Race Shirt Quilt Giveaway

How would you like to have a quilt/wall-hanging made from 12 of your race shirts?  Here's your chance to have one made for you!  For each $25 donation you make toward my Team in Training fundraising, you'll have your name entered into a drawing for a 12 shirt quilt/wall-hanging.  If you donate $50, you'll get 2 entries.  Donate $75 and get 3 entries!!  Drawing will be done on November 15 and I will try my best to have the quilt done before Christmas.  Yes, I will be making the quilt myself, so not only do you get the good feeling of helping find a cure for blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, but you'll get a homemade quilt of your race shirts! 

Entering is a simple 3 step process:
1)  Click on http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to go to my fundraising page.
2)  Make at least a $25 donation.
3)  Post a comment to this blog post letting me know you made a donation.

What are you waiting for?  Go donate and get yourself entered!!

But wait!!  There's more!!  If I get more than $500 in donations from quilt drawing entries, I'll give away TWO quilts!  Yes, you read that right.  TWO lucky winners!!!

Thanks in advance for your donations and good luck!!

One month old already

It's hard to believe that Thomas is a month old already. Time goes by way too quickly.  At his one month check up on Friday, he was up to 9 pounds, 6 ounces and 22 1/8 inches long. The doctor said he's perfect.  The rest of last week was spent chilling at home.  I went for a few runs, and have officially started training for my half marathon now that I have my Team in Training training plan from my coach.  It feels really good to be back to running again, even though it'll take a bit to get my endurance and speed back.  Today I ran 3.6 miles, my longest run since the beginning of May!!

I know it's been a week, but I don't really have much to write about since I don't really do much.  Hmm. . .  Last Sunday the Altar Guild put a rose on the altar at church in honor of Thomas' birth. That was pretty neat.  Robert had a soccer game Wednesday evening and his team played really well.  Robert scored one of his team's goals.

Thomas on his 1 month "birthday"

Today's high: 82
Current: 69

Go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to help move my dollar sign down the road!!

The first three weeks at home

These first three weeks have just FLOWN by.  Of course, the first week when I should have been resting was spent traveling back and forth to Tucson quite a bit.

We spent a couple of days in the hospital after Thomas was born.  The maternity and nursery unit was full, so we were in our labor & delivery room for most of the day (generally you're only there for about 2 hours after giving birth).  They finally got discharges taken care of in M & N and we were able to go down to the 7th floor.  All the rooms are private rooms, so that's nice.  Ryan got to stay with me, but Mom and Robert and K headed back to Sierra Vista – Robert had missed 2 days of school to be present for the birth of his baby brother.  Wednesday morning Thomas had his circumcision and then we got discharged on Thursday.  It was a long day – our only visitor was K and she's not really a visitor cuz she's more like family. 

So Thursday we got all our discharge instructions and Thomas and I put on real clothes to get ready to go home.  Ryan got all our stuff to the van and then all we had when we left was Thomas in his car seat/carrier and ourselves.  We said goodbye to all the wonderful nurses and staff and I got my wheelchair ride down to the entrance.  Thomas slept the whole way home, so it was a good ride.  And it was good to be home, although the cats kept looking at Thomas like "what is that THING you brought home?"  Friday morning after we got Robert to school, we headed back to Tucson to the pediatrics clinic at the hospital.  Thomas had a bit of jaundice and they wanted to check up on him.  Well, when they weighed him, he was down to 6 pounds, 15 ounces – almost a 10% weight loss so they were concerned.  We ended up getting an appointment with the lactation clinic on Saturday for a follow-up weight check – and yet another trip to Tucson.  After we were done at pediatrics, we went down to the lab for them to check Thomas' bilirubin levels for his jaundice.  Everything came back fine – we got the call just as we were getting to Chick Fil-et for lunch.  So at least the jaundice wasn't a problem anymore.

Saturday we went back to Tucson again – Mom stayed home with Robert this time (she came with us on Friday) – for our weight check at the lactation clinic.  Thomas was back up to 7 pounds, 3 ounces – definitely good progress.  The really nice lactation consultant helped Thomas and I with latching on a little better and gave us some hints and stuff, so that was good and helpful.  Then it was back home again.  Sunday we took Thomas to church for the first time!!  I didn't even miss a Sunday between being pregnant and going to church with a new baby.  Some people were surprised to see us and some were impressed that we were there, but everyone was glad to see us, and Thomas was introduced to the congregation.

Monday was finally a rest day for me.  Ryan went to Tucson for his weekly group appointment and it was just me and Mom and Thomas.  We did go for a walk and that was nice to get out and get some exercise.  Tuesday we had a SUPER early morning.  We dropped Robert off at Child Time right at 0530 when they opened and then headed to Tucson to get Mom to the airport on time for her flight home to MI.  It was sad to see her go, but we'll see her (and the rest of the family) again soon when we go home for Christmas.  After we dropped her off, Ryan, Thomas, and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then to Target where we got a swing for Thomas (the Target here in Sierra Vista was out of stock of the swing we wanted).  Then we headed to the hospital to the pediatrics clinic for Thomas' 1 week check up.  The doctor said he was perfect!  And his weight was back up to 7 pounds, 7 ounces, so they were happy about that.  It just took us a little bit to get the breastfeeding thing down.  After his appointment, we had to go to the lab for one more last little bit of lab work for Thomas, and we also went up to the 8th floor and got to show him off to my midwife and I made my 6 week followup appointment.  Then we headed to the VA hospital for Ryan's other weekly group appointment and we got to show Thomas off to some of Ryan's care team.  Thomas and I walked around the VA campus while Ryan was in group and then we just hung out in the van after our walk until Ryan was done.

Wednesday I was finally able to start my relaxing and taking it easy.  Our days are all pretty much the same now – nurse Thomas whenever he's hungry, snuggle on the couch, go for walks, and do a little bit around the house – laundry one day, grocery shopping one day – never too much in one day.  This past Monday I started back to running – at 3 weeks postpartum!!  No pain and it feels great to be running again.  I'm taking walk breaks and not really pushing myself too hard yet – going to work on building back my endurance over the next couple of weeks before my half marathon training plan starts.

Thomas is breastfeeding well and growing quite a bit.  He goes about 2-3 hours in between feedings and is taking a decent nap in both the morning and afternoon.  Robert is doing well with school and he's on Fall Break this week, so enjoying the extra time playing with his friends at Child Time.  He's a great big brother and is so sweet with Thomas.  He likes holding him and checking out his dirty diapers.  He's not too keen on changing Thomas yet, but maybe that will come.

And speaking of half marathon training starting up soon, I've joined Team in Training.  Team in Training raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Please consider making a tax deductible donation toward my fundraising goal!  My fundraising page can be found here:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks   Thanks in advance for any and all donations you make!!

Go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to help move my dollar sign down the road!!

Thomas’ Birth Story

Just a warning – this post may contain TMI at times, but I want to record Thomas' birth story and TMI comes with birth stories.  If you don't want to read all the details, just scroll to the end for the new baby stats.

Rewind the calendar to Sunday, 18 September.  Mom was here (she got here the Friday previous) and we all went to church.  Of course, I got the comments "You're still here?" Uh, yes.  It sure looks like it, doesn't it?  During the afternoon I was really antsy and couldn't sit still.  I finally decided to start working on my hospital bag and I made meatloaf for dinner.  K was getting ready to move and I had asked her what her favorite meal I cooked was and she said meatloaf.  While I was cooking, I started feeling really crampy and I knew I was having contractions, but they weren't super bad.  I finished cooking dinner and the 5 of us sat down to eat.  I didn't have much of an appetite, but I ate anyway.  The contractions started coming more frequently and we made the decision to head to Tucson, so I finished throwing my hospital bag together and Ryan helped Robert get some stuff together and we headed to a pre-determined hotel that we had decided would be "home".  I tried a bath when we got checked in, but the water wasn't very hot – barely warm – and wasn't really soothing, so I didn't stay in but maybe 5-10 minutes.  I did manage to throw up what little dinner I had eaten and thankfully K was there by that time.  Ryan doesn't do well with puke and Robert was a little scared because Mommy was sick.  So Gramma was taking care of Robert and Ryan stepped outside leaving K to take care of me.  She's a wonderful friend!

Around 11:30 or so Sunday night we decided to head to the hospital.  My contractions were about 3 or 4 minutes apart and fairly intense.  I was able to breathe through them still, and in hindsight I probably would have been better off hanging out at the hotel longer, but we can't go back and change things.  We got the hospital and got parked and up to the 8th floor.  I love that UMC doesn't make laboring women use a wheel chair – they are available if needed, but I was fine walking.  Since it was after hours, we had to check in at the information desk right by the hospital entrance, but the guy working there took one look at us and asked "Labor & Delivery?" and we said  yes and he just waved us by.  When K and Mom and Robert came later, they had to get visitor stickers to be able to go up to the 8th floor.  I got checked in which didn't take too long as I had called on our way to the hospital and they had my file ready.  They got me in the little exam curtained cubicle and checked me – only 3 cm, but they decided to admit me due to me being from Sierra Vista (they didn't know we had a hotel room) and the fact that I was trying for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-Section).  Normally they won't admit until 4 cm, which is when they consider active labor starting.  After being monitored for 20 minutes or so – contractions and baby's heartbeat – I was brought to my labor & delivery room.  I ended up with one of the corner rooms and they are the large ones, so that was nice!!  The floor was very quiet.  Everyone loved our birth plan, and when they saw I was trying for a natural/med-free birth, they pretty much left us alone.  I did have to get in the bed every couple of hours or so for about 20 minutes of monitoring, but that was ok.  At least it wasn't continuous.  I used my exercise ball to bounce on and lean over while on my knees, I walked around, I hung onto Ryan.  I used a wide variety of positions and techniques to get through the contractions.  And then morning shift change came, and L&D started filling up.  I was in bed for monitoring and then shift change happened and I think I got forgotten about.  I was laying in bed for close to 2 hours and my contractions almost stopped after that.  Ryan and I started walking laps around the floor and that helped some, but when I finally let them check me again mid-afternoon, I was still only at 4 cm.

Around 4 Monday afternoon, we decided to have them break my water and that kind of got things going.  My contractions were about a minute long and a minute or so apart, and after 2 hours of that, they checked me again and I was *maybe* 4 1/2.  Two hours of exhausting contractions and a 1/2 cm of progress.  I knew I had a long road ahead of me and I broke down and asked for an epidural.  Not what I wanted, but I knew that I'd need to rest up for pushing and at the rate I was progressing, it was going to be a while before baby was born.  At every step, I made sure that I'd still be able to have my VBAC, and my awesome doctors talked to me about everything and assured me that I would still have a VBAC.  So epidural it was.  The anesthesiologist was AWESOME and despite my contractions being about a minute apart, he as able to get the epi in with no problems.  Ah, relief.  I was finally able to get some rest, and Ryan and K who were both super awesome on helping me through my contractions, were able to get some as well.  After several hours, they checked me again and I was at 5 cm and we decided to start pitocin to help things along.  Again, that wasn't in my birth plan, but my ultimate goal was to have a successful VBAC.  They started with the lowest dose and gradually turned it up.  Of course, because of the epidural, I was stuck in bed and had to have continuous monitoring, but it was all good.  The nurses were wonderful and helped me turn from right side to left side every hour and a half or so, and once night came, they did their best to not wake me when they came to check my vitals and what not.  Of course, I woke up pretty much every time, but that's ok.  We joked about me having a slumber party in my L&D room – Ryan was sleeping in one chair, Mom was in another, Robert was under a little "tent" Ryan had made for him with a couple of rolling stools and a sheet, and K was sleeping in the closet.

Sometime in the early hours of Tuesday morning they checked me again and I was at 9 cm!!!!  We were going to have a baby soon!  At that point, we woke Robert up and he got changed into his "I'm a Big Brother" t-shirt and everyone got ready.  I requested that they turn my epidural off so that I could feel to push and about 5:15 or 5:20 I was given the ok to start pushing – and I really felt like I was ready to.  On the contractions when they told me not to push (to either give baby a break or to wait for the doc, etc.), that was not fun at all.  As much as it hurt to push, it hurt more not to.  They even had a mirror set up so I could the baby's head.  I had to do my pushing on my back, although I did get the bed sitting up as much as I could so I could use gravity – even though the epidural was off, I was still fairly numb.  I had a nurse on one side helping hold my leg and K was on the other side.  Ryan was with Robert standing by to help deliver the baby and cut the cord (although that ended up not happening because we started having a little bit of distress and some meconium).  I pushed for about an hour and ten minutes which is a short amount of time for a first-time vaginal birth.  On average, first time vaginals usually push for about 2 hours.  But my docs attributed that to the fact that I'm in such good shape (I ran until 34 1/2 weeks and then walked after that – including 2 miles Saturday, the day before heading to the hospital).  I may have pushed too hard, too fast as I tore both on my perineum and the left side of my vagina and required a total of 7 stitches, but I couldn't not push at that point.  Right after he was born, the docs cut the cord (but left a good length so Robert could still "cut" it) and brought him to the warming table where a team from the NICU was standing by.  Once they had cleared his lungs some, they let Robert (with Ryan's help) "cut" the cord.  Robert thought that was really neat that he got to do that, and the doc let him keep the scissors!  They were all set to take him to the NICU, but brought him to me to hold first.  As soon as I got him in my arms, his color got a lot better and the NICU team left after deeming NICU not necessary!!  I got him to my breast and he latched on almost right away – such an awesome feeling!!

On Tuesday, 20 September 2011, at 0630 Arizona Time, we welcomed Thomas Nikolai Yearicks into the world with Daddy Ryan, Big Brother Robert (and yes, he watched his baby brother be born!!), Gramma Sally, and "Auntie" K watching/helping.  He was 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long.  I was surprised that he was so small, but I'm thankful as well.  And I'm thankful for a successful VBAC!!!  The doctors, nurses, and other care personnel at the University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ, were AWESOME!!

Stay tuned soon for another post about our 2 days in the hospital and first 2 weeks at home, but for now, Thomas is hungry again, so I'm off to nurse him.  I love breastfeeding!!!