Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life Lately...

21 weeks!

I've been radio silent for a hot minute over here and that is for two reasons... 1.  I have a  crazy active 11 month old who keeps me literally chasing him around the house from morning until night.  2.  We are 5 months pregnant with BABY GIRL NILLES!  This  pregnancy has been totally different than my first.  With Cole, I was only about 3 months post-op from my last surgery, so I was still recovering from that and not working.  I could lie down whenever I was tired... I only had the dog and myself to take care of.  I did have horrible hyperemesis- so I was throwing up constantly and had a Zofran pump in 24 hours a day for the nausea/vomiting, but other than that, I didn’t have a ton of symptoms until closer to the end. I remember NOT feeling tired... sick, yes- but not tired.  With this one, I had bad vomiting for about 10-12 weeks but after that, that part is pretty normal.  I throw up about once a day, but that’s nothing.  The difference is that I feel EXHAUSTED this time.  Chasing a baby around is not easy when you feel like a train hit you most of the day.  I think the girl hormones are just affecting me totally differently than the boy hormones did.  These pregnancies are night and day different- I knew deep down this had to be a girl the whole time because I felt so different than I had with Cole.

At 21 weeks, I am finally starting to feel a little less exhausted.  I started feeling her move about a month ago (really early this time), but it still feels a little surreal. When I was pregnant with Cole, I was thinking about it 24/7.  It was all I could think about.  With this one, I'm so busy with Cole that I'll go a whole week without saying the word "pregnant."  It is just flying by.

We announced our news to the world about 3 weeks ago... I can't believe we waited until 18 weeks this time.  Actually, it was quite easy to keep the secret.  Our immediate families and some close friends had known for awhile, but I had started seeing people post about pregnancies with babies that weren't due until May, and I was like, geez, I guess we better let people know, since ours will be here 2 months before all of these babies! (side note- there are alot of babies due in May, TONS.. everyday I see another Facebook announcement for a May baby... labor & delivery is gonna be crazy busy in May)...

So... what have we been up to over here besides pregnancy?  Cole is doing great... he wakes up between 6 and 7, runs around all morning keeping me insanely busy, takes a nap around 10 for a few hours, runs around all afternoon, takes a mini nap at 3, and then we go to the gym at 4.  The kid does not sit still, he doesn't watch tv or an iPad... all he is interested in is moving, exploring, and talking.  I chase him all day long and try to keep him from hurting himself or breaking something.  He's really funny and definitely has Jon's personality.

My gym has an amazing childcare center and Cole loves it.  The babysitters fight over him and there are so many toys and things he doesn't have at home that he plays with while he's there.  It's a good little break for me to not have to chase him for an hour.  Being a stay-at-home mom is hard because there are NO BREAKS.  The days are incredibly long.... don't get me wrong- I am cherishing every second of this time with my little guy- not many people get to do this. I love that I get to experience every moment and teach him what I want to teach him... but it's crazy hard.

I've been doing good with running during this pregnancy- sometimes I overdo it and then have alot of pain in my bad leg and hip, but I've been consistently at the gym 6 days a week during this pregnancy.  I've definitely had to slow my pace down during runs and am generally running anywhere from 4-7 miles a day.  On the days I'm tired, I do the elliptical.  On the days I'm really tired, Cole and I go for long walks.  Staying active during my last pregnancy helped me recover faster and I was able to get back into running alot quicker after Cole was born because of it.  So I'm trekking along.  Mainly, the running is my sanity in this very crazy stage of life.

After we get home from the gym, it's usually about 5:45, so I give him a bath, feed him, and then he plays until Jon gets home while I'm cooking dinner.  Jon gives him his last bottle and puts him to bed.  Even though putting him to bed is the BIGGEST sigh of relief most nights, I usually end up missing him a few hours later.  He is just the sweetest, happiest baby.  He's energetic and crazy and active, but he's just so happy, and he and I are buddies.

We've been busy this fall- we went to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, 2 different zoos, the children's museum, story hour at the library, visits with my best friend Liz and her boys, visits with my brother and sister and my nephew Caleb, visits with Aunt Jess, lots of walks downtown Naperville at the Riverwalk, a trip downtown to have lunch with Daddy and meet his co-workers at Salesforce, a few trips to Grammy's, trick-or-treating and a really fun Halloween with Uncle Tony, Aunt Nici, Max, and Andie, and a trip to Houston for Uncle Brandon and Aunt Catherine's wedding this past weekend.

We have our babymoon coming up VERY VERY soon, so my mom is coming to stay at our house and take care of Cole for the week while we go to Turks & Caicos.. (just the two of us!)  I am really looking forward to being able to finally relax and spend some alone time with Jon after 11 months of being busy parents but I've never been away from the baby for more than about 24 hours, so I'm nervous to leave him... thank God he's in the more than capable of my mom, who will probably have him walking and reading by the time we get back. I'm just afraid of how much I'll miss him and I don't want him wondering where his mama is.  But we definitely need this time before baby girl arrives and we are excited to check out such a gorgeous and amazing location!

Christmas is coming soon, which means Cole's 1st birthday will be here in a month!  We are having a lumberjack flapjack bash at our house to celebrate our little dude.  He is really close to walking and hopefully will be toddling around by then. It's so hard to believe!  To know Cole is to love Cole... he is the sweetest little guy and is so loved and we have all of you to thank for that! Thanks for your prayers as I continue this pregnancy- 21 weeks means we are more than halfway there!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BIG BIG Surprise! (A Throwback Post)

I am 20 weeks now, but I wrote this post around 2 months ago, when I was 12 weeks, right before we told the rest of our family our big news...

I'm writing this post in secret, but I want to remember exactly how I'm feeling in this moment, and I'll post it after I shared the news.

Jon I got the biggest surprise of our lives about a month ago.  Okay, maybe the second biggest surprise.

We were shocked to find out that Cole is going to be a big brother in March!

I'm 12 weeks pregnant (3 months) right now, although it is flying by, because I was about 8 weeks along when I found out. I had my second ultrasound a few days ago, and everything is checking out great- baby was moving like crazy and Cole seemed fascinated watching.

It was easy to wait until 12 weeks to spill the beans this time... we found out late and time is flying!  I told my parents, brother, sisters, & best friend Liz right away but other than that, we kept it pretty hush hush. We are going to tell Jon's family this weekend when I hit the 13 week mark.

We were planning on waiting another 6-8 months before trying for a second baby, so finding out God already had one cooking for us completely blind-sided me.  One random Saturday, I threw up out of nowhere and had Jon buy a test on his way home from golf.  I was basically joking when I told him to pick one up, and if he hadn't brought one home, I probably would've gone another month without realizing I was "late" and should probably take a test.  Cole keeps me so busy that I hadn't even realized I was so "late."  Anyways, he happened to bring a test home, so I took it, and was literally speechless for like 3 days.  The doctor confirmed a few days later that indeed I was, and was already 8.5 weeks at that time.  Jon was absolutely thrilled and excited-- he was all about having another one right away.  I, on the other hand, was scared and not ready.  Ideally, it would've been great for Cole to be at least 2 when number 2 came along.  Apparently, God thinks we're ready now, and here we are, speeding along in our second pregnancy.

It is going by soooo fast.  Even if I had found out early on, it still goes by so much faster the second time around.  I am so busy and so concentrated on Cole that I forget I'm pregnant most of the time.  If it weren't for all the throwing up and exhaustion, I would literally have no idea that I'm already 12 weeks preggo.  Yes, the vomiting is back.  Definitely not as horrible as it was the first time though, thank God.   I probably throw up about 3-4 times a day (sounds like alot but it was like 10-20 times a day with Cole). Mostly, I'm just really tired, much more emotional (crying at every commercial) and having some hot flashes here and there.   They drew our genetic testing blood test last week that looks at the chromosomes to determine risk of any genetic problems, and also is able to tell the gender... I should know any day now whether Cole is gonna have a brother or sister.  I just want a healthy baby!  Will update and post this post when we are ready to spill the beans.  Until then....

Monday, July 20, 2015

A little worry.

Running is going great, # of weekly miles are increasing, and I've found a sweet solution for Cole during my running..

However, I'm starting to worry a bit about my hip and knee... especially my hip.  When I wake up in the morning, I can barely lift my right leg (the bad leg) up. It will bother me for awhile and then get better, but then after a workout and for the rest of the day (or even on the days I don't run but just am more active) my hip just kills me. I think it's compensating for the lack of muscle in my quad and feels like it's out of place or pulled somehow. I have an appointment next Monday with Dr. Mosier to figure out what is going on, because it's not getting better, and I refuse to just live a sedentary life, just because  of this stupid leg. There are people running marathons with no legs. I can handle 1.5 working legs.

I'm just worried that I'm gonna forever live a life of pain and weakness in this damn leg. If there's an end in sight, it would be better. But I have a feeling this isn't an injury.. just an overworked or wrongly worked hip.

I'd appreciate prayers for this upcoming appointment-- that there are no major injuries or surgery recommendations.

Thanks friends!  (everything else is great! Cole is doing great, family is doing great, etc. Just another little roadblock in the nec fasc journey).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweet spot.

Sorry for the little snooze from the blog.  Things have been crazy busy around here.  Taking care of a baby 24 hours a day is no joke.  We just got back from my sister's wedding in Mexico, which was a great time.... our little 6 month old is a world traveler already.  He's got the cutest passport picture ever.

And I'm afraid to say it, because I don't want to jinx it, but....

We've hit the sweet spot.

We're finally past the colic and all night feeding feeding fests and witching hour and teething fussiness.

I love 6 month old babies.

I know that the teething will continue for quite awhile and we'll probably hit some more rough patches, but geez, it's so nice to have a baby that doesn't cry all day and is so happy and IS SLEEPING AT NIGHT!!

He still doesn't nap much during the day, but hey, if I can get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, I'm a happy mama.  Everyone was right when they told me that colicky babies usually end up being the happiest babies once they get past the nastiness of colic.  He is such a happy little guy, so easy going, and just goes with the flow.  I take him all over the place, so he's well adjusted to moving around and seeing new things.  He didn't cry during the entire trip to Cancun, which included an hour drive to the airport, 2 hours of getting through security and boarding, 4 hour plane ride, hour long wait for our shuttle, and 30 minute trip on the shuttle to the resort.  He spent alot of the time in the Bjorn (BEST INVENTION EVER) and as long as he was attached to me, he was pretty freakin happy.  He was up until around 11 that night seeing our family and having dinner, and did amazing through that.  And the next day, the day of the wedding, my little ring bearer didn't cry at all... not through getting ready, the ceremony, pictures outside, and the entire reception... It was 100 degrees and probably 100% humidity, and he didn't make a peep.  The kid stayed awake the entire time and took it all in.  He danced the ENTIRE night with my aunt, my dad, my brother (my brother danced with him ALOT), my sister, my mom, my cousins... He even had a little glowstick on his wrist.  Baby's first rave.  haha.  He was up until midnight that night, no naps AT ALL, and was happy and content the entire time.  Jon and I were so proud.  It was a blast, my sister looked beautiful and we absolutely loved the dance party with our family.  (side note: the Bahr family LOVES to dance and Cole inherited that gene)... amazing time.

The ride home from Cancun didn't go that great but hey, we can't expect perfection.  He cried and fussed alot during the plane ride, and we had to wait a long time to go through Customs in the US and he was just DONE by then.

Since then, he's slept through the night every night this week.  He's been going down around 7:30-8 pm and waking up around 6-7.  Today he actually slept until 8, which was a freakin miracle and I stared at the monitor for 2 hours making sure he was breathing and missing him.  I miss him every night when I put him down, although it's also the best feeling in the world.  Ahh... finally he's asleep... but aww I miss my little buddy.  Parenthood is a funny thing.  Jon and I love going in his room after he finally falls asleep and seeing how precious and adorable he looks while he sleeps.  The best is when he falls asleep holding his bunny and last night he fell asleep on his tummy with his butt straight up in the air. It was too cute and too funny for words.

Other than that, we are just busy living life and being new parents.  Jon is working longer hours at his new job, so our schedule has changed a bit, and although it was hard at first, we are adjusting and dealing and settling in to our new way of life.  He gets home around 7:15 (on a good night) and spends a little time with Cole before his last feeding.  I try to bathe him before J gets home so that when he's done playing with him, I can feed him and then we put him to bed.  Sometimes I'll have dinner prepared too, so J will eat while I feed C for the last time and then I'll eat after I put him to bed if I'm hungry.  The other half of the time, Jon will make dinner while I give C his last bottle and bedtime routine, and then we'll eat together after Cole is in bed.  I love those nights when I don't have to make dinner and I have something made for me after I finally get him in bed.  But it all depends on the day and how late Jon gets home and how my day went with Cole.

I finally figured out a good gym routine too.  For awhile, I was only able to run on the weekends and maybe one day a week because Jon's work hours were so long and busy and I didn't want to leave him with baby duty after he got home.  I finally decided to look into the childcare program at my gym.  Lifetime has an amazing program... the babies have their own separate room, and it's one caregiver to one baby.  It's amazingly clean and the girls that work there are real daycare providers that know what they're doing. He has up to 2 hours in there, but I only leave him for an hour at the most.  One day I ran for 90 minutes, but I went to check on him halfway through.  It's great for me to be able to get my running in while Jon is at work so that we can spend time together when he's home and I don't feel bad about missing the gym.  So far so good.

Cole is eating baby food and baby cereal now.  He loves fruit, and not really a fan of vegetables, but he'll eat it.  I'm still breastfeeding and pumping too, which I am really freaking proud of, because it's damn hard.  It is alot of work and alot of time and takes quite a toll on a woman's body, but I know it's best for him and I'm proud of almost 7 months nursing.  I never really set a goal for myself but in my head, I thought I'd lose my milk naturally around 6-7 months and would just kinda stop then.  Thanks to a great breastfeeding support group, I've kept it up and hopefully I'll get to a year.

As far as my nec fasc recovery goes, I'm doing well, although I've hit a bit of a stagnant point that I don't see going away.  Because of the lack of muscle in my leg, I still have pain in my knee and hip, especially when I'm running around, which is pretty much daily.  It's not bad enough to need physical therapy or a walker but I do have to take Ibuprofen or tylenol quite a bit.  I thank God that I'm doing better than most of the people I know from Necrotizing Fasciitis support group who have to be on meds and wheelchairs or walkers the rest of their lives. I know this is something I'm just gonna have to live with now and I just suck it up and deal.  The scarring is hard to deal with at times.  I've heard the quote, "Never be ashamed of your scars, because they are proof that you are stronger than what tried to hurt you" but it is hard and there are days that just looking at the them pisses me off and brings me to tears.  They are never going away and that's a tough thing to deal with at times.  The illness and coma and sepsis and surgeries have also taken away a chunk of my energy.  This is typical for people who have lived through the horror of nec fasc.  It really takes a toll on the body, and if you're lucky enough to live through it at all, you have to accept a harder way of life.  Since I got sick, it's just harder to be on my feet and sometimes my body doesn't want to move, but I have a baby to take care of.  He's my inspiration on a daily basis, and forces me to live an active life.  Sometimes I feel exhausted just thinking about how I used to be able to work 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, take flight call, get called in for a transport overnight and then have to work the next day, and still run 7+ miles 7 days a week.  I can't even fathom being able to do that anymore.  But my determination and drive still lives in my heart and therefore, I will continue to be strong, be the best mom and wife I can be, be running as many miles as I can, and hopefully return to working hospital life soon.  We don't have a good childcare solution right now, so if I was working, we'd have to put him in daycare, and neither Jon nor I are ready to do that yet.  Jon is the most protective daddy there is and I'm trying not to helicopter him, but it's hard not to when he's so precious and miraculous and adorable.  Right now, we're just living and I'm trying to strengthen my body back up and take care of him, and we are blessed that we are able to do that.  Thank you God for Jon's job.

Thank you for all of your prayers throughout the last 2 years... God has really looked out for me during this recovery and has given me strength I never knew I had and abundant blessings.  Cole is the greatest gift God has ever given me and the joy I feel everyday is worth any scar.

And now, for some recent pictures....

Beach Baby!

Uncle Bryan getting some practice in!

Loved the sandy beach!

First airplane ride!

Little ring bearer.. my mom carried him down the aisle.

Swoon! He has my heart!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Life lately

Life lately can be summed up in one word... busy.

This month has been flying by as Cole is now talking (babbling), moving constantly, sleeping even less if that's possible, teething, and Jon is working more.  We are blessed and thankful for Jon's new job, which allows me to stay at home right now with Cole.  I'm proud everyday of how hard my husband works and how that's paying off in big ways.

The month started out with a tiny bit of a health concern with Cole... nothing too major, but he's been having a little trouble putting on weight.  Most babies I see at his age are chunky monkey (and adorable), but he's like a little muscle man.  He doesn't look skinny to me, but there isn't really a fat roll on him.  His shoulders and arms look like he's got little defined muscles.  The doctor was a little concerned that he was dropping in the growth curve rather than increasing... For example, my nephew Caleb has always been at the 50th% for weight and height.  This means that at Caleb's age, he is bigger than 50% of the other babies his age and smaller than 50% of the babies his age.  Cole started out at around 6% for weight and 10% for height, and then he went up to 10% in weight and 25% in height, and this month he was 4% in weight and 4% in height.  He eats great for the most part and literally will not take any more than I'm feeding him.  The doctor thinks he's just super, super active and burns off alot of calories, more than he's taking in at times.  He actually told us Cole is "the most active 4th month old he's seen."  All we can do is try to sneak in a little more in each of his bottles and extra breastfeeding sessions and not fill him up with things like rice cereal or fruits and veggies.

We have let him taste a few baby foods though, and the faces he makes are hilarious.  He's tried mango (didn't like), apple (LOVED), banana (liked), and green beans (not so sure).

Being a SAHM is tough. Tougher than I ever thought.  I've had periods in my career as a nurse where I was working 70 hour weeks, on call and getting called in at night for transports (I was labor & delivery but also a flight nurse) and then having to work a 12 hour shift the next day, and somehow I managed to do that and still run 7 days a week.  Now I've got a 24 hour job taking care of a (not so easy) baby and it feels way more difficult than anything I've done as a nurse.  Because Jon's job has long hours and high pressure, it's my job to take care of things on the home front and the baby.  He hasn't slept well since he's been born, so most nights I get maybe 3-4 hours of sleep and they aren't consecutive.  Then he's up all day.  The kid doesn't nap.  We pushed through colic, and witching hours, and now we're dealing with teething.  Which for me means holding and carrying around a fussy baby all day long. I've started just wearing him in the Bjorn so I can get things done around the house because he needs to be near me all the time. He's also been co-sleeping since he started teething.  I just don't have the energy to go into his room every hour and get him out of his crib and feed him and then put him back, go back to bed, only to be woken up in another hour.  It's easier on both of us to just keep him next to me and nurse him on demand overnight.  People may have their opinions on co-sleeping, and I certainly did as a nurse, before I became a mom of a (not so easy) baby. Now, whatever, if it gets me 5 extra minutes of sleep, I'll take it.

The hardest part about being a SAHM is the self-inflicted pressure of keeping the house and baby and myself perfect. I battle with feeling like since I'm not "working" right now, I have to have the house constantly perfect, dinner on the table, the baby happy and not crying ever, and be at my wedding weight (which come on, is really unrealistic right now).  The other difficult part is never, ever getting a break. Working moms are away from their kids for 8-14 hours a day and get that time to be with other adults and actually "miss" their kids. When you're home with kids, you completely are surrendered to being a mom, and not a woman. It's very difficult to not lose yourself. There's nothing to "dress up" for. Why put on makeup?  It's difficult to stay motivated to remain a woman and wife, and not just a mom. And not getting the break, you don't "miss" your kids... instead, you get exhausted. You aren't coming home from work missing them and excited to spend a few hours with them before bed.  You're ready to pull your hair out by then. You want to run out the door and go find yourself for a few days. Or at least that's how I feel at times.  Just keepin' it real.  Please don't take this the wrong way... there are incredible benefits to being at home. I get to see and experience everything. I get to teach him everything. I don't feel the guilt of leaving him that working mothers do.  I don't have to go through a sleepless night with the baby and then get up and get ready and go be a working professional all day. At least I can try to rest when he's calm during the day and wear yoga pants.  All I'm trying to say, I guess, is that it's difficult to be a SAHM or a working mom. Being a mom is just hard.  The most beautiful, brutal, difficult, rewarding job in the world.  (as an aside... I'm wearing him in the Bjorn as I'm writing this-- he's finally taking a little nap ON me.)

I think part of the reason I'm struggling a little also is the fact that my body is no longer 100%.  Although I was blessed not to lose my leg completely, I did lose most of my quad muscle and a large part of my abdomen because of nec fasc. It's still painful at times and difficult to get up and down stairs and I'll just never have the strength or energy I did before I got sick.  The scars on my abdomen that were stretched during pregnancy are still painful at times.  I am intentional every day when I get up and take care of Cole, clean the house, make dinner, be a wife, be a runner.  I force myself to keep going and moving.  Running isn't easy anymore. It's freaking hard.  I love it, but it is work, and it doesn't come as easy as it did before I got sick. I have limitations that I didn't have before and that doesn't make things easy AT ALL.  But damnit, I was given a gift when God gave me Cole and I will not let Him down.  I prayed so hard that the doctors would be wrong and I'd be able to have children someday and He exceeded my expectations and blessed me beyond measure.  And so, I keep going, keep moving, keep pushing.  Hope that gives a little encouragement to any other mama learning about the struggles of motherhood, whether you stay at home or work outside the home.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Goals

Ohh.  March Goals didn't go that well.  I need another month.

We hit the 4 month sleep regression (although for Cole, he seems to do everything early so this started at around 3 months) and I've just been trying to survive.

We did meet the goal of getting together with Erum and Nicole.  Erum came over last weekend and Nicole came over yesterday.  We had an awesome time and it was so great to catch up.  I love having easy friends that make friendship just EASY.  No judging, totally understanding that we're all busy and we love each other but sometimes it may take a few months to get a visit together. We always catch up right where we left off and have a great time.  I am looking forward to doing lots of playdates to the zoo and park this spring with Nicole and her precious daughter Molly and some more girls nights out with Erum now that Cole is a little older.

Other goals... passport pics for Cole are done. Passport ordered. Check.

Taxes... in progress.  Ugh.

Last few pregnancy pounds... still not gone. Jon started a new job this month and it's been crazy hard. He was gone for a week in San Francisco and then has been working late all month so I haven't been able to run 6-7 days a week like I was before.  This week, I was only able to go the gym 3 times.  Time to start the chicken and salad diet. Hoping for some nicer weather to come so I can take Cole out in the Bob stroller and run for 3 hours if I want.  Going along with that, I didn't do weekly double digit runs this month either. I think I did a few 9 mile runs, maybe one 10 miler.  Oh well, this month will hopefully be better.  Everything is better when I can run outside and don't have exactly 60 minutes to get the gym, run and get home.  We are adjusting to a whole new schedule over here.  Plus Cole has an earlier bedtime now, so when Jon gets home at 7:30 and that's what time Cole goes in the bath, it's either I miss all that, I miss the gym, or I have to wait until he's asleep at 9, then missing my husband.  I had a minor freakout about all of this a week in.... luckily I have a an awesome sister-in-law who put it all into perspective for me.  Life changes as a mom.. it takes time to settle in but pretty soon you realize that your family comes first and running comes second.  I wanted to be able to do it all, but I have to set realistic expectations. My husband has a high-level job that requires me to be a high-level mom.  He's not gonna be getting home at 5 every night and we both have to adjust to that.  It's more important for me to be a good teammate to him than to be able to workout when I want for as long as I want.  But that's a hard pill for a fanatic runner like me to swallow.

Other March goals I didn't get to... date night.  We were so crazy busy with Jon's new job and being out of town that we didn't go out alone once.  We almost did... my brother-in-law and sister-in-law offered to take him last weekend so we could go out but I was so exhausted after a week of minimal sleep (ugh 4 month sleep regression) and he was crazy fussy that night so we ended up just staying home. I still have that anxiety of leaving him with someone else when he's crying... I just can't do it. It's something I'm gonna eventually have to get over, but even when Jon's watching him, I can't leave if he's mid-cry.

I didn't get March pictures printed out yet either... but we did get Cole's 3 month pictures taken and they are BEYOND adorable.  I'm waiting to get the CD in the mail and then I'll print everything, including some big canvases.

Well, let's get to some April goals.

1.  Pre-pregnancy weight.
2. One 10+ mile run each week.
3. Long walks with Cole on each day I can't get to the gym
4. Print out March and April pics of Cole
5. Get my hair done (we're so busy I need to make this a "goal" now.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Life lately.

Life lately has been pretty great.  Cole has brought more joy into our lives that we could've ever imagined.  Our house is full of love and it's awesome.  But it's also really, really hard.

Around 3-4 weeks, Cole stopped being the perfect baby that he was during the first 3 weeks and started  screaming for 3 hours every night.  It was horrible.  We took him to the doctor, and sure enough, the dr told us it was textbook colic.  The thing about colic that sucks is that not only can you not doing anything to soothe your baby during their crying fits, but the medical world still doesn't really know what it is, what causes it, and why some babies have it.  What was really hard, is he would start right around the time Jon came home from work, and that's time to the go the gym, so Jon would be stuck with a screamer for an hour or two while I escaped and got my running done.  Luckily this phase didn't last too long....

Around 10 weeks, we were able to establish a good routine, and started to notice the night time crying stopping.  Around 8, he gets a bath with Johnson's bedtime sleep bath, then a full massage with their sleep lotion.  I swaddle him from the waist down, and then he gets his last feed of the day.  We keep the lights down, the tv low and talk quiet.  When he's done eating, I rock him for about 10-15 minutes to our nighttime playlist... Van Morrison "These are the Days", Simon and Garfunkel "The Boxer", "Make up Kisses" from the PS I love You Soundtrack, and the William Ross score from the "My Dog Skip" soundtrack. The room is dark and it's just me, cole, and the dog at our feet.  (Jon is usually downstairs during this time making dinner for he & I).  Cole falls asleep and I put him down right at 9, and usually (usually) don't hear from him until 3:30 a.m. when he wakes up to feed.  Then I get about an hour or 2 with my hubby before I'm too tired to function and have to go to sleep.  I usually wake up right on cue at 3 and pump.  If he wakes up before I do, I feed him and then pump.  After this feed, many nights I bring Cole into our room and he'll cosleep or sleep in the bassinet.  He does fine in his crib for those first 6 hours of the night, but for some reason after his middle of the night feed, he sleeps better in our room.  50% of the time, I'll get him to go back into his crib until morning. He usually gets up around 7.

He is such a happy baby now.  He doesn't really nap during the day... I'll get 20-30 min here or there and in that time, I race around and pick up, do laundry, sweep and mop, etc. I'm a chronic over-cleaner and especially now that he's here, I am constantly running around trying to keep the house picked up.  Sometimes i put him in the bumpo and set him on the counter and he'll just sit there and watch me clean.

When he's not eating, we're usually playing. He smiles, laughs, talks, babbles... this is his favorite toy.. He could sit under here and bat and laugh at the animals all day long.

Mady is really coming around to Cole.  She's very protective and keeping a watchful eye. And sometimes we catch her doing this....

Cole loves Mady too.  He watches her every move and laughs at her all the time.  And the other day he found out that her tail is quite fun.

That's pretty much our days around here lately.  We're hoping for some warmer days soon so we can take the stroller out and mommy can run outside. I have the best running stroller ever and I cannot wait to log some major miles on it.  We did break it out yesterday and took a walk into downtown for some lunch.  Our first family walk.

Oh and I can't forget! We had our first family date night recently.  Jon and I took Cole over to the bowling alley right by our house.  I dressed him up in his bowling gear and shoes and we played a game.  Cole was the hit of the alley and mom and dad had a great time having a cocktail and showing our little guy how to bowl.

It was a great, great time!  Love my little family.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March goals.

March Goals!

Already a few days in, but here are my "goals" for March. Did pretty decent on my February ones, so I'm hoping that writing out this list every month will keep me somewhat motivated.  Some of these March goals are a continuation of what I didn't finish in February.

1. Get a redo passport photo for Cole and then take all of his documents that I gathered up in February into the post office and get his passport ordered.  I could basically be done with this one if that idiot at Costco had done his job right. grr.

2.  Get our taxes done.  Yippeee totally my favorite thing in the world.

3.  Print out Cole's 3 month pictures/pics off my phone for this month.  When I finally printed everything from my phone since his birth a few days ago, I had 900 pictures to go through.  Each month, I'm going to take my phone to Costco at the end of the month and print out what I want from that month.  That way, I stay on top of it, add them to his albums, and keep up with his baby book.

4. Make a date with Erum and Nicole

5. Go on at least 1 date with my husband minus the baby.  My parents will be back in town for Caleb's birthday, so hopefully they'll babysit. We don't have a babysitter yet besides Grandmas... we need to work on that.

6. Finish off the rest of the baby weight. I could probably knock that out with a 7 day cleanse but can't do that while breastfeeding so basically I need to cut out M&Ms for a month and I'll be fine. :)

7. Do at least 1 double digit run per week. I am running about 6 days a week right now, sometimes 5, sometimes 7. Most are about 6-8 miles.  When I was training, I was doing 10+ mile runs every single week and I want to get back to doing at least one of those per week plus my other days of regular 6-8 mile runs.  I'm not training for a specific marathon right now, but that doesn't mean I can't do some of the long runs.  I miss those so much.

8. "Start" figuring out when and how much I'm going to go back to work. Right now, Jon doesn't want me working and to be honest, I'm not ready to leave the baby.  But we need to start thinking about me getting back to the hospital, even if it's just a few shifts a month. I miss it.

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Goals- Update!

Update on my February Goals:

Last month, I blogged about my goals for February... Looking back at them, I actually did pretty good... Here's how I did for February.  My goals were:

1. Blog more!  I need to catch up on the last few weeks of pregnancy posts and then Cole's birth and first month.  I NEED to get those done before he gets any bigger and I get farther behind!  I've been great about keeping up with his baby book, but I also plan to do a birth post and then posts for each month.  I'm so sorry for the long zzzzz nap I've been taking away from the blog.  We're just enjoying our new life here as a family of 3. (well 4 if you count Mady).  Well, I did get his birth story written, and finished my pregnancy posts.  Not amazing, but got somewhat caught up.  I didn't blog a bunch of pictures of him... I put tons on Facebook, so check them out there. My FB name is Amy Nilles, so friend me if you haven't already, and you'll be able to see a zillion pictures of him.

2. Print out Cole's newborn pics and get them matted and framed  Yay!  Got this done this week.  Printed out a ton of pictures and updated his baby book, put together an album of pics I've taken, and did 3 different displays in our house of pictures... We hung shelves with black and white pics in our family room, I did a small gallery wall in our dining area, and then I did a larger gallery wall going up the stairs.  It feels great!

3. Get Cole's birth certificate and SS card and his passport ordered.... we are going international in a few months with our little guy... First family vacation will be to Mexico in June for my sister's wedding.  Got this halfway done. His birth certificate is on the way to our house, I have his SS card, and I got his passport photo taken.  Too bad the idiot at Costco didn't do the picture right and I have to go somewhere else and get it redone because Cole isn't looking at the camera.  Ugh.  Once I get his birth certificate and redo his picture, we'll ahead over to the post office and do his passport.  That's a March goal.

4. Get back into my pre-preggo skinny jeans.  Self-explanatory.  I'm getting there but still have some baby weight to shed.  It helps that I ran until the day he was born (with a few weeks of bed rest in there)...  it's been easy to get back into the gym routine... not so easy to shed those last few pounds though.  I still have around 10 lbs to go, but I did get into my pre-preggo skinny jeans and wore them last week when Jon and I took Cole on a family date night to the bowling alley.  Felt amazing!  I'm running 5-6 days a week and breastfeeding, but I haven't been the best with diet.  Breastfeeding and running makes me starving!  And sometimes it's easier to grab a handful of triscuits for lunch rather than make myself a salad or something. I honestly think I'm probably not eating frequently enough.  I'll go the whole day without eating b/c I'm busy and then have McDonalds or something for dinner.  I know what I need to do... eat small meals frequently, lots of protein and veggies and stop snacking on crap.  But I'm only 2 months post baby, so I'm feeling pretty good with where I'm at.  March goal will be to shed those last 10 and maybe another 1-2 so I'm in tip top shape for Jessica's wedding.

5. Have more playdates with friends.  I still have some close friends to meet up with so they can meet Cole.  He was born over the holidays, so that made it difficult and then the flu epidemic hit, so we've been waiting until everyone is healthy.  Excited to introduce my little guy to all of my buddies!  Did okay with this, but still need to do better.  Liz came over and we introduced her baby Beckett to Cole.  It was awesome and the pictures were priceless!  I had a girls night with my work friends and had a blast.  And I get together with my sister-in-law every week for wine night.  Wednesday, Cole and I are going to my friend Nessa's to meet her and Tenele, my besties from work.  Still need to get together with a few more of my friends so they can meet him.  Another March goal.
Here is Cole (on the right) with his best friend Beckett.  Liz and I delivered on the exact same day! We've been best friends since we were 5.  Pretty freakin' awesome. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cole's Birth Story.

December 12th was a day that started out very, very ordinary for what was about to happen.  I felt decent.  Worked out, cleaned the house, added some finishing touches to the hospital bag... even got a mani/pedi.  Around noon, I was thrilled to learn that my best friend had her second baby boy.  I texted back and forth with her throughout the morning to see how things were going.  Jon and I even made plans to go surprise her at the hospital the next morning to meet her little guy.

Well, we never made it there, because we got our own surprise that evening.

Jon came home from work and then headed across town to get a haircut.  I was in the process of coming up with something for dinner, when all of a sudden I felt a very sharp, intense pain in my right lower abdomen.  It scared me, because it was right where one of my scars is.  I laid down on my side immediately and hoped it would go away.  I'd been contracting on and off for weeks, but this felt nothing like that.  It felt like my scar had ripped open deep on the inside.  Terrified, I called Jon and told him to get home right away.  Then my labor & delivery instincts kicked in, and instead of better, I felt worse... I thought about what I would tell a patient who was 37 weeks pregnant with 10 previous abdominal surgeries who felt sudden, intense, constant pain.  All I could think of was "abruption."  I wasn't bleeding, so that was good, but I knew abruptions could be concealed. (An abruption is when the placenta breaks off from the uterus, cutting off blood supply to the baby and resulting in hemorrhage of mom and baby, and death if not treated/delivered FAST).  I knew we were 45 minutes away from the hospital and Jon wasn't even home yet.  I made it upstairs to the bathroom and grabbed my doppler (fetal heart monitor)... again, I'm an L&D nurse....  I checked LO's heartbeat and breathed finally when I heard it thumping away.  Jon walked in and he started loading our stuff up in the car as I called the OB practice.  The midwife on call told me to get to the hospital immediately, and that my doctor was already there, as she happened to be the "on call" hospital provider that night.  God truly had set everything up perfectly for this baby.  My doctor is unbelievable, but she works in a group where she's the only physician and the other 2 are midwives.  They are both amazing, but they can't perform c-sections on their own, so one of my fears throughout the pregnancy was that my doctor would happen to be out of town or sick or busy or in another delivery when the time came to have Cole.  Obviously, if I made it to my scheduled c-section date, she would be there for sure, but if it happened unexpectedly, there was a chance that a different doctor would have to deliver him, and that was the last thing I wanted.  My doc knew the entirety of my situation and we'd had a plan in place for how the delivery would go down since the beginning.

When we got to the hospital, Dr. Y hooked me up to the monitors herself while the nurses started my IVs (two of them), and got all my consents, computer work, and paperwork signed in and prepped me for surgery.  I was contracting about every 1-2 minutes and the pain was still there, although it wasn't constant anymore.  My contraction pattern on the monitor looked like a classic abruption pattern, and even though the baby's heart rate looked good, my doctor wasn't taking any chances.  She sat down with Jon and I and explained that she was beyond thrilled that I'd made it to 37 weeks.  She never thought I'd get past 32.  There wasn't a point in playing games, especially with this weird pain.  She didn't know if I was starting to abrupt, or scar tissue was torn, or what was happening, and wouldn't know until she opened me up.  She pulled Jon aside and told him that there was chance they'd have to do a hysterectomy if the scar tissue was on my uterus and causing too much bleeding.  I didn't find this fun fact out until later.

She called in an extra OB, two additional surgeons, and a urologist.  She also got the top anesthesiologist in the room and called in her midwife, Nicole. I had 2 special care nursery nurses, the neonatologist, 3 L&D nurses plus the charge nurse.  Dr. Y was ready for anything. Blood was ordered and the decision was made to do the c-section in the main OR instead of L&D in case things went awry. I knew we were just being cautious, but when I got into the main OR and I saw all the staff, all the extra equipment, heard her on the phone with blood bank and saw her put in my catheter herself (usually the nurse does it), I started to panic. This all felt a little too familiar.

My nurses were friends of mine I worked with and I worked with my doctor and anesthesia as well, so I felt the love and care in the room, and they all calmed me down. I sat as still as I could for the epidural and Dr. Davis got it in easily. They laid me down, got Jon in the room, and started.

I felt like I couldn't breathe as I laid there and waited. Jon kept standing up and looking over the curtain and was fascinated. Dr. Davis and Dr Yockey were explaining everything that was happening, but I don't remember a word they said.... I just waited for the sound of the suction that I knew I'd hear when they'd break my water and the sound of the cry....

Very quickly, they got through the skin and uterus and I heard the suction. That's when the yelling started. They couldn't get the baby out.  Dr. Yockey literally climbed on the table pushing as hard as he could while Dr. Pozzi pushed from the other end. Because of the scar issue and some abnormalities on the side from nec fasc, Cole was wedged in there pretty good.  The pressure was immense, but I didn't even care.  I was about to try and reach down and grab him out myself when I heard a pop and a yell out of Yockey and then the sweetest, cutest baby scream you've ever heard in your life.

Jon yelled, and tears just poured down my face.  Never has a sound felt so satisfying.  I couldn't let myself believe I was going to have a healthy baby until I heard that sound. The last 8.5 months hadn't mattered... I need to hear and see him myself.  Dr. Davis pulled the curtain down and there he was.

Dr. Yockey was crying, Jon was crying, I was a hysterical mess.... the nurses were crying.  We all were in awe of this miracle.  6 lbs and 18  inches of pure miracle.  His head was covered in spiky dark hair (hello heartburn) and he had huge eyes.  And he was the cutest baby I'd ever seen.

9 & 9 apgars.  3 weeks early, but a little, tiny bundle of perfection.  Even the pediatrician told us he was the cutest baby she'd ever seen.  He had olive skin and highlights in his dark almost black hair.  He looked like a tiny version of Jon with my nose and mouth.  Every inch of him is perfection in my opinion.

Dr. Yockey was thrilled to tell me that despite the mess of scar tissue I have in my abdomen, my uterus was perfect... not one single inch of scar tissue.  I did have quite a bit of bleeding in the OR, but nothing that required major intervention.  All in all, she told me she couldn't be happier with how well my body had done.

And most importantly, he is completely and perfectly healthy.  I prayed everyday for a healthy baby and God blessed me abundantly.  I prayed that I would know how to love him how I was supposed to, and God put more love in my heart that I ever imagined I could feel.  Jon and I were absolutely smitten.

And here he is on the day he was born:  Colton Mack Nilles, born 12/12/14.

And here he is now... 11 weeks old!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

25 Things!

25 Things!

I was looking at Facebook today and found an old, old post from like 2008-- basically people wrote out 25 interesting things about themselves that their friends may or may not know.  Everyone was doing them and I found mine and it was funny to read back... I can't believe how much my life has evolved since then!  So, I thought it might be fun to blog a revised list.  Here are my 25 things.

1. I just gave birth to my first child, 8 weeks ago, a boy... Colton Mack Nilles (Cole).  He is my life!  I am just obsessed with my little one.
2. Cole was a miracle baby- I was told I'd never get pregnant or carry a pregnancy and 3 months later, without trying or help (actually we were preventing), God shocked me with a pregnancy.  Things were touch and go the entire pregnancy, but God followed through and gave us our blessing, healthy and stunningly gorgeous. 3 weeks early but perfect!
3. I am obsessed with taking pictures of Cole and posting them on Facebook. I love for my family near and far to be able to see him grow and change. And I'm just so proud of him, I love to show him off! :)
4. I should probably find other things to talk about besides Cole. :)
5. I married my high school sweetheart Jon on May 26, 2013.  He's an amazing husband and knocks my socks off as a daddy. There is nothing better than watching my husband love on my son.
6. On November 12, 2012, I had a near death experience when I contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis in my leg, and spread to my abdomen. Nec fasc is otherwise known as the flesh-eating bacteria. I was given a 5% survival chance, and I survived!
7. I was hospitalized for 2 months with the nec fasc and in a coma for 5 weeks. I underwent 10 total surgeries to remove the infection and skin grafts. Most of these surgeries were abdominal, which is why   the doctors told me it would be impossible to conceive. They were wrong :)
8. I am a die-hard marathon runner. I've run 16 marathons and 12 half marathons. My favorite was Big Sur in California.. it was mostly up a mountain, but so stunning it was worth the pain.
9. I am somewhat addicted to reality television.
10. But I am more addicted to diet coke.
11. I am a labor & delivery nurse and love my job, but for the past 2 years, my job has been recovering from necrotizing fasciitis, getting through a very difficult pregnancy, and taking care of a newborn. Will be hopefully returning to work in another month or two.  Right now, my hubby and I can't imagine handing him off to anyone. Luckily, my hub has a great job and has been able to support us.
12. My family is beyond amazing. My parents are better than yours. Period.
13. My beagle Mady made me a mom. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. She's the best dog ever and when I'm not posting pictures of Cole, I'm posting pictures of Mady. She is very protective of her baby brother, but isn't quite ready to show her affection. We can't wait for the day they can play together.
14. I love interior design, style, and fashion, although most of my ideas come from pinterest. I don't know what I'm doing, but I love looking at pretty homes and pretty fashions.
15. Kauai, Hawaii is my favorite place on earth. It's literally the closest thing I can imagine to Heaven. I cannot wait to go back!
16. Speaking of Hawaii, I ran a marathon there, too.
17. I am an obsessive clean freak. I clean and clean and clean the house... and even more since the baby was born. Nothing is better than the smell and peace of a clean house.
18. I LOVE eating snow. No, really.  Every hour or two, I fill a cup up with fresh snow and eat it with a spoon. It is so weird but I LOVE it. What am I gonna do when it melts??
19. I have a very strong sense of smell, and am obsessed with smells... my favorite smell is the wood aisle at Home Depot or Menards. One day, I strapped the baby on me and walked the aisles for over an hour, just smelling the wood. Mmmmm... I might just go do that again when i'm done with this list.
20. I finally know what people are talking about when they say being a mom is the very best thing ever and a love like you've never known, but also the hardest thing ever.  It is just as hard as it is amazing. And it is so worth it.
21. Alright this list is taking a long time. Maybe I should've done 20 things.
22. If I could be anything I wanted, I'd probably be a dancer. I danced as a child, but stopped at 12 and I wish I hadn't. My very favorite show is So You Think You Can Dance.  Dance just speaks to me.
23. I am a horrible sleeper. Borderline insomniac.
24. Some people say college was the best time of their life-- for me, it was high school. I loved my friends, sports, just everything. I miss it so much.
25. Despite loving our life in Naperville, I'm still trying to get my husband to move us to Hawaii. I'm sure my family would follow. :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

up to 37 weeks

Almost 37 weeks!  I cannot believe I've made it this far and am so happy and blessed everyday he stays in there and is able to grow and develop.

Around 34 weeks, I started not feeling great-- not uncomfortable pregnancy stuff- something else.... I was flushed, felt hot in the face, started swelling in my hands and face, besides my bad leg which had been swelling for several weeks before that.  One Saturday, I felt excruciating pain in my left side and I thought- this is it... something is wrong- we're gonna have to go to the hospital... I'm probably pre-eclamptic and abrupting and they're gonna have to crash section me at 34 weeks (the mind of a labor & delivery nurse) haha.  I did everything I knew to do to try and stop that sick feeling all over and the pain, and I finally fell asleep that night feeling a little better.

I went in for my appointment 2 days later, and my doctor was worried.  "Why didn't you call?  You should've called... you know better," she scolded.  "I know, but I didn't want to bother you if it was nothing at all..."  She shook her head and smacked me in the arm.  "You L&D nurses are the worst patients."  The pain was gone completely by that point, so I wasn't that worried anymore, but she was.  My blood pressure was up and she immediately drew pre-eclampsia labs, which ended up coming back quite abnormal.  She told me then that she hadn't expected me to get past 32 weeks, and every week since then has been a blessing.  She put me on bed rest and biweekly appointments and we started doing 24 hour urines to watch for the pre-eclampsia to worsen.  "Let's try and get to 35 weeks," she told me.  I wasn't excited about bed rest, but I was happy to be staying pregnant and giving the little one some more time.  Honestly, at that point, I think had I told her I was worried enough, she would've delivered him that day.

I've been on bed rest since then, and we've had some ups and downs since then, but I'm still pregnant and he continues to grow and develop, and we're just so blessed for that.  My pre-eclampsia labs and blood pressure have remained fairly stable, except for my hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, which have been low since nec fasciitis, which took a dive last week and required an IV iron infusion.  This week, they're stable, so we're shooting for another week.  Once I hit that 37 week mark and he's considered "term" I'm going to feel so much better.  I started contracting yesterday and they've become more and more regular and so I'm a little concerned that we might not have much more time, but I'm laying on my side and drinking water and keeping that little bugger in there as long as I can.  My scarring feels pretty miserable.  When I contract, I can feel my abdomen harden, but it pushes against the scars and it won't give way.  That part is pretty darn painful.  But honestly, after skin grafts and wound vacs, what's a little scar ripping? (which is what it feels like).

The nursery is done and looks awesome.  I'm so happy with it.  It was alot of work but we got it done, and now it's all ready for a baby.  Working on packing on my hospital bag and doing last minute things, but it's hard because I can't really be on my feet.  The room is grey with one grey and white striped accent wall.  His furniture and bedding are from Pottery Barn and we found his glider chair at Walmart.

Finishing this post up as the baby is 7 weeks old :)  I was on bed rest until 37 weeks with a couple ups and downs-- contractions, scar pain, and signs of pre-eclampsia that came, then went, then came again. When I finally hit 37 weeks (and my dr was THRILLED), I was able to come off bed rest.  That very night, I went back to the gym and hopped on the treadmill.  I was going so stir crazy that I couldn't wait to be active again.

And that was enough to do it!  I got to meet Cole just 3 days later... to be continued to Cole's birth post!

Friday, January 30, 2015


One of my favorite bloggers does a monthly goals post at the beginning of every month to lay out her goals for that month... some goals are simple, like laugh more... others are more work... like read 3 books this month.  I like this idea-- especially since this little newborn of mine requires so much of my time and energy that lists are absolutely ESSENTIAL now.  Not that they weren't before (I'm a type A list writer, just like my dad).

So here are my February Goals.

1. Blog more!  I need to catch up on the last few weeks of pregnancy posts and then Cole's birth and first month.  I NEED to get those done before he gets any bigger and I get farther behind!  I've been great about keeping up with his baby book, but I also plan to do a birth post and then posts for each month.  I'm so sorry for the long zzzzz nap I've been taking away from the blog.  We're just enjoying our new life here as a family of 3. (well 4 if you count Mady).

2. Print out Cole's newborn pics and get them matted and framed

3. Get Cole's birth certificate and SS card and his passport ordered.... we are going international in a few months with our little guy... First family vacation will be to Mexico in June for my sister's wedding.

4. Get back into my pre-preggo skinny jeans.  Self-explanatory.  I'm getting there but still have some baby weight to shed.  It helps that I ran until the day he was born (with a few weeks of bed rest in there)...  it's been easy to get back into the gym routine... not so easy to shed those last few pounds though.

5. Have more playdates with friends.  I still have some close friends to meet up with so they can meet Cole.  He was born over the holidays, so that made it difficult and then the flu epidemic hit, so we've been waiting until everyone is healthy.  Excited to introduce my little guy to all of my buddies!

That's about it for goals.  I think that'll take me until March...easily.  Keep watching for more posts very soon... LO's birth, first month, and our new routine.  Thanks for your prayers for a smooth delivery and healthy baby... God blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.  We're obsessed with little one and he's healthy and gorgeous and we're so happy :)