Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Day at Work!

Six weeks off work was the magic number and months ago, that seemed like plenty of time at home with a baby. Boy, oh boy - was I wrong! Six weeks flew by and all of a sudden, I am back to work - with a baby in tow! I am very fortunate to work for a group of individuals who are willing to let me bring MacKenzie to work with me. How amazing is that?

We came in the week prior to our start date (Feb. 23) and set up a few things including a little portable sleeper and changing area.

We also "practiced" that week getting up in the morning and getting ready - to make sure that we would have enough time to get both of us ready in the morning and still be on time. Chad leaves at 5:45 a.m. to go to CrossFit, so the plan is to have him wake MacKenzie up and change her diaper before bringing her to me and waking me up right before he leaves.
Getting ready for her first day of work!
 Day 1 went remarkably well - not only were we on time, but early! MacKenzie ate on her normal schedule throughout the day and had some great "Activity" time and also took a couple naps. I would say for the first day, her biggest struggle was sleeping. There is just too much going on in the office - new environment with brighter lights, more people and plenty of new sounds. Eventually, (hopefully) she will grow used to the sights and sounds and the office will be like a second home to her.
 By the end of the day, she was VERY ready to go home and she was so exhausted that night. I felt bad for our sweet little girl, her eyes were so tired and I think she was a little overstimulated so it took her a while to fall asleep, but once she did - she slept like a rock. I was also very tired, for the record.
We made it through Day 1 and our onion season will be wrapped up around the end of March, so by then she will be a seasoned onion professional :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Turkey Country: InstaTurkey

This fall, I was contacted by Turkey Country, the magazine of the National Wild Turkey Federation about writing an article about Instagram and how it correlates to hunting - specifically, turkey hunting. Below, you will find the two page article that was published in the January/February 2015 issue of Turkey Country Magazine. The best part? They paid me for it! 
Chad had Justin autograph his photo :)

For the record, I did not complete the artwork for the article and if I would have - I surely would have spelled success in the #turkeysuccess hashtag correctly :)

You can follow my Instagram feed @tiffanyannesc and Chad @bowtechprostaff

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Introducing MacKenzie Leigh!

At a little over two weeks, we took Miss MacKenzie over to Caldwell for her first photo shoot! We had hoped to get her "newborn" photos taken a little earlier, but because of her stay in the NICU we were pushed back - and then the photographer got sick too! Let's be honest, she was never tiny, so a few extra days did not make much difference :)

At first, MacKenzie did not want to stay asleep, so we had to wrap her up tight to keep her still and calm. She will hate me for telling you this one day, but she pooped on this blanket!
 Still awake!
Big yawns! 
 She kept wanting to stick her tongue out - I think it's a pretty dang cute tongue!
 This is her "see, I told you I could get my feet out of the swaddle" face.
We finally convinced the sweet girl to go to sleep! These photos were taken on the afghan that Chad's grandmother Nellie made for MacKenzie. (She did not poop on this blanket - thank goodness)!
 Such a beautiful little girl!
 We are in love - and a little obsessed right now :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birth Story: NICU

Once upstairs, we were decompressing a bit and getting to know our nurse when she suggested we take MacKenzie to the nursery for a bath. I thought that was a great idea and told her I would be right there, but was going to use the restroom first. The nurse also mentioned she did not love her coloring and was going to check her oxygen levels. She did not seem concerned (though she's a professional nurse, so I am sure they are supposed to remain calm when they say things like that), so she wheeled MacKenzie to the nursery and I followed a minute later with Chad.

Walking into the nursery, it was probably after midnight and there were way too many people crowded around my baby girl. This did not look like bathtime preparation to me, and I was right. The nurses had her hooked up to an oxygen monitor and in order to keep her oxygen levels up to what is considered "normal", she had to be on oxygen support. Every time they would take her off the oxygen support, her levels would drop back down and the alarms would go off. I was kind of dumbfounded. This was not supposed to be happening, but it went on for a while and an x-ray was called in to see if there was anything visible in her lungs. The whole time, Chad and I were just kind of hovering - what could we do? Nothing, really - just watch and pray.

Eventually, the NICU team was called in and we were sent back downstairs to the second floor to be admitted to the NICU. This was not the news we wanted to hear, but it did not really matter what we wanted at that point - we were headed. Both Chad and I were mentally and physically drained - one maybe more than the other.

I can remember the nurse wheeling me into the NICU with my IV drip and sitting there helplessly next to her, watching one of the other nurses poke and prod MacKenzie to get blood samples and set up all the cords and things that needed to be hooked up to her. She was very good - don't get me wrong, but she was still putting a needle in my baby. Chad was in the hallway - unsuccessfully trying to keep it together. At some point during the process, Evelyn or Ellen was her name, she asked me if she could give MacKenzie a pacifier with some sugar water to help soothe her - ANYTHING was my response. Anything to make this less traumatic for her (and me)!

Time passed and things eventually calmed down. We talked with the nurses and doctors and finally one of the nurses (pretty much) forced me upstairs to try to get some sleep. She told me that I was no good to MacKenzie in my exhausted state and if I wanted to produce milk, one of the key ingredients was sleep. They would call with any developments. I got up to my room at about 4 a.m. and wished I could at least shower, but I had that dang IV drip still. I pumped that night, sent a few texts to close family to let them know the current situation, and then crawled into my hospital bed and tried to sleep. I was so tired, but more worried. I must have drifted off, because I remember waking to the phone ringing at around 6:00 a.m.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Birth Story: It's a GIRL

I really wanted to be over with the baby while the NICU team was working on her. I could see lots of people around the table and Chad was over there with her - but I wasn't. Bring me my baby! While Alicia and Dr. Shrum pushed on my tummy to get all the clots and whatnot out, I craned my neck to see what was happening with our little girl - it was a girl! What a surprise!

The NICU team was working to check out MacKenzie Leigh - that is the name we chose for our sweet girl. Because of the meconium, there are added risks and they try to avoid those risks by being at the birth to get as much of the gunk out as possible. I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
 All the hands working on her - see the small tube?
I love this picture of Chad - the look on his face is priceless. Almost as if he is saying, "look what we did!"
And she was big! Even Dr. Shrum was shocked at her size, I can remember her saying, "Oh! I even underestimated this one!" The nurses were guessing her weight as they took her over to the scale. Nine pounds, six ounces of baby girl!
 Coming back over to me!
 So happy!
She knew my voice right away.
 I believe I was on the phone with my dad in this one.
Thanks to Pam for the pretty pink hat!
First family photo!
Big thanks to my support team!
Back over to the table for more examinations and measurements.

Such sweet moments captured here by Alisha.
20 3/4 inches long.
And those big "Schaffeld Feet"!
Once everything settled down, Mom and Alisha went home and we got cleaned up and organized to head up to the 8th floor to get settled in our room and (maybe) sleep a little bit. We had texted and called a lot of family and friends to share the big news and were ready to settle in for the night (morning by that point). The nurses put MacKenzie in my arms and in a wheelchair we made our way up to our room.
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