Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Reign's Birth Story

We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 9 am on Wednesday, September 14th. At 8 am, I was still snuggling Tai in bed, hadn't packed a hospital bag and was altogether feeling pretty nonchalant about the whole situation. I was extremely excited but also anxious at the idea of impending surgery, huge life changes, and meeting our new baby boy after so much anticipation.

It sort of felt like Christmas morning, when you have waited all year for it to come and you just want to savor those first few minutes under the tree because after all the gifts are open you have to wait an entire year to do it again. Babies are such an amazing thing, and Tai's birth was such a special time for Colton and I, so considering it was 5 years between this babe and Tai, I just wanted to enjoy every minute. 

Colton packed the hospital bag, and ran from room to room collecting items to take to the hospital. I slowly did my hair and makeup (the best part of a planned delivery) and got Tai ready. I spent quite a while holding Tai and snuggling him, because I knew everything was about to change.

We dropped Tai off at my moms around 9 am, and headed to the hospital. It was so surreal being there but we were very ready. Everything went really fast once we got to the hospital. They greeted me at the door and I had two nurses taking care of me. One was asking questions while the other set up an IV, and monitors. From 9 am to 11 it was non stop tests and questions and meetings with the doctor and anesthesiologist. I think we had 10 minutes total to breathe and prepare mentally for everything.

The anesthesiologist was one of the funniest parts of the whole event. I was told by my doctor that he was new and I was told by my nurse that he was thorough. And thorough he was. He explained IN EXTREME DETAIL exactly how and why they were numbing me, why I was having a c-section (yeah dude, I know why I'm here) and exactly how the anesthesia would enter my body and numb my nerves. Being 9 months pregnant and not having the anesthesia yet made him hard to bear ;)

They wheeled me back shortly thereafter. I was most nervous about the spinal. I had a previous epidural that didn't work correctly with Tai, and I was so nervous that it was going to happen again. The last thing I wanted was to be put under. We gave specific instructions to the staff that if I was put under, no one was to be in our room or allowed to hold baby until I could recover.

Even though his bedside manner was bizarre, and felt like he was trying to pass a medical school test, the anesthesiologist really pulled through. The spinal was by far the most uncomfortable part of the day, but he walked me through every step, and as soon as it took effect I was the most comfortable I had been in months. 

The c-section itself was a breeze to me. The anesthesiologist really walked me through everything that was happening, kept me comfortable, and even told the doctors to pipe down a few times ;) at one point I had some weird pains and he told them they needed to stop what they were doing until he could get me more comfortable again. 

I was so content on the operating table. I was smiling at Colton and trying to get him relaxed-he was for sure more anxious than I was. All day he was pacing back and forth and letting everyone know how stressed he was. It was a lot of nervous and excited energy. I remember just laying on the operating table, knowing the hard part was over (the spinal) and knowing that I would be meeting my baby boy within minutes.

Pretty soon the doctors told me it would be any second now, and I could feel them pushing on my stomach. Then I heard them say that baby was out-and I heard his first little cry/scream. I heard nurses saying that I "was all baby" and that he was a big boy. Colton told me that "he has dark hair-a lot of it!!" They lifted him up over the barrier for me to see-and he immediately started peeing on me. So I barely got a glimpse. He screamed and screamed and screamed. From the second he was out he let everyone know how he felt. 

Colton was torn from that second on. I could tell he wanted to go be with the baby as they measured and bathed him. But I also knew he didn't want to leave my side. I told him to be with baby-I was sleepy, and comfortable and knew my baby was healthy-I was good. 

Eventually they got him all cleaned up and weighed and they bright him back over to me. It was such an awkward angle and all I wanted to do was sit up and take a good look at him. Finally they took him away, and finished closing me up. I kept asking-when do I get him back? When can I feed him? The nurses were great because they told me as soon as I was done being stapled up, and they took me back to my room-I could have my baby. And from that point on there would be no need to separate us again. That was such a relief to me. And they definitely kept their word-as soon as I was in the room I said "baby???" And they said "he's on his way." 

Colton wheeled him in with a nurse, and was so quick to get him into my arms so I could hold him. I immediately latched him on so that he could nurse-and he caught on immediately. 

I had loved the name Reign since pretty early on in my pregnancy. Colton wasn't really on board, but we were having a hard time agreeing on other names. As we sat there holding him and staring at him, Colton walked up to the whiteboard that had all of his details on it, and wrote "Reign." He said, "that's what his name is." 

Shortly after, we called my mom and had her come over to the hospital. She works next door, and was anxious that she wasn't there all day. Colton and I had decided early on that the hospital was just for us, and we would have visitors as we were ready. I was definitely ready to see my mom. 

Shortly after my mom came, my siblings brought Matai to meet his new baby. He was very nonchalant about the whole thing. He rubbed Reigns head, told me I smelled weird (Like uncle Curtis) and then went on exploring the hospital room. I don't think it was a lack of interest, but rather he was so well prepared for what was coming that he just accepted it as the new situation. 

Tai opened a present from the baby at the hospital-some new Legos, and all of my siblings got to hold the baby.

A few hours later, my dad came with my Nana, my uncle Clint, and cousin Phoenix, who were all flying out the next day to New Zealand. I know it was really special for them to all get to see the baby, especially since my uncle Clint was there when I was born.

The night was rough, as hospital stays always are, with people coming in and out. I wasn't being given anything but a liquid diet (which is the worst) and Colton kept sneaking me goldfish. I didn't sleep well because I was worried about Reign breathing okay, I wish they had some kind of monitor in the room just to reassure the moms. I should have brought my Owlet..I would have slept so much better. We finally sent him out with the nurses so they could watch him, and I could sleep, and I think that's just what we needed, but I hated doing it.

The worst part was that the nurse came in around midnight and told me I needed to get our of bed and try to stand-because that was the expectation 12 hours after surgery. I stood up for the nurse, and then started walking around (to her amazement.) I felt like it was way better than I had anticipated.

By day 2 we were very ready to go home. The nurse took all of the IV's and monitors off of me, which was fantastic. With nursing and a soft new baby, I hate having wires and tags all attached to me. Reign was doing great with nursing, Colton was sick of sleeping on a plastic couch, and I was ready to have my whole family together. Our doctor told me he would let us go first thing in the morning, and so we prepared for another night. My family stopped in with warm brownies at one point (my mom came over 5 times a day with any excuse she could think of just to peek at the baby-she couldn't help herself), and we got an amazing steak dinner that the hospital specializes in. 

The next day Colton was up and had everything packed and ready to go. All we had to do was wait for Reign to get circumcised and the nurse said we would be out by 10 am-as long as he peed. We were excited to get out of the hospital, and were going to introduce Reign to Colton's parents. We were glad to be able to spend more time out of the hospital with them and be able to visit. When they finally brought Reign back, we thought it would be a matter of minutes before he had a wet diaper. He had been having 9+ a day, and every time you took his diaper off he would pee on you.

We waited ALL DAY. We were checking him every half hour and it felt like I couldn't settle back into bed because I expected to leave any time. Pretty soon it was 6 PM and he still hadn't had a wet diaper.  I was tired, and ornery, and worried. Our sweet nurse finally called the pediatrician, and he consented to let us leave as long as we promised to call him the next morning if we didn't see a wet diaper (it literally took all night-he finally had a wet diaper at 7 am, right as we were headed to the pediatricians office.) Colton loaded the car so fast, my mom brought Tai to the hospital, and we were ready to go within 10 minutes.  

It was nice to bring Reign home to a professionally cleaned, ready to go, house (Thanks to Colton's hard work before we left and a cleaning lady.) I was excited to put Reign in a new outfit, take a shower, kick people out of my house, and enjoy my bed, my Owlet monitor, and a little bit of quiet.

Shane was able to see Reign that morning, and Jana was able to see him the next day.  We had many friends and visitors come and see him in the following weeks.

Reign's Hospital Video:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What A Difference A Doctor Makes

This pregnancy has truly been night and day difference from my first pregnancy with Tai. I was reading back on some of my old blog posts and couldn't believe the difference.

At this time with Tai I was:

-On bedrest.
-Prescribed about 11 different medications.
-Did basically nothing but sleep all day and take baths.
-Absolutely miserable.

I think there was a lot going on with my emotions, and I think a big problem was the doctor I was seeing. Instead of just telling me the things I was experiencing were normal, he always was prescribing me another pill or determining something else was wrong.

With Tai I took anti-nausea pills (for nausea that likely wasn't that bad), they would make me really tired. He switched me to another pill which made me very constipated. So then he put me on a stool softener. That gave me horrible stomach pains. He gave me another medicine to combat the stomach pains and "numb" my stomach. I was prescribed prescription strength medicine for heartburn, migraines, headaches etc. He said I was gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant and likely had gestational diabetes.

I had so many pills and so many side effects from the pills. Not only that but he put me on a daily antibiotic for my whole pregnancy to suppress a constant Urinary Tract Infection. He also told me I seemed "tired" and prescribed sleeping aids without me mentioning anything.

Fast forward to this pregnancy and a new doctor. I've worked full time the entire time. I haven't used any anti-nausea medicine. Or any other medicine for that matter. I've BARELY (knock on wood) used Tums.

My doctor is so good about saying "that's normal" and not recommending I take any kind of medicine. Just his reassurance has made me feel about a million times better about any symptom I've had that has seemed weird. He is also very reassuring when it comes to how this pregnancy is going-he is always telling us how "happy" he is with my stats and where things have gone.

We are 3/4 of the way done so here's hoping things keep looking up and going well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Third Trimester Update

We are officially in the Third Trimester!

-My Sciatic nerve pain is not nearly as bad as it was, thank goodness!

-My appetite has returned, much to my dismay ;) I crave Cocoa Puffs, Mac and Cheese and Ice Water.

-I am sleeping like a baby thanks to my miraculous pregnancy pillow, which is WAY better than the one I had with Tai. (Not counting bathroom breaks, those are the worst.)

-I am starting to feel a little "weighed down" because the baby is so low on my hips. I have gained less than 10 pounds in this pregnancy so far.

-I am feeling TONS of movement. Colton and Tai have both felt the baby move, and I can see a lot of kicks from outside. 

-We still have no idea on a name.

-We have purchased all the baby supplies we could need and more. We just need to decorate the nursery and go through Tai's old clothes. (I also need to stop buying baby clothes!) 

-I'm still working full time, and commuting about 40 minutes each way. It hasn't been as bad as we had originally thought. We are considering building or buying in Heber to stay close to my family. With a new baby we will need all the help we can get!

-We had a doctors check up yesterday. He said my weight gain is great, my blood pressure and vitals all look good, and he's happy with how everything is going. He even okay'd our Lake Powell trip in July, AND said I could ride the speed boat ;) 

-I'm a little ornery. My mama bear has come out a few times. I sleep a lot more and I come home at the end of the day pretty much done. Colton is sweet and usually gives me dinner on the couch while I try and keep my eyes open for half of an episode of The Bachelorette.

Overall, i'm doing really well. Colton will tell you WITH NO DOUBT, this pregnancy has been a million times easier than Tai's was. Here's hoping we can get through this last little stretch without any big hiccups!

Friday, May 6, 2016

On Having Another Boy and Our Gender Reveal Party

Anyone who knows me well knows that I BADLY wanted a little girl. I was basically to the conclusion that if I had a girl, I would be done having kids.

Colton and I went back and forth on whether or not we would find out the gender early. Our doctors office offers a blood test that can determine gender around 12 weeks. It also checks for other potential problems like down syndrome and Edwards syndrome. I wanted to find out, but I also didn't want the added stress of having any "potential negatives" that would cause unnecessary worry.

Despite that, we ultimately decided to find out (Colton was dying to know.) Originally we went to Fetal Fotos, but they couldn't tell the gender because it was too early (I was about 14 weeks along.) At that ultrasound, the tech made a comment at one point that she was trying to figure out whether something was "the cord or something else." I knew what that meant.

We took the blood test later that week, and scheduled a gender reveal party. When I got the results back I took them to Fetal Fotos and they gave me some gender reveal cannons for us to use at the party. When I was walking out to my car I could see a blue "B" written on the top of the cannon and scribbled out. It was visible in the sunlight because it had not been scribbled out well.

I. Was. Furious.

We had waited so patiently to find out the gender together, had planned a big surprise party, and I found out because someone didn't bother to cross out a giant, blue, B.

I bawled. I think it was a mix of finding out in such an unexpected way, at an unexpected time. I wanted to be surprised when everyone else was. I also really had my hopes up for a girl. I know that's terrible to admit, but that's how I was feeling.

I drove back down to Orem, where I was supposed to meet Colton for date night. I ran into Target, got a few "baby brother" outfits and put them in a gift bag. I didn't feel like it was right for me to know and for Colton not to know.

When Colton saw me, he immediately knew I was upset about something. I handed him the gift bag and he opened it and I could see how incredibly excited he was. He badly wanted another boy, and he honestly couldn't contain his excitement. He was also mad that I found out the way I did, but was glad I didn't wait to tell him.

The next day we had our gender reveal/baby reveal party with our friends. We are always getting poked and prodded about when we would have another, and Colton's go to answer was always "one is good." So we were excited to surprise everyone AND do a gender reveal all in one night. We planned it all around an Easter Egg hunt, and it ended up being quite the celebration of life as several of our friends announced surprised pregnancies that night.

The most exciting announcement of the night was finding out my friend Katy was also pregnant. Tai and her son, Kru, were born two weeks apart in 2012. We have both been on the "maybe one is good, we will see" bandwagon for years while we have watched our other friends have their first and second children. Knowing that we would be pregnant again, together, was the icing on the cake for me. Our babes will be 2 months apart, to the day.

Another big announcement was that my friend Briana will be having TWINS around the same time I am due. (She will likely go 4+ weeks early, and I will likely have a c-section 2 weeks early.) She has always wanted a big family and I couldn't be happier that she is getting a 2 for 1 special.

All in all, it was a really fun and memorable get together. We loved spreading hundreds of Easter Eggs across our yard, having all of the kids bring baskets, and celebrating with our friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Getting Ready

A lot of people who I have talked to about this pregnancy have made the comment that it's like i'm doing pregnancy for the first time. I feel like I can talk about it, and ask about products, and get excited about stupid little things like picking out pajamas.

With Tai we were so broke that we really depended on (and appreciated so much) help from our friends and family. I didn't really get the experience of picking out clothes, or nursery colors or being picky about baby gear. We were given a lot, we did a lot of yard sale-ing and bargain shopping and it was perfect. We honestly were so blessed with the support that we received. A lot of my focus was on making things as affordable as possible-even if it meant the products we got weren't the best fit for my physically.

Part of my excitement with this baby has been preparation. We were able to paint the walls in his room, buy a brand new nursery set and even pick out the bedding (which, if you ask Colton, was quite the ordeal for me.)

Even bigger, we have been able to find things that really work for me and my unique body. We have spent a lot of time picking out the perfect rocking chair (I had a hard time breastfeeding Tai because I could never position him right in the chair we had) and making sure that we find products that allow me to feel more independent as a mom. Things I never even thought of before-the lightest baby carrier, a stroller that I can lift myself, and a playpen that has an alternate access point so I can actually reach the baby. Even things like a heart rate and oxygen monitor (the owlet anyone?) that wil reduce my anxiety so I can get more sleep.

One of my favorite purchases has been the MamaRoo. I remember walking through a store when Tai was brand new, and seeing the MamaRoo for the first time. It was so fancy and sleek, and I thought, what would it be like to have the LUXURY of being able to buy that? How would it feel to bring that bad boy home? It was the very first thing we bought when we found out we were pregnant. I was just so excited I couldn't wait (and I found a used one in Heber for a really good deal. The bargain hunter in me can't be tamed.)

I continue to feel so lucky that we are in a position where I can do silly things like pick out nursery colors and pajama sets. We have honestly worked so hard in the 5 years since we were pregnant with Tai, and being able to enjoy this pregnancy in a whole new way has made it worth the wait.

P.S. If Colton makes a point to tell you not to buy anything for our baby, just smile and pat him on the head. He is determined to let me be enjoy every choice and purchase for this little guy and gets a little aggressive about it. I dearly love him.

Pregnancy 1 Vs Pregnancy 2

This pregnancy has been a MILLION times different than my last pregnancy.

With Tai we didn't announce pretty much at all. Only our close family and friends (and those who read my blog) knew that I was expecting. And they found out when we were very far along. I think I told my parents at 15 weeks with Tai, and Colton's family found out a few weeks after that.

This time around, we told my family pretty early on (because Colton couldn't contain himself) and Colton's parents when I was about 10-11 weeks. We told Coltons extended family around 18 weeks (even though it was supposed to be a lot sooner but weather put off our family get together.)

We found out the babies gender at around 14-15 weeks. (Versus 20 with Tai.) We did a gender reveal party (instead of just calling our parents from the ultrasound room in Cedar City.)

I have worked full time and gone to school full time this entire pregnancy. With Tai I stopped working pretty quickly after we found out-I think a lot of the reason for that was emotional.

I gained about 40 pounds when I was pregnant with Tai. I've only gained about 1 pound so far in this pregnancy, so I hope I can continue to slowly gain and not get past my highest pre-pregnancy weight.

I seriously remember almost nothing about being pregnant with Tai. I was sick until just about 12 weeks exactly with this pregnancy-but I can't remember how long it lasted with Tai. I also didn't take any anti-nausea medicine with this baby and I've been A LOT better about prenatals.

I think it's crazy how freaked out I have been this whole pregnancy. Every symptom and cramp and pain has completely alarmed me and I cried every time I heard the babies heartbeat for the first few appointments because I was so relieved. With Tai I think I was so worried about the big picture that I didn't even look into what could go wrong or what certain symptoms meant. I had to ban myself from google and pregnancy forums early on because I made myself crazy.

Other milestones: I felt the baby move around 15 weeks. Now I am feeling him move constantly.

I have the same AWFUL sciatic nerve pain that I had with Tai, but i'm finding much better ways to manage it so that work doesn't become unbearable. (Thank you ice packs, massages and stand up desks!)

I've had some problems with low blood sugar this pregnancy. We tested early for Gestational Diabetes, but I passed just fine. If anything my sugar is usually way too low, so I monitor it with a blood sugar monitor to make sure i'm eating enough. (Ask me about how I passed out in a meeting with all of my bosses and coworkers-that was fun.)

One of the best things about this pregnancy has been being able to share it with people. Telling my family and friends. Having Colton there every step of the way. And watching Tai's excitement grow. Tai is beyond excited and has been involved in all of the appointments. He talks to the baby every day, watches videos with me about each week of pregnancy, and is always taking toys and other presents into the babies room.

Overall things have been going really well. A lot of the things that we were worried about have been totally fine. I have been able to work, go to school and have a healthy pregnancy and it has been such a happy time for our family. I've honestly really enjoyed the whole process and continue to be so excited for each milestone.

Finding Out

When Colton told me he thought the time was right to have another baby, he obviously had divine inspiration because we had a positive test almost immediately.

Which completely stressed me out. We had a lot of friends who were trying to get pregnant-it was taking them a while and I had prepared myself that it would take a while and not to stress.

The day we found out I was pregnant I told Colton that maybe we should wait a little while. We had just booked a Disneyland trip. I was trying to finish school. My work would be moving to a new city soon. And I wanted to keep losing weight and get in better shape (I had lost about 20+ pounds in the months prior.)

I had started to feel sick and was beyond exhausted. Which I knew was crazy because I MAYBE could be 3 weeks along at best. I didn't even tell Colton I was taking the test. I didn't expect anything.

I got a positive almost immediately.

I screamed. Colton came running in. I basically threw the test at him.

He.Was. Ecstatic.

I was crying from shock, surprise, fear and happiness. And he was just beaming.

The next day he called me at work just to tell me again how happy he was that he got to be a daddy again.

He wanted to tell everyone he came in contact with. He couldn't wait to announce to our families. That has pretty much been how this pregnancy has gone and I love it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baby #2

Baby #2 was quite honestly a lot of back and forth between Colton and I.

-Colton has had this long time fear of not being able to love another child the way he loves Tai, which has made it hard for him to even want to consider having another child.

-My pregnancy with Tai was HARD. It was emotional, it was draining, it was scary and lonely and we were really trying to figure out life at that point. We were trying to build a better relationship with each other, while preparing to be parents and being completely broke. We were far from family, far from friends and going through something where we needed so much support but didn't feel like we could take it. Because of this Colton especially related me being pregnant to something very, very hard.

-Colton was worried about the effects pregnancy would have on my body. I spent a lot of time sleeping during my first pregnancy with Tai. I was sick, I was uncomfortable, I was scared and I was lonely. Looking back I don't think I dealt with a lot of my symptoms or even had an understanding of why I was feeling the way I felt. I was really nauseous, so I didn't eat-so I had no energy. If I got headaches, I would sleep them off. It was uncomfortable for me to sit and so I spent a lot of time in bed. I spent a huge portion of my pregnancy at home by myself while Colton worked multiple jobs.

-Colton wanted me to be in a healthier state physically before we had another baby. I gained so much weight after I had Tai, and he knew I couldn't put any additional weight on my body without the effects being harsh.

Despite all that, he knew I was aching to have another baby. He knew that I wanted Tai to have a sibling. We talked about it, talked about it some more. Agreed on a time frame. Talked some more. I think what finally altered everything was his last MMA fight. He saw how much I sacrificed and supported him to do something he was passionate about. And he knew how strongly I felt about having another baby. He basically said "I know this is your dream, I think it's a good time." That was in December.

To be continued...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cha Cha Cha Change.

We have big changes coming in our little family, and I've been pretty anxious about it.

I currently work in Provo and commute everyday from Heber. My company has recently built a brand new building in Lehi, and the company will be moving at the end of April. For a while now we have been battling the decision to potentially move to Lehi or to stay in Heber.
The New Building

The Cons of staying in Heber for me are a long commute and {even more} time away from my family. Colton also loves the idea of being in a bigger city. An MMA gym would be a huge plus for him, and he has family and friends that live closer to Lehi.

The Cons of moving to Lehi are that I don't like big cities and Lehi is quickly exploding. We would be a lot farther away from my family (and our built in babysitters Robin and Grace.) I love the small town feel of Heber, and being close to my parents and friends. I don't even mind the drive from Provo every day. (Thanks to my commute I recently finished the entire Harry Potter series on audio, and it was blissful.)

I have told myself that I wouldn't make a decision until I actually made the commute for a period of time, but I also am getting anxious. I feel like Lehi is really growing at a fast rate, and the house prices are skyrocketing. We are lucky to be in a position where we will be able to rent out our current house as an investment property, and buy a second home in Lehi. I am really excited about this possibility, but also anxious because it means finding good renters, and possibly having my beautiful Heber home thrashed.

All in all we have a lot of hard decisions to make, but I feel grateful everyday that we are in the position we are, and for an amazing job that is taking me (kicking and screaming) to Lehi.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Disneyland 2016

Matai is about to turn 4 and we have been talking for a month about what he wanted to do to celebrate. His answer: "Cars Cake and Tickets" (Tai speak for "the same thing we did last year: Chuck E Cheese.)

We really wanted to mix it up though (and our house is too small to host that many kids and parents), so we looked into bouncy houses, swimming pools and other party rentals. We kept coming to the same conclusion: After renting out a party room, buying food, cake, decorations and gifts, we would be well over $300. For two hours.

I started looking into Disneyland packages, and realized we could fly out to California for just over $300 using Allegiant Air. Combine that with having a brother who lives in SoCal (and an awesome "SoCal Resident" Discount) and a free place to stay, and we are looking at a 4 day Disney Vacation for 3 people for under $800.

The BEST part is, Tai is FINALLY at the magical 40" height range where he can ride almost every ride in both parks (including the Radiator Springs Racers ride that has caused many tears in the last few trips to Disney.)

We are so excited to fly on a plane for the first time as a family, and enjoy a few days away from the day to day grind.