Axel Sather: Three-Month Update


Axel Sather: 3 Months

Already three months old! A lot has happened within the last month.

This past month was very busy with the holidays. We hosted Christmas at our new home. My parents, both brothers, my brother’s girlfriend, two uncles and my brother’s dog joined us. So it was a full house, which was fun. We also had Axel’s baptism scheduled for December 26th while my family would be in town to attend. And then of course, the New Year!

Everything started off great. Everyone made it into town Wednesday evening and got settled in. My brothers stayed with us, my parents and uncles at a nearby hotel.

Christmas Eve was filled with fun and it snowed so we got to have a white Christmas! We enjoyed a nice dinner and let Charlotte open her Christmas Eve gift, which usually includes a new book, jammies, an ornament and a small toy – in this case, a small Spiderman plush toy, which she LOVES!

Christmas Day arrived and Charlotte was not quite as excited as I was to see her reaction to Santa bringing her gifts. She wasn’t all that impressed (sigh), but you can’t predict a toddler’s emotions. She warmed up eventually and in the end loved everything she got. My parents and uncles came over, but my Dad wasn’t feeling well. (Side note: About 2 weeks earlier, Charlotte came home from daycare with a stomach bug, that I also had the pleasure of getting).

We spent the morning/afternoon opening gifts and enjoying everyone’s company. My Dad ended up going back to the hotel to rest. One of my uncle’s left that evening to head back home.

The next day was much different. Everyone was sick! Both brothers, my mom, and my brother’s girlfriend (who had to catch an early flight)! It was horrible. Everyone got the stomach bug. This also happened to be the day of Axel’s baptism.

We ended up cancelling the reception at our house (didn’t want to get anyone else sick), but we continued with the baptism. My Dad and other uncle was able to come for it, but everyone else was resting, which was needed. It was great and Axel wore his great-great grandfather’s gown!

So it took a few days for everyone to get better and then we had a small snow storm, which delayed my parents getting home. In the end, it all was fine, but definitely wasn’t what we had planned. It will go down as the Christmas Plague of 2015 and hopefully one that’s not repeated!

Our New Year was much less dramatic. We went to Jed’s sister’s house and made fondue and Charlotte got to play with her cousin (and stay up later than usual!).

We’re looking forward to a less chaotic year and being able to enjoy more time with friends and family making memories.

But I digressed. This is supposed to be Axel’s update.

Axel continues to grow and develop every day. He’s found his hands and loves to grasp items and attempt to bring them to his mouth. He’s getting pretty good at it. He also likes to be upright so he can see everything around him.

Winter has not been great for his skin. The house has been dry and his cheeks have gotten super chapped, which I think we finally have under control. He also has a little eczema, which hopefully isn’t more than just that. I get a little paranoid about food allergies, but he doesn’t spit up much, if at all, unlike Charlotte when she was his age.

He’s a little flirt. He’ll flash you a smile if you give him attention.

We don’t have another well check until next month, but I tried weighing him on the scale with me, and he was about 17 pounds! It sure is a workout holding him as he’s pretty heavy.

Likes: Smiling, his hands, grasping toys, music, being read to, watching Charlotte – or really anything that moves, ceiling fans, being held, moving.

Dislikes: Being left alone, not being able to see (depending on how you’re holding him), trying to hold his hands still.

Next week he will start daycare. It’s hard to believe it’s almost here. He’ll be attending the same in-home that Charlotte goes to, so that will be nice, but I’m still not looking forward to it. I’m sure he’ll like all the activity there though and watching the other kids.

Now for the photo dump:

Axel Sather: One & Two Month Update

So I’m off to a great start for his monthly updates! I had started his one month update and then never got around to posting it, so I figured I’d combine them!

These first few months of his life have gone by too quickly (in my opinion), but he is thriving and healthy and we have so much to be thankful for.

Around his one-month milestone, we headed over to Iowa City to get his pelvic kidney checked out by a specialist. We had to go out there as the specialist in Des Moines was moving and wasn’t taking any more patients. Charlotte had a pretty bad cold, so we ended up keeping her out of daycare and taking her along as well, so it was technically our first family road trip!


Potty break on the side of the road!

The trip to Iowa City went well. Charlotte is pretty much potty trained, but for longer trips we have a portable potty (just in case). Luckily she told us she needed to go!

Upon arrival at the office, I took Axel to get an ultrasound and then we headed up to meet with the specialist. They reviewed the photos with us and told us that everything looked to be doing fine. Because of the location of his right kidney, it will always probably be a little smaller than his left (not as much room to grow), but the tissue looked healthy so they didn’t have any concern with it functioning. There are tests to determine functionality, but they stated they didn’t feel we needed to do those because it looked healthy and he hasn’t had any symptoms to be of concern (or any symptoms at all, really). His left kidney, which is located in the correct spot, had some dilation. They said that they wanted to see him at six months to check the dilation in his left kidney and make sure his right kidney is growing with him. Most dilation they stated takes care of itself, so we’ll check up on it again in May.

At the office visit, they weighed him and he was 12.3 lbs. with his diaper!

On December 4th we had his two-month well check. He blew us out of the water in regards to what we thought he weighed. Here’s his stats:

Axel Sather – Two Month Update

Birth = 8 lbs., 7 oz.
2 Weeks = 10 lbs. – 88th percentile
2 Months = 15 lbs., 5 oz. –  96th percentile

Birth = 22.25″
2 Weeks = 23″ – >99 percentile
2 Months = 25.1″ – >99 percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 38 cm – 95th percentile
2 Months = 41.1 cm – 95th percentile

He isn’t too far ahead of where Charlotte was as well. They are pretty similar in regards to their development, which I think is interesting.

So, because of his size we’re basically in 6-month clothing for him right now, and because of his torso length, we may need to go to 9 months soon as some things are a little tight in the nether-regions. But I LOVE his rolls. He’s definitely a chunker, which is so cute, except when we’re bathing him and trying to find all the hidden lint.

In regards to his personality, he is pretty chill. He’s a good sleeper. At around 5-6 weeks, he was sleeping through the night. From about 10/10:30 p.m. – 6-7 a.m. The past week he has started waking again for one feeding during the night around 3-4 a.m., but then sleeps until 6:30-7 a.m. SOOO much different than Charlotte.

Likes: Smiling, kicking/moving, watching what’s going on, ceiling fans (he loves them to much he coos to them), his hands (he sucks his thumb if he can find it!), staring at faces, watching Charlotte, music, tummy time, cooing, being laid flat, and finally starting to like pacifiers.

Dislikes: He really only fusses when he’s hungry, has a burp, is overtired or has a dirty diaper.

Most of his hair had fallen out (on it’s own or because of Charlotte “petting” him), but now it’s starting to come in again. It’s lighter than Charlotte’s was.

I’m exclusively breastfeeding and will do that as long as I can. I learned a lot from having Charlotte, so this time around I have a lot more milk stockpiled for when he starts daycare in January.

Charlotte has continued to amaze us at how much she loves her little brother. She gives him lots of kisses and goes to see what’s the matter when he cries. She tries to give him his pacifier and wants to help us with everything – even dirty diapers!

We had a great Thanksgiving and we’re looking forward to Christmas and hosting my family for the first time in our new home!

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!


Meet Axel!

01-99The newest member of the Holl Family, Axel, made his arrival on October 4th!

I was originally scheduled to be induced on October 6th, but since he was already late, I asked my doctor if I could push that date up to the 4th. I wanted the 4th for two reasons: First, I was worried about his size based on what they estimated (was thinking he was around 9 lbs.). Second, I thought it would be awesome to have him on the 4th! Charlotte was born Sunday, August 4th, our anniversary is Sept. 4th and my dad’s birthday is November 4th, so it’s pretty neat we have 4 in a row!

Anyways, the doctor (obviously) okayed it and we went to the hospital at 7 a.m. on Oct. 4th. We got settled into the delivery room and around 8:30 they started a pitocin drip. They only did the smallest amount (6 drips/hour). I was about 2 cm at that time. I had actually started having more frequent contractions that night/morning, but nothing consistent. Around 9:30 a.m. the doctor came in to check me and break my water. I was around 3 cm at that time. Once she broke my water things went fast. Contractions were now about every 2-4 minutes and getting stronger!

The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural at that time and I said no as I wanted to see how far I could go without one. Turns out not very long. About 5-10 minutes later I asked for the epidural and they contacted the anesthesiologist, who was at home. They said it could take as long as 40 minutes for him to arrive so they asked if I wanted something else to help take the edge off. I agreed knowing how quickly everything was progressing. It helped, but made me really hot and a little dizzy. They mentioned it would make it feel like I’ve had a few drinks – that was not a lie!

About 15-20 minutes later (I think) the anesthesiologist arrived and we got started on the epidural trying to time it through the contractions. They had to readjust it once and then once it was done, I realized that I could still feel my right side pretty well, but it was manageable. They mentioned that I was progressing so fast that sometimes the medicine can’t keep up.

So after about an hour or so, they came and checked and I was at 9 cm! She said I even went to a 10 while she was checking. So they started getting the room prepped and let the doctor know. He was ready to make his appearance! I felt a lot of pressure and at one point was worried he wasn’t going to wait for the doctor to come.

Once the doctor arrived, I only had to push three times and he was born! Like I said, he was ready to come out.

He was born at 11:30 a.m., weighed 8 lbs., 7 oz. and was 22.25″ long!

Because he was over 8 lbs. they had to do glucose testing for 12 hours, which he passed.

I’m not sure if I could have had a smoother delivery and this time around the recovery has been much better.

We named him after my great grandfather (Axel) and my grandfather (Sather). His nickname is his Ash, for Axel Sather Holl, but I have yet to call him that. I have a feeling it will be like Charlotte, where I call her both Charlie and Charlotte.

Two-Week Update:

Yesterday we had his two-week well check. He is growing! He is now 10 lbs. and 23″ long! As I have mentioned in previous posts during pregnancy with him, he has a pelvic kidney. Last Friday we took him in for an ultrasound to check it out. It was a little hard to see it because of where it’s placed in his pelvis, but they did get some images. They think it’s a little smaller than the left kidney and unfortunately they can’t tell function from an ultrasound, but they aren’t too worried since he’s having regular bowel movements and a lot of wets.

They did say they want us to see a specialist, who may want to do some additional tests/blood work to figure out functionality. We were going to get set up with a specialist here in Des Moines, but apparently that doctor is moving and not taking any more patients. So now we have to go to Iowa City, which is about 2 hours away. That appointment is scheduled for Nov. 2 so that should be interesting. Hopefully it will be fine and we’ll just have to do regular check-ups every couple of years or so.

Charlotte has been doing awesome in her new role as big sister. She gives him kisses before she leaves for daycare, when she gets home and any time she can. She also likes to rub his head. She’s a great helper, wanting to get diapers, throw dirty ones away and so forth. Hopefully this continues!

Baby Boy Update: He’s Still Cooking!

I would say that baby boy is stubborn since he hasn’t made his arrival yet, but Charlotte was two days late. While I’m not sure I necessarily now want to wait until Sunday, if he were born on the 4th, it would be awesome. Why? Because Charlotte was born on Sunday, August 4th and our wedding anniversary is Sept. 4th. So if he were born on Sunday, Oct. 4th, I think that would be pretty neat. But only he will decide that.

I went to the doctor this past Tuesday (on my due date) and they did a non-stress test and ultrasound in addition to my regular check-up just to make sure he’s got enough fluid and is doing ok. He is doing great. He was moving quite a bit and had a strong heartbeat. The doctor stated they don’t like going over 41 weeks as there is no benefit to baby or mom past that date and it could actually increase certain risks, so they did schedule me for induction on Tuesday, Oct. 6th if he doesn’t make his appearance before then.

I guess only time will tell! I think we’re about as ready as we can be to welcome him home.

Currently: 40 weeks,  2 days

Cravings: Not much.

Weight Gain: Around 34 lbs.

Sickness: None.

Sleep: I’ve actually been sleeping really well – all through the night. I know this is precious as it will change very quickly, so I am thankful for this extra rest now. I won’t have to do much for Halloween to look like a Zombie knowing I’ll be lacking sleep!

Gender Prediction: 100% boy.

Mood: Excited. I can’t wait for all of us to meet little man.

Symptoms: Not much. my back hurts a bit towards the end of the day, but I’ve been resting more, so it hasn’t been as bad as my busy days.

Looking Forward To: Everything! Seeing him, seeing Charlotte with him.

Maternity Clothes: You bet! Although it’s starting to get colder here and my maternity jeans don’t fit so well, but that will only be an issue until next week!

Other News: I’m a little worried about how big he’s going to be. At my ultrasound last Wednesday (Sept. 23) they estimated him at 8 lbs., 4 oz. and they say they gain about an ounce a day, which would put him at roughly 8 lbs. 12 oz. He could be a big boy. Charlotte was 7 lbs. 13 oz.

I don’t have any new photos so hopefully the next one’s you see on this blog are of him!





Baby Boy Update: It Could Happen Anytime!

What a surprise. I’ve missed a few more weeks of updates! I see this trend continuing, but it’s not out or forgetfulness or laziness. We’ve just been busy between working, the new house and raising a very active toddler!

These past few weeks (month) have been crazy. I’ve been trying to get ahead at work for maternity leave and it’s hard as it’s a busy time of year. I’ve also been trying to get baby boys room put together. He won’t need much and we have all the necessities, but I like having things “finished”. The only thing we’re trying to figure out is a monitor for his room. We have an audio one in Charlotte’s room and are trying to figure out if she really needs one or if we should get a video one for him and leave her’s. Not sure I want to deal with two.

In addition to all the chaos, we decided to throw some more challenges into the mix last month – mainly big girl bed and potty training. Both have been going well, but need some finessing. But progress is progress and I’m excited to really only need to buy diapers for one kid!

We also had a follow-up allergy appointment for Charlotte last week as she is now on a preventative inhaler twice a day and a dose of zyrtec for her allergies/asthma. It seems to be working well. We also found out from her last appointment that she has more allergies. We retested certain foods – milk, egg, peanut –  and then added in some more of the common ones (all the nuts) and some environmental ones such as dog, cat, and outdoor allergens like certain trees, ragweed, etc. She is basically allergic to EVERYTHING! She came back positive on everything except cashews and brazil nuts. We’re still going to avoid all nuts as there is usually a lot of cross contamination. Her peanut did decrease a bit, but her egg skyrocketed and her milk is still really high. So we’ll retest again in a year and see where everything is at. The zyrtec and preventative inhaler should help keep many of these at bay, but I really hope she outgrows a lot of these, especially the milk and egg.

In regards to baby boy, this coming Tuesday marks 39 weeks! That’s one week until my due date, but he could come at any time. This time around is definitely a little more worrying only because we also have a toddler. Luckily we have some people ready to take action if we need help with Charlotte.

I’ve been going to weekly check-ups and last week they scheduled me for a growth ultrasound for this coming Wednesday as they say he is measuring a little small and just want to check (nothing to worry about). They also want to check his position. He was head down for a long time, but he may have turned a little sideways, so just a quick check. I can’t complain as I love seeing him on the ultrasound!

My last doctor appointment is this coming Friday, so we’ll see what happens. I’m really hoping he actually stays put until at least the beginning of October as we have a lot of birthdays at the end of September. We’re pulling for Oct. 4! So far I am not thinning and am only 1 cm dilated, so hopefully he does stay put until at least due date, but they say it happens faster the second time around, so who knows!

Currently: 38 weeks,  5 days

Cravings: Not a whole lot. I just get hungry really quickly sometimes.

Weight Gain: As of last week, 32 lbs. Ugh.

Sickness: None.

Sleep: A little difficult. He moves a LOT at night when I lay down to go to bed. Sometimes it hurts, but once he settles down I am usually able to find a good position and get a decent nights sleep.

Gender Prediction: 100% boy.

Mood: Excited and anxious. I have no idea what to expect and I think that’s ok as I know I’ll need to be flexible, but not knowing how or when this is going to happen (and that it could be any time) is a little hard to handle. I’m just trying to soak in each day.

Symptoms: I had bad reflux last week, which is thankfully gone. My back has started to hurt more (in one specific spot) and I’m always tired. My energy level has certainly taken a dive. Not a good thing when you have a toddler on your hands.

Looking Forward To: Seeing Charlotte interact with her baby brother. I think she’ll be a good helper, but sharing may be a challenge – especially sharing time with mommy. But you never know. She could surprise us all and I think she’ll be great.

Maternity Clothes: Uh, yeah.

Other News: Last week I had a sprinkle shower thrown for me, which was really sweet. We also had one of my sister-in-laws come over that morning and take some family photos of us as I realized that we really didn’t have photos of all three of us together and I wanted to capture that before we became a family of four!

Here’s the photos we have taken over the past few weeks!