Category:brittny’

And the Day’s Winner Is…

 - by Brittny

So yesterday was an interesting day.  We’ll just start at the beginning and you can see what you think.

The end of the year is approaching and we as a primary presidency have been scrambling a little to get our primary program together.  So on Monday night I stayed up a little bit later getting the responses from our kids compiled so we could write our script during our meeting the next day.  It was a big task, and while it took a good chunk of time to get through, it actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought.  It still meant that I didn’t get to bed until after 1am, and since Danny hasn’t been sleeping real well lately, I knew that I’d pay for my late night the next day, but it seemed worth it.

The next morning Sam woke up at his usual 7am and came in to wake me up.  Luckily he managed to wake me up without waking up Daniel so I was able to crawl out of bed and get downstairs while Daniel continued to snooze.  Lately our morning routine has been that I’ll come downstairs with Sam, get him a bowl of cereal and turn on PBS kids.  Then I go back to bed and get another hour or so of sleep.   I fully intended to do that on this morning as well, however I started working on getting more things arranged for our presidency meeting and ended up staying awake as well.

Around 9am Daniel woke up too and we started to get everyone ready for the day.  By 11:30am I was feeling really good about myself – I had laid out clothes for myself, fed everyone breakfast, dressed Sam, cleaned the kitchen, gotten our meeting agenda prepared, prepared the conducting sheet for Sunday, distributed a better format of our babysitting co-op calendar and done a review of our family budget!  I was definitely feeling like I was the winner of the day!

I hopped into the shower with Daniel while I let Sam watch some PBS Kids.  After showering we dressed, dried my hair and got it into curlers, all by 12:30!  For me to curl my hair on a weekday is an accomplishment in and of itself, even though it doesn’t take super long finding those extra 5 minutes to throw the curlers in isn’t as easy as it might seem.  We grabbed Eric and headed downstairs to have some lunch as a family.

As I started to make myself some leftover enchiladas Danny was starting to get a little fussy and (as usual) the only thing he wanted was to be nursed.  So I sat on the rocking chair and ate my enchilada while Danny nursed, trying to spill as little of my lunch on him as possible.  When I’d finished eating I started to print out my last few items for our presidency meeting (our rocking chair is placed where I have access to the computer).  Unfortunately I had run out of paper in the printer and even after adding more the computer and printer were being finicky about actually printing my documents.  Luckily Eric saved the day and got it all worked out.

Meanwhile Danny had fallen asleep so I went and laid him down in his bed.  I had been planning on taking him and Sam to our neighbor who was hosting co-op babysitting that day, however, since Danny was asleep and Eric was going to be home we agreed that I would leave him home.  If he awoke while I was gone Eric could take him down to our neighbor’s to join Sam.  My meeting was at 1pm and as it was already a little past that time I raced out the door with Sam, dropped him at co-op and got to our presidency meeting.

Our meeting was very productive and we got a pretty good start on our program script.  We wrapped up right at 3pm when I was supposed to be picking up Sam (luckily co-op and our meeting were both in our neighborhood, so I was right on schedule).  When I hopped out of the car to pick up Sam I couldn’t find the co-op tickets that I’d grabbed before I left.  Somehow between leaving home and our meeting they’d gotten lost.  I could have driven 5 houses down, picked up some tickets, and driven back to get Sam but I decided I didn’t want to make them wait any longer for me and I’d drop tickets off later.  When the door opened I was surprised to see that Daniel wasn’t there, although I was glad since that meant he was probably at home still sleeping and would be quite pleasant for the rest of the day.  I gathered my Sam and we headed home.

As I opened up the door I discovered that Daniel was not, in fact, still sleeping, but downstairs playing while his dad ate some lunch.  When Danny spotted us walking through the door he ran over to give a great big hug to… Sam!  Danny gives the best hugs, but it’s fairly rare that they are granted to his big brother.  I think Danny must have missed having Sam around for the half hour that he had been awake.  It was SO sweet to see that affection between those two boys.  They really are awesome brothers and I’m so glad to have them.

Sam was hungry so we fixed him a snack while I worked on some things on the computer.  Daniel has gotten into a stage where he LOVES to climb and get into things.  Especially if he can find the worst things to get into.  So naturally, while I was working on the computer I had to periodically take him off of the table/chairs/counters, deter him from climbing up and dismantling  or turning on our stove,  and calmly remove from his grip the knives he had procured from our knife block.  Never a dull moment with Danny around!  Finally I decided that since the day had over all been a success, Danny was getting antsy, Eric  wouldn’t be expecting an early dinner, and we’d been needing to do a grocery run since Thursday that I would round up the boys and head to the store.

It took a little while to get everyone ready, find shoes etc.  We made it out to the car and I realized that I needed to grab a few more things out of the house, including Sam’s baby doll – Tinkey -so we could avoid a meltdown.  So we got out the door probably around 4:30, still not too bad considering I was doing this with a preschooler and a toddler.  I plugged in my phone so that I could listen to my book during the drive.  We hadn’t even left the neighborhood when I realized that Sam was way too quiet, and he hadn’t yet had his nap for the day.  Crap, even the short drive to the store, if Sam was that tired  he’d be fast asleep before we reached the store.  So I insisted that he sing songs with me as we drove down the mountain.  He protested that if we sang loud songs then “we were going to wake him up”… but that was kind of the point.  There’s no way I could let him take a nap after 4pm if I wanted any chance of him going to sleep that night.

We made it to Smith’s without Sam falling asleep and I knew once he got out and walking around he’d be ok.  So we got into the store and found that they were unfortunately out of the shopping carts with the attached kiddie cars in the front. Sad, but not a big deal.  I grabbed a regular cart and Sam got a child sized cart.  I put Danny in my cart and Sam put Tinkey in his and we headed inside.  As we got inside Danny was getting squirmy so I went to buckle him in and discovered that the male end of the buckle was missing.  So I pretended that I was buckling Danny in by sticking the fabric part of the belt into the other end of the buckle, knowing it wouldn’t hold him, but that it might give me a few minutes of him being tricked into thinking he was stuck in the shopping cart before he’d insist on being carried.  Our shopping was fairly uneventful, Sam occasionally wandered into the aisles and got in other people’s way or rammed his cart into me or tried to put Starbursts into his cart, and Danny got tired of being in the cart and convinced me to take him out a few times to “help” me push the cart from my arms (note: this is in fact of negative helping value as it means I have to grapple with a toddler and push with one arm, in case you weren’t sure) and kept having to be re-seated in the cart as his climbing instincts told him that he MUST stand in the cart despite mom’s opinions to the contrary.

Finally we had gotten everything on our list and made it to the checkout.  As we loaded up the belt Danny wanted to be taken out of the cart but I insisted that he stay in the cart until we made it to the end.  I was nearly finished unloading my cart when I had a sinking realization – the other thing that I was supposed to grab from the house when I went in to get Tinkey, was my wallet.  I quickly rifled through my purse and realized that I had in fact made it all the way to the checkout line without my wallet.  I finished loading the groceries onto the belt and went to the front.  Danny was trying to get out again but I quickly re-seated him as I turned to the cashier to ask if they could put the groceries on hold while I ran out to my car to get my wallet.  As I was starting to tell her this I see Danny in the corner of my eye stand up in the cart and look over just in time to see that him lunge out of the cart and go head over heels right onto the hard floor.  He lands right in the middle of his forehead with a loud SMACK.  Horrified, I quickly pick him up and snuggle him to my chest while trying to assess the damage.  His nose is bleeding and he has a huge bump already forming in the middle of his forehead.  The cashier works quickly to procure some paper towels, sends her bagger off to get some ice, and her supervisor closes off the lane so we aren’t rushed while taking care of the situation.  Another checker comes over to help reassure me and tells me, in a very kind way, that I should I have had him buckled in – which I assure her I would have except that the buckle was broken.  Of course, that doesn’t make it any less my own fault, I could have gone back and searched for a cart that had a fixed buckle, but it didn’t seem like it was worth the effort at the time.  I feel awful, and hate the feeling that every person in that part of the store is now watching and judging me with my screaming, bleeding son who I should have done more to keep safe.

Danny's bump

This was the best picture we could get that shows the bump Danny ended up with. It’s not discolored so it’s a little hard to see, but if you look at his forehead you will notice that there’s a big round bump in the middle of it.

When I’ve finished assessing Daniel and have decided that – while he’s still crying and bleeding – he’s going to be just fine.  The bump is nasty looking and his nose is still bleeding, but just normal bloody nose.  It doesn’t help that he’s been congested so all the blood is mixed with copious amounts of snot.  The blood is all over and he doesn’t want to let me touch him to clean it up, and is instead wiping it on my arm and chest when I can’t catch him to wipe it off first.

I finally finish telling the cashier about my wallet situation.  She makes arrangements with her supervisor to have the groceries put on hold while I run out to the car to search for my wallet.  I’m fairly certain that I’ve left my wallet in my diaper bag from the day before, so I haul out my two boys – one still bleeding and crying, the other off in la-la land – out to our car to search.  As I go through the car I realize that I’ve taken my diaper bag into the house and it’s not in our car.  This never happens.  I am the world’s worst person at taking the diaper bag back into the house. Many times I’ll put it in the car for church on Sunday and the next Sunday when we’re getting ready for church – it’s still in the car.  So for me to have taken it in after a single outing is totally unheard of.  Unfortunately, this means that my wallet is sitting at home next to our rocking chair.  Shoot.  So I call Eric and have him text me the information for one of our credit cards on the off chance that they might be able to type in the information on their computer.

As we’re walking back in, Danny still whimpering and bleeding a little bit, Sam spots his old nursery leader who works in the Fred Myer inside our Smith’s.  Sister Hong is one of the world’s most wonderful people and she keeps a stash of candy and fruit snacks with her so that when she sees kids she knows at the store she can give them a treat (note: this is not WHY she is such a wonderful person, just one of the many examples).  So of course Sam has to stop and say hi.  I recount our story to Ming-tzong and she commiserates and gives fruit snacks to both of my boys.  She doesn’t know it, but she was the hero of the day – those fruit snacks were what finally helped Danny to calm down and be somewhat happy again.

We walked back to the checkstand and from there over to customer service where I was told for sure that they would need to see the actual card to be able to process the transaction – not surprising, but it had been worth a shot.  So I quickly text Eric to ask him to come down with a credit card.  The store manager comes over and has me fill out an accident report while we wait for Eric.  They offered to get Danny a drink or something, but the fruit snacks have been enough to settle him back down.  I do just want to note that the employees of the Smith’s were SO helpful, professional and kind through this whole ordeal.  I’ve been impressed with their friendly service since the first time I went to this store and yesterday’s experience was no exception.  Even though they could have berated me for being a terrible mother who doesn’t buckle her child in, or been frustrated with me for being the idiot that leaves their wallet at home, they were truly very kind and understanding and helpful – for which I was very grateful.  It made an awful situation just a little bit easier to deal with.

After the accident reports were finished we still had to wait a few minutes for Eric to arrive.  Finally our knight in shining armor arrives on his noble steed – or Eric in his helmet arrives on his scooter, the details are a little vague at this point :P  As he walks in he’s looking at the checkstands for us and finally sees us at the end of the aisle at customer service.  He still doesn’t know about Danny’s fall until he gets to us and I explain what happened.  At this point, despite the paper towels I have to clean him off, he has blood spattered across his face and there is some on my chest and arm – we probably look like we’ve just come from a murder.  Danny jumps into Eric’s arms and I think all of us are glad to see him with us again.  Eric pays for our groceries and I’m gratified to find out that once we put in our membership rewards number our total drops from $205 to $130 (pasta was on sale for $0.50/bag from its usual $1.50 so I had stocked up for our food storage).  A savings of $70 is a small consolation prize for what we went through, but better than nothing!

We go out to the car and get all the groceries packed up.  I’m grateful Eric was there to help load up the kids and groceries since I’m a little exhausted at this point, and it’s always easier managing the whole process with two people rather than one.  Finally we’re in the car and I’ve given Sam his donut that he earned for being relatively good at the store.  Sam doesn’t always get a donut on our shopping trips but we’d passed by the bakery case on our way into the store and he had asked for one.  I made the deal that if he was good we could maybe get one, knowing that if he didn’t see it again we’d probably escape without them.  Unfortunately my poor planning had made it so we ended up back by the bakery section right at the end of the excursion and since things had gone relatively well I couldn’t really refuse him.  I’m really grateful now that we had gotten the donut especially after everything else that we went through, it seems like a nice way to mediate the whole experience.

As I hop in the car I decide to listen to my book to help calm my nerves a little bit as we drive back home.  When we get about two minutes out of the parking lot I remember the reason I hadn’t listened on the way down – I’m supposed to be keeping Sam awake.  I look back at him but it’s already too late, Sam is totally passed out, donut in hand.  We get home and I lay him on the couch in hopes of a short nap, then I put the groceries away and start pulling out food for dinner.  It’s nearly 7pm at this point and Danny’s getting tired and hungry.  So we stop pulling out leftovers and sit down on the rocking chair and he nurses to sleep.

After putting Daniel in his bed I get Eric to come downstairs for dinner, we wake up Sam, eat dinner and watch some TV.  I’m of course a little worried about Danny after his big fall and a bit concerned that he might have a concussion, even though he’s been acting like his normal self, just tired at the end of a long day.  I’m grateful when he wakes up so we can examine him a bit more in the comfort of our own home.  He is just fine, his only souvenir from our adventure is a big lump on his head, but otherwise is no worse for the wear.

Finally it’s time for bedtime, I get Sam to bed, get some cleaning and work done, and finally around 11:30 I take Danny up to bed as well.  I had every intention of going back to my own bed after nursing him to sleep, but the next thing I knew I woke up from a nightmare in Daniel’s bed at 4am, guess the day wore me out too!

So, while the day started well, I’m going to say that yesterday’s winner was not in fact myself.  Luckily today and tomorrow are days that are devoid of any outside commitments or errands so I will happily stay locked up at home  with my two kids just cleaning and doing at-home things :)

By the way, if you read my personal blog as well and read this post about our adventure at the swimming pool, please don’t call CPS on me.  I promise most of our adventures have no accident reports and go off just fine.  We go to the pool and Wal-mart and Smiths and the park all the time without any major mishaps.  When they do happen I feel some catharsis by blogging about it, but I promise I’m a better blog than my blogs might make me seem!

We are a Happy Family!

 - by Brittny

When Eric and I were engaged all of his Chinese friends would tell him that we had “couple face”.  Apparently there’s some phrase in Chinese which roughly translates to “couple face” that means that you and your spouse/fiance/significant other look alike, like you belong together, and you look like a couple.  It became a family joke and it’s been fun finding other couples who have “couple face”.  Well I started using Picasa to organize the pictures on my computer, and one of the cool features is that it will find faces and have you tag them.  It also will start to guess who different faces are based on previous pictures you’ve tagged.  I took this screenshot of one set of guesses –

In case you can’t tell, the people in the pictures are just me and Eric.  Picasa tagged me as Samuel, Eric as me, me as my sister’s husband Ryan, and Eric as himself.  This was just one sample.  As I went through it was tagging Eric’s family members as members of my Dad’s family and all kinds of silliness.  I did feel a little bit vindicated that it tagged Eric as his older brother Tim multiple times, but not once did it get me mixed up with my mother.  For those of you who don’t know,  my mom and I look A LOT alike, and I think Eric and his brother Tim look a lot alike as well.  You can be the judge –

My mom and me on my wedding day

Eric and Tim, also on our wedding day (sorry Tim, it's the only picture I have of the two of you together)

On our wedding day I saw Tim holding his little girl and was very confused that Eric had changed out of his tux and into another suit.  I came within seconds of going up to, who I thought was Eric, and asking him why he’d changed his clothes! Luckily I noticed my mistake just before actually approaching Tim.  I just wasn’t used to there being multiple Eric-looking people around!

Eric has mistaken my mom for me on multiple occasions.  The most notable was Christmas of 2008 when we were at home with my family.  At the time I was 7 months pregnant with Samuel.  My mom and I were standing together leaning over the island in their kitchen when Eric comes up from behind and starts stroking my mom’s arm.  Just as my mom turns to find out what’s going on I lean over so he can see my face and say, “uhm, honey?”  Eric had quite a start at that point and my family likes to tease him about it.

Eric’s not the only one who has mixed us up though.  When I was in high school one night at dinner my dad came over behind my chair and started playing with my hair.  That wasn’t really weird, until I turned around and my dad said “Ack!  You’re not Kerry!”  Suddenly it was a lot weirder to have had my dad being that affectionate with me :P

However, the strangest moment was during my freshman year in college.  I had gotten all dressed up for some pictures and was heading out the door when I caught a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I suddenly turned around and said, “Mom?!”  It was so weird to have confused myself with a mom, especially since my mom was over 500 miles away at the time!

So…”couple face”!  It would seem that we have some of that within our family.  And next time someone asks who Sam looks more like, I guess the answer would be me!

2011 in Review

 - by Brittny

Well, it’s time for our obligatory year-end update on the family. It’s hard to believe we’ve been in our new home for over a year now! Time has flown by for our little family. We are very grateful for blessings and support we received this year from our family and friends. Adjusting to a homeowner’s life took more effort than anticipated, but it’s been a fun experiencing learning more about lighting, electrical wiring, installing water sprinklers, and other handy skills. I get the feeling that there is a never-ending supply of home improvement or maintenance jobs in our future.

Of course, the most exciting thing that happened this year had nothing to do with our house, but with our new baby!  Our sweet Daniel was born on 15 April at 11:00pm.   He weighed in at 7lbs 9oz and was 20 inches long.  Of course, he isn’t the same small baby that you see in that first post – he is 8 months old now! He is an extremely happy and easy-going child.  His smile constantly makes our day, and makes him lots of friends wherever we go.  All of a sudden, he has started moving around a lot! He is crawling very quickly and confidently, has taken to standing on his own for a few seconds at a time, and even crawling up stairs–much to our dismay. It won’t be long before he gets moving on two feet!  He has developed a few “tricks” like clapping, and clicking his tongue.  Our favorite thing he does though is sniffing.  Every so often he will scrunch up his face and start sniffing really hard for a little bit.  It doesn’t seem like he’s really trying to smell anything, and I’ve checked to make sure he didn’t have anything stuck in his nose, he just enjoys sniffing I guess.  His face when he does it though cracks us up.

He started out as an amazing sleeper which was totally new to us.  However in October we did some travelling and he got sick.  Since then we had at least one person in our family sick through the end of November.  Daniel’s sleeping habits haven’t been the same since, but he is still the least complaining child.  I took him in for his 6-month check up at the end of October and told the doctor that he was acting just fine, but that his eyes had been really goopey.  It was weird.  She said it was probably nothing and started to check him out.  When she looked in his ears she said “oh!  He has an ear infection!”  It was just a viral one so nothing that we could really do about it except let it run its course, but I was totally surprised that he had something really wrong with him because he’d been acting so cheerful!  That’s just the way our Danny rolls :)

Sam is a really good big brother to baby Daniel, but of course not without a good bit of jealousy mixed in.  He will be turning three in March, but you would think he was much older by the way he speaks. Whenever you ask him a yes or no question, he rarely responds with a one-word answer. If you ask him, “Sam, are you done eating yet?” he’ll respond, “No, not quite” or “Yes, I am done eating.”  Or the other night Eric asked him, “Sam, would you like some dinner?” and Sam responded with a gasp and then said, “Dada! That would be so great! I do want some dinner!”. He loves reading and asking very precocious questions. For example, Eric took care of Sam one day while Brittny went to a meeting: Sam: “Is Mom home yet?” Eric: “No, not yet.” Sam: “Is she at school or play?” (Referencing a particular line of “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam”)  Or on the day that he was wearing a shirt that said “USA” he looked down and said, “U-S-A.  Does that spell freedom?”  He has started going to joy school twice a week and loves it.  Even though he’s a little bit young for preschool we’re really glad that he has the opportunity to participate in this activity.  He loves the chance to learn and to play with other kids.  Sam loves letters and reading.  He can spell a few words – his favorites are Sam and Eric.  His favorite show is Super Why, and he even dressed up as Super Why for halloween!

Eric is working harder than ever after being baptized by fire into the Product Management group at Adobe. There is a lot to learn, but he enjoys the way the job challenges him and gives him opportunities to grow. He also is having a lot more opportunities to travel lately visiting clients all over the world from Sydney to New York. Probably the most exciting thing for Eric this year is that he developed an algorithm for Adobe that they’ve started to patent.  He’s pretty excited to have his name on a patent, even if all the rights are assigned to the company and not himself. He always dreamed of inventing things when he was a young child, and now that dream is being realized! His church calling as a building scheduler is relatively simple. All he has to do is answer the phone and maintain an online calendar, but he is still very involved in church with the ward choir and putting on special musical numbers.

Brittny was released a couple months ago from her calling as the Nursery coordinator, which worked out well since Sam had been well adjusted to attending on his own for a little while now. She was then called to be the Secretary in the Primary! So her workload has expanded dramatically, and she still helps out with the Nursery from time to time. All of the exposure to so many little kids has turned our family into a petri dish for the illnesses floating through the ward. We’ve had at least one member of our family sick every week since the beginning of October until a few weeks ago (*knock on wood in hopes of keeping good health*). We’ve started implementing some new healthcare practices (multivitamins for everyone, extra hand washing etc) to hopefully ward off more nursery-borne sicknesses in the future! Brittny also still works from home as a freelance web programmer whenever she gets a moment’s rest from chasing kids. With Eric’s new job position the extra money isn’t really necessary, but it’s nice for Brittny to have the hobby and extra spending money. She appreciates the reminder that she’s good at things other than changing diapers and cleaning dishes (especially since she’s not so good at the dishes part!). But she does a great job caring for our two little ones, the most important job in our family.

So that’s our family update for the year. It’s been very exciting despite the fact we didn’t have to move, and that’s something to be really excited about! Our best wishes go out to you for an excellent 2012!

Tales from not-so-Down-Under

 - by Brittny

A couple weeks ago Eric got to go to Australia on business (lucky!) and left us at home in the cold.  If you want to read about his adventure he posted about it here on his personal website.  In the meantime we had some of our own adventures.  I’d had a lot that I was going to post but I can’t remember most of it anymore.  I think partly because I posted some of the pictures in another post and that eliminated a lot of my content.  But I still had a few things that I wanted to share.

So while Eric was gone I really wanted to get our house all cleaned up and back in order.  When Eric’s gone it’s a little bit easier to take on tasks like that because I’m not really cooking dinner all week.  Sam and I can happily eat grilled cheese sandwiches/quesadillas/mac & cheese or leftovers all week long which doesn’t quite present the array of dishes that cooking real meals does.  Not that Eric would be unwilling to eat such meals, I just don’t feel as much like I can justify myself as a housewife if I’m not preparing fairly decent meals.  Sam wouldn’t eat those meals anyways and it’s not worth the effort for myself.  Anyways, I digress (surprise).

One of the projects I really wanted to conquer was our tupperware cabinet.  It was completely out of control, you could never find the right lid to go with the containers and it only got worse as we didn’t want to deal with trying to find the “right’ place for things and more tupperwares just got shove din.  I really wanted to go through it and get it all organized but I kept telling myself that I really wasn’t allowed to take on a major organizing project like that until the rest of the house was fairly well cleaned.

On Tuesday we had one of my best friends over with her two little kids.  Her son Zeke and Sam get along really well and were having lots of fun.  Because there’s nothing breakable in my tupperware cabinet we haven’t put a lock on it to keep Sam out of it.  So at one point I guess Sam showed Zeke the wonders of this cabinet.  Next thing Stephanie and I knew, ALL of the tupperwares were out and ALL over the floor!  It was an epic mess, and the boys thought it was great.  Normally that might seem like a disaster, but really I was so glad that now I had an excuse to really go through and organize my tupperware cabinet!  I finally took out the random appliances that were in there and stored them in more logical locations.  Then took any of our cheap tupperware that I keep for taking dinners to people and hid it up in a higher cabinet.  The result has been miraculous.  That cabinet which was once a black hole now seems practically empty!  In fact, since then Sam has discovered that he fits very nicely in that cabinet and likes very much to go hide out in there from time to time!

I also feel like I have to give Stephanie some mad best friend props that day by doing my dishes for me.  I’d fallen behind on my dishes and I *hate* doing dishes.  That didn’t really fit into the story but I had to tell her once again THANK YOU!  It made a huge difference in me being able to keep up with the house that week.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

On Wednesday we had to run to the store to pick up some groceries as we were out of practically all of the essentials (bread, milk, cheese… when you’re living off grilled cheese sandwiches – as Sam generally does – you can’t go too long without those).  As we were getting ready to leave I decided to throw on a scarf.  Sam, naturally, decided that he *had* to have a scarf too, and mittens, and a coat.  It really wasn’t super cold outside but he was insistent that he have his full gear on.  He was SO cute I had to take a picture –

He was so proud of that scarf for the rest of the day and got comments on it at the grocery store and at Joy School.  What a cute kid!

I really can’t remember much of what happened the rest of that week.  Probably partly because I ended up having Daniel and Sam both sleeping in my bed with me every night while Eric was gone.  I think Sam was really thrown off by having Eric out of the house because since Eric came back he’s gone back to sleeping in his own room through the night.  We were very very glad to have Eric home again at the end of the week!  I’m glad that he got a chance to go see Australia (especially since my mom is from there, just fun to have that connection now) and very thankful that his job is going so well that it necessitates that kind of travel… but there’s nothing like having him home again.  We love him a lot and like having him home with us!

 

Winner, Winner Pizza Dinner!

 - by Brittny

Sam enjoying gelato :)

Last night as I was finishing making butternut squash soup for dinner I popped onto Facebook for a second to catch up on my newsfeed.  I had a notification that one of my friends had posted something on my Wall.  So I clicked on it to find that she was wondering if I was the person who had won Terra Mia’s free pizza of the day drawing.  So, another click over to Terra Mia’s Facebook page and I discovered – I was!  So we put the soup in the fridge and headed out to Orem for our free pizza.

If you live in Utah Valley and haven’t been to Terra Mia before I highly recommend it.  They’re an authentic Italian pizza place,  and their food is delicious.  Don’t go in expecting Domino’s pizza, this is Italian pizza.  The pizzas are personal sized and delicious, but it’s not the pizza that your kids are expecting.  More fun for a date and trying something new.  We got their Penne Alfredo with Chicken pasta, which was really yummy, although Italian-Italian and not Americanized-Italian.  I can’t definitely speak for the authenticity as I’ve never been to Italy before, but I can say that it tasted foreign to my American palate, in a good way.  It was delicious just not exactly what I expect in an alfredo sauce, it was richer and had some flavors that I didn’t expect )(sorry I’m not a great describer of food).  We also got a Contadina pizza, which has mushroom, eggplant, peppers and artichokes.  I have recently discovered that I *love* artichokes so this was a natural choice for me :)  And of course, to top it all off we got some gelato.  In my opinion the gelato is the reason to go to Terra Mia.  The rest of the food is very very good, but I’m a sucker for ice cream in any form!  We split the cup with half chocolate and half raspberry.  Mmmmmmm, heaven!  We discovered that Sam takes after his dad’s palate and he was more inclined towards the raspberry than the chocolate.  I was ok with that because the chocolate was pretty incredible, definitely not an American chocolate, but a richer chocolate.  The combination of those two flavors was pretty awesome (good pick Eric!).  Anyways, we really enjoyed our impromptu night out and I was excited to win something! If you want to be eligible to win their daily free pizza giveaway all you have to do is “like” their Facebook page and then keep an eye out to see if you’ve won.  Thanks Terra Mia for a fun night out as a family!

Daniel’s Birth – Part 3: Recovery

 - by Brittny

Once Daniel was born I sat back and relaxed.  I couldn’t believe how quickly that had all gone, and how intense that whole process had been.  From the time they got the IV set up till the time he was born was only 5 1/2 hours!  It turned out that it was a very good thing that I had been induced after all because otherwise there was no way I would have gotten to the hospital in time for the antibiotics to be properly administered before Daniel arrived.

One of the great things after Daniel was born was that they were able to just put him on my stomach while they cleaned him off.  With Sam they wanted to get him off to the NICU right away (he had meconium in the amniotic fluid) so I only saw him for the briefest of moments right after his birth.  It was cool to be able to touch him and have him be right there right after birth.  Granted I was pretty tired at that point and not really able to take too much advantage of him being right there, but it was still a really cool experience.  Then they took him over to clean him off while the doctor stitched me up.

I think the doctor was mad at me for birthing Daniel so fast because he was pretty rough while stitching me up.  Eric could tell from the faces that I was making and the way that I squirmed with each stitch that it wasn’t exactly a gentle process.  Luckily that was soon over and the doctor left pretty soon after.  Laurel stuck around for a little bit longer but there wasn’t too much for her to do at that point so she went home to her own family not long after the doctor left.

Within minutes of the stitching being completed Taylor and Ryan arrived with Sam so that Sam could meet his new little brother.  Sam was really excited to see Daniel and it was so awesome to watch him interact with his brother.  He’d been excited for most of my pregnancy to talk to the baby in my tummy and snuggle with my tummy.  We’d been talking about baby Daniel coming to be part of our family for a long time and it was cool to see that Sam really understood that better than we’d fully expected.  Sam also came up and snuggled with me on the bed, which was probably one of the very best things for me.  I was pretty shaky after that whole process so I didn’t dare hold Daniel yet, but Sam didn’t need my support so having him come be next to me wasn’t a problem.  Sam and I are buds and just having him cuddling with me was very calming and just helped me feel a whole lot better.  I was really glad to have him there, and it was awesome that we got to share some of those first few moments of Daniel’s life with his big brother there too.  It was a really neat experience to get to have as a whole family.  Sidenote: We have awesome video of these first encounters of the brothers and the first bit of Daniel’s life, but it was going to take too long to put it together for posting it here.  But I promise, once we get it put together we’ll get it up!

After a little while the Lockwoods left and my mom took Sam back to our house.  The nurse asked me if I wanted to try and nurse Daniel right then or if I wanted to wait awhile.  I was still a little bit shaky so I said I’d probably wait a little bit and let Eric hold him while I ate some of the snacks that Eric had gotten for me from the Labor & Delivery snack stash.  After a few snacks I felt better enough to hold Daniel and he immediately started rooting around.  I had thought it would be easiest if we waited until we were down on the recovery floor to feed him but I couldn’t resist his insistent rooting, so I started to nurse him.  I figured it would probably just be a failed attempt anyways since Sam took probably a week to really catch on to nursing.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Daniel latched right on and ate for a good 15 minutes right away!  Way to go kiddo!  That’s proven to be a pretty accurate indication of what he’s been like ever since.  He pretty much always wants to eat whenever he’s awake and he does a great job with nursing.

After I finished nursing Daniel he went with Eric downstairs for his first bath and getting fully cleaned up in the nursery.  I was left in the room on my own for a few minutes just in a state of slight shock from all that had just happened.  Even though I’d been through the whole childbirth process before it still doesn’t really prepare you for that moment afterwards where you think “holy cow, did that just happen?!?”  I was kind of glad to have those few minutes to just process the experience.  Then the nurse came in to help me clean up a little bit and wheel me down to the recovery room.

Eric was in the room not long after I got in there.  Daniel had come back with Eric from the nursery and I had nursed him some more, but then we sent him back to the nursery so that we could get as solid of a night’s sleep as possible.  I think it was about 1:30am at that point, and we were both a little bit hungry.  So Eric went down to the cafeteria to get us something to eat (luckily the cafeteria didn’t close until 2am!).  It’s a good thing he did, neither of us thought we were super hungry until we started eating the food.  He came back with a burger, some nachos and some chicken fingers… and they disappeared much more quickly than we’d expected.  Eric climbed onto the bed with me, which was very comforting, and we watched a show on his Xoom while we ate.  It was just nice to be with him and relax together after the whole process.  Once the show was over Eric went and set up his pull-out couch bed to go to sleep.  We both would have preferred if he could just stay in the bed with me, but we also both thought it’d be awkward with the nurses coming in and out.

Eric fell asleep almost immediately and didn’t wake up again until after they brought Daniel back in the morning.  I on the other hand had a really hard time getting to sleep.  My heart had started doing its racing thing again and nothing I did seemed to get it to settle down.  I really wanted to wake Eric up and have him come back and hold me, since just having him close usually helps.  However, I resisted waking him up as I knew he was pretty exhausted as well.  It took a few hours but I finally fell asleep around 4am.

The rest of our hospital stay was relatively uneventful.  We only stayed until 9pm on Saturday because we figured since both Daniel and I were doing well we could recover better at home in our own beds than we could in the hospital.  Especially since it would mean no nurses popping in and out through the night and that Eric wasn’t stuck on a couch bed.  It worked out well since my mom was still there to help take care of us during the next day, and we definitely got more rest that night.  I think we were all much happier to just be home :)

 

Daniel at about 2.5 weeks, he's not so sure about us :)

So, that’s the story of how Daniel came into this world.  I can’t believe we’ve had him for almost 3 weeks now.  He is an awesome baby.  He sleeps well on his own, and eats really well!  That’s about as high praise as you can get for a three week old!  It’s so interesting to me how different he is from Sam.  We love him so much and are so excited that he’s in our family!

Daniel’s Birth – Part 2: Labor & Delivery

 - by Brittny

Friday morning we woke up and started getting ready for the day.  We’d been told that we’d get a call with the time we should come in sometime before 8am.  When 8am had come and gone I called Labor & Delivery to see what time I should come in.  They said they were waiting for some rooms to clear out and to call back in a couple of hours if we still hadn’t heard anything.  So we continued getting ready.  A couple of hours came and went so we called back.  We were told that they were still working on discharging some people but that if we were to head down to Provo and get some lunch it shouldn’t be too much longer.  So we packed up the car and went to Provo.

We took our time at Subway but even after we’d finished our sandwiches the hospital still hadn’t called back so we decided to go bide our time at my sister’s apartment until we were called.  After waiting for awhile I decided to call the hospital again to just see if I could get an update.  When I called the nurse told me she thought I’d already been called and told to come in but that she’d need to have me talk to the charge nurse.  She said she’d have the charge nurse call me back in a few minutes.  Half an hour later when I still hadn’t been called back I decided to just have my mom drop us off at the hospital (we just have one car and my mom would need it while we were in the hospital so she could take care of Sam, so as funny as it seems to have my mom drop us off at the hospital to go have our baby… that’s what we did).  I figured that if we were in the waiting room we’d be more likely to get the attention of the people who would get us admitted.  I was a little bit worried that it would get too late and they’d just tell us that we had to wait until the next week to come in, so I wanted to give us the best chances of getting in.

When we got there we found out that the Labor & Delivery floor was just a really busy place that day which was why it had taken so long to get us in.  We waited for another hour before they were finally ready to admit us.  In some respects I was ok with that, I’d told people earlier that having a scheduled induction reminded me of a quote from Swan Princess – “Go on Jean-Bob, race to your death!”  As much as I really don’t fear childbirth… it’s still not exactly the funnest thing to go through.  So while I wanted to get it over with, I wasn’t in the biggest hurry to get it started either.  But we did finally get admitted and were in the room ready to start the IV at 4:30pm.

Now, in case you somehow read our blog but didn’t know this, I have a pretty severe phobia of needles.  I don’t know where it’s come from or why I have it or even what it is about needles that gives me problems, but I have a tendency to pass out whenever I have to get even minor shots.  Pass out cold, to the point where I turn grey and convulse, and it has taken a few rounds of smelling salts to bring me back to consciousness more than once.  It’s a pretty scary thing to watch (so I’m told) and really not much fun to go through either.  So, as silly as it may sound, getting that IV set up is the worst part of childbirth for me.

So around 4:30pm the nurse looked over my hands and found the best vein and Eric did his best to distract me from the needle so that I could remain conscious.  It took a lot of deep breathing and talking about other things but she got the needle in and was setting it up when I heard her say “shoot, the vein collapsed”…  That was NOT what I wanted to hear.  I was so proud of myself for remaining conscious and to find out that it had failed was a pretty tough blow.  So she went to try and find a better vein on my other hand, and Eric kept doing his song and dance to help keep me conscious… and that vein collapsed too.  So my nurse brought in another nurse and they started hitting my arms to try and bring out a good vein, they found a promising vein… another failed attempt.  So they went out to get the charge nurse to see if she would have better luck.  While they were out of the room Eric asked if I would like another blessing, which I quickly accepted.  It may not take long to read through those three attempts but it had taken about 20-30 minutes of being hit and poked and it was really taking a toll on me.  Even without passing out it’s so draining to try and remain conscious that I was really feeling worn out.  I don’t remember anything that he said in that blessing but I do remember feeling strengthened by it.

The charge nurse came in and hit my arms some more, and used some lidocane to help numb my arms so that it at least didn’t hurt as much, poked around… another collapsed vein.  So they said they’d go try to get the anesthesiologist to come and set me up, since he obviously has good experience with setting up IVs.  When the nurses left the room I started to cry.  Of course the one thing that I have a very difficult time with was what was going wrong.  This was about the worst nightmare that I could have come up with for the delivery.  The crying actually helped me feel better strangely enough, and I think it got my blood flowing a little bit more.  They had also brought in a warm blanket to put over my arms which not only was helping bring my veins out but helped me feel a little better too.

Somewhere in all this my friend Laurel arrived.  Laurel had just completed the first part of her doula training and needed to attend a few births in order to finish her certification.  I had volunteered to be one of her first births primarily because Eric had had a business trip to Japan scheduled when I reached 37 weeks.  That same week my mom had Japanese foreign exchange students that would be in town so she would be unable to help me as well.  I knew that Murphy’s Law would come into play and that I’d end up having the baby by myself.  So I wanted to make sure that I had someone who could be my labor support if the baby decided to come that week (as it turned out Eric’s business trip was cancelled in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan).  However I’d also been curious about using a doula.  Since I try to birth naturally, and since my mom wasn’t planning on being there for the birth I really wanted to have another woman in the room to help coach me through the process.  Even though I’d done it before, and Eric is awesome, there’s something different that a woman who has been through childbirth can really add to the experience.

Eric asked me at this point if I wanted to just go home and try again another day.  The honest answer to that question was a resounding YES… except for the coming back another day.  I knew that if I left at that point it would be harder the next time to set up an IV because I would be more hysterical knowing that we’d failed this time around without a positive resolution.  The only positive outcome at this point was to get the IV started this time so that whenever I next had to encounter needles I didn’t have an awful unresolved experience that I was coming off of.  So, I told him no, I’d stick it out until we got it set up right.  He then asked if I wanted my mom to come and I don’t think I hesitated long to respond with a yes to that offer.  There are very few people who really understand my needles phobia and how to deal with me and to work with nurses/doctors to help get done what needs to get done, and my mom is one of those people (Eric obviously is another but I think he was getting a little worn out too).

While we were waiting for my mom to come and the anesthesiologist to be available my nurse came back in and said that they had the people who go with the EMTs there that could get my IV set up.  They had some sort of ultrasound machine that helped them find particularly good veins and this was basically their job was setting up IVs.  They were off the clock in a few more minutes so they could either come in and give it a shot now or we’d lose the opportunity for their help.  I only vaguely understood what was happening because I was pretty upset and into the hysterical but luckily I told them to have them come in, even though my mom wasn’t there yet.  So, in came two more nurses with their gear to see what they could do.  More arm slapping ensued and pointing at different veins (most of which had already been the victims of those failed attempts).  I don’t even know if they ended up using their cool machine but after some more lidocane and another needle in my arm they were finally able to successfully get my IV set up.  They didn’t have the right gauge of needle in my arm for some reason but they said just not to tell the anesthesiologist and we’d be ok (apparently it only mattered if I was getting an epidural whether they had the larger needle).  I was SO relieved to finally have that done.  We put my arm down to the side of me and kept it hidden under that warm blanket for the rest of the night.

It had taken 5 nurses, 5 different attempts, 7 needles and 1 hour to get that IV set up.  The main problem was that I hadn’t been well hydrated (totally my own fault, dangit) so my veins weren’t as nice and plump as would have made for an easy IV set up.  But in the end the biggest achievement – I didn’t pass out once!  I didn’t even get super close to passing out!  I was really glad for that because I feel crummy after passing out and not in a state that I want to be in when going into labor.  I was especially proud to have lasted that whole hour of poking without passing out!  I’m SO grateful for Eric helping to talk me through everything and especially for the blessings he gave me.  I know that I couldn’t have made it through all of that without the help that I received from both him and the angels that I’m sure helped pull me through.

My mom came in just as they finished getting the IV set up so she was a little late to help with that but I was still glad to have her there.  They started me on pitocin and the antibiotics and left to let my body do its thing.  My mom recommended that I use this time to take a nap and just rest.  However we’d already decided that it would be good for Sam to come and see where I was and what was going on before things got too intense.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that the pitocin was going to make things much more intense much more quickly than my last labor.  So I had her call my sister to bring Sam over sooner rather than later.  Plus I was a little keyed up from the whole IV experience so I wasn’t likely to be able to really rest for awhile anyways.  I think Laurel left not too long after we got things set up with the IV since there wasn’t much for her to do while we just waited for the contractions to set up a pattern.  It was a good chance for her to go home and take care of her kids and get them ready for bed while she was less needed at the hospital.

So Taylor and Ryan brought Sam over to the hospital, which was really good.  He was very happy to see us and know what was going on, apparently just that short visit helped settle his mind a lot more for the rest of the night.  We’d talked him through the routine of what was going to happen many times before so he wasn’t surprised to see us in the hospital, but I think it was good to really see where we were and that everything was ok.  While they were there my mom stepped out to go get some dinner for her and Eric.  When I’d been in labor with Sam they’d allowed me to eat bread and I was hoping for a repeat of that, however apparently the pitocin is what tends to cause nausea so I was limited to ice chips and water, boo.  At lunchtime I had decided to just split a foot long sub with my mom so that I wasn’t too full going into Labor & Delivery (since I was thinking I’d be in there pretty much immediately after lunch).  I definitely regretted that decision because it was 4 hours later and I was getting hungry, but there wasn’t much I could do about it at that point.  The Lockwoods left with Sam an hour or so later when the nurse came in to check my progress.

I had come into Labor & Delivery dilated to 2cm, about 60% effaced and the baby was floating.  I was told that I needed to get to 3cm with the baby dropped for them to break my water.  My original hope had been that they would be able to just break my water and let things progress naturally from there, i.e. without Pitocin (like we’d done with Sam).  However I found out that with the baby still floating there’s a danger that if you break the water the first thing to drop down might be an arm or a leg instead of a head – which would mean I’d end up having a c-section.  Since a c-section was pretty close to the bottom on my list of things that I wanted to have happen we obviously went with pitocin instead.  I think when the Lockwoods left I was still at 2cm and the baby was still floating.  My contractions hadn’t quite set up a steady pattern yet so they cranked up the pitocin and left us to go again.

In case you were wondering, pitocin is horrible, awful, nasty, mean, no-good stuff.  Even those contractions that weren’t setting up a good pattern were a lot more painful than I remember with Sam.  I had to start using relaxation techniques almost immediately after starting the pitocin whereas with Sam I had about 3 hours before the contractions even started to bother me.

Around 8:30pm they checked my progress and declared that I was far enough along for them to break my water – hooray!  So the doctor came in and broke my water and left us again.  Unfortunately they didn’t turn off the pitocin at that point, but I think they did turn it back a notch.  To give you an idea of what a nasty drug pitocin is, even as my labor was increasing in intensity I got a good deal of relief every time they turned back the pitocin even just a little bit.  Things were picking up pretty steadily and it was definitely taking a lot of concentration, breathing and support to get me through those contractions.

Laurel either came back just before they broke my water or sometime after.  I really wish I had a better idea of when she came back because she was very helpful, but the ensuing hours were sort of a blur.

About 9:30pm the nurse came in and checked me again.  My contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and they were taking all of my concentration and energy to get through them.  The nurse told us that I was dilated to 4cm and I told Eric that I wanted “some something” which he luckily correctly interpreted to mean that I wanted some Fentanyl.  I really don’t like the way the Fentanyl made me feel, I just don’t like the out of control, fuzzy feeling that narcotics give me, but I really needed something to help get me through at that point.  The pitocin induced contractions were really spikey and just more intense than natural contractions.  I wish I could better explain the difference but I can say that I really understand now why women who are induced pretty much always go with an epidural and think they can’t go through labor on their own.  It was helpful to be able to really let go between contractions and rest, and it did take off some of the edge of the contractions, but it definitely doesn’t take away the pain by any stretch of the imagination.  Unfortunately Fentanyl doesn’t last very long and within half an hour the contractions were back to being full force.  As the Fentanyl wore off I was starting to feel like I didn’t know if I could do this with the pitocin.  I started seriously considering an epidural.  If you understand my phobia of needles just the fact that I was considering the epidural should tell you how nasty pitocin is.  But since it had taken so long for me to get to 4 cm I didn’t think I could make it through hours and hours of this super intense pitocin labor.

I think it was at this point that they were having  a hard time picking up the baby’s heartbeat as well as tracking my contractions with the external monitors, so the nurse asked if it was ok to put internal monitors in instead.  Honestly, I really didn’t care at that point so long as it just got done.  In fact the most annoying part was just her explaining the monitors to me, because I just didn’t care.  Plus I’d done my homework and already knew what the monitors were so the idea of them didn’t scare me.  The internal monitors weren’t too bad, and actually I think they were more comfortable than the external monitors, just a little weird feeling as they went in.  I wish in retrospect they’d just put internal monitors in when they broke my water so we weren’t doing it during active labor, but I think they wait to do internal monitors only if the external ones aren’t working well enough because the bother other women.  The nurse checked my progress again and said I was to 8cm.  That was a HUGE relief.  Knowing that I was that far made me feel like I could make it through the rest of the labor.  I think this was around 10:15pm – 10:30pm?  (The only reason I have any sort of timeline is that Eric was posting my progress to twitter, unfortunately this check didn’t make the twitter feed).  I think they called the doctor at this point to let him know I was progressing fast and he probably ought to come in soon.

The doctor arrived within another 15-30 minutes (I really have no idea of how long it was) and they checked me again and I was fully dilated!  So the doctor started scrubbing up to prepare for the delivery.  They were telling me not to push, but that is the hardest part of labor is not pushing when you’re all ready to push.  It’s what makes those last few contractions so hard is not pushing against them.  But since I was fully dilated I knew that there was no good reason not to push from a medical standpoint (before full dilation I know that you can cause the cervix to swell and make labor last longer – that’s enough incentive to keep me from pushing too early).  So, since I knew that it wasn’t detrimental to me or the baby to push at that point, I might have cheated a little and pushed just a little bit to relieve some of the pressure on a couple of the contractions that I wasn’t supposed to be pushing against (shh! don’t tell!).  Finally they said I could push against a contraction and so I gladly gave a  full push.  The doctor still didn’t have his gloves on and wasn’t really watching me yet, but luckily Eric was paying attention and said “Uhm, I think that’s the head”.  To which the doctor replied “Oh!  I guess I’m not getting gloves on.”  He pretty much turned around to see Daniel crowning.  I pushed his head out on the next push.  He told me not to push any more while he suctioned out the mouth and nose.  However, the urge to push was unbearably strong, I think I was able to hold off for maybe one or two urges to push… and then my body took over and said “bite me, this baby is coming out!”… and with another half push out came the rest of Daniel!  To give you an idea of how quickly things went, Eric posted on Twitter that I was fully dilated at 10:56pm and Daniel was born at 11:00pm.  I was not expecting that at all since it took about an hour or so of pushing for Sam to be born.

Daniel weighed in at 7lbs 9oz (ok 8.9oz… but I feel good about rounding that up) and was 20 inches long.  His 1 minute apgar score was an 8 and his 5 minute score was a 9 so he looked pretty good right from the get go.  I think part of what helped him be born so quickly is that he was over a pound lighter than Sam (8lbs 11oz) and his head circumference was considerably smaller too.

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll tell you about Daniel’s first few hours in the world, meeting Sam and there should be lots more pictures and videos!

Daniel’s Birth – Part 1: Pregnancy Frustrations

 - by Brittny

About a month or so before I was due I started noticing that I had some weird things happening with my heart.  I started having times where I would feel like my heart was racing for no particular reason.  Not even while I was walking around or doing anything, but while I was just sitting around watching TV or laying down in bed.  It was weird enough that I decided to mention it to my doctor at my next appointment, but I wasn’t too worried about it.  She wasn’t too concerned either and told me that my heart was working really hard to keep me and baby alive, and sometimes things like that happened.  As long as my heart rate didn’t jump above 140 I didn’t need to worry about it.  So I downloaded an app that could track my heart rate (it’s a pretty cool app if you have an Android phone, I recommend checking it out and playing with it) and didn’t worry about it too much further.  I saw my heart rate get up to 120 fairly regularly but it would come back down so while I kept monitoring it I didn’t worry too much.

Then a little over a week before I was due (Wednesday, April 6th) I was getting ready for the day and sitting in the bathroom drying my hair when I had one of those heart racing episodes and felt like I was going to pass out.  I quickly got myself from where I was sitting and moved to my bed.  I was able to avoid passing out but it was a pretty scary moment.  I realized that I was home alone with Sam and that if I *did* pass out and hit my head or something there’d be no one to take care of me or Sam until Eric came home later that night.  So I sent an im to Eric to ask him to at least check on me periodically throughout the day.  Eric wasn’t satisfied with that solution and insisted on coming home and working from here, just in case.  We had my mom do a Skype video call with me so that someone was keeping an eye on me and Eric came right home.  We also called the doctor’s office to see what their thoughts were on the situation.  They told me to drink more water and eat some high protein foods and let them know if I had any more episodes.  Their thought was that it was most likely dehydration or not eating enough so if I got on top of my nutrition I should be ok.

My biggest concern was that I was developing pre-eclampsia since I’d started to show signs of pre-eclampsia at the end of my pregnancy with Sam and my sister had it seriously enough that they induced her 5 weeks early.  Pre-eclampsia can have serious consequences for both moms and babies so with my medical history, I definitely wanted to keep an eye on that.  So I had Eric go to the store and pick up a blood pressure cuff so that we could monitor how my blood pressure was doing.  We found that it was pretty much always normal, except during my heart racing episodes where it would suddenly jump super high (like 159/111 high) and then go right back down.  In fact they went back down so quickly I had a really hard time catching those blood pressure spikes.  After catching a couple though we called the doctor’s office, when we reported those readings – even with surrounding normal readings – they said to just come straight in and have the doctor check me out.

Of course, when I got to the doctor’s office I looked just fine and my blood pressure was normal, so they scheduled me to come in and see the doctor on Monday (the doctor was out and I just saw the nurse practitioner that day) and sent me home.  I asked the nurse practitioner what their policy was on elective inductions.  I’m not a big believer in elective induction but I could tell there was something wrong with my body and I knew that getting the baby out was going to be at least the first step in getting better.  Since I was to a point in my pregnancy where the baby should be fully developed I was at least considering that option.  She told me that their policy was that they would schedule an elective induction after 39 weeks.  That helped a little bit since I knew that I’d be 39 weeks the next day, but I had to wait until my appointment on Monday to talk to the doctor about that.

I continued having these heart racing episodes and they seemed to be getting more frequent and lasting longer.  So Eric put me on bedrest so we could let things work themselves out.  We also asked my mom to come out that Friday so she could help out with things while I was trying to keep my blood pressure down and after the baby was here.  We thought it was likely we’d be heading in to the hospital some time that weekend and it put our minds at rest to know that there was someone around to take care of Sam when we went in as Eric’s parents (our first plan for taking care of Sam) were in Indiana that weekend.

So we picked up my mom on Friday night and tried to keep me off my feet that weekend.  Saturday I was feeling great and started to feel really silly for having my mom come out and putting everyone on alert.  However, by the end of church on Sunday I was starting to feel like I was going to pass out again so we went home and put me back on bedrest.  On Monday I woke up and felt awful.  The feeling of my heart racing was present for the majority of the morning and I just felt crummy.  I thought for sure we’d head into the doctor’s and that my blood pressure would be high and we’d be heading for an induction that afternoon.  Eric gave me a blessing before we left and I was blessed with peace and confidence in my decisions regarding my health and the health of the baby.

So we got to the doctor’s office and checked in and I was still feeling pretty lousy.  I had found that it helped to lay on my side more than sitting or standing or laying on my back, but obviously there wasn’t much side laying I could do in the doctor’s office chairs so my heart felt like it was working really hard when I finally got into the examination room.  That’s the best way I can describe what the feeling was like, it felt like my heart was struggling to keep up with the demands of my body.  So, we waited in the examination room for the doctor.  Now, I should note that the doctor I was seeing wasn’t my normal doctor.  She’d had her own baby on Thursday and was obviously on maternity leave at this point.  I’d known this was going to be a likely outcome all along but I was still a bit sad to not have my own doctor that really knew me.

The doctor came in and looked over my chart and did a quick checkup and basically told me that pregnancy is rough and that new moms can get really anxious at the end of a pregnancy.  He scheduled me for an induction on Friday and sent us on our way.  I was really frustrated with that because I *knew* that what was going on had nothing to do with anxiety (I’m a pretty low key kind of person, and I’d already gone through the childbirth process once and had everything go great so… no anxiety there).  Plus I knew that pregnancy was uncomfortable and rough, and this pregnancy had been very uncomfortable and rough, but that what was going on with my heart wasn’t just a pregnancy thing.  I felt like the doctor hadn’t really listened to me and had sort of blown me off, which was more frustrating since I felt like my doctor knew me well enough to know that I wouldn’t be coming in for just anxiety.  But there wasn’t really much more I could do except stay off my feet, try to keep my blood pressure down and wait for Friday.

On Tuesday I finally decided that I was going to just get up and do as much as I could to do work around the house and such.  I figured that if I walked around I could either get myself to go into labor or my blood pressure would go high enough that the doctor would take me seriously.  Well, neither of those happened.  In fact, the opposite happened – I felt better than I had in about a week.  That was almost more frustrating because it made me feel like I was being hypochondriacal, which is really not like me at all.  I was very confused, although grateful to be feeling better.

On Wednesday my mom was talking to my Aunt Petrine about the weird heart episodes that I’d been having.  Petrine’s husband had lots of different heart issues in the years before he passed away and so she had some experience with these types of issues.  After hearing my symptoms Petrine thought that my problem was probably low blood pressure.  A quick google search for symptoms of low blood pressure pretty quickly proved that I matched her diagnosis – in particular the fact that all of my blood pressure readings (except for the weird spikes) had been on the very low side of normal.  However since we were worried about high blood pressure, low readings hadn’t bothered us.  All of the things that were causing me problems – sitting, standing in one place, hot showers etc – were things that can exacerbate low blood pressure.  On the other hand walking around and laying on my side were good things to help make it better.  Suddenly everything that was happening with my body made a LOT more sense, and we realized why bedrest wasn’t helping!  Everything I was doing to try and keep my blood pressure low was the opposite of what I was supposed to be doing.  Doh!

I was very relieved and took the necessary steps to help make me feel better.  I was pretty frustrated though that the solution to my problem was so simple and that if my doctor had listened to me a little more he could have diagnosed the issue earlier on and the one thing that *was* causing me anxiety (these weird heart episodes) could have been taken care of much sooner.  But I couldn’t complain too much at that point since at least we did figure out what was wrong and I was feeling much better.

Of course then my problem was deciding what to do about the induction date.  Like I mentioned earlier I’m not a big fan of elective inductions, I believe that in most cases the best thing for babies is to come when they’re ready to come and we can cause problems by messing with a process that nature has pretty well figured out.  However I was still having the issues with my low blood pressure, even if we were managing it better, and the following week was set to be a busy one.  My sister was graduating on Thursday & Friday, my brother was going through the temple on Saturday and we were hoping to be able to bless the baby in church on Sunday while my family was in town.  Of course, I wouldn’t be able to participate in those activities from a hospital bed.  More importantly though, my strep B culture had come back positive so the doctor really wanted me in the hospital 4 hours before I delivered the baby so we could get a full round of antibiotics in me and him to avoid any complications.  Since Sam had come in about 8 hours from the time they broke my water and second babies are supposed to come faster, and we live about 45 minutes away from the hospital I was concerned that I wouldn’t get to the hospital in time for the antibiotics to be properly administered without it being a scheduled induction.  So, after some careful thought, consideration and prayer I decided to go ahead with the induction on Friday.

Sick Weekend

 - by Eric

Well, I must say that this wasn’t a complete surprise. After spending last week participating in Omniture Summit 2011 and working more than 12 hours a day every workday, my body has decided to retaliate against me with some sort of viral infection. Considering all the interactions I had with various people during the week, I suppose the disease was transmitted to me while I was in Salt Lake. Of course, when you combine that with a weakened immune system from the lack of sleep and all the concentrated work I had to get done, I was a goner this weekend. I remember talking to my mission president once about zone conferences. He would work so hard and long preparing for and during the conferences that he would immediately get sick after it was over. It was the same story for me. I started to feel icky on Friday, and by that night I was sporting a cough, fever, and a  pounding headache. Even now, if I move my head too fast or cough too hard, I get the feeling of needles poking my brain.

But wait, there’s more! It’s not just a self-pity post about my sickness. Sam contracted a viral infection (probably last Sunday from nursery), and it incubated until around Friday when a high fever popped up. One time when we took his temperature, he came in at 104 degrees. We think it was the Roseola virus as he seemed to be acting fairly normal despite the fever. Fortunately, we were able to tame the fever by alternating doses of Tylenol and Advil every three hours.

Through all of this, I just feel bad for Brittny who has a useless husband who can barely move and child that needs to sleep more but is somewhat erratic because of the sickness. We’re praying that we will all get better before I need to go back to work tomorrow.

 

2010 – The Year in Review

 - by Brittny

I sent out our Christmas cards this year with a link to our blog rather than a full newsletter.  I figure most people who we send Christmas cards to are followers of our blog anyways and that’s like an intense, year-round Christmas newsletter.  But I decided that I ought to have a brief recap of our year for those who just want to hit the highlights.  So I posted 4 pictures on the inside of our card that I feel show the most important things that happened this year, and I’ll explain them in more detail here –

First of all, Sam.  This year has been all about Sam.  He turned one this year and it has been absolutely delightful watching our little baby grow into a bouncing toddler.  He walks and talks and is so much fun to have around.  He’s always getting into something new but it makes every day an adventure.  He’s getting really excited for…

His new baby brother who will be born in April!  We haven’t yet settled on a name for our new addition but hopefully that will be coming soon.  We’re excited to be adding another little boy to our family.  Sam is especially excited and really wanted us to get the baby for Christmas, but we have since convinced him that we can have the baby for Easter instead.  Sam spends a fair amount of time “playing with” the baby, by kissing my stomach and drumming on it etc.  His new favorite trick is to put his hands on either side of my stomach and say that he wants to “carry baby”.  Hopefully this enthusiasm will last after the baby is actually here.

Another exciting change is Eric’s new job at Adobe.  He is now the Emerging Business Manager for the Digital Home (yeah, the new title is a mouthful) and loving every minute of his new job.  He gets to spend his days playing with video game consoles, IP TVs and other cool technologies while he figures out new ways to integrate Adobe’s products with those new technologies.  Maybe it’s not quite as glamorous as all that, but he still says it’s his dream job.  Adobe is moving their campus in the next couple of years to Lehi.  With the new position and the new campus it meant it was time for…

A new house
!  We are currently completing the construction on our first home.  It is about 5 minutes from where the new Adobe campus will be.  The house has a Draper address, although it’s on the Utah County side of the mountains (much closer to Highland, Alpine and Lehi really).  We’re up in the mountains a little bit so it’s out of the bustle of the city and (more importantly) the pollution in the valley, but it’s not very far out of the way so we’re not stranded away from civilization either.  We’re very excited to be moving in  at the end of this year.

So, that should about cover the main highlights of the year for us.  We hope this season brings you joy, love and peace.