Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Heidi's Birth

I realized that I never finished telling Heidi's story. While she was still in NICU, I didn't want to write it. Writing it down would make it become concrete. I just wanted to wake up one morning and have it all just be a bad dream. And then once we were home, all the sudden my life changed with having two sweet hearts to take care of. (That wasn't as big of a shocker as I thought it would be. I think the anticipation of having two is much worse than actually having two!) But part of me still didn't want to write her story because I still wanted it to just be a bad dream--one that I would wake up from and not have to actually live through.

But reality set in. Heidi's less than ideal birth and NICU stay actually happened. Time has a way of healing though. I'm no longer living the bad dream but rather allowing it to become a distant memory.

Once morning came on October 1st, I turned to Dr. Google. I didn't really want to go back to the hospital claiming that my water broke and stay there for several hours just to have them send me home again. Everything I read pointed towards my water breaking. It wasn't a "gush" break but rather a "trickle" break. And the color was different. I later learned that that color would be described as "greenish" however, I would have never described it as being green. ("Greenish" means that Heidi passed the meconium before she was born.)

We go back to Riverton Hospital and wait again in triage. I was having contractions but nothing strong enough that I couldn't handle. My nurse didn't seem to know what she was doing and any time she did something medical (like IV, amniotic water breaking test) it would hurt!! Some of the tests were coming back positive and some were coming back negative. The nurse just wanted to send me home and say I was fine. I knew something had changed--the color if nothing else--so I nicely demanded that they talk to my doctor. My doctor had them do a different test and it came back positive so I was admitted to the hospital. 

My contractions continued to stay exactly where they were. They never got stronger or closer together. Pitocin was added through my IV but I still didn't progress. My amazing doctor was called again and he decided to come to the hospital and see what was actually going on. He decided that my water for sure broken but it was more like a tear break. So he broke it completely and he was the one that called it "greenish" meaning meconium. (My nurse had noticed the "greenish" color but she thought it meant that I had some infection. She thought that I should just get an antibiotic and go home. My guess is she was new and clueless because an experienced delivery nurse would have known what greenish meant.) After my water was broken, he went back to his office (located in Jordan Valley Hospital) to see some patients.

Once my water was completely broken, I basically dilated from where I was (about a 3) to a 10 in about 15 minutes. The contractions became super intense extremely fast. My nurse didn't believe me when I told her that something felt different and there was all sorts of pressure (meaning the head was trying to come out). She thought I just couldn't handle the pain. She basically told me that I had to get an epidural because I was a total wimp and I would still have many hours of dealing with contractions and the contractions I was experiencing were just the beginning. I didn't know what to do and so the anesthesiologist came in. It was brutal trying to sit through the contractions because instead of getting an epidural, I should have given birth. Literally. My doctor was well aware of how fast Devin had come and new that most likely this baby would be even faster (but he had no idea that Heidi would come as fast as she did) but the nurse wouldn't believe me.

I kept begging for help because my nurse wasn't doing anything. Casey didn't know what to do and he didn't realize how fast my body went through labor either. It wasn't until I was practically yelling and crying for help that my nurse finally decided to check me. She was shocked to say the least and frantically started getting things ready for birth. We had to wait for my doctor to drive back and I continued to keep begging for help. (There are a million things I would change if I could relive this. Demanding a different nurse would definitely be one!)

My doctor arrived and HE helped get things ready while putting on a yellow delivery gown. He sat down and my body was totally done waiting. Finally someone was going to help me! I started pushing and Heidi was literally born instantly at 1:37 pm. I think my doctor had been in my room for less than two minutes. I looked out the window the moment she was born and it rained. It was a sunny day but there was so random, tiny microburst cloud and it rained while she was born then stopped almost instantly.

Heidi cried softly three times while she was being passed to the respiratory team to try to suction her. Meanwhile, my doctor sees that I have a tiny first degree tear. He stitches me up and I wince every time. He said that he thought I had an epidural so he didn't give me any local anesthesia. The epidural didn't help--it wasn't in place long enough to even do anything. He offered to wait so the numbing could take effect. But I was tough and told him to just finish. I'm pretty sure I got 4 stitches and felt everyone.

Heidi was quickly placed on oxygen in my room. An accidental code blue was called (while my doctor was stitching me) and my room was instantly packed with hospital staff and doctors. My doctor was trying to help me stay calm. She kept dropping and it was quickly determined she would have to be life flighted. Heidi was not in my room very long. She was quickly taken up to get ready for her flight.

(This story will have to be continued later because Mr. Devin is awake....)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Heidi's Last Days in Heaven

Last picture of Devin as my only child...
At least only one on earth...
Heidi was still in Heaven. :)
Friday September 26
•36 weeks 5 days
• We went on a date and the heavy rain started while we were inside the restaurant.
• The sudden weather change caused a sudden change in me.
• Heidi "dropped" almost instantly and I felt all sorts of low pressure.

Saturday September 27
• 36 weeks 6 days
• I thought my water had broken in the afternoon.
• Constant contractions but not painful.
• In triage the nurse agreed that I was wet but all tests came back negative for amniotic fluid, including an ultrasound to measure the fluid amount.
• Dilated 3.5 cm, 60% effaced
• They had me walk for an hour only to have more water running down my leg.
• Retested for water breaking-all tests negative.
• Final conclusion: I have a ton of mucus and it was extremely watery.
• Watched Women's Conference in my room.
• Released.
Before we left for the hospital on Saturday

Sunday September 28
• Full term-37 Weeks
• Contractions stopped
• Woke up in the middle of night but couldn't walk to the bathroom because I was extremely dizzy! I felt like I was surfing.
• Read the paper from being released from triage of when to return. Unfortunately, dizzy was not on there.
• Called on call doctor. Not sure what to do. Tried to go back to sleep.
• Stayed home from church.
• Had an "upset" tummy except I wasn't sick.
• Called the on call doctor. Diagnosis: my tummy was just fine. My body was just getting ready for labor. The goal was to stay hydrated!
Devin's attempt to help Baby Sister come out on Sunday evening.

Monday September 29
• 37 weeks 1 day
• Doctor's appointment
• Dilated 4 cm. 70-80% effaced.
• The previous appointment exactly 1 week before, dilated to a "generous" 1 (really it was zero) but thought to be softening.
• Doctor was amazed at how much I had changed in the week.
• He did not expect to see me at my next one week appointment.

Tuesday September 30
•37 weeks 2 days
• Slightly mild contractions but not doing anything or increasing
• I was ready to be done emotionally with the pregnancy. I have had a rather difficult 9 months--more emotionally than anything else
• Continued to pray that Heidi would be born as soon as she was ready and her lungs developed
• Sometime in the middle of the night started feeling a weird moisture sensation. It wasn't a gush by any means. In my sort of awake/ mostly asleep state it remind me of my period (sorry if that is tmi) but I didn't think much of it and continued to sort of sleep.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Heidi's Birth Stats

I keep getting asked for details with Heidi's birth. While finding time to write is nearly impossible, I will hopefully share the details slowly. :)

Birth Stats
Day Wednesday October 1
Time 1:37 pm
Weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces (currently she is 7 pounds 11 ounces)
Length 18.5 inches
Apgar 8.8 (this is a 1-10 scale. Anything over 8 is considered to be a "healthy" baby. Heidi's first minute on earth was great! But it dropped drastically after that)

She was put in oxygen in my room with in a couple if minutes after birth and then she kept getting worse. (I looked out the window and it was raining a she was born. Just a quick little micro burst that started and stopped quickly.) They wanted to get the respiratory team in my room but instead of just paging them, code blue was announced. Almost immediately the entire hospital staff was in my room. My doctor asked immediately what was going on and realized the code blue was an accident. He kept talking to me and tried to keep me calm.

Then I heard the person holding the oxygen on her say she was getting worse and would have to be life flighted. I lost it at that point and was sobbing hysterically. Moments later she and casey and the entire hospital staff were gone. And then my doctor was gone and my nurses. I was left all alone in the delivery room--with my tears and prayers.

(sorry for no pictures. We have very few pictures in my delivery room because nothing went according to what I had planned! And the few pictures that casey took are on the actual camera not my phone....)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stake Conference = Success!

The last phrase from D&C 38:30 kept circling through my mind this week.

"...if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

I know it is often thought about with food storage and the Second Coming. But for me, it meant Stake Conference--at least last week it did. I was excited for Stake Conference. I personally enjoy it and feel like it is always an opportunity for a spiritual recharge.

But I knew it was going to take work if we were going to last the whole time. My darling two year old is extremely active, cheerful and energetic. He likes to move and go. And loud, rowdy play. He is so determined and talkative. Not that any of these are problems. But I could easily predict the expectation of quiet, reverent, sitting still for two hours was going to clash. However, I had to remind myself that HE IS TWO! While, we do hold him to high standards during church meetings, he is still just two and he is allowed to be a two year old.

I had a plan. I packed the diaper bag full of surprises. And I was not afraid to face Stake Conference with our darling Mr. Devin.
  • "Church" Mater & Sally
  • "Church" Mickey & Minnie
    • He ONLY gets to play with these during church. It is a big deal for him!
  • LDS Coloring pictures & Mommy's colored pens
  • a few church books & 4x6 picture books I had already made
  • Two new file folder "games" I made him during the past week
  • His blanket
  • And snacks
    • his favorite crackers
    • fruit snacks
    • sippy cup
    • AND gummy worms
    • AND mini Oreos
      • Both of these are again a huge deal for him and not something he gets very often.
1. Helping Noah match all the animals before the flood
2. Matching the correct penny color to pay tithing
3. Black and white to color matching of things to do on Sunday

1. Driving Sally and Mater around town. It has our home, the library, the play ground, etc.
2. When someone would reference a scripture, the idea was he would show Mickey or Minnie. (He does know all the BoM prophets on the page but there wasn't enough scripture referencing for this to really work.)
3. Similar idea but showing Mickey or Minnie the topic that the speaker was addressing.
And somehow we made it. I don't think we would have survived another 10 minutes even but we made it. He was in the meeting and for the most part fairly quiet the entire two hours. The file folder games were awesome and helpful. But he still got tired of them. Thank goodness for special treats--they worked like a charm when we were getting desperate towards the end. 

Way more important than file folders and sugar bribery was what Stake Conference meant to me. This past week has been a struggle. Unknown territory. Uncertain future. Unexplained situations. And not just with the pending lawsuit. Life is hard and definitely does not follow the plan we wrote for ourselves. But the answers came to my long, tear stained journal entries through many speakers. (Just for the record, I will blame the emotions on pregnancy. Life really is great--but pregnancy hormones sure have a way of making everything seem different.) And that is why we worked so hard to keep Devin in the meeting, is because we wanted to be in the meeting. We both wanted to feel the spirit and be guided through the challenging times we are facing.

If I would have heard no other part of the meeting, this tiny gem will always stay with me. I'm pretty sure it was meant just for me--though I bet others benefited! :)

Elder Marcus B. Nash of the First Quorum of the Seventy said,
"Heavenly Father doesn't cause the tough things to happen. But He offers comfort and healing when they do."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flood the Earth

Yesterday I only heard the last few minutes of Elder David A. Bednar's BYU Education Week Devotional on the radio. I'm excited for the text to be online so I can read the whole thing. But what I did hear touched my heart. I'm sure I could look up a direct quote of this already because it was a little gem that everyone seems to have grasped onto and ran with. But I will just share what I remember.

It's time to sweep the earth as with a flood. Not just a flash flood with a one time occurrence. But a flood to last.

Elder Bednar was talking about using social media to flood the earth for good. And something touched me. I can help flood the earth. I can help "Hasten the Work." 

I used to think that Hasten the Work meant missionary work. Trust me, I am by no means saying it is not important. But unless I was either serving as a full time missionary or being a go-getter, amazing member missionary, I was not helping to Hasten the Work. I know this is probably terrible but I almost didn't like inviting the missionaries over for dinner because it would normally result in one feeling--guilt. Why don't you know your neighbors better? Why don't you have a huge long list of people we can go teach? Missionary work is absolutely amazing but it's not the time in my life for it.

Recently, there has been a huge push in Family History work. And I realized that it is part of Hastening the Work. My parents were Family Search Missionaries. My mom loves doing family history and now that my sister is home from her mission, she has found my mom's enthusiasm for family history. And it is wonderful. I know that families are sealed together and we need to link the generations. But again, it is not the time in my life. I have a very determined, active two year old who needs practically constant supervision. Don't get me wrong, he is so kind and obedient. But his personality is GO and some days, it takes all my energy just to keep up with him.

And I would always feel bad that I wasn't doing my part to help Hasten the Work. I have a testimony. I absolutely love the comfort the gospel brings to my life. I'm grateful for the guidance the Holy Ghost offers me. I'm especially grateful for the love of my Savior and His sacrifice of the Atonement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints literally means everything to me. But I couldn't help Hasten the Work because Hasten the Work meant missionary service. And Hasten the Work also meant family history.

But yesterday as I was driving home in our car, the windshield wipers going and Devin begging for chicken nuggets and fries, Elder Bednar's words touched my heart. I can help Hasten the Work by participating in the social media flood. More than that though, the spirit told me exactly what I needed to hear.

I am Hastening the Work everyday of my life by sharing being an example to the most loving and independent two year old I know. I'm Hastening the Work within my own home. And for now, that is enough and it is what I'm meant to be doing. I'm meant to be a mother to help perfect the saints... to help perfect the little saints... to help Hasten the Work... to help Flood the Earth!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Summons Came

Both our insurance and lawyer had explained what a court summons would be and how someone would come "serve" it to us at our home. It would likely be a police officer. It could possibly be a private place and just an ordinary person.

Tuesday, Aug 12, I had just barely woken from my nap and the doorbell rang. I didn't think much of it and looked through the peep hole. I didn't recognize the man standing there and was ready to tell him we are not interested in whatever he has to sell. He had stepped back off our porch and for some reason I was grateful. I didn't feel intimidated being home alone with a sleeping toddler. I just already knew I was not interested in whatever he was here for.

I open the door.

"Is Casey here?" 
"No. He is at work. I'm his wife. May I help you?"
"But he does live here?"
"I'm here to deliver his court summons."
"Oh. Thanks for bringing it." (Really?! I had no idea what to say? I wasn't sure thanking him was the right phrase but I knew being polite was. And it wasn't like this is the guy suing us--he was hired privately.)

I give him my name and he records on the paper that I received the document at 1703 (5:03pm). 

We have been waiting for this document since the middle of May. And now we have a time limit of 20 days to get a response. But of course both the insurance and lawyer offices are closed. Three minutes too late.

So day one of our 20 passes without being able to do anything other than read the 7 page, stapled 3 times, double spaced court summons. I put on my "technical reading classes" and made my way through it as if I was reading some professional food science articles. I found the name of the judge dealing with the case. I see the total medical expenses. I read that in addition to the total medical expense, we are being sued for several other things including pain and suffering, lawyer fees, and about 6 other things.

I set the paper aside and force myself to continue on with life. There is nothing else I can do but wait for business hours the next day to begin making phone calls.


Another letter came in the mail from our insurance. It had to be notarized stating that we only had one car insurance at the time of the accident. I'm still slightly confused with this idea. I don't know many people that have multiple coverage for the family car. But whatever. I am used to having to jump through hoops. After all, I am a college graduate. And a college graduate because of multiple scholarships. That is all about hoop jumping. Surely this hoop can be jumped through too!

I take it to our credit union on Aug 12. I sit in the waiting room. I'm ready to send this back in the mail and face the next obstacle during this unknown time in our lives. And then I talk with the notary person.

She could not help me. Legally, I am not being sued and my name is not on the paper. It's Casey's and he has to sign the paper in front of the notary person in order for them to then notarize it. Do you have any idea how hard this is going to be? He works like 9 hour days and commutes by public transportation. He doesn't get home until all credit unions are closed.

Thankfully, she had an idea and called another branch that stays open later. That branch confirmed that they would be open until 7 pm with at least one notary person there. And bless Casey's dear timing, he was able to get home by about 6:40, pick up Devin and leave immediately. I was going to my ward's RS enrichment night and Casey had volunteered to babysit the nursery. I packed him a dinner. He grabbed the papers and made it before that credit union branch closed.

I sent our now lovely notarized document in the mail and waited.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Initial Shock

Nineteen months ago, Casey was in a car accident on the freeway while coming home from work. Unfortunately, he was at fault and it totaled our car. And we have yet to replace that car. We have since been blessed with the wonderful opportunity of learning to love each other more than we love our one car and how to take turns sharing.

Nearly two years later, you think the accident would be a thing of the past. But it's not because one of the people in the truck he ran into (which had practically no damage) continues to submit medical bills. Our insurance tried settling with the guy but to no luck. Instead that guy got a lawyer and has threatened a lawsuit for many months now. There was nothing we could do other than continue living so it we just set it aside. But it was always there in the very back corner of our mind.

And now all of the sudden, it has slammed us in the face. Our insurance mailed us a letter, on August 6, telling us who our attorney would be from them. I was surprised and shocked because we had not heard anything for awhile now. And all of the sudden I was scared. The what if's filled my mind faster than I could think of them. The law office was closed at the time we read the letter but I wanted answers immediately.

And life had to continue on even through the nerve wracking, worst case scenarios I had created in my mind. I had a sweet little boy to take care of and responsibilities for my calling. I had to keep moving forward and let go of the unknown. Once I was able to call, our lawyer most of my fears seem to be at easy. It is highly unlikely (like completely ridiculous) that we will loose our house or our only car. Thankfully the lawyer provided to us seems calm and very confident. He knows the lawyer of the other guy and his lawyer is known for taking car accident cases to court.

But we still had to wait. We needed an actual court summons in order for anything to move forward. Apparently, we should have received this court summons last May but the guy suing us kept putting it off for whatever reason. Until we are served this document, there was no moving forward but rather sitting allowing the shock to eventually wear off and the reality sink in.