Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The big 4!

Our sweet baby girl turned 4 on July 11th. I can't even believe how fast time has flown by since she was born. Brooklyn is our little second mother around this house. She is always so willing to help me out whether it's throwing away diapers, picking up toys, or holding Savannah or many of the other things I ask her do to throughout the day. And she is even super sweet to her little brother. My friend Stephanie who watched the kids for us while I was in the hospital (how great are my friends?! For real!), said that she was so sweet to Troy and constantly was making sure he was ok and being a little mother to him. She loves her brother and sister so much!
Brooklyn has grown leaps and bounds this year in all aspects of her life. Not only has she physically grown (although she REALLY wants to be bigger. It's tough being the petite one and shorter than all her friends, not that I know ANYTHING about being petite lol), but she has grown mentally and spiritually as well. She is like a sponge and soaks up new things. I wish I had more time to teach her all the things she wants to know. She wants SO badly to be able to read, so we're hopefully going to work on that this summer. Just as an example, her favorite thing she got for her birthday is her big dry-erase board writing tablet. She loves to write and show Troy all the letters and numbers, and has been a huge help in him learning all his letters and numbers. She absolutely can't wait to start school next year (2012)!
Brooklyn is also a very good friend. She loves all her friends and wishes she could play with them all day, every day! She is a very kind, loving and generous little girl.
Of course when a child opens their presents, you don't really expect them to be entirely gracious the whole time. Well, not our Brooklyn! After every single little gift she would say, "Oh thank you!! This is EXACTLY what I wanted!" Or something to that effect. She seriously is the sweetest ever! It made me want to buy her anything and everything she would ever want.
We are so thankful to have her in our family! We couldn't ask for a better daughter! Happy 4th Birthday sweet girl!

"Oh yeah!"

Sweet birthday girl with her fast, easy to make cake. Notice the finger swipes. lol

We threw a little party for Brooklyn, and since it was crappy weather, it had to be inside our tiny, little house. Imagine 12 little 3-5 year olds. Bliss! lol

We forgot to sing Happy Birthday to her! So this was a little bit of an after-thought, but she didn't mind.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Savannah Hazel-The Birth story!

The time has come for me to document the birth story of our little miracle. This little girl sent me into contractions fairly early in my pregnancy (32 weeks) and never turned back! I consistently had contractions every night starting around June 7th (real contractions, not braxton hicks. You know, the kind that hurt and you have to brace yourself for). So needless to say, there were several nights when I thought, "Ok, this could be it!" But then after drinking a bunch of water and sitting up, they would slowly putter out. Which I actually was happy about. I needed all the time I could get before her arrival! So much to do, so little time. Well, along comes Saturday, June 18th. I was having contractions the entire day. Not too painful, and about 10-15 minutes apart. But my intuition kicked in, and I knew I was close. This is how Troy's labor started, so I braced myself and warned my friends who were either watching the kids for me, or coming to watch the birth. Sure enough, I woke up around 12:30 am on the 19th with STRONG, PAINFUL contractions, and they were coming 3 minutes apart. I got up after timing for a while, and began preparing to head to the hospital. Next thing I know, they were coming 2 minutes to 2 1/2 minutes apart, and were lasting at least a minute and a half, to two minutes! They were pretty much right on top of each other. I decided I should probably call my babysitter so we could head to hospital (all the while Erik was wondering "WHY HAVEN'T YOU CALLED ANYONE YET?!") But I knew I had time, my labors aren't that fast. Anyway...so Brittany headed over (bless her heart, with a sinus infection and all!! I also later found out she had taken NyQuil, so she was a little drowsy. Poor thing!). We arrived at the hospital around 2:15 where I told Erik just to drop me off since we had to walk in through the ER entrance. I asked the security guard where the birth center was (I was a little confused since I usually go in a different entrance). I started heading toward the birth center, having to take a few breaks because of contractions. A doctor passed by and asked if I needed a wheelchair, but being the stubborn girl that I am, I declined. I was fine! Next thing I know, the security guard was by my side, escorting me to the birth center. He was very concerned! Poor guy. He probably was thinking, "I need to get this lady up there asap, 'cause I am NOT delivering a baby tonight!" Anyway, I got admitted into triage, and next came the true test of whether I had progressed enough for them to admit me into labor and delivery. After a painful check from the nurse (my cervix was tilted, so she couldn't find it!! OUCH!!), she told me I was dilated to a 4 or 5. So, happy day, I was being admitted!! Toni joined us around this time, and it was fun to have her there! At this point, the contractions were KILLING me, so my sweet nurse, Vivian, gave me fentanyl to ease the pain around 3:20 am. That stuff is good! It took away a lot of the pain and I was able to rest a little bit (it makes you a bit loopy, and tired, but she assured me it would be worn off by the time I was ready to push, so I wouldn't be drowsy). I was admitted into my own room at 4:12 am and sweet epidural relief was ordered and on it's way! Dr. Farachi was my anesthesiologist, and he was awesome! I mean, how could I NOT love the Dr. giving me sweet relief?! My epidural was administered at 4:45 am and I was dilated to a 7 and 90% effaced at 5:18 am. My Dr. also broke my water at this time, and when she did there was meconium in the fluid. So she said that they would have a NICU nurse on hand when I delivered, just in case. So I dozed a little, then woke up at 6 to my nurse, Lesley, rushing in and checking the monitors. She asked me to roll to my left side and gave me oxygen. The baby's heart rate had dropped down into the low 60's. A few seconds later, my Dr. rushed in. They had me turn to my right side, but the heart rate was still dangerously low. Dr. Oxford put an internal monitor on the baby to double check the heart rate, and sure enough, the monitor wasn't lying, her heart rate was dangerously low. At this point I was very concerned and scared. They had me turn on my left side again, then again on my right, and had me get on all fours. But to no avail. At this point, my Dr. told me they were going to prep the OR for a possible emergency c-section (my worst nightmare! Not that I know anyone who would opt for major surgery!), but they would get me in there and try one more time to get her heart rate down. The last thing I remember was looking at Toni and Erik as they rushed me into the OR. Erik had a look of terror on his face and was crying. Toni told me it was going to be alright, and then they were gone. I tell you what, those Dr's and nurses know what they are doing! They were so efficient. I just remember looking all around me while being wheeled in and seeing all these people prepping the room and themselves for this major surgery. When I got in the OR, they again had me roll over on my sides, but again to no avail, my sweet baby girl's heart rate was still in the very dangerous zone. Dr. Oxford told me they were going to go ahead with the c-section and that everything was going to be all right. Thank heavens for an amazing Doctor and amazing nurses!! All the while, Dr. Farachi was above me, reassuring me that I was ok. I was crying hysterically, but he was right there trying to calm me down. They started the surgery and I remember thinking, "OW! This hurts!!" I must have said it out-loud because Dr. Oxford asked if it was a sharp pain. It wasn't a sharp pain, but a lot of pressure. Dr. Farachi took care of that quickly and I wasn't able to feel any pain. Thank heavens for modern medicine and technology!! Erik was admitted at this point, and a few seconds later sweet baby Savannah was born at 6:11 am. (Yes, her heart rate dropped at 6 am, and she was born at 6:11 am. This was not a joke! They wanted to get her out as soon as possible! Like I said, SUPER efficient). She came out chalky white (NOT a good color at all!), and was having a very hard time breathing. I kept asking if she was ok, and everyone kept reassuring me she was fine, but I knew from the look on Erik's face, and the tears in his eyes that she was not ok. I told Erik to go be with Savannah, and that I was fine. One of the NICU nurses came over to me and told me they needed to rush Savannah into the NICU for further treatment. I wasn't able to see her, and I was devastated! But I knew she was in good hands and was being taken care of. Erik came over to my side at this point and told me he had given Savannah a blessing and would I like one as well? Of course I said yes, and he gave me a sweet blessing of comfort. I am so thankful for a husband who honors his Priesthood! After I was all stitched up, they threw on a bunch of warm blankets (I remember them feeling so good!) and wheeled me into my room. I got a little "gurney sick" on the way there, but luckily they were prepared with a kidney bowl. I remember apologizing and Dr. Farachi saying, "It's ok, we'll get you all cleaned up!" He was seriously awesome and I am so thankful for him! After I got into the room, Dr. Oxford told me that we could go in and see Savannah very soon. It felt like an eternity before I was able to see my little girl. I asked Dr. Oxford if I would be a good candidate for a v-bac (a vaginal birth after having a c-section) and she said that yes, I was a very good candidate. Sweet relief! I guess I'm a bit selfish in not wanting a c-section. My first thought when they mentioned that I may need one was, "No! I can't have a c-section!! I won't be able to run for a long time or take care of my kids!" Totally selfish I know. But I couldn't help it! I knew the recovery would be at least twice as long, and I wasn't ready for that. But I tell you what, it was all worth it when I was able to see that sweet baby girl for the first time. All my fears and anxiety went away when I saw her sweet face. It was extremely difficult to see her with all those tubes and IV's in her, but I knew that she would be ok. I am so thankful for the for sight of my Dr. who knew that she needed to get out asap in order to thrive. Had they not been monitoring her, she may have suffered brain damage, and possibly death. How thankful I am to Heavenly Father for blessing us with modern technology and medicines!

The next few days were an emotional roller coaster. Savannah stayed in the NICU for continued monitoring. I began pumping, in hopes that we would begin a feeding tube soon. Our good friend Hyrum Rigtrup came Monday night and helped Erik give her a blessing. Finally on Tuesday, they allowed me to try breastfeeding. The first couple times were pretty discouraging. But by the 3rd try, she latched on! The night nurse, Nona, decided it was time to get things going for us. She called me to nurse on demand when Savannah woke up during the night, and by morning, she was off the IV and feeding tube and was breastfeeding exclusively! The next nurse, Amanda, was just as ambitious, and told us she was getting her out of there that day (Wednesday)! We were ecstatic, especially since the Dr's had been telling us that the earliest she would probably go home would be Thursday. So, even though it was a hectic morning for the NICU Wednesday (they had a baby who had to be transferred from Savannah's room to Children's hospital), she ordered all the tests she needed to be discharged. So Erik grabbed her carseat for the carseat test (NICU babies have to pass a carseat test. They sit in their carseat for 90 minutes in order to monitor their breathing and make sure they can breathe fully on their own). And Amanda ordered the hearing test to be done while she was sitting in her carseat, just to speed things along even further. The PKU was done, and by 2 pm, she was all ours!! They discharged her into my room, and we were told that we would be going home that day at 4pm. Those next couple hours will forever be so precious to me. I was finally able to hold my sweet baby without any tubes or wires. She was ours! We will be forever grateful to those nurses (Nona and Amanda), who took initiative and got our Savannah discharged so we could take her home!

I am so thankful to all the wonderful nurses and doctors who took care of both us. But mostly I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for blessing our family with our little miracle baby. She has already blessed our lives in so many ways and I only hope we can raise her the way our Heavenly Father would want her to be raised. I am so thankful for the power of the Priesthood and the miracles it produces. And for again, for a worthy Priesthood holder, who loves his children and wife with all his heart. We are very, very blessed!! 

In triage, waiting to be admitted.
First time holding my Savannah!

Our first time seeing her. I was an emotional wreck! Laughing and crying all at the same time. :)

Proud, proud Daddy!

I was instantly in love!

With all her contraptions. It was so hard to see her like this. So glad she's home and healthy now!

Gripping to my finger.

I love this picture. It shows a glimpse of how tender and sweet Erik is with our kids.
Hooray! The cpap (breathing machine) is off!!

She was definitely the biggest baby in NICU.

A new bed! She's getting better!

FINALLY all ours!!

Ready to go home!

Brooklyn and Troy couldn't be more proud or in love with their baby sister.

Bring on the sleepless nights!

All wrapped up, just like Savannah.