Sorry, no pictures today!

I have some time…Isabela is sleeping but she usually only sleeps for 15-30 minutes at a time, so this may be pretty short.

This week started off horrible! Isabela’s reflux was really bad, so I ended up calling her doctor to ask her to switch her medication The doctor agreed with me, and Isabela was switched to Prevacid.

Let me back up a bit. Last Saturday, Isabela decided she wanted nothing to do with Chris! It was horrible, because she was feeling really sick that day and had cried all day. Nothing could console her, and she couldn’t sleep because she kept refluxing. So, by the time Chris got home I really needed a break. As soon as Chris put her in his arms, she started screaming like I have never heard her scream! I took her and calmed her down and tried to put her down in her swing, bouncy seat, boppy pillow, but she just wanted me to hold her. I had been holding her all day, and I really needed to just get out of the house before I pulled all my hair out! We tried giving her a warm bath, which she loves, and then giving her to daddy, but she wasn’t having that!
So, this is bad, but I kind of felt good that she only wanted me, but then I felt bad for Chris, because I knew that he felt horrible.

Chris had a really busy week that week. Since Chris’s daddy leave ended, I had been the one getting up all through the nights with Isabela. Chris works crazy hours, so I wanted him to have his rest. But that week, Isabela rarely saw Chris because he worked so long into the evenings, so I was pretty much the only one she spent time with. We think that may have been a factor, so Chris decided to get up with her once a night, to get some extra bonding time. That seemed to have helped a lot, and so far that one day hasn’t repeated itself (thank GOD).

So, basically, this week kind of felt like hell. Poor little Isa just had a rough time with the reflux, and she barely slept all week. She couldn’t sleep longer than 15 minutes without waking up screaming and throwing up. Even if she slept in my arms, she would be awake crying within minutes! At night, she would wake up every 30 min-1 hour, and you could just hear all the reflux stuff in her throat. I felt so horrible for her! I don’t care about getting my sleep – I just wanted her to get the rest she needed to recover from all the daytime stimuli.

I know how lucky we are to have a healthy baby, and I know that she will grow out of the reflux by the time she is 1 (hopefully). However, it is so frustrating to see her in pain, and to feel so helpless to do anything about it! I don’t want to sound as if I am complaining, because I’m not, and I know it could be so much worse. WE are soooo lucky that acid reflux is our only problem.

But, sometimes I just feel so exhausted and lonely in all of this. All of my friends who have babies have been pretty lucky, and haven’t had to go through any of this. The girls who were pregnant with me, well their babies have all been sleeping through the night for some time, and they can feed their babies without any trouble at all. Well, I am totally jealous of them, but the point is that I am kinda feeling a little alone in this situation. I have a lot of people I can vent to, but it’s hard to feel like I am getting any kind of validation for my feelings…..and selfish me (: I’m really needing that validation right now. So, if there is anyone out there who has gone through this, let me know! It would just be nice to have an understanding ear.

(Crossing my fingers), The past 3 days and 2 nights have gone pretty well. I pray they continue to go well, and that Isabela’s new medication is really helping her!


please pray

For an old friend of mine. She just had her first baby, but the baby came really early! She was 26 weeks pregnant when she went into labor. The baby is not incubated, but she is still in the NICU. Poor mommy can’t even hold her baby yet…she can only touch her tiny little hand! She was already discharged from the hospital and had to go home without her baby.

This just breaks my heart! Please pray for the health of her sweet baby girl! Pray that she begins thrive, that her lungs develop without complication, and that she survives! Pray for her mommy, that she will experience an huge flow of support from her friends, families, and even strangers! Pray that God will provide for her financially. See, she was on bedrest and not working for a couple of months. THe hospital her baby girl is in is an hour away. She will be driving there everyday as she cannot afford to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the city has no Ronald McDonald house or facility like it. SO please pray that her daughter will gain weight and thrive and that God will provide her mommy with financial overflow and even a place to stay near the hospital.

Thank you!

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Birth Story!

Okay, I’m about 9 weeks late on doing this. I just really haven’t had the time, but I would like to write this out because I don’t want to forget anything!

SO – our birth “plan.” We were planning on having a natural birth, free of interventions ( meaning no drugs, no c-section). I spent weeks trying to prepare mentally for something that I basically had no control over. I prayed a lot…we prayed a lot, and waited.

So, Isabela was born 22 April at 1814 hours. My water broke the night before around 2230 hours. Right before my water broke, I was sitting at my computer, checking facebook. I had been having contractions on and off all day, but they were very irregular. I started to think that I should really started timing the contractions, so I went to I logged the first contraction, then the 2nd, and then I was like forget it!! I was thinking I probably wasn’t in labor anyway- afterall, I had been having contractions and back pain the entire week! So, I closed the laptop and stood up and then……..I felt a little pop in my abdomen. Then, I felt warm fluid run down my leg and I knew it! My water had just broken!! Yeah!!

SOOOO, I then yelled down the stairs for Chris to come up. He, of course, yelled back why. I told him he just better come upstairs. He came up and I was like my water really broke!! ( I played an April Fools joke on him, so I needed him to believe me, haha). Well, I was still leaking and the fluids were blood tinged. We both just kind of stood there, wondering what to do next.
I was so excited knowing we were going to meet Isabela finally, and I immediately started shaking all over! We called Labor and Delivery and they told me I could come up there now if I wanted too, or I could wait until the contractions got stronger. We opted to wait it out a little.

Before I go any further, I just want to say that during this entire time, I followed God’s voice. I believe he was speaking to my heart, and I made sure to follow that little voice, and I am SO glad that I did.

OKAY. After calling L&D, we called our doula. She also recommended that we wait it out at home, til the contractions got closer. So, I tried to lay down and get some sleep, but couldn’t. I told Chris to try and get some sleep, and I started getting some last minute items together, texting people, and emailing people. The contractions were about 7 minutes apart, and I was only feeling them in my back. This confirmed what I already thought to be true…that Isabela was head down but facing the wrong direction. I tried not to worry, as my midwife told me that babies often turn at the last minute.

After about an hour passed I woke Chris up and told him that I felt we just needed to go to the hospital now. The contractions were still 7 minutes apart, but were getting stronger, and I just felt God wanted us to leave now. So we prayed together and left for the hospital. We got there, and stubborn me refused the wheel chair and opted to walk. Got checked in, hooked up to monitors, and I was so glad that I listened to God’s voice. I was already 4-5 cm dialated! Yeah!

After an hour in the monitoring room, they moved me into the birthing room. My doula had arrived and things seemed to be progressing nicely. EXCEPT, they didn’t want to remove me from the monitors yet. They didn’t like the way Isabela’s heart rate was deaccelerating. From that moment, I started to feel a little uneasy.

Soooo, with active labor upon me, we begin to breathe together. I was having only back labor, with NO breaks in between. When a contraction would stop, I was having intense stabbing back pain in between. I admit, it was horrible! Later, I found out that back labor contractions are supposed to be way more painful than regular labor contractions. Definitely true! After about 30 minutes in the birth room, they removed the monitors. At this point I was at 7 cm dilated. I was now free to walk and get into the whirlpool bath. While I waited for the bath to fill up, we did some deep breathing and different positions to help relieve the pain. Jun-Nicole, my doula, was doing some massage and applying pressure to my back. I remember sitting and standing, leaning face forward into Chris, and trying to imagine happy memories (:

We went into the bath after this, and it did feel a little better. The contractions at this point were horrible and I knew that I was going through transition, which is the most painful part of labor. I started shaking pretty bad, and the shaking didn’t stop from there on. We stayed in the whirpool tub for maybe 30 minutes. The warm water felt great, but towards the end, I begin to feel like I needed to be out of the bath. At this point, I also began to feel like Isabela wasn’t going to turn. I also felt so exhausted. I was so tired. The contractions didn’t seem to be as painful,now that the transition labor was ending,but I had been laboring this whole time with NO breaks at all between contractions. I felt like I could go on without drugs, but I also felt like I needed the drugs. Something inside me just told me that it was going to be a long and hard labor and that I needed the rest.

Chris did great at convincing me to hold out a little longer, but eventually, I made the decision to have an epidural. I got the epidural between 7-8 cm dilated. After being in labor since around 2300 hours with no break in between contractions, I felt like I would have no energy when the time to push came. So, I got the epidural around 0630 hours. I had been laboring for 7.5 hours with no pain relief…guess that wasn’t too bad. I do have to say that sitting still for the epidural wasn’t bad at all. I was sitting, leaning on Chris, while Jun-Nicole did some more massage stuff and began talking calmly to me. She was saying things like, “talk to your baby, go into the womb and talk to your baby.” Sounds silly to you guys – but it really worked at keeping me calm. Not once did I scream or yell or go out of control. I was so happy to have Jun there, and Chris of course, and felt so at peace with them. Anyhow…

I was amazed at how fast and effective the epidural was. The pain was gone and I couldn’t even feel my contractions at all. The midwife, Laura, (who was amazing), checked me and confirmed that Isabela was still facing the wrong way (DUH!!). She had me lay belly down, with my legs and arms facing opposite directions of some sort. She called it the Texas roll, lol. At this point I was so glad I had the epidural. I could not imagine laying down on my belly during labor, with no drugs…it would have been horrible. So, I layed this way for several hours, while Chris and Jun-Nicole slept. I tried to sleep, but my hormones must have been keeping me up, plus nurses checked on me very consistently.

At 1040, I was finally at 10 cm dilated. I was told that for a first time mother, I had progressed very well. The midwife was pleased that I waited so long before getting an epidural, because apparently, it sped up the process. Isabela STILL hadn’t turned around, but we were going to start pushing! The midwife told me that the average first time mom who has had an epidural pushes for about 4 hours at the max.

So the pushing began. I was told that I was a very good pusher, lol. My response was that I am very good at following directions, and I thought it was funny that you can actually be a bad pusher. About 3 hours went by, but Isabela wasn’t getting past a certain station (can’t remember). I could tell by the look at the midwife’s eyes that things werent going to go well at this point. She got some other nurses in the room, and they began to have me push in different positions, that were supposed to help Isabela turn. After changing postions and pushing more, the midwife checked me and said that she thought Isabela’s head was turned the wrong way and stuck in my pelvic area. It was too far up to use a vacuum or forceps, and she wanted to know if I would be okay with her getting some outside advice from some residents. We said yes.

SOO, a resident came in, and confirmed this. She said that there was another resident who had some luck with turning babies who were faced in this position. She said there was a 50 percent chance it would work. So, we said we would try it. At this point, I think my room had the midwife, chris, Jun, several nurses, several students, and at least 4 residents in it! They all wanted to come meet me…because they heard that I had been pushing for 6 hours and was still full of energy and determined to have a vaginal birth. Apparently, most women ask to have c-sections after about 2 hours of pushing. Ha. Not me…I was REALLY wanting to have a vaginal birth.

Anyhow, the resident came in to try and turn the baby. Hooked me up to an ultrasound to make sure Isabela was facing the wrong way, which she was. Then, she tried to get Isabela to turn. This was the worst part of it. YES, she had to use her hand to turn her head. And, even though I had the epidural, I could feel it. I felt a little pop,and then it was over. Then all of a sudden, everyone was around me, and they put an oxygen mask on me. I began to feel scared….. What happened was that Isabela didn’t respond well to the turn and her heart rate began to deaccelerate, and didn’t seem to recover quickly. We waited about 10 minutes and finally her heart rate began to look good. SO, then I began to try and push again. Lots of pushing. I was so glad that I did tons of squats while pregnant, and lifted weights, because this helped me immensely. Jun and Chris were awesome! I was so glad I had a doula because Chris had lots of to rest, take breaks, and to eat. He was also able to intercept the dozens of phone calls we were getting from family.

OK, so I pushed maybe for another hour. The residents and midwife came back in, and checked me. Isabela had turned back to her original position!!! The resident told me that she would try and turn Isabela again, but if it didn’t work, they would take me in for an emergency c-section. OK.

No, not okay. I told her that we would talk about it first. I did NOT want to be put under, which is what happens usually during an emergency c-section. I also didn’t want to take another chance that Isabela’s heart rate would suffer again. So we called her back in, and told her that we would just have the c-section and not try to turn her again. At this point I had pushed for about 8 hours! That is a very LONG time, which I would find out later!

They gave me more drugs and antibiotics and took me into surgery. This was the worst part for me. I wasn’t prepared for the c-section mentally, and felt so disappointed in myself for some reason. But, I knew I made the right decisions all through the labor process. Thank GOD. So, during the c-section, I felt nothing at all. I was numb from the neck down and kinda started to freak out. Luckily the anesthesiologist was awesome and calmed me down. Things become blurry at this point. I make Chris retell this part all the time, and I think that is what hurt me a the most…not being able to remember because of the drugs.

Anyhow, I remember looking up at the doctor and him looking like he was pulling very hard. His arms were shaking and he was sweating. Apparently, i was such a good pusher that Isabela was stuck way down in my pelvic bone area. He had a hard time getting her out! ( By the way, it was the weirdest thing. Nurses, doctors and midwives that came to visit me during the hospital stay would all comment on how long I pushed and how good of a pusher I was…lol)

I remember Chris getting up, saying she was out, but not hearing a cry. My heart jumped. THen FiNALLY, I heard her cry and my heart jumped again! I was already in love and I had not even seen her. I waited for them to put her over the curtain but they didn’t. I layed there and wondered if I would ever forget the sound of her first cry. I think the answer is no. The midwife came over and said they had to give her some oxygen because she wasn’t breathing well at first, but now she was doing great and had gotten an 8 on the AGPAR. Then, Chris brought her to me, and I was able to look at her and kiss her. Then they took her away from me and began to stitch me up. Chris went with Isabela, and Jun stayed with me.

This is the part I really don’t remember. I became quite delirious from the drugs, but I remember Jun stroking my forehead, and I knew I fell asleep. I felt like I was in there forever, and I just wanted to see my baby!! About an hour later, they put me in recovery. I was still shaking profusely, and I kept asking when I could see my baby. My mom was there at this point, and it felt great to see her and feel how much she loved me. Chris went to find out why they hadn’t brought Isabela yet, and I remember laying there….feeling nervous and scared because I was shaking so much. They FINALLY brought her in about an HOUR later!! Does anyone realize how long that is???

Anyhow, she was so beautiful and perfect. Her nose was crooked from being pressed against my pelvic bone (: We got to breastfeed, and she fed like a little pro! I felt so perfect. WHen I had her, my body stopped shaking, and I was just in awe of her. There are no words to describe perfectly what I was feeling. I still cry thinking of the time we first met. I love her so much. It’s the closest I will ever come to experiencing God’s love for me.

SO, things didn’t go at all the way we planned! Obviously. But, the end result – PRICELESS! I hope that for our next child, I will get to experience the natural childbirth that I hoped for this time. THE END!

Sorry this is so long, but I wrote this more for me than for anyone else. I don’t know how I could have made it shorter!

***EDIT***Things I forgot to add.
1. I actually became very nauseous and threw up while laboring. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but I believe it was somewhere in between 5-7 cm dilated, and definitely before I got the epidural.

2. My tailbone was extremely sore for weeks after the birth. I was told it was because of the back labor, because her head was continually pressing down on my tailbone. It hurt to sit down and to sleep on my back.

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Summer Nostalgia

Yesterday, I left the house for 2 hours…thats the longest I have ever been away from our tiny. Chris was supposed to try and give her a bottle during this time frame….but Isabela is so gosh darn stubborn and decided to just wait for me to come back. She didn’t cry or anything! She just knew I wasn’t there and showed no sign of hunger until the minute I walked back into the door! Smarty pants she is, but I just wish she would take a bottle..grrr!

Anyhow, not the point of this note.

SO yesterday, I finally felt like summer was here – it had to be at least 80 degrees outside. And, it was seriously humid. Not Louisiana humid of course, but pretty darn close. And as I was walking through the sticky, sweet humidity, I began to wish that I had a swimming pool to jump into, and a Chacho’s margarita….and maybe a sno cone.

I began to think of when I was a child. We didn’t have a lot and neither did our neighbor friends. In fact, we used to sit around and argue who was poorer! Isn’t that funny? Each and every one of us was pretty sure that our family was the poorest and would argue very passionately about it.
Isn’t that silly? We were definitely silly!

So, Lousiana has the worst humidity ever! As a kid, our town only had one swimming pool, and it was only open nights twice a week. So we used to play all kinds of silly water games. Water gun fights, water balloon fights….taking turns spraying each other with the hose until the one being sprayed couldn’t take it anymore, lake days…and of course, slip and slides. Those were definitely fun times!

I than began to think about our 4 years stationed in San Antonio, which is an extremely hot and dry climate. No, we didn’t have a swimming pool than, but we didn’t really need one. See, they have these things called “Home Owners Associations” and most of the time, every neighborhood has their own pool. And we should, considering home owners have to pay an average of about 500 dollars a year to these associations. And if you don’t own a home, no problem! Pretty much ever apartment complex has it’s own swimming pool, as well. The really nice apartments have locked gates, but the other ones….well its pretty easy to just drive up and jump into the pool. Also, I can’t forget weekends at the Guadalupe River and the Gulf Coast beaches. I miss those days!

So, I must admit, I do like the humidity. It reminds me of swimming and sno cones (raspas (: )

And, as we enter into this Iowa summer….I am intensely nostalgic. I must admit that I was incredibly surprised at the amount of humidity in Iowa, but it makes my heart a little happy inside to think of the sweet memories I have from my southern homes.

Yay for swimming pools, beaches, margaritas, slip and slides, and sno cones!!!! (And also yay for the little taco shack down the street from our old house in San Antonio that sold the best funnel cakes, smoothies, roasted corn, and tacos al pastor.)

Summer memories anyone? I’d love to hear them?

8 weeks tomorrow!

Here is a picture of Isabela right after bath time. Thats why she looks so sad. She hates bath time! Anyhow, its also the only time that her hair lays flat on her head. She looks like such a different baby without all that crazy hair! (:
As soon as her hair dries, it is sticking up and out and is wild and crazy – and we love it!