Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hi, I'm Nya!

Hi, I'm Nya! I'm still being pretty nice to my mommy. I settle down pretty easily after a feed, as long as I'm swaddled nice and tight AND as long as mommy hasn't spent too much time talking to me. Sometimes she can't help it, I think it's the combo of my eyes and dimples.

I'm a bit of a monkey between 9-11pm or so, and then I feed a few times throughout the night. Last night I did two 2 hour sleeps and one 4 hour one. Daddy just lays there snoring away like an animal that snores very loudly. It drives mommy crazy.
Mommy still hasn't put me in real people clothes! I've just been wearing newborn pj's. I spit up a lot so I go through a lot of them. I know that in a month or so, I will be sporting some pretty sweet clothes!

I still have my umbilical cord. Also, I'm a poop machine like my brothers and have about 6 poopy diapers a day. That's the only time I cry and I like to be held during that time (with my back being patted). Yesterday I weighed 8lbs 1oz so I'm gaining weight at a great speed.

Mommy is looking forward to driving next week so we can get out and have some fun with my brothers. My brothers are really sweet to me. They love to hold me, help me get changed, and hold my hand. Koen still refers to me as Nya Carla (after Carla Veloso from Cars 2).

My mommy's blood pressure and heart rate have been getting higher so the midwives are monitoring her. She doesn't know if it's from regular physiological changes post partum or if it's thyroid related. She's going for a thyroid test next week. If you could pray for my mommy's blood pressure and heart rate, I'd really appreciate it!

This is how I spend a lot of my day...swinging away, swaddled tightly.

I have to say that I am very loved. My mommy said that she feels so happy to be able to have a mother daughter relationship again. She says it has brought her so much healing from the loss of my oma. Mommy also hopes I'm a little bit better behaved than she was as a teenager, but, one day at a time!

Hope you are all doing well, I am!

Love, Nya

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 Year Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday we celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary. Well, not sure we really `celebrated' it as I pretty much went to bed after dinner:) I did get up again as our little girl likes to be up in the evening until about 11pm so that keeps us busy/tired. However, last night after some good cluster feeding, she then slept in two 4 hour periods. Awesome.

The first day with 3 kids went okay. My sister Maria came in the morning for an hour so I could get my shower in. She also started the laundry for me, thanks Maria! There were quite a few visitors throughout the day which totally exhausted me. Not trying to be mean, just saying, social interactions are a bit tiring right now:) One visitor was the midwife...Nya is back up to her birth weight already and doing well!

I am happy to say that my swelling/water retention has gone down. Wow. After a C-section, you retain tons of water from the IV's etc. I came home from the hospital weighing just 5lbs less than going in. My ankles returned today and finally the pounds are coming off.

I realized that I hadn't posted any pictures of Gary with his little girl! So, here are a few. Gary says he doesn't love the newborn stage but he sure is good with kids of all ages. He really is. I am so thankful for him and I think we are such a great team!
I wish I could just freeze time right now because I'm not ready for her to start getting bigger. When I look at my niece and nephew who are 4 months old, they look humongous!
I think we'll try to do a newborn session of sorts with her before she gets too big. It's a bit too tiring to think about but I know I will appreciate it later:)

And, I know `they' say that newborns don't smile, it's just gas. However, this little girl smiles A LOT! I love it. She must be gassy then:) Have I mentioned that just like her momma and her brothers, she has a gorgeous dimple?
She def. looks like her big brothers when they were babies!

Seven years and three beautiful, healthy kids. Awesome. Thankful!

Love, Louise

PS Thank you to `Veggie Tales' for giving me time to blog:)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Family of Five

We had a good weekend! I have just been resting up while Gary manages the big boys. I feel really good recovery wise and I'm a little nervous for first day with all three kids on my own. My goal is to have a shower:) We went for a walk to the mailbox on Friday and I think that might have been too much for me. However, today we went to church and that was super do-able.
As per with the boys, I'm dealing with some lovely engorgement going on which may be too much info but seriously, so painful and frustrating. Oh well, ample breast milk so I shouldn't complain! When the midwife checked her on day 4 she was 7lbs 10oz so almost back up to birth weight. She is spitting up a lot but I think she's just dealing with all that I'm giving her:)
{She looks like a skinny baby Koen here:)}
Talking about breastfeeding, Kai is very fascinated and asks a lot of questions. He likes to help with the burping. Koen has now started specifying that he would like cow's milk to drink:) So far, she is still a super baby just eating every three hours and going back down to sleep pretty easily. I feel the most rested this time around, that's for sure!
And now Koen wants my attention so here are some pictures of the boys loving their little sister...

{She loved bath time!}

Arms and heart are full. Love it.
Love, Louise

PS Someone is celebrating their anniversary tomorrow!! Not sure how we'll celebrate but we sure have a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nya's Birth

I want to write this out before I forget it in a haze of newborn-ness. There are some photos of surgery, fallopian tubes and all that warned! It's just mostly about the C-section with some photos:)

On May 22nd, we had a booked C-section for the birth of our little girl. Her due date was May 28th and that was the closest date I could get to it. We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:15am. I had so many different emotions as the date approached. I just wanted her out so that I knew she was safe in my arms. I wanted her to stay in me so that she could grow as much as she could. I wanted to stay pregnant because she is our last biological child. I wanted her to be on the outside because the Braxton Hicks contractions were very, very strong for the last two months and very uncomfortable.

That morning, at 5am, the rest of my mucus plug came out and to me it sort of signified that she likely would have been born soon. We had brought the boys to Gary's parents house the night before and so it was easy getting to the hospital on time.
We arrived at 6am and the nurse got me into a gown, got my IV in and prepped me for surgery. I was quite emotional and I don't know if I was having contractions or just really nervous but I made a LOT of trips to that bathroom.
The surgery this time was a little different as we could actually walk to the OR on the maternity ward. If you are having a C-section, there is definitely a benefit to having it on the ward. Baby was able to stay in the operating room for a good 20 minutes after she was born and I could watch her being checked over, hold her, be with Gary etc.
Compression stockings were also new this time. One of the worst things about a C-section is being attached to so many tubes for 24 hours (IV, catheter, compression thingys).
Gary got suited up and we walked down the hall to `the room'.
I talked to the OB, Dr. A (who actually did Kai and Koen's sections as well). I like her a lot as she is very informative, understanding and efficient. We went over any last minute questions I had and I also talked with the anesthetist. I was in the OR at about 7:45am.
The second I walked into the room, I started crying. I tried to pull myself together but I was overwhelmed. Soon I would meet the daughter I had waited for. Soon she would be coming out by C-section. Could I have pushed her out? Would she be okay? Would I?
As soon as I was frozen (which happened so, so quickly), they got to work. I think because everything happened so quickly, I didn't have time to mentally prepare for each step. Gary came and sat beside me and rubbed my forehead. I was overwhelmed. I also was feeling nauseated which has happened each time I've had a C-section. I let the anesthetist know and he took care of that with medications.
Suddenly she was out! Gary got a bunch of pictures but I'll spare you the bloody ones:) We were allowed to photograph as much as we wanted which I appreciated. All the doctors and nurses were pretty fascinated by the amount of Whartons' Jelly on her umbilical cord (the white part). It was also wrapped around her neck.
She screamed and screamed which I took as a good sign. I could see her the whole time which was awesome. I was shaking a lot so they got me some warm blankets and the adrenaline had my teeth chattering like crazy. I was overwhelmed with happiness. As soon as I saw her, I realized she was small. Like, way smaller than the boys. I turned to the midwife and said, `I could've gotten her out'. I let myself grieve that for a few minutes and then celebrated the fact that I would have a smaller baby that would just stay little and cute longer:) I have since talked to the OB and midwives and am totally okay with her birth. She does have a bigger head (37cm) so it could've been tricky for me. We did the best we could with all the information that we had.
I was having my fallopian tubes removed. Not just cut, removed. The reason they do that is to decrease the chance of ovarian cancer. So, to do this, they actually had to take my uterus out of my body once the uterus was sutured. I had asked before hand to see the fallopian tubes because I had never seen ones in a human before:) The removed the end closest to the ovaries and pretty much 2/3's of it. The picture below shows her dangling one of my fallopian tubes above my head. I got to see both:) It kind of looked like a fat worm.
Having my uterus put back in my body was painful. It felt like someone punching me in a giant bruise. The anesthetist pumped me full of fentanol when I complained of pain and immediately I thought I would pass out. I went to la la land and I think I told him that I loved him. I think the way I coped with the surgery was just letting everyone know how I was feeling the whole time and needing to know what was going on.

Nya Greta Chapman was born at 8:30am. She was just 7lb 14oz (my boys were both about 9.5-10lbs each!) and 21.5" long. By 9:30am I was in recovery and Gary was holding Nya in our room, skin to skin. I was back up to the room at 10:30am and after a quick wipe down by the nurses, I got to feed my baby!!

Both of the boys had low blood sugar levels when they were born but she was totally fine. So nice to be able to feed her before she got a bottle of formula. So nice that she didn't need her heel pricked over and over and over.
At 1pm, the boys came to meet their baby sister. I was still feeling nauseated and actually vomited that afternoon. Yuck. I lay in bed the whole day with the automated compression leggings on which were new this time. Sort of feels like an itchy, sweaty, non stop massage on your legs.
The boys were hesitant to touch her but were excited that baby sister was here! Koen was adamant that her name was Carla (from Cars 2). He still is:)
I sort of can't believe that I am the mother of 3! The first night I did not sleep well (probably just 3 hours) because I was on a high and also, she had a lot of mucus that she kept gagging on. We finally put her on her side and that helped to get it out.
Nya continued to feed and sleep well, so awesome!
I was exhausted from the surgery and just rested and rested. That night they got me up for my first walk to the bathroom. The second day was the worst but still not as bad as my previous sections. We were able to get discharged early and head home after 48 hours. I feel pretty good now (just dealing with the usual engorgement issues) but am glad I won't have another C-section again. Surgery of any kind just sucks.

I am very much in love with baby Nya. She is a sweet mix of Kai, Koen and herself:) She has really long fingers, a lovely long tongue, and a cute little cry. Her head is so, so soft and kissable. Nothing in the world feels better than having a newborn sleeping on your chest. I've missed it so much.

Last night, we slept quite well at home as I was just up every three hours to feed her and she would go back to sleep. She is sleeping in a bassinet in our room and I'm sleeping in a recliner in our room (for now). Gary is being superdad and taking care of everything. I think he's a little excited to have a little princess in his life:)

Also to those who were wondering...her original name for the whole pregnancy was going to be Mckinley. However, a week before, we changed it to Nya. I love it and as soon as we saw her, we knew she was Nya.

So, that's how we met our little Nya. Time to go snuggle her some more:)


PS Thank you to all those who prayed for our health (and particularly respiratory wise). I just had one good cough in the OR and we were both all good!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

She's Here!!

Just a quick post to let you know that our beautiful little daughter is here. Nya Greta Chapman was born via C-section at 8:30am. It was a pretty emotional time in the OR but a good one. She was shockingly small (7lbs 14oz), with a nice big head, 21.5" long and super healthy.

She is feeding well (yay, no blood sugar problems!!!) and so far I feel really good. I will have a full post in about 4 days but in the meantime I will rest and enjoy holding my little girl who wears newborn size clothes!

Nya is swahili/gaelic and means `Purpose' (it's also the new name.). Greta is my mom's name.

She's got dark brown hair under that hat:)

Have a great week and thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Love, Louise

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Time Tomorrow...

...I should have my little girl in my arms. Pretty excited to say the least:) I am extremely exhausted and haven't left the couch much today. We did take the boys to The Olive Garden for lunch (Kai's choice as he likes it for the bread sticks) as a last family outing. Gary has been running around like crazy getting everything done this weekend so I think we are ready!

We are dropping off the boys at gramma and grandpa's in about an hour. I remember I was so sad to leave Kai when Koen was born. I'm not sad to leave them this time (as they are so much older), I'm just sad that Koen won't be my baby anymore. I mean, he's almost 3.5 but I still consider him my baby:)

I can't believe how fast this has gone and I'm sad in a sense that I will never be pregnant again. Thankful. So incredibly thankful for everything.

Not sure what kind of internet access we will have at the hospital but I plan to update either the blog or facebook tomorrow evening.

Have a wonderful evening. I'm hoping I can get one more good sleep in as we have to be at the hospital super, duper early!!!

Love, Louise

PS If you are wanting something specific to pray for...please pray that baby has no respiratory problems as the chance is much higher with a C-section and also that my cough is 100% gone by tomorrow. Thank you friends!!

**Added after: saying goodnight to Koen was pretty emotional for me and Gary too. My baby, I love him. Love my Kai Bear too but he's always been my big boy.**

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Three More Days

Everything feels so surreal right now. I can't even describe it. Our life will be changed forever in just a few more days. This is our last weekend with just the boys. I am so excited about welcoming a little baby to our home. I, Mrs. Super Planner Pants, still do not know her name. It's between two. I think we'll just go with the one Gary is leaning towards. I was trying to see if he'd go for two middle names but I don't think so. I have had the best two sleeps in a row which makes me feel so good. I slept about 7 hours (with a few bathroom breaks) which was awesome.

So, what do you do days before having a baby?

Gary and the boys got to the gardening and cutting the lawn.

Picture of just the boys below...last weekend before little sister will join them in the photos! They are excited and although Kai understands the countdown, Koen just feels like we've been saying he's going to have a baby sister for the entirety of his life:)
Kai says, `Take a picture of me with Mario so we remember how much I loved it!'
Evidence of Koen all over our house? Cars lined up, ready to race.
We got the baby swing down from the garage rafters and set it up. And rearranged our living room to be `baby ready'.
39 week belly below. It looks like the same size as I was with Kai and Koen. My prediction for her weight? 9lbs. How was this pregnancy different than with the boys? Nauseated longer (up to almost 15 weeks), sciatica for weeks 15-25, very little heartburn, gained a few more pounds:)
I just wanted to say one last thing in regards to C-section vs. VBA2C. I feel like one of the main reasons I wanted a VBA2C was to prove I can do it. I'm a (very) competitive person and I have pushed myself physically and mentally in so many things like climbing Mt. Baker and Kilimanjaro, MOMARS and Sea2Summit (adventure racing), 3 half marathons etc. I know I'm strong and tough. However, the fear of baby's head or shoulders not making it out safely has taken precedence and I'm totally fine with a C-section.

I'll admit that I am envious of those that are able to push out big babies and who knows if I could have done it or not, all I know is that I tried my hardest with Kai (9lbs 11oz with 95th percentile head) and we couldn't get him out after hours of pushing. I was shocked that I had a C-section with him, I never ever thought I would have one. Oh well, all I can say is she better be at least 9lbs with a ginormous head or I'm going to always wish I had tried:)

Hope you are all having a great long weekend!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


1. Thankful for a 5 year old that is so helpful and thoughtful. He's a mini adult and I love it:) This morning we woke up to the boys giggling as Kai brushed Koen's teeth for him.

2. Thankful for a 3 year old with the cutest dimples and the cutest sayings. Yesterday he told me to watch him do a `double gumdrop' on the trampoline. Koen can't say `th', so when you ask him how old his is, he says, `Pha-ree' and it's cute. Love, love, love my boys.

3. Thankful that it takes my kids 5 minutes to go to bed and fall asleep.

4. Thankful for a husband that loves to cook. I have zero energy to cook and I love food. Besides, the stove is now a hazard (almost got my belly on the burner) and also my belly is in the way when I try to do anything on the counter. Bending is difficult unless I bend/squat like a sumo wrestler.

5. Thankful that baby is big and strong. Measuring 40 weeks today. Hoping I make it to Tuesday! So thankful for a healthy pregnancy even though I feel like I'm 500lbs and my ankles are long gone.

6. Thankful for great health care (hospitals, midwives, OB's etc).

7. Thankful for our jobs (Gary teaching and our photography). Great holidays and I love the flexibility of mine. I get Gary home for 7 weeks straight!

8. Thankful for my relationship with God and feeling His presence in my life. Love our church community and love hearing Kai pray:) (Koen just does the same one every day `Thank you that Jesus died on the cross and thank you for the baby in mommy's belly')

9. Thankful for chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream in a waffle cone and English Toffee from Purdy's. I started eating ice cream last week after it was inevitable that our baby would be another big one:)

10. Thankful that the boys have been fighting way, way less. The rule on the trampoline is that if anyone cries, both of them have to come off. They jumped for an hour straight yesterday without fighting.

I hope you are having a lovely sunshine filled week!!
Love, Louise

PS Did I tell you about Kai's Mother's Day card? Inside it said things like `I love you!' `You are the best!' and on the front of the card...who was it addressed to? The trampoline.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I have to say that I had the best Mother's Day that I've had in the last 6 years. Why?

Two reasons:

1. We have always celebrated Mother's Day and Father's Day with Gary's extended family and I really felt that it took away from celebrating Gary and I. It might sound selfish, and although I do love my in laws, I really do appreciate one day to celebrate me being a mom:) (and on Father's Day, Gary being a dad). Also, celebrating gramma on Mother's Day has always been hard for me as it rubs in the fact that my mom isn't here. I remember the first one, it took place a week after she died. That sucked. So, this year we gave gramma her card, flowers and gift a week early (they were going on holidays anyway) and Sunday was all about me!

2. I have learned a few things over the years and one of them is that if I don't want to be disappointed, I need to let my expectations be known. So, this year I told Gary what I wanted for Mother's Day. Yup, I'm not just selfish, I'm bossy:) Ha. So, on my list?

a. A homemade card with at least 3 meaningful sentences in it. Yes, I had to say three sentences or I'd end up with something ridiculous. Believe me.
b. English Toffee from Purdy's
c. A water bottle from Coscto in a nice colour. Not orange. Not that I don't like orange but Gary lets them pick my underwear that they buy me every Christmas and last year he let Koen buy me bright orange ones (Gary said it was great for my dutch heritage). I don't wear orange underwear.

And...what happened? I got everything I wanted PLUS a cookbook. Oh, and he made wonderful meals all weekend. So impressed with Gary and his effort. I hope you understand that I'm not a control freak or anything, it's really how Gary and I work best:)

In other news, I am now done all my wedding work (Gary still has to make the slide shows) and this week I am resting. I don't really know how to do nothing but I'm going to try! Just take care of the kiddos and read a book and...I don't know?! I need to get better so I really need to take it easy.

Here are a few pictures we took before church on Sunday:) Me at 38 weeks....

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We did!

Love, Louise

PS 8 more sleeps. So, so, so excited and 99% ready!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wrestling Ring

Not sure if it was a good idea, but we bought a wrestling ring, oh, I mean trampoline. If you've ever seen our yard, you know that it is tres, tres small. I feel bad because I've always wanted my kids to have a huge yard. I was so fortunate growing up to have a forest, pool, trampoline, dirt bikes, chickens etc. Kids dream. However, we live in a very expensive part of Canada and we LOVE our house so we are willing to have a small yard. We make it work by playing hockey in the alley and walking to the park every day.

I have been bugging/asking Gary for a trampoline for almost a year. Today Toys R Us had their 7.5 foot ones (yes, so small!) on sale so we went for it. They LOVE it. I'm glad they have a place to get their exercise for the next few months so I can focus on baby and recovering.

In other news, I have a cold. This is really not good because it happened when I had Koen too. It is so incredibly painful to cough with an abdominal incision so I'm hoping and praying that it goes away in the next 10 days. I know it's silly to ask for prayer for a cold but if you think of it, please do:) I've started using the humidifier which helps a bit.

My sleeping is not going well. I'm tired and uncomfortable and definitely waddling. Last night I was up from 1-3am and I can tell you that facebook is not exciting at that time of night. I feel like the baby has doubled in size in the last two days. I'm actually pretty sure that I'm now bigger than I was with the boys.

I know these next 10 days will go quickly so I will try not to complain and just savour the gigantic-ness of my belly.

This weather is incredible. Today we wore short, t-shirts, hats and sunscreen and went to the neighbourhood festival they have each year. Yay for sunshine!!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to my Purdy's English Toffee already:)

Love, Louise

Friday, May 11, 2012

11 More Sleeps

I am officially in cleaning mode. Decluttering, packing up winter maternity clothes, cleaning out the fridge, washing duvet covers, cleaning out the garage, and dusting blinds that never get dusted. On Sunday I'm going to get Gary to take a few last maternity photos of me as I will never be pregnant again (kind of sad!) as I will be getting my fallopian tubes removed during the C-section. But, I know if we want more kiddos down the road, adoption is definitely the route we will go!
{37.5 weeks and a 37lbs weight gain:)}

I was very excited to find maternity shorts in my old maternity clothes pile this morning! Yay for summer weather!

I know I've said this before but I am so, so, so thankful that my Graves' Disease went into remission so that I was able to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. I know it is so hard for so many women and I recognize this gift fully. I don't know what's going to happen in a couple of months from now but as long as my baby is okay and the medicine works like last time, I can do it!

{Kai had his spring concert yesterday. Not sure if he's posing for the camera of if he really has to pee. He holds it til the last possible second which drives me CRAZY.}

And finally, I have to give a huge thank you to Cars 2. Seriously, the movie plus all of Koen's `Cars' cars have kept him so occupied over the last month while I worked like crazy. He is such a great independent player, I love it!!!

Okay, on to my list!! Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise