Sunday, March 30, 2008


How many loved ones can you fit on the couch?
Plenty-if they're small enough!


As most of you know, Brian and I are huge Brewers fans. Last year we hit about 62 of their games, including three in Minnesota. This year we have scaled down our season ticket package to 20 games, and moved our seats from the outfield to the fourth floor for the baby. The team was in town this weekend to play their final two exhibition games and since we are missing Opening Day for the wedding (and all tickets were $10) we went to the games and brought Gracie. I was a little nervous at first. I haven't really gone anywhere with her yet, and baseball is a pretty big time commitment (not that we couldn't leave early if we needed to). I must say that Miller Park is amazing for new parents. They are SO accommodating! We have a carrier that is similar to a backpack to carry her around in, but needed the stroller for before the game and traveling to and from the car. We weren't sure what we were going to do with it once we were ready to sit down, but then someone told us we could check it at Guest Relations. It was great, and we know the people that work in Guest Relations, so we now have a great excuse to visit them every game. Also, I started out feeding her in a bathroom stall, but after talking to one of our friends at Guest Relations, she told me to go to the first aide station. They block off a section for me to have a private place to feed her. Gracie got to meet Brian Shouse (my fav player, who had a new baby in September)-but she slept through it. He congratulated us, and we got to chat for a little while. It was nice to be back in the ballpark.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Weeks

Gracie had her two week well child check up today. She did great! She has grown a whole inch and now measures 22 inches long. Although she was born at 7 lbs, 10 oz, she was down to 7 lbs, 2 oz. when we left the hospital. The pediatrician said the main goal for two week check ups is to have the baby back at their birth weight, so we were very happy when we exceeded the goal and she weighed in at 8 lbs even. All of her newborn screenings came back clear-they check for many diseases, like sickle cell, cystic fibrosis, and a bunch of others. The doctor said we're doing a great job so far-and boy did I need to hear that! Gracie has been a little congested lately, but she said there's nothing I can do to help out her cold. I'll just keep using the suction bulb when it gets really bad. It was great to hear my little girl is healthy and on track.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Grand and Great Grandparents-REVISED!

Grandma and Grandpa Kruse

Great Grandma Grimm

Grandpa and Grandma Youngman

Thursday, March 20, 2008


With Gracie's bellybutton plug gone, we decided it was time for her first bath. We did notice that part of the plug is still there, so we thought a sponge bath would be a bit more suitable for her.
She wasn't a fan of the process at first.

But she warmed up to it a little after a while.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Well, Gracie is ten days old now, and she has had her first big milestone today. Her bellybutton plug fell off. There was only a little spot of blood when it came off, and she has a cute little innie now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Protective Mary?

Nah, she just wants the blanket for herself!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Birthing Story

Well, I've been asked about Gracie's birth, so here's the story-without the gory details.
I was hoping to have her last Friday, as it was my doctor's on call night. When that didn't happen, I decided that I was going to spend Saturday vigorously cleaning the apartment. I had heard that cleaning can sometimes lead to labor, and I figured worst case scenario I'd have a clean home. Unfortunately, the next morning I woke up with the beginning of a horrible cold. I was feeling weak and coughing a lot, so I took the cleaning a bit easier than intended. I'd clean something-maybe the tub, then take a break and go back to it. By evening I was exhausted, and vegged out in front of the t.v., disappointed to still be pregnant. As I set my alarm for church, Brian asked if I really wanted to go the next morning. He was worried that I was overdoing it and said maybe we should stay home. I told him we'd see how we felt in the morning and went to bed.
The next morning the alarm went off at 9:30, and I got up feeling much better. As I walked to the bathroom, I realized the insides of my thighs were damp. Odd. I went back to the bed wondering if my water had broken. Nothing on the bed, but I stepped in a little puddle. I was bewildered so I woke up Brian and as we were wondering together if this was enough fluid to be my water I suddenly felt a big gush. Well, that answers that. I called the hospital and they told me to come in right away so we headed out.
Once at the hospital, I was put on an IV and fetal monitors that recorded my contractions and Gracie's heartbeat. They kept loosing her heartbeat whenever I'd move, to they ended up taking those off and putting an internal monitor on the baby's head-I now couldn't move out of bed and it was only around 11 a.m. I was having contractions, but they weren't intense enough for me to feel them at all. The nurse was entertained that I couldn't feel them. She'd come in and ask how I was doing and I'd just shrug and say I can't feel anything. She'd look at the monitor and tell me the contractions were at 60-70 on the intensity scale (out of about 100). By three o'clock I started to feel them, and got on the birthing ball (an exercise ball, it helps to rock) Brian sat by me and helped me relax through contractions for a while and I finally asked for some medicine around four. Unfortunately, it takes a long time before they put an epidural in. I had to wait for a bag of fluids to go through the IV and then the anesthesiologist came in to put the pain to rest. By the time it was in, I had been at a level 10 (pain tolerance scale) for about a half hour. Ahh, the bliss once it took effect. I couldn't feel anything from the top of my belly down.
A few hours later the nurse told me it was time to push. After about 50 minutes of pushing I was pretty spent and the nurse said "I don't want to scare you, but with first babies the moms usually have to push for about 3 hours." I almost cried. Luckily, ten minutes later I was told they could see the head and a couple more pushes and her head was out. I needed an episiodomy, but as she slipped out all the pain instantly was gone and replaced by tears and wonderment. They put her on my belly, and Brian and I stared at her and touched her for the first time before the nurses grabbed her and started working on her. That's when it got a little scary.
Two nurses were gathered around her, and as I watched, they looked a bit alarmed. I was only catching pieces of their conversation, but it didn't sound good. Gracie wasn't breathing right. One of them turned to me and said they were going to take her to the nursery to make sure she was breathing properly. I had tears in my eyes, so she put Grace on my chest for a few seconds and I gave her a bunch of kisses and told her I love her. Then they took her away. Brian followed, and once I was stitched up and OKed to walk, they let me go to the nursery across the hall. By then Gracie had been cleared, and Brian was finishing up washing her hair. I've never been so relieved as I was watching them. Once she was dry, they handed her to me, and- you've seen the pictures!
Thanks to my lovely cold (which I still haven't kicked) and the intensity of labor, I had gotten a fever, and so had Gracie. The nurses were able to get hers down quickly, but mine was another story. I had to stay in the hospital for another two days, and had the IV in for one of them. What a pain, going to the bathroom every half hour with the stupid IV! My stitches seem to be healing well, thanks in part to Motrin and Vicodin and it was all well worth it to have my little girl finally.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tummy Time!

Gracie's first tummy time. She likes to head butt me in the chest when I'm burping her, so we thought we'd see how she does on her tummy. Her neck is getting strong already!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Since Erin Asked. . .

1. Who says pets don't like newborns?
2. Naptime!
3. What a lucky guy.
4. Gracie with her Great Grandma Grimm.
5. & 6. Closeups
7. & 8. Who needs Anne Geddes?

The Gracie Effect

After checking my email this morning, I went into the living room to find this scene. The true effects of having a newborn. She had her first rough night last night, refusing to go back to sleep from 1 a.m. until about 5:15. We took turns trying everything we could think of! I feel like they look. It's a little blurry because I was laughing as I took it.

Ha Ha Baby Pool

I just checked my school email, and this was in there:

"Well fancy that. No one won the baby POOL! Everyone went over! Just like the Price Is Right!
Therefore, GRACIE gets all of the winnings! $36.00 By the time she goes to college it will buy her one paint brush! Just in case she wants to be an art teacher like mommy.
Thank you all for participating!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Most Amazing Experience

Gracie Jo Youngman was born March 9th, 2008 at 9:08 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz. and was 21 inches long. She is perfect

It's unexplainable. Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here are a bunch of pictures.

1. Brian washing her hair
2. She weighs 7 lbs, 10 oz!
3. Closeup sleeping
4. That's my girl!
5. Mommy's first time holding Gracie Girl.
6. Newly improved family
7. Grandma time
8. Daddy didn't leave her side
9. Finally back with Mommy!
10. Daddy's first time holding her

Friday, March 7, 2008

Baby Pool Is In Motion

So, this morning there was an announcement to bring two dollars to the lounge and have some fun. Most people thought it was for the American Idol contest that they do every year once the participants are down to twelve, but it wasn't. It's a "Gracie Jo" pool. They are taking bets on the day and time that she will be born. Half of the pot goes to the winner, and the other half will go to Gracie's "college fund." I'm learning who my friends are with the guesses of the 10th (friend) and guesses of the 18th (not friend!). LOL. I'm upset that no one has chosen this weekend. . .

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Baby Pool

I was sitting in the lounge with my lovely coworkers when one of them looked up, alarmed and asked "have we started a baby pool yet? We'd better get on that!" One of the fifth grade teachers looked at her and said "I'm betting it's a girl!" Cheater.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

An End to the Questions

Well, at least at work. With the answers I got yesterday from the doctor I sent out a mass email to both of my schools and my long term sub telling them about the inducing date and anything else that's not too personal and they may want to know about the baby. It's not that I don't appreciate how much they care, it's just that I'm tired of repeating myself constantly all day, every day. Now people are laughing when they see me in the halls and thanking me for the email. "Sick of answering the same questions?" is the new "You're still here?"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Week 39 Appointment

The END is in sight! I had a pretty normal visit, but got lots of good answers-finally! My blood pressure was 122/76, and Gracie's heartbeat was 138-141. My tummy has grown another centimeter. The doc found her heartbeat at my bellybutton again, and said she'll probably be a long baby. Which makes sense, since Brian and I are both so tall. Wait. . .
I am now two centimeters dilated, and the doc is on call again on Friday. A new goal :) I haven't felt any full, painful contractions, but I have had some tightening in the top of my stomach which is good. Doc said sometimes it helps women who are anxious like me to have an end date, so she told me that if Gracie tries to stay put, we will be inducing on St. Pat's Day (March 17th). She's SO right, I feel better already knowing that it won't go more than another 2 1/2 weeks!
The medical assistant that showed me to my exam room was telling me that there's a place on the foot that will induce labor. She didn't know exactly where, but said I should go get a pedicure! I'm thinkin' I need a nice, long, thorough foot rub tonight!

Next appointment, if needed: March 10th, 2:55 p.m.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I know that I still technically have eight days until my due date. I know she could be up to two weeks late. So why am I so antsy? I think I was so set on the idea that she would be early that I feel later than we are. It doesn't help that I've had so many signs that she's coming-and then nothing. First she dropped so early that the doctor lectured her to stay in for two more weeks. Then I started dilating early and thought I was on track to be a couple of weeks early. But that seemed to freeze, with no change between weeks 37 and 38. This weekend was my doctor's on call weekend, and we are driving a half hour to a hospital in Oconomowoc just because that's where she delivers-I can see Waukesha's hospital from my living room. When I lost my mucous plugg on Friday, I really thought we'd get to have my doctor deliver her. I guess not. I'm apparently getting snippy, as Brian and I are bickering. To top it all off, my sub still hasn't bothered to come in to the school and see what's going on in my classroom. I know she's been teaching at Mukwonago longer than I have-but the art show is March 18th!! She needs to know where I'm leaving off so every kids gets something in the show. I'm going crazy, and I just want to have the baby so that I won't have to think about anything else for six whole weeks.