Saturday, November 3, 2012

Busting Ghosts

Halloween is always a little exciting for me. I love dressing up, but always at the last minute I feel like a fool and I start to get nervous that people will have no idea who I am dressed as. This year was especially fun though because it was Maddison's first Halloween. After going through many ideas for costumes that would accommodate three people, we settled on Ghostbusters. Well, I settled. My husband was more than excited to dress as a favorite childhood movie character. And with that I give you the Ghostbusters...

 And the least scary, cutest ghost in the history of ever. 

Until next year,
"Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


A photographic chronicle of the cutest daughter I have. 

Birth Story

January 18th. 1:30AM. I woke up very uncomfortable. A contraction? I didn't know, but had kind of hoped that's what woke me up. I sat there in bed for a moment then decided I needed to go to the bathroom. I come back and got into bed again. I think I fell asleep for like ten minutes before I was woken up again. I knew that time that it was a contraction. I laid in bed for a few more before I got out my phone and started timing my contractions on my Contraction App. I didn't want to jinx it. Before, whenever I had a hard contraction, I would get all excited but then no more would come and I would be bummed. At around 3:00 I started timing them, and they were coming full force every 5 minutes. I didn't want to wake Dallin up yet because I knew labor could last hours and I didn't see a point in him being awake if I could still handle the pains on my own. At 3:25ish a contraction hit hard and I knew I had to wake up the husband! I tried breathing through it but I couldn't do it on my own anymore. I reached over and grabbed his arm so tight. He woke up and asked if I was okay. I said, "I don't think you're going to work today!" He responded with "Are you serious?!" And practically jumped out of bed. Our bags were already in the car, all we had to do was grab our last minute items and we would be gone. At this point, the contractions were hitting about 3-5 minutes apart, and we were getting pretty excited that this was it; this was the day we would bring home our little angel. As I was scurrying, as fast as my contracting pregnant body would allow, Dallin looked at me and said, "Can I just take a shower real quick?" It made me fume, but laugh at the same time. How could I wait for him at a time like this? But, I conceded and he hopped into the shower. Luckily for me, my contractions were uncomfortable, but honestly they weren't terrible or gut wrenching yet. 

Once everything was ready to go, Dallin hurriedly went down the stairs while I waddled after pausing at the top to breathe through a contraction. The car ride to the hospital was so surreal. I kept asking myself if this was all real, and we both stole glances at each other with an accompanying hand squeeze. This was it, today we were going to be parents. Thankfully, the hospital was just a straight shot down the freeway, and we were there in a few contractions.
We got to the hospital at about 4:00, and were put into a room to be looked at. I was checked and was already dilated to a 5. I was so pleased, I was in labor! They moved us to our labor and delivery room and gave us permission to walk around, or do whatever to ease the pains. We decided to go on a walk around the halls, looking at all the cute baby pictures on the wall and stopping for each contractions. I could tell they were getting harder and I knew we had to get back into the L&D room. 

Back in the labor room, I tried sitting on a labor ball, but that only made me more uncomfortable. My back was starting to hurt worse than my stomach area, a sign that I was having back labor. The nurse said that my baby was face up, when she should've been face down which was causing my discomfort. I did not like that one bit. It was time to get back on the monitor, and I had to lay back down on the bed. I have never laid on a more uncomfortable bed in my life! The nurse later told me that their sole purpose was for L&D, and they weren't designed to be comfortable at all. Brilliant. Dallin's mom was there at that point and started massaging my feet (she's a masseuse) to help me relax through the contractions. She was heaven sent I tell you. If you ever are in labor, I suggest bringing along a massage therapist. It works wonders!

After another 40 minutes on the monitor, I was able to be off of them again. Hallelujah! I tried standing again but my contractions were hard, and it was almost impossible to be comfortable standing; so I kneeled. Sounds totally bizarre, but it helped so much! I kneeled on a pillow and rested my head and arms on the bed. Kim would rub my back, I would hold Dallin's hand across the bed, and my mom, along with everyone else, kept me sane and said encouraging things to me. Dallin was my main cheerleader and I don't know how I would've handled it without him. 

Things started to get unbearable, and I didn't think I could do it anymore. I was certainly loosing faith. I was still kneeling and Kim was still massaging. Dallin was holding my hands, and I was squeezing them so tight. I wasn't really relaxed at all during the contractions. I tried to be, I really did. It took all that I had to believe that I could get through each contraction. In between contractions I was pretty much asleep. It was weird, I don't know if it was because I was so tired, or if my body would just sort of shut down to conserve energy for the next contraction to hit. When it was time to get back on the bed, and I was so mad. I called it the "Bed from Hell" in a moment of weakness. I never say words like that, but this was the very truth, and I apparently thought it needed to be said. Everyone was laughing and said it was a good thing I was still keeping my humor in all of it.

Time was a weird thing at this point. I have no idea at what time, but I guess it must have been close to 8:30 when they checked me again and I was almost ready to push. My water was broken and they called the doctor in and told her I was ready at about 9:30. She was in between patients and looked a little annoyed that she would have to deliver for a first time mom who would most likely be pushing for hours on end. I knew my little girl was close, and I was determined to get her here sooner than a few hours. Apparently, it worked. At 9:54AM, the doctor and nurse exclaimed, 
"Here she is! Reach out and get her!" I lifted her up and onto my chest. I had done it. I had just had a baby! The emotions that flooded me in that instant, are too big and too complicated to write down. I was, in short, filled with such joy and such love that I never knew had existed before. After an hour of trying to comprehend that I had just had a baby, they weighed our girl and made sure she was alright. I sat on the bed while Dallin went with the nurse across the room. That was such a sweet sight to see. He was so loving toward her. 

The nurse left us in the room for another hour before we were wheeled up to our recovery room. We were alone, just the three of us, and everything was just perfect. It was such a surreal feeling to know that I had just given birth, naturally, to a healthy baby girl. I think about five or six times after I had her I said, "I just had a baby!" It was such a neat experience.
Our Maddi girl was here, and suddenly all those plans didn't matter. She was healthy, we were happy, and that's all that mattered. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Trimester: 3

My third trimester was pretty low key. I was on bed rest for a little while, but eventually my body caught up with itself and I was in the good and could get up and do more; as long as I listened to my body. My mom had all of her kids early, so I was hoping I would be the same. I was anxious as ever to meet my little girl. Time during my pregnancy had gone fairly quick while I was in school, but when I was on bed rest time seemed to drag on. I did have a few things to look forward to though; including baby showers and upcoming holidays. It was also fun to see my belly grow so much the third trimester, along with my face. The face puffing was not as fun to watch though.

One of my favorite memories about my pregnancy was watching my amazingly talented husband make the baby's crib. We found a mini crib online that we loved; and that would also fit in our tiny apartment. We ordered the mattress for it online then got the dimensions of the mini crib and Dallin went to work on it. The day before I went on bed rest, I was helping him sand and stain the crib. I'm pretty sure a combination of bending, and working so hard on it all is what put me over the edge the next day; but it was oh so worth it.

31 Weeks; Pear Family Shower
Mini crib made by Dallin

We also had fun times with family and friends for the holidays. But let's be honest; when are holidays not fun? Never. Remember our Thanksgiving fiasco

Thanksgiving shoot out; 32 Weeks

Christmas time was especially touching for me. It was also very uncomfortable. When I was officially released from bed rest, I went a little crazy. Christmas shopping, apartment hunting, bridal shower planning, etc. The baby dropped incredibly low, and I was feeling it. I felt like I was walking, or waddling, around with a big bowling ball between my legs. Once Christmas came and left, I relaxed more and the pains seemed to ease up. I'm sure if I would've kept going, we would have had ourselves a little Christmas baby. After all, my doctor had assured me she would come "any day now" at my 36 week check up. Note to all future doctors, don't tell a patient the baby will come any day when she's 90% effaced and 2cm dilated, she may stay like that the rest of her pregnancy and curse you for getting her so excited about an early delivery. 

 Christmas lights with the Bensons and Barnes; 35 Weeks

We tried to cherish this Christmas, as it was our last one without children. It was a fun and special time for us. We started a new family tradition, homemade pajamas on Christmas Eve from Santa's Elf.

Sporting our pj's and goofy smiles; 36 Weeks

Between Christmas and baby girl's due date, we tried multiple strategies to naturally induce labor. Spicy food? Did it. Walks? Did it. I walked almost two miles on the treadmill a couple times a week to help things along. One night we decided to try out the swing method and off to the park we went. That was so fun, and a memory I'll never forget. We spent the night laughing, swinging, teeter-tottering, sliding, and all things park. But alas, no baby. I've come to the conclusion that they come when they're ready, and she just wasn't ready to make her appearance yet although we were more than ready.

Night at the park; 38 Weeks 

January 17, my due date, came with much anticipation. I spent the morning getting ready and wondering if today would be the day. I ate breakfast, and soon after lost it. I was thinking it was weird because I hadn't had morning sickness since my first trimester. I went to the kitchen to get some water, only to be running back to the bathroom to lose it again. I knew dehydration was a big deal in pregnancy, and since I wasn't even keeping water down I decided to call my doctor. She advised me to check into triage, since vomiting can be a sign of labor. Off to triage I went, again. This visit was particularly awkward because I was by myself, had to park so far away, check in on my due date with no labor signs except vomiting. After a few hours of liquids and graham crackers I was sent home, a little more discouraged than when I arrived. When Dallin got back from work, we decided to check out some apartments last minute. We found some we liked and told her them we would be back the next day, if a baby wasn't on it's way. She laughed and we left to eat what we didn't know then, our last supper as parents with no children.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trimester: 2

Honestly, looking back I don't know how I was surviving all that was going on in my second trimester. I was in school for 4 hours on Mondays, working 35+ clinical hours Tuesday-Friday, and working 10+ hours Monday-Thursday as a tutor. Basically my days went from 6AM to 6-7PM. Then I'd come home, make dinner, do homework and study, and spend time with my husband who was working 45+ hours and going to school.

14 Weeks, going into surgery at Clinicals

It was hectic, and I think I was blind to how hard I was actually working. And blind to how hard I was pushing my body. I soon found out though, in the end of my second trimester I was put on bed rest. But I'm getting ahead of myself; let me start at the beginning...

18 Weeks, heading to the Temple

I had my first doctors appointment in my second trimester, and was nervous beyond belief. Of course I knew I was pregnant; I had multiple tests, the morning sickness, and growing belly to prove it. However; it was all still surreal to me until they put that little monitor on my protruding belly looking for a heartbeat.

21 Weeks

I sat there waiting patiently to hear the lovely, lub-dub of her heart; nothing. The doctor laughed nervously and said let me check lower; nothing. At this point my hands started sweating and I began thinking the worst. I squeezed my eyes closed and silently prayed until I heard it; my baby's fluid heartbeat. She was there. She was alive. All was well.

In my immediate family, there are eight boys and only two girls. I have four older brothers who have kids, and there are only 2 boys out of the 14 grandkids. You would think the odds of boys would be in our favor, but they weren't. To say my family wanted another boy in the family would be an understatement. I was told over and over, "Oh I hope it's a boy!" "Come on, give us a boy!" "I just know it's a boy, I have a feeling." I however, didn't have a feeling, or motherly instinct on what my baby was so I just went with the flow.
Secretly, I hoped and wished it was a baby girl; but, I didn't want to be disappointed so I didn't mention it to anyone.
The day we had our gender ultrasound, my husband and I gripped hands as the tech said; "I know what it is, are you sure you want to find out?" We eagerly nodded our heads and she proclaimed, "IT'S A GIRL!" I'm pretty sure the first words to come out of my mouth were, "Really? Are you sure?" I was shocked beyond belief, and a pang of excitement shot through me. I was going to be the momma to a lil' princess. I asked the tech to double check, and she said she had never been wrong in all her years of ultra sounding; it was a girl. When we got to our car, we looked through the ultrasound pictures and let the reality of our baby girl settle in our hearts with tear streaked faces. Once we were calm enough, we called both of our parents and told them at the same time; everyone was thrilled to meet our baby girl.

22 Weeks

I trudged through my second trimester with ease. I had a little bit of exhaustion; but like I said earlier, I was a hard working woman. School and clinicals full time; working part time on the side. I was trying to bank hours so I could take time off when the baby came. I was stubborn, and strong willed. And I had to be; I had a plan to fulfill. My plan.

It was a Sunday morning, I had just gotten out of the shower and was relaxing a little bit before church. My stomach kept getting hard, then would relax. Harden, relax. I knew these were contractions so I started timing them. They lasted about 30 seconds long, and were coming every 2-5 minutes. I told Dallin what was happening, and we called my on-call doctor. She heard what was going on, and sent us straight to OB-Triage at the hospital. I was nearly into my third trimester, and was thinking this can't be happening, not now. Stay in there little girl. We called our parents to tell them what was going on, and out the door we headed.

26 Weeks

We walked hesitantly into the hospital, and told them I was having contractions. They didn't mess around and got me into a room, into a gown, and hooked onto a monitor right away. The contractions were still coming, but weren't causing me any discomfort. They wanted to check on the baby, to make sure everything was okay so off we went for a 3D ultrasound. It was there that I got a glimpse of my beautiful baby, and her little personality. She had her legs folded up by her head, like a little gymnast. Her nose was perfectly turned up, a gift from her father. She even stuck out her little tongue and gave us a little yawn. I was smitten, but not ready to have her come out just yet.

Checked into Triage

It was in that ultrasound that they found the cause of my contractions. I remember it well; the tech said, "Okay I just have to do one more ultrasound but these usually turn out perfect, it's just precautionary." Well, half way through the ultrasound, I had another contraction and my body responded like I was going into labor on the inside. She said, "Huh... That was weird." Umm, lady. Never say those words after you say they are always normal! My momma heart was breaking. I didn't know what was going on, or what the outcome would be. The doctor finally came into our room and told us that my contractions were irritating the baby, that I had a shortened cervix, and that I was to go home, rest, and take Mortin every three hours to prevent more contractions. I thought fine, I can rest. Little did I know, that rest would turn into full blown bed rest for almost a month.

On bedrest at 26 Weeks.

After I checked out of the hospital, they told me I was to see my OBGYN the next day, Monday. I rested on Sunday, took my medicine, and on Monday went to class before having to go to the doctors' office. At my appointment, they did another ultrasound and found that my body was preparing for labor, like I was 34 weeks along, instead of 26 weeks. My doctor said, okay go home and continue your bed rest. I was confused. I had only been told to rest the day before, not be on bed rest. She laughed and said "Oh no, you're on modified bed rest. You can only get up to make simple food, shower, or use the restroom real fast. We want to keep this baby in you for as long as we can!" I was numb. I drove back to school, told my teachers my circumstances with tear-filled eyes, and headed home.

Slowly, but surely I could see; things weren't going the way I had planned. Someone else was in charge, and I needed to open my heart to His Plan.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trimester: 1

Memorial Day 2011 was the first day I actually had morning sickness. My family went out for our traditional visit to my grandfather's gravesite. He served in the National Guard and was a Colonel. He passed away when I was 9 months old, so I don't remember him much, but his legacy lives on and I love to hear stories of him. We went that morning, and it was kinda hot. I hadn't been feeling too well before we left so I just had a piece of bread for a before breakfast snack because we would be going to IHOP after visiting the cemetery.

Memorial Day, 2011

As the morning wore on, I was feeling more and more woozy. I was also feeling more and more certain that this is what morning sickness would be like. As we were driving away from the cemetery, I knew I wouldn't make it to IHOP without loosing my bread. I hollered for Dallin to pull over and I lost it, right there on the side of the road. Nice. That started it all, but thankfully it only lasted my first trimester.

About 13 weeks along, trying to have a bump

I was nervous that it would last longer. My mom had a reputation for being sicker than a dog when she got pregnant, and I was sure I'd be just like her. Thankfully, I only literally had morning sickness. I would wake up running to the porcelain throne, and be fine the rest of the day as long as I kept snacking.

Last bit of sickness, 4th of July family campout

Come my second trimester, I was done with being sick. I thought my pregnancy would be normal from then out, but I was wrong. Little did I know, everything would change in a few short weeks. My plan of having the baby, taking a short 4 week maternity leave, coming back to school and finishing when the babes was only 8 months old, would change. It would change drastically, and although I didn't see it then; it would change for the better.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Plan

May 21, 2011. The day I found out I was pregnant.
But the story doesn't start there. No, it starts back in December of 2010. We had been married about six months and were so content being us.

Christmas lights, December 2010

We were our own little family. Just the two of us, goofing off and being silly. Getting to know each other, and growing in our love. Life was hard, but it was great; we had each other.

Silly times, just being us

It was that December that I started feeling different; I started thinking. I had been taking birth control and then one day thoughts twirled in my head, like a ballerina. My doctor said if I missed a day, I could get pregnant. I started thinking of all the ways those hormones could affect a baby if I did get pregnant while on the pill. I started thinking of all the ways they were affecting my body and I decided I needed to stop. I didn't even think of the possibility of having a baby at that time; our plan was to finish my degree before we started having kids.

That right there should have tipped me off that things wouldn't go our way. We had a plan, and it obviously wasn't the one Heavenly Father had for us. Funny how things change just when you think you have it all planned out.

Fast forward to the spring of 2011. My dearest, and most favorite uncle had found out he was sick. He had terminal cancer so far advanced and he wouldn't live much longer. In his last month or so of life, he wasn't very lucid but I imagine very close to the veil. Dallin and I went to visit him one day, to listen to his words of wisdom one last time. He asked us about kids and when we were going to start having them. I answered that we were thinking not until school was done. It was then that he pulled me close and said, "There are kids waiting for you, don't put them off." Something else pulled at me when he said that; a yearning for kids. But still, I dismissed the thought and kept to my plan of when school was over.

Spring 2011

I dismissed the thought just as I did weeks earlier in church during a hymn. I felt like my kiddos were there, begging me to see them, begging me to bring them home. I turned to Dallin and said something about having a baby. He laughed, and I did too. We had a plan.

We kept along our plan, and had more fun. We escaped to California for an early anniversary trip and had a blast. Just the two of us, our little family. It was great, but not quite complete. Which brings us back to May 2011. I was late, and I knew. Dallin wasn't so sure, so we ran to the store to grab a test.

Pregnant. The words stared back at me, and I was a whirlwind of emotion. Scared. Excited. Confused. Nervous. Elated. I could hardly believe it, and with shaking hands I called my mom to tell her the news. We cried, and I had a renewed hope and faith that everything would be okay. That this baby was our miracle. This baby needed to be in our family at that time, for a specific reason. I had faith in this new blueprint for our lives; however, I was still in school and I wanted to finish. I had a plan.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Renewed determination

Here's my renewed determination to be better at blogging! There are so many things happening in life, and I feel bad I'm not documenting it in some way. Here's to blogging again! And a picture of my adorable Madds, just for your viewing pleasure.

Haha! What a little cutie, I'm so blessed to be her mother.