Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Months Old!!!

It seems absolutely impossible that Everett is already two months old!  He is growing so quickly and changing everyday.  I keep joking that he'll be heading off to college before we know it, but Brad keeps reminding me not to get ahead of myself.  I recently told a friend, and fellow blogger, that I feel like a terrible mother for not updating my blog for over a month.  She sweetly pointed out that I'm not a terrible mother, but I am a terrible blogger.  For those of you who've been awaiting an update, I will try to get back on track with more frequent posts, but I'm not making any promises.  Every day with Everett seems to fly by in the blink of an eye and I'm finding it difficult to make myself take the time to do things like sitting down at the computer to update this blog. 

I am thoroughly enjoying my extended maternity leave and I am so thankful for the way things worked out.  I had so many days of leave saved up that I was able to take off the entire end of the school year, so my maternity leave rolled right into summer break.   Being able to spend everyday with Everett is so much fun and I love being able to watch him as he grows and develops.  I never would have imagined how amazing it would be to experience a first smile or a first coo or even the first time he sucked his thumb, which he did this morning!  Motherhood is exhausting, but it is also the most fun I've ever had!  I am so in love with my little man and it just keeps getting better everyday!

As you can probably imagine, a lot has happened in the last month, but here's the highlight reel...

Everett celebrated his first Easter, complete with a visit from the Easter Bunny.  We even went to Easter mass, which was a pretty big deal because it was Everett's first outing that wasn't a doctor's appointment.

As you can see, Everett was very excited about his first Easter mass!

Happy Easter from the Fleckners!

Thankfully, Grams helped us survive our first outing.  Notice the fussy baby!

A week after Easter, we headed back to Saint Peter Chanel for Everett's Baptism.  Sadly, due to the tornadoes that wreaked havoc throughout the south, Everett's Godparents, my brother and sister-in-law, were not able to make it for his Baptism.  Although we were so happy to have Everett's grandparents in town for the big event, I was really sad and disappointed when I found out that my brother and his family were not going to make it for such an important event in Everett's life.  After fretting over it all day, I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, it was certainly not the worst thing in the world.  After briefly considering rescheduling, we decided that having him baptized was too important.  We went ahead with Everett's Baptism as planned, sans Godparents, and it ended up being a beautiful ceremony and Everett was a total rockstar.  He didn't make a peep during the whole ceremony, although he did make a poop.  :)  When the Baptism was over, we all went for brunch at J. Christopher's and Everett ate his first meal in a restaurant.  I was probably even more nervous about Everett's first restaurant experience than I was about his Baptism, after all, babies are supposed to cry when they are baptized.  Thankfully, Everett surprised me yet again.  He was a perfect angel!!!

Saint Peter Chanel Catholic Church

All dressed  up and ready to go!

The beautiful christening gown that Everett wore has been in my family for over 60 years!

My mom gave Everett these sweet little booties and the medal below.

My mom and I both have medals like this one.

Once again, Everett was thrilled to be at church.  Anyone noticing a pattern here?

Phew!  Not a peep!

Thanks Father Henry!

Everett's first meal in a restaurant.  Thanks Grams!

Three generations of Fleckner men!

Our next big event was Mother's Day, which we celebrated by going mass and then lunch at Tara Humata, a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood.  As a special gift to mommy, Everett slept from 9:30 pm until 6:15 am for the first time ever.  Way to go Everett!  After lunch, Brad hung out with Everett so that I could get a massage at Spa Sydell.  It was fabulous!!  It was a perfect first Mother's Day!!!

My first Mother's Day present.  It is Everett's birthstone, aquamarine!

Everett really enjoyed lunch at Tara Humata... so did mommy!

On Friday, May 13th, Everett had his two month well-baby visit at Roswell Pediatrics.  We saw Dr. Josephson, who we absolutely loved!  Everett did so well!  Even though he was hungry and sleepy, he hung in there like a champ while they poked and proded him and asked Brad and I lots of questions.  The nurse even said he had a wonderful disposition!  At this appointment, Everett had to get his first round of vaccines.  The nurse who gave the shots was wonderful, but poor Everett screamed as if someone had, well, as if someone had stuck five different needles in his chubby little thighs!  I, of course, cried like a baby as well!

Everett is still taking both Zantac and Mylanta daily and things are MUCH improved!!!  It turns out that when he isn't miserable due to the pain of reflux, he is actually an incredibly happy baby with a wonderful disposition... just ask the nurse at Roswell Pediatrics.  He still spits up pretty frequently and sometimes in large amounts, but at least he doesn't seem to be in so much pain anymore.  We are eagerly anticipating the day that he outgrows his reflux and doesn't need medication.  But, in the mean time, we will just continue to be thankful that he is still healthy and is now happy and feeling well enough to actually get some sleep and have some fun too!

11 pounds, 4 ounces.  23 1/2 inches.

Everett and Dr. Josephson

Brad had to go out of town May 17th-19th, so Ev and I had our first solo flight and I am happy to say that it was a huge success!  We both missed Brad/daddy tremendously, but I consider the experience to be a big accomplishment for Everett and I.  I never look forward to Brad traveling for work, but at least now I know we can do it!  It definitely helped that Everett and I kept ourselves busy with visitors and errands and on Tuesday, May 17th, Everett had his first play-date.  It was hosted by a friend from my prenatal yoga class, Nicole, and her sweet baby girl Abigail.  Two other moms from the yoga class also brought their little cuties.  Ev's first play-date went really well and I'm pretty sure the mommies had as much fun, if not more, than the babies.  It was great to be able to get together and chat about all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful aspects of motherhood.  Everett was the youngest baby by about a month, but, as you can see in the pictures below, he held his own with the "big kids."

Bennet, Brynn, Abigail, and Everett just chillin' on the couch

Everett's first date with an older woman.  She's getting a little too fresh don't you think?!?!

Here are a few more fun pics...

People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend!

Play time!

I love my new swing, especially the fishies!

Rollin' with my homie!  Our first stroll with Carter and his mommy, Ellen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three-Week Update

Happy Family
Everett is growing so fast and it seems impossible to believe that he is already over three weeks old!  How did so much time pass so quickly!?!?! 

On Sunday, April 3rd, my mom left and headed back to Abbeville.  It was a really hard day for me, but thankfully, we had something fun to look forward to!  Well, it was fun for me.  I'm not sure how fun it was for Brad and Everett.  We had Becca Price over to take some pictures of Everett.  It seems that Everett is a bit like his daddy (not a ham like his mommy) and doesn't particularly care for having his picture taken.  Thankfully, Becca was able to get some great shots of him, despite his lack of enthusiasm.  The photos are beautiful!  To preview Everett's photos, visit Becca's website  ( ), click on Clients and enter the password, everett.

Grams and Everett
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we had a visit from my friend Jane, who drove all the way from Indiana to hang out with us.  Aunt Jane was such a big help!  She picked up lunch for me and did our laundry and even cleaned before she left on Wednesday morning.  Unfortunately, Monday and Tuesday were really rough days for Everett.  He cried and fussed and was inconsolable for the majority of the day both days. 

Everett and Aunt Jane
We went to the pediatrician on Wednesday morning for Everett's two-week check-up.  We explained what we'd experienced on Monday and Tuesday and were told, "it could be reflux, it could be colic, or it could just be his personality."  Well, at that point, I naturally broke down right there in the exam room.  After two days of my baby being totally and utterly inconsolable, I felt like such a failure as a mother.  I honestly don't know that I've ever felt so helpless.  I mean if there is something wrong with my baby, shouldn't I be able to fix it!?!?  The pediatrician gave us a prescription for Zantac and sent us on our way.  I left feeling completely discouraged and frustrated.  We started Everett on Zantac that day and just hoped for the best.

8 pounds, 12 ounces
On Wednesday afternoon, Brad's parents arrived and I was so incredibly thankful to have them here.  While they were here, they did everything from helping me with Everett, to walking Hank, to yard work, to cooking and cleaning and doing the grocery shopping.  We couldn't have gotten through this difficult time without them!

Grandma Mary, Grandpa Oscar, and Everett
The Fleckners
Over the past week, we've had a lot of crying on Everett's part and mine, but nothing like what we experienced last Monday and Tuesday.  This Tuesday, just when we were beginning to think that either the Zantac was not working or that maybe it isn't reflux after all, we had our first really good day.  Everett still had some fussy times, like all three-week old babies do, but he also had some quiet time and he actually took three naps, which is way more than I can say for any other day so far!  We went back to the pediatrician for a weight check and found out that Everett is already up to 9 pounds, 3 ounces.  So, it turns out that my little piggy is actually over-eating!  The nurse I spoke with said that his over-eating could actually be causing or at least contributing to his reflux.  Everett is now on both Zantac and Mylanta and I am trying to limit his feedings a little more.  As of yesterday, it seems like he is finally getting some relief.  He is still spitting up and is still fussy after meals and throughout parts of the day, but that is still a major improvement over what we were dealing with a week ago.  I'm hopeful that we will soon get to a point when the good days will out-number the bad.  Brad and I are both eagerly awaiting the days when our sweet baby isn't suffering so much all day long.  It seems like we may be on our way there!  The great news is that we are really getting to know our little guy more and more everyday and we are getting to know even more about each other in the process.

A few more fun pictures:

This is Everett's first pic with our neighbors, Ellen and Brian.  Since this picture was taken, Ellen and Brian have had their very own sweet baby boy, Carter.  We can't wait to me him!

A visit from cousin Susan

Everett's first visit with Aunt Sarah

A visit from the Halls.  They brought us Chick-fil-a!

Little E's first stroll

Two weeks old!  (For some reason, I can't figure out how to flip this photo)

Three weeks old!  (I've really got to figure out how to rotate these pictures!)
 In addition to those pictured above, we've had lots of other visitors during the past couple of weeks, including our friends, Mandy and Katelyn Monk, Leigh Jackson, Mike and Leslie Edelson, Tony Giordano, Katie McQuiston, Stephanie Stinn, Stephanie Bialek, Tom and Marty Larkin, Deborah and Savannah, Paul and Hannah Zey, and Laura Cavataio.  Thankfully, so many of our gracious friends have come with gifts and/or dinner.  Unfortunately, we keep forgetting to get pictures with all of our visitors.  Thanks to everyone for making Everett and his mommy and daddy feel so loved!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Everett Oscar Fleckner

WARNING: Viewer discretion advised!  :)

On Monday, March 21st, Brad and I went out for pizza at Alpine Bakery, my request for our last meal as a married couple without children.  Just as our pizza arrived at the table we received a call from the Northside Hospital Women's Center that we were to check in at the hospital by 8:00 pm to begin the induction process.  We quickly finished dinner and headed to the hospital in relative silence.  As excited as I was that we were so close to meeting our baby, the reality of what I was about to go through was starting to sink in.  When we arrived at Northside, we were the only expectant parents checking in, so the process went really quickly, and before we knew it, we were entering our labor and delivery room, room 5A.  As I changed into my super glamorous hospital gown, Brad unpacked a little and made our room more comfortable.

Not sure why this pic was taken in the bathroom, but there I am pre-labor.

Room #5A

Settling in for the night and the Cervidil.

After we settled in, Bryn, our labor and delivery nurse for the night, came in to help us fill out all of the necessary paperwork.  By the time we were finished, I felt like I'd signed my name a hundred times!  Bryn also hooked Everett and I up to the monitors.  Once I was all hooked up, we realized that I was actually already in early labor and having contractions.  Bryn showed me how to spot my contractions on the monitors and I realized that I'd been having mild contractions for a while, but they were so faint that I thought it was just Everett moving around.  Bryn left us alone and Brad and I started up a game of UNO to take my mind off of things.  Just as I was starting to relax, another nurse named Jessica came in to put in my IV in preparation for what was to come.  I've never had an IV before and I am, or was, phobic about needles, so I sort of had a meltdown at that point.  At around 10:00 Bryn returned to start the Cervidil and she also gave me an Ambien for obvious reasons.  I think I drifted off to sleep around 11:00 only to be awakened around 4:00 am by some stronger contractions, a really uncomfortable feeling in my you-know-what, and a woman screaming in the next room.  The uncomfortable feeling turned out to be my fully effaced cervix.  At 6:00 am Bryn returned with one last surprise for me before the end of her shift, an enema.  I have one word for that experience, YUCK!  At 7:00 am, Heather, our labor and delivery nurse for the day, came in.  Heather informed us that I was now dilated four centimeters and she started the Petocin through my IV.  My water broke almost immediately.  After that, my contractions went from uncomfortable to unbearable!  Prior to my water breaking, my contractions were somewhat erratic and only mildly painful.  Afterward, my contractions were about two minutes apart and excruciating!  I am not kidding when I say that I felt like my body was being ripped in half!!!  Thankfully, Christine Gordon, our midwife can in right about then.  She told us that I was now dilated seven centimeters.  She asked if I thought I wanted an epidural and I said that I definitely did.  She gave me some medicine to help me relax and called for the anesthesiologist.  He arrived to start my epidural at 8:50.  Unfortunately, he had to reinsert my epidural three times!!!  If you've ever had an epidural, you know that having it done once is more than enough!  Because it took such a long time for the epidural to be inserted correctly, my blood pressure dropped drastically, as did Everett's heart rate.  Christine returned and made the decision to slow things down a bit.  She stopped the Pitocon and gave me some oxygen.  I was thankful for the pain relief and very groggy due to the low blood pressure and medication, so I dozed off for a while.  During that time, our parents came and went, as did several nurses and other hospital staff.  The awesome staff worked hard to get my blood pressure and Everett's heart rate under control.  At around 1:00, Everett and I were both stabilized and Christine came in and I started pushing.  It turns out that Everett is just about as stubborn as his mama, because I pushed for about the next hour and a half without making much progress.  It turned out that Everett was coming out facing sideways, instead of facing my back, as he should have been.  Just as it was beginning to look like I was not going to be able to get the job done, our labor and delivery nurse Heather gave me an amazing pep talk and and after a little more pushing, Everett was born at 3:09 pm.  He was 8 pounds 2 ounces, 21 inches long, and a little cone-headed.  Thankfully, the cone-headedness was temporary!  All kidding aside, he is absolutely perfect!!! 

Ready to start pushing

Our first meeting

Dad cutting the cord

Proud Papa

Tired, but Happy Mama

Our stay in the hospital was rough and our first few days at home are kind of a blur with a lot of crying by both Everett and me.  Thankfully, now that I am feeling physically better, I'm also feeling better emotionally.  Everett is really settling in to life in our home and even though every day presents Brad and I with new challenges, we are so in love with our son.  Throughout the entire labor, delivery, and postpartum experience, Brad has been absolutely amazing.  I am so thankful for him everyday.  He is already proving to be such an incredible father.  More than ever, he is my rock and I am more in love with him today than ever before.  The birth of our first child was a humbling and awe-inspiring experience and I am so overwhelmed with emotion every time I think about what Brad and I now share.

Heading home from the hospital

Hank and Everett meet at last


On Monday, March 28th, Everett had his first check-up at Roswell Pediatrics and I am so proud to say that he now weighs 8 pounds 5 ounces!  My number one goal when we left the hospital was to get him back up above his birth weight and with the help of Brad and my mom, that goal was accomplished!!!  I won't say that breastfeeding has been a picnic, but seeing Everett thrive and grow makes it all worthwhile.  And, as an added bonus, we now get to stretch the amount of time between two of his nighttime feedings, which means we all get a little more sleep.

At Everett's first appointment we saw Dr. Flax.  A nurse asked us lots of questions, weighed Everett, and then took his temperature.  He was not fond of that part at all, nor was he happy about the whole naked on the table thing.  Next Everett was checked-out by the doctor.  He informed us that Everett seems happy and healthy and is thriving so far!  He provided us with a lot of information, some new, some not.  Finally, he answered all of our questions.  The appointment was over in about thirty minutes and we left feeling really proud of ourselves and Everett.

Heading to the doctor

I'm such a big boy!  8 pounds 5 ounces!

One Week Old!