Sunday, July 23, 2017

Welcome to the world Leo James Drapp


Leo James Drapp came into this world on April 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm.  He weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz and was 21 3/4 inches long.  I was so thrilled this little man was finally here for me to love on.  He was absolute perfection!  After my miscarriage it was hard for me to believe that this baby of mine would actually be a reality, so the relief I felt after he was here is indescribable.  Here is a little bit about Leo's birth story...


Leo had been measuring large throughout my entire pregnancy so in order to ensure he wouldn't be over 10 lbs the doctors wanted to deliver him early.  I was very nervous about induction because I went into labor with the other two on my own and right on time.  However I was extremely uncomfortable (couldn't even take my boots off anymore)...

and nervous that I would have complications from delivering a large baby so I was on board with the 39 week induction.



Being induced actually ended up being my easiest labor and delivery to date.  We dropped Owen and Grayson off at my mom's house the night before, woke up early and headed into the hospital to check in at 6AM.  The nurses began pitocin right away and before contractions began it was like a date for Brad and I.  We watched the morning news, read magazines, Brad had his coffee.  It was great! Here we are on our luxurious date at the hospital...



Contractions started and they really never got too strong before Dr. Cottingim told me I could order the epidural.  I had a hard time saying okay to this since I wasn't contracting hard and with the other two babies I was in a lot of pain before I received it but I went along with it.  It really was no big deal and once I got the epidural around noon I was much more relaxed.  The doctor broke my water around 2:00 and then it was time to push around 4:40.  I didn't feel anything, which wasn't the case for the other two and I didn't have to push for very long before Leo was born.


Leo came out screaming, I remember a couple of times thinking our other babies never cried this loud or this much in the hospital.  It had me concerned.  Nursing didn't go smoothly at first for him.  He had a difficult time latching and wouldn't stay latched for very long periods. The nurses were pushing that if he didn't have good breastfeeding sessions that I would have to supplement with formula because of his weight they were worried about his blood sugar.  I felt a lot of pressure from the beginning and if it were my first child I think I would have been more concerned.

Owen and Grayson came to the hospital bearing gifts for mommy and their baby brother.  They were so excited to meet him and were in love with him from the moment they knew he existed.  Seeing my three boys together completely melted my heart.  Our family was finally complete.

We loved our snuggle time with the littlest boy in the hospital.



 A lot of people came to visit with baby Leo when he was born...





I was nervous about coming home to a house with three boys and I was right to be concerned.

Life with three was the biggest adjustment for me.  The big boys are loud and active and were not used to being quiet and gentle.  I was exhausted and Leo was still struggling to nurse efficiently.  Luckily Brad took off work for one week and kept the boys busy so I could rest and work on feeding Leo.

Brad took the boys to the zoo...

and to some parks and to and from preschool on the days that they were in school.  Sweet Owen had to stop at church and say an unprompted prayer for mommy and Leo on one of his bike rides with daddy...


After two weeks of Leo being fussy and not nursing well I went to see a lactation consultant.  She said that Leo was tongue tied and that is why she believed he wasn't nursing well.  The following day I took Leo to an ENT who then clipped his frenulum, no numbing, just clipped it in his office while I was holding him.  There were a lot of tears and they weren't just coming from Leo.  It took another two weeks for Leo to learn how to nurse appropriately and then things started to improve.  He was much happier and more satisfied (once his mouth healed) and I could actually sit him down for longer periods of time because his belly was full.

Life with three boys has been nothing but chaotic, loud, exhausting and at the same time sweet, exciting and full of love.  We are completely overjoyed and tired!




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mother's Day and a Preschool Graduate

For Mother's Day Owen's class invited all the moms to come into their classroom for tea and cookies.  They painted portraits of the moms and we had to use the descriptions they made of us to figure out which painting was ours.  Here is Owen's description of me....
 (in my defense, I did just have a baby)

These pictures were awesome!  All the moms got a kick out of seeing what their kids thought they looked like.  
I loved having some special one on one time with my big boy...
The class sang songs for us...


And here are all the boys in Owen's class...

A week later it was time for our oldest boy to graduate preschool, no I am not crying my eyes are just irritated.  Okay, hormones from a new baby and my oldest baby finishing preschool was a little much for me to handle all at once.  



Here is Owen and Grayson with their best preschool friends, Carter and Avery...
 These four love each other!

 Later that night, Owen had his graduation ceremony...








 His best buddy...
Leo slept through the entire thing...

I am so proud of this amazing kid and I am excited to see what life will bring him!


Friday, April 7, 2017

37 weeks down, 2 to go...

We have almost made it through this miracle of a process.  I know I will look back and wish I embraced my last pregnancy a little more than I have but it isn't exactly the easiest 40 weeks of a mom's life.  While I may complain about the aches, pains, nausea and body changes, pregnancy is one of the most incredible experiences I will ever encounter.  I know I am blessed to be able to carry my own children, and for that I am extremely grateful!

However here are some things I am looking forward to in the coming weeks...
1.  I will be able to eat chocolate and baked goods without feeling like I want to vomit (darn heartburn).
2.  My lower back will no longer be in excruciating pain when I am on my feet all day.
3.  I can finally get rid of the only two shirts remaining that fit over my large belly.
4.  I can hold Owen and Grayson again without feeling like the baby will fall out.
5.  I can lay flat on my back.
6.  I can have a glass of wine or an alcoholic beverage of my choice.
7.  I can breathe through my nose at night again.
8.  I can throw out my pregnancy pillow (which is the only way I have been able to sleep for the last 25 weeks).
9.  I can stop getting the "oh my you are due any day" looks while out and about.
10.  And last but not least I can snuggle this chubby little baby Leo.

If you noticed above, I should actually have about 3 weeks left until delivery.  However if you know my past history you know that I delivered a 9.4 lb baby prior to this pregnancy.  Grayson never measured big so the doctors were not concerned about his weight but this baby, he has been measuring about 2 weeks ahead since my 20 week anatomy scan.  My doctor did another ultrasound last week and at 36 weeks baby Leo was measuring 7.14 lbs.  According to the ultrasound he looks chubby and perfectly healthy.  Because I was dilated to 1.5 and 50% effaced at 36 weeks the doctors decided that they will continue to check me and if I continue to dilate and efface I will be a good candidate for induction at 39 weeks.  I have never been induced before so I have my concerns, but I am even more concerned about delivering a baby close or over 10 lbs.  Of course I have heard the horror stories but I also have a lot of close friends who were induced and had great experiences so I am going to trust my doctor's opinion on this one.

We took Owen and Grayson to the ultrasound so they got to see Leo's cute little chubby cheeks.  They were so excited to discuss how cute their baby brother is and how they can't wait to hold him.  Having older children during this pregnancy has made the process so much more fun!  Here is a video of the boys seeing their brother on the big screen...

video

Owen and Grayson have been very helpful this time around.  I can hardly bend over at this point to pick up toys strewn throughout the house so they have been working hard to assist me throughout the day.  And when I can't bend over to take my shoes off they are always there to lend a hand or two...

They have also been helping us get ready for the baby by setting up his bed...

 And then of course jumping in it to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold their brother...

 And of course they had to check out the softness...
Owen has been working diligently on a baby book for his brother...



While the boys are busy preparing my belly continues to expand and baby Leo is getting himself ready for his arrival into our crazy little world...
 This picture was taken right before Brian and Lauren's wedding (please excuse my messy hotel room) I look small here, but at the time I thought I was ginormous...



See what I mean, nothing fits over my belly anymore...
 The boys are always running to give me a hug and kiss and they never forget to do the same for their baby brother.  It is pretty sweet to see them turn into my protectors during this pregnancy.  They want to make sure that I am feeling okay and comfort me when I need to rest.  I am very proud of the boys they have become...


 36 weeks...


Pregnancies must seem like eternity to little ones.  Many questions have been coming up lately from Owen, examples include "how will the baby come out of your belly?", "do you spit him out of your mouth?", excuse my language but "does he come out of your bum?", "what will he be wearing when he comes out?", and  "are we really going to get a baby?" ".

Grayson on the other hand isn't very concerned with how Leo will get here but what he will do with him once he arrives "I will snuggle him and rock him" and my personal favorite, "daddy will clean the house while mommy feeds the baby".

I am so thankful to that I get to experience this miracle one more time and over the next couple of weeks we will be praying that all goes smoothly and we will be holding a healthy little boy at the end of this.  Leo James Drapp is our rainbow baby and I know he will be the perfect way to complete our family of five.