Kennedy | 5 Months

5 months old? How did this happen? How did we make it to this point? There have so many times that I thought we’d never survive the early newborn days and yet it seems unbelievable that it’s already been 5 months since our little princess joined our family.

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It’s funny to me how different Kennedy is from her brother. I know they are 2 different people, but they really couldn’t be more opposite. When Maverick was little, he was easy-going. He would sleep anywhere, loved to eat & was just so happy. Kennedy on the other hand is a little more particular.

When she’s tired, she’s screaming, but she can’t sleep just anywhere. She needs to be in her room, with her white noise machine & preferably held with a pacifier or nursing. When it comes time to eat, she can’t have any distractions– no TV, no brother running around & definitely no talking. Sometimes she even gets really picky and likes to have her feet positioned just so on top of my arm. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Girl just knows what she likes and really, I can’t blame her.

Overall she is a happy baby. She wakes up smiling in the morning and as long as she isn’t overly tired or hungry, she’s happy to play. If she had her pick though, she’d prefer to be held and walked around so she can take in the world around her.

This month Kennedy has really started teething though. It’s obvious she is cutting her 2 bottom teeth, as they are just below the gums, but haven’t broken through yet. Poor girl has all the classic teething symptoms too–constant drool, diarrhea, fussiness & chewing on everything. I have given her Tylenol a couple of times, but it hasn’t seemed to help much. Her favorite forms of relief are her pacifier and sucking on receiving blankets.

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Weight: 13 lbs. 7 oz.

Height: Unknown

Currently Wearing: 3-6 months clothes–if the outfit has feet, like her pajamas it has to be 6 months, otherwise they are too short. I think she might be taller than her brother!

Hair Color: Dark brown & getting thicker

Eye Color: Dark brown and eyelashes for days

Likes: Chewing on her hands, her Daddy (he is her favorite!), sucking on receiving blankets, playing in her Exersaucer, playing with Daddy & brother & being walked around so she can see the world

Dislikes: Naps, being left alone, tummy time, getting dressed & teething

Milestones: Kennedy can roll from her belly to back, with a little bit of help, but she hasn’t mastered back to belly yet–probably because she HATES being her on belly. She will put weight on her feet if you stand her up & she is reaching and grabbing for anything in sight. We have started to implement the “Baby Radius” at the dinner table because she isn’t afraid to grab food or utensils right off the plate. She has also started to grab at Maverick’s ears if he is close enough and it’s creating quite an issue because he wants to do it back to her. She loves to coo and is trying hard to sit up. If you lay her down & she doesn’t want to be laid down she will lift her head & legs up, making a little V and try to get up herself.

Favorite Food(s): Mommy’s milk still

Sleeping: I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted in my whole life. Kennedy is the worst sleeper…EVER! We’ve done every sleep training, self-soothing, comforting technique we can find. We’ve rocked, walked, bounced, swung & drove her. She’s been swaddled, partially swaddled and not swaddled. We’ve purchased blackout curtains & white noise machines. You name it, we’ve tried it. She goes to bed every night at 7 PM, only to wake up again within a couple of hours and from there she’s up every hour to two hours until her day starts at 7 AM. Naps–if we can even get her down for one–are considered a success if she sleeps for an hour. I’m praying this gets better soon. It has to, right? Because Kennedy, momma is so very tired.

Favorite Mommy Moment: When she wakes up in the morning, she plays in her crib until I come in to get her. As soon as Kennedy sees me, she flaps her arms really big and has the best smile & when I pick her up, she reaches out & grabs my face like she’s trying to give me a hug. She usually ends up pulling my hair, but it’s still the best moment of my day. It’s as if she is saying, “Good morning Mommy” and I love it! She’s so happy when she wakes up.

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Happy 5 Months, Miss Kennedy Joy! We love you xoxo

xoxo

Kennedy | 4 Months

One of these days I will get Kennedy’s monthly update posted on time, but not this time. I’m so sorry baby girl! Mommy loves you, but goodness, you and your brother are keeping me busy.

Anyways, on May 28, Miss Kennedy turned 4 months old!

 

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As you probably know, the last 3 months have been rough. The first 2 months of Kennedy’s life were nothing short of a nightmare with the constant screaming and month 3, she spent recovering from her lip & tongue revisions. But thankfully, all of that is behind us now, and we are finally getting to see what a happy little girl our Kennedy is!

She hardly cries (which is a drastic change from screaming 20 hours a day), unless she is hungry, tired or feeling left out. Girl has a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). She is so curious and always wants to be in the middle of the action. When we are out somewhere, she needs to be held so she can see what is happening and she is constantly looking everywhere to take in all the sights & sounds. People always comment on how alert she is and it’s simply because she has to know what is happening. I can’t blame her, because I’m the same way. Shawn would say we are nosy, but really we are just curious creatures.

Kennedy is also starting to recognize familiar faces. She knows my mom and has become really comfortable with her. She also ADORES Maverick. It doesn’t matter what she is doing, if Maverick walks in the room or even makes the tiniest of sounds, Kennedy is observing his every move. It’s so cute, but also creating quite a problem when it comes to nursing her because of how easily distracted she is. Plus, Maverick isn’t quiet (ever), but he is slowly learning that when Sissy is eating we need to not be running around the house with the corn-popper.

Overall though, Maverick is doing an exceptional job being a big brother. If she’s upset, he will put her pacifier in for her. He isn’t the best at sharing toys and she is NOT allowed to touch his blanket at all, but he is always more than willing to cover her in slobbery kisses and full body hugs. Recently he has started to try and share his snacks with her, which is kind of scary because of the whole choking hazard thing, but we are working on it.

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Weight: 13 lbs. 5 oz.

Height: 24 and 1/2 inches long

Currently Wearing: Still in 3 months clothes, but they are getting really tight & her sleepers are too short. It’s definitely time to do some 6-month clothes shopping!

Hair Color: Dark brown & getting darker like Mommy’s

Eye Color: Dark brown like Mommy’s

Likes: Chewing on her hands, her pacifier, Maverick, Grammi, being apart of the action, playing outside & her play mat

Dislikes: Her carseat, hair bows, getting dressed, feeling left out & tummy time

Milestones: She is officially smiling at all times and she is SO close to rolling over. She can get on her side, but then just stops. It’s going to happen soon though! Kennedy is also starting to cut some teeth. She is constantly chewing on her hands and drooling. She’s holding her head up without any support now and is reaching & grabbing for items. She can take her pacifier out and almost put it back in her mouth (but usually ends up hitting herself in the nose). She’s also cooing & babbling all the time, but she’s only laughed for her Daddy, which I don’t blame her. He is pretty silly.

Favorite Food(s): Mommy’s milk–although she will make chewing motions with her mouth when she sees someone else eating so we are getting closer to trying some baby food soon!

Sleeping: Worst. Sleeper. Ever. We are definitely in the trenches of the 4-month sleep regression. She’s up every 1-2 hours at night and really only naps during the day if in the car or being held. Mommy & Daddy are so very tired.

Favorite Mommy Moment: Can I be completely honest here? I feel like this is the first month that I’m actually getting to bond with my daughter. The first 3 months were so hard and now that she is feeling better & truly acting herself, we are finally getting to build a relationship. I absolutely love that when she wakes up in the morning, she’s full of smiles. She’s a sweetheart and a definite Momma’s girl. I’m just really loving this month (even with the no sleep part) because I’m finally getting to enjoy my daughter.

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Happy 4 months baby girl. We love you so much!

xoxo

 

Kennedy | 3 Months

It’s been a week and half since Kennedy turned 3 months old and every day I’m continually amazed at how much she is growing and changing.

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It is obvious she is feeling 100 times better since having her lip & tongue ties released and her little personality is finally starting to show through. As much as it pains me to admit it, Kennedy is my mini-me. She is feisty, loud & she knows exactly what she wants, when she wants it and how she wants it. She’s particular in how she gets put to sleep, how she nurses & how she’s held.

Kennedy is also starting to coo and smile, although she’s yet to smile for the camera. She’s most likely to flash her toothless grin when she’s being talked to and when she is nursing. It’s my absolute favorite when she unlatches in the middle of a feeding simply to coo and smile at me before re-latching. It melts my heart every single time.

She also adores her brother. She watches Maverick all the time and if he isn’t in the room, she’s scanning the area for his voice. Maverick has been so sweet to her. He brings her toys, blankets & is always wanting to give her hugs & kisses. She’s trying so hard to roll over and reach for toys and I think it’s because she’s itching to be able to play with him.

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Weight: 12 lbs. 12 oz.

Height: Unknown

Currently Wearing: 3 month clothes

Hair Color: Dark brown

Eye Color: Light brown 

Likes: Sitting up, naps on Momma, being carried in her Tula, watching Maverick play, nursing & baths

Dislikes: The carseat, being left alone, naps in her crib, wet diapers & being too cold or too hot

Milestones: Bringing her hands to her mouth, cooing, smiling, trying to roll over, kicking her feet & tracking objects and/or people with her eyes

Favorite food(s): Momma’s milk

Sleeping: Inconsistently naps throughout the day if in the car or being held, goes to bed between 8-8:30 PM and wakes up at 1 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM and finally at 7 AM. In other words, not the best sleeper.

Favorite Mommy Moment: While nursing, she unlatches to coo and smile at me. Sometimes she will hold a 5-minute long “conversation” with me before re-latching to finish eating. It’s the best thing in the whole world.

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Happy 3 months, Kennedy! Momma loves you xoxo

All Things Lip & Tongue Ties

It’s been 1 week since Kennedy has had her lip & tongue tie revision and over the course of the last 7 days, Shawn & I have been flooded with messages from friends & family checking in her. She’s doing FANTASTIC! The difference in our little girl has been night & day. In fact, she’s such a different baby that Shawn & I have joked that someone must have snuck in in the middle of the night and swapped her out for a newer, less screaming version.

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I’ve also received so many questions about everything that has happened with Kennedy in the last week and I wanted to take this time to address them all. Keep in mind, I’m not a medical professional (by any means!) and I can only speak to my experience with her.

What exactly is a lip and/or tongue tie?

If you run your tongue along the top gum of your mouth, do you feel that little piece of skin that connects your lip to your gum? You have that same piece of skin on your bottom lip and under your tongue. Those are supposed to be there. Kennedy had them too, but they were in the wrong place and were too short. The skin on her top and bottom lips didn’t connect lip to gum, like it should. It connected lip to between where her top & bottom front teeth would be. This made it nearly impossible for her to move her lips. In addition to being in the wrong place, they were too short. They didn’t stretch to allow her to move her lips. She also had extra pieces of skin connecting her lips to her mouth called “buckle ties,” which connects her upper lip to where her eye teeth would be. To put it in perspective, the dentist said, “Her lips were literally tied to her mouth.”

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To make it even worse, she had a tongue tie. You know, that piece of skin connecting your tongue to your mouth? Well she had one, but it was so short, she couldn’t move her tongue to the roof of her mouth. Can you imagine trying to talk or eat without being able to touch the roof of the your mouth? It’s impossible.

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Lip & tongue ties can create all sorts of problems for infants & older children (i.e, speech impairments & dental problems), but for Kennedy, specifically, she was struggling to get a sufficient latch while nursing. She could latch and get milk, but she was also getting a lot of air, which was creating major stomach problems. In addition, she was just in a lot of pain, hence the constant screaming.

How did we not know she had these problems?

This question is the hardest one to answer because as a mom, I beat myself up for NOT knowing. I didn’t know for 2 months! But according to Dr. Nick Prater, the pediatric dentist we saw, this should have been caught when she was born and it wasn’t. The pediatrician & the Lactaction Consultant missed it. Not to mention, it was overlooked the 4 times I dragged my child back to the doctor’s office demanding someone see her because I knew it my gut something wasn’t right. I just didn’t know what. Apparently, neither did they.

But didn’t she have problems breastfeeding?

Yes and no. Breastfeeding was rough. She constantly latched, unlatched & screamed. Every feeding was a battle to get her on the boob and to stay on the boob. But my milk supply was more than enough (hello oversupply!) and she was gaining weight without supplementing. She gained 4 pounds in 4 weeks and doubled her birth weight before her 2 month appointment! So while we fought to get her to eat, once we got there, there wasn’t any issue. So I never called Lactation to have her looked at again because I didn’t think nursing was the problem. I thought she was just being a pain in my ass when it came to eating.

So why did I take her to a chiropractor?

I had already been to the pediatrician 4 times. I was told it was because I had too much milk (which was true, but not the problem). Then I was told she had acid reflux and finally that she was simply just colicky. Every time I took her to the doctor, I told them I was concerned about her lack of pooping. She met the wet diaper requirement each day, but she didn’t poop. She maybe pooped once a week; however, they didn’t seem concerned. I was though and because the screaming wasn’t getting better I became convinced that was the problem. So like every person searching for answers, I went to Google and found that sometimes babies need their hips adjusted following birth to relieve constant constipation. So I found Dr. Racheal McCrackin, a chiropractor that specializes in babies & children, and made an appointment.

Not only were her hips out of alignment but Dr. Racheal caught the lip & tongue ties by simply looking in her mouth and watching her nurse.

PS If you are wondering, she did adjust Kennedy’s hips and she has been pooping daily! 

So how is a lip and/or tongue tie fixed?

Dr. Prater specializes in revising these ties. Once he confirmed the diagnosis, he then used a laser to cut the skin that was holding her lips and tongue from doing their jobs. Prior to our appointment, I did a lot of research and there are 2 methods for revising ties: cutting them or using a laser.

The laser method is preferred because it decreases bleeding & recovery time, as well as lowers the risk for infection.

Unfortunately, they did not use anything to numb or sedate Kennedy prior to the procedure, so it was pretty painful for me to watch it happen to my baby girl. The bright side though, it was less than 10 minutes (probably less than 6 minutes, but it felt like FOREVER) and Kennedy was over it before we made it to the car to head home.

What happens if you don’t get a lip and/or tongue tie revised?

In our case, the dentist said we would have had to get it revised. He said eventually we would have figured it out because her specific ties would have kept her from eating solid foods and/or talking. Thankfully, we caught it before it got to that point.

What’s the recovery period like?

Dr. Prater said the first 3 days following the procedure might be rough; however, Kennedy had no issues! I think it’s because the pain from recovering was pale in comparison to what she had been feeling. I did, however, give her some Tylenol for the first few nights to help her sleep. She seemed to be in more pain at night.

For the next 5-6 weeks, we have to perform lip & tongue stretches on Kennedy. This is to ensure that the tissues in her mouth don’t reattach and grow back. She HATES them and Shawn & I take turns doing them because it makes us feel like the worse parents ever. Basically we have to pull her upper and lower lips away from her gums and hold them for 3 seconds, 3 times and then we have to stretch her tongue to the roof of her mouth for 3 seconds, 3 times. We also have to rub the areas that were revised to keep the tissues from growing back. And yes, it’s all as miserable as it sounds. Fortunately, the areas in Kennedy’s mouth are healing really well, so she’s not in pain when we do these stretches anymore. She’s just annoyed that someone is messing with her mouth…again.

In addition to the mouth exercises, Kennedy is headed back to the chiropractor! Because her lips and tongue couldn’t work as they should, Kennedy compensated in her own little way in order to nurse. However, this started to create a deformation in her soft palate in the roof of her mouth. So for the next couple of weeks we will be seeing Dr. Racheal so Kennedy can get her soft palate reshaped. Incredible, right?!

What does the chiropractor do for an infant?

Personally, I have never been to a chiropractor, but in my head, I envision a lot of popping and jerking. Let me reassure you, she does NOT pop and jerk my baby. It simply looks like she is touching Kennedy — holding her hips, touching near her spine, holding her jaw. I know the chiropractor is applying pressure at certain points, but you couldn’t tell if you didn’t know. And for the record, no it doesn’t hurt Kennedy, but yes she cries simply because she’s being bothered.

Want another fun fact? According to Dr. Racheal, Kennedy is what is called a “bullet baby.” During birth, most babies sit in the birth canal for awhile while the mother pushes the baby out. This allows the baby’s body to adjust during the birthing process. Kennedy, however, was born really fast (2 pushes, less than 5 minutes) so her body never had time to adjust. It’s similar to being in a car wreck, where the inertia carries you forward, even after the car has stopped. However, adults who are in car accidents have muscle tone & muscle memory to help their body realign. Babies don’t have muscle tone or muscle memory so they just stay out of alignment, which was the problems with her hips and the reason behind the lack of pooping. MIND BLOWN!

How’s Kennedy doing now?

Like I said, it really feels like someone swapped out the Screaming Kennedy for the Kennedy we have now. She’s smiling & cooing, things that didn’t regularly happen before, and she’s content to just sit in her bouncer or on the floor while I cook dinner or get ready for the day. Those may sound like nothing, but when it’s been 2 months of constantly consoling a child who only stopped crying to sleep (in 2 hour increments, mind you) those are BIG moments. Granted, she’s still a newborn so it’s not all rainbows and kittens. But she’s better and not in pain anymore and really that’s all that matters.

 

Today, Kennedy has her 1-week follow-up appointment with Dr. Prater and I’m anxious to see how it goes. I’ll be sure to update tomorrow!

 

 

Trusting My Gut

So remember when I said that Kennedy has been nothing short of a nightmare? We tried the acid reflux medicine and it did help…until it didn’t anymore. The last couple of weeks Kennedy has reverted back to being an absolute disaster and I am seriously at my wit’s end.

I can handle a crying baby. I get that babies cry. This isn’t my first rodeo here. But what she does is so much more than just crying. It’s an ear-piercing scream. She screams so hard and so loud that she literally turns red. Her whole body tenses up and her little fists are clenched so tight her knuckles turn white. She’s impossible to calm down and when she does stop screaming, it’s usually because she has screamed herself to sleep. After an hour, she’s up again, screaming.

It’s painful to listen to, it’s painful to watch and it’s draining me of what little sanity I have left. Not to mention, breastfeeding has become a battle all its own. I breastfed Maverick for a year, no problems, and felt confident I knew how to do it with Kennedy too. But every single feeding, I have to fight her to eat. She’ll latch on, but within minutes of starting to nurse, she unlatches, arches away from me and starts to scream. This goes on throughout the entire feeding and it’s exhausting.

I’ve been debating whether or not I should just give up and wean her, but my intuition has been yelling at me that something bigger is going on here. So yesterday after some soul-searching (i.e, having a complete breakdown and a good cry), I listened to my gut and called a pediatric chiropractor. I don’t know why, considering I have never been to a chiropractor myself, but something told me this is what needed to happen and luckily, I had a referral from fellow blogger friend.

The chiropractor got me in for a same day appointment (thank you Jesus!) and within minutes of talking to her and describing what was happening, she asked if she could watch Kennedy nurse. I whipped my boob out without hesitation, desperate for someone else–especially another nursing mom–to witness this nightmare. And without fail, Kennedy latched, suckled, unlatched and the screaming battle began.

The chiropractor recommended a pediatric dentist to access Kennedy for a lip & tongue tie. I left her office feeling very unsure of the whole thing, so I called my Lactation Consultant. Now, why I didn’t call them before all of this is besides me. Let’s chalk it up to exhaustion, okay? Anyways, I had to leave a message, but by the time I got home my gut was once again yelling to just call the dentist.

So I did and guess what? They suddenly had an opening for today, so I took it, and within minutes of getting off the phone with them, my Lactation Consultant called me back and confirmed that yes, it sounds like we are dealing with a lip & tongue tie.

But my intuition wasn’t done yelling at me yet. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of clipping the tie, but I had this nagging feeling that I needed to ask fellow moms and what better way to do that than Facebook? So I posted a status and guess what, moms that I know had AMAZING things to say about the same dentist I was referred to and the procedure in general.

In less than 24 hours, I had seen a pediatric chiropractor, spoke with Lactation, made a next-day appointment with one of the most respected pediatric dentists in the Kansas City area and got confirmation from fellow mothers that this is the right move. And you know what, my intuition that had been screaming at me all day suddenly quieted.

I’ve been a wreck for the last 2 months. I am beyond exhausted. I am cried out. I have spent endless days trying every trick in the book to calm my daughter. I am literally at my wit’s end with nothing left to give, yet today I feel more at peace than I have since we welcomed Kennedy into this world and I truly believe it’s because I trusted my gut.

We’ll see what happens today at the dentist, but if I listen to my intuition, I think this is it. I think this is the answer to my prayers. Wish us luck!

 

Kennedy | Months 1 & 2

I have been putting off writing about Kennedy’s first month of life because it wasn’t a pretty journey. In fact, her first 4 weeks were probably some of the most challenging weeks I’ve had…ever, but then I remembered that the purpose of this blog is to always deliver the good (and the bad) of motherhood, so here’s a recap of her first month and an update as we move into month two!

One Month Old

9 lbs. 1 oz.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture sums up everything that was Kennedy’s first month on Earth. She cried…and cried…and cried. In fact, in the words of my mother, “That baby cries more than any other baby I’ve ever known.”

It didn’t matter if she was being walked, rocked, swung, sung to, hummed to, bounced, patted, fed, burped or any other newborn calming technique, she just cried. She cried so much that eventually I just started crying right alongside her. I was miserable, so in an act of pure desperation I called the pediatrician.

At almost 4 weeks old, Kennedy weighed in at 9 lbs. and 1 oz., which means she gained 4 lbs. in 4 weeks. Clearly, eating wasn’t her problem. The pediatrician looked her over and while it sounds crazy, I was hoping that she’d find something to explain the nightmare I’d been living, but everything checked out fine. Best guess? Acid reflux. So we were sent home with a Zantac prescription and the ever-encouraging words of “It’s just a phrase.”

On top of this screaming “phrase,” Maverick decided that he didn’t need to sleep anymore. I am sure it was his way of regressing, but he just stopped sleeping. He stopped going to bed like he had been…for the last 2 years of his life…and he started waking up almost hourly–screaming for someone to come into his room. Literally, for 4 weeks, nobody was sleeping and everyone was screaming in our household. To really add to the fun, Shawn had started to travel again so I was left all alone to handle the non-stop screaming on a maximum of 3 hours of sleep a night.

I’m not really sure how we survived, to be honest, but by the grace of God (and lots of coffee), the dark clouds started to part and a teeny tiny bit of sunshine started to peek through. The acid reflux medicine was actually working! Kennedy’s screaming started to decrease and she started sleeping some in the day (even if it was only when being held, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers). And that brings us to now…

Two Months Old

10 lbs. 6 oz.

Yesterday, Kennedy turned 2 months old and I’m happy to report that the crying is drastically better!!  We’ve gone from all day screaming to only screaming in the evenings, which is usually combatted with her pacifier and wearing her in the Baby K’Tan, both of which she LOVES. While she still prefers to nap on someone, she’s sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night in her bassinet in our room. Her brother, however, still isn’t sleeping, but that’s a different story for another day.

Kennedy is starting to track things with her eyes and turn her head towards her favorite voices (AKA her daddy). In fact, Shawn got her first smile. He was talking to Kennedy after changing her diaper and sure enough, she flashed him the biggest, toothless smile she could and I think he absolutely melted inside. I’ve gotten a few smiles, but nothing like Shawn gets. When he enters the room, she immediately turns towards his voice and as soon as he comes into focus, she’s smiling, waiting to be spoiled by her daddy.

Within the last week, she’s started to coo and make different noises. Her favorite is when she is in her swing and she sees the monkeys on the mobile above her. She loves to talk to them and kick her legs in excitement.

Kennedy is also taking quite an interest in her big brother. She watches everything he does and Maverick, of course, is happy to show off for her. In fact, he’s starting to take to her too. He likes to help me burp her and he’s been really good about fetching burp clothes, diapers and pacifiers for me when I need them. Occasionally, I will find that he has placed a blanket over her face in an attempt to cover her up, but I keep telling myself it’s an accident and he isn’t actually trying to suffocate her. I think the best part is when she does cry and Maverick asks me, “Baby okay?” Or when we get ready to leave the house and he asks, “Baby?” as if we’re going to leave without her.

Sibling Shirts

At Kennedy’s 2-month checkup, she weighed in at 10 lbs. 6 oz. and got her first round of vaccines. Maverick even held her hand while she got the shots and Kennedy spent most of the day sleeping following her appointment.

She’s still continuing the acid reflux medicine, but I’m hoping she can get off it within the next couple of weeks. We are also transitioning her from the bassinet to her crib. She’s been waking up more in the early morning hours and I think it’s because she’s starting to kick and hit the sides of the bassinet. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m worried that her crying will wake Maverick up since their rooms are right next to each other and the last thing I need is for him to get even less sleep than he already is.

I did do a quick comparison of Maverick at 2 months and Kennedy now and while Maverick was a little bit larger than she is, it’s obvious that they are related. And could they be any cuter?

Kennedy’s Birth Story

I know, I know…it’s been FOREVER since I last posted. In all fairness though, I was growing a small human inside of me and then I brought that small human into this world and well, she’s a little high maintenance so I’ve been busy, okay?

Speaking of that tiny human–I wanted to be sure to document how our baby girl, Kennedy Joy, entered this world. I know the details will start to fade as time passes and I don’t want to forget any of it. Plus, everyone likes a birth story, right? (Or maybe it’s just me?)

img_4530Kennedy Joy Brack, born January 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM
5 lbs. 15 ounces & 18 inches long

My due date was February 1, 2017 but I had a feeling Kennedy might come early. I was induced 4 days early with Maverick and I had hoped to avoid a medical induction this time around. However, the days leading up to Kennedy’s birth, I was flat out miserable. I was having contractions all the time, but they weren’t consistent and I wasn’t making any progress in terms of dilation. I was also just uncomfortable–my back, my hips, everything just hurt. Despite previously telling my doctor that I wanted to avoid a medical induction, I was seriously considering one now because I was so over being pregnant.

The Friday before Kennedy was born (January 27) I had my 39-week appointment. My sister, Maggie, just so happened to be in town for the weekend and offered to go to my appointment with me, just in case the doctor did decide to induce me.

At the appointment, I was still only 2 centimeters dilated and about 60 percent effaced. I brought up how miserable I was feeling and inquired about induction. The doctor said it was unlikely she could get me admitted since it was the weekend, but she was willing to sweep my membranes in hopes of jumpstarting labor. I agreed to give a try and boy, was I glad my sister was there to hold my hand! It was quick, but it was definitely painful. The doctor told me to expect spotting, cramping and more contractions as the day went on. She said it was likely I would go into labor within the next 24 hours.

After hearing that, my expectations were high and I was willing to do anything to help speed the process along. So Mags and I headed to Target to walk the aisles. Because who doesn’t need an excuse to spend a good couple of hours shopping the home decor section?!

By that evening, nothing had happened! No spotting, no cramping, no contractions. I was so disappointed because I really had my heart set on having a baby that day. When Shawn got home from work, I was in a horrible mood. I was just disappointed, but despite my sour attitude, we headed to a Kansas City Mom’s Blog event at We Rock the Spectrum–Kansas City.

Several hours later of running and playing with Maverick, we got home and still nothing!! Shawn went to bed and I wallowed in self-pity and disappointment on the couch while binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Around midnight, I went to bed accepting the fact that Kennedy was just going to come on her own time and unfortunately for me, that time wasn’t now.

Or so I thought because at 1:45 AM I woke up with contractions. I was hopeful, but since I had been having contractions for a few days now, I didn’t want to get too excited. I told myself that if by 2:30 AM I was still having contractions, I would wake Shawn up and call the hospital.

2:30 AM came and my contractions were officially 3 minutes apart. I woke Shawn up and told him it would probably be a good time to get ready to go the hospital. I was shocked with how calm we both were. He just got up and started getting ready, while I gathered a few things. There was no rushing around or panic.

After talking to the hospital, I called my mom to have her come watch Maverick. It was almost 3 AM at this point and you would have thought my mom had a sense this baby was coming. She answered on the first ring and was at our house in less than 15 minutes!

By 3:30 AM, Shawn & I were pulling into the parking lot of St. Luke’s Hospital Kansas City. The ride there was a little rough, as my contractions were definitely getting stronger, but still averaging 3 minutes apart. As we pulled into the parking lot, I looked at Shawn and said, “Damn it, we should have gotten something to eat first!” I knew if this was the real deal, once I was admitted I wouldn’t be able to eat until after she was born and I did not want to get hangry. Shawn did offer to turn around and get something before we checked in, but I didn’t want to push our luck.

After some time in triage to make sure the contractions were the real deal, we were officially admitted to Labor & Delivery. It was early morning on Saturday, January 28, but I am not sure what time it was because at this point I was in a lot of pain and I just wanted my epidural. Once we got settled in our room, my doctor came to break my water, but before she started she asked me if I was okay. I told her I was really nervous that once she broke my water, my labor would progress quickly and there wouldn’t be time for me to get that precious epidural. I was shocked when she asked if it would make me more comfortable if I got my epidural first? I quickly agreed and she paged anesthesia.

Let me tell you, getting that epidural before she broke my water was the smartest thing I could have ever done. After she broke my water, I was numb and comfortable. I told Shawn that we should both try to sleep as it might be a while now.

An hour and a half later, I woke up feeling some discomfort. Not pressure or the need to push, just uncomfortable. I paged my nurse. She went to check me, assuring me that it was probably nothing. Then I watched as her face completely changed. She looked at me and said, “Whatever you do, do NOT push. The baby is crowning.”

Suddenly it was a blur. I was trying to wake Shawn up. Nurses were running in and out to get the room ready for a delivery and I could hear my doctor being paged throughout the hospital. It all happened so fast and within 2 pushes, I had my beautiful daughter in my arms.

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Kennedy enjoying some skin-to-skin with Daddy shortly after making her world debut.

Kennedy’s birth was perfect. I felt at peace the entire time. I wasn’t worried about the what-ifs or the unknown. I just knew that everything was going to be okay. Due to Kennedy’s smaller size (5 lbs. 15 oz.) we got to spend the first couple hours after her birth doing skin-to-skin. Her body temperature wasn’t warm enough and her tiny size was making it hard for her to get and stay warm. While our nurse seemed a little concerned and continued to pile on the heated blankets, Shawn & I soaked up every minute of the new baby snuggles. It was one of the few times where it was just the 3 of us and I loved it.

Later that day, my mom, Wayne (my stepfather), Maggie and Maverick came up to the hospital to meet the newest Brack. I was nervous about how Maverick would handle it, but like always he surprised me. He came running into the room, pointing at Kennedy and saying, “Baby! Baby!” I think my heart exploded into a million pieces when he asked to hold her and I witnessed my first-born love on his new baby sister.

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Over the last several weeks, we have slowly settled into a new family of 4. We’ve definitely had some hiccups and I don’t feel like we are anywhere close to a routine or functioning schedule, but we are getting there. For now though, we are just enjoying getting to know our newest family member and loving on her sweetness.

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Welcome to the family, Kennedy. We love you!