Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nov. 2014

November was an exciting month and also just a regular month. Adjusting to having two kids is exhausting and I don't think either of us have totally adjusted/ figured it out yet. I often feel like there are five things I should be doing each day (1. pump/ feed Heidi, 2. exercise, 3. teach Devin preschool/ play with him, 4. clean the house/ laundry, and 5. make dinner). I feel like I can handle two of the five on any given day and three on really good days. How to get back to a balanced, normal, I-can-accomplish-everything-I-need-to day, I have no idea. If anyone has any awesome, practical, won't-make-me-feel-worse suggestions, please feel free to share.

  • Casey and I both had teeth cleanings/ x-rays. I can't remember how many years for Casey and probably at least a full year for myself since the last teeth cleaning. We had to wait for our insurance to be effective. Amazingly enough, neither of us had any cavities. This was not a shock for Casey because he has strong teeth and healthy enamel. We are praying our kids will inherit his teeth! Mine on the other hand are genetically weak and no amount of brushing will help.
  • We were able to attend our stake's annual Fall Ball. The theme was "Under the Sea" and it was so much fun to go to a dance again. We didn't end up dancing very much but rather talking to some of our dear friends. It was a wonderful date night!
  • Casey had Veterans Day off as a paid holiday. I think it became my favorite Veterans Day yet because it was the first time that either of us have ever had that day off, let alone off and paid!
  • I had my 6 week postpartum check up with my OB doctor. Postpartum is going pretty well physically. Not so hot on the diet/ loose baby weight (plus more). Emotionally it is hard as I feel like I can't get enough things done.
  • We were able to attend two high school plays--Cinderella and Fiddler on the Roof. Both were excellent and much needed date nights. Two little loves sure brings a whole new level of longing for it to be date night again. Fiddler brought back some vivid memories of when I played Golde in junior high and Casey was on stage crew. We spent a lot of time together during rehearsals!!
  • I started teaching Devin tot school. It was the first time I let him paint or use dot markers. He is definitely learning so quickly. Some days I feel like I am more successful at this than others because I don't want to spend the time teaching. But Devin loves it and I know it is good for him to have some personal mommy attention and tot school is a great way to do that.
  • It is hard to believe that we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary! In some ways it seems like we have been married so way longer than that. So much has happened and yet in other ways, it seems like there is no way that it could possible even be five years.
  • Heidi's doctor called the day before Thanksgiving just to check on her. She was released from isolation at that point. We are now in seclusion but at least she can go out--just not really touched by others. She is COMPLETELY off her oxygen!! :D

(The following pictures are NOT in chronological order for the month. They are in how ever blogger decided to arrange them and I don't feel like fighting with it.)
  • Heidi's First Thanksgiving!!
    5 Year Wedding Anniversary.
    We went to Michalengelo's--LOVE their bread.
    Casey gave me a rice cooker and salt/pepper shakers.
    I gave him some tie racks.

    1. First time using glue.
    2. First time without my help for painting.
    3. Dot markers for thanksgiving/ turkey FHE.
    4. See those scribbles on the orange paper? He colored this in nursery. If you ask him what the picture is, he always says the same thing. It is a helicopter and a fire truck. Use your imagination.
    5. First time I tried to get him to color things using the right color--he did great!
    6. Instead of coloring the leaves this time, he decided he wanted to circle them. No idea where the circling came from or how he learned it but he did great!

    (And Devin loves to make sure that Heidi has toys in her crib to play with....)

    Heidi loves playing with her jungle gym.
    So does Elmo.

    Missy Moo the little cuddle bug

    1. Heidi often has her feet crossed! (So does Devin. My mom claims it is genetic....)
    2. sleeping on the bobby
    3. first time wearing shoes because she did not have to have her oxygen sensor on during the day
    4. tummy time. Heidi hates tummy time. But at least she has a buddy to keep her company.

    Setting up our Christmas tree!

    Fall Ball and watching Fiddler

    with her great grandmother and also casey's mom

    I LOVE my boys in suits!!! :D

    ignore the blurriness and not so great of quality.
    I love us together.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Heidi's History: TWO Months

Both dress and headband were crocheted by my Mother-in-Law!

Heidi's Favorite Things: Heidi really likes to pay attention to her surroundings. She loves seeing the world and watching everything. She loves her swing (and so do I!) Heidi also likes to play with her jungle gym and bats her toys for long periods of time!

Most Memorable Moment(s): Our pediatrician called the day before Thanksgiving because he wanted to see how Heidi was doing. She had not been on oxygen since the beginning of November sometime (I don't know a date because I didn't pay attention to it. I had no idea the last time she used it because I didn't know it would be the last time. He decided she was fine to come out of isolation and instead keep her in seclusion. The timing was perfect because we were able to enjoy Thanksgiving with all my family instead of just staying home. She met a lot of extended family for the first time this month. Also, coming out of isolation meant that we were able to attend church all together as a family of four the very last Sunday in November. 

Nicknames: Missy Moo, Sweet Pea.

Dislikes: She is such a calm, mellow baby. There are few things that really bother her. But having her nose suctioned would definitely be one of them. Unfortunately, she has a stuffy nose naturally because of the way her sinuses are and suctioning happens often or she can't drink her milk.

Clothing Size: 0-3 months

Diaper Size: One

Personality: Heidi is starting to become more opinionated about life and her surroundings. She has thrown a few tantrums where she cries and cries. It is almost funny. Thankfully, these outbursts are far and few between. She is such a gentle, happy baby. She is quiet normally and observes everything. She smiles regularly and is so happy.

Milestones: I make sure Heidi gets her exercises in each day. She is building strength and can do great baby push-ups! She pretty much likes to have her head up no matter where she is so she can see better. And she is so close to rolling over! She rolled by accident once (possibly twice--though the second time could have had help from her big brother...) but it won't be too long until she's a rolley polley! 

Sleeping: For the most part she sleeps through the night. She still struggles with self-soothing a bit but its getting better. She is awake a lot during the day time, playing and smiling (and being smothered with kisses from Devin).

Eating: She is up to about 4-5.5 ounces of pumped milk. I don't know how many times she eats during a day because I have not kept track--whenever she is hungry. She normally likes to eat on her side (really a weird position but that is the only way she could eat in NICU).

Communication: Heidi smiles and grins so much--this would be her biggest form of communication. She has three distinct cries but doesn't use them much. One cry is for when she is hungry. One cry is for pain/ nose suctioning. One cry is her tantrum.

The hardest part: Devin has been working on potty training this past month and it has been so hard for me to be there for both of them. One tends to get ignored while I am helping the other and I just feel torn between the two at times.

My favorite part: I love dressing her up. I love her sweet baby smell. I love knowing how to help her calm down. I love wearing her in our Ergo carrier and keeping her right beside me.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Finding Comfort in the Name Heidi

After deciding to name our daughter, Heidi, I completely forgot about the dream that inspired it. We just knew that would be her name and even called her that while I was still pregnant. However, we kept the name quiet and whenever anyone would ask, I would just say we weren't totally sure. And it was true. There was a slight chance she could be born and one of us hate the name Heidi for whatever reason and then we would figure out a different name.

Once Heidi was born and then taken from my room to get ready for life flight, I sat all alone in my room crying hysterically. I'm not even kidding about my tears or sobs--they were completely out of control. Like extreme tears. My nurse did not know what to do with me and she asked for a different nurse to come in and try to calm me down. The other nurse was much more compassionate but I was still a crying basket case. I think the pain of having her gone reminded me too much of a complete nightmare several years before. Plus at this point, I had no idea if she was even going to live. I only knew that she was born at 1337, code blue was called in my room, and she had to be life flighted. I didn't understand why she couldn't stay in the hospital I was in (it is a large hospital!). I didn't get why she had to be transported by the helicopter instead of an ambulance. All of these thoughts kept rolling around in my brain and I was sure it was extremely serious. I was so afraid that we were going to loose Heidi.

I just kept begging over and over to be allowed to be with Heidi. But I was bleeding much heavier than is normal and was not allowed to go up to be with her before life flight. Eventually I got a large shot in my leg and an extra bag of pitocin through my iv--both of these helped slow the amount of blood enough that I was able to leave the delivery room. And then I was finally able to see Heidi for a very short time frame before she left on the helicopter.

However, while I was sitting alone in the delivery room, crying hysterically, out of no where I randomly remember why we decided on the name Heidi. I am sure it was not random or coincidence but rather a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. I know the Holy Ghost helped me remember. (See John 14:26--it says that the Holy Ghost will bring all things to our rembrance. The word "all" is absolutely inclusive! It is not all things but this or that. No. The Holy Ghost helps us remember everything.)

Casey and I were messaging back and forth some. (He wasn't sure what was going on entirely and was talking with the life flight team and just watching everything in shock. Once Heidi was situated in NICU, we messaged/ face timed practically constantly while he was with her and I was still in the other hospital.) After this thought of my whiteboard dream, I instantly grabbed my phone and sent Casey a message with probably a million exclamation points behind his name. I told him I remembered why we chose the name Heidi--it was from my dream of teaching a little girl her name. I held to that thought dearly and it gave me the hope that Heidi would live. I didn't understand the timing or what was happening but I clang to that comfort of how we chose her name; I was going to teach my toddler her name. She had to live through this ordeal because I was going to teach her "Heidi" on a whiteboard.

I felt so very grateful and blessed to have such a sweet and much needed comfort at that time. Choosing a name is not something that I thought would have so much of impact on me. But it did. And I am so grateful for Miss Heidi!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Before the Sunrise

Before the sunrise.

I hold my Sweet Pea close to keep us both warm.
I hold her and we snuggle.
I hold the bottle at the perfect angle for her less than coordinated sucking.

I hear my Sweet Pea crying softly and growing louder.
I hear the soft bubbles as she drinks her warm milk.
I hear the her moans, squeaks, grunts.

I feel my Sweet Pea relax in my arms.
I feel the softness of her hair against my cheek while I pat her back.
I feel her cheeks against my lips as I give soft kisses.

I smell my Sweet Pea baby scent.
I smell the cleanliness from her bath and lotion.
I smell baby spit.

I see my Sweet Pea smile while she looks in my eyes.
I see her adorable baby face scrunched telling me she needs to burp.
I see my eyelids while I doze off.

I count my blessings.
I miss my bed.
I'm grateful to be a mommy.
I say my prayers.
I love my Sweet Pea.

All before the sunrise.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Name Heidi

Remember all of the teacher-in-me requirements I had for choosing a name for Devin? Well, they were still in affect for Baby Sister.

I was really thinking about the meaning of the name when making my list of girl names I liked. Simply because Devin's name means "Divine" and that was eventually the reason we decided on Devin--because of the meaning. Baby Sister needing something that was meaningful as well. So instead of making a list of any name, I researched what the names meant and they only made my name list IF they met all of my teacher requirements AND was meaningful.

Basically I decided that I wanted to name Baby Sister something that meant "Gift," "Gift from God," or "Miracle." I was also looking at things like "Determined" and "Fighter." She beat all the odds of my high risk pregnancy to begin with. I honestly didn't know if I would stay pregnant at times because of bleeding among other concerns. As time passed, I was still pregnant and I realized that this baby was meant to join our family and she was fighting hard to be here. By about the mid point of the pregnancy, there were no longer any complications and I was no longer high risk.

Fast forward to Baby Sister's less than ideal birth and she was continuing to be our miracle baby and truly fighting to join our family. The meaning of one of those names would have been perfect for our little Sweet Pea.

But we named her Heidi. And Heidi means "Noble." I like noble and it is meaningful but it was definitely not something I was even considering or searching for. I had made a list of names and was reading it to Casey regularly. He never made a list but was just listening to mine. I honestly can't remember the names on that list other than Michael means "Gift from God." Obviously I wasn't going to name my daughter Michael but we were looking at several female variations. Heidi was never on the list.

And now the big question, how did we decide on Heidi?

Sometime this past summer, after we found out the gender, I had a very simple dream. There were very few details and it was so brief. I was writing on a whiteboard that was near to the ground--like toddler height. I never saw myself, only my right hand. It was writing "Heidi" on the board and I saw a happy, calm yet spunky little girl with light brown hair watching me write it. I was trying to teach the girl her name. That's it. Nothing significant or big. I didn't even think much about it honestly and didn't tell Casey. Pregnancy dreams are so random and really don't mean anything at all.

A few weeks or so later, I was still thinking about this dream and briefly mentioned it to Casey in passing. The dream still did not mean much to me and as I told Casey about it, I told him that it was just a random dream and that it wasn't spiritual or anything. Casey's response was paraphrasing D&C 29:34, that all things are spiritual unto the Lord. Maybe my dream was more spiritual than I was giving it credit. So we just went with it. We both liked the name Heidi and it just felt right.

But I was still hesitant to decide on Heidi because I remembered hearing about a book or movie or some media that was named Heidi. I had never heard/ watched/ read "Heidi" but simply knew it existed. My concern was what if the character Heidi was not someone I wanted my daughter to be like, what if the character Heidi was a villain of some sort. We checked the movie out from the library and after that we just knew that Baby Sister would be Heidi. Devin knew too. He called my tummy both "Baby Sister" and "Heidi." We decided to wait to tell anyone the name until she was born though. I was worried that Devin would give it away and he said Heidi sometimes to others but no one had a clue what he was talking about and I did not offer my mommy interpreting skills.

And... the story continues once Heidi was actually born and her name... but this post is getting way too long so stay tuned for part two of The Name Heidi.... FINDING COMFORT IN THE NAME HEIDI

Maternity pictures were taken by the very talented Rebecka LeFoll. Holy cow, she is amazing!! :D

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October 2014

I saw this idea on a friend's blog and decided to give it a try. Sometimes I'm great at blogging. Sometimes not. This past month, there has been so much focus on Heidi's eventful birth that it would be easy to overlook and forget the rest of the coming and goings. So here is the brief summary of the month.

  • Heidi was born Oct. 1. She aspirated meconium at 80% after being suctioned. This resulted in life flight 3 hours after birth and a NICU stay until Oct. 12.

  • We celebrated my birthday. I spent the majority of the time with Heidi. Devin, Casey, my mom and sister met me at the near by park for a picnic lunch. And we had a family dinner with one of my favorite meals my mom would make as we were growing up.
  • I was completely exhausted (both Casey and I were awake the majority of the night before her discharge proving that we really could take care of our daughter and she would eat for us) but so excited to become a family of four, all living together, on the day of discharge.

  • We have really appreciated Casey's amazing boss during this time of transition! Casey was able to work from home which helped so much with crazy newborn (lack of) sleep schedules and feedings. And it helped me knowing he was there--I truly am so grateful for his support and friendship and concern for me!!
  • Since Heidi is only drinking from bottles, we found a hospital grade pump that was going to cheaper to buy than rent. Devin had a ball playing in his "house" with all the styrofoam packing peanuts. We are still picking up tiny pieces that were smashed into the carpet.

  • Devin completely loves having his Baby Sister home. He gives her kisses and hugs frequently. He is a huge helper and throws away her diapers and finds binkies/ burp cloths/ the boppy pillow. 
  • Devin is also very good about putting on hand santizer. Maybe too good. He uses it to clean everything and it drives me nuts. But the goal is keeping Heidi/ all of us healthy!

  • Heidi hates having her hands swaddled down by her sides. We gave up on trying because we would hear constant grunting as she worked to free them. Her hands are always up by her face to sleep. Devin was the same way. Casey and I were talking one day and wondered what our kids had against being swaddled because supposedly it should comfort babies.

  • Thankfully Heidi's umbilical cord fell off and healed like normal. I was slightly nervous that she would get umphilitis like Devin. Gratefully it must not be genetic and Devin's belly button problems were totally abnormal.
  • We started Heidi on a trial basis of taking her oxygen off during the day. She is doing great with it and normally only uses it at night. This is doing murder to her cheeks though from having to rip the stickers off.
  • Heidi is able to hold her head up fairly well during tummy time and while sitting on our laps. This is what tummy time normally looks like in our home. Devin loves playing with her any chance he gets!

  • And speaking of play, Heidi likes batting at her jungle gym and normally giggles after. She also plays with her tracking cards extremely well and follows the pictures. This one (Jesus) is her favorite card!

  • Although life was crazy, I made a point to involve Devin in Halloween festivities. We went trick or treating at the Olympic Oval. That was absolutely chaotic as I'm pretty sure every kid in the whole valley was there. We would wait in very long lines to get one piece of candy. But I enjoyed my break and time out of the house, even if it was with a giant mob of people.
  • Between Casey, myself and my sister, Devin was able to go trick or treating (or participate in the crafts/ activities) at the Oval, Macey's, the library, ward trunk or treat, local shopping mall, and up and down our street. He doesn't have a ton of candy and honestly I'm grateful but he had a fun experience.
  • Devin was going to be a pilot for Halloween. I found a cute (and cheap) pilot hat on amazon. I loved it. Devin hated it and would cry/ run away from the hat. I decided it wasn't worth it so he is simply an airplane instead of a pilot flying the airplane.
  • My favorite Devin Halloween memory was when he went trick or treating on the street, Casey was working with him to try to get him to say "trick or treat" at the door. Well, one of our neighbors opened the door and Devin thought of a better phrase. He said, "I want candy!"

  • Heidi was just "cute" for Halloween. I dressed her up in seasonal clothes but not a costume. Before she was born, I was planning to wear her in our brown Ergo carrier and then make hats that looked like kangaroos. She was going to be a joey and I was going to be the mommy kangaroo. It didn't happen because my life became busy with the hospital at the beginning of the month and then I didn't really care because she couldn't leave anyway.

  • We celebrated Casey's birthday with Halloween festivities and a pizza. I made a carrot, pecan cake and we had our parents over on Sunday.

It truly has been a busy and unforgettable month. 

October has been filled with... 
Facing the unexpected. Adjusting to two kiddos. Movies and Sesame Street in attempts to keep the two year old occupied while I help Heidi. Savoring the time I go shopping and get out of the house. Attempting to figure out how to make dinner--doesn't happen very often because I seem to be feeding Heidi instead of cooking. And most importantly seeing the love grow in our home in ways I never could have dreamed of.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Heidi's History: ONE Month

It has hard to believe how much has happened in the past month. My life has changed. My routine and schedule have changed. My prayers have changed. I am a different person now than I was September 30. I was so nervous to have two children at home. But as I continued to spend time with Heidi in NICU, the only thing I wanted was to have both children at home. It is hard and has a definite learning curve. But it is so rewarding!!

Heidi's Favorite Things: She likes batting at her jungle jim. She is a pretty big fan of her soothie binkie. She loves it when I (or Casey) hold and cuddle her.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Fighting for Heidi to come home from NICU, First Halloween. She is off her oxygen for the most part during the day now but still uses it at night. Shoot.... I have simply enjoyed dressing up my little doll.

Nicknames: Baby Sister, Sweet Pea, Missy, Missy Moo (one of our favorite NICU nurses called her Missy Moo. The name kind of stuck.)

Dislikes: Having her arms swaddled down. The picture is pretty true to her nature--hands have to be up. Bows glued in her hair--she rips them out. Tubes on her face--she rips them off. Showers/ baths, she just isn't a fan! Wearing the oxygen sensor on her foot doesn't seem to bother her at all but if the monitor beeps for awhile, it normally wakes her up.

Clothing Size: Newborn and 0-3 months

Diaper Size: Newborn (but once the nb run out, we are switching her to 1)

Personality: She is very pleasant! She really only cries when she is hungry. She doesn't mind all the kisses from Devin or sitting in his lap. And she is a very happy baby. I often catch smiles and cooing.

Milestones: She smiles and it is definite happiness! She often has happy dreams. She is doing really well at holding her head up during tummy time and while we are holding her in a sitting position. She tracks objects really well and likes staring at us.

Sleeping: Right now she goes down around 10 pm ish. Wakes around 3 am ish. Wakes again between 6-8 am. I'm hoping to start working with her to extend the middle waking until later. She is normally awake for a short time mid morning. And normally awake in the early evening for awhile. (She still sleeps a lot in other words!)
UPDATE: So normally I don't come back and edit monthly reports. But I figured since this happened just a few hours after I posted it and it was still technically Nov 1 (to the 2nd), it should be added. Heidi finished her bottle around/ was asleep 11 pm. She then slept through the whole night and woke up at 5:45 am!! Yay for more sleep for mommy! :)

Eating: She came home from NICU drinking milk from the bottle. Then it was 56 mL (just barely under 2 ounces) every 3 hours. She still drinks pumped milk from the bottle and won't nurse. I'm so grateful for my hospital grade pump!! Now she drinks around 3.5-4 ounces every 3-4 hours. I totally feed her what the NICU doctors would call "ad lib" meaning she is in charge.

Communication: Heidi cries for milk. She talks and tells me stories and definitely has figured out her grunting. Casey says her grunts sound "like a girl" because she makes such different noises than Devin ever did.

The hardest part: It is really hard having to keep her in isolation. I just want to show off my adorable bundle of joy and wish that I could let others hold her. It is hard for me if I am home the entire day.

My favorite part: I just love holding a baby again. And the warm feeling it brings to my heart to have her in my arms. There is just something magical about snuggling a new baby from Heaven.

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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

29 Weeks

I thought it might be time for another baby update. I am 29 weeks and 2 days. Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity to take the glucose test. The fruit punch flavor didn't bother me—it was just like drinking a melted otter pop. But all the sugar upset my stomach. It was just like being back in first trimester and sick anytime I ate any sugar. I will find out the results tomorrow and I’m praying that I’m cleared because I really don’t want to have to take the three hour test with a stronger sugar drink!

I have really been enjoying the past few days where the temperature has been significantly cooler! Devin and I eat otter pops on a regular basis! My fingers have swollen and I can no longer wear my wedding ring. Technically, I can get it on in the morning but then throughout the day my finger will begin to ache and even throb.

Right now, I am in the process of making a car seat cover. Allow me just to say, it is going to be darling! Pink and girly and frilly! It is a slow process though because my sewing machine is in the basement and Devin is not allowed down there. So I can only really work on it during nap time but most of the time I take a nap while he does.

We have been very blessed to inherit hand me downs from family and friends! I haven’t felt up to sorting everything yet but I’m excited that Baby Girl will get to look like a girl instead of just the gender neutral things from Devin.

My favorite food at the moment is a new recipe to our family. But I’m seriously obsessed with it and have made it several times since obtaining the recipe fairly recently. It is a butter dumpling with potatoes. So simple but oh my gosh, I am in love! I really enjoy sugar free chocolate milk or sugar free banana milk.

We have an ultrasound scheduled at the end of this month simply because of the position Baby Girl was in at the 20 week appointment. The tech could see her vital organs but because she was curled up in a tight ball with her legs crossed and refused to move, they couldn't get the close-ups they wanted. I’m so grateful for Casey’s new job and having better insurance! We have already reached our deductible (hallelujah for low deductibles!) so the insurance will cover 80% of it. (Because our deductible was so high with his old job, basically all the ultrasounds—I had several due to complications at the beginning—were out of pocket expense because we had yet to reach the deductible.)

Devin gives Baby Sister hugs and kisses. And he tries to wrap my tummy in a blanket to make sure Baby Sister stays warm. Little does he know that Baby Sister and I are already sweating…. He loves playing with his doll, Baby Sally, and feeds and takes care of her! He is so sweet and caring and I really appreciate his gentleness and love. He will be such a good big brother! We are taking him to a sibling class offered at the hospital later this month—I’m sure he will love it!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Redefining Love

For some reason this has been on my mind for awhile. Probably because I still have so much more to learn. But I have decided that I really don't know what love is--the love that Casey and I share. 

I thought I knew.

Love was staying up late, a first kiss, holding hands, becoming engaged.
Love was wearing my wedding dress, kneeling in the temple, being sealed for time and eternity.
Love was having someone to come home to after class, a study buddy.
Love was going on dates, sitting together, holding hands, kissing my best friend.
Love was celebrating accomplishments, finding a new job, moving together.
Love was two little blue lines on the pregnancy test, bringing our baby home from the hospital.
Love was buying our first home.

But I was wrong. Love is those things. But it is not only those things. It is so much deeper.

Love is learning to fight together for a purpose instead of against each other.
Love is taking a timeout when frustrations arise then coming back together again.
Love is pleading with Heavenly Father for our needs to be taken care of.
Love is counting pennies ump-teen times hoping they stretch just a little further.
Love is clinging to each other when everything else tries to rip us apart.
Love is facing this unpredictable life together.
Love is deeper today than it was yesterday and deeper tomorrow than today.
Love is change.
Love is constant.
Love is eternal.

Love is something I still can't define. Love is something I hope to understand in 5 more years... maybe 50 or 60.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Making Memories Today

There are times when I start thinking about the future and I just get overwhelmed.

How can I love a school-aged son and let my sidekick go to class without me?
How can I love a teenage son and let my little buddy go out with friends without me?
How can I love a missionary son and let my playmate go into the world without me?
How can I love a married son and let my sweet Baby Bunny go to his own home without me?

Thinking of the future... of growing up... of letting go... just brings me to tears.

So I have to take a step back. And focus instead on today.

Today I'm going to give Devin extra kisses even when I'm frustrated.
Today I'm going to spend more time playing Legos even when I have other things to do.
BTW: This is a "Tow Truck" Devin built all by himself.
I was impressed with his imagination!!
Today I'm going to run around the house chasing each other even when I'm hot.
Today I'm going to celebrate the little things even when they are easier to overlook.

Today I'm going to listen to Devin's heartfelt prayers (which list everything he is grateful for) even when I'm tired. (No promises not to laugh during his prayers though. Casey and I both secretly look at each other and giggle.)
Today I'm going to make time for him even when there are errands to run.

Today I'm going to choose to be grateful even when the messes pile up.
Today I'm going to remember to love my sweet 2 years, 1 month and 1 day old even when something seems more important. Because really, nothing is more important than the memories we make today!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Scripture Study for Toddlers

Family scripture study is something that Casey and I work hard on. Sometimes it doesn't happen. Sometimes it is just a few verses. Sometimes not everyone is pleasant. But we try hard to make it an important part of our bedtime routine.

The dilemma was Devin doesn't really have the attention span to sit and listen to us just read. But he can sit and listen when there are pictures. Last winter, I started searching to find something that was on an 18 month old level. I didn't want the "Scripture Stories" manual because that was too big for his hands to "read" independently.  I have an obsession with 4x6 photo books and so does Devin. I was considering cropping pictures from the Scripture Stories manual to then print them on pictures. I didn't want to pay money to download something.

Eventually I found the perfect Book of Mormon for a toddler at The Idea Door. She complied all of the Book of Mormon Characters by James H. Fullmer into 4x6 photo cards. (Seriously click on both of those links!! You won't be disappointed!) I found an old photo book that has a hard blue cover. It reminded me of the "missionary" Book of Mormon. My book has 24 places for photos. So I selectively chose the most important 23 characters from The Idea Door for his scriptures. (I was considering printing them all and then rotating the pictures depending upon who we were actually reading about. This might be a good idea for an older child, but I know it would just confuse Devin right now. The real reason I didn't do this though is because it made a ton more work for me. I just wanted to be done.)

For the 24th picture, I picked my favorite picture of Jesus Christ among the Nephites from I downloaded a large picture then cropped it to 4x6. The BoM Characters don't have any picture of Jesus and it just seemed like the Book of Mormon needed at least one.

Devin absolutely LOVES his scriptures and insists that he has to have his while we read ours. Some nights we have tried to hurry and skip getting his out but that never works. I love that he can find almost any of the main 24 characters and he gets so excited sitting in Sacrament Meeting when he hears a reference and he recognizes the name. He knows who the speaker is talking about and pays attention for a few seconds.

And I just have to say.... I love what he calls Alma and Alma the Younger. Alma is "Elmo's Daddy" and Alma the Younger is "Elmo." It cracks me up every time. But he loves the scriptures and the hope is this love will continue for life.