Friday, May 23, 2014

Welcome Baby Girl!

We are proud to announce the birth of our second child!

Here I am meeting her for the first time! 

Name: Caroline Renee Howk
Stats: 5lbs 9oz, 18 inches long 
Date: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Time: 6:27pm 

How she came into the world is a story, as every baby has their own very unique story. 

Tuesday started just like any other day, I woke up, took my son to school, talked with a few moms before heading home to having a meeting at my house before heading out to work. I usually go into work at 10 am, and that day was normal, except I noticed my feet were more swollen than usual. So I kicked off my flip flops almost as soon as I got to work and told my co-workers "For the next two weeks, I'm not going to wear my shoes." Being 9 months pregnant, none of the other gals seemed to mind - most of them understood. I was sitting at my desk and just before noon I noticed some contractions that were happening. I went to lunch around 12:30pm, and thought nothing of the contractions until I returned from lunch around 1pm. 

The first photo of the four of us! 

I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for a little while, but I knew if I moved around a little bit they would go away, so I walked to a local coffee shop and grabbed a sandwich and a clear soda and sat down and ate a yummy lunch. I also knew that if this was the real thing, they wouldn't let me eat for a while. Baby girl has been breeched for a few weeks, so I knew I was going to have a C-Section. That's definitely not what either of us wanted. Longer recovery time, more long term pain and complications can arise.  

The boys kissing the girls, so sweet! 

I called the local clinic after I returned from lunch and told them I was having contractions - at this point I knew they were 'real' because they hadn't gone away while I was at lunch and they were coming hard and were pretty painful. The clinic said to come over and they were going to put me on a monitor. So I did that, and notified the other person in my office that I was leaving, as my boss was out of town. I went to the clinic and got hooked up to the monitor. Not thinking much of it at this point, because they have done this before with me. But the contractions didn't stop. My doctor came in and said, okay why don't you head up to the hospital (about 45 minutes away). Ultimately it'll be up to the hospital, and we'll see if things calm down after you get there. 

Mommy and baby taking a nap at the same time. 
This happened over six years ago- see the photo here

Yes, I drove myself to the hospital, people. The contractions at that time, actually weren't that bad and only had a few the whole time I was driving. Once I got to the hospital, they gave me a lovely room, but hooked me up to a monitor. The contractions kept coming- harder and closer together and there was quickly talk of having the C-Section at 6pm that evening. I tried to delay them, as to the fact that I knew Roy was not going to make it. He was still delivering boxes for FedEx, over 60 miles away! 

By 5:45pm, Roy noticed I had stopped texting him - something along the lines of 'Get Here Now!' and they had moved me into the Operating Room and the contractions were coming at about 1 minute apart and were pretty painful. This baby wanted out! 

At 6:27pm baby girl was out of my body, and as I found out later that day Roy was here at 6:37pm. So only by 10 minutes did he miss her entering into the world. He met her in the nursery, when they were doing all the check up stuff they do on newborns. By the time they had finished with me and I had spent some time in the recovery room, Roy and baby girl had a little bonding time. 

Having a C-Section was painful. Getting out of bed the first few times was tough, but I'm doing much better now, and we are hopeful I can go home tomorrow. I would have been going home tonight, but I had a slight fever after eating dinner last night, and that was our 'Stork Dinner' the hospital provided us. It was lovely, until I started not feeling so hot. 

I do have some fluid in my lungs, after an X-Ray yesterday and an MRI scan today has proved. Anytime you are not moving around a whole lot, there is the potential to develop pneumonia. While they haven't said I do have pneumonia, they have told me to do my breathing exercises that will help. 

My parents were able to make the trip down from Emmettsburg, Iowa to see Caroline in the evening - just a short 4 hour trip, rather than the two day trip they would have had when our 6 year old son was born, because they were living in South Carolina at the time. They didn't make that trip until 2 weeks after he was born. 

Hubby put this on Facebook and I just love it! 

Everyone who has seen her has said she looks like her big brother. And she does, with a few differences. He was one ounce heavier, and one inch longer. His nose was straighter when he was born, and he had eyebrows, she does not. Both kids had dark hair, and baby girl has steel blue eyes. Plus baby girl also is very pink in complexion- my son had a little jaundice after he was born. He was a natural birth, so his head was funny shaped, while her head is perfect, because she didn't make the same trip! Everyone has said how precious she is, and I agree. I can't wait to see how she grows and changes and challenges us! 

Better photo of her face, she's so sweet. 

The first time big brother got to hold her! 

That's her amazing birth story. I am so glad she is safe and sound and here. There was no possible way that she could have flipped (medically, not possible). Plus she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. 

We had our friend Autumn come up Thursday morning and take a few photos of Caroline and us, while we were still in the hospital. Her business is Happy Day Photos, and if you need a photographer in Southeast Iowa we highly recommend her! If you are on Facebook, she's already posted a few photos of Caroline that are adorable!