Newborn Photo Shoot

When Mason was 10 days old and finally home from the hospital, we had his newborn photos taken with our family. I wanted to celebrate Mason but also our new family of five. We have a local family photographer that we just love. We started using her just before the girls turned two and have loved every photo shoot she has done with us. Once again, she did an amazing job and we love every picture.

Here area few sneak peeks at our wonderful photo shoot.







Send me a private message if you want the information on our photographer. I would be happy to share her information with you.

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DAT Positive…What is that?

What is DAT Positive?

DAT positive is when the baby and mother have incompatible blood types. When the baby is born, the mother’s blood mixes with the baby’s blood which causes antibodies in the baby’s blood that attack the baby’s red blood cells. This increases the bilirubin in their bodies which makes them jaundice.

What this meant for Mason?

Mason was taken to the nursery at midnight the day he was born. He was under the uv lights for phototherapy from midnight Friday until Monday morning. He would only return to me for 30 minute feeding times.

Mason had to be checked every 12 hours to see how his levels were. I do not remember every level while we were in the hospital but I know that it started with an 8 the first day. His levels continued to climb. On Saturday they were 11.7, on Sunday they were 12.5 and back to 11 on Monday.

Heel sticks to test his blood

What this was like for me?

This was very difficult for both Mason and I. With having one baby, going full term, I was sure this delivery would be different. In my mind I had the delivery and post partum pictured a certain way, a way most mother’s experience. I was supposed to be able to keep my baby in my room with me. I was supposed to be able to hold my baby when I wanted. This time my family was supposed to be able to experience this with me. This time did not go as I had planned. My post partum was not what I had hoped for.

I cried so much during those 3 days. I couldn’t get over the fact that this was happening again. When I say again, I mean that once again I had my new baby taken away from me and I had no control over what happened to him. On top of these emotions, I did not understand why it was taking so long for him to get off the lights.

As the weekend ended I started to face another fear, going home without my baby again. My nightmare from 3 years ago was begining to resurface. On Sunday I was officially discharged from the hospital and was terrified of what that meant for us. As I was told I was officially being discharged, they told me that I would not leave. My status would change from patient to bordermom. This meant I could stay there, closeby. Although I could not have him with me, I was able to stay until he was ready. My anxiety of leaving him was releaved.

I was a bordermom for one day before being released with Mason that Monday. We were finally going home! I was so excited to go home and be a family of five finally. It was so nice being home for a few days but that was short lived.

At home…Still Monitoring

Even though we were home, we had to go to the lab to have his bilirubin levels checked once a day. Each day Joel or I would go to the lab in the morning and wait for the phone call from the doctor to see what his levels were. This is how his levels were the days at home:

Monday 11 (at discharge)
Tuesday 18
Wednesday 20
Thursday 22

Thursday is when it got too high. The phone call from the doctor brought me to tears. She called to report his levels and to tell me that we had to go back to the hospital for phototherapy.

Admitted to the hospital

Back to the hospital Thursday afternoon. Instead of being safe in the Nursery, we had to go to the pediatric floor because he had left the hospital. This was scary in it’s own way because the children on that floor were children with respiratory infections and I was bringing in a week old baby. At the time of admission the hospital doctor chose to have Mason tested for numerous things. She retested his bilirubin level for an updated level. Then she did a lumbar puncture to check for an infection in his spinal fluid. The next test was a urinanalysis for a bladder infection or urinary tract infection. When all of these tests were done, she put him on iv fluids and antibiotics to start fighting a possible infection. We did not believe he had an infection but at this point I was scared and just wanted to rule anything out that could be keeping his levels high. When the bilirubin test came back at 4 pm, it was a 24. This put Mason in the bottom of the dangerous zone which could cause blindness, deafness, or even brain damage. As you can imagine, Joel and I were freaking out and had no idea what was going to happen to our baby boy.

The doctor checked his bilirubin levels again at 8 pm. The level came back 21, it was already coming down.

Friday morning he was retested at 8 am. His level dropped to 14.9. The net test 12 hours later came back at 11. Mason’s levels had dropped fast enough that he stopped IV fluids adn antibiotics. He remained on the phototherapy so that it would continue to drop.

Saturday morning his level came back at a 9. So we figured they would take him off to watch for a few hours, to see if there was a relapse. The new on call doctor decided he was low enough to go home. He assured me that Mason would not relapse again. So by 11 am Saturday, Mason and I were headed home again.

I followed up with my pediatrician on Monday and was told by her nurse that we just needed to wait until his 2 week appointment. Everyone assumed he would continue to drop on his own.

2 Week Appointment on January 26

We were released on Saturday January 16 adn did not see a doctor until January 26. 10 days without knowing how his levels were.

At the two week appointment, I requested his test to check his levels. Joel had been very concerned and I had tried to follow the medical doctors directions but not knowing that long was too long. Our pediatrician agreed to check it. She called me that afternoon with the news that his levels had climbed once again. This time they went from a 9 to 14.7 in 10 days. The scary part is that we have no idea how high it got during that time and we will never know.

Although 14 is not dangerous in a baby almost 3 weeks old, it stillwent up. Our pediatrician told me that now his jaundice is because he is being breastfed. She did not want me to stop nursing but wanted me to know what they suspected the cause for the climb to be.

A retest was scheduled for Friday morning to see if it came down any. In the mean time, I decided to start my own “phototherapy” by putting Mason in front of the one window that we get direct sunlight. I put him in his bouncer just in his diaper with a space heater behind him to keep him warm, it is January and cold outside. We get direct sunlight for about 2 hours, so during those two hours he sleeps in the sunlight.

The test results came back at 12. At this point his levels are coming down slowly and he is starting to return to a normal color, so the doctor is not going to test his levels again unless he seems to get worse.

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Mason’s Birth Story

Caution…This post is a detailed account of the natural birth of my son. Parts of this post may be a little more graphic than you are intending to read. Please keep that in mind as you continue with this post.

Days and Weeks Approaching His Birth

In mid-December I started having some pelvic pain. When I went into the doctor for my weekly appointment, she told me that I had started to dilate. I was at 3 cm around December 15th. At this point we began the baby watch. The way that I had been feeling we were expecting him to make his debut any time. The next week we went in for our next weekly appointment. I was still at 3 cm and there was no change in effacement. Again we were expecting him to come at any time. This was the week of Christmas and everyone was expecting a Christmas baby. Well Christmas came and went but Mason still hadn’t come. I went in for my 4th weekly appointment and once again there was no change. This was just before new years. I thought for sure that he would come that weekend. We were expecting bad winter weather and I just knew he would start to come. I was definitely wrong. After 4 weeks of waiting on this baby and making no progress, I was feeling really discouraged. At this point the pelvic pressure was so bad that by the end of each day I could hardly walk. I was in so much pain I would sit and cry. The only relief I could get was stretching on a birthing ball. That relief was very short. By the first week of January I was beyond exhausted and feeling ready to have this baby. I was 39 weeks based on my calendar and 38 weeks on the doctors calendar. (We had always been different).

When I went in to the doctor that first week of January I was very tired and frustrated. Once again there was no change. I had been trying to get things advancing at home but nothing had worked. I went walking for a while, I was stretching on the ball, I was even jumping up and down (which is probably hilarious to watch) but nothing had worked. Once again there was NO CHANGE! I was in tears at this point. Thankfully Joel was with me at this appointment and asked the doctor if we could do anything to up this process. She had scheduled an induction for my on the 12th and I knew I could not wait another week. So she moved up the induction date to January 8th.

Induction Date

On Friday, January 8 Joel and I woke up at 4 am, not that we slept much that night. We got around and made sure we ate a decent breakfast before heading to the hospital. We arrived at 4:45 for our 5 am induction time. I was nervous about being induced and wanted to get there and get started. I was checked in immediately and given Pitocin to start the contractions. Now I have to say that I was contracting already but not regularly. When they checked me at the hospital I was at 4 cm but my my body was not ready even with Mason pushing as much as he was. Although I was on the Pitocin, I was not feeling any contractions. They were staying 5-7 minutes apart, based on the monitor, but not coming any faster.

At 6 am my doctor came in to check on me and my progress before heading into her office for the day. She decided to break my water because I had not dilated any more and my contractions were not moving fast enough. She used a tool to help her break my water. It took her three times to get my water to officially break. I remember her saying “No wonder this baby hasn’t come yet. Your water bag did not want to break.” As soon as the water broke, the contractions kicked into high gear and boy was I feeling them. The contractions went from 5-7 minutes to 2 minutes apart or less within no time. About an hour after they broke my water, the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. Now I had an epidural with the girls and had debated on whether or not to have one with him too. I think that if I had ended my pregnancy without the pressure and pain that I had experienced, I might have said no to the epidural. But I did have the pain and already felt so sore and drained from that so I worried that I would not be able to have him naturally on my own.

The epidural was worse this time than the first time. I think the doctor stuck my twice, I certainly felt the pressure and pain with this one and even cried when he put it in my back. Joel was watching him and could tell that this was not a good feeling. The epidural took about 30 minutes to get set up and going. Again this seemed so much longer than it did the first time. It was about 3 minutes after I was laying down again that I felt the relief and no contractions. This was short lived because I then began to feel the numbness in my legs. I lost all feeling and control of my legs. This drove me crazy! I could not move on my own. I could not sit up or switch sides or anything without nurses and Joel helping me. To me this was not the experience I had wanted. Although not in pain, I was still somewhat miserable.

By now it was about 7:45 and my nurse told me to pay attention to a pushing feeling. Of course in my mind I’m thinking “I cant feel my legs, you expect me to feel a pushing sensation.” I did not say that but it definitely crossed my mind. She told me that she would not check my cervix again until my contractions were under a minute apart. That did not happen until 9:00. At this point I was 7 cm dilated. It still felt like it could be hours before we had him. Joel and I relaxed as much as we could but it’s not easy when you are numb and nurses are in and out of your room every 30 minutes.

At around 10:40 a pushing feeling began. At first I was not sure that I was really feeling that but it didn’t let up. I was getting ready to call my nurse when she came in and asked how I was doing. I let her know that I was feeling like I was ready to push so she checked me again and sure enough I was 10 cm dilated and it was time. She quickly called my doctor and got everything ready while they waited on her to arrive. My Ob’s office is across the street from the hospital so she was there within 10 minutes. During this time a full nursing staff arrived with trays and all kinds of other things to prepare for the delivery. This was amazing and somewhat overwhelming to watch. Although this was my second delivery, I did not see this part the last time as I was wheeled in after they prepared the O.R.

The Delivery

As my doctor got gowned up and prepared for the baby she made a guess on how big he would be. She estimated 7 lbs 4 oz. Now we had been expecting an 8-9 lb baby boy as he had been measuring big the entire time. So having him be in the 7 lb range seemed so small. Right around 11 AM everyone was ready and it was time to push. I was nervous about this part because it took 4 pushes with Bailey and 4 with Brooke. Mason was bigger so I wasn’t sure how long it would take for him. It certainly took more. It took 10 strong pushes before his shoulders passed. This is where I was thankful for the epidural as I tore with him. I had received an episiotomy with Brooke but doctors do not perform those now, or at least not here. Well Mason being bigger than his sisters made me tear. I tore right through my old scar and more. OUCH! I knew I would be in pain for days after that.

Now if you have read the birth story of my twins, you would know that I hemmoraged due to my uterus not contracting on its own. Now this was believed to be only because of the medication I had been on to prevent the preterm labor and the fact that I was carrying twins. We were told it should not happen again because the situation was different. Well, I hemmoraged again. Not as bad as the first time. My OB was able to stop the hemmorage within a few minutes and I did not lose as much blood this time. This was a reality check for Joel and I. It seems that this really will be an issue for all pregnancies, something that we are not sure we want to have happen again.

Mason is here

At 11:09 AM Mason came into this world as perfect as we could hope for. We were instantly in love with him! We were able to stay in the labor and delivery room for two hours before moving upstairs to post partum. Mason stayed with us until later that night when things began to change for us.

You can read here how my happy little bubble popped within the first 14 hours after giving birth to my son. Once again my baby was taken from me and the happy delivery and going home that I was hoping for was quickly ripped away from me. DAT Positive….What is that?

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Meet Our Baby Boy!

Meet Our Baby Boy!

This is Mason Albert. He was born on January 8, 2016 at 11:09 am. Immediately we were in love! I cannot believe that he is here. I’m working on his birth story post now so come back soon to read it.

Mason and Mommy, only minutes old
Mason and Daddy

Our first photo as a family of 5
Big sisters meeting their little brother
As you can tell we are overjoyed by the newest addition to our family. We are very happy to have our family grow in such an incredible way. 

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Baby # 3 Update: 9 Months

Today’s Date: January 9, 2016 (Due Date)
How far along: 40 weeks
Total weight gain: I stopped looking. 
Maternity clothes: Yes
Stretch marks: None
Sleep: Not enough, usually about 3-4 hours at a time. 
Best moment of this week: Finding out that this baby will be here soon. 
Miss anything: Sleep, being able to do things for myself
Movement: He is such a calm baby. He moves long enough to stretch or shift positions. 
Food cravings: Sweets
Anything making you queasy or sick:No
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Male
Labor signs: Early labor signs began at 36 1/2 weeks. The doctor scheduled an induction date for January but I do not think I will make that date. Scheduling was more to have it on the books just in case rather than expecting it to really happen. 
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off:  Off
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but tired! I have felt mostly nervous about labor, delivery, and having 3 children. 
Looking forward to: To meeting him. 

Final Picture 

40 weeks!!!

I am being induced in the morning. Baby boy is really big now and is not budging on his own. We are hoping for a smooth delivery tomorrow. Be sure to come back by to read about his birth story and to meet him. Joel and I are over the moon excited to meet our son tomorrow. 

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New Years Resolutions

I am hoping that next year I can become healthier for myself and for my baby. I want to work hard to lose any baby weight gained with this pregnancy. Overall just become healthier. I do not plan to look at numbers but more focus on exercising and healhty eating. 
I am hoping to finish what I started this year, and get through my entire bible. I am about half way through and found trying to read it each day was a struggle. I would like to pick that up again as the year starts and just set my own pace. My biggest defeat in this was following a reading guide. If I can just read as I go, I may have a better chance to meet my own goals. 
I also want to spend more time for prayer. This is such an important change for me and I am hoping that I can follow through with it in 2016. 
My biggest issue with parenting this past year was finding time for each child one on one. I want to find a way to change that this year. I want each child to know and have my undivided attention and love. They know that I love them but have only had to share my time their entire lives. With a new baby coming, I want to find a way to spend time with each of them and do something special just for them. I also want to do some girl time with the girls. With the baby coming and knowing he will take up a lot of my time, I want to make sure they still have that special mommy time that they are used to. 
I am wanting 2016 to bring more date nights with my husband. More time to invest into our relationship. This sounds like so much with having a new baby in a few weeks, getting healthy and exercising, and spending more time with each child. It may be at first but I am hopeful that we can make the time we need to continue to invest in our relationship. Over the past few years of marriage and constant changes that we have experienced, we have both realized the importance of investing in each other. I want to make 2016 our best year of marriage yet, the one that we took the time needed for us. 
2016 needs to be more about me! As most mothers do, I am horrible at doing things for myself. Shopping, reading, activities, etc… are always about my husband and kids. I am a minimalist when it comes to doing things for me. This year I want me time. I want time alone each day, even if it’s only five minutes. I want to spend more time reading and doing activities that I love. Not just doing things for the family. Having three kids will be a new and exciting challenge for me but I am hopeful that I can squeeze in a little me time. 
I am very hopeful that 2016 is a wonderful blessing. January should kick off the new year with the birth of our son. From there, who knows what we will experience but I know that it will be an adventure no matter what it is. 

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Resolutions for 2016


I plan to exercise more and hopefully get a post-baby body back to normal.

I plan to eat healthier for me and our baby.


I am hoping to finish last year’s challenge, reading the entire bible.

I am also wanting to have more prayer time.


I want to have a better relationship with each of my children.

I want to spend more time one on one with each child.


I am hoping to have more date nights and spend more time investing in our marriage.


Next year, I am hoping to invest more time in me!

I want to read more books.

I want to have more alone time for just me.


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