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 pregnant 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.)

Monday, February 2

Pregnancy Update: 26 Weeks

instead of filling out another one of those pregnancy questionnaires, i'll just provide you a link to my last one, cause everything is basically the same. well, the baby is a bit bigger (the size of a cauliflower now), and i've gained another pound or two (i now weigh 129) . but everything else is the same! i've been taking pictures so much more regularly than when i was pregnant with Bay, tracking this little one grow has been so fun!

Here's the link to when i was 25 weeks along with bayli for comparison's sake.

Tuesday, January 27

Pregnancy Update 24 weeks

How Far Along: 24 weeks... we went to the dr's today for our routine check up, and we moved my due date back. so... i was originally due on the 7th of may, now it's the 18th. so... even though my last pregnancy update post was at "22 weeks" it was about a month ago. yay for being confusing, and yay for having to wait another two weeks to meet our little one.

Food Comparison: size of an ear of corn

Total Weight Gain: 2 pounds, i now weigh 127

Maternity Clothes?: nope, but there is for sure a baby bump! even my big baggy shirts won't hide it anymore. 

Stretch Marks? nope

Sleep? sleep has been great. it takes me a while to wind down at the end of the night, i can't just crash into bed like i used to. but sleep has been so nice. 

Movement? she's so strong! i just recently found out that with bayli, the placenta was right in the front of my belly, so i wasn't feeling her movements as much as i am with this baby girl. i can just watch her move beneath my shirts, which didn't happen with bayli until around 32 weeks. at night i have to be patient and wait for her to settle down before i can fall asleep, if not it would be like trying to fall asleep with someone constantly tapping you on the shoulder!

Gender? Girl. for sure. we did another ultrasound today and are positive!

Lactating? yup. i started about a week ago, mostly just at nights. im gonna have to start wearing a breast pad to sleep soon. 

Food Cravings? none. literally. i'm back to not wanting to eat anything. not because of nausea, but instead because i know that contractions will probably start after eating like usual.

Labor Signs? still contracting pretty frequently. it's not every single night, but 5 out of 7 nights a week i'd say. they are still about 15 minutes apart, and will calm down once i rest, so unless they start getting less than 10 minutes apart, and won't stop even after relaxing then i need to go in to the hospital. 

New Info From Doctor? we were worried about her size, and the location of the placenta. after the ultrasound today, we can proudly say that her placenta has moved 4 cm out of the way, and it looks like it will continue to move out of the way as she grows! yay! also... she's still measuring small, but we just moved the due date up and are going to let nature take it's course. the dr said shes not continuing to decline in her growth compared to other babies so he's no longer worried. i started randomly "seeing stars" which is an indication of high blood pressure, which is what caused them to induce me early with bayli, so we are going to keep a close eye on that, and hopefully it doesn't get worse.

when we were at the ultrasound appointment today we had the coolest experience! i came in at 8:30 which is when i would usually still be in bed, but the technician started doing the measurements, and checking things out and the baby was being so still and letting her do her job very easily, then when the time came to look at her profile, she started waking up, we watched her yawn and stick her tongue out just like bayli would do as a new baby, and then rub her eyes, and then she started kicking and punching and moving around like usual. it was just so sweet to watch her do something so... newborn still inside the womb.

Here's the link to when i was 23 weeks along with Bayli for comparison's sake.

Friday, January 23

Girl Without a Name

Image Via

on my side of the family, the girls names all end in "i"

it's a fun tradition that i am excited to carry on to my girls, and something that they can choose to participate in themselves when the time comes for them to have daughters, but i hope they do!

coming up with Bayli's name was really easy. it's a name i have loved for years, and when i told it to garrison, he was instantly on board. this time around things have not been so easy... we have considered almost every potential "ending in i name" under the sun. all around our house you will find scraps of paper with names written down, trying to figure out how to spell it with an "i" or just unique names that i wanted to remember.

i feel like naming a child is such a big deal. it determines so many things, and is so permanent. Garrison and i both have unique names, and we love them! plus, we have the last name of "Jones" which is obviously really unique. but seriously, because of our plain last name, we feel like we can be a little unique with the first, and middle names. i am the more eclectic of the two of us, and tend to gravitate toward some pretty weird names, for example, the grey part of bayli grey is more of a reflection of my personality than garrison's.

another thing that complicates things is that i am really picky... not only do i want it to be a name that ends in an i, but also a name that doesn't sound like a nickname(like cami, or bri, or gigi) and i like them to have two-three syllables, i don't want it start with a "B" because we already have a Bayli, and i'm okay with some unique spellings, but when it get's too weird... they just look embarrassing for the child and scream you are mormon in my opinion. as far as Garrison's requests go... he just wants the name to be semi normal, and for us to name her what we will be calling her. for example, he doesn't want us to name her "charlotte" knowing that we will only ever call her "lottie". so... obviously you can see the predicament we are in.

just for fun, and because i'm sure our little daughter would love looking back on this in the future... let's share some of the names we've considered recently.

First names:

Middle names:

Bayli... she just wants to name her "pinkie pie" i guess technically we could have that end in an i...

if any of you have suggestions or know of some cute names that end in an i that maybe we haven't seen before. i'd love to hear it in the comments below!

Thursday, January 15


when i was this far along with bayli, garrison and i were living with my parents, in between apartments. our lease was up with our first apartment, and the next apartment wasn't ready for us quite yet. i started getting so anxious because i knew we would need to do quite a few home improvements on our next apartment before it would be ready for baby, and i just had a feeling that she would make her arrival early. when we finally got the apartment, we rushed to get the home improvements done, and then finally the day came when we were no longer using the nursery as a storage room and so i could finally sort through all of the hand-me-downs, gifts, and purchases i had made for our new baby. that nursery got set up speedy quick and it instantly became my favorite room in the house.

well, we are not moving or in-between houses this time around. and once we found out that we were having a girl, and realized that i already had all my girl supplies from when bayli was a baby... my desire to sort through them all, and clean them, and picture a new little life form growing and developing in them became something i couldn't stop. needless to say my "nesting" urge came on quickly.

over the Christmas break Garrison took some time off work and he helped me get all of the baby supplies down from the attic, set up the crib, organize the closet, and even built some extra shelves inside the closet for extra organization... he sure knows the way to my heart.

we still have just a few of the big things stored in the attic like the high chair, breast pump and bottles, and some of the larger floor toys. but besides that, everything has been sorted and organized and stored away in the nursery ready for our new little arrival. sadly, my nesting is complete.

we started the process early so that we could get Bayli ready for her sister with a better concept of what life would be like. we have a little stuffed piggy whose name has now been changed to "baby sister" that will randomly need to be swaddled, and played with, and read to, and sung lullabies to, and rocked to sleep, etc. we are using this time to teach bayli that certain toys and diapers and blankets are only for her baby sister and that she can't play with them. that she can't put anything in the crib, and that she can't climb on or into the crib. during her nap time we will say "you don't have to take a nap if you don't want to, but baby sister is sleeping (as we lovingly refer back to the swaddled pig "sleeping" in the crib) so you have to be quiet. if you're too loud you will have to go into time out." little things like this have made a huge impact on both getting her excited, and more prepared to be a big sister and mommy's little helper.

with this mindset of knowing that Bayli will be involved in the daily chores of having a new baby, we decided we wanted to store the baby's clothes, diapers, toys, etc in a way so that Bayli could reach them, and easily access the items to help me out. i didn't want them to be in a dresser that was out of her reach, or that i worried she might tip over. i didn't want them tucked away in the closet because by some miracle she still hasn't figured out how to open doors yet, and i wanted them stored in containers so that she could easily see what items were inside.

so... at target they had their large metal baskets on sale for 10.00, and those small white baskets in their "one stop" for 3.00. i used an old TV stand we already owned as a make shift dresser, and stored the items away! if you really want to know the organizational breakdown of the containers, i have the clothes, socks, and hats stored in the red bin, the blankets/swaddles in the silver bin, and the diapers and diaper creams in the yellow bin. in the three smaller white bins i have one for books, one for toys, and one for burp cloths, bibs, and washcloths. the bigger bulkier blankets and extra crib sheets are stored in the closet, along with the bigger toys that won't fit in a basket, and the boxes of clothing in the next bigger size.

just like in our old apartment, the nursery has quickly become my favorite room of the house and i find myself sitting on the rocking chair starring at my two littles' beds and just can't help but get exited and fall more in love with both of them. i just can't wait until that swaddled piggy is actually a baby! 3.5 more months!!