Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grayson Jack Donovan

Ella loving on her new brother.

Mommy, daddy and Grayson.

Our family of four!

My chubby cheeked mohawk man! :)

Grayson is here! He's actually been here since August 6th, but being a mommy of two has kept me a little preoccupied the past week and a half so that is the reason for the delayed blog post.

So, here's the stats for those wondering... He ended up being 9 pounds 5 ounces, 20.25 inches long, and was born at 2:23 pm. We were shooting for 2:19 pm since Ella was born then, but Grayson's "largeness" got in the way! :)

I was honestly expecting the worst as far as deliveries go since Ella's seemed so "easy," but Grayson's birth has hers beat by far! We went to the hospital around 5:30 and were placed in a room and started meds within an hour. Upon arriving, I was already 3 cm dialated and about 85% effaced if I'm remembering correctly. Going in this time I knew I did not want any pain meds before the epidural and I think that is what made this experience so much better! I felt so alert and very aware of everything going on around me unlike the "zomielike" state I was in with Ella! I received my epidural at about 4/5 cm and other than being able to feel it this time around, the epidural itself was perfect! Not too strong, not too weak. I could not move my legs the next day because of my epidural with Ella (slept through labor and pushed 3 times), but with this one I could move my legs, feel the pressure of contractions, but never felt an ounce of pain. The lady knew what she was doing! :) My blood pressure got low again this time around, but they quickly fixed that and we were back in business. As time went by, I began feeling quite a bit of pressure and sure enough, Grayson was making his way into this world! They let me watch the entire birth through a mirror and we were all a little bit shocked to see the "big" baby that appeared after about 10 minutes pushing! He was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen of course! :)

Our stay at Central Baptist was terrific! Our labor and delivery nurses were great and one happened to be a friend of our family which made us all feel very comfortable. When they moved us into Mother/Baby, Kermie and I were tickled too death to see the full size Tempurpedic bed! I was so excited to get to sleep beside him :) I remembered feeling bad for him sleeping on the chair the first time around! My night nurse, Dee, was absolutely amazing during our two night stay. She did everything in her power to make sure we were comfortable and the baby was doing well.

So, we've been home for over a week now and things are going well. I have dealt with the emotional overload much better this time although I have had a few meltdowns. I think having done it before makes everything much easier. Although, adding an almost 3 year old to the picture adds a new dimension! Kermie went back to work Monday after being off for 3 weeks, so that was a little hard. I think Ella had the most difficult time with his return than anyone. She really enjoyed his company! Overall, she is doing great with the transition. I love the age she is at because she has been such a big helper! She can get diapers, wipes, clothes, etc., etc., etc. and actually enjoys doing it! She kisses on Grayson and asks to hold him quite a bit. She is learning that she has to share her time with Grayson now and that babies require lots of attention. She's going to be a great big sister!

I have another 8 weeks at home from school so I will try to take pictures as I can and keep everyone updated on my life with two children! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sharing... Empathy... Sympathy

At the age of 2... almost 3... I know that the thought of sharing, being empathetic, and sympathetic for others is nearly impossible! While sharing is a must, learning empathy and sympathy are probably still a few years off in terms of age appropriate development. On the other hand, I do think it is a great time to start teaching these things to children.

As most everyone knows, my grandpa has been in the hospital since last week due to a bad fall/stroke/broken leg. Therefore, we spent many hours there comforting family and praying for healing. While we were at the hospital, there was a family who appeared to be living in the ICU waiting room. The most obvious family member was a young girl who was only 8 years old. Each time we were visiting, she was there (usually in her pajamas) watching tv. Ella really took to this little girl and enjoyed her company and gadgets! While we sat, we tried to get some information from this little girl about why she was there and so on. It turns out, they had been there for two weeks because her father was having seizures and suffering from lymphoma. This little girl was a very mature 8 year old and was willing to tell all about her life struggles. You could tell that she was "forced" to grow up at a rapid rate and was in need of love and attention. What 8 year old wouldn't after spending two weeks plus sleeping in a hospital? As we got to know Sophie, we realized that she was excited for school, but was missing a few last minute school supplies. So, Kermie went out on a little shopping spree so she could be prepared for school and a fresh start to the year. School supplies were probably the last thing on her family's mind!

To make a long story short... when Kermie returned with the belated birthday gift, Ella was very confused! We hadn't told her we were going to give Sopie a gift and hadn't shared with Ella Sophie's circumstances before hand and honestly didn't think she would even understand if we had told her. As Sophie unzipped her new backpack and began taking out all the goodies, Ella starting throwing a FIT! I was completely humiliated to say the least. She couldn't understand the fact that those were not for her, couldn't be "shared," and that her daddy wasn't going to give her something out of the bag. I immediately took her out into the hallway to begin explaining this very complicated situation to a 2 year old and when she finally gained composure I took her back in. Once inside the waiting room again, she starting getting upset and wanted to open everything inside the bag, so we said our goodbyes and left.

My inital thoughts were "what have we done wrong" and "have we spoiled our child so much that she can't give to others?" I know that Ella is very blessed to have the things she has and know that she is "spoiled" to a certain extent. I also know that she is only 2 and is at a very selfish age, but I also know that we need to be working harder to make sure she knows just how blessed she is and that there are many less fortunate little girls in this world.

On top of our sharing issues and this incident, we have also been looking to find something in addition to TIME OUT, to reinforce positive behaviors from Ella. I am not a fan of constantly say "no", "don't", etc. etc. etc. So, Kermie and I put our heads together and came up with a Stick System. This system is purely positive reinforcement and does not involve any type of punishment whatsoever. The only materials needed were a plastic cup and ten sticks. We explained to Ella that she could earn 10 sticks for doing "big girl and good girl" things around the house and outside of the house. Whether it's picking up after herself, not complaining about not getting her way, sharing, etc. etc. she can earn up to 10 total sticks. When she gets to 10, she is allowed a "special" treat. She also will be getting the same "special" treat to give away to someone else. So, basically, by displaying positive behavior, which will hopefully cut down on TIME OUT time, Ella will be rewarded for doing good things and will get to give her earned reward to another person.

Since we have started the Stick System, Ella has been in TIME OUT 1 time! It's been a total of 4 days now, so that's a record! She has helped out around the house more than usual, refrained from using "mean" words when she is angry and gotten super excited when she earns a stick! She is currently at 9 sticks and has one left to earn before getting her "special" treat. She has mentioned a piece of candy and talked about sharing the extra treat with her cousin Ava or Brayden, so we will see what she decides. I know it's only been a few days, but the immediate results have been so rewarding and more than anything, I am hoping that she learns to share more with others (less fortunate or more fortunate).

P.S. We are being induced tomorrow at 5 a.m. :) Grayson will be joining us soon!