25 Things

Thursday, January 29, 2009 2 Comments A+ a-

There's a fun little meme going around on Facebook. I've been tagged to post 25 things about myself and thought it would be fun to share here as well. This is completely and totally random, and was a blast to do. Enjoy!
  1. I am the oldest of four girls. We are a passionate, lively bunch who both love and fight with everything we've got.
  2. Jon and I have been together since my senior year of high school. In fact, last month we found our first "marriage" license. We got it at the Sadie Hawkins dance about a month after we starting dating.
  3. My friends and family mean the world to me, there is nothing I wouldn't do for them.
  4. I am the world's worst eater. It is a common joke among my coworkers that I'll call Doritos and a Pepsi breakfast.
  5. I am absolutely dreading my big 3-0 birthday in September. 40, 50, or even 60 doesn't bother me. There's just something about leaving your twenties.
  6. I am such a planner, I like knowing exactly what, where, when, and how something is going to happen.
  7. I hate, hate, hate to cook but love baking.
  8. I hope to someday have a book published. I have 5 chapters written, I just have to find the motivation to get back to it.
  9. The births of my three children has absolutely changed my life for the better; I'm still working on that patience thing though.
  10. After a post written by my cousin, I have been thinking about this a lot. I do not believe in soul mates. I think it takes away from the idea of free-will given to us by God; I don't think God would create a concept where something other than Him would "complete" us; and I believe that once you have said vows with your spouse, that person becomes "the one" and should be treated as such.
  11. Jon and I met on a mission trip to Guatemala when I was 16 years old and Jon was 15 years old.
  12. I absolutely cannot wait to start working part-time. I have been dreaming of more time at home since Devyn was born over four years ago.
  13. I am dying to get back on the slopes, its been far too long.
  14. I hate heights, I couldn't even walk over the Royal Gorge bridge. Yet I'm planning to go sky-diving for that unmentionable birthday (see #5 above).
  15. I really wish all my friends would stop moving away.
  16. In regards to #15, I feel blessed to live in Colorado with "my" mountains. They're great for camping, skiing, fishing, four-wheeling, and the list goes on.
  17. In spite of #4 above, I absolutely love salad. Name any restaurant and I have a favorite salad there. One of my all-time favorite salads is the Bacon Salad my great-grandmother used to make for us.
  18. I never thought I'd have three children in four years! So much for having a "plan".
  19. My biggest, most fervent desire for my daughters (and my son) is a healthy, solid self-esteem.
  20. I became an aunt for the first time 15 days before my youngest was born. I absolutely adore Miss Elliana and think she's beautiful in her headbands. I'm still voting for Aunt Jenny, instead of Aunt Jenn.
  21. There is nothing that I love more than to worship my God with song. (I'm looking forward to that three-hour worship service Daniel!)
  22. I miss my first babies; a boxer-mix named Jackson and a lab-border collie mix named Grady. Even though they were runners, they were great dogs.
  23. I do not like chocolate. I'll eat it once in a while, but I prefer sour and salty over chocolate or sweet. Jon has the sweet-tooth in our family.
  24. I am a spender, I am horrible at saving money and our checkbook reflects it.
  25. I have never been to Disney World, nor seen the Atlantic Ocean.

This and That

Sunday, January 25, 2009 9 Comments A+ a-

This blog has been quiet over the past few weeks; let me give you a quick glimpse into what I’ve been up to.

  • Battling the baby blues; this is completely different than my usual post-partum depression. Baby blues makes me feel weepy, overwhelmed, and anxious, but only lasts a couple of weeks. This is always hard but with the support and understanding of Jon, family, and friends, we survived.

  • Unless one of two things happen, Reagan is going to be our last child. Either God will have to "surprise" us again, or God will have to change our hearts. Both of these things would require a miracle and so I have been doing the following:
  • Memorizing the smell, sounds, and sights of these newborn weeks, such as milk-laden smiles, content sighs, grunting sounds, and her pliant little body as she seeks comfort from mine.
  • Caressing her newborn skin, her soft downy hair, chubby cheeks, and her long fingers.
  • I’ve nuzzled her neck, her ears, her knees, her feet, and each fold on her tiny body.
  • I’ve relished each evening as Hudson and Devyn have gone to bed. Not because I didn’t want to be with them, but because the hours between their bedtime and my own are dedicated to these times with Reagan.

  • We have made numerous visits to my mom in the rehab hospital, usually three or four times a week. Six days after she was admitted to the hospital, Mom was discharged to a rehab hospital for physical and occupational therapy. She spent three weeks there and I’m happy to report that she was discharged last Wednesday. She had made tremendous progress, her arms and hands are stronger and she’s even taking three to five steps by herself! She’s still using a walker and is receiving physical and occupational therapy at home. We are just so thrilled to have her home!

  • Upon watching Peter Pan for the first time and seeing Wendy in a blue nightgown, Devyn realized that she’d been missing out on something. So during my next trip to the superstore I surprised her with a nightgown of her very own. The best part about this gift is hearing Devyn tell everyone about her "Night-night dress."

  • We have all been trying to figure out the new dynamics of our new family of five and making the appropriate adjustments. Such as folding laundry with an almost-two-year-old sitting in my lap, or figuring out and enjoying one-on-one time with each child, or stealing moments for Jon and I, and don’t even get me started on the housework.

Basically life is going on right now, and as much as I miss this place and being able to give voice to my thoughts and emotions, I’m unable to find the time to sit at the computer. Thank goodness for my cell phone and access to Facebook, or I’d feel completely cut off from the world. Bear with me as I figure out how to carve out some "me" time to get back on here more often. I especially can’t wait to share pictures of the kids’ formal portrait shoot that’s taking place on Tuesday.

"It's Go Time!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009 16 Comments A+ a-

Jon has taken Hudson and Devyn out for an afternoon errand, which has left Reagan (both pronounced and spelled like the president) and I home alone. She is currently snuggled into my new Hotslings sling, sound asleep, and held close to my chest. I’m able to look down at her perfect, tiny features and say a quick prayer of thanks for her arrival and presence in our lives.

I know I owe you all a birth story and my apologies for not getting it on here sooner. I have some valid excuses, several of which involve three little ones who are trying to adjust to the new changes that come with a new sibling. But I have also found that the more I process Reagan’s birth story, the more I realize how traumatic it was and how greatly it effected Jon and I.

When I last left you with an informational post, I told you about the recent developments of Mom being in the hospital due to Gillian Barre, Courtney was on her honeymoon, and I had just endured five hours of false labor in the hospital myself. The rest of that weekend was spent with immense pressure on my pelvic bone, from the fact that the baby had dropped incredibly low. I walked with a sideways gait, one that Jon called my "saddle" walk, as though I had just gotten off a day-long horse ride. I’m telling you, I don’t remember pressure as intense as it was that weekend.

Jon and I turned in for the night around 9:30pm on Sunday, December 28th (which also happens to be Christine’s birthday) and for whatever reason, I decided to lay out Devyn and Hudson’s clothes for the next morning, something I never, ever do. My thought was that it would make for an easier way to get out the door. I woke up on my right side and glanced at the clock, something that I did often during those last weeks and noted that it said 12:03am and I turned to lay on my left side. As soon as I’d turned, I felt a "pop" and warm fluid start leaking down my leg. I, of course, knew instantly what had just happened.

I jumped out of bed, waking Jon in the process, and informed him that my water had just broken. With each movement, more fluid leaked out and I was scrambling for towels in the bathroom. Jon asked if I was serious and could tell from my wide-eyed look that I was; we both sprang into action. Jon made his calls to his family and my aunt, announcing, "Its Go Time!" and I tried frantically to reach my sisters, to which no one answered on the first call. As Jon threw together a bag for the kids and packed the car, I was still in the bathroom trying desperately to stop the leaking. I can’t tell you how many towels I soaked and all I could think was, "Well, this is it."

We met my aunt and uncle at my parents’ house and picked up my sister, Allison, at the same time. Devyn and Hudson were transferred to the care of Uncle Grant and Aunt Debbie, and we were on our way to the hospital. At this point, remembering Christine’s experience when her water broke and the fact that she was already pushing by the time they pulled up to the hospital, I was waiting for the same intense contractions but they had not yet started by the time we got there.

The labor was pretty routine and uneventful, with the exception that the baby’s heart rate decelerated after each contraction. This worried the midwife and nurse, even though its perfectly normal for a baby’s heart rate to decelerate during the contraction, it rarely happens after the contraction. We had a hard time find a position that the baby liked and finally decided that I would only be able to labor on my side. I had requested the epidural as soon as I’d arrived but had to wait until I’d received my first round of antibiotics for my Strep B. I even had to receive the epidural while on my side as well.

The next two to three hours passed by with me lying on either side, an oxygen mask to my face, and I was even able to get an hour or two of rest. This labor was nothing like how I’d pictured it, with all three sisters, my mom, and Jon by my side. But Mom was on the floor above mine, in the middle of her six-hour immunoglobulin infusion, and was calling constantly to check on me. Christine had opted to stay home with a fussy Elliana, Courtney was still on her honeymoon and I could not get a hold of her, so the only sister to attend was Allison. Talk about an adjustment to my ideal birth plan.

Around 6:10 or 6:15am, I woke from my light sleep and told Jon that I felt like pushing. He ran to get the midwife and I knew the time had come to push this little one into the world. Sure enough, I was dilated to 10cm and fully effaced. Everyone got into position and on the next contraction I was told to push. I started pushing, only to be told to slow down from the midwife, and even asked to stop pushing. Then without waiting for another contraction, the midwife asked for one more half-push and at 6:27am our baby entered the world.

Now, this is where it got traumatic and I’ve yet to fully process everything, so bear with me. The baby was placed on my chest and the gender had yet to be announced, so my very first action was to take a peek between the legs and happily (but surprisingly) announced that it was a girl. What happened next was a blur…

I remember looking at Reagan’s face and noticed how very blue and purple she was. Her sweet, tiny mouth was open but there was no air going in or out and definitely no crying. I remember the pediatric nurse yelling at Jon to hurry and cut the umbilical chord and Jon shakily did. Reagan was then whisked away to the waiting bassinet where the nurse was trying desperately to make her cry. During this time, I’m laying across the room, a little shell-shocked as I see the fear and dread on Jon’s face. A slow perusal of the room shows fear and worry on almost everyone’s face in the room.

The nurse working on Reagan demanded the head nurse and started "bagging" our baby girl. They placed an air bag over her mouth and started thumping on her chest. The next 20 minutes was spent with me asking if she was all right and getting no response from anyone, searching Jon’s face for any sign of relief, and watching as Reagan’s body finally turned pink. She still refused to cry but the pink color was definitely a good sign and Reagan was finally returned to me for some skin-to-skin time and her first feeding. It was definitely the most traumatic experience of all three births.

The rest of the day was spent with me running on pure adrenaline and this mama didn’t start getting tired until much later that night; even though Daddy was passed out by 4:00 in the afternoon. =) One of the most memorable moments of this birth was when Mom’s nurses wheeled her hospital bed into our room so Mom could meet her newest granddaughter.
We don’t know why Reagan arrived two weeks early, when both Devyn and Hudson were late. We don’t know why Mom has been battling this disease for over six weeks now. I hate that Courtney cried on her honeymoon when she was told that she’d missed her niece’s birth. Christine and I are both thrilled and shocked that our daughters are only 15 days apart. And I don’t know if we’ll ever know why our family endured such an eventful December, but I can tell you that we’re so very thankful for the arrival of Reagan Jacqueline. While she is proving to be one of our more fussy babies, she is such a joy and I already can’t imagine life without her. We are truly blessed!

Life with Three

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 15 Comments A+ a-

A small sample of how our days are currently going with a four-year-old, 22-month-old, and a newborn. (This is BY-FAR the most unflattering picture of me. But cut me some slack, I'd just given birth the day before. Hmmmm... I wonder how long I can use that excuse.)

Reagan's birth story coming soon.