Friday, December 13, 2013


How behind I am!!! I just realized that I never even posted Henrik's birth story! (Yes, he's most definitely here). For tonight, I'll post his birth story (this post is taken directly from my other blog) and tomorrow, I'll post a family update : )

The morning of July 4th, 2013 I woke up around 5:45 having real labor contractions but they wouldn't regulate or stay constant. I timed them all morning before deciding they were probably just going to fizzle and went about my day. We fed the kids lunch, put them down for naps and I took a nap myself. When I woke up, the contractions were back and a little more consistent but still not in any sort of pattern. We watched some TV together as a family before getting ready to go to my parents' BBQ. We packed all our bags in the car just in case. Once we got to my parents' house, we did a little more walking and the contractions were sticking around. After a couple of hours, the contractions were about 7-8 minutes apart. We ate dinner and I sent Jason outside with the kids to do some fireworks since I figured we would be going to the hospital later. Minutes after sending them outside to play, my contractions went to about 3-4 minutes apart. Since we had an hour drive to the hospital, we had to leave as soon as possible. We unpacked the kids' stuff and headed to the hospital. 
We finally made it to the hospital and my contractions were still about three minutes apart. We got admitted and I was hooked up to the monitors which meant I had to stay in bed. I was 6cm dilated, 90% effaced and it was about 10:00 pm. I asked the nurse if I could get in the birth tub which she had to get orders for. I worked through the contractions which were miserable when I couldn't get out of the bed. 20 minutes went by before she got the orders approved for me to get in the tub. By that time, I had no desire for the tub. I was focusing on getting through the contractions one at a time. The nurse was busy getting the room ready when I told her I needed to push. She had to check me again and I was complete. I said out loud "I KNOW! That's why I'm going to push NOW!" She called the on call doctor to let him know I was ready to push. I did a practice push which made the baby crown and she called the doctor back again and told him to hurry but I couldn't wait. I pushed on the next contraction and his head was out. The nurse got on her phone AGAIN and called for "back up". Jason sprung right into action and helped me deliver the baby while the nurse fumbled with her phone and tried to get gloves on. I felt the next contraction start, waited for the urge to push and he was born. Henrik Alexander was born at 11:39pm on July 4th. He weighed 7lbs 15oz and is 21 1/4" long. His birth was a beautiful, unmedicated birth and Jason got to deliver the baby like we had hoped he would. 
The resident, OB, and three different nurses all confirmed that our son's palate was intact! I was in complete shock and so thankful. He latched on and started breastfeeding right away - he was a better breastfeeder than my other two, non-cleft babies were. I was exhausted but just kept looking at him in amazement - he really was perfect. His lip was absolutely beautiful! I looked at his face and felt as if I had known him my whole life - this was my Henrik : ) I immediately started dreading the day when he would no longer have his sweet lip. We finally got settled into our recovery room around 2:30 am. I let the nursery take Henrik for a bit so I could get some sleep because I was absolutely exhausted. It was so hard for me to fall asleep because I just kept thinking about my sweet little boy. I finally drifted off around 3 and woke up around 5:30 unable to sleep so I called the nursery and had them bring my little boy in. He kept me company while my husband slept. I felt ready to sleep again around 7 before being woken up by the pediatrician at 8. He was seen by just about every member of our cleft team between 8 and noon and also had his pictures taken and his hearing tested - it was a busy morning!
I was so happy when my parents came in with our two oldest. My two year old daughter ran over for big hugs. My four year old was a bit more hesitant but so happy to finally meet his little brother. Our oldest immediately asked about his brother's lip. We had tried to prepare him to see the cleft but seeing pictures is different than seeing it in person. We just re-explained that his lip didn't grow together but that the doctor would repair it in a few months. That seemed to answer his curiosity and he went on with his day, snuggling his little brother.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another random update

There has been soooo much going on lately - I can't believe I haven't posted more!! Then again, one could argue that the flurry of activity is the cause of my not blogging. Truth. But let's get down to it, shall we?

Some BIG news from this past month - Jason and I graduated college!! We got to take a fun little vacation to Branson and stopped in Springfield to walk across the stage for our diplomas. The kids got to have a little vacation to their cousins' house making this the FIRST time we have left them overnight since David was born. I thought for sure it was going to be difficult to leave them but they were in good hands and I didn't have any worries. I can't believe we're finally done with school. I thought I'd be going back for my Bachelor's but I'm just not sure about that yet. I feel like my hands are currently full with finishing my Doula certification, teaching Zumba and welcoming a new baby that perhaps I'll wait a year to see how everything pans out.

Now some BIG news from the last week - Jason signed his career contract! He is now a full-fledged agent for Farmers Insurance. OK, well, he's always been an agent but now he receives a base pay and has monthly quotas to meet. I think it's great for him to have these goals set for him - it'll keep him out of trouble ; ) We hired our first employee today and are looking to hire two more within a week or so. I never thought it would take us a year to get to this point, but looking back, I can see why we needed to wait the full time. We learned so much more in the extra time and established our agency in ways we needed to before this point.

Now, onto the kids! David is truly amazing. We have gone through a lot with him over the past year including three different diagnoses. It was all so overwhelming in the beginning but the people we've been working with have been great! I am so excited for him to go back to school in the fall and be with his teachers who he really loves and who care so much about him and helping him progress. He loves learning and has come so far in the past few months. I loved getting reports from his teachers about how he's doing.

Ainzley is soooo stinking cute! I just love watching her be a little girl! She loves to have tea parties and play mommy to her dolls. Her favorite person is her "boy" (as she calls David). She gets so excited to see him when she wakes up from her nap and loves to cuddle with him on the couch until she wakes up all the way. She wants to help with everything and loves to be in the kitchen while I cook. She's my little mini me : )

Things are still going well with this pregnancy. I'm feeling great about my weight gain so far - only up 20 pounds and have been able to keep up my active lifestyle. I still workout every morning and have been having to do Zumba 3 times a week as well to keep up and be ready to teach again after the baby comes. My schedule is becoming more strenuous now that I'm 36 weeks along so I'll be slowing down soon but I've felt amazing and I definitely accredit that to being so active. The baby is doing great too. We've been having regular check ups and ultrasounds since his cleft diagnosis at 20 weeks. We still think he's only lip affected but will have to wait to know for sure until he's born. We met with the surgeon a couple of weeks ago and see the specialist often. We have another ultrasound coming up this Friday and they want to do weekly ultrasounds after that. Being the hands off kind of person I am, I feel like it's too much. I'm going to talk with my OB and see if he's ok with me going biweekly for ultrasounds since all they want to do is monitor fluid levels. It would be easy to see an increase in fluid levels with weight checks and regular fundal measurements so I feel like weekly ultrasounds are just a waste. But we'll wait to see what the doctor says.

Other than all of that, there's not too much going on right now. Just working and getting ready for baby : )

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baby Update

This poor blog has been so neglected since we moved from Springfield!! Someday it will come back to life... today is not that day, lol.

I just wanted to give a quick update on the baby. We had our anatomy scan on Valentine's Day and found out our #3 is a BOY! We are so thrilled for our new little boy to join our family : ) During our ultrasound, we discovered that our son will be born with a cleft lip and possibly a cleft palette. We had a follow up, level 2 ultrasound 2 weeks ago which confirmed a cleft lip. The tech and the specialist both said they think the palette is unaffected but we won't know for sure until birth. We have another ultrasound this Friday and will have at least two more before birth.

It was difficult news for me to hear at first but I'm doing better now. I gave myself a day to feel all my emotions at once then decided I wasn't going to waste time worrying. I've been doing a lot of research and seeing what our lives will be like post delivery and in the next few years. I'm going to start a blog about our whole experience over Spring Break. I've met a lot of nice women who have gone through this and some who are going through this with me. It's really made me want to document everything to hopefully help someone going through this and to help me remember what our experience has been. I'll post a link once I get around to getting everything in order : )

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Decision I Just Cannot Come to Terms With

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be delivering this baby in the hospital - a decision that I literally cannot come to terms with. Let me preface the rest of my post by saying tow things Most importantly, I feel like I should stress that despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Ainzley's birth, this decision is NOT being made out of fear. Secondly, that I have a TERRIFIC OB. He is seriously the best. He delivered me 25 years ago, both of my brothers, several of my cousins and my own son. I am completely comfortable in his care and I don't feel like he brushes my concerns or wants to the side like I've heard other women complain about their OB's. I'm also delivering at a terrific hospital. They have incredible technology and one of the best NICU's in the St. Louis area. Their birthing suites have been completely redone and feature amazing, soothing decor plus every bath attached to a birthing suite features jetted showers and jacuzzi tubs. The hospital also (if your OB clears you) allows deliveries in the jacuzzi tubs. They encourage wearing your own clothing for delivery to make you more comfortable and trying various birthing positions.

I feel like if I had to go back to the hospital, this would be the place to go. There's just one problem...

I'm a control freak. I want control over every single aspect of my labor and delivery. I don't want to be hooked up to monitors, I don't want an IV, I don't want my baby whisked away for cleaning, weighing, measuring... I want my home birth again. I want my amazing midwives and my laid back atmosphere. I want my support team doing what I ask/tell/demand (bc let's face it, it's labor, lol). I want to be on my schedule, not theirs. I know that my OB is wonderful and that we have talked and have made decisions about my care, but I also know that once we walk through the doors of that hospital, that there is a third player in the game. One who will overrule and have the final say because of liability risks more than anything. For me, it's almost spirit crushing.

Every time I think about the labor and delivery of this baby, I get so giddy and excited. Neither of my other deliveries were a piece of cake yet here I sit looking forward to the day when I get to do it again.

I know most women would roll their eyes at me and say I ask too much - I should just be thankful for the healthy baby in my arms at the end of it all. But the fact is I do care about how the baby got their. I worked my butt of for 40+ weeks leading up to that moment and I want the end to be magnificent. Ainzley's birth was probably one of the empowering moments of my life - it was filled with challenges - yet it was simply spectacular.

So here I sit. Torn between what I want and what I know is coming. I am determined to still have my natural birth. After having a fully medicated birth and a fully natural birth, the two cannot compare (for me at least). I know their are obstacles ahead and I'm trying my best to stay optimistic about it. I'm working on accepting the fact that I'll be giving up some control and accepting some "risk" in going to the hospital. At the same time, I'm fueling my passion. I'm rereading my previous birth stories, picking them apart for the best of both worlds, trying desperately to grasp reality and not live in ignorance.

Meshing two very different experiences together is difficult for sure. I'm determined to make this birth the best I've experienced. I'm very much looking forward to the marathon again, this time in a less comfortable surrounding, but surrounded by love with Jason by my side. I'm sure this won't be my last post on the subject but writing this made me feel more at peace.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Last semester!

Welp, here I sit - 18 weeks pregnant and finishing my final semester before graduation - YAY!!! I could not be more excited! We have a lot going on in our lives right now.

Ainzley is growing and growing! She is such a busy little Miss and really such an easy baby. She is learning at a fast and furious pace and I feel like I just can't keep up with her curiosity some days! She loves to play with her "boy" who is such a great teacher to her. A couple of weeks ago, they were playing in David's room. Just giggling and enjoying their playtime. David came out of his room (followed by Ainzley) and said, "Mom! Ainzley has something she wants to tell you!" David turned to her and said "Ainzley, how much do you love Mommy?" Ainzley said (very giggly) "Very, very much!" We've always told David we love him very, very much and he says he loves us very very much... and now he taught his sister. It was flat out adorable!

David, besides being an awesome teacher to Ainzley, is such a busy little boy. He goes to Preschool 4 days a week in the mornings and he loves it. He has two really great teachers and tells me all about all of his friends - I just love seeing him be excited about school and making friends. He also started Primary this year and he's doing pretty good. He's only been twice this year due to sickness. He does have a hard time going in to sharing time most weeks but he calms down and starts enjoying himself. It helps that he has a teacher who is super nice with an abundance of patients.

Jason is working busily with his agency. December and January are typically difficult months to sell insurance since everyone is paying for Christmas during those times but we've already seen a huge turn around and we're looking forward to the Spring and Summer months. We're going to be expanding the agency and taking on some employees in the next few months as well - I can't believe we're to that point already! Jason is eagerly awaiting Spring and Summer for one thing - Cardinal's Baseball!

As for me, I'm still enjoying pregnancy. Things are still pretty uneventful which makes me happy. We'll find out the gender on Valentine's Day. I wasn't planning to find out this time but I want to know ahead of time for my own preparation sake. I want to have the clothes washed and ready, I want to be able to buy a few special things for this baby, and I want the kids to be so excited about having either a brother or a sister... not just a baby : ) I've been feeling the baby kick for about 3 weeks now. The first time happened when Jason was giving me a blessing. He mentioned the baby in the blessing and I felt what I knew for sure was a baby kick. It was so special. I really, honestly, 100% have been enjoying my pregnancy this time. Knowing it's going to be my last has really helped me to stay positive and enjoy the moment. One decision I'm still in the process of making (well, I'm fairly sure I've made the decision... but I'm just trying to come to terms with it) it having the baby in the hospital instead of at home. After Ainzley's birth, I swore I would never go back to the hospital again. As I shared in her birth story, her birth was far from uncomplicated BUT it was amazing. I was well cared for (as was she) and prefer being at home 10000000% over being in the hospital.... but I don't think a home birth is going to be the way we go this time. A blog post in the next couple of days will explain more fully.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Awesome giveaway!!!

Hi All!

In the midst of winter, colds run rampant through our house for some reason. Being the "crunchy"  person I have become over the last few years, I hate using medicine when I'm sick - I especially hate giving it to the kids! But what do I hate more? Giving the kids medicine or letting them feel miserable?
Anyway, when I was super pregnant with Ainzley, my midwife introduced me to essential oils - I was skeptical at first but was sooo converted after using them. I have never felt better quicker during a cold and am so glad to not be putting artificial yuck into my body. One of my favorite features of EO's is that your body can't build up an immunity to them they way it can to medicine. I just cannot say enough good things about essential oils.
Except that there is an essential oils giveaway going on in the blogosphere!!!! Housewife Eclectic is giving away some great EO's from Plant Therapy Oils! Head on over and check it out! : )

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Finish Line

We have finally crossed it! The glorious finish line at the end of the semester!!!!! Jason completed his Associates of Arts degree and I will finish my AofA next semester. Jason is waiting for me to finish my last semester and we'll graduate together in May - YAY!!!!! We'll move on to the next chapter of our lives already in progress, lol.

This pregnancy has been an absolute BREEZE! Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better first trimester. No nausea and no running to the toilet - my two least favorite parts of pregnancy. I've been tired but that's really been about it. Honestly, the only difference is the fact that I'm in shape this time around and continue to keep up an exercise routine. I wake up early every morning (a challenge on it's own when I'm pregnant) and get an exercise in. Working out in the morning works great for me because I'm up before the kids, getting some me time and honestly, first thing in the morning, I'm too tired to argue with myself about not working out LOL! I feel good about my weight so far and hope I can stay motivated. We had our first ultrasound on November 19th and the baby was looking great! Heart rate was 180 and baby was only measuring 3 days small so we were pleased. My due date was set for July 3rd but since my other two were 2 weeks late, that'll put me closer to July 17th - my little brother's 16th birthday! What a present for him ; ). David is very excited about the baby. Ainzley doesn't really get it - every time we talk about the baby, she runs to her room and gets her favorite baby doll, lol. Jason and I think the baby is a boy. We won't find out for another 8 weeks and have a great gender reveal planned!

I don't have too much else to say right now. We're getting very excited to celebrate Christmas with our families next week. We have so many fun activities planned : )
Throughout my late adolescense and adulthood, I have had many positions (professionally and volunteer basis) that have helped me develop skills necessary to serve as a liaison to the community on behalf of a professional organization. I have spent many years in various organizations which have helped me grow skills such as public speaking, note taking, and scheduling. I am proficient in organization and mediation – always keeping the mindset of finding middle ground and while meeting the needs of those involved. I excel in the area of community outreach and thrive in situations where I am given reign to be creative and managerial. I am committed to achieving the best outcome and feel I have many fantastic qualities to contribute to any organization.