November 28, 2016

A New Life, A New Journey

You came into our lives one week ago, yet it feels like we have known you forever. Our little family of two has officially grown to a family of three, now that you are here it's hard to remember what life was like without you. You complete us.

The birthing process wasn't easy for either of us, I'm so sorry that things didn't go quite as planned and that you have battle wounds to show for it.

I don't recall much of our first moments together, you see I hadn't slept since Friday and you didn't make your appearance until Monday afternoon. When we first met I was completely and utterly exhausted.

On your birthday, we learned you were a boy. This surprised both Daddy and I. We didn't find out your gender, but we had a feeling you were a girl- boy were we wrong! We soon learned you had dimples (you get those from Papa) and piercing blue eyes (those also come from Papa- we aren't sure they will stay blue though).

Your first car ride- on the way home from the hospital.

A sleeping baby.

This is one of our favorite photos of you! Look at that little grin!

You like to lock your legs when Dad goes to change your diaper. This pose is know as Diaper Defense Against Dad.

Look at those cute little feet!

Another sleeping baby.

On your second day here on Earth, you showed us your smile and it melted our hearts. We look forward to seeing your toothless grin each day.

While in the hospital, you peed in your own face. You quickly learned that you don't like that wet stuff and let out a cry. You didn't learn that lesson well enough though because you peed in your face again.

Yesterday you laughed for Daddy and I, we were so surprised! We didn't expect you to laugh for quite some time.

We have learned a lot about you this week Mister Man. We learned that:

You don't like cold wipes - thank goodness someone invented a wipe warmer.
You favorite place to be is on Mommy's chest.
You enjoy when Mom and Dad sing to you, it helps calm you down.
You don't enjoy having your diaper changed and frequently poop and pee while Dad is changing you.
You don't like having your skin exposed.
Car rides aren't your favorite.
You are a night owl and keep Mommy and Daddy up- that's going to have to change.
You enjoy looking around at your new environment.
You are allergic to latex just like Mommy.
You have Mommy's fingers, toes, and ears.
You have Daddy's eyebrows and lips.
You have a ton of hair! It grows on the back of your ears and on your back- not sure where that came from.
You don't like your swing, you just want to be held.
You like to give us the stink eye but it comes with equal amounts of smiles.
You have figured out how to escape the mittens, socks, and hat- we have pretty much given up trying to keep them on you.

We love you so much! You have changed our lives for the better. It's crazy to think that you are only going to be this little for such a short while. Please don't grow up too fast, stay sweet, and be patient with us as we learn how to be parents.

November 26, 2016

The Birth Story

We decided not to find out the gender of our baby. People think we're crazy, but it made the pregnancy and birthing experience that much more exciting! One way of thinking about it is like opening your Christmas gift before Christmas morning, re-wrapping it and putting it back under the tree- it's not as exciting when you open it, it is?

My due date was supposed to be Tuesday November 15th, but November 15th came and went. I was scheduled to meet with my doctor on November 16th if the baby hadn't come by then. I went in for my appointment and was dilated to a 1 (getting checked was incredibly painful). The doctor told me that they wouldn't let me go more than a week past my due date. She was going to be working at the hospital that weekend and arranged for me to meet with another doctor on Friday to see how things had progressed and then come up with a game plan.

I met with the other doctor on Friday November 18th and was still only dilated to a 1. The doctors didn't think that my uterus was going to dilate any further on it's own so they decided that it would be best to induce me. Both doctors warned me that they don't like to induce people with their first baby because it increased the likelihood of having a c-section since your forcing your body to do something that it has never done before.

My induction was scheduled for the next day (Saturday November 19th) at 8:00 pm. Late in the afternoon someone called from the hospital to tell me that my induction might have to be rescheduled because the hospital lost power. The hospital was undergoing construction and someone cut through an electrical line. At 7:00 pm I received word that the power was back on and I should come to the hospital at 8:00 pm to start the induction.

Saturday afternoon Andy and I went on a walk to try and induce labor naturally. I ran several times while we were on our "walk". I would run to a car, light post or cross walk. I couldn't go very fast but I managed to run. My running efforts didn't pay off though.

After our run/walk.

I look like a pumpkin - the last belly shot.

Andy and Brother Porter gave me a blessing, we grabbed some Subway and headed to the hospital just before 8:00 pm.

After checking in and getting hooked up to the monitors it was discovered that I was having contractions. The nurses asked if I could feel them and were surprised when I told them "no". They started me on a round of pitocin.

Once the pitocin had run it's course they checked me to see if my uterus had dilated anymore. Nope, nothing had changed. I was still only dilated to a one.

At this point my doctor was working the floor and she came in to discuss my options. She said we could put some tablets inside near the uterus and see if they would cause it to dilate further or  we could put some balloons on either side of the uterus and fill them with saline and see if that would cause it to dilate. My doctor seemed to think the balloon route was the better way to go so that is what we did.

Several hours later the balloons were removed and they checked me again, this time my uterus had dilated to around a 3 or a 4. They decided to break my water at this point. It is a strange feeling to feel warm water gush out of your body. After breaking my water they started me on a second round of pitocin (I recall the water breaking and pitocin starting around 10:00 pm on Sunday night).

Around 3:00 am the contractions were becoming painful. I walked into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror and I did not look good at all, my body was so pale and I was shaking uncontrollably. At this point, Andy and I decided that I needed to have an epidural. The anesthesiologist was on call that night, so I had to wait a little while for him to arrive.  By 4:00 am the epidural was in place. Along with the epidural came a catheter.

A lot of people told me that with an epidural I would have the best sleep of my life, this was not the case. I did not sleep at all. While the epidural helped me feel better in a lot of ways, the catheter did not. Every time I had a contraction I could feel the catheter. To say it was awful was an understatement, it was so incredibly painful and uncomfortable.

At 7:00 am my doctor went off the clock and a new doctor took over.

Some time between 8:00 and 9:00 am I began pushing. The doctor was in and out of the room to see other patients, but my nurse was with me the entire time (so were Andy and Julie). I pushed and I pushed and I pushed.  At one point they had me try turning around backward on the bed, this was a bad idea- it hurt so bad! I cried and said, "I can't do this". I wanted to give up then and there. I lost my mental focus and somehow managed to find it again among all of the pain.

I was a little nervous that the doctor wouldn't be there to deliver the baby because she had been gone for such a long time. I asked the nurse if she had ever delivered a baby before, she hadn't and didn't seem too keen on the idea.

So, I pushed and I pushed and I pushed some more. After pushing for about 4 hours I was exhausted physically and mentally to the point that my pushes were becoming less effective. The doctor gave me three options: 1) I could keep trying to push. 2) They could use the vacuum to help get the baby out (this would mean an episiotomy). 3) I could have a C-section. I decided to have them use the vacuum.

As they were using the vacuum it popped off the baby's head and they had to do it again. By some miracle they were able to get the baby out with the vacuum and the placenta came out on it's own right behind the baby.

I don't remember much after that because I was so tired. It was now Monday November 21st at 12:40 pm and I hadn't slept since Friday night- that was a long time to go without sleep.

About the same time they said, "It's a boy" they placed the little guy on my chest. He came in at 7 lbs 10 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. I didn't really know what to think, say or do.

Bubba's first photo.

Andy came over and stood next to me in tears. I looked at him and said, "I don't know if I can do this again".
First family photo.

We both thought we were going to have a little girl and we had girls names picked out but we didn't have a name picked out for a little boy. It took us several days to come up with a name for him. Sorry, I'm not going to share it on the blog at this time. We think his name fits him pretty well though.

Andy changing Bubba'a diaper.

Nana with the baby.

My little brothers (Nathan and Russell) flew in. They were so excited to meet their nephew. They both wanted to hold him and hold him.

Auntie Kay (our birthing instructor), Kirsten, Monica, Tony and Melissa, and Laurie all came to visit us. Members in our ward brought us some meals and were constantly checking in on us. I am so grateful for the support of family, friends, and ward members during this wonderful time in our lives!

We're so glad that our baby arrived safely and that he is healthy. That is a huge blessing in and of itself. I am so grateful that I didn't have to have a C-section! I couldn't have asked for a better team (Andy and Julie) to help coach me through labor.

November 12, 2016

The Bump

Andy took this photo while we were grocery shopping. I didn't know he had taken it until I was looking through the photos on his phone. I think this photo does a pretty good job at showing how big my baby bump is.

Pregnancy cravings are real.

November 4, 2016

Some Thoughts From The Ensign

I recently flipped through my book of goals to see how I was doing. Yes, I have a book of goals that I work towards achieving and each year I make a new book. I know what your thinking, "That's crazy!" I can promise you though, that it helps keep me focused on what is most important to me.

One of my goals this year was to read the Ensign every single month. The Ensign is full of so much good stuff, why would you not want to read it? I got a bit behind schedule and have been doing the best I can to catch up, I tend to read several articles a day and it really does brighten my day.

Last night as I sat down to read, I read a talk titled "Can We Lived 'after the Manner of Happiness?'" this talk was given by Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy at a BYU-Idaho devotional. The entire talk is worth reading but I wanted to specifically share a few paragraphs that stood out to me. This past year had been a very trying one for Andy and I and that is why the following quotes touched me so much.

"What else might stand in the way of living 'after the manner of happiness'? Perhaps it is the difficult trials you confront. These trials may come from physical or emotional illness, family difficulties, schoolwork, dating, employment, or lack of money. How can you possibly live 'after the manner of happiness' while facing trials?"

What this paragraph is saying to me is, "How can you possibly be happy while experiencing something so difficult and challenging?"

"Don't let your trials own you. You own them. Look in the face of adversity with faith and ask this powerful questions: 'What can I learn from this?'"

It's so easy to let your trials be all consuming, but this isn't good or healthy. Instead of reliving your reality over and over in your mind, instead focus on what you can do about the situation. Try to see the trial from the Lord's eyes, what does he want you to learn?

"Joseph Smith was taught this lesson in Liberty Jail: 'Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for they good' (D&C 122:7)

Embrace your trials and move forward with faith."

It is comforting to me to know that even though Joseph Smith who was a prophet had to pass through trials and hardships, my trials are nothing compared to his. If he was told these hard things are for his benefit then my trials must be too! This knowledge gives me an added strength that helps me keep going in the face of adversity.

Failure is not an option!