Thursday, January 28, 2016

Home Life

The adjustment to life with baby is exactly what I expected and completely different.  The most surprising thing so far ..... knock on wood..... fingers crossed.... is that there hasn't been a time when he has cried uncontrollably and I haven't known how to help him.  I know, I know, it's coming.  But for now I am basking in the fact that any time he cries I can help him, I can console him.  I haven't felt helpless yet.  The other thing that surprised me was the emotions attached to him.  Of course I knew I would love him.  What I didn't know would happen is any time I am away from him, whether it's him napping, staying in the car seat while we run errands, or even when I go to sleep.  Any time I am not physically holding him.  The moment I see him and hold him again it's like there is a new found rush of joy and love because of him.  I'm sure it's the oxytocin hormone.  But still it is so wonderful.   

But for now baby Bradley and I have been having a pretty fantastic time together.  Here are some pictures of him a week old.  It was one of the first times I remember him just opening his eyes and calmly looking at things.

Jason loves calling him his little burrito.

 Then we got Brad a straight jacket or cocoon.... So that he is a real life burrito.  I know plenty of mom's that swear by it.  (Or so I have to tell myself every time I am zipping him up so I don't feel guilty that I am putting my son in a straight jacket.)
The jury is still out on whether Brad loves it or not. 

We love when Daddy comes home and gets to help.

This was so precious I had to document it.  This was when Sadie got to hold Brad for the first time.
And sadly this is our first official family photo.... maybe next time I'll do my hair first.

Brad's first bath.......

And us trying to live life as normal......... me on the treadmill (walking only for 3 more weeks!) (And you can barely see Brad sleeping in his carseat below) and Jason playing video games. (Jason never plays video games.)

Friday, January 22, 2016

What I've Learned in 2 weeks of being a Mom.

I thought I was prepared.  I had listened and taken note from all my family and close friends.  I knew my postpartum recovery was going to be a nightmare..... fluid flowing from every hole imaginable.  I knew I was going to get very little sleep - although it's true I didn't understand when a mom says the baby eats every 2 hours all night long that means after nursing, burping, and changing the mom sleeps 30 minutes every 2 hours.  I knew I was going to experience new emotions with intensity I had never previously experienced.  I knew I would look down at this child that we created and think he is the most perfect, best baby that has ever existed.  I knew this baby was going to change my life forever.

I knew all this.

What I didn't know?  What I've learned with such intensity I cry just thinking about it?  How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayers.  In the past 15 days I have spent more time on my knees praying and asking for blessings than I ever have before.  As soon as I got the call from the nurse that my liver was malfunctioning and possibly killing my baby so I needed to be induced immediately, I turned to the only place I knew I could receive comfort - a priesthood blessing.  And again last night when Bradley's fever was hovering around the temperature you take all new borns to the emergency room, all I wanted for him was a priesthood blessing.

I knew this little newborn would change my life forever.  I did.  What I didn't know and what I am learning very quickly is how vulnerable this baby makes me.  I never knew it was possible to love something so much.  This vulnerability has humbled me and brought me closer to God than I ever expected.  No one prepared me for this.  That every day and night for the rest of our lives Jason and I will be praying more fervently.  Not for ourselves and our personal desires, but for his'.  I knew I loved Jason before this experience, I knew he was a wonderful man.  But every time I watch him pick up his little boy and watch him look at our baby I feel more love for Jason.

In just two weeks of being a mom I feel like I understand God's plan even more clearly.  I understand the need for families.  I understand the need for feeling this kind of vulnerability.  I understand the comfort of eternal families in a new way.  In two short weeks I am more grateful for God's master plan and feel incredibly blessed for the piece of heaven He chose to send to me.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Rest of the Hospital Stay

The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful.  Jason had missed school on Thursday because that's when we had the baby.  I knew he had missed a lot and was getting really behind so I begged him to go to school on Friday.  So most of Friday I just hung out with the baby... me and the baby.  What was sad was whenever a hospital staff came in they were kind of confused why I was all alone all day.  A couple even questioned about the father.  But by mid afternoon I had lots of guests!

I don't know when Jason took this picture, I found it on his phone later, but let's just say I was exhausted.

Del and Lynette came to visit.  My dad.... great with kids over the age of 5.  We all know it and love him for it.  So I was shocked when he actually held Brad!

My dear sweet friends.

Dressing Brad to take him home was way harder than I expected!  And the poor boy is way too small for his newborn clothes but we did it!
Ready or not world......... here we come!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

That time I had a baby.

Warning: this post is the kind of story I used to roll my eyes at.  I never understood/understand why women like to tell every single detail of having a baby.  But I feel like I better write down this miraculous experience or else I will forget it.  So if you don't like hearing about dilation or cervixs.... this might be a post you want to just skip.

Last Wednesday was just like any other day.  I woke up, went to school, came home and did yoga waiting for Jason to get home.  And then I remembered the day before I had been to my dr.  I told him how the previous week while I was in Cedar I had been severely itchy.  Insanely itchy.  Like I was bruising myself with all the scratching.  I told him I had consulted my brothers.  First, Craig (4th year med student) because he is who I always ask first.  He said, "Hmmm... it could be cholestasis.  You should call your dr and see if he wants you to get a blood test."  But it was Christmas Eve.... and I knew that my doctors office wouldn't be open.  So I figured I'd wait and what Nate (Dermatologist) had to say.  So when Nate got to the house I asked him.  He said, "Well it's winter so you skin is super dry, and you have severely dry skin already so I think you should put some anti-itch cream on, don't take hot showers, and see how it goes."  So I started doing that.  Then Broc (Instacare Dr) came.  I asked him his thoughts.  He said, "Itching in pregnancy is pretty normal.  Take an antihistamine."  So I did.  And my itching was reduced.... or I just got used to it.  Although it was pretty maddening.  I itched like crazy.  So like I said I told my doctor at my first appointment with him in 2.5 weeks.  He said, "Let's get a blood test"  So the nurse came in to do the paper work for the blood test.  She told me I needed to be fasting.  (The WORST thing to say to a 8.5 month pregnant girl)  So I said, "Do I really need to be fasting?"  Because not only could I not eat, that meant I had to get a sub to cover my class while I went to the lab in the morning to get the test done.  So she asked the dr and he said it was fine for me to just go upstairs and get the blood work done.  I didn't think any more of it.

Until Wednesday while I was doing yoga.  I remember the lab tech telling me the test would take 24 hours and if I don't hear from the dr, I should call.  It had been 25+ hours... I hadn't heard from the dr.  I thought to myself, "No news is good news."  and went on with my yoga.  It kept bugging me until 4:45, I knew the dr office was closing soon.  So I called.  The receptionist said, "They haven't looked at your lab yet.  I'll go get the nurse to look at it and call you back."  A few minutes later the nurse called, "The results of your lab are in.  I just got off the phone with the hospital.  Back your bags and get to the hospital."  I was like, "What?"  She said, "Your blood work came back.  Your levels are at a 12.  So we need you to get your things together and get to the labor and delivery unit.  They will be expecting you."

I called Jason.  I tried to repeat what they said to me.  He just laughed.  Hysterically laughed.  I understood.  We weren't supposed to have this baby for a solid 2-3 weeks.  It was a very natural reaction to laugh.  But I didn't really understand what we were doing at the hospital.  I didn't understand what was happening.

Luckily the nurse called back, "I just spoke with the hospital.  If they admit you, you will not be going home, so be sure to bring everything you need to have a baby."

Jason finally got home and I just burst into tears when I saw him.  I was scared.  I tried to pack up things but I still didn't understand what I was packing for.  I finally stopped and found Jason and asked for a blessing.  I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband.

So we drove down to the hospital, not before stopping at In and Out Burger of course.... my sister Sara said the worst part about child birth was being starved.  I was not going to have that happen.  Although I was a little nervous, should I not eat?  Am I about to have a C-section?  Do they need to run the blood test again?  But we decided to fault on the side of not hungry.

So we got to the hospital, we got checked in, and we sat in the waiting room and waited for about 15 minutes.  The hospital talked but neither Jason nor I understood what they were saying.  Someone talked about a stress test.  And so finally when a nurse came to get us to take us my room I said, "Are we doing a stress test on the baby right now?"  The nurse laughed, "Honey, you are having the baby right now."

This nurse, Doni, was the most wonderful nurse you could ever possibly imagine.  The most personable, fun, loving lady ever.  When she came in a bit later, Jason was in bed with me.  She said, "Now that is just too cute!  Where is your phone???" and she took multiple pictures.

OH I forgot, our room.  As soon as we walked in, Jason said, "This is bigger than our apartment!"  It was a huge, awesome room, with a picture perfect view of Mt. Timp temple.  It was awesome.

Sadly..... our awesome nurse Doni.... she was a triage nurse and she got called away.  I was so so so sad, because the next nurse just wasn't the same.  She put in my IV and it hurt like mad.  I tried to tell her and her response was, "Well there is a foreign object in you so you will experience a little discomfort."  It drove me nuts.  I was losing it over this stupid IV.  I kept pulling at it hoping it would help.  Finally Doni came in to check on me (because she was just awesome like that) and I told her.  She tried to fix it but still.... that stupid IV was the death of me until I could finally get it out almost 16 hours later.

So with all my luck I have a very "posterior" cervix.  What that meant was, when they tried to check me, it hurt like the dickens.  The poor nurse had to pretty much stick her whole hand upside me to check.  First time she checked I was 1 cm.  The nurse then asked me, "Is your baby's head down?"  I laughed a little.  I knew if the baby's head wasn't down there was a huge chance we'd be having a C-section.  They brought in the ultrasound and luckily baby's head was down and ready to go.  (Which was a miracle in and of itself.  Baby has been laying transverse pretty much as long as I can remember.)

The doctor on call finally came in.  I asked him what my chances were of having a C-section.  He said at that moment there was about a 30% chance.

They started by putting up inside my cervix to try and soft it.  They said that it would cause some discomfort and cramping............... that was an understatement.

The next two hours were insanely miserable.  I had baby monitors on my stomach.  Every time I tried to adjust how I was sitting in the hospital bed they would move and no longer detect the baby's heartrate.  The nurse would come in and have to adjust them.  The first 20 times she came in she was pretty nice about it.  But after 20 times I could tell she was getting annoy.  But seriously, I was going crazy!  In an uncomfortable bed, with something shoved up into my cervix, a throbbing IV, and to top it all off, the plug they put in my cervix actually put me into intense labor... So for the next two hours I was losing it.  I had no idea how was going to continue with all of this.  And here is what Jason looked like:

Finally after two hours they tried to check me.  It was so insanely painful that they tried to give me some pain killer. And then tried to check me again.  The screaming out in pain and only dilated to a 2 was enough for the nurse to suggest I could get an epidural.

Angel Michael as we called him came in around 2:00 AM to give me the epidural.  The epidural was no what I imagined at all.  No pain.  And instantly....... my life became golden.  It was like instantly the sun came out, birds started chirping, and all was right in the world again.  That epidural was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The next ten hours were pretty much a blur.  I slept, Jason and I joked, they even let me eat breakfast!  The nurse thought it would take an hour a cm to get dilated and 2 hours of pushing.  So we predicted the baby would come around 4 PM.

There was a bit of a scare because every time I would have a contraction the baby's heartrate would dip.  Sometimes it was pretty low.

Around 10:30 another angel walked in the door, my dear cousin Erica.  Luck would have it that she was in town for some appointments.  She walked in the door with lotion in hand ready to rub my feet and play with my hair.  I cried when she came in.  Not because I was in pain, but because I just love her so much and was so grateful she was able to be a part of this with me.

Just before Noon they checked me, sure enough I was at a 10.  I don't know what I expected... but the nurse said, "Okay we are going to push."  Jason was on one side with Erica and we pushed.  Sadly Erica had to leave to her appointment just as the baby's head was crowning but she came back later.  So for 20 minutes Jason and I pushed.  And then the nurse said, "STOP pushing.  We got get the dr here!"  So I relax for a few minutes, the dr came in, 3 pushes later out came the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  The most darling little precious boy.  They laid him on my chest and Jason and I just bawled.

So much could have gone wrong in this crazy day but all that seemed to happen was one miracle after another.  We feel so lucky and so blessed to have this precious little guy in our lives.

And that was the day our lives changed forever.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Making a Murderer.

If you haven't heard of this Netflix original documentary - I am not endorsing it.  Please don't watch it unless you like to feel absolutely miserable for 10 hours straight.  I cannot tell you how many times throughout the 10 hour ordeal I thought, "Did Lars tell me about this show because he loves me or because he hates my guts and wants me to wallow in misery?"

That being said, if by chance you haven't heard about Making a Murderer yet.... long story short it's the story of an inbred Wisconsin family that it seems the police are out to get.

Now for the record, I support police.  I think they have a terribly rotten job and although I know there are crooked cops out there, I really do think we as regular citizens have no freaking clue what their job is like.

But that isn't what I want to get on my high horse about today.

What I lost sleep about last night wasn't poor Steven Avery or his nephew.  (I lost sleep about them the night before and the night before, but not last night.)  Yesterday I spent an embarrassing amount of time online reading about the case and the impact of the documentary.

And once again, it made me lose a bit of faith in America.

The documentary made me question my faith in the justice system.  But last night as I tossed and turned I was more worried about the people in America.

And here is why.

This documentary came out on Netflix in the middle of December.  Not even a whole month ago.  And already over 300,000 signatures have been collected to get Obama to pardon Steven Avery (convicted guilty of murder)

Why am I so concerned about 300,000 people that are ready to go to bat for this guy????

Because I bet 97% of the people who signed the petition have done nothing more than watched a Netflix show and they are ready to fight for him to be released.

I am not suggesting that Steven Avery is not innocent.  I am not suggesting that going to bat for him is a bad idea.  I am saying I am worried about Americans' logic and reasoning skills.

I cringe when I hear teachers tell students not to use Wikipedia as a source.  Not because I believe Wikipedia is a credible source, but because it is suggesting that such a thing does exist.  A single all consuming credible source that can be trusted.

Now maybe I am underestimating the 300,000 people who went online within the last 3 weeks and signed a petition to get Obama to pardon Steven Avery.  Maybe they did their homework.  Maybe they read through thousands of pages of court documents.  Maybe they watched all 400 hours of recorded court footage.  Maybe they all became experts on criminal justice and understand the case inside and out......

Or maybe they just watched 10 hours of Netflix and are ready to storm the Bastille....

Image lifted from Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas Break

This year was very different than previous Christmas vacation. The dr said I couldn't leave the state so for the first time in 6 years I didn't go to the beach at Christmas. I was really afraid that we would go crazy spending 2 whole weeks in Southern Utah but surprising it was pretty fantastic.
We went to a Cedar High basketball game.
Jason went snowboarding with Broc while Kimmy, mom, and I got pedicures and went to lunch.
Del got into the Christmas spirit.
We play hours of scum and my new favorite game Timeline.
We went to Zion and it was breath taking with the beautiful low clouds with the magnificent red cliffs and peaks peering through.

We watched (slept through) the 3 original Star Wars to gear up for the new Star Wars that we watched at the Zions IMAX.
We went shopping in St. George, ate at Rigattis Pizza (our favorite), and attempted to rock climb at Chuckawalla.... but it was way too cold and windy.
Max won over Jason's heart.

We had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas Eve.
We sang all of our favorite Christmas carols and ended with our family anthem, Big Rock Candy Mountain.
We shoveled a solid foot of snow on Christmas.
We had our annual crab feast with 11 pounds of crab.
Jason went on a two day rock climbing adventure with a friend.
Jason had his 33rd birthday!
We rang in the New Year by playing more scum and watching a movie. (me falling asleep from 9-10:30).
Jason and I went for a fun snow hike up Cedar Mt.

And not knowing the next time our whole family will be together, we took family pictures with a fat almost 9 month pregnant Kristin...

The Whole Clan
The Adults

The original 8

My favorite picture with my two favorite people.