It was both very relieving and yet very nerve-wracking at the same time to know when Rhys would be born.
Due to my bleeding incident, my OB and perinatologist wanted me induced no later than 39 weeks. They both believed that Rhys would do better out of me than inside. They also warned, as we were discharged after my bleeding, that if I started bleeding again, or my water did break, or had contractions 5 minutes apart for an hour, to come back in and they’d induce me right then. Justin thought I’d bleed before then.x`
The past two weeks, I wasn’t allowed to do much. I sat on my butt while my mom and sister took turns visiting me and keeping me company while Justin was at school and work. They wouldn’t let me pack even small things (but I still sneaked a few boxes…I didn’t lift anything, so I felt ok doing it). Then, June 30th, my family came down to help finish packing up the apartment, and on July 1st, my family helped Justin and I pack up and move from Provo to Sandy. My mom had taken all of last week off to help me set up the house before Rhys came. With the exception of curtains and a floor rug for our living room, we finished.
Friday, July 4th, my family came by to visit. I was feeling a little nervous as I was going to be induced the next morning. Dad and Justin gave me a calming priesthood blessing promising I’d have the strength and courage to do what I needed the next day. Then, Justin and I headed down to the hospital to get some gel to “ripen my cervix.” But, as they saw I was dilated 3cm already and 80% effaced, they didn’t feel the need to give me any and sent me home to get a good night’s rest before the next day. Justin and I had Costa Vida (my favorite!) for my last meal and we ate about half a pan of brownies. We played Rummikub and cuddled in bed, again praying I’d be ok both physically and mentally tomorrow.
Bright and early we arrived at the hospital and I was immediately put on an IV and pitocen. Immediately, the contractions started, but I couldn’t feel them (much like when I was bleeding). Soon, it felt like I was on a period with menstrual cramps, but no worse than that. I, again, got nervous, so I called my mom to come down. I wanted the comfort of my husband, but also of my mom (which I didn’t think I’d need or want!). Around noon, I could definitely start to feel the contractions and tried my best to breath through them. I was ready for the epidural.
That was the worst part! Even after reassurances from my friends, and knowing that my husband has had worse–spinal taps!–I was still a bit nervous about the epidural. I knew Justin didn’t want to watch because of his own experiences, but thankfully, he stood right in front of me and was a great support. He put his head down and I rested mine on his. I squeezed both of his hands as he whispered encouraging thoughts to me. I knew he was holding his breath for me as well. And, it was not just a pinch like my friends told me. It hurt! But, as soon as it kicked in and was taped and secured and I lay back down, I felt better. As it continued to progress, my legs felt heavier and then didn’t feel at all! I’d never been that completely numb before! I couldn’t even lift my legs!
A couple more hours passed and I started feeling something down below…some sort of pressure, almost, almost like pain. We called the nurse in and she saw I was 9 cm dilated. She called my OB and had my mom and husband come hold my legs so I could do a few “practice pushes.” I wasn’t nervous about them–I knew I was numb, but would still be able to push! I mean, I’ve always done well on curl-ups, so I just did that same motion. But, after the first few pushes, I began to feel light-headed. So, they put an oxygen mask on me. Wow! That really helped and I was able to do 3-4 pushes per contraction. The doctor soon came in and the nurse switched with my mom who got her camera ready. I pushed more and Justin started smiling–he could see Rhys’s head. Mom suggested the mirror be brought over so I could see–no thank you! All of a sudden, I felt this swift motion through my body and heard crying. Rhys was out!
I had only pushed for about an hour and a half. Rhys was born! And it didn’t really hurt at all. My OB did have to cut a bit of tissue in me to allow Rhys’s head more room, and I did tear just a little bit. But, other than that, according to the doctors, nurses, and Mom, a very easy labor.
When I first saw my son, it didn’t matter what was on him, I wanted to kiss him (but couldn’t because I still had the oxygen mask on). I started smiling and crying, as did Justin. We were so happy and proud to finally be parents. I didn’t know I could feel such pride in something that was only a few minutes old. And to hear that cry, that wonderful cry and see a healthy boy–what peace! He measured normally, which again relieved us. And, as the nurses were observing and cleaning him, he hardly made a peep. We were so proud of our good, brave, strong boy.
The first time I held him skin-to-skin, I immediately felt a bond with Rhys–I knew that he knew and loved and needed me. And, seeing him open his eyes and look directly at me, I can’t even describe the feelings! Justin held him and cried more, too. I felt such love for both of my boys.
I was so happy Justin and my mom (although just in the background) were both there supporting me through the labor. Having both of them there made me brave and unconcerned. I knew that with them, I could do anything I needed to get Rhys out. And I did. And I was fine. Stitched up, thirsty, hungry, and numb, but I was fine.
The rest of my family came in and met Rhys. They instantly fell in love with him. After we visited with them, and I ate, I fed him for the first time. He had some trouble with his latch because his tongue was wagging everywhere–he was actually tongue-tied at birth, but my doctor immediately snipped it.
We were then moved to the postpartum wing. That first night was hard. I was mentally and physically exhausted and Rhys was still having trouble latching, which caused me a lot of pain. I also freaked out about the postpartum bleeding, because it seemed like a lot (which in reality, it wasn’t). Justin and I were also super nervous about SIDS and didn’t want to both sleep, but we were both just so exhausted, so that first night, we agreed to let Rhys go to the nursery for about 3 hours so we could get some shuteye.
The second day in the hospital was a bit of the same–a lot of pain from breastfeeding, so the nurse gave be a shield, postpartum pain and bleeding, hardly any sleep, trying to understand Rhys’s different cries and needs. Rhys was also circumcised on the second day and Justin said he would not be going with our second son…
Justin’s brother and his family came to visit us that night. Our sister-in-law is a lactation specialist, so I was very blessed! She and I talked a little bit and she observed me breastfeed and gave me some pointers, and some confidence about the excruciating pain I was having. Thank you Rachel! The second night was a bit better. Rhys and I did a lot of sleeping skin-to-skin.
Monday, we came home as a family. No longer are Justin and I a couple. We three are now a family. And it is very nice to know that. We are just so in love with our precious son and love watching him.
We’ve survived a full week thus far and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives with Rhys Michael!
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This week is about a throwback birthday. Well, I have a couple!
My brother was born 3 days after my 7th birthday. He was born with a club foot, so mom, dad, and him stayed at the hospital for a few days. Because we didn’t expect this, mom had already planned a birthday party for me, which my Grandma hosted. As I was opening presents, my parents walked in the door with the best birthday present ever–my brother, Bobby! I had prayed for a brother for 2 years and I finally got one!
Some years, we each had our own cake and own party, but others, we shared a cake and had a family celebration. I thought it was super cool to have a birthday so close to a sibling.
Beware the next! I’ve warned time and time again, I was an awkward teenager, and this year, I really let my geek out. Today, it is a facepalm!
As a teenager, I was obsessed with faeries. Still am, actually. I liked Amy Brown art, Hot Topic faeries, dark magic and fairy war books. So, I decided to be silly and dress up…”goth” faerie on top, “faerie princess” on bottom. It was just the family, so I didn’t really care. I do not miss that year, seeing myself in that picture (braces, glasses, acne, oh the hair!) but I do miss that shirt…that was an awesome shirt!
That year, I got my first faerie figurine. These were figurines of warrior faeries. Overall, I had almost 10 by the time I graduated high school. Then, my dad got transferred across the country (military) and I packed up to go to college. They haven’t seen the light of day since 2008 and I can’t wait to have an actual house rather than married student apartments so I can dust them off and put them back on display!
Next, comes my 16th birthday, which was one of my favorites! I wanted a sweet sixteen and I definitely got one! I was living in Virginia at the time. One man in our congregation owned a lot of land in our county, including a farm (without the animals) and had converted his barn into almost like a diner. Our church used it for many activities: Memorial Day picnics, youth camp outs, etc. So, I asked if we could borrow it for my sweet 16. It was big and had awesome speakers for music and a mini kitchen. I invited a lot of my friends.
Now, one of my friends from church, Matt, had a birthday 7 days after mine. My sweet sixteen was planned for his birthday, which was a Saturday. Since we shared most of our friends, my mom, his mom, and I decided to make it a surprise birthday for him as well; meaning, we’d celebrate his birthday without him knowing we would.
He certainly was surprised! We all danced, we all played games. Then, it came for cakes. We both got our own separate cake, and were sung to separately. Then, we opened presents. I got another faerie figurine. When guests RSVP’d, they would ask my mom what to get me, and mom said books…so, I ended up with about $100 worth of Border’s gift cards! It was great! Matt’s present for me was a serenaded song. He was very good at singing and guitar (he taught many people in our congregation to play guitar), so he played me a song. It was very sweet (and completely platonic–we were both dating other people).
It was probably the funnest teenage birthday party ever! Also, notice…another faerie shirt (Tinkerbell this time, also from Hot Topic)…and see all the coats in the back? My birthday is in February, and I lived in VA…it was currently snowing outside.
My last memorable teenage birthday was my 18th one. I had never had a surprise birthday. I always thought what a cool treat it would be to have one. My sister, Madison, being the awesome sister she is, and knowing me in and out, decided to take it upon herself to give me one before I would never see my friends again (by February, we already knew my family would be transferred across the country). So, she talked to my closest friends and told them that there would be a surprise birthday party for me at the bowling alley. I kind of suspected something and was super excited. Then, on my birthday, I felt queasy all day. I thought it was just due to the excitement. When I came home from school, only a few hours till the party, I threw up. I was upset, but laid down, hoping it’d be a one time thing. After, I felt much better. It was about an hour until the “surprise.” I still wanted it to happen. I’d never had a surprise birthday party before and doubted I’d ever get the chance again. I told my mom I was alright, and as soon as I muttered those words, what should come out but more vomit. Madison called all my friends, explaining the situation, and I went to bed early, crying because I couldn’t have a surprise 18th birthday party…
I have had 5 birthdays since then, and still have not had a surprise party. Ever. For anything. I still want one.
Keep that in mind, friends and family!
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
My Dad is my hero! He is a JAG for the Marine Corps. That means that he studies military law and is a lawyer for the marine corps, sometimes even advising generals and such with what is legal. He is also the power of attorney for many people. He has been a Marine all my life. However, last October, he retired. That is why my family is now in Farmington, Utah. But, does that mean my dad is done working law? Nope! He now works for a firm in Murray–law is his life, he loves it!
In 2004-2005, my dad went to Iraq to help train Iraqi lawyers how hold a court of due process. He has also been a part of many service drives for those children in Iraq. He once was in charge of one in Virginia that sent not only clothes, but also soccer supplies because he saw the children in Iraq loved soccer. Read this article about him, it’s awesome!
My dad is a caring, quiet man. He is very modest. He thinks before he speaks by rubbing his hand over his scalp until he can think of the right words. He has taught my siblings and I countless moral lessons. He is a marathon runner, loves Hitchcock movies, sci-fi, John Grisham books, and hamburgers and potato salad. I try to be like him.
But, today, June 16th, is also my Mom’s birthday!
|My mom and my sister Madison.|
This has only happened once before in my life that Father’s Day and Mom’s birthday has been on the same day. They’ve told me they are going to have a big date tonight–time away from the kids to spend time alone with each other.
Enjoy the day with each other!
|One of their earliest pictures together. Aren’t they hot stuff?|
I am the oldest in my family…which means there are still teens living at home with my parents.
My youngest sister is Paige and she just turned 13 today! She is officially a teenager!
As a 13 year old with two sisters in their 20s, it is very important to be fashion forward. Paige has a plethora of clothes, shoes, accessories, and hair things that I can find on any fashion blog. She even watches Project Runway with me! So, in honor of her birthday, we decided to do a little photo shoot with her favorite outfit.
Isn’t she great? She definitely knows how to warm up to the camera, whereas I stand there awkwardly with my hands on my hips and a goofy smile. She can also wear colorful and floral pants…I can’t! Paige has taught me many things about fashion, including a hairstyle that I use constantly–the French twist for bangs.
Paige is also very, very talented. She is a ballerina, very crafty, and plays the flute.
Paige can sew…well, she can crochet and quilt, and I think she can do other sewing projects. Before my family moved to Utah, she was part of a sewing club at her elementary school and they created all kinds of cool projects. Paige, like our sister Madison and our mom, is very crafty (whereas I got skipped over with that gene). For Christmas, Paige made that bracelet for Madison. She looked through countless magazines to find words that described Madison and doing some crafty something or other, made it into a really cool bracelet that is Pinterest worthy! Paige has also helped to fix some of my jewelry as well as make her own. Someday this girl will have a very successful Etsy shop. But she’s only 13 for now. Paige can also paint. She created this bird water color for our mother for Mother’s Day.
Paige also plays the flute and as a 7th grader was recently invited to be part of the local high school’s end of year band concert! She is also a very, very smart kid. She loves soccer and has read many American Girl and Little House on the Prarie books. She was very helpful to me this year as I actually taught kids her age. So, when I wasn’t sure about an activity, I just thought if Paige would like it, or be able to do it.
I love you Paige! Happy 13th birthday!