Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fourth Birthday

Four years.  How can it be?  It's amazing to me that most days I can't tell you what I did...and most of the time I can't remember back to what I did last week.  But, four years ago today?  I remember it all.

Most women dream of the day they will meet their first baby.  Those dreams don't include infertility.  Those dreams don't include temping, charting, planning, and stress.  And those dreams most certainly never include having to say goodbye all at the same time.

With the upcoming anniversary of the May 20th tornadoes that ripped through our area last year, which took the lives of 7 children while they were at school, I was watching an interview with their parents on our local news.  They talked about how people have told them "to get over it" or similar phrases.  That struck a raw spot with me.  This isn't something you "get over".  This isn't something you forget.  No matter how old your child...when the circle of life doesn't follow the presumed order of children burying their parents, and instead things go the other way around...you never "get over it".  You learn to cope, you learn to adjust, you just learn. 

The pain doesn't go away and Bailey will always be our missing link in our family, but each year, it is more tolerable.  I think it's become more tolerable because of her two beautiful sisters.  They are the sunshine in our lives.  They truly are our rainbows after the storm. 

Bailey's birthday has become a designated and guaranteed "Family Outting Day".  No running errands, going to the grocery store, or doing chores.  It's a day for us.

Today, in celebration of Bailey's 4th birthday, as we have done every year, we took the day off from work.  We picked out flowers and drove down to my hometown to put out new flowers on her spot.  This year, Cameron helped pick out the flowers.  Although she still doesn't quite understand what we are doing, she is involved.  And as she gets older, we will continue to keep both girls involved in the memorial and celebration of this day, and we will continue to tell them about their older sister. 

It was a little too chilly this morning to get Evyn out of the car, so this year's picture has only Cameron in it.  Next year, hopefully we can get both girls out.  Our weather this year has been entirely unpredictable. 

 
 
After putting out the new flowers, we headed back to the city and decided to take the girls to the zoo.  Cameron LOVED the animals this year.  Everything she saw was "oooooh, cow!  Mooooooooo!".  She's too funny.  Evyn could have cared less (what else do you expect from a 4 1/2 month old baby?) and fell asleep about halfway through.
 
Here are some of the pictures from the day...
 




 


It was as perfect of a day as it could be.  The weather was just right and it was a wonderful day with our two girls.  The only thing that would have made it better is if all three of our girls were here with us.  But, instead, we celebrate and remember our beautiful little 1 pound 4 ounce Bailey.

Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven sweet girl!  We love and miss you!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Goals for the New Year

With the new year always comes goals and resolutions.  This years goals remain very similar to goals I have had in the past...but, in a conversation that Adam was having with a co-worker (I'm calling her co-worker, even though she doesn't directly work with him), something rang true to me.  She was telling him that her girls had asked her what her New Years Resolutions were, and she told them she wasn't setting any.  When they asked why, she explained to them that she is at a point in her life that if she wants something, so just makes up her mind and goes for it.  She said she has 365 days of fresh starts that she can set a goal whenever she wants.

I've always known that to be true, and why we pick the start of the New Year to really "set" these goals is beyond me, but even still, here are my goals for this beautiful 2014...in no particular order, because these are things that will all be worked on simultaneously.

1.  Get back into the church.  One thing that Adam and I have struggled with over the years is going to church.  We go back and forth.  Part of the reason is we haven't found a church we like.  Another part is we were raised under different denominations.  He finds the denomination I was raised under as "weird" and I find his equally as weird.  I want my girls to grow up going to church, but I need to do it in a setting where it is low-key and not a lot of attention being on me.  I'm just weird like that.

2.  Weight loss (as always).  This will be the first time in years that I will be losing weight and will be doing it for me and no other reasons.  Last year I started losing weight for me and my health, and after I lost about 30 pounds...Surprise!...pregnant with Evyn.  One thing we have found is that I drop weight and we get pregnant.  That is a non-factor this time around, so I hope to be able to lose and get back to my goal weight and comfortable in my own skin again. 

3.  Getting fit.  This goes hand in hand with #2, but deserves it own thing.  I can lose weight without exercising, but I am more successful when I do exercise.  And one thing that goes with #3, is I want to participate in some 5K races, and hopefully by 2015, participate in a half-marathon, if not a full marathon.  I can do it...I know I can.  Once I get determined to do something and set my mind to it...I'm pretty unstoppable.  :)

4.  Finances.  I have mentioned Operation Pay Crap Off multiple times.  Within the next month, we will pay off our last credit card.  We intend on listing and hopefully selling our house this year.  IF we sell this year, that will lead to some HUGE changes for this little family.  It will include building a new house on our land and while that happens, we will be cramming 2 adults, a 2 year old, an infant, and a spoiled rotten dog into a little bitty apartment.  Yes...we may have lost our minds.

5.  Be a better parent.  I need to learn the art of patience.  I need to be more present. 

Lots of goals and lots of plans for this new year.  2014 is going to be a good year...and I look forward to what it has in store for us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year End Review

What a crazy year 2013 has been!  The year started out just as any other year...a year of plans and resolutions.  While some resolutions were kept, our plans definitely had a mind of their own!  So, what did 2013 look like for us?

We started the year off with heartache in February with the passing of my Mamaw.  Words can't even express how much I miss that woman.  This picture is one of the few I have of her and Cameron and was taken a month before she passed.  Kids, grandkids, and great-grands were this woman's world (that and her little girl, Lucy...the Yorkie Adam and I got for her when we got Desmond).  I just wish Cameron and Evyn got to grow up knowing her.



In April, we received a huge surprise!  We found out we were pregnant...without any medical intervention!  We never in a million years would have thought that getting pregnant without doctors, tests, medication, and planned everything would happen for us...but, Surprise, it did!


In May, we announced to our families and made it "Facebook Official".


In July, the cake revealed what Baby E was going to be!  Adam's going to be living with a houseful of girls!


In September, Cameron turned 2!  How is it that she's already 2?


And finally, in December, we welcomed the final addition to our little family, Evyn!



Operation-Pay-Crap-Off has been a HUGE part of this year, and will remain a HUGE part of the upcoming year.  This year, we also managed to pay off a LOT of our debt, with the main chunk of it being credit card debt.  We started off the year with 5 credit cards and over the course of 2013, we have gotten it down to one card that will be paid off in either January or February.  Since starting OPCO on October 15, 2012, we have paid off a little over $40,000 in debt.  Still makes me wonder where our money went prior to OPCO...really does.

I look forward to what 2014 has in store for us!  Tomorrow, I'll post some resolutions for what I hope to be an awesome and successful 2014!






Monday, December 30, 2013

Introducing Evyn Myka!

After 7 years, 5 pregnancies, the worst heartbreak ever, and the most profound joy and love we could ever experience...our family is now complete.  Always missing one, but remembering her always.

On December 12, 2013 at 11:32 a.m., we welcomed the final addition to our family...a sweet rainbow baby girl, Evyn Myka.  This is her birth story.

Evyn was a scheduled repeat C-section.  Since Bailey was emergency C-section and Cameron was a repeat...that meant Evyn also would be arriving in the same fashion.  For my anxiety and sanity, we scheduled for her to be delivered at 37 weeks 2 days.  We also grow big babies here, so an early eviction was fine by us.  Her birthday had been scheduled for probably a couple of months, so it was just a hurry up and wait game.

Our C-section was scheduled for 8:30 a.m., so we had to be at the hospital by 6:30 to check-in and head on up to be prepped.  So, on the morning of the 12th, we got up, got ourselves ready to go, then we got Cameron up and ready, and we left the house for the last time as a little family of three.

We arrived at the hospital and everything went as scheduled...until it was time to go back.  By that time, my parents had arrived and Adam's mom had arrived.  They had taken Cameron out to the waiting room because we didn't expect for it to be long.  However, the surgery in front of us was taking longer than anticipated, so we ended up having to wait.  Another family came in for a scheduled 9:30 C-section and was able to go to the open operating room, because they were using a different doctor.  Once my Dr. was finished with the procedure ahead of ours, we had to wait for an operating room to be prepped so we could go.

FINALLY (after what seemed like ages), it was go time!  They took me in a wheelchair and we headed back.  We rolled in through the operating room doors at 11:05 a.m.  The anesthesiologist (who was AMAZING) came in and placed my spinal and the party started. 

Side note:  The anesthesiologist who we had this time (different than with Bailey and Cameron, who was the same) came in and introduced himself before the procedure (like normal).  What I was very impressed with is that he had reviewed my prior C-section notes and the first thing he asked me was "I see you had a LOT of meds last time...what happened?".  I explained to him that I felt more than I think I should have felt and was in pain when we delivered Cameron.  I told him I hung in there until I knew Cameron was out safe and sound and then they had to knock me out because they had maxed me out on the meds they were giving me.  I also explained that I felt more during my cerclage placement in July.  He told me his goal was to make sure this last C-section was the best experience  that I could have, so I could finish on a good note.  :)  He succeeded and I am so thankful.  I think he had to place either 2 or place a 2nd time (not really sure which), but the first time he was placing, I kept feeling pressure in my left hip, then he stuck me again, and that was that.  He explained everything to me as we were going through the process.  I told him I got super nauseated with both Bailey and Cameron's C-sections, so he watched that closely.  He explained to me that my nausea is directly related to a significant drop in my blood pressure.  Every time it dropped, I started feeling bad.  As soon as my blood pressure would start going back up, I would be fine.

Once the procedure started, my doctor, the anesthesiologist, the staff, and us were all chatting.  We talked about the weather, No-Shave November being over, what razors are the best, Christmas plans - all sorts of stuff.

And at 11:32 a.m., we heard the best noise ever...a cry.  Evyn was finally here!  With very little hair (compared to her sister...VERY little) and a loud set of lungs, she was finally here!  Weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long, Evyn Myka Southerland joined the outside world and completed our little family.  Daddy went and helped and took pictures while they finished up with me.  Again, the small talk conversations continued, but I was awake and coherent throughout the entire procedure.  Painless and easy.

While my doctor was in there, she did tie my tubes.  This baby-making factory is closed.  We had already talked long and hard about this, and we had decided that should we decide we want more kids, we will go ahead and restart the adoption process and will add on to our family in that manner.

But, for now, our family of 4 is wonderful.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One More Week!

One week to go!  I'm sooooo ready!  My arms, wrists, and hands have started aching again pretty badly, which is making it hard to sleep at night.  I would rather have a cute little baby keeping me up as opposed to my aching arms!

We are finally packed and ready to go.  I need to pack a few outfits for Evyn and pick out some bows, but other than that, we are ready!  I even went and got my pedicure (high priorities here) on Tuesday, so even my toes are ready to go!

Now, the main concern is this weekend.  We are preparing for winter weather (snow, sleet, ice) here in Oklahoma.  Now, in normal circumstances, that's no concern to me.  However, you add on the fact that we live at the bottom of a huge hill, and I'm 36w2d pregnant...now that does concern me, because most of the time we can't get out of our addition when the weather gets bad, because we own 2 cars.  So, we've been worrying just a bit on the "what do we do if I happen to go into labor?". 

The answer...go buy a big thing of kitty litter to throw down...just in case!  Or, we'll call 911...whichever works best.

People have commented saying "People deliver at home all the time...".  Yeah...if you've ever met my husband...HA!  And I have 2-3 stitches keeping my cervix closed, and I think that might hurt just a smidge!

I'm counting down the last few days of work and am so excited and can't wait until she gets here!

One more week...one more week...one more week....I can do this.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

18 Days & Counting

The countdown is on, and has been for a couple of weeks now.  Part of me feels as if I shouldn't be counting down the last days, as these will be the last 18 days that I will ever be pregnant.  The other part of me is ready.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I just don't make a good pregnant person.  As being a woman and mother who lives with the constant fear of losing a baby, because I've already been there once...the fear sometimes consumes me.  The worry consumes me.  This pregnancy has been emotionally by far easier than my pregnancy with Cameron.  This pregnancy has however been physically by far a lot harder than my pregnancy with Cameron.

We still don't have a picture outfit.  We still haven't even packed our bags.  I have grumped at friends for not having their bags packed (or at least a list made) by this point.  And what I have done?  None of the above.  I haven't even made a list of things to pack to go to Granny and Papa's for Cameron.  I REALLY should get on the ball.

Holidays are approaching fast and furious...and in a frenzy, I am trying to get everything done with our Christmas shopping by the end of November.  And it just doesn't look all that promising. 

Nesting has FINALLY kicked in, and I think it's driving Adam nuts...he's not the only one though, because it's about to drive me nuts too.  I hate cleaning....HATE it.  And yet, I feel like nothing can be clean enough right now. 

I'm also a little stressed about this whole breastfeeding business this time around.  We didn't do it with Cameron.  She's formula fed, and I'm perfectly fine with that.  In fact, that was my choice.  However, for expense purposes, we are going to try to breastfeed/pump & bottle feed Evyn this time around.  We were supposed to go to a class last week and this week (2 nights - 2 1/2 hours each night).  When we couldn't find the place last Tuesday, we called and found out they have a new facility now AND the class was canceled.  When I inquired about doing a make-up since we are delivering prior to the December class, I was told the price of the class is going to be double, and is going to be on a Saturday or Sunday.  I'm having a REALLY hard time with it being double, so I think I am just going to enlist the help of my mama friends who have done this and the hospital, and we're going to roll with it. 

18 days though...18 days until we get to meet this sweet little girl.  And I. CAN'T. WAIT!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Month til Go Time!

Our repeat C-section has been scheduled for December 12th for a while now.  I'll be 37w2d.  We delivered Cameron at 37 weeks due to my high anxiety, and we have decided to deliver Evyn around the same time.

Part of the preparation of delivering at 37 weeks with Cameron was to do betamethasone (steroid) shots to help better prepare her lungs.  We decided to do the same again this time with Evyn too. 

Luckily, we haven't been to triage any during this pregnancy...knock on wood!  By this time with Cameron, I can't tell you how many times we had been...it was a lot though.  However, to get my steroid shots, I had to go to L&D to receive them.  My MFM told us not to do them earlier than 32 weeks and no later than 34.  So, I opted to do them at the end of last week, which put me between 32 & 33 weeks.  My regular Dr. submitted the order on Monday at my appointment and I went for my first shot on Thursday evening after work.  They came back and got me rather quickly and took me back to triage, and sat me in a room with a recliner.  I didn't make myself comfortable, because I honestly thought I would be in and out...it's just a shot, right?

An HOUR later, they finally came and got me to administer the shot.  The nurse proceeds to interrogate me about why we are doing the shot.  Honestly, what does it matter to her?  I answered all the questions, even though I really didn't have to.  She takes me to another room and tells me I am going to lay on the bed.  That confused me...why do I need to lay on the bed for a shot that is going into my butt?  I did it though...she said it was because it made it easier to administer the shot.  I could tell no difference.  Seriously.

On Friday, I went back (since the 2nd shot has to be 24 hours later).  I wait in the waiting room for someone to come and get me, and a nurse comes back there and the first thing she says is "Let me explain how this works".  I just sat there and waited for her to "explain" to me how it worked.  She proceeds..."Since you got your last shot on the 4th".  I interrupted and told her that I had just gotten it the night before.  She proceeds to argue with me!  I can't stand this nurse anyways...she's the same one who used to give us a hard time about doing NSTs with Cameron so early because she was lazy baby!  I was soooooo annoyed!  I told her it took an hour the night before and she told me it would probably take just as long that night.  And it did.  But, I got the shot, and the nurse who actually gave the shot was super nice.  She asked a few questions, and agreed that we just want to do whatever we need to make sure the babies get her safe and sound!

It was an overall frustrating experience, but at least we have that part done. 

We now have the nursery most of the way done.  The crib and changing table/dresser have been in there for a while and set up.  I just needed to clean the room because it's been a junk room for the last 4 years.  I'm finally almost done!  I made the letters for her wall (which I think turned out great!) and they are hung.  All of her clothes are washed and ready to go.  We have to get the swing and car seat down from the attic and wash all the covers on it, but we are slowly, but surely getting there!

 
 I feel ginormous, but here's a belly pic from 31w2d (almost 2 weeks ago)...
 

But, we are in the home stretch and getting there.  I still have Christmas shopping I have to do, and would like to be done by the end of the month, but I don't know that it's happening...but, I am sure going to try.  We also have a breastfeeding class starting next week (2 nights)...we also still have to pack bags...so much to do and so little time!

Ouchies

Forgive me...I'm going to whine for just a bit...I started this post last week, and got sleepy and didn't finish it. 

We had decided early on that this pregnancy would be our last as long as everything ends the way it should.  The further we progress into pregnancy, the more sure I am every day. 

Evyn is doing great (other than being on the chunky side...just like her sister was!).  But, 3 pregnancies in 3 years has taken a toll on this poor body of mine. 

Most days I struggle to walk.  It's a physical, debilitating pain.  I seriously look like I am about 95 years old when I get up and start walking.  My Dr. thinks I may have a slipped pelvic bone, which could be fixed with physical therapy...but with as big as Evyn is, she suspects it would happen again before delivery. 

A week after that REALLY started bothering me so much...my left wrist, hand, and sometimes full arm started hurting.  My Dr. thinks it's pregnancy induced carpal tunnel.  Let me tell you how much fun it is...IT'S NOT!  It HURTS!  Once my arm started hurting, my pelvic bone started feeling better.  Since Friday though, I've had relatively no pain in my wrist or arm, which has been great!  However, it seems as if I can't be pain free at all...because the pain in my pelvic bone...yeah, it's back...and full force.  But, I'll be honest...I would rather it hurt than my wrist and arm.  At least when my pelvic bones hurt, once I move for a little while, it gets better.  The wrist and arm...there's not relief when it hurts.

I'm cherishing every moment of this pregnancy as it is going to be my last...but, I wish I could do it without all the pain...But, I guess isn't the saying "no pain, no gain?". 

This too shall pass...I just may whine throughout it.  :)