Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Letter 2012...Because I am too lazy and cheap to send one out

Hello Family and Friends,

I'm pretty sure this is officially our first Christmas letter. You'd think we would have had our stuff together before now, but apparently not. Anyway, I figured it was high time we got something out into the world. This year has definitely been a good one for us.

Ben still works at Takata, where he is in the quality lab. He got a bit of a raise when he was promoted to a Tech Apprentice. Hopefully he will get through the apprenticeship quickly, and become a full blown tech, and the raise that goes with it. :) Ben also does full time online school through Washington State University, and plans on completing his Bachelor's in Business Administration December of next year. He works hard to provide for our little family, and still keeps a positive attitude, never really grumbling about everything on his plate. He is a part of an A Cappella quartet, Shades of Blue, and they are really starting to get noticed in our community. They are pretty awesome. They are so cool, they even have a Facebook page. Ben and I are both on the board of a local Non-Profit Organization called Basin Community Theatre. Ben likes to be on stage, while I prefer back stage, but we both really love being a part of something this special. The people involved with this group are so passionate, talented, and all around amazing! I know that both of us feel really honored to be a part of it. This past year, he directed "Oliver", sang with his quartet for "Forever Plaid", sang in "Les Miserables" as Marius, and "Singing in the Rain" as Cosmo, sang in "Oklahoma", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum", all in the chorus. He was SUPER busy. This year, we are doing "The Music Man" and Ben will be singing in the quartet...it is going to be so fun. Even with everything he has going on in his life, he still makes plenty of time for his family.

I (Jamie) am...most days...loving being a stay at home mom. I can't wait until I can go back to school once Ben is done, but for now, I'm trying to enjoy the time I get to spend with Brooklynn. I may not be working as a Medical Assistant in a "for real" setting, but oh, how many times I have been grateful for the medical understanding and training I have. We get a lot of bumps and bruises here with a two year old running around (on Brooke, and on mommy and daddy)!! I'm loving having a new house that I can dream big when it comes to decorating! Now to narrow down the choices since I only have about a million ideas for each room! Since I have a new kitchen, I'm trying to broaden my cooking horizons. I always get flustered in the kitchen and think I'm going to ruin dinner, but Ben usually thinks the stuff I make is fairly yummy, so I must be doing something right. I've always enjoyed crafting, in general, and that hasn't changed, but I found that I really have a thing for sewing. Apparently the sewing gene skips a generation (sorry mom). Both of my grandmas sew, so I feel a little connected to my roots when I sit at a sewing machine. I just really love seeing something come together out of nothing. It makes me smile! This year has been a rough one for my Rheumatoid Arthritis, as it settled hard and deep in the pad of my foot, making walking really difficult most days. Luckily, I won't have to deal with that for a while. Like I mentioned before, I am also involved in the Basin Community Theatre. Last year I directed "Annie" as part of our Broadway Revue, and had a blast. I found a little courage, and joined the chorus this year. We will see if I go through with singing on stage. A girl can dream that she doesn't have the worst stage fright ever. I love singing...in the shower...where no one can hear me. Haha! Ben is still dead set about helping me get over this crazy stage fright, so hopefully it works!

Brooklynn is growing like crazy. She is so smart, some days it is hard for me to remember that she just turned two. She can count to four, then jumps to seven. Haha. She knows "Popcorn Popping", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and "Patty Cake" with all the hand motions. She really has a knack for singing, and truly has a gift...the child can pitch match! She has always...sorta....done this. Every once in a while, we would noticed her holding out the last note of church hymns, but thought it was a fluke. But it really hit us when we were singing "I am a Child of God" at Ben's Grandfather's funeral in November, and she was "la-ing" the notes on key. She knows the dong as it is one of her night time lullabies. She also loves to dance. You can usually find her standing in front of the TV watching some musical (usually Barbie) in her tutu, or one of her princess dress-ups. She will either copy what she sees, or go rogue and come up with something completely original. I don't know where she got the wicked dance moves, not from me. She LOVES the color blue...a girl after my own heart. She knows her colors, she just doesn't always match them (word to color) correctly. She's trying so hard though. She will point to something, yell out a color, then look to us for confirmation. When she's not quite right, we correct her, and she copies. I hope that means she understands the importance of repetition while studying. Haha, yeah right. She LOVES shoes, the girl can wear my high heels better than I can. If there is one thing she will cost us a fortune in...it's shoes. She loves dresses and tutus. She adores hair bows, or "hai' bows" as she calls them (her English blood is coming through...she has a hard time pronouncing the "R" on the end of words.) She loves OJ, strawberries, corn, potatoes with gravy, popcorn chicken, grapes, chocolate, and of all things, black licorice Good N' Plenty candies. YUCK! Luckily for us, she's willing to try just about anything. We really love trying cuisines from around the world, so we are really happy she inherited that! She's a bit OCD, (those who know her are reading this, questioning my add in of "a bit"...) which at times drives my OCD hiney nuts...but I still love her! Well, that's probably more than you wanted to know about Brooke, but what can I say, I am one proud mama!

This year has truly been amazing. Lots of opportunities have been afforded to us. We bought a brand spanking new house, where we were even able to pick out colors and such. We love it. It's a smaller 3 bed 2 bath, but it fits our needs and wants for a starter home. We live in a safe neighborhood surrounded by friends in an awesome ward. We are truly blessed. We were able to go to Disney World with my family this year, and oh my heavens, was it ever amazing! We can't wait to go back! Epcot was way more awesome that I thought it was going to be...and I thought it was going to be pretty awesome!!! Brooklynn had sensory overload! It was great! We traded the car we bought when we were first married, and bought a 2010 Chevy Equinox crossover. Best choice we have made when it comes to vehicles! I personally like the big booty for the groceries, camping, traveling, or whatever I choose to put back there! Mmm! I am in heaven driving that car. Well, I think that about covers our news from this year with one exception that kind of covers next year's big story too. We are going to be expanding our family by have another baby in June 2013!! Brooke is excited to be a big sister, and keeps kissing my belly while saying "I love you baby!" Ben and I are over the moon excited to have a family of four! This was a well planned attempt, that went way better (and quicker) than we were anticipating, but figure there is a reason for everything.

We love you all, and wish you and your families the very merriest of holidays!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brooklynn Marie's Blessing

So I'm over a week late on this one, but on January 1, 2011, Brooklynn was blessed. It was such a spiritual, and wonderful experience. It was so moving to me, to see my amazingly wonderful husband take our sweet baby girl, all dressed in white, and through the power of the Priesthood, give her a name and a blessing. Baby blessings are neat in general, but when it's your own baby, there are just no words! The other family member in the circle were my dad, Ben's dad, my brothers Brad and Kyle, and Ben's brother Nate, and brother in law, Paul. Brother Manly was also in the circle. Russ and Brie weren't able to make it, which made us sad, but they had a family thing, so we understood. Ashton and Nate had to leave for Seattle to go back to Hawaii before our church started on Sunday, so we did the blessing on Saturday at 1. Afterward, we all had a lunch at my parents house where we just talked, relaxed, and had fun! I am so grateful for blessings, of all types, and the fact that my husband is there, and remains worthy, to give them when needed. I love my little family, so much! I have been truly blessed by our Father in Heaven, and I cannot thank Him enough.

Here are some pictures from Brooke's blessing! I've wanted this dress for my first baby girl since seeing it in Fae's before I was even pregnant. Maybe even before we were trying to get pregnant. I made the bow and bracelet to match. She looked so beautiful on her very special day, and I couldn't be a happier Mommy!!

Brooklynn getting dressed

Brooke getting dressed again

Brooke's Blessing Dress

A close up of her dress

Our Little Forever Family

Everyone who could make it

As promised...Brooklynn in her Minnie Mouse ears!!! The poor girl is going to hate me when she's a teenager...

Love, Ben, Jamie, and Brooklynn Marie

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A quick Christmas update

My baby girl is growing up WAY too fast! I love her more and more every day. Brooke is nearly 6 weeks old...I can't believe how time flies. It seems like just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital...but the fact that she can no longer wear newborn clothes is a daily reminder of reality. We spent Christmas at Disneyland this year, and it was fabulous! I did miss putting up the tree, and decorating the jingle bells out of my home, but I'll live. We drove down to California again this year, which took two very long days to finish (my dad is dead set on flying from now on...I have a smile from ear to ear!). Brooklynn did great! By the time we got to the hotel each night after driving, her little tooshie was a bit red, and all she wanted to do was stretch out as much as she could, but my baby girl was such a trooper!

We spent 4 days in Disneyland/California Adventure, one at Knott's Berry Farm, and one day in LA. Well...Ben went to LA with my Dad, Brad, Erin, and Jessica. Granny, Mom, Kyle and Brooklynn needed break, and I needed to spend some time with Brooke after having my mom watch her while we went to Disneyland. I came back to nurse her every couple hours, but I missed my baby. Every time I saw a little girl at Disneyland, all I wanted was to be back at the condo with MY little girl. But Ben reassured me that she was fine (as did my mom with picture texts of her sleeping), and told me I needed some Mommy Time.

It was warm enough on the day we went to Knott's Berry Farm to take her out, and it was also good enough weather to have her go to Disneyland on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We got pictures of Brooke with Santa and Mrs. Claus...Mrs. Claus couldn't get enough of her, and just kept talking to her. Did you know Mrs. Claus has an Australian Accent? Neither did I, but she was the CUTEST thing! It didn't really feel like Christmas without the decorations, but the spirit of love and family was most certainly there!

I'm adding a few other pictures as well...we did a mini photo shoot with Brooklynn, as well as a couple Christmas ones. My mom has pictures of Brooklynn in her Minnie Mouse ears on Christmas day....I don't know how I missed that one, but I did. So as soon as I get those from her, I will post those too!

Lot of love!

Ben, Jamie, and Brooklynn

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brooklynn's Here!!!!

My baby girl is two weeks old today. It has been two weeks that I have had the blessing of this beautiful spirit in my home and in my family. 2 weeks since I first looked into the eyes of my gorgeous, long anticipated daughter. 2 wees since the most wonderfully horrid, excitingly nerve-wracking, hardest easy thing I have ever done. I know...I should have written the story by now, but this is personal, spiritual, and difficult for me to write. Plus being a new mom is tough stuff. Ben and Brooklynn are both sleeping, so I have a moment to relive and remember. This is going to be a long post, so I apologize in advance. I am also going to go into detail...so don't read the labor part if you don't want to know. I am writing this for me, so that I never forget what a true, miraculous, blessing Brooklynn Marie is to us.

Monday, November 15th, I had my 39 week appointment. I had gained about 6 pounds in water weight, and my blood pressure was slightly elevated, which made my OB a bit nervous. However, after laying on my side for a few minutes, it went back into normal range. When he checked me, I was a full 2 cm dilated, and about 60% effaced. Basically, not enough to say that I was in labor, though I was pleased that there was at least progress. Being that my BP was high, my OB wanted to see me again that Thursday the 18th. (This made it a little easier to go home with my daughter in my womb...not in the carseat.) So the appointment was set.

Thursday rolled around, and I had gained another 3 pounds, bringing my total weight gain to 40-41 pounds. My blood pressure was elevated again, and there was no bringing it down. I think it was 132/87...but I had a lot of BP readings that night, so I don't remember exactly. I had an NST, and she was doing great, but I wasn't having any contractions that they could monitor. My OB could tell how extremely uncomfortable I was becoming in my pregnancy, and it seemed that he was trying to find a reason to keep me. I will forever be grateful for his digging. He went ahead and sent me over to the hospital to be monitored some more, and so that I could get some blood work to test my liver and kidney functions, as well as my platelets.

A bit of a back story here...all three of these things could have come up ugly for me. When I was a child, I was found to have something called ITP. Basically, it is an autoimmune disease that targets and destroys healthy platelets, causing the inability for blood to clot. I haven't had an episode in over 7-8 years, and my Rheumatologist believes that (based on other cases) my ITP morphed into my RA...sort of a pre-cursor to a worse disease. But we all thought I was done having any symptoms of the ITP, with the exception of generally low platelets (still within healthy range...like 150,000 when it should be 200,000-400,000). 3 years ago, right before I married Ben, I nearly died because of my liver. My liver function tests all came back ridiculously, abnormally high...several times higher than normal. These two were my biggest concerns. I also had surgery due to malformation of my urinary tract...so this was the least of my worries, but I knew it could come back wonky. Okay, back to the story.

So I got to the hospital around 4, and my BP was being taken every 15 minutes until my OB showed up after clinical hours, around 5:30. During that hour and a half, my BP never stabilized. At one point it was 140/100. I never saw spots, or got headaches...I just had bad readings. When he walked into the room, I could tell that he had bad news. He just had "that look". He pulled up a chair and told me that due to my BP, I wasn't leaving until I had my baby in my arms. I was relieved to hear this, and couldn't understand why he thought that was a bad thing. Then he said that he got the lab results back. All the possibilities flooded through my head, absolutely paralyzing me with fear...then he told me what the problem was. Everything was fine except my platelet count, which came back at 86,000. I immediately started crying because I knew what that meant. No epidural. As a general rule, Anesthesiologists won't do an epidural or spinal block if the platelet count is below 100,000. So even if I had to have a c-section, it meant I was going to have to be knocked out...completely.

Me right after being admitted.

This was NOT going as I had planned. I had prepared myself mentally for a premature baby delivered via c-section. When I hit 37 weeks, and she magically flipped herself around into a head down position, I prepared myself for a vaginal delivery with an epidural. At 39 weeks, I was now totally high risk, even more so than before, with no epidural and a crappy situation if I had to have an emergency c-section...and circumstances could have changed at any time making that necessary.

To make matters worse, my OB had to go out of town for the weekend, and he was leaving at 5 am Friday morning. So I was stuck with one of two OBs...neither of which I had ever even met before, one (I found out) who was new to the area, and very knife happy. I prayed I would make it through the night without going into labor, just so I could get off Knife Boy's shift. Before my OB left, he started me on Cervadil. I was told not to expect too much, because for 85% of people, it does Diddly Squat as far as induction goes. He then apologized that he wouldn't be there to finish the nearly 2 year journey it took for us to get to this point. I felt kind of...honored(?)...that he would feel so invested in my case. After saying his farewells and well wishes, he left, and I started bawling all over again.

My mom and Ben left to get some dinner at my request, so that I could place everything that was swimming around my head. During the hour they were gone, I had made up my mind on several things.

1. I was going to be okay with the situation. I couldn't change it, I needed to deal with it, and fast. I wasn't going to be a pain in everyone's butt just because things weren't going my way. Instead I was going to act like this is how I wanted it to be all along. A delivery without an epidural. Women do it all the time, and so could I.

2. I was going to do everything in my power have this baby vaginally. This is more for selfish reasons...we are going to Disneyland for Christmas, and I want to ride the rides. Yes, there are other reasons, but this was the #1 reason for this one. #2 was because everyone thought I'd have to have a c-section (me included)...I wanted the chance to prove that theory wrong.

3. I was going to be the best behaved laboring woman they had ever seen. I remember hearing horror stories of women acting like toddlers during deliver. That was simply not going to be me. I was going to say my please and thank yous, and not let another naughty word out of my mouth. (Yes, I let the S word slip when I found out no epi.)

4. I was going to listen to the nurse's directions. Since Ben and I didn't plan on me actually "birthing" the baby, we didn't take childbirth classes. So this one was a must for me. I was scared out of my mind and had no idea what I was doing or how this all worked. They coach laboring women every time they go to work. They are the experts, and I needed to follow orders.

After my mom and Ben came back, I was still a little overwhelmed with everything, but I was in a better place mentally. 2 hours after the Cervadil was inserted, I started having steady contractions. At midnight, I had another blood draw to see if, by chance, my platelets had gone up enough to have an epidural. 87,000. No luck. A couple anesthesiologists had said that if I could get around 95,000, I could have one. A few hours after that (around 2 I believe) the nurse and my mom convinced me to start the IV pain medicine that I had been refusing, as the first dose is always the most effective, and I wanted it to count. A short while after that, I had to have the Cervadil pulled because I was over-stimulated by it, and my contractions were highly irregular.

At 5 am exactly, after going to the bathroom, I was getting situated back in my bed when I felt a small bubble pop "down there". I was trying to figure out how to describe what I was feeling to my mom. I was thinking my water broke, but there was no gush, no torrent of water that you hear about. The pad I was wearing wasn't even wet. My mom called my nurse in to check, and sure enough, my water broke. I was also 95% effaced and dilated to a 3. From that time until delivery, I had a nurse at my side, constantly watching over me, helping me through my contractions. My regular OB called before he and his wife left, to once again apologize and wish me luck. Sometime that morning, maybe 7 or 8, I don't remember, I had yet another blood draw to monitor my platelets. This time, there was no messenger, the anesthesiologist came to talk to me. He told me that all 20 of the anesthesiologists at Central Washington Hospital had gotten together and reviewed my case. There were 3 who had been quietly willing to do an epidural if my count stayed steady at 86-87,000. But all 20 said there was no way since my count had dropped to 79,000. I was going to have to do this the hard way. He also reminded me about the general anesthesia in case of a c-section. I kept telling myself that I could do this, and after a few minutes, I believed it again. After he left, I asked Ben to give me a blessing. I was told that everything was going to be okay, and that the delivery would happen how I truly desired. I knew that I would have a vaginal delivery at that point. The one thing I didn't want was a c-section. After that, I decided that I could handle whatever the Lord decided to throw me.

As the day progressed, so did my labor. Alicia, my RN, and Hannah, a student nurse on her second clinical day, did great and kept me going. Hannah was a bit shy at first, but I let her feel my belly (because you could feel the septum), and told her not to hesitate getting involved, and that I would try not to bite. After that, she just let her training kick in, got involved, and did beautifully. I slowly worked my way to being 5 cm dilated, and I stayed there for quite some time. I can't remember what time it happened, but some time that day, the on-call OB I had been holding out for (not Knife Boy) came in and broke the remainder of my water. Now THAT was the gush people talk about! There was some concern that there might be meconium due to the contractions I had been having for weeks, but the amniotic fluid was clean and clear. By 4:30 in the afternoon, I was a 6. After that, things got worse. The contractions were hitting me harder than ever. They weren't really "regular" as far as timing went, but when they came, they did so with force.

Around 5:15 I was checked again and I was nearly a 7, then everything changed. As soon as the nurse took off her gloves, I had a contraction. All of a sudden my stomach cramped, but not the same cramps I had been experiencing for the last 12 hours. My body took over and pushed against my will. No matter how hard or fast I breathed, my abdominal muscles still contracted. In one breath, I told the nurse "I'm not pushing, but I'm pushing. I can't stop it. I'm not trying to bear down, it's doing it on it's own." I was scared to death. I knew I couldn't push a baby out when I wasn't even a 7, and I was afraid I was hurting Brooklynn. As soon as that contraction was over, I started sobbing. Saying sorry over and over again, and asking if I had hurt my baby. My nurse just told me that my body was doing what it was supposed to do, and it wouldn't be long now. She checked me again, I was a 9, almost a 10. Another contraction hit, and the same thing happened, I was pushing without meaning to. During the contraction, she stayed inside me, pushing on the lip of my cervix, trying to make me a full 10. It worked. I asked if I could get one more dose of IV meds before I started into the real pushing. After all...she was going to get my next dose right before the crazy contractions started. She and my mom just looked at each other and said I couldn't have any IV meds anymore. I had to do this all natural, with no pain management. Then, I really got scared. The baby hadn't even started crowning yet, and I was in more pain than I wanted to think about.

I had another contraction, and remember saying "Heavenly Father, I need your help, I can't do this on my own." I told the nurse that the doctor needed to get there now, because I could feel the baby coming, and I was scared he wouldn't make it. She told me that he was already on his way. The doctor was there by 5:30, and after a couple contractions, and 4 very painful tears (due to how fast she came), Brooke's head and shoulders were out. The Doctor told me to stop pushing, because the cord was wrapped around her neck twice, and he needed to cut it before she could come out. The cord was wrapped so tightly, he had a hard time getting it cut. My mom said that the cord was also wrapped loosely around her body twice. After the cord was cut, she just slid out the rest of the way. Brooklynn Marie was born at 5:47pm.

When I saw Brooklynn while the doctor was cutting the cord from around her neck, I noticed that she was blue, but I didn't think anything of it. Her cord was wrapped really tightly, I could SEE that. I knew that as soon as the cord was gone, she would take a deep breath and turn a healthy shade of pink. I was wrong. When he laid her on my stomach, I knew something was very wrong. She wasn't crying. She wasn't moving. She wasn't breathing. Her heart wasn't beating. Her head fell back on my chest, and I saw her lifeless eyes roll back. I have experienced many scary things in my life. I have nearly died twice, had someone threaten my life, as well as the lives of my family members and friends, watched my mom nearly die 3 times, been thousands of miles away from a father putting his life on the line while fighting in Iraq, and what many people don't know, nearly kidnapped as a 7 year old child by a teenage boy. All of these experiences, combined, are nothing compared to the fear I felt in that moment. The fear that my sweet, innocent baby girl was born dead. The fear that I would never see her smile, hear her laugh, or watch her grow and learn.

Brooklynn right after delivery.

Barely able to speak, I did the only thing I could. I whispered, "Heavenly Father, save her" and then I cried the way my baby should have, the way I wanted her to cry...needed her to cry. The ache I felt for her was so deep, and so complete. After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a few seconds, they finally took her from me, and started working on her. It's a good thing my mom and Ben were there looking after her, or I might have just hopped off the table to be with her before the doctor had even begun to sew me up. As soon as they took her away, I started talking to her, pleading with her to breath. "Come on Brooke, breathe. You can do it Sweetheart. Breathe Baby Girl." For 30-45 seconds, these were the only things coming out of my mouth. Then it happened. She cried. It wasn't a huge cry, but it was enough to let me know that Heavenly Father heard me, and saw fit to answer my prayers. Enough to let me know that SHE heard me, that she was fighting for her life, and that she wanted to live.

Still a little blue

Getting some oxygen

Finally, a good cry. The best sound in the world!

Over the next several minutes her cries became more powerful, and the blue of her skin faded to a sweet, soft pink. Her APGAR score at 1 minute was a 4. But at 5 minutes she was an 8, and by 10 minutes, she was a 9. When Ben laid her on my chest the second time, her head fell back again, but this time because she willed it to. Instead of empty, rolling eyes, I saw bright, alert eyes, fixated so perfectly and intently on mine. It was as if in that one gaze, she was telling me that she was okay, that we weren't going to be separated just yet, and that I had plenty of time to get to know her. In that single gaze, all the fear and worry washed away, and another wave of tears hit. This time they were tears of happiness, relief, and gratitude. She weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces, and was 21 inches long, with a FULL head of dark brown hair, and gorgeous steely blue eyes. Today she is a bright, alert, happy baby, with no ill side effects from her ordeal. At her two week appointment today, she weighed 7 pounds 0.5 ounces, and was 21 1/2 inches long.

First time holding her while she was breathing.
Thanking Heavenly Father for saving her.

Day after Delivery

2 weeks old

Even though I didn't lose her, I have gained a greater appreciation and testimony of the gospel, particularly the blessing of eternal families. Throughout the ordeal, even though I plead with Heavenly Father that Brooklynn would live, I knew that she was mine, even if she didn't. That if it was in the Lord's plan that she not need anything from this world beside a body, it was okay because one day I would have had the chance to raise her. It would be okay, because Ben and I were sealed together for time and all eternity in the temple, and that she would be our daughter, and part of our family, forever.

Logan Temple...where we became an eternal family.

I am so grateful for Ben and my mom, who stuck with me throughout the whole process. Seeing Brooke so ill, made me have the tiniest glimpse of what my mom was going through watching me in labor. I understand now why she did many of the things she did while I was growing up. I understand her maternal need to care for me, support me, help me grow, protect me. I love her so much for all the things she has done for me, and I don't think I could ever repay her.

Ben bringing Brooke to me after she was okay

Ben was the ultimate support and teammate. I know it was hard for him to see me in that position and condition. I know because I saw it in his eyes as he breathed with me through every rough contraction. But he was there for me when I needed him most. I am so grateful that he is a worthy Priesthood holder, which made the blessing he gave me possible. He is truly my other half, and I love him more now than I did the day we were sealed together in the Temple of God for eternity. I love him more now than I did through the months of support he gave me while we struggled to conceive. I love him more now than I did a month ago. And I love him more and more every single day watching him love our baby girl.

So that's the whole story. That's why I cry when I think about Brooke's delivery. Not because of the pain of the labor and delivery itself, but because of what I very nearly lost, and what I am so very grateful for. Well, until next nap time!

Ben, Jamie, and Brooklynn Marie

Thursday, November 4, 2010

37 Weeks

We had a close call on Monday 11/1. I started having contractions at 1:30 in the morning that were about 10 minutes apart. They were still about 10 minutes apart at 3, so I decided to take a shower to try to relax. They eased up a bit in intensity side, but not so much frequency. They weren't really painful, so I didn't think too much of them...plus I was exhausted as I hadn't been to bed yet. I figured if they got worse, I would wake up. At about 5:30, I woke up to some pretty decent contractions, and they had increased to every 5 minutes, so I called my mom to get her opinion. Since I already had an appointment scheduled with my OB, I didn't know whether to wait it out, or head up to the hospital. Ben and I decided to wake up and get ready to head to Wenatchee. I really didn't want to deal with getting the random on-call doc, so we decided to wait a bit to actually start the trip to Wenatchee. Since my mom is a labor and delivery nurse, I had her monitor my contractions, because I thought I was going crazy, and imagining things. Plus I didn't (still don't) want to be one of those first time moms who freaks out about every little thing. My contractions were coming every 2-6 minutes, so we decided to go ahead and leave.

I called my OB's office, and was told to go straight to the hospital, since it sounded like I was in labor. I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes at the hospital. I had a quick ultrasound to see what position Brooklynn was in, and she was transverse. My cervix was still closed...0-1 with (maybe) 25% effacement. Just a little softening in the center, but nothing beyond that. Since Brooke was transverse, I was told not to eat or drink anything in case I needed a c-section that day. It was my OB's surgery morning, so he was at the hospital already, and came to see me at about noon. I think Brooke likes to flirt with Dr. Utley, because she was head down when he checked me, and he confirmed it with an ultrasound. Hey, as long as she keeps that up long enough to have a vaginal delivery...I'm perfectly okay with it. :)

Since I wasn't progressing by 5:30 that night (my cervix never did change), I was given the option to stay in the hospital, or go home and come back if my false labor turned into active labor. With only 2 hours of sleep, the night before, and not too much more than that they previous 2 nights, we decided to come home, and I was given some much needed sleeping pills. So now we are just waiting to see when Brooke decides to make her entrance. Given the fact that I am still contracting frequently, I would prefer sooner than later. I hope that my next update is one that I can show pictures of my little girl, but only time will tell!

Friday, October 15, 2010

34 weeks, and the countdown shortens.

Alright...time for another update.

I had my 34 week appointment Monday. Everything is going well. Brooklynn is growing like a weed, and has a good strong heartbeat. She is VERY cramped though. My doctor said that he was pleasantly surprised that I was still pregnant, which makes me wonder how far he really expected me to get. Being 34 weeks, I can now deliver in Wenatchee, and don't have to be flown out to Seattle or Spokane to deliver. He also feels that Brooke will be just fine if I were to go into labor now, so no need for steroid injections (YAY!!!). Our new goal is to get 2 more weeks...after that, he will just let her come if that's what she wants to do. Once again, she was breech/transverse. He told me point blank, if he'd needed to deliver her that day, she would have been a c-section. He told me to be prepared for it, but that she could still surprise us, so we aren't "planning" it just yet. Also, because of the fact that I've been contracting for a little over a week, he's having me come in weekly from now on (I had a contraction while he was trying to measure Brooke and me). He's also having me restrict my activities so that I don't overdo it, and contract even more. He almost checked to see if I was dilated at all, but decided against irritating the cervix since I had just had a contraction. I'm thinking those checks will start coming soon though...

So that's where we are. My little Thanksgiving baby may turn out to be a Halloween baby. Ben and I are frantically trying to get everything ready for her to arrive a month early. The car seat in in place, the hospital bag is mostly packed, and Ben has everything at work filled out so he can be there to support me. It's a good thing that we have awesome family nearby, who are all willing to help out if needed! Having our parents 5-15 minutes away has truly been a blessing!

While the thought of being a mom is still scares the living daylights out of me, I am so excited for Brooklynn to get here. Ben can't wait to hold her, and I can't wait to let him ;). He's already wrapped around her little finger, and she's already a daddy's girl. She loves listening to him play the piano, and never seems to fail to let him know she hears him when he talks to her (in French, which is super cute, by the way).

Well, that's about it for now. It's the waiting game from here on out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday and 30 Week Appointment

23. I don't feel any older...but I think a big part of that is because I still don't feel old enough to be a mom. I remember telling Ben..."I'll be 23 when we have our first baby. That seems pretty reasonable." Ha. I didn't take into account the fact that I don't think I will EVER feel old enough or ready enough to be a mom. Sorry...rant over. My birthday was pretty quiet this year. My dad was out of state for drill, and my mom was in Utah. Kyle went with Ben and me to lunch, as Jessica was in school. The day after, Ben and I took a day a went to Tri-cities. We went to the temple and did sealings, then walked around the mall. Granted...very slowly, and sitting on just about every bench we came across.

So, on to Brooklynn... my 30 week appointment went well. I needed below a 120 to pass my second glucose test, and I got a 103. Dr. Utley made sure to remind me to take it easy during these last few weeks. He told me to call the instant I may experience any signs of preterm labor...don't ignore anything. In other words, be safe rather than sorry.

This time, Brooke was transverse...not really breech, but not too far off either. I measured behind on my fundal height again, even smaller than my 28 week appointment where I measured dead on for my gestational age. This is all directly related to her differing positions in my uterus, but I can tell he's slightly concerned about not getting accurate measurements on me. He told me that Brooke doesn't have much time left to get into position. The longer she waits to do so, the bigger she gets, in turn making it harder for her to move around....meaning the more likely I'll have a c-section. I can't even attempt a vaginal delivery if she isn't head down because it's too dangerous to physically manipulate her.

While it's nice to finally hear some of the thoughts going through his head...it's a little scary to know that the fact he's saying anything at all is because of the high risk of it actually happening. A total double edged sword.

I'll try to keep this updated as I have more appointments. she could come within the next 4-7 weeks (most likely). Yikes...talk about a reality check. Here are pictures of my baby bump.

20 Weeks Pregnant

30 Weeks Pregnant