Monday, September 29, 2014

Avery's Birth Story

Sunday morning I got up about 6:30 am since I couldn't stand just lying in bed feeling contraction after contraction. I had been having contractions since Friday morning but they were very inconsistent. This was the third night in a row I had gone to bed thinking, "maybe tonight is the night!" So having woken up again, still at home was kind of a disappointment. I was scheduled for an induction the next evening so at least I knew there was an end in sight. I went for a walk outside and tried timing the contractions. They were sporadically all over the place anywhere from 4-8 minutes apart. It was Stake Conference that day, but I decided I didn't want to go. I was already so overdue I didn't want to deal with people and questions, not to mention I didn't want to sit their timing all the contractions, worrying about whether it was time or not. I tried to take a nap. I am glad I did. Then after eating lunch we watched the Swiss Family Robinson. I was having contractions still, but gave up on timing them so I wouldn't be anxious about it. I bounced on my exercise ball during part of the movie to see if that would help.

The family went to the stake standards night so it was just Doug and I home. I started walking around the house upstairs to keep the contractions coming. We started timing them and they were pretty much exactly six and a half minutes apart. I didn't want to stop walking and have the contractions stop, but I was getting tired of trying so many things! The contractions were getting really painful. I had to stop and breathe through them, often times on all fours on the floor.

I decided to take a shower , because I heard that can also help. And I also figured it would relax me. After the shower the contractions were coming really hard now. I couldn't talk through them. They were every 4 and a half minutes. I had to stop what I was doing and concentrate on each contraction. I decided to get myself ready, eat dinner and if they were still bad, we would go to the hospital. We were following the 411 rule: contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for an hour. I was trying to dry my hair while having contractions! Call me vain, but I did not want my hair to dry all funky and go to the hospital looking like a mess. We came upstairs to eat dinner and I had to stop and concentrate on each contraction while eating. But again, if I was going to  be in labor for another 12 hours I wanted my stomach full! Plus I had heard they don’t let you eat once in the hospital. After dinner it was definitely time to go! We grabbed the last minute items to throw in our bags. Once we were ready to go, I had Doug give me a blessing that everything with the delivery would go smoothly. Then we were off!

The car ride to the hospital was long. I couldn't talk through the contractions, I just squeezed Doug’s hand. We got up to Labor and Delivery about 6:30pm. They checked us in and got me hooked up on the contraction monitor and the baby heart rate monitor. The nurse checked me at 6:45pm and said I was at 2.5 cm dilated and was about 90% effaced. She was surprised by how low Avery’s head was. They monitored me for an hour during which I had several contractions. They hurt so bad! I squeezed Doug’s hand and had to cry through some of them. I sure hoped I was progressing. No way could they send me home now after we had patiently waited three days to go to the hospital!

After an hour, at 7:45 pm, the nurse came back and checked me. I was a good 3.5 cm and they said we could stay!!! The nurse said she would hook me up to the IV and I could get the epidural anytime. Hallelujah! I was ready for the drugs! At 8:30 my IV was hooked up and at 9:00pm I got the epidural. The needle felt like a butterfly kiss compared to the contractions! I was such a happy camper after that! I was cheerfully talking with Doug and the nurse.  Thank goodness for modern drugs. Why anybody would want to do a natural birth is beyond me, but power to them! The anesthesiologist had recommended I roll over each hour, but when they tried to flip me onto my right side, Avery’s heart rate dropped so they flipped me back over. I had to stay on my left side. It felt so weird not to be able to control my legs! I found it rather funny.

After my epidural was good and working, the doctor came in and broke my water. That was at 9:15. I didn't know how long things were going to take after that so Doug and I tried to relax. He was working on a humanities paper. I was just laying with my eyes closed. I was too excited to sleep.

At 10:15 they checked me again and I was dilated to 6.5 cm. I was so surprised how fast things were going. The nurse came again at 11 and I was dilated to 9 cm! I could not believe it! From everything I had heard I was expecting it to take up to 16 hours before the baby came and here we were only 5 hours after coming to the hospital and almost ready to push. The nurse went to prepare for the delivery. Doug and I could not relax after that! We were too excited. He put on some pump-up jams for me and we anxiously rocked out for awhile.

At 12:00 am the nurse came in, everything was set up and ready to go to start pushing. The doctor said we could go ahead and start without him. The nurse went ahead and called the doctor so he could be ready.

At 12:05 I started to push. It was hard to know what I was doing. I could barely feel the contractions thanks to the epidural. The nurse said she could see the baby’s head! I asked Doug if he could see hair. He said yes. I asked what color it was and he said dark. I felt so much love, joy and relief after I heard that. To know she was really coming was absolutely amazing. The nurse wheeled over a mirror so I could see the birth happening. It helped me push and motivated me because I could see her head crowning!

At about 12:20 ish the doctor arrived. He said I would need an episiotomy. I kept pushing and watching in the mirror. With one push I saw her cheeks come out. It was so amazing. Then the doctor told me to do little pushes to get her body out. It was so much longer than I thought it was going to be. She looked perfect. They put her on my stomach on a towel really quick, then took her away to measure her. She was born at 12:50 am on Monday September 15th, 2014, six dayas late. She was perfect. I remember crying as they laid her on me. I was so filled with joy and love. Avery was 7 lbs 13 oz and 20 inches long. She was perfect. All of her tiny features were perfect. I started to tear up when they put her on me. Doug and I are so in love with our perfect little daughter. Labor only took 7 hours (not including the 3 previous days of contractions). I am so blessed to be her mother. I love her so much. Now my baby is two weeks old. I can't remember what life was like before her. She is my whole world. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Waiting Game

My due date is on Tuesday! I can't believe that I can finally say it is here. I have made it! The doctor made it very clear to me last week that I should prepare myself as best as I can for her to be late. Awesome. I love waiting. I was wondering, how do you prepare for something like that exactly? I can only fold and re-fold her little PJs so many times! I have already painted my fingernails twice and I think I have walked the neighborhood enough times to recall what type of flowers are in everybody's yards. Hopefully I can think of somethings to pass the time this week since she seems to be taking her time getting here.

In the meantime, let's look at her parents' baby pictures. It is fun to imagine what she will look like.Will she have daddy's lips or momma's chipmunk cheeks?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let the Baby Countdown Begin!

We are officially two thirds of the way done with this pregnancy. Only 12 weeks left to go. I can't believe we are almost there. Baby is moving around a lot. She is getting so big that I can feel her moving and turning, not just the random kicking and jabbing. It is pretty weird to watch your stomach move on its own. She is even responding to the outside world. If I fold my arms over my stomach or Doug leans on her, she starts kicking and letting us know we are squashing her. She gets the hiccups at least once a day. Now that is a weird sensation. I feel so much more connected to her now that she moves so much and can respond to me. I have had a couple weird baby dreams now. One may have included my mom also having a baby and us sharing baby clothes. I also dreamed I went back to work one week after having the baby. Ha, like that would ever happen.

Current cravings include anything sugary. Milkshakes, cookies, donuts, it all sounds good. I am getting good practice with my self-control. I am also loving lemonade right now. Good change from drinking so much water down here in the desert. Last week, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese sounded delicious. Now if you know me, you know that I do NOT like mac and cheese. Not the boxed kind, not the homemade kind, none of it. I think it had been about 8 years since I had eaten mac and cheese. I figured it was about time to give it another try. I finally got my hands on a box and cooked it up. Boy, was that good comfort food. I probably ate 3/4 of the box! It was incredible. Creamy, cheesy, and delicious. A few days later at the grocery store I thought I would pick up another couple of boxes since the previous one was such a hit. I cooked up the box, dished it up in my bowl, got about 5 bites in and decided I once again did not like macaroni and cheese. I think it will be fine if I don't eat anymore for another 8 years. I don't know why mac and cheese tasted so good on Sunday and so nasty on Tuesday, but that's pregnancy for you I guess.

We are so excited for our little girl to arrive! We still have lots of things to buy and prepare, so I for one am glad that there are still 12 more weeks. Ahh! Only 12 more weeks until I am a mom! I have a lot of reading to do in the next couple months.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bitty Baby Bump

Halfway done! I am 20 weeks along now, 20 more weeks to go. Little baby Parker is a girl!!! Yay! About a month ago we had a friend of a friend of a friend, who just finished ultrasound tech school practice her skills on me. She said she was pretty sure we were having a girl, but couldn't get the best view ever since little lady had her legs crossed. We trusted her but didn't want to officially announce anything until we were 100% positive.  Doug and my mom both said they felt like it was going to be a girl. Yesterday I had the official 20 week ultrasound and we clearly able to in between those tiny legs. Whew, we can officially throw away the receipts for the baby clothes we have purchased. We are so excited to be having a girl! No, we do not have a name picked out yet. We are still in the brainstorm phase. We have boy names that we both like, but for some reason girl names are just harder.

I am not sure what I thought pregnancy would be like, but I think it is living up to my expectations? The first trimester I certainly had my fill of morning sickness. Food aversions. Yuck. Basically the only food that ever sounded good was french fries. Chicken was a definite no. Yogurt, applesauce and other soft foods-- not a chance. I am pretty sure I lived on fruit snacks for a good six weeks there. It seems like everyday there was only one food that ever sounded good and that food was never in our fridge. Doug was such a good husband and always catered to my weird food moods. Bless that boy. He did the dishes everyday so I wouldn't have to deal with the soggy food and weird smells.

Now that we are in trimester two, things are  much better. Food is delicious again! I was worried there for a little bit that it would never again taste good. But luckily, I can cook again without gagging and not only that, I can eat it too! I don't think I have had very many strange cravings. I did want sour gummy worms pretty bad last week. Not sure if that counts. Right now is the awkward stage where a stranger can't tell if I have a baby bump or just ate too much Easter candy. Maternity clothes are too big, but all my normal clothes are rapidly shrinking. Dressing myself is an interesting process in the morning. I have started to feel when she kicks and punches. It is such a strange, yet wonderful feeling. It is so hard to explain what it feels like. Like a gas bubble just poked you from the inside? I am not even sure if that visual makes sense. She gets really antsy when I have been leaning forward too long and tries her best to let me know I am squishing her. Other than that, the movements are pretty sporadic.

Right now the Parker house is a disaster area as we are in the process of packing for our move to Arizona. We will be in Phoenix all summer for an internship. We were lucky enough to find a furnished apartment so we don't have to lug everything down there. Everything else is going into a storage unit. How did we accumulate so much stuff? I am really excited for this new adventure and a chance to escape the Provo bubble for a bit. Not gonna lie, I am pretty worried about the heat though. Super hot weather plus being pregnant probably equals tons of smoothies and pool time. I guess I shouldn't complain about that! We hope to be back by mid-August so this baby better not be more than 3 weeks early! I don't think it has fully sunk in yet that in just a few short months I will have a baby! I am not old enough to have a baby! When did I become an adult so fast? Life is crazy.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Zipping Through the Trees

You may remember that several weeks ago Doug and I went to Mexico. We went on an awesome zip line adventure while we were there. We rode this crazy bus/jeep vehicle up the mountain. I was afraid several times that we were going to break down on the side of the road and not make it up the mountain. It was like being on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland in real life. Once we got the top, we changed into wet suits, [heavy and tight] climbing equipment and helmets and then donned our noble steeds (aka mules) and rode them to the tippy top of the mountain. Only one way down from there! Getting back to the bottom included 10 zip lines, 2 rappel lines down waterfalls, a couple of rather sketchy rope bridges, and a very intense water slide. Oh and on the water slide you have to wear a hockey helmet and elbow pads. Yup, no joke. Seven Peaks pales in comparison to this slide.

It was such a surreal experience to be whizzing through the trees suspended by a couple of cables. Totally worth it though! I recommend it. Be warned, your upper thighs will be sore the next day from your harness being tightened every other zip line.

 They don't mess around! They just hook you upside down and say go!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Doug and I recently got back from a fun trip to Mexico! My work had a retreat, and Doug was invited as well. It was our first time out of the country. The hotel we stayed at was called Barcelo. It had its own private beach, all the pinadas (virgin pina coladas) you could drink, and so much sun! It was so warm. Doug loved the tacos, eating a mere 40 ish over the course of two days. I loved the warm ocean! I have never been in such a warm ocean.  You could actually swim in it without being numb afterwards. Totally a new experience for someone who is from the Pacific Northwest.

We mostly hung out at the resort, but one day we went zip lining through the jungle. It was an amazing experience. We first got on a boat at the hotel that took us out to the ocean and to a different bay. From there we got on a crazy bus/truck thing. Think of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. I was afraid we would never make it up the hill. Once we got to the top, we suited up in wet suits and harnesses and then rode mules to the tippy top of the mountain where we zip lined, rappelled, swam, slid, and climbed our way through the jungle. On the last zip line you had to go upside down. It was crazy. I loved it. So green and lush. More pictures to come on that! Don't want to overdo it in one post.

The "welcome" pool. You aren't even allowed to get into this one.

View from the breezeway at the hotel

Private beach and hotel next door

Chowing down on tacos

View from our room balcony

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Card Extravaganza

Hello! Yeah, I remember how to blog. It has sure been awhile. I could list off plenty of excuses for why I haven't blogged lately: no photos, nothing exciting happening in my life, blah blah blah. Mostly I am being lazy.

So, if you know me, you know that I love to do paper crafts. Mainly make cards. I found some awesome Christmas paper and have been going to town making Christmas cards the past couple weekends. I love the tan, paper-bag look of the cards. It matches the old world Christmas paper perfectly. Now I don't pretend to be awesome at making cards, I am still a beginner, but I do love it. Not to mention it entertains me for hours and hours so Doug can actually get his homework done. So here is what I have been up to lately. Let me know which one is your favorite.