Wednesday, June 17

Sisters

Everli is already 6 weeks old! i haven't been writing much on the blog because i have been a bit busy. we've been getting used to life with two kids as best as we can. Everli is the best baby ever and has been sleeping through the night basically since her 2nd week of life. she is so great and hardly ever cries. she is so well tempered and cuddles like you wouldn't believe. Bayli has also been amazing. she is so in love with her baby sister, and yet at the same time knows how to give her space, and help me out by giving Ev her binki back, and throwing away stinky diapers, and more. Garrison and I have genuinely been blessed with two GREAT kids. i don't know what bargain in heaven we had to make in order to get them but it's totally worth it.

Watching the two of them interact during this month has been a dream. I can tell as they get older things will get more complicated between the two of them, they'll start fighting over toys, and who gets to be held by mom, and pushing each others buttons, but for right now they are perfectly content with one another and i am cherishing it while it lasts.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the two of them from these beautiful past 6 weeks.








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.