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.) 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Evan's Birth Story Part 1.

It's a miracle we're all healthy and alive. 

An intense sentence, but one that couldn't be more true. 

My whole pregnancy I would express concern to the specialist and to my OB that I was scared to get preeclampsia. I had seen both my sisters and sister in law get it and have very scary deliveries and something in my heart just knew that that was how Evan was going to get here. 

About 10 days before Evan was born the specialist found protein in my urine. It wasn't too high yet, so they ordered another test that would take about a week to get results. On Halloween the specialist called to say my levels were high and they wanted to do some more tests and monitoring. That afternoon I went to a previously scheduled OB appointment where my Dr. assured me that I had still had time and because my blood pressure was so good I didn't have any reason to worry about getting preeclampsia. The next morning I went to our MFM specialist. Something in my heart just felt off. Truthfully every time we would go to the specialist I would get anxiety thinking that one of these times they were going to say it's go time and wheel me next door to the hospital and deliver Evan. At the specialist the routine was to do vitals, a urine sample, monitor the baby, and then the ultrasound. I don't remember what my first blood pressure was when we walked in that day, but during the ultrasound a frantic nurse came in and rechecked my blood pressure three times. I knew something was wrong. The specialist being the specialist compared my blood pressure with my blood pressure from the first trimester and I was up about 20points. Little did we know the race against the clock to give Evan as much time as possible while still protecting me had just started. The specialist decided to do a 24hr urine test and sent me over to OB triage in the hospital to get monitored. After about an hour baby looked good and we went home. Wednesday was a scary day. I was sleeping a lot and had a miserable headache. I was feeling nauseous so I went downstairs to make some lunch. I was standing by the sink thankfully when I started throwing up. My vision blurred and I was seeing spots. I called Scott and told him to come home now. We were supposed to drop off the 24hr urine test at 2:00pm at the hospital anyway, so I called my OB and told him all my symptoms and asked if I should get monitored again. Definite yes. I definitely knew I wouldn't be home for awhile because as we're rushing to leave the house I grabbed the stack of thank you cards off the counter and told Scott I needed to mail these on the way to the hospital. He promptly took them out of my hand and said they could wait.

Can't see straight or walk,  but needs to mail out thank you notes. 

At the hospital they got me all hooked up to the monitors while they rushed the 24hr test. Evan was looking great and we really thought that we were going to get sent home on stricter bed rest.  Urine test came back and I got 1800. 300 is the threshold for preeclampsia. We got admitted to antepartum immediately. More bloodwork, and they put a saline lock in my arm as a precaution. We decided to do another 24hr urine test and my Dr. ordered steroid shots. Usually they give the steroid shots every 24hrs, but he ordered them for every 12hrs. The goal was to stay pregnant for at least 48hrs to give the steroids time to work completely. Later I found out that they don't typically give steroids past 35weeks. I was 34 weeks 6 days when I got them. They help the baby's lungs mature faster. Total blessing. 

Thursday was spent mostly watching Friends, relaxing, fighting anxiety, waiting on the results of the next 24hr test, and getting my blood pressure taken every 15mins. The specialist and my OB came to monitor me as well. We decided I was doing okay enough to stay pregnant longer. I got the second round of steroids and slept as much as I could. Our friends Rick and Julie came up to visit us and bring us dinner. It was so calming to visit with them. Before they left Scott and Rick gave me the sweetest blessing. Little did we know how perfect the timing would be. It was calm and peaceful and there was such a sweet spirit in the room. Things would escalate quickly very soon and we had no idea. There would be no time for a blessing after that. I held onto that blessing for so much strength the next few days. That night they put me in compression boots "space boots" that would inflate and deflate every few minutes to prevent blood clots. We finished the next 24hr test at about 9pm so we wouldn't know til Friday morning what our next move was. The nurse came in and said that my Dr. had ordered me an ambien to help me sleep. I turned on my Harry Potter audio book and was able to sleep about four hours. Friday morning came and we got the news that my kidneys were in overdrive spilling protein into my urine. I was now up to 3300. Nearly doubling in 24hrs. And that's when the Specialist and the OB decided it was time to get Evan here. 

My Dr. gave me a 40% chance of delivering naturally with induction. He upped it to 50% after checking and I was 1/2cm dilated. Delivering naturally would be better for me and for Evan in the long run and I knew I had to at least try. This whole pregnancy has been hard, so it only made sense that the delivery was going to be hard too. He told me I could choose the c-section now and he would be okay with it. My goal for delivery was to get Evan here safe and at the time the best decision was to go for it. Plus inducing would give those steroids even more time to work. 

I would be lying if I didn't say it broke my heart to realize that after months of monitoring complications Evan was up against, in the end it was my body's complication that was bringing him home early. 

Once we were admitted to Labor & Delivery it finally clicked that we were actually having a baby. I told the nurse we had been in Camp Denial for three days over in Antepartum. Things moved quickly in Labor & Delivery. We were racing the clock. Immediately I was hooked up to baby monitors, blood pressure cuff set to take my bp every 15mins, pulse ox, and about five different bags of fluid to my IV pole. This was the beginning of the magnesium. They also gave me cervadil to hopefully help my cervix dilate and they put in a catheter. To start the magnesium they give a very concentrated dose for the first 20mins and then you're on a continuous drop after that. The magnesium made my skin burn, my eyes burn, blurred my vision, made moving painful, and I shook uncontrollably often. Which was terrifying knowing I was on this to prevent seizures. We must have asked the nurse and doctors every time they came in if this was normal. The magnesium also slows down labor and can stop it completely. The cervadil also got contractions going and those combined with the magnesium/preeclampsia symptoms I was in a lot of pain. Anxiety was high and I needed Scott to keep a hand on me at all times to stay calm. He also fed me lots and lots of ice chips and only left my side to get a towel wet to put on my face.  After eight hours of this (9pm) they gave me torodol (sp?) for the pain. The shaking subsided and I was able to sleep for about an hour and a half before I felt a huge gush. At first I thought my catheter was broken, but after I woke up Scott and he told me there was a big puddle on the floor we knew my water broke. I was thrilled when the nurse confirmed it. My body was reacting like it was supposed to! I had a chance! At midnight the nurse checked me and I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. Because my water broke they had to take out the cervadil. Knowing the Pitocin was coming next I knew I wanted the epidural before the Pitocin got started. At 12:30 the anesthesiologist came to put in the epidural. She tried the first spot, but it was only working on my right side. While she was reassessing what to do she asked her nurse to get the 5in needle just in case the 3.5in needle didn’t work the second time. Scott and I both agreed afterward there should be a code name for 5in needles. Thankfully the second try at the epidural worked and I was actually comfortable enough to sleep from 1am-3am. At 3am they started the Pitocin. The Pitocin is the heavy hitting inducing drug and contractions were very consistent. 

At 7am the nurse came running into my room and strapped an oxygen mask onto me. Every contraction Evan’s heart rate was dropping. Aside from the preeclampsia this is what we were worried about for Evan. His umbilical cord attached at the very edge of the placenta and this is one of the reasons I was being seen by the specialist. They were watching the amniotic fluid levels because that’s what was supporting the cord. Lower fluid levels could cause his cord to “kink” and he wouldn’t get enough oxygen/nutrients. So my water breaking was definitely affecting that. 

I was so overwhelmed with all of the monitors and not being able to move, and being attached to countless things, a mask covering my nose and mouth put me over the edge and I was starting to have a panic attack. The magnesium was making my mouth dry and the oxygen tasted awful. I physically couldn’t handle it being strapped to my face. I was fighting tears knowing that I had to have that oxygen. Evan needed me to have that oxygen. Instead of strapping it to my face Scott watched the  contraction monitor and held the mask over my face for two hours. I was so exhausted I fell asleep. 

At 9am they came to check me again and I was still 3cm dilated. I was devastated. No progress in nearly 12hours, and they had increased the Pitocin twice. They told me my Dr. was going to come and check on me soon, and she said that they could maybe up the Pitocin again and put in internal monitors. I knew it was time to call it. I told Scott I couldn’t do another 12hours and have it end in a c-section. As soon as I said it out loud it felt right. I knew I was making the right choice as his Mother to do everything possible to get him here safe. That was my goal and this was how I was going to be able to accomplish it. Scott agreed completely.  

At 11:45am 23hrs after inducing started my Dr. calls it and we all decide a c-section is safest based on the magnesium battle, not progressing, and Evan’s heart rate continuing to drop with each contraction. 

As much as I thought I was prepared mentally for what happens during a c-section, I had no idea. A c-section is not the “easy way out” and I will throat punch anyone who wants to tell me it is. Things moved insanely fast. I told Scott I needed him to sprint to get dressed and get back to me. The anxiety was crippling, and things were no where near in my control. The c-section was really hard, they say that you shouldn’t be in pain, but you’ll feel tugging. Which is relatively true, but the ‘tugging’ was insanely painful. I was still on the magnesium or at least the affects were still in my system during the surgery. I’m not sure. It smelled terrible, and I really did feel them throwing my body back and forth on the table. I was still shaking uncontrollably from the magnesium and I thought I was going to fall off the table. We both cried and Scott made sure to keep his hands on me so I could calm down a little bit. I love him. Very very much. Dr. V worked very quickly, and our sweetheart Evan Thomas Daly was born at 12:34pm. He came out screaming which was such a relief to his Momma. I had done my job and held on long enough for those lungs to be strong. They whisked him over to the bassinet to get checked out and cleaned up. After checking to make sure I was okay, Scott went over to see our miracle boy. 

His poor little head was terribly bruised. We later found out Evan was trying to come out forehead first. 1/1000 births happen like that. Had we continued to pursue a natural delivery he wouldn't have made it. 
Sweet, sweet miracle boy

Scott brought him over to me so I could see him. We had a few minutes together as a family of three before Evan needed to go to the nursery. Scott went with him, and after they left I cried a lot and prayed someone would knock me out so the pain could stop. When we made the decision to have the c-section I told Scott to text Julie and tell her to come to the hospital. It was such a comfort to not be alone after the c-section while Scott was with Evan. She rubbed my feet and I cried some more. Scott came back to give the report on Evan. Evan’s glucose was low initially so they fed him formula and a supplement before testing again. His glucose still wasn’t high enough so they took him to the NICU. Scott and Julie watched them try five times to place an IV in Evan. Finally they were successful. 

Back in recovery they hung another bag of magnesium. I had to be on it for another 24hrs. The only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. Which we did successfully, but they wanted to be safe that I wasn’t going to have a seizure or a stroke postpartum and the magnesium as awful as it is protects from that. I was devastated to be told that because I was still a seizure risk I wouldn’t be allowed to go to the NICU to see or hold Evan until the magnesium was done. I was so brokenhearted. I had climbed the mountain. I had got him here safely and now I can’t even hold my baby? I’m the Mom. I don’t want anyone else taking care of him. I’m so grateful for the NICU team for taking care of him, but it was such a traumatic delivery, he needs his Mom! As physically painful as going through all of this was nothing matched how hard it was to not get to hold him. I sat empty in the hospital bed and Scott would go check on Evan every few hours and take pictures and hold him. At one point I felt okay for Scott to FaceTime me in from the NICU, but about thirty seconds in I started sobbing and saying I want a turn, it’s my turn to hold him. Scott immediately ran back down to me and we had a really good cry. It was just too much. 
We held hands a lot. To give you a gage on my swelling, by the time we left the hospital those bands could slip off my wrist. 

At this point my nurses had switched shifts and we got a spitfire of a girl named Tiffany. She was truly amazing. She was exactly what I needed. She read my Momma hormones just right and spent a lot of time telling me how amazing I was and getting me comfortable. I was so worried about my milk coming in because magnesium can slow that production as well and I had been on it for four days. She gave me the confidence to try and pump for Evan. I couldn’t hold him yet, but I could send him food. Feeding people gives me so much joy and I could send something for my baby. It was 1am and she got us set up pumping and I actually produced enough collostrum to fill several syringes. We sucked up every drop and Scott ran it up to the NICU. Scott fed Evan with the syringes at the 4am feeding. It was such a blessing for me to have something to feel like the Mom. Scott went back for the 7am and again at 10:30am where we found out Evan was doing amazing with his glucose levels and they were able to drop the glucose rate down to 2mg/hr. 

Holding my syringes full of food for Evan. So swollen from the preeclampsia.

I had realized it was daylight savings day and I begged my nurses to let me get off the magnesium an hour early. I didn’t want to wait another minute to get to hold Evan. They were on board with my plan and told me they would talk to my Dr. Dr. V came at 11am, and because my blood pressure was so stable he ended the magnesium drip 3hrs early. I could have kissed him. It was like finally coming up for air. They said that over the next few hours they would start to unhook everything and once I could stand up for 45seconds they would move me to postpartum and I would be allowed to go to the NICU. 

By noon they let me have broth and crackers, not exactly the meal I was picturing after two days of ice chips, but throwing up on top of everything else going on with me didn’t sound like fun. I was so determined to be able to stand. By 2pm they started to unhook me from everything which felt amazing. I’m sure I was surrounded by angels when I stood up for the first time in days. I was unsteady, but was able to do it on my first try. My baby needed his Momma! By 3pm they moved me over to postpartum. Very nice nurse Carol gets me settled and a wheelchair. She left to go get my medication and I have to pee. Scott helps me walk to the bathroom,and I have zero problems until I slip, catch myself on the guardrail and manage to break my saline lock/ IV port. So now my wrist is spraying blood all over the bathroom. Carol comes to the rescue and takes it out and gets things cleaned up, cheerfully without making me feel dumb. I just couldn’t catch a break.  But it didn't matter because that wheelchair had my name on it and I was going to hold my baby. 

Finally at 3:45pm, 27 hours after giving birth, I got to hold my baby. 

He knew who I was and calmed down immediately when we got to do skin to skin. 

I would do anything for you sweetheart. I'm so grateful you're ours. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

32 Weeks and Feeling It.

Baby boy is the size of a winter squash/pumpkin this week. He's over 4lbs now. He's busy looking around, practicing breathing, and grabbing whatever he can. 

It's going super fast and also slow lately. When the specialist said that if something didn't happen before they probably wouldn't let me go past 39 that really got my attention. Part relief to have a real end date in sight, and part nervous that this is actually happening.

October's checklist is basically finish everything so that if Baby came it would all be done, and finishing all the loose ends before November comes and we have tons of Drs appointments. More than we go now, crazy right? I am so grateful to still be pregnant, I honestly thought we would have a baby by now. While I'm prepared at every drs appointment to be told it's go time, I'm really enjoying the bonding time I'm getting right now. I know he's big enough to recognize our voices  and it makes my Mama heart swell to feel his big strong kicks during family prayer. Especially when we're praying for him that his umbilical cord continues to get him what he needs to grow big and strong. 

I love talking to him about how great Scott is, and about all the members of our extended family. Telling him how many people love him and are praying for him to keep growing. He loves it too he always moves more when I'm talking to him. 

I went over to my friend April's this week and she has a 15month old miracle little boy, and while I was holding him he would tap on my belly and my baby would try and kick back. It was the cutest thing ever. I'm guessing they were friends before, and Mr. T is so excited for his friend to join him down here. I know they're going to be the best of friends. 

I guess the theme of this week has been MOVEMENT! Baby, not me haha. I was so worried about kick counts, but in contrast from last week, Baby is getting so STRONG and never sleeps. He's strong enough to kick me awake at night. His other favorite trick is kicking my ribs and seeing how high he can get his feet. Scott tried putting his hand at the top of my ribs to encourage Baby to scoot his legs down so I could breathe better and Baby kicked Scott 4x in a row. Such a sasspot. 

We went to a class at the hospital on breastfeeding and Scott was sweet enough to come with me. It wasn't overly intense but we got so much good information. I've tried to read a couple books on it, but that just wasn't the right format for me. I'm really glad we went, and I'm so glad Scott came with me. I have no doubt once I get the hang of it it won't be a big deal, but it's really nice to know that Scott cares about as much as me and is so supportive. Highly recommend. 

We washed and folded all the baby clothes and got them put away this week. We have been given so many cute clothes! I can't wait to see our baby in them! They're so tiny!! Baby Boy has so many people who are spoiling him, I hope he knows how loved he is. Grandma & Grandpa Daly sent him a box of clothes in all sizes (which made us realize we should probably buy things in other sizes than newborn. Oops.) and they even sent him treats from their Alaskan cruise! 

We also started making a plan for the blessing in church for early next year, and family has started to book tickets to come! We are so excited to see everyone. This is our first Christmas where we aren't going anywhere, and it will definitely feel like Christmas to me to have family and a full house next year! 

We're headed to Car Seat Safety on Saturday and then have a Newborn Class next week. Classes are really our jam. I think we're both pretty good at going with the flow and figuring things out day by day, but we both get a thrill out of being overly prepared when a situation pops up. 

His nursery is just about done too, I was talking to my Mom awhile ago and she told me she wanted to pick a special present for each grandkid and not be locked into one specific thing each time. Which I'm all for, because she saw tepees at Target within days of me seeing them and brought it up as that could be their special present for Baby. I can't even handle it. I made a teepee with my best friend a few years ago and we even sold a couple! One of my first dates with Scott we played cards in the teepee. It was such a symbol to me of "I bet I could do that." After we moved here to Texas I gave it away to a happy grandma with kids to love on it.  We kept baby's teepee a surprise from Scott  and I facetimed my parents in today to see him unbox it. Pregnancy hormones basically make me a chihuahua. I was so excited I was shaking and crying haha. Scott loves it too and we got it set up in the nursery. I can't wait to read our little adventurer stories in it. I really hope we instill in him he can conquer the world.

I think both of us are feeling that it's not just going to be the two of us anymore. We both seem to be looking for excuses to spend more time together. Tonight the plan was to go to the AT&T store and get Tdap vaccines. (Which is what we've chosen for our family. We've researched it and have have decided this is what we want.) What should have been a few quick errands turned into a much longer adventure ending with dinner in the car discussing politics, our first date, and just holding hands. I really love our marriage. 

I've definitely hit the point where I'm sore and tired all the time. I sleep a lot and FaceTime my people. I'm still trying to get out and go places, but I really can only handle being out for 30-45mins. And it's supposed to get worse. So there's that. 😳. I was thinking a lot about how my limit is 30-45mins before I need to lay down. Church is so important to me, and I know that once baby gets here Church won't be able to happen for awhile with him being born during RSV/Flu season. So I have continued to pray that I can make it through all three hours and have enough energy to get put together before church and without fail, I have been able to make it through all three hours. Not just endure, but actually learning and being able to focus on the speakers and lessons. Sure I pack snacks and water and Scott has to hold onto me to get me to class so I'm more steady, but I make it. It means so much to me. It really recharges me and helps me make it through another week. Another miracle of this pregnancy. 

This coming week is our last relatively slow week before things really get amped up, so we're going to savor it. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Weeks !

I've been keeping updates mostly to my Instagram lately mostly because the past six weeks have been survival mode and I try to limit the emotional breakdowns on Facebook to like two a year. It's just a smaller circle on IG. But the short version of the last six weeks my brain hit it's breaking point on not being able to have medication for my ADD for a year. And that combined with being 7-8months pregnant is a real party. Truly this year has been the hardest thing I've ever done.

I lay low most days physically exhausted, mentally exhausted and nausea headaches have made their return. I did discover that Wendy's by our house now serves the best ginger ale ever. I'm flirting with white trash with how often I go get one.

There certainly have been quite a few days where I worry I'm going to be stuck in my head and physically spent forever. Those are the worst days. But as soon as I hit the lowest of lows we have a Dr's apt. And I get to hear our sweet boy's heartbeat and see his sweet face. We continue to defy the odds that have been stacked against us since day 1. And it's worth it. Being down is not one of my best skills and I hate it, but it's working. This is what it's going to take to get a healthy baby here safely.

I get anxiety every time we go to the specialist. It has always been a possibility that we go to that apt, and they say it's time to have a baby right now and wheel me right to the hospital. We no longer have placenta previa. We're currently keeping a very close eye on the umbilical cord. A normal umbilical cord attaches to the center of the placenta where it is strongest. For some reason ours attaches on the very edge of the placenta. So my body has built some extra something (I wish I remembered what he said.) to keep things attached. Although the possibility of that becoming detached is small if that were to happen it would mean immediate delivery. The other issue is major blood vessels could be compressed and we would have a very high bleeding risk and/or it would/could cause some complications for our Little Man.

Today we were so lucky to hear that Baby Boy has nearly doubled his weight in 4 weeks. He's getting plenty of blood flow and nutrients from the cord! Which means that for now I'm just looking out for the usual symptoms that you would need to call your Dr. For. We see our regular dr in 10 days and then the specialist in three weeks. Once we make it to that specialist apt we will see both drs every week. The specialist also said that if something doesn't happen before 39 weeks we'll be induced. Which I'm pretty excited about. 39 sounds like a magical number to make it to. So we'll probably have a Thanksgiving Baby instead. Baby is kicking like crazy and I throughly enjoyed the ultrasound today watching him hiccup and feeling it at the same time. These pictures of his sweet face are just incredible to me. I think he looks like Scott already, and I'm not mad about that one bit. We already have chubby cheeks! With plenty of time to chunk up some more. Keep growing sweetheart!

Things are definitely getting real with how many medical appointments we've been keeping up with. We also threw the hospital registration, tour, and several classes into the mix. Oh! And we sold my car. It was hard to say goodbye for a couple hours, but then we found my new car and I'm not sad at all. It has all the features I want and is so comfortable. I'm so glad we pulled the trigger on that. The nursery is pretty much done, and some of my dear friends are throwing me a baby shower in a couple of weeks!

With how many things we've got going on, and the things we're crossing off the list it really feels like we're in go mode. 8 weeks. We've made it this far, surely we can make it these last few right?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

25 Weeks!

I feel like we've hit the big time you guys. 25 is a lot of weeks! August was a complete blur so I haven't updated this blog much. 

Before we left on our big summer vacation we saw the specialist. 7:00am the morning we were supposed to leave. I think in my heart I knew we would be fine, but I really really wanted to see my family, and a bad appointment could really affect that. 

We were packed and ready with time to spare getting to the appointment which has to be a world record or something. I was even showered with my hair done! 

So there's two specialists at the practice we go to and we met with a new one. We really loved her. She was honest and too the point and answered all our questions in a way we could understand which I think is a really big deal in stressful situations. I didn't know that this appointment was going to include a lot of extra pictures and looks at Baby Boy's heart so my mind was definitely racing as they kept measuring everything, but turns out his heart is perfect. 

We had been praying every night for the placenta to move so I wouldn't be such a high risk pregnancy, and wouldn't you know it, it did. We asked her if I needed to do anything special to travel and she said to have a great trip. 

I could have cried. We have been working so hard to keep this little one growing and fighting the stupid anxiety of something going wrong everyday. To get all the green lights the day of vacation was such a special treat. 

But what I liked most about this specialist is when we asked her if this changed how often I was supposed to come in, she responded with keeping our same monthly plan, but she knows how hard we've worked for to get pregnant and how hard losing our other baby was she doesn't want to take any chances in making sure he gets here safely. It was exactly what I needed to hear. We really do have an incredible team working so hard to get him here safely. 

I have a running list of really great kisses I've had with Scott, but I've started a new list of really great hugs and holding on moments after the Dr. leaves the exam room. This was another one of those moments. 

As stupid hard as it has been to drag our babies out of heaven I wouldn't change it one bit. We have fallen even deeper into love with each other, and I couldn't be more proud to bring a child into a home filled with so much love. 

So right now he's head down and if you look closely at his chin that's the bottom of the placenta. Plenty of room for him to do his thing. 

We had a fantastic vacation with my family welcoming Rick home. This is a montage that Scott put together of the first week of our vacation.  If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen and read a lot of my stories, so this is better than reposting all of those. 

About 10 weeks into our pregnancy I was folding laundry and got up too fast and my lower back popped. I called the specialist to see if I could go to the chiropractor, but due to the location of injury it was a hard No. We needed to wait until the baby was viable just in case. So really for the past four months it's only got worse. There are periods of time where I can't walk at all. Scott will put me in and out of the car, help me up the stairs etc. but today was the magic day. 

We went to the chiropractor this afternoon after asking him a hundred questions yesterday and it was awesome. It was probably the most painful adjustment I've ever had but it was so worth it. I think how loud the pops were, even got Scott's attention. After we were all done I stood up straight for the first time in months. Scott didn't have to help me into the car and I even tackled stairs on my own when we got home. We'll go back next week for another adjustment to check things because today was so intense, but I don't mind one bit. I feel great. With the addition of the chiropractor I see a Dr. of some sort each and every week. Little crazy but so worth it.

I'm not going to say things are getting easier because it'll jinx us, but they're definitely looking up. We are so grateful for a healthy baby, who continues to grow and beat all the things thrown in our way. He weighs 1.5lbs this week! Which is huge when you compare it to a poppy seed where we started. I'm so proud of him. 

December just can't get here soon enough. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

21 Weeks!!

I am thrilled that we are over the hump! We can finally count down now! 

     Knitting some baby pants. With our bump! It finally looks like a baby bump and not like I ate four burritos. Victory!

I posted in our social media update that I felt Baby Boy kicking and moving now and really since I posted that he's been going crazy. I've caught myself laying down more to get him to do it more. His personal favorites are when Mom's on her right side and when she's in her glider. He was kicking like crazy today so I put my hand on my belly and he kicked hard enough to feel it on the outside. I am really looking forward to Scott getting to feel his kicks. 

I really feel like my love for Scott has doubled since we found out we're having a boy. They already have such a special bond. Our A/C had a new problem this week and Scott figured out how to fix it on his own. (I don't know why it still surprises me when he pulls off stuff like this. He's just that smart.) I was telling Scott how much I appreciated him making sure the a/c worked so I would be comfortable and he told me how excited he was to teach our boy all these important life skills. I knew I picked a good man to raise our kids with, but he continues to blow me away. I was telling Scott last night how excited I was to get him away from everything for vacation and while he's excited too, he teased back that he could rest when he's retired.

Last night we were in a funny spot because I was feeling bad that I haven't been able to get up and go and help more and he's been picking up the slack without complaint. And he was feeling bad, worried about me because I couldn't do what I wanted to. (I still like being a do-er. Even when I'm restricted.) 

We both had to laugh. What a great problem to have in a marriage to both be overly worried about your spouse's needs. 

I'm feeling really good about getting to go on vacation, but we definitely have some questions for the specialist before we go. Unfortunately our latest trick is all of a sudden I can't walk because of sciatica/round ligament pain. It usually goes away after a few hours of laying down, but it's really humbling to me to feel like a cripple and crawl up the stairs and have Scott kinda scoop me from one place to the next. I asked early on in the pregnancy to be allowed to go to the chiropractor, but that was off the table until the baby was bigger. I'm really hoping to get permission, every time I roll over or climb stairs my hips pop *loudly* in and out of place. I have a theory (not Doctor confirmed.. Yet.) that maybe because both baby and placenta are so low the weight from both is really doing a number on my hips. But we've got to find a solution because both baby and placenta are only going to get bigger and heavier. I do know it will get better before Christmas. ;) but I imagine our Scott would appreciate not having to worry when I try to drive and tracking our location to see if I'm going to need him to come retrieve me.  I told you, he's the best. 

The first time it happened I had a meltdown thinking I wasn't going to get to go see my family. And even writing that out makes me tear up. It's been two years since all six of my siblings have been together and it's pretty much like Christmas. Since Baby Boy is coming for the holidays this will be our last trip, and I just have to be there. I won't go if it's not safe for the pregnancy, so I've had lots of conversations with Baby Boy telling him we need to work together and how much he's going to love going to the family reunion. There is plenty out of my control, but positive self talk and talk to the baby I can do. 

Baby looks a lot like he's going to when he's born, he's just working on chunking up the next 18 weeks and 6 days. He's growing hair and working on sucking his thumb. 

This week I was reflecting on how hard it's been to get pregnant and get through this pregnancy, and I'm so glad it's been so hard. We were madly in love before, and that has really just grown. We have learned to depend on each other and how to serve each other. It's been a fun challenge to figure out how I can best serve Scott when our life is anything but ordinary or what I'm used to. Sometimes the best thing he needs is for me to rest and not push it. Hard lesson to learn but doable. 

 I really don't think we've been happier. We are so excited for this adventure and we're having so much fun shopping for this sweet boy. And I know we would do it a hundred times over to get him here. 


Monday, July 18, 2016

A crash course in Motherhood, grief, and Mom guilt.

**Today I want to write about our Baby B. I write because of the chance that someone somewhere could really need this. My cousin lost her sweet baby boy and blogged about how there isn't as much voice from those that have experienced loss, and it really encouraged me to tell our story and how we're doing. Because reading her story gave me light and hope. I hope to pass that on. But if this is not your thing I would encourage you to skip it. This has been a collection of thoughts over the past few months.**

I knew it was twins. Call it mother's intuition or a prompting or something, but I knew. As I was praying this pregnancy was viable I felt like it's okay to say babies. There's more than one. The next morning was the ultrasound and immediately I saw both of our babies. I was thrilled. Aside from our wedding day, I think that was the happiest I've ever been. We immediately announced and got to planning.

I mean come on. How cute are my two babies?! 

 When we lost Baby B a few weeks later, I was devastated. I AM devastated. While we were surrounded with love and support, I was blown away by the few comments of "well at least there's still one." Which I admit I let it get to me, because I know plenty of people waiting and praying for a baby of their own. How selfish am I for wanting two? Or the assumption that because we lost them during the first trimester that they weren't real. That they didn't matter. I wanted to yell I HAVE TWO BABIES! But that's not how it looks now does it? And who possibly knows what to say to someone going through this situation? I don't even know what I would want someone to say to me. Nothing can be said to change the situation. Medically Dr's told me that if this was going to happen this was the best time. In fact, this was common!  Medically for the health of everyone involved sure. But don't try and explain that to my heart. I would have been in bed for nine months to get both babies here safely. That's the reality. I would have done anything, but that wasn't my option. I fought for them from the beginning, and did everything possible to keep them here. But it wasn't their time to come.  It looks like I have one baby. But I have two. We have two. And I will defend that for eternity. That is our child. And they are real, and they matter. 

When I think about Baby B I float between sadness, anger, and sometimes jealousy. Sometimes when I see pictures of twins or a commercial. I tear up. Sometimes I cry a lot about how badly I miss our sweet baby. I was so grateful for a Sister in Law to give me the heads up we'll still see Baby B on our ultrasounds for awhile. That was hard for me to stomach. And to see. But you have so many mixed emotions. You get to see them, which I loved for about a second,  but then they're right next to their sibling who is growing. As hard as it was to see that it made it so clear to my heart that it wasn't their time yet. Because of our complications (separate from our lost twin) I've had quite a few more ultrasounds than a normal pregnancy. I admit that even still there's a small piece of me that hopes at every ultrasound the Dr. Is going to say, "Surprise! There's baby #2!" But it isn't going to happen. 

I bought matching Harry Potter onesies for our babies when we found out they were twins, because I wanted them to let their imaginations run wild and feel the magic of love and good conquering evil. (So many good values in those books.) As nerdy as it is, we found out we lost one of our twins on the anniversary that Molly Weasley lost one of her twins. Someone tweeted about it that day and that really set me off. Magic couldn't even bring him back. And magic couldn't even bring back our baby. I often listen to Harry Potter to help me sleep at night, it calms me down. When I told Lindsay about the coincidence she pointed out that that was why there are so many things in the world. Because Heavenly Father uses countless ways to talk to his children. For me, on that hard day, it was Harry Potter, and looking back on that it's a tender mercy. 

We were put in such a weird situation. I don't handle loss, death or grief well at all. I hold onto grief and loss for a long time. I have always been a very compassionate person, and this is a catch-22 of that trait. I am grateful that in this situation of losing my own child I have felt understanding much quicker. The grief is not a daily battle to fight. I admit I felt really guilty a week after it happened and I had stopped crying every day. How would my baby know how much I loved them if I was happy and at peace with what happened? It took a lot to recognize that that was the best for me. And being happy and at peace is what was supposed to happen. 

This is where the Mom Guilt comes in. As upset as I was when we found out, I didn't think I had time to grieve. Which made it worse. I still had a bouncing baby in my belly to take care of, and double the anxiety to not lose them too. I was so grateful for the advice to be upset about Baby B, to stay in bed all day and be sad. That Baby A would understand that Baby B needed my emotions more. 

I have a sliver of understanding of how Mom's feel being happy for one child and sad for the other because I've been there. That it's okay to buy Baby A outfits and celebrate their growth milestones while crying every once in awhile that we have to wait a little longer to love on Baby B. 

After it happened one of my best friends told me her theory was that Baby A needed Baby B to hold their hand to come down to Earth, but it just wasn't time for Baby B to come yet. It was a very sweet visual to picture our babies loving each other so much to hold hands to get to us. 

The other really great advice I got from someone who has lost a baby was to let yourself feel it and don't be mad at yourself for feeling it. There are so many emotions to fight through, and turns out you can't control them at all, but it gets better. We are doing so much better, it has brought us so much closer together as a couple and I really think we've grown a lot. I'm sure we're borderline obnoxious with how many little things we celebrate and post on social media with our little boy. But it's necessary, and I think in part it's helping us grieve, because we know how fragile pregnancy is and it can be taken away from us quickly.  We are choosing joy. 

I have zero doubt that we will get to raise Baby B, what a sweet reunion it will be to have all four of us together again. 

I think writing all of this out really put my heart in a vulnerable place. An unplanned discussion popped up tonight about Baby B and I think as Scott and I discussed what we were both feeling it was both healing and left us both vulnerable. And then Scott said something that I had felt for a long time and it filled that hope bucket right to the brim. It was so healing to know our hearts were in the same place. On the same page. Isn't it funny how you can be full of peace, hope, and sadness at the same time? 

Laying awake tonight trying to finish processing our conversation I stumbled onto this quote, and I'm adding it to my Tender Mercy bucket. 

We love you sweet Baby B, we will not give up the fight to get you to our arms safely. We both have a feeling you'll be coming home to us as quick as possible. You've already taught us so much, and we can't wait to see what else you have in store for us. We'll miss you every day we're waiting. We love you! 


Mom & Dad 
Parents of the cutest twins. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

19 weeks was a doozy.

19 weeks today! I feel like the last 10 days we've felt pretty much every possible emotion in the human spectrum. 

Last week we were coming off of some major wins with all the success Scott had at work and with the app. Once we got approval for the app to be in the App Store the next few days were filled with getting things ready for the launch party. 

Tuesday night everything was set up to get a group skype going with family to toast and cheer as it went live in the App Store. I went downstairs to grab wine glasses and martinellis and made it back up stairs only to double over in pain and drop the glasses before I could sit down. Once Scott got me to the couch and I could get my legs kinda tucked up and compress(is that the right word?) the sharp shooting pains weren't as bad, and I was not going to take away from this party. This was about 11pm. We had a blast skyping and launched the app successfully! 

We were headed to bed around 1am and I got up to walk to my bed. Not very far at all and the sharp pains and cramping got way more intense. I curled up into a ball on the bed and started breathing really hard. Things were not getting better. 

I called my Mom crying and told her what was going on. (So grateful she was awake.) Sobbing into the phone to your Mom that you are terrified you're going to lose another baby is something I wish on no one. She got me lined out on calling the Dr. And calling her back. Our Dr. Has an answering service that will page him. We called twice and the service didn't pick up. Panicking even more I called my Mom back and she told us we could call the charge nurse at labor and delivery at the hospital. We were able to get through and she was able to get us through to my Dr. Who sent me immediately to the ER. 

Scott got me in the car and got us to the hospital in record time. Thankfully there was literally no one in the ER. We got checked in and in a room pretty quick. 

We waited for awhile to see a Dr. And then they decided to do bloodwork, urine test, IV and an ultrasound. 

While they were running labs, I sat on the bed with my knees tucked up to be relatively comfortable. We had been there close to 2 hours before the ultrasound guy came in. I wished so badly there was another bed for Scott to sleep in. Oh we were so exhausted, physically and emotionally. 

I can't even describe how wonderful it was to immediately hear a strong heartbeat of 151, and see him with his signature hands behind his head move. Everything looked great on the ultrasound, and a few minutes in he decided to give us a show flipping around and swimming. He even gave us a sassy thumbs up like "how could you possibly be worried about me Mom & Dad?"

His little thumb is up at the bottom of the screen. I immediately relaxed after seeing our little sasspot so happy and comfortable in there. 

A little while later the Dr. came back with all of our lab results and no answers. Which is kinda good, but also had me a little nervous. The sharp pains and cramps had gone down. It had been over six hours since it started.  

I asked what if it happens again? Should I come in? Did I overreact? Thankfully the Dr. Didn't think we were crazy and told us if it gets bad like this again to come straight in. They also told us if we had been 20 weeks we would have been sent straight to Labor & Delivery. I was so grateful to be headed home to rest in my own bed. 

Coincidentally I had an appointment scheduled with my regular OB at 10:15 that morning. So we went home and slept for four hours and headed to the Dr.  Sleepy. That appointment went great, and he found the baby's heartbeat in less than a second. He also agreed that if that happened again we don't even need to call him and head straight to the hospital. He also agreed with the ER that this was an isolated event and since the baby was just fine it might not even be related to the pregnancy at all. 

He didn't put me on bedrest and even said I can still go to Arizona for our vacation when my brother comes home from his mission. On the condition that I don't end up in the ER between now and then. 

Scott the Wonderboy stopped for breakfast on our way home from the dr. Tucked me in and went straight to work. I am so grateful we live in TX and he works for such a wonderful company. He has the freedom to work from home, and there's no way this baby or I would get through the pregnancy without him. We're laying pretty low over here. Increasing my water intake from 125oz/day to something higher than that. (They ruled out dehydration, but I'm not taking any chances.) 

In the 36hrs we've been home from the hospital the app has generated some serious social media buzz and downloads which I can't help but see as a blessing for all of Scott's hard work and dedication to taking care of his family. 

Next thing on the list for all three of us is a lot of naps, and then some more naps. 

But hey, next week we're halfway!