Friday, February 26, 2010

Comparing baby pics...




Everyone tells me that Hailey looks just like Cloey. What do you think? Although it may be hard to really compare because Hailey doesn't have her eyes open in this picture...but it is the most recent (like I just took it 5 minutes ago). I think she has similarities to Cloey but I also think she has her own look. But, she looks more like Cloey than she does to her other sisters. I'll have to find a baby picture of Katelund and post it. All her baby pics were on a computer that crashed years ago. Thank goodness for scrapbooks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Glimpses



The other day I told my girls the story of Esther for their bedtime story. As I was midway through the story, I realized that although it is a great story, to a 4 or 6 year old, it may seem a little scary or weird considering the fact that Esther could have been killed for going before the king, aka her husband, and pleading for him to spare her people from certain death. Hmmm...maybe not the best bedtime story??? Well anyways, I continued the story and then focused on the fact that just like Esther, both of them have a special purpose and that there is something so special about each one of them that makes them so important to Heavenly Father and that there are things for them to do in their lifetime that nobody else could do as good as them. I wasn't sure if they really understood what I meant, but at least they seemed to be listening.

Then the other day Katelund came up to me and asked, "Mommy, what is it about me that makes me special and important and that on one else can do like me?" I then went on to tell her. It was such a sweet moment, especially as I saw this little light in her eyes as she realized how truly special she was. I believe that one of the greatest blessings of motherhood are the glimpses that our Heavenly Father allows us to see of the divine within our children. To see the greatness and the potential that are within reach of the ones that we love so dearly, is not only rewarding but also incredibly humbling and sometimes even a little overwhelming. At least it is for me, as I realize what a weighty responsibility I have to help them to see themselves the way that I see them, or even more importantly, to see themselves the way that God sees them...even to a small degree.

When I walked into the room and saw Katelund holding Hailey and sleeping so peacefully next to her, I had one of those moments. A moment where I saw a little girl who would someday be an incredible mother, which to me is one of the greatest roles and responsibilities there is.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hailey's Birth Story Part II





We had to be at the hospital at 6:45 am because the C-section was scheduled for 8:45 am. Once I got there, they took Cory and I into the pre-op room in order to get me set up on the monitor and to get me going on the iv and such. It was a VERY long 2 hours!! So when the nurse came in and told me that the doctor was running late, I was not so happy. But, then when I found out that he was late because some trees in his neighborhood had fallen down and blocked the road, I wasn't quite as irritated. When he finally arrived...at about 9:45, I was SO READY to get going. Cory had to stay in the pre-op room with my mom so that they could get into their gowns and masks while they sent me into the operating room to get the spinal block in me. This was the part that I was the most nervous about. Although the needles for spinals are a lot smaller than they are for epidurals, I was still really nervous because this time I was getting it without being in pain. There is just something okay about them sticking a huge needle in your back when you are contracting and agonizing with pain, but not so much when you are experiencing no pain. The anesthesiologist was super nice and they did a great job. It was funny though because when they had me sit up on the table, I automatically sat indian-style (or to be politically correct...criss cross applesauce). They were all freaking out because they said that they never see that when they ask a pregnant lady to sit up on the table. It felt good to know that although I could hardly walk to Katelund's bus stop without being totally out of breath, at least I could still sit indian-style. :)

As the medicine went into my back I felt a warm sensation go all the way down my legs, which I actually really liked because I was FREEZING!! Then they helped me uncross my legs so they could lay me out on the table. At this point, all modesty went out the door. I won't go into the details, but I will say that I felt more on display with this c-section than I did with my vaginal deliveries because there were like 4 times the number of people in the room. Besides Cory and my mom, there was 16 other nurses/doctors/surgeons, and/or anesthesiologists. The hospital I delivered at is a teaching hospital and they definitely used my surgery as a teaching opportunity because it was a unique case since I had previously had a classical c-section incision. After the really embarrassing parts were over, they put up the "screen" so that I couldn't see what was going on and the surgery began. After a little while, Cory (who was watching the whole thing) asked me, "can you feel that at all?" So not what I wanted to hear at that point. To know that they were cutting me open as I laid there wide awake was pretty surreal. Especially considering the fact that they had my arms and legs strapped down to the table. Good thing there was something in the iv that seemed to make me relax. In fact, I felt more relaxed during the surgery than I had been for days. About half way through the surgery, I started to get a little nervous and I know that Cory could sense it so he reached over and started to massage my scalp (he knows that doing that is the best way to calm me down, and it did). I laid there anxiously awaiting to hear one thing...her cry. The cry that I never got to hear with Clairisa, the cry that I had dreamed about night after night, the cry that would solidify the fact that I had a very alive and healthy baby, the cry that would calm all my fears. When the cry came, the tears from my own eyes began to gush. Her cry was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. The nurses took her and my mom and Cory rushed over to watch them as they did all of the things that they do to a brand new baby. I could hardly stand it. All I wanted was to see her, to touch her, to hold her in my arms and never let her go. When they finally brought her over to me, I felt a surge of emotions run all through me, but I still just yearned for her body to be laid in my arms, to feel her heartbeat pulsating and bringing new life to my own.

After the best part was over, I had to lay there forever! In fact, I asked my mom how long she though it took for them to stitch me all up and she said, "it took forever". She was sitting on the side of me just trying to focus on the joy of birth instead of the fact that they had just cut open her daughter. Cory, on the other hand, was watching with curious excitement as the doctor took out my uterus in order to show all of the other doctors what a classical c-section incision looks like. Cory's response..."it looks like a chicken". My mom actually got curious enough and finally peeked over and looked at "the chicken". It is kind of weird to know that my husband and mother have seen my uterus and fallopian tubes. In a strange way, I feel a stronger attachment to them both now.:) After the stitching was finally completed, they wheeled my bed into the recovery room where I was greeted by some of my very favorite people in the whole world, my two beautiful daughters and my in-laws. Then the long-awaited moment arrived, they placed my beautiful baby girl into my arms. It was a moment of great anticipation, emotion, and joy. It was one of those moments where I thought my heart was going to burst open. An experience and moment that words fail to describe or explain. The following hours and days were incredible. Although the nurses forgot about my meds over and over again, my incision stung, the breastfeeding was painful.... it was still incredible!!! I have never felt so much peace and gratitude. In fact, in one of those early morning hours in my hospital bed, as I laid awake staring down at my own little piece of heaven, I felt as if Clairisa's spirit was right there with me, as if the veil was lifted for just a moment and I could feel the love and bond of two beautiful and perfect spirits.

Recovery has been like it always is, difficult, tiresome, and painful...but it has also been one of the best weeks of my life. To have a baby so fresh from heaven in my home is the ultimate healing balm, the greatest gift a mother could ever receive. This Valentines Day was one where I felt not only an increase of love for my beautiful daughters, INCREDIBLY selfless and loving husband, and for one of my greatest heroes...my own mother, but also for my Savior. As I look into Hailey's eyes, I feel His love. I feel the greatest love known to man, a love that can permeate every part of our life and fill our souls with the most incredible joy. Hailey's story is not over, it has only begun, and I have a feeling that her mission is a great one. One that has already begun in her first week of life as she has brought healing and joy to our little family in the most miraculous way.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hailey's Birth Story Part I

I have really been procrastinating blogging about this last week for many reasons. First of all, I have been a little distracted by a beautiful and perfect little baby girl. Secondly, it is not a quick story...that just doesn't seem to fit my personality (which is why Facebook and I don't quite fit right together). And thirdly, because it is hard to put into words, but I need to at least try because I don't want to ever forget what I have experienced and felt over the last week. So, I am going to break it up into sections. Here is Part I....

The last time that I went to my doctor's office before Hailey was born, I took Cory with me because I wanted him to be there to help me to be tough and to tell the doctor that I really was nervous about waiting until the 12th because I was having so many contractions. But, I didn't even need Cory's help because as the doctor was asking me questions about how often I was having contractions, he immediately decided that we needed to act quicker. He told me that he wanted to deliver in a week (on Thursday the 4th). Well, Cory (who was there to help me get my way) says, "actually, doctor, do you think we could push it back a day to Friday because I will be out of town at a conference all week and I won't be home until early Friday morning." I couldn't believe it!!! I knew that he was supposed to be out of town, but really?? Push the day BACK????!! NO WAY!! Then the doctor said, "well, that should be fine but let me check my schedule first." At this point, I almost went into hysterics. I couldn't believe that they were only concerned about making this work for their schedules. What about me??? After leaving the doctor's office and giving Cory a piece of my mind...I finally agreed that Friday would be okay.

Cory left on Tuesday and oh how the contractions began. I seriously did not know if I was going to make it until Friday. I had Cory give me a priesthood blessing before he left and I begged and pleaded in prayers all week long that I wouldn't go into labor without Cory there. My mom started her drive from Texas on Wednesday, but after hearing about my horrible contraction-filled night on Tuesday (I seriously almost had a panic attack because I was home alone with my girls and had no idea how to even get to the hospital downtown...pretty lame, I know). My mom decided to drive straight through instead of stopping over night so she got to my house Wednesday evening. It was quite a relief to know that she was there just in case something did happen, but I also knew that I did not want to go through this experience without Cory by my side. I needed him with me. I truly believe that the fact that I made it all the way until Friday was a miracle and I know that it was divine intervention, a loving Father in heaven who knew that I needed to have Cory with me. I needed him there for many obvious reasons, but I also needed him there for many other reasons as well. Together we have endured some of the hardest times of our life and in so doing, we have recognized how strong we are when we are together. I know that sounds really cheesy, but it is kindof hard to explain. I had so many emotions that I was dealing with as I was mentally preparing myself to go into that dreaded surgery room. It was in that room that one of my worst fears became a reality and it was into that room where I was once more submitting my baby's life into the hands of a surgeon. I knew that everything would be alright, I had already received that witness, but I still had to deal with all of the anxieties and fears that somehow seem to subconsciously surface when you are placed in situations that are similar to ones that brought such deep emotion and trauma.

My prayers were answered and late Thursday night/early Friday morning, our home was filled with excitement as Cory and his parents both arrived. I could hardly sleep because of all of the thoughts that were racing through my head. To know that in just a short couple of hours, I would finally have a baby in my arms, brought me an overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement, although the fear was still pressing down on my heart. The next morning I woke up at 5 o'clock to get ready. Cory and his dad gave me a blessing and the words that Cory spoke brought me the most incredible feeling of peace and strength. At that point, I knew that there was no reason to fear and every reason to rejoice and soak in each of the unforgettable moments that would follow that blessing.

To be continued....

Monday, February 01, 2010

"Is she really, really, really going to come?"






This is the question that Cloey asked me the other day while we were waiting for Katelund at the bus stop. No, she was not talking about Katelund coming home, she was referring to Hailey, who is now scheduled to come this Friday. That's right...THIS FRIDAY!!!! I laughed at her seriousness of the comment and then was overcome with emotion as I joyfully answered, "yes honey, she is really really coming." All though I have to admit that this question has popped into my head over and over again since this particular conversation. There is excitement and anticipation all in the air. It is always exciting to have a baby, but this time it is different. It's hard to explain, but it just is. This weekend we were at Sam's Club and Cory wanted to go look at the baby clothes (I seriously have to control him because he is SO GIDDY and he wants to buy everything baby that he sees). As we were all looking through the clothes and choosing our favorites, I ran across one that said on the shirt, "Mommy's dream come true". I just sat there holding it to my chest and cried.

I have four more days to get my house ready for company and a baby. I have got a lot to do, but the most important things are already done. Thanks to my sweet sister-in-law, amazing parents, grandparents, siblings, and a couple of close friends...I have my dream nursery all set up. Every new item that was mailed to me brought more and more tears of gratitude and love. It meant the world to me because with Clairisa I was finally going to get the nursery of my dreams thanks to my wonderful husband, sister, and friends who had been secretly working on it while I was in the hospital on bed rest. When I came home empty-handed, I asked them to lock the door to the beautifully painted and perfect nursery because I just couldn't bear to see it. A couple of weeks later, I was finally ready to see it. Cory took me into the most beautiful room I had ever seen. We sat on the ground and just sobbed in each others' arms. We ended up putting the girls into "Clairisa's room" because I couldn't stand the thought of it being empty. So to know that I finally have my long-awaited nursery, is yet another dream come true.

So as I anxiously await Friday, I am having a hard time wanting to do anything because I just keep walking back into her room and asking myself again and again with a smile on my face and an overwhelming amount of joy in my heart, "Is she really, really, really going to come?"

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