Monday, October 7, 2013

Done waiting

Wow - look at me about to blog about something besides Emma. Haha, it's been a while! I just love that girl so much, she has enveloped my whole life, and I LOVE IT! I am starting to get the hang of things and ready to start adding a few things back into my very full life! :) And of course, one of those things is working on my health. 

I am at my highest weight ever! Well - I guess I was about 10lbs more at the end of pregnancy, but I'm not really counting that. When I had Emma, within a couple weeks I got down to about 10lb away from my per-pregnancy weight, which was 243. I'm back up to about 263.

The funny thing is that my feelings about my body have really changed a lot! Although I am still frustrated some days about being so overweight and not having any clothes to fit, I'm not... angry. I'm not despising myself, or my body. Since I graduated 8th grade, I knew that getting pregnant was going to be a challenge. And I think the longer it took, the harder I was on it. The more I despised it (and essentially myself) for not being able to get pregnant. And then in turn even more abuse was given for not being able to lose the weight. 

But now, I know. I know what my body is capable of. And truthfully, I know what I'm capable of. I never did get to posting why we chose to go for a natural birth. While it was definitely not the only reason, I did want to prove something to myself. 

I. Can. Do. Hard. Things!!!!

Giving birth to Emma was probably the most challenging thing I've ever done. It was exhausting - emotionally, spiritually, and physically. But I did it. With a whole LOT of help from God, Mike, our Doula, the hospital staff, and my family, but I did it. And now on the other side of it, I have learned that I have an amazing body! It may not be in the health that I want. It may not be in the shape (although it is a shape :D) that I want, but I LOVE my body. I am grateful to be a woman and to God for giving us this amazing opportunity to bring life to Earth. 

For so long now, probably 17 years or so, I've been working on losing weight. And for a lot of that time, I've been "Waiting" for that magic moment. You know what I mean? The moment where everything clicks. Where the Hollywood music plays in the background while I exercise for hours a day and eat carrot sticks. Haha. I've recently come to the conclusion that no such moment is coming. What I need to do is just get moving. Start changing habits. And when I fall down, because I will, instead of then letting myself give up, I just need to pick myself up and keep going.

"Shall I falter, or shall I finish" ~ Thomas S. Monson

Tomorrow I begin the fight again, and I'm okay with that. I'm not discouraged that it's a battle I've been fighting for so long. Because I have learned a lot along the way about myself, my own worth, and the worth of others. And this time, I will not falter. I will make mistakes, because I'm human. I'm not after perfection, I am after progress. I am after health, energy, and life. I am after enjoying food for it's purpose - nutrition. I am after emotional health and being okay in feeling my feelings, instead of eating them. I am after the ability to teach my daughter (and other future children, should we be so blessed) to have a natural relationship with food, by example. To understand it's purpose, but not to live for it.

Ready, set, GO!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Emma's Birth - Part 2 (Worse than birth...)

So here is the rest of the story. And yes what I'm about to share was worse than giving natural child birth. Much much... much worse. 

They were kind enough to take me up on a gurney to the recovery room because my legs were still not very stable. :) So I laid there, they put my sweet girl in my arms, and off we went. When we got to the room upstairs, they helped me get settled into a much more comfortable bed. I got to have some cuddle time with Emma and Mike. The nurse and her assistant came in and went over some paperwork and rules and stuff. Honestly it mostly went over my head - I was pretty exhausted by then.

We had been there about 30-45 minutes when they came in to take Emma to the nursery to have her blood sugar tested (because I had gestational diabetes) and a few other things. Mike went with her and my mom stayed with me. As they left, I told her and the nurse that I needed to go to the bathroom. So they both helped me to get up. I stood up from the bed - with one of them on each side - took one step.... and woke up on the floor. Later the nurse told me that I reached behind me grabbed the bed and sat down and then fainted. My mom said I practically sat on the nurse and she caught me as I fainted. I remember waking up with a tingly tongue (which totally reminded me of when we used to faint on purpose in Jr. High - yes we were dumb). I remember looking up and seeing the toilet right in front of me in the bathroom and thinking - why am I on the floor. I kind of felt like I was waking up from a nap. When they asked me if I was okay - I told them "I felt rested". Haha - considering I was only out for 10 seconds. Talk about a power nap! 

Anyway, they helped me stand up and that is when things got really exciting. I think my nurse said something like "Uh-oh - we need to get you back in bed." I told her I still had to pee - and she told me firmly NO - get into bed now. That was when I looked down and saw the huge pile of blood on the floor. The reason I fainted - I was hemorrhaging. My first thought was "Mike"! I didn't want him to see that. (Little did I know what was coming) I asked them to keep him out. Luckily he was still down at the nursery. One of the nurses went down and told him what was happening so he would know, but they kept him out.

Within what seemed to me only 30 seconds, there were 5 or so nurses, a Dr, and my midwife all in the room doing things. With in minutes they had an IV in my arm and a catheter in. Honestly - I didn't mind the catheter - it was nice not to have to get up and go to the bathroom (it came out the next morning). But the IV was dumb, because they couldn't get it in the top of my hand. So they had to put it in the crook of my elbow - which meant I couldn't bend my arm without setting the machines beeping. Have you ever tried to hold or feed a baby without bending your arm? It doesn't work. Anyway. I digress...

Once they got the IV in they gave me some medicine to help me not feel what they were going to do next. But I felt it anyway. A lot. They began to push on my stomach to get the blood and clots to come out. There was tons of gushing and gushing. It was a lot. I started to cry. Everyone was so serious and hurrying and I was in pain, and still totally exhausted - it was so scary. And it hurt so so so so so bad. The pushing I mean. It felt like they were touching my belly button to my spine. I kept begging them to stop and weakly trying to push their arms away, but obviously they couldn't. And apparently that was not working fast enough, so my midwife (while profusely apologizing) used her hand to manually clean out my uterus of blood clots. Yes, you read that right. It was excruciating! By now I was pretty much screaming, hyperventilating, and begging them to stop over and over again. 

My mom was so great. She stood by me and held my hand. I probably just about squeezed hers right off. Once I started crying she just calmly wiped my tears away and stood by me. It wasn't much but it was huge! I was so grateful that she was there. And that Mike wasn't. I know that he would have wanted to be with me in this. In fact, when he found out it was me that blocked him out, he was pretty mad. Probably still is a bit. But I just am so glad he doesn't have these images in his head. That the memory of Emma's birth can be about the beautiful experience we had had together earlier that morning. Not this - blood and screaming! Turns out he did hear some of it when he was in the hall toward the end of it. How I love this man! He wanted to help and protect me, but in that moment I wanted to protect him. 

Anyway, they finally got it all out. And I finally settled down to a whimpering state.  They continued to push on my stomach every 15 minutes for a couple of hours, but it was done. THANK GOODNESS!! Because they said if it hadn't been, they would have to put me out and do a D and C to get the clots out. But luckily they didn't have to do that. After that I finally got some food, and some sleep, and some snuggles and life was good again. 

I truthfully think that this was possibly one of the reasons why the Lord prompted us to have her naturally. If I had an epidural - I wouldn't have stood up to go to the bathroom. Maybe they wouldn't have realized I was hemorrhaging until much later - and maybe it would have been more serious? I don't know. Of course that is just a guess. But either way, I'm so grateful that the birth went so smoothly, and that they were so quick on their feet with the aftermath. I really had the best nurses and Drs! I didn't have one complaint about any of them! 

The next two days were filled with lots of snuggles with Emma, trying to get her to breastfeed (that's another post), visitors, and naps. At the end of it all - I am so happy that we chose a natural waterbirth. I would absolutely do it again!! In fact I'd like to do a home birth. Not sure if that will happen, because of the risk of hemorrhaging again, but we'll see. This was one of the best experiences of my life! When you have the support of those you love and who love you, and the Lord, you can do anything! I plan on teaching Emma that every day!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Emma's Birth Story

The day Emma was born was one of the best of my life - next to my wedding day. I will forever cherish the memories and feelings of that day and hold them close to my heart. I hope that this post will capture even a small part of the joy we felt. 

Thursday morning (May 16th) around 1am I started having a terrible stomach ache. About every 15 minutes for 2 hours I would wake up with terrible cramping. And for those two hours I thought it was constipation. Truth be told - I wasn't expecting for birthing waves (contractions) to start yet. First of all, I wasn't expecting her to come until the following week. And second of all - I expected they would feel like the Braxton Hicks I had been having for the last several weeks. That tightening of the stomach. This felt like a mixture of gas pains and menstrual cramps and was much lower than I was expecting. So I got up every 15 minutes and tried to go to the bathroom. Around 3:30am I was really starting to get frustrated. I just wanted to sleep!! Finally I had the thought - maybe this isn't gas. :D

So I got up and went and did some Googling. What did people do before Google? I read several forums of women describing their contractions - all exactly like what I was feeling. So I downloaded a contraction tracker on my phone and started counting. They were every 15 minutes and lasting about a minute and a half. After about 15 minutes - I decided to work. Haha - Might as well do something since I'm up. After I worked for an hour - I decided to try sleeping again. I was able to get a few hours in. Waking up every 15 minutes for a birthing wave. When Mike woke up I let him know he should probably stay home for the day.

Later I will be posting another post with information about why we chose to go natural - and to do Hypnobabies. For now, I'll just tell you that we did. :) Hypnobabies was a 6 week course to learn not only about birth, but also about how to use self-hypnosis to deal with the discomfort in a peaceful way.

The Birthing Waves were uncomfortable, but not painful. Just like uncomfortable cramps that would come and go. It's amazing how the second it would stop - I would feel just fine. They continued all through out Thursday at this interval. Sometimes they would be between 7-8 min apart. Those were always shorter though, like 30 seconds. But for the most part they were 15 minutes apart - almost exactly all day. As the day wore on - they did increase in intensity of pressure. I could tell they were shifting to a more productive birthing wave.

A good part of the day I was so anxious that it was false labor that I didn't really want to tell people. I didn't want to get my hopes up - let alone theirs. But we did eventually tell our families that labor may have started.

In the afternoon we decided to go for a little walk - not really to get labor going, but more just for a chance to get out of the house for a minute. We walked to the end of our street and back - very very slowly. :) As we were coming back our neighbors were out and we let them know the waves had begun. They have a pool and were so kind to allow me to come over and sit in their pool for about 30 minutes. The water was really warm and it was very soothing for my muscles to enjoy some weightlessness for a while. While I was in the water the waves started to slow down - and I thought maybe it really was just false labor. It was about that time my cousin told me she had false labor contractions for two weeks. Big sigh. :) I was pretty tired and that was kind of a daunting thought. Luckily that wasn't to be the case for me....

We finished the night out watching a TV show together and breathing through the waves. Also we got the hypnosis scripts out so that Mike could read them to me during the waves. This helped IMMENSELY! A little while after returning home from the pool they continued again and were still every 15 minutes. Around 10pm we decided to go to bed. I was exhausted. While the waves were not "painful" - at least not what I had been expecting really - they were tiring! And it took a lot of focus and energy on my part to help stay out of that painful realm.

We laid down and I had one wave in bed and got up. It was so much more uncomfortable and I'll say it - painful (during the whole process we really tried to avoid the word pain, as that usually makes you have it) - laying down. I knew at that point it was going to be a long night. I came into our front room where we have a old rocking chair that used to be my Grandma Richards. I sat in the chair with my feet up on an ottoman, wrapped in a blanket. I think I must have slept in between waves, because before I knew it, it was 1:30am. At that point they were still 15 minutes apart for about a min in a half to two minutes - like clockwork. But they were definitely getting much more intense. During that whole night I felt really close to the Spirit. I was praying a lot for help and assistance, as by then I was getting very very tired. I really hadn't slept much. And although Mike fed me well - my energy was waning.

I woke Mike up and asked him to help me take a bath. We has just finished cleaning most of our house the day before - but the one thing we didn't get done was to scrub the tub clean. So my sweet sweet husband woke up and scrubbed it down for me at 1:30am in the morning. Filled it for me and sat by me while I soaked in the tub. The warm water really helped so much and although I didn't get any sleep - it did help me relax. Which was good and bad - because it kind of made me realize just how exhausted I was. When I got out of the tub, I came back to my chair. I asked Mike to stay with me and he was going to sleep on the couch. At this point my emotions were starting to be pretty raw. I really needed to some relief and some sleep. I asked Mike to give me a blessing to help me sleep. He gave me a beautiful blessing and I really felt my Father in Heaven's love. For the next two hours I slept comfortably in between waves. I would wake up - breath through a wave while Mike said the Hypnobabies scripts to me to help me stay in hypnosis, and then would instantly fall asleep again after the wave ended. It truly was a blessing!

Around 4am I woke up and stayed awake because the intensity of the pressure was so strong it was starting to take my breath away. As long as I stayed in my hypnosis I managed the sensations okay and was fine. If I stopped though - I would instantly start to really feel the wave and the pain! At this point I stayed awake in between and we started timing again. They were now 5 minutes apart or less and still a minute and a half to two minutes long. I could tell things were getting serious and that this was definitely NOT false labor. After an hour of these waves - we called my parents to have my mom join us. And Mike called Marinda - our Doula - to let her know it was time to make her way here.

Mom got to our house about 5:30, and Mike was already packing the car. I had a few more waves - and she was great to jump in and start reading scripts to me. At this point it was really difficult to stay focused. The pressure and pain were getting harder and harder. I wanted to take a quick shower - just to rinse off - before leaving, so they helped me get up and in the shower. While there I had at least 3 or 4 more waves. My mom came to check on me and I told her that I was feeling like I should push. I knew that was probably a bad idea - so I didn't. But that made it very obvious - it was time to leave. Mike called Marinda back and told her I was feeling pushy and to meet us at the hospital. My dad had also been planning to join us at my house for a blessing - but we also sent him to the hospital.

Mike was so great through out the entire process. He was calm, collected, patient, loving, attentive, and just fantastic. The only time he showed any kind of panic was on the harrowing drive to the hospital. He was speeding considerably - and getting frustrated that he kept hitting every red light. I had ear phones in and was trying to stay focused on my hypnosis - but it was kind of crazy ride. Especially when we came up to the Trax train - and the lights started flashing. My sweet - calm - loving husband  gunned it and flew across the tracks. Yeah - I was scared at that point. After that I fully expected him to run into the hospital asking where the boiling water was. Haha We were way ahead of the train - and had been going a speed if he had tried to stop - we probably would have hit the rail thing when it dropped, so it was fine. But I still like to tease him about it!

We pulled up to the hospital and as I stepped out of the car I gave Marinda a hug, and started having a wave. She knew instantly and knew exactly where to put pressure on my hips and back to make it better. At that instant I knew we had made the right decision to hire her and was so grateful to have her with us! Once it ended, I waddled into Labor and Delivery. They took me into triage, and wanted to monitor Emma and I for at least 20 minutes. They had me put on a gown, go to the restroom - and then sadly - I had to get into bed. I was NOT happy about that part. But they needed me to for the monitors. Once they got the monitor on - the nurse asked a few questions for registration. Then she checked me to see how far I was dilated. I told her I didn't want to know how far along I was. I felt really pushy - so I figured I was pretty far along, but didn't want to be disappointed if I wasn't. She did indicate to Marinda how far I was - and Marinda said "Oh yeah - we're good" so I figured we were pretty close.

The nurse stepped out to check on my room, and the tub - as we were planning on a water birth. This gave us time for my dad to join us so that he and Mike could give me a blessing. It was another beautiful, and comforting blessing. How grateful I was during this whole time to have the Spirit with me, to know that I was doing what Heavenly Father wanted, and that we would have his assistance through out the birth.

The nurse was only gone for about 5 minutes, when she returned and told us that we needed to go ahead and move into our room right away. She hurriedly got me up wrapped me in a blanket (but it felt like everything below my belly button front and back was flapping in the wind), and took me across the hall to my room. They tried to put me in bed again while we were waiting for the tub to fill - but I just did not want to lay down. So I sat in a chair to wait. By then the waves were coming very quickly and were so so strong. Luckily I had Mike and Marinda there to help me stay focused on my hypnosis, breath, and to stay strong through the IMMENSE PRESSURE. While in the chair - I swear I felt my water break. I even said - I think my water just broke. I felt a rushing pressure and release. But they said that there wasn't anything on the sheet I was sitting on. So it must have broken later in the tub.

Each wave the feeling to push was getting more and more. The midwife walked in and said "So I hear you're at an 8". Which was funny because everyone was like "no no no - don't tell her". I was fine with it though, because it was an 8. The problem was that I was an 8 and I REALLY wanted to push. But they wouldn't let me until I was at a 10. And it started to just happen - each wave I would have this uncontrollable bearing down feeling. Marinda talked me through and told me it was okay to just give little grunt pushes. So that's what I did. With in what felt to me like 10 min (and an hour at the same time - if that makes sense) I was in the tub, and had been checked again and was finally at a 10. Angela, the midwife, finally gave me the go ahead to push. Ahh, sweet relief to actually push. Until I actually started pushing! Haha then I found out just how hard it was to push and didn't want to so much - even though my body was doing it like it or not.

I sat against the wall of the tub and had waves and pushed for probably 20 min.  I'm not really clear on what the actual timing was. I eventually moved up to my hands and knees for another 20 min or so. And then back on my bum, and then back on my knees. The whole time my mom and Mike were pouring cold water on me and putting cold cloths on me because I was so warm. It was actually the perfect mix. Hot on the bottom - and cool on top. At some point on my hands and knees my hamstrings started to cramp - this was very very unpleasant. And there wasn't really a great way for me to stretch them out. Marinda gave me a homeopathic that helped my legs to relax a bit.

With each push I could feel Emma moving down, but then when I would stop she would go back up. Okay - TMI moment - having a baby feels exactly like having the largest bowel movement you've ever had. So if you've ever been constipated - then you know what it's like (x10). :D

Once my legs relaxed again - I started to get so so so tired. I had been pushing for about 50 min (and having waves for over 24 hours). I was exhausted. I kind of wanted to give up. But I knew in my heart that the only way to make it stop was to push through the pain and just get this little doll here. After a particularly tiring push/wave I got really quiet. Everyone in the room got really quiet too - they just let me be. Maybe they thought I was trying to sleep. But really I was praying. I realized that it was time. I knew that I had to bear down and do the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And I knew that I could not do it by myself. He had prompted me that this was the way to go - and I needed his help now. Because I was so tired, and in pain, and truth be told - I was scared of this last part. But I truly felt his love, power, and help. When the next wave started - I knew this was it. Time to really push!

I got upright on my knees, grabbed the handles on the outside of the tub, and the pushing really began. I think it took two waves. That first one I think I moved her down so that she was truly crowning. I could feel her head and knew that we were almost there. And the next wave - I gave it everything I had. And although it felt like I was tearing apart, I could feel her coming down, feel her head come out, and knew that I was moments away from holding our daughter. I think one or two more pushes and her shoulders came through and she was out. Just so you know - if you've heard of the "ring of fire" - it's very very real. BUT.... the second my midwife told me to reach down and pick up my little baby ALL the pain was gone!

I will never forget this moment. Still on my knees, she was in the water, and I reached down and pulled her little slippery body out and cuddled her in my arms and held her to my chest. We kind of fell back together against the side of the tub. From the moment I saw her sweet little face - which was perfect - I was in love! She was covered in vernix (but not too much) and she screamed right away, they didn't have to clear her throat. We chatted and I told her how much I loved her and that I was so happy she was here. Mike was on the outside of the tub and was very much a part of this moment as we met our daughter. We counted her toes and fingers - all there. It was everything I'd ever hoped for and more!

We waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing, and then Mike got to cut it. Then he and Emma stepped away with the nurse so they could weigh and measure her, while my mom and the midwife helped me out of the tub. She weighed 6.4lbs and measured 20 inches (although she was actually 18 - they measured wrong). When they said outloud that she was 6.4lbs - I said "take that diabetes!". We thought she would be bigger because of that - but... she wasn't. I really think that was more to do with how early she was more than my stellar control of my diabetes, but either way. :)

Side note here - kind of funny. While preparing for the birth I was very concerned with what I would wear in the tub. I didn't want to be nude. I looked for weeks, and tried lots of different options. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, but I wanted something. Finally I found a $10 tankini top that I planned to wear. Funny thing was it didn't even make it inside the hospital for the birth. I was nude. And I could have cared less the entire time. I didn't care that there were about 8 people in the room seeing me naked. I didn't care about my fat. Or my tiny chest. I simply was focused on managing the pressure, and getting this sweet girl here. All sense of shyness and modesty went out the window for that time and I didn't care at all. :)

Anyway - I got out of the tub and had to lay down so we could get the placenta out and check for tearing. I did end up with at 2nd degree tear, so they numbed me up a bit and sewed me up. There seemed to be some concern about the amount of blood I had and some clots, but after pushing and pushing on my stomach (this sucks), the midwife felt it was all out and everything was good. I didn't hold Emma during this time because I was worried I would flinch and squeeze her too hard. But Mike had the opportunity to do skin to skin with her - and that was so adorable to watch. Finally they handed her to me and I got to cuddle with her again! Oh the joy is inexpressible! Marinda helped us attempt to breastfeed, Emma didn't want to latch so it didn't go so well. After about 15 minutes Marinda said her goodbyes and they came and took us upstairs. I thought that our birthing story would end there... unfortunately there was a little more to come. Stay tuned.... 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In the Beginning

6 1/2 almost 7 years ago I turned to Mike one night and told him I wanted a baby. He gulped - and agreed. We had gone off of birth control already, because it was causing some problems with my body. After going off of birth control, I did not have a period for two years. We had some tests done - but every one of them came back normal. The Dr. wasn't sure why I wasn't having periods, and usually blamed it on my weight. Although this was never an easy pill to swallow - I did have to acknowledge that when I was down in weight on my mission - I had fairly regular periods. We didn't give up hope though, even though I wasn't having periods. We kept praying that something would give. During those first few years I stayed pretty positive, and felt that eventually we would have a child. 

As the years went on, it became a little harder to keep up hope. There were lots of tears, lots of doubts about myself - and about God. Was it because I wasn't fit to be a mother? Because I couldn't be trusted? Because I was too selfish? Satan surely enjoyed playing on my insecurities during this time, and often I let him. I remember one Sunday about 3 1/2 years ago we were at my parents ward. In Relief Society I was sitting next to a woman holding her 2 or 3 month old. I pretty much avoided all things baby at this point - it was just too painful. So you can imagine my discomfort when she turned to me asked me to hold him - thrusting him in my arms before I could decline. At first it was very awkward, but he eventually settled into my arms. As I stared down at this little baby the Spirit washed over me. I don't often hear words when I'm feeling the Spirit. But that day He whispered to me. "Just wait. Be patient." My mom - who was sitting next to me - said she looked over and I had big alligator tears running down my cheeks. In that moment I knew that the delay in our family starting was not because of my shortcomings. That I just needed to have faith, trust in His plan for us, and just use this time to become a better person. So that's what I began to do.

Over the next few years, things got better. Although all things baby were still tough - I tried to hold on to the promise I'd been given. And although I wasn't always great at it - really did try to use the time to become a better person. To love and serve more. To take better care of my body - which has always been a struggle. To be a better wife, daughter, friend, and person. While I still have far to go, I feel like I did make a lot of strides during this time. 

Through out all this time we did do some testing. But we never did any serious fertility treatments - beyond forcing my body to have a period now and then. We always felt like that would be a part of getting pregnant, we just hadn't done it yet. A big part of that was money. We hadn't managed our money as well as we should and put ourselves in a position that we just didn't have the resources at the time. Looking back - I don't think we were really supposed to do it. On a spiritual level, I think that we were focused where Heavenly Father wanted us focused. I don't regret the choice not to do it.

All of this leads us into last year. The feeling that it was time to really start trying had been growing stronger and stronger. Last year was a year full of trials and overwhelming blessings. I had met and started working with a hypnotherapist. With her I began to really dump a lot of old hurts and things that were holding me back. Things from as far back as elementary school. I truly believe because of the work we did together, my hormones started to level out a bit and I started having periods. I had four last year (may not seem like a lot, but when you've only had one a year for about 4 or 5 years - that's a big increase). We also started to work on our fiances and to get things in order. We started paying a diligent fast offering - and were blessed abundantly. Including a huge promotion and raise for Mike that we were not expecting!

We both felt that we were being prepared and that it was time to start the real fight to get pregnant. In September we had discussed it and decided we would finish out the year - continuing to work on losing weight. And in January when the insurance re-set, we would start getting tested. 3 weeks after this conversation, we found out we were pregnant. This truly was such a big shock and such a huge huge huge blessing. I truly expected to spend at minimum - $10,000 to get pregnant. We have several family and friends that have been through this battle. We had discussed it with them, and we were preparing for that. Maybe only in the hear after I'll know why we were spared that, but I will forever and ever be so grateful. And thus our little miracle baby was conceived. But the miracles didn't stop there... more to come.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hormones - sheesh!!

I had two appointments today. One was with the Maternal Fetal Medicine Drs for a non stress test (NST) (just keeping an eye on her because of the gestational diabetes) and then my regular appointment. My appointment for the NST was at 9:45am. 

9:40am - Checked in, then sat down to wait. While waiting I was happy to see two friends, one I hadn't seen in a very long time, Peaches, that I worked with at girls camp. And the other from our ward, Liz Johnson. We had a nice visit, until they each were called in. 

10:30am - As I went to sit back down from chatting with Liz, I noticed it was now 10:30. I thought it was weird I'd been waiting so long, so I stopped at the desk to find out if they had forgotten me. The same receptionist told me that the NST rooms were a little backed up, and that she thought I would be getting right in. So I sat back down. 



10:45am - starting to get really frustrated! It's been an hour!! 

10:50am - Getting mad! 

10:55am - So mad I think I'm going to cry....

11:00am - Tears start leaking out - but I'm trying to hold them back.....

11:05am - Not having luck holding back the tears - full on tears trickling down my face now. I know I need to go talk to the receptionist - but I feel so silly that I'm crying that I don't want to. I am doing everything I can think of to calm down (breath, go to my calm place, drink water, chew gum, blow my nose, laughing at myself, etc.)

11:10am - Get tears under control - until another patient comes and checks in for an NST (I could hear) and gets called back. The flood of tears really starts coming. At this point I have watched the waiting room fill up and empty twice. Still kind of chuckling at myself too - because I just can't control the tears. At all.

11:15am - Think I have it under control enough now to actually go say something. I walk up to the desk and get out "I'm trying to be reasonable.... " and start sobbing! So hard I couldn't even tell her my name. I felt SOO dumb, which just made it that much worse!  So then I'm half laughing, but mostly crying. And the laughing just makes the tears and crying sound much worse! She asked if I checked in - I told her I did - with her. She asked why I didn't come say something. I told her I did after 45 min - to her. One of the other receptionist couldn't find me and I said my appt had been at 9:45am. She was like WHAT! hahaha

Anyway... it turns out somehow my file got put away instead of in the pile to be called. When I asked at 45 min - she didn't check it. She felt really really bad, I could tell it was an honest mistake. They got me back there right away and everything from there went perfect. Emma was squirmy as usual and has a strong heart beat as usual. 

Dang these extra hormones!!! But I've learned my lesson - next time if I feel like I'm going to cry - get up and talk to someone RIGHT then and make sure they locate my file!! :) Don't let it escalate - geez! hahahahahaha

Thursday, April 4, 2013

3rd Trimester and Update

So far - the third trimester has been my favorite by far! Although I have had a cold and a couple of scares, I have had the most energy and been able to do the most! And my good friends Sharon from my ward and her daughter-in -law who I worked with at Brighton Girls Camp threw me a shower for my ward friends. That was so fun and the ladies from the ward really spoiled us! People are so generous!! 

I don't like showers typically. Even my wedding showers - just not a huge fan of being center of attention. I like being the side show. :) Baby showers especially have always been very painful as we've tried to get pregnant through out the years. I pulled up to the house and there were all these pink balloons up and I sighed and thought - I hate showers. But then I looked and read the balloon that said "It's a Girl" and remembered - that's OUR girl that balloon is talking about! And it was like reality slapped me in the face that this shower was for ME and that I am having a baby!! AHHHHHH :D Once I relaxed a bit and found a comfy chair, I really enjoyed the party. We received mostly clothes and they are ALL so darling!! They are now hanging in her closet waiting to be spit up on! ;) 

Because of the energy boost - we've been able to get the nursery cleaned out completely, the crib up (of course Mike did that), and the room mostly set up. There are still a few things to do - like paint he shelves and hang them, and some decorations. I am making the crib skirt, a cover for the bumper to match the quilt my Sister in Law made for us. And the drapes. I also want to make some wall hangings, maybe a baby bag, and a cover for the chair we are using. Obviously some of this will have to be done later. So still some projects to get done. But it does look like a baby is coming and I love that! Willow doesn't so much though - I think all the changes are making her nervous - she peed on our bed the other day for no reason. :( This is going to be fun! 

From here on out we have a lot to do! While I'm working on those projects listed above, Mike is in full swing training mode for his 1/2 Iron Man that is only four weeks away!! WOW!! I'm so proud of all he has done - he has worked so hard. Because it's in St. George I won't be able to go see him, but I will be with him in heart. We do have some family and a friend going with him, so that's good! He needs good cheerleaders!!

Other fun things - I'm starting to actually fill out my bra! Woo hoo! :D That's a first! And my ankles are swelling pretty good most days, if I don't remember to wear compression socks and keep my feet up. And last but not least - I've learned that prunes are a miracle fruit - I won't say anymore than that! ;)

Now for the yucky stuff - mostly just so I have it documented. Read it or not - whatever. Beware - may be too much info for some. :)

About three weeks ago we went in for the last ultrasound with the Research study we are participating in. I was pretty excited because we were getting 3D pics. I know most people think they look creepy - and I'll admit some of them do. But we got two really clear shots of her face and she is so cute! We invited my parents along and they really loved getting to see her.

After my parents left they also did a vaginal ultrasound. They said everything looked fine until she pushed on my stomach, that made the top of my cervix - next to the uterus - start to open. She was concerned about this and sent us over to the midwives to be checked. They did two tests, one was a swab to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. The other was a digit test to see if I was dilated. I was not prepared for what the digit test meant - so that was not a pleasant experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha But the good news was I was not dilated. The test for the amniotic fluid - she told us if it came back positive that there was a 50% chance we would deliver within 2 weeks. Luckily it came back within an hour (that was a very scary and emotional hour), and was negative. She did give us a bishop score of my cervix as a 3. The scale goes 0-10 - 10 being ready to deliver. I should be a 0. While this doesn't mean a ton - it's something to watch. They told me to keep an eye on things and if I noticed any changes to let them know. 

Fast forward until last week, I started noticing that it seemed like I was now leaking a fluid. My undewear were consistently wet, and I couldn't quite tell if I was just not doing a good job of holding it in or if this was something else. After a couple of days I decided I wasn't peeing myself and called the Midwives. I wasn't too worried, and figured they would have me come back in to do another swab test. Well - no. They said I am far enough along this could indicate preterm labor and sent me to L&D to be checked. I called Mike, and off we went - again. Sigh. 

We were there for about 3 hours and they checked several things. They monitored Emma most the time - and her heart was just fine. They also monitored for contractions (I didn't feel any, but just in case) and there weren't any. She did an examine and the swab test where they look at the fluid under a micro scope. Also a paper test that tells them right away. Both those came back negative - I was NOT leaking amniotic fluid. Which is good - because if I had been she said I would be admitted to the hospital for the following two weeks and induced at 34 weeks. Although she did say she could see something during the exam, so I wasn't just peeing myself either. That made me feel a little better. They also tested for an infection, and a UTI. Both those also came back negative. So she said it is probably just an increase in discharge and that it's nothing to worry about.

So many adventures!! I can only imagine what the next 7-9 weeks hold for us! Ready or not - here we come!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Today has been such a beautiful day. The kind of day that every Easter should be like. The sun is shinning and sharing it's warmth! There is a light Spring breeze, the birds are chirping, and the daffodil's and tulips are starting to bloom. It is GORGEOUS outside! And while we did wake up to a small basket of goodies from the Easter bunny this morning, that is not what made today sweet.

What made it so sweet, beautiful, and light is the Spirit that I felt as I prayed this morning to thank my Father in heaven for the MANY blessings in my life. For such a loving, kind, and thoughtful husband that each day teaches me to be a better person! And as I wrapped my arms around my tummy and our baby - to be able to say thank you for this precious gift. 

Also it was so sweet for the beautiful services presented today in church. For the beautiful music and talks that were given today in church. There was a gorgeous duet played on the piano and cello in Sacrament. And three of my good friends, Melissa, Tami, & Jennette sang a capella song about Christ that was simple and melodic. And just beautiful and touching. For the testimonies of our Savior's love for us, and for his ultimate sacrifice that makes it possible for us to not only be free from sin and sorrow - but to live again with Him some day.

I couldn't let this day go by without bearing my own simple testimony that he lives. He knows us, he loves us, and he is with us always! I love Him and will spend my life saying thank you for all the gifts he has given! 

Happy Easter to my family and friends! I love you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Capturing the moment

I've posted so much about the "pains" of pregnancy that I wanted to post some positive too. And I think this is one of the most important things I've discovered! 

I posted a question about doing pregnancy pictures and if I should do them now at 31 weeks or wait until I'm bigger on FB. I was having a hard time deciding. I think I've decided to wait maybe 3 or 4 weeks more. Then hopefully the bloom will be not just in my belly - but in Spring too! :)

It does bring up an interesting thought for me though. I know that these kinds of pics aren't for everyone, and that's fine. In fact this is something I've really learned over the last 6 months. No matter what the topic - when it comes to pregnancy, birthing, child care, etc - people will ALWAYS have a different opinions. Anyway, as for the pictures, let me be clear - I'm talking like couples photos of Mike and myself. Maybe a few focusing on the tummy. But all clothed. :) No bare tummy shots. I told my brother - who is going to take them for me - I just wanted tasteful, simple, and sweet pics. 

A couple of people didn't feel like they would want pictures of themselves like this. And I can definitely understand that. I mean right now my face is broken out like a teenager's in puberty. My stretch marks look like I was attacked by a mountain lion (hence the no bare tummy pics)! My feet are so swollen my ankles almost don't want to bend,  and I am in desperate need of a hair cut!

But even with all that - I can honestly say this is one time in my life that I feel truly beautiful. I love my body so much for allowing this precious experience. I have waited for these moments - even the stressful and painful ones - for six and 1/2 years. After so many times of wondering if it would be able to carry a child - I finally know. And that brings nothing but appreciation and gratitude. I don't want that to go by without taking a moment to appreciate this gift that has been given me. 

And so I'm going to take these pics. And I'm sure I won't care for all of them. But I also hope to capture the true joy and delight that I feel not just for Emma, but for my body in making it possible for her to come to our family. And for God - who gave us these miraculous bodies in the first place!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Ode to Pee...

If you don't like potty talk - stop reading. :D

All this talk about women always needing to go to the bathroom - well here is the thing about it - IT'S TRUE!!!!! Here is what I've learned about the bladder during my pregancy. SO much I never knew! The bladder is so versatile!

When you aren't pregnant you drink water and several hours later you go to the bathroom. And you typically pee the same amount each time (well - I did anyway). But when you are pregnant you drink some water and in about 10-30 minutes you have to pee. And each time it feels like you haven't peed in HOURS and MUST go RIGHT now!

But the exciting part is that you never know how much you're gonna get. Sometimes it's only three drops. And sometimes you wonder if it's ever gonna stop. The other fun and exciting thing I've discovered is that when the baby is sitting on the bladder - it takes longer to pee. Like it has to go around her (or under - as the case may be - not really sure).

And even if I hardly drink anything before bed or during the night - I always have to get up and go at least 3 times. Sometimes up to 5! Haha - I figure that's just good practice for getting up once she is here. But it does leave me with a question. When you have a crying baby - and you have to pee - which comes first? Feed and change the baby or take a min to use the facility? I guess I'll figure that out! ;)

When you go swimming and are getting out of the water - make sure you are holding your bathroom muscles tight, because if not - when the baby hits your bladder there is a good chance you will start peeing uncontrollably! Haha Yes - this really happened!

And if you are going to stand up after sitting for any period of time (5 min or more), it's safe to assume you'll need to use the restroom! Now!

If you go to the store Motherhood - they have their own bathroom in the back for customers to use. This is very helpful knowledge!

As I always taught my young women at camp - you should always be able to say "I pee clear" loud and proud! The same thing goes for when you are pregnant. If your pee is too dark you aren't drinking enough. Baby needs more water!

And this is what I've learned. This post brought to you by my over-active bladder!! Have a nice day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3rd Trimester - starting off with a bang!

Well things have been pretty interesting and exciting around here! Things were going so great! I had some energy, was able to do some swimming, walking. We have started getting the nursery room cleaned out so we can start setting things up. I was so excited to have President's day off - I had a lot planned! I was going to have it all emptied out so we could set up the crib - that feels like a big step. :) On Saturday that weekend I went shopping with my mom and a friend and found a few fun things. Some cute shelves, a darling little lamp that will be perfect for when we are doing late night feedings. I can't wait to get it all set up!!! Anyway, I didn't get a chance to though - because Sunday morning I came down with a cold. And spent all day Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday in bed. :( Yuck!

I have been having heart palpitations over the last month or so. They don't seem to concerning, just a little uncomfortable. I've mentioned them to my Dr, and they didn't have much to say about it. On Wednesday I was just laying down to take a nap when I noticed I was out breath. Mike had just left and I considered calling him back. But I just breathed through it and fell asleep. The next morning around 9am I was sitting on my couch working on my laptop - not doing anything stressful or strenuous when all of the sudden I was breathing as if I had just run up a flight of stairs. It was like I couldn't get enough air in. I logged off of work and layed down to see if I just need to rest. But after about 20 min, I decided something was really going on and called the midwives I'm working with. At this point I was starting to get scared and a bit emotional. I called Mike - poor guy. By the time he got on the phone I was crying and could barley speak. I told him I was afraid and didn't know what to do. haha, poor guy. He told me he would be home right away - and it seems like he was home 5 min later. He told me our car goes pretty fast. :D 

Finally the midwife called back and after going through everything with her, she told me it would be best if we went to the ER. They aren't set up for the kinds of tests I would need. She said she could hear how out of breath I was just talking to me on the phone. And it was best to go in. We stopped at my dad's house so Mike and dad could give me a blessing, and then we went to the ER. 

They were great and got me right in. I was very impressed with the Drs and nurses, we didn't really do a lot of waiting until after the tests had been run and we had to wait for results. They did an x-ray of my chest, an EKG, and some blood tests for blood clots. They all came back just fine. They also did an ultrasound of my heart, but he said beside the fact that it was beating so fast, it was okay too. The whole time we were there my heart rate was about 130. A normal resting heart rate for me would be between 70-80. As they had ruled out anything that could be causing immeadiate danger, they sent me home with a med to steady my heart rate.

This was fine, except that the drug seemed to make Emma move less. Obviously this caused me quite a bit of concern. But the following week we had a visit with a heart dr and he assured us this is all actually fairly normal and not to worry. Emma's movements have picked up again, which makes me very happy. She has started not only kicking, but moving elbows and knees across my tummy. It really tickles when she does this. haha So other than being extra tired, and having to move slow - it doesn't seem there is any other consequence. He even told me I could exercise, which makes me happy. I'm sick of sitting around doing nothing.

Anyway, that has been our latest adventure. Oh and also I had to do a 3rd 3 hour test - YUCK! I hate those stupid tests. Anyway, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Now I am tracking my blood sugars four times a day and watching what I'm eating carefully. Really - there is nothing but good there I guess - since I need to do that anyway. I'm staying positive and don't plan to let this cause any difficulties with Emma, her birth, or myself. 

My tummy seems to really have popped out in the last few weeks. I kind of enjoy that. :) Even with all the yucky that has come with being pregnant, I have still really loved it. I love feeling her move inside me. I love knowing that soon there will be a little wiggle wart for us to love, hold, teach, and learn from. I can't wait to meet this little girl. I can't wait to be a mom on the outside, and not just on the inside.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2nd Trimester

We have decided on a name. We are going to name our daughter Emmaline. We call her Emma. I am in love with this name - and in love with her already! Mike was a little hesitant to commit to a name - not because he doesn't like it, but because he worried when she came she wouldn't fit the name. I've promised if that's the case we will change it. :) Then one day out of the blue he said - "I've been thinking about Emmaline - and I think that's the one". Big smiles!!!

So far I like this trimester MUCH more!! I am finally feeling healthy and human again. I do get tired - but I can totally deal with that. I haven't thrown up in weeks and don't get nauseous anymore. It was still about a month into the 2nd trimester before all that left - but now all I think is good riddance!! :) 

A couple of weeks ago I went through a about a week and a half of... growing pains? That's kind of what they felt like. Basically the lower part of my belly and my inner thighs, and (TMI ALERT) my lady muscles felt like I had been working out really hard. I felt muscles I didn't even know I had!!!! They were just super sore. But I didn't mind so much - just kind of reminds me - in a more pleasant way then throwing up - that I'm pregnant. Luckily they went away and now I feel pretty good. 

My stretch marks are growing and multiplying - I know this because I count them. hahaha Not that they bother me - they are like battle wounds! My Midwife thought it was pretty funny when I told her I count them. I have been putting coconut oil on them and they feel fine and don't bother me except itching a little every now and then. 

My absolute favorite part about this trimester is starting to feel the stirrings of life within me. What an amazing and kind of weird feeling! It started out just like they said it would - a fluttering that kind of feels like butterflies. Slowly they got a bit stronger and now I feel her kicks and hits pretty good every day. I've only seen my stomach move with them a couple of times - makes me jump every time. :) I felt one to the back the other day - that was such a strange sensation! Her most favorite though? Is to tap dance on my cervix.  Or maybe she is using it as a punching bag. Either way - that one is very distracting and uncomfortable - so needless to say it's her favorite! :D I think she is going to be very independent and stubborn! Because when she is kicking - if anyone touches my stomach she stops immediately. She kicked me and made my stomach move for the first time last Sunday. And I had Mike come over to see if it would happen again. It's only natural to want to touch, so he put his hand on my tummy where I showed him I'd seen/felt it. Well she wouldn't budge after that! haha Poor Mike!!

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I had to take a 1 hour glucose test. Well I took it and it did come back high. :( So I have to take the 3 hour test on Monday. I'm really hoping it comes back okay. But it will be good to know either way so we can manage it if I do have gestational diabetes. This week I've been trying to be a lot better about my eating. Feeling better I think has given me the energy to actually do that. So I made a menu for every meal and snack. I've stuck to it mostly and feel pretty good about things. I've also started walking and swimming, which I think will help.

I've had to put my rings away, they were getting so tight! One of them is a cut out that says I am a Child of God. When I would take it off at night you could read it on my finger. So no more rings. :)

My mom and I went through boxes this week to find some of my baby dresses that I wore. My mom is a very talented seamstress and she made many outfits with smocking. She washed them up and we hung them in the closet yesterday. Oh they are sooooo cute!!! I can't wait to put Emma in them! Yesterday we went and picked out fabric for a blessing dress that she is going to make. It will be so cute - I can't WAIT to see it! Here are some of the dresses she made for me when I was a baby (the pictures don't do them justice, they were taken with my cell. I'll have to have mike take some better ones): 

This last one is a pinafore that used to go over a pretty blue dress. We don't have the dress anymore, but are going to make something to go with it. Also - this one is quite a bit bigger than the others so it will be a while before she'll wear it. Love them! 

Also - my friend Liana and I went and picked out the fabric for the crib. I sent it to my sister in law and being the amazing quilter that she is - it's already done!! As soon as I get it I'll post some pictures. Now I just need to make the bumper cover and skirt that will match and get some sheets. Fun fun!!! Here is a picture of the nursery that will be very similar to what we are going to do in case you couldn't get the link to work before. 

Well - I'm going to take my Sunday nap. Until next time! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Next Chapter....

For the last two and half years I've had the pleasure of serving the Young Women in our ward. A year and half of that I was the 2nd counselor in the presidency. And for just under a year I was the President. Today we were released from these callings. It was kind of a bitter sweet day. I have grown to love these girls so much!!! They truly have such amazing spirits, strong testimonies, and beautiful smiles. I have so many wonderful memories that I'll take away from these years and I'll hold them in my heart forever. 

I've been blessed to have such a peace about this change and to know it is the will of God from the moment I knew about it. It can be so scary letting go of something so big, and at the same time trusting that someone else will now take care of these sweet girls I love so much. I have had a sincere knowledge that whoever was called would be exactly who is needed. Today as we sustained the new presidency my heart was full. The Spirit was strong, and testified to me that this is good. That they will be in very capable and loving hands. And that it's okay to move forward. As I told the girls today - if there is one thing in life that is always constant - it's that change will always come. 

While it's sad to say goodbye to the YW (of course I'll still see them, but you know what I mean) I am excited to move forward and to prepare our home for this little girl and to finally have the calling I've dreamed about for so long - mommy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Failed

Have you ever thought that to yourself? Have you ever thought that you failed? I have so many times, I can't even pretend to count them. We all do, it's part of this life. 

Tonight I went with Mike up to walk around the Olympic Oval. It was busy, lots of runners and ice skaters. I was probably the slowest one on the track. I walked one mile in 25 minutes. Slow. But I did it, and only felt like my hip was going to fall off half the time. So I am pretty pleased with that. :D I'm not going to lie, I am petty enough that I had the thought that I wished I had a shirt that says "I'm 20 weeks pregnant". Unless you know me, I don't look pregnant. I just look overweight. And I kept thinking "they probably think this fat girl should get her butt in gear so she won't be fat".  Like I said, petty. 

After I finished I sat on the mats to stretch a little and thought about all the years I've had to lose weight. And all the years that I didn't (or that I did and gained it back). I failed. I wondered if I had known that I was going to get pregnant, would I have been able to do it? Honestly I don't know. But then I thought - does it really matter? And the truth is, it doesn't. The truth is - as cliche as it is - I've only truly failed if I stop starting again. I will keep trying to get healthy. Probably my whole life. Failure is just a chance to learn something about yourself. And hopefully each time it's not the same lesson!

I'm not done learning - not by a long shot!

Bun in the OVEN

I thought it would be a good time for another update. :)

I named this post bun in the oven - heavy emphasis on the OVEN. I am always SO hot. The last two Sundays I've had to get up and leave sacrament because I was feeling faint, and for fear I was sweating through my dress. Everyone else is freezing and I'm wondering when I can go home and take all my clothes off and do snow angels in the back yard. Okay - maybe that's extreme - but still. It's hot. :D

Unfortunately morning sickness seems to have made a small comeback. It's not nearly as bad as it was during the first trimester, but it's enough to be obnoxious. I'm still having lots of acid reflux. Blah - whatever. 

This week I begin walking, I'm looking forward to that and am really hoping it will help. I'm also preparing to jump into the world of making freezer meals - I'm excited about that too. I hope it will make eating healthier easier. 

We had another ultrasound last week. This was the one where they look at all her little body parts and make sure all is good. They were able to see everything they were looking for (organs, spine, face, legs, arms, etc) and she is very healthy and has a really strong heart. She was facing my spine, so we didn't get any great shots of her cute face - hopefully next time. We have one more ultrasound in March with the research study. 

I also had to meet with an OB for a consultation on gestational diabetes. They tested my numbers when we first found out I was pregnant and they came back normal. However, at the time I was on a medication for my Insulin Resistance and PCOS. They had mentioned at some point I would come off that, but no one has mentioned it again. I asked at my last appointment and the midwife said I should consult with a DR. He has taken me off the medication and will have me do the glucose test in a week or so again to see if my numbers are okay with out the medication. I'm really hoping they are - but we shall see.

I think we've decided on a look for the nursery, love it!! Check it out! 

Well that's all for now - I'll post again once we test my numbers and get the results back.