Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Grandpa C

Two days ago, my grandfather passed away.  My mother was here to help me recover from the c-section last week and went home on Friday. I think she was impressed to leave then.

Grandpa C was a good man.  

Some of the memories I have of him are:

1.Written here: he taught me to savor all the moments and gum in life.

2.  One of the times I thought my grandpa could be Super Man was when I was five. A boy, that came with us to what I think was a Home Depot-ish store, began to have a seizure.  I saw him grab a broom and then start shaking uncontrollably. I had never seen anything like it and it scared me.  Grandpa saw what was happening and came over to make sure he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else.  Soon after that the seizure ended and they boy seemed all back to normal.  I felt so thankful for a grandpa that had been a principal and knew how to handle any situation.  That may have been a jumping board that made me want to be an elementary teacher.

3.  He believed that every book one should pick up should have something of educational value inside, not strictly entertainment.  He loved education.  He gave great tips on painting and drawing the way his mother, whom my mother tells me constantly smelled of oil paint (she was a painter), had shown him. I was really hoping he would come and visit me and help me paint the walls of one of our rooms with trees.

4.  Grandpa knew how kids and adults think.  We would go on a long drive (his favorite) and suddenly, as all moms and dads know, there would be a squabbling outburst.  Even if he wasn't driving, the people in charge would (if time allowed) stop the car and all the squabblers would be asked to hop out and go for a run. The car would slow down and each person would begin running. If the mood was really bad they'd drive a block ahead.  Sure enough, before you know it, the grumpiness would dissipate and all would load back into the car and the change in mood was nearly palpable. I've got to remember to try this with my kiddos.

This photo represents to me seeing the wonder in life.
I am really going to miss this man.  I am so grateful for his example of love, duty, determination, faith, hope, perseverance, idealism, and humor.  I appreciate all the m&ms, root beer, corn flakes, rides on the dirt roads, coming to my school track meets/musicals/concerts, cooing over my babies, great hugs, smiles, discussions, and stories.

The video above was made for his 95th birthday, from Grandpa's childhood.  It was one of my first filming experiences.  I recorded him telling me this story and I loved every moment writing, filming and editing it because it made me feel closer to him.

I love you, Grandpa!

I believe in eternal families and that I will be able to see him again some day, which gives me hope and comfort especially in a time when sadness and desolation feel so close. If you would like to know more, let me know and I can give you more information. is about when my Grandma, his wife, died and how he comforted me.

Friday, September 23, 2016

J's Birth Story

One morning recently, I woke up at 3:15 a.m.  I felt a gush.  I knew it wasn't my water breaking because it kept going and going.  I expected W to take a bit of time to wake up.  But I said the words, "W, wake up.  I'm bleeding."

He woke up immediately and jumped into action. He called an ambulance, as he was on the phone, he got me some clothes, and comforted me.

I felt peaceful remembering the Priesthood blessings that I had been given that all was going to be okay with the birth of this baby. I also remembered that there is a need for this little fellow--which comforted me considerably.

K had run down after I'd gotten her to sleep in her bed (a few hours later), and was asleep next to me on the bed.  I looked at her angelic face and listened to her steady breathing which also comforted me.

Soon the Jefferson first responder volunteer arrived and then the Albany Ambulance.   They brought in the gurney and had me climb on. Then they drove me straight to the hospital--I wished they would take me to Eugene, but it was deemed too risky and since that day (as of midnight)  J was 35 weeks along, they felt qualified enough for me to birth there.

They took me to a birthing room for all of five minutes and then to the operating room for an emergency c-section.  I was still bleeding.

W found someone he knew that was LDS to come help administer a Priesthood blessing. I don't recall what was said, but it was comforting.  The room went completely silent.  One of the nurses held my hand and I was having trouble focusing, but I felt so glad she was holding my hand.

The room was very cold and I began shivering.  I am not sure if it was because I had lost so much blood, the anesthesia, and I felt terrified.  W disappeared from my sight during the procedure.

I could not stop shivering.  They put several warmed sheets on me (except where the surgery was going).  I sang hymns in my head, prayed for help as they cut me open.

I was surprised to hear the doctor exclaim something like, "He's still in the amniotic sac!" "I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago." The whole room was a buzz, "That is amazing!" "This is my first time seeing that and I have been doing this 20 some-odd years."  "I have seen this once before."  I think he was talking about this:

Come to find out, as I wrote this post, that only happens to 1 in 80,000 children.

But, back to what happened.  I saw them move him to the table. They had to resuscitate him (so glad I didn't realize that at the time). I heard a small, short cry, thank goodness! Then they dashed him off. I think W then came and said, "I am so worried about him, I love you.  I think I need to go with him.  Is that okay?"

I nodded, absolutely agreeing with W.  J needed W to be there for him, I could handle this.

This was J a few minutes later.  Poor little guy! What a rough entrance.  I'm kind of glad I was "out of it" for those minutes so I wouldn't cry over this.
Meanwhile I am shivering and attempting to not count the minutes.  I wish I'd have thought of this:  I think counting down 10 seconds over and over would have been incredibly helpful at that time.  I kept telling myself that soon it will be over.

I was so grateful the moment they moved me over to the gurney ready to go to my room and when I got to my room all I could handle was sleep--oh beautiful sleep!
 W sent me some of the photos he'd taken.
Then twelve hours later I got to hold my newborn for the first time.  In these incredibly flattering photos you can tell I felt pretty rough too! Mostly exhausted.
He only got to be in my room for a half-hour before they took him away.  I missed him so much, but we went into the NICU and they had a special chair they put me in so I could nurse him and give him snuggles all the (reduced) oxygen tubes and monitors attached to his little body.  I was in there most of the night. 

1.  The ambulance arrived fairly quick.  I was bleeding just as much, if not more than the last "big bleed."
2.  I was able to remember the words spoken in the previous blessings which offered a lot of comfort.
3. W was with me (oh how thankful I was my amazing husband was home and knew the right questions to ask the doctors).
4.  J was able to be resuscitated.  So thankful for the highly educated (a lot of time taken) for each one of those angelic people that got him breathing again and made my heart flutter when I heard his first cry.
5.  I made it through the c-section. For me, this was a miracle.
6.  So glad that W went with J when he left the room so I could know that it was going to be okay with J.  
7. I got 4 units of blood this time. I felt fairly good, fairly fast.  So thankful for those Red Cross volunteers.

Again. So incredibly blessed and these are just a few of the miracles that happened.  I'm so grateful for all the people that helped me. The nurses were so kind and treated me so well.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Updates and Thanks

Updates with baby and me:
Last week was the 33 week mark.  Everything looks good. No further bleeds, but I still am at a high risk for a future bleed and am still on bed rest.  
This little one is one of my most active (if not the most active) baby I've ever had.  He gets hiccups about every other day.  I think I saw him blink during one of the ultra sounds.  They've had to watch and see if he does his practice breaths. It took about five to ten minutes last time.  I sure hope he's practicing. Breathing is an essential skill! I am excited to get to know his personality and see him yawn, stretch, hiccup, and kick wildly other than waves in my tummy that K calls dancing.

My bag is packed complete with all the supplies I hope to need.  I have looked at a lot of blogs giving guidelines for c-section recovery, tried to find out what to expect from having a c-section and the best way to recover quickly.  I have a couple of friends that have had all their children via c-section and I feel like I need to soak in all the information.  Some of it sounds a lot better than having a vaginal delivery (shorter post-birth pad-time--yes please!).
I have been having some major contractions (ouch!) but not at a consistent rate so the doctors don't worry about them.

These photos show the baby, at the last doctor visit, at 5.5 pounds.  I feel comfortable having this little one at the end of the month (not sure exactly what day, yet) because if I don't have him early he's going to be huge.  I am not sure if that is just me, R was 9 pounds 12 ounces, or if it is that they gave him development-helping drugs.

I really like my doctors. I love having ultra-sounds at almost every visit (a high-risk doctor-perk).
Updates with the other kiddos:
K has become an escape artist.  We've tried several baby-proofing things to keep her in the house, but she figures it out within a couple of weeks and is out of the house so quick.  Thankfully  we have an alarm that goes off when she exits so we know when she goes.

After praying about it and researching, R has decided to do online school.  He's also going to be the K wrangler.  I am so grateful he decided to do online school because honestly I am not sure how I would keep her safe when I am not supposed to even pull on her arm or pick her up.  One of his scout leaders joked that we need to find a badge to cover that. Is there one like that?!  He's so going to earn that one!

Overall I feel like my kiddos  have learned that they need to pull more weight right now, since there is very little I am supposed to do.  They're learning that it is their responsibility to clean, cook, plan what is needed at the store, do their own laundry, entertain/teach their littlest sister, and find ways to keep themselves busy.  I think this has helped with a lot of the goals I set at the beginning of summer--though they have not yet learned to iron clothes.  Overall, I consider it a great victory.

Exceedingly great thanks!
My ward has been amazing in helping me and the kiddos! We've had fresh baked bread, blueberries, tacos, snack food, pizza, rice and sausages, beef stew, Asian chicken salad, casseroles, burritos, pie, cantaloupe, popsicles, rolls, and a lot of apples and pears (to name a few).  Thank you!

We've had people lend us book and DVDs or take my kidlets to their homes for playdates so I can have a few hours of silence or go to the doctor.  Some people bring their kiddos and they have a marvelous play-date here, while I rest.  Thank you!

We've received premie clothes and newborn baby clothes and it makes me so excited! Although, I can barely imagine having a little one so small.  He's going to love them and I am going to love seeing them on him! Thank you!

I have loved the visits, text messages, and Facebook messages offering encouragement and help.  It means so much and really cheers me up!  All of the acts of kindness and love listed above and the ones I have failed to mention have been an answer to many prayers!  Thank you seems insufficient for the words I feel, but thank you from the depths of my heart and also from my family. You are an answer to many prayers!

Of course, number one thanks goes to my Heavenly Father for blessing me us so incredibly with an amazing support system and for this little one!  I know the fact that he is still alive and doing well is a phenomenal miracle and every time I feel him roll and kick or see him on the ultra-sound screen that we are beyond fortunate. My prayers are packed with gratitude!