An Unexpected Visit to Levine

I planned on writing this post last week since some comments were made about a cliff hanger… so I apologize for:

  • Leaving the teaser – it really wasn’t my intention
  • Not writing the post earlier – back at work, new baby…you get the idea

Last post I left off coming home from the hospital for a somewhat calm start to our family of 5.  It didn’t go as planned.

We got home and everyone was excited to be in one house again.  After the hugs and kisses Kate sat down on the couch to feed McCauley and the girls went to go eat upstairs M-Home1and finish their TV show (Chuggington) and I started to make lunch in the kitchen.  The only thing odd at this point is that Nella and Cora were upstairs watching TV on their own (it was a Godsend because they didn’t realize any of the following happened).  This isn’t something we typically do, but their show was about to end when we came home so we said they could finish it.  As I’m getting out some sandwich stuff out I hear some commotion coming from the couch.  I take a peak and Kate is patting\hitting McCauley on the back and GG is walking over pretty briskly.  I asked if everything is OK and Kate says no – McCauley is choking.  I run over (honestly thinking its burp or something) until Kate asks her mom to call 9-1-1.  When I hear that I realize Kate is actually trying to do the baby Heimlich to get whatever it is dislodged.  Kate (still holding McCauley) moves a little so I can attempt to clear her airways.  I hit her on the back pretty good and some gunk comes out…very thick, mucusy….blech.  Although some came out she’s still not breathing right.

We continue to try and dislodge more stuff and GG is on the phone with the EMT’s to get some folks over.  We have a volunteer fire department a few minutes from the house so they arrived first.  Kate looks up and there are 10 firemen from the station are in our living room along with an off duty fireman neighbor who came over when he saw the address on the call.  At this time McCauley was breathing, but taking labored, shallow breaths.  Also, anytime Kate would attempt to sit her up she would stiffen and stop breathing. Kate was talking to one of the fireman and we’re deciding if an ambulance ride is in the cards.  Another 5-10 minutes goes by and the ambulance shows up and as Kate and EMT are deciding what to do McCauley’s spits up a HUGE amount of the same stuff.  Enough that we would have probably taken Nella to her doctor if she would have spit it up.  At that point the decision has been 100% made and we’re going off to a different hospital (Levine Children’s Hospital) to have McCauley checked out. Kate starts

M-Ambulance

Kate felt comfortable enough with the situation to snap a picture of our little girl in the ambulance.

loading up to go in the ambulance and I hop in my car to try and beat the ambulance to the hospital.

The ambulance ride was pretty uneventful and Kate was starting to feel OK with the situation, happy that McCauley was now breathing easily and more like herself.  She gets to the ER and we head back to a room to get checked out.

  • Saved by the Bell Timeout: Back to the beginning of this blog, Kate was getting ready to nurse McCauley because she last ate around 8 or 9 o clock in the morning. This time is important.

A few doctor’s come in to ask a few questions and try to determine what happened.  They each took great time and care with us to make sure they understood what was going on and try to decipher what happened.  McCauley is starting to get very hungry at this time but we don’t have any milk with us (we weren’t planning on going to the hospital) and Kate couldn’t feed her because she was too full. On a normal day, McCauley was having trouble feeding due to the amount of milk that Kate was producing – and we were a little apprehensive to feed McCauley since she just had a weird choking incident.  We asked a few people for a pump so we could get some milk into a bottle, but for whatever reason the ER could not get one.

Around 4:00 we are sent to the observation floor at Levine’s children hospital for overnight monitoring.  McCauley still hasn’t eaten and Kate was in a lot of pain at this point.  We get into our room and ask for a hospital pump.  I make it clear, if I need to go to the maternity wing or NICU desk to get one, I’ll do it.  My baby needs to eat (a 3 day old should eat every 2-3 hours and it has been 8) and my wife needs to get comfortable.  Thankfully a few minutes later a pump arrives and Kate is able to feed McCauley.  A little while later our youth pastor brought our things for the evening and some good friends who live close to the hospital brought us some delicious dinner. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful.  At times, though, it did bring back memories of the NICU with Nella,

M-Levine

Bundled up and hooked up

as McCauley was hooked up to leads and monitors. We were thankful that the alarms at Levine weren’t the same sound as the NICU alarms at Presbyterian – that may have made the night feel more nerve-wracking for us (I think all NICU parents can agree that you never quite forget the cadence and sound of those NICU alarms). Overall the nurses and doctors in the children’s hospital were fantastic and on the ball about everything.

Since McCauley didn’t have any other issues throughout the night, we all decided it was safe to go back home the next morning. When we spoke with the medical team during rounds we determined that McCauley likely retained some amniotic fluid from the birth. Kate’s labor was so quick the fluid was likely not expelled during delivery – the doctors said McCauley probably didn’t get “the squeeze” that usually gets the fluid out of their system. McCauley was eating fairly well and didn’t lose much weight in the hospital, so there really wasn’t much of an indication that she retained fluid and needed to be suctioned. So, when her body tried to get rid of all the fluid – it was just too much for her and it startled her so she breathed it back in and the fluid likely got stuck in her airway which caused the choking and retracting that sent us to the hospital. Thankfully, the doctors felt that she expelled all the fluid during her episode so we can sort of put this experience in our past and not worry too much about it happening again.

So…we went home the next morning to again start our life as a family of 5.  This time it would go smoothly…or as smoothly as it can go with 3 kids under the age of 5.

M-CribAnimals

Her two big sisters were excited to set up her crib (Note: Do not call DSS, she does not sleep here with all these stuffed animals)

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3 Sisters

Well I now have 4 ladies in my life.  My lovely wife and my 3 precious daughters.  This (much shorter) post will take a look at the first meeting of all the sisters…

After the hubbub of the actual birth died down, Kate and I were able to relax some in our room in between nurse visits and checkups.  Kate’s Mom (GG) and Aunt (KT) came by to say hi and I need to mention something here that should have been in the last post.  These two came up in early July to help us and boy did we need it.  Between all the doctor’s appointments, false alarms and real alarms they made our life much easier.  Not to mention we will have plenty of homemade whoopie pies for the foreseeable future.  Thank you so much ladies for giving up of your time to come on up.

After they got to see, hold and kiss McCauley they went back home to relieve our babysitter of Nella and Cora.  After Nella and Cora’s rest time all 4 (GG, KT, Nella, Cora) piled into the van to come on over to the hospital.  As Kate and I were sitting in our room we first hear Nella and Cora coming down the hall way (they weren’t exactly going to sneak up on anyone).  They came through the door and went straight to mommy’s bedside to get a closer look at their mom and sister.  To them, I was invisible in that moment and I couldn’t have been more proud.  They were so excited to finally meet her, you could feel the love in the room.

In no time at all my ladies were all in the bed together with me fearing for my wife’s safety and pain.  Nella only wanted to sit and hold her and Cora’s main objective seemed to be giving whole body hugs which had me a little concerned about McCauley getting crushed with love.  All in all it was a cuteness explosion.  Cora and Nella were wearing their new Lula Roe dresses (Thanks Renee and Kat! – https://reneeandkat.com/) that can match with mommy and they both got their time in with her before heading back home to wait for the rest of their family.

Familyof5.JPG

We stayed at the hospital until Monday (Bilirubin lights) and then went home for what turned out to be a short time.  That will be left for the next blog post.

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She’s Here, She’s Here! 

Ring the bell, yell it from the rooftops, spread the word…McCauley Rose is here!  Not only has she arrived, but she did so on her (and His) terms.  Here is how it all went down because it took about a week.

The False Alarms:

Last Saturday morning (the 21st) Kate and I packed up for the hospital because she was having some very painful contractions.  We waited until they were about 5 minutes apart and held there for over an hour.  Typically that would mean you’re close to go time.

MaternityWing

It takes 5 and a 1/2 Minutes to walk around the Maternity wing at Presbyterian Hospital.

After walking around the hospital for an hour or so nothing was progressing although Kate was still in a lot of pain.  We ended up going home which was kind of let down.  I was hoping that was the night and we would be holding McCauley the next day…. alas.

Monday night we had another trip to the hospital after some more contractions and again….no progression.  Poor Kate had been having consistent contractions fairly since Friday night\Saturday morning and was getting no sleep on top of being uncomfortable throughout the day.  Leaving the hospital Monday night we both started prepping ourselves that this would go until Friday and McCauley would arrive shortly after our scheduled C-section at 7:45am.

A Glimmer of Hope:

Tuesday afternoon we had an appointment for a non-stress test with Kate’s doctor.  Kate had to do this weekly for the last month and a half or so to make sure everything was on the up and up due to the fact McCauley had a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA).  Our Doctor (who is awesome) seemed fairly confident that McCauley would make herself known before Friday morning.  That was a big surprise to us.  Although there was nothing definite or scientific to her prediction – we do trust her quite a bit and it at least picked our spirits up a bit that we may not have to go through a C-section recovery.

The next few days were uneventful for the baby-watch.  I kept my phone close by and whenever Kate called the first sentence was always, “I’m just calling because of XXXXXX.  You don’t need to come home”.  I headed off to church for a Council meeting Thursday evening with nothing signaling we would be going to the hospital.  We went to bed that night laying everything out with the thought we’d be getting up at 4:00 AM to get to the hospital by 5:00 AM.  At 7:45AM the surgery would start and we’d be holding our daughter shortly thereafter.

Knocking Down the Door

At about 1:00AM Kate nudged me (may have been stronger than a nudge) telling me her water has broken.  (Side Note: When her water broke with Cora I had no idea what that McCauleyNewmeant logistically.  I went and got her a towel…..a face cloth.  Looking back that’s pretty comical as a face cloth is definitely not the size of fabric to get the job done.  I learned from my mistake in the past and grabbed something with a little more surface area.).  We got dressed and drove over to the hospital…in pretty record time for me.  I’ve never used flashers for an emergency situation and I’d like to thank the few drivers we passed for moving out of the way as I drove with a heavy foot.  Two ambulances (without their lights on) even stopped at a green light to let me run a red as we got off the highway and saw me coming down the exit ramp.  We arrived safe and sound and headed up to triage where things continued to move forward

Around 2:45 AM or 3:00 AM we moved into a delivery room and the contractions started to get much stronger.   The nurse got Kate’s lab work started for an epidural and Kate let

McCauleyCrib

7lbs 11 oz and 20.5 inches long

her know the sooner we could get to the drugs the better.  A little after 3:00 AM Kate had a very strong contraction and the nurse asked “Do you feel like you need to push?” Kate knew the contractions were strong but also had in the back of her mind that an epidural was coming and she just needed to make it to that point.   With that in mind she responded with “I don’t know” while thinking; “I haven’t had my epidural yet, I’m not so sure I want to do this without that.”  Turns out she didn’t have a choice.  More nurses started coming in and the on-call doctor stepped in to announce that it was time to hold McCauley.  To our surprise we were too far along to get an epidural.  At this point I would like to point that my wife is a superhero.  We (well she, I was just standing there trying to stay calm) were in a situation that wasn’t planned for and was going to be much more painful than we thought.  She was a little uneasy about it but with the coaching of the doctors and nurses and an extremely focused will – we shortly heard McCauley’s first cry.  All in all Kate had texted her mom at 3:04 am and attempted to text once more but was stopped mid-text with a contraction and had McCauley in her arms at 3:25am, with the song Overcome by Elevation playing in the background (this will always be her song as far as I’m concerned).

Taking a breath and looking back at everything it’s clear that God had a plan for baby McCauley.  Thursday we became comfortable with the fact a C-section would be the way KateMcCauleyto go and although not 100% desired, it was for the best.  It’s almost like He was making sure we knew who was in control and once we realized that, He really made His presence known.  We didn’t plan to get up at 1:00 am this morning.  We didn’t plan to skip the epidural.  What we had in mind didn’t happen.  But you know what?  At 3:25am Kate had her healthy daughter placed on her chest immediately after birth for the first time in three deliveries.  Something she had always dreamed about and wanted.  We even got a room with a view of Uptown.

CLTUptown

After almost a month and a half of combined stays between our daughters we got a room with a good view of CLT.

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McCauley Rose Dyksterhouse

Number 3.  In less than 3 weeks we will officially be outnumbered.  Our lives will be transformed once more as we welcome our third daughter into our family.  How did we get here?

McCauleyGod’s Grace: Our family has been blessed to be part of a great church to help us grow and see just how much He has provided.  He’s also provided close friends and family to keep us straight, guide us, and comfort us when needed.  I have a steady job that provides enough for us to have Kate stay home with three children full time even though my company has gone through two proposed mergers (one successful) in the past two to three years.  Finally He also brought us here to Charlotte six years ago (almost to the day).  We felt Him calling us to Charlotte to start the next phase of our life and start a family.  It appears (at this point at least) that we heard correctly.

Kate: Duh.  Most obvious is that I lack the biology to have a child much less be BravesStadium.pngconsistently either pregnant or nursing for the past 5 years (12ish months till that is done!).  Outside of my physical makeup, I also lack the fortitude, strength and care that my wife has shown, is showing, and will continue to show our family.  Mother’s love is no joke.  Our family wouldn’t be what is today without Kate’s natural and unconditional love.

Family: Here is where we get some of our most concrete parenting advice from.  Having a close, engaged and loving family has been incredibly helpful and necessary as we figure this whole parenting and marriage thing out.  In addition to learning what to do (and not to do) all of our girls have family ties in their name, McCauley being no different:

+ McCauley: The last name of many of Kate’s family in Boston and Florida and the maiden name of Kate’s maternal Grandmother.

+ Rose: The first name of Kate’s paternal great aunt.

+ Dyksterhouse: Still our last name.

Doctors: Every pregnancy and the bumps in between have brought a multitude of doctor’s appointments and tests. We are lucky to have a team of doctors that we fully trust, especially Kate’s primary OB/GYN, Dr. Janice Naumann. From Nella’s complicated Weddingpregnancy, hospital bedrest, and early delivery to Cora’s pretty normal and boring pregnancy and to McCauley’s mostly boring pregnancy…we do not take for granted the team of medical professionals watching over Kate and McCauley’s health.

Friends: It takes a village right?  It’s interesting how in this world where everyone wants to be independent and do it their own way that parenting still takes a village.  You might be able to get away with trying to do it all yourself for a little bit but there will come a time where, as a parent, you will be forced to rely on those around you (both near and far) to lend a helping hand.  I could write a dissertation on all of the friends that have provided support throughout the years but that would take too long to proof and there’s only so much free time to write a blog post (#parenthood).  We don’t take our friendships lightly and cherish each and every one.

 

McCauley Rose – We can’t wait till you get here.  You have a bunch of love and little bit of craziness coming your way.  God has blessed us with you and you’re stuck with us forever.  Sorry about that… you don’t have a choice in the matter.

 

And a few pictures because it’s been a while:

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Nella Meets Cora

One of the best parts about having a new daughter is that we now have a big sister and a little sister.  Granted, I don’t know what it’s like to be a sister of any kind but I do love my siblings.  I know each of my brothers and sister have played a role in who I am today (mostly in a positive way) and I pray that Cora and Nella are just as close if not closer.  Kate has very similar feelings to me so we were very excited to see them meet for the first time.

I want to roooock her

I want to roooock her

When we went to the hospital on early Wednesday morning we thought the first time the two sisters would meet each other would be 3-4 days after the delivery because there was a ban at the hospital for anyone under 18 who was not a patient.  Obviously we understand why it’s done (there’s a lot of flu going around in Charlotte right now) but that doesn’t mean we weren’t a little bummed by it.  Then, shortly after Cora was born we heard from a nurse that the ban might be lifted.  We didn’t want to get our hopes up but we did let GG and KT know there was a possibility Nella would be able to come to the hospital on Thursday (Feb 5th).  Later in the evening the official word came through and we got really excited that Nella would be able to meet Cora the next day.

Around the same time we heard about the ban being lifted, Cora had to put under the Bilirubin lights.  She had some high levels and was at risks for spikes so the doctors recommended we start getting treatment early (really before it became a big issue) because of the risk involved.  In order to make sure we could get home in time we kept Cora under the lights at all times, unless she was being fed.  This meant Nella would be able to meet her but would not be able to “rock her” immediately.  That would have to wait until we get home but didn’t dampen our excitement one bit.

The first time she saw her little sister.

The first time she saw her little sister.

Then it came.  Thursday morning we got a call from GG, KT and Nella because they were in the building and getting ready to come up.  My mom and dad (Grammy Gram and Pop-Pop) were visiting as well so it would be a grand old time.  We heard a knock at the door and told Nella to come in.  She came around the corner and in the sweetest half whisper said “Cora?” as she looked around the room wide-eyed.  It’s hard to describe it but if you know Nella she runs full throttle when she is awake.  Kate and I hadn’t seen her be excited in this manner before and it was a joy to watch.  After the first moments Nella gathered herself and went into full blown excitement.  She pretty much repeated:

  •  “Cora came out!!!”
  • “She’s not in Mommy’s belly!!!”

After a little bit of visitation time Nella had to head home to get her nap in and she was not happy about that.  She asked more than few times to take Cora home and threw a pretty good sob story as she left because mommy and Cora couldn’t go home.  I guess she learned about delayed gratification but it was a little heart breaking to see.

"Reading" her book to Cora.

“Reading” her book to Cora.

Luckily, when we were sent home the next day (Friday the 6th) she was just as excited to see Cora again.  She pretty much overdosed on excitement and was frantically trying to give her everything Cora “needed” all at once (blanket, hugs, pacis, rocking, etc).  It was pretty endearing and also a little crazy as we ensured Nella didn’t literally crush Cora with love.  Since that day Nella has done a great job of being a big sister and wanting to help, there has been very little (if any) jealousy.

After all the build up for Nella it has been nice to see her truly excited about being a big sister and I think she is going to really enjoy that role.  I’m sure there will be fights and the typical disagreements that any two sisters have but I can only hope they realize how important a sibling relationship is as they grow up, I know I certainly do.

All 3 of my girls.

All 3 of my girls.

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Cora Marie Dyksterhouse

Not to provide a blog spoiler and stop you from reading to the end but…SHE’S HERE!!!!!  After a surprisingly uneventful 9 months here’s the greatly edited blow by blow of the last few days.

The Beginning

On Tuesday (February 3rd) Kate had her weekly doctor’s appointment to make sure everything looked good and we that didn’t need to head to the hospital for delivery.  Due to the appointments happening weekly (and usually with little new news)

Cora, meet your mommy.

Cora, meet your mommy.

Kate would go to these alone.  KT, Kate’s amazing aunt, would stay home with Nella and I would be at work, getting an update as Kate left the office.  The general feeling after the appointment is that we should prepare ourselves to have a C-section on the 13th (yep – that would be Friday the 13th….duh duh duh duuuuuuuuuuhhhh).  This was pretty expected by us so we went about life as usual with a Bachelor viewing party with full betting on the “winners” that evening.  Kate didn’t feel great all day but she was over 39 weeks pregnant… and we felt like that’s to be expected.  Well at 1am the unexpected happened….Kate woke me up saying her water just broke.  I jumped out of bet (literally, I sleep hard so when I’m woken up I have a tendency to freak out until I’m fully awake) and Kate called the doctor.

Commercial Break: At this point we also walked downstairs to hand KT the monitor for Nella.  KT is Kate’s aunt and unbelievably and selflessly offered to come up and stay with us during the last weeks of the pregnancy.  She drove up to Charlotte just before Martin Luther King Jr. day and was so helpful while we prepared for Cora.  KT – thank you so much for a taking almost a month of out of your life to help us out.  You made everything so much easier and made us much less anxious (especially since Nella couldn’t go to the hospital due to a children ban).

Back to the action.  The nurse on the phone told us to head to the hospital immediately so we threw our hospital bag in the car and took off.  We made it in pretty good time since the nurse kind of freaked us out.  I wasn’t driving like Cole Trickle, but I definitely didn’t pay attention to speed limits and\or traffic lights.  We got to the hospital safe and sound and checked into triage where we waited for the next steps.

Waiting

After triage they got us into a Labor and Delivery room pretty quickly since Kate’s water had already broken.  We got settled into the room and prepared ourselves for a long day.  Soon after we got into the room Kate really started having some painful contractions.  I started to setup shop (get things from the car, park the car in a non-expectant mother spot, etc) while the nurses took care of Kate.  The on-call doctor (who happened to be Kate’s main doctor – Dr. Naumann) checked to see how things were going and Kate was 3cm dilated.  At that point we started to get “comfortable” thinking it would be quite a bit longer.  Mainly, we started asking about pain meds so Kate could potentially get some sleep.  We were able to get on the epidural list and waited for the anesthesiologist to finish up with another expectant mother.  We thought we may have to try some other meds because the anesthesiologist got called to emergency but just as we were going through those options he knocked on the door ready to get everything hooked up.  The doctor did a fantastic job but just after he got the line in we had our one real scare for the morning.  Kate’s blood pressure dropped pretty quickly (which caused Cora’s heart rate to drop) and another nurse came flying in to adjust Kate’s position and put her on oxygen.  Once we got Kate in another position on the bed everything returned to normal and Kate was much more comfortable.  Soon after around 7am the nurse shifts changed and wouldn’t you know it…Heather (the same nurse that was with us when Nella was born) came walking through the door.

Hi Daddy.

Hi Daddy.

Commercial Break:  Heather had us numerous times when we were waiting on Nella so we were really happy to see her.  She goes to my brother’s church and first recognized us by our last name…I mean how many Dyksterhouse’s can there be?  She was actually not supposed to be working but had to call out sick the day before and switched shifts with another nurse.  Sometimes it’s hard to see why God does certain things, other times it’s clear as day.  Thankfully it was easy to see that He wanted us to be as comfortable as possible with our help since:

  • Dr. Naumann (who we trust 100% about everything to do with pregnancy) cleared her morning schedule to stay with us.
  • Heather wasn’t even supposed to be on the schedule for the day and not only was there, she was assigned to our room.

Back to the action.  Now that Kate was much more comfortable we started emailing and texting people to bring them up to speed.  Shortly after we caught up with Heather a little bit, Doctor Naumann came in and checked on Kate.  She had to repeat herself because she said Kate had dilated all the way to 9cm in only a few hours.  The waiting part was almost over, time to get our game faces on.

The Delivery

Once we got word Kate was 9cm, things really started to happen in our room.  I started getting things organized since it looked like we wouldn’t be in there nearly as long as expected and nurses started prepping everything for delivery.  Around 915 it was time to start.  We had no idea what to expect since Nella came as an unscheduled C-Section, but it was much calmer than what we built up in our minds.  For a little over three hours Kate would expend all her energy during the contractions.  In between each contraction we would talk with Heather to try and keep ourselves calm.  Being that this took three plus hours Heather now pretty much knows everything about Kate and I, including the fact that one of the pastors at her church married us in Charleston (small world!).  After hours of labor Dr Naumann noticed that although Kate was doing everything she could, it seemed like we would need some additional assistance to welcome Cora into this world.  There was no danger to Cora at this time but Kate was starting to get exhausted.

Commercial Break: I’ll use this time to say what every husband who has seen his wife go into labor knows…thank goodness men don’t get pregnant.  Seeing how hard it is just during delivery (nevermind the 9 months leading up to that and portpartum time frame) makes me very happy to be a dude.  It also really brings to light just how awesome Kate is.  She’s way out of my league and for some reason decided to spend her life with me, I hit the proverbial jackpot.

Back to the action.  After Dr. Naumann assured us that Cora was in no danger (and we wouldn’t need a C-Section) she asked us if we would rather keep going or try and use a vacuum to help.  After discussing the options we opted for some assistance and she explained Cora would be here within the hour.  About 30 minutes later we joyously welcomed Cora Marie Dyksterhouse into the world.

Welcome

She’s here and she’s healthy.  Man, those first few minutes you hear your child’s cry and see just how tiny he\she is….words cannot describe the joy and emotion that you feel.  Everything above was new to us because Nella came so early and went through an entirely different birth.  The one very awesome part of Cora’s delivery is that when she arrived we could hold her.  We could hold her as long as we wanted and with no one else in our room.  There was no worrying about wires or monitors…it was just Cora, mommy, and me.    God has blessed us with another daughter and at the time she seems so much different than Nella.  She’s sleeping pretty well, loves to eat and most importantly….is pooping all over the place.  We know there are numerous challenges in front of us in raising two daughters but for the moment we are living pretty blissfully.  We are so excited to start this next chapter of our lives and we know we have an army of friends and family behind us to help.

Cora

Well that was our day if you can sum it up in a few paragraphs.  Sorry it’s so long, it’s

Ssshhhh....don't tell the staff.

Ssshhhh….don’t tell the staff.

a little hard to try and get everything you were seeing and feeling in a short paragraphs.  Right now mommy is recovering well and it extremely happy she doesn’t have to go through a C-Section recovery.  Cora is under some bilirubin lights which prevents us from holding her as much as we like, but she’s still right beside us in our room.  I’m just happy to have 3 wonderful girls in my life every day now and that’s worth celebrating.  If you know anything about me, you know there’s only one way to celebrate…that’s with a nice glass of bourbon (neat of course).  That’s gotta happen…even if it means family has to smuggle it into the hospital.

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Happy Holidays!

So I fell of the blogging bandwagon…again.  Maybe I’ll make that a resolution next year.  Anyways, in the spirit of the holidays here is our version of an annual Christmas card.

Wow, what a difference a year can make.  We’ll start from the beginning and make our way forward.

This year started off on a really difficult note and Christmas last year was one of the harder ones we’ve ever been through.  Early in December 2013 we found out we were expecting another addition to our family.  From the beginning we didn’t feel great about it and unfortunately our fears came true.  Just before Christmas we had a miscarriage and although we kind of expected it, it was still miserable.  For the record, having a daughter (or son) doesn’t make the situation any easier logistically or emotionally.  We love Nella with all our heart but if you have friends\family who are going through it…please do not say “at least you have your son\daughter”.  The process stings no matter what.

So the silver lining…the year could only get better.  Here’s the overview:

Nella really grew physically and emotionally.  She’s a crazy little lunatic in the best way.  A couple of firsts knocked off her list were:

  • Playing in a snow storm with our neighbors (thanks for coming over to sled down our hill!)
  • Going to a zoo and feeding the giraffes.
    • Side note: We also saw some elephants and up until that point I think she thought
      Apple Farm Visit

      Apple Farm Visit

      they were as big as the little figurines we have.  She was petrified when she saw how big they were.

  • Playing outside in the rain.
  • Hanging out with her grandparents (Pops, Tia, Grammy, Pop-Pop, GG,  KT and Grandma Barbara)
  • Going to the “big pool” again and again and again and again (you get the idea…:)).
  • Riding in a real life farm tractor in Mississippi.
  • Picking her first apples
  • Coming Soon: her first day without stomach medicine!!!  We hope to have her completely off before Christmas.
  • Understanding that “when I say it”…”you obey it!” (sometimes)

We love our little girl for all the challenges and joyous moments she provides.  She’s not perfect by any means, but she is perfect for our family.

Kate was able to get really involved on MOPS this year at church.  She was able to put all those years of consulting at Blackbaud to some good use by being the events coordinator

Touch-a-Truck!

Touch-a-Truck Leaders

for the group.  She put a lot of effort, time and checklists into a Touch-A-Truck event that went on at our church and went off as smoothly as any event I’ve seen.  The event brought in people from around the church area and some of the attendees have started coming to our church.  We’ve also through the grapevine that some are already looking forward to the events next year, holla!  I think the best part of MOPS (and probably one of the best parts of her year) is the group of friends she has made because of the meetings and special events.  As a stay-at-home mom she really needs other adults she can see during the week and she has definitely met some great ladies and families throughout the year.   I would be remiss not to mention that we did have a very difficult moment in the year as it related to the Profumo\Cantlon side of the family and that was the passing of the chocolate loving Lenore Cantlon (Kate’s grandma).  She will forever be missed and we’ll always remember her through our daughter’s middle name.

I have had a pretty uneventful year in the big scheme of things.  Don’t get me wrong a lot of things have changed and will continue to change but most of the things I remember are related to daddy-daughter dates (every Saturday morning) and hanging out with my girls. For instance:

  • I love the time Kate and I spend together in the evenings after Nella goes down where we can just unwind and relax.
  • I can’t wait to open the door when I come home from work each day to hear the high pitched “DADDY!!!!!” and see my wife waiting with a hug.
  • I get updates throughout the day (sometimes multiple…:)) from Kate about highlights of what her and Nella are doing.  That always seems to brighten my attitude no matter how hard or easy that day is going.

These are all things I wouldn’t have dreamed of 3-5 years ago but they are now highlights

Playing in the snow.

Playing in the snow.

of my life and I. LOVE. IT.  So through all of the above and being more closely involved in church I’ve very much enjoyed my year.  Even though Time Warner is in the midst of being purchased by Comcast I have this sense of calm that everything is going to work out one way or another.  With my girls and Him by my side I have confidence we are going to be alright…even if that means I get my walking papers at some point next year.

There’s our 2014 in a nut shell.  If I were better about blogging you would have gotten more detail throughout the year but we have a 2 year old and she keeps our hands full.  We look forward to a 2015 that will bring about a bigger family, a bigger Nella and a bigger role at church.  We can’t wait for a bigger 2015!

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