Thursday, April 16

St George Easter

Garrison was told last minute that he had to go to Australia for a work project over the week of Easter, So, Bayli and i decided to join my sister and her husband as they traveled to St George to visit his family down there. I was a little anxious traveling while being so hugely pregnant, but my sister's father in law is an OBGYN, so... if anything bad were to happen i would literally be sleeping in the same house as the person who could help the situation the most. so, really there wasn't anything to be afraid of.

we spent our time with them eating, and watching general conference, and having political debates, and Easter egg hunting, and playing with their dogs, and drinking coke from their soda fountain, and going to candy shops, and walking through the St George art festival. The weather was warm, we wore shorts, and we got sunburns, and needed ice cream and smoothies to cool off, and basically it was the best thing that could have happened in order for me to distract myself while my husband was away in Aus-freaking-stralia. (i was only mildly jealous. if i happened to go into labor while he was gone, we totally would have had to name our baby girl Sydney or Aussie or something. haha.)

Anyway, a huge thank you to my sister and her in-laws, the Ott's, for hosting us. We enjoyed ourselves so much!

36 weeks

in my last post, i expressed my concerns with this pregnancy. in summary, i was both worried that the baby was going to be bigger than bayli, and that i wouldn't be able to deliver her vaginally due to her size, and worried that she would be too small, and that she would need to be induced early in order to get her the nutrition she needed. the reasoning behind these two contradicting worries i tried to explain in my last post, but... ultimately we knew the answer would be given over the course of a few ultrasounds. so, yesterday i had my second of three ultrasounds, and met with the dr and got lots of questions answered!

first of all, baby is growing great and is not small. in fact, she is already larger than bayli was when she was born. (baby #2 measures 5.7 pounds, while bayli was only 5.4 at birth) this is wonderful because it means she is healthy! but... it also means that we are officially in the unknown territory of figuring out what my body can handle when it comes to delivery and size of baby. because it is my second baby, and because i will most likely not need to be induced this time -my blood pressure is looking great, and i'm not experiencing symptoms of toxemia this time around like i experienced with bayli- therefore baby will come when she is ready, and when my body has been "primed" the dr's and i think that i will be able to handle a bit bigger baby. but just how much is a "bit"? that's the guessing game. 

doc thinks that if i were to go into labor on my own before i reach 38 weeks then i should be fine. he doesn't anticipate the baby growing a ton within the next week and a half or so. He also thinks that she looks healthy and ready to come. He's basically given me the "A-ok" for labor, but, he can't do anything to help push this along any faster. i am contracting frequently, the baby has dropped, i've lost my mucus plug and have started to dilate and efface. but it's just been false labor so far. so... right now we are just hoping that she decides to get things started. but... if i get to 38 weeks and still haven't had her, then we will do the third and last ultrasound and potentially schedule a c-section if she is measuring at or above 7 pounds. 

so... in summary, my body has naturally started the process of getting this baby out, we are all just hoping these braxton hick contractions turn into the real thing sooner than later. 

baby girl, we are ready to meet you! 

And now for your viewing pleasure... some of the pictures from our most recent ultrasounds and my latest belly shot with the comparison of my last belly shot with Bayli. also... if you want to see what i was like at 36 weeks with bayli, here's the link to that blog post.

Wednesday, April 1

34 weeks

this is gonna be another long one folks.

i have been doing pregnancy updates with this pregnancy, and they have been fun and a good way to track things but i also feel like the questions (how much weight gain? maternity clothes or no? belly button in or out, etc) don't really explain what's happening. my nerves, and the new complications and unexpected pleasantries that come with each new week. so... im gonna stray from the usual questions, and instead, just let it all out this week.

first the basics:
-due date: may 18th
-i currently weight 133, the baby is about 5 pounds now, and the size of a cantaloupe.
-i am still in my normal clothes, and the belly button hasn't popped yet, i figured that would have happened weeks ago, but nope. 
-i am dealing with braxton hicks on a daily basis, but they aren't too intense yet, and usually they are more bearable than when she gets in one of her kicking/moving fits. those often hurt worse.
-speaking of movement... at any given time, i can tell you if my baby is awake and active, or asleep. her movements are so obvious and huge! we can even tell which body part is kicking or moving most of the time. hiccups are happening all the time, at least twice a day. she is ALWAYS awake around noon, and 9:30-11:00 at night. i'm worried she won't be a good sleeper like bayli was because i swear this girl is always awake and moving... and so much stronger than bayli was too, it's kinda comical because we called bayli our "little kickers' so i guess this one is our "big kickers"?
-sleep is becoming a problem. i usually fall asleep around 11:30, and then wake up around 3:30 because of a dream, or needing to pee, or bayli, or the dog, or the wind making some kind of noise. then i'm up till 5 because i can't go back to sleep. finally i'll fall asleep from 5-7:30 when we usually get up.
-about 2 weeks ago i woke to an extremely painful charlie horse cramp in my right calf. i was screaming, and yelling at garrison to try and fix it because i couldn't move to try and rub it or stretch it out. it bruised, and i was sore and had a limp for 2 days. well, the same thing happened last night, except on my left calf. this time i recognized what was happening and although i still woke freaking out and asking garrison for help, i could at least formulate words this time, and he knew what was happening as well, so hopefully this one won't be as hard of a recovery. stupid charlie horses.
-we had a dr's appointment yesterday where we talked about the labor and delivery side of things for the first time, and i got both more anxious, and relieved at the same time. most of the time i feel like i am huge, and uncomfortable, and ready to get this baby out already. and then the other part of me isn't ready to face reality yet... getting the baby out is really just the beginning. 

So... let's talk about "getting the baby out"

at my dr's appointment we decided that i ultimately have two things to worry about. the size of baby, and my toxemia, (or preeclampsia) coming back again. i have my list of symptoms to recognize if my toxemia comes back, and i get my blood pressure tested frequently. so... for now we just wait and see if it comes or not. as of right now i am doing good in that department, blood pressures of 140/90 after the 37th week get admitted and induced, that's too high of blood pressure. i am at 110/75ish as of lately. which is great.

as far as the size of baby, we have some interesting conflictions... because of how small my hips are, and how difficult it was for me to deliver even my tiny, 5 pound 4 oz bayli, the drs know that if i had to deliver a larger baby (6.5 pounds or bigger) it would need to be via c-section. and if i don't have to get induced at 37 weeks like i did with bayli... most likely this baby will become larger than 6.5 pounds with the extra time spent in the womb. 

but... on the flip side, i have not gained as much weight as i did with bayli. i have only gained 5 pounds, and am currently smaller in weight than i was when i was this far along with bayli. and they were worried about me gaining enough with her as well. so... the dr's are worried that the baby might not be doing well in there. she might not be getting all the nutrients she needs to grow properly, and the only fix for that is getting her out, and if that's the case they would induce me at 37 weeks. 

at my next appointment (36 weeks) we are doing an ultrasound to measure the size of baby to see one... if she is growing normally and we might need to schedule a c-section later on, and two... if she is small and if that "small" is small enough to worry about and need to get induced at 37 weeks. 

all of this is bittersweet. basically i am either growing a totally healthy baby, and have a totally healthy pregnancy, but will need to have a c-section at 39 weeks if she doesn't come on her own earlier. or, my baby is too small, or my blood pressure get's too high, and i have to get induced at 37 weeks to fix the situation, but i would probably be able to deliver her vaginally. 

of course we are hoping for the best, and the "best" option is a healthy baby, even if that means a c-section, and a few more weeks of being pregnant.

as of now, we are just waiting to have the ultrasound, and then we will have a little better idea of how this labor will play out, and how the baby is doing. so. the date's i have marked in my calendar are april 28th (the day of my 37 week appointment, which is when i would get induced if there are complications) or may 11th (the day i would have my elective induction/c-section scheduled at 39 weeks) and of course, there's still the option that we go into labor on our own like normal people. and if that's the case, there's no way of knowing when that would happen. :)

leave it to me to try and plan the "un-plannable"!

Monday, March 30

Bayli's Surgery

Garrison and I have discussed weather or not we should post this on the blog, or any other form of social media, but in the end, social media and this blog are our version of a journal, and even though this is a unique, touchy, personal subject, there's no where else i could really write it down to remember in years to come. please understand that as you read this story. (also... i left no detail out, so it's basically the longest post ever.)

so... Bayli had surgery today (March 26th 2015) on her urethra.

A little bit of history: we first noticed she peed a little unusually when we started potty training when she was one and a half years old. we would set her down on the toilet, and somehow, her stream would spray out of the toilet and all over the toilet seat, and floor, and down her legs, and get on us as we were helping her. now... we had never potty trained anyone before obviously, and so we didn't really know if there was something we were doing wrong, or if other kids experienced this, or if it was just something she would grow out of, so we kept on trying to potty train her, but, because of the mess she would make, she would get embarrassed and frustrated, and... potty training was extremely difficult.

at her two year old dr appointment, we asked our pediatrician if he knew what was wrong, he had never heard of a girl having that peeing problem, and referred us to a urologist at primary children's hospital. this came as a total shock to us as her parents, since our kid has never been sick with more than a cold, and has never needed to go to the dr's for anything besides her usual checkups, we were surprised that the answer was something as big as "primary children's" in our minds, only the kids with the really bad, or really rare health problems have to go there. so... we asked another dr for his opinion. this other dr said, it's probably no big deal, she will probably grow out of it, and if it's not causing her any pain or UTI's then just deal with it, or at least wait until she's bigger. we decided to combine both of their advice, wait a year, if it was still an issue, then use our referral and get it taken care of.

so... i started focusing on potty training bayli, we were slowly figuring out how to place her on the toilet to avoid making as much of a mess, and there were a few days where she would go 100% with no accidents, but only if we spent the entire day without wearing pants or underwear, as soon as she was wearing underwear or pants, she would have accidents. well... months went by like this, and when we found out we were expecting, i was determined to not have to deal with two kids in diapers, so (once i was out of my exhausting first trimester) i put all my efforts into staying driven, and cleaning up accidents instead of just going back to diapers in order to avoid the messes. and we did it! she was potty trained but... she still had this issue with her stream. in order to go on the toilet without making a mess we had to take off all of her clothes beneath the belt, and place her at the very back of the toilet doing the splits, and have her lean forward as much as she could, and even then she would still spray about 30% of the time onto the toilet seat or floor. her stream just went basically straight up sometimes, like a little boy. so... knowing that we were going to be spending all of our "max out of pocket" with dr bills already this year because of the new baby, we decided it was time to go to primary children's hospital. we took a video of her peeing, so that the dr. could see what we were talking about, and when he saw it, he said, "yes it is very rare, but i see about 3 cases of girls with similar problems a year, and i can surgically remove whatever blockage is in her urethra causing her spray to re-direct, kind of acting like a thumb over a hose." so we booked the soonest appointment he had, and... here we are today.

sadly, the surgery had to come just two days after her birthday. (nice present, right?) but it was his soonest opening, and if we waited any longer we might be dealing with a new baby and a healing toddler from surgery and that just sounded terrible. so... today it was. we had to avoid crowds and little kids for about 2 weeks prior to the surgery because she had a little cold that she just could not get rid of, and they won't operate if she is sick, so that meant that her birthday plans changed slightly and everything we did was close to home. but she finally got healthy and that was all that mattered.

today went like this...

she woke up, we couldn't feed her because she needed to have an empty stomach for the surgery, we gave her a bath and got her all ready to go, we were supposed to be there by 10:45, and after playing the hospital waiting game for about 1/2 an hour we finally were meeting with the nurses, getting her vitals checked, and putting her in her cute little hospital pj's, they asked us questions, we asked them questions, you know the drill.

then we got to wait in the operating waiting room. this is where they gave her a special surgery doll that you get to draw your own face on, and watched cartoons and played with all of the toys because, it's primary childrens... they know how to do this. then the time came for us to finally meet with the dr. and anesthesiologist (12:30) they reminded us of what was going to happen, and let us ask all of our questions, and then i let the anesthesiologist carry her away down the hallway, totally entrusting them with my little girl. as she was hugging his neck, she looked back and smiled at us and waved, and all the nurses "oohed and awwed" at how well she was handling it, and how cute she was. i got choked up as i watched them walk down the sterile white hallway, and then we waited again.

once the surgery was finished we went into the consultation room and met with the dr. he said everything went smoothly, and i asked him what we should expect as she woke up from the anesthesia. he said some kids wake calmly, peacefully, "sweetly" and others were screamers. there really was no way to tell which way a kid would react, but deep down i knew bayli would be a sweetheart. that's how she always is.... i was wrong,

as we walked into the room to greet our waking child from surgery there were about 3 nurses already there standing over her, one was holding her, and they were saying things like "look, here's your mommy. she'll make things better" and "mom's here!" i rushed over as the nurse handed her to me, i glimpsed into her eyes and did not see my daughter. technically speaking yes. it was bayli in my arms, but every ounce of her personality was gone. bayli was uncontrollably kicking her legs, writhing in pain, trying to find a comfortable position. she was drooling, and snot was coming out of her nose, and her eyes danced around the room, never settling on an object, not me, not her dad, not the lights, nothing. she was making an almost animal noise that i had never heard before, a mixture of a yell and a cry and a growl. it took her the longest time to come up with an audible word, but when she did, the word was "no." she would yell it over and over again. garrison and i took turns holding her, the nurses would offer her something to drink, "no!" we switched out their scratchy starched hospital blanket for one from home, and that seemed to help, but there was never a single moment in the half hour we were in that room that she stopped moaning, or coughing, or yelling, or crying. the nurses kept saying things like "this is normal, sometimes kids just react like this" but they were glancing at each other and the conversation between their eyes went more like this, "oh these poor parents, this kid is freaking out, i wonder how much she's scared the other children in the room." eventually they gave her some form of a sedative through the iv in her foot while she kicked and yelled "no" some more. then they moved us, they said the other rooms would have a tv and some more privacy, and less scary looking equipment, and maybe that would help her settle down. so they wheeled us over to the new room, i got some disney channel cartoons set up (it happened to be doc mcstuffins) and we tried to get her to drink something.

because of how raspy her voice was, and how much she was coughing, and because she kept her hand in her mouth (not a usual bayli characteristic, she's never been a thumb sucker or anything) we, including the nurses, thought she was uncomfortable because of the breathing tube that had been placed down to her lungs through her throat, i just assumed that the pain from her incision site had been numbed, and so it wouldn't be "down there" that hurt yet. that's why we kept trying to get her to drink something. finally she came up with the words "no, my bum hurts" and we realized why she was yelling no over and over, we had it all wrong. i was whispering things in her ear like "i know your throat hurts honey, we'll get you feeling better as soon as you take a drink" and she was frustrated that i didn't know what was hurting her. once we realized that her "bum" was the area that hurt, we could voice her concerns for her and she started calming down. i would now say "i know your bum hurts, and you want to get out of the hospital, but we can't leave until you drink all this juice" and then she would drink. we have always been very logical with bayli. telling her why she needs to take naps, and why she is being disciplined, and why i can't play with her right now etc, and so treating her like normal was good. she is also very independent, when she gets hurt at the playground, or from stepping on one of her toys in the house, she hates it when i coddle her, and try to comfort her, she would rather react on her own and get over it. it's almost like if i watch her fall, and then react to it, she gets embarrassed, and the situation gets worse. so, when we stopped trying to hold her, and just let her lay on the bed by herself to writhe in pain, it helped. -this was SO hard, i felt like she must think i was abandoning her, or giving her "tough love" when i wasn't! it was just what she needed, but it felt so wrong nonetheless, to watch her in so much pain, yet there was nothing i could do to comfort her, or take the pain away. no kisses from mom would do any good at this point-

finally... about 2 hours after the surgery had finished, she was calmer, and starting to talk, and could focus on the tv, and was drinking and eating, so we were discharged. we carried her to the car, and she fell asleep on the drive home. we drove around, not wanting to possibly wake her, she woke around 5:00. then we went to grandma's house (because grandma was one of the few things that she actually asked for in the hospital) and there she played with her other cousins, and was held by grandma and grandpa. it was while she was "playing"-more like watching her cousins play- at grandma's house that she told me she needed to go potty. garrison was currently away buying the pain medication we would need, and so i rushed her into the bathroom and mentally prepared myself for the worst while trying to act as natural as possible. i sat her down, and out came a stream. it went down! yay, and then she started screaming and bouncing on the toilet, she cut off the urine, and just said no no no again like before. i tried to hold her and tell her that i knew it hurt but that if she could just let it all come out, it would make things better. she didn't believe me, and refused to finish going potty. the rest of that day we gave her the medication as much as we could, as often as we could, to try and help. but nothing was working. she drank a little, she ate a little, but still, nothing was helping her find a comfortable position, or helping the pain stop. we knew she needed to finish going to the bathroom, but when we asked if she would try, you guessed it... "no"

around 8:00 we were getting ready to come home from grandma's house, and she told garrison that she needed to go potty. she went on the toilet, and cried as she peed but actually emptied her bladder, and was immediately feeling better. she came running out of the bathroom excited to tell me what she had done, ready to eat some chocolate chips (her usual treat for going potty) and all of us in the living room were shocked, astonished! this was the first time since the surgery that she acted like herself. she was running! she was eating! she was laughing and saying please and thank you. she was bayli again. all it took was emptying her bladder from the pressure that must have been hurting her incision site, and bam. there was my little girl back.


it has now been a few days since the surgery, and she is recovering wonderfully. ever since she figured out that she needs to empty her bladder in order to make it feel better, she has been going to the bathroom regularly. we keep her extra hydrated with lots and lots of juice and water to keep flushing everything out, and only occasionally she will say it hurts when she pee's. besides that she is all back to normal, and experiencing no pain. we stopped giving her pain medication after that first day. overall, she has big bruises on one hand and both feet from where they kept trying to place an iv, but those surprisingly haven't been bothering her, she has 3 stitches from the incision, which will dissolve soon, and she also has 4 holes from where they stitched her labia open during the surgery, two on each side. she had a sore throat for just that little while in the recovery rooms, and that's it!

i wonder what she will remember, if anything, from this surgery. Garrison had a hernia surgery when he was only 2 and still remembers things from that. i feel good with our decision to go ahead and do the surgery, i know that in the long run, she will be grateful that we took care of this when she was still young. it was emotionally exhausting for me as her mother to watch her in so much pain that first day, but knowing now that she is basically all better, and back to her old self, still potty trained and everything makes it a lot easier on me. i feel like i am a much more empathetic person now when it comes to other parents that have sick kids, or kids that undergo surgery. although Bayli's surgery was fairly simple, and i understand that so many kids have it way worse, it was so interesting experiencing it all and feeling those emotions. i truly hope and pray that it's many many years before we have to do anything like that again. now i just get to be thankful that it's all over, and oh so grateful for modern medicine.

Wednesday, March 25

Bayli's 3rd Birthday

This year, we decided to make her birthday party low key and at home with just a few family members. I wanted to spend the day focused on her, and these last few precious moments as a family of just three. Garrison was able to take off half the day of work, so in the morning we all went to a matinee showing of Cinderella. We have only taken bayli to a few movies in the theater before, and this was one of the first movies shes ever seen with real human actors instead of animation, so i was a bit worried it wouldn't hold her attention, but besides a potty break and wanting to cuddle because the theater was so cold, she stayed in her seat, eyes glued to the screen the entire time. It really is such an amazing movie!

Then she came home and took a 4 hour nap. cause, you know, movies are so much work. When she woke up, her aunt Stefani was over ready to play with her and help us decorate the cupcakes that we had baked that morning together before going to the movie. then, we waited as patiently as we could for dad to come home. once he got there then she blew out her birthday candle a total of 3 times because that's her favorite part. plus, she's 3 so it's only fair. and then she opened her only present: Teddy Grahams. After hugging the box because she loves them so much and telling us that they are her "favorite" we went to In-N-Out for hamburgers. and then went to see grandma and grandpa, give them cupcakes, and play games.

a funny moment from the day: while i was trying to teach her how to make a 3 with her fingers instead of the usual "peace sign" 2 that she's been doing the past year, she was attempting to do it and proudly "flipped me the bird" in her attempts at making a "3" it was hilarious. we laughed so hard, and then instantly tried to stifle our laughs so she wouldn't think it was funny and do it over and over again. as of this morning, when i asked her how old she was, she said "im free now!" and showed me three fingers. so... hopefully that means she's forgotten about it.

Bayli's Birth Story Here
Bayli's First Birthday Here
Bayli's Second Birthday Here

Wednesday, March 18

Pregnancy Update: 32 weeks

the baby is now about 4 pounds and the size of a coconut.

I currently weigh 132, which is only one pound more than when i was this far along with bayli (here's the post with bayli when i was 32 weeks along if you like comparisons.)

my nightly contractions have subsided, and some days i don't even have a single braxton hick, it's awesome. since those have calmed down, i am dealing with less pain, now my pain usually comes from hip and lower back pain, and stomach aches/heartburn after eating too much, or laying down immediately after eating or drinking.

we are still tracking my blood pressure really closely and it is continuing to go up slightly, but not too high for us to start getting concerned, or put me on bedrest yet, so that's good too.

we have taken everything out of the attic that the baby will need and have finally finished cleaning it all, our bags are packed, and the car seat is clean and in the car. as much as i can feel "ready" for this little girl, i do. we even have her name picked out finally!! (you'll have to wait till she's born before we share it)

Bayli is so excited to be a big sister and she is being so sweet, doing things like kissing and singing to my belly and truly preparing to be my little helper. we are still trying to perfect the concept of being quieter during specific times of the day, but once the baby is actually here i hope that will be an easier concept for her to grasp.

Tuesday, March 17

What I remember from Bayli's Birth, 3 years later

Bayli will be turning 3 in a week, and i've been spending so much time thinking about what my pregnancy and labor was like with her because our due date for the next little one is getting closer and closer, so what better time to write it all down than now?

when Bayli is older, and asks about what it was like when i was pregnant with her, and her very first birthday, i hope i remember all of the little details, but... i doubt i will, so, chances are i would just tell her to read about it herself by looking at all of the blog posts, but let's be honest. there are like 100 or more of them from that time. so... i decided to try and condense them all into one post, telling the story, and some of the unique details from that precious time in our lives before i forget, or have this new baby blurring the similarities and differences between her story, and her sister's.

in summary... here are the things that i remember about my pregnancy, and delivery from when i was pregnant with bayli.

we got pregnant while i was on the pill after only being married for 5 months, it took me awhile to realize i was pregnant because i was skipping the placebo pills so that i wouldn't have a period. we were about 3 months along when we finally found out we were expecting. i really didn't have any morning sickness, but i did experience other pregnancy symptoms that i attributed to my thyroid which had given me issues my entire life. but, after getting three positive pregnancy tests we let the crazy idea that we were pregnant sink in and finally told our families, found a doctor, and started looking for a new apartment. my second trimester was spent sleeping a ton, researching everything i could about babies and pregnancy. i continued to work at the salon and would come home and watch tv, or blog, trying to let garrison have as much space and quiet as he needed because he was finishing his last semester of college and continued to work full time to provide for our new little addition.

in january, at 6 months pregnant, we celebrated our first anniversary, and moved into my parents house as we waited for our new apartment to become available. finally the time came for us to move in, and do the home renovations needed for it to be ready to bring a baby home. my entire third trimester was spent cleaning, and organizing, and moving, and renovating, and painting, and decorating our new house. we would work on the house every day after work, well into the evening. just about two weeks before she came we finished the last improvements needed on the house. i had always suspected she would come early, and i was experiencing consistent contractions for most of my 3rd trimester. usually in the evenings, after dinner, while we were working.

one other thing that should be noted was my size. i stayed super small during the pregnancy. i never needed maternity clothes, and went to the hospital on her delivery day wearing my usual size 0 jeans. i only gained 15 pounds. this was something i both loved and hated. it was super nice to be small and comfortable. i never reached that completely uncomfortable stage where i couldn't sleep due to so much extra weight, or the back pains that come from carrying the extra weight. i hated it because of the comments i would sometimes receive... people asked if i was trying to loose weight, and reminded me that i needed to be a good mother and put my baby's health before my body. i had one client that even asked if i had lost the baby due to a miscarriage because she expected me to be bigger. i also never really felt like i was big enough to do maternity photos, it wasn't until the last month or so of my pregnancy that i felt like i was finally out of that "are you bloated or pregnant?" phase. i genuinely tried to eat enough for both of us, but it's just in my genetics to carry small.

the actual delivery day is something that's spotty as far as my memory goes. (here's the link to her birth story that i wrote the day after she was born, so it's pretty clear) i remember being surprised that they weren't going to send me home like i assumed they would after monitoring me for an hour waiting for the lab results to come back for my toxemia. i remember calling my friends and family telling them the good news, that we were admitted to the hospital, and we would be parents soon. i remember my friends having to bring items from our house because we hadn't packed a hospital bag, they also brought Texas Roadhouse for us to give to our visitors and our nurses. i remember not being able to eat any of it because of hospital rules for the mom to be -clear liquids only, and even then not very much.-

i had to be put on a magnesium drip which made me feel like i had the flu. i threw up for the first time in years the morning i delivered bayli due to that terrible drug. i have been told that the magnesium drip is also what has caused my spotty memory about that day. i really hated how it made me feel. i got the epidural after laboring with pitosin for a few hours. i remember being worried that the epidural wasn't working anymore when the time came for me to push. the pressure contractions were soooo different than the painful labor contractions i had been experiencing earlier and i felt like i could feel them all. I remember the relief once the nurse taught garrison and i how to push. i used a mirror and watched my body lower her head into position and thinking that it was truly a miracle and beautiful, even though i should have been disgusted by the sight. haha.

we were left alone for about 18 of the 20 minutes i ended up pushing. turns out i don't dilate fully to a 10. i only reached a 9 and had to get an episiotomy to get me the rest of the way. which explains the unique shape of her head. the doctor explained all this later to me after he had delivered bayli, she was only 5.3 lbs at delivery, but he said that if she had been a mere half pound bigger that i wouldn't have been able to deliver her vaginally due to my small hips. what a blessing that i got induced 3 weeks early!

the actual moment of delivery, that last push with the doctor after the episiotomy was such a surreal rush of all of the emotions. i remember the flood of her body, and fluids leaving my belly's confinement in one quick motion. i remember seeing this teeny tiny baby in the doctors hands at the foot of the bed, i remember garrison cutting the cord, and her immediately crying afterwards. (at the time i thought she started crying because she must have felt the cord being cut.) they rushed her over to the warmers to clean off some of her vernix covering that was over her entire body because she was so early. it was this same white vernix that made me sooo worried that she wasn't healthy. i had expected to see a purple or bloody baby like in some youtube videos and because other moms had warned me about this. but no one ever talked about a truly white/gray baby like bayli. because of this unexpected view i asked what her apgar score was. i was mentally preparing for the worst. when the nurse replied an 8-9 out of 10 i finally felt reassured that she was healthy and going to be alright. that knowledge caused a surge of relief and bliss and i started crying. i hated the tears because they blurred my vision. i wanted so much to be able to look clearly at my baby who was on the other side of the room being cleaned. i wanted to memorize her features, i wanted to hold her, i felt jealous of the nurses who were cooing my crying child, before i had the chance. i wanted so badly to be able to both deliver her, and play the role of nurse as well. those motherly instincts kicked in as i felt anger watching them poke her foot, getting the blood needed for tests. i wanted to yell at everyone to just get out let us be alone as a family. and at the same time i wanted to kiss them for being there, and making sure everything was alright. it was about this same time that the doctor delivered my placenta, i remember the sharp pain that came from his subtle tug. almost like a bee sting from within my body. then i remember being stitched up. i don't really remember pain from that, but i was definitely uncomfortable and that was the only time i felt self conscious about being exposed, and the doctor being all up in my business down there.

FINALLY, after he finished stitching me up and once bayli was cleaned i got my chance to hold her. this is another time when i started crying and hated the tears because i wanted my vision to be clear to help me see her up close for the first time. all of the nurses except one cleared out of the room and garrison and i had our moment as a family. the only emotion i can use to express this time of the day was love. pure complete love. no other emotions existed. my mind was both clear and going 100 miles an hour. looking her over, both as a whole and at her tiniest of features. garrison got some of the love at that time too. he was my baby's daddy and i had never felt closer to him than in that moment. at some point in time (probably only after like 5 minutes) we decided we wanted our families to come in and see her. they had been waiting for this moment for so long, just like us, and sharing the joy made it even happier. watching them cry and hold her and say the things out loud that i was already thinking made it a truly wonderful experience.

this is where my memory starts to get blurry... sometime while my family was taking turns holding her, the nurse let us know that we needed to move floors, instead of being in the "labor and delivery floor", to go down to the "mother and baby floor" in order to make room for the other women in labor. garrison put bayli in her little bassinet thing that they wheel her around in, and the family all left to watch her get cleaned even more in the nursery. i was left alone with the nurse to get out of bed, and into a wheelchair as she wheeled me down to my new room. we went past the nursery and i tried to see bayli from my wheelchair, but couldn't... in the new room the nurse gave me my first fundal massage, trying to make sure all my organs were back in their right place. this was painful. i was no longer receiving drugs from my epidural and this was the first time i could truly tell it was gone. because of the magnesium drip that i was still required to have hooked up to my iv, i kept falling asleep while the nurse was there. apparently garrison and bayli came back to my room after the nursery but i didn't even notice because i was totally asleep.

the rest of my time at the hospital was spent in and out of consciousness. not only was i exhausted from the natural happenings of labor. but also because of the drugs that were affecting my system. i always get groggy when on any sort of pain killers. i remember nurses coming in every two hours, usually waking me from some sort of nap, to check my blood pressure. i remember having to give blood too many times to make sure my symptoms of toxemia were subsiding. i remember visitors coming in, and trying to nurse bayli. her mouth was so small that it was very painful and difficult for us. i ended up trying to use a pump to help my milk let down. for our last day at the hospital the dr wouldn't let us have visitors because my blood pressure wouldn't go down enough. this day garrison and i spent alone at the hospital, we used this time to shower, blog, and send pictures and texts to family and friends that could no longer come visit, and we did a mini photoshoot in our hospital room. bayli failed her hearing test in the nursery, so we talked about what life would be like if she was deaf. the nurses told us they thought she only failed the test because her ear canal was too small, and to come back in a week and they were almost positive she would pass. we kept her in our room for as much of our time at the hospital as we could. but they required her to undergo a carseat test for an hour in the nursery before getting discharged. during this time they tried to give her a binki, and they came to find out that because she was so small her airway would be restricted with a binki, so we weren't allowed to give her one till she was bigger. i remember finally getting discharged and being taught how to properly put bayli in her carseat. she never looked smaller than in that moment in her car seat (here's a picture).

driving home was crazy. garrison drove so slowly. and we were so worried about the other drivers on the road obeying all the traffic rules. at home my parents surprised us by cleaning the house, and leaving us some food, and other supplies on our counter. we were so excited to see how baxter would react, he was mostly just excited to see garrison and i again after our hospital stay, he sniffed us, and jumped up on us excited. then finally he noticed the car seat we were carrying and he went over and sniffed her, and then went back to us excited again. kind of a let down, because he was more excited to see us than her, but really... it was still fun. the next few days we mostly stayed home, when we did go out, we stopped by target to get a few nursing bras, and premie diapers, we also went to the mall to get more premie clothes. everyone looked at our tiny baby in awe. at this time she was only 4lbs 11oz and seriously so small. parents would tell their children as we passed that we were carrying an obviously newborn baby. some moms would even tell their kids to keep away from us as we were in stores because of how small and fragile bayli was.  pregnant women just starred and starred with that little twinkle in their eye as they rubbed their bellies.

i absolutely loved the weeks we had in that newborn stage. flailing arms, and tiny diapers, learning how to breastfeed, and sorting through the hard moments together. bayli was truly such a good baby and treated us well as new parents. i only experienced one moment of postpartum depression. i was worried that i didn't feel enough worry/anxiety when other people held her. i was happy, seeing them happy and loving on her and holding her. and in my crazy hormonal brain that meant that i must not love my child enough. i started crying because of it, and it took me a good few minutes to stop. i think the crying in general felt amazing because of the relief, that i didn't actually want to stop. this made garrison really worried, and it took him a few days to stop worrying about it. but that was the only experience i had. at about a week old, we took her to get her hearing test done again and she passed. and after a few more trips to the dr, for more bloodwork, even her biliruben (jaundice) levels were good. eventually garrison had to go back to work full time instead of just work from home, and that newborn phase passed right before our eyes.

really... it was so wonderful. i am so excited to do this again with her sister. and i'm even more excited to watch my beautiful, tiny, perfect, bayli turn into a beautiful, perfect, not so tiny, big sister. i am so excited to see how different or similar they look, and to experience all this stuff, the good and the bad, all over again...

but this time as a family of 4.

Monday, February 23

Pregnancy Update 29 weeks

How Far Along: 29 weeks

Food Comparison: size of a butternut squash

Total Weight Gain: 6 pounds, i now weigh 131

Maternity Clothes?:not yet.

Stretch Marks? nope

Sleep? sleep is my best friend. i feel as exhausted in the evenings as i was in the first trimester! i could nap anytime, anywhere. and in the mornings, i absolutely love just lying there, it's almost like i don't feel pregnant. no hip pain, usually she isn't awake and kicking yet, and with my bump covered underneath the sheets, hidden from view. it's like i have my body back for just a moment. 

Movement? all day, every day. it's been so fun watching her move too!

Gender? Girl.

Lactating? yup.

Food Cravings? chicken, salads, and eggs.

Labor Signs? thankfully i'm still not dilated or effaced. but i've been contracting daily. one night  last week it got really bad and i had to go to the hospital because they were more intense than usual and coming every 4 minutes for about 4 hours. turns out i had a uti which was causing the contractions, but after getting some drugs for the uti, taking it easy and some mild bed rest those stopped. now we're back to the usual contractions, but about 20-30 minutes apart, only in the evenings, and not too painful, so it's fine. 

New Info From Doctor? i had to take the glucose test last week to check and see if i had gestational diabetes, and things are looking good! no diet for me! now that my uti is all cleared up things are looking great. we are in the third trimester and just waiting for her to get bigger so that we can meet her!

also, we went on a "last vacation" to st. george (hence the red rock in the photos this week) and had a wonderful time. we drove around, and visited with family, and checked out the antique stores, and truly had the best time enjoying this stage while we are still a family of 3. it's not the "babymoon" i had planned, but with these contractions, i didn't want to do anything too far away, so it turned out to be just right. and you guys, while it was snowing up in orem, i was getting a sunburn at the park with my family, there's nothing better.

Here's the link to when i was 30 weeks along with Bayli, for comparison's sake. 

Monday, February 16

Valentines Cookies

Our Valentines Day traditions are always the same.

...avoid people and crowds.

so "LOVE"-ly right?
but seriously, from the very beginning when Garrison and I were celebrating our one month anniversary on valentines day, we just wanted to be homebodies and keep it simple. Chinese take out, a movie, and falling asleep early are our only traditions.

we kept with that same tradition this year and enjoyed some take out from Rice King on center in provo, and watched a very non-romantic movie "Get On Up" because it was the only one left in the redbox, pulled out the hide-a-bed and i fell asleep in-between contractions halfway through the show. Bayli stayed home with us, as finding a babysitter is just as difficult as finding a table in the nicest restaurant on V-Day.

a few days prior to Valentines day Bayli and I decided to make cookies because along with our semi-lame traditions, I figured making cookies with the kids would be simple enough to keep up through the years.

our all time favorite recipe for sugar cookies is below, as well as a link to my favorite icing, and some adorable pictures of Bayli and cookie dough. yeah. enjoy!

Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
-2 Cups Sugar
-3 Eggs
-1 Cup Milk
-1 Cup Shortening
-5 Cups Flour
-3 tsp Baking Powder
-1 tsp Salt
-1 tsp Almond Extract

cream shortening and sugar. add eggs and beat until fluffy. add milk and almond extract, blend. mix in dry ingredients and blend until mixed, it will be sticky. roll out on heavily floured counter. roll until about 1/4"-1/2" think depending on preference, and how many cookies you want to make. cut into desired shapes using floured cookie cutters, place on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. cool, and either frost, or ice. our favorite icing recipe/technique is here. (except, we prefer the taste of dark karo syrup, unless your wanting the color of the icing to be a pastel or white, then you need to use light karo syrup.)