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!





Baby Boy: Whatever-Week-It-Is Update

So I missed a few weeks. I wish I would have posted, but I honestly have had NO time. The past few weeks have been so busy and exhausting. We closed on our new house on July 15th and moved in the weekend of July 17th. The two days beforehand I spent late nights getting the kids’ rooms painted. The following Monday was the first day of the big oak tree removal at our old house (it was struck by lightning and was dying).

My parents actually took Charlotte up to their house in MN that week after we moved because it was just chaotic with the tree removal and moving in/moving out. It was a good move as she got some much-needed Grandma/Grandpa time and we got time to focus on the houses. To save some money, we had the tree removal guys take down the tree, but we cut it up/hauled it. Let’s just say this was a BIG job and Jed finished it up tonight (bringing back the last of leftover wood), but it all worked out for the most part. I’m glad people like free firewood as we really didn’t have to haul anything, just what we wanted for the new house.

My younger brother actually stayed with us that week as well to help Jed with the tree and to help me at the house with heavy lifting. It was a HUGE help and we really appreciate all he did (like getting our storage unit emptied).

The week after, we headed up to MN to drop off Kevin and pick-up Charlotte and head up to the lake for a vacation (which we hadn’t had since Christmas). It was important for us to take some time and get away during all this craziness and before baby boy arrives. While it may not have been a truly “relaxing” vacation (is there such a thing with a toddler?), it was fun and we had a good time. We celebrated my and Charlotte’s birthdays up there with my family (they came up about mid-way through the week). We took Charlotte to her first movie (Minions) and she sat through the whole thing. We went swimming in the lake, boating, went to the International Wolf Center (saw wolves on our dirt road, too) and a lot more. My older brother even surprised us and came up with his dog, Brock. So it was a full cabin (7 people, 3 dogs)!

We got back Sunday, August 2nd and since then have been juggling our time between the two houses as we’re getting the old house ready for closing tomorrow! Jed has basically been at the old house every day after work/late. So I’m ready to have him home with us! Oh, in between all of this, Charlotte turned 2! What!!!

So that’s the long and short of why I haven’t posted. Every night is a late night and we’re constantly doing something!

But, I do have updates on baby boy!

Currently: 33 weeks,  1 day

Cravings: Sweets still.

Weight Gain: Enough. I have no idea, but I don’t really want to know. I haven’t weighed in for a while so I have no idea.

Sickness: None.

Sleep: Still sleeping through the night, but it’s harder to get comfortable. Moving back and forth from side to side.

Gender Prediction: 100% boy.

Mood: Excited and tired. I’m looking forward to spending some time getting his room ready now that we’re in the new house. I have some ideas for it if I ever get time to actually work on it.

Symptoms: A little heartburn/reflux. Just depends on how I am laying and when I last ate. He moves a lot, which I love, but he’s head down, so his feet have now found my rib cage and sitting in certain positions is a little more uncomfortable.

Looking Forward To: Closing on our old house so that we don’t have to keep splitting up our time. Jed and I joke that we haven’t really seen each other for a few weeks, which is kind of true because we’re usually at different houses getting things done. We’re also having a small birthday for Charlotte for Jed’s side of the family this Saturday, so it will be nice to catch up with the family and have the cousins over to play.

Maternity Clothes: You betcha!

Other News: I had my follow-up ultrasound last Thursday to check the placement of the placenta. Because I was so far along when they said I had placenta previa, I convinced and prepared myself for needing to have a c-section, which is what they recommend for this because of risks. So I went in thinking that I would be leaving needing to think of which day we would want to meet him. But I was shocked as the placenta moved and I am now cleared to have him naturally! I was so excited to hear this news! I was not expecting it. I am all about whatever is best and safest for the baby and myself, but I was not thrilled about having a c-section as that was not my preferred birth plan. So it all worked out! Great news to end a chaotic few weeks.

During the ultrasound he had the hiccups and they were able to see that he actually has hair! Not sure how much, but we saw a little. He is also head down, so he’s in perfect position! Now we just need to let him have more time to put on weight. He measured 4 lbs. 9 oz. and is in the 54% percentile for size (3 days ahead).

We had Charlotte’s 2-year check-up this past Monday and she is doing awesome. The doctor was impressed with her speech (at least that’s what I took from it). She’s a little chatterbox. She is 35″ tall (79% percentile), 26 lbs., 5 oz. (46% percentile) and her head is 47.5″ cm (50% percentile). So, she is kind of a string bean.

Below is a belated 30-week photo! I have a 33-week picture, but it’s on Jed’s phone, so that will be posted at a later date, along with lots of other photos from “vacation”, birthday, houses, etc.





Baby Boy: 28 Week Update

It is finally upon us! The week we close on our new house. Everything is going to get really busy, really fast and after last week’s drama, we’ll see how this week goes. We actually close on the new house on Wednesday morning and we’ll spend the evenings/nights getting the kid’s rooms painted and moving some items in Jed’s truck to get started, but the big move will be on Saturday morning.

Currently: 28 weeks, 6 days

Cravings: Nothing really. Ok, that’s a lie – cheeseburgers.

Weight Gain: Not sure. At my last checkup I had gained 22 lbs. so probably another pound or so.

Sickness: None.

Sleep: I sleep through the night, but it is getting harder to move from side to side to get comfortable.

Gender Prediction: 100% boy.

Mood: Excited. We’re so excited to get into the new house. It’s going to be a lot of change, but good change.

Symptoms: A little cramping here and there, but nothing that lasts or hurts. A little reflux depending on what I eat and when – especially if I eat anything remotely spicy before bed.

Looking Forward To: Moving and then going on vacation to the lake. I can’t wait to get Charlotte back up to the lake now that she is such a little explorer. I think we’ll have a hard time keeping her inside! It should hopefully be a good end to a crazy few weeks.

Maternity Clothes: For sure!

Other News: I had my follow-up ultrasound last week. You can read about it here, but basically they said that I do have placenta previa. A part of the placenta is covering my cervix (and baby boy’s way out). So I’m scheduled to go back in 4 weeks to check to see if it’s moved or not and at that time they will determine if I need to have a c-section or not. If I do, they said they usually schedule them around 36 or 37 weeks.

Also, this boy is a mover! He is very sporadic when he decides to move, but when he does, it’s all over the place. Charlotte was always pretty consistent, moving mostly at night when I was getting ready to go to sleep, but this guy moves in the morning, afternoon, night – whenever he feels like it. Luckily it’s not hurting yet, but I do wonder what he’s doing sometimes.