Wednesday, May 20

Everli Mae: A Labor Story

Everli Mae Jones was born Friday May 8th at 6:30 in the evening. She weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces, and was 18.5 inches long.

Here's how the day went:
at 9:30 that morning i went to my dr's appointment, he wanted me to come in to check and see if i was still having issues with high blood pressure because the last time i went to the hospital my readings were too high... and because of another consecutive reading of high blood pressure in his office, he decided to induce me. after dropping Bayli off with family, we headed to the hospital.

at 10:30 i got admitted to the hospital, walking past the triage rooms we had visited way too many times and straight to our delivery room was such an amazing feeling.

at 11:30 we started pitosin to get my contractions going stronger. i was only at 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced when we started. (the same dilation and effacement i've been for the past three weeks)

at 12:45 the dr came in and broke my water. when he did this, i was 2 cm dilated. as i laid in bed I could for sure could feel the contractions, but i had been experiencing the same kind of pains for the past few weeks, so i was doubtful they would be doing anything with helping me dilate. My family came to visit and distract me, bayli was even there for a bit before she went to my parents house to nap, once my family left, I went for a walk around the hospital to try and get things moving. i did this for about an hour or more and then went back to bed to try and breathe through the contractions as they continued to get more intense. i distracted myself by watching videos on youtube of men trying to endure through simulated labor pains.

by now it was 4:00 and i was only at 3cm dilated. figuring i was in for the loooong haul since my labor was progressing slower than id hoped after having my water broken, and enduring the pain for as long as i could, and even trying to help them along by walking, i asked to get the epidural.

after getting everything with that taken care of it was about 4:45 and my nurse wanted me to lay on my right side to help the baby's head get into the correct position, she said the plan was to have me switch sides each hour to kind of corkscrew her head into the right place. i laid on my side for an hour while i almost dozed off to sleep because the relief from the epidural was so wonderful.

at 5:45 we switched sides. she checked me and i was dilated to a 4, we both were thinking it would be hours until i delivered. she went to go get the new nurse that would be replacing her since it was almost 6:00 (shift change happens between 6-7.) so that she could start explaining what was happening with me and my labor's progression to the new nurse before she left.

around 6:15 as my first nurse was in the room explaining things to the new nurse i started feeling some changes occur in my cervix. i wasn't feeling the same kind of pressure as i felt with bayli, but i knew that something was different. she hadn't even finished explaining the stuff to my new nurse but i interrupted her anyway and asked her to check me, she checked me and said i was dilated to a 7. surprised, she told me that things would be happening fast now, and that in an hour or less i'd have my baby! so we texted my parents and told them to hurry and bring Bayli to the hospital. the nurse quickly finished explaining things as they got the room ready.

at 6:25 i started feeling much more pressure, i doubted that i could have dilated even more in such little time, i had literally been checked only 10 minutes before, but i said i was feeling ready to push anyway, and she checked me and i was at a 9, we did one practice push to get me to a 10. it worked, and with perfect timing, our dr came in. we did two pushes through the next contraction. i used a mirror so i knew that she was crowning. then he explained that i would need an episiotomy again, which didn't surprise me, as i felt the next contraction coming on, i pushed, he cut, we did another push which got her head out, then the last final push and...

at 6:30 pm out came the rest of her.

in summary:
it took 3 weeks of prodromal labor,
6 hours of early labor after being induced (the last 2 hours of which i had an epidural)
15 minutes of transitional labor
6 total pushes through 3 contractions.
and we had ourselves a baby.

they laid her on my chest and started to clean her off. she was still tiny, and covered in vernix, just like bayli was. but she was also different. lots of blonde hair, not a big crier, she nursed almost immediately and this entire time while i delivered my placenta and got stitched up, she and i just laid there together, i cried happy tears, she whimpered infrequently. turns out i needed 16 freaking stitches to repair my two tears, but i didn't feel or even think about any of it. we said goodbye to our first nurse. as she left she said "thanks for hurrying so that i could see that beautiful babe."

the doctor finally finished my stitches, and we could hear my parents talking outside our room with Bayli, i couldn't wait for her to meet her sister. as soon as the dr left and i was covered again we let my daughter and my family in the hallway come in. i had had tons of time holding Everli, but i hadn't even realized that Garrison hadn't held her yet. so after he helped bayli up onto my hospital bed to take a look at her new sister, garrison finally took his turn at holding his new daughter.

for about an hour or so we had so much fun in our delivery room letting everyone take turns holding her. more friends and family came over, i ate dinner, and Everli this whole time just hung out kinda still covered in vernix, but beautiful as ever, and totally pleasant. she seriously never cried.

the time came for us to go to the mom and baby floor, and for Everli to go get her bath and get checked in the nursery. i was feeling wonderful, and i wanted so much to be able to watch her first bath, so my nurse pulled some strings and i got permission to go down with my husband and both of us could be there watching the happenings in the nursery. i was told that i had to stay seated in the wheelchair, which i felt was unnecessary, but still if that was the requirement, i was willing.

the nursery was amazing. once she was all clean, and deemed healthy, we went back to our room, said goodnight to Bayli (who had been watching from the hallway) and all 3 of us fell asleep. seriously my recovery has been awesome, i really love this whole second child thing. it's like my body knows what its doing and how to fix itself this time around. I really have been so lucky to be blessed with a smooth easy recovery, and to have been given such an amazing, beautiful, healthy, well tempered new daughter. (she loves her sleep and we love her for it.)

parenting a newborn has been like riding a bike, everything came flooding back, how to nurse, how to change a diaper, how to avoid being peed on, how to burp, what the different cries mean, and even the schedule. it all came flooding back and it was as if she'd always been a part of our lives.

i love her so much, and Bayli has transitioned into being a big sister beautifully. when i watch the two of them interact i feel like my heart is going to explode. Nothing with this pregnancy or delivery went the way i thought it would. but it turns out i got everything i didn't know i wanted.

Everli is such a joy in our family. it's safe to say we are all obsessed with her.

Friday, May 8

39/40 weeks

well... despite our many trips to the hospital, thinking we were in labor. this little lady has decided to overstay her welcome in the humble home i've been creating for her the past 9+ months within my body.

-i now weigh 137 (a total weight gain of 12 pounds)
-i have started getting stretch marks below and around my belly button. my belly is measuring many inches larger than it was with bayli. the itchiness and tightness is unbearable sometimes.
-sleeping goes like this: fall asleep around 11:30, wake at 2:00 to go pee, stay awake for a few hours while i try to go back to bed enduring through a few contractions, finally fall back asleep around 3:30 or 4. (usually after watching an episode of Friends in order to get my mind off things) and sleep until 7:30 when bayli wakes up. i pee again. garrison takes care of her while i finish sleeping until he leaves for work at 9 which is when i actually get up.
-the belly button is still an innie, and i am still not wearing maternity clothes, but i should be. i'm just stubborn and keep convincing myself that she will be coming out today anyway, so i wouldn't get enough use out of the clothes. i basically wear lots of knit loose shirts and leggings/skirts. or my robe. lets be honest. i'm almost always in my robe.
-we still deal with really frequent contractions daily. the pain is something that i can bear. as sad as it sounds im basically used to it by now. the hardest part is the confusion. not knowing if "this is the real thing" or not. we have now made 5 trips to the hospital, each with contractions mere minutes apart, and each time another issue get's either added or resolved. first we found out i had a UTI, next time we thought i was in labor, contractions were only 1.5 minutes apart and crazy intense for hours, but no dilation or effacement. next we were worried about leaking fluid only to find out my water hadn't broken. another time it was for blood pressure levels that were too high, but not high enough to induce immediately, just check up on. seriously, what else can they throw at me? eventually they will just have to admit me.
-we officially scheduled our induction date for the 12th of May if she doesn't come on her own before then.
- i'm just glad that she wasn't born on May 4th -national star wars day- "may the fourth be with you"
- at our last ultrasound (38.5 weeks) she was measuring 6 pounds 10 oz. a very healthy weight. but still on the small side so we don't think we will need to do a c-section. hopefully she will stay under that 7 pound mark until i get her out.
- i am in a much happier and patient place than i was in this post, i have learned a lot about myself these past few weeks, i have also learned that there's usually a reason for things, and garrison got strep throat a few days ago, so it was a good thing that he dealt with that with the baby safe in my belly instead of worrying about her catching that terrible sickness at only a few days old.
-i am a big planner and have a very hard time letting things go when they aren't in my control. this pregnancy has tested me more than anything else in my entire life, it has easily been my hardest trial to date. i feel like it has just been one concern or another for the entire 9 months. from placenta previa, (which resolved itself) to loosing too much weight from terrible morning sickness, to confusing due dates since our conception date and her measurements never added up, to baby measuring big, then small, then big again, me not gaining enough weight, and all of the other things i mentioned earlier like uti's, contractions, and blood pressure. BUT... we've gotten through it all, and right now, regardless of the issues we have had to deal with earlier, things are looking up. we are in a good place to deliver this baby girl, and thank goodness none of the issues have turned into anything serious so far. it's been a looong ride, and all of these worries have not made the trip seem any shorter. but it's practically over and i can almost smell her already we're so close to having her in our arms.

Thursday, May 7

Journaling Book of Mormon

Here's a link to the website i used to buy my Journaling Book of Mormon. a guy named "ben crowder" compiled it using the pdf that the church released. there aren't any changes to the text besides the footnotes and chapter summaries have been removed. it's an 8 1/2 x 11 inch book. you can even download the pdf version to look at exactly how the book will look on his site. (or you can use the pdf to have it printed yourself. but... i looked into that idea, and i couldn't find anywhere that could print it for cheaper than the lulu version i linked.)

there's also a Pearl of Great Price, and a Doctrine & Covenants version. although the lds church/ben crowder hasn't released a bible edition, here's an affordable king james version you could use.

now for the fun part: journaling supplies!

my favorite supplies to use include: stamps, washi tape, watercolor paint (using very little water since the paper is not super thick and can buckle), sharpie pens, stickers, and highlighters or crayons used as highlighters.

there are many methods of journaling, like writing down a favorite verse from that page of scripture, writing down quotes from hymns, or general conference that relate to that set of scripture verses, drawing images/using stickers that help you remember visual parables. you could tape a page of velum paper to the inside margin and use that entire sheet of paper to draw, or write down a long thought. and obviously, you could just use the wider margins to write down thoughts with a pen or pencil like you would a normal journal.

my end goal for this set of scriptures is for my children to be able to look through this book when i am older, or dead, and see not only my spiritual thoughts, but also see my creativity, and how my art improved over the years, i hope they look through it and read it as you would a normal journal. i put a date stamp on the bottom of each page that i doodle on so that they will know how old i was and when those scriptures stood out to me.

studying my scriptures like this has made me truly "ponder" the scriptures. i like to start my scripture study when Bayli has gone down for her nap, i start by praying, and asking either a question, or to be shown a set of scriptures in a new light. then i start reading. once i find a scripture, or have a thought that feels worthy of "journaling" i spend some time doodling and creating. this time that i spend drawing helps me think even deeper on the scriptures. finding more questions, thinking about comparisons to other verses, and truly pondering what the lord wants me to learn from those scriptures. the quiet time i have after praying and reading is truly priceless, and i've never experienced scripture study like it before. it's literally been life changing.

finally, another important part of this unique way of daily scripture study is that it provides an opportunity for me to spread the gospel and share my testimony through social media. taking pictures like the ones above, and posting them to my social media with an explanation of why those scriptures are important to me helps me encourage scripture study in others, and share my beliefs, opening the door for missionary opportunities, and encouraging others to participate in their own scripture study.

I encourage you to find your own version of scripture study that allows you to do more than just read. to truly ponder. maybe that is this journaling book of mormon, or maybe it's something else, but whatever it is, i hope this post has helped you see how scripture study can be fun and can be something that you look forward to doing on a daily basis. not only to read the word of the lord and his prophets, but also because of the personal growth it brings to your spirituality and in my case... creativity.

Wednesday, May 6

The End of 3

i wanted to compile a few of our family pictures of just the three of us before our fourth littlest family member joins our clan...

taking family pictures is extremely difficult. not only is it difficult to fit us all into the photo, but getting our stubborn 3 year old to look at the camera, nonetheless smile at it is a whole 'nother issue. we really need to work on taking more pictures together. but... a selfie stick has been purchased and even used a few times, and i got a new phone so the quality of my photos are much much better now, and i am planning on using my dslr on a tripod, or asking friends and family to take our pictures more often. there's another goal for this year.

for now... enjoy my compilation of family pictures from the past few months, most of which would never see the light of day because they are not great quality. but... it's what we've got. (our last attempt at taking family pictures here)

Monday, April 27

38 Weeks

I seriously cannot even believe i am writing this blog post. Am i seriously thirty eight weeks?? since i delivered bayli at 37 weeks i have never been this pregnant before and boy is it driving me crazy. i am SO done. mentally i'm convinced this is how people feel when they go past their due date since i always assumed i would deliver around the same gestation age as bayli. i am basically angry and negative all the time and my emotions are on edge. i cannot fathom how much worse i will be if i have to wait until 40 weeks to have this baby girl.

i have been contracting daily for the past two weeks, on a couple occasions we've gone in to the hospital because they were coming on so strongly only to be sent home after monitoring for a few hours because the contractions aren't dilating me, they are just painful. yay. the nurses explained that this condition even has a name: "prodromal labor" (more on it here and here.) the nurses feel so bad for me, but there's nothing they can do besides offer some intense narcotics that i have so far avoided taking. but they are tempting... sooo tempting.

every night, and sometimes in the afternoon's too i have a few good hours where my contractions are 5-2 minutes apart (depending on the day), and way more painful than contractions i ever felt with Bayli because i got my epidural pretty early into her labor process. the contractions feel like my belly is a basketball that is being pumped up with too much air, and with every contraction i'm positive that if the pressure increases any further i will literally split down the middle. then after a minute or more, the break comes when the contraction finally stops, and i feel sore and breathless, like i've just done the most hard core workout, and then throbbing pain... down there. and then it's time to pump me with air again. i just cannot believe that after all of these days and hours of contractions i am still only dilated to a 1.5

i told garrison this morning that i genuinely don't think she will ever come out. i know that logically it's impossible. she HAS to come out eventually. we've only got two more weeks to go before the dr will physically take her out if he has to. but none of that is clicking in my head right now, all i can think about is how she's still in there, and will stay there forever. each day growing a bit bigger, and each night hurting a bit more. and of course there is the ever-glooming threat of c-section if she gets big enough that i explained in my last belly update.

i'm not in a happy place.

for example: we do a weekly ritual of asking the Young Women in my church before our lesson begins what something positive, and something negative from that week was. when it was my turn i genuinely could not come up with a single positive thing. how pathetic. seriously my attitude needs an adjustment and i know it.

basically my prayers at night go something like this:
"father, bless this baby to he healthy and strong, but not too strong... those kicks have been hurting recently, and bless her to grow, just not too big cause eventually i need to get her out, and my organs are feeling very claustrophobic right now, bless me to be able to sleep tonight so that i can have the strength to hopefully push her out tomorrow. i know that most people probably pray to take their contractions and pain away, but i'm ok with that, as long as they are actually doing something. i promise to be good if you will just let them be contractions that work. oh, and bless my water to break so that i won't have to be confused about when it's the real thing or not. amen."

i need to be finished with this post now before i continue any further down this path of negativity. but basically... if you need me, you can either find me at the hospital checking to see if this time it's actual labor pains, or "curb walking" around the entire city of Orem, or laying in my bed, eating the leftover cadbury mini eggs, crying, feeling bad for myself.

Have a great week! Hopefully my next post has a completely different vibe to it, and baby pictures, lots of baby pictures.

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