Fischer's Lip Surgery

Fischer had to have surgery today to remove a mucus seal from his lip. A mucus seal is a little blister like bump in the mouth that is blocking or clogging the saliva duct. They are very common and children and adults get them frequently.  The procedure itself is very minor, but because of his age we had to have it at the Surgicenter and he had to have general anesthesia. 

This is the first time any of my babies have ever had to have anything close to this serious. I was a little anxious but overall handled it ok, I think. 

Kyle stayed home with the other 3, and Fischer and I checked in this morning at 6:30. 

You can see here the mucus seal on his lip. 

Fischer cried when I handed him off to the nurse at the surgery door which was not fun at all for me. The nurse showed me to a small consult room where I waited for about 25 minutes. The doctor came in and told me that everything went well and that when he was more alert the nurse would come and get me. 

About 10 more minutes after that, the nurse from his surgery came and got me and took me to his bed in recovery. 

He was asleep when I got there and the recovery nurse told me she had given him a little pain medicine when he woke up that made him a little sleepy. She said when he did wake up that we would see how he handled some juice or a popcicle and then we could take his IV out and head home. 

When he woke up, he was very upset, mainly about the IV. His lip was also numb and felt funny so he kept trying to bite it and touch it. It took a about 20 minutes to convince him to calm down and try a popcicle. Grape popsicles make the world go round, I tell ya, and they sure help sore lips feel better!

After that we headed home and he is doing Farley well. He says it hurts and he is pretty cranky, but overall handling things really well. Pray for him for the next few days that he would heal fast!

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Dear Archer (2 Months)

Dear Archer,

Well sweet one, while your first month I was the high maintenance one, this month, you stepped up your game. Right at week 6, the dreaded reflux set in along with continuing the blasted 45 minute intruder for your naps. It has been an adventure this month trying to figure out the best way to feed you and what your best schedule should be. The good news is that I think we are finally starting to figure things out. Always know, dear one, that no matter what life throws at you, I've got your back and am in your corner. 

This month: 

- You weigh 14 lbs, 2 oz (87%) and are 24 1/2 inches long (97%)
- You wear size 2 diapers
- You are wearing size 3-6 month clothes
- You saw your first snow
- We have settled nicely (finally) into a 3 hour feeding schedule, and you only nurse on one side each feeding.
- You are still waking 1-2 times a night and you still have a dreamfeed
- Your awake time is still 40-45 minutes/feeding cycle
- You are still a champ at the bottle 
- We started giving you a passy which tends to help when you are fussy because of reflux.
- Because of the reflux, I stopped being able to put you down awake for naps because you were so uncomfortable at times. So I am rocking you most of the time. The good news is that if I get the timing right for your awake time it doesn't take very long at all for you to fall asleep.
- Your cooing is the sweetest thing! I love hearing you "talk"
- You are no longer favoring your left side, PRAISE THE LORD! The doctor said your head and neck look great!
- We had your shots this week and the doctor said you look perfect! He also had a nice little chat with me and in very sweet words told me to stop worrying so much about little things! This helped me tremendously and I am doing much better. And, you quickly followed suit and have been doing much better too!

You are a precious, precious baby and I have loved snuggling you! 


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Archer, 30-31 Weeks

Dear Archer Leigh,
Your first blog letter!! At 30.5 weeks along... Yeah, you're the fourth baby. Know it has nothing to do with how much I love you and everything to do with my capacity.
We are both growing!!
You weigh over three pounds now and mommy weighs... Well, a lot more than three pounds.
We have been a busy little family getting your "nursery" set up in the corner of Mommy and Daddy's room. This is mainly because of space, but also to protect you so your siblings (mainly your brothers) do not accidentally kill you with their, ahem, love. (Pictures of your corner to come soon when we are finished!)
Mommy has also been in full-force nesting. Daddy is being so patient. And I am having to be so patient too. I have now learned by this pregnancy not to believe everything my brain tells me and have completely consented to not climb on chairs or other various objects just to get one little thing down.
We are having lots of Braxton Hicks and even more heartburn.
Your Big Sasster is getting so excited to meet you! You will adore her. She will read to you and tell you some amazing stories... Some of them will even be true!
Your Big Brother Shepherd is maybe the most excited of all. He asks about you all the time and loves to feel you move in my tummy.
Fischer, well Fischer knows where you are right now and is generally very sweet to any babies he comes in contact with. He will love to give you kisses!
Your studly beast of a daddy is pretty pumped to have 3 boys. Oh the adventures he will take you on! You love to kick his hand when he talks to you!
You are so loved already, Archer Leigh Wiley! Hoping these 10 weeks fly by!!!
Archer- 30 Weeks
Fischer - 30 Weeks
Shepherd - 31 Weeks
Laura Kate - 30 Weeks
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Archer, 35 Weeks

Dear Archer,
5ish weeks left little man!!! We can so do this!
At your 33 week sono, you weighed 5.3lbs and everything looked perfect. You are right on track to be the size of a Wiley baby if you deliver around the time that your siblings did. (LK at 40.4 weeks: 7lbs 11oz//Shep at 39.6 weeks: 7lbs 9oz// Fisch at 40.4 weeks 7lbs 12oz). You are still moving so much and contorting my tummy in all kind of fun ways.
Mommy is trying to enjoy my favorite parts of being pregnant (which is really only 1 thing: feeling you move) and be thankful this is (hopefully) the last time to endure the rest :). I'm still nesting and trying to get things around the house in order which is extremely difficult due to my size, thank you very much, and the three little hurricanes who live here. I still have unbelievable heartburn, particularly at night, which I am still hoping to mean you are going to have Shepherd hair :). I started thinking about what things to pack for the hospital.
Daddy is the best helper. He keeps me laughing and helps me not be quite so ridiculous all the time. He helps me so much with things around the house and gives me so much grace for the things that just don't happen in the days.
Your siblings... oh boy. Are they starting to sense big change coming. I've lost track of how many times Shepherd has asked if you have come out yet, and your Big Sasster is starting to prepare her emotions in her own ways for your arrival. Fischer still really has no clue except that he is a little extra clingy and he is frustrated that my lap space is considerably smaller right now.
We are getting so excited to meet you and hold you!!!

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Archer, 37 Weeks And What I'm Packing For the Hospital

Dear Archer,
Well Buddy, we made it to 37 weeks! When I was pregnant with your Sasster, this would have been considered "full term". Now it's just "early term" till 39 weeks. It was still be ok by me if you were a little early!
We went and saw Dr. Pierce today. Your brothers came with me which was always an experience.
We are measuring right at 37 weeks which means your fluid is good. I have kept decent weight gain this pregnancy which a little surprising considering I just eat what sounds good.
Oh my goodness the heartburn, though. I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night because it was so bad. It is so much worse with you than any other of your siblings. Maybe you're going to have a lot of hair!!!
Overall, I feel pretty good at this point, all things considered. More sleep would be really nice.
We are all getting so ready to meet you!! We are checking things off the list right and left!
Here's what we are packing for the hospital. (Warning readers: not censored... You don't have to read it... It's more for me anyway!)
- Hair ties and bobby pins
- Chapstick
- Book
- Pillow
- Comfy socks
- Phone
- Ipad
- Chargers
- Thank you gift for nurses
- Makeup bag
- Purse (insurance information)
- Woombie
- Swaddle blankets
- 2 sleeper gowns/2 onesies
- Pacies
- 2 burp rags
- Car seat
- Hats
- Mittens/socks
- Going home outfit
- Comfy clothes/PJs
- Nursing Bra/ pads
- Boppy Pillow
- Nursing cover
- Undies/pads
- Flip flops
- Snacks
- Toiletries
- Kyle's pillow
- Change of clothes for Kyle
3(ish) more weeks!!
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Archer, 39 Weeks

Dear Archer,
39 Weeks. Maybe my least favorite week of pregnancy. I'm not surprised we made it this far, but I would be lying if I said I didn't wish you would have come early.
I feel like the worst parts of me are on display: I'm irritable, selfish, and not always very kind. I constantly find myself needing to apologize and say thank you to everyone around me for putting up with me. Yep. I'm Crazy Carrie.
Other than all of that, I really do feel pretty good to be 39 weeks along. I am massive and my feet hurt, and I would love to sleep a little bit deeper, but really have very few complaints physically.

(yep... I just reused the pic from last week because I don't feel like getting dressed today).
You are still moving a lot! It feels like you are trying to claw your way right out through my tummy (memo: that's not how it works).
We are having contractions here and there. But Mommy knows all too well that they don't really mean anything until they do.
Daddy is amazing. He not only puts up with me, he makes me laugh and he helps me even more than normal with your siblings and around the house. He's pretty much all of our favorite... You'll see why if you would just be born already.
Your siblings are all expressing their emotions about the upcoming change in their own little ways.
They really are so excited to meet you. We even made a welcome banner for you today!
I have really great friends who bring me sweet care packages to surprise me, just because I'm 39 weeks pregnant. (There were chocolate oatmeal cookies, but I ate them already)
And other friends who text me funny memes throughout the day.
So with a lot of sweet grace we are making it. And Mommy is working very hard to keep a happy heart. But really, we are just ready to hold you and snuggle you and meet you...
So Come out already!!!
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Day two of the icepocolypse 2015, and I had to get creative. So I set up a tent in the living room. The kids loved it!! 

The tent held us over until our favorite person finally made it back!

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Dear Archer (1 Month)

Dear Archer,
It's hard to believe it's already been a month since having you on the outside. This month I have found great delight in you. It's been a hard month for Mommy recovering from labor and pregnancy and with everyone else adjusting to this new change, but you have been the bright light in the middle of it all. You are the sweetest, laid back little one and your sweet snuggles have been highlights in my day. A friend this week reminded me how beautiful a picture it is of how the Lord feels about us. Here I hold you and overflow with love for you even though you have done nothing for me. You need me for everything and yet the love I feel for you is abundant and extravagant. There is nothing you can do to take that love away and there is nothing you can do to earn it. And that's how the Lord feels about His kids too. My greatest prayer for you is that you would KNOW the Lord. That you would serve Him and seek Him all the days of your life. And that you would be a mighty warrior for His Kingdom.
This Month:
- I'm guessing you weigh in the 12-13lb range. Yeah. You heard me right. 13lbs. At two weeks you weighed 10.2lbs and I know you have chunked up a lot since then. We will know for sure when you are 2 months old.
- You are already wearing size two diapers. Newborns lasted us 3 days. Size 1's... Barely a month. My goodness you are a bruiser.
- You wear size 3 month clothes.
- During the day you are eating every 2.5-3 hours. I'm really hoping you settle into 3 hours soon though.
- At night you are waking 1-2 times for middle of the night feedings... About 4 hour stretches.
- Your awake time right now is about 45 minutes/feeding, including eating time
- You really do not cry a lot. Only once with real tears. You tend to fuss, but rarely full-out cry.
- You go down awake for most naps
- You have started coo-ing (mostly to daddy!!)
- You do not love tummy time. Mommy is trying to be diligent in it
- You favor your left side. We are trying to do everything we can to help you learn to love the right side too by alternating what end we put you in your crib and changing table, what arm we hold and burp you in, and even what side your bouncy seat faces the windows. I have seen a little improvement.
- You take a bottle fairly well as long as it is VERY warm
- So far you do not seem phased by your siblings. Even LK's continual singing of her own rendition of rock-a-by baby
Archer Leigh, you are so loved and cherished. We are so glad God made you the caboose of our family and I cannot wait to see how your personality will compliment our crew.

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Archer's Birth Story

Last dinner as a family of 5!
Not so bright but early, on December 18th, Kyle and I got dressed and ready to head to the hospital. We had gotten very little sleep because our little Fischer chose that night to come down with a chest cold and spent much of the night and wee morning hours in our room.
(probably the last time I will ever be that huge! And look how low that baby is... Too bad he didn't just want to fall out!!)

Based on wisdom from our doctor, and a few other factors, we had decided that week to induce. Because I was going for a VBAC, it couldn't be a full induction, but the plan was to break my water and start me on a very low level of PIT to start my labor. My doctor was confident in this plan because I was such a good candidate for a VBAC (2 previous vaginal deliveries with a very small and very low c-section scar with no ruptures or spreading in the scar).

Last time, with Fisch, when we got to the hospital, we had to check in downstairs at the main hospital, even though we had pre-registered, and it took FOREVER. Then we had to basically do it all over again when we got upstairs. This time, we had been told to go straight up to labor and delivery and check in there. SO. MUCH. BETTER. We went up to the door and rang the doorbell and when they asked how they could help me I said, "I'd like to have a baby today please." Magically the doors opened and we went to the nurses station where they got us a room.
It just so happened that we were in the same room as we were last time. This did not freak me out, surprisingly. Redemption, people! We got settled in the room and the nurse came in to get all the info and officially check me in.

At 7:00, we met our nurse for the day Jennifer (who was amazing!), who got my IV started.
Around 8:30, my doctor came in to break my water. This is the part I was most nervous about because that was when Fischer freaked out last time and we had to have a C-section. Instead of using the hook this time, he broke my water by putting an internal monitor on Archer's head. Doing so made the water break a little more slowly, as opposed to one big gush, as well as tracks the baby's heart rate as closely as possible. Archer handled this extremely well, and my doctor even teased, "Well that went a lot better than last time." He also told me I was dilated to a 2, which is exactly where I was the Monday before... Which was frustrating considering the number of contractions I had been having. I had really hoped to be more progressed.
After I labored a little bit and was really starting to hurt, I told my nurse I was ready for my epidural. A very nice man named Javier came to put it in. It didn't hurt very much at all. Javier took his time explaining everything and waited for a while afterwards. Which is good because my blood pressure dropped (similar to what happened with Shepherd) and made me feel really crummy: hot and dizzy like I might pass out. He gave me a little medicine to combat that in my IV and then gave me lots of fluid because he said the cause was dehydration. Which, of course it was! I was a good little girl and followed the rules and didn't eat or drink anything after midnight! After I was hydrated, I was fine! And this turned out to be the best epidural I had ever had. I could still feel what was happening without any pain... Truly.
The day was pretty easy day as I slowly progressed. I watched Gilmore Girls and slept.

My parents arrived sometime after lunch and not long after that my doctor came back by to check on me. He also put another internal monitor in to monitor contractions because Archer kept kicking off the monitor on my tummy and they couldn't get a good reading on my contractions. At that point, I was only a 4-5 and my doctor predicted Archer would be born around 5:00.
All day, Archer was perfect. His heart rate stayed steadily in the 130s and he had great movement the whole day. I tried to soak it in knowing it was most likely the last time I would feel a baby move in my tummy.
Things continued to progress towards 5:00 and I got hungrier and hungrier. This is my hangry face.

I have never been so hungry in my whole life.

At some point in the afternoon my nurse came in to turn my PIT off because my body had taken over and it was making my contractions come on too quickly.
Finally around 5:00, I started feeling lots of pressure and knew things were getting close. My nurse called my doctor and at 5:15 or 5:20. I was at a 10. At this point several things happened at once. My nurse removed my catheter and I had 3 contractions all on top of each other. Archer did NOT like all of that happening at once and his heart rate dropped low. My nurse moved very quickly, opened the door to call my doctor in, called NICU in, put a mask on me and told me I was going to have to push like I had never pushed before. Needless to say, I was freaking out and trying so hard not to panic and assume the same that happened to Fischer was happening again. This took place in all of about 30 seconds. By the time my doctor was at my feet, Archer was back to being great again. That didn't stop me from asking every 5 seconds if he was ok.
That was the only scary thing that happened. After that, it was actually really kind of awesome. We have really good rapport with my doctor so we were joking and laughing almost the whole time. For the first time, my epidural was perfect so I could feel just enough pressure to know when to push. No one had to tell me to push. I asked if I could push when I felt like I needed to, and I did. There was no counting this time, just listening to my body. Very cool experience. (Also, so thankful it was pain free!! I still believe the epidural is one of God's greatest gifts to women).

It was a very joy-filled room, and after only 20 minutes of pushing, at 5:52, Archer Leigh was born.
My first thought when I saw him was that he looked like LK. My second was that he looked like Shepherd.
The laid him on a blanket on my tummy and Kyle cut the cord. The cord was so big that it took Kyle two cuts to get through it. After that they took him to the warmer for his apgar and measurements. At this point they said he weighed 8lbs 13oz and was 19 inches long (they measured his length wrong by 2 1/2 inches!!!). I was SHOCKED he was so big. He was a whole pound bigger than any of my other three. My mom said she could hear me from the hallway yelling "8, 13!!!"
While I was being sewn up, because unfortunately I did tear, they brought Archer to me for skin to skin and to nurse. Also to be noted, is that I have zero recollection about the delivery of the placenta at all. I think I was too surprised at how big Archer was.
Things got a little rushed at this point because we wanted the kids to get to come up to meet Archer but it was closing in on their bedtime. Archer took a really long time to latch on and nurse but that was #1 priority for me in that time. We decided in the moment for Kyle to go get the kids while I finished up nursing. When they got there, I had just finished so my parents were finally able to come in too. They were all so excited, Shepherd probably most of all. He walked up to him and said, "Hi baby Archer! I'm your big brother!!"
At the end of it all, I was SO. HAPPY. I felt so proud of myself for how I had pushed in labor and was so relieved that the VBAC was successful and absolutely so in love with my 4th baby.
It was one of my favorite days in my life and I am so very thankful for how the Lord showed his faithfulness and redemption through Archer's birth!

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