Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Serious Cuteness

Okay, it does not get any cuter than this. Seriously.

Doesn't he look so tiny with that pacifier in??? Seriously, an angel.
My sweet baby.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I can do it, I can do it!

I need some motivation!

So, my first three pregnancies, I lost about 10-15 pounds after having the baby, then I hang on to the rest until after I am done nursing. I would work out 5-6 days a week, eat great, etc, but never lost anything. Once I am done nursing, 2 weeks later I drop 15-20 pounds. It's crazy. my body must store it to help the baby or something?! So this time I lost a little more in the beginning, but I think thats because of the stressful delivery, losing so much blood, feeling sick for a little while. And now, I am stuck. Again. But, like the other times- I cannot let that stop me from doing what I know will help me FEEL good, regardless of whether I lose weight from it or not.

I need to get back to feeling like me. Now, of course, because of my situation of having my little man in the NICU and going to the hospital every morning, combined with needing to pump, I can't exactly just rearrange things like normal to work out. But I CAN certainly TRY. And I can eat better. Much better. I admit, for the last weeks, it's kinda been like "well, I'm not going to lose weight anyways." But I realize not only can I NOT have that attitude, I feel terrible the way I have been eating. I know it makes me more tired and just all around yucky. Especially since before I got pregnant, I was the healthiest I think I have ever been in my life! I want to get back to feeling that way and well, just feeling more like ME.

Having a baby, new crazy hormones, plus all the stress of what's going on in our lives right now (not even including the upcoming holidays!), I am bound to feel a little "off." But that doesn't give me the excuse to just let it all go.

So this post is my official motivation starter. I have written it publically now. I have let everyone know that I know I can do better and I am going to start right now! And from time to time, I want to post an update on how I am feeling- maybe letting it out will help push me to do the best I can. So here goes! Wish me luck ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A few Halloween pictures...

Since we didn't get any pictures ON Halloween this year, I had the kids dress up for me last week. They loved it- Kyler didn't want to dress up again for pictures (7 year ols is getting an attitude already!), but Brayden and Keaton were happy participants. ;)

Brayden was a transformer and Keaton was Mr. Incredible.

I guess I really should have said Brayden is a HAM!

Keaton still wears his costume several days a week. He is so dang cute. Anyways, fun FUN! Can't wait till next year when little Paxton can dress up too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Perspective...during the best day EVER!

During my pregnancy, a friend of mine posted a video of her babies birth story. Nothing graphic, but you could see right after the baby was born, they placed the baby on her stomach and then she held him. While I watched this, I cried and CRIED because I wanted nothing more than to be able to do the same thing. I haven't been able to with any of my kids other than my first. It was honestly heartbreaking in many ways- something so simple that I wanted SO.BAD. After I had Paxton, obviously I knew that wasn't going to happen. Instead of letting myself get worked up over things like that this time around, I have learned I have to let a lot of it go. I can't change things right now. So much of my life is out of my control, so I accept it and move on. With that being said, I look forward to things as they come up, but don't expect them until they are THERE. So yesterday I was in during my morning visit with Paxton and the doctors came by and did their rounds. At the end, I asked my usual questions and then ended with asking the doctor when they thought Paxton was stable enough to be held. I added that I didn't want to push it if he wasn't ready, but I wanted them to know that I wanted to hold him when I was allowed to. He then replied that Paxton has been really strong the past few days and that the best time was right then because he may have a few bad days again sometime soon. He then told the nurses to get things ready.

I couldn't believe it. My eyes filled with tears and I was overwhelmed with excitement, joy, nervousness and every emotion I could think of all at once. The doctor came and gave me a big bear hug and the nurses got to work!!

Skin to skin is best for the little ones, so skin to skin it is!

This was them placing him on me for the first time...5 weeks and 6 days old.

Getting all the cords, tubes, wires, etc. situated. Notice his little diaper! Notice how tiny he looks up against me! Sure puts how little he is into perspective once I was holding him.
Putting warm blankets on him. Even with the blankets, he weighed basically nothing!

Wearing a mask just to be safe...

My little peanut...on my chest..on ME! He is MY sweet baby!

I held him for an hour and he did amazing.

In fact, when they put him back, he did not like it.

Apparently, he still wanted his mama. It was so wonderful. I was so sad to put him back and leave him, but am holding on to the next moment when I can hold him again!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We've had a case of the "bleh's" at our house this week. I really am glad I had multiple kids sick at once so we can get it over with and get the germs out and move on. I can't see Paxton when I have sick kids because A. I don't want anyone to watch my kids so THEY don't get sick. and B. I have to be really careful about passing the germs along to Paxton. Not to mention the fact that this time around, Kyler was super needy and insecure and just plan old needed his mama!

I think Keaton felt a bit like this...

And Kyler definetly felt like this...
And although both kids still have lingering symptoms, I think the worst is over. And thank goodness for that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Mother's Love

There is something amazing about a Mom. And there is something even more amazing about MY Mom. I am lucky to be very close with my mom and I truly feel that she is one of my best friend's. When I had Keaton, my mom offered to come whenever I wanted...and I chose to have her come right before he came home from the hospital to help me at that time. This time, when I went on bed rest at the hospital, my mom asked if I wanted her to come and there was no hesitation. Cortney and I talked about it and decided that Friday would be the best day for her to come (I was checked in to the hospital on tuesday). I can say truly that Cortney and I were inspired because she could not have come at a better time...

Although I did not want to have the baby so early, I feel so truly blessed that my mom was HERE when I had the baby. She was not allowed in the room when I had the baby because of him being such a high risk small baby...but having her there the second I came out of the delivery was so reasurring. I truly know I could not have gotten through my hospital stay before having the baby and then coming home right after. I COULD NOT have gotten through all the emotions of everything without my mom being there. There was content and peace in my heart, a comfort, just knowing she was in the room with me.
There truly is nothing like a Mother. The night before I had Paxton, my mom had come up to the hospital and wheeled me down for an ice cream Sunday. It was awesome. Having an ice cream Sunday with my is actually such a great memory for me and such a pleasant thing to do the night before my life would change forever.

These pictures document TWO very special moments that happened when my mom was in town. The day before my mom had to leave, she and I went to the hospital together to see Paxton. When I walked in the room, they had the lights on for the first time sine I had been there. Normally even when they are checking on the baby, the lights are low. But he was being so calm that they were able to turn the lights in the room on to check on him. When my mom and I came in, I said "well hello Paxton" and he opened his eyes immedietly and was looking around. He stayed awake for about 10 minutes and it was amazing. After things calmed down, my mom and I were both feeling so peaceful and my mom said to me that she had the overwhelming feeling that my Grandma had been there with us for a moment, checking in on Paxton. I knew she was right and we both got teary eyed thinking about it. It was such a special moment that I will never forget.

The next amazing moment happened the next morning. My mom had to be to the airport first thing on Monday morning, but we had about 40 minutes we could visit with Paxton after taking the kids to school. So we were visiting with Paxton and he was very squirmy and having trouble getting settled. The doctors were in the next room doing "rounds" which means they were discussing each baby and their plan for that baby for the day. So the nurse came in and told me they were going to round on Paxton so I could come out and listen (it is my goal to be at rounds every day so I can talk to every single person involved in Paxton's care and know their plans/goals). Paxton was so unsettled that the nurse recommended my mom stay there and put her hands on him to calm him down. This was a HUGE deal because at this point, we didn't really touch Paxton. I had not even done this before...babies at this gestational age are not ready for any kind of stimulation and can only have limited touch. But it was clear, Paxton needed to be settled and since I was leaving the room, the nurse carefully placed my mom's hands on Paxton in a very sweet and special way. It was such a sweet moment. My sweet mom stood so still, being so afraid of putting too much pressure on Paxton that she locked her knees and almost passed out! But once we figured it out, she was fine ;) It was actually a very sweet and special moment. Paxton calmed right down and it was such a nice moment to have right before having to go to the airport. I will never EVER forget it.

And I will never forget her staying up late and brushing and braiding my hair. Taking my kids to store, playing with them, fighting my boys to get them to do their homework, stroking their backs at night to help them fall asleep, cleaning my house, making my family dinner, doing endless laundry and ALL just for us. But more than anything, just being HERE for me during the hardest time of my life and my families lives is something I will never forget. Thank you for being the most amazing Mom and for all you have done for us. I love you Mom!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Paxton's Birth Story

This is the ever long emotional journey of the birth of our newest addition. It is long and gross in some areas...sad and emotional in others. It's not exactly the birth stroy I think I want my kids reading later, but I wanted to write down every emotion at this moment for my own records...just keep in mind, it's not the typical baby birth story...

Almost 7 weeks ago on a Sunday night, I found myself debating whether or not to go to the hospital. The few days before that I had started keeping track of my contractions, writing them down to see how often and how close together they were. They were only slightly painful, which was normal for me. But Sunday, I had pretty much had them every hour all day long- and that was WITH laying down ALL DAY. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the morning and was really just trying to make it till then without going in. Then I got a phone call. A friend of mine, neighbor AND labor and delivery nurse. We don't talk on the phone often, but she says she couldn't get me out of her mind all day and she was worried about me. I told her about my concerns. She told me to get to the hospital! At first I still denied that I really needed to go. But after talking with Cortney and his mom (who is also a nurse), we decided it was just a risk we couldn't afford to take. So his parents came over and off we went. After the doctor and nurse wrote down just about every little detail of all my birth history, they did an ultra sound and then measured my cervix. It was still long. Baby looked good. Then they "checked me" to see if I was dialated...and I was. I was a 1 and 40% effaced. My history would prove that I go from a 1 to a 10 in 24 hours...and that is WITH the doctor throwing every kind of medicine at me to stop it. I was so worried. I know some women dialate early in their pregnancies, but nothing ever comes of it. That is just not me. So they kept me on the medicine I was already on to stop the contractions and decided to watch me and then let me go to my appointment with my doctor in the morning, as long as I did not progress. To my great surprise, I did not progress all night.
The next morning, I saw my doctor who did all the same measurements and then he sent me home to come back the next morning and be checked. If there was any change, I would be admitted to the hospital. If not, we keep up on the medicine and pray for the best! And of course, strict bed rest. When I came in that Tuesday morning, my cervix had shortened significantly, I had progressed from a 1 to a 2+ (which means some doctors would call it a 2 1/2, some doctors would just call it a 2), AND the baby was feet down literally pushing on my cervix. When the doc checked me, he could FEEL the babies feet. Not a good sign. I was admitted. They threw everything in the world at me to stop the labor. That day I could not eat or drink anything all day and had literally 6 different medications going for various reasons, mostly to stop the labor.

(my boys paid me a few visits during my 2 week hospital stay)

And for some miraculous reason, all the medicines worked! I had no contractions for 24 hours and more importantly, my cervix did not change. No more was a miracle! We took a huge sigh of relief...and although my contractions did slowly come back...we thought we had bought ourselves some time. And we did. Just not as much time as we had hoped. (See below my oh so faithful notebook where I wrote every single contraction down. You will notice my handwriting was terrible...that's because I would write them down about half way through the contraction so I knew how long it was going to be and how painful to make note of...)

There was one night when my contractions were especially bad. I cried and screamed through each one. They were as painful as when I HAD Brayden. Yes, HAD, as in dialated to a 10 and pushing him out with no epidurhal! That was the night I asked for pain medicine. Seriously, I hoped to be pregnant for several more weeks at least, but how can one last several WEEKS of those kind of contractions. Did I mention my contractions were anywhere from 3-5 minutes long? Yup. We timed them. Me and the nurses and the doctors because they just couldn't believe it. My back was in constant pain by this point. But once I got on pain medicine, it was a lot better. I then had 2 really calm, nice days and finally said to my nurse "I am going to try to go without the pain medicine tonight, I had felt really good all day." That was when it all started again.
Around 2 in the morning I still couldn't sleep, I had a mega-ultra terrible contraction again and my nurse came in right away with pain medicine. She recommended a hot shower (which has a seat that I sat in) to help ease the pain. I did not argue. I got in and it still wasn't very comfortable. I got out, went to the bathroom and was bleeding. It wasn't a lot, but not good for me. They had the doctor come in a check me and I was a 4 and 80% effaced. Great. Here it comes again. I think at this point I knew my placenta was abrupting and there was truly no turning back. It was a very sad, emotional moment. They sent me to labor and delivery and my pain lessened a little on the contractions, but they also gave me even stronger pain medicine. They also gave me lots of medicines again to stop the labor. They checked me a few times over the next few hours and I stayed the same, so I waited to call Cort until 6:00am so he could sleep a little. He came right away and everything seemed okay until one time when they checked me they told me my water bag was bulging. I knew if my water broke, it was all over. And it was. My water broke a few hours later and they checked me, I was a 7. By this point, every time they checked me I was bleeding. They said my placenta was abrupting, so the baby needed to be born now. There was no stopping it. They sent me to the OR, the baby's head was down, but they needed me in there to pass him directly to the NICU. We thought I would go straight to a 10 in 30 minutes, but with all the medicines to stop the labor, apprently they worked a little because it took me about 2 hours to get a 10 from there. After about 30 mins, they started the pitocin. Slowly but surely I made it there. Time to push. It took about 6 good pushes to get him out, which quite frankly shocked me because Brayden and Keaton were out in 1 push each. But I could not feel where to push...normally even with an epidurhal, I can still feel where to push. But not this time. So it took a little longer. Finally, he came out and Cortney and I sobbed and sobbed. I could not believe I had this baby so little. I tried hard to look at him at the bottom of the table but part of me could not move, I was numb. So I saw him a little, but what I saw more was them passing him into the NICU. He was so little. How could a baby possibly be that little? I cried harder and Cortney did too. And then things got really painful. They were trying to get my placenta out. Now, with my last two, it literally flew out on its own. Not this time. They pushed and pushed and my eppidurhal had worn off and I screamed. And cried. And screamed. They called the tech back in and he gave me more epidurhal. Finally, they got it out and discovered that it had broken apart in little pieces...inside ME! So they had to clamp me open and get it out with forcepts (a DNC). From the time I had Paxton to the time they were done with everything, I think it was about an hour. It was terrible. Even when I couldn't feel the pain, it was terrible. And I was sad. And then I was shivering. The epidurhal had made me very sick and I could not stop shivering, chattering my teeth. I felt freezing, then hott, then freezing. They put 4 warm blankets and a quilt on me. I think THAT lasted another hour, then I calmed down. This part was now in my room with my mom, mother and father in law and Cort's Grandma Nammie. I am not going to lie. This part was so hard for me. I just had a very early baby and I was sick emotionally and physically. I was so grateful when it stopped and I started feeling better.

The whole time all this was going on, Cort asked the nurse every hour or so when he could go and see the baby. We were anxious. I knew I couldn't see him until I was able to at least ride in a wheel chair, but Cort could go right away. The NICU kept passing word along that they were still trying to get all the IV's and lines in. Lines are tubes (tiny) placed so they don't have to poke his foot every 2 hours for blood gases, etc. They could just draw blood, give medicine, etc without poking him. They are similar to IV's, but don't leave a big needle in somewhere! Because the baby's veins were so little and hard to find, it took them a long time. Cortney wasn't able to see him until around 6:30pm or so and we had the baby at 1:47. After Cort finally saw him, he took my mom to go see him. Shortly after they saw him, they went home to take care of our other kids. Around 9:00 that night, I was able to see Paxton for the first time.

It was emotional. I *KNEW* and had told myself he was so little, that he would look so frail and fragile, which he did. But there is something about having a baby in an incubator, hooked up to tubes, that makes the reality of our new life so sad. And overwhelming. And I was so disappointed I had not been able to stay pregnant longer. I was physically feeling sore in every direction and uncomfortable. And sad for my kids at home that have to go with their Mom and Dad leaving them all the time and feeling abandonded. There are/were so many emotions.

And then the Lord steps in, puts a hand on my heart and tells me that it will all work out. I knew that everything had happened for a reason. And we don't know why. But he does. And I put my faith in him and let go of the saddness and the worry. And I let go of all the things that are now out of my control and try my best to do the best I can with the situation I am in. We are so blessed that other kids turned out so healthy and strong. And so we pray that the same will happen for our new baby. We put it all in the Lord's hands and let him take over.

And our nwe life began. Paxton Cortney Larson, born October 5th at 1:47pm at 25 weeks and 6 days gestation. Weighing 2 pounds, 5 ounces, 14 3/4 inches long. He is a miracle!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The bloodiest Halloween ever!

It's been a rough week. I wish I had all these fabulous Halloween photos to post, but the truth is, Halloween was spent all day at the hospital. But not for Paxton. For ME! I really need to get around to finishing writing Paxton's birth story, because that would tell the tale of how after I had Paxton, my placenta broke apart into many different pieces. They had to do a DNC on me to get all the pieces out. Apparently it is really hard to tell placenta from a blood clot- they look similar. And after you have the baby, you have a lot of blood clots inside. So they thought they had gotten it all, gave me a shot to stop the bleeding, stitched up my then-mutilated cervix and it was done. They told me the signs to look for in case they did not get it all. Like hemmoriging. Yeah, that. So I am walking through Target on Monday with ALL THREE BOYS and can tell that I am bleeding (which I have not stopped since having the baby...I know, too much information). So I keep going about my business but can tell I am bleeding a lot. I then look down and my clothes are soaked THROUGH WITH BLOOD. It is down my legs and everything. (can you say your worst high school night mare? starting your period at school and not having anything to cover it up....yeah) So I grab the boys, we head to the bathroom where clot after clot after CLOT comes out. It was everywhere. It was terrible. I call my doc who says to go to the nearest emergency room. After changing my clothes and dropping off my kids, I'm in the ER. The bleeding stopped for a time, then it came back with a vengance and it was terrible. They did an ultrasound and could see there was still placenta to be removed. They had to do another DNC to get it out...but at least this time they put me out for it! Cortney met me there later and his parents took our boys trick or treating. We did not get home until 9:30 that night and I was very sick from the anestesia.

Lets just say, the worst Halloween ever! BUT my kids had a great time with their Grandparents and I am so happy for that. I just wish I had thought to ask them to take pictures. We are going to have them dress up another time and take some soon...they were so seriously cute~!

AND now let's move on to Paxton...

He had a GREAT week!

I made him a blanket to go over his issolette. Like my other boys, it has his name on it...
This little tyke is now a whopping 3 pounds! He is on a conventional ventilator and starting to eat again (through a tube, of course). His lungs are clearing up and he is all around so much healthier than he used to be. He still has a long ways to go, but I am so grateful for how well he is doing right now.

Thanks again for all the love and prayers that are always sent our way...we can tell they are working!!