Welcome Natalie Grace!!!

Posted by Andrew & Jessica on Thursday Jun 7, 2012 Under Natalie

Natalie Grace was born on May 24th 2012… on her maternal Grandma’s birthday. It was a planned c-section and originally the date was set for May 25th, however there was a problem with scheduling and when the doctor called to change it, he wanted to put us in for the 24th. Mommy thought about this and realized it was Grandma’s birthday so she asked her if it was OK… and of course, without hesitation she was completely thrilled at the idea. There was really no surprise with this birth, for the first time – we knew the sex, and we chose the name, and as you see- we chose the date too! But… one thing is for sure, the fact that we GOT pregnant was the surprise. You see, with the first two children there were doctors, infertility treatments and months of waiting (or years with the first!). So when we were pondering the thought of going for the 3rd child… we said, let’s see how things go cycle-wise and in about 6 months we’ll go to the doctor. Low and behold, first month without prevention we were pregnant… BIG SHOCK!!!! The most interesting part about it was that Natalie was conceived on the exact same day that Mary Elizabeth was. (A hard day to forget – September 11th).
This was from the start a true blessing, and certainly meant-to-be!!! The pregnancy went very smooth – had all the typical symptoms of course and so forth. Ultrasounds went great and we were “tickled pink” with the news it was a girl. Mary Elizabeth especially because she SO wanted a sister.
To be honest, we waited a bit after having Drew in order to truly enjoy this last baby. We were robbed of that “first baby” experience with Mary Elizabeth, and though she was worth it and is special to us for all we’ve endured… we wanted to re-experience this after the kids were a little older so we could really cherish and enjoy each moment. And there is a lot of ‘healing’ taking place in that respect, though you can never replace it to be honest, but it still worked out perfectly. With only 2 weeks in, we can see that this is truly a blessing for all of us.

So now that you have the background on it all… despite some false alarms of cramping and a few contractions that ended up going no-where, Natalie didn’t  come before the 24th. So EARLY that morning we woke up – and got ready. (Yes, I even did my hair and make up that morning). Grandma Ray arrived at 4:45 in the morning to allow the kids to continue to sleep while we left to go have our baby. Drew had off from school but Mary Elizabeth went in still (for a half day) so Grandma put her on the bus that morning. We left and arrived at the hospital by 5:30am. It was so early that no one was really around, so we thought we’d have to go in through the ER, but a really nice security officer walked us up through the front and escorted us the whole way. When we got there, the nurses were really friendly, chipper and helpful. They did some pre-op bloodwork and so forth. Andy took my picture as a last pregnancy shot to remember.

I changed into the awful gown they gave me, gosh I loved that hospital and the people there etc, but they had awful hospital gowns. I know they were meant for nursing moms, they had slits in the front but they did not close!!! I wasn’t nursing any baby yet! The good thing about going in early is I was hungry but didn’t have to wait all day to eat. They put an IV in and then we waited. The bad thing about knowing when you are having the baby is the anticipation. At this point I was looking at the clock, knowing 7:30am was the time I should be going in but it didn’t seem like it was going to work out… THEN I was greeted by my doctor and the anesthesiologist and shortly there-after they had Andy put his gear on. So wow, I was wrong… right on schedule!

They wheeled me in first, the OR room was hand painted and beautiful. I took note of this because it was nice to look at. They had a sky at the top, beach on the side, and it had a beautiful saying along the top edge of the wall. Wish I could remember it now. And right above the bright light where my head was and I looked up at… it said “BREATHE” – cute I thought, just breathe!
I got a spinal for my c-section, that might have been the hardest part- and it wasn’t even bad at all. I requested anti-nausea medication because I get nauseous easily and remember I nearly threw up last time when I had Drew. I laid down and they chit chatted with me. Asked if it was a boy or girl, and at that moment I realized that there was always a chance the sonograms were wrong. They told me a story about a mom who ended up having a boy and then I was more nervous because we painted the girls’ room and I had a homecoming outfit with the name Natalie on it! I looked back up at that word “BREATHE” and that’s exactly what I did.
The doctor came in and then they began to start, moments later Andy came in. Whatever anxiety I did feel went away at that point. Something about having my husband there calms me, Andy is very calming 😉 love him!!! We kept looking at the clock because before they brought me in, I said for sure she’d be born after 8am. Well then I felt them do the ole heave-ho on the top of my belly, pushing my lil girl down just a bit further, which doesn’t hurt at the time- but it feels bruised for a good week after in that area. Anyway, they took her out and I heard her starting to cry and the doctors were saying.. what time is it… 8:01? No that clocks wrong, it’s 7:59, yep 7:59 that’s what the computer says. OK 7:59 it is. Doh, mommy was WRONG! Lol.

They took her out and showed her to me, this is where it ended for Drew (and as we know I didn’t even get to see Mary Elizabeth because I was put under general anesthesia). At this point Drew was taken to another room and daddy followed. But here, at this hospital they had her right next to me and I got to watch them do all the stuff… wipe her down, footprints yadda yadda. Right before they weighed her Andy and the nurses took guesses at her size, they all had the 6lb range, Andy said “6lbs 8oz… well, she weighed 6lbs 9oz (rounded up from 6lbs 8.8oz) so he was quite accurate!!! They SAID she was 19” (but we found out later at the dr office she was really 18.11 and they just rushed the measurement at the hospital, oh well- for all official purposes we had to leave it at 19”)
Anyway, I laid there SMILING from ear to ear while watching her scream her little tushie off. Man was she MAD! It was so cute though, and I kept looking at Andy in awe, and then telling him- “hun take pics!!!” I forgot I was even having a c-section (how perfect is that? Because normally I’d be alone without my husband and baby and only having that to focus on!).  Before I knew it, they brought her back over to me and laid her on my chest, it was heavenly, and she was so calm immediately, then started nuzzling on my neck and trying to suck on my chin. It was a treasurable moment, and for a c-section ONLY type of mom, it was an experience I’ll never forget because so often we can’t hold our babies for a bit. But I got to!!!

And then next thing I knew they had me all together and were taking all the coverings down and about to wheel me to the recovery room I had. Andy walked over with me and the baby got wheeled right beside us. And then immediately I got to breastfeed her, which without hesitation she latched on RIGHT AWAY and there we were… mommy and baby. Just like that!

I didn’t have any nausea, I didn’t have the shakes, I felt great, did great and had an awesome experience. So I was over the moon. Natalie was wide awake for hours after her birth, with a nap in between and then wide awake again when her Grandma, Grandpa, and brother & sister came to visit. 
So aware and alert, lots of smiles (I know, I know- Gas.. but it does seem real!!!). She was a peanut and tiny and sooo sooo adorable. She looked a lot like Drew to us, but a little different, more feminine I suppose. The one major difference was her eyes. When her eyes were closed she looked SO much like Drew, but then open… hmmm no, she looked different. Drew has the similar eyes to his big sister, they have daddy’s eyes but we think Natalie’s are more like her moms.

The hospital stay was great, most of the nurses were awesome (minus one overbearing one).  I had a nice private room with a really nice private bathroom. The hospital food was great, you got to order exactly what you wanted and they’d bring it after you called within about 30 mins. It was like room service really! The people were laid back and just really easy going. I can’t complain at all!

Before discharge they weighed her at 6lbs 1oz, but that’s ok newborns tend to lose a little weight at first. They allowed us to go home 1 day early, which was great, because who wants to be stuck in the hospital? 😉
The kids, and us are all in love and enjoying every moment. Sometimes we fight over her, but can you blame us????

Thank you Lord for blessing us with this little girl!

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IT’S A……….

Posted by Andrew & Jessica on Thursday Jan 5, 2012 Under Uncategorized


That’s right, almost everyone was right!!!! In the poll: http://poll.pollcode.com/qv4_result?v – 76% of you voted that it was a girl. And in addition to that, there have been a slew of people who did not vote who all said GIRL as well. In addition mommy & daddy felt a little bit of instinct in that it may very well be a girl, as well as a dream about it too.
After a while we thought, surely we can’t ALL be right… but indeed we were…. here’s a pic of our littlest princess:

Natalie Grace is the name we have chosen as many of you know. Mary Elizabeth came with us to the ultrasound and was SO happy that her prayers were answered and she was getting a little sister. When we came home to Drew, he was already told by Grandma – so as soon as mommy walked in he says “Mommy where’s Natalie??? where’s the baby??, where is SHE????” as he proceeded to look behind mommy and everywhere. I think he was confused and thought she was being born! haha.

All in all we are very excited and also happy that everything looks good and she’s growing well. There is so much about this pregnancy and child that is meant to be and we know God had his hand in it. We are blessed, at some point we’ll go into detail on it all 🙂

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Christmas Cheer… and what to expect in the New Year

Posted by Andrew & Jessica on Wednesday Dec 28, 2011 Under Uncategorized


Christmas Came and Christmas went… it is always pretty hectic but very enjoyable seeing friends and family. We’re looking forward to ringing in the New Year! 2012 should be pretty exciting with lots of changes and so forth.

Speaking of….. ONE WEEK FROM TODAY we will be finding out the sex of the baby when we have our big ultrasound. Well, considering the baby cooperates and shows us the goods. This is exciting for us as we have never found out the sex of the baby prior to birth before… but we’ve had two surprises and are ready to do things a little differently!! After all, the fact that we even conceived on our own was surprise enough!!! 🙂

So with that said, you have a week to vote on our poll… whatcha thinking- this gonna be a girl or a boy? Are we having a Natalie Grace or a Benjamin Joseph as our last child??? Is ME getting a sister or is Drew getting a brother??? Either way we’ll be thrilled!!!

Are we having a BOY or a GIRL
pollcode.com free polls 

Lastly Mary Elizabeth had a follow up appointment with Dr. B who does her sclerotherapy. We all went down to the city yesterday to see him. There was some improvement from her last procedure which is good! He wants a few more MRI pictures (certain angles and views that he didnt get before). So she’ll have that done soon – no contrast or sedation needed so it should be easy for her. After that they will ask us to come down for one of the weekly conferences they do- all the big doctors in the team down in NYC meet and discuss cases. They will go over her MRI, take a look at her, decide and discuss the details of her case and make a game plan for what she needs for now/future. This is kind of exciting for us because we’ll get to sit in on that brainstorming session! We’ll keep everyone posted on what transpires and what they have to say. 🙂

Either way we’ll be back next week to see if the poll results match up with the ultrasound results!!!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Posted by Andrew & Jessica on Thursday Nov 24, 2011 Under Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family… and those that are reading 🙂

We always have so much to be thankful for… we are truly blessed. But this year we added just one more blessing by adding BABY RAIA #3

We announced on facebook (since we live on there) that we are pregnant with our 3rd child with these 2 photos:

That’s right- we are having a 3rd child. Things went a little differently this time, as many know we had to go through infertility treatments to conceive both Mary Elizabeth & Drew… we were just about to prepare to track things and get ready to go to the doctor in about 6 months or so…. but instead we got pregnant like right away without even really ‘trying’ – so WOW. A miracle in itself. And come to find out the exact day we conceived was the same day (just 7 years later) that we conceived Mary Elizabeth. This was definitely meant to be! Though the due date is in the beginning of June (as it was with ME) – we will be having this bundle of joy at the end of May. There were already two c-sections, so another c-section will be scheduled. We are looking at Friday, May 25th – however that could change and as we know the baby could change things too since my water broke with Drew almost 2 weeks early.  Either way it will definitely be close to ME’s birthday!
With both ME & Drew we didn’t find out the sex. But we wanted to change things up, and also prepare the bedrooms (one of them will be sharing a room) – so we will be finding out the sex. We are scheduled to find out on January 4th… as long as the baby cooperates!

In other news… Drew is now FOUR years old. Still adorable, still active but definitely growing up before our eyes. He is doing great in preschool and really maturing. But still- don’t get him going because he will never stop!! The good news is he is a great sleeper still! hahaha. And although he’s easily wound up, he does very well playing quietly by himself. He will be known to sit and play with his cars, puzzles and definitely building blocks and legos… he could do that for hours. As well as some of his new action figures in his Bat Cave that mommy & daddy got him for his birthday. He’s creative and imaginative.

Mary Elizabeth is doing well in 1st grade but boy is it an adjustment for her. She wants to know why there isn’t as much recess time hahah. But she got her 1st report card and did really well. She seems to excel in spelling, getting a 100 on every test so far (she gets a test every Friday). She does well in most of her subjects anyway but that’s her best! She’s reading more and learning things every day. She gets frustrated when her brother won’t understand the vowel rules – as she tries to teach him. Ya know every day when she comes home from school (after changing into comfy clothes) she has to play school and is always the teacher!!!

Anyway all in all things are well. Mary Elizabeth’s last surgery went well, which was her sclerotherapy procedure back in October. We go back for a follow up after Christmas… but no major complaints or anything from that surgery- seemed to be very smooth. Things are slowing down for her in that department which is nice and good since she’s got a busy life now with school and dance class etc.

Anyway – may everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving – be blessed!!!

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School is in!!

Posted by Andrew & Jessica on Wednesday Sep 7, 2011 Under Andrew, Mary Elizabeth

Both of our kiddies started school this week. Mary Elizabeth’s 1st day of FIRST GRADE (can you believe it???) started rough because the bus never came (although we found out after we waited 45 minutes for it, it came 3-4 minutes after we left) and mommy had to drive her to school. Only a mile from the school a utility truck was on the side of the road where there was a lot of branches and debris – and we went around the truck and as we came back into the lane there was a huge rock that we proceeded to hit as we didn’t have a clear view of it ahead of time. This nice big rock dented the rim and thus – a flat tire. We spent some time on the side of the road but thankfully we had a lot of help from the people at her school. She made it to school and eventually mommy and Drew made it back home (but a little longer than we planned because the car decided to become possessed or something and wouldn’t start yet the windshield wipers wouldn’t turn off – even with the key not in the ignition). Grandpa helped us out when we got home and we were able to have a company fix the dent in the rim. We were also helped out by a client of Daddy’s with tires! So everything turned out fine and ME had a GREAT first day after all! She is in uniform now, but it’s a flexible one, she can wear any color polo or button up shirt with a collar, and dresses, skirts or slacks that are black, navy, khaki or grey. She looks super cute in anything as we’ve learned.

Drew had a great first day at Preschool as well. He was excited to have quite a few buddies in his class that he’s been friends with for a while at church now. He has a nice new teacher and we are really partial to his teacher’s assistant…. Grandma Ray! 🙂 He is very excited about going to school and very into it this year! He was adorable looking on his first day dontcha think??? Because of his sister’s fiasco the day before he missed his orientation- but that’s ok, we’re not new to the school so we know how it goes. And we’re just grateful that he didn’t have the same first day as she did, because he certainly would’ve missed it. The poor lil guy was stuck with mommy on the side of the road most of the morning with his pjs on, no shoes and no food in his belly as we didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast. But he did so well considering. What a good little guy!

In other news, the previous update we told everyone that ME was going to have a steroid injection on September 19th. That was cancelled. The area that was worked on in August was pretty aggravated and Dr. Waner suggested we do some sclerotherapy. While we thought we were nearing the end, we realized we have more steps. Such is life- right? So we’re moving on to that and Dr. Berenstein who does her Sclero is ordering an MRI for her. We have that set for September 29th. Unlike previous MRIs, she will not be having anesthesia. She is older now and very good with handling her doctor visits and things she needs to get done- so they suggested we give it a go. And we showed her pictures of the MRI machines and explained it all to her so we found her practicing laying still on the couch a few times. She’s funny! She will need contrast so they are going to stick her with an IV, I think that’ll be the only part she’s gonna put up a fight about. But, we know- she’ll do it. After the MRI is done we will meet with Dr. B and then schedule sclerotherapy. So we’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime the kids are well, and we are back in routine for the year!

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