Monday, June 15, 2015

Samuel's birth - April 13, 2015

I am embarrassed that it has taken me so long to blog about Samuel's birth.  I don't get many things accomplished these days between feeding him and running 6 other kids around.
Where to start?
We had started to be watched closely by my OB because of proteinuria.  Things were going okay and I was so, so grateful for each day that we'd get through.  We had steroid shots to help develop Samuel's lungs 2 weeks before (around 30 weeks) and I was trying to pay close attention to his movements to make sure he was staying active.
I had a night or two where I'd try to poke him awake and couldn't for awhile and was tempted to take myself to L&D (those were nights when Jon was at work).  We had done 2 non-stress tests prior to this and both were normal.
About a week and a half after spring break, Samuel was not moving as much as normal on a Friday evening and Saturday.  We went out to dinner on Saturday with friends and on Sunday morning talked to Jon about going in after church.  (I was teaching a lesson, Emily was speaking in Sacrament Meeting and we were saying the prayers so we decided to go to church first).
Of course, during Church, Sam was active.  I was relieved and kept thinking over and over "Should we really go in?"  After talking to Jon, we both decided that we had already planned on going in and we might as well.  We had a quiet afternoon and Emily was willing to watch the other kids.
L&D was busy (of course), but they were so kind to check us in and get me hooked up to monitors.  Everything was going great and they had concluded to let me go home, but then, his heart rate dipped down during a contraction.  They didn't like that - not at all.   They then decided to do a couple of more tests (via blood work and ultrasound).  About every 30 to 45 minutes, his heart rate would drop and they would shift me to lay on my other side.  His heart rate would come right back up but it was staying down a little too long.
They soon concluded that I would at least spend the night and probably stay a couple of days to monitor him and try to get further into the pregnancy.  Jon went home to take the kids to my parents house for dinner and to put their worries at ease.    We were 32 weeks and 3 days along (in between the time that we had Jack and Hailey).
As the afternoon turned into the evening and evening into night, my OB, Dr. Kaelberer came in a couple of times (I was so lucky in that he was the doctor on call that day!).   He said that I was making the nurses really nervous with Sam's heart rate dropping and by 9:30 p.m., he decided that we'd gone long enough and it was time to just deliver.
I called my mom and asked her if she could go to the house and sleep there.  She was my lifesaver through all of this!  Jon got to the hospital around 10:30 or so.  We knew we were going to have  C-Section (both Jack and Hailey were born via C-section).  Dr. Kaelberer had one other C-Section he was doing and then I was next.  As we waited, a NICU nurse came in and reassured us that our baby would be well taken care of and I'd get to get him as soon as possible after I was out of recovery.
We got all prepped and went back to the OR.  The nurses were great, my OB was great and his partner was great too (I actually know his wife through PTA) and the anesthesiologist was great too.
The surgery went well - mostly.   I always get really shaky with anesthesia (especially when my arms are tied down - I later had really bad neck pain because of it).   I felt like I was in more pain during this surgery than the others.  The "slight tugging" sensation is not slight!  Jon held my hand through the whole thing and stood and watched (I don't know if I could do that).
There was scar tissue to get through first, but I felt like they got to Samuel pretty quick.   They told me when he was coming and as soon as they pulled him out, he started to cry.  That is the sweetest sound in the world - especially being early!  Jon snapped a couple of pictures and they literally handed him through the window to the NICU.  He looked great - he had great color and seemed healthy.

After just a couple of minutes, a nurse stuck her head back into the window and said that he weighed 3 lbs. 13 oz (we were estimating 3 lbs. 8 oz. so we were so excited that he was bigger than we thought) and that his Apgar scores were 8 & 9!   Those are great scores even for a full tem baby!  I was so relieved and so happy that he was okay and was doing well.  He was 17 inches long and was born at 12:27 a.m. on April 13th.

We had decided to have a tubal ligation (which still makes me a little sad that I've already gotten to that point in my life), so they did that and then stitched me up.  It seemed to take forever!   After they finished, Jon went and took some pictures of Samuel, and I was taken back to my L&D room for an hour.

This is Samuel right after birth.  They immediately put an IV in his left hand and put the oxygen monitor on his right hand.  They started nutrients and antibiotics through the IV.

Thankfully, he did really great with his breathing.  The steroid shots had done what they were supposed to.  When we saw him about an hour later, they had oxygen in his nose, but after he pulled that out a couple of times, they didn't put it back in.
He was rooting around a ton - just like a regular newborn.  He loved a binkie from day one and I felt bad that I wasn't able to just nurse him.
After recovery, and on my way to my room, they wheeled my bed to the NICU to see him.

Of course, I've loved him for a long time.  I had endured 3 miscarriages (so many, many weeks of pregnancy not feeling well) and was so happy that we finally had our last little baby with us.  He had blondish hair (not as blonde as Kate) and from the start, we felt like he looked most like Kate.  I was so happy to see this perfect, cute baby and touch his back. 

They took me to my room (only to discover that my CNA was a fellow PTA President from another school in our district).    I was finally able to sip on water and have ice chips and get a little bit of sleep.  Jon went home around 3 in the morning to get some sleep so that he could get the kids ready for school that morning.

I was able to get a little sleep - only because I was so exhausted!  I was excited to go see my baby again first thing in the morning!  (more posts to come about Sam's NICU stay)

I am blessed far more than I deserve to have 7 wonderful, amazing kids!  Samuel is a pure joy and I am so grateful for modern medicine and my motherly intuition that literally saved 3 of our babies lives.  For Jack, Hailey & Sam, I was able to know to go in and have things checked out because I just didn't feel like they were moving enough.  The Lord has watched over us and blessed us and we are so thankful to have these great kids sealed to us forever!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hailey turns 4

Right after spring break ended, our sweet Hailey turned 4 years old!
We absolutely adore this girl and love her sweet disposition and personality!
She is happy and funny and shy and wonderful!
She woke up on her birthday to find a few gifts - that she insisted on opening before the kids went to school.  She really wanted some Beados.  She got that and some PlayDoh and some new pretend food.

The night before (Easter), we celebrated at my mom's house with a cake just for her.

For her birthday dinner on her actual birthday, we had her favorite dinner (spaghetti) and then a couple of days later, I picked her and her 2 little friends (Max & Hunter) from preschool and took them to McDonald's for lunch.

Hailey at age 4:
- She's been going to preschool 2 days a week and absolutely loves it
- She goes to dance class with cousins Sophia & Lucy
- She has a Little Gym class on Fridays
- She loves to talk, but we often have a hard time knowing what she is saying.  This makes her really mad.
- She started going to Primary at the beginning of the year and loves it!
- She is really good at playing by herself.  She loves Play Doh, painting, playing kitchen, playing house and doing puzzles.
- She loves to watch TV - especially Daniel Tiger and Dora
- On the show Daniel Tiger, there is usually a song with every episode and Hailey knows just when to sing them to us.   For example, one day she came up to me and started singing "I like you.  I like you.  I like you just the way you are."   Or another time when Hannah wouldn't try something for dinner "You've got to try new foods cause it might taste good."    Or, when Hannah was really mad at bath time, she sang "If you're feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to 4."
- Jon loves to tease her and Hailey teases him right back and tells him that she doesn't like him or that she doesn't like any boys.
- She carries around her blanket - which is in shreds now. 
- She's fully potty-trained (including nights)
- She is a picky eater.  She loves, loves, loves spaghetti.  She also likes hot dogs, McDonalds,
go-gurt, Cheerios, granola bars, apples and melted cheese sandwiches.
- She loves to ride her trike and more than once, we've had to go find her because she's gotten too far away from home. 
- She has been so loving and kind to Samuel.  She always asks where Baby Samuel is and if she can see his face.  She'll comfort him by saying "See Baby Samuel, mom did not die, she's right here." 
We love this little girl so much!  She is teeny for her age, but smart and sassy.  She's loved learning the alphabet and numbers and is excited for another year of preschool.
We love you Hailey Grace!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spring Break - March 27 - April 3, 2015

We had thought about and planned on going to Oregon to visit Jon's mom for Spring Break/Easter.  Rewind exactly 4 years ago - I was due with Hailey.  She was due in the middle of May and we went to Union at the beginning of April.  (I remember being there for April Fool's Day because Jon's sister Anne was there too and made the cutest, funnest foods that were actually other things  - like French fries that were actually apples).
We drove home on a Sunday and I remember thinking that the baby didn't really move a whole lot even though we were sitting most of the day.  The next morning, we went to L&D for a NST. It ended up being normal, but they asked us to come back on Tuesday.  Tuesday I went back and they ended up keeping me overnight and delivering Hailey early on Wednesday morning - 7 weeks early.
I really, really didn't want to have a baby in Eastern Oregon.  I knew we were a high-risk and didn't want to be too far from our doctor and our hospital.  (Samuel ended up being born about 10 days after spring break).
So, we decided to stay home and we had a great time.
One day, my cute mom came over and we made sugar eggs.   I remember making sugar eggs with our cousins in Worland and my mom still has them.  It's a large egg made out of sugar with  a cute scene inside.  My mom, Lindsey & Kate took a class on how to make them and then my mom made it possible for each of my kids to make a big egg and a small egg.   It was something we'll always remember!

Kate is decorating the outside of her small egg.  I need to take a picture of them all (when I get them out again next Easter :) )

On Wednesday, we had an unexpected, wonderful, memorable surprise!  Our besties - the Rasmussen family - came to Utah for spring break.  We were secretly grateful that there was no rooms available in Southern Utah and they had to come north to visit family.  We were so excited to have the majority of the day with them.
They drove from Springville to our house. The kids played for just a little bit and the grownups visited.  Jon worked overnight the night before, but skipped sleeping so that he could play too.  We drove up to Ensign Peak and everyone but me (too risky with my pregnancy) hiked Ensign Peak.  It worked perfect because I went to my mom's house for a little bit and then met them at the bottom as they finished.

After the hike, the Rasmussen's (those stinkers!) bought us lunch at Hire's.  We let some of the bigger kids sit at a table by themselves and pretty soon, the waitress started bringing out huge root beer floats.  Apparently the kids just felt like them and ordered them with lunch :)

We then drove to Wheeler Farm.  The kids (and Ammon) played on the playground and then we walked around the farm to see the animals.


Friendly Ethan trying to become friends with an unfriendly goose

Awesome kids - Karli, Hailey, Kate, Lindsey, Paisley Hailey, Brynlee, Jack, Hannah & Ethan

Pregnant sheep & pregnant lady

What a fun treat to spend the day laughing and visiting with this amazing friend!

Thank you so much Rasmussen's for coming to SLC and for letting us enjoy you for the day!

During the week, we also saw "Cinderella" and "Macfarland, USA" at the movie theater.  We went to dinner at Red Robin.  Went to Emily's soccer game. Attended my mission reunion (it's been almost 20 years since I started my mission).

One morning, Peter & my mom came over to make bead necklaces.  The girls had a great time and we laughed at how much Hailey concentrated and did it.    So fun!

On Saturday, we decorated Easter Eggs.  We covered the table in old towels (rather than newspaper) and it worked so much better!

We had a great spring break - it was such a treat to be home and do stuff around us.  Jon worked the first few days and then had the rest of the week off.  Little did we know that 10 days later - we'd welcome our baby boy!