Saturday, May 17, 2014

365 days. A whole spin around the sun

1 Samuel 1:27
That was the first verse I thought of when I found out I was pregnant.  It's the first verse I think of any time I look at that sweet face.
LAW said thats how he knew we were having a boy, because it's a prayer for a boy.
It's a constant reminder of God's love.  A reminder that He is so good to me, even when I lack faith and hope and sometimes even prayer. A reminder that He knows my heart, and it is His timing, not mine, that decides what/when/where/why and how.

When I first made this journal, I had intended for it to be an anonymous place where I could voice all the issues I had been dealing with for the previous two years in relation to my infertility.  I was torn up inside and needed an outlet.

In August 2012 (and after three failed attempts at fertility treatments), I went to the ER and had to get my appendix removed.  While the docs were doing their thing, they cleaned up a bunch of cysts that had burst (thanks PCOS), and that was that.  The next month, without my knowledge, I got what I always wanted.

I am in awe when I think of how God works.  I can't believe I went from this frustrated post to this shocking one in just a few months.
That even after knowing I was carrying a little one inside, and receiving a call from my doctor as I vacationed in Cancun stating that I would most likely miscarry, I get to sit here today, a year after welcoming him into our world on his termsnot mine..

This little guy is perfect.  If you've met him, you know he's got an awesome personality, definitely gets his calmness from dad. He has taught me so much in such a short period of time.  He has taught me to enjoy the little things, he has taught me how amazing and interesting this world can be.  He has taught me I can function on 3-4 hours of sleep for months at a time, and that one little smile works 100x better than caffeine.
I often joke that if God only sends me one little miracle, I'm okay with it, because Elijah is pretty dang awesome, and I don't know how I could top that.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience this first year with him, to watch him go from this little crying machine into this goofy speed-crawling laughing little person!

I know it's his birthday but I'm the one who got the better end of the deal here. Lucky to be his mama, lucky to have him as my son.

Happy first birthday, little man.  Mama loves you more than words could ever express.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

it's been a while

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my innermost being: You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.
Holy Moly it's been a busy (almost) eight weeks! So busy in fact, that I'm pretty sure I've tried to write an update at least 12 different times and have failed miserably at even opening up my Blogger.

This is going to be a somewhat REALLY long update with maybe TMI details in certain areas - my apologies!  So if you don't want to know, don't read on, got it?  Great!

I'm really happy that I was able to write the last post just two days before Baby W* made his way into the world.  It's funny how it worked out because just weeks before, I had come across some article that said something about how a pregnancy lasts exactly two hundred something days with no weird factors involved (I can't remember if it was 270-280) and I added up the days and it was exactly May 17.  I also had this gut feeling - hope, really - that he was coming before May 21st... I even made jokes out of telling him to get out early so he would be a Taurus - NO OFFENSE TO ANY GEMINIS OUT THERE.. I don't even follow that stuff, I just know "they" say Virgos and Taurus get along great.. obviously something was missed with AB though.. HA!
Anyway, so I kept telling my mom I wanted her to come earlier than we had initially planned - the 18th - and she agreed so I switched her flight to the 15th.  She got to Reno at 10pm that Wednesday, and Thursday we went and shopped for groceries, etc., so she would start getting prepped for the following month of meals.  We were both super tired when we got home that evening, and I even went to bed at 9pm while LAW watched TV.  He put on Big Fish, and at 10:00 pm, I asked him to help me roll over (truth) so I could get out of bed and go pee, at which point my water broke and I just thought I reaaaaally had to pee.. sometimes it happens, when you hold it and then pee forever?  Yeah, that's how it was.. nothing gushing down, no sound, no weird feeling, just lots and lots of what i thought was pee.
I even told LAW that I wasn't sure if my water had broken or if I had just drank a little too much water during the day.  He asked if he needed to wake up my mom and if we were going to the hospital, I said I was going to shower first, and if my braxton hicks didn't go away with the warm water, then maybe we could head in "just in case."  Welp, by 10:30 pm, I realized my water had in fact broken and what I thought were BHs were contractions that were already a minute apart.  Getting out of that shower and trying to get dressed was the hardest thing ever. I couldn't even get up off the ledge of my tub once I had sat there after a contraction. My mom had to brush my hair after LAW had to get me dressed. hahaha, it was NOTHING like when MM's water broke and she was calmly getting dolled up an hour after calling me to come watch her dog.

Luckily, Thursday nights are apparently very quiet coming into Reno, and no police officers were around to pull us over after every red light LAW ran to get me to the hospital.

We got in at 11:00pm and were admitted because of my super close contractions, but I was only 3cm dilated so they gave me an epidural at midnight to slow things down while my body caught up to the contractions.  So much for scheduling my C-Section, baby was coming the good ol' fashioned way and my meds were turned off shortly before 4 AM.  I guess I wasn't progressing past a certain point, because the doc on call (not my doc) came in right before 6 AM and Baby W* was born at 6:07 AM with vacuum assist.
LAW was the first to get to hold him and love on him, I was too nauseous from the pain and couldn't even look over because I was burying my face in a bag. womp womp!  The beauty of giving birth I suppose ;)

Baby W* was a healthy 7lbs 3 oz and 20 1/4 inches long.  He was born with a perfect knot in his umbilical chord and the nurses were shocked when they saw it - I was just glad it didn't cause any problems while he was in my belly and that it was a relatively normal delivery (so far...) This is where it gets a little TMI.

Since the recovery floor was super busy, I had to stay in my initial room until 11 AM, but Baby W* was with me so I was fine where ever.  They wheeled me into my recovery room shortly before noon, and after shivering some and trying to get up to go to the restroom per my nurses' indications and assistance, I apparently fainted and then remember laying back in the bed with what felt like 30 nurses all around me.  Realistically, there were at least 6, and everyone was in panic mode.  I just remember seeing my mom in the bathroom and then hearing her throwing up and telling LAW that I really thought she needed to go home because she wasn't feeling well.
At some point, my doc, whose office is right across the street from the hospital, showed up to try to stop my hemorrhage.  I didn't really know what was going on, I just knew it wasn't good, but Baby W* was safe.  I think they even took him out of the room, but I can't be sure.  Doctor P had to "go in" and pull out all the blood clots that were forming in my uterus.  It was like having Baby W* all over again, twice. Once when the doc went in, and again when he pulled out whatever it was that he pulled out.  To say it was excruciating pain doesn't even do it justice.  HOLY CRAP. I think nurses were holding me down and I may have scared every mother on that floor the way I was screaming and crying.

Those next few hours were a total blur.  Lots of pain meds, lots of trying to calm me down, lots of checking up on me's and pressing on my abdomen to make sure they couldn't feel any more clots forming or left over.

After the fact, my mom said that when I fainted in the bathroom, she saw death's face on my face - I don't really know how to properly translate that saying, but I'm sure you get the point.  She thought she was going to lose me which caused her to vomit.  She still cries when ever she tells me about that little episode.  It must've made an impression on all the nurses, too - but more on that later.

I ended up having to stay at the hospital until the following Monday, and because I had lost so much blood, I received a transfusion that Sunday.  Apparently, normal blood levels are 14, and the last time they had checked my blood, I was at 11 (I think after Baby W* was born).  The first time they checked my blood after my hemorrhage that Friday, I was at a 6.3, and a 5.7 on Saturday morning.  By Monday morning, and after the two bags of blood, I went up to an 8, which is the least number I can be to be released. Just two weeks ago, I was at a 10.3, and I'd like to think I'm at least at 11 by now ;)

The next night we were back at the ER because Baby W*'s jaundice spiked up to the point of making him lethargic, dehydrated, and with zero interest in his food.  Luckily, only 12 hours under the UV lights fixed that issue.  Having your four-day old baby get an IV through his forehead is mortifying, though.  He was such a trooper!

A few weeks later, I ended up at the ER with an unexplainable 5-day fever that would break every night, and would come back higher than the day before. It even spiked up as high as 104.7* the day after my ER visit.  This is why I think my little incident the day of Baby W*'s delivery was a bigger deal than the docs lead me to think... I asked for a pump while I waited in one of the ER rooms, and they said they didn't really do that but would call up to Labor & Delivery to double check.  The minute the nurse found out who it was for, she rushed one down, saying she knew me.  Any other nurse who has somehow crossed paths with us in the three visits since May 17th remembers my name and Baby W*'s name and will make sure to tell me she was there doing X or Y when "IT happened." I think it's comical in a scary way.
Anyway, nobody could figure out what was causing my fever, and I did a follow up with Doctor P who was also stumped but he gave me an antibiotic to see if it would help whatever it was.  It did, my fever went away a few days later, but then Baby W* started with new problems...

At around 2 weeks old, he started getting very fussy and uncomfortable after eating, and I thought he was just a colic baby.  I changed my diet to cut out all dairy and any acidic food I was aware of - no more tomatoes, citrus, strawberries, anything I knew could negatively affect his tummy.  Then the vomiting started.  At first, he would have projectile vomiting maybe once or twice a day, after a feeding, and everyone at home kept reassuring me it was perfectly normal for them to get sick and throw up, but it progressively got worse, until it was after every single feeding.  My mom was having to do laundry about twice a day because he would get himself and whatever I was wearing soaked every time.  I started getting super frustrated with it and googled what was normal or what could be causing what he was going through.  Because it started around the same time that I was trying to transition from pumping and bottle feeding back onto just breastfeeding, I was worried my milk was letting down too fast or whatever number of things on my end that could be causing him to get sick.  I read about acid reflux and then that lead me to GERD and then eventually to Pyloric Stenosis.  The minute I read about PS, I suspected that's what he had.  By June 24th, I called and asked to see his Ped that same morning, but he shrugged it off as Acid Reflux and gave us a prescription to help him with it.  I only waited out the day before finally saying I'd had enough and getting him into the ER.  He was barely eating an ounce every 3-5 hours and would empty his stomach the minute he was done with his feeding.  I told the Doc at the ER what I thought was going on, and they did an ultrasound to see if they could spot it, and sure enough, within an hour and a half or so, we had a diagnosis.  They admitted him again, and scheduled his surgery for the following day at noon.
Luckily, after some hiccups with his feeding regimen on Tuesday/Wednesday, he got back on track Wednesday early afternoon and was ready to be released by Thursday early afternoon.  He went from 3.5 oz of breastmilk every 3 hrs to 1 oz the night I took him to the ER, to a whopping 4.5 oz he's eating now, and he's not even 8 weeks.. I'm kinda mortified to find out how many ounces he'll want when he's 6 months or so! Esp if I can transition him back on and get rid of the pumping and bottle feeding stuff I'm doing now.  But at least I know he's healthy and happy, and as a mom, that's all I really want.

So enough with all the bad.. good things that have happened: my sister SB was able to come out and meet the little guy, and I think they're both in love with each other.  One of the first times Baby W* laughed, it was while she was talking to him.  It was really cool having her here and watching her develop a bond with him at such a young age.  I wish she lived closer so she could see him more often. She may not miss me when she's home, but I know she misses her Taquito! At least she'll be back for his baptism - which leads me to the next good thing.  I talked to my oldest brother, FB, and told him Baby W* wanted him to be his Godfather, and he cried and said it was an honor.  I'm really glad that so many things are looking up for him and that he's in such a better place after all that negativity that was brought into his life last year.  I think he's in a great place in his life, and looking back, it was the best thing that could've happened to him to get him where he needs to be.

My mama bear is still here, and she's crazy in love with her new grandson - to the point of wanting to move here.  I think it's great.  Baby W* will enjoy having at least one set of grandparents close by as he grows up.. he needs someone to spoil him, anyway.

I transitioned him back into his crib, and so far he is doing great!  I really think that his inability to sleep alone these last 7 weeks had a WHOLE lot to do with all the things that were going wrong with him and his need for mama to make it all better.

Like I said earlier, he started smiling, and he watches me any time I leave or enter a room.  He's ticklish and he lets out a little coo'ing sound any time I tickle him.  He also LOVES his little play mat.  He stares at every animal hanging and will "laugh" and talk to himself.  I wish I knew what he was thinking.

As for me, I'm counting my blessings even when I'm dying to get some sleep at 3 AM.  He's a little miracle baby and my little warrior, and that gets me through the best and the worst of times.

We are all looking forward to having some of LAW's family come visit in September to meet the little guy.
I'm personally looking forward to the days where he'll sleep less during the day and more at nights so I can really start playing with him!  But things happen fast, and I'm already missing the days where his NB outfits looked huge on him!  The only thing that has stayed the same, if not better, is that rockin' hair.  Someday you'll thank me, little man!

Until next time I have some free time! xox


Here are tons of my favorite pictures of him to date:

On the night you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, "Life will never be the same." Because there had never been anyone like you ever in the world.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life will never be the same again

So I kinda figured this is the last update I will be able to make before Baby W* makes his way into this world.  I'm at a total disbelief that this time next week I will hold a tiny little person that I helped create and grew inside my belly.  The most nerve-wrecking thing is knowing that I am responsible for shaping his life into one that is worthy of the world.
One of the biggest things I've learned during this pregnancy is how HUMAN my own parents are.  I think I've spent my whole life thinking they should live up to this superhero/human persona and offended at any mistake or wrongdoing they have committed raising me and my siblings, as if they should know better and do but ignore it and mess up on purpose - but in reality, they are human just like me.  Regular people doing their very best under the circumstances they've been presented and trying to give their children a better life than they had.  And it's helped me realize just how amazing my parents have been, regardless of any little screw up that - let's be real - nearing 27 years old, I really should take responsibility to fix if it's a flaw or issue that I live with.  Hopefully that makes sense.
I hope that I can be half the parent my parents were.  I hope I can remain calm when Baby W* climbs trees and falls and breaks a bone or five.  I hope I can teach him the same love for dogs that my mom taught me.  I hope I can teach him to be respectful and mind my manners the way my dad taught me.  I hope that when we have a tough year and can't afford family vacations, I can gather up his closest family or friends and take them on a tour around our city pretending to be tourists like we did when we were kids.  I hope that every now and then, when Baby W* and his siblings are bored, I get the urge to buy water guns and take them on drives letting them shoot water at pedestrians in good fun.  I hope if my kids someday stand on the roof of my house throwing water balloons at street traffic and someone stops and tells me to reprimand my children for being children, that I instead laugh at their innocent fun and enjoy the fact that my children are playing together.  I hope I can someday watch Baby W* help his younger siblings build cars out of boxes and put together a race and roll down hills to see whose car is the fastest.  I hope I never say "no" when he wants to go to the park or the library.  I hope that more than aiming to be Baby W*'s friend, I can become a great parent and an even greater example to shape his life in a positive manner.  I hope I can encourage him to follow his dreams, whatever they may be, without forcing my ideals on him.  I hope I can teach him to laugh and love and be happy.  I hope I can be a crazy mom and create crazy memories with him while he's young - the kind that I had that still bring smiles to my face when I think of them.  I hope I can teach him about perseverance, patience, kindness, honesty, bravery, humor, failure, success, love, happiness.. everything.  I hope I can teach him to love playing outside more than being locked in the house.  I hope I can teach him to get lost in books and his imagination.  Most of all, I hope that I instill the same kind of trust and respect I had in my parents to keep an open line of communication so he comes to me when he has problems, and listens to that little voice in the back of his head whenever he is faced with temptation to do bad things.

I can't wait to meet this little guy.  I can't wait to love him and hug him and kiss him and watch him grow, even if it means seeing myself age even faster.

I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to be a mom, I can't imagine having ever missed out on any part, good or bad, of the last 38 weeks I've lived.  I'm thankful for the people who have been there to help along the way.  Your support, love, and the genuine happiness you've shared with me has meant the world.

I will be heading to the hospital on Tuesday the 21st at 5:30 AM for a scheduled delivery at 7:30 AM @ St. Mary's in Reno - that is, unless he decides to come sooner.  I don't plan on updating facebook, and LAW has been asked not to, either.  I really want the first few days to be about US.  About the new little person in our lives, and about our new little family.  I want to give our families the opportunity to meet their grandson/nephew/cousin before social media does.  I will make sure LAW gives a quick update to let everyone know everyone is okay on our end, but other than that, I will treasure the first moments of being a mom with the persons who allowed me to have that title.  That is the plan for next week.

The only other thing I wanted to update everyone on was a little project that has been getting worked on for the last few months and is finally finished... and SOMEONE other than me has been very excited about showing it off and sad that I have yet to post pictures of it anywhere... so here is what we did with the nursery... ;)

But first!  Here's the latest belly bump picture:
38 week belly bump!

Now for the reveal!!!

The before... if anyone remembers this, I called it the Easter Bunny vomit room:

and one short painting job later, it already looked 592831x better..
no more pastel pinks or yellows or greens. yowza!

then there were boxes.. lots and lots of boxes...

one of them had a really pretty crib inside of it

LAW was kind enough to put it together..

I couldn't wait for the crib bedding to be delivered!

and from there, we got to here:

LAW and I compromised on the light.. I wanted a chandelier, he wanted a more manly light.. we ended up with a mix from IKEA!

The tub and snuggabunny bouncer won't stay in the room for long, but it works for now. haha. 

We also realized we needed books for his bookshelf.. and off to a bookstore we went yesterday.  Found some classics, still needing others, but it's a good start to Baby W*'s collection!

Nursing/Reading corner, including a Daddy & Me watercolor I made for LAW and Baby W*

LAW picked this quote for his painting

So obsessed with his crib & bedding.

My "Mommy & Me" watercolor and one of just Baby W* with a flower, of course, because that represents mommy.

Airplanes for daddy.. speaking of him.. didn't he do such an AMAZING job tying those curtains? hahaha

Thank goodness for a savvy mom who finds the coolest stuff at garage sales!  She gave the bookends to LAW but I've since passed them on to Baby W*'s room ;)

I'm really anti-rug, but I thought this was worth adding.. thanks to my awesome friend MM for encouraging the purchase. haha

Not bad for a DIY nursery! and of course, the first drawing visible is our little elephant family!

Hope you liked it as much as I do :)

Until next time, with Baby in tow!

Due Date: He will be here on or before May 21st!

How far along? 38w2d

Symptoms: insomnia, go away PUHLEEZE. I only have a few days left... increasing BH, returning nausea, heartburn, Baby W* moving around.. etc.

This week, Baby is the size of: a pumpkin!

Total weight gain: +31

Gender: 'ello, Boy!

Food cravings: cheeeese.. but it's not a pregnancy thing. haha

Anything making you queasy or sick: everything in general gives me heartburn

Maternity clothes? yupppp

Sleep: I miss it so much =/

Movement: yup!  Enjoying it while it lasts :(

Stretch marks? a few!

Wedding rings on or off? off :(

Swelling? Shrek feet and hands!

Belly Button in or out? in

Labor Signs: I don't think so.

Happy or Moody most of the time: hormonal.

Best moment this week: finishing Baby W*'s nursery

What I miss: small(er) boobs. hahaha.

Looking forward to: meeting Baby W*!!!