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Friday, October 16, 2015

Baby Jude's Birthday

Jude is a week old today! This week has been pretty crazy and I'm still kind of in survival mode but I'm surviving! I'm just so happy that he's here and healthy. After going through a lot of issues in the beginning I feel completely blessed that he's here safe! He's healthy and perfect and we love him so much!

My labor with Quorra was induced 9 days after her due date so I was pretty convinced there was no way Jude would come on his own. I had an induction scheduled 3 days before my due date and I just knew that was the day he was coming! I had everything planned for Monday. On the morning of Friday the 9th I woke up at 6 AM to Henry whining and got up to let him out. I got to the back door half asleep and realized that my water might have broken. It wasn't a lot so I really didn't know. I had been having a lot of contractions the night before but they were pretty much gone when I woke up so I really didn't think much of it. I was Strep B positive (a bacteria you can get during pregnancy that's harmless to the mom but can make the baby really sick) so I knew if my water was broken it was important to get to the hospital for antibiotics. I woke Jake up and told him what was going on and he convinced me that we should go to the hospital just to check it out. So, we grabbed our stuff and left for the hospital. I definitely didn't think I was in labor but we just figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

We got to the hospital and they put me in a triage room to see if my water actually had broken. They got me hooked up to a contraction monitor and started monitoring the baby's heartbeat and then tested to see if my water was broken. The test came back negative for amniotic fluid so I still have no idea what happened there, but during the time we were waiting I started to have really regular contractions, about 3-4 minutes apart. I was dilated to a 3 so they told me that in an hour if I had changed then we could stay. I was pretty convinced there would be no change (even with the crazy contractions.) The contractions got more and more painful, and an hour later at 9 AM I was at a 5. The nurse told us we were staying to have our baby that day! I was pretty shocked. For some reason I was still convinced it was all a false alarm and he was coming on Monday. They moved us over to a real room and things just started happening! They got my IV in within the next ten minutes and put me on the epidural list. A bit later the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural and my mom got there to take pictures.

After the epidural was in the nurse gave me a little extra of the epidural medication to try to get it to start working. I was laying down at the time and my blood pressure dropped really dramatically when she gave me the medicine. My ears started ringing, I couldn't hear, and started to black out. The nurse ran out and got something else to put in my IV to bring my blood pressure back up. It was kind of terrifying. Eventually I felt a little better and then things started to slow down a little bit. They ended up giving me a little bit of Pitocin to get things moving again. I rested and we waited for a little while and then I was at a 10! All in all everything had happened really fast. I was still surprised I was even in the hospital at all.

The doctor came in (my doctor was out of town so it was one of his partners) and literally 3 pushes later Jude came into the world! For a minute he didn't cry and I kept asking if he was ok. The nurses said he was fine, he just didn't want to cry! Eventually he cried a little, probably just to make us all happy. Then he calmed right down again.

He was 7lbs 15oz (the same as Quorra!) and 18" long (3 inches SHORTER than Q.) The whole thing just happened so fast and his delivery was really calm and peaceful which is appropriate for little Jude because he himself is a very calm, peaceful baby! I didn't think it was possible to have an easier delivery than my first but it was even easier. I was really happy that I ended up going in to labor on my own! It was once again an amazing experience. Nothing beats the high of seeing your baby for the first time. It's unlike anything else.

And just like that it's been a whole week since the day he came! The first couple of days home the hospital were so hard. I was so sleep deprived I could barely function and that made me super emotional and it was really a struggle. I also missed Quorra and missed spending time with her and Jake. It was really hard...I had no idea how hard it would be! I've finally started to figure out what Jude likes and doesn't like and he is now napping and spending the night in his bassinet which means I'm also able to sleep. I'm feeling a lot better now that baby and I have started to establish a routine together.

A little 1 week update on Jude: He is extremely calm and content. He very rarely cries and only gets fussy when he wants to eat. He can chug a 2-3oz bottle in 5 minutes which is pretty impressive for such a tiny guy. He's definitely a good eater! He is also a good sleeper! He's waking up a few times a night but he's easy to put back down after he eats. He's a mommy's boy so far and he definitely knows his mom. He loves to cuddle and lay on my chest.  He really loves to be held! He's a Binky baby and is already attached to his pacifier. I haven't gotten around to doing his newborn photos yet but hopefully I'll get that done this weekend! Until then here are some crappy iPhone photos of my sweet little boy!

I am completely in love with him and so happy that he's joined our little family! 💙

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for...

Today I am thankful for...

My husband and everything he does for Quorra and I. He works so hard for us.

My baby girl and her smiles for always making me feel happy, even when I'm down.

My parents and my sister, who I love so much.

My in-laws, who I also love.

My big fuzzy puppy dog, Henry. 

Our warm house and all the blankets on our bed that keep us warm at night.

True friends that have been by my side for years. (You know who you are. I hope.) 

My ward for making me feel accepted.

The gospel and the atonement for always getting me through the tough times. (And I have had my share of tough times.)

The temple for letting me be sealed to my family for eternity. 

This beautiful place we live in. Even if it does get kinda cold.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Sometimes I get a little sidetracked and start to feel like I don't have enough, but I am truly blessed. 

This week has been particularly hard and I will honestly say that I started to feel bad for myself. I look at girls my age and think, "I wish I had clothes like that" or, "I wish we had that for our house." Jake and I are currently struggling through getting him through school and working through being poor new parents (let me emphasize the word poor), and lately I've been caught up in feeling like I need things. Do you know what I mean?  This world these days makes me feel like I need to be perfect. On Facebook, on Pinterest, I'm constantly seeing what clothes I should be wearing, what stuff I should have, and all of it costs money. A lot of the times, it costs quite a bit of money. Money is not something we have loads of these days. It's been easy for me to feel like I am lacking something. 

What I've realized these past few days is that really, I am lacking nothing. 

I know that someday I will look back on this part of my life and I wont care about any of the material stuff. This is a hard time of my life, but it's the best time of my life. I have the world. I am seriously, seriously blessed. I know that someday, when Quorra looks back, she is not going to remember what clothes she was wearing or what I was wearing. She's not going to remember how much money I spent on all of her things. What I want her to remember is the experiences. I want her to remember the things we do together as a family. And I want us to be a happy family. That is my focus, and my goal is to care a little less about what I don't have and focus on the things that I do have. I want to be happy in the here and now. We're looking towards the future and planning for what we will have someday, but I don't want that to take away from the fact that I have so many good things in my life right now, without a big TV or fancy clothes. Someday I hope we get there. But we're not there yet, and that's ok. It's more than ok. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No One Prepared Me.

No one prepared me for what things would be like when I had a baby.

Before you decide not to read on because you've heard it all before, let me just warn you that this is different. 

I recently had my first baby. I am really into researching and reading as much as I can about pretty much everything. I'm constantly googling every question I have trying to learn what I can. In the months leading up to my baby's birth I read as much as I could about motherhood. I read about what my pregnancy should be like and what I could expect. I read about labor and birth and I went to classes at the hospital to prepare myself for giving birth to a human. I learned everything I possibly could and tried to get ready. When Quorra was born, I realized all the books and articles I'd read, everything I'd been told in my classes and by friends and family didn't really prepare me at all. My situation ended up completely different and unique from anyone else's. It turned out to be such an amazing experience for me. That day was unreal. It was beautiful and emotional and I wish I could go back and relive it. Pretty much all I'd been told in preparing to have my baby was how much it would hurt, how hard it would be to recover, and all the discomforts I would experience. 

No one told me how much love and support I would feel from my family and husband that day.
No one told me how natural and easy it would be for me. 
No one told me what it would be like to have my baby put onto my chest seconds after she was born. 
No one told me what it would be like to hear her cry for the first time, to look at her face for the first time after months of carrying her.
No one told me what it would be like to watch my husband hold our daughter for the first time and to watch him become a father.
No one told me what an amazing day it would be. I went in thinking I was completely prepared for what could and would happen that day and I was completely wrong. The scary experience I was expecting turned out to be the best day of my life. I can't describe the way I felt because it was unlike anything else I've ever experienced before. 

Fast forward three months and here I am with the most perfect little girl. Now that I've gotten into the groove of being a mom I am finding myself feeling that same way again: no one prepared me for this! 
No one told me how much joy and happiness was about to come into my life. 
No one told me that I would wake up to my baby laughing every morning. (Really though. She wakes up laughing. It is the most beautiful sound to wake up to.)
Everyone told me that my life was about to change - but not in the way I thought. My life has changed, but for the better. I was told that I'd never be able to sleep the same again after I had a baby - true, but I don't mind getting up to feed my girl. When I hold her in the middle of the night I feel lucky because she is still little and I can hold her and comfort her and someday I'll miss that. I know I will. I cherish every night because it's a moment I get to have with my baby. 

Everyone told me that my life would never be the same again, and they were right...But I wouldn't ever want my life to be the same again. I was given the most amazing gift. I love my baby girl more than anything in the world and I would do anything for her. Being a mom has made me happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have never known happiness like the kind I feel now when I look at my daughter. I truly feel that this is what I was born to do. I have a purpose when I wake up, I have someone who counts on me every day. I can't even believe the way this has affected me, but it was not what I expected it to be. It is so much more. I look at my baby and I can't help but think that I KNOW her, that I have always known her. I can barely remember life before her. My fears are gone and I feel like I am owning being a mother. She is so special and I look at her and know that she will do amazing things. I love the innocence I see in her eyes. I love looking at her and holding her and knowing that just months before, she was with God. It is the most special thing and something you can't comprehend until you have a child.  I want anybody thinking about having a baby or expecting a baby to know how I feel. Yes, your life will change. Yes, you may have a little less time for yourself. But it is worth it. 

I had no idea what I was in for. 

And it is the best thing I can possibly imagine.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quorra's Birth Story

August 15th, 2013

*It has now been THREE months! Time flies...

It's been almost *two weeks since Quorra was born and I need to write the story of her birth before I forget! It already seems like it was so long ago and I don't want to forget any important details. It was such a special day and I don't want to forget any part of it. So, here goes! 

The night before Quorra was born I was incredibly nervous. I was 8 days overdue and was scheduled to be induced sometime the next morning. I was scared not only to give birth to a baby but about being induced. I'd heard so many horror stories about pitocin and inductions making labor worse, so I was really scared. I was also really excited to finally meet the baby I'd been waiting almost 10 months for. I wanted to see what she looked like and meet her and hold her so badly. I was also super uncomfortable and so tired of being pregnant. I couldn't sleep at night because of restless legs and just all over discomfort. But, even with all the pain of pregnancy I was still terrifed to give birth! I asked Jacob to give me a blessing. We went down to our living room and he painted my toenails hot pink, because I couldn't reach them at that point, and then he gave me a Priesthood blessing. He blessed me that I would feel calm, that all would go well with our baby's birth and that I would have the strength to do all of it. After that, I took a shower so I wouldn't have to early in the morning and we went to bed. 

I tossed and turned all night. The excitement and suspense were too much. I don't think I did more than doze all night long. My alarm went off at 6:00; they told me they would call me to tell me to come in to the hospital sometime between 6:00-10:00 AM. I got up and ate two Eggo waffles because they told me to eat a light breakfast and that was about all I could come up with. I double checked my hospital bag (which had been packed literally six weeks before) and then I curled my hair and put makeup on. [Note to self: next time I will wear waterproof mascara.] 

At 7:15, the hospital called and told me they were ready for me to come in. We packed up our things and we took a few pictures in front of the front door (I didn't look very happy because I was feeling so terrified) and then we loaded up in the car and left! We drove down to the American Fork hospital and by the time we got in it was about 8:00. We went up to labor and delivery and checked in, and they got us settled in our room. The room was big and had a nice view of the mountains and the Timpanogos temple. I loved being able to look out the big window and see the sky and the mountain. I couldn't actually see the temple from my bed but it was comforting knowing that it was out there. The nurse came in and gave me my gown and had me go into the bathroom to change. When I was done I came out and hung out in the rocking chair that was in the room. We waited for a little while before the nurse came in to start getting me situated. At about 8:30, my doctor showed up to break my water. I was super scared about having my water broken...which seems silly now...because it was completely painless. He broke my water and left to go back over to his office, saying he'd check in with us every once in a while. Once my water was broken, I started having pretty regualr contractions even without any pitocin. 

After a while the nurse started to get me hooked up to my IV. I'd never in my entire life had an IV and I was also super scared about getting my IV placed, so of course I told the nurse who told me it wasn't anything to be afraid of. She put it in the top of my left wrist, couldn't get it in right the first time, so she had to take it out and put it in again, but it wasn't bad. While the IV was being placed my mom arrived. I was really happy to have her there to support me. Once the IV was in, the nurse started me on fluids. By around 9:00 (give or take) they started me on the pitocin. I had already been having contractions for at least a week or two so they were no suprise to me when they started to pick up from the pitocin. They were a little more intense than what I'd been feeling but they were by no means unbearable. They were uncomfortable at worst. At some point, my dad got there and then Jake's mom and dad got there too. They hung out in the hospital room with us while we waited. We all watched my moniter and kept a close eye on the baby's heart rate, which stayed very steady the whole time. We watched my contractions peak. It was kind of funny how interested we all were in watching the moniter. 

The nurse kept checking back with us and she kept asking me if I was ready for my epidural. I wasn't in unbearable pain so I kept denying the epidural. Eventually she came in and told me that the anesthesiologist had 3 other women in line to get epidurals before me, so she wanted to know if I wanted to be put on the list. I didn't want to end up in a long line of women waiting to get epidurals so I agreed. I have no idea what time it was when the anesthesiologist got there, but all I know is my contractions were not killing me and I really did not feel much pain. Everyone but Jacob left the room and the doctor placed my epidural. Looking back I'm going to go ahead and say that getting the epidural placed was the worst part for me. I hated having it put in. It was a really weird feeling. It didn't even necessarily really hurt, but it was a weird feeling like a bunch of nerves were being hit...which they probably were. Anyway..It didn't last long and I am more than happy that I got the epidural. He finished up and my family came back in, and the medication started going down my back, which felt cold, and really good. Pretty soon my legs felt tingly. I wasn't expecting how numb I ended up getting, though. After an hour or so, my legs were COMPLETELY numb. I couldn't move them at all. To roll over in bed, Jake literally had to lift my legs up and move them for me. At one point Jake was holding one of my legs up and his mom was holding the other so that they could help me change positions..Jake let go of my leg and it almost fell off the bed because I couldn't feel it. It was pretty funny. And I really did not care at all that I couldn't feel my legs, because I couldn't feel ANYTHING. I felt no pain at all. My family watched my moniter some more and watched my contractions get super intense...and I couldn't feel anything. It was BLISS. I slept on and off and talked with everybody while my body went through labor and I didn't feel any of it. I can't get over that fact...beautiful epidural. 

That is the gist of how my day went! They kept checking my dilation, and by about 6:30 PM I was at ten centimeters! Everyone left the room but Jacob and my mom. By that time I had a different nurse because the shifts had changed. She was AWESOME. I loved her. It was just me, Jake, the delivery nurse and my mom in the room. Jake held one of my legs and the nurse held my other one. My mom was up behind the head of my bed to take pictures. That way she didn't have to see anything gross. I didn't even have to put my feet in those dumb stirrup things. (Random detail.) So then I got to start pushing! Everyime I had a contraction I took a deep breath and then pushed three times for ten seconds. Even with my legs numb I had no trouble at all pushing. It didn't hurt AT ALL. There was some pressure, but no pain. It was awesome. I will keep stressing that fact...no pain...I LOVED IT. I was super thirsty the entire time and my mom kept giving me water and apple juice, which I chugged and chugged. It was kind of exhausting pushing like that, and I actually fell asleep in between some of my contractions. They woke me up when it was time for another one. There was probably only about one minute between my contractions at that point, but somehow I was still falling asleep pretty deeply during those periods of one minute.

Going off track shortly: During one of those one minute periods, I had a dream. I'd been hungry all day long and I wasn't allowed to eat anything except clear liquids, ice, or popsicles. (Thank goodness for popsicles and apple juice. I had a lot of apple juice.) I had a dream about the chocolate chip cookies at home in my cupboard. That's how hungry I was. Remember: I'd only eaten two Eggo waffles before all of this happened. 

Back to the real story...at 8:30 I was finished. They'd brought in a mirror to let me see the baby's head because they kept telling me how much dark hair she had and I had to see it. I'd also heard horror stories about seeing it in a mirror, but that wasn't bad either...They put the mirror away before the end, though. Seeing her dark hair really motivated me and then she was crowning! The only problem was...the doctor wasn't there. So, there I was one push away from the baby being born and they told me to STOP. Let me tell you...that part was not fun. Even being completely numb, I was in a lot of pain once her head was right there. I was one push away and I wasn't allowed to do anything! There was so much pressure. I cried, I'll be honest. Someone ran out to find the doctor and luckily he was down the hall. That part probably only lasted about two minutes tops but it felt like an hour. (Still. Two minutes of pain the ENTIRE time? I'll take it.) The doctor ran in, past all my family gathered right outside the door listening, and then my baby was born! She cried right away and they put her right up on my chest. I bawled my eyes out, seeing her for the first time. She only cried a couple of times right after she was born, and then when they gave her to me she lifted her head and looked right at me. She was completely calm. She just stared at me, right in the eye. I cried and cried and just touched and kissed her. (This is why I say I will wear waterproof mascara the next time I do this. The nurse was nice enough to bring a washcloth and wipe all the mascara off of my face, though.) We'd been trying to choose between the names Oakley and Quorra. I knew when I looked at her that she was Quorra. I don't know if Jake and I even discussed it after she was born...she was just Quorra. She does not look like and Oakley. 

The doctor got me stitched up and they weighed her and got her all situated and relatively clean. Then my family all got to come back in the room. My dad and Jacob's parents had stayed the entire day. I was so grateful to have them all there to talk to and hang out with through the whole process. My grandparents were also there and they got to come see her for a minute too. Eventually things calmed down, they took my epidural out and the nurse helped me into a wheelchair. (Really kind of difficult when your legs are completely numb. Good thing she was strong.) They put the baby in her little cart and Jake got to wheel her down to our new room. The nurse pushed my wheel chair. We got set up in our new room on the second floor which was smaller but still really nice. They helped me into bed and brought me pain meds and water. I was a little nervous about what would happen when my epidural wore off and I started to feel things again, but I was pleasantly surprised. I felt a little sore but I think my back was the worst part..probably from the epidural. (Still no regrets. Loved it. Sorry, natural birth enthusiasts.) Jake went to sleep on the couch bed thing and I went to sleep in my hospital bed. Quorra went to spend the night in the nursery once we were done cuddling her so that we could get some sleep. At 5:00 AM, someone came in and drew my blood, which I thought was weird. I didn't even remember that it happened until sometime the next day. Weird experience, having your blood drawn at 5 in the morning. I'd recommend it though...it didn't even phase me since I don't even think I woke up all the way. 

The next morning I ordered some breakfast from my room service menu and then we got to hang out with Quorra all day! Family came to visit and it was just great. I actually really loved staying in the hopsital...weird fact. But really. The baby got to sleep in the nursery at night so we could sleep all night long. They brought her to us whenever we wanted her. All I had to do to get meals and dessert and drinks was pick up the phone. The nurses were great and super helpful and I felt doted on...It was nice. Really nice. I'd like to go back...let's be honest. It felt like a mini vacation. 

We got to go home on Saturday night around 8:00 PM. We packed up and got the baby in her car seat for the first time and headed for home! It's been a whirlwind of sleepless nights and cute baby smiles and cuddles and listening to her cry, but it's been great. We love her so very much and wouldn't trade her for anything. I'm sure I'm forgetting all kinds of things that happened, since I'm pretty sure I lost a whole ton of brain cells during the whole process. (Seriously though. In the hospital the day after I looked at a clock and had a hard time telling the time.) But she is so worth it! I am so happy that she is in our lives and that she made it here safely. She's healthy and strong and thriving and I couldn't be more grateful! She is a blessing in our lives and we are looking forward to raising this precious little girl. 

We love you Quorra Jean!