Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sawyer's Natural Water Birth.

I cannot believe it's been over a year and a half since my last blog post. For Sawyer's pregnancy, rather than blog, I posted a weekly photo on Instagram with a little recap for the week. I wanted to do something a little different than with Oakley. 

This pregnancy was by far my toughest. Though, medically wise, I had no issues. I think it was a combination of all things. Having two other kids, more backaches, not being able to nap, weighing the most I've ever weighed and worst of all... ending the pregnancy in the awful Vegas summer heat. My due date was July 4th-- my absolute favorite holiday! 

I was also most nervous, because this time... we were perusing a natural birth. Natural birth is a scary enough thought, but especially when you know that the epidural you had with the last two took away a good amount of the pain. It's also not very helpful when everyone and their mom (literally) want to weigh in with their opinions, disapproval and lack of faith in you. HA!

I also switched Doctors this time. I knew that If I was going to do this, I NEEDED to have a doctor who backed me 100%. It was a really hard decision for me, because I really did love my last doctor, we got along really well and I didn't think there was better but I had mentioned wanting to go natural at my first appointment and he laughed at me and I knew I didn't have a choice.

I have so many friends who recommended Dr. Harter, some who had been to him, some who knew someone else who had.. and not one negative thing to say. He's known as "the midwife doctor", and he lives up to that name. I couldn't be happier with the change, and know it played a huge role in the outcome of my care both prenatal and during birth and postpartum!

Friday, June 12, 2015
I went to Doctor Harter for my 37 week appointment. At this appointment, he checked my cervix, I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. This wasn't uncommon for me. I told him that I was pretty sure I started losing my mucus plug the previous Sunday but was frustrated because it hadn't done anything significant yet, to which he replied "we can make it do something". I was SO excited that he was willing to strip my membranes. I left his office, had a few pretty painful contractions within the next few hours, then nothing at all. My sisters, mom and best friends all surprised me that night with a little baby shower complete with pedicures, dinner and frozen custard-- I was completely taken back. Love them!

Monday, June 15, 2015.
Tyler is off Sunday/Monday, but this particular Monday we knew it was close to baby's arrival and wanted to make it a fun-filled family day. Tyler and my cousin Jack went shooting first thing while I got ready at home. Tyler had been promising the boys he'd take them to Rocket Fizz, a soda/candy shop that he discovered a few days earlier so we headed over there once they got home. Ryder and Oakley had a blast picking out their own 4-packs of different bottled rootbeer and candy.
Driving up Eastern after, I saw a reflexology place and joked to Tyler that I wanted to go. We went into Home Depot and the more I walked, the more and more serious I got about going. We were meeting some friends to have Tacos afterwards but since we had a little time after Home Depot, he reluctantly drove me over and dropped me off while they waited in the truck. The massage felt so amazing. I did 30 minutes of feet only, and didn't even care if it put me into labor, my poor feet needed some relief!

Tyler was blowing up my phone the last 10 minutes because our friends had all gotten to the restaurant, so I walked over as soon as I was finished. Even though I had just had Taco y Taco Friday, I wanted it again. It was delicous, but shortly after dinner I started to feel pretty crappy. Not sick to my stomach, or anything in particular really.. Just not good and super hot and exhausted. We walked over to Nelson's for custard and it just got progressively worse until I finally told Tyler I needed to go home. We got home and got the kids in bed and then climbed into bed ourselves no later than 9. 

I woke up to a pretty intense contraction. I got up and went to the bathroom and tried to lay back down. I decided to start timing contractions, even though I was in complete denial and I didn't think they were painful enough to be "real". I had a text from April and started texting her to get my mind off of it. We were both pregnant so we always text randomly throughout the night when we can't sleep. In this case, she was such a huge help and support... way more than she probably knows. (thanks ape!) I woke Tyler up to let him know I was having contractions but I think he was in denial, too. I was so calm that he just went back to sleep after I told him. haha. I woke him up a few more times, and he just looked at me and went to sleep. Poor guy sleeps like a rock, I really don't think he had any idea that I even woke him up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The contractions were getting more intense and closer together but I had been told SO many times that it's not labor unless the contractions were consistently spaced out. They were jumping around from 5 to 8 to 7 minutes apart and I didn't think that was "consistent". I've since learned that I took that a little more to heart than I should have. Around 2 am Oakley woke up crying and came into our room. He only wanted me so I tried so hard to lay him back down but every time he'd start to fall back to sleep, I'd let out a quiet sigh or moan at the start of a contraction and he'd wake completely up. I know he knew something was going on. I finally had to tell Tyler he needed to deal with him and I spent the next hour or so focusing on relaxing on my hands and knees on the bedroom floor. At this point, I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I still hadn't felt that unbearable pain that I was so certain was coming... so I kept hanging out. 

Before I knew it, my contractions were no more than 3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each time. I told Tyler he needed to get in the shower RIGHT NOW. I'm not sure why I was so concerned about this, but he stunk and I didn't want him near me. He took a shower... a really freaking long shower, you know, cause he wasn't in labor. I texted my brother and asked him to come over with the boys. He didn't respond. I called him but he didn't answer. I called him immediately after a contraction and by the time his voicemail picked up, I was already having another. I started to panic a little and get all of my bathroom stuff shoved in a bag and yelled at Tyler to "get out of the freaking shower". Then got a text from Kyle saying he was on his way. Huge relief. He got to my house and I was wearing nothing but yoga pants and a bra. I didn't care. I was warned that around transition I'd lose all modesty and at this point I would need to get to the hospital, if I wasn't there already. They were right. I could've been completely naked and had zero cares.

I had to reprint out my birth plan because my signed birth plan from the Dr. was in my van that we had conveniently dropped off at the dealership the morning before. I was freaking out about this tiny detail. My brother looked at me like I was a nut case trying to find the computer and charger so I could print it out.. But I'm SO glad I had it. As soon as we printed it out, we headed out. In Tyler's truck, picture a 1997 Ford f-250, lifted diesel with horrible (or no) suspension. Ugh. It's hard enough to get into that thing while pregnant.. doing it while in labor was a huge feat!

The spaghetti bowl was by far the worst part of the drive. I had to turn around in the seat and hug it. I was NOT calm on this car ride and I'm pretty sure I swore a few times. I kept thinking "I'm gonna have a baby in his stupid truck." It was the absolute worst half hour of my life. We got to the hospital around 4:10 and Tyler dropped me off at the ER doors while he went to park. I sat outside on the bench and had at least 3 contractions in the short time while I waited for him. We walked in and told them why we were here and the called up to L&D. He asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I told him I'd rather walk... Sitting anymore sounded miserable. Except, I made it about 3 steps before another contraction hit, I bent over and couldn't move and he grabbed the wheelchair anyway. I literally could not walk. 

He got me up there quickly and the nurse (Karen) took me straight back to triage. She said she was going to check me then take me to a room, but I needed to pee first. I went into the bathroom, and for some reason I locked the door. I had 3-4 contractions in there because one would start as I was trying to get up and I'd sit back down. I heard Tyler try to come in but I couldn't unlock the door. Once I could, I headed out and she checked my cervix. I was at a 9. She immediately got on the phone with my doctor and told him she had me there and I was at a 9 with a bulging bag of water. (basically meaning my bag of water was coming out of me). 

She asked if I had a birth plan, and Tyler handed it to her. Then she asked what I needed and I said "the tub AS SOON AS POSSIBLE". She helped me get my sports bra and gown on. She was so patient in helping me! I had to bend over the bed a few times and she immediately jumped in and applied pressure points to my back and talked me through it. She was like having a doula and nurse in one! When I could finally sit, she wheeled me over to the birth room. I had to have a mandatory 20 minutes of fetal monitoring before I could get in the tub so she started that immediately. Dr. Harter walked in shortly after, and our birth photographer, Sarah got there around the same time. 

The nurse had Tyler hooking up the tub and started to fill it as I was being monitored. She was seriously the best nurse on earth. She was so encouraging and kept saying things like "only 2 more contractions and you'll be in the tub", it seemed so much better than "6 more minutes" or whatever. I was still amazed that at this point I could still, smile, joke and talk in between contractions. It was then that I realized we hadn't told anyone, so I had Tyler text our moms. Right when he was done, she said I was done with monitoring and I feel like I ripped the monitors off and ran for that tub! (though I'm sure I didn't come close to running). Tyler was right there with me the whole time, kneeling next to the tub. I remember him saying things, but not really remembering what he said. Just the overwhelming relief to have him present and being such a huge support. Throughout this process, he believed in me a whole lot more than I believed in myself most days. He was the best coach in the world, and I know a huge part of why I could do this was because of that!

The tub was like magic. It was instant relief. I was kind of in a frog position because I wanted my belly in the water but it wasn't done filling up. I remember thinking how much I wish I had been in that water about an hour earlier! Doctor Harter was sitting at the other side of the room just letting me do my thing and calmly and quietly said to push whenever I felt the urge. I was shocked at first. I put in my birth plan that I didn't wanted coached pushing or anyone counting as I pushed, but it was still such a huge difference than my last two and it was shocking to me that he knew I was capable of doing this on my own, and let me.

I started to push a tiny bit. I was a little unsure and scared that I shouldn't be pushing yet. THEN my water broke. It was insane. Because of the position I was in, I felt and heard his head just drop into my pelvis and as soon as that happened... I had to get that baby out, now! I started pushing like my life depended on it. Slowly the nurse and my doctor headed over to assist. I had asked my doctor to support me to prevent the awful tearing I had with the last two, and he did just that. I was able to push constantly, breathe then go right back to it because there was zero breaks between contractions. I pushed for about 10 minutes max and heard everyone start freaking out because his head was out, like I didn't feel it or something... The nurse and Harter helped me sit back to deliver his body and within seconds, I caught and pulled my vernix covered, baby boy right to my chest at 5:30 am. Seriously amazing. 

We chose to do delayed cord clamping, so they did everything for the baby while I was holding him. They'd come over every couple minutes to check his temps, pour water over him and just make sure he was breathing well and staying warm enough. It was a good 15-20 min before his cord stopped pulsing and Tyler got to cut it. I loved that no one could take him from me during that time. It was such an awesome bonding time!

The baby nurse took him over to do his weight and exam, 8 pounds, 1 oz, 19 inches. They helped me get out of the tub and onto a bed. I delivered the placenta then they made sure everything was ok with me. I had minimal, superficial tearing that I could've left alone if I wanted. I had such severe tearing with my last two, and the main reason I pursued natural birth this time. I was so surprised and excited about this news. I went with my doctor's suggestion of a few stitches and called it a day. Believe it or not, this was the worst part of the whole thing, but I was still just so excited to have no degree of tearing! 

Before I knew it, they brought Sawyer over to me! Our photographer took a few family pictures of us, and made sure to get one of Dr. Harter and our amazing nurse with the baby before everyone headed out. I couldn't believe how alert Sawyer was. He nursed with no problems and was just the most content baby I've ever seen. He was/is absolutely perfect! 

This experience has been the most amazing thing in the world. It couldn't have been more textbook perfect. Believe me when I say, that the 6 hours of labor and birth was cake compared to my last two births, where I received pitocin, an epidural, vacuum extraction etc etc. The "pain relief" was short lived in those cases. In this, the endorphins and hormones were 100 times more effective. Our bodies are seriously amazing and resilient. There was never a time where I thought I couldn't do it, or thought it was too painful to handle. The contractions were such a weird sensation and were SO intense, but they were not painful. This experience helped me grow so much as a person. I fought so hard to do this, I set my mind to it, took the classes, did what I was told, had a desire to prove everyone wrong (if we're being honest) and accomplished it. I'm proud of myself. It's brought Tyler and I closer together, and shown me how much that man loves me. He was my biggest advocate, and still tells everyone how awesome he thinks I did, or how proud he is that I did it. He's my rock. If I were to do it again, I'd choose this way, every time, no questions asked and so wish I'd known what I do now, with the first!

Now taking bets for Willard baby #4 ;). Just kidding. But seriously.

His story in pictures:
Captured by: Sarah Goodsell Photography 

{thank you, Sarah!}

Thursday, October 10, 2013

R & O Lately

Feeling a little sentimental today as I ponder the last {almost} year of my life. While Ryder was watching Disney Jr. I took advantage and jumped in the shower with Oakley. A pretty normal occurrence but today was different. I looked down at Oakley and a flashback of the last year flooded my thoughts. I remembered how rough it was at the beginning, not just because I now had two, but because he was hard, he was not an easy baby.. and I look at him now, and I'm so proud of him. I'm so proud of how we've overcome the hardest of times since he's been here. I'm proud of him for the milestones he's hit, I'm proud of him for overcoming his fussiness, and most recently I'm so proud of him for how well he's walking.

I sat down to wash his hair and he leaned over to take advantage of the milk-fountain that was free-game at the moment. I couldn't help but laugh, so I just held and fed him for a while. I didn't think it was for that long, until the water started getting really cold. Every time I looked down at him and smiled, he'd unlatch and smile back.. the sweetest, gap-tooth, dimple cheek smile I've ever seen. I was in mommy heaven. I'm not sure how much longer we'll nurse, one year is always my goal. I've said before, it's not at all my favorite thing to do... but today, it was. I really love that he needs me, I feel like some sort of super human that my baby can get all the nourishment he needs by me alone, and that makes me proud of myself; for sticking it out.

My sister-in-law was over earlier in the day and we swapped her 12 month winter clothes for my 2T for Jude. As I was going through the box to weed the smaller sizes out before I gave it to her, the same flood of emotions hit me. Ryder was about Oakley's age when he wore those clothes. I guess we need those small things to happen to remind us that these days won't last forever.

Ryder will be 3 in less than a month. He's so excited, and I'm devastated. I hardly even remember the last 3 years. It makes me sad that my first baby isn't a baby. I can carry on full conversations with him, sometimes I have to remind myself that he isn't an adult. He's so sweet, and polite, and funny... seriously funny.

2 days ago was Jude's birthday and Ryder got to go out with them for a birthday lunch. Julie got back and told me how funny he was... and I waited for the story. He had told "Judy" that he was going to have a BABY SISTER.... I about died. He's now mastered convincing lies. Seriously, out of nowhere, on his own, without any prying; I don't even know where he got the idea. I'm assuming it was some kind of scheme to make Jude jealous (because Ryder is jealous that Jude has a sister whom Ryder also calls HIS baby sister). But either way, he's convinced.

Tyler and I have obviously talked about it, probably mostly because Oakley is nearing the ripe 'ol age of one which I guess is the appropriate age for everyone and their mom's mom to get in your business and ask when your next baby is coming. And, not just any baby, a girl baby. Like it's some super easy thing to do to conceive, carry and raise another child, oh and pick their sex.

So to you, who don't ask me that every.single.time I see you, thank you. But if you are curious and haven't asked, my answer to you would be, I have no idea. The time isn't quite right yet. We're content with life right now. Our kids are super fun, I love the ages they're at. We can like, go to Disneyland, go on a cruise or to Sea World (which we're doing for Ryder's birthday) and other fun things that you can't do when you have an infant or while pregnant. But I promise, when/if it happens, and I'm about... 12 weeks pregnant y'all will be the first to know ;). That is, unless Ryder tells the world before we get to it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The last, 6-8ish months in a nut-shell.

It's been 3/4 of a year since my last real blog post. I guess you could say I've been busy with my 2 kiddos, but the real excuse is that I (we) am cheep and we just barely got internet after being in our new place for months.

Life around here has been mostly good, with the usual few bumps in the road. I've been told with each child, you tend to document less, take less pictures and just fall into life. It's true. I usually remember Oakley is a month older, the day after, then think 'well it's not actually his birthday, so I don't want to take a monthly picture on the wrong day'. Silly, I know.

Well, I remembered yesterday. My baby boy is EIGHT months old. In the last couple of weeks he started scooting, then crawling, he got his first 2, bottom teeth on the same day and he's pulling up to everything. He pushes around any toy he can use as a walker, claps his hands when he's excited, follows me around the house, crawls into the kitchen, opens cupboards, tips the trash can over...drives me crazy and makes me soooo happy within the same minute.

Thus far, Oakley has made Tyler and I wonder if we'll be daughter-less forever. But seriously, he's either the happiest baby on earth or an absolutely screaming/crying, back-arching, refusing to eat, hot mess. I recently had a pediatrician tell me that his problem was "likely behavioral" at a sick visit, that ended up not being an ear infection, or any sickness at all that was causing the blood curdling screams. I was advised to let him CIO- not something I'm willing to do. SO, we're living with it.

There are some times where he's happier than any kid I know, and those are the times in my day that I look forward to the most. He loves bath time, or any water interaction he can get. He loves playing with dad's keys and watching Baby Einstein. But, I'd say his favorite part(s) of the day is what the Willards, inappropriately refer to as 'titty time'.

I'm so proud that we've made it 8 months breast feeding. If you know me well, you know that it is my least favorite thing about having a new baby. Some people love it, I'm not one of them. We do it because it's what's best and I'm not ok with shoving (whatever crap) is in formula down my kid's throat for my own selfishness. We're finally at the stage that it's more convenient than not, and there's no real reason to stop.. and now I can say I don't hate it, I just don't like it. Progress.

Since having 2, I'd say my most favorite part is seeing the two of them interact. Ryder and Oakley love each other more than any siblings I've ever seen. Ryder will hug him, and roll back and forth around the living room, or on our bed and Oak thinks it's the most fun he's ever had. Ryder calls him some adorable pet-names like, sugar pie, baby blue eyes, baby boy, chunky monkey-- just to name a few. He's always asking "where's Oakley?" if he's napping or gone somewhere with dad. I love how close they are, I love that I had 2 boys in a row to be buddies to each other forever.

Ryder is my 2 1/2 going on 16, nearly vegetarian, smarty-pants. He wants to drive (and we let him), fix things with tools, do everything his dad is doing and talks about wanting to be a Fire Fighter "like daddy" when he grows up (no, Tyler isn't a FF. but we roll with it). He corrects me everyday on the differences between tractors i.e.: "that's not a back-hoe, that's a LOADER, mom!" and lets me know which kind of truck is next to us driving, including the make, and type of diesel that it has. He's too smart for his own good and certainly makes his daddy proud with his knowledge of all that boy stuff that I don't understand.

He has a humor, that I know will get him in some trouble when he's older. It's a mixture of dry and straight forward/I can't believe he just said that/but it was hilarious. He references body parts far too often, but he's so accurate that you're more proud than angry ;). Aside from the occasional "no, I don't really love you, too", the fact that he needs a serious hair(tail) cut and the normal terrible-two tantrums, I love the little guy.

This summer we've been swimming a lot. My in-laws have a pool so we've been over there quite a bit, along with a couple other friend's pools and even the public pool and splash pads. Summer has just started and I've realized that it's not worth going anywhere outside with 2 kids on your hip unless there will be water involved.

As for Tyler and I, aside from the norm, work, parent things, we've been doing awesome. Tyler is still working as a plumber and I'm still home wrangling the kids and my sister moved in with us in recent weeks. We also celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in May. I don't know if it's like this for everyone, but it sneaks up on me every year. I can't believe it's been another year already. I guess that's how things go when you marry your best friend and high school sweetie-pie.

Since I should have more inside/air conditioned free time than I have had, I am hoping to update my blog more than once every 6months. I'm hoping to get my home unpacked just in the nick of time so that I can re-pack it when our lease is up, maybe buy a boat, possibly move somewhere cool for a year, maybe end up loving it and staying. We don't know, and I think we're beginning to like it that way.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not the best of times.

Today we got some not-so good news that we knew may come, but hoped didn't; a declination letter from our loan officer... yeah, the week our house was supposed to close. 7 months after we've been "pre-approved", living with friends and family, picking out every little detail, from a huge lot for our boys to the beautiful gormet kitchen I've always wanted. We built our dream home to be able to live as a family for the first time in over a year.

Devastated couldn't even begin to explain the way we feel. And angry would probably be an understatement. There were many factors that led to this, and every single one of them was of no fault of our own. Not our credit, not our financial or work situation, nothing.

I'm having such a hard time knowing that, thanks to those who contributed to the way the market is, made it impossible for those of us, who are new to this game, those of us who did nothing wrong in this mess of a housing market, to buy a home.

We are going to keep saving (as, we've now lost a huge chunk of money), and rent for now, since that's our only option.

I figured, this would be the best way to let everyone know who know or have been asking. I've been purposely ignoring any house related questions because honestly, I didn't know the answer either. It's been down to the wire. We've lost hope and regained it by false promises countless times now.

We will get through this. I know that there is a reason that we lost the money, that we just built a house for another family to come in and buy, and although I have no idea what any of those reasons are right now.. I have faith that the Lord has bigger and better things for the Willards. I know that He can and will take this hurt away in His time, and make everything better as long as we lean on him for the answers we so desperately need.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stationery card

Monogram Of Snowflakes Holiday Card
Turn your family photos into holiday cards this season.
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