Friday, April 29, 2011

Summertime Haircuts

Look what Casey did to my babies!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who wants to hold the baby???

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


How can someone so small become such a huge part of your life so quickly? I absolutely can not get enough of Baby Ender. He is so precious! I'm amazed at what a wonderful baby he is. So far he doesn't seem to be a spitter (which is a big thing for us). He also has a great temperament. He only cries if he needs his diaper changed or wants to eat, and he mostly sleeps the rest of the time. I've always thought I wasn't much of a baby person, but I'm head over heals in love with Ender. Casey says Ender is trying to be extra good to make up for all the difficulties with his pregnancy and delivery. It's funny that you can have four babies and then the fifth comes and does EVERYTHING completely differently. Some of the differences I noticed with this pregnancy were Gestational Diabetes, Horribly itchy skin, Inability to stand on one leg (this happened with the last two also, but it seemed to start earlier with Ender), and he kept flipping into a breach position. He was breach at one check up and the doctor started talking about doing a C-Section so we all started praying he'd flip, and at the next appointment he had. Then at the next appointment he was breach again and the doctor said we could possissibley try flipping him and scheduled an induction date. I really wanted to have his birthday be April 2 (because Bennett and Miles both have birthdays on the 2nd), but the doctor didn't want to come in on a Saturday so she scheduled me for the 1st (April fools day, I wasn't too happy about that). We were really hopeful that she'd be able to flip him, but later that day she called and said she had talked with a fetal medicine specialist and he said due to my past history (gestational diabetes, history of recurrent pregnancy loss, and another blood test that came back a little off) he didn't recommend trying to manually flip him, so my only hope for a normal delivery was for Ender to flip on his own. My dad and Casey gave me a blessing and we all began praying for Ender again. The next day we went into the hospital around 10:00 and our C-section was scheduled for 12:00. The nurses brought in a ultrasound machine and checked, but he was still breach, so they started prepping me for surgery, then my ob came in and checked once more with the ultrasound machine and amazingly enough he had flipped. We were so happy and felt like our prayers had been answered. I was then taken to a labor room and we started on pitocin and the doctor broke my water. I had pretty regular contractions and finally got my epidural, but I still had pockets where I could feel the contractions. I felt like Enders head was pressing into my hip bone, and when the doctor came in to check me again she said his head was tilted so he was trying to come out face first. I hadn't progressed past a three and it was about 5:30 at this time so she said we were going to have to go ahead with the C-section. I started crying (I know it's lame, I blame it on lack of food, sleep, and an inability to cope with too much change). In a way I was excited to do the C-section. I had heard that they are easy, it's just the recovery that is difficult, but my experience was completely different. I was already hooked up with the epidural, so they used the same tube to dose me with medication, and the doc said that a lot of people throw up during the surgery I guess I was feeling arrogant because I quickly said "I won't throw up". Then they moved me into the surgery room and had me try to move to the operating table where I promptly threw up and continued to throw up through the entire thing (serves me right huh?). I don't think I do well with medication, and even with my epidurals I've had varying degrees of success, and I don't think my c-section med's worked that well, because I thought it was the most painful thing I've EVER done! It was miserable and I was seriously afraid I'd be resentful. Once he was out I told my mom "GO get pictures" so she was able to go over to the table where they were cleaning him up and she got some great pictures. Casey stayed with me while I kept saying things like "This kills, it's awful". Once they got Ender all cleaned up Casey brought him over and tried to show me, but I just started puking again (I know, I'm a good mom). After they got me all stitched up they unstrapped my arms and my nurse (who was so great) started pushing on my stomach and I smacked her arm away. I felt horrible and did apologize later (after two or three doses of morphine). They took me to a little recovery area and pumped me full of more pain killers and then I was feeling really good. Casey and my mom came back and I finally got to hold Ender for the first time. I was instantly in love. I was really sleepy and my arms were jittery (probably due to the meds) but I was so happy to have this new little guy in our family. The recovery was nothing compared to the actual surgery and now I'm getting around pretty well and feel more like myself. Before we left the hospital we had to meet with a heart specialist because Ender's blood pressure was high, but we've met with him every week since and he seems to think he'll be ok. His blood pressures are still high, but the doctor doesn't seem too concerned. We're all completely smitten with Ender and are enjoying every minute of this new little family member!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

OH-IO (Columbus to be exact)

No joke, it's the honest to goodness truth. After a very unique job search (including a Purdue career fair, a Harvard career fair, 28 portfolios, 10 sets of business cards/work samples, too much money in postage, two trips to Columbus, and countless prayers) Casey accepted a job with MSI in COLUMBUS OHIO (yes i'm screaming)!!! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. 3 1/2 hours from my parents 4 hours from my sister, does it get any better than that (if only we could get some Elmers out this way)? Casey has maintained control, but I think he's pretty darn happy also. I'm so proud of Casey, it's been a pretty long journey and he has excelled every step of the way. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father and even though I'd love him to just stay home with us every second of every day I think he'll start the new job next week. So wish us luck...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

For Unto Us

On Friday, April 1st at 10am we arrived at the hospital for a planned C-section. The baby was not cooperating and had flipped to breech from his typical head down position of two weeks earlier. We prayed that he would flip so that Amanda could deliver him normally, but when the nurses ran the ultrasound, they found that he was laying sideways, so they began prepping Amanda for the surgery that was scheduled for 12pm. At 11:30, her doctor came in and double checked the baby's position and wouldn't you know it, he had flipped head down. So we cancelled the surgery and moved into a berthing room. We were pretty excited that our prayers had been answered and not at all surprised that he was playing his own little April Fools joke on us. They started Amanda on Pitocin and she was on her way. Around 5pm, the doctor checked her progress and found that the baby was trying to come out face first. Well from there, it was back to surgery for delivery and while we were waiting, someone else had an emergency C-section and so we waited for our turn. At 7:30, they wheeled her into the OR and Kathy and I donned white jumpsuits, hairnets, and facemasks and went in to help Amanda. She did beautifully and though it wasn't exactly as easy as she had hoped, baby Ender was born at 7:47 weighing 8.11 and 20 1/2 inches long. After they stapled her up (literally) they wheeled her into the postpartum rooms where she really got to see Ender for the first time. He is beautiful and has a full head of hair, the most of any of the other kids. Amanda has been recuperating well and has even played some Rummikub with me. Porter, Maya, Bennett and Miles, who are being watched by the ever patient Nana and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Steve, came over for lunch yesterday to see their new brother and Maya and Porter were thrilled to have a new baby brother and kept asking to have their picture taken with him. Bennett and Miles were more interested in the Happy Meals. A few more days of recovery and we'll be bringing both momma and baby home.

Arriving at the hospital ready to go.

Calm and confident looking forward to a typical delivery.

Change of plans and suiting up the cheerleaders.

Ender Lawrence Elmer comes kicking and screaming.

ID'ing the suspect.

Ender rests casually.

Dad gets to hold the slimy guy first.

Then momma gets her turn.

Two thrilled parents.

Maya begs for a picture of her holding her new brother. She has been incessantly bugging her parents for a puppy, hopefully this allays her cravings for something cuddly and un-housebroken.

Ender giving Maya the smolder which no woman can resist.

Porter (8) Ender (.0000000008)

Even Brad and Jessica were there to welcome Ender into the world and keep us all entertained with loads of interesting things that we'd rather have not known about, while we waited.

More hair than any other Elmer before him.