Monday, December 14, 2009

Arista Kitty

We can't believe another week has flown by with Arista here. I still feel like it's a dream she is actually here in our arms. She has brought so much joy back into our lives, and everyday we feel so blessed to have her in our home. As Arista is growing she is looking more and more like Preslie. There have been times when I am holding her and she looks just like her older sister. I am so glad we have a sweet reminder of our baby girl P.

We cannot believe what a great baby she is. She has the sweetest cry, and unfortunately for her we love to hear it! Arista is staying awake for longer periods of time each day, and we are loving it. She has such pretty eyes. We think she will have brown eyes, but only time will tell. Arista loves to eat, and has been such a good eater. We could not have asked for a better baby! We are looking forward to spending Christmas as a happy family.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

L&D Details

On Friday November 20th another doctor in our practice came to visit me. I had been doing the suppositories for 3 nights, and they where causing me some serious discomfort. I talked to the doctor about it, and he suggested that I take an oral pill. The oral pill was suppose to do the same thing, only not cause so much cramping. He said he would get it approved by my doctor and then go from there. He also suggested that instead of taking it at night, I take it during the afternoon. After taking the pill they need to monitor me and the baby for a few hours, to see if the pill has taken any affect.

That afternoon I took the pill and felt nothing. I had been having a few continual contractions, but nothing to write home about. One of my nurses said that it's affect usually comes hours later, if it will have one. I decided to get out of my room and take a walk down to a jewelry fair going on in the Professional Building. I got all of my Christmas shopping done for my sisters, and was really excited that I found a beautiful scarf for my Mom to wear as well. Chris surprised me with Panda Express for dinner (I was so tired of hospital food) and I enjoyed every bite. My parents were due to arrive into the Lansing airport that night, but their flight got delayed an hour. While I decided to take a nap around 9pm Chris went to run some errands before picking up my parents from the airport.

Around 10:30pm I woke up and suddenly my water broke. It was nothing like it is in the movies, where just a little trickle falls down your leg. This flood kept on coming. I called my nurse into the room, and then called Chris excitedly to tell him that my water had indeed broken. After the nurse checked to make sure it was my water, she needed to get the baby hooked up to the monitor. We were talking excitedly about my water breaking, when I realized it was taking her an awfully long time to find Arista's heartbeat. She kept reassuring me that she could faintly hear it, although I heard nothing. 3 minutes later Chris walked into the hospital room beaming, but when he saw my face he knew something was wrong. I laid there and could not believe that we had lost yet another baby. I kept asking the nurse if my baby was alive, in which she responded that she didn't know. She said that she needed to get an ultrasound machine to make sure, and then had Chris call in another nurse to help her find Arista's heartbeat. The other nurse came in and took over, after 30 seconds she replied..."You are using the wrong monitor". We all had a huge sigh of relief, and the nurse expressed how freaked out she was. Great way to start labor eh?

I was moved over to a labor and delivery room and they hooked me up to an IV. They wanted to see if my body would go on it's own before giving any sort of pitocin. After midnight my parents arrived, and we all sat around talking. After a few hours the nurse checked me and I was a 2. So they decided to start some pitocin. I insisted on receiving the epidural before any medicine was administered. We were so lucky to have our best friends Dad give me the epidural. It wasn't long after getting the epidural that I suddenly could not hear anymore, and felt like I was going to pass out. My blood pressure had dropped fast, and they laid my down and pumped me full of fluid. After 20 minutes I was feeling much better, although my blood pressure stayed low the entire labor.

They started the pitocin and after several hours I was stuck at a 5. I had the itches and the shakes horribly, and was given some medicine to help calm everything down. The nurse came into empty my bladder every few hours, and could not believe how full it was each time. She received permission to insert a catheter so that I wouldn't have such a full bladder. After the catheter was in the nurse came into check on the baby. She noticed that the baby was in distress and she watched the monitor for many contractions, until I told her that I felt something fall inside of me. She checked me and I was at a 10 and ready to push! She went and called our doctor from home, and we waited until she arrived before starting the big push. We waited about 15 minutes, when she arrived she told us that she needed to clean out the baby's lungs because there was a bit of meconium in my water. After 5 minutes of pushing Arista's head emerged, and they told me to stop pushing. Arista had a plan of her own, and continued to slide on out. I didn't feel a thing. She didn't cry, which they warned us that she wouldn't because of being cleaned out. Chris was able to cut the cord, while I stared at her in disbelief.

We were so grateful for our doctor and for the "magic pill" the other doctor gave me. We were able to spend much more time with my parents, at home. I know that the Lord has his own time frame, and the timing could not have been more perfect.

The rest is history. I cannot be more blessed then I am. I love my little baby more than anything, and I love every minute I get to take care of her. I know that Preslie is watching over us. I have definitely had moments of breaking down, and sadness because of the loss of Preslie. There are times when I am holding Arista and I get flashbacks of holding Preslie. This whole experience has been very bittersweet, but totally worth it.

Families are forever, and I have the greatest one!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Two Amazing Weeks

I can't believe that Arista is two weeks old already. We were so blessed to have my parents out here to help us out with our first days of parenthood, and we were so sad to see them leave. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with them, and with our good friends the Koesters. I could not think of a better Thanksgiving, for we truly had something spectacular to be thankful for.

My parents transformed our house into a Christmas wonderland. They set up our tree, put up lights outside our house, and even set up a ton of lights down both sides of our stairs. We also all went up last Saturday to visit Preslie's grave. We brought a little tree up, along with the stocking filled with letters from us. It was very difficult to go, but it was so great to be able to come back to a beautiful live baby.

On Sunday we blessed Arista, so that my parents could be here for it. We missed Chris' parents, but were grateful they were able to listen and watch via webcam. Chris gave the most beautiful blessing, and Arista looked just like a princess. I know that her sister Preslie was so proud of her baby sister. We were able to have our great friends in the circle as well as our bishop, and a member of the bishopric Ryan, who had counseled with us throughout the past year.

Arista is such a great baby. She only cries when she is hungry, or needs to burp. She has gained back all of her birth weight plus some, and she loves to snuggle. She has only been waking up once in the early morning to eat, and then lays awake looking up at me for a while. We could not have asked for a better baby. She has been sleeping in her car seat, in the adorable bassinet we have. My mom made all the bedding, and we just love it! We hope Arista will sleep in it soon! Arista is such a huge blessing in our lives, and we are not taking a single minute for granted. She is constantly in our arms, and we have no guilt of that at all. We love Arista so much!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for this year, but we could not be any happier with the Thanksgiving gift we received. We hope you all have a wonderful day, and we thank you all for your prayers and love during this past year. We could not have made it through without all of you! We love you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby Arista's 2nd Day and Coming Home!!!

Chewy meeting his baby sister for the first time. He loves staring at her!
Arista's first ride in the car!
Arista in her prom dress 16 years in the making!
Arista with her Birth Bear that Grandma Sue got for her!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arista Miracle has Arrived

Arista Miracle was born at 9:50am. She is 9 pounds 20 1/2 inches long!

She is a very mellow baby, and we have never been happier! Mom and baby are doing great! More pictures soon!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unfavorable= No baby yet!

The doctor checked my cervix Tuesday night, and unfortunately it was very unfavorable. So they started giving me suppositories every night to ripen things up. I have had 2 already and don't feel any different. Which just means that it's not time for Arista to make her grand appearance.

I talked with my doctor yesterday and we are scheduled to be induced Tuesday at 8am! The 24th was our original plan, so the countdown I made is right on the dot. 5 days! My parents arrive tomorrow night which I think will make the weekend fly by!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We can't wait for you all to meet her!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Accomplished Goal

Growing up my Mom did everything in her power to get us up at 6am to read scriptures. It took us all about 15-20 minutes to work our way out of bed and then down the stairs to the family room. Once everyone was downstairs my Dad would emerge from his room to join us. When I envision these early mornings I see myself with a huge blanket around me, laying on the floor, with one eye open. My older sister Kelsey sometimes doing the same thing, and my younger siblings irritable and grouchy. I could not tell you one thing we read about, and honestly I didn't really care.

I graduated from Seminary which I am really grateful, but honestly I had no interest in attending whatsoever. I either had Seminary for my first period class, which was a great time to get some extra sleep at home, or I had it right after lunch. We were given a 40 minute lunch.... Um that was not long enough. Needless to say I was gone from Seminary more than I was there. When it came down to graduation time, I had 45 days of make-up work to do. It seemed impossible, but my Mom was eager for me to graduate. So after finishing all the work I was eligible to graduate. I attended the graduation and received my "diploma" but deep inside I felt like I was totally not worthy of it.

After graduating high school and moving out to Virginia, I was able to attend Institute every Tuesday. Not only was it a great opportunity to mingle and meet people, I found myself really interested in what the teachers were teaching us. I came to have a better appreciation for what I was being taught, and a better understanding of the scriptures.

I never did personally read the scriptures while in Seminary, because I was too busy with all the other important things in my life. (Which was my mind set) I would start reading the Book of Mormon and end up around 2 Nephi, and I would give up. It wasn't until Preslie died, where I felt like I needed something more than just grieving books. I signed myself up for Institute and slowly started reading sporadically through the scriptures. I loved attending my class, but I still didn't have the time to add scripture reading into my routine 100%.

This past July something really hit me hard, and I knew that what I was doing was getting me no where. I made a goal to myself that I was going to read The Book of Mormon before Arista was born. I decided since Arista could hear sounds I would read to her everyday so that she could hear the scriptures too. I read out loud from 1 Nephi- Mosiah. Once I hit Alma I continued to read silently everyday to try to reach my goal.

It's amazing how time flies and how my daily reading helped me through the anxieties and stresses of this pregnancy. For the first time I understood what I was reading, and found myself wanting to ready them more and more.

Yesterday I finished reading The Book of Mormon. I reached my goal, and I know that the last things I read I was suppose to read at this point in my life. My testimony of The Book of Mormon has strengthened, and I know that everything I read really happened and is true.

A few of my favorite parts/stories are:

* When Christ appears and ministers unto the people

* When the babies were able to speak

* The story of the Brother of Jared, and the seeing Jesus Christ

* Ether Chapter 12, where it talks about Miracles happening after the trial of faith.

I am so grateful for taking the time to read The Book of Mormon, and for the guidance and help it has brought to my life. I am grateful that we are able to have the scriptures to help guide and prepare us for the different stumbling blocks that come along our way. I know that what I have read is true, and that through the atonement of Christ we can all return to our Heavenly Father's presence someday. I know that miracles do happen after our faith is tried, and It has been a constant reminder to me especially these past few days. I know that Preslie is near, and that someday soon we will be with her again. Families are Forever!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:

* I have not completely gone stir crazy yet. Yesterday was the first day in these past few weeks, where I felt like I had cabin fever. I have been keeping myself pretty occupied by reading, watching shows, and playing card games. Also taking much needed naps.

* Arista is doing great. We have had no problems(knock on wood) thus far with her. She continues to try and stretch her little body out, and her little foot is always in my ribs.

* We have moved back into OB Special Care today. Back to a nice quiet room with big windows!

* I was able to attend our support group meeting last Thursday night. It felt great to get out and interact with women who had just recently given birth. It was nice to hear their stories and see that they have survived the long stay here.

The Bad

* I have been through everything on the menu multiple times, and the food doesn't seem to get any better the second time around. They do however, have the best no-bake cookies!

* Alarms go off during the night, and you can always hear some speaker in the hall.

The Ugly

* We have been awakened many times from women in the room next door to us screaming during labor. It's a good thing I have already experienced childbirth, or I would have run out the door in terror.

I spoke with our Dr. this past week and we have come to a compromise. She will check my cervix on Tuesday to see if it is favorable. If so we will go ahead and do an amino test to see if Arista is developed enough. If so, we will go ahead and begin the induction no later than Wednesday. The thought of Arista coming out this week makes me so excited, however I am trying not to get my hopes up. My cervix with Preslie was very unfavorable, and I was overdue. We are grateful for family and friends who have fasted and have kept us in their prayers for an early easy delivery.

I have begun to have painful contractions here and there, but nothing to spark up labor. :o(

Cheers to a good week, and hopefully the arrival of sweet little Arista. We will keep you all posted!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Bows and Books"

Back on October 15th some dear friends in the ward threw me and Arista an amazing baby shower. The theme of the shower was "Li'l Pumpkin". My good friend Aubrey wrote an adorable poem that she put onto the invitation...

Li'l Pumpkin

Li'l Pumpkin is coming and she'll be here so soon,
Her arrival date is in November, not June.
She'd like you to come and celebrate,
With her Mommy on this very special date.
October 15th at 7 PM,
Soon she'll no longer need her stem!
No need to eat dinner, there will be food
To put you all in a pumpkin-y mood!
If you feel so inclined to bring something, too,
Li'l Pumpkin has a cute idea for you.
As she grows up she'd love to look
At a beautiful bow or a colorful book!
So please come and expect to have lots of fun,
There's sure to be smiles and laughs by the ton!

(The gift theme for the night will be "Bows & Books." So, if you'd like, bring one of your favorite children/baby books or get creative and make a one-of-a-kind bow for Baby Arista to enjoy!)

Since I already had everything for Preslie that I could use with Arista. We decided on a "Bows & Books." theme as well.

The night started off with a fabulous spread of favorite fall foods. Donut holes, pumpkin bread, yummy soups, an awesome pumpkin shaped cheese ball with veggies, the best apples and dip ever, and an apple spice cake.

While eating and chatting we played a game called "Baby Memory" You had to match a pregnancy or baby type word with the name of a candy bar. Example: Chris----Sugar Daddy. It was loads of fun I would have to say that Alexis Phillips rocked at that game!

We also played "Baby names around the world" Which was a list of the word "baby" in about 10 different languages, and you had to guess which language each one went with. Let's just say I got 2 out of the 10 right. Also, all throughout the night there was a game with old wives tales. You had to guess which one meant that you were having a boy or a girl.

There was a special surprise for the 7th person who walked into the baby shower, and it was funny who it ended up being! Ashley Stevens! Although I think she is going to beat me to the punch!

We played another game where you have a huge bowl of rice filled with safety pins, and you are blind folded and have to try to get as many safety pins as you can. It was a very difficult game, very fun however.

After the fun games it was time to open gifts. I recieved so many wondeful books, bows, bow holders, outfits, socks, hats, and little baby jewlery. The talent among all of my friends is just incredible. I have to give a shout out to Kara for the adorable tutu. It was such a hit!

After opening gifts there was one more game to be played. The ladies split up into 3teams and decorated pumpkins, as if Arista were to be a lil pumpkin when she was born. At the end I had to chose which one did I think looked the most like her... It was a tough decision, they all looked so funny and cute.

Here are the 3 pumpkins I had to chose from.

I chose this one, because in our 3D ultrasounds Arista loved to stick out her little tongue.

For the last thing of the night I had been previously asked to measure the "roundness" of my stomach. Jade went out and was able to find a pumpkin that matched my measurements. Can you guess which pumpkin "round" wise matched my stomach?????

Yep the one in the middle!

I just want to thank Aubrey, Emily, Jade, Mandy, Jamie, Daniell, Natalie, and Ashley for throwing me the best baby shower ever! It made me so excited for Arista to come out, and it made me feel all of the love that you have for our family. We would not have made it through this past year without you guys! Thanks to everyone who came! Thank you cards coming soon!!

Faith and Hope

I felt pretty worn out on Friday, and was able to sleep for about an hour until Chris arrived. Then I heard news that I hoped and prayed I would never have to hear. While I was sleeping my Mom tried to get ahold of me many times. Upon waking up I wondered what could be so urgent that she needed to call me a lot. While Chris was in the bathroom I called her back. I was waiting to hear that one of my Grandparents had passed away, but to my horror it was beyond my wildest dreams. "Rylie, I have breast cancer". I couldn't help but sob. So many questions came into my mind..."Why would this happen after all we've been through already?" "Breast cancer doesn't even exist on my mom's side, how'd this happen?" My mom proceeded to tell me that it was at stage one, and how blessed and lucky they are that they were able to detect it early. I could not believe how positive my Mom was, and how calm she was. If you know my Mom you know that she is one of the most righteous women. She has unwavering faith, and hope even through the toughest and hardest things. The time I was able to spend with her after Preslie's death was truly a blessing for us both, and now I have never felt so close to my Mom.

I know that this is another trial of our faith, and together as a family we will be able to encourage, lift, pray, and hope that after her surgery this cancer will rid her body. I don't know what I would do without my Mom, I can't even imagine. All I know is, I am grateful for a guardian angel to watch over her, and for a Heavenly Father who will be by all of our sides during these next months.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hospital Time

I was admitted a few days ago to the hospital for nightly monitoring. It has had continual ups and downs. There have been moments when I beg and plead to go home, and moments when I feel totally at peace about everything. We were given a luxury suite in the OB Special Care unit, until around 9:00pm last night when we received news that they were shutting down due to budget cuts. We had to immediately pack our things and move to a Labor and Delivery room. We walked in and my heart sank. Black windows, No storage space, no dvd player, and no room. I felt at that moment that I would be 100% fine going home that night. I felt like I could just live on my faith the next few weeks, and things would be just fine. Well, as you can imagine that didn't settle well with Chris and others. After much persuasion and madness I decided I needed to try to relax. So I decided to take a shower. A shower that I don't think had ever been used, and that I could barely fit into. After a long shower, I was getting out and hit my belly on the door. I felt this awful pain, but didn't think to much of it. It wasn't until I was getting dressed and looked in the mirror, that I realized my stomach looked awful. Blood vessels had broken around my belly button, and was beat red. There was no way I could go home after that happening. They hooked me up to the monitors, and baby Arista was fine. After all the commotion I was finally able to relax a bit and try to sleep. However, my nurse didn't quite know what she was doing last night. She kept trying to find Arista's heartbeat on the wrong side, and finally gave up and wrote in my chart that the baby and I were not cooperating. Around 4am she just stopped coming in. Um, the whole point of me even being here is to have my baby on the monitor in case something were to happen. We talked to the head nurse this morning about everything, and she said that most likely we would be able to go back to OB Special Care on Monday, and that we would be given 4 bracelets to hand out to 4 people who could come and visit me. That made us really happy to hear that.

Chris trying to sleep the first night

Our view of the outside world...or not

Our "L&D room"

The shower from...

Chris not too happy about the room change