for the past 9 months was just priceless. He was a beautiful baby, even though I might be a little biased. Walter was the first one to hold him and he just looked so alert.

I was sent to my private room where we would be spending the rest of the time until we were discharged. As soon as I got there I had to learn how to breastfeed. That is a whole topic in its self but fourtunately Kael was a pro. He latched right on and nerver looked back.


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