Sunday, September 24, 2017

Church Saga: In three parts.

Hour 1.

Since Evan was born I’ve very quickly realized we’re in the just trying to be faithful category and less of the learning and retention category.

1pm church is not for the weak. 

We prepare like we’re about to play the Super Bowl. We know he isn’t going to get an afternoon nap. So we push off his morning nap as long as possible so maybe he could just have one big nap? Right. The diaper bag is loaded and could feed a third world country. 

Snacks. Toys. Diapers. Bottles. The whole shebang. 

But we know. We know no amount of preparation is going to stop it from being a brawl for three hours. 

Harmless, right? What could one little person pull off?

It really is like trying to hold a tornado. No matter what direction you’re holding him, he wants to look the other direction. He scored perfect 10s in arched back, dive bombing today. 

I tweeted this as we were walking into church today. 

Do you ever look at your baby as your walking into church and see the fire in their eyes? Me too. He has an agenda. I know it.

I knew he was going to take this round. 

As we were sitting in the metal chairs we let Evan crawl around on the floor. It starts with him poking his head through the hole in the seat in front of us. No matter how many times he does this, he is always shocked when his big melon head gets stuck. 

Then someone walks out. 

Evan’s head whips around like a hawk and sees his target. He takes off full crawling sprint to the outside. Thankfully he’s not strong enough to push open the door. Despite pulling himself up and slapping it. So he’s back to crawling and realizes he’s hit the open field and takes off for the back of the gym. 

Oh yeah, this is while they’re passing the sacrament so it’s superrr quiet. So I climb over Scott in heels and swoop in and pick up Evan and walk to the back of the gym. After Evan has made it really clear he will not be held I put him down like an idiot. Within five seconds he eats it and hits his head on the floor loudly and lets out a huge scream. So I scoop him up and bolt for the door. Just trying to get out. 

Only I threw the door open and hit an old man like a linebacker. 

So immediately I start apologizing, but Evan’s screaming and we gotta go. (Thankfully he said it hit his hand and he was just fine. Oops.) 

We settle down and after the sacrament is over we head back in. We play for a few minutes and Scott takes Evan out to change his diaper. 

We’ve made it 37 minutes. 

They came back in and we start to relax. We’re playing toys, we’re having a snack, it’s okay. 

10 minutes to go and we are in total meltdown mode. I have unstuck Evan from the chair in front of us for the 957th time and we’re in trouble. Scott frantically starts to make the bottle while I hold Evan and bounce him. I grab the bottle and a burp cloth and my phone in case I need to text Scott. Leaving the sacred diaper bag of truth and light. 

We make it to the Mother’s Lounge and have the room to ourselves. He drinks about 4oz and decides it’s time to explore. So I let him and just sit for a minute. There’s a full length mirror in there and he pulls himself up so he can slap it and talk to himself. His favorite. Totally normal. 

Until he projectile vomits all over the mirror, himself, and the floor. But the diaper bag is in the chapel and I’m not going back for it and leaving this mess. Cleaned it all up with paper towels and by then he starts making his pooping sounds. I figure he’s pooped and by then Sacrament is over so I go back to meet Scott and get the diaper bag. I change him (no poop! It was a fakeout!) and Scott heads to his meeting. 

Hour 2.

Being the FAITHFUL MOTHER I AM. I attempt Sunday School. I sit down next to my friend who offers to scoot down a chair in case we needed more space. 

“It’s really okay, I give us 30 seconds before we have to leave. We’re just trying to be faithful, not really here for retention.” 

We made it five minutes. 

Out in the hall with another head bonk. 

Evan’s favorite thing right now is to hold my hands and walk/run as fast as he can. In heels and 96% humidity I am bent in half letting him walk us all over the building. 

We walk laps for the rest of the hour. Because being picked up has resulted in more arching of the back and a well placed throat punch. He’s got a plan. He’s got places to see. He doesn’t want to be held. 

Hour 3. 

I meet up with Scott and say maybe we need to call it. He’s exhausted. 

Scott volunteers to take Evan to his class and if it’s a disaster we’ll call it. 

I enjoy my class and as we’re getting ready to say the closing prayer I notice Scott and Evan in the window of the doorway. 

Scott has a look on his face of do not talk to anyone and get in the car. We gotta move.

I get to Scott and he informs me that Evan has unloaded in his diaper and there are no more diapers in the diaper bag. 

Hour 4.


We hustle to the car and wrestle the belligerent octopus into the car seat. 

The humidity. The smell. 

But then we start to relax on the drive. 

Scott offers to take the diaper and I check on dinner. 


So I go into the living room. 

We’re talking neck. Up to his neck. 

It’s carpet so Scott puts what he’s got from the diaper on the Sunday newspaper like a puppy. 

And I call it. 

I just grab Evan by the armpits and march him upstairs to the tub. 

But now we need to wrestle his Sunday shirt off of him. That’s covered. Covered. 

I’m so glad I insisted on the Oxford shirt onesie that’s so hard to get on and off. 

In the wrestle to get the shirt off Evan pees on me. And the bathroom rugs. 

And I busted up laughing. We both did. It really was a hysterical mess. I have zero expectations that a 10month old can sit quietly for three hours, but today was really a prime performance. 

Two bathwater changes later we had ourselves a clean bean and a running washing machine. And all was right in the world.

(He looks sweet, but I know he saves his blowouts for church. He has his entire life. All day Saturday I try and get him to go. Sunday morning comes. Nothing. I know its coming. It's going to happen at church. And he's sooo proud of himself. I'm on to your little game meatball.) 

We’re all looking forward to General Conference next week and church at home. 

The funniest part of the whole thing was after everything was cleaned up we high fived and complimented each other on how well we handled the day and the situation. 

I think he won this round 😂. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Night

It’s been a crazy week over here. Big adulting decisions are possibly in the works, and energy/emotions are high over here. (Can’t say for awhile, but hopefully good news soon.) 

I can’t believe the last time I updated our family blog was January. I keep a pretty good record with Instagram and our Chatbooks, but tonight I wanted to write. 

Evan is 25lbs of raw personality. He’s just the sweetest, funniest kid. I’m really loving our relationship right now. We’re also to the stage where he’s into everything. Crawling, grabbing, pulling himself up on things. It’s really so fun to watch him explore. But at the same time this stage has pulled more heart strings than before. I have been noticing him getting bored or frustrated with me. I come up with lots of games and activities, but I can’t help but feel somethings missing. I know what’s missing. He’s such a social baby. I’ve got good Mom friends and we like to have play dates. But in my Mother’s intuition I know he’s missing his best friend. 

I know that twins would have physically killed me. But putting that aside, it’s really been hurting lately that I couldn’t give that to Evan. Siblings are a ways off too, due to the damage pregnancy did to my body. And I can rationalize all day that this was God’s plan. But on a feelings level I miss our Baby B. We had months before Evan’s arrival to come to terms with our situation, but lately I’ve found myself missing this sweet baby more because now I know what I’m missing. It’s far too grey of a situation to make black and white of it. 

We bought more toys for Evan this week which was really fun, and he loves them. A light up table he can push around. Not what we bought it for, but he loves using it for that. A little Star Wars Tsum Tsum, and some hideous dinosaur that he’s obsessed with. 

We thought of a cute family Halloween costume and I’m looking forward to going to the fabric store and starting to sew for Evan. One of those things that makes you feel like a real mom. I’m so grateful for him, and our relationship. He knows when I need a big hug or a slobbery open mouth kiss. 

Lately he’ll sing back to me when I sing to him. And we sound awful, but I love it so much. 

I don’t think I had any clue how many emotions you can have in a day as a Mom. 

This post seems scattered, mostly because I don’t know how to express my feelings about Baby B. It’s a tender and sacred experience for me and I’m not sure what the right answers are. This blog isn’t supposed to be just about them, but writing has always been therapeutic to me. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Baby B, Smiles, and Tender Mercies

Sometimes it just really rips my heart out that I have to wait a little longer to hold you.  It's an interesting place to be feeling such unmeasurable joy getting to be Evan's Momma and to have that missing Baby B feeling sneak in often. 

I really think that the veil is so thin with babies. The other night I was snuggling Evan and I asked him if he loved Baby B and he gave me his very first genuine smile. A smile! I asked him if Baby B was a boy or a girl and his coo sounded just like "girl!" which just cracked me up, because I realize he can't talk and he's only 11 weeks old, but for the next five minutes Scott and I talked to him about Baby B and there was so much joy snuggled between the three(four) of us. Evan is going to make the best big brother, he loves his siblings so much already. I'm so glad he's safely in my arms to tell me all about them.  


(Not an announcement. I imagine it's going to take all of us awhile to recover from the first fight to get our babies here.) 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! And ramblings on motherhood.

Happy New Year!! 



You're eight weeks old sweetheart! I need to catch up on your monthly updates, but I need to write it out tonight. As the fireworks shoot off outside our window sounding like a stampede because so many people are celebrating, this is our celebration. Me and you. Listening to you breathe deeply on my chest, I can't help but whisper, "we made it, baby." You are a miracle. I can hardly believe this is our life most days. 

When I was four years old I had a "mommy party" for my birthday. I wanted to wash dishes, tend my baby dolls, and paint nails because that's what Mom's do. In high school my nickname was Momma J because I liked to take care of my teammates and bake things. And then came the years of Aunt Jess who got to love on nieces and nephews for the past seven years. (Still do.) but this time you're real, and you're mine. We're not just playing house anymore. I still love washing dishes, painting my nails, baking, but most of all I love tending you. In your short 8 weeks earthside Momma has had to make a lot of tough decisions as to what's best for you. And the 35+2 weeks I managed to stay pregnant. That motherhood stuff starts from the get go. I can't think of anything more humbling. I want what's best for you so badly, sometimes it's hard to figure out what that even is so I can give it to you. I know that I won't always get it right, but I'm so grateful we didn't give up on each other. I know you were probably fighting just as hard to get here as I was trying to get you here. 

Tonight I want to remember:

  • The way you always put your fist up to my face when you're done eating so I can kiss it. 
  • The way your left ear looks a little smashed. It's darling. 
  • All the sweet sounds you make. 
  • When I was talking to you about how badly I miss your twin and when I said Baby B your eyes got super big and wide and you threw your arms open. I know you miss them too. I think babies know more than we do.  
  • How you managed to poop, spit up, and sneeze all within 30 seconds of each other. And being your number one cheerleaders we were so PROUD of your digestive system. We put you right in the tub.
  • How you calm down when you hear my voice. You're very obedient when I talk to you.
  • How reverently you fold your hands/arms when you're relaxed. 

Physically my body was so messed up after delivering and Evan needed NICU level help we both needed a team of people to keep us put together. I am so grateful we had all those amazing people on our team. But the empowered "I am his Mom, and I know what's best for him" feeling did not happen out of the gate. Especially since we both needed to be obedient to our Drs and nurses to get strong. I'm so grateful tonight snuggling you way past your bedtime for the empowering moments these past eight weeks that have helped me reclaim my confidence. Like politely declining advice that I know isn't the best fit for our situation or for you! (Sometimes accepting it too, I don't know everything after all.) And not in a rude way. But I've spent the last year and a half holding my breath being obedient to countless Drs and nurses to get pregnant and to get you here. Which worked beautifully, but dangit it's time for me to be in charge. In charge of myself and in charge of you. What a beautiful realization that is. Especially for a Type A trailblazer like your momma. This is a really big deal for me because a lot of the time this year I'll just agree to avoid confrontation rather than voicing how I truly feel.

Little Boy we are going to have so much fun this year. I can't wait to see what you teach me and what I teach you. I've waited forever for this. 


And I want you to know I will never ever give up that fight of trying to do what's best for you. Because I do know what's best for you. 

I'm your Momma. 

(Reference this post in 16 years when I try too hard and come across overprotective and overbearing. But holidays and birthdays are the exception, because Momma loves a good party, and sporting events, and probably science fair projects too. We'll just have to play it by ear. Love you sweet boy.) 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Evan's Birth Story Part 2

Part II NICU and Recovery 

Recovery from the preeclampsia and delivery was no joke. After delivering I developed PIH, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. Awesome. In my mind I thought that if I could just get him here alive and survive myself my body would feel so much better. Which is true, but I didn't know that at a month out I would still be on several medications and trying not to cry when I have to tackle the stairs in my house one more time. 

The first time I held Evan I thought my heart was going to burst. We made it! We survived! I was so anxious to learn everything about what he needed and what I could do. I wanted his nurse to tell me as much as she could. I felt I had already missed so much not being able to be there physically. My first time to see Evan was magical. His next feeding his nurse however kept coming in and out and we couldn't really get good info from her. She told me I should/could try and nurse Evan for 8mins and then we needed to give him formula to stay on the schedule. So we pull the curtains and I try and nurse him. I mean I sat through that three hour breast feeding class, but let's be real my mind was shot and so was my body. And it's not like I've ever done this before.At 5 weeks early and a c-section and the magnesium were some huge things stacked against me. I tried anyway feeling frustrated she just left and didn't stay to help. We weren't very successful. Then we tried to feed him the formula and we couldn't get him to take it. Finally I grabbed another nurse and asked for help. She told us what to do and we were finally successful getting him fed. It took over an hour to feed him  15ml. We had to leave because I needed more pain pills and blood pressure meds. I was determined to be back for the next feeding in what was now 1.5hrs away. She told us we could give him his first bath and try to keep nursing. We really enjoyed giving him his bath but she kept it super short and was in and out again, and this time I tried to ask more questions about feeding him and got a similar response. She was in and out and when she was there she wanted to talk about other babies and how busy she was. NOT okay. It was time for us to go back and rest and regroup. I sobbed all the way back to my room after both visits. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. I just wanted someone to help me. I was trying so hard and absolutely nothing was going right. Going right really isn't the best description, I kept my expectations at as long as we're all alive we'll figure it out, but dang it I needed some help!

 So I said a little prayer and when we got back to our room I gave myself a little pep talk reminding myself I'm his Mom and Mom's fight for their kids. So I called up to the NICU and "explained" to her that I was very upset and I understood she was busy but she was our nurse and if she was too busy to help or explain things to us or take care of my baby I wanted a different nurse. (Really tested those limits of the blood pressure medicine.) That's the nicest way I can explain that phone call ... 

She was nice and apologized and when we went back for the next feeding she stayed with us for 45mins answering questions and helping me nurse Evan. We even made an apt with a specific lactation Consultant to come help me the next day. This was the 2am feeding. Feeling like Evan was going to be taken care of, we decided to sleep (cough my nurses insisted I sleep or they wouldn't let me keep going to the NICU. Cough) 

The next day Scott would push me in a wheelchair from my room through 4 security access points, an Elevator ride, to the other end of the hospital to see Evan. We went to every feeding. Practiced nursing, changed him, fed him a bottle ( All breastmilk after day 1 thank you very much.) snuggled him and then we would go back to our room and eat and nap.  Turns out keeping up that schedule was too much for my body. My Mama heart was in it, but my body still needed a lot of help recovering and apparently recovery requires resting. I couldn't walk or stand more than a few minutes, and I held onto Scott for support when I tried. My blood pressure was out of control and My Dr. decided I could only go to the NICU every other feeding. So instead of a three hour schedule I now had a six hour schedule. Which was a really good call. They got the blood pressure and pain meds in me and I slept for five hours.

We went back up to the NICU for the 8am feeding and had the nurse we had when Evan was brought into the NICU. We loved her. She heard about how upset I was the night before and apologized to me for what happened. She worked hard and really understood the big picture of where everyone was at and where we were coming from. We kept up with feedings and met with lactation that afternoon. Incredibly helpful! I'm so glad that's someone's job. Initially I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed, but if it wasn't working or too hard, or my mental stability was struggling we would do formula. I've been off my ADD Meds for over a year because you can't have them when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. We're still not nursing yet, because it burns too many calories for him. But pumping and bottle feeding him, knowing that he's getting everything he needs from me is so healing after such a miserable delivery. It is so bonding for us and ADD drugs can wait. We've decided that I'll be the primary one to feed him and Scott will too to help with middle of the night feedings, but that's just for me. (So please don't be offended when we say no to help giving him a bottle.) We still practice nursing everyday and one day when we're a little bigger we'll nurse, but this is working great for now. I'm a big believer in fed is best. I love giving Ev my milk for reasons I had no idea mattered before he was born. That's what works for us.

After meeting with lactation Evan got his last dose of glucose and was able to maintain his levels all through the night. They had to leave his IV in just in case they had to use it again and that really killed me. His poor little arm was bruised and the IV port looked huge in his arm. Grateful, but not a fan. 

That night we did the CPR class in the NICU and Evan passed his car seat test! Because he was doing so good about 10pm they brought him down to my room and let him sleep with us.  As long as he's swaddled on A bilirubin blanket. I was so grateful to not have to keep making the NICU trip through the night. Evan did really well with us through the night. The next morning they came to check his bili levels and we were close but not quite ready. The bilirubin test is pretty hard to handle. They warm his heel up with a heating pad before pricking it and squeezing his blood into a vial. Kudos to you medical mamas for being so tough. I sat there and cried feeling helpless. 

Scott would hold his hand during blood pokes.

That morning they decided Evan needed to be on the lights all day again. Our favorite lactation nurse came by again and we had a very successful visit. I was able to latch Evan for the longest time so far. Really built my confidence. 

That night Evan was able to come off the lights and was doing so well it started to sound like we were going to get to go home together. They kept me a little longer than usual because I'm a real overachiever. Scott and Evan watched Star Trek and I had a nap and for a few hours it felt like we weren't in a hospital and just our little family. We ordered our fancy Stork dinner and I had my first Diet Coke in over a year. I'm telling you, miracles happen. We spent that night watching the Election coverage.  

Evan got to stay with us again that night and just have a NICU nurse come check on us. Around 2am we knew he wasn't doing well, and nursing was too stressful for him so we called the NICU nurse for help. She noticed he wasn't keeping his body temp up. This was Wednesday and I was officially discharged. But thankfully Evan's neonatologist and my Dr. are saints and said there's no way I was leaving the hospital without him. So they just moved me from postpartum to a family room. Oh I was so grateful for this. I think it would have broke me to leave the hospital without him. Babies should not be separated from their Mama's. That's the rule. 

After getting me settled Scott ran home for more clothes for us and our house was clean and our fridge was stocked with groceries. I gave our Angel friend Julie my house key back when we were trying to stay pregnant and she had been a busy girl. She and Rick and our whole ward family were some serious tender mercies. People from church heart attacked our door, and people brought dinner to the hospital so Scott didn't have to leave. So many tender mercies. 

 Food from our Church friends
Beautiful flowers from my in-laws

We got Evan warmed up and stable so we were able to start the 12hr temperature test. We had to keep his temperature above 97.5. After every feeding we double swaddled him and I snuggled him for at least an hour. His first four readings were 98.5, 97.7, 98.1, 97.5. 

Once it dipped to 97.5 he had to go back on the warmer. This was hour 10 and that was the feeding we skipped to sleep. Meaning the nurse fed him my milk. I was so mad at myself. I should have been there to get him to the finish line. So we have to give him some time before we can start the temperature test again and it turned out to be a big blessing. We got him warmed up and had a nice slow day. By 3pm we were ready to start the temperature test again. That night they were able to move us to the family NICU room which was steps from the NICU. Which made it even easier on me. I didn't have to use a wheelchair to get to my baby!  This time we weren't taking any chances. We even read him stories for the first time. Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  We were getting to that finish line and we did it! At 2am Evan officially passed his test! Temperature readings: 98.7, 98.7, 98.3, 97.9, 98.1 

Nice and toasty!

By 2:40 they brought him into our room to stay with us. Oh we were so excited. We got him fed and asleep and fell asleep ourselves before there was a knock on our door at 4am. Evan's bilirubin levels were high again and he needed to go under the phototherapy lights again. Back in the NICU and not in our room. This was really hard for me. I couldn't answer calls from my family to FaceTime or even take pictures. I hated that he had to have a mask strapped to his face. And they took our cuddle time after feeding away to get him back under the lights as soon as possible. I understand why it was necessary, but oh it was hard. And they had to check his levels with that stupid heel stick multiple times. Ev's poor feet were purple with bruises. Sad Momma. 

He didn't really mind because he's perfect, but that stupid mask strapped to his face made me so angry. 

By 2pm  we met with doctor She said to do bilirubin test at 9pm and if all went well he could room in that night with us. We would retest the following afternoon and possibly be discharged. SHE SAID THE DISCHARGED WORD!! 

8:40pm - sticked for bilirubin 
10:40pm - nurse walks in with Evan to drop him off to room in; bilirubin down to 11!! 

Headed to the car! 

We were going to make it! We were going to get discharged. That's when things went south for me. Around midnight Saturday morning I got super nauseous and started throwing up. Can. Not. Catch. A. Break. Throwing up violently a week after having a c-section is not recommended. Oh I was so miserable. Evan's nurses would come to check on us through the night and I hid in the bathroom. I didn't want them to know I was a mess again. I knew if I could just get home I would be okay to take care of him. I had a very bad reaction to one of my pain medications. A prescription that was different than what they were giving me inpatient. I prayed a lot that we could figure out what was going on. I called my Dr, but he was out for the weekend and the Dr covering his calls was sending all his patients to instacare or the ER. I refused. Here I am in the hospital 5hrs away from getting to leave with my baby and they want me to go to the ER? Not happening. 

I had to carry this fun little pack with me the first week, it vacuumed my incision. Pretty cool and also obnoxious to have a tube coming out of my belly for a week. Scott took a picture of me trying not to puke on discharge day, but I'm going to have to keep that one in the private collection. Pretty real. 

Well literally a week before I delivered I went to a church crafting day and made a new friend who is actually a pharmacist. She called me the day before I started throwing up because she's the compassionate service leader at church. So now I had her number. I texted her my situation and she asked me if I had another prescription for nausea from earlier in my pregnancy. I remembered that the last time I was in the ER at 30 weeks I got that prescription but never used it. It was sitting on my bathroom counter at home!! By 10:30am Scott had run to the store for crackers and ginger ale but I was dying. I think I prayed the whole time he was gone that I would be able to move to take care of Evan if need be. Bless that sweet baby's heart he slept the whole time and no nurses came by. When Scott got back I immediately threw up again. I asked him for a blessing and I kid you not as soon as we said amen there was a knock on the door. It was my friend Julie. She was worried about me. I hadn't told her where they moved us to in the hospital, but she was worried and found me. I gave her a huge hug and told her what was going on. She left for my house immediately to get the other prescription. While she was getting it, she called a Dr in our ward who happens to be an ER Dr to make sure I didn't need to go in. I'm telling you. We were surrounded by angels. She got back and I took the prescription and immediately started to feel better. 

By 12:30 we met with the Neonatologist and I was able to stand and talk to her the whole time. (HUGE!) she said that she was writing up our DISCHARGE papers and Evan just needed one more bilirubin test. By 1pm they took him for the test and by 2:30 we were all in the car headed home. 

We did it. 

We all got to come home together. 

(Don't worry. I got checked out by my Dr. after we got home to make sure I didn't have an abcess on the inside making me so sick. My Dr. did such a good job on my incision even puking couldn't rip in open. And my Mom came from AZ less than 24hrs after leaving the hospital. We were going to make it.)