Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nursery Reveal (Long Overdue!)

Now that Tyler is three and a half months old, I finally found time to post some photos of his nursery. I've been back at work for three weeks now and man oh man, this whole working mom thing is just exhausting! I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel from 6am-10pm these days, but know it will get easier with time.

A while back, I shared my plan for a subtly nautical nursery for our baby boy. Here's the finished product!

Of course I love me some organization so everything has its place, including these pails over the changing area that keep the necessities close at hand but out of reach of a certain naughty golden doodle.

Here's a closer look at the "reading nook" in the corner...

This adorable Noah's Ark toy set was a shower gift (and is available at Sweet Praises, my friend's lovely online Christian gift shop).

And did you spot the little frames on the shelves? They hold baby pictures of Chris and me.

Wondering who he looks like? Here's a recent picture if you'd like to weigh in...

We think it's still up for debate, but I think he has my eyes!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meanwhile in the Basement...

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes for baby Tyler! His arrival certainly came with a fair bit of stress, but I'm happy to report that he's now thriving at home. Now that he's been home a couple weeks and I've gotten caught up on some sleep, I can catch you up on what else has been going on.

With baby Ty coming a month early, you'd expect there to be some things to wrap up around the house, right? Like maybe finishing up the nursery, stocking the fridge, cleaning and laundry, etc. Fortunately, my Type A ways paid off and most of the major stuff was done by the time Tyler arrived. I even happened to go on a major cleaning spree the day before he was born! However, one major project still needed attention...

Yep, that's a huge hole... inside our house... in the basement to be exact. I hinted in some previous posts that Chris was up to something big while I was busy getting the house ready for the baby. Well that something big was a gut renovation of our downstairs bathroom.

Let me explain. Here's a look at the bathroom before...

Since our house only has two bathrooms (this one and the small main bath), the goal was to add a shower downstairs for guests and/or frantic mornings. On the other side of the wall on the left is a big laundry room, which used to look like this...

So the plan was to bust through that wall to expand the bathroom and add a shower. This was our biggest project to date and the first official demolition we've taken on. Now let's be clear, I'm not crazy enough to do demo or construction whilst uber preggo so this was (and still is) Chris' project while I serve only as consultant. He's done a lot of the work himself and for the sake of our time crunch and the desire to get everything right, we've hired out some of the bigger things like plumbing and drywall finishing.

Here's Chris taking his first swing to bust through the wall...

This happened right around the 30 week mark in my pregnancy and the hope was to have the new bathroom done by the time the baby came. Of course, projects like this take time and when Tyler showed up early, things looked like this...

The bathroom was completely gutted and there was a hole in the foundation where the new shower drain had been added. Also please note... no washer or dryer!

Pause a couple of days to have a baby then fast forward to me asking Chris to kick it into high gear so we'd at least have laundry capabilities when Ty and I got home. So he took breaks from the hospital to fill the hole with concrete, clean up, install our new stacking washer/dryer and sheet rock the new bathroom. Here's how the bathroom space looks now...

The whole part on the left is new so we doubled the size of the bathroom, plus there's that lovely shower space in the corner. And here's a look at our laundry area now...

Since we stole a few feet on the right for the bathroom, we nixed the scrub sink and consolidated our laundry space with the new stacking washer/dryer. There's still plenty of work to do to both rooms, but I must say I'm very happy with how things are coming together!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whoa Baby - He's Here!

Chris and I have a son! Tyler Thomas was born (quite unexpectedly) Monday, April 2nd - a full month early.

Here's the cliffs notes version of his birth story and first week:

I had a bad cold and did a lot of coughing and sneezing. On Monday morning I noticed some bleeding so I called my OB office and they told me that was common late in pregnancy, but to come for a quick check on my way to work. Unfortunately my doc was on vacation last week, but the nurse practitioner checked and agreed it was a little more than normal so they did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay. All his stats were great, but my amniotic fluid level was really low so they told me to head to the hospital to be induced. 

It was all very calm and collected... I called Chris at work and told him to meet me at home because he was going to be a dad. Then I called my mom and told her to get to MN because the baby was coming. Chris and I grabbed our hospital bags, said bye to Calvin and we were on our way.

We got to the hospital at 11:30am and by noon they had broken what was left of my water and started a Pitocin IV to induce contractions. The baby had been head down and really low for a couple weeks so I didn't need any extra drugs to help with dilation. 

Contractions kicked in and picked up quickly. By the time my mom arrived at 4pm they were pretty intense and coming every few minutes. I got an epidural around 5pm and went from 3cm dilated to complete by 9pm. Then I "labored down" until I felt the contractions a bit more, pushed for half an hour and he was born at 10:07pm.

Luckily at 6 lbs 8 oz, Tyler was a healthy size for 36 weeks, but is still a "late preterm" premie and had to spend a week in the NICU to prove he could adjust to life on the outside with regard to breathing, blood sugar, body temp and feeding. Thank God he did fine with 3/4 of those... never needing breathing assistance or an incubator and blood sugar tests were great.

The NICU setup was as nice as it could have been under the circumstances. Tyler had his own semi-private room and we had 24-hour access to touch him, hold him, change him, etc.

Tyler's breathing was a little quick after birth and a chest x-ray showed some fluid in his lungs so he was put on IV antibiotics in case of pneumonia. 

All tests for lung infection came back negative so the IV came out on Wednesday, which made it a lot easier to snuggle with him. 

Ty was also jaundiced so he spent some time under a UV light box to reduce his level of bilirubin. He actually seemed to enjoy it and cracked us up by crossing his legs like this...

With the jaundice out of the way, the main hurdle became proving he could eat enough to gain weight. It's common for premies to get too tired to eat enough orally so Ty got a tiny feeding tube in his nose to supplement breastfeeding.

They monitored everything going in and out of him by weighing him before and after all feedings and weighing his dirty diapers too... it was pretty intense.

I stayed at the hospital around the clock to feed him on a strict three hour schedule then on demand, which made for one tired (but happy) mama.

Tyler made progress really quickly and was feeding like a champ in no time so the feeding tube came out Sunday afternoon.

By Monday, Tyler was back to his birth weight and passed all the other required tests so we were able to bring him home in time to celebrate his one week birthday! 

We're so thankful to have Tyler home and healthy and it's so much easier to care for him without wires and tubes everywhere. It was a whirlwind of a week with plenty of ups and downs, but we're so in love with our baby and proud of how much he's accomplished already. Now Chris and I are just settling into our new roles as parents and soaking up all the snuggles from our little man!