Friday, December 20, 2013

Christian's Birth Story

Has it really been almost 6 months since I blogged? Well, I've been busy growing a baby. And it is definitely hard work!

A lot went on in this pregnancy that I didn't want to put out on the internet until we knew 100% that mama and baby were healthy and safe. Early in my pregnancy they diagnosed me with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure that started before I got pregnant). I had no idea I even had high blood pressure (still not convinced since it has been wonderful since he was born...) until they told me. They said that it could be "white coat high blood pressure" where I get nervous at the doctor's office. Call it whatever you want, they were a little nervous. Well, around week 20 it went down and I was in normal range... until my 36 week check. My numbers were way higher than they like to see, so they tested me for pre eclampsia. If it came back positive, I would be delivering that day. It came back negative. They did a blood test that day to check for a condition called Cholestasis, which is an excess of bile in the liver, and if it is bad enough can cause liver failure. The #1 symptom of this is itchy skin... and, boy, did my skin itch!! This was right before Thanksgiving, so I knew we wouldn't get results from this test until my 38 week check. 37 week check went well, nothing too exciting. BP still high, but they weren't real worried about it. (Keep in mind, I see a different doctor every time I go in... I HATE to complain about free medical care through the military, but my OB care was a joke). Here is my last belly picture before delivery :)

Ok, onto the actual birth story. December 11th was the day of my 38 week appointment. I told Jason I wanted to bring the hospital bags just in case something happens. I knew we wouldn't be delivering that day, but I like to be prepared all the time. My appointment was at 8am, so Jason and I drove separately so he could go to work afterwards. We get into my appointment to find out that I do have Cholestasis, not too bad, but mixed with my blood pressure, they didn't want to take any risks. They told us to go upstairs and check into Labor and Delivery, we are having this baby today! I definitely got tears in my eyes. After 8 1/2 months, I finally get to meet this little monster that has been growing inside of me. Of course, I knew we were in for a long labor since I was only dilated to a 2cm at that point. Fort Carson won't even admit you unless you are at a 4cm (or have some other issue, like me).

We head upstairs and get comfortable in our room, ready for the long day/night (possibly another day) ahead of us. It is around 10am when they start the first round of the induction drug. They told me they would do 3 rounds of it, 4 hours in between each. So, we are looking at 12 hours before anything really happens. Even though we brought our bags, there was still some things we forgot at home, plus we had 2 cars and there was no way Jason was going to allow me driving myself home afterwards. So Jason leaves for home (a 45 min drive) and immediately I start having contractions. Not bad ones, but I definitely know the induction drug is working.

Throughout the next 4 hours (Jason came back about 2 hours after he left) the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. Still not horrible, but they are getting there. They check me before round 2 of the drug and I am at 3cm. Not much progress for 4 hours. So we wait another 4 hours. By hour 3 I am having some pretty intense contractions. By intense I mean crying and throwing up due to pain (too much info? Too bad, it gets worse). They check me after hour 4 and I am still at 3cm. What?? I feel like I'm dying! They offer me pain meds in my IV and I turn them down. Only to tell Jason to give me the drugs about 30 mins later. They give me some pain meds and I feel immediate relief... for 30 mins. Then the contractions are back in full force. They try another pain med and it doesn't even touch these bad boys. Then they offer me an epidural. Which my first thought was no, I don't want it to wear off by the time I actually deliver. But then another contraction hit and I told them I wanted it. I would deal with delivery pain when I got there. By this time, I was so tired and loopy from the pain and pain meds they gave me. I actually fell asleep while they were giving me the epidural. Hands on Jason's knees, (who, by the way, was my rock and such a wonderful encouragement through all my pain) I was out. I woke up a few seconds later to the pain subsiding and I feel like a person again.

They forego the third round of the induction drug because I am already having such bad contractions. They also told me they wouldn't put me on Pitocin (drug that makes you have contractions) until after he was born. They had planned on starting it after the 3rd round of induction drugs.

So, we are at about 11:30pm, about 30 mins after my epidural, I get startled awake by, what felt like, me peeing my pants. I can't really feel anything below my waist, so I page the nurse. She comes in and tells me that my water broke. Really? I am only at 3cm. I fall back asleep, only to be startled awake again by a intense feeling of pressure. I page the nurse again, she checks me and is really surprised to find I am at 8cm. It is just before midnight. A few minutes later, she tells me that she is going to put me on oxygen because the baby's heart rate is dropping. She tries to adjust the doppler on my stomach and can't find a heart beat. She excuses herself and I start to freak out. The midwife comes in and tells me that because he is in some distress we aren't going to wait for me to get to 10cm, we are going to get him out now.

I won't go into any of the gorey, painful details, but after about an hour and a half, my little boy FINALLY makes his debut into this world at 1:15am. I immediately get to hold him and see his beautiful face. Words can not express the flood of emotions I felt when I held him for the first time. Jason cut his cord and they take him away to do their work up on him. While I was holding him and not feeling anything below the waist, the midwife is a bit nervous. I had a small placental tear, which, if big enough, can cause some major problems. Thankfully, she got it under control and I had no complications. I had no idea this was happening, but Jason was pretty freaked out about it. I would have been, too, if I had known. After a few hours of recovery and first snuggles with our little blessing, we were moved into our recovery room for the next 48 hours.

Now, our little guy is 8 days old and is already developing a little personality. We are so happy to have him home before Christmas. We are excited to spend the day snuggling by a fire with the most precious gift we have ever been blessed with. Every time I look at him asleep in his bassinet, or even wailing at me for food, I am overwhelmed with love for this tiny human. It's amazing how such a tiny person can completely change our entire world! We wouldn't want it any other way.

Daddy holding his little man for the first time.

Sleeping arrangements at home. Can't have him out of my sight for too long.

My favorite picture of him (so far). He looks so happy, just like his Mama!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Years (on fire again)

Two years ago today, I walked down the aisle and married the love of my life. Now, I am sitting in a home that we own, growing a tiny human inside me (still freaks me out a little.) A lot of people use the phrase "I never thought I would be here" but I thought by now we would already have a baby in our arms. But God definitely had different plans for us, and we couldn't be happier with them :)

For our anniversary, that we celebrated this past weekend, we went to Manitou Springs and ate at the Mona Lisa. Everyone told us it was just like the Melting Pot, but I thought it was so much better! Pretty pricey, but it was our anniversary.... and we had a coupon. For our anniversary, Jason got me a beautiful throw with some of the best pictures from our wedding on it. It's amazing! I didn't think he could ever top last years painting, but he did! I got him an espresso maker, which was for him, but I definitely use it. He has been telling me how much he wants one for months, plus it will cut back on the amount we spend at Starbucks ;) It made me feel good this past weekend, he was walking into the house about to get a coffee refill and said "best gift ever" YESSS! I did good, too.

Heading out to dinner!

Showing off the bump in an amazingly comfy
maternity dress!

Outside at our table. It was a gorgeous evening!

Love this guy :)

In baby news, I am officially done with my first trimester. Thank the Lord! I had a rough time at the beginning. With morning sickness, severe cramping, nausea, back pain, fatigue... you name it, I probably suffered with it. I just kept reminding myself it was worth it, and it was! I would (and probably will) go through it all again. Tomorrow I will be 14 weeks and the baby will be the size of a nectarine. We are beyond anxious to find out the gender, we are hoping to find out at my 16 week appointment, but it is looking like we will have to wait until the 20 week full anatomy ultrasound. I guess we can be patient. 

Last year I wrote a blog called One Year on Fire, where we celebrated our one year anniversary and the next day had to evacuate due to the Waldo Canyon Fire. Well, this year I could write one called Two Years on Fire (which after writing this, I kinda did). Most of you know that Colorado Springs had another huge wildfire that took the lives of two people and destroyed over 500 homes. But, it was so heartwarming seeing the community come together and support those who lost everything. The families who lost their homes last year in the fire, hosted a picnic for all the families who are in the exact same position this year. I am sure it would help ease the pain talking to someone who knows what you are going through and rose from the ashes. Not only does this community support the victims of the fire, they support our firefighters like nothing I have ever seen. The firefighters would do a shift change at a local high school, once the community found this out, there were hundreds of people with thank you signs at every shift change. Here are a couple photos I found from the Denver Post from the week of the fire.

Just part of the almost 15,000 acres that were destroyed. 

I love seeing this, this home was protected by firefighters.
They let the fire get as close as possible so it wouldn't catch again.

This summer/fall is going to be insanely busy for us. On Saturday Jason's parents are driving in from Washington to spend about 10 days with us. They will be here for the 4th of July. We are so excited to see them! Then 3 days after they head home, we fly to California for my dad's 60th birthday! August I head back to California for my best friend, Alex's, bridal shower!!! So excited she's getting married!! Then October I have my baby shower, then the next weekend it is back to California for Alex and Doug's wedding!! Then we are two months from having a little baby Gabrick. I have never been so excited for Christmas to get here ;)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Faith and Fertility

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time, and finally decided I am ready for the world to know!

As everyone knows, we are pregnant. Getting here was a rough road filled with tears, many many prayers, doubts and fears. It all started March of 2012, Jason and I decided that it was time to start trying for a baby. We were both so excited and were sure it would happen right away. When it didn't, I was a little disappointed, but knew it would happen soon. As the summer came and went, I still wasn't pregnant, but we still weren't too discouraged because we knew it could take a while. Then in September of 2012, I went to my routine OBGYN visit and he said there might be something wrong since I'm not ovulating routinely. He left it at that and told me he wanted to see me in a month. At the time, Jason was in Maryland for training and I was terrified. That's every woman's fear! Especially given such little information and told to wait a month.

So, I waited the month, went back and was told I had a cyst on one of my ovaries. I needed to wait another month to see if it shrinks. If it doesn't, I would have to have it surgically removed. Thankfully, it was shrunk down and disappeared and I was told to start a medication called Clomid to help me ovulate. At this time, we were excited because we have heard so many success storied on Clomid. I was to go back in in a month (yeah, this doctor was good at putting things off for a month... which was so frustrating!) to see how I responded to it and got not so great news, only one of my ovaries responded and it wasn't as good a response as they wanted.

At this point (around February 2013), my referral to this (non-military) doctor had run out and I went in to my primary doctor to get another one. Well, they sent me to a new doctor. This time it was to a fertility specialist. After investing so many months with one doctor, it was pretty scary having to switch to a new one and start all over. It turned out to be such a huge blessing and I am so thankful for being sent there. The first appointment we had, we were told that the doctor does not believe in waiting between appointments, if something doesn't work, we'll try something else. We both started with testing to see what exactly is going on, it was rough! I had a test called an HSG that was so intensely painful that during it I decided we would just adopt and that I really didn't want a baby. Well, that was the pain talking ;)

After all our testing, we set up a treatment consult for a few weeks where the doctor would explain what was wrong and tell us the best course of treatment. One of the sources of our stress at this point was treatment costs. TriCare will cover the testing for infertility, but they don't cover treatment, so up until this point we hadn't paid a dime.

Five days before our treatment consult (April 18th) I was feeling really crampy, so I took a pregnancy test just to get the negative reading and take some ibuprofen. I waited my two minutes and stared at this test for a good thirty seconds before bursting into tears. It was positive! How could that have even happened? Jason wasn't home at the time, I had him go get a bottle of wine for dinner. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life waiting for him to get home. I had a shirt made for him that says "I Love My Pregnant Wife" over a year ago and hung it over the chair so when he walked in, he saw it. He was shocked beyond belief. Neither of us expected it! Needless to say, I didn't drink any of the wine he made a special trip to get... Ok, ok, I took a TINY celebratory sip with dinner!

The next day it was confirmed by a blood test, but we were told to still attend our treatment consult just so we know what's going on with us. As we are sitting there with our doctor, he tells us that 1 in 7 get pregnant by just coming into the office and another 1 in 7 get pregnant after the HSG (super painful) test I had because it flushes out anything that could have hindered pregnancy. Then he tells us our results, I don't want to go into detail on what exactly was wrong, but in conclusion we were told we had a 1% chance to get pregnant on our own. Praise God! We were so thankful that we were already pregnant when we heard the news or it could have been devastating. I am not sure what course of treatment he would have suggested, but we are so thankful we never got that far.

During this crazy year, I had moment of fear where I would ask God why He would do something like this, but have TV shows where 16 year old girls are having babies they really didn't want in the first place. I tried everyday to put my hope and trust in the Lord because His plan is much better than my own and it really is! I feel like I learn that lesson over and over again. One verse that really helped me get through this scary time in my life was Philippians 4:7:

"Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Even though I didn't understand why God had put us in this situation, I was at peace knowing it wasn't in my hand anyway. And look how it turned out? We were blessed with a (so far) healthy pregnancy and I can say that I've never looked forward to any other Christmas as much as this one. Best Christmas gift I could ever ask for!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Buy a Home? Check.

I have no excuses for my lack of blogging in the past five months, so I won't even try... I'll just jump right into this one.

These past few months have been a whirlwind. In January of this year we decided that we could afford to buy a house, and being the "no-nonsense" couple that we are, we found the house we wanted and put an offer on it on the 14th of January. Six not-so-short-feeling weeks later, we closed and moved into our very first home! I am in love with it and remind myself that I better be because we will be paying into it until I am 56 years old. Man, that's old ;) Just kidding, Mom. 

So, here are some pictures of the new love of my life...

Right after closing!  

So excited to be homeowners! 

Sunset from the backyard.

Our neighbor came out to greet us.

Carrying me into the house!

Living room.

Family Room.

Tracy approved Air Force area

Kitchen :)

"Dining" room

Our bedroom... and Misty in her tiny bed which is actually Lacy's

Our VERY pink guestroom. It was already painted pink, I didn't do it. But it worked perfectly with the guestroom bedding!

LOVE seeing this! :)

We still have a lot to do to the house, but the major stuff (kitchen, roof, carpet, tile floors, garage door, paint) were done in the past couple of years. The dogs have settled in quickly and have already found their favorite spots.

So, here is a quick recap on the happenings since October:

  • I turned 26 on October 23rd.

  • Ugly Sweater party for Christmas.

  • We went to California for Christmas with my family. We had family pictures taken while we were home, too!

  • New Years Eve with Dustin and Michelle in downtown Colorado Springs.

  • Snowboarding trip to Keystone in January - My first time on the slopes since 2010. I think I did pretty well.

  • Jason turned 28 on January 13th.
I have no pictures of this... I guess I don't love him enough to capture and moment that will never happen again ;)

I promise to blog more now! Seriously.