Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wells' Birth Story

Hello! A lot has happened since my last post, and I'm about to tell you probably more than you want to know about it. Wells is here and we are so, so happy. Here's the story!

I didn't have the "classic" labor experience you see in the movies where your water breaks in the cereal aisle and you call your husband to grab the bags because the baby is coming... mine was a little more relaxed (pictured below).

That's me doing yoga on my due date, wondering if maybe some sun salutations or warrior threes would give me any sort of sign that the baby was coming! Nothing. Somehow I made it through my entire pregnancy without a single contraction, but luckily I scheduled an induction for a couple days past my due date just in case!

Not so luckily, lots of other girls decided to have their babies the night before my 5 AM induction on Wednesday, July 29th, so the hospital called me during what we thought was our "last supper" at the Cheesecake Factory saying all the beds were taken and they would call me when one became available.

To be honest, I was totally fine with it because the thought of labor still terrified me more than excited me. So all day Wednesday we waited for the phone call, and decided to pass the time by seeing Cinderella (again) at the dollar movie. We figured if they called during the movie, it would be okay because we only spent a dollar. Also, if my water broke during the movie, it would be okay because lots of stuff has probably spilled on those seats.

Wednesday morning, afternoon and evening came and went and finally I decided to call the hospital before going to bed to see if there was any update. They said they were still totally full, so I went to bed praying they wouldn't call me in the middle of the night so I could get a full night's rest!

At 8:15 Thursday morning, I woke up and was lying in bed wondering if today would be baby day when my phone started ringing and my stomach lurched and butterflied at the same time because I knew who had to be calling -- and I was right! I picked it up and the nurse told me they were ready for me and to come in as soon as I could. That moment was as surreal as I would imagine your water breaking would be. I walked out of our room to tell Jason and we excitedly gathered our already packed bags and headed to the hospital!

I was admitted to my delivery room around 10:00 AM, by 10:30 my doctor had broken my water, and around 11:30 they started pitocin to get things moving. When I got to the hospital I was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced, and they expected things would move quickly.

I started getting tons of contractions, but the only way I knew I was having them was from looking at the monitor! After an hour or so I started to feel them, and when I was dilated to a five I decided to get the epidural -- something I was delaying as long as I could because the thought of being numb from the chest down and being awake totally creeped me out -- but it was totally not bad! I could still move my legs on my own but the pain of the contractions was gone. Miraculous!

After that my quick progress started slowing, and before we knew it the evening was coming to an end and I realized I was not going to be having a July 30th baby! At this point I was starting to get tired and so incredibly hungry, so when my nurse Rachel (who I knew from high school!) told me I could start pushing a little after midnight I was so excited!

That was another surreal moment... when they pulled out the stirrups and turned on these two spotlights that made me feel like I was on stage (ew) and started counting as I pushed. Super weird. That part of labor was something I could never envision myself actually doing, and even now after doing it I have a hard time believing it really happened! It's hard to explain, but maybe some of you can relate.

I pushed for a good two hours and was getting pretty discouraged because it didn't seem like I was making much progress. My doctor arrived and was able to see that my baby was facing up instead of down, which apparently makes it pretty tough to progress past a certain point. He told me he was going to have to turn him, which worried me slightly because I felt like there was something going on with my epidural because I could completely feel my legs at this point, which is not normal! As he was turning him I had a physical and mental breakdown because it I was tired and hungry and hurting! My doctor saw my reaction and called in the anesthesiologist to top off my epidural (bless his heart) then he turned him again and then I was able to push him easily. After that he basically flew out (okay maybe not but compared to the previous two hours it sure seemed like it) and before I knew it the doctor was holding up our screaming, squirming little boy and I had never seen something so miraculous and beautiful and I sobbed like a big, big baby.

They placed him on my chest and I vividly remember feeling his skin for the first time. It is difficult to describe, but feeling the weight of him and touching his soft, smooth skin and watching him squirm and feeling him hold my fingers so tight was such a surreal, divine experience. I watched him in awe, and tried to immerse myself in that moment so that I would never forget how he felt, and the new feeling and responsibility I had that he needed me.

Another sweet moment was watching Jason hold Wells for the first time. He has been so excited for fatherhood and Wells is a lucky boy to get to have him for a dad!

We spent the next two and a half days in the hospital and it was heavenly. Before labor I didn't think much about the time in the hospital after the baby is born, but it was wonderful! I felt like we were in our own little world, and I didn't ever want to come out of it.

A few hours after he was born, we got around to naming the little guy! When I was about six months pregnant I realized I loved the name Grant, even though it wasn't ever on "the baby name list" I had kept in the back of my journal ever since I can remember. I asked Jason what he thought of the name and he loved it as well, so that was pretty much the end of it, but we kept it to ourselves because we're mysterious like that.

His middle name -- Wellington -- is a family name from Jason's side. Both of us love the name, so that was an easy choice too! The only difficult decision we had was what to call him, Grant or Wells (short for Wellington). Right before naming him in the hospital we decided on Wells. I think it's so charming and it suits him!

The funning thing is I swore I would never name a child something that ends in "s" because I have had to deal with awkward possessives my entire life (Alexis's). Not only does our poor child have a first name that ends in "s" but a last name as well! Or should I say wells (elbow jab).

So there's the story! Happy birth day to little Wells.
Thanks for joining our clan.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our last weekend before parenthood!

What do you do when you know your baby is coming in just a few days?
Well, let me tell you.
Since I've already organized and reorganized everything we own,
I spent the weekend doing all the crazy things around town, you know.

Like making jam with my mom...

Enough strawberry and cherry jam to last through my childbearing years!
We had never made cherry jam before, but we had a flat from Montana and decided what the heck, I'm having a baby and feeling like taking a risk, you know?
It turned out quite well!

We also bought some fabric to make a nursing cover because, why not?

Friday night consisted of a mellow date with my baby daddy at Barnes & Noble.
We decided to each pick out five books from the parenting section, and take a few minutes skimming parts of each of them and telling each other what we learned.
My favorite book was titled:
It was straightforward and gave me a good laugh.

Saturday we went to the gym.
I always get interesting looks from people at the gym.
We also did a "dive in movie" at my cousin's house!
We set up the projector and screen and I nearly passed out inflating tubes so we could float around under the stars and watch "Woman in Gold" which was a lovely movie and I highly recommend it.

Sunday we taught our primary class for the last time, which was sad!
Our ward has almost twenty kids turning seven this year,
and we taught all of them at some point and just loved them.

I can't wait to see Jason with our little boy!

Sunday evening I arranged some bonding time for my nephew Bennett and the baby.
They're just four months apart and I can already tell they're great friends!

Today is my due date, but baby Arias is still quite cozy. I still haven't felt a contraction!
I have an induction scheduled for this week though, so we're pretty sure he'll be here either way in the next couple of days which is the craziest thought.

There are a few moments during the delivery I try to envision now
so that I can soak them in and never forget them when they actually happen.
One of those moments is when they will hold that baby up and put him on my chest
and our eyes meet for the first time.
I can't even put into words the part of my soul that is just waiting for this moment!
Even though I can't picture him now, I know I'll look at him and think,
"Yes, I know you! Have you really been in there this whole time?"

Another moment I look forward to is seeing Jason hold our son for the first time.
My eyes fill up with tears every time I think about it.
I wish I could be in his head during that moment. He is going to be a wonderful father.

One more moment I imagine is Jason looking at me while all of this craziness happens around us.
In my mind, the world stands still for a moment, and we can say everything we are feeling without even saying a word.

I can't wait.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy pregnancy tips

I've had a few people ask me lately how I've handled pregnancy with a good attitude.
I thought it was a funny question at first, but I guess pregnant people have a reputation of not being the easiest people to be around sometimes, haha.
I know this can be a sensitive issue, because everyone's pregnancies are so different,
but it got me thinking and I wanted to share a few of the things I did before and during pregnancy that I think made the difference for me!

1. Choose gratitude
I think a lot of a good attitude during pregnancy comes from remembering that pregnancy will not last forever, and not every gets to experience it, so don't take it lightly! Even when I was feeling nauseous (which lasted more than four straight months) I tried to find ways to deal with it other than complaining, because I knew thousands of women out there would gladly take my place. There were plenty of nights when I would pull in from a long day at work and a long, uncomfortable commute and be on the verge of tears because my body ached and I wanted to throw up, but I would just go inside, grab a snack and take a little bath to rejuvenate. So find your happy place, and go there whenever you need to and recharge! And remember the reason you're feeling the way you do -- it's completely a miracle.

2. Exercise if you can
I knew I wanted to exercise while I was pregnant, so I made sure to push my body before I got pregnant so it would be able to handle the extra stress. I honestly believe exercise has been the reason I haven't had back pain (something I have had chronically since junior high) and emotionally it has allowed me to gain the necessary weight to carry a baby without feeling out of control. Find what works for you and don't be afraid to sweat!

3. Find a relaxing activity to do as a couple
Being with Jason recharges me in a variety of ways, and during pregnancy that became especially important! One of our favorite activities to do as a couple is simple and free: walking. Three or four nights a week we usually go on an hour-long walk and I'm glad that activity can also translate into parenthood as we bring the baby along in a stroller! Some nights when I feel too exhausted to move, we opt for an indoor activity instead, like watching and episode of Shark Tank or The Profit (I think you can guess what genre we like!). No matter what we end up doing, we make sure to spend a few minutes cuddling up together and talking about the day.

4. Keep getting ready
Watching your body change so quickly is an incredible experience. I will admit though, there are days that you can get a little down on yourself by simply looking too closely, haha.  Remember that it's just for a season, and I promise you can still feel cute through every stage of pregnancy, no matter what crazy things your body is doing. Make sure you have a few maternity outfits that are flattering and you can grow into, because waking up and having to squeeze yourself into clothes that are too small will only hurt your possibly unstable pregnant self. I prepared for this buy getting some maternity clothes from Gap, Old Navy and H&M pretty quickly after I got pregnant when they were having a big sale so I wouldn't have to buy them out of desperation! I highly recommend it. You will need them eventually, so you might as well get them early on. Also, even on your most tired of days, make an effort to shower and get ready enough to feel like you're still taking care of yourself. Sometimes, you can trick yourself in to thinking you have energy by getting ready and getting moving!

5. Have a long torso
Honestly, I can't take credit for many of the good days I've had during this pregnancy. Most of the time, I have felt pretty dang good and I can only attribute that to the way my body just naturally is. I never feel the baby up in my ribs, I don't have trouble breathing, and frankly, most of the time I'm quite comfortable. I say that because I know not everyone's pregnancies are that way, and having a good attitude is a whole lot harder when you've got a head on your bladder and two little feet going lord of the dance all over your insides. Sometimes women are put on bed rest, or sometimes they're sick the entire nine months. But sometimes women are told they won't experience any of these things, and those are the times I feel especially grateful and humbled for the opportunity to be a mom.