Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Dax

I can hardly believe you are already 5 years old. It really does feel like just yesterday we found out you'd be joining our family. I remember being so scared and excited at the same time. The joy and love you have brought to our family is  irreplaceable. You are a gem.

This was a big year for you. You learned to ride a bike without training wheels, completed your first year of preschool, started a new school year in a new school for your second year of preschool, made new friends, you can write your name, sing the alphabet and count to 15. You had your first "big kid" birthday party, got a BB gun, a 4 wheeler and a new puppy. The biggest change for you this year is that you became a big brother.

 I thought you were the sweetest most gentle boy since you were a baby but when you became a big brother this was only confirmed more. You love Ellie, yes that's right, you love her with every fiber of your being. (just want to make that clear when you get older and she drives you crazy). You look for her all the time, you make sure we are taking care of her and you give her so many hugs and kisses. You reassure her when she cries and hold her hand  in the car to comfort her when she's scared. You love her and she loves you. It's the best.

I keep waiting and fearing the time when you don't want to snuggle with me but it hasn't happened yet. Snuggling may be one of your favorite things. Especially with Mommy and Gigi- you wish Kyleigh liked to cuddle with you more when she's around. You request to be cuddled on a daily basis and love to snuggle into bed with me at night to watch a movie. I'm sorry we haven't cuddled more since your sister has been born. I try to cuddle with you every night because I know my "side cuddles" while I feed your sister just don't quite cut it. I love you and your cuddles, soon your little sister will cuddle with you like you want her to as well.

Watching you grow and learn new things is so fun. You so enjoy showing off your new skills and will often pull something new out of your backpack and want to explain what you did and how you did it. You love singing and dancing but get embarrassed sometimes when it's not just Mom and Ellie around.We often listen to music on my phone and be silly dancing and singing. You're a great dancer.

I am so grateful to have you as my son, Dax. You made me a Mom and filled my heart with so much love. I know there will be times that we do not get a long or we don't see eye to eye but I so see myself in you. I see my tender heart in you, I see my anxiety in you and I see my need to please people in you. I hope as you grow we'll be able to have some heart to heart talks about how you don't have to please everyone, you only have to make decisions that you can hold your head high about. That it is okay if people aren't happy with you as long as you know you did the best you could.
I love you, Dax. Forever and ever, to the moon and back. No  matter what.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ellie's arrival

February 28th found Dustin and I getting up bright and early (I was up at 3:30am) to get all checked in to the hospital, monitored and ready for a C-section at 7:30. Dax spent the night with Gigi and Papa since we had to be out the door so early.

Once at the hospital the nurses got us all checked in and put me on the monitor. Very fun to hear our baby's heartbeat one more time on the inside. I thought I was having contractions, not regular or anything but enough to register--- not really. Apparently baby girl was just pushing around so much that it felt like a contraction to me. So weird! The next couple of hours were pretty slow, started my IV, and I got a super lovely catheter (extreme sarcasm). The catheter caused me to kind of go into shock, drop my blood pressure and almost pass out. NOT the best experience first thing in the morning, especially before major surgery. My nerves were going a bit crazy.
 Took a fantastically cold wheelchair ride to the OR and we got to hang out in the recovery room for a little bit while they finished getting the operating room ready to rock. We had THE BEST nurse with us for the day- her name is Melissa and she really, truly was AWESOME! She also knows Dustin-- which became a theme of our stay. Everyone knows Dustin. ;)

I got to go in the OR by myself and Dustin waited with Melissa for me to get my spinal block and finish getting prepped for surgery. I didn't realize how nervous I was for the spinal until I was 'alone' in the OR. I really wasn't alone, I had a very sweet nurse that was just focused on me and my own doctor was in there. He has a very calming way about him BUT neither of them were Dustin and I had kind of hoped he might be in there with me-- was pretty sure he wouldn't be but ya know. The anesthesiologist was very nice. Dustin and I told him ahead of time about what happened with the epidural when we had Dax (I jumped at the first prick and then he ended up hitting bone) and I think he talked me through it a little more because of that ( or it's just what he does). I remember curling up around the pillow, holding my nurses hand- and apologizing if I squeezed too hard- and closing my eyes. It took him a bit to get it placed which then had me starting to tear up a bit. My sweet doctor was right there though and put his face really close to mine and whispered things like "you're doing great" "you're so strong" "almost done" All reassuring phrases which did help. Once I felt a tingle in my leg, they laid me down to get the medicine to start moving in the right direction. This started a long process of pricking me to find out how numb I was. It took a LONG time for the medication to move up high enough to be considered 'good to go' AND THEN my anxiety and blood pressure got the best of me and I felt very light headed and nauseous again. It didn't last long but just long enough to freak me out. I remember the anesthesiologist saying " you feel anxious don't you" and then my doctor chiming in "she has an anxiety issue" Like he was saying SHUT UP you're going to make it worse. ;)

Once everything was ready to go, Dustin got to come in. This was when I REALLY realized how much I needed him. As soon as he held my hand, I started crying. Just the relief that I wasn't alone and that he was there to take care of us. I grabbed onto his thumb mostly and just held on until the end of surgery.
 In a C-section, Mom basically just feels a long of tugging, pulling and pressure. The doesn't sound SO bad, right? It's horrible. Pain would have been much worse, of course, but this was not pleasant at all. I much preferred my exhausted, slightly drugged state of mind I experienced when going through all of this with Dax. With Ellie, I was wide awake the entire time and very aware of what was going on.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it for being put to sleep and missing out on my baby's first cries but just not fun. I kept my eyes closed for most of the procedure, I don't know why I do that but when I get freaked out I definitely close my eyes and try to be 'somewhere else.' Dustin was so sweet during all of this, he rubbed my hand, my whole arm and shoulder when I really started to get upset and kept trying to make me laugh. Just like with Dax;s birth, he was all I needed.

I remember hearing one of the nurses saying, "there's the head, a full head of hair too" and then hearing a LOT of suctioning. All of sudden this butt comes over the curtain at us and another doctor asked Dustin what we had. I think he was a little bit surprised to have this baby coming at us over the curtain and announced that we had a girl. I cried. Relieved that she was here and shocked that she was a girl.
 This is when a mini roller coaster started. I had been told ahead of time that the new procedure at the hospital was that they'd clean baby up and bring her over immediately to me to hold. This didn't happen. Our sweet little girl was in respiratory distress. Basically, she had a lot of fluid in her lungs and belly when she was born (all the suctioning I heard) and she didn't adjust very quickly to life on the outside. She couldn't hold her oxygen levels up at acceptable levels without help. We have a family friend, Terri, who is one of the respiratory specialists at the hospital and I remember thinking, after Dustin told me she was there, that I was so thankful that the baby wasn't by herself and was with someone we knew. So silly because Ellie wasn't ever alone and she was actually in the same room we were in. Terri tried a lot of different tricks to get our sweet girl to cry but they didn't really work. She just didn't really care to take really deep breaths. I wasn't SUPER concerned until our doctor mentioned that if Ellie's stats didn't come up he'd have to think about calling people 'down south,' meaning Spokane.

So our little love got her first chest Xray in the first hour of life and some serious monitoring. Her stats started coming up once they took her out of the OR and into the recovery room to get some extra attention and her Xray. I hadn't seen her yet because of all of this and Dustin hadn't gotten to get any closer to her either. That was hard. It was hard to know that neither of us had touched her and she was struggling.
About this time I was all done and got to go into the recovery room where she was. I remember very clearly being wheeled in and being SHOCKED at how much hair she has and how little she was. (we always forget that they start out tiny, right?) The chest Xray came back and our doctor came in and reported that it looked clear- maybe a touch of fluid but nothing that should be affecting her stats like it had. This was when they decided to put her on my chest and see how she did. I love that when she was cuddled up with me, her oxygen levels climbed into the 90's. This was when she really started to stabilize but they were still floating the idea of giving her a nasal cannula just to give her a little extra help. Thankfully, we didn't even have to do that. Sweet little girl maintained her oxygen level and temperature and we just had to be tethered to the oxygen level monitor for a few hours (they turned it off that evening and then took the little probe off her hand in the middle of the night).

I remember being in the recovery room and saying that she needed a name. I was not a fan of the fact that she was struggling and didn't have a name OR that we started referring to her as a "lazy girl" because she wouldn't take those big deep breaths. Lazy was her first nickname. She's is this absolutely precious and completely beautiful little girl being called "lazy."

We got up to the hospital room and I got my phone out as soon as possible to start a name search. Nothing seemed to fit. I'd think "oh that's a pretty name" then look at her and shoot it down myself. I threw a couple of names out at Dustin but he didn't like either of them. Dustin had our lazy, sleeping girl tucked in his arms and said "What about Ellie?" It fit. It was that simple. Put his daughter in his arms and her name came to him. I was so relieved and so grateful that he named our little girl. So grateful she had a name.
 And so started two more days in the hospital with lots of cuddling and love. Our sweet Ellie is so very laid back, sweet and fits perfectly with our family. She has a wild full head of black hair and her Daddy's chin. She looks a lot like Dax did but definitely has her own features. We are all madly in love and adjusting well to our new addition.
 God is good and I think gave us a slightly rough start to remind us to appreciate life and not take a minute with our kids for granted. They really have our hearts in their hands.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


We have been very blessed with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl!

Now to get going writing her birth story. ;)

Meet Ellie!

Friday, January 17, 2014

33 weeks, side by side

Ready for another side by side comparison?

 (I feel like I'm actually writing this to myself... does anyone read this if I don't post it on FB?)

I still think I look much smaller with this baby than Dax BUT it could be the way I'm standing or my clothes... who knows ;)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gender Predicting

Can you tell what is still on my mind? Okay when is it EVER off my mind ;) Since it is growing increasingly obvious that we will not be having another prescribed ultrasound (which is really, truly a good thing because NEEDING one is really not something we wanted either) we decided to have some fun with all the old wives tales and gender predicting 'things' found on the internet. So here goes nothing, going to try as many gender predictors as possible and see what we find out.... if they are all right then it MUST be right, RIGHT!?!?

The following tests came from my friend Ariel's blog post on Daily Mom. You can check out the link here:

Sorry for the random highlighting in the post- I did that on accident and then can't figure out how to get rid of it. Oops!

Test 1--Ramzi Method, supposed to be about 97% accurate. According to this one the placenta placement can determine the sex. If it's on the left, girl and if it's on the right, boy. I remember very clearly when the tech told me "here's your placenta," because of our history of placenta previa with Dax it was high on my concern list. It was definitely on the right.
    Our results: BOY!

Test 2--Skull theory

So the idea is that if you have a really good profile picture from your ultrasound you can tell if the baby is a boy or girl. I love this picture. Definitely my favorite from this baby. Just love that the baby is sucking his/her thumb and perfectly profile. SO what do you think, does the forehead look more rounded or more flat and slightly sloped backwards? I think it looks pretty rounded.
     Our results: GIRL!

Test 3--DNA testing:We will NOT be doing DNA testing to determine the sex. If we were at all concerned about any problems with the baby we might consider it but definitely will not be dumping that much money into finding out if the baby is a boy or a girl.

Test 4--The Cabbage Test: basically this is testing the PH of your urine. I boiled two cups water with two cups chopped red cabbage for 10 minutes- will be a deep blue color. The boiled and then cooled cabbage water is mixed, in equal parts,with urine and the color reaction is supposed to determine gender. If the water, changes to red or pink then it's a boy and if it is purple then it's a girl.
      Our results:  GIRL

Test 5--Baking Soda Test: More pee! ;) So the idea is that if you mix your urine with baking soda the reaction or non reaction can determine the sex. If it bubbles, boy and if no reaction, girl.  I waited until I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom so as to not have a diluted sample, poured it in with maybe 2 tablespoons of baking soda and there was definitely some bubbling going on! Not vinegar and baking soda volcano bubbling but definitely some kind of reaction. I was completely shocked that it actually worked! Also had a friend, who has had it confirmed on several ultrasounds that she is having a girl try this-- no reaction!
    Our results: BOY!

Test 6-- The Ring Test: Who HASN'T heard of the ring test? Not one that I put a lot of faith in as I think it depends on how jittery the person is more than anything else. Oh well, nothing to lose so decided to give it a whirl. If it the ring goes in a straight line, side to side then boy, if it swings in a circular motion then girl.
 This was fun because my friends Ruthanna and Mandie did it with me. Ruthanna held the string-- actually my hair and Mandie helped determine what it was doing. When we first started the test I burst out laughing and so did Ruthanna-- hoping that didn't influence the results. ;)
   Our results: BOY!

Test 7-- pencil and needle: so this one was something Ruthanna had done when she lived in Alaska and was pregnant with her boys. She said it was accurate for both of them-- and her ultrasound with her second was actually quite WRONG! So you stick a needle in the eraser end of a pencil, thread the needle with string or Mom's hair and then hang over the belly.
   Our results: BOY!

The other two 'tests' come from Amazon. The first was recommended by a friend who had correct results with her last child. The test said boy and she indeed had a little boy! When I went to look up the tests my determination on whether we'd try them or not was if they were under $20 a test. Well what do you know, they were! ;)

The first test and the one recommended was Intelligender Gender Prediction test.

You can check it out by going to Amazon and searching for the name. There are definitely mixed reviews, as with any gender predictor. It was super easy to use and results were pretty clear.
    Our results: BOY!

The second test was one that was just featured on Amazon and was also, under $20. It has a SUPER original name: Boy or Girl Baby Gender Predictor Test. DO NOT buy this test. I wish I hadn't. It felt like a joke test (which it is but at least the previous test felt a little more like it would be accurate) from the second I got the padded envelop out of the mailbox. It was so tiny and the directions were horrible. It doesn't even tell you how many drops to put on the test, just to put drops of urine on the test. Ummm... okay.... So I did 5 drops from the teeny tiny dropper, waited the 15 seconds it said and it definitely didn't turn blue but a deep purple/blue which, according to the very unprofessional looking instructions means boy. While the results were consistent with most of the other testing we did, I would still not suggest this test.

    Our results: BOY!

SO if we go off of all eight tests, it looks like we're having a

Or at least 6 out of 8 tests say boy... we shall see in just a few weeks ;)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Aw it's Christmas Eve and as I take a few minutes to sit down this morning before the wonderful madness begins, I can't help but feel grateful for all the family we still get to visit with each year. I know that it will probably slow down or be more limited sooner than I'm ready for as traditions start to change. We have three beautiful great grandma's that our traditions are guided around and when they are gone (which better not be for a very long time) I know that things will change as our family travels great distances to mainly spend time with the great grandmas. For now though, I want to take advantage of building memories for Dax with these wonderful women and all of his aunts, uncles and cousins! It's often hard to find that balance of seeing everyone, running around like crazy and also really trying to feel the spirit of the season.

Sometimes it seems we forget that it is not about us adults who do the running but the kids whose eyes light up when we talk about going somewhere else to celebrate Christmas or who love spending time with their cousins running and playing. This year, I want to focus on this especially since it's our last Christmas carting around only Dax on Christmas. His last Christmas day with just him. I know next year will be amazing and beautiful with two little ones to share Christmas morning with and THREE for Christmas eve but there is something sweet about just spending it with Dax, one more only him Christmas. He asks on a daily basis when the baby will be here, he's excited! I love his excitement!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully Happy New Year!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Comparing... ;)

Okay... just for comparison sake and oh my gosh I can't believe I liked my hair like that... LOL ;)

25 weeks with Dax and 26 weeks with Baby #2
 Yes, think I was slightly bigger with Dax than this baby.