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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pregnancy Update

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Warning:  There is a lot of journaling in this post.  Move on to the next if you don't want to read all the details.  That's what I would do.  

This pregnancy has been kind of a roller coaster of ups and downs.  First of all, due to some fertility issues I've had all along, we had a little help to get pregnant.  Clomid didn't work this time, but Letrazole did.

The beginning of the pregnancy was a big challenge, as I have never been so sick.  I've tried to analyze why I was so sick.  Could it be age?  Consecutive pregnancies?  Could it be because it's a boy?  Although I wasn't this sick with Kempton.  Could it be because I have four other children, leaving me exhausted with less time to rest?  Who knows!  All I do know is that I had to go on medication this time, which made me very drowsy, but was better than feeling nauseous and throwing up constantly.  So...we got through that, it lasted til about 15 weeks this time.

Halfway through, I had the 20-week ultrasound where it was discovered that his kidneys are enlarged.  They were outside the normal range (4 cm or less) at around a 6 and 7.  Here began the worry.  This could mean a lot of things, but something wasn't right with his urinary process.

This pregnancy has been hard on my body.  With my first and second pregnancies, I ran til I delivery, wasn't nearly as sick, and felt pretty good all the way through.  With my first, I remember saying to Cale, "Pregnancy must be my natural state!"  He teases me about this now.  I started having valvular varicose issues with my second and with each pregnancies those have gotten worse and progressed down my legs.  With my fourth, I definitely felt a lot of hip and back pain, sciatica to the point of being nonfunctional at the end. Sometimes I would have to crawl around, and would definitely crawl to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  It's quite the sight!  haha This pregnancy, all of these symptoms started earlier.  I ended up with a dislocated SI join and getting some physical therapy, which would only help for a few days.  I got a cluster of varicose veins on my calf that was concerning, had to get a dopler ultrasound to rule out blood clots.  This pregnancy has been a huge sacrifice for me, a labor of love really.  I was able to run til 28 weeks but that may not have been the smartest thing to do.  I do know that it helped me emotionally, I was a better mother and wife because of it.

The next ultrasound discovered that his kidneys had grown to 11 cm.  This was now in the high risk category, which meant that if they continued to grow I would need to go to a high risk Doctor in Denver.  This would definitely be a convenience, especially with four other children and living 2 1/2 hours from Denver.  But  mostly we were concerned about our baby boy's health.  In severe cases when the pregnancy is not far enough along, they have to do surgery during pregnancy, or deliver really early.  The fear is the kidney's getting too enlarge that they burst, or no longer function.  There is also a loose association with Downs Syndrome.  1% of the population has this kidney condition from birth.  .08% of the population has Downs with 15% of Downs babies having this condition.  There is a higher likelihood that our baby just has this kidney issue and not Downs, but since I opted out of the QUAD test, there is no way to know for sure.  He doesn't have any other markers from the ultrasound (heart issues, femur, etc) so we are not going to worry too much about this.  Plus, what does it do to worry anyway?  Easier said than done.  I just know that whatever the result, this baby boy of ours will be incredibly loved and enjoyed.

We felt strongly that we should fast and pray for his kidneys to resolve, or for the will of the Lord.  Our family and extended family joined us in a fast the Sunday before I had another ultrasound.  We felt the love of our family and friends, and especially from our Heavenly Father.

To our amazement, the ultrasound showed that his levels had gone down to a 6 and 7 cm.  Still above the normal range, but such a big relief.  We wouldn't need to go to a high risk doctor, but baby's levels would still need to be monitored and they would figure things out once the baby is delivered.  We left the doctors office feeling overwhelming gratitude.

I needed another ultrasound to make sure that his levels were still on the right track.  At this ultrasound, we discovered that his kidney levels increased to 7-9 cm.  This was a disappointment, but still not as high as they were and not considered high risk yet.  But what took over this doctor's appointment was that baby was BREECH!  This was not good news.  A c-section with four other children and my Mom not being able to come right away to help was stressful to me.  I've had some women tell me how good they recovered from a c-section but my question is always, "Well...did you have your Mom to help?"  and they say yes.  I think that makes all the difference in being able to recover.  You get the rest you need and your other children are cared for like how you would.  My husband is especially helpful and can handle a lot, but there's just some things that need a woman's touch.  Also, there's a big difference in having a c-section in your 20s as compared to mid 30s and 40s.

So...once again worry about the unknown.  I was scheduled for an external version at the hospital to try to manually turn the baby.  The odds of the version actually working were pretty minimal.  I went in for the version, got all hooked up, doctor check the position of the baby but couldn't tell for sure.  Then ultrasound came and checked things out.  Come to realize, baby had turned all on his own, he was already head down.  Once again, such overwhelming relief!

So as of now there is no need for a c-section.  Today I am 39 weeks and 3 days, the furthest I have ever gone pregnant.  This is really hard mentally, but I don't want to be induced again.  Induction was not a horrible experience, just slower than the natural.  I really look forward to the excitement of labor and laboring at home.  I went in yesterday to have my membranes stripped.  I was at 3 cm, which is great progress since last week where I was just at 1 cm.  I think the baby being breech slowed down my normal process because there was no pressure on the cervix.  This is just my philosophy but it makes sense.  I cramped all day yesterday and through the night, but haven't had regular contractions today.  This may be the time that I make it to my due date (just 4 days away!).

We are so anxious for this baby to make his grand entrance!  The kids are so excited and trying hard to be patient.  Every morning they check to see if Grandma's shoes are here, and on their walk home from school to see if Grandma's car is here.  They are disappointed when it's just me.  I won't take it personally. ;)  Grandma is coming to help while I'm in the hospital, which is a great relief,

This update is super duper long, but I am writing it for our family journal, where this sweet baby boy of ours may want all the details of his arrival.


Me trying every voo doo technique I read or heard of to get baby to turn!  Cale had to pull me by the feet into this position.  hahahaha I have no shame.

The bitter end:


Baby Shower

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It was so fun to have a shower for our fifth child.  Every baby is a blessing, whether the first or the last and deserves to be celebrated.  I honestly hate being the center of attention so it kind of gave me anxiety but then I decided to just sit back and enjoy and soak in all the love and support from friends.  

My good friend Lori hosted the shower, along with Kristin who offered her beautiful home.  I could tell by the invitations that this was going to be fancy shmancy (right up my alley)!

I didn't get nearly enough pictures of everything, but as Cale's work friend (who came to the party) said, it was like "Pinterest on Crack."  I loved that.

Yummy food



Everyone put their little fingerprint on this darling canvas.  




Here's a great picture of the hostesses:

Here's a sample of the guests.  I had my girls and some of their girlfriends come too.  




The party was just two days after surgery for Averie.  She did pretty well and then started fading after the first hour or so.  





 Most of my pictures were caught mid sentence:

Here's a before shot of my huge torpedo belly before the party.  I was 38 weeks.

Me and baby were spoiled rotten, which was so appreciated and humbling.  I kept very few things from Kempton's babyhood for some reason so this was so. much. fun.

This was overwhelming.  When Cale saw everything he got anxiety and was embarrassed by the generosity.  Who wouldn't be?  But so appreciative.

Lots of Broncos stuff

and football stuff

And how cute is this outfit?  Everything was so adorable!  I can't wait to dress him.

Good bye Appendix!

Pin It This story starts a few months back.  Averie has been have tummy issues for a few months.  I don't need to go into detail in fear of embarrassing her, but we have taken her to a few Doctor appointments, had her tested for Diabetes, Celiac, Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Intolerance, etc.  All of which came back negative or borderline.  It was getting frustrating because there weren't any answers, but symptoms were definitely affecting her life.  We just kept monitoring it and her pediatrician (who is also a family friend) would ask us how she was doing on a regular basis.  She did tell me that this was probably due to some inflammation that was bothering her bladder and bowels.  There were just no answers about why there would be inflammation.

About two weeks ago, she came home from school and told me that her back and stomach hurt during science at school.  She could pinpoint the exact time that it started hurting.  At this point, the pain was off and on, so we continued with the day as normal, going to Nutcracker practice where she danced, etc.  When she got home, she complained that her stomach hurt.  It escalated very fast where she was hunched over and crying when we would touch it.  I gave her a heating pad and this seemed to help a little as she lay in our bed watching the Food Network.  :)  She didn't have an appetite (which has not been unusual) and so Cale and I started researching appendicitis, that's immediately what we thought.  Normally we downplay things (and rightfully so to not over-react), but this time we just had a feeling it was more serious.  No doubt the Spirit guiding us.  The information we found said that appendicitis usually begins by being really sensitive around the belly button, and then moves over to the right side.  Before researching this,  Averie would cringe in pain when I would press on her belly button, and she said that was where the pain  was.  So...at around 10:30 pm Cale took her to the emergency room.  It was hard to stay back, but of course we have other children.  

Cale arrived with Averie at the ER where they took her blood.  They also gave her Motrin but it didn't take away all of the pain.  While they were waiting for results, the Dr said it was probably just food poisoning or a virus.  Cale texted me this, and I knew it wasn't just that.  Then a little while later I got a text saying she was about to go in for a CT scan.  I knew something was up, and so did he.  Sure enough the CT scan showed that she had appendicitis, and the organs around it were also inflamed.  Cale asked the Doctor if he needed to schedule surgery for tomorrow, and the Doctor said, "No, her appendix will burst in 6-7 hours, we need to go into surgery right now."  So they called the Doctor on call and she was wheeled in for surgery at 2:00 am.  This was the last I heard from Cale because his battery died.  Needless to say, I couldn't sleep well at all not hearing how everything went.  Cale said it was the hardest thing to do, to watch your baby leave your side for surgery.  It was a very helpless feeling. Averie was very scared of course and Cale felt bad because there wasn't time at that point to give her a blessing (he was able to do this later).  She was too little to do the a laparoscopic surgery so they had to cut into her.  Early in the morning, Cale just so happen to find our friend and my OB on the same floor who let him use his phone charger so he could update me.

 She's putting on a brave face here, being wheeled in for surgery:


Post surgery:



I got the kids off to school in the morning and then headed over to the hospital to relieve Cale who had been up for 36 hours.  I was greeted by this sweet face.  

She had been in wonderful hands all through the night.

Upon arrival, we were told that she could be discharged soon.  I was a bit shocked, thought she would need a little more time to recover.  But they said she was doing really well, so could recover more comfortably at home.

Here she is either dazed and confused or in deep contemplation.   We took her home, made sure we were on top of her medication, and Cale was able to sleep the long day off.

We were so grateful for the inspiration we received to take her to the ER, that it was caught before it burst, and that it happened when it did (not in the next few weeks with baby's upcoming arrival).  All little tender mercies.  Averie received so much support from her friends and family, from cards to flowers, dinner and visits.  She felt very loved. 

She has made a full recovery and hasn't had any of the symptoms she was experiencing the last few months.  It was determined that she had sub-acute appendicitis, basically where the appendix brews for a while before it decides to be removed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Halloween

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We had a great Halloween this year.  It seems to be one of the busiest holidays, but this year I tried really hard not to sweat the small stuff or over commit.  I helped in one classroom and we cut out one of the Halloween day activities that we normally attend.  These two things made for an almost stress-free day.  

Also, we came up with a plan to reduce the ridiculous amount of candy consumption and wrappers that we find all throughout the house for weeks after Halloween.  When they returned home with all their loot, they did their traditional trading, then got to choose 10 of their favorite pieces, but the rest was put into a huge community bowl for Mom and Dad to disperse when we saw fit.  It has worked so well that we will continue to do this.  

 Look at these adorable trick-or-treaters!

I loved Halloween this year, all because I hardly spent a dime on costumes, but everyone was just as happy and satisfied with their costumes.  Averie and I had so much fun working together to create her costume and spent just $6 total.  She got so many compliments on her Mad Scientist costume, especially from adults, that she was on cloud nine!  

As normal, Kempton didn't beg me to be anything for Halloween so was content to borrow his cousin's SWAT member costume.  

Brenna saw her Dorothy costume at Once Upon A Child for just $6 so she was easy to please (and adorable as ever).

 Kinlee's still talking about how she was a Fairy for Halloween.  We have used this costume three times over.  It's gotten great use! 

We went to the downtown trick-or-treating the week before.

I got to help in Kempton's classroom.  


And then peeked in on Brenna's classroom right at the right time.  Her teacher is a crack-up (as you can see by all of the kid's faces).



We then went home and anticipated the arrival of two of our cousins.  Joey came with auntie Sondra, and Porter came with Uncle Seth and Aunt Jenn (my cousins).  It was so fun to have family come for dinner and trick-or-treating.  We had a sleepover with our cousins so we got to enjoy them even more.  I am lame and must have been burnt out with picture taking so didn't get any pictures!  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

October in a Rush

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We always kick off October with General Conference.  
We are looking very relaxed, organized and prepared for conference in the below picture.  

But then a certain two-year-old woke up from her nap.  She's baaaaaaaack!

We had some beautifully warm days in October.  This was one of the most peaceful moments we have felt as a family, we spent hours at a local park/pond and fished for crawdads.  We had the area all to ourselves and skipped rocks for hours. 


Cale had a rare "mancation" with his brother and cousins to the Broncos game.  They looks so happy!  Good thing the Broncos won.  


We carved our little pumpkins.

Averie named hers BOB.

 Kinlee had free reign on Halloween candy (when mama wasn't looking).  She figured out how to climb up the pantry shelves all by herself (scary).  

Looking at these pictures, I sure do miss my normal face.


Pumpkin walk with friends




This little girl is quite independent these days

And sure is happy when she has a full nights sleep in her own big girl bed!

Silly Kinlee forgot she was naked!