A Ressurection

2:24 PM

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I haven't made a blog post in nearly FIVE years.

It has come to my attention that I have too many words that need communicating to persons of the adult variety... and of course I need one more thing on my plate! The only solution is to bring back the blog.

You're welcome, Internet.

Preggo

A Baby Story - The Sequel

9:31 PM

Warning: Due to the Graphic Nature of This Post, Reader Discretion Is Advised.

Nothing like a good birth story to get me back to blogging! I hesitate to share these things, but it's really much easier for me to put it all out there in typing than have you nosies awkwardly ask me "how it went"... or worse yet me being in mixed company telling the story and not knowing how much is too much. SO, read if you're nosey... and I know you are.

Unlike many sequels, this one far surpasses it's predecessor. It's all I can do right now to refrain from reading my past blog about Liam's birth story for fear of deleting it out of complete and total embarrassment. What I once thought a "birth story" has been mightily put to shame! Laiden's birth story is the ultimate. It deserves it's own episode of the TLC show and would make every bubbly 8-week-pregnant-first-timer sick. It would make veteran mothers nauseated and L&D nurses cringe. I might be exaggerating just a teensy bit, but only a teensy.

For those of you that don't know. We have been apart of a church planting process for the past several months. The church officially launched September 9th and has been FABULOUS! Anywho, every Sunday without fail, I had contractions. I'm generally not quick to "blame satan"... but Lord have mercy I contracted EVERY STINKING SUNDAY from the time I woke up until a few hours after church. This past Sunday things got slightly more exciting than usual when the contractions didn't go away after church. They continued through the afternoon and actually got QUITE painful. I started bleeding. Nothing major, but enough for me to think twice about it. We were getting ready that night to head to a friend's birthday party and I decided to call my doctor... just in case.

I got in touch with the doctor on call around 4:30. Blah, blah, blah, 33 weeks, contractions, bleeding. Apparently that's enough to warrant a "come on by". I told Will to go to the party and I would just run by the hospital, but he said he would take me and we would skip the party. We got to the hospital and my contractions actually began to die down quite a bit. After a long, drawn out check in process and lots of waiting, waiting, waiting on the nurse to stop chitty-chatting, I was hooked up to the monitor for observation around 6:30.

The nurse observed I was having contractions.

Will asked what he should tell everyone about why we weren't at the party. I told him not to say anything because they were going to tell me to drink more fluids, rest, and go home. 

The nurse then informed us that the doctor needed to check me, but couldn't check me in the room that I was in. She was going to "help us" move to another room. Her help consisted of grabbing Liam and parading him down the halls for all her friends to see. We literally stopped to chat with every nurse from this side of the hospital to that so she could show off my child. While I'm flattered, I was in a backless gown having contractions. It was an entirely different parade for me.

They put us in a Labor & Delivery room. Around 7:30, The doctor came in and observed I was having contractions. After checking my cervix and running a few tests, it was decided that I was 3cm dilated, 40% effaced, and in preterm labor. 

She decided to start Magnesium Sulfate through IV to try and get the contractions to stop. She said it's commonly a "last resort" for this situation, but at 33 weeks she did not want to risk it. If you've never had Magnesium Sulfate... you're lucky! I thought my skin was going to catch on fire and my head roll off my shoulders. I was also given a steroid shot to help develop the baby's lungs. JUST. IN. CASE. As if I wasn't on fire enough, I needed another needle induced burning sensation.

My wonderful parents came and picked up Liam. My dearest friend (who is also my Pastor's wife) - who is literally super woman - came and encouraged me.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.

Around 10:30 the doctor checked me again. The contractions had slowed every so slightly, but I was now 4.5cm and 50% effaced. She decided if I went past 5cm she would stop the medicine and let me progress.



More Waiting, Waiting, Waiting and another large does of fire in my veins.

At midnight I was checked again, this time by the nurse... 5.5cm and 80% effaced. Laiden had decided that she was coming despite our best efforts to stop her.

I got some pain medicine and had the Magnesium Sulfate turned off.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting until I couldn't take it any longer! At 2:00 am I signed my life away for an epidural.

I knew the drill. Bend over, hug the pillow, quick stick, pressure, EUPHORIA! Unfortunately, my epidural didn't go quite as planned. I know I'm a whole-lotta-drama and tend to exaggerate, but when I tell you that I almost DIED I am not joking or exaggerating in the very slightest. The anesthesiologist almost killed me.

I remember my epidural with Liam well. I was shocked that my IV hurt worse and that it took a grand total of 2 minutes to do. I remember that fabulous numbing, warming sensation down my legs that ended all pain. This time was much different. The process seemed to take forever and was horrible painful. Despite numbing, I could feel the epidural going in. Things didn't feel right. Instead of a warming sensation going down to my legs, it went up and spread across my body. My tongue went numb, I couldn't breathe, and at the worst of it I couldn't hold my head up or keep my eyes open. I was terrified. I remember trying so hard to keep my eyes open for fear that I would stop breathing if my eyes closed. I remember trying to communicate my symptoms to my nurses and seeing the panicked looks in their eyes. I kept asking them if I was going to be ok and their "of course, sweetie"'s were far less than convincing. Will says the anesthesiologist was pacing and panicking as well. He kept using big words about his concern for my respiration depression and such to mask the obvious... I couldn't breathe.

It took almost 4 hours for me to regain some sense of consciousness and normalcy - even after they reversed the epidural medication.

The numbness slowly disappeared down my body from my head to my feet. Around 6:00 that morning I was semi back to normal and began to realize that my epidural was disappearing, but the baby was still coming. I began asking about my options.

My anesthesiologist returned. He told me that my epidural was "inserted wrong" and that he could either give me a "low dose" of the medicine when the time was appropriate or try to reinsert my epidural the right way. Neither sounded appealing. He didn't seem up for either one and offered lots of I'm Sorry's.

7:00 was time for shift change. I got a new nurse, but my sweet doctor hung around. She checked me and I was 9cm. She made the decision to break my water. Let me just say - that gush of fluid without an epidural was such a disgusting feeling that I almost vomited. It literally made me sick! The doctor also started pitocin and we prepared for delivery! I started freaking out about the pain. My contractions were getting stronger and stronger. This was the first time I had ever experienced "ready to push" contractions and they were no joke.

My doctor looked at me and said the last thing I wanted to hear:
"The best thing you can do right now for your pain is to have this baby"



I. AM. ABOUT. TO DELIVER. WITHOUT. AN. EPIDURAL.

After 2 more FOR REAL contractions I told Will that I quit and couldn't do this. haha! Luckily my new anesthesiologist showed up. He wasn't willing to do any epidural anything because of all of the issues I had, but he gave me something to "take the edge off". Whatever.

The pain was absolutely horrendous. It made me physically sick. I sweated and vomited and got horrendous shakes. My body had lost it's flipping mind.

After a "test push" that almost delivered Laiden in one fell swoop, they prepped for delivery. I had my doctor and my nurse. Laiden had a neonatologist, 2 doctors, and 3 nurses waiting for her!

My doctor told me to deliver just her head and then stop pushing so she could clear her airway and make sure there was no cord wrapped around her.

WHATEVER.

I DON'T HAVE AN EPIDURAL AND THIS BABY HAS GOT TO GO!

I pushed 3 times.

SOMEHOW within those 3 pushes the doctor convinced my husband to venture south to catch the action. He is forever scarred. He's lucky it was tiny baby Laiden and not melon headed Liam he saw come out!

Laiden arrived on the 3rd push at 8:12 am. She was 4 pounds, 14 ounces and 18.5" long. She was born with more hair than Liam currently has and actually looks like ME!


Please don't comment on my fatty fat fat face and my extra chins.

The NICU crew whisked her away after this quickie photo op. She had some labored breathing but they thought she would do well!

I celebrated my level ONE tear (instead of my previous THREE... Liam really is a melon head) and got stitched up.

I also gleamed a bit feeling all super womanish delivering without an epidural. Anyone who delivers totally drug free needs a psych eval stat.

I have tons more baby-mama-drama to share, but I've come to the end of Labor and Delivery so I'll save Postpartum and NICU for tomorrow. Stay Tuned!


Bad Wife

FIVE YEARS!

11:53 AM

Five Years ago on this very day I was a giddy, ridiculous, selfish, immature 19 year old girl (read: child) about to say "I do" to the one man who actually dared to ask me to spend the remainder of my life with him and only him.




Somedays I can still be several of those horrific adjectives that I frequently use to describe high school girls. Somedays I wonder if he realizes what a mistake he made. Somedays my head is spinning so from this life we have created together that I forget to stop and thank him for everything.

By Everything, I really mean... Everything.

He took a chance on me when he probably should not have. One "friend" commented "You're about to make the biggest mistake of your life" when shown the engagement ring Will purchased for me. When I found out about that comment I was hurt for a long time. I've come to realize that "friend" was probably right at the time. When Will asked me to marry him he wanted a wife. That's not what he got.

He stayed by me despite the many reasons I gave him not to. I can't and won't drag out the downs of the past five years. We have had them though. As hard as those moments have been, they have transformed who we are as a couple.

He promised to love me forever, unconditionally. I feel so emotional when I think about this. Loving someone this way is easier said than done most days. In Ephesians when Paul talks about Men loving their wives as Christ loved the church, my mind is blown. As much as I would like to and as hard as I try, I can barely muster Christ like love for the people in my life that are "easy" to love. Unfortunately for my husband, I'm NOT easy to love. It makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have a husband that commits himself to loving me forever and unconditionally like Jesus does.

So many things have happened and changed in the past five years. I've grown to love Will more now than I did on that day I said I do. I'm so thankful for his companionship and his ability to help me grow and shape me into the person I need to be. I'm thankful for building me up and being strong and logical when I'm not and for so many other things that I could go on for days about.

I never would have guessed that FIVE YEARS ago I would be in Durham, North Carolina with a 7 month old and another baby on the way, married to an underpaid (no offense Revolve Church!) Worship Leader. That's not the life I had planned, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank You Will for loving me and standing by me these past Five Years. I hope we have many, many more! Happy Anniversary!

Bad Mom

Bumbo Accidento and an ER Visit

11:39 AM

Last night we made our very first ER Visit with Liam.

We had a wonderful Friday Evening planned. I had been marinating steaks all day and had a killer new recipe for Loaded Mashed Potatoes I found on Pinterest. Liam and I had already visited the park, worked on a few house chores and had an all around good day.

It was getting close to bed time and Liam was starting to get crabby. I put him in his Bumbo and put him on the countertop like I do nearly every evening while I cook dinner. I was working hard on my Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Will started grilling the steaks. Liam is an outdoor enthusiast already, so I sent him outside to sit in his Bumbo with Will.

Will propped him on a stable, elevated surface about counter height under our carport where he was grilling. I came out several times to check them. Liam was playing and laughing. Will was standing directly next to him playing with him and checking steaks.

About the time the oven went off for the potatoes I heard Will yell. I knew from the sound of his voice something wasn't right. I then heard Liam begin screaming like I've never heard before. I raced to the other side of the house and met will coming through the door. I already knew what had happened but I asked anyways. Will was hysterical already. He was playing with Liam and turned around to check the steaks. When he turned Liam lunged forward to continue playing and flipped the Bumbo over. He fell and hit the concrete carport.

I immediately gave Liam a dose on Tylenol and held him. He cried and cried. Who could blame him? All the while I'm trying to calm my panicked husband.

I'm a waiter. I always try and wait things out. In any "emergency" situation I delay making the call to rush to the doctor if there is no obvious, blatant trauma (blood, bones sticking out...). I wanted to see how bad Liam was hurt before we ran off to the ER "for no reason". Will is the opposite. When things happen he wants to get in the car immediately.

Nothing was bleeding, but Liam was obviously hurting and scared.

When Liam stopped crying, I didn't feel right. He's always been very strong with holding his head up right, even since 2 weeks old. He wouldn't hold his head up. He acted extremely disoriented and wouldn't focus his attention.

After what seemed like hours (and was actually about 4 minutes) calming my husband and delaying him cranking the car. I knew we needed to go have him looked at.

I grabbed the diaper bag and started a bottle. I had Will pull the steaks off the grill and the potatoes out of the oven. I don't know where it came from, but as scared as I was, I was oddly calm about it all. It was a good balance to Will's panicked and upset state.

Liam was still extremely disoriented and was turning pale.

We got in the car and headed for the hospital. Will had no idea where to go. I directed him to the only hospital I knew of (which apparently was not the closest one!).

It had been raining for several hours. The roads were wet and Will was so rushed. I just knew that any injury Liam had wouldn't matter because we were about to hydroplane and die anyways. We passed a Sheriff clocking people. Will said he would have to pull him over in the hospital parking lot because he was not stopping. I agreed, but still thought he should slow down some. Luckily he didn't come after us.

I began to get even more worried in the car. Liam was white and was trying to doze off. I instantly went worst case thinking he had some kind of brain trauma. I wouldn't let him fall asleep!

My brain didn't feel like it was functioning properly. My calm demeanor at the house was losing out to fear and panic. I couldn't find my phone and couldn't remember what I had grabbed at the house, if the oven was turned off, or if we had shut the door. I didn't really care.

I got Will's phone and texted our friends at Revolve Church. I told them it was Leah, Liam had fallen far onto concrete, we needed prayers, we were on our way to the ER. I typed in names of anyone I could think of that Will might have in his phone. I know I left so many people out, but news traveled quickly.

Looking back, that message was so vague! People assumed he was bleeding to death! My poor parents had their anniversary dinner interrupted by my panicked words and rushed 45 minutes to check on us.

We made it to the hospital, got checked in, and saw the nurse. About 15 minutes had passed since Liam fell. By the time the nurse saw him, he was smiling some and began to focus more.

She got us back into the ER anyways.

The doctor saw us immediately. He checked Liam out and got him to smile several times and focus his attention. We saw another doctor as well. She recommended that Liam be kept for observation for a bit but she didn't want to do a CT because it was too much radiation and he seemed fine. Of course, by this point he is talking and laughing and you can't tell anything ever happened. That's how it happens I suppose.

So many of our friends showed up to check on him! Others sent encouraging messages. I'm so thankful for all of them! I had a moment then when I felt really silly for rushing to the ER and worrying everyone... but I'm certain it's better to be safe than sorry. God forbid he had actually had some type of real trauma and I would have waited. I would never forgive myself.

Aside from a nice goose egg and a scratch and a scrape, you would never know he got hurt. I've always heard people say "babies bounce", and I am so grateful they do. God knew what he was doing when he made them!

I woke him up a few times during the night. He was perfect! He seemed a bit sore this morning, but has been a happy boy!

As for the Bumbo. I KNOW the box says not to use it on elevated surfaces. But everyone does it. I really have never met anyone that hasn't put their child in a bumbo on the table or counter. I had only heard of ONE child flipping one and it was on the ground. To be perfectly honest, I brushed it off because he is WILD! I won't stop using the Bumbo all together... but I've learned my lesson about using it on elevated surfaces. I won't do it again.

Will and I are both still struggling with guilt. It's our fault it happened. We put him up where he shouldn't have been. Will turned his back for a split second. It happened SO FAST! I don't blame him though, because It could have happened on my watch too.

I'm so thankful for everyone who supported us emotionally. I felt so much better when everyone shared stories of their child's accidents and what they did! It was also nice to be surrounded by people that love us so much. It's been hard being in a new city and not knowing a lot of people. The reassuring part is knowing that the people we do know are some of the greatest people on earth. They didn't think twice about interrupting their Friday evening to come make sure Liam was ok. Even the people who couldn't stop what they were doing and leave, stopped what they were doing and PRAYED and that means just as much. I'm so thankful for my Revolve Church family!

I know this isn't our last crazy emergency situation... but hopefully it will be a LONG TIME before we have another!

Faith

Happiest of Easters!

7:17 PM

For those of you that haven't figured it out yet, I'll let you in on a little secret. My family doesn't follow the "norm"...

In our house, we don't do the "Easter Bunny" (or Santa Claus for that matter...). There is something uncomfortable to me about celebrating the death (and birth) of the greatest man in history by totally detracting focus from him onto fictitious characters that are allowed to break into your house because they come bearing gifts. It's so important to me that my kids look at these holidays as more than time off school or occasions to receive gifts, but as a time to stop and reflect on their faith and the savior that makes their daily life possible.

I also don't judge people... so carry on your traditions!

We DO; however, exchange gifts for such occasions.
Why? BECAUSE...
Christmas: It's a BIRTHDAY celebration and the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus.
Easter: Jesus' death is the world's GREATEST gift.
More Selfishly: It's less socially awkward and I don't want my children feeling left out.

I tell you all of that to say...

SO, sweet baby Liam celebrated his first Easter today! He enjoyed it immensely even though his gifts were not brought by a rabbit.

Photo evidence:










and YES I did make the only dog of mine that would sit still participate in the festivities! Poor, poor Dylan!


We are fortunate to attend a church that offers Easter services throughout the entire weekend, so we attended Saturday night and enjoyed a relaxing Sunday brunch!

I hope your Easter celebrations were JOYOUS!

Food

Summertime Strawberry Jello Cupcakes

3:56 PM

Sound Delicious? THEY ARE!

I found this pin on Pinterest:




but it linked to a picture, not a website and had a vague description of what seemed to be a tasty cake.

I thought I would elaborate on my version...

FIRST... I am of the opinion "Why make cake when you can have CUPCAKES!" So, do whichever you feel more comfortable with. The cake version is DEFINITELY easier!

Here's what you'll need:

Box of white cake mix
BIG box of Strawberry Jello (8 serving)
Strawberries
Cool Whip
Cupcake Liners
(Ingredients for cake mix... mine was 3 eggs, water, and vegetable oil)

Prepare your cake mix according to the box directions.

Fill your cupcake trays with the batter and bake according to the directions on the box.

After baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, mix together the Jello according to the package directions.

Return to your cupcakes. Take a fork and poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes. Poor the Jello mixture over the top of them until they are saturated.

(This is where the cake becomes easier. With the cake you can poor haphazardly over the top whereas you must poor CAREFULLY with the cupcakes. I put the Jello mix into a measuring cup that had a handle and a spout to make pouring easier. The best advice I have to avoid overflowing the cupcake is to pour a little, let it absorb, then poor more!)

Move your Jello soaked cupcakes to the fridge to chill. The Jello box says 4 hours, but I chilled mine over night.

After your cupcakes have chilled and stiffened up, cover them in coolwhip! I used a piping bag for mine, but you can use a ziploc with the tip cut off!

Use this awesome Pinterest tip for adding the coolwhip to the bag:
Source: bakingdom.com via Leah on Pinterest


After they're "iced" add a 1/4 strawberry slice to the top and return to the fridge!





Pull out right before serving for a light, cool, summertime dessert (or breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack for us pregnant folks)! It almost tastes like strawberry shortcake!

ENJOY!

If you have an awesome summertime dessert, I'd LOVE to hear about it!





Oh How Pinteresting

Oh, How Pinteresting! Wednesday

2:12 PM

It's time for another round of...



In honor of the big baby #2 announcement, this week I bring you...

BABY THINGS!

Get ready to have your mind blown (or repin me like crazy... either way!)


DIY Burp Cloth
because who doesn't need about 6 dozen of these?!





DIY Bibs
again with the needing 6 dozen!!





Cute Gender Reveal
though I do like the idea of a cake gender reveal so that I get to eat cake!





DIY Baby Shoes
apparently I'm in a DIY sewing mood. Seriously though, baby things are EXPENSIVE and these are SO CUTE!


Source: flickr.com via Leah on Pinterest



Cloth Crib Rail Guard
I don't have any crib eaters yet... but I'm sure it's coming!





Weekly Baby Pictures
I would LOVE to do these... but I probably won't have time and I would feel slightly guilty doing them for Baby #2 and not Liam!!






DIY Baby Blocks
Again with the sewing DIY. These look so fun though!


Source: bhg.com via Sarah on Pinterest




Getting Rid of Baby Belly
because I will definitely need it!!





Double Stroller
I'll definitely need this too!!


Source: google.ca via Kendel on Pinterest



and that's about all the new baby DIY I can handle!

I hope you enjoyed!