4 Month Observations

I didn't miss it, but I forgot to let you know.... MaKenzie turned 4 months (9 weeks adjusted) last Thursday! Can you believe it? Me either...

Her stats are great. We are pleased with her progress, considering I'm not stuffing her with formula as per NICU suggestions. She is a "boobie is best baby" and she's growing at a wonderful rate proportionate to her adjusted age.

Weight: 10 lbs 11 oz
Height: 23 inches
Head Circumference: 15 inches

She is on the growth charts for height and weight! As for her head, she isn't taking after the boys. Her's is small, but overall, she's doing really well!

She got 4 shots this visit to the doctor. I'm a believer in immunizations. They worked well for me. I'd much rather do my part to continue living in a small pox, scarlet fever, black plague society.

So, don't hate, I vaccinate! :-)

Getting her shots. She was pissed off, but a little boob juice fixed her right up!

Snuggles after her visit to the doctor. I love moments like this.

Her personality is coming forward more and more every single day. I love it! She is such a morning person. Wakes up with smiles on her perfectly formed lips, once she gets done stretching.

She is definitely at that stage "not the mama." I'm sure it helps that I'm the only one who wears the fragrance Ode de Spoiled Milk and Spit Up.

She still poots up a storm. Just like one of the guys. She still snorts when she cries. She likes to shop. I took her with me to a couple of sales and she fussed until I picked her up. Once I did that, she totally started watching as I flipped through the clothes and would smile or grunt if the outfit was cute or crap! She's a drooler, folks! Been teething since 3 months and the water works doesn't stop

She is noticing Andrew and Aiden a lot more. Aiden especially! If she catches him in her eye, she'll stare and smile. She likes to stare. She'll stare at me forever! I've had several people, friends and strangers alike, comment on how she looks at me. I think she's just as in love with me as I am with her. Warms my heart. Especially since I am now entrusting most of her daily care to someone that's not me.

Here's a shot of her 4 month old feet. Still long and I love them!

I'm done babbling for the moment. Just thought I'd share.


The Emergency Continued...

I don't, won't, can't remember all that happened in the operating room in order. It's just pretty much flashes and me praying my same prayer over and over, "please let MaKenzie be okay. Please let Makenzie be okay. Please let MaKenzie be okay." I used her name in the operating room because I needed to hear her name. She was a little person getting ready to come into this world and I wanted to be the first person to say her name, whether it was in my head, a whisper from my lips or a shout from deep within me, I wanted to be the first person to say her name.

They wheeled me down the hall and got me moved from my bed to the operating table/bed/whatever. I remember it looking like a room in a construction/renovation building. Everything was white and it was very bright. Doctors were still coming in and talking to me about things. I remember them continuously asking if Arik was there yet. They were prepping me the whole time...

The anesthesiologist came in to numb me up. It took three stabs to my spine to get whatever she was putting there, there! It hurt like a MOTHER, but I took it. What else could I do? I seriously had no clue how a c-section was suppose to go. I hadn't read anything. I've had friends that had c-sections, but I didn't really hold on to the details of what happened. They strapped me to the bed (seriously, strapped me to it). We were just waiting as long as possible for Arik.

Then, he was there. In his yellow scrubs or whatever. He sat right next to my head and held my hand. He kept telling me to relax and that everything was okay. But I wasn't listening to his words. I was looking into his beautiful blue eyes and I saw fear. Arik was just as scared as I was. My rock was afraid... So, I shut my eyes. I didn't want him to react to the probably near hysterical look in my eyes. I just lay there with my eyes closed, squeezing his hand and praying my prayer. Tears slipping from the corner of my eyes, pooling in my ears.

He was trying to lighten the mood by talking to the doctor and nurses about gladly sitting on my side of the sheet. He didn't want to see what was going on. There was some tugging and pulling. Nothing really serious, just a little discomfort. And just like that, she was there. And she cried so loudly! I didn't realize I was holding my breath until she took her first. Her cry was the best sound I'd ever heard in my life. Her lungs were great. She was alive.

I told Arik to go to her. Be with her; wherever she was going, he needed to be with her. They cleaned her up and brought her over to me to look at and marvel over. She was so tiny. Smaller than any baby doll I'd ever had in my life. I just smiled at her. She was alive. MaKenzie Grace born Monday, June 10th at 3:24am, weighing in at 4 pounds 5.8 ounces and 19 inches long.

Her birth weight. She was tiny, yet fierce!

I remember Arik leaving, I remember shaking uncontrollably-teeth chattering shaking. I remember being wheeled to my room, I remember nothing else until my second look at her later that day.

I am going to save that for another post. It's really hard to relive those moments and type them. I kinda need to though to really believe she's here and regardless of what's ever to come, she's perfect in every way.
So small. There was not an ounce of fat on her.
She hadn't gotten to that part really.

Really, really tiny.


The Emergency

School had been out for two weeks. I was physically exhausted. It took me that whole time to pack up my room. I just wanted to be done with school and be at home.

I was still stressing over all kinds of things. The baby's room hadn't been painted, the boys' room was a work in progress. Arik was being a meanie and every time I wanted to buy something for the kids' rooms, he kept saying, "where are we going to put it." or "chill out. We have plenty of time."

I always responded with, "I don't think we have as much time as you think. This baby is going to come before July 25th. I can just feel it in my bones."

It was June 9th...a Sunday. The boys had just left to pick up dinner. I was laying on the couch with my feet practically at a 90 degree angle, chugging water. My feet had been propped up for over 12 hours and the swelling wasn't going down any.

I sat up to head to the restroom and in my peripheral vision (right eye only) I saw little spots.

My heart started beating fast and my mouth got really dry. My eyes started tearing up and I thought to myself I had better call the doctor's office just to be safe. My vision wasn't blurry, but the little spots were something out of the ordinary.

I called and left a message. It took all of 2 minutes. In that time the vision issues had stopped, but by then my vision was blurry; because I was crying. I just knew something was wrong.

My feet and legs were ridiculously huge. I was so freakin tired all the time. My midwife just kept telling me to watch what I was eating, drink lots of water and put my feet up. I asked about preeclampsia and she just told me the symptoms to look for: pitting in the legs when poked, blurred vision, headaches, high blood pressure and extreme swelling.

I kind of felt like I had the extreme swelling down. I'd been "swoll" for a few weeks. My blood pressure was within the normal range. She never said it was a problem.

The midwife called me back and our conversation included my symptoms and me needing to take my blood pressure and to call her back and let her know what was going on. She was trying to save me a trip to the ER and suggested that I go somewhere that had one of those blood pressure machines. I went to Walgreens.

Did you know that the pharmacist at Walgreens will take you blood pressure for you after you sign a release? I thought that was super helpful of them. Made me love Walgreens for all my prescription needs even more.

Anyway, the boys came home with dinner. I ate and then shared with Arik what was going on. I could tell he was kind of nervous. He was trying to keep me calm and cracking little jokes here and there. I was trying to remain calm, but fear was creeping into my heart.

At Walgreens, the pharmacist took my BP and said to me, "this machine isn't 100% accurate, but with a BP reading as high as yours, I'd go to the ER just to be safe." It was 120 over like 100 or something like that.

We get back to the house and are trying to keep calm for the boys' sake. Arik tells them that we were going to go to the hospital so I can be checked. I hear him tell the boys that everything was fine, but wanting to be safe. I was in the bedroom trying to pack a bag just in case I had to stay overnight.

The thoughts were rushing through my mind so fast! And every thought was followed up with something that wasn't ready. The nursery wasn't ready, the boys' room wasn't ready, I hadn't packed a hospital bag we didn't have a plan for the boys in place, the house wasn't like I'd wanted it, the furniture was coming at the end of the week, we hadn't had the baby shower yet, I hadn't showered that day! The thoughts were never ending. A continuous loop of failure!

It was a quiet drive to the hospital. Each of us were in our own thoughts. I was hoping my sister didn't take very long to get to the house and hang out with the boys and hoping and praying that our little girl was okay.

We got to the ER about 8pm and checked in. The triage nurse took my BP again. It wasn't any better. The triage nurse was trying to keep me calm, but the way she was moving so fast, I could tell that my BP was a huge problem. She admitted me.

I was whisked off to a room and told to change into a gown, give them a urine sample and get ready to head up to the mother/baby floor.

When I got up to my room, everything and everyone was moving so fast. The doctor came in and told us what the plan was. They were going to try to get my blood pressure down first and foremost. They were just going to monitor me overnight just to be safe.

I told Arik to go home and be with the boys. Since they were just going to monitor me, he could come back in the morning and pick me up. He hesitated, but I told him to go. The boys needed to know things were going to be okay.

I just tried to lay there, in my hospital bed and relax. It was very hard to do with nurses coming in and out. I had an IV and a catheter. They came in and checked me every hour. 8 turned into midnight and my mind wouldn't shut off. There was no relaxing... I was so afraid. I wasn't prepared for anything that was happening. I just kept thinking about everything...

Why was I laying in the hospital? What was going on? I called Arik and updated him on things that were going on. I was so afraid. I didn't want to be alone at the hospital, but we didn't have a plan for the boys. I wanted Arik there by my side, holding my hand. I was so afraid I was going to lose my little girl or stroke out or die and never get to see my boys again. I was freaking!

Midnight turned into go time! The doctor came in and said that my body wasn't responding to the magnesium they were pumping into my body. My BP wasn't going down. I had developed severe preeclampsia and the only way to get my BP down was to deliver the baby. I needed a steroid shot and this and that and everything everyone was saying was just running together. The doctor told me a series of people would be coming in to explain their role in the whole procedure. He said I needed to call my husband back and as soon as he got here, they were going to deliver the baby via cesarean.

I called Arik and told him to get to the hospital as fast as he could because the baby was coming that night. Here are our text messages to get you through the story. I'm shaking and tearing up just writing about what happened. This probably won't get told all in one blog. I think I'm going to need to space this story out.

Here are the texts...

I did end up calling Noel. She was in Florida enjoying Disney World. She ended up staying on the phone with me through all the doctors coming in and introducing themselves and explaining their role in the operation. I wasn't really in the right mindset to comprehend what they were telling me and Arik was 30 minutes away and still had to get the boys situated. She was my ears and my nerve stabilizer until Arik got there.

They were all ready and pushing me down the hall to an operating room. Arik was on his way and they were ready to go! I was trying to make light of the situation with some jokes about not studying well because I skipped this chapter in all my pregnancy and baby books. I was trying everything to stay calm, but my brain just kept praying over and over, "Please let my baby be okay. Please let my baby be okay. Please let my baby be okay."

I have to stop...


The Name Game

As soon as found out I was pregnant, I started compiling names to present to Arik. He is super picky when it comes to naming our babies. It took us all of 9 months to agree on a name for our 1st born. I think Andrew Kahlil has a nice ring to it, but I certainly wanted to pull my hair out because it took so long.

With our 2nd born, I remember at about 6 months, I just started calling him Aiden. After a while, Arik jumped on the bandwagon. We just had to decide on a middle name. It was down to two names, Michael or Matthew. We went with Aiden Matthew... Again, wonderful ring to it and his name rolls off your tongue when you say it.

For our third, I was really trying to stick with family tradition where are the children's names have the same beginning letter. Since we'd chosen the letter A, I was staying within the A realm. For boys, I had Archer, and Audrick on the list. I wasn't too keen on those names. I really couldn't find boys names that began with an A. Thank my lucky stars we were having a girl.

On my list of girls' names were:

  • Aubrielle (nicknames- Elle, Brie)
  • Addison (nickname- Addie)
  • Adaline
  • Ainsley (nickname-Annie)
  • Azure
  • Avery
  • Adelynn
  • Aubrey
  • Asia
  • Amelia (nickname-Mel, Amee, or Lia)
  • Anastasia (nickname-Ana, Stasi, Asia)
  • Anistyn
  • Aurora
  • Ava
  • Avalynn
  • Avaleigh
Well, Arik didn't like any of those names. I couldn't find any others that even made me think twice about them. So, I thought outside the letter A and came up with:
  • Lucy
  • Kharma
  • McQuinn
  • Tatum
  • Savannah (nickname-Savvy)
  • Bryn
He hated those too. And by this time, my anxiety for not having anything together for the baby was steadily rising. Which resulted in an argument.

I told him that if he didn't want to be a part of this process, that's fine. He doesn't have to have a say in naming my baby. I could go it alone. I gave him an ultimatum. I told him that if he wanted to show me that he cared even a little, he'd start researching some names and come at me with some suggestions by the end of the week.

Of course all that was said in the most over-dramatic way possible. There were probably some tears, I can't quite recall.

Well, he was listening and the very next day he texted and our conversation was this...

The fact that he took the time to think about why we should name Baby Bradner #3 is what sold me on her name. He always seems to do something incredibly thoughtful at just the right time to make me love him more. Damn him!

MaKenzie was the first name. Now we had to work on the middle name. I liked Grace, but of course, Arik had to give me a hard time.

He eventually stopped teasing me and let me have the middle name business. So, we ended up with MaKenzie Grace for BB#3. Another tongue roller-offer! The name game was done and I was in love.


6-7 months pregnant. We had NOTHING together. We had a plan, but whenever I talked about doing anything, he would say, "we've got time." I was really beginning to hate that phrase. We had a laundry list of things to do before the baby came. We had to paint, get furniture for the boys room, furniture for the baby's room, picking out a name for the baby... the list stretched on and on.

I couldn't explain it, but from the way my body was feeling, I didn't think the baby was going to make it until July 25th. There was nothing in my pregnancy history that should have made me think that, but I did. Andrew was 2 weeks overdue, Aiden was a week overdue. At best, Baby Girl Bradner would arrive on her due date.

I found myself stressing over all this. In addition to this, I was stressing about work. I needed to breakdown my room, get 9 weeks worth of lesson plans done before the end of the summer, who was going to be my long term substitute. I was stressing about everything!

In addition to all that stress, I go to one of my prenatal appointments and discover that I am REALLY gaining weight. In 30 days, I gained 10 lbs and in another 2 weeks I had gained like 7lbs and it seemed like every week I was gaining 3-5lbs. I was BLOWING UP!

Courtesy of Google Images

One appointment in particular, I walked away really feeling badly about my weight gain. I hadn't changed my diet any. I wasn't as active as I usually was because of the fatigue and the swelling, but I shouldn't have been gaining weight as fast as I was in my opinion. My Nurse Midwife didn't seem too concerned about it. She just told me to watch what I was eating...perhaps follow the diet of a woman with gestational diabetes.

I just didn't know what too do!

And as a result, my hormones kicked into overdrive. I called Arik and told him that I felt like a fat cow and I just needed to go out and buy something. Bunkbeds for the boys, a new couch, something, anything! Just so I could feel like we were accomplishing something toward the impending arrival of the baby.

The family took a trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart. We decided on bunk beds for the boys and then turned our attention to couches. I was tired of the couch we had. The boys had totally abused the mess out of it.

Courtesy of Google Images
I show Arik the couch I had my eye on. Well, he commenced to looking at every couch in the joint! We walked around the store like a million times. And for a preggo chick, that's like doing 100 laps around a track while holding 50 lb hand weights!

Actually, it was more like 3 times around. After the second lap, we stop and it just seemed like Arik was being super harsh. I start crying right in the middle of the store...over a couch. I couldn't help it. I couldn't make the tears stop even though I didn't want to be crying over a couch! Arik was all, "Oh my god! Are you crying? Do we need to go home?"

I said, "No! I don't know why I'm crying! I can't stop. I can't help it!  Let's just find a couch you like. We'll keep looking."

So, we trek around the store one more time. We finally end up back at the couch I had originally showed him. We end up getting the couch, the bunk beds and an ottoman to match the glider rocker my dad bought me for my birthday.

The emotions were completely overwhelming this pregnancy. It was like I was possessed! I could show a range of emotions in 5 minutes flat! WTF!?
Courtesy of Google Images
Completely hormonal and not being able to control it was interesting to witness...


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