Dylan’s story

It is kind of crazy how drastically different the stories are about how our boys came into this world.  With Jacob, everything was new uncharted territory for us, there was a lot of anticipation and wondering about the unknown.  This time around, I felt more confident and knew what to expect having been through the labor and delivery process before, except I didn’t, because it was completely different.

On April 30th I had a check up with my OB and I was telling her that I was ready to have this baby and my time with my mom here to help was running out.  So we talked about being induced if he didn’t come by his due date.  We looked at her schedule and called the hospital for availability and scheduled an induction for May 6th (3 days after my due date).  I left that appointment feeling better since we now had a plan, if nothing happened before, then I knew that we would be having a baby on the 6th.

A few days later on May 4th, the contractions I was having were getting more intense and more frequent.  I was one day past my due date and I wanted to get checked out and see what was going on.  So Justin and I went to triage and they were pretty busy, but we didn’t have to wait too long before getting checked in.  They hooked me up to the machines and monitored me for an hour.  I was 2.5 cm dilated and was having contractions every 3-5 minutes, but they just were not doing anything.  The nurse told me that I had the option to walk around for 2 hours then come back and see if anything changed, but at that moment I was not in “active enough” labor to be admitted.  We didn’t want to waste time walking around the hospital since I was doing plenty of walking up and down the stairs at home and walking around during all of our errands.  So we went home.

The contractions continued, on May 6th, induction day, I got a phone call at 6:00 am from the hospital telling me that they were so busy and instead of coming in for my induction at 9:00 am, to call them at 9:00 am to see what time I should come in.  When I made the call they told me that they were full with women who were in active labor and I was put on standby but not to expect any availability before noon.  By then I was getting frustrated because “my plan” to have this baby kept getting delayed.  My OB’s office called and said they were working with the hospital to see what they could do to get me in.  As the day went on with no increase in labor and no phone call from the hospital telling me to come in for my induction, I started realizing that it wasn’t going to happen that day.  At 6:00 pm my OB’s office called to tell me that my induction had been pushed back to Friday, May 8th.

The good thing about my induction being postponed was the next day I was able to go to the Mother’s Day brunch at Jake’s preschool!

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I even got my big belly in the teeny tiny preschool chairs and had quiche, fruit and bagels with Jake while admiring the place mat, coffee cup, and crafts he painted and made for me.  Then after realizing I had a miscommunication with my cleaning lady and she was not coming that day as we thought, my mom, Justin’s mom and I cleaned our house before we had to go back and pick Jake up from school.  See what I mean about the whole walking/moving around vs resting up for baby…there was no resting going on.  That night after dinner I had some spotting and my contractions were still going at it, so Justin and I went back to triage.

After getting checked out and monitored, I was still only 2.5 cm dilated and my contractions were the same, just not progressing.  This time they were not as busy and since I was past my due date the doctor wanted me to stay at the hospital and walk around but she didn’t want to admit me to labor and delivery yet.  So we were told to walk around for 2 hours and come back.  I was ready to have this baby and didn’t want to go home only to come back the next day for my induction, or run the risk of them calling me to tell me not to come in for my induction because they were busy.  I had my foot in the door and I was not taking it out!  So we walked…we went up and down every hallway, we looked at all the pictures on the wall and read all the plaques next to the pictures.  We explored the “Suzy’s Zoo” artwork on display in the hallway leading into the NICU, which reminded me so much of my Grandma since she used to write notes to me on Suzy’s Zoo cards all the time.  Since it was late, the coffee cart was closed and when we asked the reception desk if there was somewhere Justin could get a cup of coffee they said there was not.  When we were walking away, one of the ladies ran after us and said she would get Justin a cup from the doctor’s lounge, another point for Mary Birch, we love this hospital!  We rode the elevator between floors and smiled and nodded at the same people we passed countless times.  As we walked we talked, it was kind of nice since Justin and I rarely have 2 hours of uninterrupted time, away from home and all the distractions to just talk.  Twice we stopped to sit down and rest, my back was killing me.  After the second time we sat down it was about 10:15pm and we got up to walk out the last 15 minutes of our 2 hours and my water broke! Hallelujah!  I was so happy and we quickly made our way back to triage.  After getting changed and hooked back up to the machines, they checked me and said I was still only 2.5, maybe 3 cm dilated.  We started the admitting process and they took me up to Labor and Delivery.  Justin’s parents arrived at our house to take over with Jake and my mom came to the hospital.  Since the contractions were still tolerable and I was not that far dilated I decided not to get the epidural right away.  We turned off the lights and laid down to try and get some rest (finally that rest that everyone keeps talking about!) Only it wasn’t too restful for me…It wasn’t long before my contractions started getting stronger and more intense.  Finally I told Justin to get a nurse because I was in pain and wanted the epidural.  The nurse checked me and I was 7 cm dilated, she told me that the anesthesiologist was tied up in a double emergency cesarean section and would not be able to get to me for another 30-45 minutes.  At that point my contractions were coming fast and furious and shortly after I felt the intense need to push.  I told my mom to get the nurses again and when she opened the door they were all huddled around my monitor outside the room waiting, they knew it was coming.  They came in and bustled around the room getting everything ready.  I kept thinking, no you can’t get things ready yet, I haven’t had my epidural yet!  Then they started coaching me through the pushing process.  After a few pushes, one of the nurses told me that his heart rate was dropping with every contraction so they needed to get him out asap and she left to get the doctor.  Then the anesthesiologist walked in and I was never so happy to see anyone in my life.  He apologized that I had to wait and said he heard I wanted an epidural and I said yes!  Before he could say anything else the lead nurse walked in and said, sorry no time, the doctor is on her way and we are getting this baby out now.  The anesthesiologist wished me luck and reassured me that I was in good hands and left.  I looked at Justin and my mom and said I don’t want to do this without an epidural! But I really didn’t have a choice.  I don’t remember all the details after that since it happened pretty quickly.  But basically the doctor showed up, she attached a suction cup to his head and after a couple of pushes, he was out.  The cord was wrapped around his neck, that is why his heart rate kept dropping.  From the time I started pushing to the time he was born was only 30 minutes, it felt a lot longer than that!  They put him on my chest and we snuggled for about an hour and a half before they took him to check his stats.

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Before the doctor left she congratulated me saying that I was part of an “elite group” to have a baby naturally, I don’t think I responded to her, I was in shock. Looking back on the process, I am kind of amazed at what happened.  It was not my choice to have a delivery without an epidural, but it really was not as bad as I thought it would be.  Of course at the time I thought this was the worse it could get, I was scared, in pain and everything was happening so fast and I was screaming. In fact, I do remember yelling “get this baby out of me!” during one of my contractions.  And Justin was convinced he was going to have to see an orthopedic surgeon to repair his hand.  No matter how many times he tried to get me to hold on to the rails on the bed or the nurses were trying to get me to grab my thighs when pushing, it was his hand that I had a death grip on. If I had gone into this wanting to do a natural birth, I’m sure it would have been completely different.  I probably would have taken the classes that teach you about meditating and focusing on something (other than your husband’s hand) and breathing techniques and I would have felt more prepared.  Then maybe it wouldn’t have been the frantic frenzy that it was.  About a week and a half later, when talking about my delivery, I remember the word that my mom and Justin used to describe it was intense…That it was…but it was all so worth it…

The result of all the waiting, the contractions, the walking, the intense delivery was the perfect addition to our family.  Dylan Luke was born on May 8, 2015 (on a rainy day, just like his brother) at 4:57am.  He was 8 lbs 3 oz and 22 inches long.  All 10 fingers and toes and a healthy set of lungs.  He is such a blessing and we are in love with this little man.

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Since Mary Birch was so busy the past few days with all those babies being born, they didn’t have any overnight rooms available, so we ended up at Sharp Memorial next door. We were quite the parade of orderlies, nurses, me in a wheelchair holding Dylan, my mom and Justin with all our bags walking through back hallways, underground tunnels between the hospitals and staff elevators to get to our room.  That evening, my mom brought Jacob to the hospital to meet Dylan.

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The next morning Justin’s family came

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I was recovering nicely and Dylan was doing well so we only had to stay one night. We had a checklist of tests and and things that needed to get done before we could leave, including the hearing test, which Dylan passed with flying colors (thank you God!)

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After getting our discharge checklist completed we went home, to the other crazy part of our lives, packing up our house, sickness and moving…More on that to come.

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If there is one thing I’ve learned about my body after two deliveries is after my water breaks, things tend to happen really fast.  And after this time around, IF we decide to have a third (that is a BIG if) I’ve learned not to wait to get the epidural after my water breaks.  Of course things would probably be completely different that time around too!

And I leave you with more pictures of our sweet boy.

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40 Weeks

I never dreamed I would go past my due date.  The old wives tales always say that you are late with your first babies…Jacob was 11 days early. So I assumed I would be early with my second as well.  We had it all planned out, my mom booked her flight to come 2 weeks before my due date to ensure she would be here in time, Justin was telling clients during meetings that he was “on call” and would have to excuse himself if I called, we had the diapers stacked up, hospital bags packed, babysitting arrangements made for Jake and we were ready should he decide to come early.  But God and baby had other plans…my due date came and went, and they decided he would stay snuggled in my belly.

Those last few weeks of my pregnancy I had a lot of pain, there was so much pressure and it was really hard for me to wrangle Jake and get him in and out of the car, I couldn’t even pick him up. I ended up getting down to his level when he wanted to be close to me, then I had a hard time getting up off the floor!  I was so thankful that my mom was here to help with the heavy lifting (Jake)!  I was having lots of Braxton Hicks during my 3rd trimester which turned into contractions during the last few weeks.  There were a lot of them, but no consistency to them.

The remodel on our new house was underway (I will do another post about the house).  Justin, my dad and crew were breaking down and rebuilding our house.  Everyone kept saying to me, I hope you can get some rest before the baby comes. I laugh when I think about that time! Instead of sitting on the couch with my feet up, visiting with my mom, enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, playing with Jake and “resting”, my mom and I were running around like crazy trying to get as much done as we could before the baby arrived.  We picked out flooring, paint, cabinets, took endless trips to Lowes and Home Depot and took meals over to the new house to feed the crew.  As well as doctors appointments, dropping off/picking up Jake at preschool, packing up our house and making endless phone calls, emails and lists.  The entire time through those weeks I kept thinking it would be any day…any minute…every time I would have a contraction, and I was having them often at this point, while driving, walking down the aisles of Lowe’s, while eating, etc… I would think, okay, is this it?  It rained a couple times during those weeks and Jacob was born on a rainy day, so whenever it started raining I would wonder if that would be the day?  And he actually was born on a rainy day! This time it was past my due date, not before.  Random strangers in public kept asking me when I  was due and when I told them I was X number of days past my due date, their eyes got big and it seemed like they got nervous around me like I was going to go into labor that very second.  A cashier at Home Depot practically ushered me out the door when she found out I was 3 days past my due date, she was telling me how the employees there are very helpful for lots of things, but delivering babies is not their specialty!

Even though it was really hard and uncomfortable, it was nice having that bit of extra time to get things done for the house before he arrived.  As usual, God knew what he was doing.  I just never dreamed I would go past my due date…

Here is the last belly shot, at 40 weeks.

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4 Generations

When Justin and I got married I remember the photographer being in awe that we had so many grandparents on both sides who were able to share our special day with us.  It made for some great wedding photos with all the generations of our family.  Since then we have had to say goodbye to several of them, but there are a couple who are still going strong!  One of them is Jacob’s Oma.  The night before our photo session at Leo Carillo Ranch, I woke up at 2 am which is pretty much the norm with this pregnancy, (I guess he’s preparing me for the 2 am feeding…) and it dawned on me that we would be very close to where Oma lives and my mom happened to be in town and this was a great opportunity to get some nice professional photos of the 4 generations.  So when everyone else woke up that morning and we started getting ready I told my mom my idea and asked our photographer if she would be willing to take a little side trip and do a mini session with Oma and we made it work!

When we arrived, my mom went to get Oma and the rest of us went outside in the courtyard to scope out a place for pictures, and Jacob was showing Justin his favorite swing that he plays on when we go to visit.

8FriscoBelly_065bw 8FriscoBelly_066bwThen the star of the show arrived and we got to work

8FriscoBelly_070b 8FriscoBelly_074-2bv 8FriscoBelly_080cv 8FriscoBelly_086bvOma will be 92 years old in a couple of weeks,  I hope that if I make it to 92 I look this good!

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Shower fun and Easter

This last weekend was filled with lots of friends, family and fun!  Justin’s parents and grandma came to visit, and Jacob loves that time spent with them!  On Saturday my girlfriends thew a shower for baby #2.  It was a nice intimate day with some awesome girls who I am so thankful to be on this motherhood journey with!

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At school, Jacob’s class had an Easter party so he was already stocked up on eggs and Easter goodies.  Including a bunny hat he made and kept on his head when we went to go visit Oma later that day.

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So on Easter Sunday we had a nice morning at church and just spent the rest of the day together relaxing.

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Sunday also marked 36 weeks of pregnancy for me.  I am now going to the doctor weekly and all continues to look good.  My belly dropped and our little guy is in position, ready to go. I have been having alot of Braxton Hicks, which I didn’t have too much of with Jacob.  So I keep thinking every single day that I will be going into labor.  Which is kind of good because it motivated me to finally get my hospital bag packed and the infant car seat ready to go! This morning at my checkup I was talking to my doctor about all the Braxton Hicks I’ve been having so she checked to see if I am dialating yet and I am not.  Whew!  That makes me feel a little bit better and I’m just praying that he stays put for at least another week.  Here’s my 36 week belly.

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2nd Baby Belly

I absolutely loved the pictures from our maternity session when I was pregnant with Jacob and his newborn session that we called the same photographer to do it again this time around. There were a couple of places we were considering and we decided on Leo Carillo Ranch in Carlsbad.  They have lots of great old buildings, rustic doors and pretty scenery.

I don’t have a whole lot of story to tell here, just pictures to share…To start it off, at our first maternity session we did this same pose holding a blue elephant that we used as part of Jacob’s weekly photos.  We recreated the same scene only replacing the blue elephant with Jacob.

8FriscoBelly_004-2evAnd baby number 2 gets a brown wooly mammoth.

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And this session was a bit more challenging than last time since we were trying to work with a 2 year old.  My mom came along to stand behind the photographer to try and direct Jacob’s attention, our photographer turned around and snapped a picture of my mom and Justin jumping around behind the scenes.

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Being mom and the fact that photography is my hobby, I am always behind the camera, which means I don’t have any pictures of Jacob and I together.  So we made that happen this day.

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Thank you Terri for taking such wonderful pictures of our family!

The Second Baby Project

A while ago when we announced we were pregnant, I promised to share the story of our second round in our IVF journey…First of all, as I am typing this, I can’t believe it has been this long already, this pregnancy has flown by!  I kind of had a big awakening a couple days ago on how quickly these next few weeks are going to go.  When I was pregnant with Jacob, by this time, I already had my bag packed for the hospital, a Pediatrician lined up, I had most of my checklist completed, car seat installed, etc…So in a frantic moment I called our Pediatrician to see if there was anything I needed to do to add another child to his patient base, thankfully, since we are already established with them, I just have to give them a call when we are ready to schedule his first check-up.  I told Justin we needed to get the infant car seat back out so I can wash the cover and at least have that ready to go.  I don’t even have a checklist and I can tell you right now, it’s not going to happen, we are winging it this time around.  Although, hopefully, I’ll get my hospital bag packed before my water breaks or contractions start!

I also wanted to get this blog post done before our little guy arrives.  As I have said before, the reason I chose to share our journey is because the stories of other people who have been through this gave me comfort and strength to go down that road.  Since I’ve started this blog there are at least 3 (that I am aware of) women that I have been in touch with who are navigating their own way through IVF.  And I have been able to share stories with them, laugh with them and give them as much support as I can.  That makes me feel good, that is what it is all about. I hope there are more women out there who have found comfort & strength in our story, so I have been taking the time to write about our second go at it and you can read it here or by clicking on the Second Baby Project link at the top of the page.

Thank you for all your love, support and prayers!

The home stretch

31 weeks pregnant!

I’ve had two checkups since my last pregnancy update and all continues to look good!  A little over a month ago I had my gestational diabetes test and according to my doctor my results came back “perfect”.  Guess I don’t have to admit to her that the night before my test I baked a double batch of cookies 🙂  She measured my belly, weighed me, took my blood pressure and listened to the baby’s heartbeat and told me to come back in 3 weeks.  I went back two days ago and they checked everything again and all continues to be good.  Now I go every 2 weeks for a month and then weekly until he comes!  We are getting close, I can’t believe that in 2 months we will be a family of 4!

In the past month I really have started to feel more pregnant.  Before I was moving along and doing things like normally would.  But now I am feeling the extra weight of my belly, it’s getting harder and harder to bend over or get up off the ground and I am finding my energy level is declining, my back hurts and I am out of breath quicker than usual.  A couple days ago I was having some Braxton Hicks which woke me up early in the morning, but haven’t had anymore since. It’s all normal stuff, but it seems to be intensified since I am chasing a 2 year old around this time.

Speaking of our two year old, Jacob was having a discussion with grandma when she was here last and during their discussion Jacob decided that mommy has a BIG belly and grandma has a little belly.  Since grandma left he loves to point to me and say mommy BIG belly and then point to himself and say little belly.  He thinks he’s so cute…who am I kidding, of course he’s cute!

A fun thing about this point in pregnancy is I am noticing how much bigger and stronger our little guy is getting.  Instead of a kick here and there I am feeling him stretch and roll to make more room.  He still kicks me and they are starting to make me jump since there is a bit more power to his kick!  He also gets the hiccups every once in a while, but not nearly as often as Jake used to.

Here’s a picture from last week of my 30 week belly.

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Pregnancy update

It’s been a while since I’ve done a pregnancy update and I’ve had a few appointments in the last month and a half, so here’s an update on our little guy.

At the beginning of December, I went in for my check up at 20 weeks (halfway!) and all looked good!  I asked my doctor about what the “specialty OB” doc said about my baby measuring big.  And he said, he could have grown a lot during this last growth spurt, and may not grow as much during the next growth spurt and could average out.  It doesn’t mean anything and baby is healthy.  Both the specialty OB doc and my doc said they wanted me to have a fetal echo done at 22 weeks to do more extensive check up on the baby’s heart.  It is a routine test they do on frozen embryo babies and nothing to be concerned about.  So I made that appointment and went on my way.

Here is a picture of my 20 week belly.

A couple of weeks later I went back to the specialty OB office for the fetal echo and they pretty much checked everything that they looked at last time I was there, but spent a lot more time looking at the heart.  They checked the left side, right side all the chambers, blood flow, heart rate, etc… and all is functioning normal.  The ultrasound tech kept saying that he was a very cooperative baby since she was able to see all the areas she wanted to check very well.  Here’s to hoping he continues that trend once he’s born! I asked about his size since he was measuring big at my last visit and she said he’s within the normal range, actually to be specific she said he’s 1 lb 3 oz.  She gave me some more pictures of our little guy to take home. Here he is with his left arm up by his face.

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And finally last week I had another check up with my OB. All continues to be well. My doc said both baby and I look healthy and on track.  It was a bit of a reality check when I was getting ready to leave and the nurse gave me the paperwork to “register for my stay at the hospital.”  Yikes!  It’s creeping up on me! I can’t believe soon I will be starting my 3rd trimester.

And here is my 24 week belly.

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A little silliness

Hope you all had a great Christmas!  I have some catching up to do on this blog so I am going to start here…

Christmas is my favorite holiday and having a little one around makes it even more fun. Part of the fun is starting some new traditions.  Last year we got some Christmas costumes from Justin’s parents and this year we added to them, got a bigger outfit for Jacob and took some new pictures.

I am realizing that even though I do love my camera, I do not get along with the self timer and tripod. Every time I use those two things the pictures never come out.

The main culprit it the focus…here we are a little blurry.

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Then when we get a better focus the camera is not as secure on the tripod and moves down cutting our heads off. I bet Jacob had a huge smile on his face for this one too!

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After fixing the camera so it is pointing up, we ended up being off centered.

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Oh well, it is the effort that counts right.  It was a fun few minutes and Jacob was surprisingly going along with it and having fun. Although I am sure the dog would prefer to be left out of this silliness, he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.

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We will see what happens next year!

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Because “I am going to be 35…”

Usually around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy your doctor will order you a fetal anatomy scan where they do an ultrasound to check the baby’s organs, measure the head/limbs, check the blood flow and just make sure everything looks good.  When I was pregnant with Jacob I just went to an ultrasound tech that was in the same building as my OB.  However, now that I am “going to be 35 years old when I deliver” (a phrase I am hearing a lot these days…) my OB sent me to a “Specialty OB” office to have my fetal anatomy scan.  Simply only because of my age.  I understand that the older the woman is there are more risks involved and they just want to check and make sure that all is well or be able to prepare you if all is not well.  As often as I hear the “going to be 35 years old when I deliver” I also remind them that my 35th birthday is only 13 days before my due date, so there is a chance I may still be 34 when this baby arrives, it is not like I am over the age of 35 yet.  Plus…since this is a frozen embryo pregnancy, then the baby was technically conceived when I was 32.  Anyway, it doesn’t bother me, if anything it gives me a peace of mind.

Yesterday morning was my ultrasound appointment.  When I was pregnant with Jacob the ultrasound tech kept the screen hidden from me and didn’t talk to me or tell me anything while she was doing it, until at the end she gave us a look at him and said he looks good.  This time around the ultrasound tech allowed me to see what she was looking at and explained what she was measuring or looking for, etc… and everything looked great!  Just like my last pregnancy we declined the genetic testing and the amniocentesis. The doctor came in and talked to us and confirmed that everything looks good and one thing we talked about was that the baby was measuring big, 10 ounces to be exact, which is common for IVF babies.  I didn’t ask what the “usual size” was at this point, but according to What to Expect When You Are Expecting…at 18 weeks the baby is around 5 oz.  So the doctor was predicting that he would probably come early, maybe around April 25th.

Here’s a recent picture of our big guy (yes, we confirmed again that it is indeed a boy, no doubt about it!)

18 wksThey also did a few views in 3D which was kind of creepy looking but kind of amazing at the same time.  Here he is with his hands up by his face.

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