Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baby Blessing

Olivia's Blessing Day: May 24th, 2015

I love all these pictures, but I was a little scatterbrained that day. If I would've been thinking correctly I could've had a group picture taken, of everybody. But alas, I wasn't that smart.

It also didn't help that half our group had to leave before sacrament meeting was over, so they weren't able to be there for pictures. Also, had I been thinking at all, we could've taken another picture at the dinner when we all reconvened...gaaaah!
Oh well.

It was a beautiful blessing nonetheless, and thankfully little Olivia didn't make a peep. We are immensely blessed to have our families so close to us.

Four generations of girls!




(this is what most of the 'photoshoot' looked like, haha!)

And here's a comparison to all our other baby blessings! It's crazy to see our family grow!



Saturday, June 13, 2015

{the birth}

If you're one of those people who read everything there is to read on pregnancy (like I am), then you know it's pretty common and mostly unanimous that as disclaimer to everything,
"every pregnancy is different."

For some reason I had it in my head that phrase was referencing women in general--that every woman has a different pregnancy from every other woman. As if that's not obvious, I never supposed it could apply to each one of my individual pregnancies--that they would each be different. DUH. 

Well, I am here to say:
EVERY PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT.

Especially the labor part.

So with Wyatt, I assumed because my body had never gone through a labor and delivery before, that was why I never dilated more than 1cm in a month and why I never had any pre-labor symptoms.

That thought was confirmed by me when, with Logan, I progressed in dilation each week up to my delivery, and went into labor on my own two days early.

But then with this little girl, I was back to square one. The four weeks leading up to my due date, I dilated only 2cm and remained at 70% effaced the whole time. I even had my membranes stripped twice (once a week before my due date, and the other, the day before my due date) and neither time started labor! I didn't even have regular braxton hicks contractions, though, when I did have them they were pretty strong. Overall it was just really depressing. My doctor asked if I was interested in being induced and I let him go ahead and schedule an induction date for her due date, May 12th. At least I could say she was born right on time!

MAY 12th 2015
My induction was scheduled for 9am and my doctor had advised me to call the hospital beforehand to make sure they had a room for me. I was convinced every other pregnant woman would go into labor on that day just to prevent me from having my baby. Thankfully, a tender mercy was thrown my way and they told me I could come in. I spent the morning getting everyone ready and by some miracle we arrived at the hospital early. I say miracle because I was sure we were going to be late and, again, I would miss my chance to have a baby. Seriously. I was super paranoid.
But no worries, they let me in!

Since I've been induced before, this wasn't anything new to me. I knew what to expect, and what I expected, happened. There were a few new twists though--apparently I tested positive for Group B strep, so I had to wait on the induction to start until after I'd had two doses of antibiotics. Also, when I was finally started on the pitocin, and after my water had been broken, and after I received my epidural...it didn't fully take. Getting my epidural this time was a lot more painful than I remember before, and that could be because every other time I was in the throes of painful contractions, whereas this time I knew to ask for it before the pain was unbearable. Anyway, the epidural numbed my entire lower half, like it should, except for one spot on my lower abdomen, right above my pubic bone--where I could feel the contractions most excellently...in a not excellent way. So my nurses positioned my legs in a way they thought would more evenly distribute the epidural, but after 20 minutes, and still no change, they upped my dosage. And after another 20 minutes with no change, they called the anesthesiologist back in, and he gave me some lidocaine.

I was COMPLETELY numb in no time.

SO numb, in fact, I was worried I wouldn't be able to push. My other epidurals left some feeling, enough that I could still feel the pressure from my contractions, but THIS epidural left me dead from the hips down.

My mom and sister joined Jeff and I in the delivery room shortly after my epidural. I should mention that at the time of my epidural (I feel like I'm saying "epidural" a lot and it's starting to sound funny) I was checked and had only dilated to 3cm. This was around 2pm, and so when everyone started sending in their guesses for weight, length and time of birth, the consensus was I'd be there well into the night...

I, on the other hand, knew once I relaxed and took a nap, I'd be ready to push in no time...which is why my guess was only minutes away from her actual birth time, and well ahead of most other guesses. So there.

Back to the real story...
After my epidural was fully functioning, my nurse had me lie on one side with the birthing peanut for an hour and then turned me onto my other side for another hour, supposedly to help with my contractions and to open up my cervix. After that last hour (around 5pm) she checked me and announced I was ready! I was a little shocked and thought she was joking until she told me she could see the head crowning. And then, as she and Jeff were positioning me into the stirrups (because I was numb and couldn't help in any way) we had to stop halfway because apparently Olivia wanted to come out right then and there! She joked and told me to cross my legs to keep her inside. Then she called for my doctor and asked if the doctor on-call was available because I. WAS. READY. Thankfully my doctor's office is right across from the hospital, so he was there in no time. And as soon as he was suited up, I "pushed" a few times (and literally could not feel a thing) and she basically fell out! Olivia May Downs was born on her due date, May 12th at 5:37pm, weighing 8lbs 12oz and 21.5 inches long. She was beautiful and pink and had a head full of hair!

(I didn't tear, but my doctor gave me one stitch to help a stretch mark heal quicker. I didn't have to take any pain medication except ibuprofen to help with the after birth pains, that is, the contractions that shrink the uterus [and they were PAINFUL!]. We only stayed in the hospital until the next night, and had lots of visitors.)







First thing both boys did as soon as they held her was to give her a kiss...



The grandmas are trying to distinguish what features she gets from whom...
...and who knows what Ben is doing.




Oh hey guys! I just had a baby!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

for the third time

Okay, so maybe you do want to see the process of my weight gain...

...seeing as it was for another human and all...

Also, I like remembering things, so we're headed for a trip down memory lane...

If you may recall, Jeff started his "new" job in March of last year, I quit my job in April, and by May we were thinking about babies. (And that's not really true, I'd been thinking about babies for a while, but I'd been suppressing the urge.) I'm kinda picky when it comes to the month I deliver in (I like to avoid summer months), so I had it planned out that we would start trying in June with the hopes of a pregnancy ending in March or April. But after two months of trying and not getting pregnant, I gave in and decided we'd try one more time for a May baby...and that's what we got!

I wanted to announce my pregnancy at Halloween at 12 weeks, and even though Jeff initially complied, he couldn't wait longer than 7 weeks. So our immediate family was informed with the help of Wyatt and Logan wearing shirts that said they were going to be big brothers. It took a while for people to notice, so Jeff had to help everyone along, haha!

And then the rest of the world found out when I wore this shirt at Halloween...
...even though I didn't post it on social media until mid-November...
...oops.

The reason for that delay had EVERYTHING to do with the horrid all-day sickness I experienced up until 24 weeks. Ugh!!

Around the same time I announced to the world I was pregnant, I had already found out the gender! A GIRL!!! But I waited another few weeks to post that...

20 weeks, and just home from the Downs' Christmas trip to Disneyland.

25 weeks, and FINALLY feeling better!

27 weeks, and celebrating the only holiday I'd never been pregnant over!

30 weeks, and feeling huge!


35 weeks
By this point I was feeling overwhelmingly tired. I was over being pregnant and really wanted to be done. I spent a lot of time at home in my bed or on the couch--much like the first half of my pregnancy.


At 36 weeks, my girlfriends and I had a girl's day out and literally spent the entire day shopping (or eating). My body hated me the next day. I'm not sure how sane I was when I decided that would be a good idea...

39 weeks, and no sign of baby!

My labor and delivery story will be for another post, but I did want to follow with tradition and write down a few other memories...
Here's Wyatt's and Logan's

WORKOUT ROUTINE: I've always been bad at working out in general, so I'm counting the countless trips up and down the stairs in my house as a workout routine. At least I did it every day!

MOST SURPRISING SYMPTOM: Swollen legs, feet, and especially ankles! I'd never had any swelling with my other two, except for maybe at the very end when I'd been walking a lot, but this time around I was swelling ALL THE TIME! Any time my feet weren't up or horizontal with my body, I was swollen. Ugh. After I had Olivia, the swelling took some time to disperse, but I swear, most of the weight I lost was water weight!

FAVORITE PART: This time my favorite part was actually SEEING her! I'd only ever had one ultrasound with each other pregnancy, but I had a new doctor this time, who had an ultrasound tech in his office, so I had FOUR ultrasounds, one of which was 3D. There wasn't anything wrong with my pregnancy or the baby, my doctor just liked to check in on her I guess, and I didn't complain!

MOST TERRIFYING PART: My weight gain, haha! The numbers just kept going up and up and up...

INTERESTING FACT: I measured exactly according to my due date, every time. My ultrasounds were even exact to the day, it was amazing.

MOST FREQUENT CRAVING: Ice. And then I discovered popsicles--the flavored ice of my dreams. Don't ask me why I hadn't made that connection before, I have no clue.

MOST ANNOYING SYMPTOM: The heartburn from hell. I would eat ICE and get heartburn. I guess it paid off because she sure has a lot of hair.

WEIRDEST SYMPTOM: I developed pretty bad back pain around 18 weeks and had it for a month or two and then it disappeared. The weird thing about it was that I didn't have it when I was huge pregnant!

FUNNIEST MEMORY: While confined to the couch during the first couple of months I began watching the series Call the Midwife. I'd usually watch it during naptime or after the boys had gone to bed, mostly for convenience and uninterrupted silence, but Wyatt was able to catch a few episodes and thereby connect a few dots about how the baby was going to come out. Obviously the show wasn't explicit, but every time a mother was in labor and he saw/heard her labor pain he would dance around with a worried look on his face and say, "Make it stop! Go to a different part! What's happening to her??" and then I'd calm him down and explain what was happening. Then, as if to clarify, he asked if the baby was going to come out of my penis...

WEIGHT GAIN: Starting weight: 147 lbs, ending weight: 175 lbs--heaviest I've ever been!! I'm already back to my pre-pregnancy weight though, and I can't wait to start toning this body! I'm so mushy, haha!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is this for real?

Well! When I take a hiatus, I take a hiatus!!
I mean...sheesh!

Seven months have come and gone, and just like that my pregnancy is over and I have a newborn who is almost a month old. 

Say what?!

I've been thinking a lot about this blog lately, whether or not I want to keep it. To try and recover the last seven months seems hopeless, but then I keep coming back to read different events and timelines, and I'm so glad I was so good at documenting our lives. So even though I've basically skipped out on the last year, and I won't promise to be anywhere near as consistent as I have been in the past (three kids and all, and one starting school in August) I really want to try. 

And to prevent overwhelming myself from the get-go, I won't be backdating any posts. Sad, I know.
Unless I want to, then I might.
But I'm not going to. 

Well, maybe one or two things.

But really, who am I kidding, I was mostly on the couch or in bed the last seven months, putting on weight.

And no one wants to see that.