Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Unknown Loss

**Disclaimer: You are warned right now that this is a personal, detailed, long post of what I dealt with when I had a miscarriage last week. You read that right, just remember, you were warned.***

I guess this all started back in December when a good friend from our BYU ward had a horrible miscarriage and decided to share her {experience} with her friends (and the worldwide web since it's on her blog). At that point, I had never had a miscarriage, but I felt drawn to her experience and story. I was touched at how incredibly brave she was so share her experience because she wanted to be there for her friends. I also wanted to show my support for her since she is my friend. ;)

Fast forward to the next month, January 2011. Greg and I were trying to decide if we were ready to have another baby. We did all the normal things we do when we make big decisions (pray, fast, temple) and then we got a phone call from a High Counselor; I was to direct Savior of the World. Okay, well, that's our answer--- not yet. A month later (while we're in the midst of SOTW production) we get the nagging feeling again and I stopped taking my pills. During the stoppage (tee hee), I felt stressed about SOTW and possibly getting pregnant so I wanted to go back on my pills, at least until SOTW was over. We had also just decided to go to Disneyworld and I really didn't want to be pregnant during my first trip there, so we waiting to make sure in the THREE WEEKS off BC that I wasn't pregnant.

Once I was 10 days late (I didn't take a test earlier because I HATE seeing negatives---comes from pre-Jared--even if I 'wanted' to see the negative like that moment), I decided to take a test. Negative. A few days later, I took another test, just to be sure. Negative again. So, back on the pills I went.

The rest of March and April went by fast because of SOTW. I had so much to do and little time to do it in. As a result, I was always tired, really grumpy, and emotional. Especially the week of SOTW performances, I was a wreck. I would cry at the drop of a hat; I thought it was because of how I personally react to the Spirit. I should have seen the signs.

After SOTW, I thought I would feel better. We spent the weeks leading up to vacation readjusting to our old normal. I got through the rest of April and Jared's birthday trying to remember what I did before SOTW. Then, about a week before vacation (a couple week of pills were still left) I started bleeding. I thought my period had just come early (which is highly abnormal on pills, but I shoved it aside because I didn't pills for those three weeks--- I must have messed up my body's groove). A couple days into the bleeding, I started to get hard cramps; the kind where you lay down and do nothing the rest of the day--meanwhile I still had to get ready for vacation.

On the morning the day before we left for Florida, I started to feel better; I was still bleeding pretty heavy (which is odd for the 7th day in) but I was feeling better. I was really stoked because I wanted to feel good on our vacation. Then it happened. My cramps stepped it up at notch. I felt horrible, sweaty and when I went to the bathroom, it was mostly blood. I knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what. The pain started to go away, so I got back up and told myself to get through the day. Then it came back and back I went to the bathroom. The closest thing I could guess what that I was having another ovarian cyst. It was that point I knew I needed Greg.

I had shut myself in the bathroom because I didn't want the kids to see me in pain, but I left my phone on the bed. Jared found me in the bathroom and he was able to get my phone and pass it under the door. In the midst of my pain, I was so happy that my little boy could understand me enough that he knew I needed my phone. I called Greg and asked him to come home now; he said he'd try, but didn't know how soon he could make it. The pain had gone away again, so I thought I could get up. I got up to wash my hands, and promptly felt myself mostly pass out. I was aware enough to try and stop myself, that's why I say mostly. Apparently, I had lost a lot of blood.

I crawled back into the bathroom and tried again to rally myself. After all, it was lunch time and , at this point, the kids were yelling for me to make them some food. So, I get up start to wash my hand and... get dizzy again. I knew I what was happening so I hurried as fast as I could over to the couch. I mostly didn't want Greg to find me on the floor passed out--- the couch is much better. When I come to a few seconds later, I let Greg know what just happened and that I needed him now. (this whole time I'm still in pain). So, he comes home.

I know, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back and remembering the pain, I was having contractions. I have been through childbirth twice, how could I not recognize it? I thought I wasn't pregnant. I was sure it was one of two things: an ovarian cyst or ectopic pregnancy (that would explain the negatives). I knew I needed to see a doctor, so when Greg got home he gave me some leftover meds from Annabelle, so I could actually walk/move/etc. and actually call my doctor's office to get an appointment.

I explained how I had no idea what was going on and that I needed to see the doctor today because I was going to Florida tomorrow; I had to see a different doctor because mine had already left for the day--- they kept asking me if that was okay and I told them duh, yes, crazy pain=go to doctor... I really don't care as long as it was an obgyn. The only opening they had was in 45 minutes. Sure, okay, so what to do with our sleeping kiddos? We then called my INCREDIBLE visiting teacher. We told her what was going on and she said, sure I just picked up my daughter and we can come sit with your kids. LIFESAVER.

I spent the whole ride to the office praying we could still go to Florida the next day; we really had no idea what was happening and it didn't look good for going to Florida. Three hours after the pain started, I was about to see the doctor. The first question they asked was if I was pregnant. Greg said some quip about having to do certain things in order for that to happen (he was frustrated because we didn't think it was possible and they were focusing on something that wouldn't fix the problem), the nurse ignored him and made me take a test. Negative yet again.

Enter the doctor. We told her what was going on and then she examined me. Through my painkiller haze, I started feeling pain again. She told me I look to be passing a large clotish thing and we needed to get it out and figure out what was it in. In my last few moments of pain, Greg held me hand and told me to close my eyes. It was then I knew what had just happened. A few minutes later, the doctor confirmed my fears. I was pregnant, I didn't know it, and I just had a miscarriage. After getting an ultrasound, we found out I didn't need a D&C and I was okay to go to Disneyworld the next morning. I have a follow up with my own doctor later this week to talk about why this could have happened.

The first few days of vacation were extra hard on me. We had to watch out for a fever and extra bleeding (what do you consider extra?) for the three days following. I was so worried that I would end up ruining the trip for everyone. However, I was so grateful to have my parents and most of my siblings with me the week following this ordeal. That has been my mental mantra, I've been lucky. Lucky to have a husband who could rush home from work to take care of me without getting in trouble. Lucky to have one more opening to go to the doctor. Lucky to not need a D&C. Lucky to have it happen that day, as opposed to any of the days on vacation. Lucky to hug my Mom the day after. Lucky to not have known.

The last one is the hardest to convince myself of. Now that I'm home, and not on vacation, I constantly have to face it. It's the first thing I say when I've told others about my experience; I think because I'm trying SO HARD to believe it. The truth is... it still hurts. Yes, since all of the tests came back negative, the pregnancy was never really viable. However, if it wasn't viable, then how could I have had a miscarriage? I need to have been carrying something in order to miscarry it. I have to let the pregnancy be real in order to get through the grief of the miscarriage.

Honestly, I don't know how women get through this without knowing about the marvelous power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Whenever I felt like slipping into a corner and crying, I felt lifted up by Him and His love for me. He not only went through all the pain of our sins, but ALSO the pains of this world. He knows how I feel, and that gives me the most comfort of all. I'm worried about how this is going to effect our desires to have more children, but I'll do my best to replace that worry with faith. Faith in Him and the plan, the adventures, set out for us.

I wrote this out for two reasons: 1. to be there for someone who may need it in the future, like my friend was there for me and 2. it's part of me, and my history now. I want my children and my children's children to know that it happened and how it effected me and my family. I want them to know that no matter the trial they can ALWAYS turn to Jesus Christ and He will ALWAYS be there for them No. Matter. What.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mickey Memories: Florida Version

We got back from our Disneyworld vacation last night, so stay tuned for a post for each day about the trip. I'll do my best to get them up soon, however, to hold you over, here's a sneak peek of a picture from the trip.

We met Mike W. (I'm not even going to pretend to spell his name) from Monsters, Inc., Monday at Hollywood Studios. The kids loved him, Bellie kept saying 'hi mike.'

He wasn't the only one we met, but you'll just have to wait to hear about the others...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Growing Girl

If Jared is three that means our resident cutie girl, Annabelle is 18 months old! How did that happen?!? Gweg and I have commented that she is the same age Jared was when she was born... whoa. Here's her stats:

Weight: 25 lbs (5oth percentile)
Height: 33 1/4 inches (90th percentile)
Head Circ: 19 cm (90th percentile)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: they changed to dark chocolate brown--- woo hoo, I did make her!
16--- just missing the two year molars
Shoe Size: 4 to 5--- she's got big feet like her Mama
Nicknames: Belle, Annabellie, Bellie, Little Mama, Little Girl, Baby-zilla, Sissy, turkey
STILL:-Jared, Daddy, Pink Blankie, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, running around, Monkeys, Minnie Mouse, singing, dancing, splashing ADDED: climbing everywhere, talking, purses, shoes, princesses, swimming, and buckles
Dislikes: someone else buckling her in, going to bed, being restrained or being quiet, most veggies
Favorite Food: pb&j without crust, quesadillas, grilled cheese, raisins, chocolate, mac & cheese, yakisoba, gyozas, pasta, oatmeal, bananas, applesauce, crackers. She'll only eat breaded chicken and isn't too fond of veggies (I know, I know) ADDED: her tastes really haven't changed, like any girl she'll eat chocolate any time and hoovers japanese food. She also LOVES grapes and seems to like bananas less.
Favorite Toys: Princess Minnie, Mickey, Cuddle Monkey named Mo, and her baby Belle doll. She also loves to dumped EVERYTHING out in their play kitchen, much to Mommy's chagrin.
Favorite Books: same---Any of the Disney books, Star Wars ABC, Fifteen Animals (she calls is the 'ba bu,' bob book), scriptures
Favorite Things to Watch: SAME---Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, any Disney/Pixar movie, Thomas & Friends
Words: She's super talkative now. She actually doesn't like to stop talking. She'll yell for us from her crib, yell for Jared and answer questions and statements (like tell us 'no' when we say it's time for bed). One of her favorite phrases is 'me do.' It's her answer to whenever we ask questions starting with, "who wants {insert something here}?" It's really cute and now it's a family joke because we all use it.
Other New Tricks: She's a full-fledged toddler now. Fits and everything. I'm shocked with how fast she is learning and growing. She knows some numbers, she can count from 6-12ish and she sings her own version of the alphabet. She started going to nursery and so far she just complains when we drop her off. She know when she goes pee and poop, so looks like another round of potty-training is in our future.
What's next: Disneyworld Vacation next week, start potty training before the end of the year... maybe...
How she drives us crazy: Still stubborn and now throws fits. As she has started throwing fits, she discovered her 'high-pitch' scream. I think she may have frightened a few neighborhood dogs the first time it happened. She's also at the stage where she'll do anything to get attention---good or bad--- so hitting Jared is not off limits. Which means she now knows what Time Out is.
Why she's so awesome: She's a girl who knows what she wants. Her relationship with Jared is really cute right now because they are starting to have conversations with one another--- granted, they usually end with Jared telling her to do something and her saying no, but it's a conversation nonetheless. She'll still do anything for him, which is too cute. She's a little more reserved than Jared which is a blessing because things can get loud in a mostly tiled house. We love the fun she brings into our lives and adore watching her grow and learn. Next thing we know, she's going to turn around and be 2! She's definitely not a baby anymore.

Jared: Year Three Stats

Since Jared is three, it's that time to post about him-- I can't believe how BIG he is:

Weight: 34 lbs
Height: 38 inches--- just a little too short for some of the Disney rides next week
Hair: light brownish red-- same
Eyes: dark amber brown-- same
has had them all for long time
Likes: still: Annabelle, his blue blankie, Daddy, Mama, playing with cars, trains and friends, spinning, dancing, anything Disney, nursery---- ADDED: singing all the time, his new bed, Star Wars, playing any kind of game, helping Daddy in the yard, asking TONS of questions
Dislikes: Annabelle (ha), flies in the house, the dark, tense moments in movies
Favorite Food: The boy can't get enough of Japanese food, burgers, fries, pizza, broccoli, carrots, oranges, and pears. He still won't go anywhere near peas, mushrooms or raw tomatoes.
Favorite Toys: any car or train, v-reader, stuffed dragon, his new Luke and speeder from Star Wars, dinosaurs and Woody and Buzz.
Favorite Books: Star Wars ABC (sense a theme), Cars and Thomas look and find books, scriptures (seriously--must read every night or a fit ensues), and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
Favorite Things to Watch: Still loves Mickey, Dinosaur Train, Phineas & Ferb, Thomas the Train and now loves watching the same 12 episodes of Shaun the Sheep. He also likes Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers on DVD. :)
Other New Tricks: prays by himself--- he says most of the prayers in the house right now. He usually blesses the food, all of the family, and that he'll be a good boy. He LOVES to sing... he currently hits are "A Pirate's Life for Me," humming the Star Wars and Indiana Jones themes, and singing the Mickey Mouse song. He still has issues with getting to the toilet to poop on time, but it's few and far between, so I like to think he's mostly done. He loves to ask questions and loves to be validated (I hear 'right mommy?' all the time when he's trying to boss Annabelle around).
What's next: Disneyworld in 6 days. Preschool in the fall.
How he drives us crazy: He's still as stubborn as ever. He also is very emotional; the littlest thing can trigger a meltdown--- but that comes with the territory of being a preschooler. He also thinks he's hilarious when he shouts--- oui! He bosses Annabelle around all the time and has started tattling on her when she misbehaves.... oh, siblings!
Why he's so awesome: He's the biggest helper. He L-O-V-E-S to help with anything. He's also a great big brother; he's always concerned for Annabelle and loves to smother her in loves and kisses. In fact, he's generally concerned about all around him. He is also really aware of spiritual things; he doesn't go a day without saying his prayers. Even though his nature is loud, he is one of the sweetest boys.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's JARED's Birthday!

After the stress of Jared's birthday party last year, we made a new rule that we'd only do birthday parties on the EVEN birthdays. So, Jared's birthday was really low-key. Jared picked out a few presents with a gift card the night before. I wrapped all but one, a catching fish game. The kids love the game. It makes me think some preschool games are in their future. Candy Land? Ants in the Pants? After they went to bed, Greg and I did some Birthdayifying (it's a new word, I just made up) of the living room. And we were ready to go for the morning.

The day was, like I said, low-key. We hung out, played toys, watched Cars, and had fun. For dinner I made his favorite, yakisoba and gyozas (it's what he requested again). Then we had our neighborhood friends over for cake, cream puffs and presents.

I didn't make the cake this year, however, I made the frosting and my first ever cream puffs. So good. The kids, of course, all helped with opening the presents and chaos ensued when my parents tried to skype while we had our friends over. Then the boys decided to use Jared's new Mack storage to ride on down the hall. Pretty clever, I sense some mischief in Jared and Caleb's future.

I'm so amazed Jared is 3. Not that I didn't expect him to survive this long, it's just hard to fathom how fast it's gone. My little baby boy is a soon-to-be preschooler, learning new things every day. He asks questions CONSTANTLY and still has issues with expressing his emotions. He absolutely ADORES Annabelle and is a Star Wars fan in the making (he picked out Luke and a speeder for one of his toys and really REALLY wants to see Star Wars stuff next weekend).

I'm so grateful to be his Mom. I'm grateful that he discovers new things and knows how much he is loved, especially by his earthly and heavenly parents. Happy Birthday, Buddy. We love you dearly.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Mother's Day 2011 was great, and here's why:
  • Jared was nice to his sister most of the day. He played with her, sang with her and generally made her happy.
  • Since Jared's Birthday is tomorrow, he brought a treat to nursery. We made Mickey Mouse Cake Pops. They were fairly easy to make; the difficulty came in trying to dye the chocolate. FYI: always follow the recipe directions. We now know better. Funny thing about the pops, Jared picked out Red Velvet Cake as the middle, so it looked as though the Mickey heads were bleeding and all I could think of was Steel Magnolias. HA!
  • It was Annabelle's first Sunday in nursery. Greatest. Gift. Ever. Handful barely describes how she's been in church the last few weeks. It was nice to sit and comment in Sunday School and Relief Society. She did not want her picture taken.
  • Greg made me breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was amazing to me and made me feel extra special, he even got me jewelry for the first time (for Mother's day, that is).
  • I tried to get a nice picture with both my kiddos, but when you have a 3 yr old and 18 month old, it's especially difficult. Life, in general, is especially difficult, and I LOVE that is picture shows it.
  • I'm so so SO grateful for ALL of the mothers, aunts, WOMEN in my life, especially my mother, my motherS-in-law and my grandmothers. They are the epitome of womanhood; I'm so grateful for their examples to me and my daughter, who will be a mother one day.
Happy Mother's Day to all the women out there!

McKenna Museum

We started Jared's birthday celebration off this weekend by going to New Braunfels and checking out the {McKenna Children's Museum}. We wanted to do something special as a family since Greg has to work on Jared's birthday tomorrow and I really don't feel like taking on the toddlers alone... for some reason or another.

Anyway, we had a great time. Well, the kids had a great time. I expected it to be like the Science Center in St. Louis, where everyone can get involved; it's not. Since we had a kid each to worry about and interact with, it wasn't too bad; we're just grateful we didn't go with grandparents. Lots of adults in the group equals some boredom and phone surfing (just what we witnessed).

Back to the museum--- it was great! It has a farm, hospital, house, exercise/health area, grocery store, art area, space center, bank, newspaper column, engineer center, a dinosaur dig, a garden and a water exploration area. Jared really liked the art center, the space area (he pointed out R2D2), dino dig (go figure), and the grocery store. Annabelle also liked the grocery store, art center (our kids created some nice modern art), the water center and the exercise games.

They were particularly funny in the grocery store, meticulously picking out all the food and checking it out. Jared even made sure we put everything back (amazing) and even cleaned up after a girl's birthday party rolled through.

Review: It was worth the trip, just as a family, but not for an outing with the grandparents.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Video: Celebrating Cinco

FYI: There's A LOT I'm post-blogging about, so scroll down, or you'll miss an adventure or two.

The kids like to run around, no shocker there. Gweg and I have termed it 'freak out.' We usually insert the time of day before freak out too, just to make it more entertaining. Yesterday, they were particularly squirelly so I grabbed my phone and started taking a video. Since it was "Cinco De Mayo" yesterday, this is there Cinco Freak Out.

Notice how Annabelle says 'cheese' and smiles for me at the beginning... so cute.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mommy's Time Out

Jared Side Note: When I told Jared I would be gone most of a Saturday at a special Time Out, he told me that I've been good and didn't need a Time Out. Ha! Not that kind of Time Out, buddy.

Over the last weekend in April, a few girlfriends and I went to this AWESOME event, {Time Out for Women}. We had a great time navigating our way through downtown, making loops through highways, catching up with old friends, making into new ones, and generally uplifting each other.

I loved every part of this weekend. It was a nice recharge and a great reminder how everything I'm doing is worth the time, effort and means. I had lots of fun memories from the weekend, but these were some of my favorites:
  • Driving downtown Friday night: I volunteered to drive downtown Friday night. I had only driven downtown once before over a year ago, so I knew this would be fun. Yikes; at one point everyone tried to navigate and suddenly understood why men complain about Backseat Drivers. We actually made a few circles to get to the right parking place and now I look back and it's hilarious.
  • Friday Night, in General: Both presenters were incredible. They were so good, we started quoting them the next day too. We even met the musical presenter the next morning. :)
  • Waking Early on Saturday: TOFW was scheduled the same day as SA's The Race for the Cure, so in order to get parking and avoid road closures we got up EXTRA early to arrive two hours before the event started. Luckily, I brought some Phase 10 to keep us occupied during our wait. A bonus for being early was we had GREAT seats the whole day because we were so early.
  • Jericho Road: They happened to be the musical performers Saturday and it was HILARIOUS the effect they had on the women at the event. I mean, their music is great (especially after hearing them live), and so is the message, but there was literally a pack of Groupies screaming and going crazy almost every song. And when they did a "Boy Band Song" Montage--- holy moly, the screaming that went on in the room probably scared half of downtown. They will forever remind me of TOFW and make me giggle.
  • Conformity: I loved every presenter (one was border-line annoying) and their message, however, I was really struck with the message about Conformity. The ideas he presented were ideas I've had before, and so I was really glad to hear it coming from another source. I love how he reminded us that the Gospel isn't cookie-cutter. We are meant to keep the commandments and follow Christ, but that doesn't mean we should all live life exactly the same way. It. was. awesome.
  • Eating on the Riverwalk: During the lunch break, we went downstairs to the Riverwalk (the convention center is on the River---- I LOVE downtown) and ate at Casa Rio; it's the oldest restaurant on the Riverwalk and it's good and lots of fun. We were even able to feed a duck and find Waldo.
The only thing I walked away bummed about was not getting a picture of our crazy fun group of ladies. I seriously LOVE them all and we're already talking about road-tripping to Houston or Dallas next year.


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