Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me & You - Oreck Giveaway!

So, today is my 30th birthday. And the only reason I know this is Facebook reminded my friends, who've posted on my wall, reminding me. Yeah - I'm a bit busy.

Anyway, instead of me getting gifts, I want to give away something to one of my readers - a DualMax Air Purifier.

(And this is where I'll put my nifty pictures of my air purifier in the morning. I would now, but my camera card is in my bedroom, and Audrey is fighting bedtime and halfway out in the hallway. I'm afraid to walk back there and wake the dragon)

Now, I've never had an air purifier in my house before. To be honest, I thought they were kind of hokey, and what hypochondriacs use to help them feel better about their allergies or something like that. Um, no - not the case. Within the first day of plugging this baby in, Eddie was able to take out the Truman Cell filter (a handy dandy filter made of metal & wire that's negatively charged, trapping the positively charged gross stuff in your air - that never needs replacing) and clean a massive gob of stuff that we'd been breathing. Now, we vacuum religiously, don't have pets, and keep the house pretty tidy. So imagine my surprise when I realized just how effective the DualMax Air Purifier was. Currently, we have it plugged into our room, and run it on the first two settings during the day. You can't even hear the first setting, and the second one sounds like a faint hum. However, we love sleeping with the third setting on, because it does sound like white noise - and I want it to suck all of the gunk while we are spending the most amount of time in our room.

If you want to get all technical and ask how does this purifier work, it's simple! Oreck’s patented Truman Cell® captures dust and allergens from the air that passes through it, pulling them out of the air like a magnet. At the same time, the Helios Shield is working to reduce common household odors as well as chemical fumes such as paint smells, the gases put off from new rugs and furniture, aerosol vapors and cleaning supply odors from the air that passes through its filter. The dual fans then push cleaner, fresher air back out into the room.

And like I said, I'm giving away one free DualMax Air Purifier (retail $399) to one very special reader. All you have to do is leave a comment. Yep, that's it. Make sure your email is either attached to your blogger profile, or you leave it in your comment.

Want extra entries? Leave a comment for each of these:
1. Like Oreck on Facebook
2. Follow Oreck on Twitter
3. Post a link to this giveaway on your blog, tweet or Facebook about it

The winner must live in the United States. Oreck supplied me with a DualMax Air Purifier at no cost to me. These are my own opinions, and I was not paid for them. While Oreck is supplying the DualMax Air Purifier, I am the host of the giveaway.

Breast Feeding vs. Formula Feeding

When the girls were born, I had such a hard pregnancy, and was hoping and praying for babies that were born healthy - that I'd really given no thought as to what I'd do with them once they were actually here. So when I was wheeled back to the recovery room, and the girls were brought to me to hold and attempt to breastfeed (at the same time), I was a bit overwhelmed. I had done no research, or read any books on the topic of breastfeeding. I felt like a rookie, was heavily medicated, and completely confused by the lactation consultant that they'd sent. Once I was taken to my room, and the girls were sent to the NICU, a nurse brought in a hospital grade pump for me to use. No directions, just a Medela pump and a starter kit. So I hooked myself up and went to town. And cried when I pumped like 5 drops. Like I said, I was literally clueless on breastfeeding.

I ended up talking to another lactation consultant in the NICU, and was told to pump every 3 hours for the girls, and how long the milk was good in room temperature, the fridge, or a freezer. I pumped around the clock while the girls were in the NICU, but sometimes they supplemented with Neosure. When the girls were discharged, my routine was this: girls would wake up hungry (at the same time), I'd change their diapers, run to the fridge and grab two bottles of milk, warm them up in water, snap on a nipple, feed, burp, put them back to sleep, pump, wash pump parts, store milk, and go to bed. By the time I fell asleep, it was almost time to do it again. I was so exhausted and had little support, so I ended up slowly switching them to formula. They were doing well on it, gaining weight, and I felt human again.

This time, I've been able to almost exclusively breast feed Corbin. I've learned a lot in the past three years about breast feeding, so I knew I wanted to give it a shot. He was given about 10ml of formula in the hospital, at the urging of a nurse who thought he was hungry before my milk came in, but even his pediatrician said there was no need to supplement just yet. I'm also pumping to keep a freezer supply for when I go back to work in January. Typically, I feed Corbin every 3 hours, and pump shortly afterwards. I've also finally hit the jackpot with a sleeping baby, and he actually sleeps at night. In fact, I have to wake him up to feed (due to his low weight).

But y'all, pumping when you have two toddlers to watch is not easy. AT ALL. Seriously, they wait until I'm hooked up to three feet of tubing to get into trouble. They'll fight, scream, smuggle nail polish and paint the walls, get into the fridge and pull out the contents of the condiment shelves - you name it. I try to keep them occupied with tv shows, my Kindle Fire, or my phone - but nope, it doesn't work. It's also not fun explaining to one child that no, a scary dragon is not eating mommy - and the other, why she's not getting any milk when she sneaks in my room and tries to pump her "moobies" to get milk for her dolls.

Plus, there's the cost. I always thought breast feeding was free. Um, no - not at all. Between spending $10 for a pack of boob pads, $15 for freezer bags that last a week, $10 for nipple saving cream, several bras & nursing shirts, and a pump (which thankfully I was able to borrow and not have to drop $300 on) - I'm realizing that the cost is almost comparable to formula.

So for right now, my boy is breast fed (and sometimes bottle because Eddie wants to help as much as possible). But I know that if the stress of life, going back to work, and making sure my toddlers don't kill each other really starts to get to me - that formula will be the way we go. Happy mom = happy baby.

Also, I just talked a lot about the state of my boobs on the internet. Sorry, dad.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Apologize

I'll go ahead and apologize for the influx of baby photos I will probably post. It's so nice to have someone to take pictures of that doesn't try to run away, dress like a street urchin, or start fighting with their sibling the moment I pull my camera out. I know I missed out on a lot of the girls' younger days - simply because there were two of them, and I was doing a lot of it on my own. I just want to cherish these cuddly moments because I know they fly by - and he's my last baby

Monday, November 28, 2011

Corbin's First Doctor's Appointment

We took Corbin to his first doctor's appointment on Saturday. He now weighs 5lbs 6oz - gaining 2oz since we left the hospital! They also did a recheck of his bilirubin levels, and they are still borderline. We'll go back later this week to do another check. However, the doctor said his liver will really start kicking in this week, and since he's gaining weight and having wet diapers, she doesn't see a problem.

Here are some pictures I finally captured of Audrey playing with her baby brother.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Sisters

Natalie is coming around to the idea of having a baby brother a little bit, especially since Emma is enamored with Corbin, and she's Natalie's role model. Natalie got to hold Corbin for the first time this evening. We've asked her the last few days, but she wasn't interested at all. Audrey has held Corbin - but she was too busy chowing down on a sucker to join in the fun. Also note that I've not dressed my children (they do that themselves), nor brushed their hair in a few days, lol. I promise they don't normally look like homeless urchins. And finally, Eddie was the one who took these pictures. He's been messing around with my camera trying to figure things out on his own. He did a fairly good job for being inside with little to no natural light.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Corbin's Birth Story

Last Friday, the girls slept so awfully the night before, that I got possibly two hours of sleep. I felt so tired, I gave fair warning to my students of my negative patience level before classes began. I rushed to school and didn't have any breakfast, yet wasn't even hungry, and couldn't eat lunch. I got home from work around 3:45, and the girls were acting poorly. To top it off, I just felt off. I went to the bathroom, and upon wiping, noticed a pink tinge to the paper. I wiped again, and it was still there. So being cautious, I called my OB's office and waited around for over an hour for a response (they close early on Fridays). In that hour, I noticed my braxton hicks were getting a bit stronger, but I didn't think much of it. In fact, we were getting the girls ready for a Target run when my OB's office called back and said I should head to Labor & Delivery just in case.

So Eddie & I called my parents to come watch the girls for a bit. On our way, Eddie said "Hey hon, I hate to be insensitive and all - but can I get some food first?". I laughed, and said sure, I was a bit hungry, too. We grabbed some Chick-Fil-A, but I could only stomach about 5 fries. At that point, I was having pretty regular, painful contractions. We got to the hospital, signed in, and they were booked full. In fact, when I was admitted, I got put on an empty wing with my own nurse. The doctor came in and decided to give me some fluids because I was a bit dehydrated, and a shot of brethine. He checked my cervix and said it was closed, but a bit soft. After a while, I started to feel much better, and the nurse said she was pretty sure I'd be going home soon. However, when the doctor came back, he said he'd really like me to stay the night to have another ultrasound in the morning to check on Corbin's fluid level. Apparently, his heart did something odd on the monitor and he was afraid he was rolling over on his cord. He also said that he doubted I was in active labor, since my contractions were stopped with fluids and meds.

After a while, Eddie & I were moved to another room for the night. We joked that it was going to seem like a vacation to stay at the hospital, be served food, and not have to watch kids or clean for the night. Oh boy - we were so, so wrong. Around 4 in the morning I woke up to use the restroom. I noticed bright red blood, and started having contractions again. The doctors ordered more fluids and brethine, but it didn't seem to stop them. By 8 when I saw my OB again, he thought it might be the beginnings of active labor. He checked my cervix, and I was only 1cm dilated. Obviously, being less than 36 weeks, they wanted to do as much to stop labor, but knew the possibility of delivering was an option. After a few more hours, I'd finally progressed to 5 cm and it was evident that I would be having the baby that day. Now, with the girls I had some minor contractions, but holy heck - these hurt so bad. My OB was in the OR with another patient, so I had to wait around for him. They decided to go ahead and give me an epidural since I was in labor. By this point in time, I was probably 6cm dilated. If I could bake cookies for every woman that gave birth med free, I would. Y'all are saints. Finally, around 1:00, I was starting to get prepped for my repeat c-section.

Once in the OR, things moved so quickly. They gave me another dose of meds since my epidural had worn off a bit. I'd say within 15 minutes of being wheeled in the room, they began cutting. And, um, it hurt - a lot. I'm not sure if it's because they didn't get the dosing right on my medicine, but I could actually feel pain, burning and cutting in certain places. Of course I started wigging out, and they pumped me full of medicine. In fact, I was so out of it, I don't remember Corbin being born. Eddie said my eyes were floating in two different directions, and I was completely out of it. Even back in recovery, things are spotty for me. I'd say it took a good 10 hours for the fog of medicine to be lifted away. It is so ironic that my pregnancy with the girls was stressful, but their delivery was easy - and my pregnancy with Corbin was smooth, and my delivery was fairly traumatic.

Corbin Reid Wike was born at 1:55 pm on Saturday, November 19. He weighed 5lbs 11oz and was 18.5" long. We had a fairly uneventful hospital stay. Corbin lost a little bit of weight, and had to do 24 hours under the phototherapy lights. I had a bit harder time recovering from this c-section than my last one - due to scar tissue and my tubal ligation. We came home on Wednesday, and he has been such a good little baby.

As for the girls, Emma loves being a big sister. She always wants to hold and cuddle Corbin. Audrey had an extremely hard time being away from me for so long. However, she loves her little brother. She's yet to hold him, but has asked to "pet" him on his back. She also brings him his blanket, or bottle, and tries to help out. Natalie, on the other hand, is a bit upset that she is no longer the baby. In fact, last night she asked me to carry her to bed. When I explained that my boo-boo hurt, and she cried "but I'm still little, too!". Oh my goodness, talk about breaking my heart! Things have been hectic, but we're loving being a family of 6 now.

And here are a bunch of pictures!!

You can tell Audrey missed her mommy

Home at last!

Audrey, Corbin & me on his first day home

Just for size perspective - this is Corbin at 5 days old. The other pictures are the girls at 2 months old.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Almost Home

Well, it looks like Corbin and I will be discharged tomorrow. He is doing great and is such a sweet baby. All three girls have met him - that's definitely a post within itself, lol. Of course, I still need to type out his crazy birth story. Until then, a pic of the cuteness...

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love Them!

Another post and run - sorry! I only have my Kindle with me, not my laptop. I love, love these boys....

He's Here!

I really hate to post and run...but I have a baby to feed. Let's just say I got insanely close to having a natural childbirth and I felt so much of my c-section they had to give me 3 times the amount of meds. Corbin is doing great and 5lbs 11oz, 18.5in long, on room air and feeding like a champ.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Howdy From the Hospital

Just a little update about us. I had some fairly strong braxton hicks yesterday paired with lower back pain. I then noticed a pink discharge, and the contractions grew stronger. So off to labor and delivery we went. They hooked me up to two bags of fluid and gave me a shot of brethine. The doctor decided to keep me overnight because there was a blip on the monitor that looked like Corbin rolled on his cord. I woke around 5 with bright red bleeding and terrible cramping. I've been given another dose of brethine and more fluid, and am just waiting for the doctor and an ultrasound. It is a wait and see game now. Since labor isn't stopping all the way, it may be time.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Phone Dump

Doing a drive by post today - sorry. I'm working on two hours of sleep. Last night, Natalie took a while to go down for bed time. She was quiet in her room for about 20 minutes, and then kept repeating "Mommy, Eddie, come here....Mommy, Eddie..." so Eddie went to see what was the matter. She sat up in bed and said "I need a paper towel, I have a booger. I have two of thems!" - all while holding her finger out for him to see her handiwork. See?:

Audrey, on the other hand, started to go down to sleep pretty easily. Thanks to a Santa Claus app on my phone, and the promise of a baby doll with a blue pinket for Christmas (she calls blankets "pinket" because her favorite blanket is pink). But she started to fight sleep, and was coughing. When I left her room, she decided to sit up on her bed and sing songs. I walked in about 30 minutes later and found her like this (and yes, she does have a toddler bed, and a twin sized mattress on the floor in case she falls out of bed!):

Audrey woke up crying around 10:00, and again around 11:00. I finally brought her to bed and kicked Eddie to the couch because I knew it was going to be a long night. And it was. Audrey said her ear was hurting her, and she started to get a fever. She's had a runny nose and congestion, and I just chalked that up to being exposed to a bunch of new kids at school. She begged me to take her to the doctor last night, and I had to explain that we'd have to wait until today. To say she slept fitfully is an understatement - I don't think we went to sleep until sometime after 3:30. And of course Natalie had to join in on the fun. She woke up around 2:00 calling for me to come get another blasted booger off her finger. I handed her a roll of tissue and said to use it wisely. She spent about an hour singing to her dolls, and finally fell asleep. Let's just say I woke up this morning, and her room looked like New Orleans the day after Mardi Gras - littered with paper. Natalie ended up going to school, and my mom is thankfully taking Audrey to the doctor to get her ear checked out.

And a few other random pics:
Emma, Papa & Natalie

I took Natalie to a special lunch last weekend, and she slept through most of it

We <3 Tutti Frutti

I can't imagine sleeping like this!

The girls really love going to school in the mornings

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